Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Creativity

Gearing up for Halloween is always fun. This year, it is even more fun because we are in our new home. I decided I wanted to build a bunch of huge webs and spiders in the front yard. That is how my artist brain works, GRAND!! The Hubby is always the one to make me think more realistically.

So, this year we decided on one huge web and some 5 foot play spiders from Walgreens. Hopefully each year, we can add more webs and someday a humongous spider.

The items you need to make this web:

2 pkgs - 100 ft 3/16 inch Braided Nylon Rope ($10 ea - Home Depot)
1 - #2 Screw Eye (Drilled into house under overhang)
3 - S Hooks (Not shown - used to attach rope to screw eye)
1 - Hot glue gun and glue
1 - Ladder
3 - Tent Stakes
1 - Software Engineer with a plan
1 - Knot Book

Ok, ok, ok, maybe the Software Engineer with a plan and the book are not necessary, but my VERY organized Hubby helped this artist from just going out in the front yard and managing to just tie herself up in rope.

We decided on a triangle shape because we wanted to anchor the web to the house. You can follow these same basic instructions no matter what shape you want to do.

1) Make outside shape of web using one continuous piece of rope. Use tent stakes to stake to ground. Use 2 S hooks to attach to Screw Eye on house.
(When cutting the rope - we used masking take around the rope before cutting and then burned the rope a bit to ward off fraying of the ends)

2) Tie one vertical and one horizontal rope for your main support. Use S Hook at Screw Eye at house. (Hubby used a Fisherman's Bend Knot. He claims it may not have been the correct knot to use, but it appears to have worked)

3) Add individual diagonal ropes to finish out the web shape.

4) A dollop of hot glue can be added below any knots you think may slip.

5) Cut one piece of rope for each circle on your web. Use Fisherman's Knot at the beginning and end. Just loop the rope once around the diagonal supports. For each circle, vary where you start so all knots are not on one rope.

6) If you have extra room above and below your circles, you can add a few semi circles to finish out the web.

7) Add a dollop of hot glue to any spots where you think your rope may slip.

Our web is 18 ft x 13 ft.
This entire project took about 2 hours to complete.
(It would have probably taken less time if I wasn't "helping".)

Halloween 2015 - 20 foot SPIDER??? 


PS - Thanks Honey, for all your work. It looks fabulous!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

When was the last time you did something for YOU?

Let's face it, life is hectic!!

Most of our days, are spent doing something for someone else. I am not saying that is a bad thing. As a spouse, parent, friend, co-worker, business owner and many more, we all spend a majority of our lives giving.

The problem comes when we have given all of ourselves. Yes, you are a spouse, parent, friend, etc., etc. But, first and foremost, you are you!! Don't ever lose track of your hearts desires in the busyness of life.

There is a saying, "If mom's not happy, no one is happy". It is harsh, but true.

In the last year, my family has made some major life changes. It is all good. We all are very happy where life has taken us, BUT!! But, in the process of keeping life happy, keeping the plates spinning, and keeping my family on the straight and narrow, I lost me. I took on the pressure, and in the process kind of forgot about what really made me happy. I lost my self confidence. I doubted that my art was any good. I worried more about what others thought, then what I thought.

So, earlier this month, after taking the family on our first real getaway in a long time, I broke out my paints and painted for ME. This painting is just for me. It won't be for sale. It was me finding me, and it turned out perfect!! It is an amazing feeling to get to this place in my life. I painted what I liked, and I don't care if someone else likes it or not.

This painting is my heart. I call it "Circles of Life". When I look at it, it shows me that life is a colorful mess, sometimes up, and sometimes down, but ALWAYS good. It now hangs in my dining room area, and it makes me smile.

Life is good. Life is really really good!!!

When was the last time you did something for you?
And if you are an artist, when was the last time you hung up your own art?
You are amazing. You are worthy. Your art is worthy. Do it!!!

The little LB in the corner is new. In the past I always just signed the backs. I have decided that I like it. LB is me, it's time to let the REAL me be seen, and not care if someone likes me or not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Introducing a stunning new artist on my blog tonight

Hello everyone.

Lori here. Today, on my blog, I would like to introduce an AMAZING new artist to you. This lady has been around for about 17 years, but is just starting to find her heart in the art community.

She works in bold beautiful colors. The piece I am sharing was first hand drawn and then meticulously colored and shaded. Each piece takes her days to finish. The details up close are just beyond impeccable.

This artist was raised in household by a father who has an eye for detail and a mother who is an artist herself. Though, her mother believes with all her heart that her daughter is far more talented than she will ever be.

You could say I discovered this artist. But, the real truth is that I gave birth to this artist. The immensely talented lady behind this gorgeous piece is my very own daughter, Liz Batronis. Tears. So very proud!!

Darlin, when you are a world renowned artist, don't forget who bought you your first yellow Sharpie. I love you Sweety. You rock!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sedona trip with the family

In the end of July, we ran away from the stress of packing and moving, and took a day trip to explore the red rock of Sedona, AZ. Simply beautiful. Very inspiring!! Here are a few pics. You can find all of the pics at the flickr link below.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Relax - Life is good

Since, we started this cross country adventure, I have not done much relaxing.

In December, everything we had and knew was loaded into a semi truck and moved across the country to a rental house. In the last 7 months, three kids started in new schools, I unpacked all the boxes, one graduated, we found the house of our dreams, we celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary, we repacked everything we had and knew, and we moved again.

Thankfully, life is slowly started to look like a new normal. So, I will finally get to start painting and blogging again.

One day in early April, I celebrated the Anniversary of my birth and took a day and hid in my rented studio space. (AKA the formal dining room) This painting is what came out of me. Here in the southwest, there are some beautiful colors in the skies around sunset each evening. I painted this painting remembering those skies.

Some up close pics of all the wonderful texture. This is one of those paintings with a great surface that makes you want to reach out and touch it.


Sorry there are no instructions or even a product list of what I used. It was just time for me to just release and RELAX from all the outside stresses.

I like it both horizontal and vertical.

This painting is a signed (on the back) original by me. Even with a new house, I can not keep everything I paint, so if you are interested in Relax, this piece can be purchased on Etsy at:

Thanks to everyone who has helped my family physically, emotionally and prayerfully over the last 7 months. You guys have all been our rock!!!

God Bless!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm NOT dead!!!

Hello all!!!! No!! The rumors are not true. I am not dead!! So very sorry for the complete Lori's Happy Place hiatus. My family moved twice in 7 months and between those times we had one graduation, three kids start new schools, one car that needed work, and another that died completely. Good news is, I am HOME!! We have moved into our new home, and my new studio, and I am now officially UNPACKED!!!! I plan to start painting and sharing again tomorrow. Stay tuned tomorrow to see one of the only few things I painted in the last 7 months. I took some time on my birthday in April and just had some fun. Can't wait to share.

Love and missed you all


Monday, March 31, 2014

March Creative Dare with Tracy Weinzapfel - I am

Today, I am sharing my Creative Dare for March. Each month, Tracy challenges her Mixed Media Monday group to a creative dare. It is just a way to keep us all creating and thinking outside our comfort zone. I have been way stressed out lately and creativity has not really been flowing, but I sat down and finally got to my March Challenge. It was really good to get messy and just be ME. (Even if I had to dust off a few things in the studio to do it.)

I am ..... ME
(Love, Honesty, Faith, Friendship, Happiness, and yes CHAOS)

You can check out more about Tracy's March Creative Dare at:

Come join in the fun with us!!
Get messy!! Br creative!! And live outside your comfort zone!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mixed Media Monday's with Tracy Weinzapfel

What do I do on Monday nights?

Monday's are my favorite day of the week,
and it is all because of what I do on Monday nights. 

I spend my Monday nights with a bunch of close friends. We watch Tracy Weinzapfel as she paints LIVE on Ustream, learn about new techniques and products, and chat about art and life.  Over the years, this group has grown from just a few to over 750. As we have shared our art and lives with each other, we have become a small community who cares deeply for each others.

Each week, Tracy inspires us to live outside our comfort zone and create every day. She does this with an absolutely genuine heart and a sense of humor that is infectious. She has taught us that everyone makes mistakes, that mistakes are just opportunities to grow and learn, and that everyone can be an artist. Never be afraid to try!!

Personally, Tracy has helped me be ME and not hide that person deep inside. She challenges me both artistically and personally. She has helped me through artistic slumps and life's little bumps in the road. Her motto is, "What you see is what you get". That is 100% true. Tracy couldn't be fake if she tried. It is just not in her nature.

If you are looking for a place where you can share your art, learn about techniques, and truly just have an ENORMOUS amount of fun, then please join us on Monday Night's. It is an unscripted, hilarious, educational, and fun time to hang out with friends.

You can find us on Ustream at:

All past videos, can be viewed at:

Come join the fun!! I promise, you will not be disappointed!!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'm Back!!! And I have a 2014 Word of the year

Ok guys, first I need to apologize for completely disappearing. In October 2013, about the time of my last post, my husband was offered a job transfer with his company. It meant moving across the country in a very short time period. It was something will really wanted, and we went for it. So, as of New Year's Eve, we now live half way across the country. No more snow, and much warmer weather. Woohoo!!!

I was challenged by my dear friend Tracy Weinzapfel, to choose a word for 2014.
Last year, I chose "Believe", and it really did guide my ups and downs of 2013. This year, I have chosen "Joy". I am going to try to not sweat the small stuff, stress less, and just choose "Joy" instead.

Life has been a little hectic over the last four months. Tracy, has been a wonderful confidant that helped me constantly to remember that eventually the move would be over and life would be great. So, because of YOU, my wonderful friend, "Joy" guides me. Thank you for always being such a dear friend.

Have you chosen a word for 2014? You do not have to be an artist to choose a word. You could simply just pick a word and write it on a post it note. Hang it on your bathroom mirror or the fridge. Do it!! And see if it helps you this year. It works for me!

The painting was done using a page I cut out of my Strathmore 6x18 Watercolor Notebook. I just rip the page out and then cut the jagged edge off the top. By doing this, you can easily frame your artwork instead of just leaving it in a notebook.

Supplies used:
Liquitex Gesso
DecoArts Americana Gloss Enamel
- Indian Turquoise
- Bright Orange
- Primary Yellow
- Avocado
DecoArts Dazzling Metallics
- Bronze
Thin Sharpie Marker
Ranger Distress Ink - Mowed Grass
Ranger Archival Ink - Brown