Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vincent Donut

It's been a couple of months since I've introduced you to another one of my, uh, ahem, 12 dogs. So meet Vincent. aka Donut. aka Nutty. aka Nutter Butter. Vincent is my shadow. He goes to bed when I go to bed. He doesn't get up until I get up. He follows me from room to room. But it's not out of anxiousness - I think he sees himself as my protector, my guardian. It's very sweet. He's a big lug of a dog and I absolutely adore him.
Vincent and his four litter mates came to us when they were just two weeks old. Their mother had been hit by a car and a policeman found them all on the side of the road with the pups trying to nurse the dead momma dog. He took them to the local shelter who called me - well, Blue Dog. They said they had five two week old Golden Retriever mix puppies who would need to be bottle fed. Now let me back up a bit - this was back in 2001 when we had only been doing this rescue thing for a short time. And I had never bottle fed motherless puppies. I had noooooooo idea what I was in for. Anyway, I went down to the shelter to pick them up. I was transferring them from their crate to mine thinking, as I passed each "golden retriever" puppy from crate to crate "chow", "chow", "chow", "chow" and oh yes, "one more chow". These were not goldens or any mix of golden. They were chow mixes and a couple even looked pure. Now before I offend any chow chow owners or lovers, I have two chow mixes and I think they are fantastic, but chows are not the easiest dogs to adopt out, even harder to place than pit bulls some times. So I was worried about what I had bitten off. Well, it was one of the hardest and best experiences of my life. To hold that fragile little life in your hands and know that it is up to you to keep them alive, well, I guess it's sort of like having a child, at least it's the closest thing I have experienced. We were up every two hours to feed and yes, poop and pee them. No, they don't do that on their own as tiny babies. Who knew?!?!?!? I sure didn't!!! We took turns and we would do the zombie walk to their room saying "It's time to FEED the donuts" just like the old Dunkin' Donuts commercials. The name stuck and the whole litter became "the donuts". They grew up and were as cute as could be. Three were adopted out right away, at like six weeks old. But two stuck around. At about four months the big, black, almost pure bred looking chow boy found a home. But this precious blonde puppy, this chow, possibly Shar Pei mix cutie pie we called Vincent just had no interest. Maybe it was meant to be. When Vincent was about three weeks old I had gone in to feed them and he didn't wake up. he was limp and cold. I completely freaked out! I mixed up some water and corn syrup to keep him from going into shock and slept with him on my chest to keep him warm. It was a bonding moment for sure. So after almost a year of looking for a home for him we realized he had already found his home. He was ours and he was already home.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Have you visited 1000 Markets?

Well you totally should! It's a new online market place for handmade work. I've talked up handmade art for a long time - but now, in these economic times, it's even more important to support handmade. Not just for the artists, but for the consumer. When your personal and gift giving purchases budget is tightened wouldn't you rather spend your money on special things that stuff from the mall or the big box store? This is where 1000 Markets comes in. You can get it all here - jewelry, ceramics, yummy food, handmade soap, and so, so much more. Everything is separated out into Markets for easier, cohesive shopping. Here are just a few Markets to check out:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is in the air and, um, I think we skipped winter.

I know that I am probably in the minority. But I like winter. I also know that I probably live in the wrong place if I want to see more winter. But this year, seriously, it's like we skipped it all together. And I need a little bit of cold to help me get through the 100 degree days of summer.

Anyhoo, nothing I can do about it. So I might as well get on board with spring. So I'm thinking spring colors, gardening, Easter, new jewelry ideas, all things fresh and new.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If people weren't so stupid I could get off my soap box!

Okay, so probably not the best title for a blog post - especially when you actually want people to read your blog. But I can't help it. People make me so mad.

So meet Sugar Lou. She is our newest foster. Can you stand how cute she is? My little brother announced today that she "might be the cutest puppy I have ever seen". So here's her story and why I am in such a tizzy. A friend of a coworker of a friend of a neighbor - you know, one of those - contacts us about a mama dog and her litter of puppies. I won't even go into how the dog should have been spayed and this wouldn't have happened...okay, moving along. So we get an e-mail from this woman whose neighbors moved and LEFT their dog and all of her tiny puppies behind in their back yard. Just left them there. They had been there for a few days before anyone knew. Can you even imagine? To be quite honest it truly scares me that people like this exist out there. It's not like we don't have shelters. Our shelters even have night drop boxes where you can dump your dog in total anonymity. At least if they would have been euthanized at the shelter it would have been more humane than starvation. Arggg, okay I'm probably crossing the line for most readers. I just get so mad that there are people that have such little regard for life and for the suffering of any animal, human or other wise.

Okay, lets talk about the good things: this wonderful neighbor did find them. She took them in, got vet care for them all, and is keeping the mom! Now that's a terrific human being! She found homes for all but this little girl so we took her in to foster and find her the wonderful home she deserves. And you are getting a sneak preview. We haven't even posted her on the website yet. She's just under three months old and she is as sweet as she is cute. And get this - her mom is a pit bull mix and apparently the dad was a giant schnauzer!! Uhhhh, cute!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I love Austin, but...

...there is something about New York City. I absolutely love it here. I can't quite put my finger on one thing, maybe it's just a combination of things: amazing food, super friendly people, so much to do, the major contrast from life in Texas...and I suppose vacationing here vs. living here provides a different view. I can see how it would be challenging in the snow and in torrential rain...but to come here for a week with nothing more to do than explore the city - well, it just never gets old. I walk around the city seeing all different walks of life...every color, every age, every nationality, every style, you hear every language, every kind of music on street corners and in the train is just so different from home. What would it have been like to grow up here? I see the itty bitty kids on skate boards just cruising down the street ahead of their moms or the so young teenagers hopping on and off of the trains in groups and alone - would I have been a more confident, independent kid if I had grown up here? I just wonder all of these things as I wander around and see all of the people, wondering about their lives. Wondering if they would come to Texas and wonder about mine...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day - a day late.

Aside from Ireland I think new York City is just the best place to be for St. Patty's day. There were two MILLION people out at the parade. The thing that was crazy to me was that this was the LONGEST parade I have ever seen. We got there right at the beginning, watched for awhile, went to a couple of stores, walked a lot, ate lunch, and five HOURS later it was still going. Amazing! It was a super cool thing to see. Now I can say I have spent a St. Patricks Day in Ireland and one in NYC. coolio!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday!

It's the weekend! Whoo Hoo! And boy am I ready. I hope you all have a fun, happy, healthy weekend!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

St. Patty's Day destination!

If you live in Austin, Texas and you are thinking "Hmmmm, what should I do for St. Patrick's Day?" I have got your answer! The Ginger Man pub on 4th and Lavaca. Here's why:

This is my favorite bar my a mile.
They have over EIGHTY beers on tap. Hello!!! I said 80 beers on tap!
The staff is awesome!
The vibe is low key and unpretentious.
The empanadas rock. Try the Samosa.
and last, sadly...
This is the last week the bar will be open in this location.

It's a real bummer. Long story short - building condos has been all the rage in Austin the past couple of years. Even at the expense of some great old buildings and beloved Austin destinations. The Ginger Man building (an old cookie factory) was slated to become another casualty of "progress". So they sought out a new location - ends up it's just caddy corner from the current spot. Well into the project of preparing the new space the condo developers start to think better of tearing the old girl down in these economic times. Soooooo, the Ginger Man will still be moving, but we will be getting something new (a music venue I hear) in it's spot.

Now let me say, I can not stand change. BUT, I got the pleasure of a preview of the new space today and I've got to say - it's super cool! It's real cozy and reminds me of the pubs I visited in Ireland in the little villages.

But still, you should go check out the G-Man for St. Patty's day. Raise a glass to the great old building and another for all the good times to come.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

For the bride to be.

My friend Stephanie, of Cosmic Cowgirl, recently asked me to make a necklace for her soon-to-be-sister-in-law. Now my wedding day was one of THE best days EVER! I swear I would do it over and over and over again if I could. Everything, everything was perfect. And it was just so us. It was so casual and low key...several of my uncles wore Hawaiian shirts, I was bare foot, and my dad had a hot pink cast on his arm. It was priceless and I wouldn't change a single moment. So to say that date is special to me is an understatement. My hope would be that all brides feel that way for years and years after. So to give a bride a gift with her wedding day on it is so thoughtful. Because, if she is like me, every time she looks at it it will take her back to that memory of a truly beautiful, perfect day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Adventures in Enameling

A few months ago, on a whim, I bought a sample box of enamels. I had seen some other artist doing some cool stuff with torch firing enamels. Traditionally enamel work is fired in a kiln...but torch firing creates some super cool colors and textures. Enamel is basically powdered glass. So when you heat the metal with the enamel sifted on the top it fuses to the metal.
Today I played around with this really big, thick circle of copper I cut out. I was envisioning a really solid shade of aqua. But as I layered on the enamel the top layer cracked and started to spread apart. So I sifted some yellow enamel into the cracked areas and heated it up again until it all kinda fused together. I love the way it came out. Happy accidents are the best!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The emergence of Monkey

I swear I could write five blog posts everyday on just my hilarious dogs. Today it's Monkey's turn to be the star of my blog. So I go into the living room to sit down and he's all wadded up in this red blanket. Totally normal. He wraps and unwraps himself in this blanket a dozen times a day. But this time his little bitty chihuahua nose was poking out. It was just so cute!
So I grab my camera and start taking pictures of him. Of course before I can get the ISO how I want it he starts poking out a little farther.

Then I can see a nose and and eye! It was like he wanted to verify that it would be worth his time to come all the way out of the blanket.
In the end he decided, nope, not worth it at all. Just mom with her camera again. What's new?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Indie Fixx rocks!

Those folks over and Indie Fixx are so cool! If you've never shopped their Galleria you should check it out. It's a great way to find independent designers that are doing new and innovative things. I am super lucky to be featured in this particular Greener Day Galleria. And I am in really good company! And while your over at the Galleria you should check out the Indie Fixx Blog too. There is always great info, up-and-coming designers, and all sorts of hip stuff.

In other news, I have added bunches and bunches of goodies to the close out page of my web site. This is possibly the largest selection I have ever had available there. Check it out and let me know what you think. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yes, I know that is a dog on my dining room table.

So we all know that I am a dog person. But, contrary to what this photo might suggest, I am not "the crazy dog lady". You might think that someone with 12 dogs is, by definition "a crazy dog lady" but I beg to differ. Yes, one of my dogs sits on the dining room table. And it's an awful habit I have let him keep. But aside from that and the actual 12 dogs our house is very people friendly. And dog hair on your clothes just adds a layer of warmth!

Clarence, that adorable dog on the table, pushes the dining room chair until it's far enough out from under the table that he can jump up onto the table. he does this to look out into the front yard, or in this particular instance, to beg for Uppercrust cheese soup. And who can blame him? They have the best cheese soup in town!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jessica Beatrice

Two things I feel I must point out: I know this is a terrible picture. I just cannot seem to get a decent photo of her, no matter how many I take. And she's had about fifty names since we got her.

We rescued this little one from TLAC many months ago. She's cute, right? She should have been adopted lickety split! Oh no, not us. So she'd been hit by a car, she weighs four pounds soaking wet, and she was like a deer in the head lights. After several weeks of dragging herself around our house and making teeny strides in her social skills she finally starts warming up to Tom. He's a sucker. It didn't take long before she was velcro'd to him and he was saying he didn't think she would "adjust well to a new home". So, she's ours.

For some reason we couldn't name her. We always put tons of thought into naming our fosters and we just couldn't come up with one that fit. Top runners were Miss Amanda Jones and Little Miss S. For the purpose of vet records and such we settled on Little Miss S and then never called her that again. For months she was stuck with the super clever name - Itty Bitty. I was on a Picket Fences kick and had just watched the episode with Della Reece calling the little kid itty bitty little thang. It stuck for a loooong time. Then when we decided to keep her I just couldn't see that being her forever name. Well, loving Angela Lansbury like I do, Itty Bitty evolved into J Bitty aka JB Fletcher aka Jessica Beatrice Fletcher. Ta Da!!!

Tuesday workday!

I've gotta get on the ball! I have a HUGE order going out tomorrow and I am lagging behind. So today I am going to hunker down in the spot you see above and work til it's done!