Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lean Dog Traveling Pendant Goes Mad as a Hatter

Time for an update on the Lean Dog Traveling Pendant. It's that time of year: Mardi Gras, St. Patricks Day, the opening of the new Alice movie is just days away and most important my son's 12th birthday is coming up soon too!

While most do not consider traveling to the mall as much of an adventure as going bull riding or skydiving, I consider it more perilous than falling the proverbial rabbit hole I live in. I know this to be true since I worked at the mall for 15 years back in the 80's and early 90's.

But this half Alice/half Mad Hatter was summoned to the mall by the great Rev. Blackthorn to hold court at the store known as LUSH for free goodies of things that smell good. And smell good they did!
Trust me when I tell you, the men folk around here need all the help they can get smelling....better??? Taking me and my youngest offspring's life into my own hands we go to the land of MALL and find the store called LUSH. But I feel as if I am not properly dressed. I am missing something.

Proper attire was required and the first thing I could think of was of course my hot pink converse sneakers. I then grabbed my jeans, a black cashmere sweater and a lovely vintage chocolate velvet blazer. Then of course, the traveling pendant. You wish you could rock it together like that!

But what did I need.....
What any little mad hatter must have....a new hat! Off to the land of Hot Topics and sweaty teenagers. This truly was a mission requiring a great deal of courage. My son was thrilled with his new Linkin Park hat and I found myself a nice little steam punk mad hatter hat with corset front. Blaze!

We decide after Rev. Blackthorn's run at the store known as LUSH that we are all very hungry, but all of the nearby restaurants by Land of MALL are heaving over with people (ew.) So we make a run for the river and the historic district and to one of my favorite restaurants, Prince on Delaware.

My son is turning 12, we are in a 5 star restaurant, what do you think I am going to do? Wear the hat through dinner, of course. With pendant. He begged...but that made it all the sweeter.
He had been a bit of a cuss lately, so this was revenge time! The hat is flat black, the flash for some reason just made it look gray or silver. Also accounts for my lack of facial features. So our own little tea party we had...

I usually run down into the kitchen after dinner to give Prince a hug and kiss. I get all giddy when men cook for me. Especially men who have cooked for the likes of the great late Luciano Pavarotti and Cheryl Crow. Now I get to design his campaign ads and menus and gobble down his goodies. He is also family in the fact that he too has a son with autism and hosts our monthly parent autism coffee hour. Now that does not make him my favorite chef for that reason....we use to have it elsewhere. But the man just understands how to engineer a crab cake! And in our state, if you cannot make a good crab cake, you might as well not even bother opening up a restaurant.

Here I am with Prince down in his kitchen. I have no idea what that look is on my face. Trying to talk while getting my photo taking I suspect? Burping? He is grabbing my buns? (Nah, he would never do that! He has a most lovely wife and good friend of mine also named Marsha who keeps his butt in gear!) We decided to go the appetizer route so Rev. Blackthorn could try out all the goods in the house of Prince. So we had scallops, shrimp, chicken, ribs, and at my request a crab cake was brought up for us to split up too. Bless him. He does not understand the word "appetizer" very well. The three of us could not move after our dinner and Rev. Blackthorn now understands the significance of the word "Prince" when mentioned in Delaware. :)

I also have a proper hat to go watch Alice in next week! Cheers!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Little Eye - This Chic Rocks!

Yes she does...this chic rocks!! She has rocks too...lots of them!
The kind you want to wear. Or at least I do...daily....except when I sleep. I will poke my eye out. Perhaps that is where her name came from? I am purely speculating here.
I asked for her photo to possibly toy I like to do. Her comment was "Do what you will of it - I think I would look especially fetching as a fat old bald man."


Well that is a tall order, but told her I would see what I could do once I got her photo. Obviously, this woman has children and a sense of humor. And she no longer has any mirrors. Most likely, if it is anything like my house...the children have broken her mirrors and she uses her web cam to apply makeup. Which distorts your face in amazing ways. Like fun house mirrors do.

I tried, I couldn't do it. She is just to gorgeous to turn into an old fat bald man. I couldn't even make her into and old fat bald woman. It really was traumatizing, I had to stop. So, wa la....Pure and Ivory Soap...

Lovely Laura

I know, she is frigg'n feel my pain now don't ya?

So, I am a crystal kinda gal. I have been collecting them for some time. Usually for my shelf or around the neck. But, Oh...look at this...crytals for your finger? Crystal specimens for your finger?? Oh...she is so my best friend now! Soooooo...had to have this baby below. I had to use one of her photos...because basically I am not so good at taking a photo of my own hands which shake. Not good...not good at all. You can see why I say, wearing this to bed may be like wearing cowboy boots in the shower. Just sounds good in theory, but in reality not a great idea.
So your theory may be a bit different than mine...we all have our own "theories."

Here is one where she combined several different specimens of crystals. Yummy!

She started sporting some gorgeous fossils too!

Check out this amethyst cluster! So lusting after this one!

So I dare not get accused of being a stage hog, I asked her to write me up a little bio about her and her art. I have to say her product is GREAT, service SPOT ON and communication is ya go...

I got started in jewelry making when my principal (I am a high school art teacher) asked me to teach a jewelry class about five years ago. I had absolutely no experience in the medium, but my background was in Sculpture. So, I felt up to the challenge, which involved me keeping one step ahead of the students, with a pile of metal smithing manuals at hand.

After I finished teaching the class, I gave birth to my second child. And then, to my third... and before I knew it, four years had passed and I had done nothing in the way of jewelry design.

I took a beginner's silver smithing class last summer, because I was sure that I really had no idea of what I was doing (being 'self taught', and poorly at that). For my first project, I wanted to set vintage round bakelite buttons into rings. From there, I became sort of obsessed with minerals specimens and crystal formations, and have been working with them ever since.

And, here I am today. I have set up a studio in my house, where I complete all my work- from milling the metal, to fabricating the pieces, to setting the specimens. My three little guys sometimes hang out with me there while I'm working. Although, this can get a bit chaotic when they decide to have a massive brawl while I am soldering.

It's challenging to balance a full-time job, three small children, and a part-time home business. However, most days, I think I am holding it together okay. Other days can be sort of overwhelming. However, I have found that now I have found a medium I enjoy working in so much, I just can't quit it.

Thank you Laura!

Monday, February 8, 2010


And I love Silver Smith's even more! Especially ones whom adorn my neck with such great goodies as Jackie Schmitt does! Before my name dedication, before I became Rev. Raven Muse....there was just Cher. I had started to do business with Jackie and purchased one of her ripped tags with my families astrological symbols on them, then one for my husband. During conversations with her I told her of my soon to be dedicated name of Raven Muse Wind Song and suddenly this baby appeared. I was stunned, shocked, delighted...darn right giddy! I wear this puppy just about every day and it was part of my name dedication ceremony. What an honor and thrill it was to have such a wonderful artist create such a beautiful silver piece for me! How can you not love someone that thoughtful!!!

After my name settled in and I began to build my site and get my business up and running, or should I say organized in a more professional manor, Jackie wanted me to design her graphics for her Etsy shop. I could not have been more thrilled that she asked! I get to (hopefully) repay her by doing her justice in the graphics department as she has done for me in the silver department.

So her shopping list included:

An Etsy Avatar

An Etsy Shop Banner

An appreciation picture
And a business card.

Jackie is incredible to work with, be it she is your customer or you are hers...either way it is a pure delight! You must must must check out what she does with silver and stone. It is nothing short of amazing. Raw and intricate, refined and just have to check it out. Every piece is OOAK. Just click on the sampler below to be swept off to her shop!

Thank you Jackie...for everything!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Her Grace and Face of an Altered State

* I forgot to do something VERY kudos to a few of my favs....
Hat by Moaning Minnie. I wear that thing just about every day. Ring (that Kashmir is in kinda hiding, but you can see the crystal) by My Little Eye. Check these ladies out. I have a neck full of other goodies, but hard to see them.

I have this thing about taking photos and having a bit of fun with them. I see faces and I sometimes see other places or moods. (click to enlarge) I enjoy "tinkering" with them a great deal just as a hobby. I have one of my son on the homepage of my site. He was sleeping, it was to good not to go for. But this one I did a few years just reminds me how fast he is growing up.

Not every photo I see inspires me, but sometimes I run across one here and there. Sometimes I have an idea and I'll create a prefabricated Kodak moment like I did below here of myself. Where I come up with this idea. It just pops up in my head. A pretty scary place...a bone yard of bits and pieces of ideas and sugar plum fairies dancing in this head.

Of course when you got a gal who likes to play with snakes as down time, what do you expect? In case you have not met him yet...this is now 5 foot long corn snake. He is very sweet and gentle and more fun to play with than a slinky. He is a bit camera shy and was being very difficult for my son to take a photo of....but we finally got at least his head. The other 4 feet of him is in my sleeve. It's OK....he is 100% a gentleman. Me no.

I have this little challenge going on right now with photos. To see what we can do with a simple cell phone camera. I have other cameras....but what damage can I do with a cell phone? The two photos above (the altered one and non-altered one) are both cell phone shots.

Here is another unaltered shot of my youngest with a cell phone. We thought we would go outside and have a bit of fun with the two feet of blessed snow we had dumped on us this weekend. He was having a hard time with all of the glare, so I just instructed him to close his eyes and's a keeper for me! He takes instruction well....very graceful...his mother....

Not so much.

Yup, leave it to me to fall flat on my ass in the snow and him catching me at the exact moment I do so. Yes, call me Grace. I can assure you the snow is cold, and it felt like sitting on nails. Regardless it was funny as hell and I had a good laugh over it all. I have a rule in life. "If you cannot laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at anyone else." I hear a hot jacuzzi bath calling my name....

Back to SERIOUS business as a friend of mine, Chris, allowed me to basically trash him. He sent me a photo of him covered in dust from a saw mill. Perfect! So he got a bit sprouty (I just made that word up) and a bit stoned too. :) I also scratched him up here and there. (Sorry Chris!!! Hope that didn't hurt too much!) Was like stressing a piece of wood to make it look to say you are old I am going to stop there. Doesn't he look great?!?!

Finally, I was just sitting next to my son on the couch the other night when I just had an idea. I grabbed my phone...gave him a few instructions and wa-la. Did very little to this didn't need much. I am happy with how it turned out. I am even more happy at how willing he is to be creative and dare to do what other kids may not even consider. I am really proud of him for this. Being comfortable in your own skin is really important. Not caring what others think is even more important.

I have another series with a girlfriend of mine I am working on, and I need permission from a friend on a minor. So I will post more in the future as I finish my "tinkering." Some folks do crossword puzzles to relax...I like to toy with photos.