You gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart

Love sucks. Love in every compacity can really suck. Love means we will eventually end up with a broken heart for one reason or another.  Someone might die that we love. We might start to dislike someone who we once adored. Someone can just walk away from you without reason and leave you crying picking up that broken heart up off the floor.


You gotta love like there's no such thing as a broken heart Journal Watercolors  watercolor blogger watercolor artist old dominion country music art blogger


I’ve spent most of my relationships running on fear. Friendships and lovers fear was always the driving force. Fear was choking me through every decision I made with people. Would this make them leave? Would this make them think something negative of me? Would the tiniest action I made make them just leave and never look back?

These fears also made me lash out in anger. If I leave first they can’t abandon me. Seemed like a safe route.

It was also a route to a lot of regret and loneliness.  How was I ever to find loving relationships if I didn’t believe it was actually possible? I was confident enough to believe in myself when it came to running a successful business in a competitive market. I was confident enough to believe in everything but my ability to love someone that would love me back.

When I heard “Like there’s no such thing as a broken heart” by Old Dominion it really simplified the path I needed to take. Sometimes it’s just certain words that finally make your brain click. Rather than living in a world of anxiety and distrust, why not just give your heart out because you want to, expecting nothing back?


Sure you can get hurt. 

But you know what’s worse than hurt?




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30 things that I learned in my 30th year.

30 things that I learned in my 30th year. Drawing Journal  turning 30 thirties growth artist blog

So I made it past the threshold of a decade known as the “thirties”.

I am writing this in my room currently between guitar attempts. It’s the last few hours of my 30th year. My phone is away. My computer is down. Just me, this guitar and a journal. In this moment I realize how much I have changed in the past year because the Heather that was here 365 days ago wouldn’t have been content in this moment by herself.

365. 365 days is what took me to evolve from the person that I was April 25th, 2016 to who I am today, on April 25th, 2017.  I’ve been through this process of 365 days 30 times already, yet for the first time, I really feel like I am content with myself at the conclusion of this merry-go-round. A year ago today I was laying on the couch most of the day crying. My mind had no control. And now here I am just 365 days later feeling completely content. For the first time in my life, I can say I am happy. Truly, 100% happy.

Money hasn’t been flowing lately. The state of the world is pretty stressful. I haven’t reached my weight loss goal yet. I haven’t gotten married or been with my soul mate. My car still has that pretty big dent on it. I still clash with friends here and there. But I am really, really damn happy.  I wouldn’t even say content. Sincerely happy with where my life is going.  There are so many possibilities before me that I was just too damn blind to see.

This happiness came from all I learned this year.  I learned so much this year that I would have never anticipated the knowledge that these 365 days would give me. There was no grand plan for age 30. No intention of changing my life. It was just another day closer to my passing in this world and surviving.

Perhaps it is because I finally expected nothing, I finally gained everything that I really needed.

During my 30th year, I took the time to make notes of the things I learned by 30. They have been a mess of notes in journals, Facebook status updates, and random texts to friends. But when it came to the conclusion of the year I realized the importance of all these things that I have learned. These things that I have learned have brought a calmness to my soul that I have never had. For that, I have gratitude for every damn moment that I have experienced this year.

  1. Don’t Drive with your fucking brights on.
  2. Pizza is always there for you.
  3. People are more complex than you realize. Their struggles are often silent. I found that 99% of the time their terrible actions have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them.  I stopped taking it so personally. I wished them well in my heart and forgive them for myself. I spent time thinking about how thankful I was for the good times. Most importantly I started to remember to apologize for the terrible things I did to others when I was struggling with my demons. No one is innocent.
  4. Ripping an acrylic nail off really hurts.  I need to just use my adult money and get them taken off instead of thinking hope and endless fiddling is going to get them off. Once the nails had been removed, I also realized that I had been wasting $900 a year on fake nails which I spent most of my time being embarrassed because of how damn dirty they got.
  5. Alcohol is bad for me and I should really just stick to beer or wine.  While I used to be a bad ass like John Wayne and take out 8 shots of whiskey in a night and lived to tell the tale, those days are gone. Now I can go from two shots to jumping on cars and making people wonder if they should hug me or restrain me.  When I switched from shot after shot I noticed this magical thing started happening – I can remember how I got into bed last night! SCORE.
    Also, the hangovers? My God. My body loves to punish me with deadly force for my tomfoolery. I need to send out a formal apology to everyone over 30 that ever canceled plans on me for being hung over. Many apologies. I feel your pain now.
  6. Art really makes me happy. For years I have neglected my paintings. My drawings. My writing. I put down the guitar. I just stopped everything I loved to pursue nothing but photography.  I’ve reconnected with this part of me and realized how much satisfaction I really got in the creation process. The idea that I can put my phone down, put music on and just connect with my creative side is something I am eternally grateful for.  Let’s just say I don’t ever get bored or text for hours anymore. The art I have created with all the time I used to mindlessly scroll through facebook is mindblowing to me.
  7. The only shoes I really need is cowboy boots. 
  8. People will leave me and I am ok with that. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss them. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel hurt. But it also means I spend a lot less time stressing about phone calls back or fights. If they leave – they leave. If they love me like I know they do deep down inside, they come back. Since I came to learn this simple fact any tifs with people have gone far smoother and reconciled quickly.
  9. I really hate texting. Turns out I am getting arthritis in my neck (so are you, probably) from looking down at that little glowing box all fucking day long.  However, most people in the world hate talking on the phone now because everything can be accessed by text. So I just need to deal with that frustration when trying to get a hold of people. I would much rather spend time with that person or call them than text meaningless things back and forth all day. Unless it’s Tiffany because I cannot go a day without sending her memes.
  10. Sleeping schedules are important and I really need one. 
  11. People do not need my 15 selfies a week.  People don’t need the daily update on what I look like or what shirt I am wearing. Give some mystery. Wear the shirt for me. Do my makeup to go out into the world, not to post a selfie for some likes.  Unless I am doing something really awesome, put the phone down and let the people I am with see my face.
  12. Take the selfies anyway. I just go back to them when I am having an ugly day.
  13. That I have become the person that says “Music was way better back in my day”. 
  14. That I actually like my face now that I don’t wear a ton of make-up.  It started as an experiment but this year I started to wear less make-up no matter where ever I went. I set a timer on my phone – 10 minutes. That’s the only time I have to paint my damn face anymore. The benefits of this experiment have been that I look in the mirror in the morning and am far more kind to who I see looking back. Also, I am on time to appointments more often.
  15. Mad Men was right about everything. 
  16. While it may be one of the hardest things for me to do, I trust that everyone is just doing the best that they can.  After training my brain to have this thought when I am upset with someone, it has made my conflicts go away and made more relationships stick.
  17. I shouldn’t have quit guitar in high school. In my life, I have been given three guitars to play. Without asking for them. Without mentioning my want to play. I always dreamed of playing guitar and writing songs but never did so because I thought I wasn’t pretty enough for anyone to ever listen to me. My guitar teacher couldn’t remember my name and taught more about the bands he hangs out with than how to hold a guitar pick correctly. I put blame on all of these reasons for why I gave up. Now I realized that was all bullshit and jamming on this box has given me more joy in my life than I can describe. I don’t know what I am doing or where I am going with it, but it makes my heart explode so I’ll stick with it.
  18. That I didn’t ever really enjoy having fake nail, hair, or eyelashes. The nails made me useless and caught dirt. The hair took me hours a day in brushing and caring for. The eyelashes made me have to check myself in the bathroom at Disneyland way too many times for my taste. Why was I doing all this? I’ve found shedding all of the things that were supposed to make me more beautiful is what really made me more beautiful.
  19. My parents are really awesome. It’s been easy to blame them for everything. Be irritated. Stomp my feet when I don’t get what I want. That’s what you are supposed to do right? Spend your life disappointing them so you can blame them for their disappointment? I have found showing them gratitude for the bullshit I have put them through was a far more productive way to go about things. They’ve seen me at rock bottom and loved me anyway. This year they should have possibly disowned me or kicked me out, but instead, they just held me when I cried my eyes out from my most shameful moment. They supported me in my passion to re-build myself, rather than nagging at me for my faults that probably deserved to be nagged out.  When making choices with me they could have chosen fear or love, and they always chose love even when I didn’t deserve it.
  20. I really want a little farm one day.  Most of my life I just drifted and took what was given to me, which is probably why I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in. I realized what my dream home was. A small, cozy house with a lot of land to rescue dogs, chickens, and any other animal I want. A peace away from the storm. I want to build things on my little farm. I want to make art on my little farm. I want to make music. It’s not here in my reality yet but at least I know I am heading there.
  21. I don’t need to worry about if a guy likes me or not.  Most of the last few years have been consumed with carrying my ex with me. He would wake up one moment and hate me. It was a cycle that I don’t even need to go into, but just say it changed who I was. I dated men I didn’t even like just so I could worry about if they liked me. Sure when they left I didn’t even miss them, but I missed being wanted. I was hungry for it.  So imagine how I handled it when I met someone I really did care about? Energy is energy and all my bad juju definitely did nothing to help that grow.  All the men I choose to talk to now I think of what I think about them, rather than worrying if they want me. I’ve grown happier. I listen to love songs again. I live through love for myself, rather than fear of being left. It has made so much difference.
  22. Men and women are really different. I’ve been operating my whole life with the thinking of “well I wouldn’t do that” when it comes to something any man in my life would do. Be it romantic relationships, friendships or family. There was a judgment I cast on the men in my life because I put them up to the standards by which I would do things. I have come to realize their brains work completely differently. I can learn to communicate or I can learn to condemn. Communicating so far has been the more useful course of action.
  23. When given the choice between love and fear, always choose love. Always. 
  24. I am never alone and I am truly loved. Through my 31 years, I have spent feeling like I am totally alone. When really I just hadn’t found my tribe yet. I’ve always had a family that loved me dearly. I had these friends that I just hadn’t met yet who would get me through the toughest time of my life. They would love me enough to stop enabling, and start empowering. Rather than leaving me at my worst, they stuck through it and had faith. I am one lucky broad to have this small group of friends that I want to take to Disneyland right now so much.
  25. Real love makes you want to be a better person. When you love someone completely. Be it a friend, family member or friend, they bring out the best in you. You see the light that they see in you and you want to be better for them. So I’ve learned to give back love in the best way I can  – being the person they deserve to love. I learned what it was like to love someone’s flaws, the past, present and possibility of the future. I learned to love them even when they broke my heart.
  26. It doesn’t make me less of a person to accept help. It doesn’t make me less of an independent person. I wasn’t just put on this planet to give love, I was also put here to receive it. I learned that perhaps it’s a bigger kindness to let someone buy you dinner rather than taking away their chances to show kindness. I let people be kind to me more often, and oddly people just keep being kinder the more I am open to receiving it.
  27. I learned to not be ashamed of the scars. There is a power to vulnerability that I was always in denial about. I was too stubborn to admit my pain and hurt without conveying it in a way that lashed out to test people to see if they would stay. Suppressing feelings in a box and saying “I’m ok” is fine and dandy until you are using that pain as a weapon. I let myself feel the feelings now. I let myself be honest with people that I am working on myself. There is strength in vulnerability because in that moment you can face your demons head on and deal with them, or you can run and be in denial. Denial was the road I took. And now I choose vulnerability. I’ve been where I’ve been. I’ve done what I’ve done, and every day I’ll get better.
  28. Saying “Thank you” is better for the soul than “I’m sorry”. Don’t get me wrong, I still apologize when I am an asshole. We all know I need to because I can be a big asshole. However, I used to find myself apologizing for the mere action of existing it seemed like. If I cried to someone about what I was going through, I said “I’m sorry” like I was a nuisance to listen to. It’s been an adjustment but I find myself saying “Thank you for being there for me” a whole lot more and not only making people in my life feel more appreciated, but I feel better about myself as a person.  Late for an appointment? “Thank you for your patience!”.
  29. Most importantly I learned to get off the victim couch. It was a nice soft comforting couch. It told me I was always safe there. When I had bad behavior it justified me telling me “it’s ok because those people in the past made you like this”. When I wanted to pick up a bottle I told myself it was ok because of everything I had been through. In a split second, I could blame everyone else for the conflicts and losses in my life.  I could be an asshole to people because… well I was damaged from all these mean people in my life and had to make people fight to love me. This, in turn, made me the asshole. Sitting on the victim couch will always eventually make you the total and complete asshole.  Once I accepted that in some shape or form I attracted everything in my life to me, I felt less anger. I felt like forgiving. I started looking at the mirror more. The realization that I had a part to play in all of these awful experiences gave me a sense of power. My negativity brought more negative into my life or made me assume that good people were bad. Well, looks like I turned into the negative asshole.
    Off the victim couch, into real life. The empowerment that I feel from this I cannot put into words. It changed my world.
  30. I should always try to be a bit more like Willie Nelson.

30 things that I learned in my 30th year. Drawing Journal  turning 30 thirties growth artist blog

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Blue Jay Watercolor and new experiences

Blue Jay Watercolor and new experiences Journal Watercolors  music guitar playing blue jay spirit animal

I took a chance and decided to go back to my roots.

Recently I have become obsessed. Obsessed with an old love that I fell away from about 13 years ago.

Music and writing. Why did I let it go?  What it all comes down to is my severe insecurity. That I wasn’t smart enough to learn how to play the guitar. That no one would ever listen to me sing a song I wrote because I wasn’t “pretty” enough. While it’s a shame that it took me until now to really look in the mirror and be happy with who I am, I am not looking to hold on to regret.  Better now than never, right?

I’ve been playing guitar for about 4 weeks now. It goes from frustrating to exciting all in one evening. One moment I am wondering if my fingers are even capable of moving in the correct way, and the next I am jamming out and feeling a happiness that I have never felt.

A happiness that is quickly interrupted by me completely ruining my rhythm and failing to switch chords smoothly. But, hey, you can’t become a talented guitar player in 4 weeks, can you?

Blue Jay Watercolor and new experiences Journal Watercolors  music guitar playing blue jay spirit animal

Painting hasn’t been forgotten by me, as sometimes my fingers just can’t handle the guitar anymore. Upon reading about the symbolism of the Blue Jay, I felt compelled to paint a little tribute to the creature who I feel that I can relate to. Clarity, vibrancy, allegiance, curiosity, and determination. At this point in my life, I have come to a certain amount of clarity about there I am going and what I want to achieve. And I am definitely determined enough to beat on this guitar until I get this goal of mine achieved.


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I have the traveling bug and I just can’t get rid of it

I have the traveling bug and I just can't get rid of it Journal Oil Paintings  Travel trailer shasta travel trailer Joshua Tree National Park

As a wedding photographer I’ve had a lot of chances to travel in the last 7 years of my career.  Most of these places were on my travel “bucket list” and somehow I would get what I wanted from the universe and book a wedding in that location.

This year when I started to reconnect with my other artistic abilities I decided I would create my first project. A symbolistic bucket list serious of the places I wish to go.

But why a travel trailer?

In the past few years the vagabond life has intrigued me. It’s partially why I haven’t bought a home or signed a lease to rent a home. Currently living at home with my parents I have complete freedom. I can move anywhere I want. I can travel. I can make choices. I’m not tied down. I have a place to lay my head at night but can simple pick up and take off for a week to LA, Puerto Rico, or anywhere I damn well please or have the money for.

This was mostly inspired by how my Grandfather, Leland lived.  Through my whole childhood I remember him with his beautiful travel trailer that he travelled the whole country with. If he wanted to park in our backyard, he was a California resident. If he wanted to move to Colorado, off he went. If Alaska was in his heart he hitched that trailer up to his truck and within days it would be his home once more. Most people perhaps wouldn’t want a life like that. One without roots.

He had roots though. He always came back to California to his family. He would come back with photographs and stories of his adventures. It is probably partially why I got the photo bug. The man carried that camera on him everywhere and documented all of his travels.

I have the traveling bug and I just can't get rid of it Journal Oil Paintings  Travel trailer shasta travel trailer Joshua Tree National Park
My grandpa clearing snow off his trailer in Yale, British Columbia. 1993.


I have the traveling bug and I just can't get rid of it Journal Oil Paintings  Travel trailer shasta travel trailer Joshua Tree National Park
Grandpa’s travel trailer in Yale, British Columbia, 1993. His beloved pup, Brandy.

I guess he is also where I got my attachment to little dog friends.  His dogs were always spoiled and travelled the country with him. Look at that spoiled little Chihuahua in her sweater to keep her nice and toasty. I remember him always picking up chicken patties and cooking them up just for her. What a little princess. Oh how I wish my dog Poot would chill out enough for some adventures.  Oh the things he could see!

I have the traveling bug and I just can't get rid of it Journal Oil Paintings  Travel trailer shasta travel trailer Joshua Tree National Park

Oh look! It’s me! 1986 when my grandpa went camping in his trailer at Casa De Fruita. At the time he had his little dog Pixie, chilling back there. Big old tall grandpa with a tiny dog. As you can see from my face I already loved the trailer and camping even at just a few months old. Oh, and I also had an incredible sense of style. And chubby thighs. And crazy hair that wasn’t brushed. Ok I guess nothing much as changed since this photo was taken. I am just taller now. 🙂

I decided that rather than paint his travel trailer as a tribute to him, I wanted to mix it in with my own dreams. My own individual little trailer going on my own little journey inspired by my grandfather’s adventures.

Adventure awaits! Therefore I paint and plan.

“My Home in Joshua Tree” is available on Society 6.

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The people you love will change you

The people you love will change you Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist san francisco bay area watercolor artist motivational. love law of attraction happiness art blogger

The truth to this is heavy.

We crash into each other. Just one day we are going about our business and we meet these connections in our lives. It could take years from the moment of meeting, but eventually we fall in love with those people in some way shape or form. Through those relationships we grow together. We grow apart. Sometimes we collide in such a way that the bond is broken.

I find myself completely changed by each of these connections. Whether I loved them for a moment, or my entire life. Whether I broke their heart or they broke mine.

Some changes have harmful. Some changes have changed the entire way my heart works. There have been many days that have passed in my 30 years that I was bitter about the way people I loved had changed me. As time has passed and I’ve matured into a woman I’ve learned that it all happened for a reason. I am grateful for all of the changes.  Because as of right now I am truly happy for the first time in my life.

So truly happy.  I may not have a lot of money right now. I may have a broken heart. I may miss a lot of people that have come and gone from my life. I may not have my dream body yet. But right now is good enough for me. I feel like I have spent most of my life in this fog of uncertainty and now I can finally see that God damn beautiful sun.

I am fucking happy. And that is awesome.

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Always be the black sheep

I’ve spent a long time trying to not be seen. As a 5’10” woman who in the 2nd grade was already 5’7″… I always stuck out. It bothered me deeply. I was teased endlessly even when I was a skinny kid for being a “cow” because I was just plain bigger than the rest of the kids my grade. For some reason I let that way of thinking that I needed to be like everyone else become one of my goals.


Always be the black sheep Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist original art motivational make your own path black sheep

The world started to mold me, and I allowed it.  From this tall, unique creature my parents were so proud of into a jell-o mold. Why? For what? 

It’s not like when I dressed up in all the white wool that I could blend in. I was still tall. I was still louder than the average person. I still preferred boots and jeans over a short dress and heels. There I was with all this limitless potential to be such a stand out individual and I was wasting it stressing out over being the tall one in the back of the group photo with the girls.

I remember specifically when I was at an artists retreat in 2015 how stressed I was to fit in. All the tiny people with their skinny jeans, saggy beanie hats, vintage sunglasses playing dress up so they could hopefully be asked to have their portrait taken. Instead of taking in the moment of being in this stunning canyon I literally spent the entire trip comparing myself to every other single person there. Why didn’t I look like them? Why wasn’t I one of them?

I spent $1500+ to spend a week dissecting myself and trying to fit in rather than just being who the fuck I was and diving into my creative self. How sad is that? An experience that could have been so inspiring for my soul turned into something that really crushed my self esteem and made me doubt myself more than ever.

We all know who we really are. If you really take the time to step away from social media, step away from the company you keep, and look deep down in what you fantasize doing in your life. There you will find yourself on the big screen of your mind. You will see that person and really love them. But do you let yourself become that person… or do you just let them go and put them back in the box?

Through my whole life I always had a penchant for Rock n’ Roll and Country music. I didn’t like doing my hair too much. I didn’t like frilly nails or heels. There was a point in 2016 where I looked at myself in the mirror and saw so many things I didn’t love.

The irony? The things I didn’t like were things that just weren’t me. But things I thought I needed to fit a mold.

There was my expensive hair extensions that took hours out of my week to maintain. Acrylic nails that I was spending $80 a week on. Uncomfortable pin-up dresses and outfits. Heels that made my feet hurt. Fake eyelashes because the ladies I hung out with wore them so I figured that was how to be beautiful. I even listened the music in my own car that was what they wanted to listen to instead of what I loved.  God damnit Heather, cut off this shit and put on the fucking ‘Stones.

It took rock bottom. But I lost the fake hair. The fake nails. I sold off most of all that uncomfortable shit that I would force myself to wear. I even got rid of the push up bras that lied to the world about my bust size. I put my nerd t-shirts back on. I wore those old boots to every fancy occasion because they were my version of fancy.

Something changed. I looked in the mirror and knew I could go to bed with that person every night. That person was someone I really fucking liked.

Yeah I have lost a lot of friends since I began this transformation. Yes things got really dark for awhile. I felt alone, depressed and isolated. In the end of this transformation though I found something more than just myself.

I found the other black sheep out there. The creators. The free spirits. The believers. The dreamers. They came to me like a magnet. There I was for a moment feeling like I was completely alone in the world listening to the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, and embracing my Willie Nelson obsession… when those cool black sheep poked me to take the headphones off and asked me what I was jamming to. And they were into it. And I was into what they had playing in their headphones.

Being the black sheep is awesome. It’s a shame it took me 30 years to realize that’s what I was. But it’s better now than never.


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What is a soulmate? It’s not what you think….

What is a soulmate?

What is a soulmate? It's not what you think.... Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist soulmates illustrators astrology

I had the wrong idea of what a soul mate was most of my life. We grow up being told a soul mate is like the Disney movies. Everything is perfect. They are perfect for each other. There’s no fighting. There’s only peace, love, fluff, and talking animals.

I am here to tell you that is utter bullshit. 

Now, I am not saying that soul mates don’t exist. As I truly with all of my heart and soul believe that they do. I am not the cynical one that believes we should just settle for whoever will do. Settle for the first person that can put up with us.  That soulmates don’t exist because there isn’t a single person out there that you won’t have conflict from.

Quite the opposite.

A soul mate is something that will hit you like a hurricane. You will be completely shocked at what to do with yourself when you meet them. What you think will be a normal day will become a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. One moment you are grabbing your favorite coffee from Starbucks, and the next you’re staring at someone and feeling absolutely insane because your heart feels like it will burst. Hands start sweating.  You keep smiling and looking away to keep your cool. This stranger that you always wished they existed is sitting there in front of you. I must be a complete lunatic, you think to yourself while they talk to you.  They talk and your responses can come out effortlessly without overthinking. No strategy game is needed because you feel like you have known this person your entire life.

You have known them. Because you asked for them.

This person will not bring nothing but sunshine into your life. They will make you cry. They will make you doubt yourself. They will shake you to your very core. They will do all this in a way that reaches you deep down into your soul. The experience you hold with them with slide slowly through the cracks of your denial which says “I don’t need to grow”. Those cracks will soon run up the walls and shatter them completely, leaving you vulnerable. And there is something so amazing even though you feel like a complete mess.  What they have done is shown you that you are capable of greatness. That you have such incredible places that you can go, and that you were settling for the mediocrity that you thought was good enough. Your soulmate will not only love you passionately for who you are, but expose to you the amazing person that you can be in the future. They fall in love with the past, the present, and the future. This isn’t to be confused with a terrible connection that breaks you and makes you question your self worth. A soul mate makes you realize your self worth. And makes you realize that you deserve so much more than you are settling for. You deserve to be the greatest version of yourself.

Life can tear you apart. Insecurities. Our damage. The chaos we forge around ourselves to keep our egos safe. If you are lucky that soulmate will always come back to you. And even if you lose them forever, you will be linked forever. Linked forever in a way that you two will never forget.

So I painted that connection. It’s so powerful and I just felt like I had to make a visual representation of it.

You will find your soulmate. They will come at you like a hurricane. I promise you. 


For sale on Etsy —-> CLICK HERE

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Bohemian Heart Wing kid’s rocking chair DIY project

As I’ve mentioned before in my blog, I have a penchant for old and broken things. So when I find this rickety  $9 chair at a local thrift store in Manteca, I had to pick it up for my niece.

I wasn’t going to leave it as is, of course. It was just a basic solid wood chair. The owner before me seemed to have used a staple gun around the seat to put some sort of cushion and fabric on. After a good hour of prep work that involved a razor blade and pliers, I was able to remove all the jagged little staples that could possibly give my niece a good stab.

Bohemian Heart Wing kid's rocking chair DIY project Home Decor  gypsy kids DIY furniture restoration Bohemian Decor ideas


After the sanding and staple removal was complete. In came the paint! I used some FolkArt Chalk paint. Lessons I learned : The roller is a complete waste of time.  I ended up having a far easier time painting this with a regular art acrylic paint brush. And while the paint says that you don’t need a primer – for lighter shades of paint I would really recommend it. Next time! I love the super matte finish. Definitely unlike any other crafting paint that I have ever used. I have to also mention that sanding this down gave it a really great effect. The paint almost falls off like chalk. I guess they named it correctly. 🙂

Bohemian Heart Wing kid's rocking chair DIY project Home Decor  gypsy kids DIY furniture restoration Bohemian Decor ideas   Bohemian Heart Wing kid's rocking chair DIY project Home Decor  gypsy kids DIY furniture restoration Bohemian Decor ideas
Bohemian Heart Wing kid's rocking chair DIY project Home Decor  gypsy kids DIY furniture restoration Bohemian Decor ideas

I measured out the seat to make sure I would be painting my design in the middle. Personally, I wanted to hand paint it. However, I am sure if you were making a little rocking chair of your own you could transfer your design on to the wood. I ended up painting this with just two colors, and then sanding it down as well. It added some really cool texture to the red heart!  After it was all sanded to the level of distress that I wanted, I sprayed two coats of acrylic sealing spray.

My niece just loves this rocking chair.  She hasn’t seen this finished version, but she has been rocking back and forth in the original chair for weeks since I first picked this up from the thrift store. What was once junk is now her own one of a kind gypsy, country style rocking chair!

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Finding your personal vision

Here is something all artists can really relate to. How do I find my own personal style?

Step One : Watch tutorials or take classes to learn basic techniques

Step Two : Stop giving a fuck and do what comes to your pretty damn heart.

I’ve spent most of my life an artist. I emulated others. Copied styles. Looked intensely at reference photos. It was a lot, a LOT of fan art from various nerd obsessions that I had acquired over the years.  Photography stole me for the past 7 years, and I dropped the pencil. I sold my brushes. At first I had these wide eyes and photographed from the heart. But the same thing happened to me that happened to my illustrations… I started to lose myself.

I lost myself in the comparisons. For a bit I even concerned myself with other photographer’s work spaces that maybe if I just had that hip, minimalistic office style like it would make me into this cool photographer that they were. Because that is how it works right? Paint my walls white and all of a sudden have a green thumb for all of these perfect plants around my work station that has only 5 items tops on the desk? That would make me turn my black and whites into the exact black and whites that other photographers were doing. That’s how I would get the same amount of likes. I would have 30K instagram followers and they would be asking me for workshops! YES!!!

Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. Not by a long shot.

So I decided to just… be happy.

I turned back into art that was created for me. Bought some brushes for the first time in 14 years. Watch a few tutorials on watercolor (Skillshare is amazing, by the way) and oil painting. I made gifts for my friends. I painted fanart again without looking at references. I just made pretty things that I loved creating. And suddenly something happened :

I was excited about photography again. I was excited about ALL art again. I realized I had a gift and a vision people loved all along. When did I get swept away by this internet full of photographers? When did I forget that I love painting chickens and fan art and anything my little heart desired?

Finding your personal vision Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist painter Bay Area artist artist blog advice for artists   Finding your personal vision Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist painter Bay Area artist artist blog advice for artists

Honestly, I can’t tell you when that happened to me. It was a slow decay at my creative heart that crept in without any sound. I wasn’t prepared for something to pick apart the very foundation of which I had based my whole life on. But there I was, not looking forward to art anymore. I was still excellent at it. I still let the excitement of my clients absorb into me. But it was being done out of fear of not doing a good job, rather than passion for creating something unique and beautiful made with my heart.

Your heart is a pretty amazing thing. No one else has one quite like you. What I’ve realized at this point in my life (it only took me a mere 24 years of being an artist), is that putting anything out of your mind that doesn’t bring love and happiness to your art will kill your creativity. Turn on music that makes your soul explode, rather than looking at art with the amount of likes that you wish you could get.  Close your eyes and use your own visualizations – every little detail. Whatever you pictured you can create. But only if you allow yourself to release the blocks that you though you needed to hold your creativity up.


Minimalistic offices are boring when you can have these little guys instead.

Finding your personal vision Journal Watercolors  watercolor artist painter Bay Area artist artist blog advice for artists

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The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project – My room!

In my journey for self love and artistic discovery, I found that there is something that really helps the mind calm – a wonderful bedroom.  I have always had a love of old, broken things made beautiful. Bohemian and Gypsy style. Heirlooms mixed with junk. New pieces mixed with old. Gold and rust. Cracks and dust. Modernism and antique.

Turning 30 last year I really decided to put my heart and soul into my art. I’ve been creative since I can remember. So in order to have a nice place to calm myself, meditate, or read I decided my room would be an art project. It is far from done, but I am loving the treasures I have found and created so far.  It brings me calm. The light shines through my windows and dances on the mirrors.

It’s a place that is authentically me. I can paint for hours in this room. I feel relaxed when I lay on my acupuncture mat before bed to get rid of then tension of the day.  It took me 30 years but I am finally living in a little space that I can say is really my space.


The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas

My mirror collage is one of my favorite parts of the room. While I will go a bit more in depth to the pieces once I feel like it is truly finished, I felt compelled to share a bit about it now. I will admit that I have a total passion for vintage pieces. However, I will never count out a beautiful piece that one day will be vintage!  

The chevron mirrors are from Target. I originally was going to split them up, but felt like they just looked way too good together. The other mirrors came from thrift stores found locally in the Bay Area. That beautiful, unique starburst piece on the lower left came from Burlington Coat Factory of all places.  I felt like I needed to bring a bit more of the red wall into the pieces, so I chose to hang up a beautiful “Amor” necklace with the sacred heart (purchased at the Betty Page store in San Francisco)that I had in my jewelry box.

The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas   The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas

A mix of DIY, random discoveries at second hand stores, and family hand-me-downs. I’ve been holding on to those beautiful textile pieces that I found at yard sales for about ten years that I picked up for photoshoots. Finally they have a use! While they were never featured in any of my photo sessions, they do work well with my colorful bohemian decor.  They frame a beautiful DIY wall piece that I created from a rubber floor mat ($7 thrift store find!), some spray paint, and some bronze acrylic paint to finish it off.  All the beauty of a rustic iron art piece… without having a iron art piece over my head. 

The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas

One of my favorite parts of my room is this little piece.  If you know me, you know I am totally a whiskey girl. Give me a juke box and a class of jack at the local dive bar and I will be guaranteed to have a good night. Just don’t give me the whole bottle, then it might be a bad night for everybody 😉 But, I digress…

My little brother was given this bottle of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel in celebration of the birth of his daughter. Rather then tossing it into recycling I just fell in love with the shape and knew I would eventually use it for a project. I’ve been keeping a hold of those beautiful dried flowers for 4 years now that were given to me as a client gift for taking maternity photos. It finally hit me that they would go perfectly into the Jack Daniel’s bottle. The dead flower’s gold hue complimented the gold of the Jack Daniel’s logo. It’s so simple but I am ridiculously obsessed with it!

The teal crystal came from Target. The clear crystal was sent as a gift from a wonderful ebay seller! That beautiful angel wing dish is from one of my favorite online shops, Junk Gypsy.

The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas   The Gypsy / Boho Bedroom project - My room! Home Decor  vintage DIY red wall bedroom Gypsy decor ideas DIY shelves Boho chic Bohemian Decor ideas

Once again, I put a mixture of the new, old, and special. I live in a rather small space (9×9) so there really isn’t room for bookshelves. I knew I wanted a place to store all of my books and kindle at night that was safe from furry friends knocking it over. So I found these crates at Joanne‘s($7 each). They come in a raw wood, but I HATE the chemical usage of stain you normally can find. I hate the smell! I hate how sticky it all is. So I ordered some PureColor Eco-Friendly Stain in Brunette.  I can’t rave enough about this stain. It was so odor free I could actually stain my crates in the warmth of my home and not in the cold garage! With a sponge it took me just one coat to get the desired finish.

Other thrift store finds? The colorful candle holder on top as well the bronze jewelry box by the quail.

If anyone knows that kind of plant that is, let me know. Hah! No really, it’s a piece of a plant that was pulled off of my Grandfather’s plant that we’ve held on to for 20 years since he passed away. I wanted a piece of it in my room so putting it in water has kept it growing for months. However, I hated the clear purple vase so thanks to some bronze hammered spray paint, I fixed that right away.

Another sentimental piece you can see if the bronze quail. My last living grandparent recently passed away. When cleaning out my Grandmother’s house I came upon this set of Quails that she had decorating her backyard. I was in need of some nice bookends for my room, and since these were meant for outdoors they were heavy enough to hold books up! So I got a piece of her in my room as well.

The dreamcatchers are gifts from my brother’s girlfriend that she brought back from an Arizona vacation. Once again, more pieces that I have held on to for years knowing that I was eventually going to have a beautiful use for them.  That aged cup on the top was my Great Grandmother’s.  The geometric glass piece and succulent came from Hobby Lobby!


My little space in the world is far from done. But it’s getting there. I’ve found that at this point in my life it’s a really refreshing feeling to come home to a place that really feels like mine.  Admittedly, I am a messy person.  Always have been. Probably always will be. However, to my fellow mess makers – having a space that is truly you maybe not stop you from making a mess, but it sure as hell inspires that clean up day once a week. Not because of the money spent, as most of this was discount, vintage, or family hand-me-downs. But because of how much I truly enjoy my little space.

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