Sunday, December 30, 2007

An Inspirational Day

First, this sunset from our front porch. Technically we do not own that tree. But, I do tend to call it my tree. Except, in the presence of our awesome neighbors, Anne & Darren, I correct myself, "I mean your tree". It is on their side. But I can see it from my window. I suppose there are a lot of things I can see from my window that I do not own.

And then this fabulous movie. If you have not seen it, I highly suggest going out and renting it. Steve and I were just talking about where we are going to go for our honeymoon. And, I think if we can afford it we are going to go to Ireland. Stay in an old castle or something. That sounds like more our speed than a sunny, beachy vacation.

I hope everyone has a superb new year's eve and new year's day. I am off to download the soundtrack to that movie!

Oh! And my website shop is finally up. If you have signed up for my newsletter, I will be sending the first one out shortly to notify the launch.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

And relax

Ahhh, Christmas is over. It is such a relief for me every year. Although this year was less stressful than last year, I still would like to simplify the holiday. I talked one of my family members into donating to a charity for me as opposed to giving a present. I wish everyone would do that for me. My ma, will never do that. She loves to give gifts. She could not sleep the night before because she was so excited to give us our present. It was a Wii. We opened it, and Steve's jaw dropped, while I stared blankly, "what is it?" Oh, a Wii. "What's a Wii?" It is a lot of fun though. Steve woke up at 8:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, passed up his ritual coffee routine and went straight to hook up that Wii. We played all morning. I was sore the next day from boxing Steve's lights out. And then, of course, if anyone is going to get hurt, it will be Floyd. Steve and I were playing Wii bowling, and all of the sudden, WACK! Floyd is running and crying. I run after him to check out the damage. He was ok, no blood, no missing teeth, but now he will not come in the living room if we are even thinking about playing the Wii. In fact he hides downstairs. And he knows where we keep the remote. If we go near that drawer, he puts his head down and runs out of the room. At least he thinks it was the remote's fault, and not his sick to her stomach mama. Poor doggy.

I did bake for Christmas, but forgot, in the rush of everything to take photos, I only got this one measly photo of the cooking cranberries. I made Cranberry tarts, little star cakey, marshmallowy, icingy, carmelly, deliciousnesses, and some almond cookie bars, that really weren't almond, but vanilla instead because I thought I had almond extract, but did not. All of my delicacies turned out to be just a little off this year. No tart tins, no almond extract, and under cooked chocolate cake stars that turned out to be a little mushy. It's the effort that counts though, right? I did manage to put together a pretty nice plate for Steve's family, from the few desserts that were salvageable. Forgot to take a picture to prove it though. Whoops!

Steve on the eliptical, playing his guitar. That's his idea of working out. Funny guy. Notice hilarious Frankie posing at the bottom of the photo. I love that photo.

And now my favorite chair has turned into a dog chair. I'll see if I can get a photo of all of the dogs in it, not at once. Floyd has a lot of love in his belly and he tends to get stuck, and I think Big Bob just knows that he will not fit. I will see what I can do. Isn't Frankie deceivingly sweet looking. She is the most rotten little princess dog ever. She prances around like she owns the place. She scares all of the other dogs away from their food, even if she is done eating and in the other room. If she hears them she prances in the kitchen and lets out the bitchiest little growl. She's totally harmless though. I think. I don't really trust any dogs ever since my old dog Bailey barged the front screen door, when to his surprise, (and the poor man on the other side,) it opened. Next thing the guy knew, he was on the ground with an 80 lb. lab/english setter on top of him, biting his arm. Bailey had never bitten anyone before. I didn't think he had it in him. I was devastated, thought I was going to have to put him to sleep. The nice man did not do anything about it though. I wanted to pay for him to go to the doctor, but he refused. I just secured that screen door and was more careful with the old bailey monster for the last year of his life. So, yah, I don't trust any dog, really.

Oh! that's right! I got bit the other day. Bad Bob had figured out how to escape the back yard. He did it twice in one day. The second time I trekked down the street at high speed for about a half mile, until finally a nice girl stopped him. I did not have time to grab a leash this time, so I asked her if she had one I could borrow. I told her that Bad Bob was a foster and she said,"really, I have been looking for a dog. Do you think he would get along with my german shepherd mix." Not thinking, I said yes because Bad Bob gets along with all dogs. Not that Shepherd mix though. He attacked Bad Bob, and I got in the middle of it, like the dummy I am. No blood, and thankfully the nice girl did not notice that I had been bit. Bad Bob is fine too. Still bad. Steve replaced the fence the next day while I laid straw down to cover up the muddy disgustingness, that we dare call a backyard. The neighbor kiddos came over and helped. It was fun. Like a fall day in December. That's St. Louis for you. I am only showing this picture so you can see the progress come spring.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bad Bob

Bad foster dog! Lying on the sofa chair that you just ate the cushion to a week ago. Bad!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Obssestica with Ornaments-ica

I am obsessed with this little Strawberry Shortcake dish set too. I bought it for my niece for Christmas this year, but she is not even two and I have decided to wait until next year to give it to her. She is just such a genious, I forget that she is so young. No, really she's a genius, and I'm not just saying that because I am her doting aunt. She is also adorbale.

Floyd is obsessed with it too. He wants to keep it and drink his water out of the head bowl, and eat his food off of the feet plate.
Steve and I have started a new tradition for Christmas. I stole the idea from my friend Carroll. We are going to purchase or make (preferably make) a special ornament that represents our year together. This year I bought this ornament from Anthropologie, which I have been trying to stay out of lately, because I go way too crazy. It is a house because, duh, we moved in together this year. Notice the creepy cello player to the left. It cracks me up. But, next year we will make the ornament. I am sure that Steve is thrilled.

These are a few of my other favorite onrnaments on the tree.

I got this scary snowman from my grandma. I noticed that it's nose is falling off while I was taking the picture, so I will glue that back on before the season is over.

This beauty is from my Grandma too. I bet she made it.
Last year, my friend Autumn Foster who lives in Portland sent Steve and I this ornament. Isn't it sweet?

If you have a tradition, or something that makes this time of year special for you, please post in the comment box. I love hearing that kind of stuff, so I can borrow fun ideas.

It snowed this weekend, a bunch! We sat in the house all day on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately Steve left the camera at work, so I didn't get any pictures. He can do that because it is his camera. The dogs were cute with their snow covered coats and beards when they would come in from outside. Sorry, no pics, but here is a picture of Bad Bob today. He is a trip, reminds me a lot, character wise, of my old dog Bailey, whom I miss. Fortunately I have been able to compensate for my loss of Bailey two years ago with way too many dogs. That's how wonderful Bailey was. It will take a katrillion dogs to fill his personality. Now he is sitting on a shelf in a vintage brass urn watching over us. Yes, I am crazy, and you all know it for real now.

Oh, and the jewelry. This is a jewelry blog right? I have been busy filling orders and making Christmas presents. It has been fun. There is something gratifying about making something that you know is going to be a gift. Yesterday, I was supposed to make two necklaces for people for Christmas, but there is something more gratifying about working on pieces and ideas that have nothing to do with what I'm supposed to be accomplishing. And, I couldn't get this bicycle out of my head.
So, I cut it out of metal. I don't know if I am going to put it up for sale quite yet.

I leave you with bread pudding. Oh, and look, there's that cute ornament again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Post show relaxation

Now that I am finished with the crazy Chicago show, I have decided to spend my free couple of days, before I begin filling custom orders and gifts, beginning some decorative craftiness. Here is the beginnings of the garland that I am starting for our new fireplace. I also went to a couple of the local thrifty stores to find some wool sweaters for felting our first stockings. I am still working on the style of this garland, but, Steve says that I have old lady taste. I think Steve just sort of has different, or interesting taste as exemplified by this:

Tonight we set up our tree, but my tripod is in the car still from the trip to Chicago, and it is way too cold and wet to go get it, so pictures will have to wait until tomorrow. The tree is one of those dwarf trees that can be planted after the holidays.

Tonight was such a fantastic night. I made stew, which I have not made since last winter. It is a recipe that my Ma taught me when I was in college. I never have written it down, but it is really the best thing I make for the winter. It reminds me of my youth. Maybe food tastes better when you are raised on it, but I think it is so good.

The show was decent this weekend. I do not think that I will be doing it again, because it was a little too intense for me. However, I enjoyed the time that I spent with my friends Amy and Kevin. Amy is 9 months pregnant, and I kept having paranoid thoughts of her going into labor every time she left my booth. She would go to the bathroom, and not come back for a half hour. I would have thoughts of her having to be rushed to the delivery room. I really love her and had such a great time. They are one of the funniest couples I know. Amy is such a trooper. She spent all day Friday and Saturday with me, without complaint. I could not believe it. I imagine myself as pregnant and think that I am going to be a total pain. My friend Amy has given me a new perspective. I really cannot thank them enough for letting me stay with them for five days. The show turned out to be just average, so it was a good thing I had free lodging. I do not think that I will be doing it again. There are so many shows in St. Louis that weekend that I think I will give those a shot instead.

Thank you to everyone who came to the show and talked to me. I really appreciate the encouragement. It is so fun meeting new people. I will get a picture of that tree up soon.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Chi-Town Show

Yesterday was the first day of the One of a kind Show in Chicago. It is a huge show-over 400 artists. I thought the quality of artists would slip with so many, but as far as I have been able to tell, it looks very high quality. Yesterday was slower than I think Saturday and Sunday will be, but I still did really well! It's crazy being locked up in my basement for all of those months, creating, and then the people come to look at, and to buy my stuff, and make comments (good and bad). I feel like a creative monster that has finally come out of her dungeon. A little stiff with my social skills. I think I will have the hang of it by today. I just wanted to stop in and say hi, right quick before I have to leave again this morning. I will check in periodically to let ya'll know how it's going. And if you are in the chicago area, come by and see me!

I bought two things from other artists that I think are worthy of mentioning. This beautiful top that the photo does not do justice, and the pretty purse by Blue Thimble designs. I love her stuff, but cannot find her website right now. Will post later if she has one. They both rock!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bye, bye pretty things.

These are all of the things

that would not fit in the house formerly known as Steve's.

I will miss them desperately, and hopefully

they will go to a new, loving home

via my new booth at the Treasure Aisles Antique Mall.

Dogs in a Row

Last night was my cousins, Heather & Ben's, 10th annual chili cook-off. It is always so much fun. The chili has gotten so good every year that it is nearly impossible to decide the winner. Always a good time and lots of delicious chili. Heather is an artist and she has been my go-to girl since I started even considering doing the art thing full time. I am always inspired by her studio and how close to perfection she has come with her organization and inventiveness.

We got a fireplace!
Now I am going to have to make some stockings and maybe one of those days of December garlands as done by Fiona at Hop Skip Jump. That is the cutest thing I have seen lately.

We finally got some pictures of Bob's brother whom we call "Bad Bob".
Not because he is bad--the first night he was here he had to be quarantined in the dining room. He jumped the fence about ten times before I finally just got out of bed and slept on the couch. He just wanted me around. After that he was fine staying in the dining room. Steve coined the name Bad Bob. For a while it was Bad Bob, and his brother Big Bob, but last night Steve and I were asking Frankie to "shake", you know, like shake paws. Mind you, Big Bob has not responded a lick to his name since we got him, but came running when we asked Frankie to shake. Obviously, we thought Big Bob wanted to shake, so we're like "good Big Bob, wanna shake". No shake. We were confused. And then I realized that his real name might rhyme with shake. Yes, Big Bob's real name is Jake. We figured it out. Now he comes every time we call and wags his tail when we say his name. I've never figured out a foster dogs real name.

Turns out Jake and his brother Bad Bob are the best of friends. They snuggle like Yin & Yang,

take treats together,

and even are nice enough to allow the two perma-dogs to partake in the treatfest.

I would really like to find one home for both of them if at all possible. I know that is a tall order, but I am willing to wait. They neeeeddd each other, I swear.