Saturday, March 29, 2008

Handsome Fella

I found this little handsome fella at Roots, one of my favorite antique stores here in St. Louis. They were fostering him until he found his perma home. I think he is the best. He likes my jewelry too. The piece that he is playing with in the photo was a test run. It is the first time I have ever made a hinge (tricky) and clasp. Keum Boo is the process I used for the gold treatment. I have not perfected this yet either, but love the look. It doesn't show up all that well in this photo. I will post a photo of the next piece I use the process on close up.

I have been day dreaming about having a new shiny studio. Steve and I have been talking about knocking down the current crappy garage and building a 2 story garage with the second floor being my studio. It will have sliding patio doors on floor 2 that lead to a flower infested deck that overlooks the yard. That way, I can yell at the dogs with out having to go downstairs. "Stop barking!" Essentially, I just join the barking festivities when they bark because it sounds to them like I am barking. Really, I don't yell that much. Really.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Tonight, Steve, my ma, her friend and I are going to see the Cowboy Junkies. I am so excited! It has been quite a few years since I have seen them live. I own a ridiculous number of their cds, I think like 16, but they are all so good. If you have not gotten into the Cowboy Junkies yet, go download their album now!

I set myself on fire today. I always wear a mask when I am working, or at least try to. I felt something hot near my face and looked out of the corner of my eye, and I saw that I had set the elastic band on my mask on fire. Not just little simmers, an all out flame. I put it out with my hand. I was afraid that if I waited till I could take the mask off I would set my hair on fire (luckily I don't wear hairspray). I only burned my hand a little. No more than I normally burn myself while making a piece. It was all worth it, because I really like the new ring, right?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Dungeon, yikes!

Here is my insane studio. As mentioned in a prior blog entry, I cannot get organized. I don't even know if you can call it organized disorganization. Can you? Isn't that really just an excuse for people who can't get organized? The studio, as you can probably tell, is in the basement. I struggle to go down there everyday. I call it the dungeon. I am fine once I get started, but getting there is a struggle. I really think it is getting in the way of my productivity. Now you have a before. I will show you the after when I get it how I really want it. And then you can help me stay organized. Hold me to it, please!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Contest Winners!

Oops, I had to pick 6 because they were all so good! It was so hard to choose. I did not realize how difficult this would be. Thank you so much to everyone for your great ideas and entries. I wish I could pick them all, but alas, I had to decide. FYI, I put them all nameless in a different file and picked my favorites without knowing who wrote it, to be fair. I am getting ready to run out, but I wanted to get this posted today. To the ladies who were picked: Please email me with your address and what you would like your custom necklace to say. Thanks again to all of you for the great response. I was way excited to see everyone's ideas. They were all really wonderful!

Lynn Kaiser--Illuminate
Michaela Kaiser--Dogs Rule

Sandy Snead--Cupcake
Bernie Berlin--Jovial
Laura Masters--Evolve
Emma O'brien--Carpe Diem

Congratulations and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

Why is it that when I have the most to do, when I am in the middle of creating a new line, when I have a gazillion pieces to make for upcoming shows, when I am planning a wedding, I seem to have a burning insane desire to clean. Is that a procrastination thing? Does anyone else do that? Maybe it is a spring thing. I am not much of a house keeper. I would love to say differently, but I am not. No really, I wish I were, but it clumps together in that same category as bad calender keeper. I can't seem to get it together. But, in the midst of everything that is going on, I am compelled to clean and organize my studio? Not that it doesn't need it, but it has needed it for a couple of months. Why now? I get so envious when I see other bloggers' studios that are so pretty and colorful and shiny and organized. I want that. But, it does not seem to matter if I reach that level of organization (not that I ever have), it will not last. I move so fast, that putting something away after I use it would be to lose time, or an idea. I know, this sounds bogus, and maybe I am just lazy. I move so fast all of the time that I run into things a lot. I fall up steps, never down. Ok, rarely down, mostly up though. Have you ever ran into a light switch? I have on several occasions. I always think it's funny. And now I have developed this dizziness when I move too fast that makes me fall over. I think it might be vertigo. I need to go to the doc, but who has time for that. Maybe, if I am dizzy when I move too fast, I will slow down. Now we're on to something.
In other news, I made it on the front page of etsy! Holy surprise this morning. Can you pick my piece out? I was so excited. I called the few people that would care, and immediately began photographing the new pieces I made yesterday. That way, while all of the peeps were checking out my one piece on the front page, they could see my new stuff. The second I got everything uploaded into the computer, the front page changed. Figures. That's okay though. I am still reveling in the post manic happiness of being on the front page.

Did I tell you about Clarence. Clarence is the cutest. He is a very special dog who is only going to a special home. I want to keep him, but will not. Steve wants to keep him too. Right now he is going through heart worm treatment, but will be all better in about 6 weeks. I love Clarence.
What are you doing, crazy lady? Would you please leave me alone?Why are you following me? I just want to sit in my chair in peace and be the cutey patootey that I am. You bore me crazy lady.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Whoops! Contest extended.

Thanks again for the great responses to the contest! I have chosen two winners so far.

Congratulations to Lynn Kaiser and her daughter for these two entries:
1. Illuminate
2. Dogs Rule

Many of you responded with great jewelry ideas, and I realized that I may not have explained what I was looking for in the contest very well. (Duh, Amie), so here it is without you having to read my mind:

If you wish to enter, please respond with a word or phrase no more than 9 characters long (as pictured above). For instance, I have a lot of words on my necklaces such as dream, love, hope, foster, think, read, etc. What I am looking for is witty, funny, creative, sweet or smart sayings. The winners will receive a charm necklace with a word or phrase of their choice on it.

Thanks for bearing with my airheadedness, you are all awesome! The final, final announcement of the winners will be on March 22, that's next Saturday. So, remember, enter as many times as you would like, and thank you for your participation!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Uh, Yello?

That's how my dad used to answer the phone. I think I may do that sometimes too.

I am in the process of updating the look of my booth in my head. This is what it currently looks like. Most of the jewelry is kept in the cases, requiring the customer to ask to see a piece, and me to be available to give it to them. Not that I am that knock down, drag out busy at the shows, but I have been told at times that my booth was too busy to get to. That's a good thing right? Well I have been thinking that maybe it is not necessarily that I am too busy, but that my setup is inconvenient. My new idea is to eliminate the cases and display everything in open air for people to feel free to touch, try on and fall in love with. Basically, what this comes down to is that I have an idea in my head for some fabric that I want to make a T-shaped table cloth out of. That is all it is, an idea. I do not even know if I have ever seen this fabric before besides in my own head. As I picture it, it is yellow knit, or woven cotton, rather thick and textury, with a raised design of victorian type swirls and flowers and prettiness. Got it? Any one understand what I am talking about? Can anyone tell me where I can get something like this? It is one of those things, that I have in my head, and if I have to settle for something less, my booth will not be what I have pictured in all of its glory. I don't know, I think I might be obsessed with yellow as of late. What do you think?

Those are not the real mantel decorations.

Yellow is the accent color in our wedding. Yellow and brown. I told Steve those were the colors I dreamt up, and he promptly replied, "oh good, poop and pee." I think I pooped and peed my pants laughing. He is funny like that at least once a day. All of those yellow vases are for our center pieces. And that little hippo, I actually own, but he may be lucky enough to attend the wedding. And what do you ask are those cute little paintings above the vases?

Those are paintings Steve and I collaborated on. If we ever get it together, we are going to do a series with those two as our characters, involving our experiences with rescuing dogs and life in general. Alrighty, off to bed. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Glutton for Punishment

Since we are planning a wedding, art show season is approaching, and I am busier than ever with the animals, I thought we should go ahead and start to rehab the kitchen, upstairs bathroom, install a new half bath in the pantry, get new windows, etc. I am glutton for punishment. But, I am super excited about having the house be new and clean and wonderful. We are knocking out the wall between the dining room and the kitchen and putting a sit up breakfast bar there. When I say we, I mean my Uncle Keith. But, we are going to tile the breakfast bar with Talavera Mexican tiles. Above you will find the two I have narrowed it down to. I have been photoshopping tiles together for the last couple of hours in smaller scale to see what it will really look like. What do you think? Should I keep searching? Are these too bright? I love the look, but I am a little worried that when we go to sell the house, it will be too much. We are doing a Tuscan themed kitchen. I know, you are saying, then why are you putting Mexican tiles? My answer is, "I saw it on HGTV." Aren't they pretty.

I have been taking a lost wax casting class for the past 6 weeks. I signed up for one, forgot about it and still had to pay for it. Then I signed up for another one and loved it so much that I am now taking my actual second, technically third lost wax casting class. Above are a few of the pieces I have made so far. And, Amy, if you can find me a plastic donkey, by all means, I will make a donkey necklace too.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

And the Best dog goes to...

Maybe it's Ironhead. I do not have any photos of Ironhead yet, but he is a beautiful black lab and so incredibly calm. He is already adopted, so I have not felt the need to do a photo session with him. We picked him up in East St. Louis one incredibly cold morning. He came out of his abandoned building shivering and wining. PJ (the lady I ride with sometimes to feed the dogs) fed him. Meanwhile, I called Steve to see if I could bring him home. Steve said yes. Again. I can't believe it. Really, we don't even know Ironhead is here. Except when he had his surgery and his gonads swelled to the size of a softball and he started dripping blood and we had to rush him to the emergency room. All is well now. The swelling has gone down, and Ironhead is looking forward to his new home. It is actually a pretty ironic, story. On Ironhead's description I talk about his big blocky head and his old school Labrador demeanor. The folks who were searching for a dog really wanted a lab with a blocky head. Who knew that would be the description that got them. On top of that, the husband is an Iron worker. And on TOP of that, the husbands avatar on the computer is Ironhead. Oh, the irony head. After meeting Ironhead they decided they couldn't live without him. He's a neat dog.
And then there is Heidi. This picture kind of epitomizes her personality. I wrote about Heidi before. Approximately two weeks after we brought her into our house, I noticed a lump on her vulva area. We had it removed, sent it to be biopsied and it turned out to be cancerous. The vet seems to think that it is an isolated incident, and she will be healthy for the rest of her life. She is a nutty dog. She plays, and plays and plays. She counter surfs and the other day came running into the living with a knife in her mouth, sharp side sticking out. Crazy Rottweiler. She busted out the bottom left window in our french door, and now uses it as her own personal doggie door. Oh, and after her surgery, she chewed her staples out. Oh my! So I took her to the vet and they stapled again, put one of those cones on her head, and she got out of the cone and chewed her staples out again. So then they put one of those elongated collars on her and she chewed her staples out completely. All while still at the vet. Final solution was leave the staples out and tranquilize her with the elongated collar for a couple of days. Although she still got out of the collar again (and ate it), she was so good for those days. And then when she came out of her tranquilized state, she was double crazy. Or, I forgot how crazy she was. Now you are up to date on the dizzies. But, really Heidi is going to be a very rewarding dog for someone. She is so sweet, and I wish I had more one on one time with her. There is another one in East St. Louis who seems to be injured every time we see him named Clarence. He is beautiful and will be easy to adopt. Not as easy to catch though. We're gonna get him and make him a happy x-street dog. I will try to get a picture of him on the streets next time I go out.

Please accept these flowers

Actually, Steve made this card for me for Valentine's Day, but that is how long it has been since I have posted. We decided to keep it a low key V-day. I made fondue, and he made a card. It is always my favorite when I get something handmade from Steve.

It has been a crazy month. First and foremost I would like to thank Mary Beth Shaw from The Common Denominator for naming me as one of her favorite blogs to read. It made my day, and now I must pay it forward. I have way too many blogs that are my favorite to read and look at. I will name a few though. Oddly enough, I have been reading Mary Beth's blog for longer than I have really known her. The first time I saw her work was at the Schlafly show three years ago. I loved it so much that I bought two pieces.
I bet she doesn't even know I own these. Since then, I have found out that she is good friends with my cousin Heather Haymart, who by chance is another one of my favorite blogs to read. She always has such great insight into life and art. And she has become rather prolific with her blogging. I also own two of Heather's pieces. Here is one that is hanging in my living room.
Another favorite that I love to read is Anna Maria Horner. She is a fabric designer. I have no idea how I found her, but she is this adorable mom of five, who holds it together like a pro and looks like she's 20. Her stuff is fabulous, her photos are bright and cheery and I love her little stories about her kiddos. I actually bought myself one of her fat stacks for Christmas. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but it inspires me when I look at it everyday. It is just pretty sitting in its own little stacked colorful self.

And one more favorites is Bernie Berlin's, A Place to Bark. Bernie is the real deal. She is a one woman show who makes beautiful collages and saves dogs. She rescues hundreds of dogs a year and hand delivers them to their homes across the country. I love her stories and her insights.

There are so many more that I enjoy reading. Most of them have links to the right. I like easy access to my favorites. I am now running late for an adoption event, so I have to go, but I have so many things to tell you. To be continued later on today. I hope...