Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Give a little Love...

Remember to give thanks for everything you have, everyone who loves you, everything around you. Let us pray for those who have little to be thankful for. May next year be better for all
I like to especially give thanks to the little animals in my life who touch me everyday with their undying devotion, weither or not I deserve it, they are always there for me. May all pets and God's creatures be blessed this day with food, shelter and love....

Happiness is a warm home and a full tummy....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dog Tuna Training Treats

Tuna training treats for Dogs (Cats love them too!)

This tuna cookie is a great reward for teaching your dog something new, It stays soft so it is a easy and quick reward. This is a really great training treat. It has a perfect texture so it's firm and easy to manage. Works well in a bait bag during agility or obedience training.
You will also notice our pets hanging by the the oven door waiting for the treats as they have a distinctive odor while baking... forwarned!!!



  1. Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until well blended.
  2. Spread mixture into a greased, (I spray it with Pam) cookie sheet. Roll out or flatten with fingers until 1/2" thick
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered and then another 15 minutes uncovered. .
  4. Let cool and cut into slices or bit sized pieces, I use a pizza cutter, works great
  5. Store in refrigerator or freeze in ziplock bags, make sure they are labeled, Hubby and kids don't like Tuna treats!

Alterations and Disclaimer!

Make sure your Pet has no allergies to any of the ingredients, For dogs that have allergies to wheat , you can replace the recipe with gluten free rice flour, which also works.
the garlic may be omited, I have made them without the cheese, with no problems, they may be a little drier, but my dogs haven't noticed or really care! I have also used salmon or mackeral instead of tuna.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Day

"Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent." ~Ambrose Bierce

What a weekend. Two day outdoor shows are always tough. First you have to pack up everything carefully, load the car, get up a 4 am,drive to the site, set up tent in the cold dark morning (It was cold for Florida, 39 degrees!!!). The unpack everything, set it all up to look nice and wait for the buyers. In the evening, I take everything dowm but the tent, pack it all up, and do it again in the morning. Today is Monday and time to start anew. That was my last show of the year, no I get to work on all of the wonderful custom orders I received over the weekend (19!!!!). I have to unload the car, put everything back in is spot until next year,make a run to go get more porcelain from a pottery supply place in Orlando, worry about Thanksgiving dinner, like when I am going to go shopping for it, and the kids are wondering when I am going to start decorating for Christmas. It will all happen I just have to relax, go with the flow, and try to get organized!
I just need to remember - stop and smell the roses, watch a bird fly into the sunset, hug my dog, give thanks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uptown Altamonte Art Festival

Come join me this weekend at:

Art on the Boulevard in Uptown Altamonte

Saturday - Sunday, November 22 - 23, 2008

Show Hours: Saturday - Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Free, no gate.

Uptown Altamonte in Altamonte Springs, Fl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One small step...

"If you want to arrange it this world you can change it if we could somehow make this Christmas thing last by helping a neighbor, or even a stranger to know who needs help, you need only just ask." -Paul O'Neill

Yes, I know times are tough, for everyone. Think about how you are cutting back on Christmas this year, on shopping, on driving, on even food. Now, more than ever people, animals places need help. Donations are down,people are being laid off, health issues are forcing people to decide between medicine and food.

What amazes me are that people haven't stopped giving, I see people everyday sacrificing a little of something or themselves to give to another. Last night on the BlockheadRadio Show, there was one person who posted about an artist in need, her husband had lost an eye, then lost his job. Several artists then went to her shop to buy somthing, not because they needed it, but because they cared.
Lazy T crochet

Esty Angels

Shop donations are made each month from various memebers, last month

All donations were given to the Susan G. Komen Foundation....

The Angel total was $445.84
Our Angel Helper total was $232.14

Our Grand Total was $677.98

Etsy For Animals

Many member contribute a percentage of their shop sales to organizations which help animals: either the EFA charity of the Month or to their own charity of choice. From April 2007 to June 2008, individual team members contributed almost $10,000 to animal charity. EFA members also donate their hand-crafted items to animal charity events, assist with animal rescue, and contribute time, talent, and money.

Thank you to all of my wonderful customers this month, I was able to donate enough to Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary to Adopt -A-Bird this month.
(More details when I get the info from them.)

No, you do not have to give to everyone, pick one thing that touchs your heart, that needs your help. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The spirit, refreshed

I remember now... my spirit has been renewed. I look at life once again through the eyes of a child on Christmas Eve. That is how I need to remember why I do what I do. The look of a smile, when someone picks up an angel to hang on their tree. The sparkle, the lights, the glow from within. This is why I make Christmas ornaments, all year. This is why I love what I do. I create for others, to make a little magic. To bring a little joy, to remember what it feels like to be a child, laying under the Christmas tree, looking up at the lights, the sparkles, glowing...

How did I bring back my spirit? It really just needed refreshing, it had been a bad week or two for me, things were not going real well..I had tickets to see my favorite Christmas band The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That is all it took. I think this was the 8th time I have seen them in concert, every time it brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart and ears! Think about the power of music, Music is a gift from God

"It's every gift that someone gives,

Expecting nothing back
It's every kindness that we do
Each simple little act...

And so it's good that we remember
Just as soon as we've discovered
That the things we do in life
Will always end up touching others"

-Paul O'Neill

Christmas Eve and other Stories

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

"..Equal parts The Who and Charles Dickens...."-The St. Petersburg Times

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shameless Promotion Friday

Shameless Promotion of other artists day!
Check out a couple of really neat products I found on
The Artisans Shoppe for the holidays!

Spotted Cow Soaps

Nestled deep in the heart of Vermont amongst the mountain views and dairy farms you will find Spotted Cow Soaps. I have been formulating and selling homemade natural soaps for over 8 years.

Gingerbread Whipped Sugar Scrub

This is some great stuff. We've taken our Whipped Soap and combined it with some sugar ~ creating a fabulous scrub! Leaves your skin feeling clean, soft and moisturized. Best of all, this product is Paraben Free. A little goes a long way with this fabulous Whipped Sugar Scrub.

. We've enhanced the greatness of this fabulous soap with our new and dreamy ~ Gingerbread ~ JUST in time for your Holiday Shopping! Don't mistake this one and eat it by mistake!

Limited Edition - Christmas 2008 - Cranberry Garland Soap

Christmas memories of days gone by...rustic trees with paper ornaments, candles glowing among the branches and cranberries strung up like garland around the tree. Cranberry Garland is a very nice crisp and tart cranberry, not overly sweet like some you find out there on the market. This is a limited edition soap, once it is gone, we won't be making any more this Holiday season.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kiln Explosion

You can't have any successes unless you can accept failure. ~George Cukor

Just when I thought things were going well, sales were picking up for the holidays, had many custom orders, I was actually ahead of schedule.....
Having a bad day. It happens to use all. Sometimes things just go wrong, it just sees to happen a lot recently. I think that the computer on my kiln reverted to the last program I used, which was a quick , fast gold firing, instead of the very slow bisque firing I usually do. I expected the kiln to fire around 100 degrees in an hour, I returned to check on it in and hour and a half and it was over 700 degrees, with this result.I am trying desperately to stay upbeat. I stayed up late last night night working on the orders that broke. Many of them did, some, miraculously survived. I lost around 3-4 days of work in this small disaster. Life goes on. I just have less time than I thought. After all tomorrow is another day....

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~Thomas Edison

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

About Blogging and learning

About blogging.... there are many things I don't know, many things I usually do wrong. I am very new at this, and so are a great number of people. Some days i write about things nobody wants to read about, or cares to read, some days I ramble on for I am sure it is like hours, other days I am stumped as to what to write. I have tried many things, talking about my sculpting, with photos, promoting other artists. I have found that I really need to set up a pattern to make it easier on me and my readers, but how why where am I going to learn about this...
Anyone who wants to learn .....I have found where! A great group of fellow artisans has a Blogtalk Radio program. It is on Monday night at 9 pm EST. You can listen to this at anytime by clicking the radio button I have provided,all prerecorded, or join us in a chat room and listen in live on Monday's and chat with others as they try and explain life's mysteries to us all. This has great information folks, Learn how to make money, promote your blog, shameless self promotion and loads of fun, come and chat, listen in and just have fun.

For more information click here Blockhead Radio This is a link to his blog about the show.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Memory and Remembrance

"One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society … shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

After I wrote this morning’s post on Veterans Day, I remembered something that I did several years ago. My son was a boy scout, My Dad, my brother were both Eagle scouts. To get my son motivated to continue scouting I decided to become a volunteer with his troop. I was working on an upcoming court of honor for the boys, it was around this time of year and we had a meager number of awards to present. So I did some reseach and discovered one of the boys Dad was a Veteran. We decided to do a veterans Tribute during our Court of Honor and asked the Dad if he would like to speak after the tribute. He accepted. All was going well during this Court of Honor, we played patriotic music and had all Veterans, including grandparents, family members, saluted by the boys and everyone attending. At this time the father came up to speak. He started thanking everyone for this honor, talked a bit about his experiences and broke down. He said this was the first time EVER he had been honored for being a veteran. As a Vietnam veteran, there were no parades, no prayer vigils, no yellow ribbons for these troops who were drafted into this unpopular war. He had never even been thanked for his service to this country until this day. What an eye opener for these boys! It made a huge impression on them and everyone sitting in the audience. To this day, I remember this man, and what our simple little tribute meant to him, and to all of us. It touched my heart more than any award I have ever won, I feel that this was one of my proudest moment, to bring tribute to someone who had never been thanked, or even acknowledged for his contribution. I received a wonderful thank you note from him a few weeks later, it was simple but sincere. I think my little tribute made a difference to one man. And that was enough.

Veterans Day

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.

Bob Dylan (1941 - )

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day a legal holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

Remember veterans you know and you don't know. Think of all of the sacrifices they made for you and your country. My Dad is one of them; he is a Korean War veteran. He is one of our country's many heroes.

This recent election has made a lot of people proud of their country. Proud to be an American. Hope for the future. Pray for everyone in harms way today defending our country, whether or not you believe they should be there, they need to be in our thoughts and prayers, these are the Veterans of tomorrow. They are sacrificing themselves, their lives, their families, to protect us, our country, and our way of life.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Dreams

Inspiration comes in many forms for me, a painting, a song, this song reached out and touched me when this album first came out. For those of you who don’t know Trans Siberian Orchestra, please check them out. Stories of hope and inspiration and belief of a better future for us all







Captured Dreams

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Click on links daily, please help feed animals!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Please support the following sites, it doesn't cost you a penny, and you can be saving lives!!

The Animal Rescue Site focuses the power of the Internet on a specific need — providing food for some of the 27 million unwanted animals given to shelters in the U.S. every year. Over 10 million animals are put to death every year in the U.S. alone because they are abandoned and unwanted.

Each click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at The Fund for Animals' renowned animal sanctuaries (including Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas and The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Southern California), pet shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation, North Shore Animal League, and other worthy animal care facilities supported by the foundation.'s primary mission is to provide good, healthy food to dogs and cats to those shelters who are working so hard to see that none of them go hungry - they need our help. In addition to providing free kibble to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, we've added 10 new shelters to the program (from Oregon to Florida!) and plan to expand the program to many more! Thanks to everyone for supporting freekibble by playing the trivia game - every piece of kibble counts!

We’re very happy to say that we’re partnering with Castor and Pollux to feed these hungry dogs and cats a very high quality, all natural kibble - a very decent dinner!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Politics and hope

Hope doesn’t come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It’s simply a choice to take action. Anna Lappe, O Magazine, June 2003

I try to stay out of politics generally on this blog, it is not what I usually like to write about. The past election has been forefront in everyone’s mind, I would like to bring a little hope for everyone about this coming up generation x. This is an email I received from a college student who is working her way through school. She is young enough to be my daughter as we met when I went back to school and got my degree at my advanced age….So it really doesn’t matter what your political beliefs are, we are all human and believe in human rights, and hope for the future. It was thrilling for me to read this from her and wanted to share the hope and joy that she feels with all.

“for the first time i am really excited to be an american. that may sound bad to so many patriotic americans out there, but i question whether we are the best. it sounds too arrogant to me. whats wrong with an EU nation or canada?
but now, i am living in an exciting time in america. we have finally moved forward. we will have a black president. i was too young to appreciate the berlin wall and while the twin towers was momentous - is that something you want to live through (plus, i was in germany at the time). so, THIS is an amazing piece of hitory.
i wish now that i had paid more attention to the election, that i’d gone to the rally in orlando.
I don’t think i really paid much attention to the clinton administration, but after 8 years there is a president who is more in line with my views. I suppose i am a late bloomer but at the tender age of nearly 30 i am getting slightly more interested in politics. - in so much as it affects me and the environment. honestly, i’m much more interested in plants and food and nature than i am in the government. just like chemistry.
so, what is all this rambling?
I’M JUST EXCITED!! so much hope lies in barack obama. president elect.
if you have not seen his victory speech please watch it (full screen)

…….just thought i’d share.
Barack Obama has made ME excited about government and america. that is amazing.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this, it was not her complete email, but the general gist of it all.I just wanted everyone to share her joy and hope for the future. May we all see better days ahead…..

Thursday, November 6, 2008


God not only sends special angels into our lives, but sometimes He even sends them back again if we forget to take notes the first time! ~Quoted in The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

I always feel sad when doing custom work for a customer whose pet has died and wants a figurine or ornament made from their photo. I miss each and every one of my beloved pets as they wait for me at the rainbow bridge.I saw this poem online and had to share, what love…what devotion….

for anyone who has lost the pet they love….picture-124

My Angel
Chris S. Nail

She freezes when I touch her
So as not to stop the feeling
Of my hand rubbing
Her soft red fur
At the moment that I do stop
She turns quickly to
Look deeply into my eyes
Acknowledging my touch
Her big brown eyes
So expressive
Convey a love so deep
And a commitment so complete
She truly is
This man’s best friend
My guardian
My Angel
By my side
Through the good times and bad
Always my friend
Be I happy or sad
She loves my touch
And will sit for hours
Or as long as I want
To share the gentle caresses from my hand
As she has now grown quite old
And lost most of her hearing
I am again amazed by her
Thoughtful act of love
As I lay sleeping in my bed
She lies against both the bed and my wheelchair
So as not to miss
My slightest stir
And when she feels the movement
As the bed shakes or the chair
She turns to see
For what she should prepare
Am I turning for another round of sleep
Or is the insomnia taking its toll
In which case the comfort of a friend
Is always welcome ~ and you bet she’s there
If it is time for me to get up
She gladly follows with me
From room to room she moves
Tirelessly without despair
Always ready if I need her
Always ready if I want her
My Angel is anxious
To be with me anywhere
For she truly is
This man’s best friend
My guardian
My Angel


My Shannon Angel

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Making Chocolate Labs

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams

No, not real chocolate, but brown colored Labrador retrievers.I thought I would show how I work on some ornaments. I usually spend ine day a week mixing up clay and making clay colors. Some colors are more difficult to make and to use. Mixing up black and brown are difficult due to the amount and type of stains used in the clay body. Brown is difficult due to the fact that it is hard to remove the stain from your hands, which gets on all of the other colors I use.picture-334

You can see the brown stain all over the finders as I sculpt. I have towels and water handy at al times and have to change the sculpting cloth as soon as I am done with the color.

After I have made a couple I add on the color details.picture-336 As you can see, my fingers were not clean enough when adding the angel wings, just touching the brown before adding the white transfers the stain. So I start over and remove the wing and replace it.


My idea of an assembly line!


I usually only make a few at a time, and I try to make them all different, otherwise, I would go insane! These little dogs must dry a couple of weeks, then go in the kiln to be bisque fired, clear glazed,then re -fired to porcelain temperatures of 2400 degrees! Thanks for looking at how I make these little critters.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Artisans Shoppe

An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture. ~Jean Cocteau

I find it hard to talk about my art, each time I blog, and I have found many artists feel the same way, for we all seem to enjoy showing off other artists works on our blogs and not much of our own! So in that train of thought….. I am now a member of an artisans online co-op called the Artisans Shoppe. There are 30 wonderful artists there and I am excited to be a part of this new venture. I have found many new and exciting things from other artists there, and plan on doing all of my Christmas shopping there. These artists and crafters are amazing and produce new and unusual work.

I am thrilled to present this artist to anyone who has not seen her is simply stunning, she has everything from large works of art to Christmas ornaments, and she is another EFA artist (Etsy for Animals)! Something I always need to promote.

Deer Mountain Wood Art

Curiosity - Fall Celebration

This is an intarsia scene depicting a little deer’s curiosity of the world around her. It measures 17″ x 11″ tall and is created from various exotic and domestic hardwood that is in it’s natural color - none of my intarsia pieces are stained or painted with the exception of the backing which I often paint black… Some of the woods used are Padauk, Walnut, Cedar, Aspen, Redwood, Sipo mahogany, spalted sycamore, and Gaboon Ebony.
A list of woods used is now included with my intarsia pieces along with instructions on care and handling…
10% of all sales go to the EFA Charity of the Month!

Please visit the Artisans Shoppe today, remember, buy handmade, buy local!