Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creative Kitty Cat Scratching Pod

This item is so popular, it sold out! More Kitty Scratching Pods will be available on April 15th. Order now and be the first in line!!! There are three unique designs I stamp. Pick one, add it to cart and your feline (and sofa) will thank you!

This scratching board for the domestic jungle dweller is just what you and the little fluffy have been looking for! Handcrafted from domestic hardwood, this one of a kind scratcher is ready for action. Be it the natural process to sharpen the claws or the lounge-like state of kicking back on the corrugated groovieness. This new and improved model is the result of rigorous 'field testing'. The first version was just a bit too short and low in height. After careful examination, the length was increased so even the biggest of vicious kitties can straddle this board with ease. The addition of "tugger tread" feet not only elevated the height ever so slightly to a zen-link appearance, but also gives it stability on a carpeted surface.

The 100% domestic virgin corrugated cardboard is densely packed into the frame resulting in a favorable surface for both natural-nailed kitties and de-clawed beasts alike. This is the good stuff- not some cheapo import that shreds like tissue. The cardboard will gently wear with age, like a favorite pair of blue jeans. If your little wonder tears through it, simply unpack it, flip it over and you're good to go again! Don't be surprised to find this a favorite resting spot to meditate in an afternoon sunbeam. What better way to say "I love you" than to share original art with your kitty? It comes to you from a non-smoking home with a small bag of organic, free-range catnip to get you going.

A great gift for your feline, a hostess gift or housewarming gift for the kitty-inclined! Catnip will be tied to your Creative Kitty Scratching Pod with rafia.

Pod measures 7" wide x 17" (17.78 cm x 43.18 cm)

$30.00 from my etsy shop

Friday, March 27, 2009

When Our Pets Die.....

When our pets die, we've lost an important part of our family. A part that may have understood us better than humans. To remember these creatures who have provided such unconditional love, becomes a vital part of the healing process. The closure that will allow us to put our hearts out there once again to love an animal, knowing full well, we may too outlast them as well.

When these passings occur, I have often been commissioned to create special boxes to hold the ashes or toys.
This box for Duke is one of those boxes. He was a beautiful Golden Retriever who lost a leg to cancer and was put down for further complications last fall. It will be mailed to his owners in Wisconsin and become a keepsake memorial for them.
It will hold his collar and favorite tennis ball.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Etsy Workshop Tonight!!!

A hint of what's to come.........
Featured here is a Day of the Dead Box I'll list tonight during an etsy workshop Jon and I are giving. Tonights workshop will be held at the Stutz Art Association in Indianapolis. We began doing these etsy workshops in our hometown of Bloomington IN. The first one was held at the John Waldron Art Center in January. The Waldron loved our idea of presenting this information. Our first workshop was a 90 minute presentation to 75 people as part of their "Artists After Hours" workshops. It was a hit! During this presentation we showed the finer points of getting established on etsy as a seller as well as the listing procedure by listing one of my boxes 'live'. We helped artists navigate the site and showed them some of the intricacies of presenting their work in this medium. We ended with a question and answer period and a critique of current sellers' shops. This hands-on help seems to prove beneficial to those coming to etsy for the first time as well as sellers currently familiar with the process.

We've since given two additional workshops. One was the night before the Garage Sale Art Fair in Kalamazoo, MI and the next one was in Fort Wayne, IN. Both were well-attended. Even though Jon and I are not affiliated with etsy, we both have a keen knowledge of what it takes to get your work on the site and get it seen. The tricks of the trade if you will. We touch on the importance of outside marketing by way of blogs or ads and utilizing etsy as a portal for on line commerce to a global market.
Jon and I are a good team! Jon builds and prepares the boxes and I design what goes on them. He photographs them and sizes the images and uploads them to my computer. I write the copy and list them. It's a stream-lined workflow that works for us. Each of us utilizing our strengths best.

By doing these workshops, I think I've lost some of my fear of public speaking. The mere thought of public speaking used to terrify me. Friends laugh when I remind them I'm shy. They say, "yeah, right". I am. This seems to have helped. Maybe it's because I feel so comfortable talking about this subject. Etsy is fun and easy to use. It's helped me connect with collectors of my work I would have never met otherwise.

This box is one of my more artsy Day of the Dead Boxes. If you return to my etsy site later tonight you will see it posted there. If you fall in lust with it and feel the need to buy it, hang tight! It will be up around 6-6:30 tonight!!
How's that for a tease?

See you later!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

★ Living Ones Dream ★

There's a certain stillness that settles within when you know, as a person, you are doing what you are destined to do.
What God, in his wisdom, helped you to find, hoped you would do.
I'm doing this.
I feel certain.
I was born to be an artist and I know, regardless of the difficulties life hands me, I am doing what I was meant to do.
There is peace in this knowing.
I've done other things in my life, some rather well, none however, with this degree of passion or zeal.
In this knowing lies the realization I no longer have to keep searching.
I need only to keep exploring.
There is a huge difference between the two.

Tonight I'm sharing with you another recent commission obtained through etsy.com.
This on-line global marketplace has introduced me to an entirely new set of collectors
who enjoy my TattooDreams work.
This celebration of handmade stirs in me the joy I get from using the talents I have
and creating for wonderful people, heartfelt handmade work.
It's made with joy, given with joy and expressed here, with joy!



Friday, March 20, 2009

♥ This is Peace ♥

In what can only be deemed over-saturation, I've disconnected from a large part of the news media. I've whittled down my viewing choices of where and how I obtain current events and news. Too much negativity. To take control of this most invasive medium felt empowering. I've been known to be somewhat of a media junkie. I no longer align with that thinking.
Days can go by and I will not have watched the news. To some this may sound like I'm out of touch. The odd thing is, I feel more in touch by doing this. I'm in touch with the things that matter more in my life. The peripherals became a noise I no longer enjoyed. In doing this 'disconnect', I've 'reconnected'! To filter this out and take control when so many other aspects of life feel out of control, has become my own current event. I'd rather watch one of our four tigers bathe in a sunbeam than to see which failed financial institution is being bailed out.

One of my passions in recent years is the enjoyment of another type of cat......the panda. Pandas are called 'bear-cats'. Jon and I have twice gone to Zoo Atlanta to watch these enigmatic creatures. They captivate me like nothing else. They're the land equivalent of the aquatic dolphin with their healing presence. When I'm around them, I feel well and strong, my stress evaporates!

So on todays blog entry, I feature the lovely LunLun and her adorable youngest offspring, Xi Lan. They reside at Zoo Atlanta. Zoo Atlanta is a wonderful inner city zoo that is easily walked and never too crowded. We love the intimacy this lovely zoo affords the viewer. I feature them today for a reason. For many months, the live feed of
PandaCam was not active. With funding of such things cut, daily panda viewing was not available. Now, thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsor EarthCam and a private donation from Mara Strock, it's back!

This is the 'news' I want to see!

Wishing peace this clear cool first day of spring ~

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Permission to Commission!

This box was completed and mailed to it's new owner. It's going to live in Florida! A commission through etsy.com.
I love doing custom work, so if you have any ideas that need a box to wrap around them, let me know!
These boxes are handmade with a lot of love and help support 2 artists who make their living being artists!

Art feeds the soul!
It feeds yours when you buy something handmade
and it feeds mine as the one who has made the art.
Art is one of the last things made in America!
As a nation, we import just about everything.
That needs to change!
This is your oppurtunity to make a shift in your life.
If you seldom buy handmade things - begin.
If you already do - continue.
The economy needs to move back into gear and this paradigm shift begins slowly.
The important thing is that it begins.
A shift in focus, in priorites, in passion.

I believe that is what art is all about!
P a s s i o n .
It takes passion to create it.
Passion to buy it.
Passion to use it and appreciate it.
Without passion..........we are shells of human beings.

Without passion, we lose direction and miss the subtle taste of colors of a sunset.
The hidden notes of gardenia or jasmine in the wind.
The gentle touch of a ladybug landing on our arm.
The sound of spring rain splattering across the last crunchy leaves of winter.

We miss more.
We miss the deliciousness of life.

So with passion and zest..........buy something handmade!
This diligent effort keeps viable the life of artists and the culture of art
this country so daringly needs.
Art is the lifeblood of what is good and important.
It's not a spreadsheet or a bottom line.
It's THE lifeline that connects us to who we are.
~The rain that feeds our souls.
~The passion that lets us become our best selves.

Wishing peace this quiet afternoon.


Friday, March 13, 2009

"Artists On the Road Box"

I dedicate this 'Artists on the Road Box' to my fellow artists who criss-cross this grand country deriving a living from what we make. It takes so much more than our hands. It takes our minds, our intuition, our passion, our sense of self. This way of carving out an income has so much more to do than sell what we make.
It has to do with what we love to do, what we have the passion to do and what fuels us to do what we do. We don't sell 'stuff'. We sell pieces of our soul and along the way, I do believe, we inspire a gentler few we encounter to find their passion.

We are dreamers, makers, creators, designers and innovators. We are people living out loud spreading a 'can do' message that it's okay to be different. Artists usually are. We are the shy kids who sat in the back of class. The ones with the weird socks. The kids that ate glue, the kids that worried about how different they were. The kids that weren't the cheerleaders or the jock.
We were the kids who hung out in the art room after lunch because it felt safe and comfortable. We were the kids not picked first on the play ground.
The ones busy looking at cloud formations.

~I think that's who we were.

The kid who was mesmerized by the intricacy of the birds nest on the ground and worried about the birds whose home was empty. The kid who listened carefully to the music in their heads because it contained the melody of the painting that was being orchestrated in their mind. We were and still are the kids who feared and embraced change all in one fell swoop as scary and exciting all mixed into one.

~We were those kids.

So to my fellow artists, I share with you my 'Artists On the Road Box'.
This handmade cherry box measures 8" wide x 3 3/4" deep x 7" high. It has jadite painted feet and opens by way of a lift off lid with the words 'artist' on one side and 'vision' on the other. Stamped with memories of a bye-gone era but reminiscent of todays traveler. The freedom of the open road before you, the dashboard your desk. So many fun stamps on this box will take the viewer down memory lane and out onto Route 66 and beyond. The road awaits and the trip begins!

May your travels be safe, your baggage in life - light and your dreams continuing to come true!
This is who we are and what we do!


On etsy


Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Sea Shell Box

¸,•´¸.•¤´¨} ¸.•*¨)
(¸.*´ (¸.*`¤~ This Sea Shell Box was listed last Sunday. It was posted to my site last weekend while conducting an etsy Workshop in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's a new size! A bit shorter than the tapered box I originally introduced. Again, crafted by hand of warm cherry in our Bloomington studio, this box measures 6" wide and 6" deep and 7 3/4" high. It's poised atop sensuous misty green feet and trimmed with multicolor eyelash trim. The top opens by way of a wooden lift off lid and hand painted and airbrushed wooden knob. Inside, the bottom is lined with black velvet. Treasures from the sea, your last vacation by the lake or childhood talismans can be tucked away in this nautical box.
Inside the lid are more shells and the timely quote from Mother Teresa, "The ocean is made of drops."
Kinda of puts it all in perspective!

If one of my boxes needs to find a way into your home, please feel free to purchase one from my etsy site. I love helping people find the box that suits them.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
On etsy.com


Friday, March 6, 2009

The Adventures of Baxter.......

Baxter is our newest tiger. A beautiful loving feline who pounced into our hearts last fall. He lived for a short time in our studio until the window of time opened that we could integrate him with our three other tigers. He's made a fine transition to his new home and is the softest, funniest cat. It's so nice having a kitten in our midst. Their amazing sense of wonder and soft playful ways are like nothing else.
Peace itself, wrapped in fur.
A rambunctious play hard, sleep hard lifestyle is his agenda.

For the past day or so we've had high winds sweep across our property. Gusts exceeding 35 mph for certain. Our wind bells and chimes have been eliciting the sounds of spring as robins and cardinals find their way about. We love wind and this time of year we know it brings with it the change we've been anticipating!

Last night all four kitties were taking wind baths on the upper deck, doors open to their magical, safe, star-lit playground. Jon realized one was missing..........OMG........a missing child........I should have been more diligent!
Who was it, where were they and how long had they been gone? All these thoughts and more raced through my head.
It was Baxter!
He either was swept off his paws by the gusts of wind or decided to leap from the deck. We think the later. Either way, he happily greeted us by the back door, came in and rolled around on the floor. He wasn't out long! We think his curiostiy overtook his good sense and he leaped over the edge to explore further what was in the yard below. We've asked him to promise not to pull this again.
Cats have 9 lives.
48 year olds don't!

So as I craft my blog entry, this diminutive package of fur covered love sleeps sprawled out on the couch of the same color. The last beams of sunlight warming his face.
He's pure peace and we all found one another at a very good time. His pulsing paws are hopefully not planning his next escape!

Above is a photo of Baxter near the hand painted hanging bead curtain in our kitchen.

Sending love and furry hugs to all my blog readers this windy March day........Spring is around the corner!


Monday, March 2, 2009

✮ Reds, Yellows, Blues at the Orchard Gallery ✮

The Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN is revealing fresh new work yet again! With the anticipation of spring around the corner, the gallery will take on a festive look with a predominance of red, yellow and blue as this exhibit unfolds.
See it, fall in love with something wonderful and make it yours! Winter is over and it's time to release your inner spending child and do your part to jump start the economy!
Take it out of the red, enjoy the yellow sun chase away the blues!

Above is my Ragtime Circus Box which will be available during this exhibit running March 4-31.
The opening reception is March 7 from Noon-5.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
6312 Covington Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana

www.TheOrchard Gallery.com