Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting Down To Business with Jeanne Oliver

A few months ago, I took the Creatively Made e-course by Jeanne Oliver and absolutely loved it because it has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I was finding so hard to understand about myself and what I desired as an artist. Most of my life, I have struggled with self-doubt and insecurities. I knew I wanted to be an artist, but have been so afraid of taking myself seriously for fear of rejection. Or I simply didn't think or believe I could achieve anything great with it. My lack of confidence was limiting my growth and caused me to feel stuck. Deep down, I wanted so much to reach my dreams and just be who I knew I was meant to be. I'd ask God over and over, where am I going in life? What is my calling? I knew that first and foremost, I am a mom and a wife. Yes, I am fulfilled and complete because they mean everything to me and I value my role and purpose to love and care for them. But, I also knew that as a very creative person, that there was so much more I needed to do in life that served a bigger purpose using the gifts I have been blessed with. Finally, I can honestly say, I KNOW (not think) who I am and what I was born to do and now I'm more than ready to take it further and let my destiny unfold... This time no more holding back by fear! Yeahhhh!!!

So in regards to finally taking the step to realize my gifts and creative abilities, one of my dreams is to really build and grow my own brand and sell my art to retailers and wholesalers. I know that I can't do it alone and need the help and mentoring of others. Unfortunately, I don't have many people in real life that I can talk to or call upon for business advice or anything related to it. Thankfully, there's some wonderful people out there who are willing to help and share their experiences with others. When I heard about,  Building A Creatively Made Business, I knew I had to go for it. Jeanne Oliver has been so generous with her life to offer this course to those who are searching for the support and guidance in starting their own creative business. Her genuine and honest approach in what she shares and teaches are exactly what I believe has made this so invaluable and empowering. I look forward to discovering the things that has helped her build and grow her creative business. So thankful and excited to complete this workshop which started yesterday! And it's not too late to join in if you're interested!

  Being a SAHM for so many years, I am extremely grateful for having found so many creative and inspiring connections through the virtual community, many who are willing to share their advice, insight, and experiences with people like me who need direction and guidance. Otherwise, I don't think I would be where I am today. It feels good to be able to connect with other artists from all over the world who share in the same passion and creativity as I do. The beauty of it is supporting and learning from one another and watching each other grow. I truly hope that I can even meet some of them in real life one day :) So, if there's any creative artists or crafters reading my blog that is in my area, please do not hesitate to contact me! 


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back to Cali--Back to Reality

I'm back!!! 

Our Spring Break was spent up north in Seattle, WA and we had such a BEAUTIFUL time as always. Loved that even though the forecast expected rain for most of our stay, it was nothing but sunny blue skies and temperatures in the high 60's. It was surprising and even the locals were saying they think we must have brought them the sunshine. Ha! I'm just thankful that everyday during our stay we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest and do all the fun things we wanted to do without being wet from rain. Such a blessing!

Now that our break is over, its back to reality, back to the grind, and back to a healthy diet! We all know that when you're traveling and staying in a hotel, dining out is inevitable unless you have those hotel suites with a kitchenette so you can cook your own meals. But between all the activities, sightseeing, driving around town, and visiting with friends and family, I wouldn't have had the time or energy anyways. So yeah, I came home and weighed in to find that I had gained FIVE pounds. Oh snap! I don't regret it though, we ate some good food up there. Photos of my food journey coming up soon in another post!

Anyways, I am dreading tomorrow. Mondays usually suck, but tomorrow is probably going to be harder than usual as it always is after a nice vacay like we just had. But, I gotta do what I gotta do. We are all going to be in bed early (at least try) so we can actually survive getting up in the morning, get ready, eat breakfast, take the boys to school, hubby goes off to work, and I will need to seriously need to get down to business. Lots of ideas and goals I have for Makita Studio began to clarify while I was away and I need to stay focused and decide on where I want to take my art this year and the next 5 years, short and long term goals to be exact. :)

So, I hope to get the ball rolling and we'll see where this will go!


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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's That Time Again -- Seattle Bound


Just wanted to share how excited my family and I are to be getting on board a plane to one of our most favorite places on earth! Seattle is our home away from home. We love the Pacific Northwest and cannot wait to enjoy much needed time as a family there. It will be our 5th time traveling to Seattle, 4 out of 5 of those times were with our boys. Spring and Summer are usually the best times to go if you want to avoid all the rain, but its because of their rainfall, that Washington is such a heavenly green and so beautiful if you are like us, who love nature and the great outdoors. We also have friends and family that have come to expect us to visit almost every year, making us feel all the welcome. Yes, coffee is definitely a huge factor to why it is indeed one of the reasons that has made it a place we can call home. Seattle's Best, Starbucks, Peets are everrrrywhere!

Our agenda not only includes our usual hot spots like the Seattle Center, Pike's Place Market, and the surrounding neighborhoods, but also we hope to make it to their annual Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, the Snoqualmie Falls, and maybe Mt. Rainier. :)

I hope to take lots of photos and if you'd like to keep up with live photo updates, please be sure to follow me on Twitter: @dahliaco or Instagram: dahliaco

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Monday, March 12, 2012


I hope you all had a great weekend! 


 Just a several months ago, 6 to be exact, was when we suddenly realized we couldn't keep our home and had moved into a new place just in November of last year. A few weeks ago, we finally completed the process of selling our home to the new owners and said our last goodbyes to the place we loved so much. Having had this all happen in such a short amount of time has not only brought us through some really desperate circumstances, but also has given us a new perspective on life and in our faith. I wish I could begin to tell you in detail, all the moments that my husband and I have suffered such deep sorrow, emotional pain, stress, and a kind of fear that almost seemed paralyzing, yet only drove us to push ourselves beyond the limits to believe and place our trust in God. By His love and grace, we have seen miracles take place and have felt His love through the darkest moments. If I can describe how it felt, I would say it was almost like losing someone you loved dearly or having to let go and leave behind a truly special friendship. I know that there are much more painful experiences that people go through that cannot compare to this, so I can't truly complain that this wasn't like losing someone special to us and that it was just something material.  The impact of  this experience however, has really shown us how we are not invincible to life's challenges, no matter how big or small, nothing is promised forever on earth. Sometimes we have to let go. Sometimes we have to lose something, to gain something. Sometimes we need to be uprooted, to be planted somewhere else in order to grow... 

The picture above is of a paper weight I saw at World Market. My husband and I actually purchased it as a gift to the new homeowners who bought our home. It was our way of just making them feel welcome to a home that has been in the family for 3 decades where our lives have been blessed throughout those years. We wanted them to know how that home has been a beautiful place that holds so many wonderful memories for our family and that we wish the same for them....

Right now, we are starting to finally pick the pieces, dust off all the negative emotions, and taking it one day at a time. Already, we have found so many reasons that confirms how our move led us to this new place, which we would not have imagined would happen if we never moved. The blessings that have been flowing into our lives and the doors that have opened up to us is unbelievable. And of course, it is all because of how much my faith has grown due to having gone through the storms of life. It's a NEW SEASON... hopefully to prosper and gain new opportunities in both our creative and personal ambitions.


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

iPhoneography Inspiration To Paint

Last night, I was going through my iPhone photos and kept coming back to this photo I took of the blooming Cherry Blossoms that are starting to make its appearance everywhere. I love the colors of the pink and white against the blue sky. It is so gorgeous.... Spring is definitely in the air and I cannot wait to see more signs of spring reveal itself as we begin to see flowers in bloom and hopefully more sunshine... Because this girl needs me some SUN and I'm so looking forward to feeling its warmth up here in Northern California.

Spring, just come now already!!!

Anyways, onto what I was saying.... with Instagram and my latest favorite photo app, Tadaa, photos are instantly turned into works of art. I love playing around with the filter affects and making colors pop or give it that retro affect. If you think about it, long gone are those days when cell phones were merely used for just calling peeps, but now its used for almost everything from email, shopping, social media, planning, listening to music, watching videos.... my goodness, technology has definitely changed and evolved. But, I absolutely love the fact that smart phones have the ability to transform into a camera or video recorder. NOW, that is such a huge breakthrough for us photo geeks.:)

One thing I knew I had to do when I came across the photo above was to paint it and practice my still life painting skills. I came across another artist on Instagram--@bettyann--who has truly inspired me to learn this other concept of painting. I'm sure there are many still life artists out there who are amazing, but seeing this lady's work led me to give my hand a try at it... Betty, if you're reading, thank you for inspiring me :)

Down below is my painted picture of Spring Blossoms using Caran d' Ache Neocolor II crayons and a water brush pen and that's it. I lightly sketched out the branches and from there I painted the flowers first, then branches, and then filled in the blue sky last. I wasn't sure how it would turn out as I randomly painted the blooms with no predetermined idea of how to do it. Everything just flowed so freely, something that doesn't happen too often as I'd like. To me, although it may not seem like a big thing, it's a pretty huge accomplishment. Yay! So, here's to my first watercolor still life painting in my art journal! I have lots of practicing to do and as I go about life, I'm going to keep my eyes open and will continue to be inspired by the beauty around me and paint, paint, paint...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

When In Doubt, Sketch It Out...

 There are days when I know exactly what I want to work on, whether it be a page in my art journal or a project assignment, but there are a lot of days in between when I lack the motivation or the creativity to work on anything. Lately, I've been lacking time and energy with so many changes going on in my personal life plus the fact that my boys have a whole week off from school for President's Week. Yet, I know that if I don't do something creative every day, it will get harder to get that groove back and perhaps lose focus on the goals I had set out to achieve at the beginning of 2012. Yeah, you know how they say that "Life gets in the way." I've made that same excuse so many times over the course of my creative journey and always find myself regretting that I had given up so easily. So, what was my solution? 


Yes, I love to paint with abandonment and make a mess in my art studio. Yes, I do love the feel of dried paint on my hands and getting my clothes dirty. I love that feeling of being a child at play, without any reservations of trying so hard not to make any mistakes. But, who says you can't bring some of your work to bed? :) 

Lately, I have been keeping a sketchbook, watercolor crayons, pitt artist pens, china marker, charcoal pencils, and a water brush pen. Then as I wind down from the day, usually around 10:30pm, I take that time to doodle and draw. If I'm still feeling up to it, I'll add some watercolor. I can go to sleep at night knowing that I haven't neglected that gift that is so special to me. The gift of being an artist. That gift that I have forgotten about for so long since my teenage years and finally found again. I realize that when we have a special gift or talent, no matter how much we forget or neglect it, it will always come back to you and offer you another chance to nurture and protect it. I know that now and I believe it will be here to stay for good. :) Thanks to Jeanne Oliver's workshop--Creatively Made--for opening my eyes to this.


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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Little Artists

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." 
Pablo Picasso


My youngest niece, Ava, coloring with crayons. 

My niece, Arielle, drawing with me and creating Valentine's art.

Arielle drawing a big heart for her Mama.

Coloring in action.

Love this sweetie!

Asia, whom I call my Little Shadow, and I. 

Lucas got messy with Mommy's spray inks, paints and stencils.

Josiah also got to create his very first mixed media page using spray inks, paints, and stencils. 


I enjoy creating with my kids and nieces. It gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment to why I love being an artist. I not only enjoy being creative, but I also discovered that I enjoy teaching art as well. Hopefully, this journey will lead me one day to teach the youth to explore their creative gifts and grow as their own individual artists. It's a lot to hope for, but I believe deep down that it's where my destiny truly lies.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love Day Recap

Love Day Recap

I know it's a week later and Valentine's Day has come and gone, but I just wanted to share a recap of the highlights of last week and to serve as a reminder to myself of how special it was.

I Heart Cheesecake | Discovered this lovely bakery in San Carlos, CA called Zest Bakery. All their goods are either gluten free and/or vegan. Love that!!!

 This one is a Blueberry Cheesecake. Delicious!!!

My first time trying a Vegan Chocolate Cupcake + the verdict is out of this world. I am definitely going back for these....

My own homemade, fresh baked, Chocolate Chip Cookies....Shaped in a heart of course :)

Picked up my youngest, Lucas, from Kindergarten and was excited to find him all covered up in this heart shaped paper decorated by him.

I decided to make handmade cards for my boys with a handwritten message of how much they mean to me. It's the beginning of a new tradition....

Josiah, who is now reading like a pro, reads it aloud. Such a sweet moment....

My oldest with his first Valentine's Card from Mommy 

Lucas, my youngest baby, doesn't quite know how to read yet, but as I read it to him, I saw his eyes light up with joy to hear my words of affirmation and love for him.

Lucas hugs his card.


Happy 83rd Birthday Great Lola

Another year to celebrate this woman that is who we call 'Lola' which means grandmother in Filipino. She is 83 years old and is still full of so much life, love, and faith. We no longer live in the same home, but there is no distance in our love for her. We visit her every week, cherishing her presence as much as we can and bringing her joy through my boys, her great grandchildren, which helps to keep her living life to the fullest.

Lolo (grandfather) is 90 years old, but don't be fooled because he has the energy and strength of a 20 year old. He still has his license and drives around wherever he pleases. All those morning oatmeal and banana breakfasts, soups with vegetables and fish, definitely has a lot to do with it. This photo is special because Lucas and Lolo have such a special bond. He always hugs him close and says that he wants Lucas to stay with him...

For Lola's birthday, Lucas gave his "heart" to his great grandmother and he is showing her that he knows how to spell his name. 

Lola with her great grandkids + my niece Arielle.

Every little kiss I can get from my kids is a gift that I cherish. I love being my kids' Mom and will never take these little moments for granted.

Lucas, is starting to learn how to write and this precious note is hanging on my fridge. I think I'm going to frame this for sure.....


As for my husband and I, we didn't have any time together alone since it was on a weekday and we wanted to spend it with Lola for her birthday. But, we do have a date night planned very soon. :)

Hope your Valentine's Day was special! 

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

He{Art) QOTD : Beautiful People

Beautiful people do not just happen....

Beauty is skin deep as the saying goes, but reading this made me think a little more about what that saying truly means. It's goes deeper than just beneath the surface... I firmly believe that true beauty comes from deep down in the corners of your heart. I have alway admired beautiful people on the outside, but it's those who have really impacted me with their life stories, their sufferings and the ability to rise up and fight, who I've come to admire and appreciate the most about a person. Having said that, I hope I can reflect that beauty of compassion, love, and humility as I face my own trials and triumphs. Some of the most beautiful people I know have been very instrumental in helping me understand that life is a journey, it's an ongoing process where we go through many cycles of seasons and changes and sometimes we are meant to be broken in order to put our lives back together again... So next time you are struggling or going through a difficult time in your life, remember that its building your character and molding you into something beautiful... I hope this quote will be a continuous reminder that TRUE BEAUTY lies deep within each and everyone one of us...

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{Instagram} January Photo Challenge Recap

Instagram Photo Challenge :: January 2012

Just a recap of my Instagrams for the monthly photo challenge that I'm following along. The challenges are curated by this wonderful lady, Chantelle, over at Fat Mum Slim. Not only am I doing this for myself, but I'm really enjoying the plethora of Instragram photos from people all over the globe as they share their takes on the daily challenges as well. What makes it even better is having a few of my close friends and family taking on the challenge as well.

Here is my month of January. If you're wondering how I created this mosaic, I used this wonderful site called Big Huge Labs (FREE to join by the way) that will create a mosaic of your photos depending on how many rows or columns you prefer. But first, I had all my photos uploaded to Flickr in a individual set and that is where I sourced my photos from. Then, I chose the option to save it to my computer and added the text through Photoshop which I'm sure you could do through any photo editing program. And VOILA

1. self portrait 2. breakfast 3. what I Adore 4. letterbox 5. something i wore 6. what makes me smile 7. favorite 8. my sky
9. daily routine 10. childhood 11. where i [used] to sleep 12. close up 13. in my bag 14. what i'm reading
15. happiness 16. morning 17. water 18. something bought 19. sweet 20. someone i love 21. reflections
22. shoes 23. something old 24. guilty pleasures 25. something i made 26. color 27. lunch 28. light
29. inside my fridge 30. nature 31. self portrait again

If you'd like to join in and follow me on Instagram, my username is under 'dahliaco'

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