Monday, November 8, 2010

Sale to Celebrate my 3 Year Etsy Anniversary!

From now until November 21st, I'm having a card sale in my Etsy shop. For every 3 cards you buy, the 4th card is free! Stop by and check it out:

Hanging On
Hearts are Crazy

These are just a few of the cards you can choose from. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"New" Paintings

These are a couple of paintings that were hanging in the Unity Center Solar Gallery in October. I like the bright colors and all the swirls and patterns.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy 3rd Etsy-versary to Sleeplessimagination!

This week I will celebrate 3 years of selling on Etsy!!! My, how time flies! To celebrate, I'm going to have my first SALE and first GIVE AWAY.

Beginning today, all single cards have been marked down to $3.00 each. Later in the week, I will announce another sale and post photos of the give away items.

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Standing Up for What is Right

I don't like to get into political discussions. Mainly because I'm ignorant. I'm shamefully unaware, most of the time, of what is going on in the world. Trying to figure out what is really going on in government just makes me feel depressed and stupid. I have made a bit of an effort in the past few years to be more politically aware, but I'm not sure where to get accurate information. You know, the truth. It doesn't seem like anyone knows what the truth is - about our government.

Lately, I've been more interested in healthy food. How, where, when and why it's grown. Part of it is my own self interest because my husband and I want to farm and since we live in a college town that is surrounded by farmland, there is a lot of information about farming. Part of it is watching movies like Food, Inc. and reading books like Food Rules by Michael Pollen and You Can Farm by Joel Salatin. It seems the more I learn, the more I need to know and the more I need to act.

Even though I was brought up in the city and know nothing about what it takes to be a farmer - I have "farming genes". I know it's not the same as running my own farm, but I still feel like it's some dormant desire to get out there and dig in the dirt, breathe clean air, harvest vegetables, feed chickens, herd cattle, etc.

Maybe I'll be able to do it, maybe I won't. Either way, it should be my choice to decide if this is how I want to attempt to earn my living. It should also be my choice to eat food that I've grown/raised and to sell it to other people who want it too. More and more I am hearing stories about people who own small family farms, who are being penalized for wanting to grow their own food and sell it to others. I don't mean penalized like getting a slap on the wrist and being fined a few hundred dollars. I'm talking about people who have worked hard, sacrificed and grown a honorable business, just to be obliterated by some huge corporation or the government (who is being supported by the huge corporation) for doing something the huge corporation doesn't like.

There are a bazillion things I could write about this subject. Like: how our country is the land of opportunity and people have a right to start a small business; why would a huge corporation be so threatened by a family farm that they have to invest millions (billions?) of dollars in legal fees to fight them to destroy them? Is it right for us to have only a few corporations that are responsible for feeding our entire country? And in the process allow them to destroy the environment with farm waste and the use of tons of diesel fuel every year? Why do we let these same companies treat animals in cruel and inhumane ways in filthy, disgusting conditions then feed them to us for dinner? What about the workers who work at the food plants - are they compensated properly and treated well for their work? Why aren't corporate farms held accountable and why aren't they more honest about what is going on behind their quaint "farm fresh" labels?

But what I really want to know is why wouldn't our government allow me to drive a few miles into the country and buy some raw milk from a dairy farmer? Why are there so many expensive regulations on small beef/chicken/pork farms when the corporate farms are killing us with their genetically altered, corn fed, hormone pumped feces covered meat? Why doesn't our government care more about farmers who are willing to feed us clean, simple, healthy food than they do about the corporate farms? Seriously, is it in our best interest to poison ourselves in the long run, just so that some can have billions/trillions of dollars now?

I have to admit here, that I am definitely part of the problem. I love fast food and eat it whenever possible (and I have the waistline and blood pressure to show for it). If I had to sit in the stock yard where the cows lived that provided the meat for my Taco Bell tacos or where the chickens lived that provided eggs for the Egg McMuffin I had this morning, would I be able to keep from vomiting those meals right up? Probably not. Every time I pull into a drive thru, I should imagine where my food came from and who made a sacrifice to get it to me.

I know this is kind of rambling, but a change is coming and I want to do the right thing. If you are interested in one of the articles I've read recently, here's the link:

Family Farm Ordered to Destroy 50,000 Pounds of Cheese

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Well, Look Who Decided to Check in!

I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth, though I can understand why you might think I had. It's Fall, which seems to be so incredibly busy. I know all of you are experiencing the same thing. Too busy to keep up on laundry, dishes, housework, homework, blogging, art-ing, etc.

This month I have some of my art hanging in a gallery at the Unity Center. I have known for months that I was going to be doing this, but seemed to be cramming in a lot of work the two weeks before the opening reception. It's disappointing to know I could've had more pieces and more new pieces-if only I'd worked longer and harder at it, but it turned out fine. I like seeing my things hanging on the wall in a big room. That probably seems a little egotistic or self-indulgent, but I just don't get to experience it very often. A piece of art work framed and hanging on the wall, looks so beautiful and professional. It seems more real and possible that I'm an artist when something I made is being used to decorate someone else's space.

In addition to the gallery showing, I also did an art fair this weekend. It is the first fair I've done in a year and I found myself with the same regrets I usually have when participating in an event. Right after I sign up, I have great big plans to stock up on new, interesting and irresistible works that people will want to buy. The reality is there is not enough time and space on this Earth to accomplish the things I want to accomplish before an art show. Some day I hope to be a little more balanced and realistic about what can be done before I set up a display.

Anyway, it was fun, I met some nice people, got so spend time with my friends Jolene and Beth (my booth buddies) and be surrounded by art. I'll be doing another market in December at the same place - The Catacombs Artist Market at Artlandish Gallery in Columbia, Missouri. Maybe you can stop buy?


The chickens are doing well. The babies are no longer babies and are almost as big as their mama. I still don't know for sure if they are hens or roosters. I want to believe that all four of them are hens, but don't know what the odds of that are. I mean, it would be great, but is it really possible? Since we technically live in the city and have neighbors (who are quite understanding and patient, by the way), we would have to find a new home for any of our birds that turned out to be roosters. No one wants to be awaken at the crack of dawn by some obnoxious bird, right?

The biggest chicken news we have this week is that Velma (the mama) has started laying again! It's very exciting. I knew something was up on Friday, when I went outside and there were only 4 birds running around. Velma was nowhere to be found. I was afraid some wild animal had gotten her or that she was sick. I found her in the coop, in a nesting box. I thought for sure she was dying (see what a chicken expert I am)?. Later, I checked the coop again and Velma was gone. I reached into her nesting box and found the most beautiful, green, perfectly formed egg. It was awesome! I found another one again today and took photos for you all to see.

When I look at these eggs, I find that I don't want to eat them, because I know how precious they are. I know how long we had to wait for Velma to lay these eggs and how long it will take for her to lay another (24 hours). Somehow, when you realize how much effort is involved in getting your food, you tend to have more of an appreciation for it. I think that is definitely a topic worth writing about in another blog entry.

One last thing before I go....

We have a new addition to our family. His name is Russell and other than his "need" to traumatize our chickens, he's perfect.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Curriculum Night

I visited my kids' school tonight to learn about what they are supposed to learn this year. My son is 7 and in 2nd grade and my daughter, who is 5 is in Kindergarten. The information I heard was fine, the teachers are fine, I like their school and think they have an amazing principal.

But when I got home, I was feeling kind of grumpy and sad. Deep in my heart, I must hate the fact that my kids are moving into the world where I don't really know what is going on. I don't know how they behave during the days, if they are kind to their fellow students, and respectful of their teachers. I don't know if they are sticking up for themselves when someone is unkind to them and if they are able to stick up for someone else who might be getting bullied. I also struggle a little with the thought that someone else (a teacher) is bossing my kids around.

It's nights like these that make me feel like a wimp and like I have no clue what this whole parenting gig is about. Why can't I be more grown up about them? Kids have to grow up, learn things I can't teach them, be with people I don't know, learn about authority and following rules and doing homework.

Maybe what I'm really trying to say here, is that sometimes I'm afraid I didn't really equip them. I know I've been selfish and self-centered and I probably should have spent more time with them. I should've been better about sharing my art supplies. Maybe I should've signed them up for some self-defense classes or something.

I know I still have a huge influence on them and that I haven't totally failed them. However, something about going to their school and hearing about their day without me, makes me feel a little insecure. I sure hope I'm going to get over this before they go to college!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Velma's Feathers

The other day, I mentioned in a post that I cried after I cut our hen's feathers. I did it so that she would stay out of our neighbor's yard. Until that time, I found myself obsessively checking on her to make sure she was where she was supposed to be. Which is in our yard, which is plenty big for her and her four babies. Apparently, she has already forgotten where she came from (a barn with many, many, many other chickens. In fact, when we got her, she was in a very small cage with her four babies).

I kept contemplating building her a chicken tractor (a movable coop), but I'm not that experienced at carpentry. I was also feeling overwhelmed with the idea of finding the materials (I wanted to try to do it with what we already have) and spending time building the pen in this stinkin' heat! So, I decided trimming her feathers was the answer. Even though I was overcome with emotion at the time, I'm fine now and so is she. And I no longer feel stressed out about her bothering the neighbors.

I scanned some of the feathers I took from Velma and they really do make a nice picture, so I wanted to share it with you:

Don't you think feathers are amazing? The way they look, the many colors they come in and the incredible things they can do. I mean, they help birds fly - that is pretty awesome!