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.