Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tales of Irony

Yes, today's topic: Irony.  

When I was six years old, (back in the early 70's) my parents bought a couple of acres in northern New England. This was to be our vacation retreat. A place for my father to write and recharge, and the rest of us to commune with nature and enjoy the getaway from the rat race of suburban life. 

My parents found a local builder to build us our new home away from home, which was to be a modified A-frame. (remember this was the 70's, LOL!) I remember one day driving to the builders house so my dad could talk to him. As my mother and I sat in the car, I noticed the builders house. Not only was it in need of a paint job, the roof was in need of major repair. I remember it striking me as such an odd thing. To create new homes for others, while living in a not so updated one of one's own. Hmm...

As some of you know, I am a mom of twin 3 year old girls. My darling little Leslie and Alyssa are the apples of my eyes. I am also a poly-clay artist. My passion lies in designing unique hair and body jewelry.  

So why one may ask do my kids walk around with boring hair ties and non-descript hair clips? And hair accessories, me? I have had a bad hair day my whole life! Yes, there is something about the irony that feels 'familiar'. Perhaps I internalized this "do for others not necessarily yourself" as the norm? Well,rather than get brain drain trying to psychoanalyze it, I do realize that it's time for a change. Afterall, change is good. 

So... the time has come that I use my darling gals as models. Drumroll please for my newest line of hair accessories for the younger set. Stay tuned next time for pics. of my little she devils wearing as they say "mommy made dis?" items. As always, your comments are welcomed!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Animal Spirits

So my day started out as usual. Up, coffee, veg out, straighten up, mix it up with the kiddos. I'm a slow as a tortoise in the mornings, I need at least an hour to get a grip. Which is why I will be establishing a 'silence zone' for any friends & family members in my presence who have a need to talk incessantly or loudly, or be annoyingly optimistic first thing in my day. (more on that in another post.. if you're reading this you know who you are!)

Anyway, walking down the stairs to my studio hashing over a bunch of things on my mental 'to do' list. Same ritual as yesterday. and the day before that. I always go 'to work' with that second cup of coffee. yeah, rituals....

So there I am, putzing around, straightening up, sifting through incoming e-mails and thinking. Hmm... what to write on my blog? I have so many ideas usually, but yesterday for some reason was hazier than usual.  (I really must start going to bed earlier)

I walk out onto my deck discouraged that it is yet another dreary day in N.J. I then realized that I forgot to look at the tree my husband cut down at the side of the house the day before. Glancing over, I see a deer laying in the grass by all the downed tree limbs. Startled, she looked at me and started to get up. I said out loud "it's okay, just relax".

It was a very cool few moments. Well actually I'd say it was 3 minutes. Three long silent minutes of total calm and quiet. We just gazed at each other. It was natural, serene and had a timeless aspect to it. Like an old intuitive understanding of mutual respect. It was a connection that I don't get very often. With it came clarity, and that for me is always a beautiful gift.

*and it made me forgive her momentarily for eating the flower heads off my geraniums and the deer tick bite taking me to the doctor for a Lyme test from last week.
;-) Cheers

I am excited to begin posting one favorite item each day off the wonderful Handmade Etsy site. 
Speaking of our kindred animal spirits, I've had my eye on this amazing artist for awhile... I really love her style. A combination of fantasy and fable that just tickles the imagination. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Dalmatian with Moxie

Recently we lost our sweet dally boy Tobey.

When I first 'spotted' him almost 7 years ago (pun intended!) at the shelter I was taken aback by his demure disposition and his very handsome looks. 

A few days later I went to pick him up. Later, I made up a song about the day "mommy came to pick him up". (Dog/cat lovers will appreciate, others will think I'm plain nuts!) 

Anyway, we were told that Tobey was found chained up to the fence outside an animal shelter in Paterson, NJ. Of course this news made us even more grateful to be rescuing this sweetheart who'd probably had a rough start in life. When he got in the car, he was so happy and excited!! He was jumping around everywhere, and was giving kisses galore. 

Tobey got lots of love at our house -with furniture priveleges I might add. Everything was great, until my radar went up one evening, when out in the car with the Tobemeister. I was making a phone call and had pulled over to the side of the road. A cop pulled up behind me and came to my window to ask if everything was okay. Well, I had never had a dog of mine react so strongly! (okay maybe not a good comparison as my previous dog was a Bichon Frise named Jingles... but still!)

His first victim was Chris H. We were having a party, and he went in to the bedroom to get his coat off the bed. Tobey apparently lunged at him, nicking his forehead. I went into my bedroom, and there was Chris standing outside the door afraid to come back in. I insisted that Tobey must have just been trying to give him a 'nose nibble' -his affectionate gesture of love.

Well, a few unfortunate incidents later, including the boiler repairman, my brother, and another party guest (who actually provoked our dog by lunging at him with food in his hand) and we knew we had a problem on our hands. We had a lawsuit to deal with, and we knew we had to take some measures of precaution. 

We deducted that Tobey had an issue with men. Our assumption was that he'd been abused by a man. Whenever guys would come around, we'd put a muzzle on him. How he hated that thing! He would instantly lie down and cover his snout with his paws...

Well, my husband and I are happy to report that Tobey (or 'the Tobinator' as he was referred to by neighbors) overcame his fear of men over time. With all of the love we gave him, he really began mellowing out. My brother used to joke that it seemed like someone must have snuck into the house and performed a lobotomy on him.

I believe that he came to understand that nobody was trying to hurt him. Now this may sound corny.... but the power of love is SO strong that it cured my boy of his fears. We could not have loved him any more. 

I especially miss my big spotty galoot in bed. He was so warm and snuggly. His coat was so silky. When I was pregnant with my girls and going through a moody moment, Chris would say "go snuggle with your Tobey". And it was always soothing. There's something about snuggling with a dog that I find incredibly comforting. It feels like peaceful perfection.

When I became pregnant with my twins, I said uh-oh. How is Tobey going to take this?

So out we went to buy a tape with babies crying. I put it next to him on the bed. He just looked at me, like "whatever" and put his head down and went to sleep. He turned out to be an angel when the girls came home. He had absolutely no issues with them. (Although in the early infant days when he'd look at me questionably like what the heck? -amidst the crying drama. I'd say "I know Tobes, remember the good old days when it was always quiet?" We'd both let out a long sigh....

He was great with the girls -a wonderful family dog. He put up with lots of tugs and seemed to genuinely enjoy his hugs and kisses. Once in a while he'd sleep with Leslie and Alyssa in their bed. Was it a coincidence that those nights they'd sleep the whole night through? I think not...

He was a good boy.  A really, REALLY good boy with a heart as big as they come. So I remember this when I miss him (like right now) and find solace in knowing that we did our job as Tobey's mommy and daddy really, really well. 

Love truly does conquer all.



About Me

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I am a SAHM and artist with 4 year old twin girls. I have created things ever since I can remember. From printmaking to collage to mosaics, my creative pursuits have run the gamut. After about 6 months of babyhood times 2, I knew I had to get back in touch with my right brain -for sanity sake! After a short search I found polymer clay. I have been hooked ever since..

Vintage Rising