Monday, November 30, 2009

Fending Off Commercialism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday Through Monday Sale!

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

Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a bountiful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cleaning And Layouts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs, K <3

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Present Woes

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

~*~ Pine Nut Squirrel ~*~

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Lure Of Far Off Lands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

~*~ Custom Starfish ~*~

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

Let The Sun Shine In

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

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

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

Happy Monday! Hugs, K <3

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wrongfully Accused

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Over The Top Blog Award

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

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

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

Ok so on to the six people...

Brambleberry Cottage

Vintage Catnip

Myco Bocek Studios

Pandy Potter Bears

2 more to be posted later since breakfast is ready!

Friday, November 13, 2009

~*~ Yuletide Squirrel ~*~

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Changing It Up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs, K <3

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Greatest Nemesis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweet Cheat

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 6, 2009

Images From A Fall Day

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

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

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

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

Christmas Is Coming?

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

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

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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs, K <3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

~*~ Sooty Dickens ~*~

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Land Of The Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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