Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday: My mom came in on Thursday, Ryan was supposed to come in on Friday night... Mom came in on thursday as planned, then we went in to the Doc friday morning to find out Mike was fighting the early stages of Pneumonia... Later that day after lots of cooking... we found out that Pneumonia is, in fact, very contagious! So we called off the party and Ryan decided to pospone his trip... maybe 'til new years?
Meanwhile Jenny and I had decorated the dining room and table so pretty and we had all this food! So Jenny and Jason decided that they had immune systems of steel along with my mom and I :) And we made the best of things!
Here's the abbreviated Thanksgiving gang: 11-6=5 This photo (below) captures a moment in the whole 2/24 hours Mike was vertical on Saturday... [Sunday was about the same]
After Dinner we moved into the Kitchen/Family Room for Dessert and coffee where Jason demonstrated for us the "proper" way to drink coffee from a china cup.

Thanks to God for:
  • The Healing Mike has experienced in the past week.
  • Bringing my mom here and home again safely
  • Pure and unrelenting friendships
  • A roof over my head
  • A warm meal to eat
  • Infinite grace, love, trustworthiness, and mercy
  • Wisdom and perspective

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Plastered, Painted Pantry Door

Inspired by something a client saw in a furniture store, I was asked to paint a pantry door. The picture below is a view of the front, to see detail, click on the image. The center is a useable black-board while the edges are raised up with plaster and then hand-painted and "aged" with stains and glazes.

After providing such a fun look to the front, I was stumped on the back... then I remembered that I had a trick up my sleeve :) It turned out pretty great! Hope the client likes it as much as I do...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Retreat '09

Last weekend was our annual art retreat. This group of women have been going up to work on oil paintings in Wisconsin for a weekend in fall for over 30 years. The salvation army camp for the past 24?? I think...
Anyways, not only do I enjoy these women and an opportunity to set time aside to paint but I also look forward to spending a little QT with my mom. Especially now living out of state it's important that we both set time aside and make efforts to hang out.

Here is a picture of my finished painting. I found the photo in the Oklahoma Living magazine a while back and loved the colors. It's a very 'mystical' scene. I don't know why but painting rocks is one of the hardest things... I think they turned out okay though ;)
It has worked out really well the last 2 years... Mike's folks live about 1/2 hour away from the camp so he flew in to see them, picked me up for a visit and then we had a 12 hr road trip back. Kinda long but not bad... we had plenty of laughs and chats.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hi God

Well... I don't think I slept a second until sometime after 4:30 last night... or should I say this morning? I wanted to thank you for the chats... I didn't think I was worried about anything but you reminded me of a couple things.... it's all small stuff... like REALLY small stuff and you're bigger than the human mind can conceive.
Sometimes I think you keep us awake just so that you can spend time with us... so I trust that I won't be too tired on the road today... You know I don't know why it is... but I feel like everytime we start to get close and I get to feel like I can dance with your spirit... the enemy comes in and steals my joy. I am getting sick of the road blocks... please give me strength.
Okay, I gotta get going so I can get on the road.. Love you :) Thanks!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Kitchen Art: Pear, Strawberries, Apple (Charcoal)

Kitchen art available individually or as a set:

Apple: 8x10 Checked Charcoal Back Ground... seeds and stem in copper leaf, leaf in silver leaf... remainder in acryllics and stain

Strawberries: 8x10 Plaid Charcoal Background. Featuring gold and copper leafing, acryllics and stain

Pear: 8x10 Featuring copper and silver leaf, acryllics and stain

Ginko Leaves: 16x20 (Silver Leafing) applied over contemporary pattern in a soft gold metallic eathy greens and stain shading.

The past couple days at Kustom Kate Studios have been busy and full of inspiration. Keep our custom artwork in mind for your holiday shopping... custom orders taken.Tell a freind!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kustom Shades

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find a cute lampshade when you need one? ... there's not many options out there!
Click to enlarge, reptile skin pattern applied for a leather effect... black trim for a "finished" look
Call Kustom Kate with your artistic needs today!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Studio.... (inmygarage)

This Week's Project.... (Cabinets)

After just short of a year of living in Oklahoma... this past May/June ; I got really annoyed with lugging my supplies into the house from various storage places to work on samples, and projects. So one day I got motivated, made a list, went to Lowes, and got to work creating myself a work-space. Of course summer came early this year... I spent a little over a week organizing and putting shelves up etc in 105 degrees 'til about 10:30 pm each night. Who-da-thought the rest of the summer would be mild?

Anyways, I LOVE working out there. I have spent many of the summer evenings working, creating, playing and jamming to tunes. My work doesn't really feel like work to me... I CRAVE it... just ask Mike.. I go crazy if I don't have something to paint :)


Kitty in a box.. Iris has made herself a home in one of the boxes from Mikes Birthday... She thanks my mom :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meg's Leaf

A close friend of mine from college, Meg, recently moved from the mountains of British Columbia to a suburb of Vancouver. They've been fixing up and revovating the home they bought and she's been looking for unique artwork for her dining room. She was looking for something with a nature theme but I know she has always had a knack for the contemporary. She sent me pictures of the room and other selections she has made in the house so I could get an idea for color and the direction of style they are taking throughout the home.
When a vision finally came to me and I described it as a leaf "like something a hobbit would drink tea or water from" I knew she was probably a bit nervous. But the final result is not that creepy... it's whimsical but not wierd... at least I don't think so.
I haven't shipped it yet. but I e-mailed her a picture and it sounds like she's rather excited!
This is something I want to be doing a lot more of. If you're stumped on a gift idea for someone or need to fill a niche in your home with some thing unique... keep me in mind! Everything I do is custom :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


We moved down here to Oklahoma just over a year ago.. it's been a great year of meeting new people, making new friends, learning our way around, building [or starting over for the 3rd and final time] Kustom Kate, and working on the house and yard while waiting for my marketing efforts to come to fruition :)
The good thing is that the house is personalized (for the most part) and the yard has lots of plants flowers and a vegetable garden! However in the meantime there have been ups and downs and lots of conversations with God asking for revelation and direction. I actually really connected with Third Day's song "Revelation" when they started playing it on the radio.
It feels like just in the past week or 2 things have begun to come uncovered for both of us and I am jumping out of my skin with excitement waiting to see what God has in store for us in this next stage...
We're in the process of getting connected in a church that's doing a great job of making the Gospel: The message of Jesus Christ relevant to today's world.
Mike's working with the 9th and 10th Grade boys... I am looking to serve in some way also... I have a great idea for a ministry I'd like to start and see expand to many cities that I will share later.
We went to our first Community group/Home group/Bible study... whatever you want to call it :) on sunday evening and REALLY enjoyed the people!
Kustom Kate is starting to grow... I have worked hard and invested time and resources into marketing harder than I have ever had to before. Not knowing anyone in a depressed economy while trying to sell a high-end luxury service has really been challenging. I thank God for the strength and perserverance and will continue to need it... Everytime I wanted to give up I thought "What else would I do?" Paint is my passion... that's what I've been given.
And I have been getting into more and more fine art which has been really fun... I hope that continues to grow... I would even be really happy if that's where Kustom Kate was ultimately going... we'll see :) One of my pieces got selected for viewing among other local artists with Tulsa Young Professionals to hang in Gilcrease Museum for a week... I am excited about that. What does it mean?? Nothing really, but it's exciting and something to add to the resume :)
Anyways, it's been an uphill climb and it feels good to have finally reached a plateau... I am going to enjoy this for a while because as we all know... the terrain changes quickly!
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" PH 4:13


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend Visitor :)

This Past weekend My Cuz Anne came in for an awesome visit! We kicked off the weekend with Bocce and Pizza...
On saturday we went to Safari Zoo in Broken Arrow and Met Missy and Fed the Tigers...

Later on we Played LOTS of Settlers of Caton; Our super fun neighbor firends came too ... and we grilled an awesome dinner!

Great fun... definately a treat to catch up with Anne IN PERSON! Crazy how much time passes between visits with our favorite people as we get older.. It was a long overdue visit... Now I better make plans to go to DC before too much time passes!

Thank you for Coming Ann-a-rooski!


Sunflower For Kate

I couldn't post until this Gift reached it's rightful owner....
I had fun doing it though!


The 4th in Denver!

I know I am a bit late... but I did want to share our adventures to Denver over the 4th of July with all of my AVID readers. [note sarcasm]

Anyways we took a road trip to Denver from Tulsa... the drive started out beautiful... Here in Green Country! Once we reached western OK it was very important to try and keep up good conversation all the way to Denver.... Yes, although a natural wonder in itself... there are streches in South Eastern Colorado where you can see NOTHING but hay... No I am not exaggerating Not a House Not a Bush, Not a Tree, Not a Cow!

Alas once we arrived we had great fun! Upon our arrival we recieved a free guided tour of the Historic Borown Palace Hotel Denver by my brother Ryan. Then we were on to have Dinner with Aunt Julie and Uncle Bob.... it was delicious and great conversation!

We woke up on friday morning and headed to Idaho Springs for mine and Mike's first experience with white water rafting! Super fun... I was freaked out... but My Tough Guys : Ryan and Mike did a great Job Keeping us out of trouble on those Class 4 Rapids. YIKES!

Saturday we enjoyed a first-class viewing of the Denver Pro LaCross team on the field at Invesco... cooking on the field by the Brown Palace 5 Star Chef's. After the game Fire Works!!!

Then we headed back to Ryan's for some late night chats... then up early to make coffee for everyone at Ryan's Church... After Church we filled our bellies with BBQ and hit the road!

It was an action Packed weekend.... and of course too short!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cub's Room

Today I finished painting a Todler's Room in Bixby OK in a Chicago Cub's Theme. It was a treat to do... considering I'm a Chicago Girl myself!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hand Painted Vanity

This week's project was fun! Some furniture pieces can really be fun!

I used a little silver tamise for some sparkle :)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Laundry Room Paint Update... before and after!

This room was 100% updated with Paint!

These are obviously the "after" pics... Owls and Pairs. Think it'll sell? I think it's trendy :)
Here's the ugly "before" with 70's dark cabinets. Also note that I moved the holes and chose fresh 'retro' hardware'.
(click to enlarge)
Always coming up with something new here at Kustom Kate Studios!
Now I will be anxious to put some fresh tile down... hmmm I'm thinking slate!
Comments and criticism are always welcome!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Mini Road-Trip

On Saturday Mike and I decided to have an adventure together... so we went to the welcome center in Tulsa and picked up our maps and trail guides and state park guides for the summer! We decided to check out Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam OK The falls were beautiful! There was a short 20 or so min hike down into the gorge to be at the base of the falls. Then we headed back and continued on our road trip...
Since we were so close, we decided to wander around a bit in Arkansas... our most favorite state :) It really is so amazingly beautiful... We still want to retire there... or just move there someday! We ended up in Prarie Grove where we enjoyed our picnic lunch at the Prarie Grove Battle Field Park. Then we took the driving tour of the Civil War Battlefield; I read info at the stops while Mike drove.
We decided to "make a loop of the day" and came back through Talequah OK... (neither of us had seen Talequah yet)
We stopped at blockbuster on the way home and picked up "Taken" and "Valkyrie"... when they were over we crashed and slept like logs!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I like to share a couple pics through out the season showing off my greens ... a lot of which I always attempt to start with seed... whatever does not make it, I fill with plants and flowers... I try to find on sale :)

Here's the Vegetable Patch... small this year... it'll grow

Here's one of my pots

This one's probably my fav... the wave petunias were one of my seed babies

This is the first garden I started at this house... perennials obviously not from seed.. looks like it needs a little love...
I've done a lot in the front too... I'll share that later :) Most of it was spring bloomers

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Concert in the Park

On Tuesday we packed a picnic dinner and went to a free concert at the RiverWalk in Tulsa/Jenks Laura, Simeon and their new friend Julia.

Some great songs were played and sung by Kristy Nockels, her Husband and a new artist named Christian. We all discussed how thankful we are that we can still express praise to God publicly in this great nation!

Monday, May 25, 2009

An interesting call

Okay... I don't necessarily talk about each and every job I do... however this one was different..
I got a call from a business in Okmulgee OK... about an hour or so away... They needed someone to do some seasonal painting on their windows... something I had neve done before... so I hope that the paint doesn't wash off... here are a couple pics:

Was it worth the time? I don't know, I have to think about it. It was an adventure anyways :)

A Relaxing end to a CRAZY month!

It all started a month ago with my birthday... as I mentioned in my previous post we have some great-long-time friends come and visit for my birthday weekend and we had a lot of laughs! The next weekend Mike's sister came down with her 3 munchkins... the weather wasn't great... but we managed to have a great and silly time :) Quality time with family is always welcome here!
What's interesting about that weekend too is that it is the same weekend we were supposed to break ground.. or raise the wall for house #9 Habitat for Humanity Womenbuild Tulsa... we were blessed to have the celebrity Trisha Yearwood to come and do some building and promotional videos to kick off national Women Build Week... Anyways it was so rainy that week and we were not going to be able to build outside... so the 10 of us Lady Builders that formed a committee last fall were informed at 6pm on friday that we would be making a luncheon for her and her Hubby Garth Brooks at noon on saturday... yikes! No pressure or anything ;) Anyways I made Brownies [yes from the box] and a cheese and cracker platter. It was a great time and I was pleasantly impressed by their humility and open hearted love for Jesus. What a great day it was!
Anyways.. the next weekend I got sick... I went to the wall raising day and had fun... but needed rest! Then on tuesday Mike's parents called us with a last minute decision to come and visit the next [last] weekend. Once again we had a great visit... lots of time to hang out and chat... they brought us lots of plants and Mike's mom helped me with lots of gardening... and we went to Mayfest in Tulsa a quality visit again.
Anyways needless to say we decided to take it easy over Memorial Day we I went to the build on saturday and drank about 18 gallons of water and never peed because it was so hot! But it was great fun!
Yesterday we went to church and then just chilled! We had Mike's boss and wife for a noon BBQ today and are now winding down [I'm catching up on 4 blogposts and he's doing homework] for the week .... a relaxing end to a CRAZY month!
If you haven't yet check out I have been updating progress on the house! :)


Thursday, April 30, 2009


I haven't been up here in a while... so I thought turning 30 would be a typical thing to blog about... :)
The truth is, birthdays come and go and I don't give much thought to it. It's crazy how time flies, that just reminds me how I need to be responsible with what I have. Taking care of myself [ I NEED to work out and re-balance my diet], and using my time wisely... investing in myself and others. That's what it's all about!
Anyways our good long-time friends, Tony and Melyssa, came in for the weekend. We had lots of fun visiting and catching up! Always a ridiculous amount of laughter :) It was a great way to celebrate.
Business has been picking up... actually some-what consistent... for now! I'll take it, I am thankful.
That's pretty much it... Mike's sister Kristen is planning on coming with her 3 little ones this weekend, so I have a bit of cleaning and shopping to do. Hope the sun comes out!
We break ground on Tulsa Habitat for Humanity Women Build House #9 on Saturday... so that'll be fun and busy too!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Oil for Auction

Okay, I have yet to sign it... and possibly add another piece of stem... [and maybe a tiny little bug on it] but this is pretty much it.
Along with donating a custom project of my decorative art services, I also offered to do an oil painting for the upcoming Habitat for Humanity auction. Proceeds from these two donations will go toward
Women Build, a group I have been involved with since Fall.
I'll be curious to see how the painting does... I have never sold nor auctioned any of my oils... I tend to get too attached after hours and hours of work... this one probably only took me 12-16 hours though... so I'll keep a picture :)
Today I'll be working on the
Kustom Kate display... then hopefully I will be finished with auction stuff with a couple weeks to spare... not like me to be so ahead of schedule... but the painting will probably take a couple weeks to dry.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Stuff...

If I hear just one more time
That I should try and be more open-minded
I think I just might scream
The world says this is all there is
Yet I believe the One who says there's life after this
Now tell me how much more open can my mind be?
"One Trick Pony"

I was rockin to this song while working earlier this week...
Love the words of that verse

[I tried to embed the video but You Tube has Gotten Tricky... it's called "Jesus Would've Been a Biker - One Trick Pony - Mercy Me" Check it out if you have 3 min 46 sec ]

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 New Pieces and a Road Trip

Here are a couple more of these "contemporary" pieces I have been posting. I am starting to generate more and more ideas... we'll se how this goes... Either I will find a place to display and sell them, or I will have a closet full of paintings. :)

These are for sale anytime and would also make great gifts :) E-Mail or comment if you need size info.
Last week I drove down to Killeen Tx to help my bud (since pre-school) Sheri and her husband Steve freshen up a few things before putting their house on the market. Here's a picture of the most luxurious welcome-center I have ever seen.... Only in Texas!

Of course I had to stop... my love for maps forces me to stop and get a free map every time I enter a new state :) I really do love maps... my other bud Katie used to buy me an atlas every year for my birthday!
While there... we worked our tails off. We re-painted the master bedroom and moved furniture, applied a metallic stripe to dress-up the entry way, touched-up ceiling and trim in whole house, did lots of weeding and planting outside, went shopping for house stuff.. managed to swing by the GAP... and ate a lot because we were burning up all the calories :) I also painted her neighbor's family room, and fireplace.... I was sore!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Past week and next...

This past week went by pretty quickly...
It started off monday... with visiting angels. I was with the client from 9-5 cooking cleaning and going to the doctor. A long but easy going day!
Tuesday and wednesday I was doing some running around and made some samples for a friend's place of business. If you get time take a peak ! I'll be there tomorrow installing some decorative panels :)
Thursday through Saturday I, along with a handful of Women Builders, was at Habitat for Humanity painting and helping to finish a new office built for one of our Habitat employees!
(I added a bit of Kustom Kate Flare)
Here's a pic, but for more info, visit

Tormorrow I need to head back and finish up a bit of trim painting, and then to Elegance by Design to install painted panels.
My plan is to head to Kileen Texas on Tuesday morning to help my bud Sheri and her Husband prepare their house to put on the market... Good news! She booked a job for me at her neighbor's house too!

Road trip! Looking forward to the drive... lot's of music and some Coke Classic!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Trip to Illinois...

I know it's been like a hundred years since I posted... well, a couple weeks anyway. Time just flies by...
Anyways Mike and I made a trip home weekend before last... When our Niece Sydney tried out and got a part for "Sound of Music" with Christian Youth Theatre, I told her that I would come and see. Mike also expressed a desire (which I was totally up for too) to Join CREW for winter retreat... How great they both fell on the same weekend! Everything worked out great!
I left for Chicago a day and a half ahead of Mike, my friend Melyssa came and picked me up from the airport. We went for lunch and then by her house to check out all their latest home improvement projects. It was great to catch up and spend some time together... we had lots of laughs as usual... and Cresston her adorable 2-yr old too!
Then I was off to Holly's! We had LOTS of work to do! We painted her Kitchen a sort of subdued green-apple color, then added some accents... It looked awesome! Meanwhile Chris put up picture frame molding below the chair rail in the bathroom so we could tackle that room next! If she E-mail's me pics, I'll post!
Friday we hustled up to finish the bathroom, then I had to shower and me and Marie went to pick up Mike at the airport. The 3 of us went for pizza at Nicks in Chrystal Lake... our favorite! Then off to the Play! The production was amazing and I welled up with tears of pride for Syd... she did great!
Saturday morning we woke at my mom's and headed out to Stone Church for a weekend of laughs, fun, praise and growth with Crew. The trip this year was a bit easier than last... it wasn't snowing and we could actually see in front of us!

Some of the more serious moments (team building) at Winter Retreat 2009

I am always amazed by this group of young adults, there is no pretense. Everyone loves and accecpts eachother for who they are. It's rare to see such a wide range (7-12 grade) get along so well. It really is a family, a loving family! Pastor Erik and (Pastor :) ) Bethany do an amazing job leading and directing this group.
We are greatful to take part and experience all of you. I trust these kids and kids like them to be the next generation of leaders!
When we got back, we finished off the weekend with a visit with the Stenglein family at Kristen's in Oak Park! Pretty amazing trip!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Spring Inspiration from Scripture

The fresh air and preview of spring gives me a taste of heaven!

I found this piece of scripture to be fitting:

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you!
Psalm 84:10-12

God Bless Your Day!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Contemporary Trends and a Slow Economy

It's true, just as anything else is: decorating trends are cyclical. But even more interesting is that throughout time, decorating trends tend to reflect the financial stability of the market. Makes sense, right?? These styles are reflected on HGTV... However, even though the styles are simpler, they don't have to look "cheap"!
I actually love the clean and refreshing feel of the contemporary trends.

A few ways we see the trend implemented:
1.Less fabric!...fewer pleats, even blinds replacing window treatments in some cases.
2.Painted cabinets and trim... much more cost effective than new!...but also shows off..
3.Bolder wall color Selections!
4.Furniture: Straight lines rather than intricate carved wood
5. Frame-less Art Work

It is during these slower times that we see and have throughout the years... people getting creative with paint! Not only can proper color selections make a big impact on our environment (work or home) but it doesn't have to make a big dent in the wallet! You can also save money by painting your old cabinets and furniture rather than replacing them! (See older posts)
Consider hiring a professional for these projects... when done properly you will add value to your home!

Here are a couple pics of our freshly painted fitness room with a contemporary style!

As you can see, rather than using expensive plasters and multiple layers; I applied a simple pattern using very little material. This whole room effect, once the base-coat is completed can be accomplished in a matter of a couple of hours!



Okay... I'll warn you now I had to voice my frustration with this creature I found today... but I do plan to post twice today and the second will be much better.
I need confirmation that this is a fiddleback... I'm sure Mike will be good for that... it scared the pants off me... and I attacked!
Although we haven't found one in almost 6 months... we have been told time and time again that we live in the south... and we live in the country so running into these guys is inevitable... doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy though. Call exterminator is added to today's list of to-do's.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Loneliness, a thought for the day...

It's no secret that moving here at the time we did has resulted in a much more challenging environment to gain traction in the Decorative Art world.. My reaction to that has been to invest the time I have in building and nurturing relationships. A lot of times, I meet with another professional, we discuss in depth the services we provide and how our referrals can compliment eachother. Valuable time spent professionally, and as a bonus some of these relationships have evolved into friendships which I am greatful for!
Since moving here, however, my eyes have been opened to an entire world of hurting people that many of us forget about in the busyness of our day to day. I have encountered so many people who have really no one or very few people in their lives. I come from a huge family and have been blessed with friends that have stayed with me through every stage of my life. Now and then I get to feeling sorry for myself because I am home a lot by myself... and am reminded not to take for granted the wonderful and loving people I do have in my life!
I commit myself to be there for people who need a friend, or an ear. It's simple, we all know someone (often times elderly, but there are lonely and sad people in every age group) who could use a visit or a phone call. Who do you know that needs a visit? Instead of expecting someone else to... pick the phone.
The word of God tells us over and over again that God never leaves our side. Not only is that comforting, but it also helps to keep me accountable. My Uncle Jim once said something very simple and wise... don't do anything you wouldn't do if you knew that Jesus was right there in the room with you... because he is.

Just a couple of thoughts for the day! Have a good one :)


Friday, January 30, 2009

What do you think?

Okay, I came up with a couple ideas using some of the products and techniques I do on walls combined with oil paints and canvas...
A little more contemporary than the fine Detail Oils I usually do... but I am thinking about introducing myself to gallery display... here are the first 2... so what do you honestly think... it doesn't have to be your style, but do you think they'd sell?? (you can comment anonomysly)

Above: Black is a reptile skin texture.
Both: Inset patterns done in metal-leafing