Monday, January 31, 2011

Website Update

I have decided to make a few changes for 2011.  The first of which is instead of putting each piece up as I make it, I am going to try group updates every 4-6 weeks.  I may do an occasional blog and facebook offering as well.

This one is only going to be a very small update, but I will have the 30th anniversary bears ready...and possibly something brand new to show you!  We will see how the week goes since I am working on a new layout as well.

I am also going to be doing a show in Philadelphia in May...I will give more details on that later. I haven't done a show in a few years and I miss it.
Also the next group of bears and animals will be going out on Wednesday instead of tomorrow.  I was going to go to the post office tomorrow, but it's supposed to be coooooold.  We are expected to have a high of 0, and with the wind chill between 15 and 18 below.  Winter has finally hit Colorado.  I had a feeling we had been getting off too easy this year.

It's snowing today, so it's a good day to stay snug and cozy at home and work.  I am very excited about the anniversary bears.  I hope you will be too!

Also don't forget you still have until Midnight MST to take advantage of the website sale!  I want to thank everyone who made a purchase already, you eased my work load by about half when it comes to photographing the pieces.

Hugs, K. <3

Friday, January 28, 2011

Postal Run & Reminder

Just a quick update...I went to the post office this morning and sent off five you will be receiving your new friends very soon!  Thank you all for your purchases!

For anyone else still thinking about a piece, the site is updated so everything else is still available as of right now, and you still have until midnight on Monday to take advantage of the sale. (See previous post for sale info.)

I am going to go try to take a very long nap, I have had insomnia for the past few days.  I will check in when I wake up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Sale

Next week I am doing a major website overhaul again, so I thought to make it easier on myself and do something special for my blog followers and facebook friends I would offer 1/3 off of everything on the site from now until Monday at midnight MST. 

If you would like a piece, just send me an e-mail and I will send you an adjusted invoice.  Be sure to include your paypal e-mail address.  It's first come, first pieces will be held.

Enjoy!  K. <3

Edit:  Just to let you know, I am removing items as they sell, so if you are interested in something, if it's on the site it's probably still available!  Also for those of you who have already made a purchase, they will be going out on Friday.  Thank you so much!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Kindness Of Strangers

Today I had a sweet, but funny thing happen.  I had to run off to the post office to mail a piece to a customer.  I had just rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and lazily ran the brush through my hair. I didn't have any other errands to run...or so I I just threw on my ratty, holey jeans, a really old hoodie and sneakers.  I didn't bother with makeup either. 

When I got outside I realized there was no newspaper. When I got to the post office, the line was long, so I called R to see if by some chance he had picked it up, but he hadn't.  I told him I would stop and pick him one up since there was a gas station near the post office.  Now I have to confess it's my fault that there was no paper.  I am always spot on with getting the bills paid in a timely fashion, but somehow I missed the subscription renewal last week and had it in my purse with the other bills to be mailed today, so it ran out yesterday.

I also hadn't eaten yet, and I grabbed a bottle of orange juice.  When I got to the counter, an elderly gentleman was standing there.  He asked me what I was looking for in the paper.  I joked that I just wanted it to keep warm.  (I probably shouldn't have done that. *giggles*)  They also had some hot sandwiches and breakfast burritos by the counter.  I was looking at them trying to decide if I was brave enough to eat one.  I asked the girl how much they were, I only had a little cash on me and didn't really want to use my card if I didn't have to...especially for something I wasn't sure about eating.  She told me and I was counting my change to see if I had enough. 

I guess from my shabby clothes and my joke, the guy thought I must be homeless, so he offered to buy me a sandwich and asked if I would like a donut and some fruit too!  I thought it was really sweet.  But I explained to him that I had money I just wasn't sure if I wanted one of those.  I don't think he believed me though.  He said "Sister you don't have to be proud, it's ok to let someone help once in a while!  We've all been there."

I thought it was really sweet of him.  He didn't look any better off than I did today, and I went away with the feeling I probably should have been buying him something instead.  But it's nice to know that strangers can be kind without expecting anything in return.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bumps In The Road And Mashed Potatoes

As we traverse life's highway there are constantly those little bumps in the road that we have to deal with.  Now I don't know about your life, but most everyone I know is plagued with a non stop string of little, annoying, bad things that constantly crop up that they have to contend with.  Have you ever wondered why?

Now I am not talking about those big tragedies we all have to face.  I get that, those are tests and we have to pass them or learn from them if we don't.  Those are the things that make us stronger and better people.  But do those little things make us stronger and better too?

Some people might say it's karma...maybe so...I do believe that what we do has a way of working itself back to us.  Some people might say it's random chance with no rhyme or reason...I can't say for sure, but I don't really believe that because I don't believe that life is a random set of episodes.  Yet others might say that we bring our misery on ourselves.  Perhaps in many instances that's true.

But this time I am fairly certain I didn't do anything to bring this on (unless it really was karmic retribution for some past misdeed) fact all I did was yawn.  A yawn that was followed by a sharp pain and a pop.  Then I couldn't close my mouth.

I tore a tendon in my jaw.  After a visit to my dentist I learned a fascinating fact.  In our jaws we have a little disc of bone that is only held in place by our tendons, much like our knee caps.  It's not attached to anything, and when you tear a tendon it behaves like a slipped disc in your spine, and it moved around more than it's supposed to.  It will slide between your jaw bones and prop them open until the muscle relaxes and it slips back out.

My dentist told me that I need to eat soft food for a week and try not to yawn...yeah because I have a lot of control over that.  And then hopefully it will heal on it's own and I won't have to go to a specialist.

The trouble with soft foods is that the majority of them aren't good for you.  Sure you have apple sauce, yogurt and certain kinds of soup, but there is pasta and cottage cheese and mashed potatoes and pudding which are bad.  I figure if I am going to have this pesky little trouble, I should at least get the silver lining of being able to lose a couple pounds out of the deal...but no.  Nooo! 

Can someone please pass the mashed potatoes...sigh~

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

I like to believe that all people are inherently good.  Even the ones that seem as if they are not.  How many times have you come across a stranger that did something to annoy you and thought wow what a...well you can insert the word of your choice here.  But does that make them a bad person?  Did you leave the encounter filled with some type of animosity towards them? 

Perhaps you came across a person you instantly disliked.  What was it about them that you disliked?  Was it something small?  The way they talked, the way they looked? 

I would like to believe that all people are inherently good.  I believe that all people are worth knowing.  All people have worth.

I also believe that hate is born of fear.  We fear what we do not understand, because it's different than us in some way.  So instead of trying to understand and learn, we hate because it's easier.  It gives the illusion of control.

A while back I was really thirsty and I stopped at a convenience store to buy a bottle of juice. There was a young Latino man who was dressed for lack of better, like a thug. He, another woman and myself all arrived at the counter at the same time. She looked at him, backed away rapidly and made the pretense of going to find something else. I had several items and he had one. He had stepped behind me in line, so I smiled at him and suggested he go first. Another cashier stepped up so we ended up checking out at the same time anyway. We also reached the exit door at the same time. He smiled and held the door for me. There was nothing to fear from this young man. I felt bad for the woman who had shied away from him because of how he looked. She was clearly afraid of him.  He was just a young man trying to find his way in the world. Perhaps his tough looking exterior was a shield created from his own fear?

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the US.  I would like to believe that racism is dead.  It's not, but I wish it was.  To me, racism is one of the stupidest concepts ever invented by human beings.  The worth of every person on this planet has nothing to do with the color of their skin.  It has to do with their heart, their soul, their morality, their imagination, their knowledge and their unique perspective.

Conversely, having the same skin color as someone else doesn't automatically make you the same.
All the colors make a beautiful tapestry.

I would like to believe that all people have the capacity to love one another.  What I know a sad truth; that no matter who you are, what you do, or what color your skin is...someone, somewhere hates you for it. 

Don't hate. Don't fear.  Learn.  Understand.  Accept.  Love.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction ... The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

~ Martin Luther King


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I know we did.  I got some work done and Saturday night we went to see Alegria.  I love Cirque du Soleil, and I love to go to live performances of almost anything. 

If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.  I am finally back in the swing of things workwise I think, so you should be seeing the new bears soon...keep your fingers crossed!

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pink World

 I stayed up late this morning because I have to be up late tomorrow to take Basil to the vet for his teeth cleaning.  Right before I went to bed, I looked out the window and discovered that for fleeting moment, the whole world was pink!  I managed to capture it perfectly before it vanished.

This was from the front of the house...

...and this was from the back.  Isn't it magical!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Paths We Cross

"No love, no friendship can cross
the path of our destiny without
leaving some mark on it forever"

Francois Mauriac~

For the first few months after we moved here years ago, I had to go to the laundromat.  We didn't have a washer and dryer yet.  One afternoon I stopped to do some laundry and it was pouring rain.  I had been off to see a shop about carrying my bears, and I had one in the car.  At that time I also had an old car, and the windshield leaked.  Such is the way of things when you are still young and poor.

I was afraid the bear I had in the car would get wet since it was sitting in the front seat, so I ran out and got it.  I was sitting and waiting for the washer to finish when I heard a voice ask me if that was my friend?  I looked up from my magazine into the pixie-esque face of a tiny smiling older woman with big red glasses.  I wasn't sure at first what she meant.  Then I realized she was referring to the bear.  I laughed and explained that I had made the bear.  She complimented me on such a wonderful creation and went on to tell me that she made character dolls. 

We continued chatting and she asked if I might like to join her for a cup of coffee after we finished the laundry.  Since I didn't know anyone in town, I was more than happy to find some small measure of female companionship for an afternoon.

That afternoon turned into a friendship that lasted twelve years.  It was one of the most wonderful friendships I have ever had.  Filis (her name was really Phyllis, but she always preferred the phonetic spelling) and I shared many cups of coffee, tea parties, outings to the book store, antique shops, doctor visits, iced tea on her back patio, 4th of July BBQ's at our house, and so much more.  She even accidentally backed into my car once and did a huge amount of damage..I wasn't mad though, it was just funny.

She taught me so many things about gardening, cooking, and just simply embracing the artist that I am.  Filis was never old despite her age.  She drove a big Bronco, rode a real horse which lived in a corral in her back yard and wore her cowboy hat with aplomb.  She lied about her age too, she was 69 for half of the years I knew her!

She had lived for many years in Paris, had been married to a spy she she claimed was a double agent and considered her divorce from him the best thing she ever did.  (That happened long before I ever met her, so I never met him.)  She told me stories about meeting Marlene Dietrich, and how fabulous she was.

Her house was a wondrous place that was decorated in French country and southwestern and had a red door.  It isn't something most people could pull off, but she did and it suited her perfectly. 

Towards the end of our friendship sadly her age had begun to catch up to her.  Sometimes she would be a bit belligerent, and even mistake me for Casey, who was her sister that had passed away in her youth.  It was hard to watch her slow decline.  She developed emphysema from smoking most of her life, and even had a stay at the hospital.  I was the first person she called, even before her sons.  I dropped everything and ran to see her the minute she called.  She recovered quickly and things went on more or less normally.

One afternoon she got terribly mad at me for being ten minutes late for a lunch date.  I was getting ready to leave for a show that afternoon and couldn't properly attend to fixing it though.  When I returned a few days later, I called her immediately and apologized, but she would have none of it.  I called again a week later and she was happy I had called but she seemed to rather forget in the middle of the call that she was on the phone.  I tried one more time a month later and she said we would get together but she never showed up.

I finally gave up.  I knew she wasn't doing that well, and I suspected that she was pushing me away so I wouldn't see it, and not because she held a grudge over such a silly thing.  But I wanted her to know I was always there, so I sent her a card for every holiday.  Two years went by and I never received one in return, but they didn't come back either so I knew she must be ok.  Then in 2005, she sent me a hand painted water color birthday card of a bouquet of flowers I had sent her for her birthday.  I called to thank her, but she had no idea who I was.  It was heart breaking.  I kept sending the cards though, I figured as long as they were never returned I would know she was ok.

A few days before Christmas this year, I got a card that had no return address.  It was a polite note telling me that my card had been received to their address, but they were sorry to inform me she had passed away in the summer of 2006.  I have no idea what happened to all those other cards I sent over the years.

I guess somewhere deep down I knew she was gone, but it was so much nicer to believe she was still living in her funny house, driving her big Bronco and wearing her cowboy hat, and saying whatever came to mind.  It's an odd thing to suddenly grieve for a person who has passed many years before.  But I have been.  I wanted to do my own sort of memorial for her since her sons never bothered to let me know. 

Filis was such a wonderful person, and I have missed her every day since we parted ways.  I miss her now, but I am finally to a place where I can share the tiniest piece of her life with you.  I wish you could have known her, she was an amazing person, and she left an indelible mark on mine.  I am much richer for having known her.  She told me once her greatest regret in life was never having a man who loved her the way she felt she deserved.  That may have been true, but I can tell you that her friends loved her in every way that she deserved.  I doubt we ever fully know the mark we make on people's lives when we cross their path of destiny and offer them friendship.   Goodbye my friend...I am sorry I am late...again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The World Is Flat

No one knows for sure who first discovered that the Earth was round. What we do know is that for a very long time the Earth was thought to be flat. Even Homer believed that it was a flat plane, and if we ventured too far to the edge we would fall off.

Ironically, we have come full circle and our world is becoming ever increasingly flat again.

Even though I am well rested and have more time, I haven't been posting much. I noticed I have lost a few followers lately and I suppose that's why. I have to apologize, but in truth I haven't had the urge. Now I know it will come back and I will go into a posting a frenzy at some point. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know it's feast or famine in most things I do...posting included.

I can blame this lack of urge on a statement I heard made by someone or other on TV the other day. They said something to the effect that we don't experience the real world as much as we used to because we can view it through a screen.

I got to thinking about that. How much time do we spend every day looking at screens? Our world is becoming less tactile and turning 2 dimensional...flat!

We have TV's, computers, game modules, Nook/Kindle's, cell phones with texting keyboards, iPods, and the list goes on.

Even the kitchen stove has a screen. No more turning a 3 dimensional nob, now it's running our fingers over the smooth plane of a touch screen to key in the settings we want.

Our keyboards are slowly but surely becoming obsolete with the swipe of a finger across a screen.

While the convenience of all that is nice, it's also nice once in a while to take a little time and live in the 3 dimensional world and avoid the flatness of screens as much as possible.

The urge to post will return, I promise. But I realized my lack of motivation wasn't because I had down shifted my mental gears, it's because I needed to shift them up for a little while. My little electronic sabbatical has already got my engine revving at a higher rate. Sometimes we all have periods where we don't feel like posting a lot...and that's not a bad thing, because it keeps our world from being flat.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Behind Already

I have to confess I am having a hard time getting going this year.  I guess it's because I worked so hard on so many things last month, that I can't seem to motivate.  Plus things just keep taking time away from what I need to do. 

I got a Wii for Christmas and I can't quit playing Epic Mickey! Today I went for a nice long relaxation/hot stone massage and came home and promptly fell asleep on the sofa because I was so relaxed. 

Tomorrow I have to take the dogs to the groomer, and then R is home for the weekend. 

I have to go sew bears!!!  I also need to change my blog header and website to get rid of the Christmassy stuff.

Quick, someone say something to motivate me!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Computer And Lots Of Work

Happy New Year everyone!  I finally have my new computer all set up, thanks to R.  I have all my programs loaded and finally broke down and bought a new photo editing program since the one I had been using was ten years old.  (The pic above was still done with the old program.)  It's quite intimidating, but I have already got it about half figured out.  Of course I didn't read the instruction manual!

I also have all the decorations down and put away and am working on the house and laundry.  Next order of business is bears!  I know you have all been waiting patiently, especially if you placed an order...they will be coming soon now I promise.

I want to redo the website once I figure out the rest of the new program.  Blog posts will also be resuming.

Basically life is going back to normal now that the holidays are over!

Stay tuned!  I hope you all have a wonderful, happy and prosperous year!  Hugs, K. <3
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