Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields."
John McCrae, 1915. 
 
My husband was a VietNam Vet..
and every year we always purchased our
poppies from an aged Vet
standing outside the grocery store exit
with bouquets of paper poppies in one hand
and a donation can in the other.
I would tie mine to my purse handle...where it stayed until
it was just a 'stem'...
he would fix his to the breast pocket of his favorite jacket(s).

I went out this year
especially to search for the Vets with the Poppies...
I didn't get one last year
and I was really bothered by that.
It's one of those things I like to do in remembrance of
a 'tradition' I shared with my husband.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Remembrance...

When I was a child
my grandmother used to drag
me to the cemetery every
Memorial Day.
She'd have bunches of Peonies...
coffee cans and mason jars...
and a little hand spade.

She'd go from family grave to family grave..
dig a hole big enough for the receptacle..
send me to the water pump to fetch water for them
and plunk a bouquet of peonies
in each one.

We kind of
made an afternoon of it.
She'd take us from headstone to headstone,
tell us who rested there and give
us a little history about each one.

It would be difficult to do that today.
The restrictions on what is allowed and what isn't
are very strict.
If I want to take a bouquet of flowers..
to put on my husband's grave...
I'd have to purchase the cemetery vase..
and that cost $200.00.

It's kind of sad to see the cemeteries
on Memorial Day
with the graves bearing the
artificial wreaths that will be collected
and discarded the day after.

I just can't bring myself to 
'remember' my husband with a
garish display of plastic flowers.

There's got to be a way to build a wreath
from all natural materials..that could be
left to become part of the
grave itself.
I'll have to see what I can figure out...
I think my husband would have
appreciated that.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Final Thoughts on 'Killers'...


I have never actually 'known' known
any killers...
and even though my friend, E, did
kill her husband...
in talking to her..after the fact..she says she
couldn't even remember getting the gun or pulling the trigger..

I've only been in that state of mind once or twice in
my life...
where I didn't know what was going on in my own 'present'..
and that was in the days immediately following the
loss of my husband.

I was 'there' but I wasn't.

Apparently that is what was going on with E...but to think
that 'losing' it for one brief moment..can change
EVERYTHING in your life forever...
I just can't imagine it.

I 'almost' understand a fight that goes bad...
like Dave and Kenny experienced...
but hey...what started out a horrible accident gone bad...
ended up an 'unthinkable' cover up attempt..
that I don't understand.

But...to take life for 'sport'
in Danny's case..
goes so far beyond my comprehension..
I'm pretty sure I'll NEVER get that..
nor do I want to.

I've come to understand that
'there are really no "safe" places'.

I don't let my grandkids play out in my yard, without adult
supervision..at ANY time of day.
I won't 'let' any of my adult children work in overnight
convenience stores 
(though that has never been seriously considered by any of them).

I'm not frightened by things that may or may not
happen...heck, I live in 'tornado alley'
but I don't live in fear of tornadoes.

Of course, I do pay attention to the warnings...
which is why my grandkids don't play outside unsupervised..
and my kids don't work in convenience stores.




Friday, May 28, 2010

Taking A Long Week-End


I don't know what I'm going to do
this week-end...other than that the kids will be
over on Sunday...
but I know that I am taking a long week-end.

My shipping is 100% caught up.
I've got new canvas on it's way.

The gal who owned the local gallery where we
showed our paintings locally, is the person who
commissioned the painting I'm still working on...
it would have been done yesterday...but
she notified me that she was going out
of town till next week...so I decided
to wait to finish it.

Other than that, I don't really have a lot going
on at the moment...
well I do..but nothing that is overly pressing.

I'm thinking it might be a good time
to start working on some designs for
licensing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Killers I have known...pt 3

This is the last 'segment'...and one of the most difficult.
And..yes...it has St Patrick connections too.

While we were staying at the Shelter, I decided to become a Catholic...
my husband was born and raised Catholic...
so the kids and I went though the classes, were baptized and confirmed
in 1986.
We LOVED St Patrick's parish.
And...we kind of 'claimed' our pew...the second one...right behind the
gal who ran the Shelter...and our large family pretty much filled up the whole pew
all by ourselves.
We sat directly in front of a lovely couple...
I'll just call them B and E...for the purposes of this telling...

We loved B and E...every single week...B would give each one of
the kids a silver dollar at the sign of peace...
it was 'their thing'.

My husband was looking to get into something besides
food...at a point in time...just due to some health issues that
had come up...
and E asked him if he would considering going to work for
her husband B.

So..my husband began working in the delivery of auto parts...
and he actually enjoyed it a lot.
It took him all over Southern Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee.
He loved praying the Rosary and the long drives
were very conducive to this.

Well...B was a really good egg...
when our car broke down..
B and E took my husband to Kentucky
and they came back with a wonderful little station wagon
just perfect for the family.
B took $10.00 a week out of my husband's check
for the car.
Then...lighting hit our TV...here came B to the rescue...
at $5.00 a week.

Every Saturday my husband would work at the Warehouse
with B...just the two of them.
Gave them lots of time to get to know one another
on a more personal level..and they became really good friends.
E lived close to my youngest daughter's school...and on
several occasions I had to give her a call to pick
up my daughter when I was stuck at work.

So...the first week-end in July...1992...
my husband had taken that Saturday off because
we had committed to painting some
Ninja Turtles
with the faces cut out...so children could put their faces there
and take pictures...for an upcoming carnival at Church.
We were running out of time and really needed to get them done.

About 3:00 that afternoon..we got a call from another
church member...B had been killed.

We immediately went to E's to see if there was anything she needed...
she was just like someone in a trance.

My husband was interviewed by the Nashville police and the FBI..
as were all of the other workers...
and especially because he almost always worked Saturdays
with B...

We helped E with funeral arrangements...my husband lined up the
pall bearers...and did one of the readings at the services.

A couple of days after the funeral...we learned that E had
turned herself into the police.
She had killed B.

They'd been married for over 25 years, had one daughter and
several granddaughters.
But...while talking to E a few weeks later...I guess none of us
knew what B was like behind closed doors.

Apparently B had told E that he wanted her to be moved out of their
home before he got home from work that Saturday...and she 'snapped'.

This one really hit us and our parish very hard.
It was hard for us not to love B...he was good to all of us...
but we couldn't judge E...
she was a wonderful friend to us as well.

She ended up losing her home and all of that...but her
daughter and granddaughters stood beside her.
She went to prison for manslaughter...
I guess she had endured some twenty years of severe mental
and emotional abuse...so they considered that
at her trial.
My prayers still go out to all of them
including B.
I've never stopped loving either one of them.

Thank God..these are the only killings that have ever directly and indirectly
affected my life...
and I hope and pray they are the last!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Extending the Sale...

So...
since I was without internet
all week-end...
and there's a 'chance' it could
go out again...
with all the wind...
I decided to extend my Etsy Shop Sale
until later in the week.

I got so backed up on everything...
plus I NEED to finish the commission painting
I'm working on
(yes...I should have finished it while
cable was down...)
it's just that
I have a 'certain' way I work on things...
and if something is out of sync...I tend to
obsess about it...and consequently...I don't get anything
else done.

Anyway...with everything I have to do first...
it will probably be Wednesday or Thursday
before I can put the regular prices
back on the items...
in the meantime...anything new that gets
listed...
will be listed at the 'sale' price.

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Isolated Week-End


I hate to admit it...but I've become very
'dependent'
on Time Warner Cable.
I get my TV and my Internet through them.

And...I spent an entire week-end 
cursing this dependency.
I was doing my 'usual' Saturday things...
reading my favorite blogs...
updating Facebook and
Twitter...
and all of the things I usually do every
Saturday...
while also putting sale prices in the items
in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.
(something I don't usually do on Saturdays...)
when suddenly I lost my cable TV
and Internet.

When I finally called TWC...I was told
there were 10 homes in my area
who were experiencing an 'outage'...
but since it was ONLY 10 of 90, they'd send someone
out on Monday.

"SERIOUSLY...since there's only 10 homes...we
have to wait until Monday???
Do you realize it's the LOST Series Finale on Sunday?!!!"

Too bad...so sad...
despite a couple more calls....I was told
they don't 
work week-ends...
so
here it is...early Monday afternoon and I am
only JUST back online!
Talk about feeling isolated....I've never
watched so many movies over the course
of a single week-end in my life!!
I watched 6 movies and
the 4 1/2 hour Lost Series Finale...
(I got my son-in-law to record it on VHS for me.)

So...when the cable guy came out today..
he also found that the wind
knocked the cable loose at my home as well.
He had a weird little smile when he told me...
'you know it's really windy out again today'.

Anyway...
now I have a crapton of
catching up to do!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's "World GOTH Day"...so...I'm Having a SALE!


One of my Etsy Dark Side friends
informed me that 
today is
World 'Goth' Day.

I'm not really sure what that means...
but I decided
to go ahead and have
a SALE
in my
Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

It goes through tomorrow night!

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Been a 'Busy' Week


I finally got all my shipping caught up...
working on some new pieces for the shop
including
1000 Markets and Artfire.

In the meantime, I'm also trying
to get some products designed
for Zazzle

... while working on a commission painting
which is similar to a piece that I
had in a local gallery almost a year ago.

How nice that the buyer remembered my
painting, tracked down the gallery owner
(who had to close the gallery because of the economy)
and asked specifically for that piece.
Luckily the gallery owner had kept everything she
had in the gallery on disc...so she was able
to verify which piece the buyer was talking about.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Killers I have known...pt 2

This is St Patrick's Catholic Church
in Nashville TN.
It was my home (along with my husband and 6 kids)
in 1985...
actually we 'lived' on the second floor..
in St Patrick's Shelter...from about 6 pm to 6 am every night.
We stayed there from October 1985 to January 1986...
so...a little over 3 months.
That's another story that I won't go into now...
but
it's necessary to the substance of the story behind
this segment of
'The Killers I have Known'.

Enough time has passed...that I can't remember
exact dates and last names...and trying
to find the information online has only resulted
in going to pages that pop up that annoying damned
'your computer is infected' page that I ran into on my last computers..
so I gave up trying to find the information.

This story is probably the most 'gruesome'...and on a Bible...I swear it
really is true...one day I might be able to actually find a link
to some of the facts in the case...
anyway...like I said...the story actually begins in St Patrick's Shelter.

My husband and I became volunteers for the Shelter
once we'd finally been able to move into a place of our own...
that's how we came to be introduced to
Dave and Kenny.

Dave was staying there with his two little girls..
Kenny was there with his wife and (I think a little boy and little girl)..
I was better acquainted with Dave..and my
oldest daughter watched his girls a couple of times.

They were in the shelter for several months..and we sat and had conversations..
both guys seemed to be very good fellows..
warm, friendly...just down on their luck and trying to get
back on their feet.
We certainly knew where they were coming from there.

About midway through their stay...a gal named Michele came to the shelter
with her son.
This was a manly looking gal who kept to herself..I don't think
we exchanged a dozen words...
she was from Canada...pretty evasive...and didn't really want
to open up like most of the folks at the shelter usually did.

Well...long story short...
Dave and Kenny left the shelter and moved
their families into a duplex
where Michele also resided.
As volunteers, we met with all of them
at one of the storage facilities, so they could select some
furniture for their new homes
and helped haul the furniture.

A couple months later...
a multilated body was found floating in one of the bodies
of water near Nashville.
The hands had been cut off and all the teeth
hammered out.

Turns out it was Michele...who was actually Michael..
the boy actually did belong to him/her...

What happened...?
Michele was collecting the rent
where they all lived and taking it to the landlord...
only she wasn't.
When Dave and Kenny were told they'd have to
pay the rent or move...
there was a fight and Michele was knocked down
on the base of a fireplace.
The killing was an accident...but the attempted
cover up was terribly gruesome.
Kenny's wife witnessed the 'accident'...and just
couldn't keep something like that to herself.
I can't imagine...

I believe Dave got Life...and Kenny got something like
10 to 20 years...
turned out his dad was a VP with an oil company in
Texas...
made me wonder how he and his family ever ended
up homeless in the first place.
But..if memory serves...his lawyer got him off with a pretty
light sentence..considering.

So...though I didn't know them well...and it was a huge
mess..all the way around...
the victim's parents ended up with custody of the
boy
and took him back to Canada...
Kenny's family just kind of 'disappeared'...
and it seems Dave was actually
trying to 'hide' his girls from his ex-wife...
so very sad.

What a waste.






Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unable to 'moderate' comments...

Just an F.Y.I.
I am currently unable to moderate comments...I have read them...
and saved them in my email...hopefully Blogger will solve the
problem (there are a lot of folks unable to moderate comments at the moment)...
and I will be able to publish your comments.

If not...just know I really did not reject them...it was an issue
with Blogger.

I enjoyed your comments and hope I will be able to get them to publish!

Wordless Wednesday 7

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some New Art Coming Soon


I've been working pretty hard on some
pieces that are a little bit
out of my comfort zone.

I like the pieces...but
I don't know how well they 
'fit in' with what I've been doing.
Thought I'd 'throw it out there'
and get some input.
I've got a number of pieces, besides
these three, done.
And now I'm just waiting a bit
before I list them.

In order to make room for the
new pieces I'm doing...I'll have to 
clear out some of my older pieces.
I haven't completely decided which
pieces will be pulled...
but I have an OCD thing about trying
to maintain a certain number of items
in the Shop all the time.

I may change my mind when I finally have
a lot of new pieces done...
you never know with me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shipping update...

I really 'hate' getting behind on shipping.  I swear...if I could afford it...I'd have 10 copies
of  each of my prints, all sleeved, filed and ready to go at a moment's notice.

I tried to have several copies of each print, when I first started offering them.
Needless to say...it didn't work.
I was ALWAYS selling the prints that I didn't have
on hand...and the ones I did have on hand
just kind of 'sat' there.

So...then I decided to just keep on hand those prints that
WERE selling...you know what...they quit selling.
What the heck????

Since I couldn't really afford to 'waste' that much paper, ink
and time...I had to go to 'print to order'.
Only problem with that is...I don't have the printer at my house...
and, for some reason, our local suppliers tend to
be constantly running out of some of the
supplies essential to our keeping on top of timely shipping.

This week...no different...back orders on some of
the inks necessary for our prints.
And..you would not believe how much ink we go through!

So...anyway...the ink got in on Saturday...but I didn't get my prints
until today...so I'm in the middle of getting
my shipping all caught up!

I'm trying to send a little
something extra with those that are beyond the 10
business days...as a 'thank you' for your patience...
and a 'sorry' it took so danged long.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A bit of a 'change'

I decided to do a couple of
pieces that are somewhat 'different' from
my norm.

So I'm busy sketching out a bunch of
little characters that I am
going to upload and finish in Photo Shop.

We'll see how they do...
I wanted to get a 'feel' for what I was
wanting to do..
so I grabbed one of my 
goth girls..and stuck an umbrella in her
hand..plopped a blackbird at her feet..
and threw in a couple of raindrops.
Most of them are brushes that I created...
with some free hand stuff thrown in for good measure.

I really like the looks of the minimal
graphic pieces that are all over the place..
but I'm hoping to make my pieces
a bit different..and a little closer to the types
of art I've been creating.

We'll see how it goes...



Friday, May 14, 2010

What's new in the Shop.


A couple of my newest paintings...
11" x 14"
now in the Shop.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Killers I have known...pt 1


I was reading one of my favorite blogs recently,
actually a post about 'Jack the Ripper'
and I was flooded with memories
about murder that touched my own life.

In this case..I never met the killer..
worse..
I knew one of the victims.
He was one of my my son's best friends.


We had lived in Bellevue NE..for the most part...
since the early 70s..
in August 1983,
with the local economy in the 'toilet'
and with 6 children..
my husband and I made a bold choice
to move to a small town in Iowa,
closer to his family.

Our oldest child pitched a fit.
He didn't want to move..again...
plus, he had a paper route and he had
to find someone else to take the route...
so he convinced his friend Danny
to take over the route.
Danny had gone with him often enough
that he pretty much knew the route already.

So we moved...to Goldfield Iowa..
the kids began to settle in and make friends..
we really were enjoying 'small town' life after living 
in a city environment for so many years.
Our son got another paper route...
and for the first time ever...he was allowed
to deliver the Sunday papers without having someone help him.
(His dad or his uncle had ALWAYS drove him to deliver
papers on Wednesdays and Sundays..because there were so
many of them..and they were twice the size of the
other weekday newspapers.)

All in all...
Life was good!
In mid-September we got a call from Danny's parents
asking if we'd seen him...
goodness no..we lived a couple hours away...how would
he get to Goldfield anyway???
He'd disappeared from the paper route he'd taken over
from our son...and they were hoping he'd 
just run away .
A few days later, we got a call from our son's principal..
the FBI had come to talk to our son.
So..my husband rushed to the school..
what in the world was going on????

They questioned our son...
did anyone ever try to 'lure' him into their home while delivering papers,
was he ever uneasy about delivering papers to a particular house,
did anyone have anything against him,
(the boys looked remarkably similar...size, build, coloring...even hair style)
did his dad or mom ever touch him inappropriately,
did we like Danny,
the questions went on and on for almost an hour.

A day or two later...Sarpy County Sheriff's 
department officials showed up at our front door.
...more questions.
Since our son had the route for more than a year
and Danny had it for just over a month,
they were sure that...somehow...
there must be 'some' connection to our son.

It was pretty awful and very scary.

A day or two later..
Danny was found and it wasn't
good  news.

Our lives were forever changed.
We no longer felt so safe...even in
'small town america'.

We had learned so much from the
FBI and Sheriff's Department
about what they had found while searching for
clues to Danny's disappearance.

On the paper route they found
17 convicted felons...several for
child molestation.
And the details we learned from Danny's parents..
which were unknown to the public at that time..
gave us nightmares.
Even worse..at that point in time..the killer was
still on the loose.

It was hard to imagine that someone we knew
so well, for so long,
was taken in such a brutal and senseless manner...
after reading about Jack the Ripper..
and seeing all of the senseless crime on daily news...
it makes me sad the things people do
to one another.
And...it really seems to be getting worse.




Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's Going On....


It was a lovely week-end..
I actually took the whole week-end off...
for the most part anyway.
Now it's 
'back to work'..
keeping caught up on my shipping..
and painting a few new
canvas paintings.

I have six children...
five of them live in the same town..
and two of them live with me.
The oldest, of the two,
living at home
has gone back to finish his education....
so
for most of this week
he is in New Orleans.

It amazes me...
if my children aren't living at home..
and they go off..all over the county..I tend to
worry less than I do when they
are living at home.
That's just weird to me...but it is the way it is.

This particular child lived in New York City
for 10 years...and yes, I did worry at times...
but he came home when his dad got sick..
then when he decided to go back to school, he moved
back home..
and I'm
'back to worrying' about him.

Anyway...I am hoping to have the paintings
posted on Friday...
but I'm sure I'll list them
as I get them finished.


Monday, May 10, 2010

I made the Front Page...


I was on the Front page of Etsy from 8 pm to 9 pm on Mother's Day...
I'd never made the front page at that time of day
before..
but WOW...I really got the
hits and the hearts
on the item that made it...
"No Fear of Flying"..
Here are screen prints of the Treasury
and of the hits and hearts my items received.
I even picked up
50 new shop hearts yesterday.

I'm really not bragging...I just couldn't
believe how much of a difference
one hour of exposure did for my shop
and had to share.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

This was a piece I did for Mother's Day
a couple years ago!
Very primitive...and reminiscent of those
little sculptures that were so popular then...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm Having 'SALES' All Over the Place

I'm having 'sales' ALL over the Place!
First...I'm having a 'different' kind of sale
in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

Get 4 regular size prints and receive 2 prints
of your choice Free.
Or..2 Large 11x14 Prints and get 1 print Free.
AND...I am also throwing in
Free Worldwide Shipping
on Everything...
at least through Mother's Day!
I may not 'update' all of
my listings with a 'Free Shipping' notice
in each title...but every listing has already
been set to 'free shipping'.

I wrote about the introduction of
Large Limited Edition Art Prints
a while back.

At the time of this writing, I have
8 Limited Edition Large Prints
in my Etsy Shop.

I have 6 different prints in my
Artfire Shop,

6 in my
1000 Markets Shop,

and
6 in my Zibbet Shop.

Each shop has different prints...

why???? would I do this??

Well...after the March debacle on Etsy...
I decided to open shops on several other sites...
but, because of the ongoing problems
and with Etsy being my main site..
my Etsy shop took sooo much of my time,
that I felt the other shops were pretty much neglected.

I don't know if any of these other shops are worth a hoot
or not...
but I thought I should, at the very least, offer a few
items...exclusive to each shop...to see if I could
find out
one way or the other.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Updates and Coming Soon

All April purchases have 
"finally"
been shipped...or are in the process
of being shipped.

I just hate getting behind on shipping.
Every time I think I have my shipping problems 'solved'
a new problem seems to pop up...
does the 'universe' know how 'crazy' this makes me?

But..anyway...I'm caught up -- ALMOST!!
And that's a good thing!

I'm working on some new special orders for a couple
lovely ladies...
and I'm also working on a series of
digital illustrations based on the stories and poems of
Edgar Allan Poe.
I'm holding this to list, when I have
the first 3 or 4 completed.

I've also begun a new series of
11" x 14"
Alice in Wonderland
paintings.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I LOVE my 'job'...but...

I LOVE my 'job' but...
there are days (and sometimes weeks)
that I really wished I could just
take a week or two off.

Why don't you?...you say.
Because...if I don't work..I don't make
what I need to pay my bills.

I have been thinking of
taking a couple weeks..that I don't take on
any special orders..
then...I'll post an announcement in my shop
that I am on vacation
and will fill orders AFTER I return.

Or..maybe I'll just hold on until
the Fouth of July week-end.
I really am going out of town that week-end..
kind of a mini-vacation with my
late husband's family.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mailing List


Recently I've had several requests
to be added to my
'mailing list'.

I don't actually have a mailing list...
and as busy (and behind)
as I've been this past week...
I'm not sure I could keep up with one.

I'm not even sure what people do
with them.
So..for anyone who has asked
or wonders 'how to get on my mailing list'...
just check this blog..
I update one..or both..with any news,
sales, discounts...etc..
and so it seems that any kind of mailing list..
or newsletter..
would just be a 'repeat' of what I have there.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In the Weeds

Back 'in the day'
when I worked in restaurants,
we had a term
"in the weeds"...
which pretty much meant..
we were 'buried' with orders
and the food wasn't coming up as fast
as the customers orders were going in.

Well...I'm 'in the weeds'...
so
I'll be spending the week
getting ALL of my orders filled and shipped out!

I took on more special 'requests' than I
normally do, over the past two weeks...
which put me a bit behind...
so..the only new pieces
I'll be creating this week
will be 'special' request pieces.
I've got a LOT of shipping
to do...and I'm a little OCD about getting
behind.

Hopefully...I'll be 
'back on track'
by the end of the week.