Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Journey

I haven't posted much the last few days because I have been a big mass of crying, crabbiness, earache, headache and perspiring.

It's been 4 1/2 years since my hysterectomy and after the initial insanity of the first six months or so, I have gotten away pretty lucky.  But all of a sudden lately it's reared it's ugly head again.  I really can't stand feeling emo and like I have no control over myself.  I don't know how to deal with perspiring so much since I never have been a sweaty girl.

By the way did you know that estrogen levels and ears are connected?  I kept thinking I was getting an inner ear infection, but as it turns out it's another lovely little bit of menopause fallout.

At any rate I didn't feel like posting.  But last night R was late so I was sitting and watching TV.  I was watching a rerun of "How I Met Your Mother."  I like that show pretty well, it's rather funny.  Last night's episode was about the baggage people have.  The character of Ted comes to the conclusion that everyone has baggage, including him. 

In our society we view that as a bad thing.  I don't know why.  As Ted learned, we all have baggage.  But is having baggage a bad thing?

When I pack for a trip, I get excited to get out my luggage.  I like luggage.  I have some nice vintage pieces around the house too.  But it implies I am getting ready for a new adventure.

So isn't emotional baggage simply what we carry with us from the adventures we have had in our lives?  Sure most of us would like to rid ourselves of at least some of it.  But if you aren't carrying any, doesn't it imply you haven't taken risks and you haven't been experiencing life to it's fullest. 

Not every thing we do, or every place we go is going to turn out perfectly.  Remember family vacations?  There was almost always some sort of minor incident on them...if not a full fledged catastrophe.  But what great memories they made!

When I look at my emotional suitcase I carry around, it has lots of travel stickers.  This latest little episode is just one more of them, and I can put a sticker on that says menopause.  It wasn't the best destination, but by golly I have visited there.  Maybe I would be happier to be unencumbered by it, but at least I can honestly say I have traveled many places along this journey called life!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

~*~ Jacko ~*~

I have my first Halloween piece for this year done.  He was inspired by the black squirrels we have here in Black Forest just northeast of town.  If you would like to visit Jacko, you can do that on the Animals Page 2  of my website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Offhand Comments

I woke up this afternoon feeling great!  I had my bi-annual checkup the other day and the doctor was so proud of me for losing another ten pounds since I had been in last.  I have to have check up's twice a year due to my meds.

Since last October I have lost 22 pounds.  I have been doing it slowly, changing my eating habits and trying to get off my duff more often.  I want it to stick. 

I put on my capri boyfriend jeans when I got up.  Last year I had ordered them online and when they arrived they were very small for the size they are and I couldn't even get them on.  A while back I was able to start wearing them.  This morning I noticed they were baggy in butt and sliding down my hips.  So I decided to go subject myself to the torture of looking for jeans.  I have pants issues...they are always too big in the waist.

Before I left, I got an e-mail.  It had a picture taken of me last week  attached to it.  I looked at it and just about started crying.  I went from feeling good and proud to HOMIGOLLY someone harpoon that whale and end the torture! 

It kind of set the tone for the rest of the day.  Most of us have been there though.  I didn't even buy jeans, I bought a sweater to hide the whale blubber.  Sigh~

Still feeling a tad raw later this evening, I was on the sofa when Gypsy, my cat who loves me more than anything, came up and started rubbing against me purring.  I picked her up and I said "Gypsy doesn't think Momma is fat do you...you think I am just perfect the way I am."  (Which is such a nice thing about pets, they love you unconditionally!)  I wish chubby looked as cute on me as it does her!

Gypsy answered with more purring and rubbing.  BUT...R looked up from his paper and very casually, quietly, matter of factly said "So do I."  He went back to reading his paper.  He didn't even see the big lone tear that slid down my cheek.

It was such a sweet, genuine comment and it made me feel so good.  Sometimes those offhand, un-thought out comments that people give can be the very best thing in the world.  They mean so much more than a thought out one.  R completely turned my day back around, and I don't think he even realized it.  That's part of the reason I love him so much!

So I ended up ordering some jeans this evening.  I hope they fit...if they don't, maybe they will by next year!

The Effects Of Image Overload

For the first two thirds of my career if I wanted to see other artist bears I had very few choices.  I could go to a show, shop or read a bear magazine/book.  In the very beginning there weren't even many of those options.  As a result there were long periods of time in between when I didn't see any bears but my own.

With the onset of the internet we have the option to reach a much larger audience.  But we also have the option to look at bears for hours on end if we choose to.  Even if we don't choose to, it's almost hard to escape seeing any from just reading blogs, looking at websites, forums, going to ebay or etsy, etc. 

Recently a group of us were asked the question what makes your bears unique.  That question is a lot harder than it used to be.  While I wasn't the first person to make distressed, vintage looking bears...I was one of the first.  The style I did it in was unique.   But no longer, many people make similar bears to my style.  (I am in no way suggesting they copied me.)

A while back I saw something rather unique that another artist had done.  Within two weeks a dozen other artists were incorporating that thing into their bears.  While there is nothing wrong with that, and it's something that we all do at some point...I found myself wondering if it's really possible to remain truly unique now?

Trends in art spread through the world at a frightening pace.  I am not so sure you can be completely unique anymore.  You can develop a recognizable style, but that's about it.

What impact is image overload having on us?  Do we even realize it?  I know that over the years my bears have been effected.  Mostly in shape.  I lean a teeny tiny bit more towards that chibi style than I used to.  They have larger heads and lower set eyes than they used to.  When I changed the shape of the bears I didn't even realize at first that I was influenced by a popular style.  In retrospect I certainly was.

It's not just bears this is happening to.  It is happening in every venue of art.  I wonder if image overload is homogenizing the art world to a degree?   They say there are no new ideas, and I am sure there haven't been for a long time.  But with every pixel posted to the internet...there are fewer and fewer unique ideas.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adults Who Don't Forget

A while back on the guild I belong to, someone asked the question why do you make bears?  We all gave our answers and they all varied.  But for some reason that question came back to me tonight and I thought about it a little more. 

Why do I make bears?  I could easily have become the lawyer I thought I wanted to be, or I could have become a scientist, or any one of a dozen other things my brain and personality are suited for.

My Mother wanted me to be an accountant.  I think I would have died of boredom.  Numbers and endless paperwork aren't my thing. 

My Grandmother wanted me to be an artist and she encouraged my creativity.  Although I think she thought I would be a different variety of artist.

When I was a kid, I was an only child who moved a lot...a lot more than most people can imagine moving.   This resulted in me being painfully shy and lonely.  So my friends were my toys.  My three favorite toys were my two teddy bears which belonged to my Father before me and my Raggedy Ann doll.  Oscar, Bruno and Raggedy Ann all had personalities and "lives" that were very distinct.

Most adults grow up and forget those things.  Sometimes they even forget the toys that were so special to them as children.  I still remember those stories I created in my head as I was playing.  While I do have a memory that is above average, I am not sure that I would have forgotten them even if I wasn't so blessed with what I am able to recall.

I can't speak for what other teddy bear artists do, but when I make a bear or animal, I look upon it as if I am making a friend for that person who will eventually adopt it as opposed to just a collectible.  They have a little bit of a personality that springs to life when I create and costume them, but I also like to leave some for the adopter to fill in the blanks and bring that bear the rest of the way to life as they write the story for themselves.

If I were to go look at my collection, I know all their names and stories.  Oddly enough they all have one.  In fact I have one unassuming looking Steiff who believes he is King Edgar of Scotland and carries a Steiff koi around as if it's a sword.  The koi is easy going and doesn't mind.  He sort of watches over Edgar to make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble.  I've never told him that he isn't really King Edgar.  I wouldn't want to disillusion him...he is happy believing it.

So I think the true answer is that I make bears because I am one of those adults who didn't forget.  I remember how important those childhood friends were that I played make believe with.    Apparently they are still important in some way...and not just to me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Concert

First of all I would like to apologize for missing the Second Star To The Right blog party put on by ...Fawndear...  I have never not done a party I have signed up to do and it was disappointing.  But my little mishap with my shoulder prevented me from taking pictures.  Be sure and visit all the other posts from the lovely bloggers that did participate though.

The concert was amazing.  If you can go VIP, do it.  We went to a pre-show party.  The band was very friendly and just lovely.  We got all sorts of goodies and we had front row seats.  I even got flirted with rather hard to R's dismay.

I have to say though, I was apprehensive.  They have been putting on concerts for 45 years, so they aren't young any more.  I was nervous that they might not sound as good as they did 30 years ago, or maybe they were simply burned out since this is their farewell tour. 

The opening act was Cinderella...another band that was popular in the 80's if you aren't familiar.  I wasn't that enthused to see them to be honest.  I used to like them until I had an up close and personal episode about 23 years ago with Tom Keifer and it left me a little sour on them.  Let's just leave it at that.

When they came out to preform, they sounded rather poor...and Tom's attitude didn't seem to have improved any. 

But when the Scorpions came out to play it was a world of difference.  If they are in fact tired of preforming, you would never know it.  They sounded incredible, they looked like they were loving every minute of what they were doing, and they really drew the audience in.  Their show was truly amazing, and I didn't want it to end.  I really did feel young again for one night.

The next morning however...I was back to being old again.  My ears were ringing so hard I could barely sleep.  I felt like I had a hangover even though I had only had one g;lass of wine.

R took me shopping in Denver and spoiled me a bit.  But despite the thrill of shopping, it took me two and a half days to completely recover my hearing.

After we got home on Thursday, my friend who had been house sitting and I went to see "Eat Pray Love,"  I wasn't sure I liked it as much as I thought I would.  I am not sure why.  She thought it was wonderful  Something about it left me feeling a bit bereft despite the happy ending.   I can't quite put my finger on it.

Later that night I pulled my shoulder muscle and haven't done much since then until tonight.  I finally forced myself to cut out two new pieces.  So...those should be along presently. 

Other than that, Verdigris will be heading out to his new home in Pennsylvania shortly. 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!
Hugs, K. <3 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quick Update

I didn't want you to think I had fallen off the planet.  I will post all about the concert and a few other things in a day or two.  I messed up my shoulder pretty good on Thursday night after we got home, so it's taking an effort to even type this much.

I will be back soon!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  Hugs, K. <3

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

All Roads Lead Back To A Self Portrait

Some years ago I saw a thing on TV where a lab was running a test on some new facial recognition software.  They scanned in the Mona Lisa and the self portrait Leonardo Da Vinci did of himself.  Much to their surprise it returned with a really high percentage match.  They then deduced that the Mona Lisa was actually a self portrait as well.

When I saw this, I had a good laugh.  I don't think it's a self portrait, but I do think that if they compared any of his other portraits they would get the same results. 

One of the earliest lessons I learned as a fledgling artist all those years ago, was that everything we create is a self portrait.  It doesn't matter what you make or how far outside your comfort zone you go.  It will look like you in some way.  Now in the case of a portrait or sculpture it's easily discernible.

In other types of items it may not immediately jump out at the observer.  In fact it may not even resemble you physically, but it will resemble some part of your nature or personality if it doesn't resemble your face or body shape.  It's hardest to identify in your own work.  I suppose that's because we are too close to it. 

Every once in a while I get a glimpse of it in my own work.  I can see it in a bear if it stands just so or looks at me in a certain way while photographing it.  I can't quite ever put my finger on what it is that resembles me, I just know it does.  Maybe you can see it?

The one place I do see it is in my computer work.  I have been working on a new layout for my website again.  I decided I wanted to go back to that vintage feel, but I wanted to make something very different.  What I have been working on looks completely different than any of the last updates and yet...it's frustratingly the same.  You probably wouldn't notice it, but I do.  I want to go outside my box and make something fun and different from me, and I can't do it.

Normally I am a proponent of continuity.  I think it's terribly important.  Afterall we spend a large part of our early artistic lives trying to develop our own identifiable style.  The irony is, we can't really get away from it....we had it all along, all we can do is fine tune and perfect it.

Maybe I will just add a comfy sofa and some throw pillows inside my box...I am going to be here for the rest of my creative days...regardless how much I think I am changing things up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Going Back In Time

Back in the 80's I was kind of a party girl, yeah I know hard to imagine right *giggles*....and I really loved those great hair bands of the time.  One of my absolute favorites was the Scorpions.  Like most young people I liked going to concerts and I went to quite a few.  But I never made it to see the Scorpions.  It seems like every single time I tried to go I had to be somewhere.  Usually a bear show. 

I tried to see them for 26 years actually.  The last time they came I was scheduled for surgery and couldn't go.  So this year they are doing their farewell tour.  For my birthday present R got tickets to go see them.  But not just tickets...he went the whole VIP route and got us backstage passes and the works.  We get to meet the band at a pre-show party, have pictures with them, swag bag...all kinds of great stuff.  The concert is Tuesday night in Denver.

I have to admit that I have been feeling a little old to be going to a concert, but all of a sudden I am excited about it.  Sure we are older, the band is older...but it doesn't matter.  For one brief shining night we will be transported back in time.  And it's going to rock! (Literally!)

I loved the 80's.  It was really the last age of innocence in a way.  I suddenly can't wait!  R has been excited over it for months, it just took me a little while to catch up.

We will be staying up in Denver for an extra day to make it a mini vacation.  I am not sure what we will be doing on Wednesday...but it will be nice to get away from my furry little "kids" and have fun for a couple days!  I am sure they will like it too...Auntie Carol is coming and she spoils them!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

~*~ Verdigris ~*~

Now you know why my hands were blue!  Verdigris is available on the Bears page of my website if you would like to visit him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Color Of Days

Everyone has a favorite color, closely followed by other colors we prefer.  I like pink.  It's my favorite color.  It's probably because I have a romantic nature.  I also like green, a deep rich garnet, orange, turquoise and periwinkle.  I like most colors after that except for purple.  I am not real big on basic blue either, but that stems from something weird that happened when I was a kid.

Some days we wake up and we are in the mood for a certain color.  Have you ever noticed that?  You might have a desire to wear a specific color when you get out of bed.  Maybe you go shopping later in the day and everything you are attracted to is that color too.  I know the scientific reason this happens, but I won't demystify it for you...that would take the fun out of it.

I have been thinking about color lately.  I recently read something that said the majority of people in the US have blue as a favorite color.  This holds true for women and they are attracted to cool colors.  I thought that was rather surprising.  I would have thought that somehow women would prefer warm colors.  I guess that makes me odd girl out since I am more drawn to warm colors.

Color plays a huge role in our lives.  I am not sure we even realize it.  We can make subconscious judgements about someone based on the color they are wearing when we first meet them.  We choose the color of everything in our lives.  The colors of things in our home influence how comfortable we feel there.  Most of us try to create a cozy nest where we feel safe, secure and content.  If your sofa was a different color would you still feel the same way?

Yesterday was definitely a rare blue day despite it not being a favorite color. I had a blue and white pin striped sundress on. I like it because it feels crisp and clean. The sky was a vibrant blue. At the end of the day my hands were blue. (You will find out in the next post why they were blue! *winks*)  But if it hadn't been a blue day, I wonder if they would have been a different color?

So just out of curiosity, what is your favorite color?  What was the color of your day?  Did it have an influence on it in any way?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feeling Blue Blog Give-Away

For the longest time I have been enamored of  Susan's darling little mice at Mouse Droppings.  Now she is having a give-away!  *Crosses fingers and toes and sticks a four leaf clover behind my ear*  Isn't that too cute! Go have a peek!

Hugs, Kelly

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blue Skies

Today I finally woke up to bright blue sun shiny skies!  It was so nice to not have rain for a change.  I could almost breathe again. 

I think it was a portent of things to come for the day.  Buster was back walking on all four paws again.  I got an actual harvest from my garden!  We had beans!!!  I can't stand green beans but R loves them, so he was happy.  I was just excited that I actually grew something that bore fruit...or veggies in this case.

I also have quite a few flowers ready to bloom, and my morning glories are blooming. I was too late in the day to get a pic though, they had closed up for the afternoon.

I walked Ridley, weeded the garden, played with the kitties...and R was being sneaky by peeking over the railing of the deck to see what I was doing. He thought I couldn't see him, but I could! Shhhh....don't tell him I posted his pic, he hates to be photographed! Especially sporting his weekend look.

Friday, August 6, 2010

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go To Sleep

Usually I handle things as they come along.  It's what you have to do in life.  Anyone who has been reading my blog on a regular basis for a while knows I have had a tough time of it this year.  But sometimes there comes a point where I just shut down.  That's what happened this week.

I have been making these new patterns which is always hard for me.  But along with that I also had to take Gypsy for a 3 am ER vet visit last Tuesday.  She started throwing up and didn't stop.  The vet said she had an infection and gave her some antibiotics and some kitty Pepcid.

R has been running up to Vail quite a bit and having to stay up there because they are in the testing phase of the job, and invariably they have to work til late into the night for testing.  He has been so tired, he doesn't like staying away from home.  But that also means that every little crisis that comes along is all mine to deal with while he is gone.

It's been raining endlessly and my sinus's are going to explode.  I have had a headache every day for two weeks now.

Day before yesterday Buster slipped and hurt his leg again.  He had MAJOR surgery on it last March which cost a small fortune.  I was afraid he had done the same thing again, and I was ready to have him put down last night since he was laying on the floor doing nothing but crying from the pain and couldn't put any weight at all on the leg.  It's certainly not something I wanted to do, but I can't afford another couple thousand for major surgery again, and I can't put him through that torture again either.  I took him to the ER vet, and sat there for an hour and a half.  They only had one other dog in there and it was in the next room making the most horrible noise the entire time. 

I finally couldn't take it any more since it was upsetting him and my nerves were frayed raw, and I was sobbing because I didn't want to put him down.  So I just took him home without seeing the doctor.  Now Buster is a cocker spaniel, but he is one of the biggest ones you have ever seen and he is quite heavy.  So when I got home I carried him  around to the gate to let him in the back yard.  I sat him down while I unlocked the gate.  I turned to put him in the yard and the little stinker was gone!  He had RAN back into the garage!  Miraculously he could suddenly move, he was still limping but he wasn't as bad off as he made me believe.  It nearly cost him his life.  I am not sure what we will do now, it depends on if he heals and shows improvement or not.  If he doesn't, and he really has messed up his leg again we still may have to put him down.  But I am sincerely hoping not, and that maybe it's just a sprain that heals up.

On top of all of this Facebook is causing me frustration.  Now I know you wouldn't think Facebook would be a big deal.  But I have recently found out that most bear artists think it's a wonderful tool, so I was trying to update my page the last couple nights.  It had been sitting there abandoned for over a year. 

I am a pretty tech savvy type of girl, but Facebook is just beyond me.  It's so user unfriendly.  When I upload pictures a couple of them always vanish over the next few days.  All my profile info had vanished.  Plus I don't know how anyone finds anything on that site?  How do you search for things?  Where do the people who follow your page come from?  How do they find you?

So I need some input from you guys on this...do you have Facebook or not?  If you do, do you like it?  Do you think it's worth the effort?  Do ya have any idea what I am doing wrong?  (Thanks in advance for the info.)

At any rate with all this never ending junk going on, I just shut down a couple days ago and took to my bed about every four hours.  I can't sleep that long, but I can't seem to stay awake that long either.  So posting has been minimal this week and I wanted to let you know why.

I think I am going back to bed again...this too shall pass...I hope!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

~*~ Strawberry ~*~

The original idea I had that prompted me to make a smaller bear pattern was actually to make a little strawberry bird.  I was inspired by all the gardening I have been doing this summer!

You can visit Strawberry on the Animals page 2 of my website.

The Rest Of The Story

I don't know how many of you remember Paul Harvey.  He passed away last year and I kind of miss his radio spots he used to do where he told "the rest of the story."  It was always interesting.  One story in particular stands out in my mind. 

He told about a man who was well off but lived in spartan conditions, he would donate lots of money to various charities and he even put a nephew through the seminary.  He was very kind to many people throughout his life.  But very few really knew about the man's private life or all the good deeds he did until after his death.  The man turned out to be Andy Warhol who of course always seemed so flamboyant in his public life.  But that was an artistic diva-esque persona he played because at that period in time it was expected.

Today I am going to tell you the "rest of the story" about the things I post.  It won't be as lovely as anything Mr. Harvey would have told, but it might help you understand just a tad more.

I stay up all night working.  I don't go to bed until about 5:00-6:00 AM after R has left for work.  I sit down here in my creative space working on whatever latest thing I am making.  While I do that I watch TV and I think about things.  All sorts of things...some of those things would probably make you scratch your head in puzzlement.  Two nights ago I was hand sewing, watching The Incredible Mr. Limpet and thinking about a theory I have on the Higgs Bosun particle and why it's so elusive.  Not to worry I won't bore you with it.

The point is I think about a LOT of things, all kinds of things...in depth.  That's the way it is at night when it's quiet and no one is talking to you for hours.  The mind goes to these places usually prompted by something else.  

At 4:30 R gets up for work, I go see him off, pour a small cup of coffee and come back down here which is usually when I make my blog posts. 

I keep telling myself that I should make them during the day.  When I make daytime posts they always seem less...esoteric.  I suspect that sometimes you read what I write and wonder to yourself what brought me to that place and made me want to post that thing.  Especially since I always say it's important to have continuity to your work, but yet I certainly don't apply that to my blog.

Like yesterday's post.  There was more behind that than what you read.  It was an offshoot of a conversation I was in the middle of earlier in the day.  I had been mentally chewing on it for a while before I got here.

Sometimes I go back and read my posts and I think wow, people must think I am the strangest creature on the planet, when really I am only in the top twenty or so!  *gigglesnorts*

We have been discussing on a forum I frequent about blogging and what people might want to read or not read.  I have no idea what people want to read.  Half the time I am not even sure why I post what I do or if I want to read it.  But maybe you will understand now if it seems odd it's because I have been up all night by the time I get to posting.

Thankfully blogs are like art and they are subjective...I am also thankful that you come to read it anyway and leave the kind comments that you do...and that no one has sent men in white coats to haul me away yet!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Knowing We All Go Through The Same Reality

If you look at my blog header it's an idyllic setting isn't it?  I would love to live there.  The old house, the woods, the gently flowing stream...you can almost imagine that it's perfectly 75 degrees every day and the scent of freshly baked bread would greet you as stroll up the walk way.  When you entered the house everything would be neat and dusted, and a pitcher of iced lemon aide would be set out just waiting for that surprise guest.   But I don't live there, it's just an artistic rendering.

They say that reality is what you make it, and there is no place that is more true than on the internet.  Have you ever been to a blog or website where you left feeling inadequate in some way?  You wished you could live that person's life, or have their successful business or maybe even make something half as amazing as what they make?  I hope no one ever goes away from my blog feeling like that.  I kind of doubt they do.  I am a bit too lazy to bother making my life sound perfect and wonderful everyday, I just throw it all out there.

Maybe it's wrong to tell you this, but I am going to anyway.  I was visiting a beautiful blog the other day, and while I enjoyed reading it and looking at all the pretty pictures I felt a bit inferior when I left.  I suppose I should give the impression that I am successful all the time and have supreme confidence in all that I do, but I don't.  I thought to myself boy I wish I had that kind of talent in my work and that my blog was so pretty and worded as nicely.  I came back and looked at my own convinced I should change it because it seemed so dull in comparison.  But then I gave my myself one of those mental smacks upside the head. I was buying into it.  Now I am not saying they didn't have a nice life or a lot of talent, they did.  But I also realized that they were probably omitting a lot of stuff.  They have bad days and self doubts, they look at other people's work or blog and think it's better than their own.

We all go through that same reality, some of us just choose to post it and some don't.  So the next time you go away from someones blog or site and wish that you could be so clever or talented or good or have their life...don't do it.  They have just as much junk going on as you do.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

~*~ Sweetpea ~*~

The very first bird from the new pattern is finished!  I like it!  You can visit Sweetpea on the Animals page 2 of my website.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Current copyright laws allow for all work to be automatically protected when it is created. All original artwork, photos, text, logo, descriptions, and derivative works from Blondheart are not to be copied, imitated or distributed in any way. All rights reserved solely by the artist, Kelly Dauterman.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map