Monday, August 31, 2009

The Mystique Of French Chic

I think that any woman who has the soul of a fashionista eventually finds herself trying to understand French style. There is an allure about the French and their sense of style. Let's face it, they gave us champagne, perfume, ballet, chandeliers and the statue of liberty. They even made the maid coquettish instead of a common drudge...or maybe the latter was just more of a Hollywood invention?

At any rate there is something fascinating about French women. Even Marie Antoinette wasn't that interesting until she started shopping in Paris.

Lately I have been finding myself more and more curious about it. So tonight between working on my bear I have been reading articles online. Some of them have been very funny and some quite serious. A few have even been a little rude.

I have learned a few things on my Parisian stroll through cyberspace:

French women make style look effortless. The truth is, it just seems effortless because they don't live in the American tell all world. They apparently put lots of effort into it, they simply don't tell anyone what all they do.

They wear tons of scarves and have a knack for tying them. This leaves me out. I am not a scarf girl. I look at scarves in stores, I admire them, then I go buy sunglasses or a new ring...maybe a pair of earrings. Once however I fell prey to the wiles of a silk number on sale for 70.00. I couldn't leave the shop without it. It was this amazing crinkled silk in a sort of coral/melon hue with trim the perfect shade of a sunflower. It had posy clusters embroidered in ribbon at each end. I just knew it would look a cover for my amoire in the work room. But it has never once adorned my throat. Sigh~

It also seems that their style has more to do with posture and attitude than the actual clothes they are wearing. Now that I would believe. So many American women have a terrible habit of slouching, and as covered in my post a few back, we tend to be self effacing. I don't think the French do that. Perhaps it's why they are considered haughty. Maybe the truth is, they aren't haughty at all, they simply know how to focus on the good.

I have learned that I do have a couple things in common with French women however. I don't buy what is currently in style, I buy what makes me look good. Well usually... I also like to occasionally add a piece for a bit of whimsy.

I don't blow dry my hair, although that's more because of living in a dry climate rather than trying to achieve a certain look. They are also huge fans of creams and lotions. My powder room pantry is overflowing with creams and lotions and I use every one of them. I love that kind of thing.

Oddly enough doing bear shows over the years has helped me understand something about fashion. It's a combination of something you're born with, something you learn...and something geographical. Much of a woman's style is based on where she lives. When you think about it, I doubt French women look at each other and think to themselves we're so chic. They probably take that for granted because it's what everyone does and what everyone wears in that location.

Since I live in Colorado, we have a laid back outdoorsy style. Western wear, bohemian, Birkenstocks and Eddie Bauer are just as prevalent here as Prada and Manolo Blahnik's. (I have never owned a pair of Birkenstocks and I don't intend to. Sadly, I have never owned a pair of Manolo's either, although I recently saw a pair of red velvet and black leather Christian Louboutin's with sky high spikey heels and sparkly toes that made my heart flutter a little. I would kill myself in those shoes but I would look fabulous while doing it.)

I don't think it means that women are less stylish anywhere else. Ultimately I don't believe they are so very different than anyone else, except that they get more hype, and anything out of the ordinary to what you are used to seems exotic. Style is all about you reflecting who you are in the best possible way without conforming. I have learned I don't have a prayer of embodying that French mystique, if for no other reason than that I wasn't raised in Paris. And despite my dislike of Birkenstocks, I have to confess, as hateful as they are...I really love my Victoria's Secret flip flops.

The Winner Is....

Michele from Michele's Treasures, Teacups, & Tumbling Rose Cottage. Congratulations! If you would please e-mail me an address, I will send your ornament out to you!

I want to thank everyone for entering my first little give away. As we move forward towards the holidays there will be more, including a bear near stay tuned.

Hugs, K <3

Monday Inspiration: Meandering Along

I have always had a love of meandering along pathways, especially if I don't know where they go. It's fun to see where it takes you.

I spent a summer in Canada with my aunts, uncles and cousins when I was 13. My Uncle John had a farm with woods on it. I spent many hours wandering along to see what I might find. I discovered huge toadstools, ferns, a broken fence covered with moss and a rock large enough to lay on in the sunshine and daydream.

That summer we went bike riding on a dirt road, and found wild blackberries, a lovely old church and even a bear cub. The latter scared us so bad for fear it's mother might be lurking around that we rode home the 8 miles so fast I think we set a record.

On this last trip to Montana, my Mother took us to Reeder's Alley. (Shown above.) It was a very old, lovely little winding walkway that led us to hidden shopfronts. Unfortunately the shop we most wanted to go into was an antique store called Cinnamon Toast, and she had a sign on her door that said she was away at a show. It was still fun to peek in the paned window and see what treasures lie within. We also discovered an old mining shack behind it, and a tiny place to get drinks that had a huge walled lawn in the back with tiny chairs and tables to enjoy your iced teas and sodas.

Even in Tokyo when we went shopping, the main street was fun and we found an amazing shop filled to the rafters with enough exotic buttons, beads and ribbons to make any bear artist's heart happy. As intriguing as that shop was, it was the alleyways crammed with tiny establishments that set my mind soaring to new heights with flights of fancy as to what they might contain.

Even online, I still like meandering along. I found a blog tonight when I was searching for something that was interesting and had lovely pictures. When I was done perusing her posts, I decided to click a link she had posted to another blog from her list...that led me another link from that blog and so on. I followed the links until I finally hit a shop instead of another blog and decided to end my journey.

As I traveled along virtually, I gained inspiration just like I do on any real trek. Sometimes it's fun to just follow an unknown path, deciding which fork in the road to take as you go along...and just let fate lead you where it will. The discoveries make those trips memorable and inspirational beyond measure.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Tomorrow afternoon is the blog give away, so if you haven't entered...please do so.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Buttons And A Mailing List

Last night I finally sat down and added two things to my website that I had been meaning to add for ages now. I added "purchase" buttons so you don't have to e-mail me and wait for an invoice, and a mailing list. While it was time consuming, it was much easier than I imagined. I guess that's why I kept putting it off.

I didn't really care for Paypal's bright yellow "Buy Now" button, so I made my own. Luckily they give you a customization option on that. So I made one that fits better with the look of my site.

The mailing list didn't give you much on customization options other than color, but I tried to dress it up a little with a header I made. The good news is that you can now sign up to receive new item updates! You can do that on the Details page on my website.

It shouldn't be too long before I am adding a new bear. I cut one out and should have that done later this week. I am pretty excited over it, the color is a lovely light icy sage green. I have the next two pieces planned as well. So stay tuned, and thank you in advance for signing up for updates.

Hugs, K <3

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What Kind Of Woman Are You?

When we blog we throw stuff out there for anyone with a computer the world over to read. Unless our readers sign up to follow us or make comments, we never really know who they are. I am making this post with the assumption that most of my readers are other women.

Aside from not knowing many of our readers, how well do we know ourselves? If I asked you today what kind of woman are you? What would your answer be? If I asked you again in a week, would your answer be the same? How about in six months or a year? What if I asked your family or your friends what kind of woman you are. What would they tell me? Would their answer mirror your own or would you be surprised by what they say? I would be willing to bet that every person I asked would tell me something a little different.

I would be equally willing to bet that my friends would be surprised by what I would say about them. I have one friend who I have always mentally attached words like classy and elegant to, but I bet if she knew that she would be really shocked and laugh. She would do it in a classy and elegant way too.

I have another friend who is completely scattered all the time and slightly clueless about how people take the things she says, but I am fairly certain she thinks she is quite organized and glib. I wouldn't change her in any way though, she is charming and fun just the scattered, clueless way she is, and it's part of why I like her.

I have yet another friend who thinks she is fat. I would LOVE to have a posterior like hers. It's not super skinny, but it's the perfect shape in my opinion. She looks so good in jeans, and don't really think she has any idea how many women would trade with her.

I just read an article in a magazine with a famous woman who I have disdained in the past. Slowly but surely over the years she has earned my respect however. This last article clinched it. She was talking about self image and how hard we are on ourselves because of what we think we should be and what society thinks we should be. She proudly proclaimed that women should be proud of who they are, and their assets. I agree with her.

It got me to thinking about how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. Do we have a clear picture of who we are? Even as self aware as I am of all that I am both good and bad, I would be willing to bet I would be surprised by what the people in my life would say.

We have a bad habit of pointing out our flaws first. Why are we, as women so hard on ourselves? Even when we have negative points, are those necessarily bad? Like my friend above...I supposed you could consider beings scattered negative...but is it really? Or does it just mean that she has better things in life to think about than organizing her paperwork and her handbag. She still gets everything done and can find her keys in the end.

Maybe my other friend should realize how classy and elegant she really is. Maybe we need to all stop and take mental and physical stock of our attributes instead of our perceived flaws once in a while.

So in celebration of all my female readers, I invite all of you reading this to leave a comment and tell me one really great thing about yourself. Even if you have never left a comment before. I want to know that great thing about YOU even if I may never really know you. Maybe it will help you get to know yourself a little better in the process. Maybe if you tell me one thing now, you will be able to tell yourself another thing tomorrow.

It's time we as women are proud of our good points, and who we are...both physical and mental, and start putting our best proverbial foot forward instead of our flaws.

~*~ Tallulah ~*~

At last I am ready to unveil the first of my new Halloween pieces. To see another picture of her, you can visit Tallulah on the animals page of my website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finding The Perfect Thing

I have been trying very hard to stick to my reformed shopaholic status. But it seems as if this week I have fallen off the wagon. I have ordered a kit and findings, porcelain doll arms, several books, and a CD.

Today I went out to pick up a few necessities from Target. I don't care for K-mart or Walmart, but I adore Target. I chose to go there today because they sell Archer Farms brand of sorbet and I had run out. They have wonderful flavors like Blueberry Lavender and Pomegranate Blood Orange. Sadly by the time I got there I completely forgot to buy the sorbet.

Before I arrived, I stopped at another favorite little shop. They had gotten a ring in that drew my attention like a lodestone. I knew I didn't need it, but it was so perfect, and it slid onto my finger as if it was made for me. I have a terrible weakness for jewelry which I inherited from my Mother. She loves it too. The ring came from Israel, and the detail on the setting is amazing, it also had a harlequin cut stone which I am very fond of. The pics above truly don't do it justice. (Please don't look too hard at my chubby thigh or messy hair showing in the pic. I had just taken a bath and photographing a ring while you're wearing it is a bit of a challenge.) I bought my ring and went off to my final destination.

Right now red lipstick is really in style. I have always loved red lipstick. I think it comes from watching all those old movies with fabulous movie stars of the 40's and 50's who always wore it and looked so glamorous. I rarely wear red lipstick though. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that nearly every shade I have ever found has a blue base and I do not look good in reds with a blue base. Avon used to have one called Red Hot Kiss that worked for me fairly well, but I haven't seen an Avon lady in years. I have never bought expensive lipsticks in red because of this.

I really had the urge to have some, and decided to have a peek while I was shopping and finally settled on two different colors. I couldn't decide between them, and since they weren't very expensive, I decided to buy both. I was in hopes that at least one of them would look good. Much to my excitement, as it turned out they both have more of an orange base while still remaining true red without being terra cotta, orange or coral. If anyone else out there has this problem, they were: Fire & Ice from Revlon which is the lighter, brighter one, and Sheer Rosebud from Sonia Kashuk which is a tad dark but not so much that I can't pull it off with my fair skin.

I also found a cute black and white hounds tooth cardigan and a black clutch with a big bow on the front. Sometimes I am just such a girl! I noticed that hounds tooth and buffalo plaid are back in style again. This combined with the red lipstick trend has me fondly remembering the styles of the 80's.

Those were the only exciting things I got, the rest was pretty mundane like cat food and red vines licorice for R. He loves that stuff.

It's always nice when you find the perfect thing, even if it does mean you fall off the shopaholic wagon once in a while.

Going Outside Of The Box And Through The Keyhole

My husband is a very intelligent, linear thinking man. He is an excellent problem solver. However he is prefers to stay safely within site of the box and his comfort zone. He does not possess a natural curiosity about anything that doesn't pertain to his life, and he is not given to fanciful notions. While that's perfectly ok, I am pretty much the polar opposite when it comes to those last points. My thinking is linear, lateral, and sometimes jumps between the two. I don't even know where the box is, and I tossed out my comfort zone years ago in favor of adventures. The result of that is that how my mind works is an absolute mystery to him. He cannot fathom how I can understand M Theory, quantum evolution, and the interlocality of protons in all their complexity and never remember how long to boil spaghetti or where I left my glasses. He doesn't understand why I am always nervous about flying because I don't entirely believe it's possible despite 100% evidence that is, but yet I still secretly believe Santa Claus and the Loch Ness Monster exist out there somewhere.

One afternoon I was out shopping and found a plaque of a large black keyhole. I was utterly enthralled with it, and brought it home. I asked him to hang it up in the foyer for me. He stared at it for a minute, puzzled. You could see his mind working hard to figure out why on earth I would want such a thing hanging in our foyer. But he never said a word and hung it up. He has ignored it's existence ever since, much like many of the curious objects he cannot fathom, that I have placed in our home.

When I was little we lived in an apartment in an old house. It had those lovely old fashioned glass doorknobs with the keyhole escutcheons that needed to be opened with a skeleton key. I loved to peek through them. Now before you go thinking I was a little voyeur, the fact is that I always thought maybe if I peeked through at just the right time I might catch a glimpse of a magical land rarely seen. Of course the keys were mysterious and wondrous objects in and of themselves because if you possessed the key you could surely gain entrance to this land right?

So whenever I go up the stairs I glimpse at the keyhole since we don't have those types of escutcheons anymore. You never know, some day I might look at just the right time. *winks*

I think a lot of people have a fascination for the same things I do, old keys, keyholes and doorknobs, vintage luggage with exotic stickers, bottles, boxes and tins, lockets, and old toys...especially bears of course. These things all hold the promise of a little magic, a little mystery, a little romance and a lot of adventure. They allow us, as artists to think outside the box so that we may create our own magical lands!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blog Give Away!

Monday Inspiration: Taking A Chance

It's no secret that artists inspire each other. But we draw inspiration from many other sources as well. I have been inspired by some pretty obscure things. My shower curtain inspires me. If Marie Antoinette had a shower curtain it might have looked like mine, it's a fine ivory mesh with pink embroidered roses. It conveys a feeling that I sometimes want to capture.

I have been inspired by color combinations of rooms, clothes, name it. I have been inspired by the perfect pink shade of a tube of lip gloss. I have been inspired by characters or settings in books. Sometimes I want to capture the feeling of something, or the texture. While I greatly admire and collect many of my peers pieces, I am rarely inspired by other bears for my own works.

But where does an actual idea come from? Frequently my best ideas hit me like a bolt of lightning when I am doing something else entirely and not even thinking about work. It's as if the sky opens up and drops the idea into my brain. Maybe the key to getting ideas is to not focus directly on what you are trying to do?

The latest two ideas I had came about just that way. I was laying in bed for the first one, thinking about the chapter in my book I had just read when there it was out of no where. I was so excited about the idea I ran out the next day and picked up the supplies I needed to create the piece. (It's cut out, and laying on my work table. You will be seeing it soon if it turns out the way I hope.)

The second idea came when I was thumbing through a magazine. Most likely something I saw sparked it, but I am not sure what. I got the supplies for that too, and have also begun work on those. (With some luck you will be seeing that this week too.)

It doesn't always work that way though. I remember one evening sitting and watching TV when an idea for something un-bear related came to me. It's a clever idea and one I know would be very popular. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like it. But I also know I will never bring it to fruition.

Over the years I have had many ideas for things that would be very fun to make. But I don't make all of them. Some I hold in reserve, and make months or even years later.

So what is the inspiration behind an idea that prods us to get up out of our chair and bring one idea from imagination into reality and not another? I like to chalk it up to an occasional bout of laziness, but in truth that's just an excuse.

As artists every time we make something we take a chance. We run the risk that our ideas won't be as well received as other things we have made. Perhaps there is a fear of failure in all of us that keeps us from jumping up and making every idea we have. If we didn't have that insecurity, imagine what we could get done!

I have been rather nervous about the new piece laying on my table, it's a departure from what I usually make...and yet in the end it probably won't be. It will most likely reflect my style just like everything else I make. At this stage it's a matter of perception however.

I will finish it though, because I know deep down that life is better for taking chances. Maybe that's the greatest inspiration of all...taking a chance to do something a little different once in a while, and putting yourself out there with it. After all, the people who most inspire me are the people who do that despite the possibility of rejection.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Comfy Corner

I still haven't sorted through my trip pics, and I apologize. I will get there. I have been really busy getting caught up on things since I came home, and nursing a sick dog, Buster. (He has two compressed discs.) Tonight I was thinking about my blog though.

You know how after a long day of working hard, you just want to be at home and lay on the sofa or curl up in your comfy chair with your quilt and look at pretty magazines or watch a favorite show you recorded? It's a nice little respite from the hectic world outside. You can relax, let your mind wander and breathe deeply because it's safe and comfortable and filled with personal, familiar things that make you happy.

I realized a while back that my blog has become that place for me on the internet. I struggled for a long time to figure out my responsibility as a blogger and what was appropriate to put into it. What was expected of me and what people wanted to read. I didn't always follow those expectations, but every word we write or utter comes out of us for a reason.

I have finally come to a place where it's my little respite from the hectic outside world of the virtual highway. I can fill it with pretty pictures, happy thoughts, encouraging things I want to say to others who might have the same fears and insecurities I do, and little tidbits from my life. It's comfortable and filled with familiar things just like my house. It's reassuring, and I like taking a few minutes out of my day to relax here.

Over the last few years the purpose and direction of my blog has changed. At first I didn't know what to say. Then it was a place to exercise my demons and to give the impression I am being "heard" even if no one read it. It slowly became a place to get to know myself and my place in the world better, although none of those things were intentional.

Now I am content when I come to post. Through blogging, I have realized that I like my life quite a bit, I've become a happier person than I thought I could be, and that the world is a very small place where we share the same spirit through our inspiration, self doubts, ideas and all around love of one another that translates through our works.

I can't say it won't change directions again. I guess that's part of any journey...discovery of new lands even if they reside inside yourself. But for now it's my comfy corner, and I love it here. I love meeting all of you, and reading your comments. I have tried to turn it into a positive place that you will enjoy as much as I do, but without artifice. I have always remained true to myself, and that will never change. I don't live in a perfect world or have a perfect life, but I have worked hard to make it a happy one. I am delighted you've decided to come along for the ride in my comfy corner of the internet.

Hugs, K <3

True Happiness

The Life Of Riley

It's so good to be home! I am almost unpacked and have things put away. I have the pics from the trip uploaded, but I am so sleepy that it will have to wait.

I also have something new in the works, and if I like the way it turns out, I am going to do a little blog give away. Stay tuned for that.

In the mean time, I will just leave you with a funny pic I took today of my silly Gypsy...some days I think it would be good to be a cat!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heading South

Tomorrow we start our journey homeward. We had a truly lovely time here. Today we went on the Gates Of The Mountain cruise, walked through Reeders Alley and The Gulch, and dined out twice after having a big breakfast at home. I don't think I have eaten so many meals in one day in years.

We weren't actually going to leave until Thursday, but I forgot how long it takes to get here, and we decided it's just too much for one day. We would be getting home far too late for our friend who is playing house sitter to go back home to Denver. I invited her to stay over another night, but she has to catch a plane to Texas and can't. So I don't want to cause her to be rushing either.

While it's always wonderful to travel and see and do things, and visit...there is something equally wonderful about going home too. Home is where the heart is, but it's also where your sweats, your comfy chair and your own bed is. Not to mention I miss my bratty little pets. We should get in Thursday sometime in the afternoon.

I am not used to so many people around me every waking moment, and I took a little quiet time this evening on the porch after everyone else went to bed. It was nice just sitting there looking out over the dark mountainside down to the city lights. The weather is still warm and all was quiet except the sound of the crickets and a very gentle breeze blowing the flowers by the porch. I tried to take a couple pics of the lights, I am not sure how they will come out though.

I should have quite a few pictures to share when I get back. I would have been able to do it now, but I didn't bring my cord and I didn't realize my card in my newer camera wasn't compatible with my laptop.

Think of me driving through the vast emptiness of Wyoming tomorrow!

Until Thursday...hugs, K <3

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Love: Family Outings

Even though I am away, I still wanted to do a blog post for Monday Love & Inspiration.

Remember when you were younger and your family wanted to go on those kooky little outings? When you were very small you loved to go, but then as you turned into a teenager you always thought you were too cool, and would rather hang out with your friends than go spend the day with them? When you get older, those things are suddenly fun again and you appreciate them!

We went on one of those outings today. We took a drive up into the mountains to pan for gold. We drove for 50 miles, climbed a very large step ladder that allowed access to the river and waded across icy waters to get to that perfect sandbar.

We had such a wonderful time. We only found a few minuscule pieces of gold, but that wasn't really the point of going.

We laughed and enjoyed the day. It was sunny and the mountain air was fresh. The water was clear even if it was cold. At one point I lost my shoe and it went down river. R tried to get it, but the water was too deep. Luckily it got caught up in a small eddy near the far bank and he hiked around to get it for me.

He was almost back when the current decided to remove my other shoe from my foot, so he had to traipse around and get the other one. We laughed so hard.

Later we stopped to eat at a quaint roadside eatery and had some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Maybe it was just the mountain air and the company...but those sandwiches were great!

It's funny how things come full circle, whether it's shoes floating down the river, or great times with your family...but the best circle, is the circle of love that holds those days in it's embrace.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ego Boosts And Hits

Last night we went to the meet and greet for R's class reunion. We had fun even though I didn't know anyone, and he only remembered a few. The turnout was only about 50-60 people. We discovered that he has aged incredibly well. In fact he looks much younger than the rest of his class mates, so it was a nice little ego boost for him. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, he feels old some days and he needed to realize he isn't really old at all yet.

I on the other hand, have discovered there is nothing better for restoring humility than the bathroom mirrors in hotels. If the camera adds ten pounds, then those mirrors have to add 25. They are always huge with glaring lighting that highlight every flaw. I think I need to go jog around the hotel now! *Laughs*

We have a dinner this evening, then off to Montana tomomrrow...more later.

Hugs, K <3

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leaving Today

Today has been exhausting, but productive. I cleaned all day except for taking time to do my starfish photos. I am almost ready to go, I need to pack still. But I have it all laid out and ready to put in the suitcase.

I have been working for about 13 hours solid and I am just out of energy. We are leaving in 11 hours, but I wanted to get the house clean for my friend who is coming to house sit.

The first part of our trip is going to be an easy one. We are going three hours north to Cheyenne for R's 30th class reunion. Mine is in two years. I can hardly believe it's been that long since high school. I didn't go to high school in Cheyenne, but I did live there and since it's a small town, there is a good chance I will know some of the people who arrive.

Sunday morning we head north again for another 10 hours to visit my parents in Montana. It's a long boring drive, but it will be nice to see them. My Mom is very excited and has a few things planned, including going panning for gold, and possibly a chuck wagon dinner and hay ride! Sounds fun to me!

I am taking my lap top with me, so I may be able to squeeze in a blog post or two. No guarantees. See you all soon!

Hugs, K <3

~*~ Green & Brown Starfish ~*~

I made a new starfish, you may visit her on the animals page of my website.


(A note about the "Winged Sentiments;" these are all original things I make up. You may feel free to use any or all of them on your blogs or websites as long as you link back to me with it. It would also be nice if you left a comment saying you took it. Hugs, K. <3)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Exhausted, But Done!

Today was a day for getting things done! My shoulders are screaming, but I accomplished a lot!

I got about 4 hours of paper work done this afternoon, then tonight I finished my new website graphics and got that all uploaded! The layout is the same, but I changed all the decorative images. If you would like to have a peek, you can do that at

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Love & Inspiration: A Magical Setting

Practical Magic Conservatory

Molly's Apartment

My Work Room

I think I have watched "Practical Magic" at least half a dozen times, maybe more. While I certainly like Sandra Bullock, and the movie is fun...especially for's the house that keeps me coming back to watch it again. I would love to have a conservatory like that!

Last night I watched "Uptown Girls" again. It's the same with that movie, while the story line is charming, I can't stop looking at Molly's apartment. I could happily tidy it up and move right in without changing a thing. Even to the point of having a pot belly pig as a pet. (If only R would let me get one!)

I loved the "Babe" movies and the TV series "Pushing Daisies" for the same reason. The way things were decorated and filmed in both was simply magical.

Aside from dreaming of living in these fascinating places, they also are a wonderful source of inspiration. The colors and styles always inspire me to go make something fun. It's not a simple matter of seeing one thing and thinking oooh I want to make that. It's the overall ambiance that inspires me to want to create something magical that would fit into such a setting.

Ordinary and functional aren't really words I have ever been fond of. While my own house isn't quite as wonderful as a movie set, I do have some very fun features. I have a couple of Michael Parkes pieces framed and hanging on the walls, I have angel wings above the front door with a little heart shaped mirror in between so that you get a quick glimpse of yourself as an angel when you walk down the stairs. The transom window above has a gargoyle peeking out from behind the chandelier. He isn't an ugly gargoyle though, he is a smiling winged wolf with blue eyes that let the light from outside shine through them. Accompanying him are smaller animals cast in cement, a white birdhouse, and a an bronze armillary.

My guest room is done in an old fashioned floral wallpaper with lovely old bookcases, a rose covered quilt on a day bed, tiffany lamp, antique table with lace table cloth and some of my collection of bears spilling over into it from the work room. My front porch has a profusion of plants growing in pots. I keep bugging R for window boxes, maybe one of these years I will get some. But the work room itself is my favorite room.

A few years ago I decided to paint it. I fresco painted the walls in a warm, light caramel parchment hue with periwinkle doors and ceiling. I wanted it to feel like a dusk sky. There is a sheer mesh curtain on the window with little roses embroidered on it. The room houses most of my collection of bears and some other fanciful and curious things I have collected as I have gone along. Someone once said the exact phrase about my work room that was uttered about Molly's apartment in "Uptown Girls." They said they felt as if they had gone through the looking glass. I took that as a compliment.

I really believe that home is where the heart is, but it should also be where the art and inspiration is as well. I once read that everything you bring into your home has to be taken care of, so you should only bring in things that you love, use or admire. Feather your nest well, it can get your creative juices flowing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Fairytale Dress

I came a little late to the Sex & The City party because when it first aired, I didn't have HBO yet. I think I got HBO right around the 3rd season and started watching the show. I was frequently shocked by the content and language they allowed, but I had a little secret fantasy crush on Mr. Big, so I kept watching. He is the closest thing we have had to Cary Grant in decades.

When the series finale rolled around, I was hoping against all hope that they would end it with Mr. Big going to get the girl. He did and I was enthralled because I love a happy ending. But I also fell head over heels in love with the Versace sea foam 1000 layer dress Carrie wore in Paris. The dress was the stuff dreams are made of. I have thought of that dress occasionally over the years. It was a work of artistic confection created out of unfathomable yards of tulle.

There is something magical about tulle. I can't quite put my finger on what it is. I use it quite a bit on the bears and sometimes on other pieces such as my chocolate velvet rose presentation box.

This afternoon I had a great time. I went to play miniature golf with R, then I dropped him off at home and went to pick up a few things. As I was out shopping I saw a dress. Now it wasn't the ethereal creation that Carrie wore, but it was magical all the same. The dress was sleeveless, the top very plain except for slight gathers at the cleavage. It had a full skirt that hit above the knee, covered with tulle. It had another layer of tulle under it. It was solid black. I raised my eyebrow at it as I strolled past. I got halfway across the store and decided to go back to have another peek at it. I stood looking at it.

When I was younger, I usually chose clothes that had that little something extra special. I liked things that were a bit different. As I have gotten older, I am a tank top/capri's or skirt/flats sort of girl.

As I stood looking at the dress I knew that I would have bought it without hesitation 20 years ago. But despite looking young for my age, at 46 could I really pull off a dress like that? Where would I wear it? How ridiculous would I look? I knew I shouldn't even consider buying it, it was completely ill suited to a woman of my age, not to mention I am not exactly a slender reed like Sarah Jessica Parker...but then again, who is?

Then the most important fact hit me, I didn't care. SJP is over 40 and wears stuff like that all the time, why shouldn't I? I bought the dress. I know exactly what shoes I will wear with it, I know what jewelry too. I have no idea where I am going to wear it...but I will. And I will wear it with all the aplomb it deserves! If someone thinks it's inappropriate for me...well, that's their problem because every girl deserves a fairytale dress once in a while whether they are 9 or 90!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Do It Now

The Long And Short Of It

I was reading a makeover article in a magazine last night. It dealt with people who "overdo" things, and suggested that less is more. The twist on this article was that they got a psychiatrist to weigh in on why these women were doing the things they do. One was too blonde, one was too tan, one wore too much makeup and one...had too long of hair.

The article went on to say that women who have too long of hair get too attached to it and keep it for attention. The girl in question was 28 years old and like me, she had waist length hair. They chopped it off to a slightly layered chin length bob. Quite frankly after the change she looked about 15 years older.

It's kind of a funny thing when you have very long hair, it's almost as if the world is conspiring to get you to cut it off. I am not sure why that is? It's perfectly natural for women to have long hair.

My Mother is constantly suggesting I cut it all off...but I think that's just a thing Mom's do regardless how long or short your hair is.

Every time I have seen a woman with long hair going into a makeover they always cut as much of it off as they can. Every time I go to a new hair stylist they want to cut it, or at least layer it. Now I understand why they want to do that...if you layer it, you require more trims to maintain the shape, thus putting cash in their pockets.

But why is long hair such a crime? The girl in the makeover would have looked lovely with a trim to get rid of split ends and straighten it up a little, and maybe a few bangs. There was no reason to chop it all off.

I have never really noticed very much extra attention beyond an occasional compiment being thrown my way because of it, I think the psychiatrist was wrong. My hair stylist says my hair is in better condition than most 20 year olds he works on. I keep it healthy and trimmed. I like it, and not because I have an unnatural attachment to it. In the long and short of it, I don't see that the length of your hair is that important. If you like it long, keep it that way despite what anyone says. I know I am not planning on cutting mine off, why should I?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Sneak Peek Of Things To Come

You may have noticed I have changed my blog graphics yet again. I have been working to make a new website layout, and while I am not are getting a little sneak peek.

The new header is a smaller version of what it will (tentatively) look like. I am not sure exactly when I will get it done since I am leaving to go visit my parents in a week, but it will be before the month is over. Stay tuned!

K. <3

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Denying Pink

About ten years ago another artist and I did our first teddy bear show in Japan. In our room we had a refrigerator and across the street was a little convenience store. We decided we needed to have some milk and snacks one night, and trotted off to get some. When we got to the cooler, there were literally dozens of small cartons of various things. Naturally they were all labeled in Japanese. So I decided to adhere to one of my rules I live by. When in doubt choose the pink thing or the pretty thing. I decided on a pink carton with a picture of a strawberry on it, while my friend chose a white carton with a cow on it.

Later back at the room we decided to have our snacks. I opened my carton and it was strawberry milk, much like I used to make with Strawberry Nestle's Quick as a kid. It was pretty tasty despite being a little on the sweet side. He took a big swig out of his and made the most awful face. He immediately held it out and said "taste this!" After having seen his face I declined. As it turned out what he had bought was soy coffee creamer. (I swear I am not laughing! *Giggles*)

I have always loved pink. When I was a child my favorite color was green, but pink ran a close second. In my adulthood they have switched status. But lately I have been denying my love of pink online. I have never done my website in pink. I did do my blog pink for Valentines Day but quickly changed it after. I guess this is because pink can go wrong so easily. It can be overwhelming, and I don't want anyone to get a sugar rush from looking at my internet work. I remember years ago there was a nurses office in a building I worked at that was so pink and frou frou it even made me nauseated.

But I love pink, and I realized after yesterday's blog makeover that I wasn't happy with it. I knew it was time to embrace what I love. So today I changed it again. I didn't like that much white, but I still have some, and the rest of the colors aren't so somber. Vintage style doesn't have to automatically mean shades of brown and cream.

I also changed the wings on my heart logo to pink instead of white. Oddly enough that took me longer than the entire new header. I sat staring at seven subtle shade variations for an hour before I finally chose one.

I think it's time to stop denying my love of pink. I don't deny it in my real life. I even have a pink Schwinn Roxie Cruiser that I ride around with happy abandon. Maybe that's the secret to making a good website or blog...let it reflect what you truly love and do it with happy abandon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Inspiration: The Blank Canvas

It might surprise people to find out that I am actually quite a good painter. In high school and college I won all sorts of awards for my paintings and had them featured quite a few places. Since then I get the urge to paint about every decade. I am not sure why I don't do it. Maybe it's because I stare at that blank canvas and get so overwhelmed with ideas that I never know which one to settle on.

In fact anytime I stare at any solid white surface my brain goes into overdrive then just shuts down until I can sort through them. Our lives are filled with proverbial blank canvas's. Our homes, our bodies, our blogs, our art...all canvas's begging for life and color, movement and texture.

The nearly blank canvas concept is really popular these days. You see it on websites and blogs everywhere. You saw it on my website if you visited, and on my newly re-designed blog. Chances are you're going to see a lot more re-designs before I am happy. Once I am happy, I will probably decide it's time to start over with something completely different. Such is the nature of being an artist.

Like so many others I am inspired with those big white empty spaces, but I always want to fill them up. I am never satisfied to just paint the bowl of flowers, I have to have the table it's sitting on, the room the table is in, and a glimpse of the countryside peeking through the window. I am trying to learn that less is more. It's a hard concept for me, I like lots of stuff going on and I want to incorporate every idea at once. Maybe that is a reflection of my life? I am not sure. I just know that I get over inspired every time I see one.

What does a blank canvas inspire you to fill it with?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

~*~ Poppy Pennywhistle ~*~

I have a brand new bear, just born today! You can visit Poppy on my website, on the bears page.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

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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.

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