Friday, December 29, 2006

Belle Goddess Dolls

I have a new style of goddess dolls available. I call them Belle Goddesses because they are belle (beautiful) and because they have a jingle bell at their toes. You can see more of them at my Dolladay etsy site.

At Dolladay you can see a wide variety of my Art Dolls and Goddess Dolls. And I post a new one nearly every day!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why I Live in Arizona

I moved to Arizona 13 years ago because I wanted to escape the cold and the snow and the sleet of Minnesota. So far that has been a pretty good plan. Some mornings are cold, and we have the woodstove going for a few hours as our fingers and noses thaw out.

A year and a half ago we moved to Southern Arizona, mainly for my husband's job, but also because it was a little cooler in the summer. We are at 5,200 feet above sea level here. But this morning when I woke up....this is what it looked like outside. And, yes, that is snow on a prickly pear cactus in my front yard.

And, yes, that is the pomegranate tree with snow all over it. The low and high for Minneapolis today = 30/39. The low and high for Bisbee today = 30/41. Now this is something they didn't tell me before I moved to Arizona!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Place for Everything and Everything in it's Place

As a natrual-born slob, this is a goal that is not an easy one for me to achieve. But, I am hoping with the right intention and the right tools, to be able to come closer to it in 2007.

My mother-in-law sent me a bithday check a few weeks ago, and I decided to spend it on something I have been eyeing for a while. It is a spnner rack for my craft paints. The ad claims that it holds 192 bottles of craft paint, and although I have never taken an actual count, I figured that between my craft paint bottles and my dimensional paint bottles, I had to be in the ballpark.

Now my paints are sorted by color and type. They take up less space and I can actually see what I have without pulling each bottle out of the shoe box. And, I am 37.8% more likely to put them away when I am not using them. This spinner takes up a fair amount of space on my table, but it is a joy for my bottles of paint and for me. Onward to my goal have having a place for some things and some things put away!

Friday, December 22, 2006

I just watched...

"Simon Birch"

I thought the movie was great. And I also thought the book it was based on "Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving was great!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I just watched...


What a pretty movie! (And not just because Johnny Depp is in it.) I really enjoyed this movie, which is for the most part a quiet, lovely story. Snuggle up with a few chocolates or a cup of chocolate and enjoy!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

There is Still Time

There is still time to order from my etsy shops. If you order before noon on Monday they will be shipped PRIORITY MAIL on Monday.

Dolladay features a wide selection of ART Dolls.

LadyArtichokeHeart has HOLIDOLLS and blank greeting cards, featuring my designs.

And, you can order a gift certificate from Amazon dot com, right up to the last minute!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Lesson Learned

When I first started doing art full time I saved everything. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I started out with nothing, so saving everything seemed totally possible. I joined several yahoo art groups and I was always learning new techniques or reading about new techniques / products, gathering lots of ideas,m trying lots of things out, experimenting.

The lesson I learned this week is that I DON'T HAVE TO SAVE EVERY FAILED EXPERIMENT.

As I was going through old mail (opened and unopened), mixed in with art supplies, mixed in with ideas for projects....all piled high on part of my art table...I realized that I was finding more than a few failed experiments....

And it was very liberating to THROW THEM IN THE TRASH!

Now sometimes a failed experiment can be saved...can be altered...can be turned into something else. But most of the time, I find that if it failed, there was a reason. And I learned from the failure. NO NEED TO SAVE IT!!!

So...a little progress was made on de-cluttering my studio space and I learned something too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's Getting Late!

There is still plenty of time to purchase an Amazon dot com Gift Certificate. Just enter Amazon dot com here.

Gift Certificates are also available for Hanje Richards Design. Contact me at .

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Leaving St.John

When we left St.John yesterday, we took the ferry to St.Thomas and then took a cab/van to the airport on St.Thomas.

I want to tip my hat to our cab driver, who had turned his cab/van into a thing of beauty. He was not hampered by design school, or fear of being "over the top" or anything else that holds me back in my art. He made something really beautiful, and his dashboard looks a lot more like what I wanted my Mermaid Chair to look like than what it ended up looking like.

So, the lesson true to your vision...even if it isn't "polite" or "correct."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Last Morning on St. John

We will be leaving St. John in about an hour. We will begin our 24 hour journey back home to Southern Arizona.
Ferry from St.John to St.Thomas. Flight from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico. Flight from Puerto Rico to Houston. Flight from Houston to Phoenix. Drive from Phoenix to Bisbee.
From the humid warm air of the Caribbean to the much cooler and crisper air of Arizona.
The inner dialogues I have had have been interesting. It remains to be seen how they have affected me after I return from this place that has given me the luxury of time and quiet and rest.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

50,000 Times A Day

I read in The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer that the average person speaks to himself (herself) about 50,000 times a day and 80% of it is negative. That is 40,000 negative things vs. 10,000 positive things.

Okay....I have no idea how they measured this...but let's for the moment assume this is true.

What if I could increase the number of positive things that I say to myself each day. What if I could increase the number of positive things i say to myself each day from 20% to 50%. I am now up to 25,000 positive things every day.

And, postive thoughts presumably affect your body in a positive way. They make you more relaxed, centered and alert. They cause the secretion of endorphis in the brain and reduce pain and increase pleasure. GOOD STUFF!

How would that change my life?

And, imagine if I could increase the number of positive things that I say to myself each day from 20% to 80%. I am now up to 40,000 positive thoughts vs. 10,000 negative thoughts.

Those endorphins are in high gear and it is almost ALL GOOD.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

In Between Beaches

In between beaches, I have been watching a lot of movies.
(Actually both of these photographs were taken at Cinnamon Bay Beach.)

High on the bizarro scale. But a MUST SEE if you are into fashion or costume design...the costumes in this movie are quite incredible!

Okay, I can't believe that I never saw this before. But, I just never watched many movies before this summer. Will Smith...very good. Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing....quite good. Very enjoyable.

Pretty good.

Pure fluff and totally enjoyable. (Okay so I am a closet Bridget Jones fan.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Virgin Islands Adventure: Cost of Living

Well, it is expensive here. And, I am not talking about the cost of housing and education (which I have heard about but not actively researched). I am talking about performing simple tasks and going to the grocery store.

A pint of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.....$8.00
One load in the washer and dryer at the laundromat.....$11.00
One pound of on the vine tomatoes.......$7.00 a pound

But ... the beaches are free .... and you can drive for days on one tank of gas ... and I would never ever ever have to pay for a perm!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just Because I Like How It Looks

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Virgin Islands Adventure, December 5

Yesterday we saw a bit more of St.John. We visited the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation. This is the windmill that was used to grind the sugar cane. When the wind died they used a mill that was powered by mules and horses.

Rod is in front of the largest building at the Annaberg Plantation. It is where they turn the ground cane into sugar and the sugar into run. ALCHEMY!

We finally made it to the BEACH! This is Cinnamon Bay. The sand is like sugar and the colors of the water are amazing. There is a color that I want to take home in a bottle. (oh...I guess that would be called paint!)

I swam at Cinnamon Bay and we had lunch there, me sticking to a safe hamburger and Rod being more adventursome and trying a Jerk Chicken Sandwich.

Mongoose Sightings


Wild Donkey Sightings


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Flora and Fauna Report

We saw a deer on the way to church this morning, and while sitting in church about 8 cows passed by the open doors. Lots of little lizards are everywhere.

We understand that there are about 400 "wild" donkeys on the island of St. John. I certainly hope to see some of them before we leave!

Today I just wandered around the yard and took pictures of things that I knew I would never see in the desert.

Some of the results are on the left. Tomorrow we hit the beaches!

Why We Travel

Most of my travel these days is limited by time and money. Most of my travel in recent years has been for business or to visit family and friends. The rest of my travel in recent years has been my regular trips to the beach in Mexico, which is a lovely vacation, but aside from the drive, is hardly travel. Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) is as familiar (and as comfortable) as an old pair of jeans, well loved and familiar, and requiring very little.

As I find myself this week in a place I have never been, in a culture that is unlike any I have ever experienced, in a place that looks different and feels different from anywhere I have ever been before, I realize why we travel.

Certainly we all travel for the reasons above…to relax, to visit, to work. But travel to a new place allows us to see everything with a Beginner’s Mind.

Beginner's mind is a concept in Zen Buddhism. As the name suggests, it refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism, other Asian philosophies, and martial arts.

The phrase was also used as the title of Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki's book: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, which reflects a saying of his regarding the way to approach Zen practice: In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few. From Wikipedia :'s_mind

My first exposure to Beginner’s Mind was a few years ago in a coaching exercise. I was to walk around in the woods, in a place I had never been, experiencing it as if it was all new to me. I listened and smelled and saw. I felt tree bark and heard leaves crunch and felt the wind in my hair. It was work to look at these familiar things with a Beginner’s Mind. I kept trying to imagine how I would react if I never had seen a big rock before. Would I lick it? Would I rub my face against it? Would I be afraid of it?

Travel allows you to see things with a Beginner’s Mind, without the work. Everything is new. Even the stars look new. And we become curious about everything. We want to know everything. We want to know why and how and when and who. We have a list of things we must research after an excursion away from the house.

We also have Beginner’s Body. We experience colors and sounds in a new way. We taste things anew. We compare things. Do mosquito bites feel the same here as they do at home? Are there this many birds singing this many songs at home? Does darkness come as quickly as it does when the sun falls behind the mountains in Bisbee?

Travel reminds me to let my senses and my mind be open to all the possibilities, whether at home or traveling.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Virgin Islands Adventure, December 2

It took us 24 hours to get here and we have now been here for about 24 hours. The 24 hours since we got here passed a lot faster than the 24 hours of getting here!

We traveled by car, plane, bus, taxi van and ferry to get here. It was chilly when we left Bisbee. I was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, a long sleeved shirt and a lined leather jacket when we left at 4:00 in the afternoon. This morning at about 2:00 am I was sitting out on our porch in a tank top and boxers.

The differences are noticeable in other ways as well. My straight as a stick Arizona hair has turned into big, somewhat curly tropical island hair.

We are staying in a lovely little apartment away from town. We are driving a Jeep, which is almost necessary on the roads here, which are hilly and very curvy.

The rain stops and starts here, almost without notice or interest.
Probably the most disconcerting difference is the fact that cars drive on the left side of the road here, however, the cars are regular "American" style cars with the steering wheels on the left. I haven't driven yet, but as a passenger on these narrow winding roads, it is shocking every time I see a car coming toward us, with me and the passenger in the other car, being the most likely to be killed. I have vowed to attempt driving before we leave, but I am not looking forward to it!
Luckily, hurricane season officially ended a couple of days ago, so the only big stress I have is that of running into a mongoose or many mongooses (this is the correct plural of mongoose), which would totally freak me out!