a quilt for Claude...

I haven't been working on any quilts for the last year- except for one that went terribly wrong. So this week I cut it up and made something new... a quilt for Claude for Christmas. This was the first time I've made a quilt without making multiple blocks in the same pattern- instead I just worked on the odd shaped blocks (6 of them) and finally pieced them all together and then worked the whole piece at once. I can't wait to finish it. I think he'll like it... all those roads and bridges.

Look what arrived...

not today- but a week or so ago and I finally got around to taking a photo of the new Artful Blogging that I'm profiled in. If you're visiting here, most likely you've seen it all, but it's a nice magazine with lots of artist blogs... check it out!


back at it...

I'm already working on the new group of pieces for my winter update. I just started these White Elephants today- just in time for the gift giving season.


and more... boring email/spam info

My hope is this will be the last blog post about emails- spam- blacklists- and other annoyances but now that I'm in the middle of figuring all of this out it seems to be taking up a lot of my time that I normally use for blogging. So bear with me.

There are huge lists of spam filtering businesses? software? companies? I'm not sure what to call them, but they individually compile their own data on spammers and make "blacklists" using a number of different methods. I think, and I'm not totally certain about this point, but larger companies- like Verizon or Earthlink then use this filters.  I've spent the afternoon searching for my IP address on these lists and requesting to be removed whenever possible or places on a "whitelist". It's been a tedious process, but one which will hopefully yield results. So- here's to hoping I never have to bring up this topic on the blog again- hopehopehope.


More Email Info

Who knew I would be spending so much time thinking about spam filters this week?!

Well, I've found that I am most certainly not alone in this experience. The major problems seem to be with Verizon and Earthlink- but here's a whole discussion on the subject specific to Verizon. Apparently it's a very common issue... one that you never think about until it effects you, so my apologies to all those who don't have this issue but I'm trying to get to the bottom of this problem. I've emailed Verizon directly- but who knows if I'll hear anything back, I kind-of doubt it.

One of the recommendations was to open a new email account with someone like Gmail (it's free!)- not particularly attractive to everyone, but if it works for you it would be a quick fix and one that would save you from Verizon indiscriminately blocking your incoming mail.


Email Conundrum Update:

I spent the morning on the phone with my email provider and things are becoming a bit more clear. It seems after going through all the server logs my emails have been firing off normally- leaving my server and arriving to their correct destinations at which point we can no longer see what happens. So- after lots of educated conjecture, we can assume that my email is being flagged by spam filters (I was told these filters are "dynamic and constantly changing" sometimes updating themselves multiple times a day- really?! So I was told).  So these lost emails went into the "black hole" filtered out by spam filters- that's why they're not in junk mail and neither myself or the recipients are getting notices of they're not being received. 

So what can we do? I have all the log info on each of the lost emails I currently know of- so anyone having this problem has two options. Unfortunately I can't do any of this for you- as your email provider won't talk to me, and I can't get into your email for you...

Option 1) you can call your email provider and send them all the log info (that's all the number codes that are unique to each and every email) and discuss with them how to fix the problem. This could be quite a feat with larger companies like Verizon or Earthlink (the two main culprits in this case)- but it can be done. 
Option 2) You can log onto your mail account and try to modify your spam filters. You may have something called a "white list" where you could add my email address- or you can try to lessen the filters so more mail gets through to you without falling into the dreaded "black hole". 

Wow- that's a lot of info- but it's been a very informative morning. Feel free to email me with any questions (I'm getting them!)- I'm happy to work with you anyway I can to figure all this out... frustrating but kind-of interesting. I guess it proves that all my paranoia that emails get lost wasn't totally unfounded. sigh.




To anyone who's been emailing me but hasn't heard a peep in the way of a response in the last few days- I'm here! I've been getting all your emails (i think) and sending responses promptly as usual, but I've had 2, maybe 3 people now (you know who you are) who don't seem be to getting my emails. If you're experiencing the same inexplicable silence from me (didn't get the reminder update and asked for it? emailed on the update day and never heard anything?)- email me with your phone number so I can give you a call... and sorry! I'm trying to get to the bottom of this... 



check out the cuties...

Yesterdays update was such a resounding success, but above all- Ollie and Owl, the collaboration I did with Crystal Hanehan of Vintage by Crystal was the hit of the day. If you wanted to bring a little something spookily sweet into your collection- check out all the beautiful owls she recently made. She's so good...

Ohhh and if you were hoping to pick up one of my Halloween pieces- there are still a few available over on my website... the big surprise to me- that Henry is still around?! Those vintage googly eyes are amazing (not the glue on kind- these are old and they lock into the fabric). He almost looks like he's wearing a pair of eyeglasses... Funny and totally ridiculous. 
Okay, I'm off to the post office and to spend the day RELAXING!


It's almost here...

Here's all the info you need to know if this is new to you... nothing tricky, but it's nice to get a preview about how it all goes down... Feel free to email me if you have any questions in the interim. Until tomorrow~ I bid you adieu.



a little op. a little barnyard.
The Update is just around the corner! So much left to do...


I'm little but OH MY.

I've been working all day in the studio- (and aside from my little acorn distraction this morning) I've finished a bunch of pieces for the update on Friday. Here's one of the little one-of-a-kind bears who'll be making a full appearance then. Hoping I might have a little extra time to make a few more little boys- just 4" tall!

ok, so I couldn't resist...

I made more acorns!
I'm posting and handful of these necklaces on Etsy now ... once they're gone they're GONE. I'm really not making any more(even though I've said that before HA!).


check out the eyes they're giving you...

I've been playing a bit with different eyes on a few of my new bears... check out these two. Vintage googly eyes (AMAZING!) and hand painted mother of pearl. Loving both.


happy bits

I love these posters by Blanca Gomez... so bright and happy. Check them out along with a number of other artists prints at Poster Cabaret or at her Etsy Shop.


final touches...

I've been working and working and working on all the pieces for the Fall Website Update... sometimes its the smallest details which effortlessly make a piece feel special. I'm not sure what it is about this little felt bow- but I really like it.

As a side note- The colors in this portrait of my new little mouse remind me a little of one of my favorite paintings. I know it's a stretch but any reason to look at this painting seems good enough for me.


it was all a blur here this morning

Funny to think I've been making these little bears and animals for- well,  forever now. It's been 12 or 22 years depending on how you add them up (when I quit all other pursuits to sew or when I first began making and selling them). Either way you count it, it's been a long time and in all these years I've never really had a muse. I was driven by the love of the process, material, and heritage of the craft, but now... Now I have my muse and it makes everything I make so much more powerful and imbued with purpose. Often, like this morning I bring one of my newest pieces up for Claude's inspection. This new pattern, inspired by Claude's physique (teehee), was greeted this morning- Hurarah for the new bear in the house Haha!... He ran in circles holding him up. I think he's gotten Claude's stamp of approval. I should have an actual stamp for that?!


One Owl, Two Owls, Three Owls, Four... they've arrived!

Opening this box from Crystal Hanehan was such a joy. I think I actually gasped. I can't wait to show you the goodies in the bottom of the box I got for Claude (or maybe they're for me? Well, they're for me for now and for him for later!), but check out the dreamy owls she made for a collaboration piece we made for the upcoming Update. So exciting. Thanks Crystal! They're Perfect.


Hear Ye Hear Ye... Website Update Announcement

If you recently checked my website you've seen that two weeks ago set a date for the Update- but... since then I've had to push it back a few days due to vicious bugs that hit our little home in the past week.

Now for the business---->The website update! Nothing much has changed from last time but here's a rundown of what to expect:
I'm working on lots of limited edition pieces and a handful of one of a kinds... I'll continue posting in-progress bears an animals here on the blog as usual but I won't be preselling any of the pieces before the update. Come by for a sneak peaks of what I'm working on, but rest assured nothing will be sold before Friday the 22nd. On the big day at 12noon CST, all the pieces will be on the "new bears and animals" page of my website. If you have any questions about how the updates work check out all the info here about ordering, payment and shipping. If you have any questions at all feel free to email me. Ohhhh and I'll be sending out emails to everyone on my email update list in the next couple days with this info and more.


be back soon...

Sorry for the lack of posts, I've out of the studio for a couple days... I'm hoping to be back soon (maybe tomorrow- fingers crossed). We're currently recovering from a tandem- stomach flu and head cold- one two punch. I think we're all on the mend, but here's to hoping that Claude and I don't get Jay's stomach virus and Jay doesn't get our cold-argggg.

Here's a shot of the bits sitting on my worktable waiting for my return...
more bears!