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Carving Complete--just in time for the snow!

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 22, 2010, 9:49 AM
Black Feather Crafts

I'm so happy.   Even with the snow coming down in thick clumps today, it was just warm enough for me to finish the sanding and wood burning outside.   After 75 hours of work I think--the staff is done.   Now I can go on to other projects for the winter.

Walking Cat Willow Staff by Black-Feather Walking Cat Staff Backview by Black-Feather Walking Cat Staff Full Photo by Black-Feather
Walking Cat Staff Detail 2 by Black-Feather

Edit on 11/22/10:   The staff was well-received by it's new companion.   It now belongs to the owner of Antiques America in Hinckley Minnesota.   It was so fun to watch him put it down, then pick it back up again and study it some more, put it down, rinse and repeat.   Then he was walking around with it and the match between the two was perfect.  :headbang:

  • Listening to: the guinea pigs squeaking
  • Watching: no tv on
  • Drinking: mountain Dew

Carving my brains out

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 3, 2010, 2:25 PM
Well, I got done with most of the chisel carving on the leapard walking staff I'd doing on commission.   Unfortunately with such projects I have to move to using a dremel for details.

So far I have destroyed 4 dremel tips.

After this is the woodburning.  Hopefully I won't destroy a wood burning gun.

  • Listening to: the guinea pigs squeaking
  • Watching: King of the Hill
  • Drinking: water

I'm trying to get so fancy!!!

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 20, 2010, 1:27 PM

Of course I'm going to have to find where I just installed this skin from and add it.   Anyway, not too much is going on right now.  I'm working on drawings, jewelry, and more Renaissance costuming as well as trying to lose weight again.

Working night shifts is a killer for weight loss.   I'm all screwed up when it comes to sleeping and waking.  I have a long road ahead.

But my leather corset is beconing and I so need to look nice in it!!! Tardis Mark 2 Plushie by Aycelcus

  • Listening to: My son play the violin
  • Watching: Malcom in the Middle
  • Drinking: water
The store "What Not" has moved a few doors down in the same mall it's been in.  This is Holly Center in Blaine Minnesota.  New Store Address and number:

What Not
6570 University Ave, NE
Fridley, MN 55432

I have a lot of beaded jewelry in there now.   I am also selling on out American Artist magazines for $1.00 each.   Either way, if you are heading that way it's worth the look for some of my wearables.  Even this one is there!

Cowrie Goddess
  • Listening to: Doctor Dolittle
  • Watching: my typing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I have my jewelry and some collectibles in a store called What Not.   My jewelry ranges from glass bracelets from $1.50 and necklaces at $3.00 to high end beads and buckskin.  I will be putting dream catchers in soon.   I also have my ebay store open (look up crietsch on ebay).

What Not is a store with a lot of different things.  Crafting supplies are expanding.   Dollar Store items are moving in.   There is some furniture and a lot of home decor.   It's worth checking out!!!

What Not
6538 University Ave. NE
Fridley, MN 55432

I am there often, so I hope to see you there!!!
  • Listening to: news
  • Watching: my typing
  • Drinking: SouthBeach Diet drink
  • Watching: House
  • Drinking: Cranberry Juice
I'm hoping this year is going to be better than last.  I've been working on a lot of projects if I'm not working.  My biggest project right now is organizing all the stuff I have in this apartment.  I have been sorting and filing reference pictures, projects from beadwork magazines, tossing stuff, and cleaning.  I am feeling good this spring which is much better than previous years.

I'm still working on my graphic novel "BlackWater" over on  but it's been slow.  Spring hit and I just found myself doing so many other things that it's been on the backburner.  I'm hoping that will pick up some.

I do have prints for sale.  I know the economy is bad and sales of anything are slow.  This is part of my income though.  If there is something you like do not be afraid to try!

I'm taking commissions on spirit paintings on leather, and of horse portraits.  I'll post a price list in this post quickly.
  • Watching: Beauty show of some sort
  • Drinking: tea
For those who had not heard, some kind soul donated a million dollars to the victims.  Luckily my friend also had insurance, so now her life has started over.  She had had very rough times over the last 15 years, and now those times are behind her.  It's an odd twist of the Fates that freedom from debt and worries entails the flames of destruction.   She did not have a lot to begin with.  It was even scary sitting on her kitchen chairs for fear of falling on your head or something.

Others have been starting over.  Only 20 apartments were insured by the renters out of the 64 that were destroyed.   That speaks a LOT for having insurance.  It seems like a lot to pay, but you never know.

Some of the victims did not escape.  My friend's guinea pig is gone.  Other pets never made it.  However, others were found like the cats Molly and Thunder.  They found cats huddled in an air pocket.  Smoke inhalation got them but they recovered.

My friend's grandbaby is doing well.  Shortly after the relocation to a new apartment everyone seemed to come down with the flu--including little Lacy J.  It was a rough start to the holiday season.

These people are family to me.  I hugged the girls and cried.  I'm glad they are safe.  It could have been so much worse but wasn't!!!

Oh, other news!!!  I'm an auntie again.  Baby sister had a baby on 1/3/2009!!!  Little girl.  8 pounds 6 ounces.  18.25 inches long.  Only a 5 hour labor--so my daughter holds the family record for the longest labor of 37 hours.  lol
A good friend of mine went through a horrible time, but it seems a happy ending is coming due to the generosity of others.

There was a fire in Burnsville Minnesota that ate up 64 apartments in one building--displacing 200 people.  Everything was destroyed.  3rd floor collapsed.  2nd and first floors they don't know what they can get into to recover things yet--if they can.  Animals were lost, but no people were.

My friend has 2 teen girls and a grandbaby that is 3 months old.  No one in the fire was injured or killed.  Everyone got out safe.

Now there was a big donation which was split up to help the victems.  My friend is going to be able to rebuild her life.  She still worries if the hamster and the guinea pig may have made it.  Some pets did, but there are doubts.

Some of my art was destroyed, but that can be replaced.   I still had her photos saved on my computer, so sentimental things are not lost.   This picture is gone though.

Fortunately I can make another.
  • Watching: Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch, & the Ward
Well, I'm over my initial shock at that church now.   I guess I'm what happens when a Wiccan walks into a Charismatic Christian Church.  I'll get over it since I'm going to be singing there.

I still have no idea what is happening during the holidays.
  • Listening to: News
This year has gotten harder.  I had gone through a terrible divorce for 3 years, and this is the first year with my name back, my identity back, and all the marital debt.  Despite the job I have, I still wonder how I'm going to put food on the table.  I'm lucky to be a nurse and I'm glad I didn't give it up to be an artist full time.   We are heading into an era where luxuries are going to fall by the wayside.

Everyone has fallen into the same trap, and I do not know how we will get out of it.  

Tonight I was at a Christmas music thing at a Christian Church.  I'm always the odd person out at these sort of things.  I will be performing there as a singer in a few weeks, but still...I'm Wiccan so it's going to be a strange experience for me.

Tonight was hard.  There was the dancing, the lights, the Vegas show on a fancy stage and so many people there you couldn't sneeze.  People came from Broadway and Vegas to perform.  My kids violin teacher Taras Umrysh was there and there were spectacular performances ranging from Opera to Jazz.

I should have been enjoying myself.  Really should have.

But this economy thing....

I learned from a neighbor as we were leaving to go to this service that another neighbor of mine was locked out of his apartment--or lost it--something.  He froze to death having fallen asleep in his car.  He died today and the police were all over the parking lot as we left to go to this service.

The lady sitting next to me in one of these fancy broadway theater type seats in the church put $150.00 in the collection plate.

I'm in tears.  I'm confused.  So many do not know where food is coming from this holiday, or where bed is coming from.  It's left me not knowing what to think.

I guess it does not help that I have no relationship to share with anyone.  With joint custody my kids go away and I'm alone.    I'm a little empty and angry at the world in general tonight.

Sorry for my rant.  Just things to ponder.  Help out others when you can.  The big guys don't need bailing out.  The rest of us do--and more so the person who may freeze to death on your street corner tonight.
  • Listening to: Taras Umrysh
This was provided by PunkyInstigator for us DA members to use.  I agree with this.  While I do not mind that people share my work, it is not getting credited back.  One of the photographers I like on here had an actual case where a guy in Japan copied his photo of a cat on a couch, redid some of the stuff, then sold it through a gallery on ebay as his original work.


I know all of us work very hard on our stuff we submit here.  It doesn't matter if it's fanfiction, fanart, or original things.  It still belongs to those of us who make it.

So pass this along.  Put it up on your own pages!!!

  • Listening to: News
  • Eating: Avacado
The Renaissance is over, so now I get back to work.  I'm still tweaking costumes, but I'm also hitting the canvas hard.

My hope is to work on a few more macabre paintings as well as finishing a canvas for my best friend.  I still plan on playing with cartooning style as well with my colored pencils.

There are not enough hours in the day!
  • Listening to: News
  • Eating: Avacado
I'm not a big fan of the show. Usually it's on in the wait for 'hell's Kitchen'.  My friends boycotted it when I went to audition last year and was 10 years too old.  Even my ex-husband agreed I could sing, and so did my mother-in-law who has always hated my guts.  I've won awards and sang in front of over 1000 people with a standing ovation.

Still, a little bitterness aside, I've paid attention a little more this year.  I haven't watched this much since Fantasia won a few years ago.

Tonight David sang "Imagine" the old Beetles song that I enjoyed more when the guy who played on"Quantum Leap" sang it and made me cry.

David was velvet tonight.  That kid is a combination of Billy Joel and something else I can't place--but it's beautiful.  I hope he wins.
  • Listening to: Hell's Kitchen
  • Watching: Hell's Kitchen
  • Eating: Salad
Some of you may know I've moved on to being a dialysis nurse, which I love immensely.  However since working in the hospitals I've been seeing things that concern me.  

Diabetes is on the rise, and in it's wake kidney failure, heart disease, and other damages the diabetes can cause.  I do believe we have too many toxins in our food, and healthy food is far more expensive than the cheap stuff.  I could get into how I think the pharmaceutical companies have their mitts in our health itself to make profits--but that is another topic entirely.

Set aside drug use, smokes, alcohol, etc.  Those are damaging too.

The worst damaging I think we have though is that health care is FOR PROFIT.    One of the results of this is that hospitals are hosting seminars and clinics on how to increase health and prevent future health problems.

Our people most at risk for disease and suffering are the poor.  That is a given fact.  Everyone in health care knows it.

But these hospitals are charging anywhere from $40.00 to $150.00 for these seminars that include screenings.  This is out of pocket.  The target audience is people with money who don't have to choose between health education and hunger.

This needs to change.  I am asking everyone to write their senators and candidates about this.  It is one more issue in our massive health care crisis, but it is a terrible symptom of how bad this crisis is.

We need to take our health out of the pockets and bank rolls  of big companies
  • Listening to: news
  • Watching: news
Divorce is finally done.  My life moves on--thankfully.  New job, old dreams coming to fruition.  I vow I will not put my dreams on hold for a man ever again.  It's not worth it.

I'm hoping now to get my art business in full swing again, but it's hard with full time work and children.  Still I feel my art exploding from me as well as story lines that have sat so long in my head now hitting the paper.  Hopefully I can make something of them.

Still being a nurse is wonderful.  It's hard.  My body aches.  Still I see some good happen from the work I do.  Dialysis is complex, intense, and something a person has to pay attention to.    I really feel I have found my niche.

More later.
  • Watching: news
I'm wiped out this morning from having a great Friday night out.  If anyone out there likes Air Supply in any way, shape, or form...these guys are still worth going to their concerts.

I won front row seat tickets through our local radio station (KS95 for you Minnesotans).  FRONT ROW!!!  At the concert some guy was mad I wouldn't trade, because this front row seat is different than large concerts.  The stage was 1.5 feet from me in this small casino concert hall.  There were about 1100 people there.  Graham and Russell (the singers and songwriters) actually were shaking it right in front of my face.

It's an intimate show.  They had people come up to the stage and stand around it for the last few songs.  Multiple encores.  Most people may think slow music of Air Supply but the guys have beefed it up and have not lost their voices at all.  Russell can still belt out wonderful high notes.

People were dancing near the stage (although I think they were a bit drunk).

Last night I got yanked on stage by Russell.  I was so embarassed.   The whole thing was just fun.

They also stay to sign autographs afterward.  Doesn't matter how long the line is.  Sometimes they don't allow photos--which was the case last night because the show was running longer than normal (2.5 hours for just the show).   During my autographs I got to talk to all the band (the basist is really hot).  I even got kissed by Russell and hugged by most of the band.

It was a great night.  I didn't do any gambling, but considering I won the tickets in the first place I really didn't need to.  It was an absolute blast and I recommend ANYONE go see Air Supply.

When I get pics developed I'll post a few.
Well,  I admit I'm a bit of a NeverWinter Nights geek.  Never before had there been an online game where you could design and dm.  When I learned about it I fell in love.  I went on toe building mods and started doing so for other people.

I held out putting up my own module in the hopes that NWN2 would give me a better vehicle to do the same.  As it stands I really hope it is the case, but I'm sitting out a while.  The game is released in a month.  The toolset is already active.

And the toolset is extremely difficult to use.  It's not the terrain editing, it's the controls and lack of ability to change the creatures around.  So it will be like the early days of NWN1 where all mods eventually felt the same.

For a DnD based game--they didn't even put all the dragons in.  :(

I think NWN2 is going to kill persistant worlds though--ones like what I enjoy playing on.  The world is just that...a world.  Lots of areas, lots to do.  But the game requirements hurt most players at the start.  It requires a system upgrade (didn't bother me since my computer outright died).  However MODULE SIZES are just horrendous.  Many modules were around 70 megs to 100megs per module in NWN1.  Now...on 8x8 area a guy said has gotten as large as 78 megs all by itself.

To make matters uglier the PLAYER of these online modules has to download the walkmeshes for that particular mod.  If the mod ends up 2 megs......ewww.

So I guess I'm sticking out NWN1 for a while until I see what happens.
I've been laughing all night at work.  I had the oddest image happen which just stuck in my head.

I went to clean the hamster cage yesterday.  I opened the top, and little Diva shot straight UPWARD.  She didn't use the cage wall--SHE LEAPED!!!!    Somehow she managed to get a little tragectory in there to make her sail behind the dresser the cage is sitting on.  lol

I cannot say I've ever seen a hamster shoot like a rocket before.  My cats, yes.  Not rodents though.  The image is stuck in my head.
Yes, posts about this man are going up all over.   I have to confess that I am not in the LEAST suprised.

I was always bothered by him.   I used to train, breed, and show horses.  I'm used to all sorts of animals.   Over the last number of years I have noticed a firghtening trend where people think that wild things such as tigers, cougar, etc are PETS!!!   "Awww how cute!"   They think horses are pets.

Steve Irwin helped spread the message that you want to get into the meerkat exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo to get up close and cuddly with these dangerous animals.  "Isn't she a beuat?"    The results turn into things like that mess where a 9 year old got in there, GOT BIT in front of her parents who ALLOWED THIS, and the whole family of meerkats were destroyed because mommy and daddy didn't want their little darling to get the rabies shots.

No respect for animals.

Yes, Steve did do a lot for conservation.   However the man was an idiot.   He had knowlege of the natural world but no RESPECT for it's dangers.   What was wrong with him?  The Kraft brothers have respect.   Jeff Corwin has respect...but not Irwin!!!!  This is the idiot who was feeding a crocodile while holding his infant child in the other arm!!!   A dangerous parent non-the-less.

So that's my take on him.  He was a Darwin Award candidate more times than we can dare count.  HIS POOR CHILDREN were made into Darwin Award candidates before they could CHOOSE to be idiots.   

He only didn't become a DARWIN AWARD WINNER because he reproduced first!!!