Friday, October 21, 2011

Interested in Commissioned Artwork?

Ever wanted to own original artwork created by me specifically for you or a loved one? Well YOU CAN!

Artist’s Statement:

As a writer, artist, and perpetual dreamer, I find escape in creating worlds very different from my own life through both the written and the visual forms. Using these creative outlets, I strive to provide inspiring images and words, focusing on increasing self-esteem and promoting positive feelings in life, in oneself, and in the pursuit of dreams.

My journey into art began in 2005 with the deconstruction and reconstruction of old books into personal art journals. Art journaling involves using key words, phrases, or found poetry. I continue to explore this art form, which enables me to work through personal feelings, thoughts, and events on my art journal pages. Being unable to write for many years, the paint brush eventually brought me back to my writing pen. Most of the pages of my art journals are centered around overcoming personal issues and documenting important moments in my life. In 2007, I stumbled upon scrapbooking techniques, which I then incorporated into my art journals. Within the past two years, I started painting professionally, capturing images on canvas and paper to motivate myself and others in pursuit of dreams.

Generally, I work in my art journals and on different art pieces simultaneously. The most notable features within my artwork are texture elements. I utilize many tools to increase the textural feel of most of my artwork. In addition, my work centers around female images and includes positive inspirational wording. Building scenes through collage is a new practice that I am currently enjoying. A freelance, self-employed writer and artist, I work primarily in acrylics using collage, ephemera, scrapbooking, and mixed media techniques in fantasy and fairy art. Having received no formal art training, I am predominantly a self-taught artist on an enriching journey where my most invaluable lesson learned to date is how gesso can be an artist’s best friend.

I reside in my hometown of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. While having an on-again/off-again relationship with pursing my Bachelor's degree in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I strive to live the creative life through writing, creating mixed media art, and mentoring others in creativity. I can be found working intensely, though it may look a little like daydreaming, on stories or splashing paint around in my studio with loud music playing in the background. I enjoy getting swept away in a good book, avoiding reality television, trying foods from around the world, and traveling whenever I can.

I create many differing styles of artwork.

My paintings will look great in coordination to children's decor, for wedding, or birthday presents!

Pricing is simple:

2.5x3.5 $10
4x6 $25
5x7 $35
7x9 $65
8x10 $80
11x14 $155
12x16 $200

The artwork can come on stretched canvas*, canvas boards, watercolor paper, etc. (*Artwork on stretched canvas can be painted black on the sides and hung as is without needing to be framed.) It can be sealed in varnish or beeswax at no extra charge. (See me for resin pricing.)

I do have referral discounts. Earn discounts on artwork based on completed (paid) referrals to friends and family. Half of artwork price is due up front to begin the commission. Remaining half is due at completion of artwork. Shipping charges apply if applicable. Item will be shipped/provided once payment is received in full.

I'm only accepting a limited number of commissions during this holiday season, due to work, classes, and life in general. So now is the time to get your order in.

Let's discuss your commission, and let's make your painting a reality!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ready to be Remade

Jeremiah 18:4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Jeremiah 18:6 "Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand..

Inspirational Song to Fit the Mood:

Jason Gray - I Am New Lyrics
Artist: Jason Gray
Album: Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue

Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined
By mistakes that I've made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was
I am being remadeI am new
Dead to the old man,I'm coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now...



After a week of fasting and prayer, I came undone. It seems like I've been crying since the moment I was saved. Bits and pieces of me are crumbling/flaking off a little more each day. What will remain of me, I wonder. While at the same time, I cannot wait to see what I become.

Like an onion being peeled back little by little, I remain, forever waiting, forever be remade.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wear Love

What is love? And how exactly do you wear it? I wonder.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22 (NIV)

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV)

All of the ladies in my group inspire me so much, each and every day. It's a blessing to receive the opportunity to become a part of such a strong support system of wonderful ladies who love Him. I'm so blessed to know these gals and to be able to grow with them.

The artwork for this week was inspired by a scripture read by my lovely friend, Clovia. Her sweet voice reading this passage painted an amazing picture in my head that I couldn't wait to capture on paper:

"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it." Colossians 3
The Message (MSG)

(This was also the day that I learned that the Bible has ??how many?? different translations? I'm currently reading my church's version and the King James Version. I tend to trip over the wording of King James but I like to see both views.)

The Lesson:

Its funny that the one thing I have been searching for my whole life eventually lead me right to Him.

I've been in love with the idea of love since I was 13. I began reading my mom's romance novels as soon as I was able to hold those big books up.

But relationships were never anything I was particularly good at. I always felt left out, damaged, unloved.

All of that changed for me one fine day in September of 2010, when I finally felt peace in my heart, when I realized that He loved me unconditionally, when I realized that what I had been searching for was there for me all along.

Now I'm falling in love with Him. Together, He and I are breaking apart the parts or qualities of me that are less than desirable, and rebuilding it all to the way He originally intended. (He's doing all the work; I'm just the one being too emotional). Its not easy looking your worst qualities in the face every day, but I refuse to give up. How can I when such an amazing God/man won't give up on me.

All this time that I felt unlovable, He was simply saving me for something so much better than I even know how to ask for....I can't wait to find it. Until then, I'm focusing on being the Mindy He wants me to be, and taking it one day at a time. And praying. And reading His word. And hoping that one day "someday" will be here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Be a Doer of the Word

It is funny how everything in my life is becoming centered around the most important person...(I know you are thinking I'm about to say me, aren't you...Yes it's true I'm feeling very convicted over my self-centeredness. God is working on me. But apparently I'm slow to learn this lesson, so be patient with me please! I'll get there.)

Anyways, I'm spending time with Him each and everyday, and I'm loving it. He's teaching me so much about life and myself. I'm falling so much in love with Him. I can't wait to hear from Him, read about Him, see Him. It's amazing, this love story of ours.

And I'm not afraid to share Him. He loves us all...So do it. Get to know Him for yourself and see if you can resist Him...I dare you!

Verses of the week:

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Romans 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.


Lesson Learned:

I'm thirsty for Him and His word. I read the Bible as often as I can. While I'm not able to memorize the verses or complete the assignments in my bible study like I wish I could, I'm still putting Him in my life and getting the seeds planted. He is working on me constantly, because He loves me, his chosen daughter, and because I believe.

I'm a hot mess, I must admit, financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, domestically; jeez the list is a mile long, and I'll save us all from the rest of it. I'm partly surprised that He would even see fit to bother, but His heart is so amazing and His love so great. He accepts me for who I am. He loves me unconditionally. He forgives me for my past and forgets about it (boy was that a pill to swallow). He is love. He is beauty. What's not to love about Him?

He's taught me that it's not just about reading the bible. I have to apply it to my life. I have to take his words (ex: work as if unto the Lord) and apply it to my everyday. So I put that into practice this week, and I changed in ways I never thought possible. I became a better worker, a better teammate, a better person by doing everything as if unto Him.

But I'm not "there" yet, that's for sure. I have a long way to go. He's teaching me that He is working on me. He is providing me with the tools and the knowledge and the desire to be the person that He wants me to be. He is taking away all of the "things" that I do not need in my life and filling my heart with Him. As he works on me and my issues, he is helping me to grow stronger, smarter, whole, so that my house (me) will be wrapped so firmly within Him that nothing will shake it. No matter what happens, I will get through it (relationships, jobs, children, life) because I built my house upon HIM.

So what is your house built on?

Do you ever wonder if there is a different way?

Maybe it's time for you to change contractors...I definitely have one I could recommend with all my heart!

Jesus, is the light and the way.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Life Lessons: Work

God is good!

With my newfound faith, I had plans of attending weekly bible studies to grow further in my faith. Well, life (or something like it) soon stopped me in my tracks.

For the past few weeks, I've been torn between what I want and what I have to work with. I prayed. He answered, in the most unexpected of ways. (And his best is so much better than what I even knew to ask for!!)

But going backwards a bit, lets rewind to my last art class. I believe in art as therapy, helping us to overcome issues and hurts to grow stronger and heal. The class focused on collaborations, in the sense that we focused on the same subject, which was working through a current issue in our lives. We journaled our hurts, pain, thoughts, without edits. Then we used art (paint) to wash away the issue (Giving it to God, is how I see it). Next we added elements that we hoped for, wanted, envisioned, want to see in the place of the "issue."

My piece focused on the message I was to hear repeated for the next week.

Fastforward to today. Rather than change someone's heart to allow for more flexibility in scheduling or sending another opportunity my way, He planted a seed in my pastor to create a new bible study, lead by my pastor, on Sunday, my one true day of rest! How amazing is that, and better than I could have ever known to ask for.

Bible Study:

Ephesians 6:7 >> New International Version
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,

2 Corinthians 4:6 >> New International Version

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

1 Peter 4 >> New International Version
1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

Lesson Learned:

God has a plan that is better than we can ever try to imagine, even us creatively imaginative types. We don't understand the hows or whys when things are happening, but He is forever in control of our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we do not wish to remain in. We pray and He answers. In His timing; not our own. For His good; not our own. He may leave us in unhappy situations because those situations have a lesson to teach us or someone around us. He leaves us in places of darkness so that His light can shine through us. Rather than suffer with complaints and whining, we should live as He did, suffering in silence, working to the best of our ability, with the tools provided to us, as if we were working for Him and His glory rather then for man.

My Plan To Grow:

I should work harder at receiving His will and commands and completing them, the first time, minus the complaints and kicking and screaming, as I do not need to understand His reasoning. He commands. I follow.

Thank you, God, for these blessings received.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wanna learn some background techniques???

Life is certainly getting more interesting by the minute. I'm taking care of business and working as if unto the Lord in all that I do. I'm breaking through strongholds and becoming a better Mindy.

Enough about me and about life. Lets talk about ART.

Did you ever wonder how I make my backgrounds? What techniques I use?

Well, now you have a chance to learn some of my tips and tricks, firsthand, in a class setting. You don't have to bring anything, but it's always good to bring at least two pictures that you may use for the finished product.

I provide the supplies and paper to work on. You bring home your finished creation.

Sounds like fun, right? Come to my next class and see how fun and easy ArT can be incorporated into your life.

Creating Backgrounds and Techniques by
Date: Sat, Sept 24, 2011 @ 10:30 am
Where: Hobby Lobby Classroom
Cost: $10 on day of class

Monday, September 12, 2011

Travel With Me Sketchbook Project 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012 Teaser alert!! Combining my three favorite things: art, travel, and writing, I completed one the most fulfilling projects thus far. My project is based on the idea of an epistolary novel.

e·pis·to·lar·y   /ɪˈpɪstlˌɛri/ [ih-pis-tl-er-ee] 1. contained in or carried on by letters: an epistolary friendship. 2. of, pertaining to, or consisting of letters.

I love writing stories via letters. While this is not my first novel of letters, it is the only one that is able to be shown to the public at this point.

I finally found a use for all of the maps and paraphanalia I acquired during my travels. Going through the places and the lessons I've learned in life has helped me to see how truly blessed I am in life and how much I have grown.

For the first time ever, I finished a project way ahead of schedule. I'm looking forward to seeing what other sketchbooks come from this years project.

Take a journey with me...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Filling My Time with His Story

After months of having absolutely no feasible writing idea, alas it has come!

Yes that statement has a lot of issues but the good news is this: the words have come back to me! yayyyyy!

I am at a crossroads but I focus on moving one step forward and keep looking up! He will guide my footsteps; He knows the path I should take. The fact that he gives us free will is great, but its a pain, too. I hate knowing that I am the only thing that keeps getting in my own way...and its free will that gets me there.

I obeyed his command and was water baptized on August 17, 2011. It was an amazing experience. My friends and family were there to love and support me. The pastor knew not to put the microphone in my know I can't speak when I'm feeling emotional and I've been an emotional wreck for weeks. I cry at the drop of a dime. Its crazy, but for someone who didn't cry for what seemed like 5 years its great to have my emotions back. I'm alive. Yes indeed. God spoke through the pastor of the issues that hold me back in life. It was truly amazing!

I'm loving my Bible studies and my church. I'm growing in my faith each and every day. I'm starved for His word, reading the Bible every chance I get. It's really weird how He's taken over my life...I love it!...but He's on my radio in the car, I'm watching His chosen shows on TV, I'm reading His book instead of my favorites. But I'm loving every minute of it.

I've felt alone for a very long time. I hate having free time and I tend to fill my time with any kind of pursuit, perhaps so I do not realize how alone I am. But everything happens for a reason. I've heard it a million times and rolled my eyes each time, but I understand it for the first time in my life. This is a period of waiting. He's given it to me for a reason and I have lessons to learn for the next portion of my life. I have joined an international sorority and have reacquainted with friends new and old. I'm connecting again. Its amazing, indeed.

I'm loving the Art classes that I'm teaching. I never thought myself capable of teaching but a few of my students are loving it so I must be doing something right.

There are a lot of changes going on in my life. I know He has big plans for me. I can't wait to see where His path will take me.

Biggest thought in my head: Whatever you need of me, You only have to command it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who am I?

This past trip to Dallas, Texas, has been an eye opener. I saw deeper parts of myself, my relationships, and my life than I ever thought possible. Every step that I take is one step closer to the ultimate goal. While they all seem different, they are so interconnected.

Perhaps I come off as flighty. Perhaps people have seen my transitions, my growth, and see the differences. They say, "Mindy is chasing dreams," "Each dream is different," "What dream is she chasing this week."

Maybe they cannot see the interconnectedness. Why should they; I didn't even see the full picture until this weekend.

I've been a storyteller since I was kid. I love telling stories of some sort. So being a writer is natural to me. I don't want to write; rather I need to write. My chosen genre is stories of paranormal romance, but maybe I should delve into stories of chic lit or inspirational. (But this is a lesson for me to learn tomorrow). I write stories of heroes and heroines who must face problems bigger than themselves, who must learn lessons that they are able to get out of their situations, they are good enough, worthy enough; they are able to do anything!

I became an artist, seemingly out of nowhere. I created art based on encouraging phrases and images. Showing the viewer, you can do anything. You are good enough, worthy enough.

I combine the two and teach classes on art journaling, on using both written and visual forms of art to heal, to grow.

I became a business owner of my own Mobile Spa Business. I travel around and speak to women about how to take care of themselves, when we usually save ourselves for last. I'll get to me after I ______________ (take care of my spouse, the kids, my job, my house, etc). I tell them they are good enough, worthy enough to take a chance, to take care of themselves, to relax and be pampered and have "girl time" and they are able to do anything, like be the owner of their own business, making others feel great and helping them change lives!

I work for Mindy Blanchard 7 days out of the week and other companies fewer days out of the week. Whatever the title I use, the end result is the same. I help people. I help people feel good about themselves. I help people feel good about themselves no matter what we are doing!

Each path leads to this path. I live, learn, and love to write, create, and help others.

Anything is possible. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Are you ready to change your life?

Ask me how!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fireman Dad by Betsy St. Amant

The Book:

Fireman Dad (Love Inspired) by Betsy St. Amant

"Mommy, I Want To Be A Fireman."

Widowed mother Marissa Hawthorne's little boy wants to be like his new hero—firefighter Jacob Greene. But Marissa and her son lost too much to the profession of firefighting already. She can't possibly let either of them get close to the man, no matter how noble he is. Especially because her own father is Jacob's boss. But when Jacob hires her to plan a special birthday party for his niece, Marissa soon learns that Jacob is a hero in many ways. And that taking risks for love is what life and faith are truly about.

The Author:

Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, red polka dot shoes, and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. She resides in northern Louisiana with her husband, Brandon, and they are currently expecting their first child. Betsy has a bachelor's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University and is actively pursuing a career in inspirational writing.

Mindy’s Musings:

It amazes me how everything seems to come full circle. I put my writing life on the backburner while I grow my art and beautibusiness. But it calls to me. Each and every day. Reading this book by my friend Betsy was a blessing.

This is a time in my life where I am learning to use my singleness to grow closer to God. I’m learning to be less selfish and more in tuned with others through service. I’m learning how to be Me, only better.

I’m learning that when there are lessons to be learned from Him, they seem to come at you from every angle. The sermon somehow applies to you. The commercial while you are working out is a message for you and you alone. In regular conversation with a stranger, their comment is geared toward whatever you are working on in life.

Did you write this for me, Betsy? You have a spiritual gift, a lovely gift, and His words reach out loud and clear.

Betsy’s book was a lesson for me. Here's why: I’m doing a bible study about how I’m “worth waiting for.” The first line made me say, “Hold up. You took the words right out of my mouth.” The lesson that things happen in God's timing not my timing proved to be a biggie for me. And the fact that no one gets in my own way better than I do.

I must say I am hooked. After finishing this story, I’m adding her to my “must read” stack. Betsy’s writing is compact and precise. Her descriptions true to life. I can smell the smoke and taste the hotdogs.

Thank you Betsy for writing such a heartwarming story. I look forward to the next one, because I will be reading it the second it finds its way to stores.

Learn more about Betsy and her newest book on her website at .

My Lesson of the Day: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time Marches On

Summer is almost half way over, and I still have so much to do. My vacation looms closer and closer, and I haven't started to pack or plan or get excited yet. But it will be nice to get away and go on a new adventure with my fav lady, my mom.

I've received some information on teaching art classes to underprivileged kids, being an assistant at a home school style art class environment, illustrating a children's book, etc. So I have options but I have plenty of projects I'm already trying my hand at. Not sure which of these I'll take or even if I will take any. But I guess it's always nice to be asked.

I'm just going to let go and see where it takes me. I have one concern right now. 'm growing in my spirituality, and I don't want to lose momentum. I re-established my connection with God in September of 2010. With the holidays in retail, the 30 minute drive to my church, and the increase in gas prices, I wasn't as vigilant at going to church and taking the next steps so to speak.

So here I am 10 months later, yikes, and just finished part one of my Love. Grow. Reach classes at Family Life Church. Next is part two and signing up for water baptism. Life is exciting again. My heart is finally at peace.

I'm on the right track, but to where I'm not really sure. He has a bigger plan for me than even I can fathom. I for one can't wait to see where it goes.

My current lessons of the day: Enjoy your life each and every day. Don't put off what can be done today. Work less and play more. Remember everything is done on God's time not your time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Its Time for a Spa Escape...

Would you like some great deals on amazing BeautiControl products? Would you like to get together with some of your closest friends and family so that you can enjoy a Spa Escape? Host a Spa with me and Earn Free Gifts & Great Savings On Your Favorite Products! Hosting a Spa is FREE and FUN for you and your guests!

When you host a BeautiControl Spa, you simply email me your list of addresses to as many friends as you would like. I will then send them a postcard invitation. I show up on the day of the spa and pamper you all. Its easy and fun!

It's for relaxation. The refreshments can be super easy. Ice tea, lemonade, or water with lemon and a small vegetable tray. Don't worry about planning anything big. Your friends and family are here to see and hang out with you.

Here's what you can get for hosting an Spa:
FREE Soothing Spa Neckwrap --- booking gift
FREE Mini Spa Product --- for having 8 or more guests attend
FREE Mini Spa Product --- for turning in guest list within 3 days of booking
PLUS $150 (or more) of your choice in products for $35 --- with $500 in sales and 2 bookings of E-Spas or Spas (subject to change based on party sales and bookings)
PLUS Skin Care Set at 1/2 price! (Example: $68, your price $34!)
BONUS Hostess Bonus Certificate --- $10 off a $30 purchase, redeemable at E-Spas or Spas booked from yours
BONUS Preferred Hostess Discount --- For 1 year, enjoy 15% off all reorders

Did you know we can have a THEMED PARTY: Briday Spa, Baby Shower Spa, Birthday Spa, Margarita Spa, etc. The possibilities are endless.

I usually have spas on Sunday afternoons or Saturday afternoon/nights when I am off. I work a lot of hours at my regular jobs, but we can always work something out. If you are interested, just let me know and we will set something up!

There's just no a Spa Escape!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's All In the Eyes

I seem to have an addiction - well many really - but today we'll focus on how I have this crazy, obsessive, freakish desire to read constantly. I can never seem to get enough of books. I heart them, big big. Anyone who knows me knows I walk around with at least 3 items, in my bag, of the reading variety.

So I've been doing a bit of reading on my newest worrisome qualities. I've been noticing grey hairs and extra wrinkles lately. I refuse to let it give me a complex (no guys and girls that WAS NOT a complex I was having while I cried and fussed about it all day yesterday lol). I will age gracefully or not so gracefully, as I am intended. (But I wouldn't be me if I wouldn't try to do WHATEVER I have to in order to slow the process down a bit!)

After all of the sun burns, lack of drinking water, poor dieting habits, etc., my skin is a train wreck. And while I cannot change the damage of the past, that much, I can change how much damage happens in the future.

I was reading some interesting posts about (my favorite feature) the EYES, and came across this one by Jaks Lloyd, former photographic fashion model. Give it a read; she seems pretty knowledgeable. After the article, I will include some more personal tidbits.

"Understanding Eye Wrinkles

Three layers make up skin. The surface, visible layer is called the Epidermis.

Under the epidermis lies the middle layer known as the Dermis.

Beneath this is the Subcutaneous layer, the third innermost layer. As we age the dermis or middle layer looses it's elastic quality.

The dermis contains fibres called Elastin and a protein called Collagen, both of which prevent wrinkles and allow the skin to have that young, fresh look and feel.

The skin is able to retain moisture and the ability to stretch. As time goes by the dermis gradually loses both Elastin and Collagen, causing the skin to become thinner and less able to retain moisture.

The subcutaneous layer also begins to lose the fat that gives youthful skin that pleasant smooth look.

Wrinkles around the eyes, known as crows feet, and the brow also become visible due to the contraction of minute muscles just beneath the skin surrounding the area.

Age isn't the only thing that causes crows feet and furrowed brows, squinting can contribute to the wrinkles as well, in fact they're a significant cause.

The skins natural oil is called Sebum, and some people will have more and others will have less. The elastin quality will also vary from person to person so wrinkles can appear at an early age on the unfortunate or be delayed well into middle age.

Its all down to genes and lifestyle. My tips to slow down the onset of wrinkles. The first sign of wrinkling is around the eyes. You may look and feel great when you get a sun tan but nothing hastens the appearance of wrinkles than exposure to strong sunlight.

You may look wonderfully glamorous with that all over tan but, in time, you will more than likely look prematurely old as your skin withers and creases start to appear around your eyes and on your forehead.

Remember that when you first see somebody you both will look into each others eyes so it is important to keep them looking fresh and youthful for as long as possible.

So do not be tempted by the sun. Always use a high factor good quality sunblock, at least 20 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) or above (I always use 30 SPF even in late afternoon sun), and re-apply every 2-3 hours.

Sunglasses with high quality UV (Ultra Violet) reflecting lenses are an absolute essential and should be worn outside during daylight hours even when grey and murky. Guess what - UV rays can still get through on a dull day.

My personal preference is for Polaroid lenses with a coating on the rear to cut down on reflected glare although other types of UV filtering lenses are just as able to do a good job. Fortunately there is a huge choice of glamorous good quality designer shades to choose from.

Keep in mind that there's no sunblock or sunglass lens that will block out all harmful UV rays, so be particularly aware of the harm sunlight can do if your in an area where snow or water reflection is at its highest.

Lots of models smoke as this is a very stressful occupation. Models often have to attend several castings a day and each time put up with critical comments on their looks and their suitability for the job.

Living up to expectations when posing in front of the camera or walking the catwalk after hectic costume changes puts a strain on the nerves and a timely cigarette helps to relieve the tension.

However we are all aware that smoking hastens the onset of wrinkles and aging and can shorten our careers. One of the principal effects is that smoking deprives the skin of precious moisture and so hastens the drying out process.

Avoid smoky and badly ventilated atmospheres that can also have the same effect.

Don't spend too much time in front of a computer screen as this can cause eye strain and squinting.

Get an anti-glare filter and remember to keep looking away at least every 15 minutes and focus on another object.

Do not be tempted to go to a tanning booth. Although eye protection is provided, the exposure to artificial UV rays can hasten the onset of wrinkling as much as natural sunlight and there is an argument that the damage can be worse.

Drink plenty of water. I always carry a bottle of water wherever I go and I know most models do the same. Before going out in the evening I drink a pint of cool water so if I drink some wine it cuts down on that dehydrating effect that alcohol can have ' and helps to keep you sober.

Use a light moisturizer on your face every morning and every night without fail. Pay particular care around the eyes and to avoid stretching the skin use a gentle circular motion with your finger tips.

One tip my Mother taught me. Avoid resting your head on your hands as the upward pressure creases the skin particularly around the outside corner of the eye.

Professional modeling is just the same as any other career, to be successful you have to work at it. Eventually a models' looks will go, some will have only a short career others may go on for a lot longer before the inevitable happens.

Nine times out of ten the first sign is wrinkling around the eyes and the camera always notices it. The appearance of crows feet signals the onset of aging for all women so it is of the utmost importance to keep the eyes looking young and vital if you value your looks and want to create that great first impression when you meet someone new.

Eye Contact Is First Contact

Copyright 2006 Jaks Lloyd

Jaks Lloyd, former photographic fashion model, is the author of the above article which appears in her definitive website The Ultimate Cutting Edge in Eye Beauty."

**********************HERE WE GO*************************

Now let me give you my thoughts and game plan for stopping aging of the eyes in its tracks...well at least as much as I can. says "At the age of 12 we stop producing moisture under our eyes therefore eye cream is essential in preventing dark circles and crows feet."

AGE 12...OMG I'm 33. So thats many, many years of a drought...for sure. Anyway, theres no time like now to take care of the delicate skin of your peepers.

1. The skin around our eyes is more delicate than the rest of the skin on our faces. Rather than use the same cream, gel, or lotion used to clean your face, opt for a gentler cleaner made specifically for the eyes.

Skinlogics Lash and Lid Bath, our gentle make-up remover, cleanses and refreshes delicate eye area while removing the build-up of silicone, normally found in most eye shadows and eye shadow bases.

2. Use eye creams to replenish moisture around the eyes, since they have lost the ability to produce moisture by themselves.

BC Spa Facial Restructuring Eye Creme: This silky, hydrating formula utilizes an anti-aging complex of algae extract and peptides to target loss of firmness and fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. An Advanced Antioxidant Complex consisting of encapsulated Resveratrol and vitamins protects skin from damaging free radicals.

Key benefits:
• Hyaluronic Filling Spheres penetrate the epidermis where they absorb moisture and instantly plump up, visibly reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
• Skin firming complex consisting of algae extract and peptides to provide immediate and long-term improvement in the appearance of slackened skin.
• Advanced Antioxidant Complex consisting of vitamins and encapsulated Resveratrol protects skin from environmental aggressors and free radical damage.

3. Find ways to reduce appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

BC Spa Solutions Under Eye Dark Circle & Puffiness Solution contains a 20% complex of super-concentrated active botanicals and caffeine to help reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. This formula is a lightweight serum packaged in a unique roller ball applicator for quick, easy use.

Key Benefits:
• Stimulates the epidermis to help strengthen capillary walls and to produce collagen and elastin to effectively reduce the appearance of dark circles.
• Provides the optimal environment for the skin to flush out fluid that has built up under the eyes, reducing the appearance of puffiness and "bags".

And remember, never pull, push, or rub your eyes (ok I know we'll rub them but try not to.) When putting creams or makeup on your eyes, use your ring finger, which is the most gentle finger on our hands. Dab Dab Dab from the inner corner to the outside of your eyes.

I try to never go out without my polarized sunglasses. The bigger the frames the better they cover your eyes. Do it diva-style (your future self thanks you). Now I worked for an optometrist for 2 years. I learned that my company of choice for stellar polarized sunglasses was Maui Jim ( And though I can't afford them anymore, I still have my trusty two favorite pairs that I bought many years ago and are still going strong. (Feel free to send me a gift card!)

These days we work too hard, play too hard, and live too hard. The truth is showing up where we least want it, on our skin. Our goal should be to stop the damage as much as and as soon as we can; in addition, we should work to undo whatever previous damage we can.

It's never too late to start giving our skin what it needs; but it's definitely better now than never.

You can find more information, products, and sales regarding BeautiControl on my website at . (Check out the WHO Sale where you can receive 10% off of a select group of products for online purchases only)

Interested in learning more, host a spa escape for yourself and your friends and your family. It's lots of fun and you can win some really cool prizes and receive discounts on products. Sign up for your spa today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's Next: Creating from the HeART.

I've decided that my art classes will be centered around one theme: Creating from the HeART. I never saw myself as a teacher. Give me a dark corner and a good book or a piece of paper to play with and I'm happiest. But art has opened up so much inside of me. It has changed my perspective, and I love talking about it, sharing it, inspiring others.

I am a predominantly self-taught artist. I have yet to sit in a classroom and learn the basics. There is so much that I want to learn, so much that I want to do. But regardless of what I cannot do, I can sit down to a blank piece of paper and use my experiences and emotions to create something that captures the essence of that moment. I want to share that. I want to help others to reach deep inside themselves and open up their world to incorporate more of creativity into their lives, be it through art, art journaling, writing, etc.

I have no intention of teaching anyone how to re-create what I create, or do things "this" way. My intention is to help people reach within themselves to find something to create that is directly from their heART.

So with that in mind, my next class will be: Art Journaling (Part 1), This is a two part class, wherein you can attend either class and still receive something from them, but they are intended to work together. There will be things discussed at both classes that will not be addressed in the other, but they are both in reference to art journaling, what it is, what it means, how it can be used, etc.

Part 1 is focused with how to choose the right substrate, how to get started, layouts, general products, layers, etc. Part 2 will take it one step further, teaching techniques on different elements, transfers, etc.

Part 1 Class Date: Sat., July 16, 2011 @ 9:30am
Where: Hobby Lobby Classroom in Lafayette, LA
Cost: $10 on day of class
(Bring two pictures)
SIGN UP TODAY!! via email.

During the class you will be working on a two page layout based on whatever you would like. The two pictures you would be could be used for inspiration pieces (one or both) as a basis for completing your first journaling pages. Do not bring one of a kind originals; bring pictures that you do not mind altering, cutting, gluing, etc.

Part 2 will be announced at a later date. There will be enough time in between for you to venture out into the world, choose your book, and create as many pages as you like, letting that initial creativity move you.

I hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I tend to be a bit scatterbrained. I have too much going on and not sure where I'm going with it. I often cry out for help in figuring out how to manage my time better to include the balance that I so dearly wish for in my life.

This has led to putting my creativity on the backburner for a bit. Nothing drastic. I still work on my art when I feel like it; I just do not let it totally consume my free time.

I work too many hours a week. The rest of the time I want to fill with other things that I feel I've been neglecting:

I want to write but not necessarily get my head filled with the characters, storylines, backstories, etc of my regular paranormal romance stories. I just want to feel the keys flying under my fingers as I pour my words out onto the blank screen.

I want to exercise at least five times a week. I want to make healthier choices food wise and eat at home more. I want to learn how to COOK!

I want to focus on the business aspect of my: art, writing, beauticontrol, etc., and get better at doing the weekly business things that these ventures require me to do so that I'm not stuck killing myself around tax time trying to find receipts and papers and information when I have other things to do with my time. (Organization is key or so they say).

I want to focus on my spirituality and get to know God.

This is just a few. I will not bore you with the minutia.

Anyone who knows me, knows I usually have two books in my hand and at least one notebook to write it, at any given moment. Well, I usually can never find one of three pens or pencils in the bottom of my purse, but you know how that goes...sometimes I never have two things that work!

Lately I've been reading up a storm. Reading for the soul rather than reading the regular smut I love so much. (Though I started a smut book today - and I'm loving it). It all started because of the book I'm reading with my church's singles group, Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. I cannot express how this one book has changed my attitude since the first chapter.

I'm also reading passages from the Bible associated with the Bible study and just choosing different verses. Outside of catechism assignments, I'm not sure I ever looked inside of the Bible before. It's kinda daunting at first but I just take it one page at a time.

I'm reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Really good insight into the soul and into asking questions about what you are doing with your life and how you can make the changes necessary.

All of this book reading is taking a lot of time to get through (even for someone like me, who can read a 500 page novel in four hours). So I've set a schedule to map out my work schedule and days to do different chores and work on different aspects of my life (Workout, Bible Study, Drawing Exercises, Business, Writing).

I am using my blog to slowly get back into writing. I'm going through all of the drawing and art books I have purchased and I'm actually spending an hour every few days working on them (so much better than collecting dust). I have two hours a week to get the business in gear. I even schedule housework (don't laugh I hate doing it and I could really care less if it isn't done today). Yes I'm lazy, and doesn't that just explain it all.

My life worked better when I had a schedule, working two jobs, going to night school at UL. I had only a small window of opportunity to get things done, and I couldn't play around. Now I have so much time on my hands, I can't find the desire or time to do anything. It's weird how that works, huh?

I'm taking it all in, one bit at a time. The projects will get done at my own slow pace, which is better than not at all. It's getting better and less daunting, and I'm loving the changes I've made in my life.

I'm not turning into a holy-rolly. I'm just turning into a better version of me. It's quite a ride, and it sure beats the alternative.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Birchbox Favorite Finds

I really like to try new products that I can't afford; but I really really like to try it for only a fraction of the cost. I listen to 102.5 every morning on the way to and from work. Jenna gave a beauty tip one day about Birchbox. I was intrigued. So I researched it, and I thought what the heck, for I would try it for a few months and check it out.

Basically I pay $10 a month and they mail me a few beauty samples. I've received some pretty interesting products so far. Some I wouldn't ever buy for myself, but I like the perfume samples, eye shadow, hair products, etc.

Let's be honest, I could never afford this stuff. But its nice to try it out. The newest products I'm impressed with in my June box is the amika oil treatment for hair and laura geller makeup in apricot berry - love love love it.

So maybe you are like me and are interested in trying new products for a fraction of the cost. Or maybe you just want a tiny glimpse of how the "other" folks live. Whatever the reason, this is a cool idea; I'm always excited when I know its coming and when I receive it. It's like a mini-Christmas present to myself 12 months out of the year.

To find out more go to .

Don't forget about what's new in my life. The next art class will be TOMORROW. If you can make it to my neck of the woods, then I will see you there:

Artist Trading Card (ATC) Class by
Date: Sat., June 18, 2011 @ 10:30am
Where: Hobby Lobby Classroom in Lafayette, LA
Cost: $10 on day of class
(Includes goody bag with supplies to complete 2 ATCs)
Perfect for ages 6 - adulthood

This is the last ATC class this season. Next up: art journaling!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How I survive!

I'm 33 years old, and I work between 33 and 45 hours a week in retail. It's a hard job. When I started 18 months ago, I could barely make it at the end of the day. My feet were killing me. After walking all over the store, climbing up ladders, did I mention walking all over the store???

Going from a desk job to a full body job was not one I was prepared for. Times are tough and you do what you have to do.

Regardless of the drama, I made it. I learned my lesson about a good pair of tennis shoes and gel insoles will get you through almost anything. After 18 months my stamina has increased. I can climb up and down ladders without feeling the burn, mostly. I can usually go the whole shift (except for truck days) without complaining.

For the health and weight aspect of my life, I've joined Weight Watchers for the last time. This time it's for life. This time I'm going to exercise and make better choices and live a healthier life so that I can overcome some of these issues before I get any older.

For the stamina and dealing with it every day aspect of my life, I have a secret weapon. (Don't worry; I'll let you in on it.)

I have a now almost-empty bottle of Sports Therapy bath salts (that I bought from Walmart a million years ago - can't find it anymore and I'm using it sparingly) I put in my bath when my legs do not want to work anymore. But for the past 5 months or so, I stepped it up a notch.

These are the products that make my life easier, that help me to get up and go day after day.

Sundays that I am off, I have a Sunday Spa Day, which is a 1 to 2 hour period strictly for me to destress and unwind and relax. If I'm giving a spa, then that usually does the de-stressing for me. (If you want to host a party let me know!)

Otherwise, my beautiful BeautiControl Consultant (me), prescribes the following as needed:

On the neck and shoulders: Luxuries of the Sea Instant Relief Gel is designed to relieve your sore and achy muscles and joints by simply massaging some gel on your achy area. Fast penetrating, fragrance-free gel feels weightless and non-greasy on the skin.

On the face: Fango Seaweed Scrub/Masque is a double-duty treatment offering the detoxifying and skin refining benefits of a masque and the exfoliating benefits of a scrub? all in one product.

In the bathwater, a two-part dream team: BC Spa Body Therapeutic Bath Minerals - Relieve stress and transform your bath into an oasis of healing, green thermal waters with BC Spa Body Therapeutic Bath Minerals. Fine crystal minerals from the Dead Sea comfort tired muscles and nourish skin.

BC Spa Detox Refreshing Mist - Rejuvenate your senses with a scientific blend of natural ingredients and aromatherapeutic essential oils. Spray on face or body for instant refreshment.

Then I soak in the tub with a glass of wine (optional) or water and a book. It's definitely one of the highlights of my week, which is kind of sad, but it is life-changing never-the-less.

There's Beauty and then there's Therapy and then there are amazing products that can do both. Find out more about the products and place an order on my online website at . (There's even a sale on certain select products when purchased online. Gotta love it on sale!)

Lesson of the day: Must take care of yourself, inside and out.
Stress level: 1.5
Relaxation level: 12
Life is good!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What is my purpose?

I'm currently at a loss - sitting around, being ineffectively lazy and confused, unsure of what my next move should be.

I've missed blogging and writing so much lately. There's always time; I just keep choosing to focus on something else. There is so much I want to do with this life; I end up having way too many balls in the air.

Next weekend, I will be teaching my second art class:

Artist Trading Card (ATC) Class by
Date: Sat., June 18, 2011 @ 10:30am
Where: Hobby Lobby Classroom
Cost: $10 on day of class
(Includes goody bag with supplies to complete 2 ATCs)
Perfect for ages 6 - adulthood

I also plan to teach some basic crochet classes at Hobby Lobby - get this - for FREE! It will be a "Crochet for a Cause" kind of thing. One hour every so often to get together and learn a new stitch and tips and receive help. The only cost for admission will be some form of donation to be determined later (This would have been a great idea to help my church gather socks, underwear, and shoes for kids aged 6-12 for a mission in Guatemala - but I'm too late for that).

I am working on 4 different collaborations right now. Those always take time but are so fun. I will have a class on collabs at a later date. There will be a collaborative exercise in class that will push us outside of our comfort zones and will be tons of fun.

Art journaling is the next class on my list after the ATC this weekend. I cannot wait to get started on the class details.

I need to step my game up a notch for BeautiControl. My purpose of selling BeautiControl is to give me extra income so that I can create art and write freely, to help support my regular income. It has become an expense itself and I have not been working it to its fullest like I had planned.

I miss writing. But I've been spending so much time learning lately. I've been reading the greatest Book ever written - the Bible - and getting to know God and myself, learning and growing my faith. That is a journey within itself, which I do not want bogged down with worries over everything else.

Some people find themselves uncomfortable around me lately. I'm still me, just stronger and a little more hopeful. We can all use more hope these days. I'm not trying to change you, but its always been in my nature to share everything with everyone that I come into contact with. It's the same as with my writing, my art, my jewelry, my life. Why should my faith be any different? So don't be worried. Don't be alarmed. We're all good.

I'm enjoying my time, since I have removed a lot of the restrictions I had set upon myself recently. Its slow at work, but I know that with the holidays coming up we will be swamped and I will yearn for these slow summer days. I've been working more on my health, scheduling workout sessions and finding a workout partner.

I have not found my balance, in this so-called crazy life of mine, but I'm getting there. Every day I grow stronger in faith and heart and every day I work toward being the person that I know I am meant to be rather than the person I want to be.

It's not always a wild ride. Sometimes there's a lull in the storm. We need the calm to refresh us. We need time to heal us.

I'm looking forward to the days ahead. I'm looking forward to learning what I learn during this journey.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time To Move On

It had been so long since I last posted a blog, I actually forgot the web address. Lots of things happened at the end of 2010. I was supposed to start a brand new era of my life, but like most things...that crashed and burned.

So it was a slow process but I've managed to put the pieces back together, make a few more mistakes, make a large number of good and bad choices, and here we are today.

I'm painting again. I'm writing again. I'm getting things together to work on self-publishing my first book, recapturing the journey of my Sketchbook Project 2011 journal, which is currently on display in Austin, TX but will be primarily on display in Brooklyn, NY and will travel to 4 other locations around the United States this year.

I received some bad news this past month. The gallery where my artwork is currently available for sale in New Orleans, LA, may no longer be able to continue showing my work, not me specifically but artwork not associated with its new arty owners. So its time to figure out what to do with my art in 2011.

Despite the bad, there are good times ahead.

I've contacted some galleries and hope to have my work on display at the November, 2011, 2nd Saturday Artwalk, just in time for Christmas! (fingers crossed). I plan on entering a contest through a local guild to for exhibit at Barnes and Noble in April, 2011. I will also be joining local artists in Washington, LA for Artmania on April 16, 2011.

Now I'm looking for a local gallery to showcase my work in the area. I have faith that the best place will be available to me soon.

I'm painting. I'm writing. I'm selling BeautiControl. I'm joining a sorority. I'm on the WRITE path. (lol) 2011 will indeed be a great year.

I plan on doing a better job of keeping up with my blog posts, so come back and read about whats going on in called life.