Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, Again So Soon?!

Wow! How is it, that that five days I'm owned by my employer drag on, but the two set aside for me fly by! Now, I'm not complaining...I've been through the hardships of, not one, but TWO layoffs last year. It's just that there's not really enough time to get what I need completed in two days. I would really love a 4x10 week with a day of telecommuting! But I think that I'm dreaming on that account!

Well, I think that this goes down as one of my least productive weekends! Saturday, I got my house reappraised, so we'll see how that turned out. Afterwards, I drove to my parents' house to celebrate my mother's birthday. And along the way, I searched endlessly and unsuccessfully for an old barn. I had the Nikon all charged and ready because I thought for SURE that I would find one...but again, I have been eluded by the barns! Yesterday, I was supposed to referee my first soccer game, but with all the rains, the grass fields were closed! I seriously, went back to bed for two hours...what better way to spend a rainy Sunday?!

Twenty-seven days until my first show of the's to (what will be!) a productive week!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Beginning... feel like Christmas! I know! It's not even October yet, but as CEO of my own online business, I am WELL aware that there are 92 shopping days before Christmas and 85 days until Black Friday (closely followed by Cyber Monday) I am still a "Bah-Hum-Bug" about playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving (and would even go so far as saying "No Jingle Bells" before December!) but the population as a whole is preparing earlier and earlier each year. So, I'm working to push personal containment of Christmas to the month of December and find ways to prepare my Artfire shop and my art show for the Ho-Ho-Holidays!

I might be a little behind the eight ball on preparing for Christmas (HA-I think that WalMart's beat me to Christmas!) but I think it is (again) my personal disdain for winter and the cold! So, I'm developing a POA (plan of action) to get me through my to-do list and to the top of Google searches for "Gifts for Him/Her."

I'm not typically a procrastinator. My mother raised me to be an "over-achiever" so for me, it's really hard to deal with the fact that I save all my massive amounts of shooting, printing, matting, signing, dating, prepping, and framing for my art shows until the week OF the show! It a combination of not having a large in-stock inventory and making sure that I have all the most recent photographs to display. Well, I'm hoping NOT to repeat that this season. I made the executive decision that all the prints that leave my studio from henceforth will be titled, numbered, and signed...thus creating the need that EVERY print needs to be matted. I must say, a day of matting prints turns into a loopy one! The scent of spray-mount and rubber cement waft from my work space and I think that I stumble around for the next two days. But the end product is WELL worth it. Nothing says "Professional" like have the 15th print in a limited edition of 50. I'm going to get working on getting some Halloween/fall photos this weekend, but it might prove difficult! The leaves are not yet changing and my schedule's tight. I'm also on my month long search for the perfect old barn...been unsuccessful so far.

Cyber Monday is 88 days away. Just typing that sends an adrenaline rush coursing through my veins! Eight-eight days! Sunday, 1 November is going to be a BIG day for me. That will be my conversion of all the listings in my studio to appear in Christmas/Holiday specific searchs. "Is dad hard to buy for and a mustang lover? Well, here's the perfect gift!" I'll have to determine what to change my banner and avatar to at that point...since I'm HIGHLY doubtful that there will be any snow fall (THERE HAD BETTER NOT BE SNOW IN OCTOBER! Otherwise, I'm putting my house up for sale, and moving to the Tropics NOW!) so I'll probably need to bake up some Christmas cookies for a snack...I mean photograph or too! ;)

So, I may not be singing about Santa coming to visit or a silent night any time soon, but Christmas is on my mind as September is coming to a close...Much to do, better get the elves to start working overtime!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Motivation...Making a Come Back

After starting the week off a little wompy about the slow-going of my Artfire shop...I seem to have made a slow turn around. Of course, with the support of my loving sister and fabulous Artfire sellers!

I've come away from this week, with new subject matter ideas, interesting ways to show off my prints! I unburied some note cards I had printed a year ago, which then motivated me to get some more note cards printed and some desk calendars. (Both of which, I'm still waiting to arrive in the mail....Hurry up postman!)

The next part...well, is kinda a long story. My current laptop was my high school graduation gift. It completely crashed my junior year in college (I had LITERALLY just printed the last part of my interior design studio semester project before it died...I still cried from the stress though!) My father had the hard drive replaced and boosted some memory and RAM (If you can't tell, I don't talk computer!) Well, apparently when I left college, the school-mandated antivirus software did NOT. Meaning that I've been wandering the internet past few years unprotected. My father, again, found my issue. I went to the store to purchase antivirus software, opened and insterted the disk into the computer. After a few minutes of it spinning and sounding like the disk drive was going to take flight, the computer spits it out! Huh?! Silly me! I thought that I had MS Windows XP...apparently I have the previous version of Windows. Oops! After weighting the Pros & Cons, it would be better to replace the laptop (for fear of the impending 'Crash of 2009') then upgrade my operating system (and I'm sure that would crash this poor laptop anyway!) Today, I stopped buy the computer store. I had an idea of what I wanted, but since I don't know much about technology, I asked the expert. I let him know what this is for (photography, not paper-writing) and well...I'm awaiting the delievery of my new toy! A MacBookPro!

Thinking into the next few months and years, it only made sense to get a laptop that can take the expansion of my photography. I'm hoping to break into engagements, weddings, and baby photography.

Again....I've got my eyes on the mail! I've done a LOAD of listings up in my Artfire shop...Now, I just hope that the rest of my holiday weekend is as relaxingly productive as today was!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Gerber Daisy Prints, too!

Coffee Lovers, Rejoice!

For some calorie-free, guiltless indulgence:

All prints are listed in my Artfire shop - Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did! :)


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From Let Down to Turn-Around

Well, I'm a little bummed to say that, due to the weather (and therefore directly affecting the amount of 'idiot drivers' on the road) I canceled my trip into DC on Saturday and rather, spent it with my dear friend who is recovering in the hospital. The hope is that I'll make it to the Basilica sometime after work this week...we'll see...

On a more optimistic note: I got my Artfire shop linked up to my Facebook page(s) also motivated me to finally publish my Vance Studios Facebook page

In other events, I've started to do a "Makeover" on myself and my life! I signed up for a gym membership a few weeks ago, and I've been going NEARLY everyday since then...some days are harder to get there than others! But my short term goal is to regain about half of my wardrobe that's been 'off limits' for a long long term goal is to drop thirty! I do have to remind myself every few days that the first thing is building muscle, losing inches, then losing the excess.

I've also decided to dedicate time to a local youth group. I'm no longer coaching soccer, so I have a whole in my life in more than one I thought that it would be the best way for me to meet other young adults in the area AND to serve this group of high schoolers! I'm really looking forward to the adventure that is in store for me! :)

Well, I have some ideas for a few more prints to add...let's see if I can actually stay put long enough to get them done! ;)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back in the Swing of it!

I've been a little bit of a slacker lately towards my art...and thus my blog! In my defense, I did spend all last week after work preparing my house for a surprise birthday party for two of my college friends! This week, I still haven't recovered from the lack of sleep...

I'm looking forward to this weekend...for one, I get to sleep in (YAY!) but I'm getting the Nikon back out (first time since the vacation!). I've joined a DC/Maryland/Virginia photography group and I'm going out for on outing! We're going to the National Shrine in DC (Not to be confused with the National Cathedral...that's in a few weeks!) I've been to the Shrine many times before, but mainly for the purpose of Mass...not photography! I'm really looking forward to the trip! Next Saturday, I'm going to the Bull Run's actually really close to my house, and to think that I've lived in the Civil War Battleground State of Virignia for....far more years than I would like to remember...and I've never yet been to see them!

Hope to post and list some new prints this weekend! :)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Artfire Set-up

Wow! After almost THREE months of having a verified Artfire account ( I have finally scrambled up the energy to FINISH my shop set up! This morning (slightly procrasting going to the gym!) I decided that I was going to add my banner, some categories, and 18 new prints! That's a good start, although I have a LOT more that I would love to get into the shop! I'm really excited to see where this update takes me from here!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

La Rupublica Dominicana

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here...but after readjusting to being back in the States, here's some of my favorite vacation pictures:

My sister and I (I'm in the black dress) with a donkey in front of the fort in Puerto Plato.

The sunrise over the peaceful and calming! The sun was WHITE when it came up, although it washed out this picture, it's still pretty!

This was the beach we were at all week! Those cabana beds, hammocks and chairs are REALLY nice! And the trees are Dominican Grape Trees! Such a wonderful place, it was HARD to come back to working in an office...

This is our's a three suite house!

Monday, July 6, 2009

No AC?!

So, it's been a great few weeks...the summer is getting in full swing. The sunshine. The 90 degree heat. Pools are open. And my 23 year old AC unit has died! I bought the home warranty when I bought my house last I called and they sent someone out to look at it. Well, previous owners didn't take care of the unit, so the motors and fans are full of dust, dirt, hair...and who KNOWS what else. Since the malfunction is due to the lack of cleaning, the warranty I have is void! FABULOUS!

Last week, I came down with the flu...nasty fever, muscle fatigue and soreness, sleepy, sore throat, coughing, want to crawl in hole forever, kind of flu! Well, after getting my employee evaluation-based pay raise (supposedly, the evaluation determines the pay evaluation was great but I'm still a "below average" employee for pay raises?!) I thought that it was best to call in sick only if needed...aka, I'm dying and cannot drive! With the proper timing of dayquil doses, I wasn't feeling TOO bad, although I could feel when the fever returned!

And to make the whole (short, holiday) week even MORE fun, the AC at work broke too! So I only was getting cool air in my car...!!

I'm currently having a Buy One Get One Free on all my metallic 8x10 prints in my Artfire shop! ( It's also helping get my prints out of the tropical heat of my house and onto your walls at a great price!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beach Sunrise

Here are the best shots from my Sunday morning visit to the beach, and greeting of the sunshine! Enjoy!









Two Hours to Ruin a Weekend...

What a weekend! Saturday was a nice day...drove to my parents' house (they were in Virginia Beach for the weekend) to make sure that the 3 cats didn't destroy the house. On my way back home, met my sister for lunch, & received a phone call from my parents that there's a HUGE art festival going on this weekend in Virginia Beach. So, I decide that I'll just get up early to beat traffic for the 3 hours drive to the beach. Well, since I'm getting up early, I might as well get up to see the sunrise! Sunday morning, the alarm goes off at 1:30am...I'm on the road at 2am. The drive varied from easy to hard...I made sure that the music was on (I've kinda got a thing for Linkin Park right now...Great 'stay away' rock music!) & the AC was going too! I made it to the beach at 5:20am, parked 'illegally' in a hotel parking lot and got some AWESOME shots of the surf & sun! Of course, my early-bird father was already awake, so I gave him a call (got a hotel parking pass so I was no longer 'illegal') got my mother, and we spent a few hours on the beach. We packed everything up, cleaned up, checked out, and strolled the art show. There was A LOT of beautiful works! If I had more money (and a cat-less house!) I would have been coming home with a car-full of sculptures, paintings, vases...

The weather-guessers were wrong AGAIN! There was not supposed to be any rain yesterday afternoon, but when the dark clouds rolled in and the rain came down, we decided to head out. The drive back into Northern Virginia was good...I don't remember most of it, until I stopped at a rest area to say 'good-bye' to my parents. We conversed about the recent 'scare'...It was about a mile beforehand that I had a State Trooped on my bumper and (sleep-deprived and scared!) I was freaked out that I was going to get pulled over when I had done nothing wrong! We parted with the "Love"s and my mother saying "Call when you get home." About 30 minutes later, I realize I haven't seen my cell phone in a while...and while in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I start turning through my camera bag, my purse, my beach bag...can't find it! "Maybe it's under the seat?"...I get off at the next stop, pull into a gas station (with a pay phone, just in case) and turn the contents of my car upside-down! It's nowhere! I panic and worry that my parent's aren't yet home...but it doesn't matter. As the tears begin flowing, I insert my 75 cents into the payphone ::ring ring:: "Hello?" My beloved sister! "Megan!" "Are you calling from a payphone?"...and after more tears & frustrations, we hang up with the idea that she'll call my cell's on sound, I'll hear it ring! Silence in the car drags I start my car and head towards the interstate leading AWAY from my house...destination: Rest Stop. Winding through more traffic (my life is filled with more traffic than should be legal!) I decide after more crying & screaming (the point where I usually call my mother) to go to my parents' house.

I pull up the long, winding, familiar drive-way, "Good, everyone's here"...walk into the house (sunglasses still on, because I KNOW that I look less than presentable from all my crying!) "Don't worry, they won't run up your bill. I've already shut down the line" father then explains that 'they' hung up on him three times...'they' were just a bunch of kids who either didn't speak English, or were pretending to. *sigh* I really didn't want to have to buy a new's not in the budget...but it's my only mobile form of communication! (No landline in my house) So, after our make-shift, impromptu Father's day gifts and ice cream cake (which I had TOTALLY thought about doing, but apparently so did my sister! Her real cake was better than my thought-that-didn't-happen!), I headed out to the Verizon store.

At first, I was told that I didn't have insurance (Really? Oops!) and that I'd either have to purchase a new phone at the one-year price or get someone's old phone connected to my number until I'm eligible for my upgrade in August. I kind of needed a phone now (or two-hours ago!) so I decided to cave and get a new one-year phone. The 'Sales' guy tried to ask me again if I knew anyone with an old phone (I did, but I don't WANT someone's old phone...I want my OWN phone!)...and then he tells me that someone had called Verizon to report my phone...Did I want to go back to Customer Service so they can "investigate"...I hate be transferred while I'm IN a store (as if phone transferring is any better?! GAH!)...I ask what this person's number is, I'll call him. After a few minutes of clicking and typing, I'm about ready to repeat my question (while thinking that the lady in Customer Service should have TOLD me they tried to contact me!), he looks back up at me and says that "it's really strange because Alberto didn't leave any method of contact & there's no way for me to get in touch with new phone it is?" I tell him that I'll take the new Envy...even though it's supposed to cost me MORE than I paid for that stupid (only works when it felt like it) Krazr! More computer mouse clicking, signing on the line a few times, a few manager questions ("shh, I'm getting you your upgrade now")..."Oh! You should play the lotto today! The system...never mind! I'm not even going to try to explain what it did, I'll just give you the total"...after this WHOLE thing was said and done, the new phone costs me $35! (Mind you, if I was to go in as a new customer, I'd be paying $50 for the phone!) Kudos to Verizon!

Of course, when turning my car upside-down last night, my work ID badge got left on the passenger seat of the car...and it's NOT my turn to drive the car I'm now sitting 'illegally' at my desk because I refuse to visit the unpleasant receptionist to get a temp badge (for being here for 6 months, I've forgotten my badge twice before this morning...)

Is it Friday yet?!


I have MANY faults...and maybe one of those faults is being too trusting. I'd never make it as a spy-once I feel comfortable around someone (& s/he isn't giving off "creepy" vibes) I'll tell them anything...

I have a small group of close people to me. One of these such friends, has worked her way from being merely my kid sister to confidant. We've gone through a LOT in our 21.5 years together. I go to her for advice, for support, & for fun! She's more than just my little sister (or maybe that's what it means to be sisters & it's just taken me a LONG time to figure that out..??!!) There's nothing I won't do for her, no one's face I wouldn't break (only if I have far I've been lucky!), and no distance that I wouldn't travel for her. I would like to hope that we're at a stage where she knows this & knows me well enough to know when something is "out of character."

I've been informed from a trusted source (and through a very vague conversation...I don't know details, just 'generally' speaking) that allegedly I've said 'something' about her that was 'hurtful.' I was TRULY baffled. The only thing that I would say about her, is that she's got better luck than I do at winning free give-away's...that she has better luck with the boys than I do...The last time that I've had a complaint about her was back in high school (over stupid, petty stuff that didn't really matter in the grand scheme of life...but that's high school, right?) Why would I EVER have anything to complain about for a sister I'm so blessed & lucky to have?! Okay, well maybe my only complaint is that we don't spend enough time together!

...I've always seemed to have the personality to be a social butterfly...Ms. Popular. But THIS is exactly why I only have a few close people in my life. I feel that I've been betrayed...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Historic Clifton Virginia

My Adventure

My parents are celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary next week and my father, being the romantic that he is, was looking for a good "Silver year" gift for my mother. For their 8th anniversary, he planned a surprise Caribbean cruise, for their 16th he planned a surprise renewal of the vows wedding ceremony (complete with dress, veil, bridesmaids, limo, reception...Ceremony began at 3pm, my mother found out at 1pm!)

Well, my mother has been saying for a few months now that she's the ONLY one in the family without a dark blue, my father just bought her a dark blue BMW yesterday! He didn't have the driving arrangements to get it home last night, so I got to drive it from the dealership to my house, and then I got to drive it into the office this morning (he carpooled from his house, and I carpooled home...thank goodness we work in the same building!) I have to poor little 4 cylinder Asian-made car CANNOT compare to the smooth and easy acceleration I enjoyed this morning! I was VERY lucky I didn't run into any police officers on my commute...otherwise I would have been seeing some flashing blue lights!

Here's a picture of the beauty:

Orange Lily

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

My little devils!

Lilo, my baby girl

Cassanova (AKA "Bookker") my baby boy

Thursday, May 7, 2009


On the way home today, I hit the antique car jack pot...there were quite a few cars in a random parking lot in Fairfax, Virginia. These two shots came out the best, by far! It seems as though I'm on a Mustang high - here's number two! And I have a fabulous idea to bridge the, waiting for Mustang number three!

Antique Mustang
May 2009

May 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Morning Light

When I woke up last Sunday, I had the joy of being greeted by these bright and pure azaleas! I used the sunshine's light to play across the front of the flowers, or to come through/behind them.

May's Adventures

Blue Pony
I've been spending the past week trying to ponder how I would sneak up on a beautiful car...and here I found one! I couldn't pass up the blue paint on this Mustang...and although I prefer Chevy Camero's to Fords, I still LOVE this shot!

Bunnyman Bridge
This is the bridge of a local legend of the "Bunnyman"...stories vary greatly of course. I was introduced to this legend of a insane man wearing a bunny-suit roaming these woods last year. I protested going to see this site (I don't handle scary movies, and just having these stories recounted to me made the adrenaline pulse through my veins!). Supposedly, this bunnyman would murder local people and hang them from this bridge with a note attached to his victims which read "You'll never catch the BunnyMan"
Looking at the bridge, it would be quite impossible to be able to do these allegeded actions, but I still felt my stomach drop when I saw it!
Either way, it's a very interesting photograph.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Night Florals

Red Calla Lily

Pink Hibiscus

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kitty Paws

Kitty Paws
Here are the toes of my little four-legged male was hard enough for him to sit still for me. We had a head-to-head run in too (he was worked up in a lovie mood and went to rub my camera lens which jammed my camera into my eye - no black eye though!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Time in the Nation's Capital

The bright pink blossoms against the brillant blue sky.

The cherry blossoms in front of the Washington Monument, DC.

Red with yellow tipped tulips in the Tulip Library, Washington, DC.

Looking across to the Jefferson Memorial

Foreground: a deep pink (with white interior) tulip. Background: Washington Monument.

This is listed in my etsy shop for an 8x10 metallic print:

Giving the tulips an artistically modern approach.

This print is for sale in my etsy shop-an 8x10 metallic print:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Moonless Night

The Moonless Night.

I'm not too sure where the inspiration for this black and white acrylic paint came from, but here's the finished product.

Here's the listing in my etsy shop:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cherry Blossom Painting

After paying a visit to the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, DC, I wanted to find a way to keep the delicate blossoms alive longer than their short reign in the Captial. I orginially photographed the blossoms from underneath, looking towards the sky, and I loved the way that in this shot, the blossom opened up to me, almost to greet me - it has provided me with a perfect angle to capture it in acrylic paints on canvas.

I did a lot of paint mixing right on the canvas to create custom paint combinations which are near impossible to duplicate. I actually think that my favorite part of this painting is the partical blossom hanging off the edge of the canvas. He was an after-thought for me to add him on there, but I'm really pleased with the the final painting.

It can be found in my etsy shop here:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ink Drawings

Westminster Abbey, London, England
May 2007
This is a hand sketch I did from a photograph I took on my trip to London. Being a designer by heart, the intricate ornamentation of the Gothic facade fascinates me. Being a perfectionist, this was one of the most difficult sketches I've attempted! I'm very fond of my blue pen, but I wanted to experiment through using another color ink. It takes some work for even me to get past the negative connotation that red ink holds (flashback to receiving college thesis papers back from my professor 'marked up' and bleeding red ink!). I do feel that, if used on the right subject, that the red ink would be a very powerful statement, but I'll end up using it sparingly, so I don't desensitize myself to my intended emotion of the red ink.

"Back Road" in Venice, Italy
July 2006
Also sketched from a photograph, I feel as though this sketch better communicates the feeling of Venice than the photograph could ever do! The bars on lower residential windows, while the upper windows open to flower boxes and flowing curtains. The scalloped canopies on the storefront windows across the canal. The movement of the water in the canal. Through the simplicity of the colors in the composition, the true beauty of this unique and mysterious city is more visible.

Main House on Marymount University Main Campus
February 2007
Full of history with a former life as a mansion and donated for the education of many, this is the "Main House" at the University I graduatated from.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy
July 2006
Also done on my study abroad, this is an interior sketch of the Colosseum. The play of shade and shadow on this sketch truly tested my 'vision' as an artist.