Friday, July 25, 2008

A Pibble and a Jack Russell Terrorist under one roof.

I believe that dogs come into our lives for certain reasons. They often teach us more about ourselves than we can imagine and some of them even manage to help us blossom into better beings. I like to think that both my dogs have helped me in this way and continue to do so every day. I have two wonderful dogs that many think are an odd match. A Pitbull and a Jack Russell Terrier under the same roof can definately sometimes be overwhelming, but it is mostly ridiculously entertaining! Pitbulls are society's underdogs and my newest addition has taught me something about true friends and family as well as a society who feeds on media junk. So you probably think Pitbulls are dangerous? You probably think that they will attack the first chance they get and that they aren't to be trusted? If you believe this, you couldn't be further from the truth. Have you ever seen one who sucks on a "binkie?" This is my dog Kali -> . We adopted her last summer and she is now 4 years old. Her old owners gave her up and purchased a Boston Terrier less than 6 months later. Funny how some think pets are disposable. She came to us largely overweight and with a hint of dog agression - much has changed since then! She is now in perfect shape and her dog agression is constantly improving. I would like to clarify that dog agression is in no way, shape, or form, associated with agressiveness toward people. She is a ball of mush when it comes to kids or anyone willing to pat her on the head. We aren't 100% sure on her lineage as she has been an SPCA special since birth and is now on her third home but we do know for sure that she's a Pitbull-type breed, possibly mixed with either American Staffordshire Terrier or even American Bulldog. We'll never really know and it really doesn't matter. Her first family named her Frisbee, her second named her Angel, but I knew she was not destined for such names the moment I layed eyes on her. So she became Kali, Hindu goddess of death and destruction who is only feared by those who are ignorant as she is more a goddess of time, change, and of reality. I can't help but associate what this goddess symbolizes to the breed that so many love to hate. Like any other medium-sized-dog, a Pitbull is capable of destruction and death but the Pitbull is special in my eyes as it shows us reality. These dogs show us more than any other just how destroying, discriminating, and cruel we are as the human race. They show us just how heartless we can be to something of our own creation while at the same time showing us just how forgiving and loving they can be. Kali, like a filter, actually managed to weed out our friends and family without even meeting them. We've had some family who actually refused to come to our home unless we kenneled her because they feared she may be some kind of viciously fine tuned killing machine that would ravage their children before their eyes. Others even stopped talking to us entirely and vowed to never step foot in our home. I still don't understand why as they have never even met Kali. I wish they knew the truth, but more so, I wish they would open their eyes, ears, minds, and hearts to the reality behind the media hype - a fruitless wish no doubt. If they only knew that lock jaw doesn't exist, but that some type of wet kiss-locker is programed into their minds and that their brain doesn't swell to create some rabid beast, but that they can make our hearts swell over their silly body and tail wiggles. For her first Halloween, we decided to dye her pink - no worries folks, the product is safe for use on pets! Even though she was still the same old Kali wearing a muzzle on her walks, people saw her in a whole new color! People were smiling rather than shaking their heads! Parents were allowing their children to come pet her rather than pulling them away! Some even took a few snapshots of her! Funny how something as simple as a pet-safe dye job was able to completely change her world. For a little while, her life was pretty pink - literally. This clearly proved to me that Pitbull-hysteria is just that: an uncontrollable outubust of fear characterized by irationality based solely on apperance and a few bad apples. Without a bark, Kali has also shown me to really appreciate the family and friends who trust my instincts and who were willing to meet and learn to love a dog that isn't by most others. I thank her so much for that. From the moment she has come into my life, I have learned to see and experience the world much more differently. I have learned to judge by actions, not by appearances or by misconceptions. I have learned that there really is such a thing as a "diamond in the ruff." Now Jack Russell Terriers are another story entirely. Everyone knows they are furry four-legged terrorists and there ain't no disputing that (please note the sarcasm)! We also adopted Ozzy, formerly known as Buzz, from the animal shelter. The poor sweetheart ended up there because he was a handful. No doubt the Chrismas present of some child whose parents quickly realized that a Jack Russell is more than just cute all the time. The person in charge of adoptions was asking me "Are you sure?" over, and over again while Ozzy was jumping up and down behind the desk. My heart melted instantly and from that day on, he was mine. Ozzy is 3 years old now and I've had him for 2 - 1/2 years of his life. He is the sunshine and comedic relief in my life. All the little guy needed was a walk! He came into my life at a very critical time for me. Approximately 6 months before I layed eyes on him, I almost lost one of them in a freak accident. Our home's gas fireplace exploded in my face. It's a long and sad story that I won't go into here for various reasons, but to sum it up I had to have emergency eye surgery, spent three days in the hospital, and many more trapped in a mind filled with depression and anxiety. Ozzy, a crazy and spunky dog who demanded my attention was exactly the remedy I needed to help me heal or at least forget for lapses of time! During our walks, obedience classes, and cuddles, I learned to divert my thoughts toward something greater than myself: the love for a being other than myself. Although I will never be the same, although my vision will never fully improve, although the scars are a constant reminder, and although I will always deal with anxiety, I'm thankful that I can find moments of relief with this furry-four-legged-canine. Today Ozzy is a therapy dog and together we visit those who need a little of his clown-like charm - just as I do. He has taught me to live and laugh again. He has also taught me to be selfless and that by helping others I can help myself. When I wake up next to these two snoring bundles of fur, I am in awe at what fate has bestoyed upon me. Just goes to show that one man's trash is another's treasure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Got coin?

After my first little experiment with using pennies in jewelry, I became inundated with ideas that taunted me and would continue to taunt me till the day they would be realized. Pennies here, pennies there, pennies can be found everywhere! They really can! The penny, in Canada, is probably the lesser used of all the coins, yet you can almost always dig one out of your wallet to scratch that lotto ticket or find one lying on the sidewalk possibly dropped by someone fumbling for change in their pockets or purse. These pennies may have been cherished by the child who once collected them in his piggy bank or used in a coin toss to determine who would start the parking lot baseball game. They may have been dropped in a Tim Horton's Send a kid to camp collection box, or used in a drinking game by college friends instead of studying for their big exam. Some of these pennies may have been thrown over a shoulder into a fountain in hopes of a wish coming true and later picked up by the homeless man who washes in that fountain. They may have been used in a silly game of bloody knuckles in the schoolyard at lunch or put in the mouth of a baby who has not yet grasped the concept of germs.. Which gets me to thinking... Thank god I washed these pennies before turning them into jewelry! These goodies and more like them can be found at

Friday, July 11, 2008

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout...

Here in the middle of nowhere there are a lot of creatures of the creepy crawly kind. I grew up in this neck-of-the-woods which may be why they don't bother me so much, but rarely have I ever met a person who enjoys watching them as I do rather than shriek and lay a large stomping foot down on these innocent offenders. Spiders seem to be largely responsible for what I call "the shrieking housewife syndrome" - something which just as many men seem to suffer from. As if I couldn't get any more strange, I decided to start making beaded spiders inspired by folklore, myth, and the real deal as an ode to those very misunderstood arachnids. These beaded spider attention grabbers can be purchased on my Etsy shop at

Spider facts:
- Contrary to popular belief, spiders aren't all out to get you.
- Unlike the big bad wolf's large eyes to "all the better to see you with," spiders don't have up to 8 eyes to lay them all on you. On the contrary many of them are nearsighted.
- Spiders can clean your garden of up to 2,000 insects a year. Think about that fact the next time you lay a rubber sole down on one of these hard working arachnids.
- Almost all spiders carry venom, but not all of them will kill you.
- Spiders are hunted as much as they are hunters.
- In some cultures spiders are a delicacy and some even believe that if they are eaten they can heal.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A penny for your thoughts

"Here's a penny for your thoughts, a quarter for the call, and all of your momma's love." I could still hear my mom singing the song while standing over the stove watching the chocolate chip cookies as they bake and eager for them to be ready so that her children could relish in their ooey-gooey yumminess. She still sings it from time to time and it, in my opinion, represents everything she is to me as a mother. Always willing to listen, stubbornly wanting to lend a hand, and full of love. Yesterday as I sat in my new little studio space, that I share with the spare bedroom, this bit of song played over and over in my mind. So I decided to stamp it out with a little creating! Ha! Not a fan of country music, but I do have to say that I am a fan of my mom. Mama's girl you say? A little.