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  • The best things in life are Beautiful.
  • A Lotta Little Things


    Hey! How are you? Me? I’m well, thanks. It’s been a few days. Why has it been a few days? Hm. Well, I have a mild Facebook addiction (You don’t? Then you haven’t joined yet. You can thank me later.), I’ve even made a page, where you can become my fan.

    Now, lest you think I spend every waking hour updating my status on Facebook, I have to show you that I have, indeed, been working! I’ve finished up a site design for Houston Photographer Patrick Bertolino. The design itself is simple, it’s the gallery that makes it what it is – and it’s his own Photography that makes the site delicious. You have to see his work! Go! I’ll wait.

    I’ve also started another drawing, and have been doodling a bit on a custom dog illustration to be used on a previous client site. Very interesting things going on over here!

    Last Friday, a very large package landed on my doorstep. Four new backdrops for my pursuit of studio photography! I will be revamping my studio to better accommodate portrait and still life sessions. I’m really excited about that, and will update you (and my site) when portrait packages and studio sessions are available.

    I’m expecting another shipment in the next day or two – of course that would be the Christmas Postcards that I designed, and I’m so excited to send! If you received a card from me last year, you’re still on my list. If you’re a regular here, I am going to ask you to click on my “contact” form and don’t be shy about sending your address! I’d love to share my card with you this year!

    I’ve also heavily discounted my “Eye Ate It” Series as well as Kiki, my beautiful Calico Cat painting in my Etsy Store, so there’s still time to give something sweet to someone you love for Christmas!

    * * *

    Those of you participating in my Handmade Gift Exchange, you received your partners last week. Just want to remind you that your Handmade gifts should be in the mail by the end of this week (the 14th), beginning of next at the very latest to be sure they reach their destination in time for Christmas. I’m really excited to see how it goes, and would love to see photos of your gifties, too! If you haven’t received your partner, then something has gone amuck. Please let me know if anything is amuck, as I have a brand new box of Hello Kitty band-aids, and I’ll fix it right up.

    * * *

    On the home front, we’ve all had the flu here, and I’m glad to see it depart our household. It’s a nasty bugger! I hope that none of you are down with this!

    The girls have piano recitals tonight so I’m really looking forward to that – they’ve got brand new dresses, of course, because you can’t wear the same dress twice. I’m raising my girls up right, you know! I’ll get video of them and post it to my Facebook. Catybug will be playing a tune herself, as well as accompanying another wonderful young pianist with vocals.

    It’s going to be a good day, as long as this rain doesn’t turn to ice!

    Update: I’ll be making my annual dough ornaments this afternoon. I gave the recipe a couple of years ago but here it is again, for those of you who are :cough: bored today and want something creative and fun to do!

    2 cups flour
    1 cup salt
    1 cup water

    Knead, add more flour to make it really doughy if needed, sprinkle water to make it more pliable as needed. Roll on very lightly floured surface, cut shapes using regular cookie cutters of your choice, bake at 250 for 2 hours.

    Handy & Creative Tips:
    – Roll them out on the backside of a non-stick cookie sheet so they don’t need to be transferred to the sheet.
    – Fill in any cracks with water, smooth with your finger.
    – Use a straw to punch out holes for ribbon before you bake them.
    – Once completely cooled, paint them using metallic craft paint, or use a shimmery iridescent glaze over a solid color.
    – Glue foil to the back to reflect the lights on the tree
    – Use glitter sparingly to make them shiny
    – String with ribbon and hang them on the tree!

    Get in the Christmas Spirit!
    Now Playing : Oh Holy Night

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Lee Jeans : The Winners Are…


    I’ve just drawn ten random numbers from all entries using this random number selector.

    Here are the numbers/winners of these awesome Lee Jeans!!

    12 : Taba
    72 : Grace @ Sandier Pastures
    81 : Mary Beth I
    70 : Lady Lu
    20 : Becky
    17 : Mir
    66 : MomW
    91 : Charlotte (Life’s a Charm)
    5 : Usedtobeme
    61 : Patois

    Congratulations!!!! I’ll be dropping you an e-mail to get your size, color preference and mailing address!!

    Here are your choices:

    The One True Fit premium bootcut comes in four different washes: Union Blue, Blackdigo, Shadow Blue, and Galaxy blue. Union and Blackdigo are darker and Shadow and Galaxy are more of what you think of when you think “blue jeans.” These are available in sizes from 2-16, short, medium or long. The plus size scale ranges from 16w to 26w, available in short or medium. For this jean, there is also a petite scale from 2-16.

    Lee one true fit jeans

    Thanks to everyone for participating!

    Guys & Gals Lee Jeans Giveaway!


    Leanne modeling Lee Jeans.  I'm no model, however, sorry to disappoint.If you could just hold off on the laughter for a moment (yes, I can hear you way over here), I’ll explain why I’m sharing this ridiculous photo of me modeling a pair of Lee Jeans that I have photoshopped SO much you would NEVER be able to pick me out in a crowd. (haha. I kid. No, I don’t kid about the thinify tool, but about most other things, I kid.)

    Hahaha! Okay stop laughing, I said.

    Last year, I lost a whopping 20’ish pounds strictly eating core foods from the WW core food list. Of course, in standard girly girl fashion, I went shopping. I tried on a pair of Lee Jeans. I loved ’em. I even wrote about them.

    Fast forward to this year. It’s jean season again, and I’m just a smidge frustrated that uh, well, my jeans from last fall don’t fit so good.

    I would say that’s cool, cause I get to go shopping again, but honestly? I’d rather save my money for a personal trainer and a fridge full of core food.

    Heaven must have heard that.

    I woke up one morning to an e-mail with an offer to try out a pair of Lee Jeans. All I needed to do was pick out a style and a size. Seriously? How often does this happen? Not often enough, I say! Here’s the cool thing – now it can happen to you!

    I’ve been given 10 pair – yes TEN PAIR of jeans to give away. The style I chose is a little hip because I wanted to try something different. The wrap waist, button pockets and low rise might not suit everyone, but I really dig them. The style I’m wearing is “Cristina” if you’re out and about and want to pick them up.

    In an effort to be a little more conservative with the jeans I chose to put up for grabs, however, I’ve selected a more traditional style for ten lucky winners:

    Lee one true fit jeans
    The One True Fit premium bootcut comes in four different washes: Union Blue, Blackdigo, Shadow Blue, and Galaxy blue. Union and Blackdigo are darker and Shadow and Galaxy are more of what you think of when you think “blue jeans.” These are available in sizes from 2-16, short, medium or long. The plus size scale ranges from 16w to 26w, available in short or medium. For this jean, there is also a petite scale from 2-16.


    Lee Jeans is happy to accommodate the guys, as well. Here are the jeans that you boys will get if you should be drawn as a winner:

    Lee’s custom fit for men – relaxed seat & thigh, straight leg jean. Colors available are Medium Stone (denim color), Vintage Dark, and Shadow (black).

    These are the jeans I’ve chosen for ten of you.

    Want to enter to win a pair? Leave a comment. Want to increase your chances? Here are a few ways to do that:

    1. One extra entry: Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or via RSS. (if you’re already subscribed, THANK YOU! You will need to choose another method to earn extra entries.)
    2. One extra entry: Share it on twitter, facebook or another social networking site. (leaving comments on other blogs is great, but will not result in additional entries.)
    3. Two extra entries: Mention it on your blog and link back here.

    Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry, as I’ll draw using random numbers from comments.

    Drawing will be held December 1st. Good luck!!

    Handmade Gift Exchange


    handmade Christmas gift exchange intricateart.comThis year, in an effort to encourage creating and purchasing Handmade gifts, I’ve decided to host a Handmade Christmas Gift Exchange.

    Over the years, I’ve made and received many beautiful, unique gifts around Christmas. From ornaments to framed needleworks, I have always been extraordinarily touched by the thoughtfulness and time that goes into a personal, handcrafted gift. I encourage you this year to be personal with your gift giving. If it’s coming from the heart, make it with your hands – whenever possible.

    If you choose to participate, I will ask you for three things. Your favorite color, your favorite textile (this includes all fiber based products including canvas, papers and fabrics), and your favorite season. This will help me partner you with someone, as well as help that person send you a gift that you will treasure.

    Would you like to join in? Here are the guidelines:

    • Gifts should be handmade by you, or a handmade item can be purchased on Etsy or purchased at a craft fair, as long as you’re certain the item is handmade. Maximum gift/supply cost should be $20, not including shipping.
    • Leave a comment that you would like to participate no later than November 30th.
    • Plan to ship gifts no later than December 14, this gives you two weeks to create or purchase a handmade item.

    Note: You do NOT need to have a blog or live in the US to join in.

    I will accept participants through November 30th, then match people together and send everyone their partners information by December 5th.

    That’s it! Please feel free to grab my badge and put it on your blog, the more the merrier!!

    Sn…oh no. I’m not ready.


    first snow november 7 2008 quad cities il

    Do you see what I see? Snow. It’s been snowing today. I know, I know. It’s snowed up north, it’s snowed down south. It’s even snowed out east already. For us here in the Quad Cities, this is our first snow of the season. I think this officially marks the beginning of the winter season across the country.

    Snow, people.

    My schedule for the Christmas season is filling up rapidly, and I’ve spent the last few days working a bit on a photographer site design as well as moving my own site to another server (again).

    When I launched my site restructure recently, I did it on an entirely different server with a new host. Well, it didn’t take more than 3 weeks to find out that host did NOT provide the service that I’ve come to expect from Blogs About, and I found myself missing them and appreciating them more than ever. It’s amazing, as a site and web-based business owner, how your hosting provider becomes such an integral part of your every day life. If the service is poor, it effects everything you do. If you have a lopsided hosting package, you quickly find out how limited you are and how backhanded hosting companies can be in an effort to squeeze those extra dollars from their clients. I’m so glad to be back with BA and relieved to know that my business won’t be disrupted by a simple influx of traffic.

    Enough with the geek speak (but if you want to know more, just ask)!

    I pulled my back out last Sunday morning, so I decided that while I was in pain and couldn’t twist at the waist or breathe deeply, that it was a perfect day for rearranging my bedroom! I hung some room darkening window treatments and Catybug helped me rotate the bed onto another wall. Later in the evening, I took some Aleve and she gave me a nice massage, and my pain subsided by Monday evening.

    (You see how my week started.)

    Then, the election. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

    Leanne WildermuthSo, the last couple of days I’ve been restless and having nightmares. I’ve been trying (really hard!!!) to get my site moved over all while yawning and trying to keep my forehead off my desk.

    I decided yesterday that I needed a pick-me-up, so I went and got my hair cut at the Boulder Hair Salon. I spoiled myself a little bit with a color, too. Then I came home, dressed up my eyes a little bit and had Chickeymonkey snap a few pics of my new do.

    I’m finally happy with it – no more Princess Leah earmuff hair bob thing! It falls so nicely and the thickness that made me crazy has been greatly reduced.

    It’s the little things, isn’t it?

    This morning I felt like I had to pick my outfit based on my haircut. After talking with my BFF Paige (I love saying that) she said the same thing happened to her, so now I might need to go clothes shopping again. I couldn’t find a THING to wear that matched my hip new hairstyle! Of course I lie. I still have the sweater she bought me from Casual Corner back in 1986/87 when we bought matchy stuff in different colors to wear to school. And yes, I still wear it, too. (Paige, that’s where we got ’em. Casual Corner!!!) Like I need new clothes.


    Yes, well, give me a day or two to get all this crazy girl stuff out of my head and maybe, perhaps, you’ll have me back in the blogosphere, friends. I’ve missed you. I really have. I owe several of you links and awards, I have not forgotten.

    I also need to update my blogroll, which is seriously outdated. Please let me know if you’re on it and if the link is good and/or if you’re not on it so I can get you on there.

    Me, I’m going to go throw a sweater on, turn up the furnace a couple of degrees, and get back to work!

    Politics & Personal Responsibility


    If you missed Sarah Palin lastnight, you might want to watch this. Typical political jabs aside (she’s a darn fine jabber, though, she matched the jabs dished out in the DNC just fine), what I love most about her is that she serves the people. She has a history of serving the people. She believes the Country belongs to the people, and wants to give it back to the people. She wants to create jobs for Americans to pursue energy independence. She doesn’t plan on taxing America to death to get us out of the hole, she wants to eliminate wasteful spending to do that. She’s got an 80% approval rating in Alaska because the people of Alaska love her. She wants small business to thrive, she wants farmers to have a voice, she loves this Country in good times and in bad.
    See, I believe this Country should be a free Country. “The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave” should continue to echo throughout the world. The more government gets their hands around my life and my family, the less freedom I have. Do I want a politician to force me to help my neighbor? No. I want to do it because I am free to do so. Do I want government to force me to go to some universal health care clinic by eliminating the right to free enterprise in the Health Care industry? No. I want to choose the best doctor, for myself, because I have the right to it and that Doctor has the right to treat his patients either better or worse than the next guy – which determines his own success or failure.

    I love that McCain/Palin believe in personal responsibility. I wish more people did. I wish more people would see that by creating more policies, we lose more freedoms. By forcing people to “change”, we become a socialistic country bound by a mantra dictated by someone who only loves power for himself, not for The People. I wish people realized that by “starting from the ground up” (Obama’s claim to fame) that requires all of us common folk to behave in a certain way in order for “his plan” to work. And that in order for anything in this Country to work, it needs to start at the TOP. You cannot force people to change, you can only change the environment and hope that the ripple has the effect you’ve set out for.

    I wish that the Republican party would stand on a platform of Personal Responsibility. People need to learn to rely less on Government policy to tell them how to live, and live by an ethical and moral standard set by personal successes and failures. What should be common sense to every American has gotten lost and skewed over time thanks to Government intervention – and we need to get back to the basics.

    It’s a free Country (almost). You are free to live, to love, to laugh, to work hard to raise your family, and to succeed if you work hard enough. You are also free to fail if you don’t. You are free to help your neighbor if you see them failing. You are free to ask for help if you need it. It is not the Government’s job to create your lifestyle for you, it is every American’s right to pursue and obtain their dreams through hard work and, most importantly, freedom from policies that restrict your rights and freedoms.

    Personal Responsibility. That’s what it’s all about.

    Flowers & A Bird, Oh My.


    sunflower glowing leanne wildermuth

    Catybug planted our sunflowers this year, this is one from a variety blend of seeds. When I looked up at it (it’s about 10 foot tall) it was just glowing from the sun behind it.

    lantana blooms flowers leanne wildermuth

    I planted Lantana again this year because last year it grew into nice sized bushes that the swallowtails really loved. It’s a little measly thing this year, but still has pretty blooms that are definitely worth a view through the lens.

    feeding worms to a robin fledgling leanne wildermuth

    A friend of ours brought over a bird yesterday not knowing what it was, just that it seemed pretty friendly and that maybe it was a domestic bird. I opened up the box to find this fledgling robin. We immediately set to digging in the backyard to find some fresh worms, and Catybug enjoyed mothering this little fella until dark, when we sent him on his way (with a very full belly). Robins stay with their babies until they can fly, which he can, but he wasn’t doing so well in the hunting for food department.

    robin fledgling sqwak bird leanne wildermuth

    Pretty calm around us, he just made himself comfortable on the concrete and demanded his dinner.

    robin fledgling smirk bird leanne wildermuth

    In anything other than news, I’ve been enjoying a week “off”. Off meaning I’m not working on things for other people, but I’m also not really going anywhere or doing anything spectacular. The girls and I had a nice day of shopping, another day of cleaning and organizing their room, and basically lounging, taking walks, and playing games. This is my summer “vacation”. heh! I’ll be painting next week, so you’ll see a sketch soon.

    How have you been?

    Custom Dog Portraits : Tucker WIP #3


    golden retriever dog portrait custom art oil leanne wildermuth

    I started Tucker’s kerchief’s today, since there’s so much detailing involved I could only do so much before I had to stop and let this layer dry. There’s a lot of blue lettering/detailing and painting wet in wet just doesn’t work for this kind of detail. Once both kerchief’s are done and dry, I’ll be able to proceed with Tucker’s final layer, and his fur will lay and curl over the top of the kerchief.

    Got Beets?


    beets gardening photo red bowl leanne wildermuth
    More food from the garden for dinner lastnight – we harvested all of the beets (too early, but oh well – they’re still delish!), more broccoli, green beans and three green peppers. Our cucumbers are doing really well and they’re super tasty, three more will be ready in the next day or two. The cauliflower has finally made an appearance, I’ll get a pic of that for you because it’s really cool looking. White on top, PURPLE on the inside. Purple. Is that natures way of telling you when it’s ready- when it’s not purple anymore?

    Anyway, back to work for me – it’s been a suckish work week and I’m not getting near as much done as I’d like to thanks to a goofy head cold thing that is making me feel all lightheaded and yuk. Today is a little more clear so I’d better get crackin’ while the thinkin’ is good.

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