Tag Archives: TeaBags And Gardenias

7 Quick Takes Friday



1. Wow.  What a summer…

  • Icky weather.
  • Dad very sick.
  • No beach.
  • Pasty white skin.
  • No trips.
  • Pool only one time.
  • No barbequing
  • Pasty white skin – did I mention that?

BUT, what a fantastic summer it was anyhow!!!!  I immersed myself in learning more about my craft.  This summer was all about making myself a better artist.  Online classes are so incredible!  I absolutely love them.  I learned so much and I think I really improved and learned a TON!! I took several classes from my “idol” artists this summer.  “Paint Your Story” by Mindy Lacefield,“How to Paint Whimsical Animals” by Juliette Crane, & “HerStory” by Danielle Daniel and I’m also enrolled in a year-long course called “Serendipity” by Juliette Crane.  I also took an in-person class by the famous Donna Downey called “How to Paint Like an Artist.”  She came to a local scrap booking store called Altered Angel.   It was a blast!  My dream is to go to Donna’s studio and take a weekend long retreat/class.  Mindy Lacefield will be coming there to teach in 2014.  What a dream come true that would be!  I need to win the Lotto!

Here are some pics of what I created in those classes:

PhotoSheet 5x4 (Owl Fini,Serendip,C,9)

2.  Dad is doing so good!  He was diagnosed (finally) with a condition called “Polymyalgia Rheumatica” after 7 months of hell.  He’s taking Prednisone and it is controlling those terrible fevers and chills.  We are ever so grateful for all the prayers said on his behalf.  It just takes one determined doctor who decided to take ownership and not give up.  We are forever indebted to Dr. Stephen Szabo.  He’s our “Dr. House.”

3.  Join me and thousands of others in praying our latest Novena.  It will be to Saint Jude.  Saint Jude is the patron of Hopeless Causes and Desperate Situations.  Sign up here to get the daily prayers delivered to your email in box.  My father’s diagnosis came while praying the novena to St. Therese the Little Flower.  And we just finished the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  What exactly is a Novena?  Click here to find out!

4.  There are only 67 days until Christmas.

5.  I’m thoroughly disgusted with our government.  All parties – don’t care who they are.  They are an embarrassment and a disgrace.  I will stop there.

6.  I am so excited!  I had someone reach out to me and ask me to give her and her granddaughter an art lesson.  I about cried.  This is part of my dream and it’s going to come true!  Very humbled and honored!

7.  Even after 2 years, I still miss my mom so much it hurts!  I think of her every day.  I talk to her.  I still cry for her.  And there are days that I still just can’t believe it.  I’ll see a picture of her and my heart will just plummet.  I have so many things I want to share with her.  I need so bad to hear her voice.


I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.All those times we looked up at the sky
Looking out so far, it felt like we could fly
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night
And the moon is shining, but I can’t see the light.

And I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars.


Stars, they make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.


A Peek Into My Studio/Office


I always wonder what people’s houses look like on the inside.  I am very curious by nature.  Don’t you ever wonder?  Do you ever want to just knock on someone’s door and ask if you can have a tour?  …Or am I the only one? LOL!  I love to see how people live.

I wonder what color schemes they use or what their furniture looks like.  I wonder if they are messy or organized.  I wonder if they leave their clothes on the floor and make their bed.  I love walking or driving by looking at homes.  I try so hard to get a glimpse inside without looking obnoxious or like a peeping Tammy.   Another thing I’ve started liking since I became an artist is looking at artist’s creative spaces…so, I thought I’d give you a little peek into my space.  Warning! It is what it is…messy, busy, busy, busy and comfy!  Just like my art.

My studio/office space is upstairs in a spare bedroom that has a cool shape to it.  The room is above the garage.  It has decent amount of light coming through one window.  Jackson my watch dog sits right in front of that window on my mom’s old chair.  I use the space to do my artwork and it is also where I work my full time job.  I am blessed to be able to work out of my home.  One side of the office is for my work (J.O.B.) and the other is for my personal art business…also a job!  I really enjoy this room!

Looking in from the door, this left hand side is my Full Time job space.  There's Jackson in his chair guarding our house!

Looking in from the door, this left hand side is my Full Time job space. There’s Jackson in his chair guarding our house!

And this is the right hand side of the room where my personal computer is.. (was watching a Mindy Lacefield video) and my art table is.

And this is the right hand side of the room where my personal computer is.. (was watching a Mindy Lacefield video) and my art table is.

I have both sides of the walls covered with nails.  I hang inspirational work above my art table and then I hang things I’m working on everywhere else to dry etc.

I am a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts!  I also have a sweet print from "Vintage Girl Design's" (Michelle gave it to me when we met.) and I have my Logo plaque I made...Its my inspiration wall.

I am a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts! I also have a sweet print from “Vintage Girl Design’s” (Michelle gave it to me when we met.) and I have my Logo plaque I made…Its my inspiration wall.

More inspiration.  The little plaque says "Just Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Get Over It!"  Love it!

More inspiration. The little plaque says “Just Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Get Over It.” I read that thing every day…over and over and over again!  Notice the line of cheaters on my monitor.  Gotta have my specs!

This little red dress ribbon picture board is where I put cool business cards or greeting cards that come from some of the art and jewelry I buy.

This little red dress ribbon picture board is where I put cool business cards or greeting cards that come from some of the art and jewelry I buy.  And I have a huge collection of rosaries. To the right you see a glimpse of just some of them hanging off of a wall shelf on a spindle.

And this is my dad's part of the room.  Here is where he photographs my work for printing purposes.  My dad Rocks!

And this is my dad’s part of the room. Here is where he photographs my work for printing purposes.  He updates my websites, packs and ships orders, makes sure we have everything we need (supplies) to ship artwork out and he also comes up with a lot of ideas for me.  And…he provides constructive criticism for the most part. haha! He’s cracking me up lately by calling my new stuff aliens and pigs!  Dad also attends all of my shows.  He’s a great salesman!  My dad is a huge help to me!

Well, there you have it!  My studio!  I hope you enjoyed this little tour…until next time,  Blessings…Michelle

TeaBags And Gardenias 300+ Contest


TeaBags And Gardenias

Facebook page has reached

300+ Likes!  Woot Woot!

And…I’m having a contest to celebrate!  Shimmy on over HERE and enter!  Must LIKE TeaBags And Gardenias Fan Page, Must SHARE the contest status page and also comment answering the question in #3.

Thank you so much!  Feeling oh so blessed!

Prints:  I Love You to the Moon And Back, Pursue, Our Lady of Everyone, Brave Heart and Embrace


Confessions of an eccentric child


Soooo, Lately I’ve been very captivated by “primitive/folk/raw” art.

Art that looks like a child did it.  Art that is creepy cute and very rough/messy.  Art that you really don’t have to be able to draw to do.  RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!   So, in my quest to teach myself how to draw, I happened upon some really talented, colorful, “primitive” artists.

You saw a piece in my last post from one of my favorites Mindy Lacefield.

Here are a few more of her prints I have in my home…


I plan to sign up to take her online course called “Paint Your Story” in a few days.  I am very excited about that!  She seems to be an amazing teacher.  I believe that we all have a story inside that is dying to make it onto paper, either by writing or through art. (or a combo of both) – So, I’m excited to start getting mine out!

So…then in following and watching Mindy I come across Juliette.  Juliette Crane.  She’s another amazing artist who has inspired me.  Check her out HERE

I got a sketch book for Christmas, have been playing around a little.  Came up with this sketch when i was looking at Juliette’s stuff.  Just playing…being free…scribbling…

First Sketch

Then I went to Michaels and bought some cheap oil pastels (like crayons) and decided to color – just like a child coloring in a coloring book.  Too FUN!

Colored sketch

Then…someone said that this would be great on a canvas.  So…I decided to make a “proper” art piece out of my bizarre bear.  By the way, his name is “Brave Heart”

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final

Things learned through this piece:

1.  I am still a child at heart and I love letting that child out.  I need to be brave and not fear being child like.  Life is so serious most of the time and I don’t like it.  Not one little bit.

2.  I love coloring and coloring boldly.  Color makes my heart leap.  I used to wear only black.  What in the world was I thinking?  I’m embracing color…the more color the better.  Such a mood changer.

3.  So glad that ART (like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder! Somewhere out there someone…somewhere thinks you are simply beautiful and your art is too!

And…P.S.  I’m really not getting all new agey, touchy, feeley, yoga, granola eating, metaphysical, creepy, or anything like that.  Promise.  hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time…blessings,


Don’t forget to LIKE TeaBags And Gardenias on Facebook!


Our Lady of Everyone


Hello, Hello!  …it’s been a while since my last post. Lots going on here, my dad had back surgery on April 11 and then I had two back to back weekend art shows. And in between all of this my father has been sick. Mysteriously sick. Fever, chills, sweats, weakness, faint, and at one point being hospitalized for a few days. I have been hearing of several people who are mysteriously sick these days.  What is going on???  They never found out what was wrong with my father. Test after test after test. It was pretty scary at one point. They had to use a cooling blanket to get his temp down from 103.   On Sunday, Deacon Joe brought him Communion and Fr. Jack gave him sacrament of the sick.  It was beautiful and both times there was someone in the room observing – they wouldn’t leave.  It was like they had to see what we were doing…One was a doctor who said “We don’t get much religion in here.  That was nice.”  The other was an aid who was changing the bed very quietly as dad was being prayed over and anointed.  She did not say a word.

He had 3 rounds of strong antibiotics, got bad on Friday night and then he started to get better.  Everything was doubly distressing because we were at “THAT HOSPITAL.”  That hospital where my mom was.  I really do not like that place. Way too much history there.  There are only two good things I can say about that hospital…#1 They have a great gift shop and #2 their chicken salad sandwich is AWESOME!  Dad is home now.  Thank you Lord!  And hopefully will be regaining his strength and getting back to his normal self.  I am sick of that pit in my stomach feeling  that I always had with my mom.  Go away already!

My two art shows went very well. I just love doing them!!!  Even though they are very stressful before hand with preparations and set up, I truly get pure joy from being a part of these festivals.  I enjoy talking to the people that come into my booth, telling my story, seeing their eyes light up when they connect with one of my pieces or with the words. People just stand there and read the words.  Some tear up, some smile.  Some no reaction….but I know they are touched in some way.  One of the best things about the whole experience is hearing their stories.  One amazing woman stopped by Suwanee Art in the Park and bought my very first creation in print.  She told me her story.  She’s sick.  They don’t know what is wrong with her.  She’s disabled.  Her body is failing her. She reminded me of my mom.  She bought my “PEACE” print so she could look at it to calm her and take her fear away.  I cried.  I don’t think I will ever get used to people buying my artwork, giving them as gifts and displaying my creations in their homes.  This is such a surreal time in my life.  I am so humbled.

Suwanee Arts In Park 2

I have donated a giclee of my “I love you to the moon and back” piece.  Its to help the people in Moore, OK after this horrific tornado.  Check out the auction…lots of amazing stuff from some very talented artists!  So proud to be a part of it! Hurry!  Auction over Friday!  https://www.facebook.com/hopeforok

I have also finished my very first piece with a “face” on it!  A very simple face, but a face none the less.  I am pretty proud of her!  I stepped way out of my box for this one.  I think she looks very peaceful.  I call her “Our Lady of Everyone.”  She’s going to live at “Dynamic Catholic”, Matthew Kelly’s organization!  What a privilege and blessing to do a piece for Matthew.  He was the high bidder on my “I Love You To The Moon and Back” piece and instead of me giving money to his charity, he asked me to create a painting of Our Lady to hang at his Dynamic Catholic offices.  Pinch ME!!!

Our Lady of EveryoneUntil next time…Blessings,


Ready, Set…LAUNCH!


Ahhh Hemmm….Drum roll please!!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I get to announce the official launch of my

TeaBags And Gardenias website!

The site is live!  WOOT WOOT!

A few minor tweaks are needed but I couldn’t wait a second longer for everyone to check it out!  Please take a look and let me know what you think!  click me! I had a very talented web designer named Harris to work with…he’s great!  In school at GA Tech, does this on the side.  He put up with all of my changes, requests, edits, ideas, etc. like a true champ!  I was just waiting for him to drop me but he didn’t!  I know what I want and I want what I want and I want it like I envision it…sometimes that is tough to deal with.  And as a result, I believe we have a fantastic collaboration that suits who I am, my personality and style!  I hope you like the site as much as I do!  The goal was to have one central place for everyone to go.  From my homepage you can access this blog, my shop and portfolio among other things.


Then, I took a peek at Donna Downey’s blog and low and behold!!!  My altered brush was featured today! Click HERE to take a peek! Everyone who submits a brush gets featured but I am still excited and proud!   I admire Donna greatly and her site has a lot of traffic.  My brush will be hung on the walls in her studio in Hendersonville, NC.

I hope to go there someday and take one of her workshops.  That would be a bucket list item of mine.  She’s so brilliant!

Have a beautiful day!  – Michelle

My First Giveaway! Enter to Win!!


I am so excited to announce my very first “giveaway!!”  I have been drooling over and coveting this certain journal for a very long time.  It’s called “My Life Journal”  and it is the absolute cutest!   It has the prettiest pages and journaling prompts like: THIS REALLY INSPIRED ME, I’M HOPING THESE WISHES COME TRUE, THESE THINGS BROUGHT A SMILE TO MY FACE, USE THIS SPACE TO BRING OUT THE CREATIVE GENIUS IN YOU and tons more!  There are also beautiful motivational quotes and gorgeous vintage pages to just spill your guts in.  I want YOU to have one!  This giveaway goes till 15th of August.

You must be a follower or subscriber of this Just A Catholic Girl blog to enter. *Please leave a comment telling me that you are already subscribed to my blog or “I just subscribed.”*   AND….

The exciting news is that you can increase your chances of winning, buy leaving a separate comment for each of the following things you do:

1. “LIKE” my TeaBags And Gardenias Facebook Page.

2. Share this giveaway with a link on your own blog or in a Facebook post.

3. Share via Twitter and or Facebook

4, Share on Instagram using tag #teabagsandgardenias

5. Make TeaBags And Gardenias a favorite of yours on Etsy.

6. Pin one of my paintings on your Pinterest boards.


This giveaway goes till 15th of August.  Good Luck!

As most of you know I’ve opened a new Mixed Media Shop called “TeaBags And Gardenias.”  Today I received the graphics for my Etsy Shop and business cards!  Things are coming together!  Thank you for your support, encouragement and love!