Friday, February 29, 2008

My Dog Learns to Run Alongside my Bike

I play fetch every day with my golden retriever not only because he loves his tennis balls, but also because he adores running, as all big dogs do. I needed to start exercising, since I haven't really done much of anything since my major surgery, in order to make my body strong again and Sam always wants to go anywhere to try new things. A bike is low stress on the body, so I thought maybe he could learn to run alongside the bike. My dad graciously volunteered to join us, since it would take two of us to teach Sam. So we hopped into the truck and drove over to a nice bike pathway.

At first, my dad, Al had to run between me on the bike, and Sam attached to his leash, since he kept jumping in front of the bike, so excited! plus, he has a funny habit of grabbing the leash in his mouth so it looks like he is walking you.

After only a few practice runs, Al let go of the leash, and Sam was sailing along side of me, galloping like a miniature but chubby horse! He learned so fast and I was exremely proud.

It doesn't appear like he is running in these pics, but he was cantering with joy! Tomorrow we'll go again and practice.

It was great to be on a bike again (used to be one of my favorite things to do) and I forgot all about my troubles, to hear the wind rushing by my ears, feel it hitting my face as I dipped and curved in the bumps and crevices on the paved road. I seriously felt alive again.

Afterward, Al and I did something bad--we went to IHOP. Normally, all of us eat organic and very healthy homestyle Japanese food, but a decadent treat of pancakes and eggs and more seemed to be in order.

Monday, February 25, 2008

2 Posts tonite! Accepted by Trunkt (yay!)/ feature about jabon soap seller

I got accepted by trunkt for my artwork! Trunkt is a juried art/ handmade online site that is visited by wholesalers, and boutique and gallery owners. The competition is pretty fierce and it really helps small businesses get their start. So I am just thrilled.

I still haven't figured out the ins and outs to the site yet, or added all my info, but I can be found at

Here are the 3 paintings (prints) I submitted for my portfolio:

A Great Soap Seller on Etsy!

I did a trade a few days ago ( a pair of my sterling silver, Czech glass leaves, and freshwater pearl earrings)

For some soaps and lip balm from WOW! What a treat her packaging is!

A guest bar of lemon mint and lip balm came in this adorable embroidered kelly green strawbag. The three bars of soap, dulce de leche, tropical escape, and lavender oatmeal almond came with a nice wooden soap dish, all wrapped up in bright red jute. The package arrived by priority in just two days!
Jabon, in Spanish means "soap", but it is also the name of this seller's fictional chracter in a story she wrote, who survives the civil war in a Latin American country, buy selling her soap wares. Each of her products is made with peace and healing to pass along.
There is a sea of soap sellers on etsy and it's hard to pin down just one. So, if you are looking for a treat for your eyes, and cheery packaging, but also soaps that smell so really good, give her shop a go. I can't wait to try them!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Birthday Celebration

Not for me of course, since I am a May baby, but it was for my brother, mom, and sister-in-law, many Feb. birthdays. We have a huge family of 8 siblings, but only 3 of us could make it. It was Japanese food again, and yes, we do eat other cuisines, but my mom chose her favorite Japanese restaurant. Because she loves Sama-san, the sushi chef who buys the freshest fish and likes to experiment with fushion type food ( a mixing of east meets west kinda thing.This is Sama-san. Sushi chefs are thought of with very high distinction and must pass many rigorous tests, be extremely talented and innovative and possess years of training to make it.

Here are pics of some sashimi in the display case, all fresh that day. One is octopus, then salmon, and lastly, my favorite tuna (maguro).

And this is my family:

My old hippies (my mom justed turned 71).

One older brother (his birthday), his German wive and their two boys, and younger brother and his French wife (her birthday.)

It was a GREAT night, with too much sake, lots of laughing and eating, and a bill of ...over $700!

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Naughty Dog Puppet

Doesn't my dog, Sam, look positively guilty? He should...he was naughty yesterday. We had a visitor and Sam was a little too "friendly"with this man. This inspired me to make a naughty dog puppet! I even had to label it as "mature" in my listing. I won't devulge or show a picture of this puppet's naughtiness--you'll just have to look at picture #3 on my listing in my artshop. This is the link: rtisan2.

Here are two pics I will show of my new puppet set:

For my listing, I wrote

"He piddles, he poos.
and fetches balls, he even chews.
He will root thru' your garbage, and eat your shoes.
"Hump-hrey" also does what naught dogs do. Oh, Mrs. Cleaver disapproves!"

I was on the forums yesterday and received a ton of suggestions from other etsy sellers about my artshop and many new ideas for puppets. Etsy sellers are the VERY BEST and niciest people I have ever met. They are all so helpful and generous. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter rears up its watery head again

The rains returned again last night with a vengence, and early this morning, left a shroud of fog everywhere.

This is my first winter here in Santa Rosa and I am amazed at how green everything remains, yet it gets pretty cold and wet. The oak trees look startling and magnificent, leafless yet so powerful and large, it sets a moody canvas with the fog.

When the winter season began, there was a continous drone of acorns pinging on our roof, day and night. Now all the trees are bare, but the small fruit trees already have new buds emerging.

I'm up early every morning because my dog, Sam, likes to play fetch. He carries his treasured tennis balls everywhere we go.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Esty Newbie Round-up!

Well, I posted in the forums today, looking for some new etsy sellers to feature, and in all of 10 seconds, 11 people popped up. So I decided to feature everyone today! I'll post a link and my favorite item from each shop.

Imperialenamelart makes the most STUNNING hand-formed glass cloisonne and sterling silver pendants. She has quite a variety of colors and flowers, but this one is my favorite.

vickyvk makes an assortment of jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, and all look positively edible. I love the cherry colored jasper she used in this necklace to accent the lovely floral lampwork bead.

mysticsilks takes a piece of fine silk and paints a scene on it with fabric dyes. What an incredible talent! The colors are exquisite!

vicsoriginalart does animal portraits. I love the ACEO's , like this original mini painting of a cat's eye. It is visually superb, the mediums prisma colored pencil and ink.

Deliathedancer does a form of recycling with her jewelry. She takes found pieces, incorporates them into her designs, and comes up with new pieces. This is a delightful charm necklace.

barl9758 makes beautiful and whimsical coaster sets. Each coaster is a piece of tile, backed with cork so your furniture won't get scratched and then covered with decorative paper. A perfect housewarming gift!

thecrochetedbaby makes the most adorable infant socks out of warm cuddly cotton and wool blend. She offers many colors. Makes me want another baby just so I can buy some of these cuties.

mommyluv sews bibs, blanket warmers, and outfits for the little ones. This minty set is just too cute! It's a baby girl's outfit complete with matching pants, made with super comfy cotton.

weluvzombies makes some pretty crazy fun clothes, as you can tell by her name. How about a pirate mini, complete with skull and crossbones?

couturebrewtoo makes the most exquisite and fancy clothes for girls! This lacy confection is covered with embroidered and sequined butterflies. For a more demure look, your little girl can wear this dress without the chiffon overlay.

pouss makes jewelry with found objects, such as dice, buttons, or vintage pieces. This is a lovely heart made of crystals, gems, and buttons, which she wove together with wire. A real one of a kind piece of jewelry.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies

I illustrated bunnies today, one a print of two friends, and the other an articulated paper puppet with a basketful of colorful eggs. I think drawing and making puppets are currently my favorite type of art to do. It must go back to my childhood fascination with paper dolls and dollhouses, even though I was such a tomboy!

My puppets can be mounted as art in shadow boxes. I might start selling backgrounds to go with the shadow boxes and will perhaps, mount a few, myself.

The old hippies gave me a beautiful hyacinth plant today but I don't have a picture available. It's beautiful and a delicate purple.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Closing shop (my jewelry store that is)

Not my art shop!

My jewelry shop, which I have had for a little over a year on etsy, would do better on a site that caters to high end artisan jewelry, so I am thinking of moving it to But before I go, I thought I would have a blow out sale, with 25% off everything in the shop. I am announcing this sale only on my blog. If you are interested, please have a look-see at

Here are some pictures of various pieces. I use only sterling or fine silver on all my pieces--no plated stuff.