Carla's Funky Art


A visit from the RENTS


WOW!!!  What a crazy busy summer!  I have to say it, this has been the BEST SUMMER EVER!  I guess I am making up for last summer, because this one has been over the top.  I was telling Dan the other day that I just can't believe how great this summer has been.  Granted, we have had a PACKED schedule....going, going, going, but it sure has been a blast!

We started off with an amazing adventure to Belize, followed by hanging out with amazing friends and running the 200 mile Ragnar Race.....then to top off it off we had a visit from Dan's parents!  We filled every weekend with fun activities, selling art at the market, and enjoying every tiny ray of sun.  I hate to say that my art has been on the back burner the past few months, but I am inspired with some great new ideas, and ready to get back at it!

We had a great visit with D's parents last week.  The kids were spoiled, with lots of shopping and gifts.  We had a wonderful time listening to each other's stories, and getting caught back up on life.  It is hard when they live so far away.  The boys headed out on a fishing charter with Jolly Mon Charters, and they caught 3 big salmon!  Yahoooo!  What a feast we had!  Orion was able to catch his first salmon, boy was he excited!  The highlight for the kids was little "Cujo" their Japanese Chin, the cutest, ugliest dog ever!  The week flew by in flash, and before we knew up, they were headed back to Carson City.  I secretly longed to go with them and see that beautiful sun they get everyday.

We have one last weekend of summer.......and next week the kids go back to school.  I am looking forward to getting back into a routine again, but NOT having to pack all those school lunches!  My goal for next week is to get back on track with my art. I am in the process of signing up for a few holiday shows.  Currently I am working on some homebrew art to sell at Northwest Brewing Supply.  Can't wait to share some pictures with you!  As much as I hate to admit it, I think I am ready for blustery fall.  Let the leaves fall, bundle up in a sweater, grab a cup of warm coffee, and hide in my studio.  The summer has been crazy, wonderful, and packed with let the hibernating begin! :)

My plan was to add photos to this, but due to complications with my camera (it was on a huge size setting for my art photos, I am struggling on how to upload them onto the website.  Guess I will calling my computer friends today) Stay tuned!

A Birthday Weekend!


Woooo-hooooo!  Today is Orion's 11th birthday! :)  We all had an AWESOME time this weekend.  Yesterday we headed to Seattle with O's friend and had a blast at GAMEWORKS!  After hours of video games, lots and lots of pizza, prizes, and stuffed animals.....we headed home for cake and ice cream.  The kids were all pooped at the end of the day.  :)

I haven't had a lot of time to paint this week, which is a bummer.  I did find some time last night to do some updating on the website.  I uploaded some new work, and plan on adding a portfolio page of my best work.  It is a slow process, but I have made it a top priority to get it done! My goal is to have everything current by the end of the week!  I have limited myself to only an hour of Facebook this week as a motivator, ha! ha!

D and I have been training daily for our big race next month.  I swear by the time we finish it, I am never running again!  Today we put in 6 miles.....I am exhausted! :) I am in 27 miles this week.  What on earth were we thinking signing up for a 200 mile relay race???  When I get my medal at the finish line, I will fall on the ground, roll around, and cry!

Next weekend is Dan's birthday, plus we have the farmers market, AND it is Father's Day! Whew! Sounds like we have another whirlwind weekend!

Happy Sunday!

Last post for the month!

Family, Painting, Travelcarla

I have been pretty proud of myself lately with my blog.  It is hard to find the time to write on here, plus take care of the family and work my real job! :)  The website itself is a disaster and needs to be updated horribly.  I am thinking that next year I will down size or change it up a bit so I can keep up.

We had an AWESOME MEMORIAL WEEKEND.  We decided to take the kids and their friends to the beach cabin this weekend.  Mother nature actually cooperated and it only rained once.  Granted, it is always windy at the cabin but we were prepared.  This was the first summer cabin camp-out of the year, and it is always quite interesting to see how it goes.  For starters, we were not able to find a spatula (umm...where did it go?). So we spent the weekend flipping pancakes and burgers with a pie server.  We also realized we only have one set of sheets for the master bedroom after a puppy peed on the bed.  (at least she peed on Dan's side.)  The hot water tank has decided to leak so we took turns emptying the little dixie cup that we jimmy-rigged together.

The kids enjoyed the beach by digging holes with shovels......making a wall barrier to stop the water from coming in on high-tide, and finding treasures on the beach.  Every little thing they found last weekend they thought was from the Japanese tsunami. We made smores on an open fire and even told a few ghost stories....ooooo...spooky!  Dan caught a little baby fish which was better than being skunked I guess.  We visited with cousin's John and Linda (their cabin is right next door) and even shared a few home brews.

Overall, it was a great weekend!

My bro Marshall, step-dad Jerry and the big D!

Orion and Gabrielle hangin' on the beach.....

Ally and Hailey being teens as usual....

Beth and I!  We have been friends for 30 years!!! WOW I am old!

Dan's baby fish!

Well, with all that beach time we got me thinkin'........

I have been having day dreams of me on the beach in the Caribbean, warm sun, sandy toes, and is my self-portrait for today:

Happy End of May!

One Word.

Family, TravelcarlaComment

How was the weekend you ask?  One word.  SUNNY.

Need I say more???? Ohhhh ya baby......that bright orbit in the sky is a rare thing around here. We Washingtonians need to soak it up while we can..... :)

My Autism and Me, a failed video. :(

Well, here is the deal......I am not very computer savvy. What I really wanted to do was add a video to my blog, but I have failed. :(  The best you guys are going to get is a link. I have added the link below, and would really appreciate it if you guys would take 15 minutes out of your busy day to take a look. The British did a great job on the subject of children with Autism.  Did you know that 1 in 100 children are born with Autism every year?  The numbers are on the rise, and if we all take the time to understand it......maybe we can make a difference in their lives......

My Birthday Pug

Family, PaintingcarlaComment

Well, my birthday has come and gone and I am another year older.  Ugh!  It is funny how time flies!  Sometimes I wonder how I ended up this old, I mean, I feel like I am still 20!   Two more years and I will be over the hill, so I best be enjoying life to its fullest until then!  We had a great birthday/Cinco De Mayo party here at the house with some friends this weekend!  What a blast!

I made my birthday wish, but it did not come true.  The one thing that I wanted for my birthday was a cute little baby pug!  I knew for sure that I wasn't going to get one, but I didn't expect Dan to get me a huge stuffed one!  Yipppppeeeeee!  In honor of my birthday wish I painted my very own pug.  I thought he turned out pretty ugly and perfect just like the real thing!  I think I might hang the painting above Dan's side of the bed so he can feel guilt every night when he goes to bed! Ha! Ha!

Happy May!

Tulip Time!

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Headed out to Skagit Valley AGAIN this past weekend!  The tulips are in full bloom!  We actually had  beautiful sunny weather!  What?  It was in the high sixties, and gorgeous!  We couldn't have asked for a better day.  We headed over to Roozengaarde Farm, paid 5 dollars for parking and hit the fields!  We arrived there in the morning, and I am so glad we did!  The crowds started piling in and traffic was a bit hairy, right around lunch time!  I have to say that that the farms themselves, do a great job of directing traffic, and helping you find a place to park.

After touring the fields, we headed over to La Conner to check out our friend Doug's new art gallery. Doug Bison makes beautiful bronze sculptures.  It was AWESOME!  He has the perfect building to display his Northwest Fine Art.  It you are ever in the area, you should check it out.....Blackfish Gallery.

After visiting for a bit, we walked around the little touristy town of  La Conner, checked out some shops and bought some ice cream cones!  You always have to buy an ice cream cone on a sunny day, especially if you are a Washingtonian!  HA! HA!  All in all, it was an incredible Sunday.  So glad to be outside, enjoying our weather. Here are a few pictures I snapped of the tulips. If you haven't been before, be sure to get the Skagit County Tulip Festival on your bucket list!

Happy Spring!


Family, TravelcarlaComment

The sun is out!  The sun is out!  The sun is out!  Do you know what that means?  The tulips and daffodils are starting to bloom in Skagit Valley.  This is one of my MOST FAVORITE parts of the year!  We took a little detour on the way to my step-dad's for Easter.  The family moaned and groaned about having to go out of our way, but it was WORTH IT!  Look what we found!  Yep, yep, that's right....a DAFFODIL FEILD!  Yahooo! The family doesn't know it yet, but I am making them go back again this weekend to see the tulips.  I just can't help myself, they are sooooo pretty!  Here are some shots I got last week:

If you would like more information the Skagit Valley Tulip HERE :)

Happy Spring!


Family, Paintingcarla2 Comments

"Once upon a time, a family moved to Anacortes.  While they were checking out their new area to live, the man noticed a "Home Brew Store" while shopping with his family in town.  He kept talking, talking, talking, talking, talking about how he wanted to try making beer.  Finally the lady gave in, if only she knew how INSANELY CRAZY his little hobby would be!

Now, the lady has homebrew supplies all over her house!  When she goes to take a shower, there are buckets, hoses, and sterilizers in the bathroom.  When she opens the dishwasher it is full of clean beer bottles.  When she tries to make dinner, she is stumbling over a wort cooler, bottle caps, and some type of mesh bag contraption."



Here is what a typical Sunday looks like at our house:

Why is Dan on the deck you ask?  The short answer: Ally and I kicked him out of the house.  When he makes beer, it makes the house SMELL AWFUL!

Don't get me wrong, it isn't all that bad....I LOVE DRINKING THE BEER, and tasting all of his recipes!  Here are my favorites so far: Imperial Porter with Jack Daniels, Pumpkin Head Ale, and Blanc De Bruges.  Right now he is making me a Cappuccino Stout....what? what?  Beer and coffee mixed together? Ooooooh YEAH!

Another great part of Dan making homebrew is that "best friends" seem to come out of no where.  All the sudden people act like they are your friend and mention "Hey, can I try some of that Homebrew?"  We have never felt so popular before!

If you ever do want to start making Homebrew, I recommend swinging by NorthWest Brewers Supply here in Anacortes.  Larry and Trevor are AWESOME at helping you get started.  They know everything about anything when it comes to makin' beer at home.  My next goal is to start buying stock into their company....with as much money as Dan spends there, we are sure to be RICH! Seriously though, it doesn't cost a lot to get started, and you too can start a hobby on the deck! :D

Here is my painting dedicated to Dan's Homebrew!

"For a quart of Ale is a meal for a King." - William Shakespeare

Mamma Mia!

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We had an AWESOME weekend!  Ally and I got a chance to see MAMMA MIA at the Paramount Theater in Seattle!  It is our FAVORITE MOVIE EVER!  We are always running through the house singing "Dancing Queen".  (The boys think we are nuts!)  The production was great and they had some wonderful talented singers!  My favorite part was the last 10 minutes!  It turned into a comedy ABBA concert!  The cast came out in outrageous costumes from the 70's and sang!  So fun!

After the play we headed over to the CHEESECAKE FACTORY for dinner!  It was over-the-top!  Washington actually gave us a break and decided to be sunny and in the 50's!  All in all, it was one of the BEST DAYS EVER!

12 Reasons to love Thrift Store Shopping


Al and I headed to Goodwill this weekend.  We just love thrift store shopping.  My favorite part is all the secret little treasures you can find.  I also love the fact that I feel like we can buy anything and not have to stress and worry about the price.  I totaled up our finds, and here is what we got.  I thought it was pretty impressive:

1. Large brand-new hoodie for Dan $5.99

2. Burton Snowboard hoodie for me $4.99

3. Volcom sweatshirt for Ally $4.99

5. Volcom Giraffe hoodie with fur $4.99

5. Studded belt for Ally $3.99

6. Brand new Calvin Klein Jeans with tags on for me $7.99

7. Northwest Snowboarders hoodie for Orion $2.99

8. Burton Hoodie for Ally $4.99

9. Yes another hoody for Ally $4.99

10. Brand new snowboarding jacket for Orion $7.99

11. Skinny jeans for Al $4.99

12.  TWELVE MEN'S T-SHIRTS $11.88 (these we purchased so Ally could make a rag rug, it is posted above.)

GRAND TOTAL: $76.04 after tax

minus the money that Ally owes me for the rug and two of the hoodies, my total was


YAHOO, we all got some AWESOME clothes, name brands and it didn't cost us a FORTUNE!!!!!  Ally was able to make a cute rug, and purchased an outfit with her own money!


Hula Hoop Rug


Ally and I finally finished our hula hoop rug!  This ended up being a horrible picture of it, due to the sides being uneven and folding back and you cannot see all of the tassels....but WE DID IT! :)  This little rug was made out of old recycled t--shirts here in the house!  We got the idea from a Family Fun article.  Check it out HERE.  We had a great time cutting, cutting, cutting up the old shirts.  The best part was that some of the shirts we really loved but had they will be in the house forever! :)  The rug itself was easy to make and ended up looking a little "Rastafarian" but we love it none the less.  We put it in our funky kitchen to brighten it up a bit!

Perfect project for the house, since I am always preaching to people about reuse, reduce, recycle!!!!!  Our next goal to save the earth is to actually USE the cloth shopping bags that we bought.  Every time we are at the store we remember that we left them at home!!!!!

Dan's parents sent us some goodies from their cruise in South America.  Ally's little gift came in an AWESOME recycled paper bag.  I did a little research, and they are not that hard to make.  We are making them here at the house to give to people at our booth when we sell things at the farmers market.  Check it out!  Just think.....what if everyone made these?????  NOW that would be a TON OF RECYCLING!!!!!

Makin’ Root Beer!


Pretty lazy three day weekend here at the house.  I just love these weekends!  Ran around all day on Saturday getting errands done so we can lounge around the next two days.  So far, everything is on schedule.

Dan and Orion had a blast last night, makin' a batch of root beer. :)  The kids have been asking for a quite a while when Dan was going to use his homebrew supplies to make them some soda.  We are not big on the kids drinking soda here at the house, but we finally gave in for an extra special treat! Here's what they were up to last night:

Sterilizing bottles......yep it looks like we are a brewery.....

Adding the extract.  Did you know that there are 8 cups of sugar in 4 gallons of homemade root beer?????  Agh!  We will be paying for this at the dentist!

Filling up the bottles!  Orion putting the caps on, that is a lot of hard work. (trust me I know....that is usually my job when Dan makes his homebrew.......I like to pretend I am Laverne and Shirley)


Happy Valentines Day!

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Happy Valentines to all you love birds out there!  I have never been a big fan of this holiday, but none the less, I did a quick sketch for my sketchbook.  I have been playing around with watercolors.  Having a ball doing it,  but I have to say, my watercolor art tends to look like a 3rd grader did it!  Ha! Ha!  I would seriously like to switch mediums for my sketchbook.  Over the years I have used Prismacolor Pencils and ink.  The pages take me a long time to fill in with the pencil.  I also have this bad habit of using the WHOLE page!  I would love to switch to is so portable and seems like it would be a heck of a lot quicker.  The only problem is that I don't know how to paint with them.   Headed to the library tonight to get some technique books, and will keep on practicing.  For now, you will just have to deal with my elementary school art! :)

Ally’s Bento Box


Here is our new "fun" thing to do at our house.  Bento Box creations for Ally's lunch!  I am not sure what the deal with my daughter is.....ever since she was little, she has always been fascinated and obsessed with any thing Oriental......China and Japan are her favorite.  I swear she was reincarnated from an Chinese girl.  :)  So, for a while now, she has been wanting to get a Bento Box for her lunch.  (the whole packing lunch everyday is about to drive me crazy, I don't think she has ever bought lunch in school......we are going on 13 years now of packing it.....ugh.....and I am flat out of healthy lunch ideas.)

What is  a Bento Box?

A bento lunch is a compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in a box.  In Japanese, “bento” or “obento” refers to the packed meal, and “bento-bako” refers to the bento box itself. See the Wikipedia entry on bento for more details.  They usually in small plastic tubs that are round and oval, sometimes square.  The meal typically consists of rice, meat, and some type of vegetable.

Ally finally got her chance to purchase her own Bento Box this last weekend at Uwijamaya.  She was so excited!  She picked out a little pink rectangle that came with portable chop sticks.  Being the frugal girl that she is, I was surprised that she willingly paid with her own money.  She proudly placed down her $20.00 bill with ease at the cash register.

When we got home, I had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into.  I asked her what kind of food was suppose to go in the box?  She replied with a simple answer "it has to have rice mom......and be decorative, it is all about the display!"  DISPLAY? I thought to myself???  I had better check it out online.

WOW!!!!!  YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE STUFF I FOUND ONLINE...THESE LUNCHES ARE AMAZING!   Who knew you could do so much with food?  I have to say, these Japanese mom's are over the top and awesome!  Check out some of these websites I have found:

Digital Bus Stop

Health Secret

There are sooooooo many possibilities.  Needless to say, I am on a mission to find some cool cutters and shapers for my Bento Box creations.


Here is what I have done the last two days, nothing amazing really....but you will just have to wait and see what I come up with after I get done purchasing some amazing Bento Equipment!

Cure for Cabin Fever = Seattle

Family, TravelcarlaComment

Well, after being stuck in the house for days on end, we decided that we ALL had CABIN FEVER!  The kids didn't go to school at all last week due to the BIG snowstorm.  There were a few times last week where I thought about taking my life, ha! ha!  I love them dearly, but there is only so much you can do in the house. Orion at one point used every lego in the house, and I found Ally hiding in her closet making a fort?  We got a bit loopy before the week was through.  Granted, we did have some awesome "snow time" but I was glad to see it all melt away! We thought we would take a jaunt to downtown Seattle, oh how we LOVE that CITY.  We told the kids that we were going on an adventure that consisted of three places but we would not tell them where we were going.  Our first stop consisted of swinging through Freemont to show the kids the Freemont Troll that lies under the Aurora Bridge.  The actual bridge itself was under construction but we still were able to check him out.  The pictures didn't turn out that well due to the nailed boards everywhere, but nobody seemed to mind all that much.  I was a bit surprised at the kids' reaction.  They weren't all that excited about it like I thought they would be.  I do think they were happy to be out of the house though.

Our second surprise was down in the international district.  We took them too Uwajimaya's a huge international grocery store.  Everyone had a BLAST!  There were so many things to see.  Orion picked out some awesome japanese soda, and had a clear glass marble in it......Ally choose all kinds of crazy ramen noodles....and Dan found some dried whole fish in a bag with peanuts.....GROSS!  I of course found some type of weird coffee in a can......with milk?  Hmmmm.....I will let you know how that goes.  Ally spent the most amount of money on a cute little pink Bento Box that she can take to school.  It even came with little chop sticks.  We ended up in the food court (as always) towards the end of our shopping adventure and pigged out on chinese food and cream puffs for dessert. (guess I will start my diet next week!)

Our third and final destination was GAMEWORKS!  Yahooooooo! The kids had a BLAST!  The place was packed because I think everyone else had cabin fever too!  Orion spent most of his money sitting at a tank video game while Ally wandered around overwhelmed and couldn't pick a game to play!  Dan and I had a blast sharing a glass of Manny's (my favorite beer EVER!) and watching the kids.  Bonus of the day????  Al won a Hello Kitty stuffed animal!

After a full 8 hours in downtown Seattle we headed home.  The kids smiled from the back seat while eating their chinese was a great day.  I bet they are going to be wishing for more snow....... :)

The next time you are in Seattle, check him out!  AWESOME!


Knitted trees in downtown = love.

Ooooohhhhh ya! GAMEWORKS!

Oh happy day!  We are outta the house!

Crazy junk food for the ride home!



We don't get a chance to see a lot of snow in our neck of the woods, so when it does, it is SO EXCITING!  Our family LOVES the snow.  Whenever the forecasters predict we are going to get some, we run around the living room doing a "SNOW DANCE"!!!!!  Well, we sure got blasted this year...YAHOOOOOOO!   Here in Anacortes we got over 7 inches of snow!  Hip-hip-hooray.  There are parts of Washington that received over a foot!  (I really wish we lived there!)

We had  blast yesterday playing outside and sledding down our driveway!  We even pulled off OPERATION OLD SALTS!  What is Operation Old Salts you ask?  Well, let me fill you in.  We had a major tragedy here at the house!  WE WERE OUT OF HOT CHOCOLATE!  AGH!  There is no way you can make it through a SNOW DAY with out rich and creamy hot chocolate with extra whip cream!  Our family made a pact that we would sled to Old Salts Grocery Store to get some.  This was a MAJOR FEAT!  We live on top of a huge hill overlooking Burrows Island.  Old Salts is more than a mile away AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL!  The kids were able to sled down some gigantic hills.  We finally made it down....grabbed some hot chocolate (and a bottle of wine) and made it BACK UP THE ENORMOUS HILLS!  Yahooooooooooooo!  We were snow rock stars!

The night ended with a Xbox Kinect party downstairs in the rec room.  We all played "Just Dance" and had a blast.  I even beat Ally on the song "Pump It!"  (that was a really big deal here at our house!)  Now it is back to reality and a new day.  The schools are closed down for their third day in a row, my car is still stuck out in the road, and I need to get to work.  It ought to be an interesting day.  For now......I will just look out the window and enjoy the little gift that the Snow Gods brought to us......and keep doing the happy snow dance! :)

I received some Belizian mail in the morning!  Some art cards from Lola's Art....I won a raffle last month!

Yes, we are really this adorable.......

Here is Ally in her "Super Star" sledding outfit, I mean, does it get any brighter?

I think Orion had the most fun sledding!  He was a sledding superstar!

Yahoo!  We made it to Old Salts!

My life in the click of the camera


Well, here is a good one for you.  I just happened to get this "live" action shot the other day while were in the Fred Meyer parking lot.  Welcome to my life.  First of all, I hope you feel sorry for me, because I am starting to feel sorry for myself.  This has to be one of my all time favorite photos due to the fact that is SO REAL!  Orion, as you can see is perfectly content staring at himself in the reflection of the car window and making faces. (Yes, and he was rambling on as well, too bad I didn't have a camcorder.)  Ally is OF COURSE staring at her reflection as well (as she does a hundred times a day) and is fixing her hair.  UGH!

Three things I have learned in 2011 about raising children:

1. Pick and choose your battles folks,  I can live with temporary pink dye in her hair as long as she gets straight A's.

2.  Never throw away a Lego "person" because children will never forget, but it is OK to throw away a lego if you step on it in the middle of the night.

3.  Do NOT tell them something that you are going to do if you have no intention of doing it.

23 Days? What?

Family, Farmers Market, Paintingcarla

Holy smokes, it has been a looooooong time since I have updated my blog! 23 days?  WOWSERS!!!!   Christmas was great but the month of December just flew by!  We had plans every weekend, plus things during the week!  AGH!  Lets get you up to date on what has been going on in our lives:

December 10th was the Holiday Express Show at the Depot!  A big shout out thank-you to Dan for always helping me with my booth!  Without him, Carla's Funky Art would not  exist!

I took the fam to see The Nutcracker here in Anacortes.  What an awesome show!  Ally had several friends that were in it, and she loved to watch them preform.  Dan fell asleep as expected, but Orion loved it!  He did mention at intermission that it would be "way better" if the dancers used "words!" ha! ha!

As some of you know, Dan makes homebrew.  (If you ever run into him, never EVER bring it up or he will talk your ear off!)  We made several batches to hand out to friends and family for Christmas gifts.  I spent hours putting caps on bottles like Laverne and Shirley.  Here was the painting used to make the labels.

Orion and I went on a Christmas carriage ride and sang Christmas carols in old town! Lang's Horse and Pony Farm were giving free rides through town every Saturday!

Yep, yep!  We had an AWESOME Christmas!  Austin is buried on the couch!

The only thing I wanted for Christmas, I didn't get.  A little tiny pug.  That is why I made Dan this adorable plate!  I will serve him breakfast, lunch and dinner on it until I get one!

Well, I hope you all survived the holidays as well as we did!  I have lots of plans for 2012!  The big unveiling from my California commissioned pieces will be revealed in March.  Dan and I are signing up for some new art shows.  We are going to be making prints, and a different selection of cards.  See ya next year! :)