Hi! Sorry I never made it here last night to pick winners to my giveaway...

My good excuse: I was at my friend Renee's house, with 5 other women friends, helping skewer shish-ka-bobs for her 40th B-day party. We ended up staying out late drinking mixed drinks, eating chocolate cake, and sitting out on her candle-lit deck talking. No baby. It was all SO nice... I was just SO happy to be there.

Afterward, Ema, Meredith, and I hiked the 1 1/2 miles through the dark woods home with our flashlights.

So without further ado, here are the winners!
For the Sweet Mess gift certificate:
#20 (Heather) (Please send your email to sweetmessart@gmail.com so I can give you a link)

& for the Craft Corps book:

(Lucy Ladham-Dyment)
(Random numbers generated Jul 31 2010 at 8:29:34 by www.psychicscience.org
Free educational resources for parapsychology, psychical research & mind magic.

Thanks to all for playing! I have to say that I wish I could send you all goodies... perhaps someday!
I will leave you a poor quality, but full-of-life mountain style hokey-poky starring the girls and Grandpa Gramps:




Lili has the hiccups this afternoon and we are trying new methods of getting rid of them. We have tried hopping on one foot, being upside down, drinking water, coughing, jumping, spinning, laughing, scaring her, making weird lip noises, and general silliness. (I decided not to show her the spoonful of sugar idea... )The anticipation and question of the coming hiccup is hilarious. When it finally comes, it sends her into a peel of laughter.

Seo is squirming around on the floor. He rolls...he scoots in an aimless direction. He lies his head down and quietly watches the action around him.

He seems to be on the earlier end of some things (at least compared to Lili) A tooth is working it's way through his bottom gum already, and he is seemingly attempting to crawl~ or at least crawl-ish-scoot-ish. I keep telling him there is no rush...



4" x 4"

or perhaps this one???*Having a day of laundry,
cleaning the stove,
preparing pulled pork sandwiches and salad for dinner,
trying to respond to my backlog of emails and Etsy stuff,
booking our flight to NH next month for my Dad's wedding,
reading books with the kids...
I just feel SO GRATEFUL to be able to stay at home with my children and do this "mundane" stuff.
So grateful.

Even on the days the kids are driving me absolutely crazy I usually can see through the frustration to appreciate how lucky I am on this level.
Usually ;)


4" x 4"

another little painting that could belong to you if you join my giveaway!


The weather has been all consuming.

You know it is hot when even under your eyes feels sweaty. It was possibly 100 degrees here today... We draped blankets over all of the windows and hid out in our cave-like house most of the day.

Lili told Alex it was raining on his forehead.

But tonight it cooled down. And a full moon rose. And I made myself an ice cream cone and sat outside alone in our camping chair.
Thinking through some insecurities.
Listening to the loud rhythm of the peepers all around.
Listening to the muffled voices of my 9 year old niece and her friend having a sleepover on the trampoline at the bottom of our garden. giggles rising out of the night.

fireflies rising in and out too.



In honor of my 500th blog post (!) I am having a giveaway. I will be offering a $25 gift certificate to my Etsy Store (+ free shipping) to one lucky person, and THIS awesome book to another lucky winner:(Even if you aren't lucky this time around I think you should take the time to investigate this book...there are tons of great artist interviews. And if you can find it locally instead of on amazon... well you know, it's all the better.)

I thought it would be fun to get some feedback on what you all think of the plethora of new pendants I listed in the shop. CLICK HERE to go check them out, and then leave a comment for me on this post with your feedback to be entered into my giveaway.
Tell me anything you want~ which one you like best, an additional image you would like to see, what colors are your favorite, grammatical errors, what title stood out to you, any constructive criticism...~ anything big or small to help me on my way. Of course if you are bashful you can just write "count me in", and that will do too :)

I will pick names next Friday July 30th.

p.s.~ Thank you for all of your kind comments, emails, and phone calls about Salome~ I really appreciate the time you all took to share your sympathy with me.


goodbye my love.

I had to put Salome to sleep yesterday.
I feel a little bit nauseous today and I am not sure if I am coming down with something, or if it is residual from the tightness in my chest over Salome's passing. Either way, I feel not right, and I already miss her horribly.

I got back from the beach and she was very sick.
It was kidney failure. And she was uncomfortable and weak. She didn't have the energy to make it in the litter box. Didn't want to eat or drink... even her favorite~ the leftover cereal milk...

The people at the vet were all very nice, they gave me hugs, and tissues, and held fussy Seo so I could pet her while they put her to sleep. When they folded her curled and dead body in the baby blanket I had brought her in she was so tiny. She barely took up any space.

Some Salome information:
1. At the vet yesterday the receptionist called her Salami. She seemed embarrassed~ I just laughed. It was the only funny moment at the vet. Even if we are notorious for choosing hard to figure out names, I didn't name her. An old roommate did. It was Salome, pronounced like Salome who did the dance of the 7 veils from the bible.
2. I always thought she looked like a barn owl. Like the ones I have been painting.
3. She was a unique cat. Maybe if you aren't a cat lover you would scoff at this fact, but I feel deep in my bones that she was really different. I have loved all the cats over the years and many friends cats as well~ but Salome was one of a kind.

We decided to tell Lili.
We started by telling her we had some sad news.
and when we told her Salome was gone she said "Oh".
and we said "Like for good. She went bye-bye forever".
and Lili was just staring at us with a puzzled look on her face~ and Alex and I were just staring at each other unsure of how to explain the concept of death to a 2 year old.

how do you explain something so vast? something so basic.

something you don't fully understand yourself?

"Salome is in the bathroom?" she asked after what we said had sunk in.
"No" said Alex, "She's not in the bathroom, she is dead. That means she is gone."
and Lili said "Uh, oh... That's nooo good".

"Well, I think she is probably happy... maybe she is is up in the sky." I said.
"Salome is in the sky???"
"Um, sort of... maybe. She is in the sky and in the ground... she is all around us now. She is a spirit kitty now."
She looked doubtful, amazed, puzzled.
"She has her tail?" she questioned (Salome had her tail amputated 8 years ago)
"Her tail! Right! Salome has found her tail!... she will be so happy."

"Are you sad?"
"Yes, I miss Salome"
"I give you a hug then."

(((family hug)))


Big Crafty pictures...

A finished glass tile pendant:
We have made 175 new pendants so far this summer. Here they all are all bundled up for the journey:
Ta Da! Alex made this new display for the pendants. It worked so much better than our past displays where customers were all huddled around one small basket trying to sort through them. Alex salvaged these old oak boards from the falling down barn behind our house.
This display was my families medicine cabinet growing up. It has proven to be such a versatile way to showcase my art. This time I had magnets on one door and earrings on the other (this was the exciting new project I have been working on that I wanted to share a few weeks ago~ once I take some good pictures I will show more).
My prints and more pendants
and beyond, my neighbor Dawn Dalto's booth...
My bigger paintings and my 4" x 4"ers on display:
Okay, this one isn't actually from the Big Crafty, but since Seo is so squishy cute, and because he was the Sweet Mess mascot this fair... he belongs here too:


close my eyes after all the work.

Thank you to everyone who came out and visited me at the Big Crafty on Sunday. It was SUCH an awesome time, and I feel so lucky to be able to be part of such a wonderful fair. I sold a bunch of small paintings, tons upon tons of pendants, and got some really nice feedback on some of my larger work.
I met so many sweet customers,
hot sticky and tolerant kids,
adults who just couldn't resist asking the price tag of Seo,
other amazing artists,
people who read my blog (thank you so much for introducing yourself!!!)
aspiring artists,
and people who stopped by just to support me and say hi.
It felt like a success.
Immediately after the show ended Seo and I hopped in our car and drove 6 hours to the ocean (Lili drove down with my sister and Dave the day before). The first hour I didn't turn on any music or radio~ I just let the days many conversations and experiences wash over me. decompressing.

The reason I have no pictures yet is because I am on a family vacation at the beach (minus Alex who stayed home to work = best hubby ever.) and forgot that cord that allows me to upload my pictures.
A few small things like this fell to the wayside as we hustled to get ready for the Big Crafty and pack for the beach simultaneously.

Click HERE for the Asheville Citizen Times story and pictures of the event. More stories will come later I am sure.



It is the final week of the World Cup...

And because my dear dear childhood friend Erin is awaiting the arrival of her baby...

...In honor of those two big things, here is an old school/high school shot of the two of us on the field looking spiffy in white.



new painting

I finished this new painting yesterday evening. It is the largest painting I have done recently~ although it is only one foot square. It has me dreaming of attempting some larger works, I am thinking 2' x 3' maybe. Or maybe I will stick to the square format...

I am in love with the owls in this painting. Owls have a place in many legends around the world as the keepers of sacred knowledge and guardians of the night.

"In the celtic tradition, the owl (cailleach-oidhche), represents wisdom, clairvoyance, stealth, initiation, change and detachment. Always aware of its surroundings, the owl uses intuition courageously, with insight into hidden truth, and a guide between earth creatures and Underworld deities." (source)

I was specifically thinking of our oil spill when I painted this piece~ the owls taking on a personal symbol of connectedness and greater insight to this horrific disaster.
The white dots are the constellation of the whale.

Happy 4th


new work

She doesn't have a title yet... I just finished some final touches.

She is 8" x 8" x 1.5", and I love the smooth milky surface.
I feel really happy how the bird came out too.