Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ads And Ends

I have been trying really hard not to panic over this swine flu thing. I am trying to be optimistic, but I do have asthma and out of all the dire warnings we get a viral outbreak that attacks the respiratory system does scare me a little. Luckily so far Colorado has been mostly unaffected. There have been a few reports that didn't turn out to be anything more than regular flu.

I got the new issue of Teddy Bear & Friends yesterday and I am trying to be optimistic about that too, but the ad doesn't look how I had hoped. I did it on the old computer and as I said before I had no idea how bad it was until I saw the new monitor, and by then it was too late. I guess all I can do is make a better one next time.

Other than that I have been trying to catch up on doing chores and getting ready to make some new things. It hasn't been to exciting around here other than the weather which keeps going from blizzards to warm weather with tornado warnings and back again.

Maybe tomorrow I will have something cheerier to post. Until then!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clever Puppy?

I have a West Highland Terrier named Jazzy. I posted her "Frankenpaws" pic above because I thought it was pretty cute. She had been chasing R while he was mowing so her feet are green.

Animals have senses that humans don't possess, although some have better senses than others. Jazzy tends to be a very smart little thing, much smarter than Buster, her big Cocker Spaniel buddy. Sometimes she just amazes me. Ever since she was a puppy she has always growled at animals on TV. Once she growled at a manta ray on a program I was watching about the ocean. Considering a manta ray is pretty far out of her realm of knowledge I thought that was surprising. But even more surprising was another night when she growled at an image of some amoeba shown under a microscope. How she could discern those were alive I can't imagine.

She never growls at people in animal suits or computer animations though. Only real animals. So she really gave me pause to wonder about something a while back. Now I have mentioned many times that I have a deep abiding affection for cryptozoology. Despite that, Bigfoot has never been of much interest to me to study, and I have never put much stock in it's existence.

But one night I was sitting in the recliner and Jazzy was in her appointed spot at the foot of it watching the big screen with me. We happened to be watching a show about Bigfoot simply because it came on after the other show I had been watching and I was too comfortable to get up to get the remote. I kind of got caught up in it, and started watching it in earnest. Towards the end of the show they played three different clips in succession of supposed Bigfoot sightings that various people had captured. The thing that really gave me pause was Jazzy, alert with eyes glued to the TV, growled at one of the clips, but not the other two. I backed it up and watched all three again. They were more or less similar in content and showing the supposed beast each time with roughly the same clarity. Again she only growled at the one.

I am not sure what to make of that exactly, but it has certainly opened my mind to the possibility that Bigfoot is out there and Jazzy was able to identify it along with two imposter's! *Grins*

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hearts, Hearts, Hearts

Now that my internet is finally back up I was able to add the new hearts to my website. There are three hanging hearts and four pins. You can find them on the trinkets and jewelry pages. Click here to go to my website if you would like to have a peek at them,

Saturday, April 25, 2009


It is said that all of our technology makes our lives easier. While I am sure it's true that say microwaving a hot pocket is easier than taking down a yak and dragging it back to the cave to be skinned and cooked, I am not convinced that technology always makes our lives easier. In fact I think it complicates it in many instances.

Last weekend R bought a new wireless router and we had nothing but problems all week long. I could barely get online for more than a few seconds to a minute or two before it would crash. We spent hours on the phone with the tech people at the company who made the product, changing every possible setting there is to reset. We finally solved the problem today by returning the router and buying a different brand. Luckily that one is working great now.

Not only did we have the frustration of not being able to get online, but we also had to go through eight robot prompted options to get a live person each time we called.

Sometimes I miss the freedom I had as a kid. We had three channels on the TV, a TV that we had to get up and manually change I might add...and we couldn't record anything. So if you missed a show or there was nothing on, you went outside or read a book.

Meals took longer to prepare but they certainly tasted better, and in the long run they were probably healthier despite carbs and fat. Butter, sugar and white flour weren't our enemies then. We ran right outside after we were done eating and burned it off. I weigh more now than I did when I was younger and I am not sure that's all attributed to age.

You actually talked to people in person or on the phone and heard their voice, knowing how they meant what they said and people weren't so sensitive. Having personal interaction was nice, it added that human touch we are so rapidly losing.

I worry for the future generations. Last summer on a beautiful day I was outside gardening when it struck me that none of the kids that I know live in our neighborhood were outside. Not a single one. I am sure they were all playing video games, texting or watching things they had Tivo'd. I don't think that can be healthy.

Maybe I am just getting old. I find myself missing a freer way of life that didn't involve setting things to record, being leashed by a cell phone where anyone can get me at any time even when I am enjoying some time out, or even getting lost in preparing a meal from scratch. The latter surprises me because I have never been much of a cook. I feel very sad for younger generations that have never experienced that sense of freedom or accomplishment.

The problem with technology is that we come to rely on it so fast and so easily. I missed being able to see what was going on in the world or check the weather at the click of a button. It's frustrating when it gets taken away, and it's frustrating that I need it now.

I have made a decision though, I am going to spend one day a week without my computer, cell phone and microwave, just relive the freedom of the old days. I might use real butter or sugar and in the long run, I might be healthier!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

So here it is Earth Day. I am not sure when it originated, and to be honest I am not even completely clear of the definition of it. Is it a day when we are supposed to be responsible about our habits and be aware of our need to take care of the Earth? Or is it a day to celebrate this planet that has given us a home and a life?

Either way, while those are nice ideas...I think that if we were all conscious of one bad habit we have and take strides to correct it we would be doing a huge part towards the preservation of our world. On the other hand...I don't think we are in quite as dire of straights as scientists and conservationists suggest. I believe the Earth is pretty resilient and can replenish itself better than we think. I am not saying we aren't taking our toll on it because I have no doubt we are. I think we should do our part, be a little bit aware of what we are doing every day and try to be responsible without spreading gloom and doom in the process.

In the long run, shouldn't every day be Earth Day?

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's Finished!

I finally got my website done and uploaded mere seconds ago. I am too tired to type more than that. Go look...and if you still see the doors, clear your cache!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Believe it or not I haven't abandoned you all. I also haven't abandoned my website update. While it's not uncommon for me to have "quiet times" on the computer for a few days or even a week or two, that's not really the problem this time. I am just stuck, kind of like Pooh in the rabbit hole. I don't think skipping the honey will help me get unstuck though.

My parents are coming to visit so I have been cleaning. Aside from that, I can't figure out what I want to do on one part of my website. I just can't quite get something I like for this one little part, and as a result my brain has kind of shut down. I will work through it, I always do and then I will be back with plenty to post about...but not until I get out of the hole.

See you then!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Update

Before I go collapse into bed, I thought I would give you a quick post on the progress of my website update. I have spent a few manic days reworking the design. I kept some elements and changed a whole lot of others...and if I am really lucky, I might have it up by tomorrow. I kind of used my blog header theme and the Easter card I made real quick and went from there. Hopefully I have something unique! We will see...but for now I need to go sleep.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Goodbye My Friend

Ernest Hemingway said that all great love affairs end in tragedy. I think that actually extends to any good relationship you have with anyone or anything that you love.

I have always believed that there is nothing in this world that can't be fixed except for death. As a result, I am not good with death. I have a hard time reconciling it. No matter how many people or pets I lose, it takes me a long time to understand that when a spirit leaves this world I will never see it again during my lifetime.

I know that any time you decide to get a pet, that a day will most likely come that you have to make a hard choice. It never stops me because I think these little furry friends enhance my life, and hopefully I enhance theirs. But it never makes it any easier knowing you have to make the responsible decision. I just returned from the vet. I had to put Chyna down. I feel a hole in my heart. I know it will pass with time, I know ultimately I did the right thing, because she was in pain. But I still feel guilty because I never feel like I have the right to take a life since I didn't give it, and it just hurts.

Goodbye my faithful friend, rest in peace.

Chyna 1999-2009

The Art Of Listening

I have made a couple posts since I started my blog where I said I wasn't really sure what my responsibility as a blogger is, and what exactly it's supposed to be. But last night the answer struck me like a lightning bolt.

I think people use their blogs for different things. Some use it as a personal diary, or to chronicle their work, or they devote it to one subject. Mine is kind of all over the place.

I like to think about things. Lots of things. I see or read something about a new scientific breakthrough or an archaeological find and I apply it to the things I have already learned. Sometimes I formulate theories about stuff. I don't know if they are right, but they are interesting to me to think about.

Recently I came up with a new theory about the Mayan prophecy based on something completely unrelated that I saw. It just clicked in my brain and I was really excited about it.

The problem with these things is that no one else in my life is that interested in them. In fact I think they think I am slightly unbalanced for thinking about this stuff because it doesn't pertain to me or my world so they don't understand why I want to think about it. I have a lot of down to earth people in my sphere of existence and they aren't really interested in the slightest. Sometimes I tell them anyway and they glaze over or change the subject.

In fact I told one friend about my theory and since I happened to tell him on April 1st, he thought I was playing a joke on him. He laughed and make a sarcastic retort. I was disappointed in his reaction, but not surprised. To be honest I don't think my theory is that far fetched and makes a lot more logical sense than most of the other theories I hear about it.

The people in my life also aren't that interested in the things I learn about my business and dealing with selling online. Nor do they care about the things I worry about like my fears and realizations from my last two posts.

At any rate I realized that many of the things I think so deeply about make their way into my posts. I guess I use my blog to tell what no one I know wants to listen to. It kind of makes me sad in a way, because I always listen to what they think about and want to tell me. I find what people have to say interesting. It tells me a lot about who they are, even if I have known them all my life. Very few people I know in real life read my blog either. Maybe if they did, they would understand me better.

The flip side of that is that the people who do read it don't usually see the lighthearted side of me and probably think I am very serious and slightly nuts. (They may be right on the latter.)

They say listening is an art. I think that's true, if you listen to people they usually speak volumes more than what they say. I also think it's so much more than that, having someone you care about listen to you is crucially important sometimes even when they aren't interested in whatever you're saying. It's a way to know you matter to them. We all just need to be heard once in a while. Sometimes I think this is the only way my deepest thoughts ever really get out and it gives me the illusion that they are being heard.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Big Picture

If you have ever gone to see a mural, you might have noticed that the other people viewing it are standing at different distances from it. Inevitably at some point everyone has to walk right up to it and look at it up close. When you do that you can't really see what you're looking at any longer.

For some inexplicable reason human beings get caught up in the small details of things and quite often lose sight of what they are really looking at. I have done it, you probably have done it...we all do it.

After yesterday's post, I gave all this fear of inadvertantly being too similar to someone else a lot of thought while I was working. As I said there are no new ideas, but I mentally stepped back to really examine that.

Human beings have been schlepping around on this planet for about 160,000 years give or take by science's latest estimations. Strangely enough we didn't really do anything interesting until about 40,000 years ago. Who knows what precipitated this motivational change in us, but it seems apparent that it happened. We decided it would be fun to have things like fire and wheels. Somewhere in there we thought it would be a good idea to paint ponies and such on cave walls thus inventing art. We moved on fairly quickly to agriculture, pyramid building, writing and social interaction in the form of structured communities. With the building of things, someone who had bad penmanship, or wasn't a natural born architect thought they would sculpt something instead. Low and behold we had another form of art.

We started developing all sorts of art genre's over the centuries. Jump forward to 107 years ago and ta da...the teddy bear came along. Of course back then he wasn't art yet. He didn't become art until my lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be on the ground floor of that movement. Or was I?

I can't honestly say that at some point in those 38,993 years before the teddy bear as we know him today came along that someone else didn't get the idea to make a toy bear for their children and decide it was art instead.

The point is, there really are no new ideas. Not one single artist alive today invented the teddy bear. We simply reinvented him and took him to a higher level, but in doing so we copied an idea that came before. While the human mind has expanded because it had to keep up with technology, ultimately it's always worked more or less the same way.

Every artist of any genre is "influenced" by something somewhere that was external. Very few people can just have a daily epiphany and come up with something that has never ever been done in the entire history of humanity. Even if they think they have, chances are they really haven't.

Once I stepped back to look at the big picture, I decided to stop worrying about it and just go with what I made. Sure I run the risk of someone looking at it and saying; "She copied so and so..." or they might look at the other person and think they copied me. But the truth is as artists we run that risk every single moment we spend creating something. It's kind of ironic we spend so much time and effort trying to escape something that is inevitable at some point in our careers.

The next time you read or hear a conversation about someone being copied, unless the two are practically carbon copies, give them the benefit of the doubt. There is a good chance they simply arrived at the same idea at the same time due to external influence and whatever is popular in the art world at any given time. If you still think they copied someone, just the bigger picture we all have one way or another because it's impossible not to. Even the very first artist simply copied what he saw in nature.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Day Late And A Dollar Short

Nearly every member of my family has been known to use the phrase "I am always a day late and a dollar short" at some point. Today I am wondering if they have passed this down to me like a family curse.

About a month ago I ran across a blog that was solely devoted to pointing out things that were copied by businesses or artists from other businesses or artists. Some of the things were pretty shocking and obviously the same, I am not sure if that was the company's fault or if it was the graphic designer's fault. Other things were similar but I felt there was enough margin to wonder if it was coincidence. I know it's frustrating to be copied, but mainly what I took away from reading this blog was that the author probably had too much time on their hands to find these things.

Over the years conversations about copying has come up again and again. I have been a victim of it twice that I have no doubt about and possibly a couple other times. But I have posted on this topic before and I have said that I try to give people the benefit of the doubt because sometimes people arrive at the same ideas at the same time due to being influenced by whatever is currently popular in the art world and in fact didn't copy each other at all. That's the side of the fence I am finding myself on today.

I have been working incredibly hard lately making things, (I have a whole bunch of pretty hearts you haven't even seen yet) cleaning, trying to learn my camera so that I can take better pictures, making a new layout for my website and even trying my hand at making my own blog background. As a result, I haven't had any time to go look at my favorite blogs and websites.

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to make my website look like this time since I have an ad coming out in the next Teddy Bear & Friends. I really wanted to spiff it up because I did the ad on my old computer right before I got this one. It looked quite good, until I saw it on this new monitor. I didn't think my old one was that bad. Sadly the ad had already gone to print and there wasn't much I could do about it, so I wanted to make sure my site looked really good. I made mock ups of three possible layouts. Each one was very different. The one I liked the best I decided to reserve until later in the summer. One I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with just yet, and one was very clean yet vintage scrapbook looking. I decided to go with the latter because I thought it would be perfect for spring, and started really developing that one. I felt sure I had hit upon a look that was current, yet something not quite like anyone else had.

This morning after I made my post, I decided to take a few moments and go visit some of those blogs and websites I had neglected. It looks like everyone has been in the updating mode. Much to my dismay I got to Vivianne's lovely site and discovered that her new background was really similar in color and pattern to the one I had made. I stopped by a Ginger and Gen's blogs, that I enjoy reading and found that one had two similar elements of the new website layout I was going to do, and another had made a background very close to one of the new blog backgrounds I had made. Luckily I didn't use that one at the last minute, and chose the one you see instead. I went off to two other sites to discover yet three more elements that I was going to use. *Bangs her head on the desk*

While my design is very different than each of the ones I saw, there are similarities and I am afraid I would be accused of copying any one of them. The last thing I want is to end up as fodder for someones blog posts or conversations in this respect. I think this illustrates the point I have always tried to make, that there are no new ideas and many of us in the same business simply think alike. I was convinced that I had a somewhat original idea, and I was wrong. I hadn't seen any of these sites or blogs face lifts before I sat down to design, but it didn't matter.

I think my design is very pretty, and I put many hours of work into it so I kind of hate to scrap it. On the other hand I would like something that looks a little more unique so I don't know exactly what I am going to do at this point. I am afraid that whatever changes I choose to make in order to be unique, I will discover someone else has beat me to it again. I sincerely hope the layout I am keeping in reserve for summer remains unique. I guess I will let you know when I figure it out.

Mysteries Of The Y Chromosome

Rarely do I venture more than a toe into the piranha infested waters of discussing romantic relationships on my blog. Even less often do I discuss my own because I believe in keeping my private life private. I don't believe in male bashing either, because I think that men are perfectly fine human beings and I love them. That's not to say they aren't a mystery to me sometimes. But once in a just have to get things off your proverbial chest.

I have met a lot of men over the years. They tend to gravitate to me, I think it's because I am a guy's girl and not a girl's girl. This is probably because I am very frank and don't play games like some women. I have had more male friends than female. Even with these platonic friendships, I am still no closer to understanding the species...or maybe I am and am subconsciously choosing not to look directly at it?

I have figured out a couple things though. Men want us to rely on them so they feel needed, and yet they want us to be simultaneously self sufficient, capable of handling anything that comes along. I am not sure why that is, and how they expect us to accomplish it, but I guess that's not their problem. Afterall we are the self sufficient ones...we will figure it out right?

Despite Hef's influence for the past 50 years to teach men they should have bimbos with larger quantities of silicone than grey matter, many men say they want an intelligent woman. What they really mean by that is they want a woman who is almost as intelligent as they are...but not quite. Should we display an intelligence greater than theirs on any subject they will glaze over, accuse us of showing off as if we have some concept of the parameters of their knowledge base on the subject before we brought it up, or treat us like we're stupid and have no idea what we're talking about, and we couldn't possibly be right. (This one really annoys me.) It all goes hand in hand with their complete inability to admit they are wrong or simply don't know something. I suspect this is a gut reaction to our living in a more equality based society. Men still need to feel they have an important role in our lives since they are no longer as much the dominant sex as they used to be when they clubbed water buffalo over the head and drug them back to the cave.

I think we have all heard the person say they woke up one morning after 25 years of being married and realized the person sleeping next to them was a stranger. I have often wondered how that is possible. But after this morning, I think I get it.

Now don't get me wrong, I love R, I know he loves me...but sometimes I want to throttle him. I felt like that this morning. He isn't a ball of fun right after he gets up in the morning anyway, (in all fairness neither am I, but he only sees that on the weekends) he seems to think sometimes that my every action or comment is to annoy him, or that somehow I am his enemy, and responds that way. I feel as if I can't say anything right. Luckily by the time he gets home he has turned back into Dr. Jekyll with no sign of Mr. Hyde until the alarm goes off the next morning. Wash, rinse, repeat.

He seems to have a completely different view of who I am than everyone else who knows me. I am not sure why that is. I suppose it could be argued that he knows the real me. But I don't think so, because the things he says about how I am sometimes mystify me. Sometimes he talks to me as if I have the intellect of a five year old, and am never right about anything.

Even though he hardly ever says so, I am sure I annoy him too, I think that's a given when you live with someone. You're just going to get on each other's nerves sometimes. We are lucky because we rarely fight. I am a firm believer in talking things through if there is a problem. He is a firm believer in dozing off in the chair with the remote in his hand while I do that. But hey, maybe that's why we rarely fight!

Once he told me I was needy when I wanted to spend some time with him. I think it was an excuse since I only see him about three hours a day because he is married to his work. I remember standing there staring at him dumbfounded, especially since I always try to give him a little alone time each day to unwind and have some peace and quiet. I later asked a male friend who I knew would tell me the truth if I was needy. He laughed and said I was the least needy person he knew.

So what happens to people who are together a long time? How do they develop a different view of the person they live with that the rest of the people we know don't share? I am sure over the years I have done it in some way to him too.

Maybe it's a slow evolution. Regardless how much we have been able to retain the people we were before we became a single entity known as "a couple," being in a relationship changes us. Maybe it also changes our perception. Or maybe over the years we just choose to view that person more the way we would like them to be, and when they deviate from our concept it frustrates us?

Perhaps when we love people we choose to view them in a different light because if we didn't we would find some inadequacy in ourselves, and wonder why we are worthy of them. I don't think any of us, X or Y chromosome based turn into complete strangers simply for being together with someone. I think we just need to prove that we are lovable, and in some way do the very opposite through our attempts. I also think we tend to take things out more on the person we love more than anyone else because we know they will forgive us. Perhaps I am wrong. I don't know, I am just waxing philosophic this morning in an attempt to understand the man in my life. But maybe that's the catch 22, maybe that's what keeps us all in a relationship, or trying to find one? It's human nature to love a mystery!

Friday, April 3, 2009

~*~ Barnabas ~*~

Barnabas is dressed and photographed, and ready to go to a new home. You can visit him no my website on the bears page.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Phinneas And Barnabas

Continuing from yesterday's post about quality construction, I wanted to introduce you to Phineas Edgewater (Edgy for short) I made him about ten years ago and he has traveled all over the world to shows with me. While I suppose most people think I just need a security blanket, in fact his traveling with me has a larger purpose.

While I am certainly quite fond of his little green face, I have basically been stress testing him for a decade. I am proud to say he has been built to withstand the rigors of time and travel. Most bears we collect don't get as much handling as he has, but I am nothing if not thorough. The only issue he has ever had is that I snagged one of his claw stitches on something and pulled it loose a tiny bit. After I fixed it I set out to find a way to better insure that wouldn't happen to any other bears. There is never a guarantee when you are working with less than rigid materials, and you never know for sure what people are going to do with them when they take them home...but I like to try make sure that wherever the bears land they will definitely last under normal use and conditions and beyond. Despite the fact that I like the bears to have a well worn look, I take measures that most collectors wouldn't even begin to guess to insure their sturdiness. I really want those bears to be around long after I have gone for future generations to enjoy.

I also have a sneak peek of Barnabas. He was just finished today and I am about to go off and costume him. You will see a bigger picture of him either tomorrow or Friday. I have a lot of errands to run tomorrow so he may not get his pictures done until Friday!
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