Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Stubborn Child....

This must be "Post to the Blog Tuesday" because I've been absent for a bit and all of a sudden have so much to talk about. Maybe this is just part of my method of operation - locking myself away in the dungeon, concentrating on deadlines and brainstorming for fresh ideas. Once I feel I've finally succeeded, I want to come up for air and share news with my friends.

I got an email before I went on vakay from a friend, wanting me to make a dolly for her. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about this one, as the petals are quite a bit larger than my sunflower and shasta daisy girls. The trick is going to be getting each of these 18 handsewn petals to stand at attention as I expect them to do.

I had previously considered pipecleaners in the stems, but as I paint the leaves, I dont want the outline of any wire showing through. I can see I'll have to work at this ... I'll keep you posted!

Coming to the Humble Arts Sept 1st


It feels like I have been chained to the dungeon for too many nights and I'm getting hopeful that is a glimmer of daylight I'm starting to see!

Anyway, I've come up with a couple of special treats for the Humble Arts - and am quite anxious to start decorating the house for my favorite season of the year. I love Fall and Halloween and Punkins and Pilgrims and Giving Thanks and Trick or Treating and all the kids dressed up on Halloween night! I always park right by the front door so I dont miss any kids in our neighborhood - and we usually get at least 200+ kids !!! yippeeeeeeeeeee

I'm getting downright giddy just thinking about it :)

This fella is called "a Scare with Flair" ... doesn't he kind of remind you of Liberace ? ♥

Now, where did I put that candelabra ??

Well, not to be outdone in the moment - Santa has decided it's time to poke his head out too. Even though he still has on his plaid sleepers and there may be a bit of sand left in his eyes from his sleepy-time, he thinks he's bright-eyed and bushy tailed!

I think I tend to agree with this lil fella!

HO HO *yawn* HO !!

I'm a Brilliant Blogger?

I have a secret confession... I'm anything but a brilliant blogger!

I do have fun with it and enjoy blogging - my hubs calls it my "Dear Diary" lol ...

so anyway, back to the brilliant thingie... my buddy Starla of Briar Rabbit Primitives let me know she had something special for me and to "stop on by when" and pick it up.

Thank you friend - I was glad to help you out of your predicament and lucky to stumble on the glitch that was holding up your posts from going through. ♥

My next trick is passing this fun award on ... to be announced

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Casper's Cronies

I've been playing "Beat the Clock" for what seems eons now! Since I got home from va-kay, every night has been spent in the dungeon trying to catch up (and keep up). To date, I've still not reached the "catching-up" plateau, but I'm longing to be at the "keeping up" stage!
Anyway, I've got some company with me down in that craft room .... and as it turns out, their mission has been to try and stir up trouble wherever and whenever they can ... the trouble with that is, they make me giggle instead of scream!

They think those are "orbs" floating around them... silly boys don't realize it's just a Paint Shop border!

My latest fellas will be available on the Humble Arts come Sept. 1st - but don't be fooled by the offering .... We are actually having a Snow theme, so these guys will be filling a spot at the bottom of my sellers page! They tell me they are pure as the driven snow ... rrrrright!

So off I go - continuing to plug away and (like Dorey says) Just keep swimming....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh, Yeah!

Last weekend, we celebrated my sister-in-law's and nephew's birthdays. They are mother and son with birthdays exactly one week apart. They are both so very special to us and we love and treasure them mightily.

Shirley is a fantastic cook - and always makes my hubs favorite dishes whenever we get together. I don't think there is a thing she can't cook (and she's no bigger than a bird - don't ask me how!) but because they are both so special to us, we wanted to make their favorites on their birthday.

Darby wanted ribs and although she wouldn't pinpoint anything specific, we knew Shirley loves my hubs smoked salmon.

So I went to the store and bought 4 slabs of ribs and 4 salmon filet's and let hubs go to town, working his magic. Now there are 2 secrets to his salmon that he will let me share here...

Secret #1: soak the salmon in a brine for at least 4 hours and rinse WELL before cooking.

Secret #2: smoke the delicate meat with Sassafras instead of a heavier or fruity wood.

I oiled the skin on the backside of the salmon while hubs sprayed the grill with nonstick cooking spray and we proceeded to lay the fish directly on the grill for 3 glorious hours, basting all the while and biding our time till they were done and we could eat.

We have barbecued in competitions many years with the Kansas City Barbecue Society and presentation is 1/4 of the scoring in judging. Tenderness gets 1/4 of the score and Taste gets 1/2 of the score. We both cooked and judged many contests and sometimes you wished you could give a dish a better score than 9 for each category (36 being a perfect score). Now I have done my fair share of parsley (which was the only garnish you could use in competition) and you learned to make it as appealing as you could.

When the salmon was finally done, we brought it in the house. It turned out so tender and juicy and delicious ... even without the garnish, I thought it was picture perfect.

Everyone else must have thought so too - because there was enough to send home with the birthday girl and boy and not much more than that!

Bon appetite! ♥

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Haven and her Raven are flying in -

Just in time for the release of the TDIPT Mercantile tonight.

She is my newest creation and really didn't put up too much of a fuss, considering she has been vying for my attentions all while the Olympics are drawing me in.

I hope you like her ♥ She really is a sweet tempered little witch!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Bit of Kansas City Culture

I was recently asked to fill out a personal survey and one of the questions posed was "what do you like best about your hometown?". Without hesitation, the answer came to me: THE FOUNTAINS!

Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains, and ranks second in the world only to Rome, Italy! Summertime in this wonderful city is a sight to behold as you drive around the entire metropolis. We have over 200 fountains in varying size, detail and magnificence.

I'd love to share some of my favorites:
The most famous fountain in Kansas City is appropriately named J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain for the builder and architect of our wonderful Plaza. The figures were originally created by French sculptor Henri-Léon Gréber in 1910 for "Harbor Hill," the estate of Clarence Mackay in Roslyn, New York. The four allegorical equestrian figures reportedly represent four great rivers of the world — the Mississippi River, Volga River, Seine River, and Rhine River. The work is enlivened by sculptures of little children riding dolphins in the pool surrounding the main figures.

Although known as Pan Fountain, this sculpture is more likely to be the personification of the Greek god Bacchus holding court. The 10 thousand pound lead sculpture was purchased by the Nichols Company in 1960 and found this suitable home on the Plaza. Bacchus is surrounded by nymphs and satyrs in the center of Chandler Court near the Swanson's building on the Plaza.

Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon, is surrounded by cherubs and is positioned in front of a hotel overlooking the Plaza. The waterfall is 17' tall and 56' wide.

The Mermaids Fountain on the Plaza has 2 mermaids, each blowing into a shell that sends a single stream of water into the pool.

This one is the Volker Memorial Fountain, in memorial to William Volker an equestrian figure of St. Martin of Tours, who had done much to enrich the city. To add a touch of humor, the scupltor has an angel playing the flute from the wrong end and carved a wristwatch on another angel.

Henry Wollman Block Memorial Fountain, honors the co-founder of H&R Block, Inc. - the fountain is located outside of Union Station, which was restored to it's original glory from years past, when it was the railroad hub of the city.

The Muse of the Missouri personifies a goddess bestowing her interest and guidance on the Missouri River.

Also on the Plaza, this fountain depicts Neptune, god of the sea, with three mythological sea horses in movement.

Pomona Fountain depicts the Roman goddess and protector of gardens.

This is the largest and only memorial in the United States dedicated to those who served in WWI and its museum is the only one whose sole theme is that war.

The Firefighters Fountain commemorates the city's firefighters, and memorializes those who have given their lives in the line of duty.

I've given you a brief inside peek at some of the beauty, showing you a few of my favorite spots around town. I could go on and on but at the risk of boring you to death, let me close by showing you my ultimate hands-down favorite fountain in our great city -

Called the Childrens Fountain, it features six sculptures of local children at play. It is one of Kansas City's largest fountains and the dedication reads: "The bronze figures represent children everywhere to whom this fountain is dedicated and the activities that shape young lives making childhood a joy." The figures, from tallest to shortest represent: joy, meeting challenges, ballerina, soccer player, hand-stand boy, girl walking.

             Can you tell I'm ready for summer?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So Easy, Even a Monkey Can Do It !

This is called a Visual DNA - Your choices dictate your profile!

Click here to see a series of about 15 pictures that will come up.

Select one photo in each category that appeals to you -

Each time you make a selection, 15 more pictures will come up for you to choose one for and move on. Just continue to keep picking.

At the end, it will give you a profile of yourself ...


Friday, August 8, 2008

♥ Tonight's the Night ♥

After an awesome week on vacation, I've been doing my best to get to the dungeon and start putting out fires that have been hanging over my head since before we left for South Dakota.

And now? well, as you all know tonight is the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic coverage from Beijing! Every 2 years, I decide that I like the Winter Olympics best with the downhill and freestyle skiing, ice skating, and more - and then 2 years later, I firmly decide that the summer olympics are the best with the gymnastics, swimming, track, and beach volleyball (& so much more). I can tell what will divert my attentions for days to come - and I'm so excited about it starting.

Either my dvr will be working overtime for the next couple of weeks, or I will be stuffing doll parts during the badminton and fencing. I guess I can live without watching that.... but it won't be easy ♥

Monday, August 4, 2008

"My lands are where my dead lie buried."

We spent the last week on vacation, touring the Black Hills of South Dakota. We planned the trip because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and although it was fun to shop at all the vendors that come for the rally, it was not what captured my attention and stole my heart.

We toured Mt. Rushmore and saw the magnificence that it beheld, rode to Wyoming and saw Devil's Tower and even rode through a pack of hundreds of buffalo so close, I could have reached out and touched them - but what lingered heavy on my heart and moved me to tears was the ongoing work dedicated to the monument of CRAZY HORSE.

In 1939, Chief Standing Bear contacted a man by the name of Korczak Ziolkowski to carve a likeness of Crazy Horse as a tribute to the great warrior and leader, explaining to him that “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, also.” Korczak had earned a name from his work as a sculptor and carver, working with Gutzon Borglum at Mt. Rushmore.

Chief Crazy Horse was leader of the Lakota people in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Crazy Horse led the attack on General Custer's 7th Cavalry in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. He was a courageous fighter and noble leader of his people but died at the age of 35, of stab wounds in the back.

There is much reported about both Crazy Horse and Korczak. I would urge you to read more about it - but let me share a few thoughts that have stayed with me the last week:
Korczak accepted the task of carving the image of Crazy Horse out of the side of a mountain. He arrived in the Black Hills on May 3, 1947, and when he started work on the mountain in 1949, he was almost 40 and had only $174 to his name. In an area of the country where he didn't even have electricity, Korczak brought in an old gas-powered generator and started his work, single-handed. Korczak shared in a film how he would start up the old generator, which seldom fired on the first try. Generally it required some coaxing and several pulls to get it started. Then he would start up a long set of wooden ladders, only to have to go back down if the generator failed. All of this he did while carrying an extremely heavy load of tools to be used in the carving that day. He mentioned in the film that on one occasion he had to climb down nine times during one single day.
Korczak spent the first 7 months living in a tent at the base of the mountain, and then built a cabin from trees in the surrounding black hills forest - all the while, living and working alone. He met Ruth Ross, who became his wife - together, they had 10 children: 5 boys and 5 girls.
The children learned everything about blasting on the monument from working along side their father and since his unexpected death in 1982, 7 of the 10 have steadily carried on his work with the same fervor as their father.

I found it most interesting to compare his physical appearance - when he began his work -
To his appearance after years of work on the mammoth monument - (I could really like this rugged and wooly guy!)

This whole project has been privately funded from day one. Korczak believed it should be built as a love offering by the people and refused Ten Million dollar grants that were offered by the government on two separate occasions. But he believed if the government got involved, it would never be completed (and when you think about what our government really did for the Indian, who could blame him?)
The mountain that is being blasted and carved for the likeness of this great Sioux leader is 600 ft. high. When it is completed, the Crazy Horse Monument will be a 3-D carving in stone, in the round, that stands 563 ft high. In comparison, the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, is 555 ft. and the largest pyramid in the world a mere 481 ft. If you can imagine the size of Mt. Rushmore, it will fit easily in the back of Crazy Horse's flowing hair!

Keep in mind, there is no documented photograph of Crazy Horse. The model and work prepared by Korczak was created in his likeness from "word pictures" given in the 1940's by old Indians who had known Crazy Horse in the few years that he lived from 1843 - 1877.

Korczak is buried in the tomb that he and his sons blasted from a rock outcropping near where the permanent Indian museum will rise at the foot of the mountain carving. For the tomb door he wrote his own epitaph and cut it from three-quarter-inch steel plate. It reads:

Storyteller in Stone
May His Remains Be Left Unknown