Commission a painting…

In addition to the original acrylic and watercolor paintings available in the Art by Megan shop, customers can commission their own, original work based on a photograph.  These kinds of paintings are popular when one wants to recreate moments in nature that are beautiful or preserve a moment in time, based on a special memory.

Contact me if you are interested!

Commissioned Paintings

 

Thoughts on 2014…

I am reforming the way that I look at New Years Resolutions this year and making a list of achievable goals instead.  After all, no one really wants to start something so radical in the new year, only to be disappointed.  Here are my 6 achievable goals for 2014.

Resolutions and Goals for 2014

Resolutions and Goals for 2014

Here’s my list, based on this image from Pinterest… 

A bad habit I’m going to break… I am going to spin this and start a new habit, journaling in my new “line a day” journal that I got for Christmas.  So I guess that the habit I am breaking is forgetting things.  It’s kind of a problem.  I blame it on having a good imagination and too many hobbies, but it would be nice to remember some things from time to time. :)

A new skill I’d like to learn… Letterpress & Encaustic painting

A person I hope to be more like… I am still pondering this one, it’s a tricky one!

A good deed I’m going to do… I am going to try and do a selfless act or random act of kindness once a week for the year of 2014.  I won’t be sharing them with anyone, just trying to change the way I see the world through small deeds.

A place I’d like to visit... I am dying to return to Spain, but would love to visit any new place as I am a total “wanderluster”.  Also, I would love to see Nashville, Phoenix or Savannah.

A book I’d like to read… This one is EASY, because we have a super awesome ART by MEGAN book club that anyone can join!  It’s based right here on the blog and on facebook, be sure to check it out for the 14 in 2014 edition.

Here are some of our book reviews from 2013 (we read 13 books in 2013!):

“The Light Between Oceans” (July 2013) 

“Sweet Tooth” (February 2013) 

Mindy Kaling’s hilarious memior (September 2013)

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” (January 2013)

What are your goals for 2014?  

I <3 “Pleasantville”, NJ

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Two weekends ago, my entire family on my mom’s side spent our last weekend together in “pleasantville” aka Hackettstown, NJ. Situated in an antiquated little town and surrounded by lakes and the “Mucklands”, Hackettstown has been and always will be my (and my Brothers’s) version of absolute perfection. Here’s why…

My grandparents, who were absolutely amazing people, moved to this sweet little town in the late 1950s and never left. They became local celebrities (aka teachers, church members, coaches, mentors and involved parents) and whenever my brother and I visited for holidays or summers as kids, we felt like we were a little famous as a result of our grandparents being so known20130623-191849.jpg around town. They raised their three daughters (my mom and Aunts) in this beautiful, tree lined town with creeks and parks and a Main Street. My brother and I idolized the tranquillity, safety, peacefulness and “small town” allure of Hackettstown our whole lives since we were the “city kids” from DC.

But this heartfelt Ode to Hackettstown is much more than just a mention of the beauty of its streets and nature. Hackettstown is where millions of happy childhood memories took place for me, my brother, our cousins and our family took place for so, so many years. I learned to ride my bike down Prospect Street and knew it would be safe as my aunt gave me a gentle push because there weren’t ever too many cars. My cousin Stephen wooshed down the hills in the park behind my grandparents house so fast in his little snow suit one year when we got magically snowed in at Christmas. My twin “baby” cousins Mollie and Sean giggled and ran with their Easter baskets every year as we played Easter Egg Hunt and ran from the front stoop to the back yard, tackling cousins in our church clothes to get the most (empty!) eggs! My older cousin Josh and I perpetually played “tetherball” in the back yard until someone called us in to have an amazingly home cooked meal by my grandma. (We would later dare one another to do terribly disgusting pranks during these amazing home-cooked meals at the “kids table”.)

The memories are countless. This is the place where I learned about how important family is, no matter what.

This is the place where I learned how to dig potatoes out of the garden, how to paint watercolors on the patio, where I learned how to sit in the shade and just listen to the silence and pet a happy old dog. Hackettstown, thank you.

So, last weekend as we drove away from our version of perfect, my brother and my hearts sank a little. We are “grown ups” and who have our own houses and our own versions of what will be “perfect” to some little ones someday. God bless you, sweet little town.

Note: to my family who still lives in NJ, don’t worry, we’ll still come to visit :)

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Life design 101… (aka “jumping ship”!)

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This week has been my first at a new teaching job. It’s been a true breath of fresh air and an inspiration in every sense of the word. Side note: need some inspiration? Check out children inspire design and the shine project.

Ok, back to my story… I had been VERY nervous about basically “jumping ship” with a major life decision this past spring when I, indeed, jumped ship. Change scares the bejesus out of me sometimes and I felt like I had finally lost it this July when it hit me that I was leaving a job I love, with coworkers I adore, and students who made me realize that I had indeed chosen a vocation (ps- its genetic! My grandma and aunts are teachers, thanks a lot, guys!) and not just a job.

But, there’s this little face I needed to see more of…so, I did it. Love will make you do the darnedest things! I switched a hellish commute for a short one so that I could snuggle a bit more and spend non-commuting time with my favorite pigtail-wearing giggle-monster. I traded the Babysitter literally sent down from heaven (contact me if you need someone near DC because this woman is truly amazing…) for a (gasp!) stranger. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but…it’s feeling good.

So, I leave you with this little story and no results. But maybe someone else out there who’s about to splash into the water after jumping will feel a bit of solidarity.

Enjoy!

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Posters all courtesy of Pinterest. Look me up…I’m Megan Elizabeth!

“It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

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It’s that time of year again! The final countdown! Pardon my overuse of the exclamation mark! REM’s song frantically plays in my head as I frenetically run around in circles…

Really though, this full-time teacher-mama can hardly stand herself. Why, you may ask, am I so excited!? Tomorrow is that blissful day known to teachers as “the end”.

While I will miss the kids that I teach and their fabulous and hilarious antics…(for example, the obsession with drawing me on the board each day to document my outfit and hairstyle choice in 3rd period Spanish…)

…I am ready to take it SLOW. I yearn to do NADA. All that needs to happen is a little walk each day, an occasional splash in the pool and a snuggle with my girl whenever I want to.

Summer, I love you.

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“Blogjacked”: Mother’s Day 2012

Artbymegan.com has been “Blogjacked” by Megan’s husband and daughter to tell the world that she is an amazing Mother/Wife!

So let me explain the significance of this “Blogjack” besides the obvious (Tell everyone on the World Wide Web that Megan is the best). I don’t Facebook, Tweet, or blog. So I don’t get that daily (sometimes hourly) chance to update everyone on all my thoughts and activities. Which means I can’t update my status or hash tag (spelling/correct usage?) about how my wife is a Supermom/wife on a daily/hourly basis!

SO…this one time on this very SPECIAL DAY (Megan’s first Mother’s Day as a Mom) I will share with you all one of my thoughts and offer my wife the largest public display of affection imaginable…

Megan I LOVE you! You’re a great mom/wife!

“Enough with the mushy stuff Dad, my turn! Mom this is baby, Thanks for being the best Mom. I appreciate all your hard work!” (Not bad for someone who is almost 1 year old. She got it from her Momma.)

So if this insight has not been clear my friend buddy the elf said it best when he said, “I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!”

Megan you are the best! Keep up the good work.

Love,

Your handsome husband and beautiful daughter

As for the rest of you get out of my head but keep on reading artbymegan.com because wouldn’t you know Megan is an amazing blogger and artist too!

I’d also like to thank my friend the webmaster for allowing this intrusion and his assistance.

Meeting your best friend(s)…

Do you remember meeting your best friend(s)?  

I giggled as I thought of writing about this because some friends just magically appear in our lives, while we meet others in the funniest (and often times most awkward) situations throughout our lives.

Take, for example, my little brother.  He came home from his first day of 3 year old nursery school with a new best friend: “the boy in the orange shirt”.  Unfortunately, Benjamin (as we later came to know him) wore a different colored shirt the next day.  The story ended well with the kind teacher helping my brother find his “new best friend”.

I have an “eclectic” group of best friends.  They are awesome.  

Katie is my lifeguard buddy who I met in a pool.  Literally, while swimming in the pool, we said to one another (I remember it as clear as day!), “we are friends”.  That was the end of that.  How easy!  Our friendship has been easy (like having an awesome big sister that doesn’t judge and literally reads my mind telepathically) ever since.

Bethan is the first friend I made in high school.  I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I do remember seeing her in a lot of my classes and one day striking up a conversation where we literally decided that we were not only best friends, but also sisters.  We decided that since we looked alike, we should be friends.  Period.  The antics began and they haven’t stopped many years later!

Megan is one of the friends that I don’t remember meeting very well.  She was in my homeroom freshman year and I remember loving and admiring her silliness from the beginning.  All of the sudden, I was telling people that we were friends, no questions asked.  That’s exactly how she is.  We are friends, no matter what.  No questions asked.

Katie (not to be confused with Katie above) and Mo (short for Maureen) were a two-for-one friendship deal.  I had classes with both of them and remember thinking “gosh, those girls are cool, I wonder if they would be my friends?”  (Note: This is awfully embarrassing to admit.)  Well, it worked out fabulously and we became a little gang of not just 3 friends (yes, they allowed other people into their force field of friendship!), but 5 (see the two characters above).  We are the type of friends that will go to the beach together as old ladies and sit together in the tide with our drink coozies and giggle until sunset.  I love these girls like sisters.

So, the question is…. How did you meet your best friend (s)?  Do you remember?

Happy Tuesday,

M

5 nice things to say (+ 5 things to avoid saying) to a new mom…

On Sunday, I am headed to a baby shower for 3 ladies at work who are expecting.  Thinking of what they need and can actually use as new moms got me thinking of a post that I have been meaning to write for months!  Today, I am sharing 5 of the nicest and “not so nice” things that I have noticed people saying about newborn babies and their shell shocked, but love struck new mamas (and papas!).

 

5 kind / awesome things to say to someone who just had a baby: 

1.  “Your baby is beautiful.”

(end of story)  No matter how many times you hear it, it never gets old.  I like to call this comment “the classic”.

2.  “You look beautiful.”

(are you seeing a trend here yet?)  Just tell a woman that she makes it look good.  Even if she doesn’t.  It feels nice! 

3.  “You guys make a good looking / cute / adorable kid.”

This comment is great because it’s not especially emotional or cheesy, but covers the “your baby is beautiful and so are you, mama” comments which I love so much.

4.  “Can I come over and clean your house / do your dishes / go shopping for you”?

The only thing I wanted to do after having our little one was hold her while she was sleeping and maybe even drift off to sleep too.  Visitors insisted on holding her, which was fine, but I felt like I should have first dibs.  Some wise friends and family members brought food (bonus points!), cleaned (double bonus!) and even went on errands for us.  Now, these are friends! 

5.  “You guys are doing a great job, you are naturals.”

Sincere and kind.  You can’t go wrong.  

 

aden + anais blankets = the best!

5 comments to avoid:

1.  “Your baby looks just like your husband.”

 Mine does.  Which means that she is adorably cute and has cheeks that you could pinch for days.  BUT, for some reason (9 months + hours of labor), I wanted to hear that she looked just a tiny bit like me.  Call me crazy, but I worked hard for that girl!  Just stick with comment #1 above, people! 

2.  “You are going to lose all of the baby weight in no time.”

Please refrain from all body comments.  Don’t tell me how pregnant (or not) that I look.  Just say that I am pretty even though I am 40 pounds overweight and in pain.  

3.  “How is the baby sleeping“?

Really people?  Have you ever heard of a newborn who sleeps well?  That’s just cruel.  And the nights that she did sleep well, we were petrified to talk about them because of extreme superstition.

4.  “Are you breast feeding?”

Nope.  Just don’t ask.  It’s difficult and emotional and people get upset having to answer this one.  Avoid it, please.  See above for other ideas.

5.  “When are you going back to work?”

Ugh.  I just had a kid.  I want to stay at home and stare at her pretty little button nose for all eternity.  Don’t make me think of reality.  Thanks.  

 

 

Best spring break ever? Yup.

This may go down in the charts as the best spring break ever! A whole day of relaxation has been quite successful and a trip to the park (x2) doesn’t hurt.

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Plans for our break include massive amounts of stroller-ing and swinging, trips to Starbucks, a picnic to feed some ducks, lunch out on the town…

My my, how you have changed spring break. I think I love it! :)

Enjoy the sunshine.
M