Archive for the ‘Getting Started’ Category

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Rocco is a Schnoodle and his photo was taken outside in the winter with his cute little scarf on.  His painting is the result of a gift certificate I donated to Guerin Catholic High School’s big fundraiser.

Remember my blog entitled, “Is it a Win Win?”  Well, the verdict is still out.  Right now, it’s definitely a win for the charities, which is a good thing and my portfolio (since I’m adding to it) but as for new business, not so much.  Well, we’ll keep you posted on that end. 

Business is steady, as in I always have one order in the wings but if I were making a living on my own, I’d be on food stamps.  Thank God, for my darling better half.  Despite the economy and government banking regulations strangling him, he is bringing home the bacon.

Anyway, my next subject is a gorgeous King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and it’s a real order.  Whoo hoo!  Thanks so much to those of you who have patronized my business in it’s first year.  I really appreciate it.  I just hit a year and it’s been fun.  If you’d like to check out my website to see my whole portfolio, go to www.custompetpaintings.com.


Don’t forget, I do custom art.  If you have something in mind, I’d love to take a stab at it.


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Once upon a time there was a little girl named Ava, who really wanted a room with Disney Princesses in it…

so…her mom and dad asked me to make her wish come true.

For days I sketched, painted and worked in her special room hoping she would love my vision of fairy land.

Near her door is her prince, still waiting for a kiss.  Lucky for him, he has a pretty good rock, which could persuade many princesses to give him a shot.

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And near her closet is the glass slipper that will prove that Cinderella was the beauty at the ball.

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I haven’t been blogging much because it’s been pretty busy around here but having work is a good thing.  Let’s hope for more fun projects.  I have to say, I was a little scared to do Cinderella but I literally prayed to God to help me do it.  I think He did help and I think little Ava is happy with her princess room.

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This is my latest mural done for the bathroom of Hayden and Evan.  I based this on a shower curtain from Pottery Barn Kids and

personalized it for the boys.  The boys were excited and said it was “awesome,” which of course, pleases me.

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Business is picking up, so not much time for blogging.  This is good news and it keeps my BH off my case (a bit.)


More later. 


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Lilly is a Bichon and she is done on a 5 x 5 gallery wrapped canvas.

In my “Getting Started” blog awhile back, I talked about some of the various marketing initiatives I’ve been trying for my pet painting business, as well as Casa Bella Interiors.  Well, this painting of Lilly is the result of a gift certificate I donated to a Tri Kappa purse auction to benefit Prevail Inc http://www.prevailinc.com/, which assists women in crisis and victims of abuse.  It’s a wonderful organization and I believe they raised $12,000 with this purse auction.  I’m happy to have had a small part in it.  Lilly’s owners got a gift certificate I donated and they will get the portrait this week and with any luck maybe some referrals will follow. 

So I’ve donated a bunch of these and they’re starting to roll in now. I’m somewhat conflicted.  Clearly it’s a marketing strategy yet it’s under the umbrella of being charitable.  I have a couple of others out there and we’ll see how much I do for “free.”  One thing I want to follow up on is how much the charities are getting.  If there’s a good payoff to them, then it’s worth it, as long as I have the time to do it.   I’ll keep track of it all and keep you all posted as to whether my donation marketing plan works.

I love painting and I love dogs.  If I can learn more, expand my portfolio, make some customers happy while benefiting some great causes, then it is a win-win.

Have started my next Bichon…Millie and I’ll post her picture when she’s finished. 

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Header2 My friend, Kristine and I really are trying to get a painting business going.  We’ve donated free “rooms” to worthy causes.  We’ve placed an ad in the church bulletin and we even have invested in the fliers and business cards.  Pretty cute ha?

We just went to the client’s home and measured assessed etc.  We put out a bid and so far, haven’t heard back from them.  Is this a bad sign?  Still a few more of our “giveaways” which amount to $200 gift certificates and some gift certificates for custom pet painting are out there.  We’ll see if our donation strategy pays off.  

 On a bright note, we ran into a friend in the fabric store and mentioned our new business and she said that she had some furniture she wanted painted; we bid on it and got the job.  We’re going there this afternoon to meet with her on the details.  Let’s hope it pays off  both financially and in terms of a happy client with lots of referrals for us.

Right now in terms of the painting business, the only color we’re dealing with is red.

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Hello world!


 It’s somewhat daunting, this idea of writing on-line.  Where will I get beautiful photos? What will I write?  Who will read it?  How will I make time? 

Well, the photo on my banner I took with my little digital on a snowy day in Indy in my front yard.  It turns out that beautiful things are right around us; problem solved.  I do love to write and I certainly have been accused of being able to talk to anyone and yes, probably talking too much.  So, maybe the words will come as the picture did and if for no other reason, I’ll get a nice journal with pretty pictures.  As for readers, time will tell.  As for time, aaah…always a problem.

Getting started meant choosing my  blog title.  Wow, how to say what I want in one catchy little phrase.  It turns out that blog know-it-alls have a lot of opinions on how to name your blog.  You mustn’t take naming it too lightly or it could come back to haunt you.    If you want anonymity, which sounds great, don’t use your real name.  I love that idea.  How great to write what you want and not have to claim it.   I could completely change my personality or let secret aspects of it reveal themselves with no repercussions. 

 However, if you want people to find you, it makes it harder if you use a username that isn’t connected to you.    I like to think of myself as creative, so I set out to find “the” name that would encompass all of my passions and endear me to thousands of fans (ha).  I wrote down several fun names…

  • Snickerdoodle- a site with laughter and art
  • Indygobluegirl- referencing my state, my alma mater (University of Michigan) and a youthful name for my gender
  • Hoganart- name and passion
  • TopSpin-tennis and my spin on life
  • Rhoades not taken- my maiden name and a reference to Robert Frost’s poem (which I love)
  • LoveAll-tennis reference, even score and I do love it all 

 It is important to google your prospective names to see what comes up.  For example, it turns out my creativity isn’t so unique.  There are several other women who blog under the  Snickerdoodle name , so I nixed that one.  For a variety of reasons and after some research  I decided to go with…..Love All!  I really like tennis and about a million other things.  I wish there was more time in the day to try it all. I am a lover of art, food, crafts, animals, gardening, reading, travel and of course my family.   I love positive people but I have gripes and things that get my goat.  I will share ideas I garner from my experiences as a student, sister, wife, friend and parent and I look forward to hearing from you.

So hello world…are you out there?

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