“Cupcake Week” celebrates delicious new art piece and sugary goodness

So guess what?  Now Lorenzo is making art that inspires life in a whole new way.

copywrighted image of strawberry cupcake done by Chicago artist Lorenzo Ross
The Adventures of Ms. Strawberry Cupcake

Lorenzo’s latest piece “Adventures of Ms. Strawberry Cupcake” has inspired us to create and celebrate our own new holiday: Cupcake Week!  Here’s the inspirational print, now available on our etsy shop PsychicUnicorns

In this print Ms. Strawberry Cupcake is strolling by mountains of chocolate ice cream topped in hot fudge, of course.

Cupcake Week lasts from Feb 2/22/11 until Monday Feb 2/28/11 so you still have time to celebrate!  If you don’t know any gourmet cupcake places, they are all over Chicagoland.  You can search for cupcake bakery on yelp.com to get you started.

photo of four gourmet cupcakes
gourmet cupcakes from Sensational Bites in Chicago

Here’s what we did to celebrate cupcake week so far.  We went to Sensational Bites, a gourmet bakery that bakes cupcakes, pies, cakes, etc., in Lakeview, Chicago.  We read famed yelper Johnny T’s yelp review and knew that place was worthy of our celebration.  Here’s a link to the yelp page for Sensational Bites

This photo shows most of the heavenly cupcakes we consumed yesterday.  We ate the almond coconut cupcake in the cafe, so it is not shown in this photo. Clockwise from the top we ate: orange dreamsicle, german chocolate, raspberry truffle, and Butterfinger (peanut butter).  They were all close-your-eyes-and-savor delicious!  True story, I think I have been craving the raspberry truffle cupcake for the last six months, not knowing or finding exactly what I needed until my first rapturous moment yesterday when I took a bite.  That cupcake is actually filled with the mushy yummy raspberry chocolate part too.  My favorite, to say the least.  Lorenzo’s favorite was the german chocolate one, saying it’s one of the best versions of german chocolate he has had.  German chocolate is practically a personal religion for him.  🙂  I figured finding out which he liked second best would be more telling, but he replied “Picking one would be like saying which child you loved the most.”  So there you have it folks, art inspiring life.  Yummmmmm!

On Friday I will blog about our continued adventures during Cupcake Week.  Stay tuned.  If you are inspired to celebrate your own Cupcake Week, you may want to buy the Adventures of Ms. Strawberry Cupcake print to make it truly official, and as always eat cupcakes responsibly.  Hydrate and eat plenty of protein so that you can stay healthy and balanced, while swimming in sugary bliss.

New Week, New Art, New Look

Hi everyone!  So today we posted on our Etsy.com shop prints of Lorenzo’s two newest works, Amber the mermaid, and the Lovable Lion.  They are the first of many new drawings that begin as pencil and/or ink drawings and bloom into color with detailed computer graphics coloring.  Lorenzo has taken his playful colorful style to a new level.  We hope you enjoy them!  See our etsy shop for pricing and background stories.

copyrighted image of Amber the Mermaid
Let Amber bring aquatic fun and flow to your home
copyrighted image of Lovable Lion by Lorenzo Ross
Lorenzo's Lovable Lion will walk right into your heart!

The Life & Times of YoYo the Cat – Part 1

YoYo is our youngest “son.”  Yes, we are one of those people that think of our pets as our children, sort of.  He is very vocal, and loves to eat.  He’s a pretty good cuddler, and he is also a peace maker.  When Zen and Bambi, our two female cats, start a noisy fight he comes running and puts himself in between them. Here he is as I am about to give him a treat.

YoYo runs on top of the fridge when we have guests.  After a while he comes down to investigate.  I have to feed him the most wet food, so the other two cats have time to eat theirs.  Otherwise he will eat his and try to steal theirs.

He used to try to play with our old dog Barney, though Barney never seemed to get the joke.  Every time I would bring Barney in from a walk, YoYo would lie in a special hiding place.  Then I would take off Barney’s leash and harness, and Barney would do his victory run through the house.  YoYo would jump out and ambush him.  Barney ignored him so really YoYo would only swipe at Barney’s backside as he ran by.  YoYo was always so pleased with himself every time, and it was so adorable how he never tired of this game.

Here’s to our chubby, playful peace maker.  One of the wonderful spirits that makes our home home.

Out with the old, in with the new!

THE OLD

OK so I think the serenity prayer for clothing from the earlier post must have helped.  I also did meditation and “read” my own energy.  I donated one box of books and two big bags of clothing today.  I was pretty amazed at the reasons why I kept extra possessions, going all the way back to childhood.  I have a feeling the energy of excess possessions will be a popular new topic for my readings with clients.

THE NEW

Our website www.BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com is finally up and running!  Please check it out, and be gentle with your feedback!  🙂  Please also forward it to the dog lovers in your life.

The Serenity Prayer- for Clothing

Serenity Prayer for cleaning closets

Serenity Prayer for cleaning closetsRemember ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first!  Here’s a prayer I just wrote for myself, as I begin to once again give away all the extra clothes I keep for no good reason at all.  Well, since I read energy I know there are pretty complex reasons we keep clothes we don’t really need or even wear.  I also know it would be really helpful for me to give them away, to lighten my load so to speak.  Perhaps you need this prayer too?  I’ll let you know on Wednesday if it worked!  🙂

First Official Announcement of New Pet Service – Barney’s Home Dog Boarding

Barney's Home Dog Boarding- a Bed & Breakfast for Your Dog

OK so the website and yelp page will be done within a few days, but I just can’t wait any longer.  Starting Monday, Valentine’s Day, we are all ready to begin Barney’s Home Dog Boarding!  Lorenzo and I will board one or two cat-friendly mellow dogs from the same home only.  We are fully insured and ready to talk to any dog owners you know, who need a calm safe home to board their dog(s) when they travel.  Our rates are $40/night for one dog, and $55/night for two dogs from the same home.  We offer $10 off the first night for new clients.  We both work from home and we have a yard, so we offer so much companionship both night and day, and a literal home away from home.  Please help us spread the word to dog lovers everywhere.

If you are interested in getting email updates on this, let me know and I will keep you posted.  Otherwise check back here for periodic news.  This image is a tiny preview from our website.  For more info call me at 773-728-7884 or email us at JL@BarneysHomeDogBoarding.com

Why I love Charlie Parker, Jazz, Pandora.com, and my iPhone 4

Our cat YoYo relaxing by the heating vent

This is an “11th hour” blog post, just squeaking in as a “Wednesday” blog post.  Today was a series of unexpected bursts of creativity, leading me to half start about half a dozen projects.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have the kind of creativity that helps me to finish those projects!  Let’s just say I will have really big and good news for Friday’s blog post, God willing…..

I am now listening to a custom Jazz station I made on Pandora.com.  If you haven’t tried the Pandora.com website, I definitely recommend it.  It’s free.  There are occasional ads, but they are very rare.  You could upgrade to a paid version with no ads that is inexpensive.  But free is good.  You can make and save a virtual station based on music similar to any artist at all.  After such a creatively divergent day, the Charlie Parker station I have on Pandora is so perfect.  It is cheerful, as if to say, “Good for you Janet for starting six things today!  Why not!!!!”

Our cat YoYo relaxing by the heating vent
The heating vents are the best spots in the house!

I am listening to Pandora with my iPhone 4 right now.  I showed my lounging cats to my friend the other day with the “Face Time” feature, since she also has an iPhone 4.  That means you basically see live video during the call.  She got to see how cute and relaxed my cats are when no “strangers” are around.  This photo of our male cat YoYo is a good illustration of such a look.

OK so time to post.  Big news Friday!

Give Peace a Chance – Are You “against” the Winter?

Church sign: Whoever is praying for snow please stop

Last week’s Snowpocalypse Chicago snowfall is still everywhere on the ground and with this week’s upcoming low temps, it isn’t going anywhere.  My absolute favorite snow photo was this one given to me by a reading client.

Church sign: Whoever is praying for snow please stop
Favorite Snow Photo

But really, since we’ve still got a while more with winter, I decided to stop fighting it, and stop complaining about it.  Outwardly I do not complain much at all, but today I realized that inside I was really whining about the snow and cold, missing my green tree leaves, missing my summer clothing and warm breezes.

Many people are more disconnected from nature in winter, and this can lower immune systems, and increase stress.  A connection with nature and the earth benefits each of us, like having strong roots making you feel more centered and peaceful.  So is the answer moving to Hawaii?  Well, not today at least.  🙂  One option is to recognize your inner emotional battle with this weather, and let go of it, make peace.

So for the rest of the winter I will make peace with it.  I will ease myself out of an inner whining state, and let go of fighting it.  After all, I choose to live in Chicago and this comes with the territory, as they say.  This photo is me making peace with the snow and the cold.  It was fun to make this today.  I kind of felt like a kid again.

peace sign made in the snow
Making Peace with Winter 2010-2011

Feed your creativity with Etsy, What is Etsy.com?

Art prints of Lorenzo Ross’ work are for sale on Etsy.com.  But wait, what is Etsy?  While Etsy is a hugely popular site, I believe it has a lot of room for growth in the future.  Etsy.com is like eBay for all forms of handmade art, sold directly by the artist, but much more.  Etsy’s fees for the artist are much lower than eBay, and furthermore they send adorable, encouraging emails to the Etsy “shop owners” to help the artists grow in areas like pricing, promotion, product photos, the psychology of sales, etc.  After all, just because you are creative and make a lovely product doesn’t mean you know anything about business.  Add that to the fact that Etsy is all about handmade, and it is a huge forum for shoppers who want something quirky and unique.  Etsy has a convenient search engine with easy viewing and buying, and the feel-good factor of communicating with and buying directly from the artist.

So as you see I could go on and on about Etsy, but we’ll save that for other blog entries.   So how can you begin to use Etsy?  You could follow this link to our PsychicUnicorns Etsy shop my husband and I have http://www.etsy.com/shop/psychicunicorns
While original paintings of Lorenzo’s cost hundreds of dollars, our prints with paper size 8.5″ x 11″ are $18.00.  Lorenzo will be doing a big range of styles in the future, so stay tuned.  While we can never constrain Lorenzo’s inspiration, upcoming art themes may or may not include diverse images of women, lions, cupcakes, cats and dogs, Obama, and yes perhaps even unicorns.

Feel free also to check out other art on Etsy.  There is a staggering range of art, as I said.  For example I love peacock feathers, and I have enjoyed searching for all the art that comes up when I search for peacock on Etsy.  You can just browse, or make your own Etsy account as an artist or as a shopper.  With your own Etsy account, you can choose an entire shop or an individual art piece as your “favorite.”  This helps you to remember things you like and may buy later, and also helps the artist because it increases their exposure to other shoppers, and validates they have a fan base.

Etsy itself will be just one of the many topics I cover on this Mon, Wed, Fri blog.  Future etsy-related blog entries will include more Etsy search ideas, and features on other Etsy artists.  Other blog topics I will have here are more about Lorenzo the artist, our rescue cats, our in-home dog boarding adventures, fun info about my life as a psychic, and our yummy Albany Park neighborhood, on the NW side of Chicago.  In the meantime, if you have any questions at all about Etsy, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to assist you, or you can go right to the source at http://www.Etsy.com.

Chicago Snowed-in with the “SNOMG” “Snowpocalypse” Snow of Feb 2011

view of Chicago Albany Park street after big Feb 2011 snow, many cars buried in snow

Well sometimes they say it’s hard to think of what to write about, but not today!  For days now people have been talking about the snow storm that was coming.  We stocked up on groceries and filled our gas tank on Monday, and Tuesday afternoon and evening we watched the blizzard out of our windows, all safe and warm at home.  At first it looked like a snow globe that someone kept shaking, with all the blowing snow, but then it was snowing and blowing just too much, and looked more like some scene out of a movie.

It’s a great time to be a renter with a garage space, since the building owner’s son is due to come this afternoon with a big snow blower and plow out the alley.  Lorenzo has chronic back issues, so thankfully he is not tempted to help with the shoveling.

Currently he is working on coloring on the computer an original hand drawing he did of a lion, with a great big mane and a pretty cute face.  It’ll be up in our etsy shop by mid February, and I think it will be a big hit.

In the center back you see a snow drift in the shape of a wave
Snowy view from kitchen window 2/2/11, double click to see larger view of wave-shaped snow drift, center back
View of Chicago street after huge snowfall, good samaritans helping jeep stuck in snow
Good Samaritans dig out jeep in Chicago's Albany Park Neighborhood, SNOMG Snowpocalypse Feb 2011
view of Chicago Albany Park street after big Feb 2011 snow, many cars buried in snow
Let's hope this is the biggest snow of the season! The perils of street parking in a blizzard.