Friday, December 19, 2008

Progress on Heart N Bones dog sweater

The progress on the Heart N Bones doggie sweater as of the 12th. The sweater is finished and ready for Abby to model.

Photos of the finished project (along with my "jury duty" saga) coming soon along with my "jury duty" saga.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Original Heart -N- Bones Knitting Pattern (freebie!)

As promised in yesterday's post, here is the newly created (by yours truly) Heart 'N' Bones design for Abby's next sweater.  Feel free to share it, use it and/or change it up a little to suit your needs, but please don't make money off of it (I shared it for free after all) and if you publish it, just link back to me.

heart-n-bones knitting pattern

Just to refresh your memory, I'm putting this on a size "3" doggie sweater designed by Street Legal Designs - [2013 UPDATE: the sweater is no longer free online, but you can download the pattern for a few dollars from Ravelry: login required).] .  Because this is for a doogie, I'm not using the more beautiful yarns from my collection of wools, bamboos, silks, ribbons and more, but went for a basic acrylic from the craft store, Red Heart "Soft" in cherry red, grape and white, to be specific; photos to come when I finish.  I decided to eschew the sleeves since my dog is mighty low to the ground.  Although the pattern calls for a DK / sport / #3 weight yarn, I acheived my desired thickness and gauge using a worsted / medium / #4 weight.

Oh, and can I just put in a plug for this awesome book, which has been a real help while I try to remember what I learned about knitting while doing a semester at Oxford in 1987.  Yep.  I'm old.

Knit on, my friends.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Local Discovery, Tutorial and Feeling "A Little Queer" Tomorrow

I'm sad to say that this Saturday another small local business, Grind & Groove, closed its doors permanently. Thank you to everyone who patronized this awesome store and purchased art and ... ummm... y'know (toys). Anna and Jen are awesome chicks and I hope that we'll see more of them in midtown, once the economy gets back on its feet. It was sad to watch everything in the store going at their cost (or less), but Abby did get herself an awesome hot pink doggy coat with a huge arrow/heart design (photos later - sorry folks). Chip sort of summed it all up when he said (with no little amount of sarcasm, "Don't worry Lulu, you still have WalMart for lead-laced doggy toys and poisoned doggy food." Sigh. Ron and I were bummed, so we took Abby and went over to Side Show Studios for a visit (and to drop off the orphaned art by various friends that we picked up). Seeing Char and/or Cy always cheers me up - even better, J-sin was there & his genuine smile is certainly a pick-me-up. I suppose this is a great time to remind you all that there will be a GREAT opportunity to pick up 'clearance' art at Side Show Studios this Saturday for the Holiday Art Bonanza (tons of great art at affordable prices)!

So on the way home, I happened to look toward the "Prairie City" plaque just off of Highway 50 and noticed that there was a trail right there! Ron informed me that there was also a reservoir - no kidding - it's not like I've been taking that offramp for the last 9 years or anything.... It turns out it's called the Willow Hills Reservoir and is the spot that the WH community park will be developed ... someday when there's money. In the meantime, I like it all rough and unmanicured/unpaved. So does Abby.
Abby @ Willow Hills Reservoir

With the temperature dropping at night and the impossibly thick fog we've been experiencing lately, not to mention that Abby's body temp is low for a dog (only 98.9), a sweater or five is a must this winter. I went to work searching for a cute, easy and FREE pattern for a dog sweater and was immediately rewarded with the Skull & Dog Bones by Street Legal Designs (as modeled by Abby, above).  The pattern is written with instructions for a range of four sizes, starting with a size 3 (Jack Russell or small Beagle) up to a size 6 (German Shepherd or Lab).  They also have patterns for mini and toy breeds (sizes 1 & 2) on their website.  SLD gives GREAT directions for measuring your doggie and tips for customizing the fit.  At a muscular and slim 16.6 lbs., Abby is pretty much a perfect size "3" with a long torso and a long neck. I'm currently working on a pattern based on this sweater but with a design of my own making (heart & crossbones), which OF COURSE I will post as soon as it is finished. [UPDATE: here it is.]

Finally, for those who don't know, tomorrow is being "celebrated" for lack of a better word, as Day Without A Gay. It's one way to battle the "H8" and show the world how important folks identifying as gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual are to our society.  Feeling a little queer? Call in and tell your employer (of course, if you work at a gay owned or gay-centric business, calling in would be counterproductive). Not gay? It's OK - we all feel a little queer now and then and that means you too. Don't waste your day "off," either - give your local GLBT organization a call and ask how you can help them out!

Y'know, I'm starting to feel a little bit of queerness coming on right now....
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Collaboration, Dog Update, SNAFU and Laughing At Life (again)

Much is going on in the world-o-Krissi.


I blogged a while back about an oracle card mixed media piece I did as part of an art challenge. What I didn't tell you could fill another post ... and does as you will see ... ummm, well ... now.

"courage" oracle card - final touch
A friend and fellow Sacramento artist, Kathy Blackburn and her musician hubby Byron, had just found out that his cancer has returned on the eve of his 1-year-cancer-free anniversary (literally - the day before). He started chemo Thanksgiving week in order to shrink the tumor(s) to an operable size/location - I understand the growth is near his femoral artery. Out of love and concern, another artistic couple, Mark and Nicole Fox, started a surprise collaboration piece to wish Kathy & Byron "Love, Happiness, Strength, Courage, Positivity, Hope, Friendship, Support and Peace." Nine artist/friends of the Blackburns were recruited and the words used as inspirations for each of the 9 squares. When I saw "courage" was one of the two words remaining when I received the piece, it was obviously the universe speaking to me (see my earlier blog post for details on why).

Blackburn Collaboration - final!
Participating artists (from L to R, top to bottom):
Row 1: Nicole Fox (love), Jennifer Keller (happiness), Evie "Love" Turner (strength)
Row 2: Krissi Sandvik (courage), Mark Fox (positivity), Jill Allyn Stafford (hope),
Row 3: Jared Konopitski (friendship), Miss Cy Wylie (support) and Char Hall (peace)

Kathy wrote a sweet blog about how much the piece means to them. I feel truly fortunate to have been involved with this particular project.


lap doggie

YES! I've gotten your messages and posts asking about Miss Abby, our newest "fur baby." She's doing incredibly well. She's very healthy, is chipped and THANKFULLY out of heat so that we can play at my town's new dog park (wee!!!!!), at least until she is spayed in a month or so.

As far as our other fur (and feather and scaley) babies go, Mouse is doing really well and Gracie is finally starting to stand her ground and hiss rather than running like prey. However, my big-ass orange tabby, Finnegan, who still hasn't mentally recovered from a dog attack about a decade ago, is plotting and planning Abby's murder. No kidding. He's been stalking her and even attacked her once when I left the room. Abby has been sleeping in "protective custody" in a kennel, but doesn't seem to mind it at all - she gives the kitty much respect and is limiting her Jack Russell spazz-outs to the outside. I have a lot of hope that a cease fire will be reached though I never expect they will be allies. Charlie, who grew up with large dogs keeps saying "HI!" to Abby, who wants to chase and eat him. Oscar just lets out a giant macaw scream. It's horrid. We have to lock Abby up in order to take the birds out to the aviary every day and again when we bring them in at night. Hercules is in hibernation until March or April, but that will involve some coordination as well. Many dog/tortoise owners end up with 3-legged turtles. We'll figure that out when we get there.

Yesterday, Abby had her first girls' day out after a play date at Body Tribe (= Allyson trains me, I work out, the dogs have fun and Chip, Al and I make "cute" noises at the doggies). Allyson's friend Adam called and we all met down at the river: Allyson with Lulu, Adam with Molly -an Irish Setter/Rodesian Ridgeback mix- and me, the nervous new mommy, with little Abby. We walked and talked about dogs, crazy-ass cat show people, local birds of prey, the river, Sacramento and other stuff and I quickly felt at ease as the girls fell into pack mode. It was hysterically funny to watch the three of them play, and a joy to watch Abby run and bark like a normal spastic Jack Russell. I had been worried that her silence and the scars on her neck from some kind of shock collar might mean that she would never bark - even when appropriate. Luckily, she did also bark once when Ron sort of snuck in the house one night, so paired with the happy barking of yesterday, we're good to go on that front.

After our trip to the river, she coated the inside of my car with muck and we headed off to Side Show Studios where Miss Cy fell instantly in love - pretty much like everyone does - with Abby. After our visit, we went next door and I gave Abby a nice warm bath (and dry) at Bath & Biscuits. She's still a bit "skunky" around her face and head from some incident pre-Krissi/Ron, but she's smelling much better and her coat is looking well. In spite of the fact that the sneezing and stuffy head won out over me by about 5pm, it was a great day.


Business has been picking up, which is awesome. There are Skelekitty rubber stamps and prints shipping out this week and orders are coming in almost daily. The original art is making itself at home in my studio, but I'm OK with that for right now. I'm hoping to run through the supply of stamps I have and end up with enough cash (and a great referral to a local manufacturer) to get those darn T-shirts made.


I created two new paintings over the last couple of weeks. One just for myself and one for a show, which though a Post Office SNAFU didn't make it quite in time.

First, my ode to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, 12 Bad Eggs.
12 Bad Eggs
One of my friends mis-interpreted this piece as sadness over lost fertility, but that couldn't be further from the truth. This is my way of making fun of the fact that my own body is out to cause me discomfort and plain old physical misery.

12 Bad Eggs (detail)
I especially like the one flipping off the fallopian tube.

I was also "volunteered" by Nik to participate in a benefit show in Burbank for Kevin Klemm, creator of Girls & Corpses Magazine, who's fallen on some especially rough times. After agonizing and creating non-stop for a day and a half, I came up with "Grinding To A Hault," which I love and I'm pleased to say that Bill from Hyaena Gallery liked it too.

Grinding To A Hault (final)

Although I added a little extra postage, this was returned to me ON the day of the show, with a note demanding an extra 80 cents. I'm flabbergasted and so it's sitting in my studio - still in the packaging - awaiting a trip to the Post Office where I will request a clear explanation and assurance that this time it will get to Bill. Grrr. Anyway, this will soon be available through Hyaena Gallery in Burbank.


I am also beginning a new online class with Suzi Blu this week which will take me through the new year, so my creativity may be pushed to the brink and leave me little brain with which to blog. Please offer your patience, which I will gladly accept.

Oh yeah, and Ron and I BOTH have been called to jury duty on the 15th. Luckily, I have multiple offers from folks to dog-sit Abby, who cannot be left alone in the same space as Finnegan for obvious reasons.

So please accept my apologies for being so "quiet" lately!
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Jerk - A - Rang

Another truism from the twisted mind of Nik:

p.s.  If you are on my "friends" list or if I've spoken to you in the last 6 months, don't get all paranoid on me - this isn't about you.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Skelekitty Rubber Stamps and New Print available on Etsy

My initial order of Skelekitty rubber stamps arrived from Santa Fe today and are available for purchase on my Etsy site at $14.00 each or a set of all 4 for $50.  If you don't have an Etsy account (it's free to join and shop, so you should!), just e-mail me letting me know which and how many stamps you would like to order and I'll send you an invoice,  easy as pie.

"Play Time" Skelekittyrubber stamp
"Play Time" - Skelekitten with yarn

"Time for Love" Skelekitty rubber stamp
"Always Time for Love" Skelekitty with heart

"Welcome Home" Skelekitty rubber stamp
"Welcome Home" Skelekitty rubbing skeleton legs (with cool shoes)

"Skele-Sirena" Skelekitty rubber stamp
Skele-sirena - Skelekitty as a mermaid

I've also created a new print and made it available on Etsy.  It's the angel-kitten from my original mixed-media piece, Love Cats in an 8x10" (well, 10x8" really) print.

Only $15 (plus CA tax if you're a resident).  She's a perfect holiday gift.  Not "into" kitties?  There are several other works available as 8x10 prints too, so check it out.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Showing Thanks (with recipes!)

Regardless of your feelings about the founding and expansion of the US, current politics or religion, Thanksgiving gives us all, whether 'Americans' or not, a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the things in our lives for which we are thankful.

Me?  I'm thankful for my good health (yes, even with the problems I have, they're not so bad really!), Ron and our critters, my family, my dad staying sober for over a year, my awesome friends - including the ones from high school I've refound on the interwebs, Skelekitty, gel medium, the ability to laugh at life's crap, Body Tribe Fitness and Allyson, learning new stuff, autumn colors in the California foothills, Poop-Off, NPR and the ability to spew my thoughts online and the fact that there are people interested enough to read them.

To celebrate all the awesome shit in my life, I'm celebrating by sharing two of my recipes for Thanksgiving day favorites.  First, the recipe for my cranberry-apple pie that drives my father-in-law to do a happy-pie-dance in his chair, and also the cranberry sauce that people who don't like cranberry sauce love.

My signature apple-cranberry pie!
Apple-Cranberry Pie
Oven 375F
Pastry for a double-crust pie*
4-6 large FRESH granny smith apples to yield 6-8 cups of cut apples (TIP: If you live somewhere you can get 'em off the tree, DO IT.  We get ours every year from Larsen's in Apple Hill - Camino, CA - do yourself a favor and get a turnover with sauce while you're there)
6 oz fresh cranberries - washed and destemmed
1 Tbsp. all purpose wheat flour
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
butter (optional)

Peel and quarter the apples - remove cores.  Cut apples into somewhat uneven chunks (for large apples - I quarter the pieces lengthwise then cut them in half crosswise;  for smaller apples I'll cut them in thirds, then in half).

Mix apples with lemon juice, then add cranberries, flour, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar and mix - allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.

Pour apple-cranberry mixture into a crust-lined (uncooked) pie pan and dot with butter (optional).  Arrange top crust and close edges.  Cut slits on top of pie or cut openings using a decorative cookie cutter.  Brush top with water and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. of sugar.

Cover crust edges with foil and bake for 25 minutes; remove foil and bake for 20-25 additional minutes.  Let cool and get ready to pass this recipe on to anyone who eats the pie.

*Don't want to make your own pie crust?  Use your own pie plate with Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts - just let them sit at room temp for 15 minutes then unroll and use - they are AWESOME and the only commercial pie crust I would ever use.

F@#%ing AWESOME Cranberry Sauce

12 oz (1 bag) fresh cranberries - washed and destemmed
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec or another orange flavored liqueur)
1/2 + 1/8 cup water

Boil water, liqueur and sugar until sugar melts.  Add cranberries and heat until cranberries begin to "pop."  Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool for 30-60 minutes and refrigerate overnight (or at least for several hours to give it time to gel).  Yumtastic!

I hope you all find something to be thankful for today and every day!

xo  Krissi
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Custom Hot Pants (A Tutorial)

So yeah, Abby is in heat and has to wear "lady pants" for the next couple of weeks. Since I have my own disgust for non-biodegradable 'personal items' (diapers, sanitary pads, etc.), I got her washable doggie pants and inserted a washable pad (you can make them yourself out of flannel) inside them. The pants are very functional, but just didn't have ANY personality.

Not until this morning, anyway:
Fashion runways will now be referred to as the Dogwalk

Abby strikes a provocative pose

I'm really sorry I didn't take in-process photos for all of you, but I will divulge every SINGLE technique and product used in an attempt to make up for it.

Supplies: dog in heat, washable doggie panties, decorative fabric, embellishments, fusible medium, scissors, iron
Techniques: Fusing a design to ready-to-wear items is easy and addictive. You'll wonder why you haven't done this to EVERYTHING you wear already.
Directions and details:
I used PUP'sters brand doggie pants (by Simple Solutions) just because that's what was on the shelf at my local pet supply store. Even though Abby measures and weighs as a medium, these are a small and fit her very well. Wash the pants first to remove sizing.

Choose a design or create your own like I did for my custom denim jacket. TIP: create or pick a simple design that will be easy to cut out and not really viney florals or patterns with small thin, designs. I used "Corazones" from the Folklorico Collection by Alexander Henry 'cause I first thought how funny a flaming sacred heart would be over her little doggie-in-heat-butt. Other great designs I could have chosen for this are loteria cards (also by A.H., but tough to find if you don't already have some), dice or cards, sugar skulls, etc.

Position some fusible medium on the reverse side of your fabric, covering the design you want to cut out completely (with a little extra, just in case). Because I was dealing with a heavy material (denim), I used Heat N Bond Ultra, which I don't usually like because the fusible "glue" tends to soak through the fabrics. Because this project was using a dark design on a lightish denim, and I planned to embellish over the design, I wasn't going to worry about it (and I really want the design to stay put on her little doggie butt). If you don't have HnB Ultra in your stash, you can fuse several layers of a regular weight medium onto the fabric (I usually use Wonder Under).

Once the glue cools, peel the paper backing off and begin to cut out the design with SHARP scissors. (If you sew on a regular basis, you should have a pair that are dedicated ONLY to fabric and which never ever cut anything else. Want to know why? Try cutting a detailed design from fabric with paper crafting scissors and look at the weave unravel!) TIP: Make sure you cut out the design AFTER you remove the paper. If you remove the paper afterward, you will pull your design out of shape and ruin the sharp outline.

OK, now for the fun stuff! Iron on your newly created "patch" onto the pants and embellish to your heart's delight!

Did you really expect any less from me?

I used 3mm Swarovski hotfix crystals in diamond (clear) & siam around the hear and citron at the tips of the "holy rays." The glitter is Stickles glitter glue by Ranger products in burgundy/xmas red/orange peel all kinda painted on and smushed together on the flame, and gold on the "rays."

I think she feels sassier already  I know I do.
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The New Doggy Has Chosen Her Name!

Meet Miss Abby!

We tried on several names with her, but this is the one that fit and was also the name that SHE seemed to like the best. She's also starting to respond to it!

Who, ME?

All three kitties are adjusting, but we have some scheduling issues to work out when taking the macaws out to the aviary... Not terribly surprising.

And YES there will be skeledoggies (first portraits will be of Lulu and Abby)!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Bird Day 2009 - Call for Artists and Call for Donations!

Hi everyone!  There are two art related events going on for National Bird Day  this year that I KNEW would be right up the alley of a few of you.    In short, NBD is a day to reflect on the beauty of our native wild birds, but especially to think about how we treat birds in captivity (as a human companion to two "used" macaws, this is very close to my heart).  If you are not in Sacramento for the art show, check out the website for art shows in other cities!

1.  Art Show. 
Sacramento Call For Artists – The Bird Show – January 2009
The beauty, songs, and flight of birds have long been sources of artistic inspiration.
Ironically, today, nearly 12 percent of the world's 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century and millions of captive birds lead miserable lives languishing in cages.
Born Free USA works to improve the lives of birds living in captivity, to end their exploitation by the pet industry, and preserve their rightful place in the wild. As part of this effort, Born Free works galleries and art venues around the country to raise awareness of the plight of birds through art.

In the Sacramento area the 2009 National Bird Day art show will once again be held at Body Tribe with opening reception on January 10th (Second Saturday).

Born Free is looking for artists who would like to be submit work to be included in the show. Donating a portion of sales to Born Free USA is welcome but not required.

All art must adhere to the general bird theme ...all bird species welcome. We are however, particularly interested in pieces that reflect the plight of captive birds.
If you would like to be part of the show or would like more information contact Monica Engebretson at or (916) 447 3085 x 210
More about captive birds:
Even when bred in captivity, exotic birds are not considered domesticated animals, and all their inherent behavioral and physical needs remain intact. Sadly, when it comes to birds, deprivation of their natural behaviors (to fly and flock, for example) is an inescapable component of their captivity.
Each year thousands of birds are sold into the pet trade to individuals who are under the mistaken impression that a bird will make a perfect pet. Eventually, whether due to frustration, disinterest, or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility of caring for their birds. Unfortunately, few of these birds will find a loving home, and most will spend their days isolated and confined to their cages. Others will bounce from home to home as their caretakers tire of them, and some may be abandoned at local shelters and birds rescues, set free to fend for themselves or euthanized.
Images of trapped birds, captive birds, and "bird mills" (massive breeding facilities) can be seen on the the National Bird Day myspace pages at
More information can also be found at

2. Online Auction!

As part of the National Bird Day Celebration beginning on January 5, 2009, Born Free USA will be hosting an online auction to benefit our work which of course includes protecting birds from cruelty and exploitation.

If you would like to donate an item to the auction please visit our auction staging page at:

We are particularly interested in items that reflect the theme of National Bird Day - birds, flight, freedom, beauty - you get the picture.

Your donations are tax deductible.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Need This Like We Need A Hole In The Head

But she's just SO DARNED sweet!

She found us Sunday while we were hiking in a state park in CaliFORnia's GOLD (LOL) country and followed us up and over the 2+ miles with a elevation gain of about 500 feet. She had no tags or collar, was hungry/thirsty/skunky and covered in fleas and ticks. We made a makeshift collar and leash out of a strap from Ron's backpack and she seemed thrilled. She eagerly jumped into the car (I can't believe Ron let a stinky/tick-ridled dog in his BMW - LOL), curled up on Ron's jacket and totally passed out on the ride home.

We got her home and immediately saw that she was not fixed; she started having some blood-tinged discharge on Sunday night and ... yep, she was just starting to go into the beginnings of a heat. I was irked at the irresponsibility and Ron was getting pissy, but he still spent 3 hours looking for lost doggie postings on the interwebs' usual suspects: the Bee, Craig's List, etc., etc. (NUTHIN'). My neighbor, Ralyn who is half of another couple without human children but with plenty of furbabies, and I eradicated most of the skunk smell and all of the ticks (eww!). Then I got her tummy full of some good quality food. She slept VERY well Sunday night. On me.
In her "lady pants"
Here's a picture of her in her "lady pants" as Paula from Lakeside Veterinary calls them - much better than "diapers!"

I took her to the vet first thing Monday morning to scan for a microchip but, as I suspected, NUTHIN' once again. Now I was getting a little pissy and Ron was getting angry, but I still posted a "found dog" flyer at the post office of the little gold mining town. Jacks are known for bolting and even the best pet owners have lost a pet once or twice. Yesterday afternoon and last night she had some nightmares - hyperventilating and whimpering in her sleep, but she recovers quickly once she wakes up.

Today I took her to the vet for an actual exam since they were swamped on Monday. He thinks she's "youngish," he guessed about two. Of course, everybody there LOVED her - she was perfect even during her exam! We got a closer look at her neck: what I thought was a rash or irritation from fleas/ticks or a once-upon-a-time too-tight collar turned out to be thick scarring from a bark collar. Now I know these collars can be and are often used safely and humanely, but Jacks are notorious for needing mental and physical stimulation or they'll create their own. You can't use a bark collar in place of regular training and exercise (ever, but especially with high energy, smart, working dogs). How neglected was this doggie to end up with such huge calloused scars on her neck? I started to tear up right there in the vet's office and went from pissy to a combination of heartbroken and outraged. When I told Ron, he was completely furious. I doubt very much that whoever "lost" this awesome little bundle of love is going to want her back, but if they do, they're going to have to deal with Ron, me, his friends and coworkers, a lot of angry punk rockers, animal rights activists and weight lifters.

So it looks like it's official. We now have a dog. As Allyson said, I unwittingly asked the universe for a dog by loving on her black lab Lulu so much. Even two of the three cats have accepted her - I awoke at 4:30am last night to find a dog sleeping at my feet and Finnegan on my chest with Mouse nearby on her "momma kitty." Gracie on the other hand keeps acting like prey and running which sets off the chase instinct in the little Jack Russell Terrier brain. Positive reinforcement training started today - we'll be rewarding every time she DOESN'T go after a kitty when there's an opportunity.

There's really only one outstanding problem: the universe may have sent us a dog, but it's taking its sweet-ass time about sending her name along!


We have a possible contender, Nyssa. It comes from Hebrew Nysa which means "to test" (perfect for a Jack Russell) and Nissa is a feminine name of Scandinavian origin ("a friendly elf"). Also, Nyssa was one of the companions The Doctor picked up during his travels. It all seems appropriate, so we're going to let her try it on for a few days and see what happens.


Her name is Abby. No reason - she just looks like one.
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Dork Alert!

Sneaky sneak preview of the 2008 Christmas episode, "The Next Doctor."

Now, of course, I wish we had BBC America more than ever! I'm not sure I can wait for the Sci Fi Channel to run new episodes sometime in the summer....
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Don't Say I Haven't Warned You

I mark a lot of my posts with the tag my sick sense of humor in order to forewarn my more 'normal' colleagues (hey, I have a few here and there). Now in all honesty, most of the time the tag could easily be replaced with one like funny or humor, but not in the case of the original post which gave rise to the overly-specific comedy tag, nor in the case of today's.

I've been working on and giggling over a piece called 12 Bad Eggs for the last two days. It's my ode to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - commonly referred to as PCOS or PCOD. It's an annoyance with which I've been living for about a decade, but which resurfaced as an issue earlier this year when I had to choose between having a working digestive system and the meds that were controlling the PCOS. I chose having a tummy that didn't look like swiss cheese and must admit that I'm having much more fun NOT writhing on the floor in pain after every couple of meals.

12 bad eggs - almost finished
ALMOST FINISHED - it just needs the text ("12 Bad Eggs") attached when the paint and gel medium finishes drying.

Detail. My favorite is the one flipping the bird to the fallopian tube:
12 bad eggs - detail
I also have a soft spot for the "alien egg" which is a shout out to Dr. Lisa Capaldini in San Francisco, my favoritest doctor EVER. She was the first to diagnose (jokingly, of course) my collection of auto-immune diseases and other weird-ass disorders as Space Alienism. BTW, despite Lisa's insightful discovery, I don't think the disorder was ever published in JAMA.

I have absolutely NO CLUE if there is anyone out there on this planet who will find this as funny and cathartic as I do, let alone buy it (I think it will be about $70 on Etsy), but I needed to make it just the same.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Art Journaling With A Sense of Humor

Another journal page in my 3 Week Challenge to "say yes to the possibility of success."  This one explores the fear of not being considered a "real" artist because 1) I have no formal art training and/or 2) I'm not pissed off all of the time.
art journal (or not-art journal) page

Along with the underlying fear, there is definitely a holier-than-thou attitude in this piece.  This page was inspired by a "real" artist who terrorized my friends at an art show in March (I was off being a not-real-artist on the Crafty Chica cruise!).
"White Walls, White Lines"by Nicolas Caesar
3-10-2008 (
We met this guy Saturday. He flipped all of us off. Well, he also flipped off lamps, walls, screamed and shouted at the air and really did strangely attract snobby patrons. We couldn't tell if he was coked out, crazy or just entertaining. Either way he was this week's muse. And his art REALLY is about birds and pink floyd.

On a side note when women have plastic surgery and age they start looking more and more like my art. Just that creepy Jack-O-Lantern grin. I think that's cool. 
Oddly enough, I can't seem to find a bio or portfolio of his crazy ass anywhere on the interwebs.  Hmmmm...  Oh well.

I have a fun idea for a new piece so I'm off to work it out.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Winning Skelekitty Shirt Design Is...

Skelekitty with the heart!
Skelekitty's first T-Shirt design (coming soon!)

The final artwork will be cleaned up a little more around the edges, but essentially, this is how the shirt will look (without the copyright notice, of course): white & red "ink" on black American Apparel shirts. We're planning on doing girlie shirts in sizes M (4-6) -XXL (14-16) and we'll probably do a couple unisex sizes too for folks wanting a roomier fit or to DIY them! If you want to reserve a certain style/size, let me know at

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for voting and for all of your feedback! Stay tuned for more information on how to get your own shirt (I just needs to get a printer locked in!) We're hoping to have some for you by Xmas!
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Saying "YES"

One of the artists who participated in the last Suzi Blu mixed-media online workshop created her own Ning community called the 3-Week Challenge. In this challenge, people are asked to what they would say "yes." I've consiously made changes like this in my life before - "yes" to happiness over anger (I'd say I'm at about 95%) and "yes" to accepting my body for what it is and making the best of my physical self (an ongoing battle). This time, I wanted to say yes to the possibility of success, a fear of which has plagued me my entire life. Seems like a weird thing to fear, huh?

Step one from my point of view is to figure out what success might look like and WHY the thought of succeeding is so damn scary, so I created my very first EVER art journal entry/ies:

Possibility of Success journal page
Possibility of Success journal page

Fear of Success journal page
Fear of Success journal page

Looking at this with my critical eye, I'd say more of me went into the "fear" page than the "possibility" page. I hope at the end of the three weeks (11/23 to 12/14), I'll be able to say exactly the opposite.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's More of an "Explanation" Than an "Excuse"

I can never find ANYTHING.

My studio this morning:

HOW did this happen?!?!

My "WTF" moment

Get more details by pointy-pointy and clicky-clicky on the photos.

I'm afraid to go back down there.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

That Darn Cat Is at it Again!

Swiped from The Kitty's blog today:
Howdy cats and kittens!

Well, never let it be said that this kitty lets the grass grow under her paws!  The rubber stamps are still being poured, assembled and mailed out to folks and here I am looking at the reality of the very first SKELEKITTY TEE SHIRT, but I need your assistance in picking the design.  We will only be offering one design first, and we want it to do well so that we can offer more designs in the future!

Here is the plan thus far: we'll be getting American Apparel "girlie" shirts in several sizes from M-XXL (2XL is equivalent in fit to a men's/unisex medium). The design will be silk screened on a black tee with high quality white "ink" plus one or two colors, depending on which design we do: green for the mermaid tail, pink or purple yarn, red for the heart and red for the shoes/tattoo/cherries with green for the cherry stems.  We're looking at using the same people who did Suzi Boneshaker's awesome tees (Krissi has both of Suzi's designs and they pass her tough quality assurance tests).

So what do you need to do?  VOTE Yeah, I know, you thought we were done voting last Tuesday (by the way, nice job America!).  There's a poll at the top right of my blog, so just cast your vote for your mostest favoritest tee design.  Remember we'll only be doing one shirt, at least for now, which design should it be?

Feel free to comment if you have more input on colors, sizes, shirt styles or anything else!

Skele-snuggles (it's getting cold outside!),

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

What A Week

Sorry it's been so long since the last blog. It's been a busy and productive week here at the Casa de Sandvik (we're internationally inclined). The big news was the super highest of highs of the presidential election, followed by the low of Prop 8 passing in a cloud of fear and hatred. However, since Obama won, I feel so proud of the American people for the first time in almost a decade that I've regained all of the piss 'n' vinegar I lost during the B**h administration. I'm ready to fight the good fight here in California so that everyone can enjoy ALL of the same rights that Ron and I do as a married couple (not just 1/4 of them).

Thursday, a bunch of us got together in midtown Sacramento to celebrate Evie "Love" Turner's b-day with some awesome snackage and the best German chocolate cake I've ever tasted. Mmmmmmmm. The sugar crash the next day was totally worth it. A good time was had by all (except maybe for Mr. Fox), and there are many photos to prove it floating around on MySpace.

I loved being able to just sit and talk with folks I never get to see in real life, or that I pass by in the doorway of shows. Super awesome stronger-than-she-looks Darby and I finally got a chance to chat since we were in the same place at the same time and it wasn't Body Tribe on a workout day! Apparently, we both clean up really well - LOL. Anyway, Darby works for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is doing a wine tasting fundraiser this week that promises to be mighty fun. Evie and I will be donating some work to Darby for the cause and there will be a live auction of art & goodies from the grid and, of course, wine from 5-8pm on Thursday the 13th in the Sacramento Grand Ballroom. I strongly encourage my artist pals to donate too by contacting Darby ( or Evie directly!

I finished quite a few pieces this week - two of which are available for sale, one which was a present for the aforementioned birthday girl and the last was part of a collaborative piece.
A brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight
"A Brand New Sky to Hang The Stars Upon" is a 12x12" mixed media on birch wood piece inspired by these dudes here. It's not in my Etsy shop yet, but it is available for $65 (in the meantime, just contact me directly).

Lovecats (final)
"Lovecats" was another song-inspired mixed media piece and I probably don't have to tell anyone the source of the inspiration (but here it is, just in case you were asleep during the 80s). $100 will make this 1 foot by 2 foot piece your'n (contact me directly until I place it on Etsy).
Love Cats - detail (final)

Lovecats final (detail)

The third piece I finished this week was an angel kitty memorial piece of Evie's kitty, Tsarina (pssst! I need a photo - I forgot to take one!), and involved me stalking her MySpace account for kitty pics. Thank goodness for blogs, Facebook and Flickr or I'd never get pet portraits done!

I overbooked myself again, but cleverly managed to roll the Suzi Blu 'oracle card' art challenge and the secret collaborative piece of which I'm doing 1/9th into a single work. It worked incredibly well - especially thanks to a brief but unbelievably insightful chat on Friday with Temple Terkildsen, my go-to woman for all things pagan, occult and spiritual. Here's a photo of my contribution to the collaboration which features the word "courage" and an anatomical heart with thorny branches & flowers blossoming from the ends.

The symbolism is as simple as the definition of the word: "a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain with self-possession, confidence, and resolution." The blossoms are an indicator of hope - the reason we go forth courageously in the first place. I decided to use it as my oracle card since the word kept popping up in my life (see below). When I discovered that the word comes from the Latin "cor" meaning "heart," I knew it was mine to do since I'm pretty well known for incorporating hearts into my art. Then, when I looked at the guidelines for the collaboration and saw that, of the nine empowerment words (one for each artist to interpret), "courage" was one of the remaining two ... well, there you go. If the universe had been hitting me over the head, it wouldn't have been more obvious. I'll blog more about the collaborative project later when it's less of a secret.

Well folks, that's been my fun but probably less-than-exciting-for-you week. I'll keep you updated on all the new goodies!
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Night of the Creators & FREE Movie Pass Giveaway TONIGHT

Hi there creative types, don't forget that TONIGHT is the very last Night of the Creators for 2008.  Be there and join Scary CRAFT's own "Sacred" Yoli Manzo, who will have some hand-molded sugar skulls ($1 supply fee each) for you to decorate, along with decorating tips, ideas and examples.  Bring some embellishments and make your own custom calaverita de azucar for your Dia de los Muertos ofrenda!  We'll even have some glitter glues, puff paints and a few other goodies available in the Scary CRAFT community supply box, but bring "extra" stuff and use this night as a great opportunity for a supply swap.

We're also excited to announce a giveaway!  To celebrate the 'dark' holidays and our successful first year of craft nights, Sacramento's own Movies on a Big Screen has generously donated two pairs of free passes to the The Rocky Horror Picture Show, showing this Friday night at 9:30pm (yep ON Halloween!).  MoBS has also donated two pairs of free general admission passes (psst!  They're showing Suspira at 7pm on Friday, and their list of other indie movies is mighty impressive). They have a MySpace page too, so go check out their blog!  Everyone in attendance is eligible to win, so what are you hemmin' and hawin' fer? 

Thanks for all of your support in our first year and be sure to stay tuned to our Scary CRAFT blog for tutorials, a Scary CRAFT auction and challenges during November and December.  Then we'll see you at the craft tables in 2009!
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Ya Gotta Have Cattitude

I started this piece the night before last and it just sort of finished itself. It didn't hurt that I had a difficult morning (got wrong address, misdirection, stuck in construction traffic), so I came home and vowed to paint myself into a state of calm. It totally worked.


This is another mixed media piece on a wood plaque - approx 7" across. I had a blast trying to get the black costume on the girl to have purple highlights - I succeeded by shading in black watercolor pencil, then painting over with several layers of permanent violet dark (Golden liquid acrylics) mixed with glaze. I did several layers of purple, then did a layer of black glaze and a final layer of purple. The "fishnet" stockings were a remnant of lace - the idea came to me at the last minute.

cattitude (beeswax & texture)
As usual, there are layers upon layers here including tissue paper, stars, hearts, paint, stencils, stamps, more stamps, and more. I finished this off with a layer of buffed beeswax and matching Swarovski "collars" for both characters!

cattitude (kitty detail)
Kitty has iridescent eyes!

I don't usually do this, but instead of holding this for my next show, I'm offering this piece on Etsy right off the easel. It's priced right, so you can get some holiday shopping done early or just give yourself a halloween present!
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This Time Last Year (#3)

I've actually been blogging since late 2006 (postings on blogspot only go back to this March), so every now and then, I'll copy and paste an old blog entry. Here's another one:

I always get asked what kind of art I do. Quilter doesn’t really bring up images of fused applique skeletons and pop art icons… I avoid “seamstress” since I don’t like to construct clothing but LOVE to embellish ready-to-wear items… I also like to paint in miniature on “stuff” and enjoy playing with polymer clay.

Finally, someone came up with a name for what I do! “Spoon,” moderator of (awesome site - go join NOW), just dubbed me “Miss Multicraftquiltdiyindiedesigner.”

I like it!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whew! This One's a RAMBLER! (UPDATED 11/8)

Steadfast (thanks for the title, Cy!)There's a new group in town made up of some familiar names in the outsider art community. Sacramento Art Connects is holding their first show, "You Call That ART?" at Side Show Studios in November. Luckily, the deadline for submissions was extended from the 17th to the 31st -HINT HINT creative types- so I finished a small mixed-media / beeswax collage piece last night and dropped it off at Side Show Studios today for judging (eep!). Yep, it's a juried show (my first, hence the "eep!"). I got a peek at the collection in "the back room" and it's pretty dangded awesome. Bitchin' even. Perhaps ... dare I say it? Tubular.

Damn. I'm feeling my age today. Anyway, Steadfast is a 7x7" mixed-media/beeswax collage ($40) - thanks to Side Show's co-owner and all around awesome chick, Cy Wylie, for the title! Wish me well and hope that it doesn't get kicked out with a post-it note stuck to the back that says "you suck!" LOL.

Update 1: Great news - Steadfast made it into the show! It will be available starting tonight at Side Show Studios (5635 Freeport, Sactown) tonight at 6pm - under $50 too!

Something Fishy (step #7)I also heard while I was there that my mixed-media piece, Something Fishy sold. Several people had shown interest and the price was good, but I thought Char was pulling my leg when she said who bought it - Chi Cheng, the bass player for the Deftones.

Char: Chi bought one of your pieces
me: who?
Char: Chi
me: WHO?
Char: Chi. From the Deftones. You know, Chi.
me: uhhhhhhmmmm. oh.

Now I've never actually met Chi, but it's damn near impossible to live in Sacramento, work out at Body Tribe and show with the Scary Art Collective without at least knowing who he is (and hearing the rampant rumors about what a nice guy he is too). I knew immediately who Char was talking about. However, I also know a lot of the people whose art he collects and my brain just couldn't reconcile the spot on the wall where the pretty mermaid with the funny fish had been and my recollection of the art I knew Chi has collected. It all became clear when Cy added more information. It was actually his lovely red-haired wife, Colleen, who chose the piece since she didn't have any art in the house that represented her taste.

me: OOHHHHHHH! NOW I get it! (chuckles).
It makes me happy, 'cause I really liked that piece - especially the hair, the tail and, of course, that awesome little fishie.

Update 2: Very, very sad news - Chi was in an auto accident last week and is reported to be in a coma in critical though stable condition. No more news is available at this time, but keek Chi, Colleen and their families in your thoughts and send strength and good thoughts to them through the cosmos. They need it.

Skelekitty Rubber Stamps - set of 4The first order of Skelekitty stamps has been placed by me for resale (fortunately, I have a resale permit for just such an occasion). Yep. I took a break from this blog and typed my wholesale order up and sent it on its merry little way. Soon (I hope!) I will have 40 individual stamps in my little paws for y'all. I'm getting this batch for local folks mostly - to sell at shows in Sacramento, etc. - and, of course, I'll be putting some on etsy. The first batch will probably go pretty quickly, but I'll be putting the profits right back into another order ... then Tee shirts I hope!

For those on a budget, I have a super easy "no purchase necessary" drawing planned to give away one of the stamps (maybe two). I'll announce it here and on Skelekitty's blog, and I'll give at least a week for everyone to participate so you won't miss it. I'm also working on an original piece of art featuring the soon-to-be-famouser-than-me (like that's tough) kitty to give away in a separate drawing. That drawing will be for folks who have made stuff with their stamps. More info on the contests later - you know, when I actually have the little puppies kitties in my hands!

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.orgAnother cool thing happened today - Allyson Seconds offered to donate some mirrors for a Scary CRAFT fundraiser. Yoli and I will definitely be participating by decorating a mirror a piece and donating them to the auction. We'll be passing mirrors out to some local creatives too. We'll be auctioning off the mirrors in a manner similar to the Scary-Art doll auction last year, starting each piece at an affordable price. It's a great way to help support Scary CRAFT and to fulfill your pledge to BUY HANDMADE (I know you took it, right? Right?.

So it's been a busy week already and Tuesday is just barely coming to a close. It's been a good week though. I hope your week brings you good news and smiles too.


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Terroriffic Craft Projects with Madge Every Tuesday!

Hello my little scaries! Here is some really fun and super SCARY news I just posted on our craft group, Scary CRAFT's blog!

Thanks to Margot Potter's new craft blog, The Impatient Crafter, I've gotten what my old high school chum, Joe "Tex" Selby, calls 'bees in the head' - you know, like when you're playing with a cat and they're so excited that their head starts to quiver? That is me whenever I see a new FREE HALLOWEEN CRAFT PROJECT posting on her blog every week through the month of October!
You know what makes it even better? Madge is just one of the artists/crafters who post creepy craft tips, projects and ideas in the spirit of the season! Several cute & creepy creatives are participating in "Terroriffic Tuesday," the brainchild of Alexa, aka Swell Designer.  Be sure to link over to both the Madge's The Impatient Crafter and Alexa's The Swell Life and check all of the projects out, not the least of which is Madge's Crystal Web Collar Necklace (click on photo below) featured in week #1, which I think I may just be forced to make for myself.

Wouldn't this darling sparkler (complete with a little friend) make Morticia Addams jealous enough to kill?

A friendly note: Remember kids - always play nice! As with all blogs, tutorials and designs, please DO make 'em for yourself and your "fiends" and family, but DO NOT create or copy to sell or make a profit! If you want to copy or sell a copyrighted image or project, be sure to obtain prior written permission directly from the individual who originally created the design. Not sure if it's covered by copyright? ASK THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.
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