Mar 30 2013

saying goodbyes & see you soon…

my heart’s been filled with some heavy stuff these past few weeks!
truthfully, more than i want to mention.

but the two list toppers are:
we had to put our sweet dog Parker of 13 years down.
it was, and still is- heartbreaking.

parker greyhound lab mix
seeing these pictures of his kind & always loyal face makes me cry all over again.
everyone who met him, LOVED him.
that was the kind of dog he was.
we will miss you Parker. 

subtle flowers

and the other- is that my dear friend Tammy left for Russia.

tammy primary progress ms

 she was diagnosed with PPMS (primary progressive MS) in 2010.
since her diagnosis, she’s already been experiencing glimpses of the many unpleasantries PPMS has to offer:
trouble walking, bladder control, strength, etc.
she’s only 40, two kids & a husband. she’s a giver. always helping everyone. constantly on the move.

she’s been led to apply for the clinical trials – HSCT (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy), in hopes of being cured.
the one she’s accepted is in Moscow, Russia and she is on her way there now.
she’ll be in the hospital for 4 1/2 weeks.
please. please– keep her in your prayers.

this is a very expensive exploration that she and her husband are having to pay for out of their own pocket,
if you feel inclined to donate you can find more info. here.

Mar 18 2013

dinner party & healthy snack

this weekend involved many things.
some really sad, that i don’t want to go into right now.
and some happy.

flowers & wineit was our turn to host our dinner group.
there are 4 of us couples and we rotate houses.
we try for once a month but realistically it ends up being quarterly by the time our schedules all line up.

and let me just say… all the other ladies are AMAZING cooks.
that’s how i choose my friends! shhhh. 😉

curly girl cardthat being said, when it comes to our turn i always majorly stress out.
i want to bless them the way that they’ve blessed me.

hence the perfect reminder in the curly girl design card!
and it did hold true. of course.

healthy snack rawraw healthy snacksone of the things i made where these made by girl inspired healthy coconut date truffles.
probably not very lo cal. but healthy & yummy nonetheless.

dinner group table setting
dinner groupthe table setting i kept simple as to not overwhelm myself.
flowers & candles that was it.

i have a habit of wanting to shoot for the moon and then being disappointed in myself when things don’t end up perfect.
any of you do that?

in the end, it’s really about the conversation & the people.
which both, as always, were wonderful!

are you in a dinner group?
do you do themes? games? conversation starters?
if you’re not in one, maybe it’s time to start one…

Mar 11 2013

the theme is green

it’s late and i’m tired.
besides a few short breaks, i’ve been sitting at this computer all day long.
but i’m on a roll and figure i might as well finish it off with a blog post!

be your own lightbe your own light inspired self portrait

i’m currently in the middle of a 4 week ecourse, Be Your Own Light,
created by the talented and inspirational Vivienne McMaster.
and i am loving it!
the daily prompts, the creative play, the treasure like hunt for light.
i’m taking pictures that i would have never considered taking before.
this is the kind of thing that makes me HAPPY, HAPPY!

allen designs studiopicked up this old aluminum locker for the Allen Designs/Close2myArt studio last week.
okay, junk makes me happy too!

crocheted earrings portland artist
crocheted earrings by moss handmade, a gift from my husband.
we’re preparing to celebrate our 20th year of marriage in the next few weeks.
wow, how time flies.
perhaps there are many things that make me happy…

green smoothieslastly, i’ve finally jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon.
thanks to the dear Lacy Like.
it’s been 2 weeks of eating healthy (no sugar, bread, pasta, preservatives) & daily green smoothies.
i was feeling really great until yesterday, where the wheels felt like they were falling off the bus!
since then i’ve been having the overwhelming urge to go out and get myself some spicy cheetos & a milkshake.
i have barely, BARELY i tell you, kept my self control.
i’m trying to last 30 days.
we’ll see.

Mar 8 2013

Dangling Doodling Giveaway!

To celebrate the beginnings of Spring and Easter we are giving away
a free Sir Hop Dangling Doodling with every order on!

Sir-Hop-Dangling-Doodlingoffer good through April 1st.

tulips beach retreatmmmmm. seeing these flowers and how happy they make me,
is telling me i need to go buy myself a little bouquet to enjoy over the weekend!
#selfcare #prettythingsmakemehappy

Mar 6 2013

gathering of creatives

invited at the last minute.
i immediately said yes! a short bit later, had to fight myself from texting back with a big fat NO WAY.
i was utterly intimidated by this list of amazing women that would be in attendance.

IMG_3059intimidated not only by their individual successes, but also by their ability to communicate so well through words.

krr manzanita beach retreatfrom the left: kelly rae, leigh, myself, lacy, hannah, flora, mati, andrea, jessica and vivienne

seriously. SEE what i mean?

i had already committed, and there was a deep part of me that really wanted to go.
and be part.

to experience this community of women.

IMG_3092this lovely lady is the master orchestrator “connectress” of this special gathering.

radiate sessionsphoto by andrea scher
the setting was a small beach town on the oregon coast.
as you can see, the weather just happened to be PERFECT!

creative gathering oregon coast radiatehere’s the scene when we arrived.

creative artist gathering manzanita oregonarm photo by andrea scher
our time together consisted of all things lovely. sharing stories, making art, taking pictures, walking the beach,
giggling, eating delicious healthy food….  and mostly- encouraging & loving one another.

IMG_3117simple. but GOOD.
really good.

IMG_3083the word i chose to write on my arm was “vulnerable”.
i’ve spent too many years building walls.
brick by brick. hurt by hurt.
protecting myself from judgement, disappointment, failure, embarrassment- and the list goes on.
i want to be okay with who i am
and not worry so much about offending someone, having bad grammar or sounding stupid!

i have a voice and i don’t want to be afraid to use it!


this time has impacted and inspired me in ways i wouldn’t have imagined.
such, that i’m considering, with kelly rae’s encouragement, to do a small gathering of my own.
here’s a post she wrote up on how to go about it, in case this is something you might want to do.
you won’t regret it.
step out.
take a chance.
it will be amazing!

Mar 5 2013

March Desktop Wallpaper

we wanted to share a little gift with you this month-

free march computer wallpaperjust click on the image below to open the file, then right click to save.


happy March!!!
spring is in the air and we’re so excited.
don’t forget this weekend to set your clocks forward.
yay for longer days!


i like this.

Mar 4 2013

in the meantime

today was a busy day, full of lots of interruptions & deadlines of sorts.
i was determined to get my exciting adventure post done, but it didn’t happen.
IMG_3284in the meantime i’ll show you a peek at what i’ve been working on.

IMG_3301more letters!

a couple questions for you, if you don’t mind.
do you collect any letters or numbers?
do you buy them as gifts?


Mar 2 2013

hello there, i’m baaaaack!

once again, i CAN NOT believe it’s already been 2 WHOLE WEEKS since i blogged last.
time just starts flying by with lot’s of exciting things going on…
and, i think i get overwhelmed by the blog and where to even start!

art studio michelle allen

so, here i am.
with the goal of being consistent.

art supply bag travel creativejust over two weeks ago i received a surprise invite to one of the most amazing adventures EVER!
one in which i packed my up my art bag. (above)

gathering of my art tribeand also involved pretty goodness as shown above.
i’ll be going more into that in the next few posts.
not quite enough time right now.

allen designs clocksthe studio has been crazy busy, thank the Lord.
above you can see how we just went from having hardly any inventory to having a ton!

coffee meet up vancouver wa torquelet’s not forget the coffee meet ups.
i’ve had quite a few opportunities of late to get more involved in my community and in other artist’s lives.
this makes me soooo excited!
more on that later as well.

hope you are having a lovely weekend.


a good reminder for us all. and oh so true.

LOVE this artists’ studio tour!