Tuesday, December 9, 2008

woe is my computer.

I want to throw my computer into the Genessee River. It has been coughing and hacking along, but tonight I believe it bleeped its last pathetic bleep at me. Now, if I had ever been attached to it emotionally, I would be sad, but the truth is that the whole time I typed away on it, my heart was unfaithfully lusting after a mac.

Honesty is the best policy, right?

Well, perhaps my computer didn't think so because we argued and I said some really mean things and it spitefully ate a couple of files. Or rather, made them completely inaccessible. And then began a slow and maddening descent into the realm of Complete Meltdown.

Taunting me is not going to win back my heart, Lenovo. Oh no it's not.

At least all of my scans are safe and sound, backed up six times in a couple locations. Who me? Paranoid? Huh?

So I have no Weekly Kafka as of yet, but I do still have a phat sale going at the shop. Prints are still buy one get a pack of holiday cards free OR buy two prints get the third free.

Rock on, babies. Hopefully I'll have more of the pup up for you soon!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

take advantage of me for four days. please.

To celebrate the madness of the start of the official holiday season, I am having an enormous sale in my shop.

Everything is on sale but most prints are 33% off, and there is free shipping to anywhere on every order. Buying one print gets you a 5 pack of holiday cards. Buying two prints entitles you to a third for free.

I also have a new card for you:

I realize that if all of you fabulous people from Australia order stuff, I may eat it on the shipping, but my Etsy shop is relatively new and I need all the exposure I can get. So take advantage already and get someone a handmade gift and save some cash all at once!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekly Kafka

Two random Kafka facts for you:
1. He now has a blankie that he carries around. It's his dog blanket that we put in his crate. This weekend he has insisted on going into his crate, grabbing the thing, and parading around with it. He loves it.
2. Kafka loves to lick. Not anything specific, although I have to fight him off and run away once I put on my lotion. He will lick anyone or thing, at any time, regardless of race, creed, color, smell, texture, temperature, etc. etc. etc. He truly is all about equal opportunity. The opportunity to introduce his tongue to everything. on. earth.

Loves to ride in the car and drink coffee (see cup).

And yeah, he's getting big. About 40 lbs and about 5 1/2 months old. And he is immensely exuberant. This evening, my sister and husband and I all watched as he casually leapt onto the top of his big-dog crate. Holy shit. I thought it was going to CAVE IN.

We all yelled, "NO!" and he half slipped off and ducked with his tail in between his legs.

It's alright though, because then his blankie caught his eye and he pounced on it.

(This is his Kong Frisbee, not the blankie, but I think you get the idea.)

Photos are all before the snow came!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Cards!

When I got married, I made all of the paper items myself-- the invites, table numbers, escort cards, programs, etc., etc... but I have now officially begun my foray into the realm of cards for other people. I know. I'm so brave.

My first of four different holiday cards has now been listed, so we'll see how that goes. I hope to have the other three up by the end of the weekend, but given my tendancy to procrastinate by being distracted my small shiny objects, legos with the Meep and ducking a bounding Kafka... like i said, we'll see.

The textured paper I chose for the cards hasn't been showing the detail as much as I'd like, but I'm still generally pleased with the way they turned out. I'm hemming and hawing about the possibility of cutting these out of art paper and attaching them to the textured cards. What do you

I've started watermarking all my scanned images, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I understand that it protects the image, but I hate the way it looks.

Regardless, I very much like how the back of the cards turned out!

Even though the image is small, I think it came out beautifully.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shop update and bloggy-blog stuff

Flower Chain. Now in the shop.

I'm in the process of doing some secret blog rearranging, which is proving to be a little bit of a struggle, if only because of time. I will need to dedicate some solid blocks of time to it and that has been what I'm struggling with. If I get into ye olde codes and get torn away for something, I inevitably lose my mental place and flub for half and hour trying to get my head on straight.

Regardless, I'm excited about the upcoming changes. Let's hope it's not six months until I get them out (fingers crossed fingers crossed fingers crossed). :)

In other exciting news, the Kafka-nator is scared of snow. It's been snowing lately, just not sticking.

This morning I took him to the back door where he could see the blanket of snow covering our backyard. He looked, then padded across the room, sat down, and gave a little whine of discontent. When I opened the door for him, he walked tentatively to the doorway, gave the ground a brief sniff, then tore into the kitchen, then the dining room, then the living room, where he cowered under Ricky Bobby Spike's terrarium table. I had to put on my coat and boots, pick him up and take him (kicking and whiny-barking all the way) into the backyard, where I set him down and watched him sniff in circles for almost 10 minutes before he decided it was safe to pee.

Good job doggy.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Because sometimes you'd like to hide. And sometimes when you want to, you can't.

Available in the shop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weekly Kafka

A short tale with pictures. Humor me while I pretend to know exactly what Kafka is thinking.

Gosh I like the fall.

There are leaves on the ground. I like leaves. They are almost as tasty as sticks.

What is this? A stick? With leaves?

I had better try it out.

Say... this is good!

Soooo gooood.

Within the past week Kafka has lost all of his baby canine teeth, and some molars too. He would be chewing on something (invariably something we didn't want him to chew on), and I would hear something skitter across the hardwood, like a little pebble. Then he would run after it and try to eat it. Yum. Teeth.

His new teeth are less sharp, and much more substantial than his puppy teeth. He is looking more and more grown, which is about right as this week he is five months old (I have no idea how many weeks he is any more because I have lost count and am too lazy to count again).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Still loving Obama

Karey lives in Jordan and writes beautifully, which makes me need to direct you to her sometimes.

Go HERE, because now is one of those times.

Pr-I-vacy, please.

It's been a busy week so I'm sorry for the lack of updates.

In the meantime, I got an email from someone asking why I didn't talk more about my husband and, in particular, the Meep.

Not everyone is comfortable being an open book. I don't really mind, but JJ likes to keep it on the down low, so that's why there's not a lot about him.

But the Meep is different. He is our dearest heart. Our most prized possession. And so although once in a while I will throw out a little bone in the form of a story or anecdote, there won't be pictures like there are of the dog (believe me, my son is waaaaay cuter). He is my one secret of secrets, and I am protective of him. I love you Meepie.

Back to Kafka and art soon, I promise.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day of the Dead (2)

I wanted to tell you a sort-of ghost story as part of the Day of the Dead, but truthfully, I struggled with how to do it. How can a Dia de Los Muertos ghost be only sort-of? If they're alive.

There once was a girl who didn't much care. Didn't. She didn't take care of herself or the people she loved the way she ought to. She took much of life for granted. She walked through it without connecting-- simply blind to much of what the world and life have to offer.

Then she became ill, and went down a long, painful stretch of time where the world turned inside out. Days bled together with uncertainty and frustration. People hovered. Breathing was hard.

Slowly, s l o w l y, the misery of those days began to chip away at the not-caring girl. Her eyes opened little by little, and that life-for-granted, self-indulgent, blind person was peeled off of her. That girl died, and beneath her skins, someone else began to draw breath. Someone for whom life was magical. Someone who somehow took quiet note of each moment as it passed with reverence.

Now, life isn't always nice. It's not clean. It can be mundane. People are horrible to one another. But life is possibilities. A moment can lead in a million different directions. In times of pain, there are still trees; still wind and mountains; still fancy cars speeding by and chocolate.

Exactly ten years ago, on Dia de Los Muertos 1998, I went to the hospital and descended into the strange world where doctors don't have answers and illness and uncertainty become routine. And when I came out of that time, I had changed. It wasn't easy, and I'm certainly not saying that now I'm perfectly in tune with everything and everyone (I had a sharp reminder this weekend of that), but I do know that all in all, I am better off for living through it. The ghost-girl is gone. And although this day is meant to celebrate the life of those who have passed on, today I celebrate that it has been ten years, and I did not pass on. I grew strong, got educated and started taking note.

This is not sad at all! This is part of what made me who I am and I would not give it up for anything.

And so I celebrate that I am, like so much of my art, a work in progress.

So go here to learn a little about something that affects approximately 1 in 5,000 people.


And remember to open your eyes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the Dead

My mother's mother loved margaritas. We called her Clancy, although her real name was Lois Meagher. She came from a big family and grew up poor in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee. "Clancy" suited her better than "grandmother," although I'm not sure why I called her that. She sang like a bird. She could be as silly as a girl but undoubtedly the word I've heard most to describe her, in any circle, has always been "classy". She wore ironed gloves and her hair was always perfect. She was infinitely poised.

She was beautiful. Really beautiful, with a killer smile.

My mother has told me that when she was little and they would visit Tennessee, the moment my grandmother's foot touched southern soil a southern accent would spill into her speech like honey. When I was young and we were alone for a day, she would watch All My Children with me and let me paint my fingernails with her army of polishes. She fed me Dixie cups of mini marshmallows and had the cleanest house I have ever seen. She would take me to the pool to swim and would look Fantastic. She always had plenty of cheddar Goldfish crackers. She collected owls.

She died gracefully, which was not easy, but my grandmother was the strongest woman I have ever met.

When we see rainbows we say, "there is Clancy," and at my wedding, the weather ran from blustery to foggy to rainy and hot, but she made an appearance after dinner, reaching from one end to another across the sky-- a pure stretch of almost solid color against the steel gray of the clouds. It was so vivid. I didn't even think to make sure someone got a photograph. But I'm not upset about it. It was still a perfect moment.

I won't be having a margarita, but I will be drinking some wine. I also will be cooking a full dinner, which she did almost every day. It's a real rarity for me. I love you Clancy. She also made the best pecan pie, and I thought you might like to have the recipe for it yourself. It's ridiculously easy and always tastes like a dream.

Clancy's Pecan Pie

3 cups whole pecans
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3-4 eggs (depending on size)
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line pie pan with dough and refrigerate. In a large bowl, lightly mix all of the ingredients except pecans. Once they are well blended, fold in pecans. Pour into the chilled pie crust, and bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 5-6 hours.

I don't know why there is the whole unsalted butter/additional salt thing going on, but I do know if you use salted butter it doesn't taste the same.

Brian made me laugh when I was feeling my most geeky and alone (ninth grade). My all-girls school and his all-boys school had a mixed show choir and that's where we met. We were both awkward. He had a beautiful deep voice. He loved to cook.

Years later, I ended up hanging out with Brian on an almost nightly basis. He still made me laugh and feel at ease. He still loved to cook. He had a huge heart that he wore on his sleeve. He did not give himself credit, and he didn't allow himself a break, although he deserved one.

shop update

Supernatural has now arrived.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

my new fave.

Remember those wasssup guys from that beer commercial? Eight years later, this is wonderful.

Happy Blogtoberfest! I know this will be my last post and it's been a blast! Don't forget to thank Big Cat!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One more week!

And vote early if you can!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekly Kafka

This week, Kafka won't have his puppy class . He'll be sad, and so will I. He likes to learn and with most things picks stuff up within a few minutes. Besides three accidents, he was house-trained in two days. I'll miss it because it's one day out of the week where I know that he will listen. I think he likes to show off a little, because when he's at home, his puppy-adolescence prohibits him from paying attention %50 of the time. As always, pictures are from this past week.

Kafka continues to grow and grow and grow. Unbelievably, he also seems to gain energy as each day passes. He runs, he jumps, he flies.
Now that our yard is covered in dead leaves, he is thrilled. He will tear through the carpet of leaves and turn to catch them as they scatter into the air. It is endlessly entertaining for both of us.
He is still ready to lounge everywhere and anywhere. Especially if he can climb on someone to do it.
What a dog.

Oh my!

I have been a VERY bad Blogtoberfest blogger recently, and am feeling ashamed.

Between the desk job, the art job and home I have been busy busy busy, and last night, while attempting to at least get up the Weekly Kafka, I fell asleep at my laptop. Nice. I'll try and stuff that in a little later today!

I did however, get a little over a foot of hair cut off on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My brother, who already was in Iraq three (maybe four?) times, got out of the military about two years ago. Now he has to go back to the Marines November 3, most likely to Afghanistan.

Please remember to vote on November 4.

Silence is in the shop.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekly Kafka

Well... late Kafka is better than no Kafka.

He really knows how to relax.

He wants to eat all the time.
All the time.

I love this dog.

He loves balls.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flying Dutchman

I needed some inspiration, because I've had a long day.

Then, Drewzel over at Blog Portion notified me earlier that she had decreed today Blogtoberfest Fave Friday, and wanted people to focus on one or a couple of their favorite songs. That's tough for me, because I have so many favorites, however, I thought it would be good to highlight a song that , while perhaps not my favorite song of all time, has the best Youtube cover ever.

Witness PS22 in their glory:

Can you stand it? How fabulous is that?? Don't you love how INTO it they are? It's funny and disarming and wonderful, and lucky for you, you can see more at the PS22 blog.

And if you need to hear the original Tori Amos version, you can find it here.

p.s. Drewzel has the coolest car.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Haiku

It's Thursday. I need
a new haircut. The falling
leaves tangle my ends.

it's too bad I couldn't get an appointment with my girl until a week from Saturday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Local Poverty

Some years ago, after a long night of drinking and dancing, some friends and I went to a local (then open 24 hours) landmark restaurant, Nick Tahou's, and each ordered their famous Garbage Plate. When we were done I had eaten maybe a third of mine ( I was already full with beer) and, as this was still in the days when you could smoke in restaurants in New York, we lit up (yes, yes, I know... I quit a long time ago) and all began knocking the ash onto my partially finished meal because there was no ashtray on our table.

About twenty minutes later, we were still talking, smoking and ashing all over the same plate when a homeless man came up to the table. Thinking back, he must have been in his 40s, was missing several teeth and must have been wearing at least six layers of clothes. I think he had been sitting across the aisle from us most of the time we were there, nursing a coffee, but none of us had really noticed him.

"Excuse me," he said, holding out an ashtray and pointing down at my plate, "can I trade you for that?"

We looked at each other, and I slid the now grey, ashy plate across the table to him, as he set down the actual ashtray with a breathless, "thanks!"

He then sat back down across the aisle, dumped ketchup and hot sauce on the whole pile, and began to eat.

"Wait", we said, "there are cigarette ashes and butts all over that!"

"I know," he replied, between bites, "that just fills you up more."

I have never felt so much like a fool as I did right then.

Poverty is not just about countries devastated with famine or choked by war. It is about your city, town and neighborhood. It is about the people that desperately look for help at churches and community centers; it is about children on the school lunch programs who lack adequate medical care.

You don't have to go far, so here are 88 simple ways to fight poverty.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I sketched this slippery guy a while ago, but never got around to getting him down... well, now he's here. This isn't a great picture of him, but I'll post some more when I scan him.

a giveaway worth clicking on!

The Indie Fixx Autumn Cornucopia Giveaway has two unbelievably generous and wonderful prizes, so you need to go there right away and comment that you read about it here. Just look at the fabulousness you could win:

* Prize #1 (valued at $389) *
1. Sublime Stitching embroidery patterns.
2. Print from The Happygirl Shop
3. Necklace from Starving Artist Bazaar
4. Soap from Feto Soap
5. Necklace from Karalee Designs
6. Bag from Becky OH!
7. Journal from Ex Libris Anymous
8. Goodies from Mau Studio
9. Wall Vinyls from studiojk
10. Shea Butter Sugar Scrub from Bidwell Botanicals
11. Print from Berkley Illustration (not pictured)
12. Goodies from Sprout Studio (not pictured)
13. Lace Knitting to Go (by Andrea Tung), Home Sewn (Kaari Meng) & “Little Notes” card set (by Susie Ghahremani) all from Chronicle Books

* Prize #2 (valued at $386) *
1. Print from The Happygirl Shop
2. Earrings from Kutuu
3. Soap from Boh Bon Soap Co.
4. Bag from Faite Designs
5. Journal from Ex Libris Anymous
6. Goodies from Mau Studio
7. Bag from IMOOI
8. Baby tee & cards from Goh Girl
9. Print from Berkley Illustration (not pictured)
10. Goodies from Sprout Studio (not pictured)
11. Shea Butter Sugar Scrub from Bidwell Botanicals
12. Scarflette from Marketta New York
13. Little Stitches for Little Ones (Amy Butler), Picture Perfect Knits (by Laura Birek), Sublime Stitching Craft Pad (by Jenny Hart) all from Chronicle Books

What are you waiting for?? Head on over and win right now!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Monday

So I got some stuff done yesterday, but not as much as I would've liked. I was hoping to finish painting my sideboard into the sun and even though I worked my butt off, it was not to be. I was painting the molding on the drawers and cabinet doors and the black enamel I've been using is simply not giving me the coverage I was hoping for. Eventually I gave up for the day and moved on to a painting I've got in the works. I got maybe one drawer finished, but everything else is only partially finished because of the number of coats I have to lay down. UGH.

Here is a little piece of mine that I have yet to post:

Shadow oil pastel, graphite, paper on canvas.

I have an obsession with beetles, and this is just one of a large series that I did on them. It's quite small-- I think 4x6 inches if I'm thinking correctly, but I really like the way it came out. The beetle is from an old National Geographic and I love him dearly.

Kafka's day yesterday (as there seem to be a large number of you interested in his daily goings on) consisted of eating sticks and dirt, and then throwing up a little, which of course didn't phase him at all. Ah, the joys of puppy hood. :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a word on sundays


I would leave you with more, but today I very much need to finish some projects and spend the day engrossed in the games with my husband. See you tomorrow. Love, me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekly Kafka

I figured at this point I better give you some Kafka candy and that it would be best if I tried to make it regular, so allow to to introduce to you the weekly Kafka. I also thought it would be a good time to test out Picnik. It is so much fun to play with it's ridiculous. If you haven't tried it yet, go there as soon as you have soaked in some Kafka attitude.

These were all taken this week.

So freaking cute when he wants to be.

Kafka has an excellent, if sometimes inappropriate, sense of humor.

And he can fly!

Friday, October 10, 2008

don't kill me.

I have been trying so hard to keep up with Blogtoberfest. Not only posting everyday, but visiting the blogs of the other people participating, because there are so many creative, wonderful people enjoying Big Cat's fest! So remember this, because last night when I fell asleep with my laptop open before I could put up a new post, it was not for lack of trying.

This morning, because I am tired, I will rely on older photos that I haven't posted here. I have so many other things I want to post, but need to get to work, so I will go out of my way to make it up to you later!

Horse. Watercolor, pencil, and cotton embroidery on canvas.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


1. I feel so much better today! In fact-- I actually was able to go to work. And I was super excited about it.

2. I got some work done on a piece that I have been avoiding because it wasn't going that well. Now, I rather like it. More on this in an upcoming post.

3. My friend Amy sent me this picture:
Right, Sarah and that jacket do not play nicely together. But tell me , is that girl in the circle Gov. Palin's daughter? Let's look at the close up:
Bigger picture here.
Nice middle finger, kiddo. This is totally something I would've gotten caught doing.

4. Out of curiosity, what do those of you outside the U.S. think of this whole election thing? And what about Palin, anyway? I'd just like to pick your brains because it's so hard to imagine what it would be like looking in on this, so don't worry that I'm going to argue with you or haunt your blogs or anything. I really am curious, so come on, gimme your thoughts!

4. I got the sweetest card today from a friend of my mother's who basically was like a mom to me. It was so beautiful and heartfelt that I cried. And I didn't do one of those lady-like cries either. I gave it the old ugly cry. Believe me, this letter deserved an ugly cry because it was Just That Good.

5. The mailman came:
hells yes, Lindsey.

My day? Made.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I put him into the shop!


I really like the way he leans. His shape is good. The original was a present for a friend who then told me she would be honored if I made prints out of it. Amanda studied otter poop and played rugby. She would still study otter poop if there were any near her, and she sure as hell would play rugby if she had any health insurance.