Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Am Not A Super Hero

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I know I did. I was seriously spoiled with far more than I expected. Plus having my parents here was a wonderful gift all in itself. We had a nice visit.

This past month has taken it's toll on me however, and I am really behind on sleep, work and pretty much everything else. Sometimes I forget that I am not a super hero and I can't do everything. So keeping that in mind, I have a little announcement. I am going to have to postpone the mystery blog give away. While I know I have done some amazing feats in the past on very little time, I simply can't pull this rabbit out of my hat. I apologize to those of you who were looking forward to it, but it's not completely abandoned, it's simply going to happen at a later date. So I hope you can be patient a little while.

I know this is a short post, but I desperately need some sleep. I have been riding the night bus to insomnia for the past two weeks.

Have a great day all! You can expect the posts to (hopefully) get back to their normal frequency from now on.

Hugs, K <3

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone! It's quite early Christmas morning here, no one is up yet except Basil and I. He was sitting on my knee and we were tracking Santa again. This month has been busy but fun. My parents are visiting and last night we went to candlelight service. All the darkness in the world can't extinguish the light of a single candle!

I wanted to repost last years Christmas Eve post because of Basil sitting on my knee tonight aptly staring at Santa on the Norad site. This makes many years in a row he has done that. He is a special little guy, and I just wanted to tell his story again! I hope you enjoy it:

I really love Christmas. I don't get the excitement I used to, every year there are fewer presents and surprises under our tree but I think that's what happens when you start getting older and you don't have kids.

Besides, Christmas is about so much more than presents. It's a time of miracles and joy. Sometimes it even brings joy to those we wouldn't imagine it would. What I am about to tell you is 100% true. I am not embellishing or imagining and I have witnesses. You might not believe it, but that's ok because it won't change the fact of what is.

Over the years I have had a lot of pets. Some weren't the greatest, most were good and a couple were very special and even remarkable. Out of all the pets I have ever had, I have never had one that understood Christmas...except for Basil.

Basil showed up on my porch about two weeks after I moved into this house. I opened the door to go check the mail, and there he sat. A tiny grey tiger striped kitten. He wasn't afraid or crying, he was just sitting there calmly on the porch as if he was waiting. I asked him where he had come from, and proceeded to get the mail. When I went back into the house, he walked on in as if he belonged here.

I already had two cats and didn't really want another one so I tried and tried to find him a home. No one would take him, so he ended up staying. In retrospect I am glad he did.

When we had lived here about six months I had the pastor over to bless the house. He went with us room to room, sat in the circle reverently and then moved to the next almost as if he understood what we were doing. When we were done he promptly went back to sleep. The pastor said he had never seen anything like that, and he was rather amused.

Whenever I am sick, or the couple times I have had surgery Basil is always there, watching over me and trying to make me feel better. After my surgery two years ago he would come once an hour to sit on my chest and look me over very carefully. He would put his head down to my chest and listen, it took me a while to realize he was checking my vital signs. He would lay next to me and purr and talk trying to make me feel better. He never left my side for nearly six weeks until I was much better.

But later we discovered Basil loves Christmas. I cannot fathom what goes through his little feline brain, but I know he loves everything about it. He sits and looks at the tree in awe. He never touches it, he never tries to play with anything, he just stares at it. He runs back and forth with me when I decorate it. When it comes time to take it down he gets visibly depressed for about a week after and sleeps in the spot where it used to be moping. The other 51 weeks out of the year he is very happy.

He always sits with me to wrap presents and purrs and smiles. He is the only cat I have ever had that smiled. I always thought the Cheshire cat was merely a storyline vehicle til Basil arrived.

I have a tiny music box that has skaters going around a Christmas tree and Basil likes to watch it, he purrs and purrs while I have the lid open. I have other music boxes, but those don't interest him.

Every year I track Santa on the Norad site and Basil sits on my knee and watches with rapt attention. He will sit and stare at the TV if a Christmas movie is on, but he never pays any attention to the TV any other time.

How he knows the difference I don't know. Every once in a while I have to wonder if he was a guardian angel sent to watch over us. I know that's probably a silly notion...all I know for sure is that he feels great joy at Christmas, and for him it's not about presents or parties or food. It's simply the time of year. Maybe we could all take a lesson from my funny little cat who has more joy in his tail than most of us have in our whole bodies and takes such pleasure in the season.

So on behalf of all us, especially Basil...I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with delights, miracles and joy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Energizer Bunny

I just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know I haven't abandoned you all. I have been going and going and going for weeks now. First it was decorating and getting things ready for Christmas, now it's cleaning since I am having company next week.

In fact I have had a poor little mouse cut out for over a week and haven't had a second to work on him.

So there probably won't be a whole lot of posts until after Christmas. But I will return soon!

Hugs, K <3

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tired Of TV

I like to watch TV. It's nice to have on while I am working or doing stuff around the house. Lately I find myself watching a lot of old movies again. I have always liked old movies, especially musicals. But the urge to watch them recently has been more from a disgust with the Hollywood of today.

Suddenly it seems prime time has gotten extremely permissive with the language and content they allow. (Maybe I am just a prude?) Not to mention that they have dumbed down the plot lines. I heard a theory a while back they have made them easier to follow because people split their focus now with the computer and texting and so on while they are watching.

I think it's kind of sad though, some of us still enjoy a good plot. Remember those silly old I Love Lucy episodes? They were a riot and not one mention of sex or bodily parts that we never used to discuss in polite society. The writers came up with clever vehicles for Lucy and the gang to get into trouble with. Sure it was fluff, but that's the point of TV.

The other thing I am a bit weary of is the need to add the latest sexual minority du jour into every show. Now please don't take that wrong. But I am sick of having two women making out in every show, before that it was men...I am afraid to think what's coming next. Half the time it doesn't add to the plot. I have nothing against any sexual persuasion, what you do is your business, but that doesn't mean I want to see it in every episode of everything I want to watch. Usually it doesn't pertain to the show anyway, and it's just a token gesture for ratings because this or that group needs to be "accepted" in society. I think if all people kept their private lives a little more private we would all be happier and more accepting in the long run. I don't want to see a lot of overt sexuality with straight people either.

I am also puzzled by the new stereotype Hollywood has cast on blondes. We finally came out of the dark ages of always being cast as the stupid girl to going right into being the mean girl.

I am always saddened by the need to cancel the shows I like too. Kelsey Grammer had a new show out called Hank which was cancelled right away. It was funny and fresh and I liked it. It was about family, something we seem to be lacking a lot of. By contrast Jenna Elfman, who I loved in Dharma & Greg has a new show called Accidentally On Purpose. I was interested to see it when it came out since I liked her in the past, but honestly I felt like I needed a shower after it was over because the plot lines and jokes are so icky.

I have noticed that there is a new need to make Christians and other religious groups look like fanatics or wackos lately. It's as if they saying that if you have faith you aren't normal. That's a sad commentary on the world we live in. People want to be accepted and are supposed to be accepting, but only if it's something they are comfortable with.

I am sorry about this little rant, but it's been bothering me lately. TV used to be a garbage dump 20 years ago, now it's a toxic wasteland. The thing is, I am not convinced the average viewer likes the constant references to body parts and sexual situations. I could be wrong, but I shudder to see what the future will bring.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Listening To What You're Being Told

First of all I would like to thank all the guests and visitors who attended the first H'artfelt Christmas Blog party. There are some very creative ladies out there, and I am so happy I got to see all their wonderful posts! I am sure next year will be even better! Now on to the post:

For some reason when people suggest something to us, we all too often tend to brush it off as a natural first course of action. I am not sure why that is. Even when it's something we are told over and over, we still don't always take notice.

For years people kept suggesting I try meditation and I brushed it off as new age hokum and nonsense. But finally the message got through. When a message is supposed to get through to us it somehow always does in the end, doesn't it? So finally when the message was received I tried it and low and behold it's a pretty wonderful thing that has helped the stress in my neck immensely.

But lately that isn't the only message that has been trying to get through. Recently I told you that I wanted to try my hand at writing. I have a wonderful plot line all figured out and wrote character profiles and the whole works. Then I stalled. I don't know why, I can tell the whole story in my head, but for some reason I can't get it down on paper...well not paper, screen actually, but you know what I mean.

People keep telling I should write children's books. Even my own Mother keeps saying it. But I have been brushing that off because I don't have children, nor do I even know any. I didn't think I could since it seemed that having children in your life would be a prerequisite for writing children's books.

But night before last when I laid down to go to sleep, an idea came to me. I thought about it off and on yesterday and this morning I sat down to write. I didn't do character profiles, I only have a rough idea of the plot, but the words just flowed out onto the screen. And I think...they just might have been pretty good. Of course I am not sure, and I have no kids to bounce them off of.

I don't know where this is going to take me, or if it will ever see the light of day. I have no idea how to get a book published or the legalities involved. But if this really was a message I was supposed to receive, I feel confident that the things I need to know will present themselves the way things we are supposed to know always present themselves, and the plot and words will continue to flow.

I will keep you updated on my progress. In the mean time, sit back and listen for a moment...you just might be ignoring a message you are supposed to receive.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A H'artfelt Christmas Party

Welcome to the first H'artfelt Christmas Blog Party!  Be sure to click the link on the right to the official H'artfelt Christmas Blog to find a list of guests.  Enjoy!


























Quick Reminder

I just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is the blog party, and I hope to see you all there!

Hugs, K. <3

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What A Treat!

Early this evening my doorbell rang. I had been running around like a mad woman all day doing things and I kind of groaned inwardly because I have a no soliciting sign and I didn't want to deal with whatever it was.

When I got to the door I saw a group of high school age kids standing there. So I opened the door, and they started singing!

I actually had Christmas caroler's. They were so cute...and COLD. The poor things were out there caroling in 7 degrees. I wanted to invite them in for cocoa, but my house was in such a disarray from decorating that I didn't. I applauded, thanked them, and gave them a big handful of candy canes.

But what a treat! I have never had caroler's come to my door before. When I was in high school, we used to go caroling though. It's heartwarming to see that some traditions don't die out altogether!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Forgotten Toy's Christmas

Hello and welcome to the Christmas Tea For All The Toys Blog Party hosted by Bearbits! For your enjoyment, I present the following original story:

"The Forgotten Toy's Christmas"

In a far corner of the attic sat a dusty old trunk filled with forgotten things. Inside the trunk tears welled up in the shoe button eyes of a little teddy bear. Evangeline didn't want to cry, but she couldn't help it. She had been waiting decades to be wanted and loved again.



She felt the soft cotton hand of the Raggedy Doll pat her paw. "Please don't cry Evangeline" she whispered. Bingo the elephant reached over and swept away a tear that had escaped with his trunk. His own bottom lip quivered a little. He knew how she felt.

For the past hour they had listened to the Holbart children downstairs in the kitchen, excitedly making out their Christmas lists for Santa. Timmy had wanted a new electronic game player. Sue Ellen wanted an MP3 player, and some cash cards for an online game. Tory, being the youngest had wanted a robotic dog since she wasn't allowed to have a real one.

Children never asked for simple toys like them anymore, everything had to be electronic or computerized these days. But every year they laid awake in the trunk listening to the kids in the house and hoped that by some small chance they would wish for a bear, doll, elephant or rabbit. Sadly it never happened.

Bitsy Bunny sat in the far corner of the trunk twirling her ear, lost in thought. The magic had gone out of Christmas for the four of them long ago, but she was determined to get it back this year. She wasn't sure how, but she would do it! They had waited long enough, and if the children of the house weren't interested in playing with them, they would just make their own fun!

Many years before, they had belonged to Annabelle Hobart, the children's grandmother. They had been her prized possessions when she was a child and they went everywhere with her. They had wonderful tea parties and picnics, played dress up, and traveled with her when she had gone abroad. But they had been packed away in the trunk when Annabelle had grown up.

When Annabelle had her own daughter, Clara, who was now the children's Mother, she had played with them a few times. But they had mostly sat on the shelf as decoration. When Clara had grown up they had been packed away in the trunk again and completely forgotten.

Bitsy finally stopped twirling her ear. She had an idea! She began rummaging around in the trunk. Finally she pulled out a little tin tea cup. She waved it in front of her friends noses.

"We could sneak down on Christmas Eve after everyone has gone to bed and have a tea party in front of the Christmas Tree!" She exclaimed.

Evangeline looked thoughtful. "Do you really think we could?" she asked.

"Why not!" said Bingo, "The children go to sleep early so Santa will come. We wouldn't get caught. I sure would like to see a pretty tree all lit up again!"

Raggedy Doll peered at the tea cup. "Let's do it!" she said, and began to dig through the trunk with Bitsy for the rest of the things they would need.



When Christmas Eve arrived, they made sure to wait until everyone was asleep, then pushed open the lid of the trunk. They took the tea set and a small table and chairs they had found, and crept quietly down the stairs. They started setting up their tea party with great excitement. They hadn't been out of the trunk in so long that everything looked absolutely sparkly and magical.

Suddenly they heard a voice above them, "Well hello there! Did Santa bring you?" it said.



The four of them looked up startled. They didn't immediately see the source of the voice and were afraid they had been caught. They soon realized a tiny stuffed gingerbread man was hanging on the tree.

"No Santa didn't bring us, we came down from the attic where we had been quite forgotten. What are you doing all the way up there?" asked Bingo.

"Ah" said the little gingerbread man, and nodded knowingly. "I used to belong to Sue Ellen when she was very small, but she lost interest in me I am afraid. Mrs. Holbart just hangs me on the tree every year now. Then I get packed away with the ornaments."

"Oh that's terrible" said Evangeline. "Would you like to join us for tea and cook...er cupcakes?" she asked, quickly hiding the cookie she was about to eat so as not to offend their new friend.

"I would be delighted!" exclaimed the gingerbread man. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Yum Yum!" He tried awkwardly to bow while hanging on the tree.

Bingo lifted the Raggedy Doll up and they helped Yum Yum down.




They talked and laughed all through the night, losing track of time. In fact they were having so much fun that they didn't even notice Santa Claus peeking in through the window.

Santa looked at his list and then back to the toys having their tea party thoughtfully. He tucked the game player, MP3 player and robotic dog back into his sack. He snuck in and blew some magic dust towards the five little toys and snuck back out quietly without making a sound. Santa smiled to himself for being able to leave one of the best presents of all at the Hobart house and got back into the sleigh and flew off into the night with a jolly "Ho Ho Ho!"

The first rays of sunshine peeked brightly in through the windows on Christmas morning waking the children. They ran downstairs noisily,excited to see what Santa had brought them. Mr. and Mrs. Hobart, awakened by the sound of their children followed right behind them.



A strange sight met their eyes when they got to the tree. Beneath it was a tea party scene with a bear, doll, elephant and a rabbit. Even the little gingerbread man had somehow fallen off the tree and looked as if he had joined them.

Tory ran forward with a squeal and grabbed up Raggedy Doll and Bitsy Bunny for a hug. Sue Ellen sat down and lifted a tiny tea cup, she held it out in front of Evangeline enchanted. Then she spied Yum Yum and said "Yum Yum! I wondered where you had went! I've missed you!" Even Timmy picked up Bingo and smiled. "What a great elephant!" He thought.

Mrs. Hobart knelt down. "These toys used to belong to your Grandmother Annabelle" she said. "But how did they get down here?" Then she looked up at her husband and smiled. "You found them didn't you John?" Mr. Hobart scratched his head, puzzled. "No Clara...I didn't, I swear I didn't! Santa must be responsible!"

Mrs. Hobart smiled, she didn't believe him of course. He was the only one who could have brought the toys down from the attic. She was delighted too, her children were taking an interest in something that didn't require batteries. The children begged for stories about their Grandmother as they played with their new treasures. They had completely forgotten about the things they had asked for.

As the years went by, the toys weren't packed away again. They were passed on to many more generations of Hobart children, and they gained new friends along the way. Every year it was tradition that they were set up under the tree for a tea party. Stories were passed down about Annabelle Hobart, and the toys that had been given their own special Christmas gift of love by none other than Santa himself!



Merry Christmas to you all, and don't forget to spread a little love and cheer to those who may have been forgotten!

Hugs, K. <3,

Christmas Tea For All The Toys


I just wanted to remind everyone that Saturday is Ginger's Christmas Tea For All The Toys blog party. I will be attending the party and (hopefully) entertaining you with a short story I wrote. So I hope to see you all there! Also don't forget to stop by Ginger's blog and check out the rest of the guests posts.

Hugs, K. <3

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show



We are all born with talents. Those things we don't seem to have to learn because they are inherent. Some of those talents can be pretty obscure. Some of mine include being able to mix the perfect shade of paint on the first try nearly every time. As an artist that one is pretty handy. I can belch at will. That one I don't use unless I have a trapped gas bubble because it's pretty disgusting. Another gift I was given was that I have always been able to do that high stepped catwalk strut that runway models use. I can still do it.

One afternoon when I was 15, my Mother and I went grocery shopping. A man had been following us around the store staring. I assumed he was interested in my Mother. She had forgotten something and sent me back to get it. He approached me at that point and started taking stock. He said I had excellent posture and carried myself well. He grabbed my face and went on to say that I had great facial features and perfect bone structure. I stood there like a deer caught in headlights because I had been rigorously taught the pitfalls of talking to strangers. Also because I was really shy at that age.

But all he did was hand me a business card for a modeling agency and tell me to give them a call. My Mother didn't let me do it. I don't know why, maybe she thought I was too young, or maybe she didn't trust it, or maybe she simply didn't want to deal with the whole thing. Whatever the reason, I didn't care. As much as I loved clothes and fashion magazines I never aspired to be a model. It's probably just as well, I doubt I would have "made it" because I have never been very photogenic and at 5'7" I was barely tall enough for runway work. I cherish the fact that I was asked though.

However a few years later, through my job doing singing telegrams I did get offers to model locally, which I did a few times. (I also got a strange offer once to mud wrestle, which I did NOT do despite the crazy amount they pay for that.) One of the things I did was a lingerie show. It was tasteful and pretty, and along the lines of what Victoria's Secret offers. Back in the 80's you didn't have to have a negative number for your dress size to model. At any rate I know how those girls feel. It doesn't matter how tasteful the lingerie is or how confident you are, you are still out in public in your underwear and it's a bit disconcerting, especially since everyone is staring at you.

I recorded the show from two nights ago. I really like to watch it. I get a lot of inspiration from the show every year. The wings and extras they put on the models are fun, and I really loved the steampunk inspired wings in the enchanted forest part this year. I always tuck away a few ideas for bears. I know...lingerie show to bears...quite an odd pairing. But I have told you before that I get inspiration from everywhere.

They said that these are the most beautiful women in the world. While I don't dispute that they are pretty, I think there are beautiful women the world over...most of whom never make it into ads or on TV because they lead ordinary lives. Besides I think aside from Doutzon Kroes, most of them have gotten too thin. You need a little meat to pull off lingerie properly. A bone bag wearing lacy undergarments isn't attractive, and some of those girls looked as if they were nothing but sinew with zero body fat. I do like the fact that they encourage their models to show personality though. I get tired of watching models with a blank expression on their faces.

All in all though it was a pretty show this year, and there was a tweed teddy that I really fancied. (Not the corset shown above, I couldn't find a pic of that one.) If you missed it, you should go check it out on their website. You might get a little inspiration too!

Busy Busy!

I probably won't be posting a whole lot this week. I've been decorating the house for Christmas and I have a lot to go. I also want to get things done for Ginger's Christmas Tea For All The Toys Blog Party coming up Saturday, and a new little animal that I want to use for my own a H'artfelt Christmas Blog Party the week after.

So be patient and bear with me...pun intended! *winks*

See you soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fending Off Commercialism

This morning I was wakened out of a sound sleep by the phone ringing at 8:30 am. Actually I had two phone calls. But the one I want to talk about was a credit card company. I had gone a tiny bit over my limit because I forgot that I charged something when I charged a large vet bill last Friday, and they wanted payment NOW. My bill wasn't even due yet, but they had to have that over the limit bit immediately or actions would be taken! Nevermind that I am never late and always pay my bill in a timely manner, and nevermind that I frequently pay more than they ask for. Apparently this huge company that keeps raising their astronomical interest rates was going to go broke if they didn't rudely wake me up to get their 58.00 at 8:30 am this morning.

Aside from my annoyance over being treated like a criminal first thing in the morning when I have always been a very good customer, a certain horror hit me. I had gone over my limit on my credit card, and I had done it Christmas shopping. I never go over my limit! Maybe one other time in ten years and that was an emergency.

I have stated before that I like Christmas shopping. I love all aspects of Christmas, both the celebration of Christ's birth which is the reason for the season and the gift giving/Santa Claus fluffy side of it. I like the shiny, nicely scented stores with their decorations and music playing in the background, and finding that perfect little treasure for someone that will make their heart happy.

But it struck me that I have bought into commercialism...literally. I like to make people happy by buying them nice presents, but do they really need so many retail things to feel loved? Of course not.

So in an effort to fight off the commercialism of the season I have made a vow to myself. For the month of December, I am not buying anything else commercially made as a present, for my house or clothes. I still have to buy food of course, and the exception to the rule would be an emergency like say...the washing machine or coffee maker blows up, something of that nature.

I am going to take a stand against commercialism. Anything I have left to get for anyone, I will either buy from another artist or make it myself. Anything I need to buy for the house or myself I will either get used or go without.

It's a tall order I have set for myself because I am a bit of a shopaholic. But I know I can do it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday Through Monday Sale!

Since it's Christmas shopping time, I decided to have my annual sale. I am offering 10% off of anything $50.00 and under and 20% off of anything over $50.00 on my website. There are two ways to get the discount, either e-mail me (put blog sale in the header) and I will adjust it for you on the Paypal invoice, or you can go ahead and use the purchase button and I will give you a refund for the amount.

Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you all a bountiful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cleaning And Layouts

I spent all day cleaning. I like to get the house cleaned before Christmas decorating time. I only got the vacuuming, laundry, a little assorted dusting and spot cleaning, and the powder room done. It takes me forever to clean this house. It's my own fault, I have enough stuff in here for six houses. There are days when I think I would like to back a semi up to the door and just let them cart 90% of it all away.

Artists tend to be collectors and pack rats. I suppose being poor as a child might have something to do with it too. I have no problem throwing out unnecessary items, but when it comes to all the little odds and ends I own I have a hard time doing it. As a result, my rooms are overstuffed. Plus I have books in every room.

This evening I cooked, washed dishes, watched a little TV (I was pleased with the outcome of Dancing With The Stars!) Then I worked on my Christmas website layout a bit.

I am having a hard time with it. I had this fabulous idea two months ago, and I just couldn't make it work. It's the first idea I have ever had for it that I couldn't pull off. I have been floundering ever since. I have 5 layouts done and none of them really hit the mark for what I want. I suppose I am going to have to pick one eventually. It just pains me that I can't do what I had intended.

I guess that's about it for today. I really didn't have a lot to say...I just didn't want you to think I had abandoned you, so I gave you an update on what I am doing.

I do have some great ideas for the two upcoming blog parties though, and some ideas for new pieces! So stay tuned!

Hugs, K <3

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Present Woes

I really love Christmas, and I love shopping for presents. This year however, I am not loving it so much. I have had a hard time getting people to tell me what they want. I think when you get to a certain age you have everything. Most of the people in my life are at that certain age.

R has always been difficult to shop for. I had thought about getting him that Powermat. If you aren't familiar with this thing, it's a cordless mat that resembles a small surfboard. According to the commercial...which they have been showing over and over on TV...you just set your electronic gadgets on it and it charges them cordlessly. Since he has two phones and a Zune I thought this would be perfect. It wasn't perfect though, it's a lie.

I went to Best Buy yesterday and was thrilled to see they had quite a few of them. It retails for 99.00. So I grabbed one and charged up to the counter all set to buy it. I asked the guy if he knew anything about it. He said yes, what did I want to know? I asked it if was compatible with all brands. He said as long as you have the holders for those items. Holders??? What holders? The ad didn't say anything about holders. As it turns out you have to buy the holders for each individual item you want to charge at 29.99 a pop, and they only have them for a few things. The only thing I could have gotten one for is his work phone. His personal phone and Zune don't have holders available for them. Needless to say I was a bit unhappy. This borderlines on bait and switch if you ask me!

The other thing I wanted to get him for Christmas is proving to be even more challenging simply because I can't find any available.

I just wish he would tell me what he wants...and not 3 days before Christmas like usual! My step dad and mom aren't really being forthcoming with what they would like either. Sigh~ Wish me luck, I am not sure I am going to survive this shopping season.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

~*~ Pine Nut Squirrel ~*~



I made another fun little Christmas squirrel, you may visit him on the Animals page of my website!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Lure Of Far Off Lands



Given the opportunity, there is no country on earth I would not visit. I dearly love to travel, and while I have been fortunate enough to go to a few countries, I am not done. Probably because of this, I have always been fascinated with things that come from far off, exotic locales. For some reason things from other countries seem so much more interesting. Even mundane things like t-shirts and jeans are better from abroad. I wonder if people in those countries feel that way about what we take for granted in the US?

Yesterday however, I only traveled as far as Denver. I still came away with several little treasures that flew from worlds away to find their way into my shopping bags...or gave the illusion they did.

I found a lovely English floral tea towel appliqued with birds and trimmed with green pom poms, to use as a new tank cover in my powder room. Now I am sure you might be confused by that, so let me explain. I have never cared for those rug like tank covers. Somewhere along the line I used two vintage tea towels. I drape one down the front vertically, and fold another to put across the top of the tank horizontally. I am proud to say I have inspired several of my friends to do the same.

Next I found a french necklace that was long, had a vintage skeleton key, a small octagonal chandelier crystal and a bejeweled ball charm. I also found a delicate hairband imported from India that looks quite Edwardian, and a plaid scarf.

I got some utterly heavenly solid perfume in little pot from a company called Tokyo Milk. The scent is Lotus Sake, and it has a white grapefruit base, (I always gravitate towards grapefruit based perfumes) combined with lotus, basil, mango, orange blossom, and sycamore fruit. It's a very light, delicate scent and it's so wonderful that I can't stop sniffing my wrist just so I can drink it in. It came in a darling box that had the most adorable miniature note cards. It's very Japanese in nature...they love to give you that little something extra with every purchase. The thing is, it's not really from Japan. In fact it's from a Denver artist who specializes in art and soap. It doesn't matter though, because it elicits memories of my trip to Tokyo. I just wish that particular scent came in a spray. She has others that do, but sadly not that one.

I got some cute Christmas ornaments from Crate & Barrel, some exquisite green velvet ribbon to use on bears, and a present for R. (I can't tell you what that was just in case he decides to read my blog, which he rarely does...still though, I would rather not take the chance so he will be surprised!)

But the best treasure I came home with yesterday was a Danish magazine called Jeanne d' Arc Living. The pictures are so lush that I sat and looked through it twice in my comfy chair with my quilt this morning. There are decorating ideas and recipes. The "Snappy Onion Pie" recipe caught my attention in particular. While the decorating style could be considered spartan compared to what many Americans have, the aesthetic was amazing and I could happily move right into several of the living spaces featured. I think I need one more peek before I go back to bed!

Topping it all off like a cherry, was having fun and lots of chatter with my friend Carol. We had lunch and looked at all the beautiful things the stores had to offer. It was a great day out, and I needed a little get away, even if I only traveled an hour away.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dancing With The Stars (Warning - Spoiler From Last Night Within)

I like to watch DWTS. We watched the first season and enjoyed it, but then we dropped off because of something else that was on at the same time. Last season my friend got me back into watching it. (R chose not to.) So I have been watching this season as well. It's refreshing to watch something on the wholesome side. There is too much we allow on TV these days and it turns me off a bit. If you haven't seen last night's episode and are watching the show, don't read further because I am going to give away who got eliminated.

Last night they eliminated the last person before the finale. That person was Joanna Krupa. Before DWTS I had never heard of her. While I still have virtually no concept of anything else she has done, I felt that she really established herself on the show, and I was rooting for her to win. It was shocking that she got eliminated.

My choices were Joanna to win, Kelly 2nd and Donny 3rd. Despite being a fabulous dancer, the ONLY reason I don't have Mya in that line up is because she is a performer and therefore a professional, so I am not convinced she should have been a contestant. Donny was a performer, but he has been out of the loop for a long time so I think he came in back at square one. Ultimately I believe either Mya or Kelly will win.

Kelly could win because she is very young and young people win on this show frequently. I wouldn't mind if she won, because it has been heartwarming to see her turn into a lady, and when they said her puppy passed away I felt sad for her. I know how that feels, and can imagine she was heartbroken. I also think this garnered her extra votes.

Donny has a certain age group behind him, and he is funny and a great showman. For this reason I wouldn't mind seeing him win.

Mya at this point is the best dancer, and I wouldn't mind seeing her win on performance alone. She is clearly superior to the other two.

I still feel Joanna should have ultimately won. It was clear she worked very hard to become a dancer when she wasn't one. But last season I felt that Gilles should have won too, and he came in second to another young person.

I am not sure that the audience should count for half the vote. I think 1/3-1/4 would be sufficient. While it's fun that they let people vote, all too often it comes down to a popularity contest and not the skills they have learned over the course of their lessons.

Joanna, you're still a winner in my book! Good for you for putting your heart and soul into it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

~*~ Custom Starfish ~*~



Just a custom piece I did for a customer, but I always post everything I make...so here it is!

Let The Sun Shine In

We had a very cold snowy weekend in Colorado. While it's still cold...only 18 degrees this morning...the sun is shining and the sky is that brilliant cloudless blue.

I am working on my Christmas layout finally. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. I am still not certain this is what the final product is going to be, but at least I have a start! I even managed to incorporate my three favorite colors or pink, burgundy and forest green.

I am also finishing up a custom order and have some great ideas for a new bear which will be going back to my "roots" as I said last week that I was going to try to do, and some more animals. So stay tuned...there is more to come this week!

Happy Monday! Hugs, K <3

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wrongfully Accused

Many years ago before we had our own house, we lived in a 4-plex. R decided to rent a lawnmower out of his own pocket to mow the grass since the people who normally took care of it seemed to have vanished and it was getting rather long. He mowed the grass and then returned the lawnmower that afternoon. A week later I got a threatening letter from the rental place saying we owed them over 800.00 for the lawnmower that wasn't returned. I about died. I called R immediately and asked him if he returned it. He said yes, he had returned it about 3 hours after he rented it.

I went down to the rental place the next day with the letter and the receipt in hand. The owner, shouting at the top of his lungs called me a liar, said the lawnmower was not in their inventory and that if I didn't pay I would be taken to court. I suggested that we go look at all the lawnmowers and compare their serial numbers to the one on the receipt. He didn't want to do it, but I told him I wasn't going to leave until we checked. He threatened to call the police, and I said yes please do so we can settle this matter. Sure enough the lawnmower was there. The person who checked it in when R returned it had done it incorrectly. I never got an apology.

Some years later the IRS came down on us for two years of state taxes not filed from eight years before. We were supposed to pay the maximum amount as a penalty. That one took me three weeks to clear up. For those two years R had worked in Wyoming which doesn't have state taxes, so there wasn't anything to be paid. But since he had worked in Colorado the years before and after they just believed we hadn't filed the taxes. I had to go all the way back to get copies of W-2 forms and it was a huge rigmarole. Naturally since it was the government we didn't get an apology for their mistake.

Compared to those two things, what happened today is pretty minor. Nonetheless it's still bothering me a lot. Today I was reported on a site that I list bears on for breaking the rules. I didn't do it, I wouldn't do it...I am not that kind of person. It was most likely a glitch when I edited one of my pieces to reflect that I sold it. Given enough time I probably would have noticed something was amiss and contacted the site owner myself. But instead I received a lecture from them. I explained what I had done and not done. I don't know if they believed me or not. But I didn't get an apology. I am sure there will always be people who believe I did it though. That's the part that bothers me. There is no paperwork or forms I can get to back up my innocence. I can only hope the site history is recorded so it will reflect that I didn't do it.

Now I am no saint, but I do try hard to do things the right way. All of these situations could have been avoided if someone would have simply checked a little further before accusing us of doing something wrong. You can go through life doing things right, following the rules and sometimes it just doesn't matter...and you know what...that just plain sucks. (Pardon my french!) But an apology would go a long way...I wonder why we never get one?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Over The Top Blog Award


I had the honor of receiving the Over The Top Blog award...twice! Both from Heather at Little Bearies and from Alena at Alena Eliseeva Dolls And Bears. It also comes with being tagged, so on to it...


Rules :-
1. Use only 1 word answers.
2. Pass along to 6 of you favourite bloggers.
3. Tell them you've given them the award.
4. Have Fun !!

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? North
4. Your father? Deceased
5. Your favorite food? Lobster
6. Your dream last night? Bells
7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Paris
9. What room are you in? Family
10. Your hobby? Science
11. Your fear? Roller Coasters
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Normal
15. Muffins? Ok
16. Wish list item? Mini Cooper
17. Where did you grow up? Everywhere
18. Last thing you did? Coffee
19. What are you wearing? Nightie
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pets? Five
22. Friends? Many
23. Your life? Stuffed
24. Your mood? Sleepy
25. Missing someone? Filis
26. Vehicle? Silver
27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? Anthropologie
29. Your favorite color? Pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday (sad movie moment)
32. Your best friend? R
33. One place that I go to over and over? Target
34. One person who emails me regularly? Hannah
35. Favorite place to eat? Mexican

Ok so on to the six people...

Brambleberry Cottage

Vintage Catnip

Myco Bocek Studios

Pandy Potter Bears

2 more to be posted later since breakfast is ready!

Friday, November 13, 2009

~*~ Yuletide Squirrel ~*~



As promised, today is the unveiling of my new pattern. I am proud to introduce Yuletide Squirrel. He is available on the animals page of my website if you would like to visit him!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

There's No Place Like Home



I think the first time each of us watched as Dorothy clicked her ruby slippered heels together and said three times "There's no place like home..." we all knew exactly what she meant.

She had some amazing adventures, got to see incredible sights and made wonderful new friends. She also grew up a little in the process. But that didn't mean she didn't want to go back home to everything she loved.

When you think about it, we are all a little like Dorothy, with the internet resembling the Emerald City. There are lots of amazing things to see, some so fantastic they can hardly be believed. There are certainly many faceless wizards behind curtains, not to mention scarecrows, tin men and cowardly lions all looking for brains, hearts and courage.

Like the Emerald City, the internet can be a little overwhelming at times, especially if you are operating your business online. It's easy to start thinking we need to do or be something we don't think we already have.

Having done shows for years before the onset of online selling I was certainly aware that there were many other bear artists out there creating wonderful works. But I didn't have the ability to go look at them any time of day or night at the simple click of a button. Nor did I have the ability to look at so many artists works at once.

Having the ability to bombard myself with visuals all the time seems to be having something of a homogenizing effect on my work for some reason. It's not that I am copying the style of anyone else, but rather just the opposite by playing it safe with my own. Sure I still make traditional, distressed bears, but they aren't as distressed as they used to be, and I tend not to try something crazy every once in a while like I used to. I am not unhappy with what I have made, I think they have all turned out quite nicely. But I have had a nagging feeling lately that I should be doing something...different...something more. I think it's what spurned this need for transition.

The internet is so vast and customers have so many choices that perhaps my thinking realigned itself to try to follow the yellow brick road, and stay more mainstream for broader appeal. (This was a little epiphany I had today, I didn't realize what was happening to my work until now.)

Of course as most artists know you can't compromise your vision and be happy. So it's time for me to click my heels together and go back home. For most people that would probably mean playing it safe, but in my crazy mixed up world...that means taking chances! I need to rediscover that I had a brain, heart and courage all along!

Changing It Up!

Confused? It's ok, you're in the right place!

Years ago I read this really funny book written in the 50's for single girls. It said to make a big change your life, start by buying a new lamp. Now I know that might seem sort of timid 60 years later...but there is some sound advice in there. The point was make a small change to get the ball rolling.

My life has been filled with change practically since the day I was born. We were always moving and doing different things. I have lived more places and went to more schools than most people even see in an entire life time.

As a result, I have never feared change, in fact I have found that change can be good. Change keeps you from stagnating. Like I told you a while back I felt as if I was going through a transitional period. So I thought it was time to change things up a bit on the blog front, starting with a new name. So say goodbye to Yesterday (Yesterday's Glitter that is,) and welcome to today and A Stuffed Life!

I chose A Stuffed Life for several reasons, my life has been stuffed with so many things, and I am sure it will be stuffed with many more. For the obvious, because I make stuffed collectibles, and just because I didn't want to look at yesterday anymore, I wanted to look forward.

Just for fun, I recreated my very first blog header. I liked that header, it was bright and cheery and kinda kitschy! That's exactly how I am feeling right now, and the change I needed to make! I hope you enjoy the change!

Hugs, K <3

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Greatest Nemesis

A few posts back I told you that once again it was recommended to me to try meditation. I finally went out and bought a couple CD's and decided to give it a try. I have semi-chronic shoulder, back and neck pain from years of working on bears, heavy hair and a large chest. So I was looking for stress/pain relieving meditation type CD's.

I finally gave that a try today. Throughout the course of the guided part, the guy says to let whatever emotion you have rise to the surface. Out of all the emotions that might have risen, the one that did surprised me a little.

I had a feeling of inadequacy and fear. I am a pretty confident person overall. But when I really look at that it's not that big of a surprise. Society tells us we have to be perfect as women. We have to be able to hold down jobs, maintain our homes, take care of families and look flawless while doing it. That's a pretty tall order, and it's not surprising that somewhere deep inside themselves most women feel inadequate in some way.

Artists always have fear and feel inadequate. It's who we are. Even the most self confident of artists have days where they feel that way. It's our greatest nemesis. We have all sorts of fears...failure, not being as good as the next artist, not being able to do something again, not being able to do something at all, being accused of copying another artist's work even when we don't, fear of never selling anything else, even fear of success, etc. The list goes on.

But as I was laying there doing my deep breathing I thought about this feeling of inadequacy. Suddenly I had a new perspective on it. Who am I to feel that way about myself? It's kind of insulting to my maker, He doesn't do shoddy work.

We don't need to fit a mold. We don't have to try to be as good as the next person because we can't be, nor can they be as good as us. We can only be what we are, a unique creation. A thread that fits perfectly into the tapestry of life.

So I think it's time to get busy on that pattern I created this week. If it doesn't turn out the first time...so what. What am I afraid of really? What's the worst that can happen? If it doesn't turn out the first time I will simply redesign it until it does turn out the way I want it to. Not much lost but a little time and mohair spent learning to make something new. That's worth it!

Oddly enough through this mental discourse I had with myself my shoulder pain was slightly alleviated. Hmmm...maybe there is something to this meditation thing after all!

Tweet Cheat

Last night I received an e-mail saying I had a private message on Twitter. Now normally I don't bother with that because I don't really use Twitter anymore. But I went to see what this one was because it was from another artist friend. She had sent me something saying that she found a video of me on a site with a link. Being curious I went to have a look since there is video of me talking about and making bears floating around the world.

As it turned out, her account had either been hijacked or cloned and the link led to a phishing site. Now luckily my PC protection grabbed it and stopped me from looking at it. I changed my passwords anyway.

I get very tired of all the scamming and identity theft on the net sometimes. It doesn't matter how cautious or savvy to such things you are. You are always going to fall prey to something eventually because these criminals get smarter every day. Plus it looked genuinely legit since it appeared it came from a friend. There wasn't a single thing to imply it wasn't from her.

I would completely delete my Twitter account since I think it's sort of useless anyway, but I don't want anyone else using my name for nefarious reasons. If you get a link like this, make sure the person it shows it came from is actually the person who sent it before you click it! Also if you ever get a link on Twitter from me...I can guarantee you it wasn't really wasn't from me, so don't click it because I would never send a link in a private mail on Twitter!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Images From A Fall Day



A few hardy aspen leaves are still clinging to the trees. You can see the frost blackening on the edges. Unfortunately it went from warm to below zero literally overnight and stayed that way for days so we didn't get the lovely fall colors we usually do.



I have no idea why people take pictures of their feet, but I always find it oddly intriguing. My intent was to photograph the leaves at my feet that I should have been raking, but didn't. I got my feet in the pic and decided to post that instead. I discovered that old gardening clogs and a billowy skirt do not make your ankles look delicate!



Basil was on the porch looking over at me. I finally got a rare photo of him smiling. I told you he smiled, but I am sure many of you didn't believe me. So there it is...proof positive!



Gypsy was also outside with me. Rizzo and the two dogs ran in the house when I went to get the camera so they didn't get to be photographed today. Gypsy may not smile like Basil, but she was definitely happy to be outside in the warm sunshine and trailing around after Mom while she was taking pictures.

Christmas Is Coming?

I have been trying to think about Christmas pieces and a layout for my website. But we have come out of the deep freeze the last few days and into lovely weather. It's 64 degrees already this morning. It makes it very hard to concentrate on cold snowy holidays!

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love sunny warm days. I think on this sunny warm day I am going to set aside the new animal I was going to work on for a bit, and go out and rake up the leaves because I know that cold snowy days will return soon enough!


Who knows maybe I will be inspired while I am out there doing it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I am pretty low maintenance really. I don't go to the salon. R trims the back of my hair and I do my bangs, and my hair is it's natural color. I don't get manicures because my nails will grow quite long on their own, but I usually cut them down so I don't break them while working. I rarely get facials because I know how to do my own. For being pretty girlie, I don't do a lot of typical girlie things. But that's not to say I don't enjoy a little pampering once in a while.

Yesterday I went and had a massage. I got a sports massage because I was feeling pretty knotted up again and wasn't up to the torture of the chiropractor. I prefer relaxation massages, but this was needed more. Regardless I love going to the spa. I like the puffy robes and slippers, I like having someone treat me as if I am special and offer me a glass of wine even if I decline. (Which yesterday I did, and just had water.) I like the lighting, the scents, and the music. I just love going to the spa. It's my happy place.

One of my other guilty little pleasure is the theater. Live productions, not movies. I adore the theater. I would do both of those things every week if I could. Tickets and gift certificates for those things are perfect presents for me...or would be if I ever got those types of presents.

I really believe that getting massages and stress management are hugely instrumental in staying healthy. Of course yesterday, once again it was suggested that I try meditation to loosen my muscles and relieve stress. I have no idea how to do meditation. You would think it would be easy, but I can't seem to quite figure it out. I looked for a CD on Amazon yesterday for guided meditation, but there are soooooo many I finally gave up because I couldn't choose one.

Maybe a trip to Barnes & Noble is in order. That too is one of my guilty pleasures. I love the book store! Even if I don't find a CD...who knows what other type of lovely little treasure I might find!

I can also indulge in yet another guilty pleasure...Starbucks!!! I guess I just talked myself into going! See you later!

Hugs, K <3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

~*~ Sooty Dickens ~*~


My new little Christmas bear is done, you can visit him on the bears page of my website.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Transitions

I am sure if you read my blog on a regular basis, you may have been wondering why I haven't been posting. I guess I just haven't had a whole lot to say. I kind of feel as if I am going through a transitional period right now. It's kind of hard to define exactly what that is in words. I am not even sure I know just yet.

I feel as if I want to go in a slightly different direction both with the bears and animals, and with my blog. I am still sort of working that out in my head.

I did finish a bear tonight, and he should get photographed tomorrow...so you will be seeing him very soon. I have also been designing a whole new kind of animal pattern, and haven't had a chance to sew it yet. Once I am happy with it, you will get to see what that is.

In the mean time, just bear with me (no pun intended) until I sort through everything mentally and am ready to go back to my usual wordy self. I will get it all worked out soon I am sure.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Land Of The Free

Some years ago I had a friend from England, and we were having a conversation one afternoon. My friend had traveled the world extensively and she said when she first came to the US she was utterly shocked by how many laws and rules our country has. She told me she had never been to a country that had so many.

Over the years I have had occasion to remember that conversation because it's true. Tonight while watching 60 Minutes I thought about that again. There was a segment on pirated movies. Now I had no idea this was such a large scale issue, and I really can't imagine why anyone would want to watch a pirated movie. The quality would have to be poor and movie rentals are so inexpensive that I don't see the point. It's hard to imagine this is such a big business for criminals, but I guess it must be.

In fact they went on to say that big drug cartels are doing this as a side line and put their logo stickers on the DVD cases. I am not sure what was said in the few minutes after that because I couldn't get my brain to process the fact that drug cartels actually have their own logos. It's still hard to imagine that.

At any rate, during the segment it showed people going to a theater and being wanded and having their purses and personal effects searched for cameras on the way in. They even went so far as to take their phones until they were ready to leave. I have to say I found that more disturbing than the fact that people were actually filming movies in theaters. Now that doesn't mean I am in ANY WAY condoning illegally obtaining movies, because as an artist I would never condone theft of artistic property...or any property for that matter. But I was taught not to steal as a kid.

I did a show in Hawaii about ten years ago, and they searched my purse when I went through the airport security. I certainly have nothing to hide in my purse, but I remember the guard feeling and actually looking inside the wrappers of my feminine products. Aside from the creepy, unsanitary nature of that, did the guy really think I had a bomb in there? It would have had to have been an incredibly flat bomb.

As you know if you fly these days you are automatically treated as an inconvenience and shown no respect of any kind. I know these things are done as a safety precaution, but I still can't help feeling invaded by it. There are so many places where you have to go through a metal detector or get wanded before you enter.

How many times have we all gone through the detectors in a department store and had one go off because a security tag wasn't removed or deactivated properly on an item we legitimately purchased? It's just embarrassing, and it's not our fault.

They say that the piracy of movies is causing the sales of theater tickets to go down. Maybe...although I don't know anyone who would watch one of those. I guess the number of people doing this is so vast that it means it's ok to institute yet another rule in this country that automatically treats us all as criminals even when we aren't. (Which I find ironic since the police won't even come if you call about an intruder unless they actually enter your house. It seems as if we went terribly wrong in our justice system somewhere doesn't it?) So much for innocent until proven guilty. But I can assure you if you are to be treated like a criminal as the norm when you go in, there will one less theater ticket sold for every movie I might have wanted to see. I will wait for DVD rental...which in my opinion is probably a much larger reason why theater ticket sales have gone down than stolen movies with poor resolution.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghost Hunters

Happy Halloween everyone! I know it's been a while since I posted, but I have had terrible sinus headaches all week from the weather, and the thought of looking at the bright screen didn't enthuse me too much.

If you read my Valentines Day Post, then you know we went to Briarhurst Manor for dinner. I will quote part of the post so you know how this is relevant to Halloween:

"Briarhurst Manor is this beautiful Victorian mansion, and it's going to be featured on an upcoming episode of Ghost Hunters. I don't know if they found anything, but I did notice that they are now offering haunted tours so I am going to guess they did. About halfway through dinner I caught my hair on something and it really yanked it. In fact I let out an audible "ouch." I looked to see what it had caught on, and couldn't figure out since the back of the chair was completely smooth and there was nothing else for it to get caught on. R was teasing me that a ghost pulled it! Of course I don't think that was it, but it was funny."

Briarhurst contacted me and put what I said on their website under ghost stories.

Last Wednesday Ghost Hunters aired the episode that showed where they did indeed visit Briarhurst! About 30-35 minutes into the show Grant was sitting in the same spot at the table where I was and mentioned "this is where the lady had her hair pulled." That was me! So that was kind of cool in a weird way, especially since it's right before Halloween.

I am still not convinced it was a ghost, but I can't say what it was since I never found anything that would have pulled my hair.

We finally have a nice day in Colorado, and the kiddies should be out in full force tonight. We will be decorating the yard and porch since it was too snowy earlier in the week. We will also be carving pumpkins, and passing out candy. Other than that, I have no other plans for the day. But it's always fun to see the kids in their costumes. I always wear a witch costume and they seem to like that.

I hope you all have a frightfully good Halloween, and don't eat too much candy!

Hugs, K <3

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Night Of January 16th ~ A Blog Mystery Give Away


This is crazy far off yet, but I wanted to announce it early so I can link the details on my website.

On January 16th I will be giving away a mohair bear..but being the ornery little dickens I am, I am going to make you work for it. (I will post a picture of the bear later.) I wanted to do something a little fun and different with it. So this is how it will work:

On January 2nd I will post a mystery about a vanished bear on my blog. You will have 2 weeks to figure out which suspect did it. You can also speculate on the motive.

Clues will be posted on my website.

An extra clue will be provided via my monthly newsletter for anyone who is signed up for that. (You can sign up on the details page of my website.)

Anyone who guesses the right suspect from the list will be entered. Anyone who guesses the motive as well as the correct suspect will be entered 4 times.

Posts will be kept hidden so you won't be influenced by other people's guesses.

On the night of January 16th a winner will be chosen from the people with the correct guesses by randomizer.

Good Luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Madness

Normally I try to make my Monday Love or Inspiration post, but today...while I am filled with inspiration, it's not the normal kind. I am definitely riding a small wave of madness. Last week was trying to say the least.

I had asked the doctor if I could go off of my hormone replacement pills since the surgery was several years ago and I felt that the menopause I was thrust into had passed. He said no, that I should stay on them for another year or two, but when do I ever listen to what anyone says? So I decided to compromise, I have been taking them every other day. I am sure he would yell at me for it, but he isn't here now is he? >=} As a result of this, I have been on a little bit of a mood roller coaster...it's not nearly as bad as it was in the beginning, but I have been a bit off. I am sure my posts may have reflected that.

Also I woke up the other morning with three sore spots on my forehead. Later I noticed I have a blue-ish purple line running vertically down one of the sore spots. It looks and feels for all the world like I ran into something, but I know I didn't. I can't imagine what happened. I still swear those cats of mine abuse me when I am sleeping.

Then I had the bear buying issues, but somehow that post vanished. I don't know where it went. *Shrugs* The internet isn't a perfect science.

Of course I still have eating issues from my gums. So I guess no one can blame me too much if I am a little crazed.

I have also been trying to clean the work room. It's coming along, but I have about 12 times as much stuff in there as the room should really accommodate. I am a master at organizing and stashing it, but there are days when I open the closet that I fear for my life a little.

Having the accumulation of the ages in there has in fact inspired me. I am working on designing a new pattern for another animal or two that will work with some of these wonderful treasures I have.

As I have said before pattern drafting is not my strong suit and I always...ALWAYS make myself crazy when I do it. I want it to be perfect. In fact I always want everything to be perfect, which is in direct contrast to the love of making things that look old and worn. Whew~ It's no wonder I drive myself batty some days, hormones aside.

So wish me luck and sanity and maybe...in a few days I will have a new little something to show you. In the mean time I am also working on my little Christmas bear, so he should be along in the next day or two as well.

May you all have an inspired week...even if, like me, your inspiration just comes from cleaning!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

~*~ Chipper Chirps ~*~


I got the first of my two new pieces completed. You may visit Chipper on the animals page of my website.

Ginger Is Having A Give Away!


Ginger is having a give away of the most adorable, precious little thing ever! Isn't she generous! I saw it and fell in love. To have a chance at winning, head on over to Bearbits and enter! Read the rest of her blog too, she is a lovely person and makes very fun posts! Good luck!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Playing Catch Up

The last few days I haven't gotten a whole lot done. I blame Dan Brown and my inability to put his newest book down. He writes such fun intellectual fluff, and the story keeps you wanting to know what the next puzzle is and what's behind the next door. Some of the plot points make me want to smack him in the head with the book and others I really enjoy. I managed to finish the book yesterday morning though, so it was time to get caught up on what I had been putting off.

I am working on two new pieces that should be done very soon. I am also cleaning the studio. It always tends to get messy, since I work there. When I am done with all that I need to do some cleaning.

Watch for new pieces soon...very soon! Also today is the last day for free shipping on my site.

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Would You Do If You Knew?

Every morning hundreds of people read their horoscopes in this country. The degree to which they take it seriously varies. But there is one constant, since the beginning of mankind, we have been fascinated by the prospect of fortelling the future.

Many people put a lot of stock in the Nostradamus and the Mayan Prophecies, even though most people don't quite have the right information on that thanks to the hype of the media. There have been countless forms of divination in most cultures over the centuries.

This Fall a new show started on TV called Flash Forward. The premise of the show is that for 2 minutes and 17 seconds everyone in the world blacked out and had a vision of their life for the same 2 minutes and 17 seconds six months in the future. Some saw something good and some didn't. Being familiar with the book the show is based on, I know what caused the black out, but not to worry, I won't spoil it for you if you're watching the show. I will say this much, if the show adheres to the book, it's probably not what you think it is. It's a far fetched but fresh plot device.

So now the show asks the question, if you knew the future what would you do? Would you try to prevent what you saw? Would you try to create what you saw? Or would you just let fate play out the way it's meant to despite what you saw?

I personally don't believe we can ever get a clear and accurate picture of our future, and quite frankly I have no interest in trying. But if we could...what would we do?

There are certain things about our future that we don't need a crystal ball to discern. If we don't change our ways both our planet and our society are heading for downfalls.

If we look back at history, every civilization falls. They usually all fall from the same mistakes. Immorality, egocentricity and greed. These are the three main causes of disease, wars, and overuse of resources. But as a race we seldom learn from our past mistakes. We still think we are more indestructible and enlightened than our predecessors, which is rarely the case.

So why then are we so interested in knowing the future? If we could accurately see our futures would we be the cause of bringing about what we saw? Would it be a matter of self fulfilling destiny. On the flip side of that coin, can we avoid fate?

I guess it all comes down to what you believe. Is our personal future a predetermined path we follow or is it up to us to make the right choices?

I have often heard people say "If I only knew then what I know now..." But would you really make a different choice if you knew?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free Shipping!

Good morning everyone! I would like to welcome my new followers. I am happy to have you!

Every once in a blue moon I offer something for my blog readers. With the holidays approaching, I thought I would give all my readers free US shipping (or the equivalent for my foreign readers) on anything purchased from my website, Blondheart, through Saturday! I will refund the amount on paypal when you make your purchase.

Hugs, K. <3

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monday Love & Inpsiration: Blogs & Parties & Holidays Oh My!

Since I wasn't up to posting my usual Monday post last week, I thought I would share a little love AND inspiration today. And of course I have my announcement. But before we get to that, I want to say that I am doing better. My mouth is healing, I am ten pounds lighter, and if you ever have to get gum grafts it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be! Plus did I mention I am ten pounds lighter!!! *giggles* I could tell you a funny pants story, but I have enough to tell in this post.

Secondly, I really want to thank everyone who visited and left me such lovely comments from the Halloween party post! Despite only 3 1/2 days to do it, and trying to recoup, I really had fun with it. The bears enjoyed it as well and want to put on more little plays for you in the future. (Actually they wanted to do War And Peace today but I told them I would pass out, so they decided maybe a break would be better. Besides I told them it's best to leave their fans wanting more for a little while!)

Ok so on to the post! I am always inspired by so many of the blogs I read. There are so many amazing and talented people out there and it's one of the better sides of the internet that we get a glimpse into their lives and get to know them a little bit through this medium!

I also love parties, and I love love holidays! No...really I LOVE holidays. I enjoyed Vanessa's party and reading every single blog that participated. It was so much fun and filled with love and inspiration of every magical variety!

So last week while I was doing everything else except eating, I decided I wanted to host a party of my own for Christmas! I know it's a little soon to think about Christmas since Halloween hasn't arrived yet, but I wanted to be sure to give people plenty of time. It's a busy time of year and I figured even if people had things to do they could get started early and have a post ready for that day.



So without further ado...*dramatic pause*...I am having the first ever A H'artfelt Christmas blog party! Everyone is invited to join in the fun...yes everyone, even that rotten boy in second grade that tried to kiss me all the time. Everyone in the entire world. Not that I expect them all to show up, just maybe 2/3 of the worlds population! *grins cheekily* So head on over to the special blog I made just for the party info, and sign up! (Don't grade me too harshly on my poor attempt at poetry please!) A couple enterprising people found the blog before I was done setting up!

I hope to see you all there!

Hugs, K. <3

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome To The Party! ~ A Halloween Carol ~

Welcome...welcome...one and all! You have found my post for the Halloween party hosted by A Fanciful Twist! It's a fine day for a party! But no Halloween gathering would be complete without a ghost story. So grab a cup of cider and a popcorn ball and settle in as I present to you:



Tebearneezer Fudge hurried down the cobblestone street. He wanted to get home after a long day of running errands. A fog had started to cover his sleepy little town and was getting thicker by the minute. He heard voices through the mist calling out Halloween greetings to one another. Bah humbug he thought! He did not like Halloween one little bit!

Suddenly the fog thickened to the point where he couldn't see past the nose on his face. He had been so lost in thought over his dislike of Halloween that he hadn't been paying attention to where he was. "Well this is a fine pickle!" he muttered under this breath. He reached out his paw, groping his way along the street until he felt a door latch. He decided he would go into the shop and wait until the fog dissipated.


When he entered, he was met with a curious sight. A gypsy was sitting at a table with two chairs. "Velcome...come...sit" she said when he entered. Tebearneezer wasn't sure what sort of shop this was. He didn't remember ever seeing it before, but the gypsy seemed nice enough so he thought it would be ok to sit for a bit.

As he sat down she said "Lovely veather ve are having..no?" Tebearneezer smiled politely. "Er...if you say so." He didn't want to be rude afterall. The fortune teller peered into her crystal ball, and then started to lay cards out on her table. "Oh my, such sadness I see!" she said and shook her head. She studied the cards a bit more. "But all is not lost" she said finally. Tebearneezer stood up rather abruptly. "Now see here, I didn't ask for my fortune to be told!" he exclaimed. But before he could add anything else, the gypsy said "You shall be visited this night by three ghosts."

"G...gh...ghosts?" Tebearneezer said a bit nervously, but then quickly regained his posture. "Stuff and nonsense!" he said, and stood up abruptly. He thanked her for letting him sit in her shop, and then hurried out the door. When he got outside the fog had cleared. He hurried the rest of the way home.



Later that night, when he crawled into bed he remembered the fortune tellers words. He refused to let any ghosts into his house, that was for certain! He couldn't help feeling afraid as he blew out the candle. He tried to go to sleep, but every noise made him jump. He pulled the covers up over his nose, even though he knew he was being silly. He finally fell into a fitfull sleep.


Some time later, he awoke. He was sure he had heard someone calling his name. He opened his eyes and saw a diminutive, hazy figure in a black ballgown and holding a masquerade mask, standing by the foot of his bed surrounded eerily in green light. "I am the ghost of Halloween past." she said sweetly. Tebearneezer jumped out of bed and grabbed his robe. This couldn't be real! She floated towards him, and took his paw in hers. "We will travel back to the day you started disliking Halloween!" She brought her mask up to her face. Before Tebearneezer could protest, the room started spinning out of control.



When it stopped, they were no longer in his room. Instead they were in the town square. "No..NooOOooOOoo!" Tebearneezer cried. He did not want to relive this fateful day.

As he watched he saw himself as a cub playing in the town square with all his friends. They had been excited about Halloween in those days, and were all sporting their costumes. He had dressed as a clown. He had been so proud of that costume his Mother had made him.

Then he saw them...the horrifying ghost with the scary mummy at it's side. He covered his face with his paws. He didn't want to remember how frightened he had been! He saw his younger self hiding behind a huge pumpkin, crying in terror and hoping they didn't find him and eat him. All his so called friends had run away and he left him alone. He turned to the ghost and asked "Why! Why have you brought me here?" She said "Look Tebearneezer, they aren't really monsters...just older kids dressed in scary costumes! They were trick or treating same as you!" Tebearneezer peeked back at the scene unfolding before him. He saw they truly were just kids in costumes! How could he have made such a mistake? He was about to reach out to his younger self and point that out so he wouldn't be scared, when the world started to spin again! He found himself back in his own bed, his room dark now except for the full moon shining in through the window. He rubbed his eyes and thought to himself it must have all been a dream. He turned over and went back to sleep.


No sooner had he started to doze off when he heard a booming voice. "I am the ghost of Halloween present!" It announced. He rolled over in bed to see a chubby, spotted cat wearing a pointy clown hat sitting by the side of his bed. He groaned...not again! The cat grabbed his paw with a loud laugh and the room spun out of control.


He found himself back in the town square. This time everyone he knew was there helping set up the Halloween display. "See how much fun your friends are having Tebearneezer Fudge!" said the ghost. "Friends" muttered Tebearneezer. He didn't have any friends. Not since he was a cub. He knew what people said about him behind his back, how they called him grumpy and a curmudgeon! It made him feel a little sad. He almost wished he could join in the fun. "Bah humbug!" he said instead, "who needs fun!" "Everyone does Tebearneezer! What is life without friends and fun?" said the ghost. He was about to reply when the world spun out from under him. He was alone in his room. He lay thinking about what he had seen and what the ghost had said for a long time before he fell asleep again.

Concluded in the next post...click the main header to read on if you arrived via this post!

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