Jul 30, 2011

Lost and Found Art

In my frantic search of the garage, where I was hoping to find an electric frying pan or something to melt wax in (for another project)- I came across a box with these Christmas nativity sets in it. The funny thing is, I lost this box after a craft show about 5 years ago. It's weird to see things you did in the past.

I still love the little sheep. Maybe this year I'll try to make a whole scene. That'll be a heck of a project.

Well, at least I have a few things to list tomorrow. I'll even keep the old prices, I think. After five years in a box, I bet these little Mary and Josephs are eager to be out in the world!

Jul 21, 2011

Don't Be So Hard On Yourself

Sometimes we get down on ourselves about what we think are our shortcomings. I know I do. It's hard to, when you live in such a competitive world like we do. I sometimes think to myself: I should be selling more/ making more/ getting into galleries/ doing a show.

If you work in a traditional job (meaning; you work for someone else), you probably feel those pressures that come with the job- your boss's expectations, whether you are doing well or coming up short, how you get along with your peers. It's overwhelming at times. In our off-time, we face much of the same. Raising kids, family, relationships, etc. There are so many ways to fall into the trap of thinking, "I should be doing it this way".

Every once in a while I like to remind myself that I'm doing a great job. I still sometimes set expectations for myself that are out of reach. That can be a problem, because I'm pretty hard on myself. I do my best, but if I fall short, I try to not beat myself up about it. I try to not sweat the small stuff - I said I try. I'm still working on it!!

Jul 12, 2011

What is a Power Animal or Spirit Guide?

The terms Power Animal and Spirit Guide have entered the popular culture in recent years. I thought a short discussion of what Power Animals and Spirit Guides are would help explain to some who still have questions - what is this whole "Spirit Guide" thing all about?

According to the Spirit Walk Ministry "A Spirit Guide is a spirit that comes forth to guide you through the trials of your life and to help you to understand the lessons that these experiences are there to teach you. Spirit Guides often represent archetypes of behavior for facing the challenges of life and they serve as paradigms of comportment for you to emulate in times of crisis. "

"A certain Spirit Guide may be with you your whole life, or it may be there just to help you through one special challenge. You may have many spirit guides or only one; this will depend on the lessons you need to learn and the trials you must face in this life."
A "Spirit Animal" is the one who will present life's lessons. The Spirit Animal is the one who comes to you in order to show you, through its own unique nature and skills, how to deal with the manifestations of your Spiritual Journey.

The term "Power Animal" is often used interchangably with Spirit Guide.

I see the cunning of the fox; its intelligence and ability to blend into the background, becoming invisible, as skills we can use. "The lesson of the fox," according to Spirit Walk Ministry, "is to stay clear of complications, rather than getting involved in controversies, step back and observe differences from a distance. It is likely you do not need to take sides. The fox takes a neutral stand when he is not being threatened. The fox runs from trouble, preferring not to get in the mix of conflicts." You can see that by observing the fox, there is something we can take away to apply to our own lives. Similar lessons and knowledge of ourselves can be learned by observing other animals and their characteristics.

By searching on the internet, you can find many articles on Animal spirit guides and Power Animals. Spirit Walk has a list of animals and thier characteristics, as do seveal other sites. Even if you don't believe in the spirit guides as a religious practice, it's fun to see which animal you're drawn to and which characteristics seem most like you. For instance, I'm drawn to the rabbit, for its ability to take advantage of opportunities and the way it lives by it's wits. Then again, I do love the Coyote, for its adabtability, playfulness and sense that everything is scared and nothing is sacred.
I started making my clay spirit guide sculptures a couple of years ago,starting with a little raccoon. The idea of having a cute little sculpture I could sit on my shelf intrigued me and before I knew it, I had a small zoo of critters. I usually do what comes to me, but occasionally I get a request for a special animal, and it's always fun to do something new. Each sculpture is created by hand. I never use a mold - just a few simple wooden tools, a rolling pin and my imagination. I like to keep my glazing simple and I try to capture the essence of the animals spirit, at least as I see it. Visit my Iktomi shop on Etsy or my flickr site (on the right side is a link) for more of my spirit guides.

Jul 7, 2011

Designer Decor Knockoffs

I've been working on home decorating lately and wanted to share this awesome blog I've found. It's called Copy Cat Chic, and the blogger, Reichel, has found some incredible lookalikes for high end designers and shops like Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, etc.

The prices are amazing, but I must warn you, supplies are limited for some of these items, and I've followed the links, only to see they were already sold out. It didn't even occur to me there was such a market for designer knock-off home decor!

I'm off to see if I can find the perfect lamp! Toodle-oo!

Jul 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

I had a great long weekend. Our holiday was very laid back, with just me , my son, J, and my brother, Greg.

I picked up a box of oysters at the fish market and some crawfish. We ate some oysters on the half shell while standing next to the sink and grilled the rest. I'd never done this, but we heard (meaning, 'read it on the internet') that you should put them on the grill for about 4 minutes and remove as soon as the shells beging to open. Well, that resulted in warm, uncooked oysters; not what I was looking for. We actually put them back on the grill until they really cooked in their own juices. Wow, they were phenomenally tasty!

I made a big bowl of potato salad and an awesome dessert from a recipe my mom gave me. It's just cool whip, instant vanilla pudding, canned pineapple chunks and fresh fruit. Wow, it was so good. I served it over a little pound cake - not that it needed it. I guess the guys everything because there was nothing left.

At dusk, we headed down to the bay to watch the fireworks from the seawall next to the Navarre Bridge, along with a couple hundred other people. I kicked myself for not bringing my camera or phone to take some pictures. Greg entertained us with his tales of being an actual pyrotechnician (what you call the guys who set off the fireworks). He had some great stories and it was really neat how he could describe the different kinds of fireworks going off. We made it home in time to have another helping of dessert (hey, it's a holiday!)

A good time was had by all. What a great way to celebrate our Independence Day!

Jul 3, 2011

Blogging from my phone -ugh

Well, in an effort to be a better blogger, I've gotten this app for my iPhone so I can blog on the fly. It's new to me so please bear with my flubs as I sort this out.

Here's a picture of my little bro, Greg, who's come to visit for the summer. I took this a couple of weeks ago when he first got here. Today, if he gets up pretty soon ( ahh, to be on vacay--), we'll drive to Pensacola, go to Joe Patti's fish market, and get some gulf shrimp, fish, and crawfish. I'm hungry already!

- Posted from my iPhone