Creating Beauty

As a child, I was frightened by a humongous Kissy doll. At 3, it was as big as I was and when you pulled it's hands together it made a smacking or a supposed kissing sound. I was sure it would get up and get me......making smacking sounds as it neared my bed.

Now I make dolls.....some are supposed to be scary, but most just reflect how I look at beauty. To me we have a very narrow view of what beauty is and is not. I have cerebral palsy and don't think I'm whining about it I'm not. I'm lucky my case is very mild compared to some people's. But you can pick me out as different, I walk awkwardly, but my arm and leg work correctly.....for someone with a partially paralyzed arm and leg.

I look like someone with CP is supposed to and in my way I'm attractive. I try to reflect alternative beauty in the dolls I create and so in some ways I'm still dealing with fear, but now it's not my own.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Unusual Holiday Traditions - Holland

Now, some traditions can seem odd to those who have never experienced them before. Probably why I always believed  that it's important to travel and read as much history as possible.

From what I've read Sinterklaas' black helpers are either just guys covered in soot, the chimney thing, slaves or servants. I guess Americans aren't the only ones who try to revise embarrassing history.

From the recent images I found when writing this, free Black Peter signs show up on Dec 5th with Sinterklaas now. So I guess it's nice to know we all have holiday traditions we'd like to avoid.

One of the funniest essays on strange customs  like Sinterklaas and black Peter was written and read by David Sedaris.

Click on the link below and enjoy.

6 to 8 black men-David Sedaris

Monday, December 8, 2014

Obscure Holiday Movies- The Hebrew Hammer

One of my favorite holiday movies is The Hebrew Hammer.  Yeah, I know it isn't your usual Santa movie .... I mean  Damian Claus is the villain, and it's horrible that he murders his Dad and wants to destroy Chanukah and Kwanzaa but hey it's funny.
 My favorite scene is when the Hammer and his sidekick go undercover to a meet Santa Extravaganza to stop Damian. 

So.... If you want a laugh, click on the link and enjoy the whole movie.

 ...The Hebrew Hammer

Friday, December 5, 2014

Obscure Holiday Movies- The Great Rupert

I love the holidays and the entertainment pertaining to them. I found this little gem in the dollar dvd bin at the Dollar Tree. Now this Jimmy Durante film is a fave of mine.The Great Rupert
This sweet little dancing squirrel is the guardian angel for an impoverished family.  The stop motion squirrel is nicely done. He looks adorable in his tiny kilt and accessories. Also he is quite the dancer. So click on the link and watch Rupert spin and help make things better.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Rules of Pie

Well, actually there's probably only 2 or three rules per say.  The first is homemade crust may be better, but those crusts from the refrigerated section are so much easier.

2. Fresh fruit fillings aren't that difficult so avoid
canned. Also, what's up with weird fillings like crackers to make mock apple pie.... No .  It's a cracker pie.  But if you're not in California like me and can't find anything decent fruit wise at a reasonable price..... Ya know what ?  I've had it .... Cracker pie isn't that bad. Just call it what it is.  Raisin or funeral pie is pretty good too, but I think the brandy helps. Add a good quarter the recipe just says use vanilla... Do'll thank me.

There is only one BAD pie as far as I know. My Dad was in the Navy during WW2 and on his ship there was a pie made from canned fruit cocktail that was so bad you hurried through the line with your tray so you didn't get stuck with 2 pieces. Back then you got in trouble if you didn't eat everything on your tray.

3. One pie is good but 2 are better. Obviously.
Okay, there seems to be more than 3 rules.
4. Pies are not dessert only. The prime directive of pie is that it be served at all meals until it's all gone. So, Breakfast pie and coffee is perfectly reasonable.
5. Eating pie directly out of the pan when it's the last piece is okay. When there's still more than one piece? Make sure no one's looking or home. Don't leave any stray whipped cream.

Here's a basic recipe for Funeral pie
And one for mock apple/ cracker pie

Enjoy your pie.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Out Behind the Local Thrift Store-Revisited

I wrote this yrs ago in honor of Thanksgiving and the homeless out back of the Salvation Army thrift store that I managed yrs ago.  As I read about Black Thursday and Friday, I'm reminded how simple things like some cans of soup can make better gifts.


SpaghettiOs and Turkey Noodle Soup- Thanksgiving Out Behind the Local Thrift Store

I worked as a store manager for a local thrift store for 8 yrs. Around this time of year I always worried about the homeless guys and the few women that hung around out back. Most of them did the shelter thing or got help from the VA, so they were relatively looked after.

But there were 2, Eddie and Liz, who hated to be indoors. Both were older folks....Liz got tossed from a hospital in the 80's(thank you for the monetary savings, Mr. Reagan) and Edie had head injuries from his last tour in Nam. Their various advocates ie the VA tried to get them to give up their outdoors only existence, but they'd continue to sneak off . If anything really bad happened I had their advocate's phone numbers.

They tended to be targets of the local teens who thought it was funny to beat them up, burn their sleeping bags and steal what cooking/food supplies they had.

I used to keep a change jar in my office and they became my own personal charity. I'd buy the occasional pot or pan or sleeping bag and stash it in my office. Every few weeks, Eddie or Liz would wobble in all black and blue and I'd go raid my stash.

One November afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, they both showed up and I went to my office to drag out the pots, sleeping bags and a coat I had just bought. I slipped out the loading dock door and bought them a can each ofSpaghettios and Turkey noodle soup with the last of my change.

"Oh look, Eddie!, Liz yelled as she inspected the bag. "We're going to have turkey and Italian for Thanksgiving tomorrow!"

They hugged me and toddled off back to their camp.....happy with their holiday feast.

We should all be so grateful.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Season of the Ghost- Gary

I spent 8 yrs working in a Salvation Army Thrift Store as manager. Ran into Juanita the ghostly store manager, who'd been there for yrs.

Well. Gary was my ghost so to speak. I hired him during the 4th summer I was there. He was a nice man, with a nice girlfriend, who was raising 3 kids with her.  Everybody liked him and he was a great worker.  
My elderly ladies just adored him and he was good at defusing any difficult customer situations. Gary was also great with merchandising and organizing the furniture and very reliable.

So, his not showing up one morning when he was to open the store with me was worrying. It was raining when we closed the night before and I know he was saving up for new tires. Yeah. His girlfriend called me later that morning. Damn old tires.....he died instantly. 

After about 2 weeks his favorite customers started telling me that Gary was stopping in to say "Hi".
I had him yell, "Bye" one night as I was leaving, but we never interacted after I found the bag of clothes he bought for one of his stepson's birthday and got it to his girlfriend. 

Gary was a pretty grounded person so I think he moved on pretty quickly, because after about 6 months his customers said he wasn't saying "Hi" anymore.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Dolls

 So, you want a Halloween cat, a Cthulhu figure, or a ghost? Not a problem. And if you want something special? I can do that too.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Brilliance and Beauty

When I was in fifth grade, I ordered a wonderful book from Scholastic Books.  Now when I was in school from 1966 to 1978 disabled kids were shunted off to special programs or schools or warehoused.  My cerebral palsy is minor so I went to regular school, which was

good and bad.

I got a good education in 2 areas, physically normal people are often assholes to people who are different and most importantly a good education that prepared me for college. My Dad always said "It's better to out run idiots mentally." But this brings me back to why this book was also a turning point for me.r

Not being around other disabled people made it difficult to judge the extent of my impairment and I missed out on seeing other disabled folks work a rounds to compensate for the parts of their bodies that worked differently. Reading about Charles Proteus Steinmetz helped me visualize a different disability and how another person handled it. I went from The Man Who Tamed Lightening to books on Helen Keller, Louis Braille, Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale (The Lady With The Lamp....I loved that one) and Follow My Leader... A book about a boy my age who lost his sight in an accident.

So, without Steinmetz I might have been a scared kid forever. I love science, biology especially, but excel in art. I will always use anatomy etc to design my dolls, so he helped make me a better artist and a stronger person.

He was probably the start of my ideas on relative beauty too. Within the parameters of being a hunchbacked little person with dwarfism and hip dysplasia,  He's  not a bad looking man.
As I work on each new doll in my Uniques series, I think fondly of Steinmetz. I'm working on a doll with interchangeable arms and one with microcephaly. I watched Freaks again recently and the 2 girls and Schlitzie motivated me.

What books or films have inspired you?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No. I don't buy supplies from Hobby Lobby

As a seller on etsy I pledge to never make my dolls from supplies purchased at Hobby Lobby. Why you ask?
1. If I work for a company, I should choose what my pay/compensation goes for whether it's an IUD or bratwurst. This ruling sets a bad precedent. A company is my employer not my conscience. Even if you agree with this ruling, a time may come where your choices will be curtailed by your employers personal choices.
2. Chinese birth control policy doesn't bother the Green family when there is profit to be made. I bet they could fill their stores with American made art and craft supplies. There are many small suppliers who could expand into bigger firms if they did. Profits over people is a lousy company policy.

Well, that's how I feel anyway. But the one thing that amuses me is that LLCs and such were created to protect the owners from personal legal action. Now that the 2 are entwined again company owners could be held liable and theory anyway. Ever wonder why the Chamber of Commerce etc never added  Amicus briefs supporting HL's position? This is the reason why.

Oh as a Trek fan from way back, I found this meme and it made me laugh...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Poor Flocked Ken

Jumping into the way back machine, was how I felt when I ran into old photos of  my old Barbies and my single Ken.

Poor Ken had a rough life at my house. His first bad experience was having  my orally fixated  3 yr old brother David suck all the flock off his head.

My Mom used permanent marker to redo his hair.

Then....Christmas came! I got the sexy Black haired GI Joe... Sailor edition of course.(My Dad was in the Navy and to me he looked like my Dad.)

So Joe became my totally cool dude and Ken was relegated to the red Barbie box of boredom.

When later that Christmas we went to my Aunt's house I  got the new Barbie that came with a set of three wigs and another Joe, but with red brown hair. So there I was with 2 cool new dudes and only one new chick for both of them. In my naïveté, I thought this was a serious problem! I pulled Ken from his dungeon. The blue pencil skirt and the cream twinset looked quite nice on Ken whenhe was  wearing the brunette wig. Problem solved.

As kids do, I always wondered if Ken liked  dressing up over just wearing guy clothes. I hope he liked it... at least he got out of the red box regularly.

I probably never should have watched theToy Story movies. I have old toy angst now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner..... 8. Right Meditation

Right Meditation means using mental exercises, like learning to concentrate on your breathing or on your walking, so as to calm your mind down. A calmer, clearer mind can help you to respond more thoughtfully in everyday situations. Through making you more awake to what is happening all the time, it can help you practice all parts of Noble Eightfold Path.
A calmer, clearer mind leads on to another stage in Buddhist meditation when you simply watch what your mind does. This helps you to understand your mind better and notice how your mind sometimes make things up, which you then risk believing are true. This is part of waking up to the true nature of reality.
Concentration exercises on your breathing are the starting point for Buddhist meditation but not the whole thing. Buddha warned against spending too long doing concentration exercises. The latter can make your mind totally still, so that you do not feel bothered by anything. But this is not true Buddhist peacefulness, which comes from using a calm mind to understand things better.
The first example is a meditation method for increasing feelings of kindness and goodwill towards other people. The second meditation method is for increasing wisdom and your understanding of the mind.
Buddhism teaches that you need both these types of meditation. The emblem often found on top of Buddhist stupas, which are monuments to Buddhist teachers. The crescent moon shape stands for loving kindness. The sun stands for wisdom and understanding. It means that if you put these together, you get the little jewel on top of the sun shape, which stands for Enlightenment.

Meditation for increasing goodwill towards other people

This is a short, 10 minute meditation for doing at the start of each day.
You could do this sitting in a quiet place. You could also do this sitting on a bus, if you can be on your own.

  • For 5 minutes, you go through in your mind the various things which you and other people want in life – for instance to be happy, to be loved, to be praised for good things you do, to have friends and company from other people, to have things to look forward to. You think about how, in general, we all want the same sort of things. You think about how you and other people affect each other and affect how each can get what they seek.
  • Then for 5 minutes, as you breathe in, each time you wish kindly to yourself that you be happy. Each time you breathe out, you wish the same for various people whom you know - you wish that they have the good things which they seek. You try to extend this to as many people as possible. If you can, try to include some people whom you do not like so much.
  • Afterwards, try to keep this feeling in mind all day towards everyone whom you meet, whether they’re someone you know well or not. Try to keep this feeling in mind, whatever anyone does to you.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has urged that as many people as possible practice this simple meditation. It could make the world a better place, he says. The Dalai Lama is the religious leader of Buddhists from Tibet and nearby parts of Asia.
(For more about the Dalai Lama see:
You do not need to be a Buddhist to do this meditation or to value its results.

Meditation for increasing peacefulness and understanding of how the mind works

You need to do this sitting comfortably in a quiet place. For a beginner, 20 minutes is long enough. With practice, 30 minutes would be suitable.
Start by wishing that any benefits from the meditation will affect not only yourself but other people with whom you come into contact.
Then relax for some minutes.
Then sit a little straighter and put your mind on your breathing at the tip of your nose. Count up to ten your out-breaths at the tip of your nose – if you lose count, start again.

After two or three complete sets of ten breaths, just sit calmly watching your mind and let any thoughts and feelings come and go.
If restlessness or worrying thoughts come, just let them come and go. Do not either follow or try to stop them. If moments of calm come, just let these also come and go. The idea is to remain peaceful whatever goes on in your mind. Just sit back and watch what the mind does.
If you get lost in thought and distracted from this, for a little while go back to watching your out-breaths at the tip of your nose.
You need only moderate effort in concentrating on your breathing. Buddhist teachers compare calming the mind to letting muddy water settle in a glass. The water goes clear in its own time and there’s nothing you can do to hurry it up. In fact if you try to hurry it, you’ll only stir up the mud. In meditation, it’s enough just to keep sitting there and watch your mind – without trying to change anything.

Benefits of This Type of Meditation

  • During meditation, a taste of a way of being which is peaceful and different from the irritations and worries of everyday life.
  • After meditation, ability to handle everyday situations in a more thoughtful and generous way and to break free from following your habits.
  • Both during and after meditation, noticing and understanding how your mind works.
The Dalai Lama has compared meditation to recharging your batteries for everyday life.
The Dalai Lama has also described meditation like this:
“We tend to be controlled by our mind, following it along its self-centred path. Meditation is the process whereby we gain control over the mind and guide it in a more virtuous direction. Meditation may be thought of as a technique by which we diminish the force of old thought habits and develop new ones.”
Other Methods of Meditation
Detailed examples have been given of two common types of Buddhist meditation. There are many other methods:
‘Walking Meditation’ is very common. This means practicing keeping your mind on every footstep you take. It trains you to keep your mind calm and concentrated while you are walking around and doing everyday things.
There are meditation methods for thinking deeply about important Buddhist teachings, like that everything is changing and nothing lasts forever.
There are meditation methods for helping you forgive people whom you feel have wronged you.

Buddhist meditation and Buddhist codes for conduct go hand in hand

For meditation to give most benefit, you need also to follow the Buddhist guidance for conduct in the Noble Eightfold Path – like not telling untruths and not speaking hurtfully to people. These rules also eventually bring peacefulness to your life. For instance, not telling untruths will save you from the strain of living up to a false image and not speaking hurtfully will mean you make fewer enemies. To practice meditation but ignore such guidance is a bit like your left hand undoing what your right hand is doing.
In the Buddhist Wheel symbol, the link between meditation and everyday conduct is likened to the need for a wheel to have both a hub and a rim. It needs both parts to work.

You are what you think you are and you need to learn to guide your thoughts in positive ways. I try to start each day with thoughts on how I want to be happy and how I wish other people will find their happiness.

If I am troubled by someone or an incident during my working day, I stop and close my eyes for a moment and breathe in and out a few times and clear my head of any angry or selfish thoughts before I try to come up with a solution to the problem or answer a difficult question. Sometimes the first idea you give is just that the first idea... not a well thought out idea, a fair idea or even a good idea.
I like the walking meditation technique when I'm especially upset or concerned over a problem. It takes time and effort to learn to control your thoughts and emotions and use them in positive ways. Keep working each day and don't be discouraged.

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

May all these different articles I've shared with you help you on your journey through life and with your business. I'd love to hear your experiences.

You can find this print in the Etsy shop KathyRoseArt

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner .....7. Right Mindfulness

This means remembering to apply Buddhist teachings in everyday life all day long – keeping Buddhism in mind all the time.
For instance, it means remembering to treat each person you speak to in a kind and pleasant fashion. It means remembering to be truthful.
It also means remembering to apply Buddhist teachings to any difficult situations. In difficult situations, sometimes Buddhists ask themselves, ‘What might Buddha do in this situation?’ so as to help themselves to decide what to do.
Some Buddhists spend some time each day when they think back about how well they have followed Buddhist teachings so far that day. They can praise themselves for things they have done well. Concerning anything they regret doing, they can think through what went wrong and work out how to do better in the future.
Right mindfulness also means training yourself to keep your mind on whatever you are doing and not drifting into daydreams. One such Buddhist training method is ‘Walking Meditation’, when you practicing keeping your mind on each step you take when walking. Buddhism teaches that, when we are daydreaming, we can build up beliefs and feelings, which then can create difficulties for us. This will happen less if our mind is occupied instead with whatever we are doing.
Also, if we are fully paying attention, we will notice more, understand more and be able to handle situations better.


My most important comment about this path is that you have to pay attention to your business. I know that seems obvious, but if you're not watching the types of materials you're buying, treating your vendors and customers with respect, you're not going to be in business for very long.

I'm an obsessive list maker. Not only do I make up daily lists about what supplies I need or what dolls I need to finish, I also try to add personal goals. Like today I want to work on improving my mastery of embroidery stitches because improving my skills makes me more confident as an artist. When you feel good about yourself, it's easier for you to treat others better.

If you did something you regret, like reprimand an employee in front of customers, now is the time to be honest about it and try to come up with a better way to resolve a problem. Remember berating yourself isn't going to solve the problem. Recognize your error, forgive yourself and resolve to do better. And apologize to that employee.  What will you do today to improve yourself and your business?

This print can be found in this etsy shop HalstenbergStudio

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The one thing....

Oh my gosh! Is this the most beautiful headdress!  I love ancient history and mythology and I was enchanted when I was looking for ideas for a goddess figure I was toying around with in my sketch book.

Now I was thinking along the lines of the Minoan priestesses who handled snakes. Now their clothing is interesting, but the cat hat leaves a lot to be desired.... At least for me.  Now when I started on this doll making venture my first piece was a large snake woman with a Mycenaean hairstyle and Maori style tattooing on her torso. She was a huge piece since she was an experiment. She turned out quite well and even though I love her I'm thinking of listing her in my etsy shop.

But anyway, I want to create another snake woman as I enjoy playing with the shapes and textures and beading of course.

And that wonderful headdress is going to be a great inspiration.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Orchid came back

I was brushing Rory this morning and got thinking how he came to live here at Casa Bartlett Walters. He's 6 yrs old now and gorgeous. I wrote this 6 yrs ago and never got around to posting it. I found this story in a file for my previous blog. 

Last summer a young feral cat, who was at least part siamese, came by regularly for food. He or she ran with a wild group of cats in our area. I got to know her better and called her Orchid. She had lovely lavender eyes and a funny tuft of fur on her head that seemed to go the wrong way. She was always sickly and I wanted to tame her down and take her in with the rest of my rescues.

I always looked forward to my morning visits with her. After breakfast on the porch, she'd play with her felt mouse and chatter to me. When I finally felt she was tame enough to be boxed, I made a vet appointment and waited for the next morning to come. Orchid never showed up.

Living here in the Mojave Desert, I know that feral cats are food for many predators, but I had hoped she'd be round 1 more day. I felt so guilty.

About 4 weeks later, I heard a familiar meow out on the porch. Grabbing a food bowl, I rushed out to see Orchid pacing around the porch. I put the food bowl down and reached out to pet her......

And put my hand right through her.

I've seen ghosts since I was a little girl, so seeing Orchid just made me sad. She's visited me periodically since late last summer. The last time I saw her 4 months ago, I asked her to let go and come back to me as a live cat. She cocked her tiny head at me and squeezed her lavender eyes shut. I 've always thought of this as a cat smile.

About 3 months ago a black feral cat gave birth to 5 black kittens and one siamese kitten with lavender eyes and a funny tuft on the top of his head on my back porch. I'm still looking for homes for 4 of the black ones if any one is interested.

But since I promised her, Orchid/ Rorschach or Rory lives with me.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Strange Fears....

Yes, I see that the cars are secured and I acknowledge that they won't fall off.

BUT!  My lizard brain is not as confident. I get behind one of these suckers in traffic and I am just waiting for that car on the end to suddenly decide to break away and throw off it's chains and squish me and my Ford Focus like a bug.

Now my phobia about things pretending to be human? That's easy...... Old tv Shows like Kolchak the Night Stalker with magicked mannequins just about did me in as a kid.

Kolchak-The Trevi Collection

There was definitely a lot of cheese served in these episodes and the effects were 70's tv cheap, but McGavin and the cast made it least for me.

Oh and Kolchak climbing alone into that junkyard car to kill a voodoo zombie..... Yow!

You can look that one up yourself....Shudder...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner..... 6. Right Effort

To put Buddhist teachings into practice, a special type of gradual effort is needed.
It is much too difficult to put all Buddhist principles into practice perfectly at once. People who try to do this will probably give up in days.
Instead, you need to make small improvements, one at a time. Then, once an improvement has become a habit, adding another improvement till you are living more and more of the Buddhist life by habit.
For instance, an improvement might be to remember to do a kind deed every day. To keep this up till it becomes a habit is enough to keep anyone busy.
So right effort is about making improvements gradually but then keeping them up forever. It is about making improvements at a pace which is easy enough for you to keep up. It is like a long-distance runner, who deliberately runs at a slow pace which it is possible to keep up for miles. It is the opposite of a sprinter, who can run very fast during a short race but cannot keep this up for longer.
Right effort also means paying equal attention both to doing more good, kind things and to doing fewer harmful things.
Right effort can also involve praising yourself and rewarding yourself for progress in following Buddhist teachings.

Make yourself a list of things you want to improve about your business. Here are a few things you might be thinking about as you grow your business.
Are you concerned about the origin of your supplies? Are your customer service skills up to snuff? Do you manage your time well enough so that your family doesn't feel neglected? Do you want to be a "green" business?
Set realistic goals for yourself. Take your time and change your business plan gradually. If you're worried about the supplies you're using, research more cost effective suppliers whose business practices are in line with your personal beliefs.
If the family is feeling neglected, set up special family times or if they want to, involve them in simple tasks that will help you with your business or household tasks.
Make gradual changes in what you do and you will find it much easier to run a more people and environmentally friendly business.

This ceramic piece can be found in this etsy shop  AdrienArt

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner......5. Right Livelihood

This means a way of earning money and a lifestyle which does not harm other beings and, preferably, benefits them.
Buddhism teaches that the following ways of earning money are wrong.
Anything to do with making
  • weapons and warfare.
  • Any business which exploits its workers or controls them like slaves.
  • Any business which produces poisons or pollutes the environment.
  • Trade in meat, fish or the killing of living creatures.
  • Trade in alcohol or addictive drugs.
  • Any job which involves telling lies or deceiving customers or misleading advertising or high-pressure salesmanship.
Buddhism teaches that you should do what you can to reduce the harm you do to the environment and the natural world.
Buddhism also teaches that you shouldn’t seek lots of expensive things which you don’t really need. The latter can lead to you wasting your life working for these possessions or looking after them or running up debts which then mess up your life.


There's not a great deal I can add to this section. Obviously cruelty, greed and deception are not part of a Buddhist based business plan.

This needle felted Green Tara can be found in this etsy shop  Fickle Shop

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner.....4. Right Action

  • Buddhism teaches to try hard to avoid killing any living creatures, including insects. While you cannot always succeed in this, you should show consideration for living creatures whenever possible. You should let wasps out of windows, for instance, rather than killing them. If you see a line of ants across a path, you should take the trouble to step over them. Buddhism is against all killing for sport, like hunting.
  • You should not take from anyone else anything which they do not want to give you. This means much more than not stealing. It also means that you don’t pressure or trick people to give you things or do you favors which you know they don’t really want to give.
  • Buddhism teaches that when men and women have close relationships, like marriage, this should be with only one partner at a time. Only if they have ended a relationship, should a person seek another partner - not at the same time.
  • Another Buddhist teaching is not to get drunk on alcohol or other drugs. One reason is that, once drunk, people much more easily get angry or speak hurtfully to other people or do other harmful or destructive things.


How you conduct your business will effect how successful you are.

Now I realize many people run a business and don't care how they make their profits. These business owners do make a lovely profit even though they treat people and the environment badly. But I'm hoping if your reading this you want to be an ethical business owner and that you realize that you eventually pay for the harm you do in this life.

1. Be honest about what supplies you're actually using, and how much you are actually spending on them. Perhaps using recycled, cruelty free supplies should be an ultimate goal for you as a Buddhist. But, each of you need to use your own judgement as to what you feel is right.

2. Treat your customers fairly. Make sure you cover your costs of supplies, time etc, but don't overcharge or delay in shipping something out. If you dislike doing custom orders, just say so, don't lead the client on and waste your time and theirs. Don't renege on your stated shop policies.
3. Advertise your wares honestly. Do not downgrade others work to boost your own sales. You end up looking petty and dishonest.
4. Run your business honestly. Cheating or abusing your suppliers, customers and employees may make you extra profits or make you feel powerful, but eventually you will pay for the harm you cause.
What other ideas do YOU have about running a business in an ethical fashion?

This photo is from the etsy shop FengShuiPhotography

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Buddhist Business Owner.... 3. Right Speech

  •                                                                                                                 Buddhism teaches you to train yourself to be truthful.                        
  • Likewise to train yourself not to speak to anyone in a wounding, hurtful way. Sometimes people can be hurt very deeply by things which other people say to them – sometimes more than by physical blows. Whilst you should always speak the truth, Buddhism teaches that you should think up ways of doing this which are not hurtful.
  • Also, it’s important never say things to people in order to stir up anger or suspicion against someone else or to break up someone else’s friendship.
  • When you’ve nothing to say, it’s fine to be silent. It is not helpful to fill up other people’s minds with pointless chatter. 
The first principle of ethical conduct - What you say and how you say it is going to effect your business....period.

1. Who are you selling to? The answer to this question will give you the idea about the vocabulary is appropriate. Gear your speech to the situation.

2.Learn to critique an employee or customer situation in a positive way. For every fault or problem you need to correct find one positive trait that can be complimented. Never correct employees in a public setting or in a demeaning manner.

3.Refrain from gossiping about other workers or customers.

4. Do not disparage the work or skills of other sellers. You will only look ill mannered for hurling insults.

A true follower of Buddha speaks truthfully, but in a warm and gentle fashion....and only when really necessary.

This print is from the Etsy shop   MediaGraffitiStudio

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Max the Magnificent

After 19 years, you think your friend will be with you forever. But unfortunately their physical form fades away and only leaves their molecules behind.  So, max's energy is with me and Mike always just as it should be.

I expect I'll see his ghost on occasion.... I hope.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

On being a Buddhist Business Owner.....2. Right Motivation

:Naturally many people first get interested in Buddhism because they are seeking peace and happiness for themselves.
But Buddhism teaches that, to obtain long-lasting peace and happiness for yourself, you need to help the people around you to obtain peace and happiness too. One reason is that we all affect each other so much. Other people’s troubles can soon become your troubles.
If you are to truly follow Buddhism, your motivation needs gradually to change. You need to become less interested in how Buddhism can make you happier and more interested in to how Buddhism can enable you to make other people happier.
It takes time to develop this more unselfish motivation and it’s only natural that many people don’t have it at the beginning. Buddhism teaches methods for encouraging yourself to want to benefit other people.
DO You Have the WILL to Change?

1. Free yourself from those traits that you know are wrong or not ethical. You should be free from ill will and harmless in your intent.

2. What is your intention when you plan to do something in your life or create something for your business.
What kind of materials do you use in your work? Are they recyclables or made yourself or bought from local businesses, or supplies made by the gross in over seas sweat shops? Trying to be aware of what kind of products you're using as supplies in your work shows your motivation.

3. How do you deal with your customers and other sellers can also show your motivation.
Are your prices covering your expenses and supplies etc fairly? Do you create custom pieces and do you ship in a timely manner? Are you concerned with your own work and doing your best or are you bad mouthing or underselling your competition to gain sales?

Commit yourself to the path of good will and harmlessness to others and you will be on you way to being a good business owner.

How do you show right motivation in your business?

Note: This colorful painting is from this Etsy shop Shealeigh

Friday, March 28, 2014

On being a Buddhist Business Owner.....1. Right Understanding

I was looking for some basic info on Buddhism to explain my way of thinking to an on-line friend of mine. While this statement below that I found explains the first path - right understanding to me, I'd like to add some concrete ideas and maybe some anecdotes from my own or your experience.

Please feel free to use the comments section or if you'd like to write a post on any of these 8 topics, let me know.
Right Understanding

This means finding out about all the basic Buddhist teachings and then checking with your own experience to see whether each teaching makes sense. Buddhism says that for real understanding you need to see for yourself that Buddhist teachings are true.
So one part of Right Understanding is finding out about all the basic ideas in Buddhism.
The other part is testing them in your everyday life to see for yourself if they make sense. You should not just try to believe what you are told.
Elsewhere in the Noble Eightfold Path, in Right Speech and Right Action, you will see guidelines for behavior like avoiding telling lies and avoiding killing insects. This is not to please any god, since there are no gods in Buddhism. Right Understanding means that you try out following these guidelines and see how they affect you and other people. Only then can you truly understand why they matter.
I see this as going to source material and learning about how Buddha defined suffering and how to deal with it positively.
A Buddhist sees suffering as life in general really....being born, growing old, being unhappy, grieving, being in any kind of pain or despair. It can also mean not succeeding in getting what you want in life.

Want creates suffering and the ending of want ends a person's suffering.
Things to consider that will help you in right understanding .....
1. Karma-- Every action, whether it be wholesome or unwholesome will have a positive or negative effect on your world.

2. Your time in this body is temporary...everything comes to an end eventually.

Wrong understanding rises from ignorance, wrong intentions, speech, actions, employment, effort, mindfulness and wrong concentration.

Right understanding rises from a mind that is not rigid, but one that is creative and open to new 



Now what does this little post have to do with running a business? Well, you tell me.


Note: the beautiful Buddha is from this etsy shop  Golden Wind Raku

Monday, March 10, 2014

Yeah, I'm being a militant gimp. Deal with it Snowflake

Okay, I don't tend to go off like this very often, but I just got a special question about my dolls. Now this has only happened once before in my life.  First off... 1. I am not mentally disabled. I have a normal IQ. In fact it is rather high, thank you very much. I am dyslexic, but so was Da Vinci. 

2. I have a physical problem with my body called Cerebral Palsy. Basically because of brain damage the electrical impulses that would activate the muscles in my right arm and leg don't all reach the muscles. So I have partial paralysis of my right limbs. 

3. THIS IS NOT a contagious condition. Do not ask me this ever again. If I do not know you, yes, you can ask me questions about my disability. But keep them sensible. Physical disabilities are not generally contagious. Illnesses that might lead to disabilities like polio are contagious. But the after effects are not. 

4. Oh, and I don't know all the disabled people in the world or who has what disability. And to tell you the truth, I don't really care what they have. I'm more interested in if they're nice or funny or like sci fi movies like I do.

Perhaps you oh so perfect physically normal special snowflakes should spend a day in a wheelchair and learn a little empathy. As a person with cerebral palsy, I get so tired of the grow a thicker skin comments. I say " realize you're one head injury, severe fever or a short stoppage of oxygen of being me." Mental disability, physical disability, learning disabilities and mental illness are things all of you snowflakes are either going to experience yourself or someone you might actually care about will experience in their lives. And you're going to feel so terrible cause you can't do what you used to. You do have my sympathy, but I also think karma is a bitch and I'll allow myself a little smile at your expense.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Child of Death...RIP Shirley Temple

I heard today that Shirley Temple died. First off ....condolences to all family and people who loved her. May you recover from your sadness and just have happy memories.

Me, well I was a weird kid. Odd things scared me. I think in part this was because I knew from an early age I was adopted and it set up an odd world view for me. On one side... I was chosen and that made me special. I used to tell people that picked on me about being adopted that my parents picked me...and your Mom and Dad got stuck with you.
On the other side of the coin, I knew that sometimes kids didn't stay with their original parents and since I liked mine, I worried that something could happen and I just might end up with a mean step sister like
Jane Withers before she grew up and became Josie the Plumber.

But anyway, where was I?  Yeah, so I used to watch these old Shirley Temple movies and in nearly every single one Shirley ends up either abandoned or orphaned and that little secret fear would come up.  I started referring to her as The Child of Death.

From what I understand most kids are afraid of being abandoned so I guess I'm not that odd, but I still can't watch Shirley Temple movies without wanting to shudder a little bit.

I guess old insecurities die hard even if you think Animal Crackers is a cute song.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I hate when that happens

During the time that I was falling into illness, I was making dolls, but apparently my failing health robbed me of my sense of design, color and memory. Now I think this Lovecraftian style rooster would be something I'd remember, I have no memory of it.

Now one I definitely won't even photograph because it was so awful was a fairy cat sort of figure. I'm stripping it down to the wire on the wings and recovering the body and redoing the head.   I read about Norwegian fairy cats recently and I found the winged purple mess in my supply closet and I think I can redo this piece successfully.

I only have 6 more pieces to work with....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Want a Custom Pet from the Pet Shop of the Old Ones?

I was thinking that it would be a good idea to set up a few listings offering custom soft sculptures of the animals that I make. The Chihuahuas of the Flaming Apocalypse, the 3 different Hexcats, Original, (mini, medium and large), Boogaloo Hexies, (medium and large) for a start.  I'm thinking of adding listings for Crawling eyes and dragons as well.

While I do offer custom sculptures already, it might be easier to just purchase a listing and go from there.  So, if you want a special sculpture in the color and size of your choice, stop by Chatnoirstudios on Etsy and I'll work with you to create the ideal sculpture.