Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Puppy anyone?

These pups were taken from someone who had a lady chihuahua. After 3 weeks of nursing, apparently the family got sick of the pups and called a local animal hospital saying that if they did not come get them he was going to shoot them. A nice girl at the hospital nursed them with bottles until yesterday when I came and got them to foster until they are adopted. They are now 5 weeks old. Itty bitty little ladies. A tad bigger than my hand. They are super sweet and are just getting their bearings with the ground. It tricks them sometimes and turns them upside down.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm freakin' out

and I don't want to freak everyone else out, but really this is the best outlet I have for venting and maybe getting a few people who relate. I just heard a story here in St. Louis about two dogs who were thrown 30 feet from a bridge by a person. There is a reward to find the person who did it. One of the dogs ran off and has yet to be found, and the other's injuries were so bad that it had to be put to sleep. I haven't stopped crying since I heard the story. And it's not necessarily about those dogs, I mean it is, but I just do not understand the horror that exists. How can someone, a human being with the same biological makeup as myself and you be so cruel. What makes anyone want to hurt something or someone else, for fun? Do they enjoy seeing others suffer. I am reading this book A Peoples history of the United States. It is not like I did not realize that most of what we learn in our history classes is a big fat lie, but I just did not realize the extent of the lie. And how cruel our heroes were. Our foundation was built on murder, slavery and criminals. I have never said this before, and I don't really mean it, but I am starting to think that people are innately bad. I mean, I live in my happy little bubble with my sweet dogs and my wonderful fiance and there is so much going on that is out of our control, that we are not required to think about on a daily basis. It just really hit me in the face this time. Thanks for listening and I promise I will not have these sad posts very often.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The show circuit

This was my fancy annoying dinner for last week. I burned my hand, broke a bunch of stuff, I think I hit my head on something, and I burned the pecans for the Butternut Squash Polenta Cake topping. There were three different Polenta cakes: Mango salsa and shrimp, Bruschetta, and as mentioned above Butternut squash. They were recipes I made up that are probably too in depth to try and write for you. But, if you really want to make one or all of them, feel free to email me. They were fun to eat and really delicious if I might say so. Totally worth the trouble...maybe. They would actually be pretty easy if you only made one. I love the extravagance though.

I have been so busy applying to shows, mailing packages, and trying to make jewelry that I am not sure which way is up. When I do not have any of those things to do, I don't know what to do with myself. I stare blankley at my computer waiting for it to tell me to do something. The most difficult part of being an artist is getting into the shows. They are all juried, cost to apply to and hardly accept anyone. Typically there is about a 9 to 13 percent chance of getting into the good ones. For the not as popular ones the odds go up to 30%. I can hang (sometimes) with the 30%, but have yet to be lucky enough to get into any of the more competitive ones. Hopefully this will be my year. It is disheartening when the rejection letters start rolling in. The couple of acceptances, somehow are enough to keep me motivated and financially ok throughout the year. This is my first full year of doing the art/jewelry thing, so we will see how it goes. Wish me luck. If any of you reading have any experience with making art for a living, I would love to hear your stories, if you do not mind sharing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Heart A Place to Bark

To the right on your screen, you will see a donation badge for an animal rescue called A Place to Bark. The rescue is run by a woman named Bernie Berlin. I have been reading her blog for about a year now, and what she does is absolutely amazing. She has entered a contest to win a fair amount of money for her rescue. This money will allow her to build an indoor facility for the animals that she takes in. It is not about how much money she raises, but about how many donations she gets. The minimum amount to donate is $10. So, if you plan to donate more than that, do multiple $10, so that she can win and get a facility for the rescued animals. For more details, click on her sight, but if you can spare $10, please do so. She really deserves it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Hood

I live in a neighborhood called Clifton Heights. A very small neighborhood, well known for the beautiful pond up the street and the gorgeous Victorian houses perched on the hill surrounding the pond. When we tell people we live in Clifton Heights, we get one of two reactions. Huh?, or oohhhh! Our reaction to the latter is, "Oh no, we live down the street from the nice houses." See, there are three different parts to Clifton Heights. The nice part, the middle part and the crappy. For such a tiny little municipality it is quite diverse. I love it! Our house is falling apart, and needs a lot of TLC, including new ceilings, which have been water damaged. But, I have become quite attached to our neighbors and the area. I get to walk to the fancy area with the pond and that's good enough for me. The only thing that our neighborhood is lacking is the coffee shop, market, deli, etc., that make a neighborhood cozy. Part of this has been taken care of as of January 2nd. A place called Off The Vine opened. It is a winery bistro. Steve and I went there for dinner last night. While we were enjoying our wine and small plates, I relished the fact that I was most likely surrounded by people who live in my hood. I love that sense of community. Steve and I then woke up this morning and took another trip to Off the Vine. We walked the dogs for a treacherous trip home with coffee and pastries and dogs tugging and trying to dump the breakfast out of our hands. But we made it, oh sweet delicious blueberry muffin, we made it.
Last weekend I went to Indiana with my sis' in law Sarah and my niece Elena. We visited our friend Nicole who has two little ones. Here is a picture of my niece and Nicole's son playing in the sink. I love their little pajama diaper butts.
And last but not least, I was featured on this blog. The community of bloggers is such an amazing thing. It is an honor to be recognized. It really does mean a lot. I would like to thank Liana from Mixed Plate for featuring my work. Her blog is really great. You should definitely check it out.

I leave you with my latest commissioned piece, which is similar to something I have made in the past. It is a photo that I hang in my booth at shows, and every once in a while I get someone who needs it. I really like how this one turned out. Thanks Anne Marie for the commission!

I must now go clean the blueberries off of my hands.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Make Lemonade

I got to make a piece of jewelry for fun and for creativity yesterday! I have not been able to do that since before the Chicago show. I have a lot of new ideas, so stay posted. Unless I happen to get all kinds of custom orders, I will be cranking out some new stuff. I have also been busy turning the spare bedroom into a dressing room for myself. I figured out my motivation for getting in shape: a full length mirror. Yikes! I need to fit into that beautiful dress I bought off of ebay for my wedding. I saw a picture of a dress online...of course it was one of those high end designery dresses. I could not afford it. So, I checked ebay every day for six months straight. And there it was one day. A used Lazaro in the exact style, very close to my size. In short, I never tried on a dress for my wedding. I got the dress I wanted for a third of the price and it fit like a glove! A very tight glove. I must do weekly checks before the wedding to be certain that I can still slide into it. Hence the full length mirror. It is my motivation.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's gonna be a fun year!

Floyd's resolution for 2008 is to have fun. He told us in the morning and boy did he mean it. All day, January 1, 2008, Floyd played ball, harassed the other dogs, played outside and just in general had fun. And if we were not partaking in his fun (we were playing scrabble and not paying attention to Floyd), he would make those cute gremlin noises that I keep meaning to record for ya'll. I think I am going to copy Floyd's resolution. Fun it is for 2008.

Steve and I relaxed quite a bit. I had all of these things I wanted to get done, but instead we watched Out of Africa, which took over two and a half hours. If you have not seen it, I would highly recommend it. If for nothing else, just to watch in amazement the beauty of Meryl Streep. She is just so captivating. It made me set my 20th goal of the year, being to try to take better care of myself. I eat fairly healthy, but I have not exercised in a long time. You know, and maybe try to style my hair once a month, instead of throwing it up in a knotted mass on the back of my head.

After the movie, I was going to paint a picture, clean out the spare bedroom in order to make it my dressing room, because we do not have even near enough closet space anywhere in this house. It is a 3 bedroom house with 3 tinsy tiny closets. Steve's t-shirts would take up the 3 closets alone.
Instead of doing all of that, Steve and I went to the Schnuck, got some foodstuffs and made this bread which is from one of my favorite bloggers to read, and this soup. For the bread, I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I think I undercooked it. Or, the olive oil is just too dense for bread. I always try to replace veggie oil with olive oil when recipes call for it, just to see if it works, and because it is healthier. The only thing I changed on the soup, was I added some spices and used shredded cheddar instead of processed cheese. It was delicious! Both are fabulous recipes. The link is not working for the soup, but it is from allrecipes.com and here are the instructions:


* 2 tablespoons margarine
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
* 3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
* 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
* 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
* 1 (2.5 ounce) package country style gravy mix
* 2 cups milk
* 1 cup shredded Mexican-style processed cheese food


1. In large saucepan, melt margarine over medium high heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in corn and chiles; return to boiling. Dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Add cheese; cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted.

So, yes it is a new year, and I love the new year. For whatever reason I get inspired to be better, to do better, to do more, to enjoy what I am doing. I wish you and your loved ones a great new year and hope that all of your hopes, visions and dreams come true.

New Year's Eve was a little crazy. We went to a place called the White Flag Gallery. It was interesting to say the very least. It was a Communist themed party. They had an electric bull, which I did ride. They had beards and mustaches on the walls for the party people to wear, they roasted a pig, and had a Gorbachev birthmark tattoo booth. I am more of a quiet type of new years person, but Steve loves to go out. I am hoping that next year he will be ready to have friends over for a nice dinner and to play board game. Fat chance, but a girl can dream.