Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A hiking we will go

   Taka had a great idea to take the dogs for his very first hike on Shawnee mission park. The weather was warm and pleasant, and the fading light was pretty through the still-mostly-green trees. We found some mushrooms on an old log. 
   After the hike I showed him the view from the tower, and then we spent another hour in the dog park. Taylor must have been showing off for Taka, because he was a swimming fool! I've never seen him want to swim nearly that much before. And his tail wagged every time he dove in, like a curly rudder.
   Sunset was awesome over the lake!
   I think all that swimming wore out my little Shuuki-kun. 

Hallmarket wrap up

   Steph & me, in our third year together
   Well, the day I've been working so hard for has come & gone: the annual Hallmarket art fair! We had a beautiful (though unseasonably hot) day at Crown Center, just past the Hallmark complex. The American Royal parade that morning helped drive a lot of extra traffic our way: we were hopping all day long! Thank goodness Divemaster Chris surprised me & showed up at 8 am to help me set up!
   I managed some decent sales, thanks in part to the adorable mascots who helped capture attention. I think the dogs worked harder than I did! They were great little ambassadors.
   Here are some closer shots of my work; I do still have a few pieces available and will be posting them online, either here, on Facebook, or Etsy. Stay tuned!
   And here are some shots of a few of the more than 100 artists who participated. Sadly, I barely got a chance to shop, but it was certainly an overwhelming selection of creative wares.
   Tag Team Tompkins with their letterpress prints of Chinese zodiac animals:
Sarah & Colin:
Amy's lovely jewelry:
Ginny's first art show: WOW!
   Flora's amazing work:
   The Plush Club booth with the Gunkels enjoying the photo opp:
   Sincere thanks to all who attended, and especially to those who supported our work. Creating art is indeed fun and rewarding, but we all worked very hard to make this happen.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

7 miles of smiles

   Rich challenged me to a 7 mile trail race put on by the Trail Nerds running group. I ran their Pilgrim Pacer half marathon last November, but this was my first real trail race with the gang. It was a challenging, technical course with a creek crossing in each direction and loads of rocks, roots, logs, and slippery patches. As evidenced by the guy who slipped and tried to catch himself on one finger... Resulting in one very broken finger. But by his own account, the Nerds took great care of him, and shortly after the race he posted his sobering X-ray as his Facebook profile photo--and seemed to be having a lot of fun joking about it. Much respect for him! 

   And much respect for Rich, too: this was his longest race so far, and it was a butt-kicker. But he kicked back valiantly! He made it look easy (though we'd both tell you it wasn't!)
   Mile 90 Photography got some super nice shots showing off the morning majesty of Kill Creek Park. The wide-angle, fish eye lens was a nice touch—this is the same technique Sam recommends for underwater photography, so it's cool to see how investing in a lens like this would benefit me on land, too.
   I was pleased with my results: 59th place overall, 6th in my age group, 13th woman overall, 1:24:59 (12'08"/mile). Rich came in just a few seconds behind me—so close that I wasn't able to whip out my iPhone in time to snap a photo of him crossing the finish line. I'll have to be faster next time.  ;)
   He treated me to a big brunch at Eggtc. A biker named Big John and his wife let us have the first two open seats at the bar. We must have looked very hungry and tired, and we were. And we were delighted when a few minutes later, seats opened up next to us, and a lively conversation ensued. What a fun morning!!! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Holy Cuteness at Hallmarket

   This is my friend Luis's son William, who repeatedly hugged a very willing Taylor over and over and over again. Not sure who is cuter. It might be William, but please don't tell Taylor I said that!!! That boy was making new friends all day long!
   Aki was a great ambassador for the breed, too, though being a greeter for 9 hours took a lot out of her. She was too zonked to stand up for Lottie:
   And it was more of the same Saturday night, and Sunday: too tired to even make it all the way to bed sometimes!
   And too tired to complain about sharing a bed with her brother!
   I was really proud of how well they behaved at Hallmarket and am hopeful they'll be welcome again next year.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hallmarket is Tomorrow!

   You may be sick of hearing about it by now, but after tomorrow it will be over... the annual Hallmarket art fair! Here are all the details. Come see us and get all your holiday shopping done at once. And pick up a lil' something for yourself, too—you deserve it.
    Steph is not only doing some fun stuff, she's donating her profits to a local dog rescue organization—GO STEPH!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dramatic Cat

Cool photo of my ultra-cool kitty, Kismet.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


   Today may well have been my healthiest day ever… Until it wasn't. By sheer coincidence, I had my annual physical first thing this morning in which my doctor told me my cholesterol levels were the best she has ever seen. Then this afternoon, my dentist was finally able to get me in for my appointment, and I got a clean bill of health there, too. And this evening, I attended a women's health screening and education session sponsored by Shawnee Mission medical center. They checked my eyes, my balance, my range of motion, my feet, my cholesterol, my blood pressure, my BMI… Too many things to name! And all were great.
   So I celebrated by coming home and making these as my late night snack: I took the red and green Jalapeno peppers that David gave me from his garden, and stuffed them with garlic cream cheese and Shatto Farms Havarti cheese, loads of bacon, and broiled them. <<<passes out>>>

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lovely day

   Lovely image of the Kauffman center, too, from the Yahoo weather app!

Good food, & lots of it!

   On Friday night, my coworker, David, hosted a garden-to-table pizza dinner at his home in Independence. He made homemade crust for all, pre-cooked it on his grill, and then let us top the pizzas just as we wishes. Then he grilled them to perfection. He had many fresh herbs, loads of delicious tomatoes, and a spicy homemade pesto--all from his garden!
   He also sent me home with a lot of fresh produce for myself. I had so many Roma tomatoes I wasn't sure what to do with them, so I sun-dried them in my oven. AKA tomato jerky! They are super rich & flavorful, even unseasoned.
   Then, as I was using the larger tomatoes and the basil, sage, & thyme to make fresh marinara, it dawned on me that if I chopped the sun-dried tomatoes, they would add loads of intense flavor. I'm not sure how the experiment will turn out, but I can't wait to taste it on pasta!
   He even gave me some green tomatoes to slice, bread, and fry.
   And loads of red and green jalapeno peppers to stuff & grill. And did I mention loads of homemade biscotti? Oh yeah, I think I'm getting spoiled…

Animals behaving badly

   These are the faces of two very happy dogs, after having spent the entirety of Saturday morning in the backyard enjoying the beautiful weather. What I didn't know was that they were also enjoying chasing a chipmunk that had gone up the downspouts and into the gutters. Which spurred them to rip the gutters off the house and pepper all the downspouts with teeth marks. All of the downspouts, in fact. Because you just never know where those pesky chipmunks will end up.
   I always say: it's a good thing my dogs are very good when they are good, because when they are bad, they are awful!!!
   And apparently, been awful can take a lot out of a dog, as evidenced by Taylor's sleepfest that evening.
   I watched him spill out of bed like melted butter.
   Lest you think only my canines are problematic, this was the first thing I saw when I woke up at 6:15 AM: a very snuggly--and hungry--and also blurry--cat.
   Kismet is delighted when I spend the day at home, even if I'm trying to get work done. And she's even more delighted to request that I share my dinner with her: "Oh hai. I can haz yor chikken?"
You know, Kismet's begging might be annoying... If she weren't so f*ing adorable!

Hallmarket work in progress

   Here's some of the goodness I've got cooking for Hallmarket, which is this Saturday, 9/27, at Crown Center in Kansas City. This weekend I finished one painting, started another, and started framing everything else. I wish I had another weekend before the event, but isn't that always the way?
Detail of one of my Maneki neko pieces:
   This is the original drawing (Sharpie on metal plate) which led to my Maneki Neko transfer series. All are one of a kind.
   When you're working on a beer-themed piece, it's only natural to drink & draw:
   I think Madeline is interested in this one, which was partly inspired by her Bruce and his love of chomping plastic water bottles. And I followed it up with a "black & tan" Shiba piece (not completed as of this photo). I have a couple more animal/beer themed paintings drawn, waiting to be painted. The makings of a new series!
   This lil' guy was inspired by the impending deadline. I still have SO much to do!!!
   Here's a piece it's a little more positive in spirit: even a stormcloud can bring happy things!
   And this, my favorite in the whole lot, was inspired by all the fantastic creatures I've seen while diving & snorkeling in the Caribbean. I had so much fun creating it that it felt easy, though it was a lot of hours of very careful work. My recent trip to Roatan inspired me! John and Michele saw it and I think they're going to snag it, which I'm absolutely thrilled about... So I can still go visit it.
   And did I mention that it was painted while balancing a cat on my head? Forget painting: THAT'S talent.
   Hope to see you all at the show! I'm aiming to have over 20 pieces for sale... Search Facebook for "Hallmarket" to get a peek at some of the work of over 100 other artists. There is a ridiculous amount of talent in out company--you don't want to miss it!