Sunday, 13 June 2010


Been a while since I posted, there is always so much too do around the farm as well as finding time to make art. Of late digging out a pond for water storage, ducks, and drainage has been a priority as hurricane season has begun again.

I have quite a few batches of plant fibers to cook up into half stuffs for paper making. I've been letting them dry up and ret on their own to make for a bit less work, hopefuly some will show up in my etsy store before too long :)

Our big excitement was getting the NonProfit paperwork finally approved by the IRS so Creative-tree is a solid foundation and more will be forth coming on that as well. We do have a basic web page up and I'll be working on getting pictures of the farm, habitat, animals etc posted, yup always lots to do :)

If you are a paper lover do check out this super post and blog from a fellow etsian, she has done an excellent tutorial on basic papermaking from plant fibers, and makes lovely paper and cards!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

The CPSIA is a `major topic of discussion amoung artists, crafters, and anyone who cares about children. However, in over exuberance a very poorly written, thoughtless, and outright detrimental piece of legislation is about to be foisted off onto the public, and those who serve the childrens market.

Although the principal is nobal; don't allow corporations, particularly 3rd, world sell toxic products to us for our children. As too often has been the case in the past the legislation addresses a vary narrow segment of the manufacture industry and disregards the effects on the US small businesses that are as a whole providing a much safer product than the corporations who manufacture products that will be used by youth.

As consumers it is reasonable for us to be able to assume the products we are offered are safe but historically that simply isn't the case. It is up to each of us to look carefully at the things we are considering purchasing and use common sense and research to make the determination of what is likely to be safe and most likely to not be. Although it is another blanket statement, Any form of base metal, whether a charm, button, bead or toy is as likely to contain lead or any of a number of other toxic metals. Even copper, assumed to be fine really isn't. Exposure to most metals is harmful to the human body. So before you buy anything think twice about where it iwas made and what types of controls, and inspections were likely to be employed by the manufacturer.

As a parent with serious allergies and daughters with worse allergies, some things such as flame retardant sleepwear were instant rashes for my kids and thus could not be worn. As a seamstress this meant sewing for them myself, or never putting them in 'sleep wear' Fine if you are a seamstress, but what if your not? The law as it is set to go into effect, doesn't address anything but lead, and thus is too limited in it's scope in that department. However, it looks for lead in places so far reaching it is highly unlikely to exist there, such as in used clothing!. This is horridly written legislation and needs to be returned to the drawing board to be redrawn to address the actual problem at hand and not to simply be able to say something was done, but to actually DO something that is helpful, and addresses the problem.

Here is a link to an artist who is trying to make a positive difference and put the brakes on destroying, more of the US economy and most importantly our freedom to make conscious choices about what our children are exposed to. Please check it out and participate in forcing the legislature to create an effective program, rather than a reactive one.

"The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is requiring lead testing on all products (including apparel and components of apparel which knowingly have little or no lead such as ribbon, tulle, thread, elastic etc.) designed for children under the age of 12. “This new Act is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, and disregards the significant and disastrous impact on small and medium businesses as Section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires” says Michael Kushner, of The Kushner Law Firm."

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A New Day

As with many hurricanes the rains both during and in the months following Dolly have left us with significant flooding issues. Although the farm is well above flood level, receiving most of our rain for the year in a very short while has left the ground saturated beyond it's capacity to drain.

What ever else it may be life on the farm is a challenge. With each new day there are more tasks than humanly possible for 1 person to accomplish. The Last couple of weeks have been mainly filled with hard labor to extricate my dear little tractor from a bog of 'slow sand'.

I had been telling myself I was being lazy not getting out and mowing at the earliest opportunity and finally got my self in gear and started on this most time consuming task. When it rains and is warm here the grass can grow 6" a day, I kid you not! So off I go on my trusty tractor successfully plowing through the 4-6 foot high grass in multiple passes. As it would happen though just as I was turning she ran out of fuel. Very unfortunate since the fuel was a couple blocks away and by the time I had retrieved it and returned the tractor had begun sinking into the muck. ARGH! She has been stuck before so I figured I'd be able to get it out, but with the high soil saturation it continued to sink over night and the water of course went for the lowest point. So over the past weeks it has been a process of pumping out the water and digging to try and drain it away faster than the tractor has continued to sink. Not so sure I have been winning but I have no choice but to continue. Twice trying to pull it out with a 4x4 but even though it is light weight for a truck, not only has it been unable to pull out the tractor it has sunk into the ground in the firmest places available.

So My friends part of the reason for my absence and failure to post. But most importantly...:
I want to thank Ms Maisy from MC Chatter my dear friend for all of the love and attention she has given to my blog, it is through her efforts and diligence it is as lovely as it is. Not only a super person but a steller artist. Do check out her etsy stores and blog!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


Come join us! Any funds donated to the Etsy Helping Others Street Team (HOST) will be used to help Etsians in need. The holiday season is coming... Your early gift shopping not only gives you peace of mind but your money goes even further, bringing some peace of mind to others too :)

Monday, 4 August 2008

Treasury - winged creatures

Since hurricane Dolly, and with so much water on the farm, I have been besieged by mosquitoes the size of jackdaws! Fortunately, the winged creatures in my latest treasury are rather more beautiful, and friendlier to be around...
Click on the treasury for a larger view, or follow this Etsy link while it is still active:

Treasury - handle with care

My dear friends, you all know how I love my glass! This is one of my latest treasuries, featuring some super talented Etsy glass artists...
Click on the image for a more detailed version, or follow this Etsy link while it is still active:

Friday, 1 August 2008

My Etsy has many faces

I love to sculpt faces in glass and I have a few of my pieces in my Etsy shop at but I was delighted to take my love of faces and masks a step further when I curated this treasury... This is my compilation of some of the stunning masks created by other talented Etsy artists:-
(click for a more detailed view)
Follow this link to view the treasury on etsy while it is still active:

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Dolly part 2

When the winds shift around and come from the south they are stronger, and on the ‘lighter’ side of the house, more glass less wood, but most of what is around me are fields, and whatever debris the storm produces on my property, shouldn’t be too dangerous,… crash… crash shudder… It is after 6pm, the wind is getting stronger, and it is getting darker. Hmm best to find something to do as the evening wears on. Sculpting in clay, will work, hang out make something and wait.

Now when you are in a big storm and can look out the window and watch the white close in and recede. The landscape around you be alternately revealed and obscured, see the rain falling and identify what caused the crash it is one thing. When the sun goes down and the dark becomes darker and you cannot see a thing inside or out, and then crashes against the window, which has a tendency to want to fall out often anyway, it is unclear if it is a branch or a limb or??? And there is nothing to do but sit or lay and listen, well it can make for a less than restful night. I did have the foresight, to place a large foam pillow on the far side of my bed between it and the closet and hallway so that should I need to duck and cover I would at least have a bit of padding. There were only 3 or 4 times in the night when I thought I might actually need them.
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Hello hurricane Dolly!

An interesting thing about this area is that although hurricanes and tornadoes are common around it, the valley doesn’t have a lot pass over it; so when I found out about tropical storm Dolly probably becoming a hurricane as it headed toward Brownsville, I wasn’t overly worried (they change course, fizzle out etc). Besides, there just isn’t a lot one can do other than cover and protect as best as possible and say a prayer...

Knowing that rain was coming, I went out and mowed as much as I could. When it rains here, you can watch the grass grow a foot a day! For a day that was supposed to be stormy, Tuesday the 22 was quite lovely; a nice breeze and a bit cooler than it had been. It seemed things weren’t panning out the way the forecasters had predicted: the storm was moving slower than expected and thus was building a bit and surprisingly still on track for South Padre Island - and here. Rather than making landfall in the evening, it wouldn’t arrive until the next day. One thing I did notice was the gulls; we are 40 miles or so from the coast and provide habitat but don’t generally see gulls this far inland - so it was a heads up.

Wednesday morning was quite nice, though overcast. We’ve had some wicked tropical storms and lots of very windy days and it seemed not so much different than many others. The wind was clearly picking up from the north and there were some showers; the cooler weather made me think of baking some brownies - something nice to wait out the storm with but I didn’t get to it quite quick enough! Some intermittent periods of more intense rain had me thinking in terms of thunder storms and computer damage, so I posted an update to my net friends, checked on the satellite photos but could only get storm, hurricane, and flooding warnings for Brownsville. Our property is higher than what is around us and I have spent a fair amount of energy re-grading to improve drainage around buildings; so it was then back to 'nothing more to be done but wait it out'. Being rural, we don’t have much in the way of Radio or TV reception so the internet is a major source of info but with it no satellite image, kind of lacking.

My friend from town called to check in and shared the storm watch info on TV. About 30 miles apart, we often have very different weather. It seemed the storm was going to hit the Cameron and Willacy county borders just east of me and if one were to draw a line of its route, well I was in just about the worst place possible! I was thinking of checking the TV to see if there is any signal; I had barely finished that thought when suddenly there was NO electricity, period. I went back to rural living - not uncommon in a storm, though it would likely be a while longer in this case. Using my cell phone (which works poorly out here too), I called my daughter in OR to let her know about the power outage; ask what she was hearing and reassure her we were fine. Yup, it was looking like quite a storm; last I’d heard a it had been upgraded to a '2' and was headed for Arroyo city - not too far from me. My daughter found the town and yup, it had already hit the mainland just south east of me, and darned if it wasn’t still coming directly for us! She put the satellite image up next to the Google map on this blog and was watching the storm; she was hearing about lots of power outages, likely lasting for days. Cell phone was our only means of communication and with no power to recharge the cell, our conversations were short.

So it looked like we had ourselves
a Hurricane about to pass right on through, oh my Toto! I know I have been in hurricanes and tornadoes and some seriously fierce wind storms - and tropical storms - but never here, and not in a structure I know to be seriously substandard and a nightmare of a poor building but that’s a different story! Suffice to say, I know the structure of the building and was wondering where there might be a safe place to duck and cover should the need arise. Of course there was this marvelous storm raging outside and the intellectual and artist in me wants to see and take pictures! I’m not immune to the damage and human suffering that storms can generate; on the contrary, it could so easily have become me - but if so, I figured I might as well document it. I went off looking for the digital to try to take pictures that can actually capture the rain flying horizontally!! The banana trees with their long leaves blown all to one side, like hair in the wind. I hardly dared open the door? The wind whipped by from the north and the north side of the house is quite stormy. I went off to the other windows and interestingly, although windy, the south side was much calmer. The wind was blowing down on us rather than up; less likely to rip the roof off, so I found this reassuring! I went around the house to all four sides and get some pictures; tried opening a window or door maybe, then big shudders of the sliding glass door sent me jumping backward to a safer spot.

My youngest and her hubby have erected a a steel building and will be using it as a studio for now until able to build a ‘real’ house.
However, the steel building is very 'happening' and I will gladly refer folks to Paul from Future Steel in Canada - please give him my name! The building was untouched of course, and quiet inside! Alternative construction is another interest for me, so watch for more on that.

The point is that my daughter and I were in separate
buildings during the storm (although the kitchen is in this one!). She had been here and made breakfast before the power outage; walked the short distance in the weather, and made a couple of trips later to make dinner - wild woman, used to harsh climates with good rain gear! Propane for the stove so we have burners. Trying to remember where everything you need is in the fridge; to open it, retrieve what you want and close it again before losing too much cold, is not easy at the best of times! The things one must think about in such a scenario: what food had I best eat ASAP and when is it better to open the fridge to get food or keep it closed to keep it cold? Meanwhile, the rain was still parallel to the ground; there were some loud crashes periodically, and rats! I had forgotten something critical in the fridge!

I made dinner and the storm seemed somewhat less (nice IF that lessening of intensity was a good thing) and the critter sounds were back (this is one of my favorite parts of the country!). Of course the storms rate of travel size etc meant only one thing... I called my DD in Or again: definitely a hurricane; crop and tree damage for sure, and the eye was passing over us. Yup, she tells me: "I am watching it. The SE corner of the eye is right over your property it has been downgraded to a cat 1 again; still lots of damage, flooding and power outages." The winds were picking up again, so best save the phone battery...

to be continued...

Friday, 4 July 2008

The Final Word on Nutrition

Happy 4th of July to my lovely readers and friends!
Here is a bit of fun to make you smile...

"After an exhaustive review of the research literature, here is the final word on nutrition and health:

1. Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
2. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
3. Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
4. Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.
5. Germans drink beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you."

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, holiday weekend everyone!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Sought after treasures...

A treasury is one of the coolest etsy tools! It allows us to display work from other etsy artists as a mini gallery collection. Being such a super way to highlight artists, free treasury spaces are in high demand and require careful stalking! I was lucky enough to snag one today, and have posted it here for you all to see. Just click on the image to see a more detailed version and... enjoy!!

Click on the image for a larger, more detailed version.

Here is the link to look at it on etsy while it is still live - but be quick as they generally only last a couple of days!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

My new adventure

So this is the beginning of my latest adventure... 'Cornucopias Art', my first foray into the blogging world. I am a little daunted but I hope I will use this blog as I have imagined: to share my ideas, my dreams, and my creations with you, my friends. My work is about form and this blog will be my attempt to bring words to my creative expression!

My creations are all about form and function, and I believe that aesthetics in everyday life add to the betterment of all. Most of my sculptural pieces are born out of ancient symbolism about life, gratitude, nature and the direct expression of emotion, thought and spirit. My glass beads are explorations of color, depth and organic patterns. You will find my work at my Etsy shop: and this is where you will find my words.

I hope you will follow, and share this journey with me. Experience is the fuel of life - plus I would love the company!