Saturday, February 28, 2009

Featured Artist, Judy Elizabeths Flock



For 16 years Judy Elizabeth tended her flock of sheep in beautiful Babb, Montana.

The small town of Babb sits on the edge of Glacier National Park. A magical place where creativity has room to blossom. In 1984 Judy Elizabeth created a soft sculpture pattern for her sheep and ewes.

These sweet lambs/ewes are great collectibles for all ages. Each lamb comes with the story of "Jena the Gentle Ewe" -- Jena was a white faced ewe who had long black lashes and freckles on her nose -- she had started out as a bum lamb (motherless and raised on a bottle). Jena also helped acclimate their Pyrenees guard dog puppy, Shu-Shu-La, to live with and guard the flock of sheep.

Judy Elizabeth spends hours on each lamb/ewe. They are hand sewn and stuffed until they are just right, adding lashes and eye lids, ears, legs, etc. They come with felt bows and a bell around their neck.

The only lambing Judy Elizabeth does now is with her needle and thread but Jena still lives on with each creation.

Feel free to view Judy Elizabeths Flock

Chicks and Eggs


The other day I was shopping on Etsy and viewing shops that make infant items. I was looking for a gift for a newborn. I discovered Chicks and Eggs. I am so impressed by her shop. The leather shoes are such quality and a variety of styles to choose from. I found myself wishing I was shopping for a girl because the Matina style is so cute!

I also loved the fabrics she uses for her bibs and burp clothes, very modern and fun! Check out her shop, you will enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hmmm...a husbands conspiracy

This last weekend here in beautiful western Montana the sun was shining, the temps were in the high forties and the "plan" was to start our spring cleaning.

Instead, my lovely husband brought home the flu. We slept, we ran fevers and we slept some more! Kitty Luna loved it. She laid with me the whole time, probably thinking "Finally, these humans are coming over to my side".

So, the spring cleaning didn't get started this weekend but after a three pound weight loss I can say the spring diet has begun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Midnight at the Oasis earrings


Exotic earrings designed with luscious Lapis Lazuli and copper.

I love designing bold earrings! I have found that this style of Sterling Silver ear wire is great for balancing the weight of earrings. These earrings are medium weight, allowing you to keep them all day. Midnight at the Oasis earrings

Mud, Mud, I love Mud



Amidst the ice and dirty snow mud has appeared. I have never been so happy to see it. It is a sign that spring is truly appearing. An added bonus is there is actually sunshine breaking through today, too! My goodness, I don't know if I can take it! (The photo is kitty Luna looking at me thru the sunroof)

It has been a busy week with responsibilities. My taxes are filed. I finally got my application in to my summer show. I will hear something in mid April. I am entering my 6th season of selling at the Missoula Saturday Market. It is juried but they allow guest vending. That is what I have been doing. It takes many years for a jewelry artist to get in, because everyone seems to make jewelry. This is my 2nd year to apply as a permanent vendor so I try not to have expectations. If a lot of slots open up I may have a chance.

Now that I see mud it is time to start my spring cleaning. Last night I prepared my honey, telling him in the next few days we would be going thru the house seeing what we can get rid of. He just moaned, so I told him not to worry that I would supervise him. He said "When do you not supervise?" He got a pillow in the face for that remark!

New chandelier earring findings arrived in the mail from Turkey yesterday. I am excited to work with them today. What a juggling act it is to keep your shop looking fresh, as if all you do is create (and eat bon-bons).

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Today I have my first online ad!
I used Project Wonderful and found free advertising on www.gallerialindashowcase.blogspot.com It looks like the pic is a bit warped and I am not sure why. But, way cool!
Update: I just discovered free ads come and go, I was out bidded. So much to learn!

The bad is that I must get my papers in order for the accountant! I keep putting it off. I am thrilled this year to be turning them over to an accountant. I have always done them and get stressed out every year. I always felt confident on what I was doing with them until last year. Reading the Etsy forums and hearing this opinion or that opinion, confused me. So, I found an accountant who does small business and large corporate taxes. I am so relieved...but, still hours of organizing to do today!
Lesson: Keep paperwork organized weekly or monthly not annually!
Update: All done and in the hands of the accountant...this feels great!

The Ugly are dumb nightmares! Must have been the way the planets were aligned or something! LOL

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Simply Asia



As the cook in the house there are days I want to create a fast and healthy meal. In the morning, before running off to my studio, I through in two pork country ribs into the slow cooker. I like to add garlic and crushed red peppers. You could use any meat to your liking.

I get home hours later and pull the pork out of the slow cooker, with Luna, my cat mewing like crazy! After giving little Luna her share, I shred the pork and place it in the skillet. Then put on a pot of water to boil, chose which flavor of Simply Asia to make. I like spicy so usually we have Spicy Szechuan. Plus, I love saying Spicy Szechuan.

So, the water is heating now and you just toss in a bag of frozen veggies into the skillet with the meat. I use asparagus stir fry. Add more crushed red chili, toss about until veggies are heated.

Toss in the Simply Asia noodles and cook 9 minutes. Drain, rinse, toss in skillet with meat and veggies. Add the Szechuan sause and toss, and diner is served.

Growing up our family rarely added salt to our meals. We were raised knowing that was not healthy. So, I am sensitive to prepared meals sodium levels. I really like Simply Asia because they are not overly salty.

I sure hope I didn't sound like a commercial! I just wanted to share this fast meal!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I have been tagged by Sandi at Sassy Glass Designs.
Rules of tagging:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post these Rules in your Blog
3. Write 5 Random things about yourself
4. Tag random people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each Person know they've been tagged

5 random things no one probably really wants to know about me:

1) That you can be my friend for years before I share everything about myself to you!

2) When I was a child I dreamed of being a painter and living in some foreign land.

3) I was employed with the hockey team San Jose Sharks. I worked there before they even had there logo, team or coach.

4) I had a house pet that was a bunny rabbit. She ate all the wires of my appliances so I gave her to a family. When I inquired about little bunny I was told that possibly the father ate him!!

5) The only famous person I have dreamt of is David Bowie and that was twice! Maybe after the third dream I will meet him! LOL

I am tagging:

judy elizabeths flock.
everythings blue.
Busy Bead Lady.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taos Pueblo Musician Robert Mirabal


Often in America the indigenous people of this country are either plain forgotten or romanticized. The next few weeks I am going to highlight some talented artist, musicians, politicians, and writers from Native Country.

I thought I would start with someone I met on several occasions from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. I thought I would just stick with his bio in order to stay within his public profile. I can tell you I think he is a very funny and nice guy! His concerts are full of incredible energy and he creates a very inclusive feeling.

BIOGRAPHY
Two-time GRAMMY winner, Robert Mirabal, lives with his family at the foot of sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico.

Maintaining a traditional life, keeping the centuries-old customs of the Taos Pueblo people, Robert has been described as a Native American "Renaissance man" - musician, composer, painter, master craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman and farmer - and travels extensively playing his music all over the world.

If you live a traditional life you see things differently—spiritually and musically.

His first flute came when he was 18 with money he borrowed from his grand mother, and shortly after wards he had the opportunity to meet Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai who greatly influenced him.

When we met he looked at my hands and laughed. He said, I have that same scar. It's the scar of the flute maker.

In the years since, Robert has continued the evolution of his flute making and has also become a concert performer and recording artist. His dozen albums of traditional music, rock and roll, and spoken word present a contemporary view of American Indian life that is unequaled.

My music is informed by the ceremonial music that I've heard all my life. What I create comes out of my body and soul in a desire to take care of the spirits of the earth.

A leading proponent of world music, Robert has merged his indigenous American sound with those of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, tapping into a planetary pulse with a style that defies categorization.

My travels have provided me with experiences that I could have never imagined, and exposed me to a global sound and a global voice.

Whether as a composer, songwriter or musician, Robert has won many honors including two-time Native American Artist of the Year, three-time Songwriter of the Year, a 2006 GRAMMY Award for Sacred Ground, and his 2008 GRAMMY for Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants, blending all of Robert's influences into a musical landscape that conjures up both the historic and contemporary West.

His 2002 breakthrough PBS Special, Music From a Painted Cave is unsurpassed in Native American theatrical expression.

His first novel, Running Alone in Photographs is now ready to order and will begin shipping November 14th, 2008.

Middle Road Foundation




The Middle Road Foundation (MRF) is an existing nonprofit program begun by Robert Mirabal in 1998 to serve the needs of Taos Pueblo children and their families in a variety of ways.

The emphasis of the MRF is to provide a bridge between cultures by enhancing educational opportunities and by addressing social and economical issues facing the children of the Pueblo.

Although the first priority for assistance is the Taos Pueblo, the MRF is not confined to only the Pueblo or to Native American children. So far, the MRF has provided assistance in a variety of ways: monetary scholarships, clothing drives, school supplies for the Taos Pueblo Day School, computers, donated to the local Angel Tree for Christmas gifts, benefit concert for the 2003 Encebado Fire, Annual Halloween "Trail of Fears"event. Our largest event to date is the Holiday gift giveaway. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT DONATED THIS 2008 YEAR. IT WAS VERY VERY SUCCESSFUL. We will post photos soon.

We would like to receive the following items (at any time of the year is fine) school supplies, toys, hunting-fishing-camping items for men, women and children, sports equipment, holiday gifts for the elders. Flannel and denim shirts are always welcomed for men. Of course, let's not forget that monetary donations are most appreciated.

We would like to offer financial assistance again to graduating or traveling students. Items can be sent via UPS to 216 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos NM 87571 or postal at PO Box 641 Taos, NM 87571. We have donation letters with our 501-C(3) number for your taxes. Thank always for your interest and support! Peace and Blessings.
Mirabal Native Flutes

This info came from Robert Mirabal's site http://mirabal.com/about-robert.php

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Exotic Ethnic Jewelry is 2009 trend


Unconventional pieces can make you and your outfit stand out from a crowd by bringing a note of uniqueness, simplicity and style.

In 2009 unconventional materials, such as apple seeds, wood, ceramic, plastic, shells, leather and bold stones can make for astonishing jewelry items.

Big, tribal pieces carry over from 2008 trends into this year. Remember to not get to carried away, wearing one bold piece with more subtle pieces is always better. You don't want to look like Mrs. Roper from the Three's Company television show!

Statement pieces always look great with simple solids. The necklace shown here would look great with a white blouse and jeans.

Also, layering necklaces is still the trend for 2009. A floral summer dress worn with a long bold color opera necklace and a simple choker necklace with a bold pendant.

So, what form of ethnic inspired jewelry will you be making a statement with this season?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Apple Annie necklace


Late winter is the time of year I start getting ready for my summer shows. I finally sat down and created my signature necklace.

My witty dad named this necklace! Created with over 300 apple seeds, Turquoise, Red Coral, Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli.

This triple strand necklace is ever so light in weight. Perfect with a summer dress or fall sweater!

I really had fun designing this necklace. Apple Annie Necklace

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Featured Artist Grizzly Mountain Soaps


I have been buying my soap from Grizzly Mountain Soap for 5 years now. As a customer it is easy to feature them.

Grizzly Mountain Soaps is a small home based company made up of mother, daughter, and grandson., located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Jamie, the daughter, is the woman in front. She sells her soap, during the summer, through out western Montana. You can find her every saturday at the Missoula Saturday market.

They make there soap from Buffalo tallow. Tallow is the fat melted down. Tallow is what makes a soap very creamy. Store bought soap is made from beef or pork tallow. Grizzly Mountain Soap gets there Buffalo fat from meat packers in Montana. The fat would have been thrown away.

There soap bars are large at 5 oz. They last about as long as 3 store bought soaps. They come wrapped in pretty fabric. I always slice mine in thirds and disperse in the shower and sinks.

Grizzly Mountain Soaps also wholesales their soap to a variety of shops in the North West. I was chatting with an owner of an antique store once. He carries there soap and said when he brings in an antique piece that smells like stale cigarettes he places a bar of their soap in the drawer and it absorbs all the bad odors.

They have incredible scents too. My favorite is heather. They carry a Flathead Cherry soap that has actual Flathead cherries in it. The same with there huckleberry too!
You can visit them at "http://www.grizzlymountainsoaps.etsy.com/">http://www.grizzlymountainsoaps.etsy.com/
Countries that wear my designs!
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