Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Valentine's Day, really?

In some circles Valentine's Day gets a bad rap. It's a holiday made up by the greeting card companies, yada yada yada. Well, I still like it. Lots of holidays have lost their original meaning - but for me, most holidays are a reason to spend more time with the people you love. Tom and I have a tradition - we stay home, rent a movie, and get Chinese take out...going on thirteen years.

I know it might be a little early to be talking about *heart* day, but when you make jewelry for a living you have to start thinking about it a little earlier than most folks. So yesterday I was fooling around with a bunch of components from my Build Your Own bracelet and necklace series...I decided to put together a couple of lovey dovey pieces. You can make your very own or buy this very necklace and bracelet!

So, the bottom line is, hopefully you don't need an excuse to say "I love you" to your sweetie, but if you do then take advantage of Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

big blow out sale

This is no joke - I am having a move 'em on out, big-time, after Christmas, time for new stuff sale! I spent the day going through inventory and seeing what I still have after the holidays and I just want to freshen up my inventory. So, what this means is that I am posting 46! new items to my close out page! 46! Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings - in fact, every ring I had left after Christmas!
Not a thing wrong with this little gem - she just deserves a permanent home! Radishes? Beets? It's up to you? I love 'em both quite honestly.
Okay, so you might think the pearls are cheesy or you may love them - but I can't help but put the bottlecap (that was rescued just before it was doomed for eternity to the trash) with the pearl - classy meets trashy. sorry, I can't help it!

I'm anxious to get back in the studio and start working on some new ideas I've had. This time of the year is so exciting for me - don't get me wrong, the holidays are great, really great, but they are about making a whole lot of orders. Now, this time of year is when I get to be creative and make the ideas floating in my head a reality. Technically I am not back in the studio until the 4th...but the wheels are already turning...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays

I know I am a little late with the holiday wishes. The holidays have been a little hectic around here. Saturday evening my mom and I watched The Family Stone and I just kept thinking how I would love a Christmas like that, just at home with out all of the running around, last minute all day shopping. I VOW to get all of that done early next year. In fact, I am so committed to having a more relaxed holiday next year that I have already set all of my deadlines for Metalsgirl for next year!

With all of that said, we did have a wonderful Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my best friends parents house, it's tradition. Every year. Then we all head home to open our one Christmas Eve gift - pajamas. Every year. Then Tom and I go home, light a fire and open our get to unload our stockings. Tom and I decided a long time ago that we would only do stockings, everything has to fit in a stocking. It's pretty fun and we have to get creative. This year I got a fabulous Jaime Jo Fisher ring that is unbelievably fantastic!!! Then Christmas morning we get the call from my parents that my little brother is up (even though he is 18 years old now he is still the youngest and gets to announce the beginning of the gift opening frenzy) and it's time to get out of bed and get over there. Then it's more stockings, mad gift opening, mom and I make breakfast tacos while the boys play with their new "toys", then naps, and then the neighbors come over for game night. Every year. These traditions mean the world to me.
How great is this ornament?!?! This was Preachers first Christmas with us back in 1999. Look, his nose still had some puppy pink on it! :) And Seven looks precious and so little, even though she was a couple of years old. I was not supposed to be in this photo but Preacher wasn't that into Santa.
And for everyone who has e-mailed to check in on Preacher I just wanted to let you know that he is doing so well. He had his last round of chemo a couple of weeks ago and we are all enjoying the time off. We have an appointment with the oncologist in a week to get a check up and see where to go from here. But again, for now we are just enjoying the no vet visits, healthy, hungry, happy Preacher. Having him here with us is the very best Christmas gift ever.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

let it snow...pretty please.

Don't you remember how much you wished for it to snow as a kid? I grew up in Lubbock, TX and we got pretty decent snows every winter. Not sure how old Kim and I are in this picture (eight-ish?) or if we were auditioning for a Saturday Night Live cone head skit, but I do know we had so, so much fun on snow days. No school, walking the 10 blocks to each others houses, never realizing how freezing it was because we were having too much fun. I never grew out of that. I know a lot of adults who think I am crazy for always wishing for cold weather, ice, and snow - but I just never grew out of that kid like anticipation of "bad" weather. I love the idea of hunkering down inside and making soup, building a fire, and the occasional trips outside to see how much snow has accumulated.

Back to the photo: Don't you love the rudimentary snow man? Kid snowmen are the best! I don't know if you can tell but the mouth is made from a dog biscuit and the nose from half a dog biscuit. Ingenious! Poor Permella was probably not thrilled seeing that those treats were headed somewhere other than her belly. Not to mention it looks like I am choking her to get her to stand with us for the photo op. Permella was my childhood dog. My mom and dad got her when my mom was pregnant with me. Side note about that: my dad wanted to name ME Permella but thank God they got the dog before I came along!

Anyway, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

marathon baking

Yesterday was baking day. It's tradition. It started years ago with my mom and my best friends mom. The two of them would spend an entire day baking up a storm for the holiday while the three of us kids would play all day. It was heaven. Now that we are all grown up we get to join in. And this year was a doozie! I think we out-did ourselves. Here are some photos of some, not all, of what we made. Starting with home made peppermint marshmallows.
Here's the marshmallows in the pan. They wait for 10 hours before you can cut them, but since we baked for almost 12 hours! that was no problem! Typically I just make plain vanilla marshmallows - but int he spirit of Christmas we did vanilla and peppermint with this red swirl on the top.
Here they are all finished, covered in powdered sugar to keep them from sticking. I had one in my coffee this morning. Soooo yummy. You really can't believe the difference in the home made vs. the store bought. These are so soft and melt to perfection. And don't think I haven't tried roasting them - oh dear. And then there were the...
... Puff pastry cheese straws with pepper jack cheese and...
...More marshmallows paired with chocolate sandwich cookies filled with strawberry cream, mint cream, and espresso cream and...
... Asiago cheese stars and...
...Melt in your mouth thumb print cookies with cream cheese filling and...
... Macaroon stars dipped in bittersweet chocolate and...
...Cheese straws and...
...peppermint taffy. I'm gonna be honest. This was supposed to be divinity. My great grandmother made the best divinity but apparently it's pretty tricky. We even called for divinity advice from the expert (Tom's boss) and he said no humidity - but jeez, it's always humid here. Anyway, it tasted great and we didn't want to waste it, so it made really perfect taffy! Great save I think.
It was a lovely day. Christmas traditions mean so much to me and when you combine them with people that you love you can't go wrong. We laughed so much that my cheeks hurt almost as much as my feet after standing all day! But what we got out of the day was so much more than cookies and candy - we made more memories to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

round 17

Well, Preacher had his 17th round of chemo today. And it was his final chemo - at least for awhile. We still have to decide about maintenance chemo and I suppose there could be further treatments down the road, but for now we are done! Whew. I can't quite believe it's been six + months. We have been through so much and I think we have handled it pretty darn well.

I might sound like a broken record but I can't possibly say it enough - Thank You. Thank you for your comments, your grab bag purchases, your e-mails and phone calls, your advice, your shoulders to cry on, your trips with me to the oncologist - so many of you have done so much and everything, everything from the comment on this blog to the hand holding in the vet's office, it has all helped and made a difficult time so much easier. Thank you.

Don't think for a second that this means I'm gonna stop the Preacher updates! He has quite the fan club now (I think it's going to his head!) and I will keep you all in the loop with info and photos. I wish there was some way for all of you to be able to meet him - I feel sure you would fall in love. Everyone who meets him does. My friends like to whisper, in case the other dogs are listening, "you know, Preacher is my favorite." I know. He has that effect on people.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good News!

Got the call from the vet just now - it's all good. Looks like it was benign and they got all of the tumor out. Now that we have the good news I will fill you in on some of what I purposely left out before - the tumor was on his penis. Lovely, right. Poor guy. Anyway, worse case scenario was he would get "it" taken off and he would get girl parts. So, needless to say we are relieved on many levels. Thank you for all of your good thoughts and well wishes. You're the best!
And another bit of good news: Preacher has his last official round of chemo tomorrow. We're pretty clueless on what to expect from here (even though I have read everything I can get my hands on) but we'll meet with his oncologist and find out where we go from here. I can hardly believe it's been six months since his diagnosis. It's pretty amazing. To say we feel blessed for this time we have had is an insane understatement.
So, go kiss your puppies or kitties and enjoy every minute you have with them. They give us so much more than they ever ask in return. I know there's a lesson to be learned in there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

wearing out my well wishes welcome

I hate to say it, but I have to hit you up for more good thoughts and well wishes please. Our little piggy, Pasqual, is having surgery today to remove a tumor. It's the type of tumor that is usually benign but can become malignant. So we have all of our fingers and toes crossed that it is going to turn out to be benign.

Pasqual started out as a foster at our house (as so many of them did). He was the first Pit Bull to be fostered by anyone in Blue Dog. And even though it was a bunch of dog people there were still some skeptics on the whole Pit Bull thing. But Pasqually quickly won them all over with his sweet nature, incessant kisses, and constant smile. Now several of our fosters have adopted Pit Bulls of their own and our group has rescued and adopted out countless pits over the years.

At a little over 10 years old Pasqual is a poster child and ambassador for his breed. And we are very lucky to have him in our lives. So, fingers crossed this is just a little snip snip and we're all done!

Monday, December 7, 2009

GREAT gift for a GREAT cause

Gift idea #2: Some of the best gifts are gifts that give back. That is absolutely the case with this calender. Everyone needs a calender - I don't care if you keep all of your info in your phone, you still need to look up at a calender from time to time. This one features Texas Musicians and their dogs and 100% of the proceeds go straight to the dogs. Blue Dog Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit with no paid employees, we are 100% run by volunteers who donate their time, energy, and love because they don't think dogs should be killed just because there is no space for them. This calender is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and helps us keep our heads above water through out the year.

Another cool option is to "Sponsor a Blue Dog". Blue Dog will send a holiday card to anyone you like and let them know that a donation has been made in their name for the holidays. It's a fun way to help an individual dog that has caught your eye and tugged at your heart.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Last year I tried to share a few items that I thought you might like for holiday giving. I want to start with my friend Sandy at PAPERooT. I met Sandy at an art show that we did a few years ago. We were booth neighbors and we really hit it off. Most important - she's wonderful. Second, her art work is amazing!! I have bought several of her notebooks over the years as gifts and for myself. Not only are they useful but the are so cool! Her prices are insanely good - so if you are looking for a gift for coworkers - fantastic! Stocking stuffers - perfect!
...or consider tying them on the top of Christmas packages - I pride myself on my creative and fun Christmas wrapping. This year I am trying to make the wrapping itself part of the gift. So I really think these colorful notebooks would be much cuter and obviously more useful than your typical bow - don't ya think??!?! Check out Sandy's website. She rocks.

Austin Flea today

It's on and we're already having so much fun! Doing an art show in an old haunted bar is the way to go. Surrounded by friends and other awesome artists - can't beat it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just as prissy as she looks.

If you've been reading my blog for very long you might remember the post where I introduced Jessica Beatrice. We had just decided to keep her and I posted her story along with a dreadful picture of her. I felt the need to redeem myself for that terrible photo - so when Tom got this full on model shot of her I had to share!

I swear she looks like a little show dog - but of course she's a rescue. She came from our local kill shelter where she ended up after having been hit by a car. She weighs about five pounds soaking wet so I can't really fathom how she could have been hit by a car and survive, but she did. She was beyond pitiful and so socially inept that we couldn't really imagine anyone wanting her for her personality - and we were not going to let her become some little trophy/status/purse dog! So she stayed. Gosh, I kinda sounded like a snob there. Sorry. Anyway, Tom fell for her pitiful act and she had him wrapped around her paw in no time flat. Now she prisses around the house like Linda Evangalista flaunting her good looks. It's completely lost on the other dogs but that doesn't stop her. It's embarrassing how much she preens for Tom - but seriously, she's ridiculously cute and she knows it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

round 16

Our boy is doing great. After all of the drama and scares of last week we are all finally resting easy. We got through the Thanksgiving week end fairly well. It was up and down but he did seem to be making progress each day. Then Monday and Tuesday were both great days. He went in for his regularly scheduled chemo today and not only did that go well but the oncologist felt like what ever mystery injury/disc disease had happened has resolved itself. ahhhhhhh, is my big sigh of relief.

In two weeks he has his last round of regular chemo before we meet with the oncologist to decide where to go from here. Do we stop chemo all together or go to a maintenance schedule? Whatever we do it will be what we feel is the best action for Preacher.

For now I am going to go sit by the fire and watch him sleep. It's amazing how much peace that brings me.