Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Penelope's Adventures In Bear Making

Hi...Penelope here!   Mom said she was too exhausted from chasing me around all day and couldn't make a post so it was up to me I guess.  I don't know why I would make her exhausted though.  I am completely angelic!

They finally named me.  I am named after a cartoon character from "The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop." Apparently she had a really cool car called the Compact Pussycat.  I would like to have a car someday, but I have to earn the money...so I figured I better learn how to do something.

This is how that went:

Ooooooh what's this?

Make a bear?  I totally got this!

K so it was harder than I thought, but the box is fun to chew on!

I am way better at attacking feet!  I wonder if there is any money in that?

Why....just why!

Oh I will watch her alright, but I refuse to babysit!

The end!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Longevity And Relevance

Some days I feel like a manual typewriter in our computerized world...and some days I wish I had a manual typewriter instead of a computer.  In many ways I secretly suspect I would be happier in my naive bliss.

When you are in a business with a very narrow playing field for a long time you gain certain perspective and insight on things along with the honing of your skill.  You are a savvy business person, and you are kind to your customers and listen to their wants and desires.  You believe you are doing your best to stay competitive, up to the current trends and yet be true to yourself.  You think you are going along and doing just fine.  But then the day inevitably comes when you discover that what you think you know may not be relevant any more.

I am frequently fascinated by how many things seem to matter that never used to.  Like the specific definition of a word, or how changes have come about in how we approach what used to be common place business practices.  Naturally everyone has an opinion and naturally no one agrees.

I feel as if I could get lost in minutia some days.  Did I say this wrong, did I do that wrong?  Is it really wrong since it's my business?   Do collectors really care about these things, or is it just that we, as artists are over thinking it now?  Do I seem like an antique white elephant in the room?  If I do, is it just today or is it everyday?

It's not enough to make my bears and sell them anymore.  Now I have to be a photographer, a writer, and a coder.  I have to worry that someone will think I copied them because I had the same idea at the same time, and I have to be concerned that I am unique enough, when I make traditional bears.  But on top of all that...I have to think about everything in the business end with new perspective too.  The world changed somewhere along the line and I am just getting the memos about it now.

It's exhausting and sometimes I am not surprised I can't get out of my head enough to actually work.  Computers are a wonderful thing in that they have brought us all so much closer together and we can share information so freely now and also that we can reach people the world over that we never would have dreamed of 20 years ago.  But maybe there was something to be said for a little less sharing and closeness?  I don't know.  Maybe I am just getting old.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Small Surprises

Sometimes tiny things show up at your door that you just aren't expecting...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Magical Sale

With Summer just around the corner, I always think of magic...and what could be more magical than making a wish come true!  So I am offering my blog readers and facebook followers 25% off of all pieces on my website.  If you would like to take advantage of this sale, please send me an e-mail (by clicking the link at the right) with your paypal address and I will send you an invoice.  It's first come, first serve, no reserves and it ends at the stroke of midnight on Saturday PST, so don't be late!

Hugs and wishes!  K. <3

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seeds And Stranger Tides

I was going to make my post this morning, but I didn't quite get that far.  I had a great weekend though.  Saturday we went to see the new Pirates movie.  I love pirates, so naturally I loved it.  I won't give anything away, but I will say this...if you go see it, stay til after the credits because there is one tiny scene after and it's funny!  Plus...lets face it Johnny Depp really is good eye candy, especially in 3-D!

R and I had been debating where to go for our anniversary dinner for weeks.  He isn't a fancy sort of guy, but he will step up for occasions and he was willing to take me somewhere nice so I could wear my pretty new dress that I bought for the show.  At the eleventh hour I decided we would go to Old Chicago for pizza.  It may not have been fancy and I just wore jeans, but it was fun and relaxed and there is something to be said for that.

Sunday I was planning on starting my garden.  A couple weeks ago R tilled it for me, but then we had snow and all sorts of crazy weather.  It was sunny and warm, so I took my seeds and my gloves and out I went.  There was one small corner of the garden he didn't till, because I had flower bulbs in that area so I told him not to.  It was covered with dandelions and I thought I should weed before I got going on the rest.  I was pulling up handful after handful when one of them felt oddly thicker than it should have of.  I realized that with my handful of weeds I was holding a garden snake.  I let out a small scream and half threw, half dropped it. 

Normally garden snakes are as anxious to get away from you as you are anxious for them to get away from you.  But this feisty little character decided to hold his ground and he scrunched himself into a strike position.  I know they can't hurt you very much, but they can bite.  I wasn't having any of that, so I whacked him twice with the shovel and he decided that perhaps retreat really was the better part of valor after all.  For some reason I seem to have an awful lot of snakes.  I never had any for eight years and then suddenly they moved in and I wish I knew how to get rid of them.  If anyone knows...please let me know.  I took down the bird feeder because I knew the fallen seeds were attracting mice and mice attract snakes, but they don't seem to want to move on. 

I had one persistent little guy last year who was determined to live in my garage.  I couldn't catch him either.  He was fast.  I took a tub lid and launched him clear out into the street one night when it was cool and I thought that would have scared him enough that he wouldn't come back, but five days later he was in his usual spot.   But I digress...

Anyway...at that point R returned from his errands and came out to help me.  We managed to get the entire garden planted in one day!  Without his help, it took me a week last year.  I was definitely grateful to him for saving me so much time.  I am not a very good gardener, but I do feel that sense of satisfaction when things grow.

The weekend went by with only one mishap.  I am telling you I am the most clumsy person ever!  I skewered my heel on the coffee table.  (My coffee table has marble and has lots of sharp fancy cast iron on it.)  It hurt but I thought it was ok until I looked down at the kitchen floor and saw a trail of blood.  Sigh~  I should buy stock in Bandaid!

Other than that, I am back to my old self and ready to work on those bears!  I will keep you posted!

I hope you had a lovely and snake free weekend!
Hugs, K. <3

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grey Skies Are Gonna Clear Up...

This morning we have beautiful blue skies and sunshine.  You would never know that there was rain, hail AND a tornado only a couple miles from my house yesterday.  Luckily it set down in open field and no one was hurt and no damage. 

I am much better today and feeling back to my usual self.  I am  cleaning, doing laundry and waiting for R to come home later.  Today is our 22nd anniversary!  He was out of town last night and since he has such a long day we aren't going to do much tonight except have a little champagne. 

Tomorrow however, we are going out to a nice dinner and then I pre-purchased tickets to go see the new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie at the I-Max.  We are bother pretty excited to see it.  What's more fun than Disney pirates?

In the mean time, I am happy to be hack to normal and once I am done doing housework, I am going to work on those bears! 

I was also excited to see that despite the hail, my lilacs are starting to bloom! 

I hope you all have a glorious day! 

Hugs, K. <3

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lemonade Popsicles

I have to confess I have had the blahs all week.  I am sure you could tell from my post earlier.  I have a mountain of laundry that needs doing and I haven't been able to walk across the house to do it.  There are two bears waiting patiently to be put together and I haven't wanted to do that either.  I haven't wanted to cook or pluck my eyebrows.  I watched TV and didn't know what I watched, I tried to read and couldn't focus.  In fact the only thing I have wanted to do all week is sit in my chair under the quilt and stare at the sky...and eat lemonade popsicles.  They are wonderfully sour.  No sugar in them...perfect for my mood I guess.

I feel as if I have been waiting for the universe to open up and deliver an answer to a question...but I haven't asked anything.  It's almost as if I am depressed or something..but I have never had depression.  I don't feel depressed though...just like I want to hermit myself away from the world.

There are several factors that contributed to this mood.  One of course was not going to the show.  Another huge thing was the weather.  Yesterday alone we had winter storm advisories, tornado and severe thunder storm warnings and every five minutes it changed from sunny to rainy.  And I do mean literally every five minutes.  I want to plant my garden and I can't.  We had frost last week.  This mercurial weather is wreaking havoc on my allergies and my spirit.

Business-wise I feel as if I should be stepping things up in some way...but I don't know what way?  It has become abundantly clear to me that shows have changed a great deal in the few years since I have done one.  The rules have changed and you need more things than you used to.  It's all so complicated now.  From what I understand you have to change up your displays and have signs and lots of types of payment options and  bears with all the bells and whistles and traveling with it all has become more difficult and expensive and...and...and...sigh~

But this morning I woke up to sunshine...it was kind of cold, but consistently sunny.  I felt like eating more than popsicles, I had an idea for a sign and a new bear and I wanted to get my laundry done.  Hurray I was coming out of it!

Then I made the mistake of checking my e-mail.  I had one depressing e-mail from a family member, and one from a friend where I had lavished praise on something they did (I don't pass out false praise ever!  If I love something and tell you, you can believe I truly love it!) but for some inexplicable reason they thought I didn't like it.  I don't understand.  I thought I was quite clear.  It hurts.

So I guess when life hands me more lemons the best thing to do is sit in the chair and stare at the sky and eat lemonade popsicles...and wait for it to pass.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Quick Note About Marzipan...

I thought I better make a post...I have had an overwhelming response to little Miss Marzipan!  I never posted her for sale because she and Sidhe were both adopted before I had the chance.  

But since so many of you wanted to adopt her, there will be some more fanciful bears coming soon.  As soon as I finish the two I am working on.  Now they won't be exactly like her of course...but there will be more striped "stockings" in the works.  Plus I had so much fun making her that there will be some other variations as well.  So stay tuned!  You will have a chance at her sisters (and possibly brothers) in the future.  Oh and just so you are prepared she was 185.00, so the others will be in that range.

Hugs, K. <3

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Shoes And Various Moods

Have you ever noticed that whatever mood you're in, if you're in close proximity to other people, someone will try to change it.  If you're in a good mood someone will tell you about depressing headlines in the media, their own personal issues, or they will simply grumble and complain. 

Even more frequently if you're angry, sad or upset in any way...someone will come along and try to cheer you up.  It's almost as if being angry, annoyed, sad or hurt is wrong.  In fact this notion is so deeply ingrained in us that if we experience one of these emotions when we are alone, we tend to feel guilt for feeling it.  We try to squelch those emotions and adjust to a better mood.

But the trouble is we are delightfully three dimensional beings and we come equipped right from the factory with a full range of emotions.  I believe that it's ok to feel all of them once in a while.  I think we should, it's healthy to feel the bad stuff sometimes...that way we don't bottle it up and go postal at a later date.

Yesterday I was angry...and a little annoyed and hurt.  My guilt kicked right in and that inner voice reminded me that life isn't fair.  Most of us hear that from a very early age.  But a second inner voice said why?  Why isn't life fair?  Most of us are never taught that.  Maybe it's because no one really knows that answer.  If it was up to me, life would be fair for everyone.  Wouldn't that be a nice change of pace?

So naturally I felt guilt and tried to talk myself out of it.  I said what's done is done, you can't change it.  Being angry won't help.  Cheer up...blah blah blah...lots of other cliches.  I even went so far as to convince myself that yes maybe life really is fair and we just can't perceive the big picture?

At the end of all this guilt and inner dialogue I was still angry...a little annoyed and hurt...and confused though.  So what brought all this on you ask?  Well if you will recall a few posts ago I told you that I made a mistake.  I was honest about, I took responsibility for that mistake and I was penalized for it.  I still accept responsibility and the penalization.  However I discovered that others made that very same mistake and weren't penalized for it in any way that I could see. 

So yes, I was angry.  I don't understand.  I was specifically told  "If we let you do it, we have to let everyone do it and we can't do that.  We have a standard to maintain."  And yet from the photos I have seen...many others were allowed to do it.  So why wasn't I?  *Sighs*

I considered not making this post.  I know that people don't like to read negative stuff.  I hope I didn't ruin anyone's good mood.  I didn't mean to.  It's part of the reason I almost didn't make this post.  But I am human, and I get angry sometimes...fortunately it doesn't happen too often.  I don't make one of those blogs that is only about the good stuff in life.  Sometimes I talk about the other things too.  You've been angry before...I know you have.  I am sure you can relate to how I felt.  Wouldn't it have felt good to get it out of your system?  So I made this post to stay true to the fact that I am a real person...and that's what I post.  Reality...the good...the bad...and the brightly colored sneakers.

 I was originally just going to post about my new sneakers.  Aren't they grand?  You have to love the color.  I have a whole issue with "athletic shoes."  I think they are unattractive and I prefer low tech, retro style canvas sneakers like Keds, Sperry and Converse All Stars.   They make me happy and no one can take that away.  How can you not be happy when you have such a lovely color on your feet?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Planning And Inspiration

Yesterday as I was curled up in my chair with my quilt avoiding the weather I decided to read some magazines.  One of the magazines that I frequently read is Artful Blogging.  Now I love the Somerset publications, but they are expensive and sometimes they tend to recycle people over a broad spectrum of their magazines.  They also tend to fall into ruts a little bit in that they like certain types of photos and all too often things can begin to look alike.   For that price I like to see different things.

One of the other things I have noticed is that many times the blogs featured say that "they set out to create an inspirational blog."  Now I don't know about you, but I find that to be a rather odd notion.  How do you decide to be inspirational?  Do you just leap out of bed one morning and say "I am going to inspire the masses today!"  I wonder if Mother Theresa and Gandhi set out to purposely inspire others or if they were just being themselves and doing what they did?  I don't know the answer to this...and I feel as if maybe I should?

I can honestly say that I have never set out to be inspirational.  I wouldn't even know how to start.  I would have to know what inspires each and every one of you, and that's a pretty tall order.  To me that's like setting out to change the world. Do people who set out to change the world actually accomplish it?  Or are the people who change the world doing it by happy accident on the way to simply doing something they believe in? 

I think inspiring others happens that way too.  I have had an occasional comment where someone tells me they were inspired by that days post, and it always makes me feel warm inside that I could do that.  But it's rare and it's never intentional.  In fact I don't plan things very often.  Half the time when I sit down I don't even know what I am going to post about.  I will be going along through my day and think "hey I should go make a post."  Then I sit down and the words come.  It's never carefully orchestrated. 

I tend to live my life that way.  I go to the grocery store without a list, I get up and have nothing particular planned.  I let the day unfold capriciously.  Even when I work it's often like that.  I don't always have a mental image of what I want to make, and even if I do...it doesn't always end up being that thing.  Maybe that's wrong?  But it seems to be working ok for me, so I guess I will keep on that way until a time comes when I need to change it.

If you're one of those people who writes an inspirational blog, or sets out to inspire others in another way, my hat is off to you!  I wish I knew your secret.  Maybe I should have planned what my blog would be about before I began it three years ago.  But in my naivete I didn't even know I needed a plan.  I guess I could make a plan for my blog now...but it seems as if that ship has sailed, and I am just going along for the ride!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm Still Alive

If I go for more than a few days without making a post or answering e-mail, people start inquiring as to my health and well being.  I really appreciate your care and concern, but other than another stupid mistake I am fine and there is no need to worry. 

This was a different kind of mistake though.  I am just so accident prone sometimes.  I always have been.  It seems as if it's one little cruddy thing after another.  Saturday I was going along pretty good.  I got up early, cleaned the kitchen and worked outside getting the garden ready...then I came in to sort laundry.  When I was sorting I was throwing stuff for the first load into the washing machine when the double doors snapped back closed rather quickly and caught the back of my hand in between where the doors hinge in the middle.  I felt a searing pain in my hand.  When I looked at it, at first it didn't look so bad.   It just looked like a large blood blister about an inch long, there was a cut on one side that was very neat, as if it had been made with a fillet knife.  But it wasn't bleeding.  It hurt a great deal more than it looked like it should have.  In fact it hurt so much I started to hyper ventilate.  It was weird, I have never done that before and I have certainly done worse things to myself.  Then I felt a little dizzy.

R came running downstairs to see what was going on.  He told me to sit down for a minute.  I decided to respond to an e-mail while I was sitting there and that's when blood just started pouring out of it.  Apparently I had sliced open the vein length wise that runs across that first knuckle.  I bandaged it up, but every time I moved my hand for the first couple days it broke open again.  It was quite the mess and I wasn't able to do much.  It's still bandaged, but it's finally doing better and I am going to live.  XD

Aside from that I have been feeling a combination of introspective about work and a bit reclusive.  Basically I haven't felt much like talking.  Sometimes it's like that when I get stuck inside my own head.  I am trying to get back out.  I just have to work out a few things for myself.  Having to cancel the show threw me off a little.  Plus I feel like I am on the verge of an idea, but it's just a whisper in my brain and I can't quite make it out yet.

Then R was sent to Fresno *shudders* rather unexpectedly last night to sort out things on a job that isn't going very well, and the weather is like a Fall day today.  It's cold, rainy and windyyyyyyyy!  I just want to curl up in the chair with my quilt and a good book.

Now if you're curious about the picture...well...I didn't think you wanted to see my hand because...ew!  So instead I am giving you a sneak peek of the weird idea I had before Christmas.  It's not done yet...but soon!  (And no, I am not making an inside out bear!)  However there are two new bears in the works, and with some luck and lack of accidents I might even have them done for you soon!

Have a lovely day!  K. <3

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stupid Mistakes

I think we have all been there.  That moment that hits you when you realize you did something stupid.  If you're lucky you can fix it.  But sometimes you can't. 

I had one of those moments yesterday.  I realized I had made a mistake.  I have no one to blame other than myself, so I accept full responsibility for it.  I realized it too late and there isn't enough time to fix it.  So for the very first time ever, I had to cancel a show.  I will not be in Philly next week.  It cost me more ways than one.  I had to cancel my flight which of course you take a very large penalty for, and I feel as if I let everyone who was expecting me to be there down.  I can't apologize enough to those of you who had said you were going to come to the show to see me, and also to my friends who were doing the show as well.

I am just sick about it.  All that work, all that stress, all those nights of not sleeping properly and days of not eating right.  Running myself ragged to get ready...and now I won't be going.  Sigh~

However, Sidhe is now available on my website.  If you would like to visit her, you can do that at http://www.blondheart.com/

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

~*~ Marzipan & Sidhe ~*~

I told ya I had kind of a wild idea...so meet Marzipan!

I also made a blue green bear named "Sidhe" that's a bit fey inspired.

And now I am going back to bed since I haven't slept much the past few days!

Have a lovely day!  Hugs, K.
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