Queen Pens: Portraits for Under $100

  While on one of my many searches in print, I read an article about artists who will do “inexpensive” portraits, and I got all excited. When I read further, i was slack-jawed when I read the cheapest one was $500!! While in the art world I know that’s great deal, but for us thrifty narcissists, that’s a ridiculous price.
Well, I did a little research and found some wonderful ladies that will gladly do custom portraits for under $100! Be advised, these prices and estimations are for after the holidays – these girls are busy pumping out Christmas presents, too!
Name: Amber Alexander
Location: Vermont
Size of Portrait:Right now, she only does custom pet portraits in watercolors, but I know that there has been a time in every young pet owners’ thoughts they they were pondering how kick ass it would be to have a portrait of their pet. The nobles of Europe did it, why can’t you?! Her portraits start at 8″x10″.
Cost: $80 and up.
Time needed for completion: Takes about a week to complete, then ship.
Way to contact her and website info: Check out her Etsy site, or email her.
Extra Info: She works primarily from photos- good photos. Of course, being an artistic also allows her to take her poetic license with her on every painting she commits to paper.
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Homelessness and Help

homeless-young-man photo by sampac

Over the weekend, while out and about i was waiting at a stoplight, and there was a homeless man standing on the side of the street with a little sign. Not bothering anyone, not knocking on car windows or anything, just a little sign. Some real “winner” in a fast little car drives by, yelling obscenities at this man. It really made me incredibly sad. This man has gone through some hard times to come to where he is, swallow what pride he had left and ask strangers for charity, and this Joe Nobody yells at him.

The homeless man didn’t do anything to provoke him, nor did he yell at Mr. Speed Demon as he raced away. He just sat there. It got me thinking about how I could help. Granted, I’m not rich, but I do have more than these folks, so why shouldn’t I help out as much as I can? It took forever to find a really good list of things for a “Homeless Care Package,” but this list has some great ideas for your own little gifts.

  • Brown Paper Lunchbags-reusable and biodegradable. Place all your care package items in one and draw or stamp stuff on the front.

  • Granola Bars, Saltines, Ritz, Pretzel Sticks, Peanut Butter – food is a tricky subject. Homeless don’t have fridges to carry stuff around in; so egg salad is a definite no-no. but things that last like dry goods are great.

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Spectrum Goodies

No color exists in a pure state. Color is affected by light, and placement of one color next to another alters the way they are both experienced. Great artists and designers have always noticed this, and used them to influence you as much as they could without writing it out on their canvasses. Let’s put these ideas to the test and think of some fantastic treats in every shade of the rainbow!

Red – Have a Strawberry Shortcake and pile on the strawberries, but skimp on the cream. Tastier and way less cavities!

strawberry-shortcake-cupcake1 Photo by baostar

Or better yet, find some Cherry 7-Up lip gloss-no calories whatsoever!

cherry-7upphoto by vpasson

“My lip gloss be poppin'” 

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Icon of the Day: Louise Brooks

louisebrooks1jess brooks My second-best Brooks impression.


Louise Brooks. Lulu. She was a memorable actress in her time, and a legend in ours. Even her haircut is the stuff of legend; her signature bob has been replicated throughout fashion. She began as a small-time dancer and was fired by her employer in front of the whole company, with this quote:

 “I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver.”

This line stuck with her all her life.

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