In this kind of economy you may be considering forgoing sending out Valentines.  Well, to that I say, WHAT????  Paper correspondence is important no matter what the occasion, and even for no occasion.  And, lucky for us, Red Stamp (a favorite paper purveyour of mine) is offering FREE digital files for you to print your own Valentines at home.  They have a handful of designs that are funky, unique (no Barbie or Transformer V-cards here), and fun!  They also give you the option to send e-V-cards for FREE, and as always, they have beautiful paper cards for purchase, too.


Today True Religion Photography featured MOCHIE-ROO in its new “The Featured Artist” series.  True Religion Photography is owned by Chelsea Valach, a very talented photographer here in Durango, Colorado.   As part of a new series to spice things up on her blog, Chelsea is interviewing local artists and photographing their work.  These interviews and photos are then showcased in a blog post.

Well, MOCHIE-ROO was lucky enough to be the FIRST featured artist and the post went up today!  Perhaps even more exciting, Chelsea and I are offering a prize drawing for a FREE watercolor pet portrait of YOUR pet!  To enter, go to Chelsea’s blog post and after reading the post, simply leave a comment in the comment section.  Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a custom pet portrait; and that one lucky winner will be announced on February 15th. (***Only comments left on CHELSEA’s BLOG, not here on mine, will be entered to win the watercolor pet portrait.***)

Enough talk from me… go check out the blog:

True Religion Photography presents the Featured Artist

My chocolate girl, Mocha!

February 5, 2010

She was very patient, and it paid off, I finally painted Mocha’s portrait!!!

My Mocha aka Mochie-Roo aka Mochie aka Mocha-roney and Cheese aka Pretty Girl!!!

It is ironic that it took me so long to get around to painting my chocolate girl!!!  But it was a pleasure to finally paint her portrait.  As you know, MOCHIE-ROO was inspired and named after Miss Mocha Marty, my chocolate lab.  Mocha is my FIRST dog and since we got her 2 1/2 years ago, she has become my constant companion.  She is going to be 7 years old in March, so although I call her my Pretty ‘Ittle Girl, she is actually a middle-aged woman.  She gets mistaken for a puppy all the time because of her high-energy, enthusiasm, puppy-like face, and fit physique!  What middle-aged woman doesn’ t mind being mistaken for half her age???

Mocha loves running, mountain biking, and hiking with me.  She also loves a good game of fetch, as well as prancing and bounding through the snow.  She is a very active girl!  As you know from my “About” page and previous blog posts, Mocha is a comfort whore (pardon my language) and loves green beans, carrots, apples, pears, and of course, peanut butter.

I am SO happy with how Mocha’s portrait turned out!  The photo I worked from had the sun hitting the right side of her face, so for the portrait, I washed out that side of her face even more.  The washed-out right side turned out awesome, in my opinion; and I love the graphic, color-blocky-y feel of the portrait.  The white spot on her chest was supposed to be her bone-shaped collar tag, but it is now a rectangle (oopps! should have used masking fluid!).  If you read my post yesterday, Mocha was a little POed at me, but as soon as I got home from a meeting I had last night, she was over it (I chalk it up to short memory more than anything else).
Let me know what you think of Mocha’s portrait by leaving comments; I love hearing feedback and opinions!!!

I am FINALLY painting my MOCHA today!!! I am so excited and I am really thrilled with how she is turning out.  One awesome part about it: I get to keep this portrait!

Anyways, Mocha is actually a little peeved at me because I made her take a bath today (well, actually she showers with me).  She doesn’t mind getting clean, but it had been A LONG time since her last bath, and I think she was liking the dirty dog feeling.  So, she sulked and then napped on the couch while I painted.  Her portrait has a graphic-y, color block-y feel to it that I am really diggin’!

The painting is drying, but here is a sneak peek of the eye/ear portion of the portrait:

MOCHIE-ROO loves Etsy!

As you know, I am hard at work at getting my MOCHIE-ROO website up.  It will, of course, be  However, in the meantime MOCHIE-ROO has opened up a shop on Etsy.  If you have never visited Etsy before, oh my are you in for a treat.  Etsy is kind of like an eBay for people to list their handmade, painted, crafty, and/or vintage works (Etsy doesn’t have auctions, though, just listings and stores).  Etsy, like eBay, is a site that you could get lost in for hours browsing around…

However, I want you to go straight to MY MOCHIE-ROO Etsy store, then you can browse around.

Some other really fun Etsy stores/items to check out are:

Kay’s K9s – minature kneedle felted dogs and cats

Books Print by The Black Apple


Tour de Library bookplates

A fun way to shop and explore is by Pouncing … try it!

Lovin’ Lululemon

February 4, 2010

If you have not heard of Lululemon yet, you are in for a pleasant new active clothing experience.  I had seen a Lululemon store in Las Vegas several years ago, walked through it quickly, and walked back out, not taking much time or paying much attention.  Then all of the sudden Lululemon stores started popping up everywhere!  The two cities I visit most that have Lululemon stores, Denver and Phoenix, have blown up with the Lululemon goods.  Both Denver and Phoenix are relatively active cities, so it isn’t surprising that a fresh, new, functional brand like Lululemon took off so well.
Enough talk from me …


Click on the omega (which looks like Lululemon’s logo) to check out thier website for women’s and men’s activewear.

I also thoroughly enjoy Lululemon’s blog

Throughout the month of January, Elim blogged daily about wearing the Wunder Under pants and crops (basically black leggings) everyday to work during the day and to workout after work.  It was a really entertaining series.

For February, they have several girls covering the Winter Olympics … I am following this through Elim’s Facebook page (search for Elim Canada).

What I love about this brand is the excitement surrounding it, including the excitement that emanates from the employees (in the stores and Elim, for example).  It is a larger, fast-growing company but it feels very personal and small.


February 3, 2010

Frankie is a Boston Terrier puppy belonging to TiAn and Justin who live in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Frankie is TiAn’s first dog (like me and Mocha!) so she was pleasantly surprised to find that she could love a non-human little being so much (that is how I feel about Mocha!).

After much research regarding which breed of puppy to acquire, TiAn and Justin settled on Boston Terriers for their loyalty, affection, high-energy, and because they are known to be good dogs for small homes.

As Frankie approaches 6 months old, his personality has really started to show … TiAn says he is so funny,  just cracks her up, and she’ll be the first to admit that Frankie is adorable, but also a little funny looking.  Frankie is very in tune with TiAn and he can cheer her up and make her laugh just when she needs it, and that is her favorite thing about him.  Even Frankie’s trainer found him to have the most sensitive soul of all the Bostons she’s met.  His big eyes help with that whole expressive, sensitive thing.  In fact, Frankie uses those eyes to get what he wants!  TiAn says that when Frankie wants something and she won’t give it to him, he squints his eyes and tucks in one side of his upper lip.  I am sure that face is no match for TiAn at that point!
Frankie is still learning and he has his “imperfections” too.  He is still afraid of older dogs, but he loves other puppies.  He is still not quite sure what to think of babies and little kids (“What is wrong with that human?  It is small, unpredictable, and shrieks a lot!”).  He is a LOUD snorer, which TiAn informs me is not uncommon in Boston Terriers (check out this little noisy Boston boy on YouTube!)  And while you’re on YouTube, TiAn says another good way to understand Frankie is to watch this video, but picture little Frankie instead.  Frankie’s last imperfection is his passing gas; TiAn says he can clear a building!  How does something so smelly come out of something so cute and small?
Frankie’s favorite toys are Justin’s ice hockey skates and roller hockey skates.  Frankie drags the ice skates, which are as big as he is and weigh just as much too, around by the laces.  Frankie chews on the roller skates’ rubber wheels, but since this is the only thing Frankie chews on (no furniture, cords, etc.), TiAn considers herself lucky.  Frankie also likes to roll down hills (now there is a YouTube video I want to see!).  Much like Mocha, Frankie is a comfort snob; he likes to sleep on laps and behind the couch cushions.  If your lap is not up to his comfort standard, however, he’ll let you know!

It was a pleasure to paint Frankie!  I knew he would be fun to paint when I saw all the amazing photos that TiAn and Justin have taken of him.  I had so many cute photos to work from and the one I chose really showcased those big, goofy, expressive eyes.  Frankie’s ears ensured there was no monotony of black and white as they were pink and purple all the way (kind of like the kitty, Rizzo)!

Looks like Frankie has a little mischief in his eyes!