Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 Random Facts About Me

I was recently tagged on Facebook to list 30 random facts about me. I had a lot of fun doing it, so I thought I'd share the list here as well!

1. If calories didn't matter, I'd dip pretty much everything in ranch dressing.

2. I never watch the news or read news articles. The only thing I know about current events is reading short headlines on my Yahoo homepage. I've always been the type of person that takes on everyone else's sadness and heartaches. Watching the news will literally disturb me for weeks if I see something that upsets me.

3. I have been a huge gamer my whole life. It all started when I got my Nintendo in 3rd grade. Then I started playing console role playing games when I got my Playstation in high school. Final Fantasy VII was the first one I played. Since then, I got into MMORPGs. I started playing EverQuest and was hooked ever since. I played EverQuest for probably 5 or 6 years. Now my husband and I play World of Warcraft and EverQuest 2 mostly, though we've played many different ones.

4. My husband and I met playing EverQuest. I was a high elf cleric and he was a wood elf rogue...how romantic lol. We talked for months before finally deciding to meet each other. We knew when we met that it was meant to be, but I couldn't stand the thought of having a long distance relationship (he lived in Arizona at the time and I lived in Georgia). So he packed up everything and moved to Georgia to be with me. I couldn't believe that someone would be willing to do something like that for me and I am still thankful to him to this day for making such a sacrifice.

5. I'm afraid of sleeping in a house by myself or being alone at night. On the few occasions my husband has had to go out of town for work, I stayed over my mom's house.

6. Even though I hate being alone at night, I love having time to myself during the day. I love to go to the movies or out to a restaurant by myself.

7. Dealing with the death of my cat Jax was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to cope with. She was gone for a year and half and I still found myself crying over it occasionally. It wasn't until I got my new cat Willow a few months ago that I felt my heart finally mend.

8. I cannot fall asleep at night without either reading a book or watching TV. If I try to just lay there and go to sleep, I will lay there for hours. My mind is constantly running at super fast speed. I have to trick it to turn off by reading or watching a show. And it has to be a show like a documentary. The Universe is my favorite thing to watch while falling asleep.

9. I am a very frugal person and rarely buy something that I don't absolutely need. I haven't bought new clothes in over six months and have worn the same winter shoes for two seasons now and will probably continue to wear them until they fall apart. Flip flops are a whole other story though!

10. Even though I love art, love looking at art and admire so many artists, I don't have a single piece of art hanging on my walls. Actually I have nothing on my walls. I have plenty of artwork and photos to hang up, but I have just never gotten around to doing it.

11. I am probably (ok not probably, I -am-) obsessed with Harry Potter. Not Harry Potter the person, but the whole world of Harry Potter. I love the books, movies, theme park...everything! I have read the books and watched the movies more times than I can count. If I could live in the world of Harry Potter, I would. And my love of painting witches comes more from Harry Potter than anything else.

12. I take turns eating everything on my plate and I will have one bite of everything left on my plate for my last round. Say I'm eating a breakfast platter at IHOP and it has pancakes, hash browns, eggs and bacon. I come up with an order, usually pancakes first, then hash browns, then eggs and then bacon. I take one bite of everything and continue in that manner until I get down to my last bite. And I will have one perfect bite of everything left on the plate! My husband always makes fun of me for it and tries to take my last bite of bacon to screw everything up.

13. I find it really difficult to be brief (as you can see from this list). It always seems to take a lot of words to get across what I mean and even when I use a lot of words, I sometimes feel like my meaning is not getting across. That's why I never got into using Twitter. I could never think of anything to say in the amount of characters you're allowed.

14. I have a big fear of forgetting to pay my bills! I keep a super organized spreadsheet of when my bills are due and put confirmation numbers for all of my payments. I look at it and my bank account all the time to make sure all my bills are taken care of for that month. I don't even have that many bills and don't know why I'm so fearful, but I just am.

15. I hate the sun! Sometimes I think I'm a vampire. But overcast days are my absolute favorite type of days. And if it's raining or thunder storming? Even better! Sunny days actually make me grumpy sometimes.

16. I have absolutely no desire to own a home. It just seems like way too much work to me and with the way the housing market is right now, it makes me not want to even more. Even though I feel like I'm supposed to one day own a home, because that's what normal people do, I just don't want to!

17. I own a teeny tiny two door cranberry Toyota Yaris and it is one of the best things I have ever purchased! I love that it's so small. It almost feels like I'm driving a golf cart. I also only fill up the tank once a month! And I drive probably about 30 minutes or more a day. It's fantastic.

18. Sometimes I think I should be a vegetarian, because certain meat really grosses me out. But I don't think I could give up hamburgers, chicken fingers or pepperoni pizza.

19. I don't ever cook even though I really enjoy it! I just never have time to make anything with how full my days are. Occasionally, I will make a steak dinner for my husband, but usually we survive on frozen meals, sandwiches and tacos and I feel really guilty about it.

20. I have always slept on my right side curled up in a ball. I broke my collar bone on my right side a few years ago and had to learn to sleep on my left side. It was really difficult.

21. I don't like when people buy me flowers. Even though I love looking at flowers, I just really don't like dealing with cut flowers. They always die and shed their petals everywhere. You have to change the water or it gets stinky. My cats try and eat them. It just seems like a lot of money to spend on something that you can only enjoy for a couple days.

22. Me and my husband are homebodies. We don't like parties or going out that much. Our favorite place to be is at home with each other.

23. I am not a big music person. I don't listen to it all that much and it generally gets on my nerves unless I'm in just the right mood to listen to it which is not very often. I'm pretty picky about music too and like a lot of soundtracks like...you guessed it...Harry Potter and I'm also really big into the Twilight series soundtracks. I think they're fantastic. Most of the stuff they play on the radio, I don't really enjoy. There may be a song or two on the radio that I like here or there, but when I find a song I like, I listen to it so much that I get sick of it and don't want to listen to it ever again.

24. I am a HUGE worrier. I worry about literally everything. When I say, type or do something, I always second guess myself and worry that it wasn't the right thing to say, type or do. I feel like I live my life in a constant state of panic and wish that I could be more confident about my actions and not worry all the time. I think that's why I enjoy art so much. When I'm able to paint, it's one of the few times during the day where I can just lose myself and enjoy the here and now.

25. I don't think I could survive without my husband. He is my soul mate and is everything to me. He is my life.

26. Naps are one of my favorite things in the whole world. If I could take a nap every day, I definitely would. My favorite part of taking a nap, is being able to lay down and know that I don't have to do anything for the next few hours (yes, I take long naps lol). Those 15-20 minutes while I'm watching TV, waiting for sleep to take me is absolutely bliss.

27. I cannot stand to sit around without a blanket on my lap. Even during the summer, I make sure the air is low enough so that I can comfortably have a blanket on me at all times.

28. I change into my pajamas the second I get home. It doesn't matter what time of the day it is, but I will put on my comfy fleece pants and sweatshirt. I can't stand being in regular clothes (jeans, sweaters, etc...) when I'm just hanging around at home.

29. I love going out to eat! I enjoy the whole experience of going to a restaurant and having a yummy meal cooked for you while spending time with people that you care about. Then, I love when they clean it all up too! If I wasn't concerned about money or eating healthy, I would eat out every night for sure.

30. I am proud of what I've accomplished so far in my artistic career, but no matter how successful I become I will still feel like I'm not good enough. But I don't think that's a bad thing, because I'm a very stubborn person. That "not good enough feeling", pushes me to become better and better and I think that's how I have been able to accomplish what I've accomplished so far.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up #16!

This week was very productive and fun! I got a lot of things done art-wise, but also got to do some fun things in my personal life. This Wednesday was date night for me and my husband. We are trying to have a date night once every 2-3 weeks and we alternate who plans them. This week was his turn! We started out by having a nice dinner at Dave & Busters which is half restaurant half huge arcade. Their food is really good! I had the BBQ pork sliders with cole slaw...super yummy! After dinner, we walked around the mall a little, had ice cream (Cold Stone - Cake Batter w/ Cookie Dough...ooooh yeaaah) and browsed around the bookstore. The bookstore is one of my favorite places! I love looking at all the books, but I only wish I had more time to read. I've actually switched to books on tape just because I have to multi-task and do artwork while listening to a book! But I still absolutely love bookstores.

After that, we went to see the new movie Red Riding Hood! I was super excited to see this movie. I think it had one of the best trailers that I've ever seen. The one shot in the trailer when she's walking up the snow covered mountain and her long red cloak blows in the wind is just so gorgeous. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't say too much. The movie didn't quite live up to my expectations, but it was fairly entertaining. I'd save your movie money though and wait for it to come out on DVD. Just my two cents! But all in all, we had a great night and of course I always love spending time with my husband!

On the art front, I've been super busy as always. Production on a new website for my artwork is underway, I also have a brand new sketch to show you all, I have started offering Daily Etsy Specials, and I have a brand new Facebook Fan Page!

New Website for The Fantasy Art of Nikki Burnette

I have had my website for about...wow..almost 3 or 4 years now. I knew that it was time for an overhaul and a redesign. I've outgrown it in many ways and also wanted to change the look. I have heard of Weebly for quite some time, but was recently inspired by fellow fantasy artist Kristin Palmer to actually give Weebly a try! By the way, check out Kristin's gorgeous website and her beautiful artwork!

Just a little off topic, but for all you artists out there that are wondering how to get a website, Weebly is a FANTASTIC resource for you! It is 100% free. They have an upgraded version, but I don't think it's super necessary and I haven't gotten it yet, though I may in the future just to support such a wonderful company. They host all your pictures and will even give you a domain name. I promise I'm not a Weebly employee, but I have had many questions from artists just starting out and accomplished artists about how to set up and maintain a website with a shopping cart. I now know where I will be sending everyone who asks from now on! They have many features that my old website company didn't have that I was paying $20 bucks a month for! It's super easy to use and maintain. I just can't wait until it's all done so I can start using it more frequently!

But, I digress, my husband is currently helping me build the website and adding my hundreds of product listings! I am working on creating a lot of custom graphics to tweak the standard website templates they have to make it a bit more custom and special for me. I am loving the way it's shaping up and cannot wait to show you all! It will be much easier to navigate and find what you're looking for. Plus, everything will be 100% up to date and will hopefully stay that way.

For now, here's a little teaser image! Oh and here's a link to Weebly for those who are interested.

New Roman Mermaid Sketch + Naming Contest

This week, I also created a brand new sketch for my next painting. I have had this image in my head for awhile and it was finally time to draw her out. I love all my paintings to be very different, so drawing mermaids who are fairly limited to the water can sometimes be a little difficult. I always try to think of new and interesting places to put them! A Roman Bathhouse popped into my head and thought that would be perfect. I had so much fun designing her Roman mermaid clothes and the intricate flowers in the vase on either side of her.

I am also having another naming contest for her! Just visit my Facebook page here and suggest a name under her photo. The person who suggests the name I pick will win a 5x7" print of the finished piece! I will announce the winner of the naming contest when I post the finished digital lines which should be later on today or early next week, so get your names in quick if you want to be considered!

Daily Etsy Specials

I am having a Daily Etsy Special!! Well, hopefully daily (no guarantees), but it will be very frequently! I announce my Daily Etsy Specials on my Facebook page, so make sure to join!

Here's how it works:

Every day on Etsy, I significantly discount ONE item for around 24 hours. The special will run roughly from 5:00 pm EST to 5:00 pm EST the following day. Each time I start a new daily special, I will add a photo on my Facebook page with a link to that product so that you can easily see what's on special for the day.

If someone purchases the item, I will relist it at the same discounted price until 5:00 pm EST the following day. If you don't see the item in my store, it means that I haven't had a chance to relist it. You can always message me during the daily special time period to lock in your order if you're afraid you won't be on to purchase when I relist it.

There are no substitutions! The special is for that image and product type only. For instance, if a Rona Pocket Mirror is on sale, you can't get the special price for a Bryanne Pocket Mirror, only Rona.

To view any specials I have currently, just visit my Etsy store! It should be the first product in the "Featured Products" at the very top of the page. Or you can search "sale" in my store. If you have any questions at all, please contact me!

Facebook Fan Page

Join my new Facebook Fan Page here!

In all honesty, when I set out to get started on Facebook, my intentions were to make a Facebook Fan Page and not a personal page for my artwork. I made the page and started to get things set up, navigated away from it and could not figure out how to get back to my fan page! I was so frustrated, I just gave up and made a personal page lol. They've made things a lot easier now and since my friend space on my personal page is quickly filling up, I decided to make a Fan Page for you all to enjoy as well!

I plan on maintaining both pages, but it's best to join my Fan Page even if you're a member of my personal page just in case that changes in the future. If you're at all interested in my art, I'd love for you to come and join me! Thanks so much. =)

Well, that's it for this week! In this coming week, I plan on finishing up a commissioned logo painting. I was commissioned to paint a portion of the logo and then combine it with some existing elements I already have and add text to create a finished logo. I hope to show you all that after I'm all done! I will also be working on my Roman mermaid piece, continue working on my website and hopefully squeeze in some time to work on the vinyl products I told you all about last week. Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up #15!

Hi everyone! It's been a really good week and I've been working on a lot of different things in my art world! I have finished a brand new original steampunk painting, Constance. I also have her available on all my different products in my Etsy store. Speaking of Etsy, it has been completely overhauled and is now fully stocked! And I also have some new Heaven and Earth Designs releases to tell you all about!

New Original Painting - Portrait of a Steampunk #2 - Constance

At the beginning of this week, I finished up a brand new original painting! Her name is Constance and she is part of my portrait series. She is Portrait of a Steampunk #2 and she is 6th overall in the entire series. She was so much fun to paint and she turned into one of my favorite paintings that I've completed so far!

In her original sketch, she actually started out with wings. But I decided to drop her wings and make her a steampunk and I think she's much better for it! Constance is wearing beautiful Victorian clothes in shades of green, purple and brown. Her flowing, brown hair is accented with a cute mini green top hat with purple feathers and details.I didn't intend to make her a St. Patrick's Day or Mardi Gras piece, but she could easily qualify for both of those as well! I must have been influenced by the upcoming holidays without even knowing it. She was so fun to paint and I really hope that you all enjoy her!

The original painting of Constance is up for grabs on Etsy for only $150!! She measures 8x10" and is painted in watercolor and ink on Arches hot press watercolor paper. That is a fantastic price for one of my original paintings, so if you're at all interested in her, you may want to scoop her up before she's gone!

To view and purchase my original Constance painting, click here.

Constance - Available on Prints and Products

This week, I also made Constance available on all my products in my Etsy store! She is now available on ACEO, 5x7 and 8x10 prints, stickers, magnets, bookmarks, buttons, pocket mirrors and printable coloring pages! Prices range from only $2-$13, so purchasing my prints and products is a very affordable way to collect my artwork. Constance will also be submitted to all my licensing companies as well, so hopefully she will be available on rubber stamps, cross stitch charts, tubes and much more very soon!

To view and purchase my Constance products, click here.

Etsy Store - Stocked With Many New Images

Speaking of my Etsy store, it got some love and attention the past couple weeks and is now completely stocked with all my available images and products!! There are many new images available on all my products that were never available before like Rosalie, Analiese, Adrianna and more! I have also listed any missing images for all my product categories like buttons and pocket mirrors! I try to keep everything up to date, but after taking a thorough inventory, I realized I was missing many of your favorites like Telsa, Rona, etc... If you ever have something that you would like to purchase in a particular image/product type, but don't see it in my Etsy store, I am always happy to create a custom listing, so don't hesitate to ask! I hope you all enjoy my newly updated Etsy store!

To view my Etsy store, click here.

New Cross Stitch Charts - Angelique and Tracey

Heaven and Earth Designs has released two new cross stitch charts featuring my artwork: Angelique and Tracey! I think these two pieces would be so fun to stitch. I have cross-stitched in the past and wish I had more time to do it. If you are a stitcher and enjoy working on my pieces, I would love to see work in progress pictures or finished pictures! You can email them to me at nikki@aurella-art.com.

To view my new cross stitch charts, click here.

Well, that's it for this week! Daylight Savings Time started today, so we lose an hour. I much prefer the fall when we gain an hour! I have a lot of plans for this coming week. I hope to work on a brand new sketch for my next painting. I have been researching and looking at reference photos of roman baths...that's all I'll say for now, but I think it will be a great painting! I also have a commissioned painting I'm working on that will be turned into a logo. And I am coming out with a new line of vinyl products!! I have three different vinyl products that will be available soon: mini wallets, checkbook covers and luggage tags! Here is a sneak peak of the mini wallets.

Have a great week everyone!