Topic: The Life Creative

40×40 – Happy Birthday to ME!!

Yesterday was my Birthday. It’s interesting how we grow up loving our birthdays, wanting to let everyone to know. Now a days I have a love/hate relationship with my birthday and sometimes even have trouble actually remembering how old I am. Yes, I’m in total denial that I’m officially closer to 40 then I am to 30.

So what do I do to remedy that? Go to the hair salon to get a make-over of course :)

I’ve been itching to get bangs ever since I let Ava Blu get them. She looked so darn cute I just couldn’t resist. Mom and daughter twinkies. Totally dorkie. I know! But, I’m only 37 once and Ava Blu isn’t yet embarrassed to look like me, so now’s the time, right?!

Back in the day when you actually opened up your birthday presents in front of  ALL of your friends!

  Last week, while I was having dinner with some friends in NYC, one of my friends told us about her 40 before 40 list (it was stowed away on her phone for easy access). She had some really good items on her list like riding in a horse drawn carriage in Central Park and then more practical things like writing her will.

Yep that cigar is as old as I am!

Well, she totally got me thinking about coming up with a list of my own. So being that I’m 37 this year I thought it would be a good time to start a list. I mean, in 3 years I should be able to to check everything off my list, RIGHT!?!

Look how adorably young my mom was!!!

…And my dad’s sideburns totally ROCKed!

…So here’s my 40 x 40!! I’m going to need some help crossing some of these items off my list, so if any of my items interest you and want to join me, just leave me a comment or send me an email. I totally welcome your company and could certainly use your help !!! :)

 40×40  (in no particular order)

  1. See if I’m a candidate for Lasic. If yes get it done! – I’ve worn glasses since I was in 2nd grade. I actually started off with bifocals and the only way they got me to wear my glass was by telling me that I looked like Wonder Woman: Lynda Carter. They were red rimmed glasses! I tried contacts in High School and wore them for a bit but they never quite worked for me. So it’s been glasses everyday since. Can I just tell you it would be really nice to actually be able to see the alarm clock in the morning:)
  2. Teach a creative class or workshop- I’ve been wanting to teach for a while.
  3. Land a Speaking Engagement - With the The HOW Confrence being the Holy Grail :) Who would of thought that this scaredy-cat would get such a thrill out of speaking to an audience. Maybe I should join ToastMasters again?
  4. Visit India! – Does anyone want to sponsor me for a creative pilgrimage? I’ve been dreaming about visiting here for ages. When I go I want to see the dye houses and artisans as well as do some volunteer work.
  5. Join a book club – I’d love for it to be a group that meets in person. So if you are part of group in the East Bay and need/want another member please let me know!
  6. Write a novel - I know my spelling and grammar sucks but I’ve been collecting ideas for years. So I know there’s at least one good story I have to tell.
  7. Skinny dip in the ocean under a full moon – Just because, it sounds fun and exciting!
  8. Do a detox cleanse-  I have this one in mind but have been kind of scared to do it alone.
  9. Create a living will - Well, because it’s about time I have one. It’s such a very adult thing to do.
  10. Get my tattoo removed- My high school boyfriend took me to get an illegal tattoo on my belly when I was a senior. I felt like such a bad ass at the time but man what a mistake. It’s an awful design in a terrible place (I thought I would never have kids). And because of it I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 17.
  11. Start a meditation daily practice that will be hard to break - It’s a great way to start the day if only I could actually get up early enough to actually do it.
  12. Exercise on a regular basis - I need some physical movement in my life. Nothing crazy strenuous but definitely active. And if helps me tone and lose my baby pouch that would be awesome!
  13. Start/Join a Creative Support Group- I’ve had a great group in the past.
  14. Ride a Mechanical Bull- Shouldn’t every girl do this at least once!?
  15. Create and sell an e-course – This kind of goes with No.2.
  16. Work thru the Artist Way- I done this before and I love to get a buddy or small group to work through the book with me. Sometimes it’s all about accountability.
  17. Floss my teeth every night- I  unfortunately have inherited teeth with weak enamel and need to be taking better care of them. And anyway, if Jay can floss every night I should be able to do it too. The trick is to be able to do it without looking in the mirror.
  18. Write a contributers column on the Huff Post- It’s my homepage, where I get all my news and gossip. I totally admire Arianna Huffington and think it would be so cool to write for her!
  19. Create photo books from all my Facebook and Instagram photos – All the pictures that I have are digital. I don’t have any traditional albums anymore. I need to fix that. There is something about having an actual book of your photographs.
  20. Put together Ava Blu’s baby book – Kind of goes with No. 19. Gotta get those digital photos printed and bound.
  21. Have an up and running online shop – Etsy here i come! I’ve been meaning to do this for years and it’s about time I put some real energy toward it.
  22. Make and Manufacture my own product line- This is a biggie but at least I already have ideas in the works!!
  23. Get dress up and attend a Black Tie Charity Event- Fun for a good cause and you get to wear a fancy dress. The last time I’ve done something like that was Prom!
  24. Do at least one craft/art project a week. – I need to get off the computer work with my hands more.
  25. Hire a professional organizer-  I just need someone to help me come up with easy and useable systems for filing and sorting mail and bills. The mail pile can get out of control in my house.
  26. Collaborate with another creative on a big project - I’m not sure exactly what yet, but I know I want to do something with someone.
  27. Play the lottery – I always want to play this at least once but those picking cards look so intimidating. I’m going to have to ask someone to help me fill mine out.
  28. Take a bookbinding/letterpress class- I know just where I want to take it I just need to commit. Anyone want to take a class with me?
  29. Learn how to knit- I’ve always romanticise about making scarfs for Christmas gifts.
  30. Get a reliable cleaning service to come to my house - at least once a month. I love a clean home I just hate doing the cleaning.
  31. Have a mentor- Hasn’t just about every successful person in history had one!? I know I could certainly use the guidance, knowledge and experience of someone that has build a successful small business.
  32. Be a mentor- Because it’s just good Karma to pay it forward!
  33. Take a wine tasting class- I do live in NorCal I should know my wines and how to really taste them!
  34. Host and run a retreat - I want to help grow and nurture the creative community I’m a part of.
  35. Get custom fitted for a bra – Do I really need to explain why!? ;)
  36. Live in another country - Even if it’s just for the summer! I think it would be an inspiring and awesome experience  for my whole family.
  37. Get my palm read in a psychic reading- I’ve always wanted to do this.
  38. Get all my dental work finished- Not incredibly sexy but definitely needed and crazy expensive.
  39. Try out for a Reality TV show or a commercial - Just to say I’ve done it. I think it would be fun. I’ll admit it. I’ve totally had dreams about being on Survivor.
  40. Buy a serious piece of artwork- As an artist I want to able to also buy art that supports other artists.

37 is going ot be a great year!!

Off to a CRAZY start

Oh boy this year has totally gotten off to a CRAZY busy start!! There has been so much that I’ve wanted to share with you but I just haven’t seemed to have a moment to spare. I’ve wanted to tell you about my amazing trip back East for the Holiday.

Hanging with family. Ava Blu showing in her first horse show with her cousins.

Tramping around Philly. Eating an authentic Philadelphia Cheese Steak. (I haven’t eaten meat in well over 12 years. Well, that is if you don’t count that cheeseburger I scarfed when I was super prego and having all sorts of crazy cravings.)

Spending a week in Brooklyn. I’ve been to NYC plenty of times, but never to Brooklyn. I totally dig it there. We caught a Broadway Show. Took Ava Blu to the American Girl Store on 5th Ave. Did some Ice Skating in Central Park. All and all a ton of fun even in the freezing weather conditions.

…And then there’s my mantra for 2013 that I wanted to share.

I originally planned on picking out a “word of the year”, just as I have done for the past 3 years, but some how a mantra seemed more fitting this time around since I’m trying to do things differently.

Doing the unexpected will have refreshing and rewarding results.


Happy New Year!!

think differently!

Lately I feel like my eyes have been glazing over with the mountains of sameness that I’ve been encountering. All this sameness has been driving me crazy and I’ve been feeling this strong urge to pick up and run the complete opposite direction as everyone else.

I definitely don’t want to be doing things the same as everyone else. Not like in my early childhood when it was so incredibly important to “fit in”. I want to be different. But, doing things differently can be harder then you think. It’s so easy to get swept-up with the herd and get caught in a groupthink mindset. I think we all feel the pull to belong and fit in with our peer groups. Often we feel that to be successful we have to do things this or that way just because that’s what everyone else is doing. And really it’s no surprise that so many of us feel this way. I mean my goodness, we are social creatures and are biologically wired for group cohesion. I think sometimes we doen’t even realize that we’re subconsciously following the social norms.

Thinking differently takes a real concisions effort, but if you are confident in your vision who gives a sh!t what everyone else is doing!? 

I’ve been relishing in the freedom of thinking differently and I’m starting to get really excited about a new personal project that I’ll be launching early next year. It comes from the heart and will be a year long exploration of living and loving out loud, with a bit of mischief thrown in just to keep things interesting. 

photoshoot out-takes

I just had to share with you a few out-takes from the studio photoshoot. These photos, that Jay took, are just too nice to be lost in a folder somewhere on my desktop :)

The hanging lights are one of my favorite parts of my space :)

Ava Blu wanting to be in the picture too!

 Hangin’ with Penny. She’s totally the sweetest dog ever.

Having a moment…OK, more like convincing/bribing AB to cooperate.

Answering a few emails in between takes.

And of course there had to be at least one shot of us making silly faces :)

Thank you Jay!

I need HELP!!! :: Seeking my next creative inter

Oh my gosh I’m gonna be needing some major help!! Just look at this place. I’m still not sure where everything is. I’ve just been making do, cause I’ve been THAT busy!! …AND my intern Denyss just wrapped up. I’m already missing her. :) Here’s what she has to say about her experience:

DF: Hola! I am a BayArea native and a graphic designer. I was given the pleasure to intern for the lovely and talented Cindy Ann. My experience for the past 6 months with her has been amazing. It has really opened up my eyes to a lot of wonderful things and people. It gave me confidence in myself and work. Cindy Ann provided me with so much inspiration, more than she will ever know. Thank you Cindy Ann for allowing me in your home, your space and for the opportunity. Until we meet again.

Love Always,

Here’s where you can find Denyss ::


creative hotlist

So as I say good-bye to Denyss I am looking forward to taking on my next creative apprentice.

I’m looking for someone who can help me organize my studio, process images, do some blogging and create layouts and assist with some administrative and arty production things. If you are friendly, organized and not afraid to take initiative, offer up any ideas or two, have mad photoshop & illustrator skills, and know your way around social media networks let’s chat.

Some of the things you will do will be:

Tradeshow Prep- Printing, creating and organizing show binders, portfolios and display materials. Filling out forms. Organizing, and packing.

Digital - Scanning and cleaning images for art. Formatting, posting and uploading files to my website and blog. Creating mechanicals and reformatting artwork. Updating online portfolios & doing layouts for promotional materials.

Administrative Prep- Putting together sample packs, compiling list of press contacts, follow-up, updating and maintaining mailing lists (include researching), sending e-mails.

This is a volunteer position, so I really want to find someone that will benefit from the experience. I would love to feed you, help you get school credit, and teach you all that I can about illustration and the art licensing industry. Scheduling can be flexible and you can work from home for some of your hours. My home studio is located in Oakland Hills and I am looking for at least a 6 month commitment.

If this sort of thing might interest you email me at  and tell me a little about yourself and include links to your resume, blog, website, shop, twitter, or anything else you’d like to share. And answer the following questions: Name your top 3 favorite artist or illustrators. Why are you interested in this position and what you hope to gain from the experience. I’ll email you from there. :-)

And of course, if you know anyone in the SF Bay Area that you think might be interested please feel free to pass this along.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!!

still in a state of disarray

I still have a total disaster in my new studio space. I’ve been way too busy to do anything other then work. And let me tell you I’ve been working insane hours. I’m talking working all day with a break for dinner and family time, then back at it from 8pm-2am (sometimes 3). Totally crazy, but it’s all for a good cause. :) I’m so excited about what I’ve been working on and I can’t wait till I can actually spill the beans. But for now, all I can say is that it’s a total dream come true, and I am over the moon ☾. The project I’m working on is exactly the type of work I was hoping to be doing when I left the day job almost a year ago!

I’m hoping things will calm down a bit in the next two weeks, so I can actually take a couple of days to clean, organize and set up this space the way that I’d like. This mess is really starting to get to me but at least Penny is moved in and cozy.

ALL Paid OFF!! :-)

WHOA!!! I never thought this day would come and it ONLY took me 13 years to completely pay off my college education!! Crazy, right!? So was it worth it? I’m still not sure I can fully evaluate that. I mean I know I wasn’t ready for the “real world” right after high school, so college was a good next step, but could I have gotten to where I am today with out going? Maybe, maybe not. I guess I just have to chuck it up to an experience that I’m glad I had and one that I am super excited to have finally paid off!!!

Still room for a cherry on TOP!

WOW! Oh my GAUD you guys!! Today has been an AMAZING DAY & it’s not over yet. There’s still room for sprinkles & a cherry on top. (yes, somehow it always comes back to my sweet tooth.)

Today it just feels like all of the planets are starting to align. Everything is beginning to click into place. Things that I’ve been wanting and asking for are starting to arrive at my door. And not just one at a time, mind you, they are coming in two by two!!! :-)

Oh my gosh, this has been what I’ve been wanting for almost my whole life and I am soooo ready for it!!

I was just chatting with a friend today. Our conversation took a somber tone, as we began to talk about the state of the economy, how hard it has been for some folks and how sadly some artists have had to abandon ship. But, then it turned into us talking about hanging in there, sticking it out and being truly grateful for all that you have. Your health, your happiness and your family.

It all made me think about this song. It goes:

“One more year, one more year
Let’s hold our breath and give it just one more year”

Now, they maybe singing about a love affair, but really it’s all the same to me!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Kasey Chambers And Shane Nicholson – One More Year