Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So Thankful

Okay...I admit it. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the sentiment of it and getting together with family and friends, the Macy's parade, and yes, the football. But most of all, I love that it makes me stop for a few minutes and be thankful for many blessings…

• friends and family who always support me in everything I do
• the opportunities I've had this year to spread my art wings
• my beautiful children and husband who always make me laugh
• a nice warm house to live in, food to eat, and our health

They seem like simple things, but they are oh so important. As a special thank you, I'm offering 10% off in my shop through this weekend. I wish you and your family a most wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Artist Home Show

So excited for my annual Artist Home Show next Saturday, November 12! It's from 11 to 4, so feel free to stop by and see my work, Yvonne's dichroic glass, and Owen's pottery. Lots of great gifts in all price ranges. And, if you sign up for my newsletter you'll receive a special offer on Tuesday when my November newsletter comes out!

This new piece, Crow of Many Colors, is one of several new pieces that will be available.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Garden of Compassion

A few weeks ago, there was a service in my hometown called One Naperville. They talked about building a community based on compassion. This piece popped into my head and had to be given wings. Hope you like!

Garden of Compassions is available in my Etsy shop…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Artist Demo This Saturday

Stop by the new Occasions store (121 S. Washington) this Saturday. I'll be there doing an artist demo from 3 to 4 p.m. as part of the Best of Home weekend. Hope you can make it!

And here's my sunflowers in final form. The piece is called Late Season Beauties.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

End of the Season Sunflowers

Thought I'd sure my latest piece in progress. Love those sunflowers...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spreaing My Wings

Over the summer I took on a commission - something I had never done before. A large mural painting
in a home. A little out of my comfort zone since paint is not my main media, and I definitely don't work this large! I ended up having a wonderful experience (even with the sore muscles), and I'm pretty happy with the end result. Here's to taking different paths from time to time!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dalton Ghetti Artwork

Artists have been using pencils forever to create art...but I have never seen anything like this. Beautiful pieces of art crafted out of the graphite of a pencil.

These miniature masterpieces are a side project for the professional carpenter, who has been perfecting this art for the last 25 years. Dalton Ghetti uses a razor blade, sewing needle, a sculpting knife, a steady hand and lots of patience to meticulously carve the graphite which can take anywhere between a few months to a few years.

I am in awe!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Something for the Sweet Tooth

Just couldn't resist posting this photo and recipe which I saw on - the perfect fall treat...

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Makes 20-24 mini muffins

Don’t worry – you don’t actually use the whole stick of butter for the coating, it just makes it easier to dip the muffins. If you’re looking for a somewhat lighter treat, skip the coating – the muffins are moist and pumpkin packed all on their own. These are best dipped and coated the same day you are going to eat them, otherwise the coating tends to get soggy.

For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk

For Coating
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray or butter generously.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (Using a 2-tablespoon scoop will ensure uniform size.) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Inspirations & Thoughts

Following yesterday's remembrance services/ceremonies, I am taking a few moments today to be grateful and share my thoughts...

I take a moment…
to look at the faces of those I love

I am grateful…
to live in a community committed to compassion
(check out One Naperville)

I am feeling…
so very blessed and grateful for the abundance in my life

I can see…
the tips of some of the trees starting to turn their beautiful fall colors

I am creating…
some new pieces based on ideas that came to me during the One Naperville service yesterday

I am missing…
my beautiful grandmother

I am hoping…
for creative growth in new ways that I haven't even thought of

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty

By Gracie, Age 11

By Valerie, a bit older than 11

The kids over at the Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty blog have been sharing their illustrations now for 5 years and are celebrating by asking artists to contribute artwork based on one of the kid's drawings. I decided to create something based on Gracie's (age 11) bird.

Please take the time to visit their blog and tell them how awesome they are!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blog Feature – Urban Comfort

I stumbled upon Suzonne Stirling's blog through Pinterest – very happily, I might add! – and am totally delighted with her Urban Comfort blog. Check out this blog post about southern photographers.

The photo feature here is by Sally Man. Absolutely phenomenal photos...if you've ever been to New Orleans, or that area of the country, these photos will touch a cord with you. They are so evocative of the New Orleans atmosphere. I adored these and New Orleans! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Illustration Friday - Swell

As the waves began to swell, they turned their little boat and headed for home...enjoying the wind and spray on their faces.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Illustration Friday – Imperfect

I did this piece a while back, but it fit so perfectly with the "imperfect" theme that I couldn't resist putting it up. Hope you enjoy it. I love that despite all our imperfections, we still find things to love about each other.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Illustration Friday – Obsession

Well, it seems I'm a bit obsessed with animals lately - this time a monkey! This one is called Monkey Business.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Featured Artist – Eric Barclay

I can't tell you how delighted I am to feature Eric Barclay as my first featured artist! I "met" Eric and became aware of his work through Illustration Friday. I am such a huge fan of this talented artist! Make sure you stop by his blog and see his delightful recycled creations.

Eric Barclay is an illustrator, sculptor, and designer based in Dallas, Texas. His work incorporates bold colors, simplicity of line, and subtle humor. Classic cartoons, modern art and design, and everyday mishaps heavily influence his work. He works mostly in gouache and acrylic, but is very comfortable creating digital artwork using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Most of his work is for the children’s market; his freelance clients include national and regional magazines, publishers, hotel chains, consumer goods companies, greeting card companies, banks, and more. He is currently illustrating two books, which will be published in 2012.

Eric lives with is wife of 15 years, two beautiful young daughters and two cats. He has an immediate opening for a dog and is currently interviewing candidates.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Geneva Fine Art Fair This Weekend

If you feel like braving the heat, come out to the Geneva Fine Art Fair this weekend. It's a fabulous fair, and there are plenty of places to shop or eat and take a break from the hot temps! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Illustration Friday – Gesture

All it takes is a simple gesture to be open to all people, all thoughts, all ways of life.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Society 6 Selection

This is pretty cool…My print "Georgia Sunflower" was selected to be included in the Society6 Shop! If you've never visited the site, it's pretty awesome. You can get a selection of prints on canvas, as iPhone skins, etc. Check it out!​orgia_Sunflower_Print/56907

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Memories of the Beach

We used to go to Myrtle Beach, SC when I was a kid. I have such wonderful memories of being there…going to the little hut on the main drag that was Krispy Kreme, Oliver's for fresh seafood and hush puppies, the old amusement park, walking the beach looking for shark teeth, the smell of the salt air, riding the waves. I'd love to go there again sometime as it's been many years since my last trip. I'm sure it has changed dramatically.

When I started working on this little piece, all I could see were greens and blues - the colors of the beach and summer to me. So, here's "Day at the Beach."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Northbrook Art in the Park

This Saturday and Sunday I'll be at Northbrook Art in the Park! Stop by and see me if you can.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Illustration Friday – Launch

Almost forgot to post this after I worked on it late last night...Up and Away seems to fit the weekly theme "Launch."

Reliving Monet

Just finished this piece - when I first started it I had no idea where it was going. Except the colors reminded me of some of the Monet pieces. So, that's where it ended up for me. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Art in Bloom

Head out to beautiful Cantigny in Wheaton this Saturday and Sunday for Art in Bloom. It's a wonderful art fair in a really lovely setting. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feeling Blessed

Just feeling grateful for many things…

• My beautiful family

• Awesome friends

• The ability to create and do something I love each day

• Books to read every day

• Wonderful, diverse music to listen to

• A gorgeous summer day

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This Weekend

Come out to the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival this weekend! It looks like gorgeous weather, and this fair is in a lovely setting and is a nice size. Lots of good restaurants close by also. Hope to see you there!

Here's my latest piece I just finished - it's called I Remember Autumn.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tiger in My Garden

I've been having so much fun with this line of kid's prints. My youngest daughter asked for a tiger - her favorite animal at the moment! So, here's Tiger in My Garden.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Illustration Friday – Soaked

This piece is called Spring Rain...seemed to go along with the theme and our rainy spring here in the midwest. We've been soaked many times in the last two months!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Illustration Friday – Safari

I've been on an animal kick lately, so I'm thrilled with this theme! Just finished this piece, Return of the Queen, recently. Can't wait to see what everybody posts.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Demo & Trunk Show This Thursday!

This Thursday, May 12 I will be at Occasions in Naperville (3027 English Rows, 630.355.5045) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. doing a demo and trunk show! Stop by and see what I'm working on and see a variety of new items. Hope you can stop by and say hello!

This new little piece is called Pure Sunshine.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beautiful Soul

The day before my daughter's 16th birthday, as I was writing my blog post, the idea for this piece of art came to me. I knew immediately I had to make it for her as a special gift for her big day. I just finished it last night and will be framing the original today to go in her room. I hope she likes it! I'd also like to give a special thank you to all the wonderful moms out there with beautiful souls who have served as inspiration and comfort in our lives.

Prints of Beautiful Soul are available at my Etsy shop:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sweet 16 – Beautiful Soul

My beautiful daughter Hannah turns 16 today! Still trying to wrap my head around where those 16 years went so quickly. What I can say for sure is that I am so incredibly proud of the beautiful person, inside and out, that she is and has always been. Have a great 16th! Your very blessed mom loves you so much.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My "Aha" Moment & Giveaway

I'm always interested to hear others "aha" moments - those moments of pure light and inspiration when everything comes together! For me, this happened about 8 or 9 years ago, when I was just beginning to dabble in creating artwork. My professional degrees are in music, and for many years I enjoyed a successful career as a professional accompanist in Chicago. I truly love the time I spent playing, but there was always a pull toward the art field and creating something other than music with my hands. I was taking a pastel class through the local art league, and I created this huge lotus in class...and I realized it was really good! I was walking back to the car and my moment of divine inspiration happened in the parking lot. I knew instantly this was my passion, and I literally started crying because it was such a powerful feeling.

Share your "aha" moment with me and you'll be entered to win a Morning Glories print and note card set. Can't wait to hear from you! I'll pick a winner on Wednesday, May 11!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Whimsical Kingdom

Self doubt - that awful demon! My solo exhibit is coming up soon and doubt is kicking in...Will the exhibit be successful? Will people enjoy the new work? Will I get everything done before the deadline? Of course, when I started working on all these new pieces back in January, I thought I had all the time in the world. Now it's come and gone, and I'm down to the last week or so before I hang the show.

I think I feel a need to step back, be kind to myself and stop worrying. Breathe, relax, live in the will all be fine. More exhibit info coming soon!
Become a Fan – Valerie Lorimer Contemporary Arts

Friday, April 1, 2011

Illustration Friday – Duet

Even though it is a cold and dreary first day of April here in Chicagoland, this seems the perfect "duet" for the day. I so appreciate those days when I have a joyful spirit. Here's to more of those and living each day fully with appreciation for simple joys.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Illustration Friday – Cultivate

Given everything that's going on right now in the world, it seems appropriate to send a message to cultivate peace. Each little thing every individual can do to that end, makes a difference!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sometimes It's the Things You Don't Know

I was struck by the simple truth of a Rainn Wilson (a.k.a. Dwight Shrute from The Office) quote I read recently about faith and not knowing what's going to happen at any given time. I remember as a child thinking "show me the proof" about religion, faith, why things happen the way they do. As an adult, it's taken a while but I enjoy living in the moment and not worrying so much about things I can't "see."

My dear childhood friend, Jennifer, posted to my Facebook page recently and mentioned some of the wild, crazy things we used to get into together. We lived in a very small town and came up with some pretty unusual things to do to stay of which included the two of us getting in her Radio Flyer wagon and taking off down a very long, skinny, windy road down a very steep hill.

As a parent, I look back on that now and think "what were we thinkg…were we insane?" It was a really dangerous thing to do since it was the only road in and out of our little town that sat on the side of a mountain - and if we steered the wagon incorrectly, we could easily have flown over the side of the mountain (which almost happened once). I even had the torn up knee to prove it. But, I think it basically comes down to friendship, trusting Jen when she was "driving," and taking a leap of faith every time we got in that wagon. Not such a bad philosophy.

There are lots of leaps of faith during our life journey - and many times it is about what you can't see or what you don't know as cold, hard fact. I think that's probably the underlying, subliminal message in my art which I've been told by many they find nurturing, spiritual, affirmative and, of course, whimsical from time to time...okay, maybe a little more than time to time. So, all that being said, go hop in a Radio Flyer and go for a ride!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The View From Up Here

I'm continuing my fascination with giraffes in this piece! A couple years ago, we were visiting family and took the kids to the Indianapolis Zoo. You can actually feed the giraffes there. It was so incredibly awesome being right next to them and having them eat out of your hand - okay, kind of slimy too - but still cool!

This piece is called The View From Up Here...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sometimes Nature Cracks Me Up

Into the house came a box of strawberries and inside it was....yes, this strawberry! I found it very entertaining, as did the other members of my family – especially my 8 year old. So many times I have said that I find inspiration for my artwork in nature. This isn't quite what I meant, but I think I have a thought about how to turn this into a piece of art...hmmm...It's just too good to pass up!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Illustration Friday – Layer

Amidst all the layers of the garden, the Morning Glories shone with a beauty all their own. Prints of this new piece are available at my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the winner is...

Ang! Congratulations - and thanks to everyone for all the wonderful comments about what makes you happy. Stay tuned for another giveaway sometime in the spring. I love the digital age, but I did the giveaway pick the old-fashioned way - love that sometimes!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine Blessings

I love Valentine's Day, and not just for the normal romantic reasons. For me, it's a reminder to be thankful for all my friends, neighbors and family who are such blessings in my life. My lovely sweet husband, my two beautiful daughters, my parents, all my extended family, and my flock of friends who are all so supportive. Here's a little love for you - freshly finished today.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Giveaway…Happiness

I just read an article in a magazine about happiness. What it is, what makes you really was an interesting article that made you really think. Is there anyone who doesn't like feeling happy? I thought about it, and I've posted my top five things.

Leave a post on my blog about five things that make you happy, and I'll enter your name into a drawing for a giveaway that includes one of my new prints, Grandma's Songbird. Also a set of cards and a Live Joyfully necklace.

I'm offering a little bit of happiness at my Etsy shop too - all during February my prints are 20% off. Use Coupon Code FEB2011SPECIAL when you check out! Happy thinking...and here's my top 5.

What Makes You Happy?
• Movie night with my family
• First snowfalls
• Reading a really, good book
• Being able to create every day
• Doing something that makes someone else feel good

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Windmill Garden

As I'm looking out the window at ice and snow, this new piece must be my subconcious looking forward to spring! Just finished this one last night called Windmill Garden. It's available on my site, and it's ready to hang (no framing necessary!).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy new year!

Hope everyone's holiday was terrific! I'm delighted to be featured in an article on! Check it out...and looking forward to my exhibit starting January 14 at Congregation Beth Shalom.

And here's a peek at my whimsical lion I just finished! Wishing you all a very blessed 2011.