Daydreams Diary: Knots

I am seriously debating closing down CardCastles and the larger umbrella responsible for it (Snapping Turtle) for good.

This is not for lack of trying, let me stress.

March has forever been unkind to me throughout my entire life. You may have even read that here before. I don’t have to tell you the following for privacy reasons, but I’m going to. Holding it in is making me even sicker than I already am.

My sister had her daughter (my niece) taken away from her by her ex. There’s a whole lot more to that, but that is just tier one of a set of things that are rapidly pushing me over the edge.

The tax return we were so heavily depending on (to move out of this hellhole) has been seized for student loan debt. All of it.

To top it all off, I just recently discovered my uncle who was once my legal guardian upon my grandmother’s passing, went behind my back while I was hospitalized back in 2006 and somehow illegally obtained “power of attorney” over me. What that basically translates to is I have no rights. He can sign things for me, obtain any money that comes to me. Fraudulently fill out forms in my name, etc etc. & He’ll be protected from any prosecution because, well, Power of Attorney.

Fighting any of this issues in court are near impossible for me since I am floating just above the national poverty line.


I am defeated. Depression has taken a strangle hold over me. & I am not sure if I can keep fighting anymore. The sickness I’ve been suffering from is spreading.

To keep this place standing is starting to feel like a crushing burden. I’m still undecided, but I figured I’d try to keep those of you that care in the loop. There are knots in my stomach and I can’t keep food down.

I hope this all isn’t a complete waste. I’ve worked so hard to get here.

I really love a lot of you and I’m sorry to unload all of this depressing muck on you. Pray/chant/will things for us. We will certainly need it in the months ahead.


Sleepy Sundays: Light Work

Light Work © 2017 Snapping Turtle Publishing |

The running theme for this month among family, friends, and colleagues seems to be that our passions bring us peace of mind. We all go through our trials in life. Some days even harder than the next. Though if you’re working towards or doing something you love, a little light work makes the lights work.

—And not just the lights in the house.

*This custom piece was designed for a friend of mine who’s also a *divine* lady that’s always added a little sparkle to my day.

What brightens your lights lately?

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Best of CardCastles 2016!

Although this year was filled with ups, downs, and downright madness around the world, some truly remarkable things still managed to happen here.

There is still so much left out, but thank you all for an amazing year of growth and opportunity.

Happy New Year


Blight and Blastoff


It’s been a sad last few weeks here at CardCastles. With the announcement of the closing and ultimate demise of my gallery and home décor store, the future seemed uncertain.

While the coming months are still unclear, there is something I am very pleased to (finally) reveal to all of you.

My gallery now has a new home!

There is plenty to tell about it, but I’ll save that origin story for the about section. For now I proudly present to you:

Snapping Turtle Publishing


The Launch Notes

  • There is still artwork being added & organized.
  • Same copyrights apply. (All artwork and photography is still property of myself and CardCastles)
  • Kinks are still being worked out. (There may be some bugs and glitches in the first few weeks.)
  • All art and photography is for viewing purposes only at the current time. (Nothing will be available for purchase until if/when a store can be set up. I know, I’m sorry everyone. This is the high price of parting ways with my former employers.)
  • Share! This is launch day! Help my gallery gain some exposure! Who knows, this could lead to opportunities with future vendors…



You will now be able to access my gallery directly via the Artwork page (just like before) here at the top section of CardCastles. Most promotions will be done on the CardCastles Twitter page. Any news or changes made will be updated there or on site.


Truth Is…

Behind the scenes, Snapping Turtle Publishing was actually created privately in 2013. It was my personal decision to keep it private until now. The site’s original purpose was to replace an old company a friend and I had created. The site was going to serve as a central hub for any traditionally or online published writing of mine and others, but the goals have changed considerably since then.

You can read more about the origins of Snapping Turtle Publishing on its About page, upon completion.


What to Expect for March

Last month the theme for February was “love”. This month, for many personal reasons you’ll soon discover, is going to be about loss, paying tribute, and ultimately, “remembrance”.

As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Lastly, as per usual, when I’m not here you can catch me and a bunch of other talented people over at Stories That Must Not Die.


Blowing the Doors Wide Open


Two weeks ago I announced my parting ways with Twenty20. While the wounds are still a bit raw, I feel it’s a necessary step to inform my most loyal following as to why this decision was made.

For some time now, not having control over the pricing of my own products has disturbed me. While I understood my parent company had to make some profit as well, I felt this was only hurting my customer base. After all, if everything I sell is overpriced, who is going to buy it?

The company made it clear this was an aspect that was not going to budge much. My customers always said my products were of pristine quality – so no complaints there. The high prices seemed to be the only concern a little less than a year ago.

How it Worked

Matters seemed simple at first. All I had to do as an artist was create. Easy, right? Wrong. Although they had the difficult part of transferring all of my designs onto the various products, they often changed bits of our agreement along the way. Over time more features were stripped away.

Before the significant changes the items for sale included: {canvases, photo prints,}(various sizes) prisms (glass art), apparel, greeting cards, throw pillows, iPhone cases, and magnets.

The Killing Blow

Late last year all artists that worked with Twenty20 were informed that our work would now become available via Digital Download. What this was dressed up to mean was our art/photography became accessible to vendors who wanted to purchase our designs for their own products. We were told we would retain all copyrights and other legal rights to our work. Sounds like a win-win, right? Wrong again.

What this really meant was our artwork was now vulnerable to these vendors seeking out original art and photography at a cheap price – royalty-free. For those that don’t know much about art royalties, what this basically translates to is the artist or photographer is paid a small sum of the larger profit for every single use of their work.

While we were lead to believe this was a vital change that we’d want to get on board with, what was actually being advertised to these third-party vendors was “Get high-quality digital art and photography *royalty-free*!”

I was furious.

However, after much thought and consideration I decided to deal with this change. Then, at the beginning of February, another change was announced via email.

Grand Opening, Grand Closing Flight

One chilly morning I opened up my inbox only to nearly spill my coffee on the floor due to what I read. The company heads sent an email stating that the future of the company was changing. The CEO announced that this shift would signal the end of all printed products.

That was the end for any hope I had retained for the company. My partnership with them was over. It wasn’t really a difficult decision on my part. My gallery has always been an integral part of CardCastles. The images along with my artwork helped weave and tell a story. That feature of this site was what everything else here was centered around. In fact, CardCastles itself was built upon the “cards” (memories, photos, artwork) themselves.

Restacking the Cards

Now that key content is missing it’s a clear question of where do we go from here?
I’ve decided to open up a viewing-only gallery (temporarily). As the description suggests, nothing will be available for purchase until (if/when) I can set something up with future vendors and/or sites.

Depending on how I set this gallery up (*Most likely a separate portfolio site) You will be able to leave “likes”, share, and use, so long as you link back/give credit to me.

I look forward to rebuilding this part of CardCastles for you. It’s been far too long already.

Thanks for visiting and coming back, as always.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Sometimes the best parts of life are only temporary.

It is with regret I announce tonight that I’ll be parting ways with Twenty20. (Where I sold my artwork/designs, living room décor, children’s room & nursery décor, greeting cards, and most recently but regrettably, digital licensing to my work for almost three years.)

My GalleryThere are differing interests with the future of their company. The direction Twenty20 is headed in is not necessarily a road I would like to travel with CardCastles or the future of my own work.

What This Means for the Future of CardCastles

Since the beginning, CardCastles has worked almost hand-in-hand with my gallery at Twenty20. Any posts on here that point to the “Artwork” page would take you to my gallery there. Since that page has now been removed as per my request, you will receive a 404 Error and be directed back to the main page.

Sleepy Sundays often told the story behind pieces that later went up for sale. Artwork will still continue to be shared in those posts. All personal designs will no longer be for sale. My gallery/artwork page has been temporarily removed from CardCastles at the current time. I may reopen my own personal gallery for viewing purposes only. Nothing will be available for purchase unless/until new avenues are explored.

Will my work ever go back up for sale as products somewhere else? Who knows what the future holds? I’ve been discussing matters with some old friends. One suggested I talk to vendors about selling my work in some big chain stores like Target. The truth is I’d actually be honored to do so. I just may be taking steps toward full self-employment in the distant future. Selling to vendors would be an option I’m certainly willing to explore.

A Shifting Sea

Some longtime readers from the early days here suggested that I open up a whole new site, specifically for my artwork. This is yet another option I’m prepared to investigate. There’s plenty of gorgeous portfolio-style and gallery-based themes WordPress has to offer so, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Since art is one of the primary focuses here on CardCastles, the space where the “Artwork” page once stood won’t be empty for long. I’ll of course keep everyone updated here with the changes ahead.

As always, I’m open to any suggestions or comments you may have.

So Long

My parting ways with Twenty20 is bittersweet. While I remain optimistic about the future on my own, I had a blast during the opportunity to work with them. Financial growth with them may have proved difficult. promo4We as artists had no control over the pricing of our products. Sadly, I was told time and time again the prices were way too high.

There were also magical times and honorable mentions throughout this experience that I choose to remember. Within my first few months I became a Featured Artist twice in the same month back when Twenty20 was Instacanvas. I went on to win this accolade three more times. I met some immaculately talented artists during my journey there. Connections were made. I received valuable input on where to take my art. Best of all, I had fun doing it.

Thank you to everyone that purchased my designs! I hope it brings you joy!


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Sleepy Sundays: Illusions


(Click image to view larger)

The world depicted in this piece is that of another one of those fictional places in my mind. Yet somehow it started out as a photo of a very real place. It’s an older photo snap of a few winters ago. There was a parking lot filled with melting snow as the sun blasted it’s powerful light through the naked trees. I was so taken by the beauty of this moment, the visual stayed with me.

As the new year started, I knew I would be returning back to all of you. Thoughts began entering my mind as to how I’d create something magical for all of you after resting my writing and artist hands. Then I thought of something so profound my son stated last week.

“You can’t see a rainbow in the dark, Mom.”

You see, my son is only five years old and clearly did not understand the weight of what he was saying. The deep meaning behind such a simple statement managed to stun me for a moment. Think about it. To him, he was merely stating such a sentence in its simplest terms, very logic-based and to the point. However, if you look at this statement in a metaphoric sense, that is where the beauty begins.

You cannot possibly see anything positive when you’re hanging in darkness. You need light to be able to “see rainbows”.

It was that statement that helped inspire the artwork above and a theme I’d like to take throughout this new year.

I dedicate this first Sleepy Sundays post of 2015 to my son who continues to inspire me everyday.

What are some of your goals for 2015? Do you have a mantra for the new year?

Have a bright Sunday!

Sleepy Sundays: Getaway


This year started off so wonderfully. It was a year of vast growth. Yet, somewhere in the middle I found myself a bit stuck. Perhaps bits of life have become overwhelming. Whatever the case is, realization has hit me. It’s time to accomplish the goals that are going to make me happy. What is life if you’re unhappy? It can’t all be about financial gain and responsibility 99% of the time. After all, if there’s one thing life has shown me, it’s that we may not always be guaranteed a long trip.

In respect of reflection and setting out to hunt for true, fulfilling happiness – I dedicate this to all of you who feel the same. It’s a touching song from the Disney/Pixar movie Up.

Did you ever feel the urge to drop everything and start over?

Getaway this Sunday! You never know what you may find!