"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet my new love!

I can't believe I've had Sonny Boy for almost 3 mos & haven't shared him w/ y'all! But he is my new love...my heart dog, as I call him. Y'all know I love my Rudy but he's everybody's dog, not mine. And I need a little companion by my side....someone to follow me & listen to me (w/out talking back! LOL) Rudy is more likely to be hanging out w/ the grands than he is me. Not that I would change that about him, there's not much about him I would change but I need a dog that makes me the center of their universe. I've been talking about getting another shiht for a year but I've delayed....knowing that my heart dog would call me, just like my beloved Gizzy called to me so many years ago. So I waited on that sign & waited & waited...all the while, knowing that it would be easiest to raise 2 puppies @ the same time. Instead of going through the housebreaking & the teething, only to turn around & do it all over again. But I didn't want just any dog...I wanted my heart dog. So I remained patient & then one day, hubby & I are in the car talking dog talk & discussing different breeds. I told him, "shihts will always be the dogs for me". And as I said it, we passed a sign hanging on a fence, reading "Shih Tzu puppies for sale". So I wonder, "is this the sign I've been waiting for?" LOL

I couldn't take my mind off it & called when I got home. To my dismay, those puppies had already been sold but then I still felt driven to finding my heart dog that day. And I mean compelled & almost frantic! I spent hours looking @ online ads & saw many, many adorable puppies but when I locked eyes w/ this little bugger...I knew he was the one & the only one.... I had to have him! I called & left message but never heard back (I didn't bother to call about any others cause they weren't the dog for me, even if they wre little cuties). All day long, I fretted & fretted & finally @ 8:00 that evening, I received a call back. The lady told me she had one shiht left, a male. I asked her to tell me honestly, why she thought he was the last puppy left & she said "cause he doesn't like anybody but me; he's constantly by my side".

We drive 2 hours (on a Friday night) to see him & as soon as I picked him up, he melded into me & he was mine!

This is the pic that stole me heart w/ just one look....it was taken @ his breeder's house & he was 11 weeks old. The breeder's teenage daughter had tried to keep him for herself but he refused everybody but her mother...until I came along. I joke that he was saving himself for me like I was saving myself for him. ;)

Here's Sonny @ a grand's birthday party...pining away for his Mama. He's very friendly w/ everyone, even strangers but he is my constant companion...my heartbeat @ my feet.

The paci is in his mouth most of the day...too cute!

We scored a big bonus w/ the love that Rudy & Sonny share for each other....they're very, very close. But although they look so much alike, they're completely different in personality. Rudy is timid & fearful, even a little neurotic & is a bit of a loner. Sonny is bold, friendly, assertive (our chi can't boss him around!) & needs constant companionship.

Here they are napping together, looking more like one dog than two.

But as much as Sonny loves Rudy, he'll ditch him in a second if I leave the room. I like to say that "many dogs will hold pieces of your heart but very few will be your heart."

This is my heart, all wrapped up in fur & w/ a bit of an attitude...my Sonny Boy.

BTW look at teh lack of drainage from Sonny's eyes (you can see the dark tear streaks in the first pic of him @ 11 weeks). If your dog has allergies or suffers from drainage from the eyes (as so many white faced dogs do) I highly suggest Blue Buffalo dog food. It's kinda pricey (even more than the Science Diet prescription food I used to have to feed Gizzy) but it is sooo worth it. We started feeding it to Rudy cause it was recommended by our vet (Rudy is an allergy sufferer) but when I noticed that Sonny had no more tears, I looked at the ingredient list out of curiousity...they use all deboned chicken (for their puppy food, Rudy's food is salmon based), no glutens, no corn & all natural ingredients like dried blueberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. Just go read the ingredients label & that alone will convince you to feed it to your furbaby.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Good times w/ good friends!

Last weekend, I went on a wonderful crafting retreat w/ some of the girls @ Memory Lane Inn in Tyler Tx. Oh my goodness...what a set-up, y'all! Memory Lane Inn is a FABULOUS victorian inn, decked out w/ all the luxuries (wait until you see the stained glass!) & specifically set-up for us crafters. They had huge work tables w/ lights, plugs, shelves for supplies & drink holders (so you didn't spill your drinks on your work) plus they had a cricut, printer & computer for us to use. Oh yeah, and they had a candy bar...stocked w/ tons & tons & tons of candy. It was a crafter's haven! I has sooo much fun!

This is the front of the inn...charming isn't it? You ain't seen nothing yet!

Love the wrap-around porch w/ all the rockers. We laughed & laughed about my hubby talking me into keeping folding chairs in the back of my blazer...said I may need them. It didn't occur to me until we were shopping that he did that to deter me from buying too much...the sly devil! Little did he know, I'd have ditched those chairs in a heartbeat if I needed the room. LOL

This is one of the crafting rooms (there were 2)...we each had a huge work space w/ all the amenities. Love the little shelves...they were sooo handy. I thought about putting one on my work station @ home but I'd probably decorate it instead of leaving it bare.

This was the supply closet...full of stickles & inks & Tim Holtz products. I figured the supplies would be marked way up but she must have been selling them @ her cost...stickles for $2! And crackle paints for $4!

I didn't get any pictures of the girls, as I didn't even break out my camera until my car was loaded for the trip home. There was at least one of us in pj's & no make-up at all times though, so a group shot wouldn't have been possible anyway. But I do want to thank Cheryl, Alisa, Shannon, Joanna, Dana, Liesl & Marie for a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Check out the stained glass! It was everywhere! Some vintage, some reproductions, all very beautiful!

This door led into the First Ladies Quarters...the most luxurious of all the sleeping quarters & the only one I didn't get pics of. :(

The kitchen was fabulous w/ not one but 2 swinging stained glass doors!

In the room beyond was the cricut, puter, candy bar & crafting closet.


LOVED this staircase lamp!

Now we go upstairs & this is where my photos get bad. As I said, I was literally loaded up in the car & about to leave when Marie convinced me to unpack my camera & take some pictures...I'm so glad she did! But you'll have to forgive the bad photos...I just rushed through taking them & didn't bother w/ lighting etc. Anyway, this is the media room although we never so much as sat in it.

And this was our room...it slept 6. I was concerned (very concerned) about my snoring but I wore breathing strips & crossed my fingers. The next morning, I was told by Joanna, that yes I still snored. (I knew she would be the one to say something LOL) She said it was only lightly but it was almost continuous...when there was a delay in bouts, she said it worried her & made her think "why'd she stop? is she still breathing?" *grins* Maybe next time I should take hubby's suggestion to bring ear plugs for everyone else instead of breathing strips for me.

The buffet? (dresser?) in our room...it's gorgeous!

One of the many beautiful chandeliers in teh house...this one was in our bathroom.

There were only 8 girls in our group ( we slept 6 in one room w/ Cheryl & Alisa staying in the First Ladie's room) & the inn houses 20 people so there was another group of women sharing it w/ us. This is one of their rooms. It's called Miss America's rooms because a Miss America lived in it back in the days when the inn was a boarding house....it slept 4.

This room was decorated closest to my style....loved the mantel! The picture on the right of the mantel is a newspaper article about the Miss America that roomed here. I think it was from the 20's & read "she can fry up a steak, sew a fine hem & she can read"...cracked us up that it was a big deal that she could read. That gurl done got herself an edumacation!

Another sleeping room...this one sleeps 8. LOVE the pillars & teh chandelier!

Another stained glass window in a bathroom.

The back of the inn was even more charming than the front.

With multiple seating areas (sure didn't need those chairs did I? LOL)

And a water pond.

The junk shopping in Tyler is awesome but these ladies are experienced, they're quick & they know what they're after. I thought I was good but I'm gonna have to step up my junkin' game if I wanna compete. I did score a half doll in great shape for $15, some aluminum jello molds (been looking for some for over a year to use as bases for misc art projects) & a wonderful old tin in a faded pink....it'll become some kind of altered doll.

Cheap velvet ribbon but it's old & nicely aged.

A mesh coin purse (I'll either use a patina finish on it or I'll stick it outside until the Spring) & I love the tiny, fine lace.

Crocheted snowflakes for art projects.

MORE aluminum molds...I hit the jackpot! 48 molds for $10!!!!

Cigar box full of aged embroidery floss. No need to tea-dye these!

2 china ballerinas for Caralyn's playhouse...@ 30 cents a piece (they were half off! LOL), I don't have to worry about them getting broken.

And a beautful, porcelain ballerina for my collection. I already have one just like her though (hate it when I do that!) so she'll probably become a swap gift for someone.

And I bought this tag @ one of the antique shops...couldn't resist it.

I can't share much of what I worked on that weekend, as I made the stocking for Joli Paquet's Vintage Stocking Swap, as well as a couple of goodies to go inside but I did try making some polymer clay roses. They still need to be baked (trying to find a used toaster oven!) & spritzed w/ some glimmer mist & the holes are so that I can string a tiny bead in the center. I'll share them again when they're finished.

And I also made some image transfer tags. I bought shiny contact paper & not matte though so I'm not completely thrilled w/ the way they turned out. I gotta find some of the matte stuff.

Wish I hadn't stamped gesso on this one but once it was done, wasn't much I could do. I'm gonna get a gold paint pen & add scrolly's to the stark white though & that should help.

LOVE this tag....you can just barely make out the prism I hung from the bottom.

You know what's one of the best things about hubby traveling (aside from having some alone time ;) )? It gives me the time to nurture, encourage & enjoy the friendships I've made through blogging & Paper Cowgirl. Today, I'm off to meet Jan & Marie for a fun day of tea rooms & shopping @ Lone Star Antiques w/ maybe a trip to the cattle barns flea.

But I better skip the cute mules & wear me some running shoes if I wanna keep up! LOL

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dorothy is in the house!

My Dorothy tag book arrived a couple of weeks ago but I've been remiss in posting about it...partly because I have a confession to make. I was late getting my tags to Karla (long story) & she had already mailed them out when I realized it. Anyway, I didn't know how to handle it.... should I just shrug it off & hope she didn't remember me signing up?

Nahhh, not really my style, I'm a confronter by nature. ;) So I emailed her, admitting my over-sight & apologized profusely...never expecting her to send me a tag book. But you know what she did? She gathered up the leftover tags that she couldn't understand why she had (hmmmm...wonder if my tags not being there threw off her accounting? *blushes*), made another glittered shoe, added one of her own tags & told me she was happy to oblige my tardiness. Now that is true graciousness!

Thank you so much for your understanding Karla...you really are the best! And look how cute she packaged the book...wrapped in actual pages from a vintage copy of The Wizard of Oz.

I've already hung my book from my inspiration board, right next to my Alice tag book.

Look at the wonderful cover Karla made! It has so many details.....

with beautiful drawings by Karla herself...

...and a Toto, who slips in & out of the basket...

...and a red glittered shoe. Isn't it adorable?

There is some incredible talent in this book!

LOVE the tin man!

This tag was made by Karla & it is gorgeous! LOVE it!!!

And how clever is this tag....w/ the house tag on the witch's legs tag that slides into the There's No Place Like Home tag. So cute!!!

And this Toto is just too sweet!

This is the tag I made. I used some of the techniques I learned from Karla & Beth's Romantic Gothic ezine (they have a new one for Christmas too ...check it out!) & wrote "Follow your dreams" on the back of each tag. I kept one for myself but Karla sent one of mine back in my book so I have an extra. Leave a comment on this post if you'd like to win the extra tag....that's all just leave a comment & I'll draw a name next week sometime.

Speaking of give-aways, my friend Lesley Venable @ Flatwoods Folk Art just opened a new etsy shoppe (you can find her button on my sidebar ...it's called A Vintage Season) & she's having a FABULOUS give-away to celebrate. And I do mean fabulous...the prizes are a Santos head on a stand & an Infant of Prague. Go grab her shoppe button & sign up here. Good luck y'all...or should I say "me". ;)