Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Story 2011

So continuing in the tradition of the previous two years, here’s another story.
Just a little background info for anyone new to the blog. I grew up in a house where odd things happened regularly. The easiest way to describe it is as haunted. Whether that be the actual case, I don’t know. What I do know is it was real, it happened to all family members and many visiting people. Mom still lives in this house.

So gather round. Get your popcorn and Halloween candy for snacking. Shut off the lights and just bask in the soft glow of your monitor.

Anyone got to go to the bathroom? Do it now. . . We’ll wait.

So it was about a month before I was going to leave for college. Things had gotten really bad for me as the house just didn’t really want to leave me alone. I was quite literally sleeping downstairs on the dining room floor because it was within 15 feet of my parents bedroom. The living room with it’s comfy couch was just another 10 feet to far.

I’m almost asleep when I hear … creeeaak! followed by the sound of the kitchen door closing firmly from the backporch.

This perks me up but for the most part is a pretty common occurrence. It alone was not enough to get me to running screaming into the night.

I open my eyes when I felt this presence like a low hanging fog (though there was nothing to be seen, but that’s how it felt) moved in from the kitchen. I could sense it move around the dining room table and slowly creep upward from my feet to my chest.

I mentally Shout “Leave me the hell alone!”

I couldn’t move or call out. I wasn’t overly freaked out but I was very aware that I was not completely in control of my own body. Not in a possessed sort of way. More like being held down by an invisible force.

I started to be gently rocked from left to right for well.. I imagine it was less than a minute, but at the time it felt like forever.

And just like that I was released and it left or evaporated or something.

At this point I did scramble to my feet walk into my folks doorway and said “So did you guys here the kitchen door?”

They said yes. I ten asked if I could sleep on the bedroom floor and again they said yes. And so I lay down next to their bed. Mind you I’m 18. Not exactly a little kid.

As I’m beginning to dose off I hear a tapping under my head, like someone is tapping from the basement ceiling.

Tap .. tap .. tap..

I move my head and it follows me.

Tap .. tap .. tap..

I mentally Shout “Leave me the hell alone!” and curl my pillow over my ears. And then it actually did and I fell asleep.

I didn’t tell my folks about the holding down thing until much later. Being touched is a rather rare occurrence and most of the time it is harmless. Mom once thought something was trying to break her leg when she had it dangling over the bed and my brother believes he was pushed down the stairs once. But on the whole touching happens only a couple of times per person.

UPDATED: Whenever my mom wants me to come home for a visit she usually throws in something like this… “You know nothing has happened in a very long time … Maybe they’ve left. (a small pause later) Although when your Aunt Jo was visiting last week someone tugged on her foot while she was sleeping.”

Truth is my mom is pretty close to deaf and can sleep through anything including ringing phones and alarm clocks. So yeah … I don’t take her word for it when she says the house is quiet.

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Roof Rage

So I know I’ve been MIA for awhile now. I try not to do that. I try to keep up with doing all those things that I used to do before my tiny little universe began to crumble. But at the end of the day when the pressure gets too much for me and I just want to lock my door, crawl in a dark cubbyhole with a 2 liter Diet Coke and a chocolate cake … well somethings gotta give.

This past week I’ve been sick. Nothing serious just my usual sinus stuff that crops up this time of year because of the dry air and high stress level of working a hard Fall art fair schedule. So I spent my birthday under a mountain of blankets, feeling miserable, alone and sorry for myself. I think it’s okay to hang out in pity party land for awhile but it’s not healthy to stay there so I force myself to get up and laugh at the face of adversity … just to prove that I can and to prove that I’m one tough mofo.

So today I am upright. coughing and snuffly but back to dealing with things as they come up and then I am faced with this first thing this morning….

This is a ripple in my roof at the gallery. It is being caused my the jacking up of a rafter that has sunk and is being repaired. It apparently has been sunk for a very. very long time because way back when the city owned the building they put on a new roof without fixing the rafter then. So now I can’t get the rafter back to where it’s supposed to go without doing major damage to the roof. Currently the rafter is only 1/4 of the way that it’s supposed to go to fit properly. I am probably just stuck putting a post under it and praying it all lasts as long as I need it to.

Still pisses me off a bit that if the city went to the expense of roofing the place they could have fixed the rafter then, as it is a kinda minor fix compared to a new roof. Okay rant over … for now.

So yeah… I have found that nothing gets me from whiny-self-involved-git to one-tough-mofo that embracing a little anger.

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I got back last night from the Arts & Craft Show at Cedar Falls, Iowa and slept for like 11 hours. It went well enough though not well enough to do it again. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how I felt the last time I did this event several years ago. (sometimes I can be a slow learner)

What’s odd is that the sales did not really go as expected.

I Expected: Lots of smaller sales like notecards and mini prints which are prematted 8×10 (which are not offered on my website)

What Actually Happened:
My average sale was $40 and up with almost no (as in like 7) notecards selling.

What Did Work: I ran a small sales on my prematted 11×14 and 8×10 prints. Essentially but 2 get one free. Often people would just buy multiples or if they came up with one I’d mention they could get another for X$. Invariably they went back and got another.

Promoter Shows vs. Art Center Shows
Most art events I do are created and run by art centers and art groups. While they want to show a profit for all their hard work they are not run the same way as promoter shows. What’s interesting is my experience with promoter art shows vs. promoter craft shows makes them a unique experience. Now to be fair I’ve only done one particular craft fair promoter show so other craft promoters may be something else entirely.

The Craft Show most of the vendors are treated like a commodity. He gave off the feeling like we should be grateful and lucky for being there. There were various threats made over the loudspeakers about parking etc where he threatened to drop you from the event and never be allowed back in. There was no perks like even coffee and donuts in the morning.

My experience with Promoter Art Shows is equally limited to only one promoter Sue Stookey. The difference is night and day. She comes around and personally thanks you for being there. She addresses concerns personally. She provides a sumptuos breakfast each day. She emails regularly with updates and hotel discounts. You feel like you are respected and appreciated. Not just cattle being pushed through a shute.

Now there is another Art Promoter who does shows for his living who I have heard less than glowing reports from … and because of that I haven’t booked with him.

Anyone else have any experience with promoter shows they’d like to share?

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click for larger image


I’m back from my event and will tell ya’ll about tomorrow. But for today I just published a new book lens covering the Young Adult Paranormal Romance genre by Lauren Kate.

I found these books rather fascinating in that they coupled the traditional paranormal romance (if there is such a thing) with biblical stories. It took the complex concepts of angels and demons as being more than just good or evil but combinations of both things.

The story line surrounds Luce who finds herself in a boarding school for deliquent children. She is scared because at a party when she snuck off and kissed a boy he somehow burst into flames. Her parents seem afraid of her and she thinks she just might be a little crazy as she sees shadows moving in dangerous and sinister ways and that no one else can see.But everything changes at the school. She meets Daniel who for some reason hates her and yet she has the distinct feeling that they’ve met before. It turns out they have. Indeed they have been falling in love over and over again throughout history until she dies. Only to have it all repeat itself again.

For more information visit my lens The Books of Lauren Kate

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Remember Me?
Since I now can play a bit with profiling I’m pulling out a couple of old pieces that never had prints made.

Flamin’ Sheep here was one of my early crayola critters and since I didn’t know how well this type of work would be received I didn’t make prints. Since then I have found that my fun colored critters are rather popular so I thought … why not?

So now Flamin’ Sheep is available at Wild Faces Gallery. Click through for more info.

As per my conversation with Lorie
Perhaps there was no stopping me before, but I was slowed to a crawl for a bit. However I’m up and running now. 🙂

And speaking of sheep … check out Lorie’s beautiful flock on her recent blogpost.

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When The Going Gets Tough …

The tough run home to mommie.

Okay that’s me trying to be funny. Unfortunately it’s too early and I’ve yet to haver my Diet Coke so …

I usually take a few days this time of year to run up to MN. Mom and I run pretty much run non-stop and so I usually come home exhausted but happy.

Also gonna see my dear friend Jolene who was my bestie when growing up and indeed much of my adult life. Sadly it’s been a few years since we got together and am so looking forward to it.

So all of this chatter is my way of saying I’ll be gone for a few days. But gone in a good way. 🙂

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So I just received the email for the 5th annual Ex Arte Equinus Art International competition. I have yet to enter this but the artist that do are amazing.

This was the event that i found it so odd that the had to specify in the rules …”Works produced by non-human artists are not eligible for this competition.”

At any rate check it out if you are an equine artist. The winner also get published in a book. Nice. (appreciative nod.)

I really love that they show the previous year’s winners on the website. It gives you an idea of the competition but also is just fun to peruse.

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Some Halloween Fun

Dolly Mama’s Witch Counted Cross Stitch Kit-6X10 14 Count

SO my Squidoo pages have been doing really well for me and traffic and sales are such that I could see how if someone made enough of them and did a good job, you could potentially make a living from it. Mind you I’m a long ways from that but my earnings and sales have increased far past what I ever expected so now I’m all motivated to keep making pages.

Here’s my latest just published this morning. Halloween Cross Stitch Patterns.

And here’s last year’s Halloween specialty Vintage Halloween Postcards

Halloween Stories
I gotta start choosing my Halloween story this year and the Budda is thinking about sharing his personal Halloween story about of Weremice.

Oh the horror!

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In lieu of real art … you get this.

Umm …. sorry.

So my dear sweet Budda is just about the sweetest little cat (though Robert’s Ari may disagree) ever. He is so loving, snuggly, and oozing purring adorableness and would be in total kitten heaven if I just carried him around in a sling or baby carrier all day long.

During the daylight hours he is this cherubic little sweetie, who will break into a runbley purr if I just so much as look at him.

But lately I’ve been working until 10pm or so. There has been s a noticeable change that comes over my little Boodie Boo just about the time the sun sets.

He starts puffing up and spronking about like a Halloween cat. Leaping up and smacking the back of my head or popping out from behind objects flashing his “jazz hands” trying (and usually succeeding) at scaring the bejeebers out of me.

Now I’ve only had 2 indoor cats in my life so I think back to whether Oliver ever had mood shifts between day and night.

And … Uh … Nope. He pretty much had the same attitude no matter what the time of day.

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