Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year...Meet Sno!

Happy 2012!  Here we are on a brand new year...isn't that exciting!  What better way to start off the new year than with something brand new.  So without further ado I would like to introduce you to Sno. 

The idea for him began about ten days ago.  I was rummaging through my supplies and found a bag labeled lost eyes.  Even though I use the premium quality eyes, they are hand blown glass and occasionally one will have a defect and pop when I set them.  There were two spare eyes in the bag that didn't have a mate.  In my hand they reminded me of my favorite emoticon which looks like this:  O.o

I started thinking that could be cute on something.  I went back and forth...bear...snowman...snowman...bear?  Hmmm.  Then I thought since I am wanting to do something chibi-esque...why not combine both!  Sno is a brand new pattern though.  He has been adapted from my existing snowman and bear patterns, but with some changes.  His head is much larger than the previous snowmen, and his body and limbs are shorter than the bears.  He is the very first fully jointed snowman.

I hope you like him, as cute as he is in the pics...he is much more charming in person!

You can visit Sno on my website from the animals page.

I hope you all have a wonderful year!  I have all sorts of surprises in store for you.

Hugs, K. <3

Friday, December 30, 2011

You Are On The Right Path

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!  I know I did.  It was quiet, but that's ok sometimes.  We opened presents with my parents via Skype, had prime rib and just enjoyed the day.  I asked for two small things, but R spoiled me pretty well in the present department despite my assurance I didn't want anything else. 

But now that Christmas is over and the last embers of 2011 are about to go out, and I am waiting for the bright new flame of 2012 to ignite...I find myself thinking back over this year.  What stood out?

There were many things that stood out...both for the good and the bad, but the first thought my mind went to was a similiar conversation I had with several artists at different times throughout the year.  So I want to leave this year by giving you all some words of encouragement.

In nearly every full time working artist's life they have that "what if" moment.  I have had it, you've probably had it, and several of my friends had it this past year.  The what if moment goes something like this; What if I should doing something more important with my life?  What if I should have a bigger job?  What if I should be making a larger contribution to the world?  What if what I do is frivolous and meaningless?  What if my life is on the wrong path?

It's part of the nature of being an artist to have moments of self doubt.  They creep into your brain at unexpected moments.  But over the years I have learned a very important lesson.  All works are important.  There are no small jobs.  We are making a large contribution to the world.  Frivolous plays an important role.

I want you to imagine a world where we are all lawyers defending the innocent, doctors working on a cure for cancer or saving lives, erecting tall buildings, playing a political role, shaping the financial structure of a country, teaching the youth of your city, or trying to save the planet.  Those are important things.  Maybe right now, this second after reading that you don't feel like what you do is worthwhile compared to those jobs.

But can you imagine a world where everyone did those things and nothing else?  At first glance that might seem like a nice world.  But it would also mean a world where there is no art, no music, nothing that makes you happy just for it's existence.  No teddy bears to hug.  I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty dreary place.

Lets suppose all artists had chosen to become doctors instead.  Lets suppose that we save so many more lives by our being doctors.  What would we be saving those lives for?  Would you want your life extended in a world where there was no frivolity, no cute, no fun just for the sake of fun?

It's noble to think we should want to do something more important in those moments of self doubt.  But I will tell you two is that there is more to saving lives than the science behind it.  And the second is that the universe is a far older and wiser thing than we are, and it's a balanced place.  The perfect yin and yang system.  It's designed that way for harmony and well being of the whole.  As artists we are upholding our end of that perfect balance.  That seems pretty important if you ask me.

So as we wind down this year and reflect on what we might want to change or do better for the coming year...just know in your heart that you are on the right path.  You are doing an important job.  What you do does have meaning.  So whatever changes you choose to make, let them reflect the path your life is supposed to take.  Don't second guess yourself.  You are doing just fine!

Have a safe and happy New Year!  Hugs, K. <3

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creating A Website

A couple of the questions that came up in the Q & A were about making websites.  I have also had a couple e-mails lately wanting info, seen some artists ask in general and I even offered my (probably unwanted) advice to yet another artist about their website who mentioned it on their blog.  So I thought I would just make a separate post about it.  I have been working on the Q & A post for a few days, and it will be along soon.  Some topics need their own post due to length.

First of all, I want to impress upon you that I am certainly no expert at this.  But I try and I seem to get a lot of compliments on my I am going to plunge on in!

If you do not have a website, it can be pretty intimidating to start from scratch.  Lets face it, we are artists,  not programmers.  But in this day and age we have to wear many hats if we want to have a web presence. 

Lets start with the basics.  There are many WYSIWYG programs out there.  For those who don't speak geek, WYSIWYG means What You See Is What You Get.  These are basically "drag and drop" programs.  They do not require much, if any coding skills.  It's a great thing to know how to code, but you do NOT need to have this ability any more in order to create a nice site. 

When I was going to set up my site, I did a comparison search.  I wanted the most user friendly program out there that gave me the freedom to set it up any way I wanted to.  I looked at several sites that review programs and they all pretty much said the same thing.  The #1 rated program cost several thousand dollars.  I couldn't afford that, but it had flash with it.  Most of us don't need flash.  (Motion images.)  The #2 recommended program cost $26.00 at that time.  I thought hey I can afford that!  It's a program called SiteSpinner and it's available from  It's up to about $33.00 now.  Still completely affordable. 

When it arrived, it came in a small padded envelope and the cover of the disc case is pretty unassuming.  I thought oh no, what have I gotten myself into.  Something about it seemed intimidating.  But I popped it in and downloaded it and was truly amazed.  When you download it, it comes with a tutorial that is written in plain, understandable language.  It is truly the MOST user friendly program I have ever encountered.  If you have your graphics ready, you could have your site up in about 2 hours.

After you get a program to create your site, you will need a domain.  There are so many to choose from it's hard to know what to use.  For this step I went to a friend who had been creating websites for years.  She suggested

I have used it right from the beginning.  I have never hit a bandwidth wall, it never goes down.  They do maintenance about twice a year for maybe an hour or so, and they do it late at night when traffic is low.  It costs $120.00 a year.  So ten bucks a month is pretty good.

Ok so you have your program, you have your what?  I certainly don't want to offend anyone...but I have noticed that a lot of bear artist's sites are somewhat lacking or tend to look dated.  Websites are like anything else we make.  They go through trends, and while you want to be true to yourself and what you make, you also need to stay current.  That can  mean incorporating a little of the latest thing into what you do.  Lets face it, that's how people stay in business. 

There are a lot of sites out there who use that main solid color square in the middle with the floral (or whatever) repeating background.  Sadly that makes your site look so ten years ago.  Again I am really sorry, I don't want to offend anyone, but I am honestly trying to help you here because the goal is to sell things and I can't sugar coat it.  If you and your customers are comfortable with that all means keep it!  Keep in mind though, most of us would not always return to our favorite real life specialty stores if they never changed the displays or store window.  Your site is your store and you have to keep it fresh and interesting.

My first rule is always continuity.  Your site needs to reflect your style of bears.  Mine are traditional with a little is my site.  You can go really fancy, you can go pared down...but whatever it is you choose, it has to make sense with what you do.

The second rule is keep it simple.  Make sure it's easy to navigate and easy to read.  When we surf the net we don't want to spend a lot of time figuring things out.  When people have to do that, they just get frustrated and click the X.  Who can blame them? 

Keep your personal stuff off of your site.  Don't include pictures of your pets, your husband, your kids, personal stories about your life, etc.  Put that stuff on your blog and/or your facebook page.  People go to your site to buy stuff.  If they want to know you more, they will click the link you have provided, to your blog or your facebook page.  The only text walls you should have in your site, are about yourself as an artist, possibly where you create, and your latest news about your work.  Also make sure those links aren't the first ones on the list.  Put the work you have for sale as your first links.  This is why people come to your site.

The next thing of course is pictures.  I am always striving to take better pics, and I am not that great at it.  But every photo editing program has tools that will brighten, clarify and sharpen your images.  So many sites I visit had dark or blurry images.  If you don't know how to use these tools, just bring up an image, copy it and start pushing buttons to see what they do.  It's not hard to learn and if you ruin the's just a practice copy.

Also I have noticed that a lot of bear artists save their images as png images.  That's great because they are clear, but png images can be bandwidth hogs.  I save mine all as jpg images, BUT there is a trick to that.  When you save your images before you hit that save button there is a tab that will say advanced or options...depending on what program you use.  When you click that it gives you an optimizer button.  It will make your image better and you can save a jpg that is about 98% as clear as a png image and won't use nearly as much bandwidth.  Some domain's offer more bandwidth than others.  If you hit your bandwidth limit for the month your images go bye bye and are replaced by hideous signs that say bandwidth exceeded.  Your only choices are to pay more money or wait until the next month.  That is not something we ever want to happen.

Now for me personally when I am shopping, I don't need to look at 47 images of your product to know if I want to buy it or not.  In fact I personally don't care for image overload, especially if you have provided nice decent sized pics that are clear.  I use one image and a different image for the thumbnail on my site and five on my blog/etsy/bearpile.  People like images, but they like diversity.  If they have to spend too much time looking at one piece, they will get bored and not move on to the next piece.  Also image overload can cause customers with slower computers or smart phones to have lag on the page loading.  Think about it, when we go shopping in the real world most of us don't pick up a piece and turn it over and over and over in our hands before we buy it.  We pick it up, look at it from a couple angles and say yes I want this or no I don't.

You have your program, your domain, and your pictures...but what about all those extra graphics?  Where do those come from?  For me, I make a lot of them.  But sometimes I can't make what I want so I go to  Stock images can be purchased from this site for a fee.  Most of them are very inexpensive and royalty free for things like decorating your site or your blog, etc.  Just make sure you read the royalty info before you buy an image. 

If you aren't the sort of person who likes to play with images or you simply don't have that ability in your repertoire, there are lots of places and/or people you can buy graphics from.  You simply have to start searching on the internet.  Or you can ask a friend to help if you know someone who can do that kind of thing.  But as someone who used to sell Etsy's good to have an idea in your head of what you want before you ask someone to make something for you.  Remember though, they can't see what's in your head.  They can only go on what you tell them.  So be clear and specific about what you want.  Also be forewarned that some people charge hundreds of dollars for design, you do not ever have to pay that much to get good graphics.  Do a search, you will find someone who charges reasonable fees.

Once you have everything else in place, it's time set your paypal buttons.  I know a lot of people have trouble with this.  Setting paypal buttons is so easy, just follow the instructions or find a tutorial.  You do not have to use their ugly yellow buy now image either.  You can make your own image and upload it to an image host like which is free and put the code into the special box.  You only have to do it once and you can change the image if you change your site design.

At this point you should hit your publish button and have your own website.

Some other important tips to remember...

* Learn to tag in order to get better hits from Google

* Mark things as sold when they are, and don't leave sold items on your available pages for months on end.  People get frustrated when they want to buy something and can't have it.  Move it to a gallery page or remove it all together in a timely fashion

* Use Google analytics

* Do a mailing list

* Don't forget to clearly state your policies and include an e-mail link in case people have questions

*Don't do a website and then send people to your Etsy shop to buy things, people don't want to chase you all over the internet, and if you're only going to sell on Etsy, why do a website?

* Have fun with it

* There are set no rules, it's your business, your site and the sky is the limit!

* Keep it interesting and creative so it holds people's attention and they want to come back

Good luck with it, and if you need help or have any questions...don't hesitate to ask!  I am happy to help!

Hugs, K. <3

Monday, December 19, 2011

~*~ Sugar Plum ~*~

I have to say, I was beginning to think I was never going to get this bear done!  I have been working on her for DAYS!  She was in the works even before the last two were finished.  I hand dyed her mohair a dusty plum, I did the polka dots on her legs...I made her SHOES! There was so much gathering on her tu tu...she wore me right out.  But I think she was worth the effort.  By all rights, I should charge five hundred dollars for this bear!  Of course I am not going to...

So meet Sugar Plum!  She is available on my website at  for much less than five hundred dollars!  *giggles*

Now I am going to go collapse in the chair and watch a movie!

Hugs, K. <3

Saturday, December 17, 2011

~*~ Slalom ~*~

Slalom and his little friend are ready for the slopes!  I just finished him, and he is available on my website at

Off to do the bear next!  I swear I am going to get caught up soon! 

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, December 15, 2011

~*~ Cupcake ~*~

I have been playing with my pattern again, and I have come up with a slightly different proportioned bear.  Not to worry, there will be the regular ones still as well...but I wanted to do something a little more chibi style.  It's something I have wanted to do for ages, and I am finally getting around to it.  I have to work up to it slowly though, since my brain has done traditional for so long.  Miss Cupcake is the first step in that direction, and has a little bigger head and shorter body than bears in the past.  She still comes in at a hair under 7 inches, so she is the same size as the others.

I also hand made her collar and flower on her bow from German wool felt.  I was inspired by a vintage pair of felt baby shoes I bought ages ago.  Naturally winter white wool gets a bit stained and moth eaten over the years, so I have done my best to recreate that feel.  I am really happy with how she turned out..if you ask me she is a confection!  (Ok that was kind of a bad pun!)  At any can visit Cupcake on the bears page of my website at

Edit:  Cupcake has been adopted.  I want to thank everyone for their inquiries from Bearpile about her.  I was surprised how many people were interested in her!  I had quite a few requests for her when I got up.  I guess I will continue on with this style of bear!

In other news...I will try very hard to get to the Q & A tomorrow, you have waited so patiently while I have been cleaning/entertaining/working/going for follow up visits to the doctors, and I appreciate it.

As for my follow he seems to think that I have arthritis in my knee and a ganglion cyst under the knee cap.  But my question was...why didn't any of that make it hurt before I fell?  He didn't have an answer but offered to give me a shot behind my knee cap.  He said I would feel much better if he did, I said probably but that he wouldn't.  So I respectfully declined the shot.  I have gotten better over the years with needles, but not that good.  To have a shot behind my knee cap I am pretty sure I would have to be sedated.

I also had my bi-annual checkup today with my regular doctor.  I have to go in twice a year so I can get a blood test to check my thyroid and my kidney function, so while I was there we discussed my knee problem and he is going to request my x-rays and MRI results and review them himself.  I like that idea, because the other guy keeps changing his mind.  I trust my regular doctor so much more, so we will see what he has to say about it.

The other bear and the snowman should be along shortly!

Hugs, K. <3

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Weekend

I figured you were tired of looking at the pic of my toe, so I was playing with the camera tonight.  Ridley was happy to accommodate me and have his pic taken.  Most of his Christmas friends have been adopted so he thought it was good to have a little play time to keep him from being lonely! 

It was such a busy weekend, but we had a nice time.  Shopping was great, I found some lovely treasures at The Barn.  I got a ring that can only be described as a pink chandelier for my finger!  I actually squealed a bit when I saw it!

Plus I swear all we did was eat amazing food this weekend!  R made prime rib Saturday, and we went to Red Lobster on Sunday because it was my Mom's birthday Monday. 

They are leaving in a few minutes, and I am sad to see them go.  That's the trouble with's always sad when the fun ends!  Of course it does mean that I will have time to get back to work.  I have a snowman nearly stitched up, you will be seeing him in a day or two.  I also have two bears in the works.  I am a bit sleep deprived, so that's the first priority today. 

Wednesday I have to go have my follow up from my MRI.  I know some of you asked what the result was, and I was supposed to go last Tuesday, but I rescheduled it.  It was below zero and icy all day and I didn't want to run the risk of falling on my head and doing more damage.  Lets face it, that was a very real possibility with my track record.  My knee paid the price this weekend and it's swollen to twice it's normal size today, but it was worth it!

At any rate, I guess I will get going, Mom and Jim should be stopping by soon on their way out of town. 

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

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You Won't Believe It

Ok so if you actually ventured over to look at this post, you're probably thinking...Kel, why am I looking at this disgusting picture of your foot?   I know...but it's so bizarre, I just have to tell you. 

As you know I am oh so, SOOO clumsy.  But sometimes my little mishaps just defy logic...and gravity! 

Last night I took a nap until about 2 am, then I got up and finished all my cleaning and stuff I had to do.  About 7:30 am, I decided to have a little nap until my parents arrived. 

I was sleeping soundly when they arrived at 12:30.  I got up and grabbed my bathrobe off the hook.  I have done that hundreds of times without incident.  The hook I have for it is this heavy, decorative metal thing with a big ceramic tile in the center of it.  It's very and stuff.  Well today somehow when I grabbed my robe it caught and pulled the hook off of the nail and it flipped in the air and came smashing down on my toe. 

Long story short...ok maybe it's too late for that...but toe is broken.  Can you believe it?  What are the odds on a thing like that?  It's just crazy.  Plus I think the doctor is starting to think R is abusing me!  (Not really.)

The worst part is it's on the other leg from my knee.  Today I am taking my Mother up to The Barn in Castle Rock for shopping.  She always hears me rave about it, and she wanted to go.  So I will be hobbling around with a double limp!  *Giggles*  I am such a mess!

Sorry for subjecting you to the pic!  It actually looks better than it does in person though!

Oh and I guess Blogger is working on the blurry header problem.  It's not just me who has this glitch.  It's some issue with Picassa.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blogger Glitches & Company

You may have noticed that my header is very blurry.  Apparently this is a blogger glitch some of us are having, and there is nothing I can do until they decide to fix it.  So I apologize for that, but it's out of my hands.

Also my company is arriving in a few hours, so I won't be posting much until next Tuesday.  See ya then!

Have a lovely weekend, Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mozzie's New Friend

Mozzie got a new friend yesterday and he was so, SO excited that he wanted me to tell you about it.  He has decided for himself that since the deer is so small he must be one of the "eight tiny reindeer" of infamy.  In fact he thinks it's Comet.  I think he may have overheard me talking about cleaning the powder room yesterday and using Comet, and got confused.  At this point I just don't have the heart to tell him his new pal is from Williams-Sonoma and not the North Pole.  As for the little fawn...he doesn't seem to mind Mozzie's enthusiasm or being called Comet!  In fact he just smiles and doesn't say anything...hmm...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Site Design & Mailing List

I got the new layout done!  I have some tweaking to do still...but it will keep until after my company comes and goes next week.  I have to get the house cleaned next.  Plus I have an appointment at 10 am to find out what the MRI showed on my knee.

I like the new layout, it's not as fussy and it will be easy to change for each update.  Plus I wanted something different from what other people have.  I think I achieved that.  I wanted to do bigger thumbnails, but I may have gone a tad too big, so that's one of the things that will get tweaked later! 
Also the new newsletter service is now in place, so you can sign up for that either by using the link at the right or on the details page of my site.

So go have a look!

As always your feedback and thoughts are welcome.

I haven't had a chance to finish the new snowman or the bear...but they are coming.  I just have to clean my house since company is coming too!

Busy...busy...busy...Hugs, K. <3

Friday, December 2, 2011

Website Update For December!

Here they are!  If you would like to go visit them, you can do that on my website at

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Hours And Counting, Changes For Next Year And Sneak Peek #4

Here is your last sneak last night when I photographed him for the little peek, he wasn't dressed yet.  He has a very cute hat and string of bells on now.  But you will get to see it tomorrow.

There are still two pieces in the works that won't quite be ready for tomorrow.  I have a snowman and another bear cut out.  I also thought I would redo my website, but I underestimated how busy this time of year can really be...and how much I can physically get done in a 24 hour day.  Hand sewing and distressing is a lengthy process.  I have been working from the moment I get up until I fall into bed on the five pieces I do have ready.  I am really proud of them though, they are a nice little group, and I hope you love them too!

I have been giving the coming year a lot of thought and what I want to do for that.  All year I have been going back and forth on whether I want to do group updates every so often, or put up each piece as it's made.  I have come to the conclusion I can do both, and that should make everyone happy!  So for now I am going to have group updates every 4-6 weeks and a new piece will pop up about once a week or so in between.  We will see how that goes, and I am certainly open to your thoughts and suggestions.

Another change I have coming is that a little later this month I am going to change my newsletter service.  I never could quite get the old one to work the way I wanted it to.  But with the coming change you should get a monthly newsletter.  I will let you know when I have it ready and you can sign up for that.

I also have a new website design I have been working on, and I really like it.  But it won't be quite ready for tomorrow so that will come along a little later in the month with the newsletter change.

Also I haven't forgotten about the Q & A, and I will do that in a couple days after I get the update done tomorrow.

As of yet I haven't heard the results of my MRI.  They said it would only be a day or two, but it has been more.  I don't believe I will need surgery since it seems to be healing finally, but I have to wait for the official word. 

I have company coming and I need to decorate my tree which has been up since Sunday.  So it's going to be a very busy month!

I hope you all have a lovely day and I will see you in 25 hours...and counting!
Hugs, K. <3

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sneak Peek #3 & We The People...

The first line of the constitution of the United States reads:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

At this point it should probably read something like:  We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union have instituted more laws, rules and standards than any other country in the world." 

It's true we have laws for everything.  Things you can't even imagine.  Now obviously the big ones are important.  If you commit murder or steal something, you go to jail.  These are good laws.  However there are some laws still on the books that make little sense...for instance in Oxford, Ohio it's illegal for a woman to undress in front of a picture of a man.  In California you can own one bear gallbladder, but to have more than one is illegal.  Go figure...and why would you even want one?  Laws like the last two would be pretty hard to enforce, and I seriously doubt anyone is trying to, but yet for some reason they were turned into laws, probably by well meaning people who saw a need for them.

Aside from the laws set down by government we also have rules that we need to observe.  If you go out into the world at any given time, chances are you will come across signs that instruct you on what not to do; "Keep off the grass," "No loitering," "No smoking," etc.  People usually make these rules with the best intentions for all.

If you adhere to a religion you mostly also have a set of standards you try to stick to.  We don't always succeed in sticking to them, but we try.

On top of all that you have probably instituted a set of personal rules you try to live by.  For me, one of those is that I don't ever bother getting even with people.  I figure if you do something against someone intentionally you have already done a disservice to yourself and chances are it will come back on you later, so I don't have a need to seek vengeance.  I have other rules I live by, but that's just one of mine.

Our lives are filled to the brim with laws, rules and standards we try to live by.  But yet this isn 't enough for some people.  They feel a need to "organize" and set yet more laws, rules or standards for some of us to adhere to.

I have noticed that in the art and crafting world the topic is raised quite often that a set of standards should be created for the specific genre that we work in.  It usually springs from someone being disturbed by something someone else has done.  Then the general discussion ensues of what should be included, what shouldn't.  Who will set the standards, etc. 

I have to be honest, I have a really hard time with this idea.  Art is so subjective, and I don't think it should or could be standardized.  Now in my little niche of the world, lets suppose for a moment that there actually came to be a set of industry standards for bear artists...some of us have been in business for a very long time so along the way we have already set our own standards by which we create.  That must be working for us since we have in fact been in business a long time.  Customers know, and they won't keep buying our work over the years if it's poorly constructed.  So am I supposed to suddenly adhere to rules created by a group, that I haven't needed for three decades?  What if they decide that something that I and my customers find perfectly acceptable is no longer up to their standards?

Or what if I am on the other side of the fence and I am supposed to be part of the governing body who sets the standards...what right do I have to tell you what you can do in your own business?  That's part of the beauty of free get to make your own rules.  People choose to run their own business in part so that they can separate themselves from the herd and go their own way.  I also have no desire to tell people what they should or shouldn't be doing, I can only tell them what I do and why.  But what you ultimately do has no bearing on my work and vice versa.  So how do you figure out what is acceptable and what isn't?  You can take ten artists, teach them the same technique and have ten different results.  Who is to say what is right and what isn't.

This idea was presented again in a discussion we were having the other day, and someone suggested that perhaps the best thing would be to only buy from artists who have won awards or who are suggested to collectors by other artists or collectors.  Even that to me sounds like a bad idea (no offense to the person who suggested it) because I have never won a real award from the magazine.  But then again...I have never entered either.  *shrugs*  I also know that if customers only bought from recommended artists that a brand new artist would never get a foothold in the community.  Also that would exclude artists who live in a bubble and don't have a lot of outside contact with the world at large.  They are out there, and they are making lovely bears.

Even if we did set up some industry standards how would we enforce it?  Who would enforce it?  If someone for instance chose to hot glue and staple their bears together (no I don't really know anyone who does that, it's just an old joke between a friend of mine and I)...what are we supposed to do?  Go to their house and take their glue gun and staples away from them?  How would we keep them from just going to the store and getting more?  The government can't even make all people stick to the laws they set down by threat of imprisonment or fines.  How could we possibly insure that people were sticking to industry standards?  How could we make certain people were being forthright when they say they are?

Personally I get a little leery when independent people want to start forming organized groups to police the masses in any given set of people.  I wish this idea would stop coming up.  It's no ones place to tell another person how to create...creation is a journey and we all must find our own path.  What works for one may not work for another.  If we standardize the process we eliminate the possibility of someone finding something that will work for them that we had not thought of previously, and we also run the risk of homogenizing the world of art.  We learn and grow when we create, and that process cannot and should not be standardized. 

Also yesterday I had the MRI done on my knee and will give you an update on that when I hear the results.  Lastly...above is sneak peek #3.  I changed up a couple of tiny things on my small bear pattern, and I like it so much!  I hope you will too!  The next piece is nearly done...I will give you a sneak peek of that soon!

Hugs, K.  <3

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sneak Peek #2 And Q & A Opportunity

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We did.  It was just the two of us, but we still go all out and cook the big meal.  One of the few things I have learned in the past few years of my new interest in cooking, is how to get a moist turkey.  I brined it overnight, and then when it came time to cook it I loosened the skin and put a butter mixture with herbs and orange zest under it.  I learned to do that with chicken as one of my first real cooking attempts.  The chicken had Parmesan and herbs in the butter instead of orange zest, but it still makes a bird moist.  Along with the turkey R made his fabulous dressing, cranberry relish and he had to have rolls of course since that's his favorite part.  My favorite part are the yams, but this year I made roasted sweet potato spears that had a balsamic vinegar, olive oil and brown sugar mixture on them and then I garnished them with Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts...which is good because there are lots of left overs!

As you can see I have another sneak peek for you of a piece that will be available at the website update on the 2nd.  I have made a smaller version of my rabbit/squirrel/mouse pattern, and the pic above is the first piece.  I love this new size, it's so cute and fits nicely in your hand or pocket.

While I was sewing, I got to thinking about something.  How fun would it be if you could ask all your favorite artists one question about how or why they do something.  So in that spirit, I am going to try a little experiment, and have a Q & A.  If you have a question (please limit it to one) you would like to ask, you can either post it in the comments section or e-mail me using the link to the right.  I can't guarantee I will answer every question, but I will try.  I will post the questions and my answers next week.  I realize a lot of you will be spending time with family or shopping this weekend and I want to give plenty of time for you to get your questions together.

I am off to work on the next piece!  Have a lovely and safe weekend!
Hugs, K. <3

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sneak Peek #1 & Knee Update

As promised I am giving you the first sneak peek at the items for the website update on the 2nd.  I have these two done, and another one in the works.  There will be more to come, and I will be giving you more sneak peeks later in the week.  I am finding myself enamored of things that sparkle and shine...and ring this year!

As for my knee...well lets start with last Friday.  They told me that they would be referring me to an orthopedic specialist but it has been my experience that unless you are knocking on deaths door the medical community doesn't move real fast on things, so I took a vicodin and flopped into bed around 5:30 am, and it took about a half hour before I fell asleep.  At 8:35 am the phone rang.  A woman on the other end of the line who was entirely too cheery for that time of morning told me I needed to be at the doctors office by 9:30 am because the doctor was going to see me between surgeries.  She also told me not to eat or drink anything in case I needed surgery!  Um what?  My sleep deprived, vicodin addled brain had a hard time processing all of that..but by some miracle I made it on time.  (And without coffee!!!)

The doctor showed up some 45 minutes later still wearing scrubs and a hair net.  He poked, prodded and twisted my knee and announced that he wanted me to get an MRI and sent me home.

Now the doctor who did the x-rays the day before at the Urgent Care place told me my knee cap was absolutely broken.  He showed me the x-rays and pointed out the wedge shaped divot in my knee with the piece sticking up that fit into it.  I am no doctor but it looked pretty well broken to me.  The Orthopedic doctor wasn't so sure.  He thought I had a multiple fractures and possibly soft tissue damage. 

Yesterday they called and told me it's not broken at all and it's just soft tissue damage but I still need an MRI.  I asked them what that divot shaped piece was then?  They didn't know, and that the MRI would reveal all...I have visions of a lab tech in a fortune teller costume doing this MRI at this point.  I go in Monday afternoon for that. 

I don't see how there could be soft tissue damage since where it hurts is directly on top of the knee cap and there is no tissue there.  It's just skin over bone.  But again I didn't pay a bazillion and a half dollars to go to medical school and I do like the idea that it's not broken after all because I am hoping that means no surgery.

While I am getting lots of work done, I can't hardly stand sitting still for such long periods of time.  I am also completely over limping around and being in pain whenever I walk.  All I do know for sure is that it's not healing or improving in the slightest.  Thursday it will be three weeks since I initially did it.  I won't know anything until next week, so I will let you know when I know.

In the mean time I will be busy sewing away...until then!

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1% Of The Population...

A little follow up to yesterday...last night I was putting things in my curio cabinet and I forgot and kneeled down.  A pain so acute shot through my knee I thought I was going to pass out.  R heard me scream (which is amazing because he sleeps through everything) and he threatened me if I didn't go to the Urgent Care place today he would pick me up and carry me there himself. 

When I woke up this morning my knee had swelled up quite large and was bruised...and I decided for once to be a good wife and actually do as he said.  It's probably a good thing because as it turns out my tendons are sprained and my knee cap is broken. 

The doctor was dumbfounded that I was able to walk around on it for two weeks.  I am one tough cookie!  >=} At any rate I learned that only 1% of the population of the US ever breaks a knee cap.  Kooky huh! 

They put a brace and a splint on it and I am going to be referred to an orthopedic doctor tomorrow, and they will probably cut it open and wire it back together.  Oh yay!  If I keep doing stupid stuff, pretty soon my whole body will be held together with office supplies.

The good news in this is that even though I am ordered to stay off of it, I don't need my knee to sew bears.  So currently I am still planning on having the update on the 2nd.  If after I see the orthopedic doctor that changes I will let ya know.  But I don't expect it to.

I will keep ya updated!  Hugs, K. <3

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Website Update And Other Stuff

I apologize for not posting since I returned from my trip.  It's been a flurry of activity around here!  I am nearly overwhelmed.  But let me back up a bit first...

I will start with Thursday before last.  R was out of town, and it was bitterly cold and snowy.  As I have told you before I am the clumsiest person ever.  It was evening, and I was walking across the floor.  That's it, just walking across the floor and I lost my balance and fell down.  I felt a searing pain in my knee.  But I shrugged it off thinking it was a momentary thing.  By 2 AM I was tempted to go to the ER the pain was so great.  But it was cold...snowy...2 AM...and I was home alone so I chose not to go.  I decided it would probably be better by the next day.  I was wrong.  It's still bothering me.  I never did go to the doctor.  I suppose I should have.  But it will heal eventually.  It's slowing me down in all the things I want to get done though.

I left the following Monday for Montana.  I had a lovely visit with my parents.  We didn't get to do quite all the things my Mom wanted to do because of my knee, but that was ok with me.  I went to visit them, not run around and do stuff.

While I was gone R was painting the living room and foyer.  I always have to go away when he does house repairs or renovations.  I have some sort of odd defect that I cannot stand to watch people do things that involve tearing things up and making a mess.  I can tear things up and make a mess and it doesn't bother me a bit.  I am just an odd little ball of contradictions...what can I say!  *grins* 

When I got home it was completely shocking. You can stare at paint chips all you want, and it never gives you a real indication what it's going to look like. It's much brighter than I had imagined. Of course I have been staring at white walls for 12 years. I like it, but it's really bright.  Of course everything had been removed from the walls and furniture so I had nothing to break it up when I first saw it.  I have been slowly but surely putting everything back.

I have also been slowly but surely working in between putting everything back.  I wish I could focus on one thing and then the other, but my knee won't allow it so I keep switching between putting things back, cleaning and working.  I have a bear in progress, a lamb cut out and several ideas for new things.  This means hopefully a whole new animal or two!  Also there should be a new snowman or two, for those of you who like to collect them from me.  So I am going to have a small website update on the 2nd of December with some holiday pieces for you!  I used Marzipan in the pic above (she has been adopted already) since I don't have anything new ready just yet, but I will be giving you sneak peeks as I go along.  Stay tuned for those!

In the mean time have a lovely day, and I am off to work some more!

Hugs, K.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Leavin On A Jet Plane

I am about ready to head to the airport in about 45 minutes.  I will see you guys when I get back Friday!

Hugs, K.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quick Reminder

Today is the last day to take advantage of my website sale!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I hope you all had a wonderfully frightful Halloween!  We had fun passing out the candy to all the kids in their cute little costumes.  Also as you can see from the pic above, Mozzie got both of his wishes...he got a fancy mask and got to pass out (in the) candy!

I apologize for these two pics because they were taken with my small camera which obviously I should set aside some time and figure out how to use.  But we had fun pumpkins again this year.  R carved the one on top.  He always does fancy ones, and this one was a haunted house.  I decided to forgo my usual cutesy-Hallmark style and made a scary one based on the pumpkin scarecrow in the movie Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp.  The bottom one was inspired by Martha Stewart.  They looked great all lit up, but unfortunately I couldn't get a pic of it with that camera.

I found it a bit curious that only one other house in our neighborhood had any decorations out.  I always like to do it up right and decorate outside.  I think it's more fun for the kids...ok and me too.  I do love holidays!

Saturday night we decided to engage in something a little more on the grown up side of Halloween fun and went ghost hunting with a professional paranormal team.  We didn't find any ghosts (nor did I expect to) but it was fun and we got out of the house on a nice night...45 degrees, which for this time of year is rare.  Plus I got to wear my new coat.  R was really happy about that part.  He couldn't have cared less that I bought something new, but actually getting me into a coat is next door to a miracle.  He nags me constantly to wear coats and scarves and socks and shoes and all sorts of unnecessary articles of clothing.  Men and their kooky ideas!

I also managed to get a whole lot of work done around the house, do a mountain of laundy, bake a chicken and brownies and just basically work my keister off all weekend.  This week, I need to do some prep work for his painting the living room while I am gone on my trip.  So it's going to be a busy week for me.   I have also been toying around with a new design for a brand new animal.  But that will have to be put off until I come back from Montana.

Lastly...the first wave of pieces sold from the sale will be going out tomorrow.  Remember you have through Friday to take advantage of the sale!

Hugs, Kelly

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Treats For You, Tricks For Me

Hi Mozzie here!  I had this great idea, since this is my first Halloween I wanted to pass out treats, but I was told I was too small to give out candy.  *Sad face*  But then I thought we should have a sale so that some of my buddies could find good homes.  Can you think if a better treat!?  If you want to adopt one of my pals, just e-mail Kelly using the link at the right, and she will send you a paypal invoice with the adjusted price. 

What I didn't know is that I was going to get tricked into wearing this silly pumpkin hat!!!  BOO for me!  I really wanted a fancy mask!  *Frowny Face*

Happy Halloween & bear hugs, Mozzie

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And The Winner Is...

I reached deep down into the jack-o-lantern and pulled out a number!

Are you wondering if it's you?

It might be....

Ok actually I used to get the number...there was no jack-o-lantern...




yes I am making you wait for it...

but here it is....

Which means Tyler from Teds 'n Such  is the winner!  Congrats Tyler!  All I need now is a mailing address and he will be on his way to you!

Thank you all for participating.  Watch for another give away near Christmas!

Hugs, Kelly

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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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