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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moving forward

So some things have definitely changed over this year. And they always do right. At the beginning of the year, I had every intension of going to Europe for 3 months starting in january of next year. Now I don't know when we will go, but i am just as excited about my future! Right now, Simon and I are planning on applying for schools (Simon a university and school) for the year of 2012-2013. We have decided to move forward in our lives as people, before we start a big experiences. We want the chance to do what we want as careers, so we are finally taking the time to do it. We will finnish all the credits we can in community college, and then set our sights to new places. This means changing out the old for the new.
This blog was originally created to share my experience of doing one art piece a day for a year in order to fundraise for our Europe trip. So much has changed that I feel a retirement of this blog is in order to make way for a more current one. I am still doing TONS of art, but have fallen short of the regimented one piece a day and definitely don't blog about it like I said I would. We are no longer going one our huge trip, and we have so many other things in store. This does not mean that we are going to shut the shop down. We just have something new to fundraise for!
This new bolg will be a considerably more updated account of our shop and the reason for it. Since we have to move in a couple years to one of several big cities, for one of several schools, we are changing the fundraising subject. We are going to be raising money for school. Simon and I are obviously going to be applying for a lot of scholarship and grant money, but if that is not enough, it will be very hard for us to pay the remainder. Especially since we will be moving, and to a higher cost of living place. I am in the process of setting up the blog, re-doing the site, and updating the merch. please be patient as I get all the changes completed. 
This will be the last post for this blog. I am sad to say it, but there is a time to move on. Maybe I will try this challenge again some day. It will probably be a lot easier once I am in art school. Thank you for sticking with me and I wish all the best to you. If you would like to still follow my life and adventures you can visit my general/craft blog or visit my new one . I will leave this post u for a while, but in a month or two I will delete it. Thanks again for your support. --Nikki

Monday, August 2, 2010

More art and More blogging!

Well I have some more stuff to show off and i also want to tell you about my new blog that I am starting with Simon. Art first though! The pictures were taken with my phone, so they are crappy, but its what I have right now. I will put better pictures up on my website when i get them. OH!! and I have a new website for my art!!! The old one ( is still running. i am going to use the old one for crafts and specifically for fundraising for trips. This will have ANYTHING that is not generally considered "Fine art". The rest of my art will be on . The reason I separated them is because i have to start applying to art school and I thought it would be a good idea to have a sort of portfolio for my art. This separation allows me to select what school representatives will see. I think it looks nice, so check it out. ANYWAY... here are the pieces. 

Now the new blog. Simon and I had a talk in the rain yesterday. i asked him if he could change anything about himself (how he dresses, acts, what he is doing, etc.) what would it be? We both came up with lists on things we would like to see in ourselves. It went from better dress to more independence and confidence. The first post on the blog talks more about my perspective, but the creation of it is a brain-child of those lists. We want to talk about things we like and be accountable to our change. Even if it's just to each other. ;) This is still going to be my main hub for all art I do. Anything that has to do with my art or traveling will be written in this blog. The other one is more of a random thoughts and ideas from two cool people. ;) have a look!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Seperation and Change

Nope, not getting a divorce. I am splitting up my fine art and the things I want to put up on the Help!Shop gallery. You can already see the changes on the site, but the other one, with all my fine art, will not be up for another day or two ( The reason I have decided to separate them, is to be able to have a more effective portfolio for school, among other things. A few of the art pieces I have been doing for the shop were fun pieces, but not my style and not what I would like my teachers or admission councilors to be studying. It is basically a way to separate my two hopeful professions. :)

I am pretty excited about the break up. The new site I got is going to look amazing, and now I will be able to use it professionally. I am not sure if I mentioned this yet, but Simon and I have a pretty good little plan for our life at the moment. Well, you know how plans often go, no where, but I am excited all the same. Simon and I both have grants this year to go to school full time. Simon will be starting his degree for electrical engineering (i know...) and I will be starting perhaps my last year of community college. I am either going to get an associate in fine art, or I am going go straight to any art school that will take me... with most of the tuition paid. Since I will be doing what I love, I wouldn't mind starting all over there if I had to. 

So, we are thinking we will be here for about a year longer. Two at the most. We are both feeling like it is time to move on with our lives, at the physical move is getting closer. We have a few places in mind (L.A, San Francisco, St. Augustine, Baltamore, Chicago) but it is probably going to be up to the schools we get into and get financial aid for. It will be a big, exciting new time in our lives, and I am ready for it. 

Now, just because we are looking to the future, does not mean we are not taking advantage to the present. NEVER FORGET to look around at take advantage of where you are today... right now. Simon and I are both working again. Well, Simon was always working, but I am not a framer at Michael's. It's a pretty hard job, but it is a useful and good one. We are planning a trip to Florida where we plan on taking a LOT of photos, so stay tuned for those. A couple will be on here, and all of them will be on the new site. We have to visit colleges all year, and so far we have L.A, San Francisco, St. Augustine, Chicago and Kansas City all planned. More and more picture everyone!! My friend and I are hoping to take a trip and there has been talk to Costa Rica, although she is currently worried she wont be able to go. So... travel is still in the air. We, obviously, have to postpone Europe because of all these new plans, but it is ok since we are doing something! We are following our dreams!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Consistently Indecisive

What do I want? With the blink of an eye, I have swapped between two very different paths in my life. One is setting everything down (all my dreams, plans, ambitions) and completely supporting Simon's music. Last night, while watching the excitement of lights, loud music, and screaming admirers of the Minus the Bear show, I could not help but think about their friends, wives, or girl friends on side stage having the times of their lives on tour. Even thinking about it now makes me envious. And the musicians. The stars in Matt and Simon's eyes could have blinded you. Anyone could tell they were dreaming. That is where they wanted to be. Where they should be. The guys up there have is made. Not because they make a lot of money, or even the fame, but the fact that they were making a living doing art. They were doing what they love. That is Simon's dream. 

Normally, just knowing how happy it would make Simon would make this decision easy, but things have gotten complicated. Since a band requires the support of every one in it, it can be hard to keep the memento going. Honestly, if everyone in the band had the same drive that I see in Simon, they would probably already be opening for Minus the Bear. Well, maybe not that far, but things would be rolling a lot more quickly. Their sluggishness makes me nervous about pouring all that we have into their band. We would be letting our future fall on the shoulders of the unstable people around us. 

For me, I think one of the hardest things about my dilemma is the necessity of letting go. There really shouldn't be planing or control here. Going the route of the band will require risk, and that is scary, but our lives will be full of risk. I know that Simon gets really frustrated with the continuing flakiness, but I guess that is part of the experience. That is what comes with being in a band.

The second choice would probably be an easier route. It would involve fun, excitement, and happiness, but has the potential of Simon giving up his music. That is why i don't think we can go it. I mean, either way i think I'm set. I will finish school here, and eventually go somewhere to finish my degree. After that I go where life takes us. I however, will always have the option of art. Simon would go to school for an electrical engineering degree, and hopefully get a job working with amps and pedals. Even though he would still play music, it wouldn't be his primary goal. It would, however, be secure.

My selfishness attracts me to that one. I mean I get my art, career, and security. Thats what the american dream is. Well, maybe minus the art. Simon acts like he likes the idea, and maybe he does, but I am afraid that 20 years down the road he will regret not giving music a better chance. He would look at a rock star on stage, using his pedal, and be sad it was not him. That is just not fair. 

I think in the long run i do have to let go. Wether or not Simon becomes a famous musician, I am not in control. Simon can be in a band where ever we go in life. If they get big and stay together, then that is the path we will take. In the mean time we wont just sit around and do nothing. we will go to school for things we love, move if we need to, and just stay happy. Why can't Simon be the guy who designs peddles and the rock star that plays them? Our exact future is out of my hands but we know what we love and the paths we will choose as they get closer. We will be happy. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010


A big part of enjoying life for Simon and I is art. Simon is a musician and is now in a bang that is really starting to take off. I am, for the first time in my life, able to focus solely on my art which has already led to some amazing opportunities. We have both agreed that taking a three month trip at this time would be silly. If I was working at a desk, doing something I hated, I would say that staying home for my job would be selling out. I would have become the person I swore I wouldn't become. But Simon and I are doing the things we have always wanted to do. Things are progressing and looking great for both of us. To leave for so long would run the risk of losing it all, and that is just not worth it for us.

I think now would be a good time to remind you that I am not giving up on traveling. On the contrary, I think I am finally embracing it. Both Simon and I have decided to pick careers that will require us to do a lot of traveling while doing the things we love. We will also be able to make money living our dream, and in doing so, put that money towards travel. I think that is how this site, and the “Help!shop” has really changed. It is no longer some small thing that is helping me reach a bigger goal. It is the bigger goal. It is the bridge I am using to reach my future. This new look on our goals in life has really helped us gain a little more understanding and insight to our futures. We have long term goals that include everything we want from life right now, and I am so relieved and thankful for it.

With all of this thinking going on, I have also thought about how I will set up the site and the blog so it is more “business” like. I want to be able to think of it as a full time job, not just something I do on the side. If I put all the time and effort into it as I did at petco (or any other job) I would be making an amazing amount of progress. Plus, I would love it. I sill have a lot to do before then. I need to research what is actually means to own your own business. I am probably missing a lot of things. I also need to set up a sweet working space in the apartment. Ok, so I don't NEED that, but it would be nice. Having a place to sit down at that has everything thing you need around you (printer, computer, etc) makes it a lot easier to work at home. I think it would make it feel more like work. This is what I have been working towards this month, and I hope to have everything up and running be mid summer. We will see.

Finally, I would like to update everyone on the things Simon and I have been doing all this time....besides life change and all that. Simon is doing very well at his job. He got a raise for being there a year, and he still loves working there. He's my knight in shining armor. :) He also is in the middle of recording for a cd that his band is going to get mastered and packaged so they can sell it at shows. This did get a new drummer, but things are really working out and they are really going forward. Everyone seems really excited about the project again!

I am sill doing my art piece a day challenge, but never take pictures and put things up anymore. That is one of the things I want to get better at. I have so much to show all of you! I also have a lot of art in a show in Oakland, and I have print in the student art show. I am also thinking about trying to get a photography show somewhere, but I am not sure if I am confident enough with it yet. Maybe I'll take photo 2 next semester, and do a show then. I sill don't know what people consider “great photography”. Other then that I have been working away on art. I have this watercolor I want to finish since its been around for ever a year. I have this carousel horse that I'm in the process of wood burning, and then I also have this big list of things I want to start. Oh, and I have been sewing/quilting. It is fun. I am excited about it all. The house is a mess, so once I clean it up we are going to start re-arranging some things, and then SLOWLY start re-decorating it. We both want to do a minimalist/vintage/retro design around the house. We will get there. I don't think we are going to plan on moving for a while, so we want to make this place a little more homey. That is about it. There is always something in the works for us, and I will try to keep you better informed. Thank you for being patient. --Nikki

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Some changes...

So, here I am again. I am having a lot of trouble keeping up on this blog with no Internet at my fingertips. Simon and I have are planning on getting the Internet in this apartment, but with me not working consistently, it is scary adding on any monthly bills. There are so many tings we need to think about. With Simon possibly starting school next semester, the Internet will be at the top of the list. I am also trying to get my whole business...thing...a little more up to date and easy to use, but doing it all with the computers at school is very annoying. I have been neglecting it which is bot really good for business. :) Hopefully by the summer, things will get better.

Fund raising has not been going great. I am still hoping it will work out, but I am also being realistic. Even if we do not get to go exactly when we planned, we will still keep saving ad just go when we do reach our financial goal. I think the biggest problem with it is the fact that I want at to be career, so I have taken this opportunity to go to school full time and do art, without the burden of working. Simon has been so wonderful to me and has been keeping us afloat by working full time. I am so proud and thankful for him. We would probably be on track with saving right now if I was working, but I know that if I want to make this art thing work, I need to focus solely on school and growing as an artist. Since I have this opportunity, I have to take it. I also spent a lot of money send y art to the show in Oakland, California. Sadly, because of finances, we were not able to visit it, but I feel so blessed that I was even asked to do it. Just having it there for people to see is an amazing opportunity.

I know this all seems a little flaky. Here I was, just a couple months ago, ranting on about my well thought out and planed three month trip to Europe, and now I am telling you that we might not go. Well please understand that the whole travel fund raising mission statement still holds. The money I am making from this site will help fun our traveling. But, to travel, we have to keep revenue coming in by maintaining this business as well as support ourselves while at home. Over the year and a half of intense saving, we have learned to scale back a lot on our living expenses. We have one car for the two of us, we don't have a tv, we live in a tiny apartment in order to save on rent. There is not a whole lot we could be cutting back on when is comes to living, but there are things we still need to pay for, and inevitably some of the money I get here ends up going into that fund to help out. I really feel like in the long run, this sort of dedication and simple living will pay off.

I have also been thinking a lot about why we wanted to go to Europe in the first place. I mean I know, it's Europe, everyone wants to go, but it was more then that. At the time I decided to start planing the three month trip, Simon and I were pretty new up here. Simon didn't have a consistent band, we didn't have many friends, we just worked and came home. That was our lives. It was hard for me to slow down that much when I had just come from a world of intense planning for our wedding and moving. I needed something to do and look forward to. Over the year, the trip become somewhat of a burden. There were times when we didn't want to buy healthy food because it was expensive and we “couldn't afford it” even though there was over $1000 in the bank. We were looking at it the wrong way. I still throughly believe in traveling, but I also know that there are things worth spending money on. We are going to be spending a lot more time in our everyday lives then on the road, we should enjoy them. That doesn't mean we have to waste, but I think now we have found some balance.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Im back!!

Hello my friends! It has definitely been a long time! I am really sorry for that. Having a blog while you doing have the internet is a little annoying. I love to be able to share on here, but I have to wait for time when both the school and I are free. It has been difficult. I am however very excited to be able to share with you all the news and art I have been surrounding my self with.

First off, I cannot remember if I have told you about my show. I think I have but I am writing this at home (with out the Internet, I will post at school tomorrow) so I do not have a way to check. Therefore, I will back track. :) I got invited to participate in a drawing art show at a wonderful shop in Oakland California called Pretty Penny. Check the web site out, it is really neat. I am officially sending my artwork tomorrow, and getting it together has been crazy. I never realized how much time it took to get art actually presentable. I had to frame eight of my drawings/mono-types, and then we had to make frames for six of my scratch boards. It was quite a huge project both with time and money. I think we spent over $100.00 on the frames and at least $70.00 on the ones we made. I still have no idea how much I am charging for everything either. Thats just one more thing that is on my “to

do” list for tonight.

The frames I did for the scratch boards are really neat and, individually, not too expensive. I have a couple pictures of what Simon and I came up with. All we did is have a friend of our cut out the correct size strips from a sheet of wood. Then we assembled them with silicone to make a box, after which we glued them to the plastic. I painted the outside black and covered the inside with foil, to reflect the light we were putting in them. The little lights we found were the most expensive part. They were able $7.00/ea. And run on batteries. We attached them to the bottoms of the frames using the Velcro that comes with them. It was really exciting to see them come together and I am very happy with the outcome.

The shoe in Oakland has been pretty expensive

to get ready for, but by far the most expensive part is going to be the trip. I actually still pretty overwhelmed by the thought of it. I am so excited to get out of Arizona and take the road trip with Simon, but I know its going to cost a lot of money and that makes me nervous. We have been scraping by as it is, and I know this trip is going to cost a lot. Simon has been so supportive though. He told me as soon as I found out about the show that he wanted to be able to go. I am so thankful that I have him through this. He has been so helpful and giving, it really is amazing. We plan on starting the trip on Thursday, the 8th, in the evening, and driving a little past L.A. Then we will get up early and start our trip to Oakland. Since the majority of our trip is going to be driving, we thought it would be fun to make that the focus of the trip. We stole an idea from the movie Elizabeth Town, and decided to make a little road trip “things to do and listen to” journal to go along with our trip. We will take Highway 1 all the way up

the coast, finally ending up in Oakland. It will definitely be a much needed break from life.

So, all this talking about the future, and I have still yet to let you into the art I have been doing all this time. Well I am 17 pieces in debt to you and plan to show them ALL to you tomorrow (which is right now to you....weird) and the next day. I still don't have them all photographed. Shame on me. The ones I want to show you now (uhh..kinda) are the ones I did first. So the oldest I guess. I'll start with the photographs.

The photos shows here are from two assignments I did for class. The one of the building and of the cats are a priority assignment. The building being the aperture priority, and the cats being shutter priority. I like the both and it was fun to do. Well, all of the projects are fun. I am like photography a lot. The shutter priority was especially interesting because I had to illustrate an obvious enphasis on the shutter speed. For me, that meant showing motion with the shutter showed down. Thats why the cats look a little like monsters. The other photos were done while walking around downtown, and are supposed to illustrate the basic ideas of line form shape and texture. I think they do . :)

The other fine art stuff I put up is a mixture of assignments and my own stuff. There are five mono-types. The two months, the black and white woman, the funny egg head man, and the orange and back quote. The month prints are going to be a calender series. Even though I am making the print separate, I am going to but the full calender up when it is done too, since I think that will be an art piece on its own. Still have ten more prints to go though. The black and orange print was an assignment/experiment and turned out pretty cool and the two others were just personal experiments. Fun stuff to do with ink and printing.

I also have up a weird drawing/painting I did of a tree. This just sort of happened. I was watching some art videos and got inspired to pick something up and do art. I didn't have any reference around to started drawing a tree, and ended up with this. I decided to call it eden, so you can find your own meaning beyond that.

The pencil drawing was from a desire to draw a face, and mine was available, so that is what I drew. It turned out well but I can't tell is it really looks like me. The spoon drawing was just me waiting on Simon to pick me up, but I really like it for some reason. I think I like the simplicity. Who knows, maybe a silly little series on the way?

Well thank you all for waiting and I am sorry, once again, for the wait. I'll make sure to keep updated a little better. With the artwork sent off, I will have more time. Until then. ;)