Archive for February, 2009

I spent much of my Sunday looking through my stack of beautiful photos trying to feed my muse and stimulate some sort of creative juices. I’ve got the urge to create, just am not feeling inspired to do anything in particular.

So I know I want to do something. I’ve got dozens of images swimming in my head. And my thought processes go something like this:

Maybe I should do my thumbnail zebra, or a piece with 3 elephants leaning in together in infrasound communication. Pehaps I should finally do Alborozo or his brother, Ah yes, wouldn’t they look gorgeous. . . in front of a spanish door or stables. Or maybe with some bright geometric shapes in the background.

These are all ideas that I will someday commit to paper. Just not today.

For today what tripped my trigger was our old truck. I ran out and snapped about 30 shots and came in, hit photoshop and began cropping. I am feelin’ inspired.

Of course I am a fickle woman at times, so by tomorrow I may wind up with something completely different. I’ll keep you posted.

50 points to anyone who can name the TV series that my post title comes from.

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Undaunted has tagged me with this Meme! It’s a list of 100 things, and the ones in bold are the ones I’ve actually done .

1. Started my own blog (seems like a gimme since it is a blog tag afterall.)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (I lived in the Black Hills and often climbed small mountains and very large hills.)
9. Held a praying mantis
10.Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (I’m guessing the 4-legged kind doesn’t count.)
16. Had food poisoning (mild case)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort. (I grew up in Minnesota, We’d pour water over them to make them indestructable and when done, wage war against the neighbors and/or my brother.)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping Once when I was young (as in teenager) and once when I was not so young.
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted Not really, but have been sketched on more than one occasion.
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater Many times did the dusk till dawn. What fun!
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (Not healthy enough)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (Never did, but in my youth I played beat the bank more than once.)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar (why would I?)
72. Pieced a quilt (as a child with my grandmother)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (Long story short, my boss was going to be sued by a customer and wanted me to lie, I refused.)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Not yet, but it’s on my bucket list.)
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I helped butcher, but never participated in the killing. I’ve always said that if I had to kill it myself I’m sure I’d become a vegetarian.)
88.Had chickenpox
89.Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91.Met someone famous (Hmmm, I suppose it depend on just how famous?)
92.Joined a book club
93.Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (is that a rare thing?)
100. Ridden an elephant

So you can see I don’t travel abroad much . . . or travel in the US much . . . or travel anywhere outside of my artshow area, um . . . much. 🙂

As usual my dilemma is that I don’t read a whole lot of blogs and most of the time I lurk for a bit and then move on. (Most often because the bloger has quit writing.) I am unsure whether either of you two would participate in a Meme, so I tagged you both.

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Taxes Are So . . . Taxing

I have been staring bleary eyed at the computer screen for the past couple of days. Going over every single gallery transaction (all 8 million of them . . . tiny exageration) looking for errors. Tomorrow is the annual sojourn to our accountant, which is about an hour away. That’s the thing about living in the boonies, you have to drive for everything.

As I sit here trying to think of something clever to write I realize nothing sums up my experience with the accountant better than last years post.

So I’m reposting it, (with some minor tweaking.)

Now, I am a woman who is all about the numbers. Since knowing where we really stand business-wise can mean the difference between eating or not. Plus, I love statistics and inventories and records of what sells, when and where. I also track both my website and blog statistics eagerly.

That being said, I really (really, really) dislike going to the accountant. Not so much because I am worried or nervous. Its just because my business is … well … my business. This is my life and my passion. It is my blood, sweat and tears laid out before me, in all its numerical black and white glory. So then, to have a relatively complete stranger rifling through my private affairs, looking at it with cool impassionate eyes and making judgments, is hugely disturbing.

It kinda reminds me of those TV fashion police shows where the fashion experts rummage through their victim’s . . . urm I mean fashion awkward woman’s . . . underwear drawers. All the while making derisive comments. Until inevitably they pull out a pair of granny panties. And holding them up high, they exclaim in horror. “What is this!”

Yeah, it’s exactly like that.

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Shipping Green

In this economy (are you guys getting as tired of hearing that phrase as I am?) it forces people to rethink how they can better save money in areas where they won’t feel the pinch. Shipping your artwork is one of those areas. I pack and ship a fair amount of stuff, (about 100 good sized boxes a year) which could potentially be a huge expense.

Anyone who has ever bought a role of bubble-wrap at your favorite business supply store knows that boxes, and bubble-wrap can add big costs to your bottom line. So I’m going to share a little secret (well . . . it’s not really a secret, just no one ever asked me) I get all my packing and shipping stuffs free.

So I’m going to share a little secret (well . . . it’s not really a secret, just no one ever asked me.)

Some of what I use, comes in from my framing orders. But most comes from other businesses. At one time I had an artist friend who worked at a furniture store and when he was doing a delivery in my home town, he’d pull the truck around and drop off a truckload (literally) of huge sheets of bubble-wrap and foam. Most furniture stores throw tons of it away and it just sits in our landfills. The furniture store was thrilled because that was a little less that they had to pay to get hauled to the landfill, and I was thrilled because it saved me fortunes (the savings of which I passed on to my customer.) And frankly, I have no way of buying huge sheets of wrap like that. (Picture blanket sized for wrapping up beds and couches. Lovely, glorious packing stuffs.)

Also, our local vet clinic is very green oriented. They get in heavy duty air packing pillows and sheets (usually a garbage bag a week.) that they save for me (or anyone else who asks.) These tend to be smaller bits which work well for shipping smaller works. I also collect this kind of packing material for Carol Herden, my sculptor friend, who uses pillows for shipping her dimensional stuffs.

So I guess the point of this is, to think out side of the box a bit (there’s another phrase I really hate) and see if you can’t get some of the supplies you need from local business’s who would just be tossing it away anyhow. Because this way the landfills, the furniture store, my customers and I, all win.

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The Cat Ladies Blog

Today I was greeted by the pleasant surprise that Budda and I are featured with a story, as cat lady #32 for 2009 on the 365 Cat Ladies Blog.

It’s a fun site with charming and whimsical artwork by Susan Faye, especially for the feline fanatics among us. (A sample of her art is shown here to the left. )

She has a great CafePress store where you can get all sorts of her artwork on stuff like cups and totes. What fun! (Makes me think about trying a little something with CafePress.)

Anway, she’s also on the lookout for cat stories, so anyone got something they want to share should go visit her site as well. And feel free to leave a comment, she’d love to hear your thoughts.

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