Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My visit with an "Animal Communicator"

Yep... I went to see an "Animal Communicator".  Nope, not an animal psychic. (bet you didn't know there was a difference...but neither did I) An animal communicator doesn't look into the future or make predictions, they use telepathy to put words to the visual cues they pick up from our pets. (apparently we are all capable of doing this, but we have lost our telepathy talent as we grew up and became more logical thinking adults.)

So begins my adventure. This afternoon I brought my 2 great danes and 17 year old (non-believer) son to meet the animal communicator. We didn't all fit in the office space she was using so we made do with a park bench out front. No problem, she said, about moving to the new public location (apparently all the other dogs walking by wouldn't be "talking" to her at the same time- thus distracting her from the 2 big tasks at hand). 
Let's begin...
Blu at the lake

First up, Blu, our 3 year old great dane. First thing Blu "communicated" was that she didn't like wearing a winter coat. She felt silly wearing it and didn't like when we laughed at her. (okay, yes we may have laughed at her at first, but it wasn't the coat she was wearing, it was the booties! but I didn't bring that up...) apparently Blu is quite sensitive and doesn't like to be made fun of. Then Blu wanted to know why she couldn't have peanuts? (very, very strange question to us. our son has a peanut allergy and we never have peanuts in the house... weird.) Then she jumped to discussing the garden hose. Yes, she does get excited when the hose is turned on, but could we please stop spraying her with the water. (smile. yep, guilty as charged). Next she told the communicator that she thinks she's more popular than Zoe (our other great dane) but that Zoe didn't really care to be popular. Blu then said she wants to be the boss, the Alpha dog, but Zoe is. Then she began to describe her favorite toy that we don't play with anymore... a stick with a ball on the end. (yep, we have a dog toy that's sort of like that) we promised her we would find it and play with it again. The Animal Communicator looked at her watch and said Blu was just rambling on and on and could talk forever, but that it was our turn to ask her questions. We only had a 15 minute window! So we asked pretty boring stuff about her favorite things to eat and why she knocks all of her food out of the bowl with her nose.... Blu's answer, she wanted to see the different shapes and what she was eating and could we please feed her more wet food. Oh, and she likes chicken. How does she feel about the cats we asked. Blu's answer was that she thought they antagonized her and it wasn't her fault that she chased them. (mmm.... partial truth)  We asked if she liked riding in the boat? It's okay- she would rather be where we are than left home. And she doesn't like when it goes fast or if it's bumpy. (all true!) I asked if she liked going to the kennel. She answered yes. She thinks she's popular there, too. She told us that she's a favorite of a young guy that works there- but he gets in trouble because he isn't a hard worker. (big grin, yes, this made sense to us, too) And finally, we asked her if she liked skijoring (the dogs wear harnesses and ski in front of my husband) Blu said it was okay, she likes the running, but doesn't like the pulling. She thinks my husband could help more. (OMG! big laugh!)

Next up, Zoe, our 7 year old great dane. First thing Zoe said to our Animal Communicator was that she would like a treat and did she have any lunch meat? (yep, sounds like Zoe. She's not fat, but she always lets us know when its dinner time!) Then she asked if we could have popcorn tonight? (another one of her favorite treats) Then Zoe told us her neck hurt on the right side and could we please rub it for her. (mmm...we obliged and she seemed to be enjoying it) Then Zoe said she didn't like human company and could we please not have any more company over? (wow... that threw us! What dog doesn't like company? But as I think about it, Zoe does come over and say hello to our "human company" but then goes back to laying down or doing whatever she was doing before she was so rudely interrupted. She doesn't hang all over them like our other dog.) Then Zoe told us she likes to sleep. a lot in fact. And could we please get Blu to stop waking her up all the time. And... she wants Blu to stop taking her bed. (I wasn't sure which bed she considered hers... so I asked the "communicator" to find out for me) It's the soft one next to my side of the bed. (oh, I replied). Then she was back to food again. Could she try jelly? (sure, I guess. Where did that come from?) Oh, and no more dogs. Blu was enough. Then I asked if Zoe remembered Brutus (our male dane that died 3 years ago). Of course she did. "He taught me a lot of things. He didn't like me at first but he came around. And he liked tacos." (here we go again, back to food!) My last question for Zoe was why she always attacked the TV? (Zoe has always rushed the TV-barking like crazy- whenever an animal is on.... and don't get me started about the Aflac duck!!! geez!) Her reply was exactly as you would think.... "it's my house". 
Zoe, protecting us from TV intruders

So what do I think now that it's over? I really do think the Animal Communicator was picking up on something. It intrigued me. And yep, I'd go see her again. And my son? Well, he's still a non-believer. But it's not the first (or the last) time we haven't seen things quite the same way.... he'll come around.

So did I peek your interest? Our Animal Communicator says she can do the same thing over the phone!So if you don't live in the IL/WI area, give her a call. But be sure to report back:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Junk Garden

I've been working in my flower garden at the cottage all week.... and now that I'm back home I'm reflecting on why I love being at the cottage...
• lax rules... i.e., "oops, drilled a hole wrong... no problem, it's a cottage!" or "Darn, spilled on the sofa.... no worries, it's a cottage!"
• makeup not required
• unscheduled meals... eat when you're hungry
• computer-free
• the silence
• the birds
• the push mower
• reading
• listening to the water while laying in bed
• the smallness of the cottage

Here's a pict. of my funny little garden fountain. I got an old wash tub and watering can at the flea market last weekend... and voila!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Trompe- l'oeil (tattoos!)

okay... you may or may not be a tattoo fan, but you must admit the artistry of these tattoos! I've never seen anything like these before:

The bracelet tat's are temporary tattoos by Chanel for their 2010 spring line... pretty cool. Here's a link to purchase some for yourself:'OEIL-DE-CHANEL-89753

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I (Heart) this Blog...

so many blogs-so little time. 
some i visit when i need a laugh. 
some i visit to learn. 
and some i visit for inspiration. 
here's one that fits all of the above:  aimee- the author- is a masterful doodler.  her art is freeing. spontaneous. fun. makes you want to dust off your sketch book and pens. her haiku's make me chuckle.what a delicious combination of words, type and art. pure fun.

and if you're in a "i want to make something really cool" sort of mood... check out what aimee says about making these wonderful tiles using alcohol inks. a beautiful explosion of color. wouldn't these be an inspiring addition to your creative space? be sure to stop by her blog and add "artysville"  to your favorite blog list, too!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some of my Favorite Artist Creations on

Here's a very clever artist who breathes new life into old castaway items. Old suitcase turned bathroom vanity cabinet.... who'd a thunk! You can find her store here:

Now this is a belt! Not just your everyday belt- but a work of art...."there is one long, continuous hand-carved leafless branch meandering across the length. A single red bird perches on the branch against a blue-green sky and is featured on the right hip of the wearer. The branch and bird have been cut and carved to raise them from the background."  Find the store here:

Having whole-heartedly embraced western style, I love the design of this "saddle bag". Two sisters from NYC are behind this design. You'll find their shop here:

Beautiful. Vintage. Minimalistic. 3 hanging pendant lights that would work in most any type of decor. Shop for cool handmade lighting here:

Dogs need fashion, too. This artist creates wonderful patterned neckwear for pooches. Let Sugarplum collars create a custom fashion accessory for your canine friend: 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome Spring 2010!

On Saturday, we welcomed the first day of spring 2010. It's been a long Wisconsin winter and apparently Mother Nature wasn't done with us yet.... that morning we woke up to 3 fresh inches of snow after being teased with 64 degree weather the week before. 

But even after four long months of shoveling, trudging, sliding and shivering, I'd be sad not to have the beautiful Wisconsin winters. Doing so would mean no spring flowers and robins to admire. No fall campfires and beautiful leaves to collect. Seasons are a beautiful gift. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My love Affair.... with House Plans!

I love house plans. I love to draw them. I love books about them. I even love going to open houses so I can experience them! Maybe I should have been an architect... (nah, too much math) or builder (nah, too much hard labor)... or maybe a realtor (who knows)...
Beach house in Caraguatatuba- Plans by alexandre piacsek.
This has been an obsession most of my life. Even as a kid, I loved seeing my friends bedrooms and how they arranged their stuff. I can even tell you the wall colors and layout in some of my best friends bedrooms when I was 10. Yep, useless information still being stored.

Then, my dream came true in 1999. My husband and I worked with a wonderful (female) builder to design and build the home we live in currently. Everything from picking out door knobs and doors to coordinating flooring and cabinets, was fun for me. Many of my friends have built their homes also, and swear they would never do it again. Not me, I'm counting down the months till I get to do it again! Yep, today we meet with an architect to begin the fun again! It will be a bit more challenging this go-round. It's a small lot on a lake and as we approach becoming empty-nesters, we'll be trying to "downsize". As the process unfolds....I'll keep you posted on all the details!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grown-ups need Pen Pals, too!

letter writing is a dying art by Linda Cronin.
Remember when we were kids and everyone seemed to have a far-away pen-pal? Well, "far-away" is a relative term.... when you're under 10 that can mean anything from a neighboring city to across the world.

My pen pal happened to live in Pennsylvania. Me, Ohio. I know, Pennsylvania was not the distant land I had hoped for... but it was through a "sister" girl scout troop, so there you have it. I can't tell you that I learned about new cultures, languages or life styles.... but we did chat about boys and parents and school (ho-hum).

So flash forward to present day life.....
Recently I opened a shop on an artist's website called "ETSY". pronounced like Betsy without the "B". While I do enjoy a steady steam of sales there, I have to admit what really makes me grin ear-to-ear, is that my jewelry is popular in places I would have never dreamed of. I have a few ladies in Australia and Scotland who are quickly becoming Katcando collectors! But that's not all.... they have also become my new grown-up pen pals. From hearing my new-pal in Scotland's quirky sayings to receiving beautiful photographs from my new-pal in Australia.... I have to admit, pen pals are a great thing no matter what your age!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Outlet Art

We recently tiled our kitchen backsplash with a beautiful tumbled tourmaline stone. Having exhausted all the options I found for outlet covers, I was left underwhelmed.
stainless steel?
Nothing looked right. The outlets simple stood out too much. They commanded center stage. They were stealing all the tourmaline's thunder! 

So I made them disappear with a quick trip to my local craft store. With a half dozen different craft acrylic paint tubes, some small and medium sized artist brushes and a sponge, I transformed my outlets into faux tourmaline. And you can too! Just take a few samples of your granite or stone with you to the craft department and select several small acrylic paint bottles that are in the correct shades. Once home, lay the plastic outlet covers on top of any extra pieces of stone/granite/tile and paint your base coat color first. After that, try to mimic the shades and tones surrounding it. Using a dry brush will give you the best results. Now just pounce, streak and smudge your way to a disappearing outlet cover. Set aside to dry. Next, carefully paint the interior electrical part with a very dry brush as well as the cover's screws. (If this makes you nervous, you can always shut off the power to that room.) Assemble. Adding painted grout lines will complete the transformation.

Did you know there are artists/interior designers who offer this service and command $50* an outlet for this effect!

*source: my parents, who live in Florida, saw this advertised in several luxury home models.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Beauty of Magnolia Pearl

Magnolia pearl bandera tx fashion clothing

One of my most prized possessions is my ever growing collection of Magnolia Pearl frocks. Magnolia Pearl is the brain child of Robin Pearl Brown of Bandera, TX. A child of the sixties who remembers seeing neighbor Jerry Garcia gardening naked in their California town.

Robin's clothing line is loose, feminine, western and sexy all rolled together. And sized as one size fits all- we all can partake in her layered style. I was so fortunate to meet this free spirited gal and her husband last summer at the Marburger Farm Antique show in Roundtop, Texas. I spent hours in their booth trying on everything I could find. Robin even purchased one of my Katcando necklaces (right off my neck) and presented it to her girlfriend who was having a birthday that day.

Experience her clothing yourself on-line at Just call and talk to her hubby John for prices. Robin also recently penned a new book outlining her creative style in "A bit of Velvet & a Dash of Lace." A visually explosive read I highly recommend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bibliophilias beware!

Cute idea for a centerpiece or atop the mantel.... Recycle all those paperback romances hiding in the back of your closet into pretty little paperback petals. Cute. Simple. Free.