Friday, August 9, 2019

Handmade Halloween Finds

https://www.etsy.com/listing/166655658/sugar-skulls-halloween-gifts-dia-de-los
Sugar Cube Skulls by Dem Bones
It's been a while since I've had the Hallowe'en itch, as much as I hate to admit it! I've been juggling too much, as always, and have made a very deliberate decision to step back and take a breath.

While my plans for World Domination are still an organic process, taking a break from considering where I want the Capital of the World to be (Fiji? Hawaii? Switzerland?) seems to be the sensible thing to do so my ideas can develop further.

To this end, I've been perusing Etsy for the best Hallowe'en things with which to stock my palatial space!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/128130887/summer-solstice-bar-soap-blend-475-oz
 Those of you who have been following me for a while, know I'm a big fan of Three Sisters Apothecary line of soaps, lotions and all things body care! Emma Mann, the owner, has just released her new (I believe, seasonal) collection, "Summer Solstice." I can tell you it smells like summer! Sun, citrus, and all things light and fresh!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/626547788/sanderson-sisterhalloween-shirthocus?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=halloween&ref=sr_gallery-1-4&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&frs=1&col=1
For tootling around town, I found this delightful Hocus Pocus-themed t-shirt! I love it, and you always know who the cool people are by their reaction to the shirt!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/468108084/halloween-whiskey-glass-dracula?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=halloween&ref=sc_gallery-1-6&plkey=488bd33696b9c7126b0e07117ef6a7ea2b859395%3A468108084&frs=1
 And who doesn't love a sip of adult beverage when they get home from a long, hard day at the cemetery? Sip and read some fine literature simultaneously with this elegant glass!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/632846428/halloween-jewelry-skull-jewelry-pumpkin?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=halloween&ref=sc_gallery-250-11&plkey=b0bfbe440e97bb228c35c55afeca0b1ef591377c%3A632846428
Sometimes, you just have to get your Hallowe'en bling going on, right? I can't think of a better bracelet than this one
https://www.etsy.com/listing/465748537/halloween-pillow-halloween-decor-vintage?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=halloween&ref=sr_gallery-237-12&organic_search_click=1&frs=1
I simply adore this pillow by Elliot Heath Designs. I may get one for my bed... 
I think I might know who I'll be for Hallowe'en this year... Ziggy Stardust! Made by Z'Mad Masker, who seems to have a brilliant eye for faces!

In the mood, yet?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Living Art

Click on the pic for a fascinating talk on just being yourself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dog Noir

About three months ago, now, my Sam was diagnosed with Splenic Hemangiosarcoma. He came through the surgery very well, but the oncologist told me the usual life expectancy after surgery was three to six months with chemotherapy. 

I just couldn't see putting my boy through that. Fortunately, there are a couple of alternative medicines which seem to have some ability to make him comfortable for however long he has left, and having joined the Hemangiosarcoma Facebook page, I have some hope he may last longer than what the doctor thought. He's still eating and completely ball-obsessed, which is situation normal for him! He's even taken well to the new addition in our home, Grace, a black German Shepherd pup.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time know how much I've loved my Sam and can imagine how devastating the diagnosis was for me. I am nowhere near ready to let him go, but since I don't get a vote on that, I decided that I do get a vote on how he's remembered.

Enter Diana Lundin Pet Photography! I found her webwsite through a Facebook ad promoting her "Dog Noir" style photoshoot. 
Since I am a lover of all things atmospheric and spooky, I decided to contact Diana for a session. I explained my (and Sam's) situation, letting her know that sooner would be better than later for a shoot. She expressed her sympathy and suggested a few spots for the shoot. L.A. has numerous locations suitable for a noir-themed photo shoot. We kicked around a few different options, and finally decided on a bridge which was featured in Orson Welles' last film, A Touch of Evil.

It had been rainy all week, and rain was promised for the next day, too, so I was a little nervous we'd have to reschedule. The weather gods were smiling on us, though, and gave us a rain-free afternoon and a beautiful sky with only a few fluffy clouds highlighting the sunset.

To put it mildly, handling two dogs, one of which is a puppy with no concern whatsoever for pleasing you and all manner of interest in bugs and leaves, was difficult. Diana and her photographic assistant came prepared, though, and helped me to get the dogs pointed in the right direction and get me to look appropriately distressed!

She came by the house to drop off the large framed print and the 8" x 10" I ordered, and I was so pleased with the results!

I'm so glad I decided to have Diana do this specific type of shoot for us! I think she caught the dark moodiness of the Noir genre masterfully! Both Sam and Grace look wonderful; and it's not easy to photograph all-black dogs. 

I honestly can't think of a better way to remember him when he's gone. I'll treasure this always!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Two Great Trailers That Go Great Together


Click on each pic to be taken to the individual trailers.

Autumn is looking up, my fiendish friends!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Teapots and Bowls


There are new Needful Things in ShellHawk's Creations Etsy Shop! Click on any of the pics to be taken to the listing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

WIP

New guy in progress. Not sure what the body will be like, but I'm sure he'll tell me!

Also, I have 100% beeswax votives and tea candles in the shop now, so that when my ceramic jacks start getting into the shop, you can get one if you like!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Bone Flautist


Friday, April 19, 2019

Sam and the Continuation of the Craptacular

My sweet boy a few weeks after surgery.
For those of you who aren't a Facebook friend or who haven't been following my blog for all that long, that doggo in the pic is my sweetheart, Sam. (If you're interested in his history, you can click here.)

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, Sam stopped eating. Since I had already gone through stomach cancer with my old Shepherd, Josey, I was immediately concerned this was a repeat of that situation.

It turns out I was partially right. Sam was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. He had a baseball-sized tumor growing in the middle of his spleen which needed to come out. They diagnosed him after sending it out for a biopsy. I found out on my birthday. Ugh.

Sam is still with me, but his energy level is down. Since this type of cancer is vascular, the next tumor could show up anywhere. The oncologist I consulted with said that usually happens within a month, and most dogs only survive three to six months after the surgery, and that's with chemo. I just can't see putting him through that without the assurance of at least a year or more of good quality of life for him.

In the meanwhile, the oncologist gave me a couple of over the counter supplements to make him comfortable. And while it may sound weird to you, I decided to search for a new puppy for Sam to help me train while he's still with us. I know he's missed his friend Coda deeply, so even though he initially doesn't like other dogs, I know that he'll be fine with a puppy once a few days have passed. Maybe he'll even perk up, some.

I'm trying to keep it together. Focus on positive things. I throw the ball for him until he gets too tired. He's on my bed with me every night. He gets lots of hugs and snuggles from my boss and coworkers, and of course my mom and dad.

After some thought, I decided to go with a breeder for a puppy. It turns out German Shepherds and most other large breeds end up blowing out their knees when they're fixed too young. Something about needing the hormones in order for the joints to form correctly - this happened to my other shepherd, Coda, when she was young. Rescues, understandably, have all puppies fixed before they go home, and Sam won't tolerate an adult dog. So, a breeder it is.

 The new pup has been chosen. She's a lovely black German Shepherd with lines tracing to Germany. Her grandfather has been best in the world in obedience for three years. And, like all puppies, she's adorable!
That little face! Just kills me!

I should be picking her up next weekend. It's going to be a bittersweet occasion.

*Sigh* I am so ready for things to start turning around for me. Maybe starting with money coming to me and my dog being miraculously cured?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Doings in the New Nest

The hands of a working potter. Manicure? Me?
OK, it's not really new, anymore. It's coming up on two years, this June. Plus I grew up there, so it really technically isn't new...

Anyway, since I was able to bring a wheel into the place (amazing that fluttering my eyelashes at dad still works!), I started playing around with new ideas. New mediums. Anything to get the fun back into creativity again.

On a side note, I started meditating daily again. It's been well over a decade since I last had a daily practice of meditation, and it's made a big difference to my creativity and my state of mind. (Still a long way to go with that, as there are some serious and lingering anxiety issues after what I went through, but enough of that...)

Well, since the creative ideas started popping again, I thought that adding beeswax candles to my shop this year would be a logical next step. After all, if I sell jack-o'-lanterns, shouldn't I be a one-stop-shop and supply the flame for all those burning grins? 

My imagination went another step further and I thought it would be fun to make ceramic jack-o'-lantern votives! So after some mental calculations, I decided to go back to the jack design I used to do, way back before I knew how to make enclosed forms. Only now, I would make them smaller, the better to make the piece into a good receptacle for the wax.
Thrown "off the hump" and waiting to be trimmed.
Since the studio in which I work is a high-fire studio, my first tests are going to be with underglaze first, then be fired with a clear glaze. If they turn out well, I'll make candles out of them. That way, when the candle burns down, another tea candle can be thrown in! 
And if you look below, you'll see I'm already working on that angle!
Of course, my usual difficulty of having more creative ideas than time to execute them, is still in play.

How on earth do people have time to be bored?!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Clockwork Monsters

Click on the pic for a wonderful video about an artist's creation of automata. 

Just fantastic stuff and the sculpting is so detailed! WoW!