Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mid-Century Women & Great Crates

As I was waiting for my son to finish his art lesson at the gallery this evening, I stopped in at a new thrift shop to benefit the local Hospice and found a pristine (at least on the inside) Lane cedar chest from the 50s. It has the brass-tipped atomic age legs and false drawers with pulls true to the era, like this one. I'll probably use it as a coffee table in the media room.

As I was checking out, one of the volunteers commented that she was happy I was purchasing the hope chest. I nodded and said, "It's a bargain for such a nice piece; they'd call it 'mid-century' and charge a fortune for it in an antique store." One of the mature women behind me in line piped up, "Mid-century, I like that word. From now on, when people ask how old I am, I will tell them I am a mid-century woman!"

Speaking of containers, I ordered a neat dog crate for our new Corgi. The front panel flips up like a garage door. The entire crate breaks down to carry flat, and comes in fashion colors. This clever crate won the Pet Product News International 2008 Editor's Choice Award. Please let me know what you think! If you like, you can purchase one for your Corgi here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Corgi Home Alone: The Crate Debate

Our needle felted Corgi gives fairy rides when we aren't around...

Gourmet Felted Creates Amazing Custom Corgis

What do you do with your Corgi baby (or any puppy) while you are away? We crated our first Corgi as a baby, and she did well with it. The crate was Husky-sized, which is too big, so she had an accident in it once in a while.

As she grew, we were able to leave her outside when we were away (we had acreage available), or inside the house. She never tore up anything... except the blinds if we forgot to lift them a couple of inches so that she could see out!

Read about "Free-range Gibson" and his great crate adventure here: Corgi Butts: Back to Jail

We are officially perusing local acreage for a new place, but will bring our little girl home to all sorts of outside hazards, such as water and wilderness--too much for a baby!--not to mention the Corgi reputation for being stolen right out of their yards...

Please feel free to leave advice. :) Puppy Kindergarten will begin soon, but I like to worry about things waaay ahead of time...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Which One is Tegwen?

Please help us decide which one is Tegwen...
The red one is my son's favorite, but there are two others. Please vote for the...
1) Two-Week-Old Red One
2) Two-Week-Old Tricolor, or
3) Younger Tricolor--less than a week old! (from another litter)

If you want to email me, or post a comment, it would be much appreciated! TIA :)

The personalities so far on these three little girls are so wonderful, and their mothers are lovely.

Two-Week-Old Red One

Two-Week-Old Tricolor

Younger Tricolor--less than a week old!

While they were sleeping in our arms, I almost wished that we already had a ranch and could have one of each color.

Pppssst! Puppies!

OK, I have to get everything done quickly, because we are going to see our new baby... Out of three litters, I think we can choose just one itty bitty Pembroke Welsh Corgi girl... Will let you know how it goes!

Aren't they precious? We want a little girl who can do agility with my son someday, and run with me. Personality comes first, so we will have to see... Will we choose a black-headed tricolor like our last girl, or a lovely red... ??? So much fun!

Meanwhile, see Karen's puppies...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Deer Editor, Here's Grandmother's Recipe for Shrimp Gumbo *in which the editor goes on and on about her silly lamp, then alas gets to the good stuff!

Here's a photo of my new funky lamp pieced together from part of my Shawnee deer collection, an Eames era lamp shade, and a great handmade antler finial. With modern recessed lighting, lamps are almost obsolete, but I use them as decorating pieces to punctuate the theme of the room. In the office, there are many fawns. And a lot of Corgi art, too. To create a fun photo, my editor's chair is all aglow with this lamp, and the effect is rather spooky, my favorite. It grabs attention poised on the leather inset of my carved desk, balanced by the deer planter companion piece opposite it. If anyone ever wants to really indulge her inner collector, there is no greater surface than an oversized desk. Another obsolete function of the modern household is the mid-century study, but I cannot write properly without my leatherbound notebooks and heavily carved writing surfaces. Helps lend the proper feeling when I edit my projects beneath the pool of amber light from my vintage lamp. ;)

Speaking of writing, I am putting Classy Chassy's Corgi recipe cards to good use mailing out handcopied cards of my Grandmother Lopez's authentic shrimp gumbo from the New Orleans Lopez-Ferrell side of the family. It was always my favorite (although I forgo the Crisco these days):

Shrimp Gumbo

Melt 4T Crisco in heavy iron pot and brown slowly, 4T flour, stirring constantly, do not let burn. Have ready to add:

4 or 5 cloves of garlic (mashed)
4 finely chopped onion
2 large finely chopped Bell peppers

Cook and stir until onions cook limp, then add:

1 can of tomatoes chopped
1 can tomato paste
1 lb chopped fresh okra (or frozen)

Cook and stir until well blended, add enough chicken stock, beef broth or fish stock to thin down to desired thickness. (Mayme Reid uses a medium slice of ham cut up, boiled in water.)

3 lbs peeled raw shrimp (medium)
1T pepper corns
1T Marjoram
3T file powder
1T Tobasco (we use 1t)
1T Kitchen Bouquet
3 or 4 Bay Leaves
Salt to taste, about 1 1/2T
1T of sugar

Mix well, cover and cook slowly (very slow) about 1 hour. Let cool and reheat, serve over steamed rice, with hot garlic bread and salad.

Enjoy, ya'll!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Look What Came in the Mail Today...

Took this as a thank you photo, and thought I'd share with you part of tiny handcrafted world created with the help of some of my favorite etsians. As I was packaging several photos tonight, I thought about how we are using an "online community" to connect with each other through our art . Perhaps it seems sappy, but I enjoy how we use our hearts and hands to give one another more than just handmade goods; we give a little bit of ourselves, the essence of who we are, to the people we do business with online.

As busy as we are, it's nice that technology can lead us back to that simpler, homespun life and authentic feeling of community. I've been selling handmade goods online for ten years, and treasure the opportunity to brighten someone's day, many times someone who is willing to share a tiny bit of her story with me across the miles. Anyway, check out the etsian storybook characters, footprint cookie press, wooden mushrooms, and tiny universes on my shelves that keep my antiques company.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lovebird Bath

Ricco loves his bath. Even though it was not what I had in mind at the time, he was having so much fun, I had to grab a photo. The way the stream of water, his dancing feet, his flapping wings, and the basin reflecting the light work together, it is truly a one in a million action shot. At least for me. My favorite things to photograph are light and water. It's hard to capture flailing birds, so this photo was a real treat! It will be printed on metallic paper.

Here's another photo with water and light, taken a couple of years ago at the Chesapeake in the Florida Keys.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moss, Chocolate and Holly Berries

Flora the Faun was listed in my etsy shop today. Thank you, LadyFarrah, for supplying my terrarium hobby with native* moss (*I grew up in Tennessee). My kitchen nook is decorated in mossy green and chocolate brown with red holly berry accents, so the fawn Shawnee planter fits right in. Almost everything in the nook is handmade, much of it by fellow etsians. A few heirloom pieces complete the favorite things theme. Oh, and don't forget the lovebird-ravaged orchids (they are recovering) and lucky bamboo plants in the bay window living happily with the little guardian lizard found in this collage:

Monday, February 9, 2009

First Draft

Like most moms, I brag about my kids, both human and feathered. My 13-year-old son's drafting table where he is currently working on a new character, Steam Ricky, serves as a great intro for my photography. This spot contains my son's essence. The air just smells creative there... I had to document the scene, complete with well-worn steampunk goggles, manga lessons, and sleeping Pleo.