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 enterprise...you 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
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