Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crazy Cat Lady

There's a rumor going around about us.

That we have a new kitten, that I'm gonna be a crazy cat lady. Are you nuts? Who needs five cats? That would make 20 furry feets padding my floor.... plus a dog and hens!

Kittens are destruction machines, they are needy and bothersome and oh so cute and sweet and tiny and lovable, with soft weedle tummies and cutesy wootsy widdle paws, with hidden razors that climb your clothing to hide in your closet, that pounce on your face in the middle of the night......

Darn! It's true! It's all true! Ok ok, I admit it!

Our rescue kitten is the fifth cat in our family. We named her Poppy. That makes two old cats and two one year old cats and one kitten. She's a wild monkey, with a ton of personality and rather smart. We think she could be 1/2 Maine Coon. Anyone care to enlighten us? It's hard to get a good photo because she's so ACTIVE! Giant ears, LONG leggs, stripes.

Sigh. We wuv her.

She wuvs us, totally. She doesn't love the other cats or the dog yet, but I think she'll fit in just fine. One of our young cats is very playful and wants to wrestle all the time, which the fat, furry cat doesn't care for, so I think Poppy will be his new best friend. Once she stops spitting at him, that is. He has been following her around and thinks she's quite nifty, so friendship will happen.

Sigh. Kittens. Damn their cuteness!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Front page ETSY

My Fairy Bunny hit front page on etsy earlier this week. 600 people clicked on her but nobody bought her? How funny is that?

VOTE for my Gnome Ornaments here: http://www.voteetsy.com/results/2009/7/24

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let them eat CAKE

Yey! I'm happy to announce the release of happy cupcake charms! Cherry on Top and Crown topped.

Let us also celebrate that the photos are now watermarked. The European beads market happens to be a little competitive. Knock off companies will not only take my designs and copy them directly, they will also snag my photos for use in sales. Talk about lack of creativity. As serious as that sounds, I don't worry about it, or spend time looking to see who's got what. I'm full of new design ideas, and always moving forward. Creative, positive minded people rock, right? LOL!

I'm posting them in the store now. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Wish me luck, I entered my gnomes and vampire bunny plushies in a gallery show in NY. Crossing fingers they will be invited for this international holiday event. Eeep!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good Things

Five Good Things on a Sunday:

#1- New sheets. Cotton bubble sheets, so soft and cool in the summer. I always have one hand-embroidered pillow case on top (estate sale finds) and in an attempt to dissuade the kitties, I make the pillow pile as vertical as possible each morning when I make the bed.

Hey, now before you get the wrong idea, this is the ONLY tidy spot in my house. Really. I make the bed each morning, including a kitty blanket for the bottom 1/2, because it saves us from all the kitty fur! Wish it were this pretty all over the house, but we are busy in the garden, busy in the studio, walking the dog, swimming, going to summer festivals, thinking important thoughts and using the tire swing. You simply can't have it all. Or can you?

Only thing our bed is missing now is some bright aqua pillow cases for the back pillow set!

Ok ok ok, #1, part TWO: New cotton bed spread to go with it. Paisley on top and stripes on the back side.... or is it reversible?

We only have a down comforter and each summer, we wonder what we slept under LAST summer..........? Finally a light weight cotton quilt.

(bedroom Buddha - one of many)

#2 Two bags were sold from my summer Bliss Bags collection in my AlyTheRed store. Yey! They are cute, they are useful, they are made by me, please take them to your homes.

#3 Max and I attended our first neighborhood Chicken Walk-bawk bawk. With so many neighbors interested in urban hen keeping (either already set up or wishing to) we decided to hold a Chicken walk, visiting eachother's hen homes, sharing chicken tales, and snacking along the way. It was great fun. I just love my groovy neighborhood.

#4 I de-shelved a huge stack of fat quarters fabrics and paid the kids $2 each (each child, not $2 for each fabric) to de-sticker, shake out the cardboards, and fluff the fabric to prepare for washing. Now the fabrics are washed/dried and laid out on my chair for folding. How inviting!

#5? Max and I are going to see "H.P. and the H-B.P." tonight. Yey!!!! We are such netflicks hounds, it's a "treat" to go to the movie theater. Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oregon Country Faire 2009

Welcome to the Oregon Country Fair's 40th birthday! I've been going to this art/craft/food/music/performance/PEOPLE festival on and off since I was seven. It's changed, it's grown, and it's still a place to dress up and play for a day, or all weekend.

We usually work and camp at the faire, which is so special and fun and magical at night! But this summer, we just came for the day, and kept it simple. We arrived as the gates opened and headed straight for the first performance of the day (one performance at one stage of many at the faire mind you) Nanda! I was about to link their website, but their videos do NOT give you a good sense of what they do. I laughed all the way through the show. They are (grown up) fair kids, who put together this amazing comedy, martial arts, acrobatics show. They perform full speed and slooooow mo with a live DJ full of sound effects and great music. LOVE them.

Finn, Max, and Quill enjoying Nanda. What do you think of the kids' hair? It's easy to have fun with color when you are naturally blonde.

My very very fav performing group: UMO! They do a different show each year. This one was about aliens who come to colonize earth, then take in the state of things. They mate with some earthlings at the fair (rather interactive show, I'll tell you....seen here are the "birthing team performing" while the aliens "podulate" in the background....) then leave the little offspring to oversee the clean up of the planet. It's sweet because the little ones are their own children wearing wings and looking so dear. I've been an UMO fan for 15 years or more! Now they have produced little ones old enough to walk on stilts and be in the show. The message of the piece was: the children are the ones who inherit this prescious planet, let's take better care.

Live performance is so important and powerful! Go see some live shows this summer.

A wild flock of roaming Sugar Beets on stilts. Don't make fun of the man in diapers, he's a BABY beet.

Quillan's face through a HUGE kaleidoscope made for many.

The big pink hippo!!! This is part of the Kinetic Sculpture race that we'll be attending this coming up Saturday (ooh! That's tomorrow!)

Family totem pole.

Me. I'm wearing Quillan's little set of horns with polkadots.......

Decorations near the tiny puppet theater. Everything at the faire is decorated with such love, and all that goodness is stored.... somewhere for the next year, since the faire site is in the woods and even underwater some of the year.

I love the puppet shows. I'm amazed and often moved by the performances they show each year.

The mysterious White Woman who is a statue until you put money in her bucket, then she rocks out and comes to a winding down new resting pose.

Finn and Quillan enjoy a lunch along the path. Ahhhh, good food and crazy costumed people watching-- that's half the fun at the faire!

Q listening carefully to the hum of the faire via this massive tube!

Max and I enjoyed a quiet dinner under the trees while the kids played a large game of chess against another team. They looked so happy, and decisive during the game. I found out later that they guy standing there was telling them what to do. I was so cross!! My children can conduct their own chess games- withOUT bossy grown ups. They were playing before he walked up. I didn't know he took over, or I would have said something. I guess I'm still cranky about it.

Quillan meets the dragon bench. Everything at the fair is beautifully made.

The end of the day found us in the long bus line back to town....... too long for the kids who somehow still had tons of energy. Maybe because the weather wasn't too hot that day. To keep them occupied, we gave them many many missions, "How many points are on that sculpture?"
"Which is your favorite painted bike in that group? Go look and craft a report upon your return!" They loved it.

Ah, another faire. One day wasn't enough. We'll be back to camp next year and be a bigger part of making the magic happen. But after the storm on Sunday, we were all glad we were NOT camping out this year!!!

Garden Goodness

How does your garden grow? How about a view of the flower "room" of our garden, where we enjoy outdoor dinners..... the clematis trellis has encouraged abundant growth! This is a view from the side. It seems like hundreds of huge purple flowers! Love love love them this year.

The butterfly garden is getting larger and fuller now. I'm very proud of all the flowers that grew from seed that are now blooming. Mostly, I find it hard to grow flowers from seed. Many don't make it. I HAD planted alpine strawberries from seed all along the edge of this garden, as a ground cover, and not one grew into a plant.

Of course not all the plants/flowers here were grown from seed! Three curly willows and a butterfly bush were cuttings from my mom's garden, for example. Everything in this bed is aimed for attracting butterflies and honey bees.

The crazy tomato plant that's taller than me already! It's going to be a good year for tomatoes.

View from the back of the garden. The red thermal plastic allows water in, while keeping plants warmer: cantaloupe and peppers.

Toli and Saffron are keeping a close watch on the spiders of the garden.....

This Thai eggplant is sporting a cute hat!

Three foot tall bean vine with purple blossoms. Grow little bean plants, grow! The spring peas are almost done, we are ready for beans! Gardening is just damn exciting. One of the ways being a "grown up" is fun. The kids don't particularly like cooked veges, but love making up their own salad before dinner, with a wander through the garden. Part of their salad is always a fennel burrito (fennel wrapped in some greens). Whew that's a powerful flavor, but the kids love it so much, each has their OWN fennel plant each summer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

MYM July

Thanks Tonia, the Meet Your Maker show was fun. We vended outside and inside this time, and I thought it ended up lucky to be INSIDE in airconditioning on such a hot day. We Oregonians aren't used to 90's temps, esp all at once!

My table was right next to Melissa from Butterfly Effect-- her leaf pouches created quite a buzz. Folks are gearing up for the Oregon Country Fair and Faeryworlds festivals!

My new Zodiac bags were a hit, as well as the water bottle carriers with recycled belt straps.

There were new vendors, that I hadn't met yet, and several people who had never sold their things before ever! We chatted them up encouragingly.

OH! And while I was outside, visiting all the booths, I spotted a San Fran friend who was just happening by on a bike tour of the West coast. It was delightful!

I have been happily engaged in my re-newed yoga practice for the past month.... just getting into the groove when I strained my lower back, somewhere between Cobra and Downward Dog. It's hurt - seriously - for a whole week now. Such a bummer.

And my house has been a mess --from the waist down. UGH! The kids have been so sweet and helpful (mostly) but it makes me realize how much I do, and I don't have time for injuries. I'm working on increasing my fitness level, not putting in couch time!

Thanks for listening.......

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Adventures in Parenthood- the artist as mommy

Q didn't want to go to school that morning. He was moving slowly
and grumblingly avoiding the usual dressing process. Time passed with each of us scurrying around- the usual morning tango. He called for me in the bathroom and Max answered.
"I just want Mommy", he stated from behind the door.

I went in to find him still lacking clothing, but now wearing an entire tube of sparkly blue mint toothpaste.

Continuing the surveillance, I took in a wad of toothpaste-covered toilet paper at his feet. Might have been an entire roll......the scent of a toothpaste factory.

I look him up and down silently. Finally "Looks like you'd like to shower before school then?"

Grateful at my simple response, he nods sincerely up and down.

As I turn the shower on, he added quietly, "I just wanted to be blue today".

Of course safely out of the bathroom, I laughed my face off telling Max about it. Sooo funny! I would have taken a photo, but didn't want to make a big deal or reward him for making a big mess. LOL!!!

Yea, it wasn't a great idea of his, and I could have been annoyed, but life is so much more than "right and wrong". I want to know what is behind that action. I ask my kids the honest question, "What were you thinking?" and I don't mean asking sarcastically. Behind their "wrong" behavior is often something so understandable. That day he didn't want to go to school, and he would rather spend his morning painting himself blue. He's six. I respect that urge.

At dinner the next night, I was telling the kids what we'd do with their unexpected day off (the following day). I counted my fingers while casually ticking off jobs and events like:
-finish homework,
-walk the dog,
-paint Quillan REALLY REALLY REALLY blue with my new birthday finger paints,
-do my etsy shipping,
-grocery shop
-and we'll try to fit in something fun.....

They were all, "WHAT??? Go back! goback! What are we doing??!! Painting Quillan??"

Ha ha ha! And we did paint him. We painted him in blue and yellow then stood back to let him blend the colors to green. He was so happy. The kids had a great time in the tub afterwards, with the vivid green rinse water.

I respect the desire to be blue. There's a time and place, little guy, time and place.