Thursday, October 29, 2009

Art Dolls 101

Our new member in the spotlight this morning is Anna Zueva,a professional doll artist who lives in Perm city, Russia. Anna's dolls are so enchanting and whimsical, with such delightful characters, that I know you'll want to see more then the peek you'll get here. So for more of her art dolls; visit her Etsy shop, her blog, or her amazing website! Welcome to the ADO team Anna!

As I mentioned before, I have become fascinated by the world of Art Dolls.  I am amazed at the myriad forms these dolls take.  The methods, the styles, the subject matter of these works of art never ceases to impress me.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Art Dolls, I really would suggest that you visit Much ADO about Art Dolls  and familiarize yourself with all the artists and their styles.  I am getting to where I can identify the artist just by looking at the dolls, so I know I am getting better in my knowledge of this community.

There is another site you could visit to see the works of various artists as they apply to holidays.  This site, American Holiday Artists, showcases dolls that were designed with different holidays in mind.

I frequently visit art doll blogs, so I encourage you to check out the other sites listed in the blogrolls on these sites.  Over time, I have developed favorites--some of them I have showcased here before.  I wish I had the money help support these wonderful artists, not to mention collecting a wonderful assortment of beautiful art dolls.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More about Christmas

ChristmasImage via Wikipedia
I have never been a Christmas person.  As a matter of fact, Christmas has always been my least favorite holidays.  I don't like getting surprise gifts and I hate shopping.  I used to be able to enjoy the season when my girls were small by decorating and holiday crafting, but not so much anymore.

One year I made each girl a handmade stocking and decorated each one with beads and sequins and hand-made appliques made out of felt.  I really enjoyed the work, but now I don't even think they know where those stockings are.

Another thing I used to do was make bread-dough tree ornaments.  I would start making them in October and have enough to hang on the tree for Christmas.  The girls loved to "help" when they were small , but by the teenage years that too went by the side of the road.

So, here I am now, middle-aged and facing Christmas.  My grandsons are teenagers so they are not into crafting or decorating.  All they want is money or games; maybe even clothes--if they are cool.  Christmas is just another day.  Usually, I choose to work that day and let those with families take the day off. This year, I think that will be what I will be doing also.

I have begun thinking about shopping for gifts, however, which is very unusual for me.  With the advent of online shopping, I find the task not quite as bad.  I don't mind buying gifts, but I love that they wrap and deliver to the receiver.  No mess, no worry.  The only thing to remember is to shop early enough that the gifts arrive in time.

Anyone else with a similar story?  I'd love to hear some of your stories about Christmas past, present, and future.

Here are the thoughts I am having about gifts this year:

For my sister who is always getting lost--a GPS navigator to use in the car.
For my youngest grandson who loves to play games and be online--a netbook computer of his own.
For the oldest grandson who is a real gamer--a Wii gaming system
For both my daughters, each a veteran reader and traveler--a Kindle Reader
For myself, who works online and loves to watch my grandsons--a camcorder

Wow, that was so easy.  Now all I have to do is find the money and get busy ordering!! This is the way to have Christmas!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Is anyone ready for Christmas?

Halloween on ChristmasImage by Tvlip via Flickr
Halloween will soon be a memory and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.  With that in mind, has anyone else been thinking about getting ready for Christmas.  I know that the retailers are all trying to do their best to remind us of the imminent arrival of the HOLIDAYS--Halloween candy and costumes hanging side-by-side with Santas and Turkeys.  I sometimes don't remember what is the next holiday anymore.

I have just started buying my gifts and already I am having trouble.  Don't you know people that have everything and you have to buy them a present?  That describes my children who simply go and buy whatever they want right when they want it!  Whatever happened to delayed gratification, or working for something you want?

That particular mind-set makes gift giving a nightmare.  Usually, by the time Christmas rolls around I have simply given up and I just give money.  That seems so wrong, but what else do you do?

Is anyone else having these issues or am I all alone here?
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Vitamin D in the news. What do you think?


 I have been reading, both online and in print, about all the possible problems that can develop from a low level of Vitamin D.  As a nurse, I am interested because I believe that we need to do everything we can to maintain and keep good health instead of relying on the health care system.  As a proponent of natural and holistic medicine myself, I firmly believe that additional vitamins are a necessity if you are to have a strong body and mind.  

The problem I find myself having is this--there is so much hype in the mainstream news today about Vitamin D and all the myriad diseases it can prevent and even I become skeptical.  First of all, vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all but rather a precursor hormone.  Hormones are involved in every process of the human body, so I am sure that a deficiency in a specific substance could lead to many and different sources of ill health due to the breakdown of the natural processes of the body.  Beyond that, I still need convincing.  Although I have been taking Vitamin D supplements for some time, I am not quite convinced that Vitamin D is the "magic bullet" for good health and long life.

Below I have included just one of the many articles I find daily about this subject.  Feel free to read the article and comment.  Why not read it and come back here to comment?  

Try this link for more information...


 Health Buzz: 1 in 5 Youngsters Lacking in Vitamin D and Other Health News

Posted October 26, 2009

Study Finds 1 in 5 Youngsters Lacking in Vitamin D

A new study finds that about 20 percent of U.S. children between ages 1 and 11 aren't getting enough vitamin D, the Associated Press reports. Researchers looked at vitamin D blood levels in almost 3,000 children recorded between 2001 and 2006. The researchers also applied a higher cutoff for deficiency that showed close to 90 percent of black children and 80 percent of Hispanic children may be vitamin D deficient, according to the AP. Earlier research has suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency in kids and health problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol and has also shown that many U.S. teens are lacking enough of the nutrient. Health professionals do not have a single set of guidelines to determine the level at which a child is considered deficient, the AP reports. The latest study appears in the journal Pediatrics.
Click here to find out more!

[Read: Vitamin D and Kids: How Much Sun Should They Get to Stay Healthy? and 3 Ways to Make Sure Kids Get Their Vitamin D.]
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The ongoing saga of creativity block!

Well, since I seem unable to get myself jump started, I am asking you to leave me suggestions on how to get going when you seem unable to create.

Any idea, no matter what, will be appreciated.  I really am starting to be bothered by my inability to produce anything.  I have the best of intentions, but other things steal me away from the art supplies.

Help!  Please help!        

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm still here

I've been reading my blog and I realized (1) that I had not done much in the way of art for quite some time and (2) I had not posted to this blog for too long.  So, to fix problem #2, here is a new post.  I'm still working on problem #1.

I really don't know why I have not done much "art" lately.  I do know that my artisitc endeavors go in "spurts" and I don't really like that.  Usually I work on crafts or drawing to jump-start my desire to become more involved artistically.  However, I have recently gotten interested in two venues that seem to keep me at the computer instead of at the drawing table.  I love blogging!  I now have four different blogs and I like to work on them often.  I have discovered that once you become a blogger, you automatically become a blog reader!  I can lose hours each day reading other people's blogs about things that interest me.

The other venue I have gotten myself into is Squidoo.  I am trying to learn how to use this format to make money online.  I know, I know.  Everyone and his dog are trying internet marketing.  Well, I don't want to make a gazillion dollars and live in mansions all over the globe.  I just want to know how to do it and maybe make extra money to spend on my family.

So, in a blatant attempt at self promotion, I am inviting you to visit my blogs and leave me any comment you like.  I have one blog called The Mental Health Minute where I post useful articles and information I find about mental health issues.  Since I am a psychiatric nurse and have been for 20 years, you might say that this is a topic near and dear to my heart, and you would be right.  Feel free to visit the blog and learn more about this area.  We all are touched by mental illness in some way, whether because of stress, loss, or just family dynamics.

My next blog is called Nursing Notes and is about issues facing nursing today.  Here I talk about the changes I have seen in my 20 years as a psych nurse; I post articles I find about nursing in the news.  I try to give honest information about the profession of nursing and what that entails.  Please, visit my blog and leave me some feedback.  With the current nursing shortage, we all know someone who is thinking about going to nursing school.  Send them to my blog for current information all in one place.  I sometimes come across as jaded and biased, and I have to admit I am at times, but nursing is a great profession and one I love.  I do think we need some changes, but overall nursing is what I want to do.

In addition to this blog you are currently reading, I also have another Blogger blog about my life with my dog, Satchmo.  He is the love of my life and has been my constant companion for the last ten years.  He has driven across the country when I was doing my travel nursing.  We drove back and forth to California from Oklahoma not once, but twice.  He is a rat terrier and he is absolutely the "poster child" for that breed.  He is stubborn, energetic, loving, funny, and an escape artist.  Read all about his exploits and learn about the breed at Life with Satchmo.

Now, to talk about my Squidoo lenses, I have one about..ta...dah...........Rat Terriers!!  You can visit by clicking here Rat Terriers.  As you can probably see, I love this breed of dog.  I never knew there was such a wonderful type of dog until I had one.  I only got mine on a fluke.  A nurse I worked with had a litter and was desperate to get rid of the last puppies and I said, "Okay, I'll take one."  I told her I wanted a girl and I wanted one that was mostly brown.  I got a boy who is white with black and tan spots.  Go figure!

I've run off at the mouth long enough.  I will try to tell you about the other lenses next time.  Until then, stay safe and stay healthy!