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Archive for July, 2011

My favorite of all my creative reality shows starts a new season tonight on the Lifetime channel. Project Runway totally fascinates me. Why I don’t know. I’m certainly no fashionista. Tim Gunn is totally adorable. He’s such a cutie pie I could just squeeze him.

The other new artsy fartsy creative type competition reality show that’s a new favorite is The Glee Project. Now I am probably the last person on the planet to have NOT watched an episode of glee but I totally love the competition show. Why? Again I can’t say. I’m not an American Idol fan so I imagine it is the celebration of the quirky and unusual that the Glee Project celebrates and embraces.

So there’s my latest tv addictions. So looking forward to the new season of Project Runway tonight.

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Dimensions Counted Cross Stitch Christmas Sled Stocking


So I’m trying to pop out a few new lenses during my between show downtime because otherwise I’ll be making Christmas lenses in November and since most lenses take a few weeks to a few months to rank well … well I thought I’d just get a jump start and do Christmas in July.

So for any cross stitchers out there here’s my latest Cross Stitch Christmas Stocking & Needlepoint Christmas Stocking lens. It chocked full of beautiful kits and designs for all ages and tastes.

For the rest of you … excuse my pimping of squidoo lenses on my art blog, but a girls gotta do what she can to get a little love from Google. 🙂

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click for larger image


FURminator Large Yellow deShedding Tool with 4-Inch Edge


So it is once again that time of year when the household pets start shedding their coats. The ironic (and by ironic I mean crazy making) part is that our in-house critters have double coats, so they have twice the hair (that they don’t need) to stay warm indoors during winter.

You may remember last year when I developed the BuddaBox (patent pending folks …. back off!) as a way to deal with the pet hair problem. But as of yet we are still in the developmental stages so this year we invested in a shedding comb. (Though mine is purple. When given the option to buy almost any item if it’s offered in purple I get it. If it sparkles or has glitttery dangles … even better)

So recently when the cat hair tumbleweeds were blowing romantically across the gallery room floor (and we started gacking up hair balls almost as much as the cat) we (and by we, I mean my hubby) started using the comb daily on Budda.

Here’s the thing, pet hair is bad in a gallery. It’s bad for both the picture framing side of the business as well as the printing side. Nothing is more frustrating than printing out a big print only to see a cat hair has caused the ink to splatter or some such thing. So something had to be done.

The shedding combs work two ways:
1. They remove already loose hair
2. They have a blade that actually cuts longer hair.

Because of the blade you need to make sure your animal is clean before using it or it will dull the blade. On the rare occasion (as in the one time) we used it on Cisco we washed her first. But for Budda we just go with the thought that the cat is already “clean.”

Now I want to be very clear I am thrilled when hubby takes an interest in grooming the critters. (It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing) But I think perhaps the old adage all things in moderation may well apply here.

As the days passed Budda seemed to be losing his markings. I’m thinking he looks kinda weird but figured no one else would notice.

Turns out the type of folks who come into a critter art gallery tend to notice when a critters coat looks weird also.

Customer: Ah … is there something wrong with Budda?

Me
No why?

Customer
r Oh … well his hair looks a little strange.

And then I explain the thorough grooming he has been receiving lately and that his weird hair is just his downy undercoat because his longer guard hairs have been shaved off.

After a few more customer comments we have stopped grooming the cat. I am happy to report he has his marking back already and look quite normal now. On the plus side we really did cut waaaaaay back on the cat hair that was floating about the shop.

I wonder what our dog Cisco would look like if we used the shedder comb on her?

Okay, I’m sure this is not the advertising promotion the Furminator folks had in mind for their product. But it really does work well.

We do Cisco with a traditional brush because I’m way too lazy to bathe her every time I want to brush her, especially since I am brushing her daily. But if we did, here’s what she’d look like.

Oh yeah, the Furminator folks should totally pay me for this free advertising and testimonial don’t ya think?

You’re welcome Furminator company.

And Now For Something Unrelated … Me On A Marker High
Here’s one last drawing since it was a really slow gallery day. (So take note, all those who don’t want to see this kind of blog horrors again be sure to keep my gallery full of business at all times)

My hubby for Christmas two years back bought me a large set of scented markers. Ah brings back so many memories as a kid sniffing markers in kindergarten.

Note: One eye is bigger than the other because I’m on a marker high and my eyes are dilated.

UPDATED: PETA people no animal was harmed in the making of this blog post. All before and after photos are dramatic recreations designed to protect the innocent. Now if I was letting Budda sniff markers that might be something else.

UPDATED: UPDATED
: Okay okay, I let him sniff a couple. I mean come on … the red smells like cherry kool-aide. Who can resist cherry kool-aide? The yellow smells like pledge though. Frankly if I wanted to smell that, I’d just dust more often.

UPDATED YET AGAIN: (last time I promise.) You know I bet if pledge made cherry kool-aide scented furniture polish (or licorice or chocolate) they would sell a bunch more product (I know I would) and America would be far more dust free.

Just sayin.

You’re welcome Pledge company.

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Ask and yea shall receive.
This was an unplanned event. Meaning I agreed to do it at the last minute.I had missed the deadline for the application (wrote down the wrong date) and so I figured “Ah well, it means I’m not supposed to do it I guess.” As in maybe there will be some horrific storm or sales will be lousy. (These are the things I tell myself so as not to be too hard on myself for forgetting or goofing up.)

At Brookings I talked with several artists who said call the promoter anyway in case they have a cancellation or something. So I did despite that the deadline was months (yes, months) ago.

I thought “What the heck what’s the worst that will happen? They say no.”

Now to be fair I have been doing this event off and on for over a decade and last year I won an award there. The show manager knows me by sight so it’s not like she was selecting blindly when she said yes, they did have a cancel and a space. Long story short, I went.

I went … despite the weather predicting scattered thunderstorms all day, temps in the mid 90’s with heat index of.106. I used my spidey senses and got a good feeling weather-wise. All in all it was hot but not horrible. The crowds were good and sales rather mediocre (for me that is. My potter friend will soon have to hire help just carry away all her cash from these events) But I made more money than had I stayed home and a new opportunity to potentially illustrate children’s books has come my way from it. So we’ll see how that pans out.

Now there’s something I don’t hear every day.
Patron broswing through my horse print bin. “We bought a print last year from you for our dog.”

Me: Smiles uncertainly and made some babbly kind of reply while this was going on in my head. Did she say dog? … Nah, I bet she said Don or Dawn. You know like some people say “Our Bob is such a hard worker” … Man I really need to get my hearing checked.

Patron Seeing my uncertain expression decided to clarify. “Our dog just loves horses. We got him this one.” (holds print aloft.)

Me:
mentally “Okay she DID say dog”

Patron
. “We hung it real low to the floor so he can enjoy it.”

Truthfully this is a bit weird but one of the coolest things I’ve heard. You just know that dog has the very best life if they actually purchase art for it. I wish I would have said as much to her but my mind was still trying to process the idea.

You know this could be a whole new market to explore. Hmm … what to do for a slogan.

Buy my critter art for your critter … Buy my critter art! Your critter will thank you

Meh, needs work. But again I really think that is so cool and yes just a tad funny. After all who says art should be just for people?

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I leave tomorrow for an unplanned event. It’s supposed to be beastly hot with a 30% chance of rain and yet I said yes. Total glutton for punishment. At any rate I’ll tell ya’ll about it upon my return. But for now here’s the latest Phone It In Friday.

So it’s no surprise that I love all things critter and most things art. So I found this video fascinating. Some are much better than others but it really is an amazing amount of detail and work that went into every one.

Enjoy.

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So here’s what they look like all framed up. I gave this painting to a gallery to sell though I did take it to the Stookey show in Des Moines where it was rather popular and we sold all the prints I brought of it.

There’s not really much to the start to finish for this piece but here they are.




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Connie Herring’s Art Exhibit “Story Tellers”
So I took off early from the gallery to go to my dear friend Connie Herring’s (you may remember Connie from my paper making trips) gallery reception for her show called “Story Tellers.” They are a celebration of the feminine and the divine. She transformed wooden ironing boards into feminine spirits all with their own story. It’s a truly wonderful show and I encourage anyone who’s in the Spencer area to visit Arts on Grand to view it. The photos here do not do it justice.

Once upon a time I belonged to an art group. The group itself was together for something like 20 years but I was a part of it for perhaps the last 10 or so. As time went on, everyone got too busy, some got sick and some passed away. Also the group’s members lived in a radius of a couple hundred miles so it was really was like planning a strategic ninja commando operation to get us all together. Long story short we haven’t managed to make it happen in years.

SO imagine my surprise when nearly all of us met to see Connie’s show. (big hint as to how much we all adore Connie that we’d travel great distances to attend)



From Left To RIght
Barb McGee, Joleen Dentlinger, Anita Coon, Connie Herring, Me and Katie Plucker (who’s real name is Anita.)

Now I’m rather under dressed and had had my hair in a pony tail which I pulled out for the photo. In retrospect maybe I should have left it up as my hair looks rather shaggy and unkempt. Ah well. It just wouldn’t be right if I looked normal in any photo I have taken.

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