Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

This is the winter moon as I saw it last night from my back garden. Yesterday was winter soltice and the moon always seems so special to me at this time of year. It's that one time of year when we've gotten the shortest day of the year  in the northern hemisphere. It all gets brighter from here. The days get longer little by little, I start to feel that sense of renewal that comes with a new year and with spring on the horizon. It seems such a time of great hope and anticipation.

We are off this morning to spend the weekend with our daughter in law and grand daughter. Our daughter is working in Hartford, CT so we won't see her. But we've sent her a little Christmas in a box. We'll celebrate a late Christmas in January with her.

  But we will be able to spend our first Christmas with our son's new wife and daughter. We are over the moon happy to begin this new journey of family with Tammy and Alyssa. We'll be bringing up family Christmas ornaments, baking cookies, and decorating a tree together, cooking a special dinner. 

We've been asked to stand in as Santa for my son while he's away in Afghanistan. So we've got a sleigh full of stocking goodies packed up and ready to go. We've even got the stockings that he ordered and had sent to us along with a very special teddy bear for Alyssa's stocking. I don't think I've looked forward to Christmas morning this much since my children were just little. I'm not sure that there is anything more magical than littlies opening stockings on Christmas morning.

That's my grand daughter modeling her new snow pants form Nana. I am hoping we won't actually need to have snow pants. I can have quite a nice Christmas without any snow, thank you very much.

Wishing you peace and joy.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas in Afghanistan

 As many of you know, my son is in Afgahnistan right now. He's stationed on the border of Pakistan in the very rugged very high mountains in Kunar province. This photo is from a recent mission where they were dropped off by Blackhawk helicopter onto a mountainside. There was no level ground and they had to drop (fall) out of the helipcopter and roll away until they could find footing to stop the tumble down the mountain. In the middle of the night. He retreived his gear the next day 'half way down the mountain.'

That's my baby. He's looking a lot thinner than the last time I saw him. I think we can fix that up with some home cooking when he comes back.  By the way this mission was deemed cold and boring. This mum loves to hear that a mission is boring.

This little vingette warms my heart.  Soldiers go in taking vey little and leaving with very little when they are deployed. So sending Christmas presents is a challenge. We've sent two disposable Christmases now. Bright colours because one of the things soldiers say over and again is how much they miss all of the colour at home.  Favourite treats, like Tim Tams and cashews. I send toys because I feel like everyone needs a little whimsy in their life. Really, doesn't everyone need to juggle a slinky or launch a wooden air plane once in a while? And they can always be passed on to children when he leaves.

This photo arrived in my email not long ago with the message that he'd spent 'a quiet evening decorating his little shelf while 'drinking the cocoa from his wonderful wife and a tree from his awesome parents.' Did you catch that? I am awesome :-) I think I got my Christmas present early because it's not too often that I am referred to as awesome. Oh, and he's the only soldier on his FOB with Christmas lights. Probably, that is why I am so awesome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Golden Snitch and a Holiday Story

My retreat to the studio has been good in many more ways than I can count. I've returned to a long ago past when I first learned metal smithing from my father. Only we never made beads. I love a hollow bead. There is just something about that shape, round on the outside, hollow within, an empty vessel that contains whatever you would like to put in it.  I always find an enclosed hollow form like a bead to have a bit of mystery. You can feel the void within the form but you can't see inside. It is totally up to you to imagine anything or nothing at all inside.

Never mind those hands up there. They are working hands and a distraction from the holiday side of this story.

I showed this photo to a friend and her young son remarked that it looked like a snitch. He's a Harry Potter fan. It brought me back to the first Harry Potter film. We were living in Australia at the time and Peter and I and the children all ditched work and school to see a matinee of the film. Unanimously, our favourite part of the film was the Quidditch match. We all loved the golden snitch and it's role as the game piece. If you've no idea what I am talking about you really need to watch this very first film! Even read the book!!!!

We saw this film a few days before Christmas some ten years ago. For many reasons, this was something of a watershed holiday season for us. Our children were on the verge of becoming adults and leaving to lead their own lives. This film is one of the things that we shared that season that strengthened our bonds with each other. I'd all but forgotten this detail of that holiday.

Thank you my young friend for bringing the Golden Snitch back into my holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you one and all

I always feel uplifted and a deep sense of gratitude when I share the personal side of my life and you respond with such heartfelt support and love. It has been a difficult week coming to terms in my own way with my Mum's health. Grief takes many forms and what I feel is difficult to explain even to myself.

What I do is retreat to the studio because in the silence of making I find the space in my mind to come to terms with the things I have no control over. I can let go. This week I made boxes out of sheet brass. Each was created with a specific person in mind. Each are reflections of what I feel for them. All people I love. Each a person that has made a difference in my life. Little acts of making ground me to the here and now, and pull me out of the conflict of emotions I feel around my mother's last days.

Mum is doing well. She is comfortable. She has said that she is at peace, that she is ready. We have no idea how long she has. But that she is ready is something that gives me great comfort.

Once again, thank you all for your very kind support and well wishes. It's not all sadness here. While I look at closing one door, I look at the future too. We've got wonderful plans for the holiday, welcoming our newest members into the family and building new traditions on the foundation of our old ones.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hitting Pause

Hi, I'm taking a little pause from blogging over the next week or so. My mom's most recent test results have come back. Her cancer is advancing quite rapidly and has spread to more distant sites. She's comfortable but having a lot of difficulty with memory and speach. So I'm taking a break while I sort through my thoughts and feelings.

Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments you've left here. I'll be back soon and I'll be catching up with you on your own blogs. I just don't have a lot of words for this blog right now.

De Los Ninos

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finished! well almost

Remember the little peek from back here?  Well I am almost finished with the batch. Now I am testing out my patience waiting for the resin the porcelain pieces are set in. You know, watching resin cure is even more interesting than watching paint dry. Obviously, I had a little trouble in the patience department because I could not resist making one of the pendants up into a necklace.

Do you see what I see up there? There is one bead that does not match the others. I was sure I had 4 glass beads that matched. I'm leaving it. I'm calling it design perogative. The lesson here is match beads twice, wire wrap once.

This one is going off to someone special. It's not really a surprise so I can show it to you here. I'm pretty fond of this one. In fact I'm pretty fond of this whole idea but I've got a few things that I want to work out yet. Not the least of which is beefing up my patience with resin.

I really like the etched backs on these pendants. It's like a little surprise. I had a ceramics instructor once who insisted that the bottom of a pot should be just as special as the top. He did all of these amazing designs inside the foot ring of his pots. His thinking was that as you are washing up, you should enjoy looking at the bottom of a bowl or plate just as much as you enjoy the top. I think that's a sort of sweet idea.

Happy Weekend!!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Coming Home to Roost

This owl bead went out and came back home magically transformed into one of the best bracelets I have ever owned. Bev, over at No Easy Beads made this bracelet using seed beads in ways that are totally amazing. I have no idea how anyone works at this small scale. But I do love it!

I snagged a pic off Bev's etsy site. She's got a some wonderful pieces there that are done in a similar way to my bracelet. All beautiful and I want them all but I'm not greedy. You can have a shot at them.

This one has a focal bead by Pam Wynn, mother of Heather Wynn Millican, ceramic bead caps by Elaine Ray, and a glass disk bead by Blue Seraphim. A stunning composition, I think.

Thanks, Bev, for making my owl find a beautiful home to 'roost' in. I love it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peek

I've been busy working on a project that I've wanted to do for a long long time. Actually I have three ideas going simultaneously and that makes my head spin just a tiny bit. So anyway, I thought I'd give you just a wee little peek at what's happening here at Summers Studio.

I'm not quite finished. I need a key ingredient. And to get that key ingredient I have to go leave my nice warm house. It was 22F this morning when I got up. Brrrrr, that is just too cold for me to brave the great outdoors.

I do hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving have recovered from the feasting. We had a very non-traditional Thanksgiving. Just the two of us, books, naps. Grateful to have each other and our family. Grateful to welcome each new day and all that it brings.

Have a lovely week!

(PS, I know it's Tuesday and that many people might wish you a happy week on Monday. But it feels kind of like Sunday, or even, Wednesday. My sense of day of the week is all messed up with the holidays. Does that happen to you?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

You can teach an old dog new tricks

I made that! It's not perfect. It should be filled with resin but I don't see myself doing that anytime soon.

So why did I make it? I've been taking Stephanie Lee's Homesteader Metal Smithing class online. This old dog has learned some new things. It's been a fabulous experience to expand my horizons and challenge myself in new ways. Just what I've been needing to get my inspiration charged up again as we head into winter.

This really has been challenging for me. It's a whole different kind of metal smithing than I've ever done before. My dad, the renaissance man, did silver smithing and taught me lots of things many years ago. He was an exacting task master and this definitely would not have been his cup of tea. But for me, it's just opened up some new paths and I love that. I have all sorts of ideas.

This is what my young dog Alice brought in today. They are pecans. She brings them in hidden way down inside her mouth so that you can't tell that she's got them.  We have a huge crop of pecans this year. It fairly rains down pecans when the wind blows, which is pretty much all of the time. Now if I could only teach this young dog to drop them into a bucket. I would have enough pecans to last me all winter and some for you too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A story of special

Every once in a while things come together in life to make a special moment. When that happens to me I feel an enormous amount of gratitude.

A week ago a man contacted me on Etsy to see if I had any bronze oak leaf pendants. He said his daughter was a huge fan of the Ranger's Apprentice book series by John Flannagan. I had never heard of the series. And I have absolutely no idea how he found me. He even joined Etsy just to be able to ask after the pendant.

It turns out that the author is Australian and as many of you know, I lived for quite a few years in Melbourne. So I was intrigued. The series is set in the medieval world of  Araluen and the Ranger's are a small elite force who act as guardians of the kingdom. An apprentice ranger is given a bronze medallion in the shape of an oak leaf at the end of his first year of service. You can see the oak leaf in the picture above. It's quite similar in shape to the ones I've made.

As it turns out, I had exactly one bronze oak leaf left. It is the last of only 6 that I've made and there will be no more just like it as I'm in the midst of changing the bronze material I work with.

The pendant, attached to a simple chain, is on it's way to it's new home along with the story of how they came to be. It's a Christmas present. It just kind of warms me up to think of this dad searching out a gift just because he loves his daughter enough to find a gift that will be meaningful to her. Very special dad!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shows are mysterious things

 Hundred's of people, lots of smiles, even good sales and my last big show of the year is over. I am tired and it's taken three days to even start to get back into things in the studio. That's my friend Pauline's glass mosaic up there. She does these amazing, bright, and colourful pieces. Makes you happy just to walk into a room when you are greeted with one of these.

Let me give you a little tour of the studio tour. This is a major juried event here and something like 5,000 people attend. It's held in 10 studio locations and we had 5 artists represented in ours. I loved where I was. It was in Carol's home where both she and her husband have studios.

 Their home is this fantastic contemporary home that sets up like a gallery space when you move the furniture out and about. Love those polished concrete floors and that green wall. Carol's husband is an architect and he not only designed their home but most of the furniture for their home as well.

This is my space. I got the green wall!  I'm not sure whose backside I managed to get in my photo. And my doesn't that electrical cord look a bit untidy. Oh well.  But really, truly it was much more impressive in person :-)

This is Carol's studio. She's in a heated garage that probably no car has ever been in. Carol works with large format cyanotype collage (blue prints). Her work is quite amazing. She's collected all of these laundry tags and vintage images and had them made into enormous negatives.

This is one of the negatives being exposed out in the drive.

And now the mystery. I sold every bracelet I made. I sell very few bracelets. Why bracelets? Is there some sort of trend going on out there that I don't know about?

Thanks everyone for all of your good wishes and support over the last couple of weeks as I got ready for this show!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finished, Done, Complete

Accomplished, used up.....all synonyms for finished, all words to describe today in the studio. I am done making things for the shows this weekend. I don't even set up until Friday. How did this happen? Of course, there is this overwhelming compulsion to make just one more thing. But I am resisting. I am all used up and really have no more creative juice left.

Did you see that plural up there? The shows part. Did I tell you this is the weekend that happens every year where I do my regular monthly art market and the studio tour? And what on earth is that daisy doing up there?

I just pulled that out of the inventory because I couldn't bear to part with it. It has it's little drippy flaws but what if somebody loved it and bought it and I could never make another one again. It also serves to soften the image of my studio. Like maybe it doesn't look like this:

Which isn't even my studio. It's my dining room. And it is much worse than it was the last time I showed you. But the good news is that the studio proper is no worse. Well, it couldn't really get any worse.

And about these studio tours. First thank goodness I won't be setting up in my studio. Because this mess isn't going away until at least Monday. But I do really think it should be a requirement to show some reality shots of working studios. By the time you all get round to one of these events, everything is all tidy and neat. But we all know that nothing ever really gets made in a state of tidyness. At least I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who lives in creative chaos. And if I am, I really, really would like to stay with the delusion that this is completely normal.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Almost like a plan

A flower here

 A bird there

Look a butterfly!

I am in the final days of getting ready for my biggest show of the year. My mind is a little like it is filled with butterflies flitting here and there.  I am a little on auto pilot when it comes to design right now. Just kind of doing what feels right at the moment.

You know, I never think of myself as nature inspired. But I looked around at the things I've made and by golly, virtually every piece has some sort of nature theme. It's almost like I planned it that way. This show is either going to look like I had a concept or it's going to look really really boring. But it will be done and over and I will clean up the mess next week.

This is what the mess looks like. This isn't even my studio. This is a folding table set up in the dining room. I am not sure where the dining room table is. I haven't really seen much of it for a month. And the studio? Well it's bad, very bad.

Guess what? That little piece in the center up there, it's a dragonfly. Yep, I am definitely nature girl this autumn.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Children

It's my son's birthday today. That's us a few years ago at the head of the South Kaibab trail on his birthday. He was still stationed in Korea and wanted nothing more than to turn 25 in the Grand Canyon. I was so pleased that he asked me to take this back packing trip with him. It seems like only yesterday. Today he is 30.

He phoned from Afghanistan this morning. The connection was so clear that he could have been next door. Our package arrived, today, on his birthday. He had lasagne for supper. For thirty years I've asked what he wanted for his birthday supper. For thirty years it's been lasagne. The Army does not make lasagne like his mummy :-) But it was recognizably lasagne.

So much has changed since that trip to the Grand Canyon. Now he has a new family of his own. We chatted this morning about Alyssa, who is three, and pushes the boundaries in a way that only three year olds can. We chatted about strategies on how to deal with a spirited child without breaking the spirit. We chatted about the puppy that his wife and daughter are about to bring home. He told me about the beautiful watch that Tammy sent him, lovingly engraved with 'counting the time till you come home to us.'  Even though they are so far apart just a few months after they were married, they are close in their hearts and happy.

When I was a young girl I first read Kahil Gribran's poem On Children. I was seeing from the side of the child. Now I read this poem again and I am on the other side.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I hope that in thirty years, my son will look at Alyssa and feel as much love and pride in her as I feel for him.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stars make me happy

I don't know about you, but the holiday season feels like it is approaching way too fast. Maybe it's the show I have coming up a week from Saturday. Maybe it's that I have to set up for my monthly market on the same weekend. Maybe it's that I have too many changes happening in the back ground of my life.

But I fired my kiln two days in a row over the weekend and it was good. It felt like a little Christmas present to myself opening that kiln and seeing these stars. I'm not entirely sure what happened in my thought process. This is not at all what I usually make at holiday time. I usually stick with unglazed porcelain. But for some reason I made a whole lot of toasty warm stars this year. 

I like stars. I made these for no reason other than it made me happy to do it. I think it's important at this time of year to slow down a little. To take stock of life and connect to the simple things that are part of everyday. To smile at life. And to do little things for no other reason than it makes you happy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Where is Hartford?

I've spent a bit of time this week trying to answer this question. I admit my sense of place 'out east' is a little weak on the geography side. I know where New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and even Albany are. But that's really about it. When we travel we generally go west. So I just don't know a whole lot about the east.

I know that Hartford is the capitol of the state of Connecticut, has a metropolitan population of around 1,200,000, is about 400 years old, and so on. It's long, long way from W TX. But why my sudden interest in Hartford? Well, my daughter and her fiance are in a car driving there right now as I type.

They are not on holiday. They are moving. Sort of. This autumn my daughter's fiance was told that his department was being out sourced and to plan on being unemployed in February. Two weeks ago they were told that their jobs would be finished in a week's time. Derek was a graphic designer for the Wichita Eagle  for 6 years and like so much of the newspaper industry, whatever jobs can be outsourced have been. There are no graphic design jobs in Wichita. He knows. He was laid off for a while last year.

Sarah has taken a 3 month traveling nurse job in Hartford. They'll decide later if they will stay. It's a big decision. But Wichita, where they live and own a house, has been hit pretty hard by the recession. When the recession first hit, the aerospace industry alone lost just under 7000 jobs literally over night. That's a lot of people to absorb back into the work force in a city of 350,000. So up sticks it is and off they go. I'm a little sad because they will be so far away. On the other hand I am so excited that they will get this new experience, a fresh start. They are young and now is the time for them. Oh, and Sarah and I are planning a little mummy and daughter trip to New York. I love New York.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Calling You!

 Call to Create is a new event to inspire you to create art jewelry featuring handmade components. As an incentive, Barbara Lewis of Painting With Fire Artwear, is offering a set of her fabulous enameled beads. Not these exact beads. You'll have to head on over to Love My Art Jewelry to find out more. Barbara has written a lovely and inspiring post to introduce the call to create. It's all about honouring our creative selves and our talents. It's definitely worth reading!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thank you and the Sale!

Thank you so much for joining us on the Beads of Clay open studio tour! I do hope you've had fun and that you've enjoyed meeting some of the wonderful Beads of Clay artists.

I'm having a 15% discount in my Etsy shop form now until midnight. Just put BOC in the notes to sellers and check out as usual. I'll refund you your 15% through PayPal and everything will ship on Monday.

I'd love to have you join me on my blog. You can get regular updates on my life in the studio by the clicking the follow me on the right.

Not yet a follower of the Beads of Clay blog? Then hop on over to the BOC blog by clicking the BOC pic on the right.

From our House to Yours - BOC Open Studio

We love autumn in our family. The weather gets cooler. Halloween is still a favourite even though our children are grown and starting families of their own. We look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and family get togethers. And that always involves at least one traditional sit down meal. Every time we get together I ask the same question. 'What should we have for dinner?' And lately, I get exactly the same answer and it's not even anything I cook. They want Peter's brined and smoked turkey breast. And don't forget the special sauce, Mum.

For quite a few years Peter has been honing his outdoor cooking skills. He has as many grills as I have kilns! Stephen Reichland of BBQ University was quite the inspiration for him. I think he owns all of Reichland's cookbooks. He may even own more cookbooks than I do, and all of them are grilling books.

Coffee-Molasses Turkey

For the Brine:

½ cup hot espresso (or strong coffee)
½ cup molasses
6 T coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 T Dijon mustard
1 T black peppercorns

For the Turkey:

1 bone-in turkey breast (about 5 lbs)
Espresso barbecue sauce (optional)


1 cup wood chips/chunks (preferably sassafras or hickory), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained.

Serves 8-10

1) Make the brine: Combine espresso, molasses, salt, mustard, and peppercorns with 6 cups water in a large bowl and whisk until the salt dissolves. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

2) Rinse the turkey breast under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Lay the turkey breast, skin side down, on a cutting board. Cut out the breastbone and cut the breast in half. Using poultry shears or large knife, trim off & discard any ribs, flaps of skin, or excess fat. Place the breast halves in a large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and add the brine. Seal the bag and place it in a large deep bowl in the refrigerator. Let the breast brine for 16-24 hours.

3) Set up the grill for indirect cooking and preheat to medium.

4) When ready to cook, drain the brine from the turkey and discard the brine. Place the breast halves, skin side up, in the center of the grill grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the turkey until cooked through, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be about 170 F. With a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals to each side after an hour.

5) Transfer the breast halves to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Carve hot or let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving. Serve with the Espresso Molasses Barbecue Sauce.

Don't forget the special sauce!

Espresso Molasses Barbecue Sauce

¾ cup espresso or strong brewed coffee
¾ cup ketchup
6 T heavy (whipping) cream
½ cup honey
½ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar, or more to taste
3 T cider vinegar, or more to taste.
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, or more (or less) to taste
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes about 3 ¼ cups

1) Combine the espresso, ketchup, cream, honey, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce with 3 T water in a large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Gradually bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

2) Reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer gently until thick and richly flavored, 6-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more brown sugar, vinegar and/or Tabasco as needed, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, add a little more water to thin and mellow the sauce. The sauce can be served hot or at room temperature and may be refrigerated, covered, for up to a week. Bring it up to room temperature and stir to recombine before serving.

This really is a very yummy recipe. We just add sides like garlic mashed potatoes, home made bread, corn bread stuffing, salad, green beans. And we gather round the grill while it's cooking and share time together.

I hope you all have a wonderful autumn with your family and friends. This is such a special time of year to share surrounded by the people you love.

Winner, 2nd Give Away!

   Congratulatuons! Marcie Abney is getting the little birdy and egss. Please email me your address and I'll get these right out to you.

Thanks everyone for stopping by the give aways!

Next up at 4:30 pm EST, I'd like to share some of our family holiday traditions with you. So please stop back.

2nd Give Away - BOC open studio

The winner is getting 2 speckled egg beads and one spotted coral bitty birds. Just leave a comment and come back at 4:15 pm EST to see who's the lucky one.

You can check out the other give aways by clicking the BOC open studio link at the right.

Come on in to my Studio- BOC Open Studio

I've made a few changes this year to the studio. Last year most of the work was done in that 1920's garage you see up there. Now it just houses equipment and clay. I've still got four kilns, but that big one you see is going away soon. I just don't need it now that I'm not making large scale pottery. Most of the work gets fired in the medium size kiln and then there is the slab roller. I love my slab roller! There is just something wonderful about putting a piece of clay through it and having it come out in one perfect thickness.

I've moved into and completely taken over the study/guest bedroom. It's like my dragon's lair. All of the clay forming and glazing gets done on one 6 foot table. The second table in there is for metal and jewelry work. That's Peter up there looking very pleased with himself after helping me to organize the metal work table. Those little acorns are all ready for glazing and on the table is a batch ready to go into the kiln for the final firing.

I love this cozy little space!

If you've been around my blog at all, you've probably already met Alice. There's old camera shy Bob as well but he pretty much does his own thing each day. What you might not know about Alice is that she is a constant presence in my studio, really anywhere I am. You see, she came home with us 3 years ago when she was 8 weeks old on the day that my son deployed to Iraq. She spent the first 3 months of her life sitting in my lap. We're wonderfully attached to each other. She loves the little indoor studio space too. She's got her sofa and best of all it's air conditioned in summer and heated in winter. Alice is a dog who is totally commited to comfort.

Up at 4pm EST is the second give away! Be sure to hop around see everyone else's studio too. Just click the BOC open studo link at the right to find everyone.