Posts Tagged ‘About Me’

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DC Comics Wonder Woman Colorful Pop Art Panty for women (Medium)

So lots has happened recently that I plan to blog about but am in a whirlwind of events and pretty much just crash at the end of each day. “Cowgirls” is up and running, I have finished the calf that is photographed below so expect a start to finish on her at some point and well … this

That’s right this is way bigger than just needing Big Girl Panties

So in the next four weeks I’m doing four art fairs. This has kinda been the norm for me for the past several years but as the month of September approaches there is always some trepidation.

As a single woman running a business on her own I have quite a bit of stress to deal with. Mostly normal stuff but there’s something about having no one to fall back on, no one to tell me everything will be alright that I, at times, wish I had.

In most of my high stress situations I often say something like “Time to put on my big girl panties.” But as my September art fair stint is now here I need to step it up even more which means breaking out and putting on, my wonder woman Underoos.

Art fairs are so much work and the possibility for something bad to happen is rather high.

Something bad you say? Like what?

Ooh let me let my fears run amok for a moment …

  • Storms, lightening and or high winds.
  • Torrential down pour ruining my work
  • Flooding. Yup when the torrential downpour literally overruns whatever scenic water way the art fair is adjacent to. This has happened but I always managed to pack up and skip town before the flood exodus begins.
  • Temps exceeding 95 degrees. I’ve done 100 or more many many times over the years. In fact it was 101 on pavement just 2 years ago at the event I did last week.
  • which leads me to … Getting sick. So far has never happened. I spend a lot of time outdoors making sure I’m comfortable working hard in hot weather. And keeping myself physically strong enough to move 1000 pounds of stuff several times over the course of a few days.
  • Hurting myself in some way where I am unable to work. As a working artist it means that if I don’t work I don’t eat.
  • Van breaking down and being stranded far, far from home.
  • Car accident. There’s nothing that says “squished like a bug” than rear-ending a solid object and having 1000 pounds of art stuffs slide forward and push me into my engine block.
  • Getting mugged. Most of the events I do are pretty safe. Still there is one or two where I am downtown in a major city well after dark.

Now you might have thought no sales would have made the list … but no.

First of all that almost never ever happens. At this point I have done most of my events long enough to know about what I’ll come home with and if something happens like getting stormed out … well that’s what my gallery is for.

Art fairs are what got my hobby to business status, but as the gallery does better and better and produces a steady stream of work, art fairs have been cut. It’s still an important income stream not to mention all the other benefits they bring, but losing out on an event here or there is a bummer for sure, but not something that keeps me up at night.

So if you see me somewhere in the next few weeks you may well wonder what is giving me the courage to smile and be conversational while internally I am all chaos.

And now … you know.

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That statement has been sort of reoccurring for me for the past several years and my reason this time is the same as in previous disappearances … I suffered a personal tragedy. This time my mother passed away somewhat unexpectedly.

For the past 2 years she had slowly becoming more lost. Her short term memory faded until at the end it was pretty much nonexistent. We managed to keep her in her home until the end with a lot of effort from a lot of people. So this past year I was spending much of my emotional and physical energies with her and my blogging suffered,

While I could have blogged about it, the truth is I just didn’t much want to. I really didn’t feel like in general I had all that much to say. It was sheer force of will that kept me working, and to be honest throwing myself into my business is a coping mechanism to boot. But no … no desire to share the experience and emotions.

Perhaps it was because things were just sort of one thing after another. Marital struggles followed by divorce, my financial future resting on my ability to learn computer technical proficiency, the death of my beloved horse and now mom.

To be clear I’m not now nor ever much was depressed. Saddened and grieved yes, depressed no.

So anyway to get you all up to speed.

The gallery is flourishing, Etsy seems to have a hit a sales stride, art airs so far this year are just fine (no woohoo moments, but also no wondering why the sales gods have forsaken me) and I’m working on a painting. Another cow of course because the first cow exhibition is a mere few weeks away. (New cow painting progress photos to follow soon.)

And barring anymore catastrophes I should be back to blogging far more regularly.

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In fact I don’t even plan to share it to facebook. This is me getting the crazy grief out.

Yesterday I put my beautiful sweet boy down.

I am heartbroken.

He was 20 something years old and I had him for more than 18 of them. Though he was technically an old horse I fully expected to have another 5 or 10 years with him. He was very healthy and robust and very much the best horse I could have wished for. Even in the end, when he knew something really bad was about to happen, he didn’t bite or strike. He just rolled his eye to me asking “Why?”

He stopped wanting to walk around 3 weeks ago. The vets ruled out anything like navicular or founder. Arthritis was their best guess early on, HYPP was explored and there was talk of tumors. All of these things can’t be fixed, though pain management seemed possible. In the end it seems doubtful it was arthritis or Hypp. Both had vague symptom similarities but just didn’t quite fit. Tumor? maybe. Whatever it was it progressed rapidly.

He was on maximum Bute for longer than he should have been but at the end it didn’t touch the pain. His last day he got up twice to only lay back down in minutes. I brought him water and treats which he ate. Hay he ignored. He had a bit of a bloody nose though this could have been a side affect of the bute and just lay sprawled out in the snow groaning softly.

I called the vet and he couldn’t get out for a couple of hours, so I sat with him with his head in my lap and stroked his face, telling him how much I loved him and what a good horse he was while we waited.

Chicory has always been terrified by vets. One whiff of vet stink and he’d bolt. The only thing I can think was when he was a baby he ran into a barbed wire fence and totally tore up his shoulder. This was before me but I imagine it was traumatic enough for him to hang onto.

So when the vet touched him he popped up like a jack in the box. He struggled to stay up but did. In fact he never went down until the very end. He was given more than 5x the normal amount of the drug that was supposed to put him to sleep so the second injection could stop his heart peacefully.

It didn’t work. What should have been a 15 minute procedure took almost 2 hours and in the end we had to give him the heart stopper without him being asleep.

It was so horrible … I have no words.

You’d think that since I have been crying for weeks because I knew this was where we’d wind up that I’d be all done. But no. The pain washes over me randomly. My horse pen is close to the house so it shouldn’t surprise me how much I look out the window to see him. Yet … it does.

Chicory always whinnied loudly when he’d see me first thing in the morning, which alerted the barn cats they’d soon be fed and they’d explode out of the barn in a mad dash. Even on his last day he managed a weak nicker. This morning … no nicker. Oh how I miss it.

He is being cremated and they couldn’t come out until this morning. I tried to set it up so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I left directions with them the night before and a check in the car.

But at 9am there was a knock at the door. I pondered not answering but what if he was having a problem, so me in my jammies, no bra, crazy hair and my eyes swollen from crying all night I answered. the door. He looked at me sweetly and just wanted to let me know they were taking him.

So there you have it. All my pain out for everyone to see. I’m not sure that I feel any better … at all. But I think it will help at some point.

The photo above is from many winters back and one of my favorites because you can see he was happy and just being goofy. He loved me as much as I him. Even when he got out of the pasture he always came galloping back when I called. Always whinnied and nuzzled and hugged.

I’m one of those touchy feely types who believes animals have souls, so I hope and pray he forgives me for that last betrayal … ending his life before he was ready … and that he is running pain free somewhere in heaven.

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ChrisCakes So recently the transmission went out on my art fair gallery van “again.” As in I just got it replaced … oh … about 9000 miles ago. And yes, it was out of warranty … just barely.

While the cost of the tranny alone is depressing the fact that it happened literally on the eve of me doing 4 events in 5 weeks was enough to put me in a tizzy. Loss of art fair income at a time when I need to pay for work on my gallery roof was not an option.

Note The Similarities Between My Gallery Building And The Truck. After calling half a dozen car rental places to no avail I tried someone with whom I’ve had business relations for, well … as long as I’ve been in business. Chris Cakes is no longer housed in my gallery building in Rolfe and even though I’ve owned the building for many many years, I just never quite got around to taking down the sign.

He was a doll and generously let me use the truck not once but twice keeping it set aside for me. I can’t express how much this meant to me. At any rate while cruisin’ this bad boy I learned two things about people.

  1. People love cake! And when I explained that Chris Cakes is actually “pancakes” well …
  2. People love pancakes! Pretty much the same reaction. Folks were following me around like the pied piper.

So thank you Gregg. You were truly a life saver. A big hug to you for being there when no one else was able to. You really saved my booty.

To learn more about some of the best damn pancakes anywhere visit the Chris Cakes website.

In Case You’re Wondering While I did get a discount on the new transmission it was minor and now it takes all my willpower not to mutter “Those bastards!” every time I think about it.

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So recently I got an email from a customer who said “Hey, I see your artwork is on puzzles on this site. I hope you knew.”

Well no I didn’t.

What to do … what to do…

Sigh …

So I contact my licensing agent and asked if he wanted to send them a bill for use of my images. And he was all “Hell yeah.”

Okay … that’s paraphrasing on my part … just a little.

Or maybe a lot.

One of those.

But it got me to thinking about how often this happens. Folks using my work thinking it’s free for the taking. And though I have held off doing this it is finally time to watermark all my images on my website. Currently I’m about half way through.

I Probably should have caved years ago but the artist in me wants the images to look nice. You know because people are more apt to buy them if they can see them without a big ol’ watermark across the face. But after much internal dialogue which I will spare you (you’re welcome) I decided to deface my art in order to protect it.

At any rate I don’t expect anything to come of the bill sent to the infringing puzzle company. But it makes me smile a small devious smile to think it may have given them pause.

Even if only for a moment.

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Check out these beauties. They arrived today and were nicely chilled to boot.

In case you aren’t familiar Burning Tree Cellars licensed my art for one of their wine labels in exchange for a small sum and a few bottles of their liquid nectar. They held off shipping them until the weather cooled.


Perhaps it was for the best I had no way to open one at the gallery today.

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Alternative title… The last art fair was ‘da bomb. (yeah I know that phrase should never be said by someone my age and that’s why it’s the alternative title.)

First of all sorry for the blurry photo. This was taken with my cell phone and was a block away. So let me explain what it is a photo of.

The cop car is in the center and parked behind it (or rather in front of it, peeking out behind the white van and my tent) is my van and booth in partial tear down.

Now why am I photographing it from a block away you ask? Because there was a bomb scare.

And by scare I mean there was an actual bomb not that far to the left of the cop car (just behind the silver pickup) and my booth.

Thaaaat’s right.

Some sad individual put a bomb in a newspaper drop box at my last event. As you may notice I was pretty much done with tear down. Another 10 minutes tops I would have been on the road. Instead I was evacuated for about 4 1/2 hours and didn’t get out of town until the wee hours.

The bomb squad and bomb diffusing robot x-rayed it, pulled a few things off of it and then hit it with the water cannon.

No one was hurt and as far as bombs go it left me pretty much untraumatized. In fact most of the artists in the land of evacuated exile were laughing and watching the antics of the robot with pretty good humour all things considering.

Kinda surreal.

That being said I have now had my booth destroyed by a tornado, hit but a driverless truck and now nearly blown to smithereens.

Yeah, I am totally too old for this crap.

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