Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hurry up and slow down!

Tom took this picture of my precious aunt, Deanie and I at Cherrywood last weekend. I think that was the very beginning of the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I am not sure what it was about this year but it seemed much, much more stressful than years past. The scary thing about that is that I put all kinds of plans in place to make sure that this year would go more smoothly than the last. So what went wrong? Did I:
  1. not implement the plan well?
  2. forget how stressful last year actually was?
  3. or actually have a much, much busier year?
I guess I will know if it was #3 when tax time rolls around. But, uggg, I do not want to think about that now!

Here is what I do know - I have finally, finally been able to do a few of the things that I love about this time of year.
  • I've begun wrapping presents. I love the art of wrapping a beautiful package. I think the invention of the gift bag was a major bummer.
  • I went to dinner with the girls last night. We lingered over coffee and had that loooong talk that ranges for serious to laughter and can take the place of five visits to the therapist.
  • And as I type I am getting to watch The Family Stone again for the 8 or 9th time.
So, as hectic as the holidays can be, I hope that everyone can take some time to enjoy what it means to you - whether it is family, religious, business, what ever you love most about this time of year...take the time to sit back, take a breath, and soak it in.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I have a whole little pile of stuff to share. None of it really goes with this photo, but I can't really have a blog post without a photo now can I?? So I thought I'd go ahead and send out my blog's Holiday card and long with all of this holiday hoopla!

First of all, if you read this, live in Austin, and it's before 6pm on Sunday 12/12 do yourself a favor and get over to Cherrywood Art Fair! This might be the best year ever. Seriously. I have already purchased three or four gifts - four if I can manage to part with any of the cutest upcycled sweater flowers from Sarah Bird! Here are a few stand outs:

It really is just a super fun time. Today Tom walks up to me carrying homemade ice cream sandwiches! Mine was oatmeal cookies with marscapone and fig ice cream! What?!? oh lordy it was good! So, come see me...OH, I almost forgot the two most exciting things that happened to me today:
  1. a girl I had never met came up and said "I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog!" That was seriously so exciting!! So, if you read this and you know who you are - Thank you! That was a very cool moment for me.
  2. While looking through my bottlecaps a young, 20something girl squealed with delight when she found a Raymond Burr bottlecap! How cool is it that someone so young even knows who he is much less squealed about him AND purchased him!! Fantastic!
My next little bit of info is to warn you that baking day is this week. Any of you remember the post from last baking day? Uh, we baked for like 73 hours straight. Not really, but it felt like it. Anyway, prepare yourself for the onslaught of hunger-inducing photos!! And apparently my little brother wants to chin the tradition this year - here and I thought it was no-boys-allowed!

And last, I am in dire need of men gift suggestions. I have several boys/men to buy for. Help! If you have any ideas or suggestions I am all ears.

Off to bed. Sleep well my dears.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the Christmas card

If I could I'd send you all a Christmas card. I love Christmas cards! I love getting them and sending them. I love picking out the picture for this years card, deciding on the design, I even like addressing them.

So, Preacher won the coin toss this year and ended up front and center. And he looks darn cute if I do say so myself.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It was a good day.

There is the family that we are born with and there is the family that we make. If we are lucky we end up with some conglomeration of the two. I am that lucky.

I spent the day with an amazing group of fellow artists and crafters that I admire and look up to. Over the years of doing shows together I consider them friends and, in an odd way, coworkers. We only see each other at these shows but we flock together eeking out every tiny moment of down time to talk shop, life, and what-not. I cannot begin to explain how much I cherish these days. I love the shows, the customers, and the shopping, but I actually think I love the camaraderie even more. It is rejuvenating for me.

My parents and little brother showed up to help me pack-up. My best friend and her mom were part of the art show with their insanely awesome vintage pots planted with precious little succulents. So the whole lot of us, including husbands and kids, piled into our cars and headed for dinner. It was one of those dinners from a movie. The kind you watch and want to be a part of...shouting from one end of the table to the other, loud laughter, divulged secrets making the parents roll their eyes, teasing and pestering...just that easy, comfortable evening that you have with family. And something about those shared evenings around the holidays that just make you feel so grateful for what you have.

It was a long day and I am pooped. But it is a very happy tired. G'nite.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Flea

If you live in the Austin area I highly recommend putting the Austin Flea on your Sunday to do list!! It really is a fun little show. I have had my hand in the organization process of the first three fleas, so I can vouch for what a cool show it is. So come by and say Hi! I'd love to see you!!

Sunday December 5th, 10-5 @ Opal Divine's on South Congress.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Have I mentioned that my dogs are cute?

Really, really cute. I was walking through the living room and my boys were lounging on the couch together looking all sweet. It's funny how tiny Preacher looks in this picture. See how Pasqual is all wedged down behind the pillows behind Vincent? That is what he always does. I always ask him why he can't lay on the couch like a normal dog! Probably because if he didn't get behind the pillows he might actually touch Preacher - at which point Preacher would get completely put out and get up in a huff! They are funny.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My name is Laura and I have a problem.

"Hi Laura." My problem is I watch movies over and over again. Not like you think. I watch it and then immediately start it over and watch again and sometimes, again. Not with all movies. No way!! But there are just some movies that I could literally watch again and again and again. Drives Tom nuts! I don't know why I do this - and usually it's not even with very good movies...I don't know.

So, my latest obsession: The Family Stone. No, it's not an intellectual movie, it's not hilarious, it's not particularly deep. But if you are looking for a good, solid Christmas movie, and you have already watched Miracle on 34th St. and It's a Wonderful Life (the two best Christmas movies of ALL time) then this is a good new one to watch. I think.
I think I have watched it seven times so far this season. Now, before you think "Umm, I ordered a necklace, I haven't gotten it yet, and you are sitting around watching movies and eating bonbons?" I promise I am work, work, workin' away with the lovely sound of the dysfunctional Stone family in the background.
If you do decide to check it out pay close attention to one of my favorite characters in the movie: the house. It might be my dream house - from the architecture to the decor - it is a cozy Christmas dream. oh, I think I'll go watch it again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Christmas time...

...bangles anyone?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunday Sale

Is it wrong that I am in the retail biz and I don't know why Black Friday is called black Friday? It's so depressing sounding. So I just decided that I would create my own little sale for the day and I am calling it Pink Sunday! So there. No rhyme, no reason, I just like pink and it's Sunday and you get 25% off of any item in my etsy shop! Just use this coupon at check out and you are all set: PINKSUNDAY112810 Go to town!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preacher Man update

Well, it's been awhile since I have posted an update on the Big Man. And I guess it's just as they say, no news is good news. Knock on wood, we are cruising along. He's 12 so we are dealing with all of the things that I imagine come along with a 12 year old Great Dane - a not so strong back end, lumps and bumps, etc. But other than that I don't think he or Tom and I have anything to complain about. I was talking to our vet about him the other day and he reiterated "Do you know how lucky you are?" Yes, we do. We know this is not the norm. We are very lucky and very thankful.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Introducing Miss Jillian Ryan

Is she not the cutest thing? Seriously? It took some doing but I finally convinced Tom that we could take on another foster dog. For the first six or seven years of Blue Dog, Tom and I regularly had several foster dogs at a time. In fact at one point we had as many as seven fosters on top of our own dogs. But with our 12 dogs, Preacher's cancer, and my increasingly busy work schedule we just cannot take on as many fosters. I wish we could because I love, love, love it! There is not much better than springing a dog from the cold concrete of the animal shelter.

This was just the case with our newest foster Jillian Ryan. I guess I wore Tom down sending him photos of dogs in need (tortured him was probably more like it!)... as soon as he agreed I was in my car and headed for the city shelter. I picked out three. Of course I knew if I came home with three all four of us would be sleeping in the car! It was tough but I finally picked out this little girl. Can you believe no one wanted her?!?! She was on her last day at the shelter...I think she was just so scared there that no one could see the precious personality behind that scruffy little face. But now that she has a soft, warm bed, no more scary noises or the constant smell of fear in the air, she has come right out of her shell. She is hilarious and an absolute love bug!

So stay tuned to Blue Dog Rescue because she should officially be available for adoption soon. Oh, and cross your fingers that all goes well at the vet - we are wishing for NO heartworms or other cooties and an uneventful spay surgery...from there she will begin interviews for a forever home. Wish her luck!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

friendships that stand the test of time

I have been insanely fortunate. I'd like to think that I just have incredibly keen judgment skills, but it's probably a bit of luck too. But I have a hand full of truly wonderful, good, forever friends. Some I am lucky enough to see all the time and some it's years...but for those true, really friendships it can be years and it feels like days. That is the case with my friend Jill (the cute blonde above). We have been friends since junior high, as different as night and day, she was voted "most beautiful" while I was "most unusual", she wore polos while I put toothpaste in my hair...but neither of us really cared.
And now, more than 20 years later, living miles and miles apart and rarely seeing each other - I think it's been nearly 10's like we haven't missed a day. So, here we are again, with our friend Taylor (another long-time, forever friend), 20+ years from the other photo, still friends. How many people can say that most of their friends date back to elementary or junior high school? I am crazy fortunate because I can say that. I love you Jill, Kim, Taylor, and Haley! You are THE best.

a whole new deal...

Many of you have probably seen those daily deal web sites popping up all over the place. There's Groupon and Living Social and more. But have you seen GivShop? Now, I don't want to poo poo those other sites, because I like them and I have gotten some fantastic deals from them, BUT GivShop is in a league all its own and here's why: they donate a significant portion of each deal purchased to charity! Brilliant. And here's the other cool thing - they have a long list of charities that they have partnered with so when you buy a "deal" you get to pick which one you want your money to go to. Seriously, I think that is so freakin' smart! AND you can buy these "deals" as gifts. it just gets better and better. I just love the idea of my dollars doing double duty - getting some gift shopping done and donating to charity in one fell swoop! Who ever came up with the idea is a smarty pants!

So, today is MY deal! Yay! And if you bought one you could even pick Blue Dog Rescue as your charity! Love, love, love it!! But whether you want a Metalsgirl deal or not, you should sign up for GivShop, there will probably be future deals you will wanna take advantage of! So hop on over and check it out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted...

...did you? I hope so! Tom and I popped over to my old junior high school library to take advantage of our privilege to vote. You know in the Breakfast Club where Anthony Michael Hall shows his fake ID that he got just so that he could vote? That was totally me - I was so excited when I turned 18, it felt like such a big deal! And I can honestly say that that feeling has never worn off. It still feels like a big deal, and it should.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Seven!

Today is my sweet Seven's birthday. She is our first. Tom and I adopted her from our local Humane Society when she was just nine weeks old. Today she turned 13. I love and adore all of my dogs, they all have their own special place in my heart, but with Seven, with her I have an indescribable ache I love her so much. We went to the vet the other day for a little spot she has on her eye lid...our vet wants to have it taken off and said it might take three to four years to come back and I said "and then we'll take it off again when she's 17, because she's gonna live to be 30!" Our vet said "She'll be a pall barer at your funeral, right?" Right.
So, Happy Birthday Seven-11, my Levy girl, my Principessa, my flower girl!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baby Jack likes bangles

Last weekend one of my favorite cousins and his wife were in town and I got to meet their baby for the first time. He is beyond adorable. So, when they first arrived he was not super excited to meet me. He liked everyone else but when I looked at him he would just let out this big cry. It kind of broke my heart. Tom said it was because he was afraid a bird was gonna fly out of the giant, crazy bun on the top of my head. ha ha, my husband is hilarious. But I didn't give up and eventually I won him over.
What also won him over were all of my moms Metalsgirl bangle bracelets. He played ie. mouthed them for quite a little bit. I am pretty excited that I can now say "kid test and approved"! Seriously though, I often have people wanting to get jewelry for a new mom but worry that a necklace might be yanked off or earrings tugged on - but now I know that these bangle bracelets are just the thing and actually double as teething rings!
Thank you Jack!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

new "About Me" photo?

This might seem like a ridiculously petty question to ask but I am seriously having trouble deciding. To change or not to change my photo on my "about" page. This one is in the running. I know the back ground is lacking, it's in an elevator. blah. But there is something about the photo that feels very me, very content, happy. So, if you feel so inclined have a peek at the current "about me" page of my website - HERE - and tell me: to change or not to change.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

happiness is Charles Nelson Reilly

I might just be revealing too much about myself, but oh well. I might be revealing that I am a big, giant nerd, but oh well. I might be revealing that I have very strange taste, but oh well.

So here's the deal: do you get the Game Show Network? If you do then do yourself a favor and set your DVR, VCR, Tivo, or whatever to record Match Game. Yes, it's the same one from the 70's - NOT a remake. For you young 'uns who never saw Match Game - well, I think you will like it, I think, maybe, well, you should! Tom and I watch it every night when we get in bed and cheesily play along! It's that time period where everything was innuendo. It is innocent and salacious all at the same time. The clothes alone make it worth the watch.

I actually took this photo of my tv the other day - Charles Nelson Reilly and Betty White had drawn on mustaches with permanent marker - silly, but funny. And it reminds me and validates why Betty White is so awesome - she deserves this whole resurgence of popularity. And Charles Nelson Reilly might just be my favorite thing of all time! He was out of the closet before out-of-the-closet was a phrase and I adore that about him!! Especially when he does his "Chuck" straight guy schtick. I'm telling you, it's funny stuff, especially if you are bored with the crude humor of today. Check it out...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

11 years

Today is our anniversary. I couldn't possibly find all the right words to say how lucky I feel, how happy I have been. For more than 11 years I have had someone who laughs at the silly things I say, who always has my back, who puts me first, who supports the choices I make, who wildly encourages me, who wants everything good for me, who tells me he loves me every single day, who appreciates me, who loves my family, who treats me like every girl dreams of being treated, who wants the same things in life, who has the biggest heart of anyone I know, who is open minded, and knows exactly what is truly important. I don't know how I found him but I will cherish and appreciate what we have every day of my life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

uneventful update

Not too much to report, which is A-Okay with us! He has slowed down a bit I think...well, I say that, but then you might think differently if you watch this video that Tom shot just last week. It was dinner time and I guess he was hungry! You think?!?!?! So silly. And pardon the barking. When it's dinner time Seven always feels the need to make several announcements "Places everyone, it's dinner time! Places! Places!" Just like when she lets us know that the mail has arrived or that the neighbor is walking her dog or that the wind just shifted. Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's the little things...

Who needs diamond rings when you can have a trash can? Believe me or not, I can say with all seriousness that I would take this trash can over a lot of the fancier things in life most any day.
Don't believe me? Well, here's why: I've been a little stressed the past few weeks...having strep and the flu while trying to get ready for Dogtoberfest and The Austin Flea, leaving town just three days after these big events, and all the while dealing with physical's just been a lot. But a couple of times a year there is this flea market that I LOVE to go to. It's about an hour and a half away and it is Fan-freakin-tastic! Most times it's my mom, my best friend, and her mom that all go together. This time the only, only day we could all four go was today - just two days before these big events I've been planning. It was crazy for me to go, I had waaaay too much to do. This morning I called and canceled on them. But my mom pushed and pushed and I caved. So, so happy I did because I now have an ANDY GIBB TRASH CAN!!!!

When I was six years old and standing in the back yard of my baby sitters house (I think this was the baby sitter who fed us dog biscuits, but I digress) my best friend spilled the beans that she was giving me the new Andy Gibb album for my birthday. I was beside myself with excitement. I wore my Andy Gibb t-shirt to my party and true to her word, Kim and Natalie (her sister) gave me the Andy Gibb album. Today, 30-some-odd years later Kim took this picture of me holding this Andy Gibb trash can! how cool is that?!?!? I mean, it's Andy-freakin-Gibb! oh, and it was cool that it was Kim and I that found it and all that too! Seriously though, a day spent with friends who are more family than anything else, is sometimes the absolute best thing that you can do for yourself, trash can or no trash can.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ashley special

My friend Ashley started out with five bangles. Then she got five more, then five more, then five more...I think she was up to 25 when she said "I want 15 more brass and 10 more silver!" that's right folks, she wears 50 all at once! I make the darn things and I am envious of her!! They look so cool on her. So I finally decided to start selling them in larger groupings than just five - I haven't jumped to 50 - let's just start with 20. Check 'em out!

Ashley, I think you need 50 more.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I have been a busy little beaver.

Since recovering from the flu I've been working day in and day out, late into the evenings and on the weekends. My 30 day challenge hasn't gone as smoothly as planned, but the idea and spirit behind the challenge is there. So, check out what I've been up to...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The file system in my brain is broken.

You know those days where you are working along, feeling quite productive, and you think of something you need to do. So you stop what you are doing to go do the thing you just thought of...while doing thing number two it occurs to you that there is something else you just must do now or you'll forget it altogether, so you move on to thing number three and so on and so on and so on until you realize that thing number one is still sitting there, first in a long line of half way done tasks. Welcome to my life.

I think I am on thing number 12,000.

My brilliant idea of 30 days of new jewelry (see photo above), while still a good idea in theory, is, in practice not working out as well as I had hoped. The fact that I came down with a fantastic case of strep AND the flu didn't help my already sinking ship. And on top of that I am very busy planning another round of The Austin Flea in conjunction with Dogtoberfest (a fundraiser for Blue Dog Rescue). Ahem. Too much. Did I mention trying to help coordinate and proof the production of the fifth Music and Mutts calendar (another fundraiser for BDR)?

I am not even exaggerating when I say that I have, at a minimum, 8-10 To Do lists going at a time. I am as scattered as the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, bless his little straw heart. So my question is this? Does it take an actual wizard to organize your life?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

cold nose = warm heart? or is it the flu?

So, I was feeling kinda under the weather for a couple of days. Sore throat, achy, just ick. I didn't feel truly awful, but enough that it was bugging me so I called the doc. So, for future reference, when the nurse come in and looks down your throat and then goes, literally, running from the room only to come back with a bright blue face mask on - it's not a good sign. Oh, and yells "Make sure the doctor gets a mask too!" to who ever. And when, at the end of your visit, both the nurse and the doctor tell you to head straight home, don't stop at "Go", talk to no one on your way out, don't worry about checking out, again, not a good sign. I'll tell you what it equals, it equals a big fat case of strep throat AND the flu. Crap.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seven gets cozy.

Some days I dream of having the life of one of my dogs. I mean really, look at this. Could she look more comfortable? And this could have been her 10 am nap or her 1pm nap or her 5:50 nap...take your pick. She found that if she limps ever so slightly she gets a cookie, if she barks and barks and barks we yell "Seven! Seven! Seven!" and then go find her and then she gets just the attention she was demanding. She has us so trained. I bet she considers us very well behaved.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

such silliness

I was leaving for the grocery store the other day and noticed Horatio pacing on top of the water bowl stand. I asked Tom if he'd get them some water since I was on my way out. Before either of us could make a move Horatio just plopped right down in the water bowl. I would love to know if this was some sort of stance he was taking, like "I'm gonna sit here in this bowl until you get me some water!" or if it just seemed like a comfortable place to chill for a bit...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Birthday party for the Big Man

We finally had Preacher's birthday party this past weekend. I was about a month late but I am pretty sure he didn't know. There were about 20 people here and I assumed everyone would go give him a pat on the head while he napped off and on on the couch. But no, he was Mr. social! It was really pretty hilarious. It was like he knew it was his party and he needed to make the rounds. He seemed particularly fond of the kids...possibly because they may not be as protective of their plates as the adults. I don't know. But he was a wonderful host. After everyone left he sacked out and was pretty worthless all day yesterday too. His party pooped him out!

It was pretty awesome. We have had THE most amazing support since Preacher was diagnosed with lymphoma and to have a good number of those supporters at our house this weekend getting to spend some time with him, well, it was the best.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

30 days

It is quite possible that I have bitten off more than I can chew. While we were in New York in early August I had this baaarilliant idea: 30 days of new jewelery. A new design every single day. For 30 days. What better way to challenge myself, force new ideas and creativity, keep things fresh, stay in people's minds. It really is a good idea. In theory. However, in actual application it is, ummm, a bit more difficult than I imagined. It's not quite as romantic now that my 30 days have begun. But, enough complaining. Ick to complaining. I am doing it. I am committed. So, today is day two of my 30 day self-imposed challenge. To follow my progress you can visit the piece du jour here. Each one is for sale and will be marked sold when it's gone. How embarrassing if they are all still available at the end of the month. Hadn't thought of that one... oh well, still this is mainly a challenge for me, see what I can come up with. Let me know what you think as the month goes on...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

minimalist schminimalist.

I think it's become fairly obvious that I am not a minimalist. Never have been. Never will be. My studio might be the prime example of that. Well, and the fact that we have 12 dogs and two cats. I find it hard to understand the minimalist concept/aesthetic. I mean, I guess I get the idea of not being tied down by a bunch of "stuff". And I do find my attachment to things to be pretty irrational at times. Like the time I laid on the hood of the car I had just sold and bawled my eyes out. Or when I was five and cried crocodile tears as my grandmothers old sofa was hauled out and the new one brought in. Obviously this is not a new aspect of my personality.
Some of my "clutter" is useful, some is nostalgia, some is sentimental, some is inspirational, some just makes me smile. For example: this bulletin board is VERY useful. It has my to do's, my assistant's to do's, ideas, and my photo of Raymond Burr. Very useful.
My desk. Pretty much all useful. Full, but useful. And my brand new Jonathan Adler mug that I am in love with and I am fairly certain it makes coffee taste better.
I have photos and magazine clippings stuff all over the place of things that inspire me, my collection of Perry Mason DVD's is at the ready, and this painting by Susan Gibson makes me smile every single day!
...more useful info, measurements I need to remember, bubble gum wrappers I need to keep, song lyrics written on scraps of paper, and little photo of Viggo Mortenson to swoon over from time to time.
I also have stacks and stacks of little bowls. In my kitchen I have stacks and stacks of big bowls, but in my studio these little bowls hold solder, jump rings, cut outs and saints for bottlecaps, random beads, and my uncle's gold tooth is in there somewhere...
It may seem odd and random to any one who doesn't know me. But I think to everyone who does know me it is probably pretty much just what you'd expect. This last photo is probably one of the more important things in my studio - my collection of prescription bottles, fabricated by me for my senior show my last semester of college. These remind me of where I've been, of what I've learned, both emotionally and educationally. It's not for every one - thank goodness.