It is a scary feeling when you start loosing control of your own body. Most people find it hard to control their weight, others more specific diseases. For a while now I've had issues with my own body. I often become anxious and have an uncontrollable nervousness around crowds or strangers... which cause body tremors. The issues/episodes gradually get worse. I hated feeling so self conscious but pushed it off thinking its just me. I hated being different but I figured that's just how I am.

The beginning of the month I went to the doctor for a sore throat. Felt like it was swelling shut. I was told it had to be allergies to something outdoors. Well I had a tremor episode then and my doctor ordered more tests. Found out I have hyperthyroid. So I'm not so crazy in the head! That's good! My doctor said the most common fix is to drink iodine then take pills afterwards followed by close monitoring for some time. Of course when I get home I quickly google hyperthyroid because I was pretty clueless about the subject. Wow, the thyroid controls so much of your body such as metabolism, heart rate, digestion, nervous system and reproduction to name a few.

To know a little more about me... I hate going to the doctors. (OK maybe that has to do with part of my anxiety problem.) But I am not a fan of all the pills given out. Are they really cures or just suppressing a problem and causing other problems? People are so into money these days and I believe that our health is being put at risk. Just my thoughts. When they said I would most likely have to drink a radioactive chemical to "kill" my thyroid cells... well that just doesn't sound like a great cure to me. Not saying I won't but I like to look into other options. I know our diet is very important and I thought I was eating "ok". I mean, I rarely eat potato chips, fast food, french fries and such... I do like them but I know its not good for me or my family. I do eat lots of white foods and dairy and my horrible favorite... chocolate. Well guess what... those things I eat are exactly what is causing my problem! So I'm hoping to change my diet to see if I can naturally cure my body. Believe me when I say this is going to be extremely difficult. I'm not a fan of cooking and will have to eat my not so favorite vegetables.

This is what should be in my diet:
Eating kelp helps in almost all the thyroid problems. It is rich and natural source of iodine and thyroxine that restores the thyroid hormones. One should go for Vitamin B12, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are great elements that can bring hormones and enzymes in normalcy. One of the best home remedies is to have lots of cabbage family foods such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale; mustard greens etc. as they tend to lower down the thyroid function. Peaches and pears also share the same qualities with them and hence, they are good to have.

One should cut down on dairy products, white foods and should avoid nicotine, caffeine, any kind of alcohol, sweetened carbonated water (soft drinks), processed and junk food. They all alter the metabolism and hence may trigger hyperthyroidism.

Lots of people think it would be great to have a hyperthyroid for the high metabolism. Which yeah it has been nice to eat whatever I like and never gain a pound but its become to good for continuing to lose when I don't need to. My arms have hyper sensations that is an annoying feeling you can't get rid of. They can go from feeling hyper to limp. I would also love to have more kids one day but my hyperthyroid has really hurt the chances of that happening. But I'm remaining hopeful I can change my body around... to finally live normally again and be healthy.

I can't help but think most of the health problems we have today can be cured by changing our diet. Why don't the doctors focus on doing that? Is it just for the money or to just go the easy route? Just a thought.

Anyway, if you or someone you know has gone through this what are your thoughts? Also if anyone has some great recipes with the healthy food listed... please share. I will need all the help I can get! Leave a link in the comments or feel free to email me at enduringarts@gmail.com. Thank you!


Adding Originals

In between renovating I will gradually be adding a few acrylic originals to my etsy shop. I have a custom modern portrait listing like the one above available now. Fun for children, couples or even a favorite pet. Click HERE for more details.

Ok, now we need to have lunch so I can do more sanding, mudding, then work on my next original listing. Happy Tuesday!



What a weekend! Things have really started to roll around here the last few days. We started renovating the last room in our house. Can't wait to get sheetrock mud out of my sight... and hopefully never have to see it again! You would know what I mean if you used a palette knife and textured 4 big rooms by hand and filled in numerous cracks. Oh the joys of an old house. The good thing is you wouldn't recognize this house from the before and afters. (Too bad we don't have many of those!) Hubby is also working on the kitchen cabinets again! That is very exciting... for me anyway!!! This weekend I also started a new painting, took pictures of some originals to finally add to the shop, got together with some family, and did all the ordinary weekend stuff like church, some housework, and playing outdoors with Kaelyn. All that in 2.5 days! Wish I was always that productive!

Then a real treat was on Sunday afternoon when I sat down for a short bit and was checking a couple blogs... I was reading myhandmadecrafts about Showcase Week 8 - The Final Showcases. Kept reading through to Star Feature of 8th week - enduringarts... That's ME!!! I didn't even read enduringarts first I saw my painting! Then I read it and it was one of the sweetest posts! Really, its what encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing. I love when people get my pieces and care about the meanings. I needed that... I really did. So thank you My Handmade Crafts for making my weekend even better!

Check out her shop. She is a talented designer from Singapore! I love several items in her shop, especially this necklace which also comes in white... really like that one too:

{Turquoise Rose with Swarovski Elements}

Isn't it beautiful!?

I also just found out that MagMoment included my Bike Love card in her lovely treasury, A Better Life! So fun! Her color selection is beautiful! Check out her lovely photography HERE.

Okay, now for what I promised last week... photos of my new hairstyle. My mom took the before and after shots. Here is the before:

Its been long for quite a few years.

(Kaelyn was begging to be in the photo with me-little cheeseball!)

And the after...





The back was a huge change! I couldn't believe that was my head! :)
Hubby thinks I look like a teenager with short hair. What do you think?
Either way I love that I have body and it's easier to fix.

And a couple more photos my mom captured that I love:
There aren't many of me and my girl so I was super happy to have these. Thanks Mom!


New Inspiration

Since my creativity needed some serious encouragement I headed out to my parents farm yesterday with my camera in hopes that something would spark an idea. Even though the wind was blowing furiously and I didn't get any pictures of what I was hoping for I did enjoy meandering around the yard and shelterbelt and seeing all the growth. The photo above shows a glimpse of the shelterbelt. They were just baby trees when I was little. I remember all the hard work that went into caring for them. Now they are so tall! I guess its not only little people that change so much in a short amount of time. The wooden fence in the picture was built by my dad and me to expand my horse's pen. Oh the memories!
These cheerful flowery bushes were on the other side of the shelterbelt. I really don't remember the pretty yellow flowers. Maybe I never payed attention to them before. I notice as I get older that I'm much more appreciative of the small things and enjoy looking at everything from different angles.
My photo shoot seemed to be successful on sparking a painting idea too. Hopefully I can get started painting on it this next week. Crossing my fingers I finally get something I'm happy with! I also have the urge to do more portraits. Its crazy but portraits are the easiest thing for me to do! I love making a piece come alive whether in a painting or drawing. I used to do a lot of commissioned pencil and charcoal portraits but took a break from it. Now I realize how much I miss it. So if you want a custom portrait done let me know!
Next week I promise to share my before and after hair shots! I know some of you keep checking to see if I've posted a picture yet. So just a little longer and if I forget I won't blame you for looking like this:

Have a great weekend!


Time in the Kitchen

My paintings have not been turning out like I want this week so I've spent more time in the kitchen. Sometimes I just get hungry for a good meal and if I see a really good picture of something with a fairly easy recipe on the net it keeps tempting me until I finally give in and try it out. So Monday started off with making this bread:

{Artisan Bread & Recipe from ModEco Kids}

Doesn't it look really good? The recipe makes a lot of dough so you can keep it in the fridge til your ready for the next round. Also you can keep the bowl in the fridge without washing it out and continue making the dough for a sourdough taste!

Since I had so much dough on Tuesday I decided to make some homemade pizza. It made a really good crust! So much healthier than you would buy in a store or restaurant! I hate seeing a layer of grease on pizza. Here's what it looked like minus the spinach, cuz I didn't have any on hand.

{Pizza pic found HERE with link to a different crust recipe}

For the topping I used olive oil, crushed (smooth) garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, onions and tomatoes.

Since I had photos of the other good food I snapped one of last nights supper of pork chops. Kaelyn and I love real mashed potatoes with gravy! (Every so often when we don't have much time we go with instant potatoes, and you tell your self they aren't that bad... but then you make the real thing and oh, it's so much better!) We finished off the bread from Monday too. We'll see if I have enough dough to make another boule and pizza crust tonight.


Digital Photo Book: Looking it Over

Sorry I didn't post anything last Wednesday about the photo book. I've been revising a handful of pages and I realized I left out 3 pages worth of pictures. Oops! I need to scan in Kaelyn's foot prints for one of those pages. Other then that I have been printing some out to see what they are going to look like. I printed the pages at 4" by 4" so 4 would fit on a page. I have to say they are so adorable it's tempting to just keep them like they are and forget about actually publishing the book through Blurb! But then I thought I could just put a ring around the little pages and have it so Kaelyn could look through it. No big loss if she wrecks this little one and I'm sure she would enjoy it. The pages could be laminated to be extra sturdy and safe around little hands.

Here are a couple digital books I made a few years ago:

This gives a couple ideas for making your own digital book and not have to send your pages to another company to print. For the black spiral binding on our wedding book I went to a little print shop and asked if they could bind it and it ended up only costing like $2! I laminated the front and back covers for protection and highly recommend doing that. The other little book was just a fun day David and I spent celebrating our second anniversary. The pages are glued front and back and laminated on both sides.

You may have a couple different choices of color for the spiral binding. Just ask to see what is available.



Since it was such a gorgeous morning I decided to spend some time weeding my garden. Right now the strawberries have decided to take over. Which is fine with me. I can always keep expanding. These strawberry plants are my babies. As soon as David and I got married and moved into our first house one of the first things I did was buy 6 little strawberry plants. The first couple years they didn't do anything. The third year I got maybe a handful and they were about nickle size. I was happy to finally get something. Then we decided to sell our house, but no way was I leaving my strawberry plants!!! I was determined to get a good batch of berries! So a friend came over and we dug up my plants... they had multiplied a couple times since I bought them. I wasn't sure if they would like the move and a little worried they might all die. But guess what they loved their new home and I had big strawberries right away that first summer in our new house! Last summer ants and other little bugs found them and thought they were yummy too, so this summer I have my work cut out for me to keep the little enemies away. On the end of the garden I have some onions, chives and a couple lily plants that also made the move about 3 years ago and are doing well.

I hope to get some potatoes, tomatoes and peas planted. Another favorite is ground cherries. Love them! Most people have no clue what I'm talking about. They grow in a little husk and when they are ripe they fall of the plant and the round berry inside is a pretty golden yellow color. My grandma always grew them when I was growing up and it was one of our favorite summer treats. Last year Medary Acres didn't sell any of the little plants so I'm hoping they have some started for this year. Can't get them many places. I've tried growing raspberries but they don't seem to like me. (Guess we'll just have to stick with raiding grandmas!)

Do you have a garden? What is your favorite thing to grow?


Wonderful Weekend!

The sun was beautifully shining on Friday and thankfully is still hanging around. My weekend started Friday afternoon with a haircut! My hair has been down to the middle of my back for quite some time and I was ready for a change. Now it's the shortest I have ever gone. (Maybe once I get a good picture of the cut I'll share... keep you in suspense for a while. Hee, hee.) After the cut I spent a few minutes shopping. I found a couple jeans for myself and lots of clothes for Kaelyn at amazing prices. I get such a high when I find adorable little name brand outfits for my girl and they have such a nice price tag. It seriously makes me so happy... you might think I'm crazy! Oh well, that's okay.

We were up and about early Saturday morning... 5:15am to be exact! I am NOT a morning person but it was all for a good reason... hubby's first marathon! To clue you all in on my husband, he started biking and running oh about 3 years ago and showed some amazing talent. He did his first triathlons last year and he as run several 5 and 10K's plus one 15.2 mile race and always placed in the top 10%! This year his goal was to run a marathon. He's never run that far before and hadn't run more than 20 miles the day of the race! (A marathon is 26.2 miles.) So Saturday morning was filled with excitement and anticipation. I just wanted him to have fun and enjoy the day. Kaelyn and I would be popping up all over through his race to cheer him on. Here are a few shots:

7am start time. 800 people signed up to run. Around 40 relay teams, a bunch of half marathoners, and over 200 people running the entire marathon. This photo above was taken right at the beginning. I love that 3 guys smiled for the picture! Ha, ha! Only knew one, my husband is in the white and black shorts with white T-shirt.

Beautiful morning. This was taken at 5 miles into the race. I was surprised how spread out everyone already was.

So close to the finishing line! Kaelyn is cheering on her daddy. He went to give her a second high five during the race and ended up picking her up to finish with him.

Awe... so sweet. You could hear a bunch of ohs and awes from the crowd. :)

Completed in just over 3.5 hours and in the top 25%. Wow! It would have taken me an entire day to go 26.2 miles! I have one determined man who I couldn't be more proud of!

Sunday was a nice family day. Time for hubby to relax and I got some much needed weeding done. Lots more yet to go, but a good start.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!



To be honest I'm not a real big fan of the kitchen. I guess I have way to many other things I'd rather be doing. (There's just too many art/craft projects I have to work on!) Once in awhile I get the urge to make something good... but it doesn't happen enough. I enjoy looking at some other people's blogs who have yummy pictures of food and I just wish they'd come to my house. Ha! Anyway since I'm not real into the whole cooking scene I seem to lean towards... okay love sweets! To be more exact... chocolate and if you combine it with peanut butter, well I'm just in food heaven. These peanut butter fudge cookies pictured above are soooo good! They don't last long, and the sad part is, I'm the only one that eats them! Hubby is training for a marathon so he eats super healthy. Me on the other hand... thank God He gave me a high metabolism!!!

They don't look all that delicious in person but when you bight into one you are pretty much addicted. They have to be kind of healthy right?...they're made with oatmeal and cocoa. (I just tell my self there are worse things!) They are available in some store bakery sections but here's the recipe if you would like to make them.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies:
4T butter
1/2c. cocoa
1c. sugar
1/2c. condensed milk
dash salt
2tsp pure vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
3c. uncooked oatmeal

Microwave butter until melted. Add cocoa and blend. Add sugar, milk, and salt. Blend well. Microwave on high 1 minute 30 seconds to full boil. Do not scorch! Add vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal. Stir well. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper and cool.

Kaelyn's looking forward to...

... going to school! She just turned 2 three months ago and she already can't wait to go to school. You would think she turned 4 instead of 2. In the picture above, she said "I go to school, play with kids!" She was jumping around and wanted to go so bad. (We live right across from the school, and it is very intriguing to her.) I told her she had to wait until she was older, then she could go.

Then she looked at me in disappointment and almost cried. I almost cried because what happened to my baby!?! She is amazing me all the time with things she says and does. She's my little spit fire who makes me laugh every day.


Looking forward to...

...actually a lot of things, but one is to wear these red shoes! I bought them towards the end of last summer at a thrift store (my lucky day!) and I can't wait to wear them again. I love fashion, but I'm one that rarely buys things for myself. I think it's more fun shopping for my two year old. Really, their clothes are so tiny and adorable and there is cute stuff everywhere. I get sick of looking for fun stuff in my size and not being a big spender doesn't help any. Anyway, when I found these lovely shoes in brand new condition, were comfy, and had a sweet price tag they definitely had to come home with me. Now I just can't wait for the sun to come out... please, its been a really long time since we've seen you!


Wedding Invitation Design: Couples Favorite

Remember back in January when I shared this invitation design option with you? I'm finally able to share the design the couple chose out of the 3 options I gave them. AJ and Emily are a very fun, lively couple so it's not a huge surprise they went with the brightly colored design option. Main color ~ orange: a burst of energy, a warm pop of color, lots of fun!

{front view}

{top inside view}

{bottom inside view}

{back view}

I first drew the lilies and then scanned them in and changed them to vector format in Illustrator. It gave a nice unique touch and incorporated their wedding flowers. They chose to have the invitations press printed on a nice linen specialty paper. I love the different textures available in these beautiful papers and there are several choices. Dolby Photography took the couple's fun engagement photos.

Thank you AJ & Emily for having me design your invitations! I wish you two the absolute best!


Dance in the Rain: New Painting

Today seemed like an appropriate day to post my newest painting. The weather lately has been grey, windy and rainy. Usually days like this make me feel like I want to climb back into bed and stay there until the sun comes back out. Although it is yucky outside there is fun to be had inside and I guess that is what we should be focusing on... the brighter side. "We are not here to wait for the storm to pass, but to learn to dance in the rain." This quote can have so many different meanings, and it may have nothing to do with the actual weather outside. Our days can be quite a roller coaster at times, but life is so short we should be celebrating every day we have! This motivational art piece was made to remind us to make the best out of each and every day. The bad times are usually a learning experience or a reminder to be thankful for the times that go well. In the not so good times there is always a bright spot, it just requires more searching to find it.

More info and a closer view of the art print can be found HERE. Another color option is also available in the shop.


Happy Weekend!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! All you moms have a fun and relaxing Mother's Day!!!



Silhouette designs seem to be all over the web these days. I have to admit, it seemed like a fun idea for my little girl's room and I had to join the crowd. The hardest part was to get a good profile shot of Kaelyn. (I actually had to turn on the tv so she would pause for a couple minutes!) Then I brought the photo into Photoshop and Illustrator and viola here's a fun piece for her bedroom wall.

She was so excited when she first saw it! She is one supportive little kid. Every time I make or paint something, she says "Good job mommy, way to go!! Cool!" Have to love that! Good thing she likes all the handmade stuff because she'll be getting a lot of it.

Digital Book: Layouts Finished

That's right! The pages are finally complete. The next step will be printing out small copies to make sure the photo colors look good and to look over the text. I will also be putting in some of the patterned papers to spice the book up a bit. (A little more variety is needed.) I can't believe I'm so close to the uploading stage! Hopefully that will all go smoothly.