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.

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.