Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
OK...got Bin Laden back in shape, but not before I sat down and kicked over my rinse water container that yes, ran right down the floor to where I was sitting! Can I tell you how happy I was to have had my hair dryer with me!!! I already felt yucky enough painting inside a urinal and sitting on the bathroom floor.......geesh! Today its funny, yesterday?.....not so much.
Annnnnnnnd!!........I finally finished the rooster portrait....yippee! I'll seal it and ship it out tomorrow.
After I finished Bin Laden I went over to an ocean front condo to talk about a mural. The client would like three 40"x 40" panels on this living room wall...
It would be an ocean scene. She would also like to have "the suggestion" of seashells painted around this mirror in her bathroom........
So I have these sketches to do. Oh.....and she wants a pet portrait done too :-)
Then this morning I went to look at a room for a little girl and this mom would like a scene that contains a castle. I remembered a sketch I had done a while ago for another client but never used, so I sent that off to her to get her feeling on it before I started doing a sketch for her. Her child's bed would be placed where that sofa is sketched so it would work really well.
Right now though I'm going to get started on an airplane portrait. My daughter in laws mom has asked me to do this for her as a gift to her husband, should be fun.
I'm hoping these other two jobs pan out, it'd be good to be busy again.
I was just innocently looking through etsy this morning and came across this featured seller. I want to feel like this again.
How and when do we get caught up in all the trappings? How did I become so miserable and unhappy?
I'm off to go paint in a men's room urinal......how appropriate.
Lost my internet connection for a day+.
Its finally done and hung.......happy dance!
See that tiny window next to the mural?.....it had been boarded up for years and still was when I decided to do this mural for the owners. The mural was originally going to be placed over that window and right up against the corner of the building where it could be seen by people driving up the street. One of the owners decided to finally restore the window which meant the mural would have to be moved further in and unfortunately it is now only visible when you are actually 'at' the building......otherwise, as you're driving up the street its nicely hidden behind the tree that is only going to grow larger. Maybe that's why I had such a hard time getting this finished, I knew it wasn't going to get the attention that I originally planned for.........it was very disappointing when I was already committed to the project.

I got a call Saturday from the Old Key Lime House restaurant. Seems the guys just can't keep themselves from keying the Bin Laden portraits that are in the mens room urinals. So I had to stop by yesterday and assess the damage. I had to post this quick video again of one of the girls I painted. I love how where ever you move she's still pointing at you.
I can't tell you how many times I've had to go in and restore these. Anyone know of some fabulous products to use that could stand up to these attacks?
Alrighty.......tomorrow these two will be married! Not the guys......lol.......the panels.
Still some painting to do, some architectural elements to add at the bottom, adding the top of the casino building, changing the greenery on the panel to a sky to match, etc.
Can not wait to have this finished and off my mind.
Almost there. Again, I took liberties with the design/landscape and I used the current colors of the building now. It looks a bit off from the angle I took the picture, but its almost done.....yeah!! I'm going to have to make some changes to the panels that are already hung to work with this.......I should have been more careful/thoughtful about the design.
The small circle will get a portrait of the architect who designed both the Casino building and what is now our town's city hall, along with a bunch of other buildings. This'll get all finished up tomorrow and then hopefully it'll go up on Sunday and I can finish it off then.
OK my friend Wanda says she's tired of looking at the cows! Me too, but I've been going through one of those dry spells we artists go through from time to time, so there's not much new to post.
I've got the rooster portrait almost done :-)
And I finally found an old picture (1960's) of our town's City Hall that I can use in the exterior mural. I've been working on sketching that out on the panels today while I wait to pick up my car.
The car needed to have its AC fixed. They just called to tell me it could be a while longer than originally thought.......seems its hard to find replacement parts for a 20 year old car....they're having trouble finding a particular hose/fitting.....ut-o
Alrighty then.......the only additional request from the client was to add big red lips......done......sealed.....and ready for pick up.
I also finished up one of the pet portraits, his name is Copper. This one was a bit of a challenge, the photo I had to work from was taken from a cell phone, not the best clarity. But I think he looks handsome.
Today I'll get started on that last pet portrait......ahhhhh, the rooster, what fun. Then its back to that exterior mural, so I can get it out of my living room!
Just waiting on final approval before sealing them. I gotta say.....this was a first.
Now.....on to the pet portraits that have been waiting forever!
Hoping I got board #1 done yesterday, I'm still waiting to hear from the client on final approval before I seal it. I'm always concerned when I'm asked to do something whimsical, not sure its my forte. I'll get the other one started (and done today).
Ok. After four hours at the Ford dealership, I am now the proud owner of a classic car......that's a nicer way of saying its an old car that's reached 20yrs. But we went out on two test drives, they did a second inspection for me and everything passed except for the AC which I'll have to get fixed. I've already gotten an estimate on that and its something I can handle. Other than that......it was a honest to goodness trade...not a penny out of pocket. I didn't even know you could do that at dealerships. Of course they got the better deal because they have mechanics who can fix the problems that the truck already has and address the problems that were border line and going to be an issue soon, and then she'll be at least a 6 or $7000 truck on their lot. I just couldn't afford to have had that work done.
This car feels really good, has a strong engine (more power than the truck had), good tires, passed inspection etc and I feel a lot more comfortable on the road now. And did I mention its a convertible :-) and she's a classic :-)
I've been doing work for Sherry off and on for several years now. I first met her when she was with an interior decorating company, now she's out on her own. I got an email the other day....she and hubby just moved into a new home and wanted some things done. Project number one, to transfer some hippo designs from a rug to her laundry room walls.
This one was not on the rug, but in Sherry's mind (as was the purple one with the lips and pearls :-)...........
I love Sherry's sense of whimsy. This folks is a gorgeous, very upscale home, not a home you'd expect to see hippos painted on the walls. But that's what I like about Sherry's design sense, she takes the pretentious right out from under you.
Project number two, repaint some corn hole boards that are going up to their Tennessee home. Remember this job I did? This was done in their Tennessee home, its the powder room. The bucket inside the door is actually the sink!
OK...I confess, I had to ask, what the hell are corn hole boards??? Once explained I guess I did know what they were, I just never knew what they were called. There are two of them and she wants a cow with its mouth opened (the hole) on one, and the backside of a cow on the other. I'm guessing you can imagine where she's going with that one...lol.
Project number three is to do some large random foliage designs on these two walls of the outside patio.
And finally project four, and the one I look most forward to doing, is to create two large paintings that will go in two spaces that are already framed out in the living room. Large as in 7' tall by 5' wide. I'll be using colors that match a fabric she'll be using, and it will involve animals and whimsy (of course :-).

Today I'm going to try and get a pet portrait done that was ordered a few weeks ago, they've been patiently waiting....the exterior mural project will have to go on hold for a few days. The corn hole boards also need to be done this week.
I'm also going to the Ford dealership this morning to see about trading my truck in for something of equal(or lesser lol) value. This is going to be tricky I know, but I just don't have the money necessary to fix the problems that my truck now has and will have in the near future. I spent some time on the online Kelly Blue Book site and printed out some information to take with me.
This is my 2002 Ford Ranger that I bought from them in 2004......
She still looks pretty good, a few minor scuffs and a couple of spots where the paint is chipping around the top edge of the bed (from ladders I suspect) but all in all not bad. Its her parts that are starting to wear out, the rods and bearings, soon the brake pads and shocks, etc. KBB says a fair trade in for 'good' condition is $3,325 and in 'fair' condition $2,800.
OK, so I go online to the Ford dealerships site and look for used cars. The only car that pops up as being worth about the same as my truck (actually less if I were using it for a trade in) is a Chevy Cavalier convertible.....BUT.....its a 1991, twenty years old and 121,000 miles!! But isn't she cute.....
KBB says her fair trade in value if in good condition is $1,475 and if fair $1,300. They have it priced for sale at $5,000, but their 'internet price' is $3,000.
I don't know. I keep thinking about my ex-husbands truck....we bought it around 1992 or 3 and it wasn't new then.....he's still driving it. We bought it at this same dealership (as was my truck).
I also keep thinking, they wouldn't put something out for sale that wasn't in good condition.....would they??
Well, I'll go in armed with my fact sheets and lots of questions and we'll see where this goes.

Well here's today's progress......
I could probably add more people to the water and more cars and I'm not done with the landscaping, but I'm tired of working on this part so I'll move on to the last section. Gosh....those folks on the bench look a bit puny.
I think more cars would help create some distance between the building and the beach.
I'm having a rough time adjusting to working at home.....not being able to find peace in the chaos.

After finding out my truck needed at least $1200. worth of work on it, I decided to try and trade to someone who could fix it (or afford to have it fixed) for a car of equal value. I'm trying Craigslist and my Ford dealership....yes, they're actually willing to consider it, I'll see them on Tuesday.
Before anyone goes running off to buy a net10 phone plan, just know that if you want to keep your old phone number for your new phone, things could get a little frustrating.......I've been without a phone all week. What they don't tell you is that when you do port your old number that you will need to get a new sim card. Not knowing that, I waited days for the activation to happen and finally (since I have no other phone) reported online that I could neither make nor receive calls. I got a response the next day saying that I needed a new sim card, it came the following day. The new sim card registered on my screen as 'unregistered sim' and when I tried to go to my online account to reactivate the phone, my account said the account was active so it wouldn't let me reactivate.......sigh. I just got back from radio shack where I bought it and after 45 minutes on the phone with them it's finally working.
If nothing else goes awry I still think the unlimited plan for $50 is the best bargain out there.

Progress goes slow on the lower half of the exterior mural. I found it extremely hard to focus on the work having let my frustration over the phone take over me.
The top part of the building that you see here will be added to the top part of the mural that's already hung. I confess I'm taking liberty with the landscape surrounding this building...the distance between the building and the beach should be much greater as should be the distance to the waters edge. That structure on the beach was actually the entrance to an underground tunnel.
Another distraction, my son and his family were in town :-) so I spent some time with them.
We took a short trip over to the beach and as you can see here, I do believe my oldest grandson Ian (age 5) has a bit of a creative side himself. His sand castle...........a palm tree seed on the top, a piece of driftwood for the drawbridge.......too cute.
I can't believe I managed to get all my supplies and the few pieces of furniture left from the shop all nicely tucked away out of site. When I moved into this apartment a year and a half ago I couldn't imagine what I would do with all the closet space.....problem solved.
I've got a full week ahead of me......tomorrow I'll be painting multi-patterned hippos in a laundry room. The rest of the week I'll be trying to finish up the mural for the building and I've got two pet portraits to do...a rooster and a lab.
I spent hours online yesterday trying to find a new cell phone and a new plan that wouldn't put an additional strain on my now worsening financial situation. I've been 'sort of' fortunate that in the last few months I had qualified for a free cell phone program called Assurance Wireless. They send you a phone and give you 250 free minutes, but you can also purchase more if you need them. I do still qualify (obviously) but I've always had to purchase extra minutes, and the phone that they give you to use is very low quality....constantly dropping calls, very poor reception, not good for business, I needed a change.
So finding a phone wasn't a problem, with everyone offering free phones or reduced priced phones if you sign up for their plan, but I didn't want that commitment to a contract. So I finally settled on Net10's month to month no contract plan that came package with an LG smart phone for $29. They seem to offer the most bang for your buck with unlimited talk, text/picture messaging, web/email and 411 for $50 a month, and the phone has camera/video, bluetooth, web access, etc....all the bells and whistles I would ever need. They have less expensive plans......$25 for 750 minutes is probably the next best deal they offer, so if the 50 becomes too much of a strain I can drop it down. I'll have to watch my minutes and see if 750 would work.
Today I'm relaxing and making hippo templates. Tuesday I'll start back on the mural.......it has to take priority, its sitting in my living room.
So, up it goes. That's David (one of the owners of the building) on the left, the new tenant next door on the right, and the new tenant for the space I was using on the ground.


Pressures on to get those bottom panels done!