Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love is in the air

There are conflicting stories on how my whole bottle cap craze came to be. Conflicting in my own head. I truly cannot remember if it started with Saint Francis or Tom Selleck. Both stories are good so I don't know if I should even settle on one. Here is what I do know:

I had been making resin jewelry for several years and I always had some left over resin after filling the empty silver vessels. And I threw it away. I hate throwing stuff away. So I had Tom start saving bottle caps so that I could play around with the resin - mixing colors, making patterns, etc. Then one day I added something to the surface of the resin - truthfully, I am fairly certain it was Tom Selleck. I put a little paper cut out of Tom Selleck on the surface of the resin.

There was some trial and error but I worked it out. And now, these bottle caps, with St. Francis, St. Christopher, St. Dymphna, and more... initials, hearts, owls, peace signs, paw prints, and various people have become hugely popular. I do have a handful of celebrities in my bottle cap collection. But I have one rule: I have to love them on some level. I am not going to start putting Michael Jackson in bottle caps (I do love him though) just because I know he will sell. I have to have some kind of connection, affinity, something for me to encase them in resin. So, people like Tom Selleck, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ann Richards (Governor of Texas for a time), Andy Gibb, Angela Lansbury, Bob Barker, Mr. T, Bob Geldof, and more...

When I made the Angela Lansbury bottle caps Tom said "You realize you are making those just for you. You aren't going to sell them." Well, I do sell them, and a lot of them. I think he said the same thing about Bob Barker, but I sell the heck out of those to - I mean really, wouldn't those be awesome on every neutered dog out there!?!?!?!

These Saint Valentine bottle caps are fantastic - made up holiday my ass! :) Who says Valentines Day was made up by Hallmark? The catholics must have had it figured out years ago! Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, the perfect gift for your honey. Male or female it makes a great key chain, dog tag, rear view mirror dangle-y thing-a-ma-jig...

So, get your heart on, your Tom Selleck (every girls dream Valentine), your Saint Valentine...or all of the above and have a happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snuggle time!

Last night we got a blast of fabulously cold air and it's in the 40's today! I know that probably sounds warm to a lot of you, but given that we have had low 70's and upper 60's for awhile, this does feel cold. My spoiled puppies are curled up in my Anthropologie quilt with no signs of coming out! I think I might join them!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Best of intentions

My big goals for 2010 were to be more organized, more prepared, instead of my usual scrambling to get ready (for whatever) at the last moment. One of the things I did to try to help with this was to plan out all of my holiday deadline dates in advance. You know, last day to place an order for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. So here we are, the very first holiday and I have failed. I was going to have so much cool work ready to show for heart day. But stuff, life got in the way. So instead I have a few cool things to show. Ah well, now I am shooting for Mother's Day! You just wait and see...

Monday, January 25, 2010

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands!

Great news! Preacher got his all clear from his oncologist!! His lymph nodes are nice and small, he's at a great weight, he's eating like a horse, he feels fantastic - it's everything we hopped for when we started this journey seven months ago. In the way back recesses of my mind I know that lymphoma is terminal and that it might, and probably will, recur. But here's the deal: he is 11 years old and he is running around the house, prancing for dinner - right this minute, what more could we ask for?

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive. Reading your comments, getting your phone calls, notes, e-mails, hugs - it made this all so much more bearable. And by making Tom and I feel better, we were able to not be basket-cases for Preacher! I appreciate it more than you know. And I know that if Preacher could he would send out a big Woof Woof (or Honk Honk as is the case with his deaf dog bark) to all of you. Thank you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

trying times

To say that life has been a challenge lately would be an understatement. I have a good life, a great life in fact. Maybe that's why when things start to go wrong in multiples I get easily overwhelmed. In addition I have had little to no sleep in the past two or three nights because I am a freak and feel like I have to stare at Clarence all night. I'm sure that does not help and it probably makes things worse because I bet he can sense my anxiety. Boy, it's good Tom and I have not had kids because I am sure I would be one of those parents.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You kinda set yourself up when you have 12 dogs...

When you have 12 dogs you are bound to run the gamut when it comes to illness and injury. Of course, this was not something I thought of as we adopted each of the dogs. I thought "I love him" or "no one else will love him" or medically they were such train wrecks that I knew no one else would adopt them. But I never thought too much about the increased odds of medical issues and heart ache. Kinda dumb in hind sight.

So we have seen what I thought was - it all... ruptured hematoma leading to a splenectomy, a dangling lip from jumping through a window, various here-and-there tumors, strabismus (cross eyed), liver shunt, lymphoma, obstructions (once a twist tie and once a q-tip), broken toe, split tail, hypothyroid (two dogs), cuts, sprains, teeth pulled, and probably more that I am blocking from my memory.
But this past Sunday evening was a new one. Clarence was acting a little restless. He was panting and just could not get comfortable. I like to think that Tom and I are pretty hyper-aware of our dogs and their behavior. And we both knew this was not normal. Given that he has had two obstruction surgeries in the past (he's the one that ate the twist tie and the q-tip in addition to some unidentifiable plastic something or other) we thought he was at it again. It was 11pm the night before a holiday - let me pause to say, we have THE best vet EVER. While most folks have to head off to the after hours vet clinic, we can call the clinic, leave a message, and one of the vets will call back within five minutes. Long story short, he met us up at the office within 15 minutes. After xrays we found out that it was an obstruction, but not the kind we thought. He was constipated. Now, I am not going to go into the gory details, and believe me, there are a lot of details and poop talk is not pleasant. So let me just give you this - it was bad enough that he spent two nights and two days at the vet clinic being "evacuated". Lovely.

I feel sooooo sorry for him. I can only imagine that it was beyond unpleasant in addition to being in a strange place and not understanding why you are there. That's the thing with pets - you can't explain to them that this is for their own good and that you will be back to pick them up. It kills me wondering what they are thinking when I have to leave them there. And Clarence is my baby. I love him so much it hurts - I even have his little paw print tattooed on my foot so that he is always walking with me.
But my sweet boy is home now. He is very tired and probably pretty disgusted with Tom and I. I am showering him with kisses and affection...Tom says he should have been counting how many times I have said Clarence or Clarbee tonight. Can you blame me? I am just so glad he's home.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

This evening I had a real shock. The door bell rang and Tom went to the door, stepped outside and was out there for a looooong time talking to someone. Turns out it was two young women going door to door to enlighten people on the Mormon faith. In the course of their conversation Tom mentioned to them that they might use their power of prayer for the people of Haiti. Their response - "Why, what happened in Haiti?" Uh, what? HOW does anyone not know about the horrible tragedy in Haiti?

Okay, so I've gotta get past that. Being one of the people who does know about the earthquake in Haiti, I have seen a lot of different ways to donate to various causes. This is one that I felt like I could get involved in in my own way. Craft Hope for Hope is a way to donate money to this cause and receive a handmade item. They have organized their shop so that artists can donate items and 100% of the money raised goes to Doctors Without Borders. To read more about Craft Hope please visit their website.
I just sent my donation to them tonight...this "Choose Joy" bracelet. It should be posted in their shop (they have a shop on etsy, yay etsy!!) in the next few days.

If you would like to donate to another charity to support the efforts in Haiti check out the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The bedtime scene.

The sleeping arrangements in our house are not what most people would put up with. On a typical night we have 4 dogs and 2 cats in our bed with us. *Tom might kill me for sharing this* The dogs have the routine down pat - the minute we make the move they run to their spots. Clarence and Horatio have to be lifted into the bed, which is like 10ft off the ground, I sometimes need to be lifted into this bed! And no matter how many times I have seen this - I never get tired of seeing them standing there like little bitty men waiting to be hoisted up.

I like to think I could narrate this photo: Daisy, our almost 17 year old cat, and Pasqual are staring at Tom intently thinking "Do not let them up here!" The Business Man, who does not sleep in the bed is saying "Please, please let me sleep in the bed just tonight!" And Clarence is saying "What the hell is taking you so long?"

Although some nights I have to sleep all contorted because some dog has laid across the middle of the bed where my legs go...I still let them stay. Everyone of these dogs came from a shelter where they were sleeping on a cold, concrete floor. When I see them laying on top of a down comforter on a giant ushy, squishy bed it makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

cute as can be.

I think that this will be my go-to picture when ever I need a smile.

When my Aunt Millie passed away last year we went through tons of photos and this one was my absolute favorite. It's of my Aunt Millie and her youngest brother, my Uncle Jim. I wish I knew what year it was - I would love to know how old they are in this picture. When I look at it I feel pure joy. I never saw them act like this. Don't get me wrong, I saw them have fun - my family rocked! When I was a kid we played kick the can and all of my aunts and uncles (keep in mind, these are my Great aunts and uncles, my grandmother's brother and sister) they would all be out there running to find the best hiding place right with us kids. And when I hurt my knee and couldn't ride the bike I got for my birthday - my Uncle Jim put me in his lap and rode that little girly bike all over my grandmothers back yard.

It's getting close to time to go and pack up Aunt Millie's house. There is part of me that is so looking forward to all of the memories that it will conjure up...but I don't know how to walk out that door the last time. I think I'll need this photo to look at and make me smile.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do cupcakes = stress relief?

Right this minute I think I might give my right foot for just one of these cupcakes. I am not typically a stress eater, I tend to not want to eat when I am stressed or anxious. But for some reason right now - I want a Magnolia cupcake BAD! Last time we were in New York we stayed at a place that was literally right around the corner from the Bleeker St. location. It was perfect. What I wouldn't give to be there right now...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Baby, it's cold outside. And I love it! Granted it's not cold here like it is up north, I'm in Texas after all. But it's cold for us. I think they are saying it's officially our coldest winter on record. Tomorrow we are getting an "Arctic Blast" that will take our highs into the low 30's and our lows into the low 20's and high teens. I am beside myself with excitement.

So, cuddle up, put on a pot of soup and enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

You're old Claire.

Do you remember the episode of the Cosby Show where Cliff says to Claire "You're old Claire. And I'm old too." I don't remember what he was referring to, probably them being out of touch with something the kids were doing. Anyway, that sentence stuck with me and now Tom and I say it to each other any time something makes us feel old. I am saying it to myself right now.

I decided I would do a Top 10 post here on my blog. You know, best 10 things I discovered in 2009. Best movie I saw, best new music, etc. But then as I started thinking...everything I like is old. You're old Claire. When I thought of music I thought about Jackson Browne and how much I fell in love with his music all over again this year. When I thought about movies I thought, gosh I really liked Love Song for Bobby Long...and that came out, what? like five years ago? My list is terrible.

And though I do like to watch tv, even though I know it is much more popular to say you don't, there nothing really good on. Given my choice of anything I would still probably go back to the original Perry Masons. You're really old Claire.
So, my Top 10 list of best of entertainment in 2009 has changed to a list of Three things to check out if you haven't already:
  1. Jackson Browne - Rock Me on the Water has to be one of the best songs of all time
  2. Love Song for Bobby Long (don't let John Travolta scare you off - it is one of the four or so good movies he has made)
  3. Perry Mason - get the DVD's a let the innuendo and cigarette smoke take you back in time

There you go. For what it's worth, there is my list. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lazy days...

ahhhh, the last day of vacation. Somehow I don't think the dogs know that it's back to work tomorrow. Not that they have to "work". Don't get me wrong, if I could strap a hammer into their little paws I'd do it in a heart beat. But they have gotten pretty used to mom and dad being home all day doing not much more than just hanging out with them. And as you can see from the photos, they are quite happy with that arrangement. There is not much that I enjoy more than a cozy evening at home with Tom and the dogs resting contently all around us.
But tomorrow means back to reality and the house goes back to reality too. No more twinkling lights, snow globes, and snowmen cookie jars. Tomorrow is put-away-the-Christmas-decorations day. Ick. It's not so much that I dislike the chore of it, it's that I dislike the end of Christmas and having to wait a whole year for it to come around again. This year felt so hectic, much more than past years. So I made the decision already that I am putting out all of my Christmas cheer (decorations and such) the weekend before Thanksgiving. I am.
One last thing, in this last picture, there's Preacher, sleeping peacefully, but can you see Pasqual's little chicken leg sticking out from behind that pillow? He's so funny. It's not enough to lay on the couch, he has to lay on top of the pillows on top of the couch. silly goose.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodbye 2009...

Hello 2010! Time to get back to work. I have taken a lovely two weeks off. And although it ended in a stomach bug, it was still wonderful and just what I needed to rejuvenate and be ready to hit the studio with excitement.

Here's to a happy, healthy new year for everyone.