Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 27th

I know I'm stating the obvious, but last Friday was December 27th. It was a very busy day for me.  I spent some time with my mom, had lunch with an old high school friend, and got to watch a former student marry the love of her life.  The day had no significance to me until I was at the wedding.  It's events like that, along with the end of the year approaching, which makes us reflect on our life.  I began thinking about the year when the date dawned on me.  December 27th, 2012 was a horrible day for me.  My father had his first chemo treatment and it was during the procedure the doctors discovered what we were truly facing.  It wasn't a single tumor we were fighting against, but multiple, tiny tumors.  As a family, we were not ready to hear the news that we were told.  Up until that moment, everyone was extremely optimistic.  It was so hard for me to hold it together; to be the rock for everyone else.  I think I was barely grasping at any hope that was left to hold on to.  So, 2013 began with feelings of sadness and heartache...and a desperation for hope.  I can't exactly tell you when all of that began to change.  I think each one of us found a way to accept the situation.  The year progressed and I came to a point where I had to make some choices; moving, exercising, etc.  All of the choices I've mentioned in previous posts have led to how I felt December 27th, 2013. But here I was at this wedding and I felt amazingly happy.  The wedding was unlike an other I've attended.  I mean, every wedding is really nice and you can see how much everyone loves each other, but this wedding was different.  When you walked into the church, you could feel the love and support from everyone for everyone.  It was unusual, but very uplifting.  The ceremony was light-hearted and emotional, and the whole time I kept thinking "This is so Christy!"  She was a stunning bride!  To think she was once my art club president painting murals around campus with me.  She had already amazed me when she was a student, but I am in awe of the woman she has become.  I was honored she invited me to share this day with her.  I can't wait to see where things take her next.  

That whole day really got to me.  I began realizing the huge difference from last year and this year.  And I began to appreciate even more the life I have made for myself, along with all of the people who are in it.

As an artist, I did a show with RawArtists and began showing my work at the Santa Ana art walk with Orange County Creatives. I never know where my art is going to take me, but I've been pleasantly surprised.  To think this all began a few years ago because I started an etsy account just to get rid of the paintings stacking up in the corner of my room.  I didn't have a real intention of showing my work.  It kind of just happened.  Then doing one night showcases, which led to showing at the art walk.  Now, I am beginning 2014 showing my work at the Orange County Creatives Gallery in Laguna Beach!  I can't wait to see where this will lead.  

I know everyone is reflecting and coming up with resolutions for the new year, but I'm truly grateful.  I'm glad 2013 is ending on a very positive and light-hearted note. It is a nice change of pace for me.   As for resolutions,  I refuse to come up with "resolutions."  I think that term makes things doomed to automatically fail.  I do have goals for myself, but these have been on going goals.  I am 30 pounds from my goal weight.  I am positive that with my trainer Alex at the Transformation Center, and his team I'll definitely be able to get there. I've already lost 20 pounds with his help, so the next 30 should be do-able. I'd like to do this by my birthday, but I don't want the pressure of that.  I feel like I'll set myself up for failure.  But I know I'll get there.  I'm pretty determined and Alex has been really good at keeping me challenged during the workouts.  He never lets me get away with being lazy.  Another goal is to self publish my children's book.  The plan is to do my research on various self publishing companies and see what is going to work best for me, but to fix up and begin illustrating my pages at the same time.  This way when I'm ready I have everything done and ready to go.  And my last goal is to learn how to let go the anger, resentment and hurt feelings I have towards my half siblings.  It's not a good feeling.  I'm not one to react this way.  It is just more apparent now because of my dad's health.  And I can't deal with it directly as I would like to because it would upset my dad a lot.  His health and positive state of mind are extremely important to me, so I'm going to find an alternative way to deal with it.  Maybe this will lead to a new art series???  I mean, artists do make their best work when they are heartbroken, hurt, or depressed, right?  It takes some kind of tragedy for an artist to grow.  The Mizzles came to being around a tough time in life and look at where that has taken me. 

We'll just have to wait and see.  2013 goodbye!  Thank you for challenging me and teaching me all I needed to learn this year.  2014, let's see what you have in store for me.  I think I'm ready for it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my all ages coloring contest!  Here are our winners:

Ages 5-11:

Jade was our winner!  Jade will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a Print!

Honorable mentions go to Tulsi and Madilyn.  Both will be receiving a Mizzle Doll.

Ages 12-17:
Ivan and Erin were our winners!  They will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a print.

Ages 18 +:
And Vanessa is our winner!  She will be receiving a Mizzle Doll and a print.


Again, thank you so much for participating!  


Monday, December 16, 2013


2013 has been full of ups and downs like every year, but this one seemed to have the greatest of transitions than in years passed.  The year began with this need to hold on to hope, then transitioned to a need to stop and take time to breathe; and then moved on to a need for change. I think this year I grew the most as a person.  I've learned to stop, take a deep breath, and let go.  I've learned that I am of no use to anyone if I don't take the time to take care of myself.  I've learned that even though I'm a valuable part of my family that they are fully capable of handling tough situations on their own.  And I've learned that it is okay to put me first.  Since July, I've been busy accomplishing some small goals that I have been making excuses for not completing in the past few years.  Moving helped me with this.  It took me just far enough away from what I used as excuses.  Now I have only myself to blame if I don't accomplish anything. 

In July, I began running again and had signed up for the Surf City 10k as a goal to accomplish.  I've run many 5k's with my best friend and I have run one 8k.  I figured a 10k would be a good goal for me. It has been a long while since I had seriously run, so training wasn't quite as easy, but I loved it.  I made it a goal to run a certain distance (2-4 miles) and then I would take my running shoes off and walk home in the water.  Walking home was my treat for completing my task.  I would collect shells, watch the birds run from the water, watch the surfers catch waves, and take in the beauty of living by the beach.  I had fulfilled a lifelong dream of living by the beach.

As the summer began to wind down, I figured it was time to reclaim my body and lose some weight.  In the past 5 years, I've done fitness kickboxing, running, hiking, yoga, and boot camp, but I never did them to lose weight.  I participated in those activities to be active, to relieve stress, and to feel good.  Plus, I really loved the environment I was in and the people who were there with me.  But, it was time to change that state of mind.  I stumbled across the Transformation Center.  It's a boot camp like I did before, but this place does more light weight training.  I signed up for the 6 week weight loss challenge. It was tough at first.  I had cravings for things I never really ate like Red Vines.  But by week 3 those cravings disappeared.  I'm surprised how easy it is to say no to a lot of foods that are not healthy.  I still struggle with saying no to Dr.Pepper.  I just love it too much, but have managed to keep away from it.  Luckily, I love drinking various green teas. At the end of the 6 week weight loss challenge, I didn't lose 20lbs, but I did lose 15.  I've slimmed down and am developing muscle tone where I had none before.  It has been such a great experience.  And I'm still working towards losing more weight.  It isn't going to happen overnight, but I am thrilled to see the small changes along the way.

Oh, and the 10k... well, I did better than I had anticipated. When I began my training at the Transformation Center, I found that I was too tired to go running and had stopped. I didn't run the entire 6 weeks before the race. My 10k was the last weekend of my weight loss challenge, but I felt I was in decent enough shape to do the race. My only goal was to finish it. Luckily, my co-worker/ high school friend decided at the last minute to join me.  She bought us fairy wings and headbands to wear.  Plus, one of my neighbors rode his bike alongside us to keep us company on the run.  The race was a lot of fun.  I was extremely sore for a few days.  I don't think I'll be doing another 10k any time soon.  I think I'll just stick to my 5k fun runs.  But I am glad that I was able to finish it.

The great thing about exercising is how feelings of accomplishment transfer to other parts of your life.  I was able to accomplish another goal I had been avoiding... I finally finished my dummy book.  It isn't the best, but I finished it.  The story has altered A LOT from the very first version I began writing.  Now that I have that finished, I have another story I need to make a dummy book for.  And I've decided my goal for 2014 is to look into self-publishing; just another step in my journey.

I ended 2013 showing my art with Orange County Creatives Gallery at their Santa Ana location in the Santora building.  I like showing my art because it keeps me accountable for continuing to make new art and to not give up on my own dreams.  Plus, it is such a great feeling to watch the expressions of strangers as they first experience the world of the Mizzles.  I will not just be ending 2013 with Orange County Creatives, but I will begin 2014 with them as well.  This time I will be in their new Laguna Beach gallery! I'm excited about this opportunity.  I have no idea where it will take me next, but so far the adventure looks positive.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Electric Run

I'm a little late in posting this, but at the beginning of November I ran the Electric Run with my best friend.  We weren't quite sure what to expect.  We have always enjoyed the participating in the Color Run.  A 5k + tons of messy color = An artist's dream come true.  So, a 5k + glow in the dark everything = To our surprise, it was absolutely MAGICAL!!! It was invigorating and inspiring.

This was my favorite part:

When I saw it I immediately thought "This is where the Mizzles live."  It was unbelievably serene!  I could have stayed there for hours! It took us over an hour to finish the 3.1 miles and not because we are slow... because we took our precious time walking and taking in the color, light, and magic.

I cannot wait for the next one!  This was far more fun than the color run...but I'll continue to participate in those as well.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Coloring Contest Prizes

If you missed it, I'm holding my 2nd coloring contest.  Here are the details: Color the image and take a photo of it.  Email to MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM and include the name and age of the artist.  One entry per person, please.  All entries must be received by Friday, December 13th, 2013.

Winners will be notified by email and announced on my blog by December 17th, 2013.
Award Categories:
Ages 4 and under
Ages 5-11
Ages 12-17
Ages 18 and older

Here are the possible Mizzles you can win:

Or you can win one of the following prints:

You can get your coloring page at www.mizzleadventures.com/contest.html. You should be able to right click and save the image to your computer.  Or you may email me at MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM and I will email the image to you.

Have fun coloring!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2013 coloring contest

It's that time of year again!
I'm holding my 2nd All Ages Coloring Contest!

This year there is only one image to color. Take a photo of your coloring page and email entries to MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM. One entry per person, please. In the email, include the name and age of the artist. All entries must be received by Friday, December 13th, 2013. Only one entry per person!

Winners will be notified by email and  announced on my blog, www.mizzleadventures.blogspot.com by December 17, 2013th.

Award categories:

Ages 4 and under
Ages 5-11
Ages 12-17
Ages 18 and older

Winners of each category will win a Mizzle doll or a Mizzle print!

There is a link at www.mizzleadventures.com/contests.html You should be able to right click and save the images to your computer. If you want the document, email me at MIZZLEADVENTURES@GMAIL.COM and I will reply to you with the image.

Happy coloring!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

daily drawing

I haven't done this in a long while, but I decided to do a daily drawing.  Today, I began to introduce Dia de los Muerto,s or Day of the Dead, to my beginning students.  As we were watching a video about the culture, food, and ceremony, I began to image (of course!) what the Mizzles might look like, or what they might be doing for Day of the Dead.  So, here is Stargazer and Molly putting Marigolds around my grandma's tombstone. 

I think I want to add another Mizzle to the background.  I have to create a color version.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Clearprint Cross Country Collaboration

I have been following a few art supply companies(Koh-I-Noor USA, Clearprint, and AD Marker) on Facebook, which has turned out to be quite a good thing for me.   I recently won a few free art supplies just for responding to one of their questions about what city did we live it.  I have yet to play with those pigment powders, but am excited to give them a try. 

Well, Clearprint announced a Clearprint Cross Country collaborative art project.  Artists who sign up are sent a clearprint sketchbook to create an art work on one page and return to them.  In addition, they are sent a second book to keep for themselves.  I could not pass up this opportunity.  It seemed a much more do-able project for me to participate in.  I've done the sketchbook project twice.  The first time, I rushed through it to meet the deadline and the second time, I completely forgot about the project. 

I really love the Clearprint Vellum books.  I like how rapidograph ink looks on it.  Also, I love how you can play with the front and back to create depth.

My book arrived on Tuesday.  I'm the first person to draw in the book.  I feel a little pressure being the first one, but I feel inspired.  I finished the page today and will mail it out tomorrow.

This is my contribution to the front cover.  Of course, Stargazer has to be on the cover.

I took one of the daily drawings I did last year for my page contribution.  This is the front of the page.

This is what the back looks like.
I used a .18 rapidograph pen and prismacolor colored pencils.  I haven't worked in colored pencil in a long while.  It felt nice to work in that medium again.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A better me

The past few months have been all about living a happier life and working towards a much better me.  Living by the beach was the first step.  Life seems so much more pleasant and relaxing.  I was running and walking on the beach a lot, but I found a workout location to go to, Transformation Center in Huntington Beach.  It has been great!  I love my fitness trainer, Alex.  He is just the right mix of pushing us past our comfort zones, motivation, and support.  I'm happy to have found him. I think what I like most about him is that he explains the reasons why he has us train and eat the way we do... AND he gives examples.  Being a teacher, this seems to work for me. I do have to admit that I feel like I'm cheating on Brea Fit Body.  I thoroughly miss them, a lot!  But this is for the best.  I feel so much more healthier and stronger!  I think part of it is that I have nothing to distract me from focusing on creating a healthier and happier life for myself. 

Plus, I'v been showing my Mizzles and paintings of their adventures at the Santa Ana Art walk the past few months with Orange County Creatives Gallery.  Jason and Maggie Tockey have been so great to me... and to my best friend. I am looking forward to showing with them again in December.  And I might be showing some work in their new Laguna location!!!  I'm a little excited about that opportunity. 

I joined the Huntington Beach Art League in September and this past October meeting I submitted my first entry to be judged.  I entered Mizzles Camping in the Mixed Media category.  Whoever demonstrates an art technique at the meeting gets to judge the artwork.  To my pleasant surprise, I took 1st place! 

So, with all of this healthy living and positive feedback from showing my work, it only makes sense that I have renewed energy and determination to complete my children's story about the Mizzles.  I have to say I have a few doubts, but those are just compositional kinks that I will work out.  Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the progress I've been making. 

It seems that the specific location I moved to is filled with people who hit a "rock bottom" and are finding themselves, or finding ways to make them a better version of themselves.  We are all creative types, who enjoy living by the beach.  I can't help to think how perfectly meant to be this all has been.  I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Summer ends, School begins

Summer has sadly ended and the school year has begun.  But before I had to go back to my regular scheduled program of being an art educator,  I was able to have some architecture/ art fun with one of my best buds, John. We explored the Architecture and Design Museum, where they had designs of buildings that were proposed for various locations in Los Angeles, but were never accepted.  Some of the design concepts were extremely futuristic, but it gave an interesting perspective of what LA could have possibly looked like.   During our adventure we saw the Wall Project, which are grafitti'd portions of the Berlin Wall.  It was really cool seeing it up close.  I remember being in middle school when my brother told me he was helping with taking the Berlin Wall down.  I thought it was the coolest thing that he was apart of a historical moment.

Then we went to the Geffen Contemporary, where we saw a great Architecture exhibit.  The structure below was one of my favorites.  It looked like it was made of the mesh material from lawn chairs and light/patterns were projected onto it.  Standing in the structure had a calming effect.

In August, I was asked to show my work at the Santa Ana Art Walk with the Orange County Creatives Gallery.  They did a really nice blog write up about me. Orange County Creatives
 I wasn't sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a good experience. The gallery was extremely busy the whole night.  I seemed to attract a lot of visitors and I met a lot of interesting people. 
It has just been confirmed that I will be there again on Saturday, October 5th!

As for making things, I had made a lot of new Mizzles and Mermizzles for the show, but I have been working on a few paintings here and there.  Since Operation Relocation, a lot of the Mizzles have been exploring the beach life along with me. 

This first one is not one of my favorites.  It still needs a lot of work and turned out to be more yellow than I had planned.  I might have to redo this piece, but I thought it would be fun if the Mizzles had a beach bonfire.

After looking at this piece on the computer screen, I feel if the background was darken more then perhaps it would unify the piece more.

 This piece was a commission from one of my new neighbors.  She bought a Mermizzle for a friend's baby and wanted an artwork to go along with it.  This is probably one of my favorite pieces.  I have a lot of fun drawing the Mizzles exploring underwater life and meeting sea creatures.  I began by inking the outlines of the characters with a .18 rapidograph.

Then I used Derwent Inktense pencils to paint the foundation colors for each character.

  I used regular watercolor paint to develop the shadows and background.

 I mounted it to a 4"x 12" canvas and coated it with gel medium to seal it all in.

 This is the doll and painting together.  Since I loved it so much, I plan on recreating it. Hopefully, I can remember the correct color schemes I used.

I seem to finally be in a good place to begin working on my book again.  I spent the last weekend working on a few pages.  I'm trying to not let life get in the way of my goals.