Friday, April 30, 2010

Cheetah knife done!

What a thrill to see this completed, and professionally photographed!

This was an awesome collaboration, and I'm thrilled with how this turned out. Hats off to Kirby Bletcher for a fine looking knife, and Chris Malouf for the gorgeous engraving and inlay. Chris and I are sharing a table at Blade Show, so this knife of course will be the centerpiece! Woo hoo! I'm soooo excited about this show! :-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sea Turtle scrimshaw pendant

Done! It will have a sterling silver chain too. The bail/chain could also be gold instead, upon request. Chains are on my ever-expanding list of things I need to order in the very near future.

Green Sea Turtle (pendant)
30mm diameter
multicolor scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory

There are, um.... 8 colors in this.

Here's a side view:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

True Love Tomatoes

Today a big shout out goes to my friend Mia, owner of True Love Tomatoes. As she says "Tomatoes so good, they'll break your heart! Specializing in chemical & pesticide free heirloom tomatoes."

I keep telling Mia she needs a blog, but so far she seems to be ignoring me. ;-) She does have a Facebook page if you'd like to be a fan.

But more importantly, True Love Tomatoes is having a plant sale this weekend! Saturday May 1 and Sunday May 2, 10am-2pm both days. The tomato farm is located at 14281 N. Vintage Road, Lodi, CA, 95240. You can reach Mia at

Plants are $3 each, and you won't find these in any stores! She will be there to help you pick out what you want.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26 work in progress

This is a green sea turtle on a 30mm round piece of pre-ban elephant ivory. It's not domed. It's 4mm thick. It's in color, and it's taking forever! The background is now done, I'm working on the turtle itself, which is going to have at least 4 colors (aaaack!)

How it started:

Background done (that's a lot of dots!):

How it actually looks tonight, much of the first layer of turtle color (blue) is scrimmed, but not yet inked. This is shot through the scope, which is the only way you can see what's going on there unless I ink it:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sara's home

To recap: Two summers ago I spent ten days with a friend in Idaho and Wyoming, and one of the highlights of the trip was the time spent with a mule named Sara. She and I just clicked, we were pals, I adored her. Fast forward two years, and due to some pretty unfortunate circumstances, Sara had to be sold. That was heart-wrenching news, and I decided that if it came down to it I'd raise the money to get her to California... she meant that much to me... but that would have been *really* difficult for me to take on another big critter.

And then I sent a letter to some family friends I've known for 20+ years, people who are big time into mules, thinking on a whim they might have connections who might be interested. And in the coolest twist of fate ever, it turned out they themselves had just started looking for a new mule.

Phone calls, planning, photos....

Sara no longer lives 900 miles away. Now she's a half mile away, in a great home with a family of wonderful kind-hearted people. I know she'll do well with them, and she's already good at the things they like to do (mountain trail rides, pack trips). I can't believe how amazingly well things work out sometimes. :-) *sniff*

Did she recognize me? Probably not, but she perked up and looked at me and brayed when I walked in their barn and called her name today. I can't take it too personally though, I had pockets full of treats! It was just so good to see her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

pardon me while I rant...

Sorry, I need to rant and rave for a minute. I've been selling hatching eggs on ebay since March. For the most part my buyers are quite lovely and pay in a very timely manner. In fact, I require them to pay within 24 hours. It's not just that I'm uptight and picky about it, there's really a reason.

Auctions end on Friday nights. Payment is needed by Saturday night. Eggs are packed Sunday afternoon (without payment, I can't pack eggs). Eggs ship first thing Monday. Obviously that leaves a teensy bit of leeway... basically I need the money by mid day Sunday or else the eggs can't ship on time. This is a time-sensitive matter. Shipping takes a serious toll on them, and delaying that a day, or two, or more... it's really not helpful.

I make it abundantly clear on the listing that the buyer gets 24 hours to pay, and if they can't do that, they should not bother to bid. So I think five times now in the span of selling eggs this season, I've had complete nincompoop buyers. I send an invoice, and then another, and a reminder, and a threat to report them for not paying. And then Tuesday morning rolls around and I get payment, sometimes with no explanation, sometimes with the LAME-O "sorry, I couldn't get on the internet." Well for Pete's sake, find a way! Or if you knew you didn't have internet access over the weekend, DON'T #@($#$% bid!!!!!!!!!


Yeah, I know, it may seem minor but it just annoys the crap out of me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Honey Bee scrimshaw pendant

Honey Bee (pendant)
11/16" by 15/16"
multicolor scrimshaw on mammoth ivory

This piece will be available at a bee art show!

Thank you to those of you who answered the "top 5 wild animals" question. I appreciate the input. I wrote them all down, and then went through the list and checked off any that inspired a little spark of creativity (and that could be used on the materials I already have, I don't want to order more ivory right now). Many did not spark anything. Nothing personal. :-) I wrote all those down on little slips of paper and put them in a bag and when I get a chance to work on stuff for Blade Show and/or Jackson Hole (that's another thing, I'm trying to make pieces that would go well at either show) then I'll pick one out of the bag.

So today I started a green sea turtle pendant! I really should get back to the work in progress pics. But the camera is in the other room and I'm so tired....

Hey, don't forget you only have ten days left to shop the big Spring Cleaning sale, you know, where stuff is marked down like 50%. After April 30th the prices go back to normal. Want something? Contact me! I know, anonymity would be nice for shopping, and I wish I could set up a good "shopping cart" system for you, but the shipping is SO variable and generally has no relation to the price of the piece, so unfortunately it's never worked well to do that. Sorry. But really, just call or email. I don't bite. Much. ;-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the people who drive past

Did you know that walking down the road can be an interesting study of people?

I'm enjoying walking the dog. We now go 2.5 miles a day. That's the whole road. I have also, many a time, walked my horse up and down the road for fun. I've also ridden my horse on the road, but I really don't like doing that, I'm not as brave (stupid?) as I was in the olden days when I used to ride Thunder on the road all the time.

Anyway... I wave at everybody who drives past. If I know them they get a big enthusiastic wave, otherwise I sort of just lift my hand and acknowledge them, sort of a "I see you there in your car, and thanks for not running me over." I figure it's the neighborly thing to do, right? Oh, let me clarify that I generally only wave at cars that are coming toward me. I ignore those that come up from behind, it's not like they need to change lanes to pass me. If the driver knows me then they wave and I wave back, it's all good.

It's a rural-ish road that I live on. I mean, it's not one of the busiest roads in this town, but it's also not devoid of cars. It's a through road that comes off the main road, so it gets its share of people passing through. It's two lanes. No bike lane, and for the most part no shoulder. Seriously, there's the white line, and then a few inches of pavement, a few inches of gravel, and then a big ditch. So a person could theoretically walk on the "shoulder" (outside the white line) but a person and a dog cannot both fit there. Angus the dog usually walks on the white line, and I'm on the road. It's not like I take up much of the road. And hey, it's the country. And hey, we're entitled to walk there.

Now, I am careful not to inconvenience drivers. On rare times when two cars are coming from opposite directions and will pass me at approximately the same time, I get off the road as much as possible. The ditch isn't really practical, so at worst I'll have Angus sit on the "shoulder" and I'll stand next to him, both of us technically off the road. Then the cars don't have to worry so much about running me over. And I always try to get onto the shoulder as much as possible when someone is driving toward me.

But the people are interesting. They seem to fall into these categories, and this is in order of frequency I think:

1) people who slow down a tiny bit, get at least most of the way into the other lane, but give only a tiny "who the hell is that" wave in my direction. They seem confused by my presence, and in a hurry to be somewhere, and they don't smile.

2) people who slow down noticeably, get at least most of the way into the other lane, smile and wave enthusiastically. Sometimes they know me, sometimes they don't.

3) people who don't slow down, do get all the way into the other lane, and don't acknowledge me at all. Often they are on cell phones.

4) people who slow down to a crawl, get way way way over in the other lane, and give me this stupefied expression as though I might jump out into the road and get them. (rawr, yeah, I'm like that). They wave timidly.

5) people who move over at most half a lane, don't slow down, and don't acknowledge. Literally, I could reach out and touch these cars, and I hate these people. There is a whole freakin' other lane wide open, and they barely get over. Without fail, these are young men. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all the young men drivers do this, just that the only drivers who do happen to fall into that category. It's all I can do not to flip these people off, and I'm sooooo tempted to carry something like a riding crop and smack the cars as they go past, just something to make a noise but not do any damage. Ugh, these ones really get to me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

reader participation!

Hello my trusty (if generally silent and surreptitious) blog readers. Today I am asking for your participation. This will help me decide what subject matter to put on a bunch of pendants or art pieces.

So, please, if you would be so kind, give me a list of your top five favorite WILD animals. Land animals, water animals, and birds! If you can't think of five, tell me less! If you have more than five, tell me more! Don't overthink it, just name some that always make you stop and admire them if you see a photo or artwork. I want to know what's trendy and loved by the general population.

You don't have to log in to leave a comment, you can be anonymous.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

hard questions

Well, the tripod and the camera and I spent a long time together this morning, post dog-walk, and I think I managed to take a decent portrait of me. I'm still waffling between two of them though. Hey, options are good!

But now I'm agonizing over the questions I have to answer for the miniature show catalog. Egads, this feels like high school essays again, like there ought to be some "correct answer" that everyone expects me to come up with.

Who is my primary artistic influence and why?

(I can't come up with ONE person, that's impossible! There is no ONE person who was most fundamental in my artistic development, and there is no ONE person who most influences my current work! Eeek!)

Why do I work in my chosen media?

(Whew, that's easy, there's a very straight forward answer to this, I can explain it no problem!)

What is the most important piece I have created and why?

(Yikes! I've narrowed this down to a small list of a few pieces, though NONE of them are scrimshaw, which is what I'll be exhibiting there. I have a feeling my most important piece is supposed to be in my chosen media. Hmmm. There are some that have been important for various reasons... opening doors, discovering something new, etc.)


Oh yeah, and I need to finish this tomorrow!!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

can't think of a title

Yup, still alive. The paperwork tornado has pretty much settled. I have lots of things to mail and a lot of cleaning to do. Bleh.

I mail off my table fee for Blade Show tomorrow. I guess that makes it official that I'm going to Atlanta pretty soon. :-) It's hard to think about Jackson Hole yet, I feel like all my energy is going toward Blade Show right now, but I need to finish my artist bio and questionnaire thingy, and they want a current "portrait" (as in, of me, a photo). Erg, all my favorite pics of me seem to have my own outstretched arm. Is that bad form? I'm supposed to email it in the next couple days (yeah, I just realized that today). Crap. Maybe I need to get someone to take some pics of me.

On the bright side, I can stop obsessing about tablecloths, because I've bought incredible amounts of fabric in the last couple days, and I am (I mean, we are) going to have the purtiest darn table in the place!

I need to go clothes shopping. Oh dread.

I am working on a pendant for the bee art show.

Since I don't have much of anything else to say, here's a cute pic for you:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Oh Olin

What can I say, the boy loves packing peanuts...

Say, don't forget about the SPRING CLEANING ART SALE!!! You only have a few weeks left to partake of the 50% discounts!!!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

the little stuff

I'm such a nerd. I really am. I get totally hung up on the most ridiculous little things. So there's this big trip coming up. Atlanta is kind of far from Wilton. And I am working on things like planning the trip, sort of the grand scheme of things, but my major concern today... what color tablecloth should I get for my display. Yeah, for real. And where will I put my luggage that morning if I can't check into the hotel until that afternoon. And what to wear omg I need to go shopping, ewww I hate shopping. But mostly the tablecloth. Oh yes, the show provides them, either blue or gray I think, draped with white vinyl. White vinyl? Really? That just seems so... early 1990s to me. Anyway little ivory thingies probably show up best on a dark background, so I should probably bring my own.

Black velvet tablecloth? That's classic. But my jewelry busts are black velvet. Is that too much black velvet? My risers/pedestals will be clear acrylic. Maybe black satin? Or maybe some other color entirely. But my table-sharer (tablemate?) wants black. How do I get some color into this thing? I might be pretty tempted by burgundy velvet otherwise. Hmmm. This calls for a trip to the fabric store.

This is all rhetorical, I just want you to know that there are some seriously ridiculous thoughts that go through my little pea brain.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Olin scrimshaw portrait

At last! I actually started this in January, but since it's a personal project it got bumped back many times behind other customer's pieces. I gotta say it was worth the wait. I love this piece, I think this might be my new favorite. Of course I'm slightly biased with the subject matter (he does, after all, sleep on my bed) but I just am THRILLED with how this turned out and can't wait to wear it to some shows! This is one of those ones that you have to see in person. :-) There are 14 colors in this piece, and believe me when I tell you this was extremely challenging! Oh, and it's all dots.

~1 by 1-3/8 inches
multicolor scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory
not for sale

Saturday, April 03, 2010

oh, right, blogging, yeah...

Whoops! Sometimes I just kinda forget to say anything for a while. Busy, boring, you name it. I've mostly been working on taxes the last few days, sitting on the floor surrounded by ever-changing stacks of paperwork. Progress...

I'm starting to make plans for the two ginormous road trips of the summer, and boy oh boy do I have a lot of work to do.

Angus the dog is doing well. Still working on his major separation anxiety, but I think he's improved some. He and I have also had some serious discussions about how chasing cats and chickens is simply not acceptable. I think he'll grasp the concept and hopefully he and I won't have to have that discussion too many more times. I tell ya, sometimes it's like someone flips the switch and mister calm lazy dog is off like a rocket. Who knows what lurks in his past. I have to say I'm kind of enjoying walking him. 2 miles a day, it feels good. I wave at everyone who drives past. Most of them wave, but a few give me weird looks. I mean, this is the country, nobody walks dogs in the country. (I'm serious.) But, the looks are less weird than when I take my horse for a walk!

I did finish my scrim pendant portrait of Olin (finally!). I'll try to post that tomorrow, and hopefully get back to regularly scheduled blogging pretty soon.