Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 2011 Creations

Well, I thought I should do a post of what I've been up to creatively.... it's been a busy month, but I am happy to say that I finished up a couple of things and did a couple of new items. Most will end up in my shop, two were for my kids. I have a couple of works-in-progress that I will include in another post. I hope to finish them before the new year... but that will depend on the new foster we brought home this past Tuesday.... Miss Lola :-) She's a cute little corgi mix and she is looking for a forever home. I will also blog about her another day.

I did this on in my favorite shade of green... I like to call it Spring Green or Synergy Green :-) The pattern is available in my 2nd Artfire shop; 3PeepsDesignsToo.

I needed to make another one of these for my Artfire shop. I simply love this bracelet and need to make one for myself... perhaps with fuschia colored lips. And I should make one for my daughter too. You can buy the pattern at my 2nd Artfire shop; 3PeepsDesignsToo.

I did this for my daughter, Danni. She has a pair of cowgirl boots from her aunt and uncle that she wears everywhere and when I saw this pattern, I instantly fell in love and thought this would be perfect for her. She really likes it ;-) This pattern is one of Candys S. McCulley's creations, you can purchase the pattern at her online shop Bead of My Heart.

I drew this up for my son, Eddie. He had mentioned that he named his bedroom the monkey Lounge (Lord only knows what he and one of the dogs and cats do when they go to sleep at night) and so I thought I would paint up a sign for him instead of making him jewelry for Christmas. I used two of his favorite colors and he loves it!

I wanted a more neutral color for my beaded paw prints on leather... I think this came out great and I have plans for one in brown and gold... soon ;-)

This one was done in November and I love the hot pink and black and white paw prints :-) Soon to be listed in my shop.

This one was also completed in November and will appear in my shop soon. It would be great for a Georgia Bulldogs fan :-0

F.Y.I. There are new changes coming to Artfire and I don't particularly like the proposed changes as of today. I may be shutting down both of my Artfire shops and heading for other venues. I have a lot of research to do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just in case you are curious about what we do for Betty and the pups every day....

It's Dec. 16, 2011 and we have been done with our part of taking care of Betty and her puppies - another volunteer stepped up to help and we are on the back burner in case our help is needed again. I can't say I'm that upset, I don't mind not spending 2 hours in the car every day going back and forth. And I also don't mind because we realized we are still hooked on Fiona and while this is fun, we would rather have her back in our household.

Anyway, this is from a note I posted on Facebook on Dec. 8, 2011 so that our friends and family could step into our shoes and see what we have been up to.

Well, taking care of Betty and the pups is a big job, as I am sure you can all imagine. We stepped in and volunteered to help when we heard she was going to be taken to a kill shelter in a city with a breed ban. We originally volunteered our garage - not perfect by any means but it was a place to bring her to until we could figure something better out and learn more about her and the pups. Then luckily the other foster, Ashley and her family, talked her father into letting us use an empty rental property. So, each day we drive 25 minutes across town (Fayetteville seriously needs an East to West bypass) to see Betty and the pups. Ashley goes to visit Betty 3 times a day as she lives closer. And FYI, Ashley already fosters 3 dogs at her home for the Humane Society and works every day and has a cute little toddler and the support of her husband. We don't currently foster, but have 2 dogs and 3 cats, homeschool, online business, Jay works and manages to come in some days of the week and then weekends. Add to that the stress of the holidays and winter arriving and it can be pretty chaotic. Meanwhile, the mastermind behind the rescue, Pit Bull Ambassador of Northwest Arkansas, spends her day working and taking care of her family and networking the rescue and the immediate needs of Betty and her pups. She squeezes in phone calls and meet-ups in between her daily activities. And then we all try to update our FB profiles with Betty's progress and the pups. I am sure there is a lot that I am leaving out, but I'm trying to squeeze this note in between a few errands and stuff.

So, when we get to Betty's house, we take her out first thing and she goes potty. She is doing really good in the house and hasn't had any accidents now that she is eating regularly. She is always happy to see us and we are always happy to see her. We give her her medicine and that includes some vitamins that she likes to spit out. So we have to watch her closely to make sure she swallows them. After Betty is taken care of we focus on changing the bedding if its needed and then once Betty lays down, we give the 3 littlest ones first dibs. Now that they are more active and bigger, it's becoming more of a challenge. We are waiting for Betty to show signs that she is getting tired of feeding them, but so far she is doing well. While the puppies nurse, we hang out with Betty and change the other half of the bedding. Once she puts her head down to sleep, then we collect our garbage and leave so that she can sleep. It's another 25 minutes home... we make any pit stops for errands if needed then. Then in around 4 hours, we do it all again.

We were taking turns bringing laundry home to wash, but thankfully we got a volunteer for that and it's a big help! In the beginning we brought in wet wipes for cleaning, wet wipes for sanitizing our hands before touching the puppies, and baby wipes for cleaning Betty up. We also brought in some towels and bedding and puppy food, both wet and dry. Then, thankfully volunteers provided more dry and wet food and more bedding and towels. Whatever doesn't get used for Betty and the pups will be taken back to the rescue and used for whatever dogs come next. I can't stress enough how thankful I am to the volunteers, the donations, and the networking that everyone is doing. It is simply fantiastic!

When we get home in the evenings, well, we hang out with our pets and do whatever needs doing, chores, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. I network as much as I can and pretty much put my online shops on hold... as in I haven't networked for them nor have I created anything new for them. Of course with the holidays here, we have also been trying to get stuff done for that.... the cards are all done, thank goodness. And we've got most of our shopping done. Now we just have to wrap everything, box them up, and get them to the post office in time :-)

So, time for me to close this note and go take care of a few items on my to-do list before heading back over.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Betty the Pit Bull and 12 Puppies 12-5-2011

After we lost Fiona we sort of shut down. We just went through the motions and did a lot of crying and moping. Well, I guess God had other plans because we were presented with the opportunity to help rescue a pit bull in North Little Rock. The poor little girl was found in a ditch eating paper by a good Samaritan. Betty was obviously malnourished/starving/near death and very obviously pregnant. But, the woman took her home and hid her because North Little Rock has a breed ban and if Betty went to the shelter, she would be killed. A few days after rescue Betty gave birth to 12 puppies... all healthy and beautiful. The woman contacted several rescue groups but no one locally had the space to help her. So, Cheryl of the Pit Bull Ambassador of Northwest Arkansas put out the word and we along with another lady, Ashley, volunteered to help. So, transport was arranged (again by another nice lady) and Betty and her puppies arrived last Wednesday.

So, my family is healing from the loss of Fiona by giving Betty a second chance and her 12 puppies their first shot at a great life. Right now Ashley and my family are taking shifts caring for Betty and her puppies. As you can imagine, the real fun begins as the puppies become more mobile. For now, we are networking, doing laundry, running back and forth, etc, etc. Once the puppies are weaned, we will decide on the best way to raise the puppies until they are old enough to go to their forever homes.

So far, Betty has proven to be the sweetest dog EVER! She trusts us unconditionally and lets us help her with her babies, she hasn't shown any food aggression (in fact she would gladly let you hand feed her every single bite,) and she takes good care of her babies. She does well on car rides and is doing well in her temporary home. She hasn't chewed up anything! She walks well on leash and enjoys belly rubs. She is an old soul in a young dog's body. Whomever adopts her is one lucky human... I feel lucky just being able to help care for her.

As you can see from the pictures, Betty is very thin and we have our work cut out for us. She weighed 61.5lbs and as of Dec. 4th, she had already put on 5lbs! Her puppies are healthy and doing well. They were born on November 21st and 22nd. I am refreshing my memory on puppy development and the care of momma dog after birth. I remember more than I thought, and that comes in handy.

We had some concerns about her health and we were able to take her into Wedington Animal Hospital Sunday, the 4th. The puppies were all checked out first. Each and every one is healthy and gaining weight nicely (we've weighed them twice so far and will do so every few days just to make sure they keep gaining weight.) Betty is doing well too. She has a small skin infection on her chin... similar to acne and is taking an antibiotic for that, she has hookworms and began treatment for that today. She received a hormone shot to help her uterus clean itself out, there was some worry that there could have been a puppy still inside of her. Luckily an x-ray proved that to not be the case. And the final thing... well, it's not good news but it could be so much worse - she has Heartworms. That was a little upsetting to me but I reminded myself that it is not a death sentence. So long as we can raise the funds to cover the treatment, we can get her cured. We need 600 people to donate $1 and then another $715 to get all 13 spayed/neutered and first round of shot. The goal is to have the surgery before sending them to their forever homes. A ChipIn account has been set up to assist with getting donations. If you have an extra $1, please consider helping.

If you cannot donate, please consider sharing her story... networking is 80% of the battle. Please go and like the Pit Bull Ambassador of Northwest Arkansas page on Facebook. Then please stop by Betty's profile page and send her a friend request! She will be posting about her adventures as well as posting pictures!! And of course, feel free to send me a friend request.

My family and I are in this for the long haul. Good thing we don't have family in the area, we have a lot of free time LOL. And we are blessed with the space to care for these precious little beings, plenty of generous people donating supplies and food, and of course, a positive attitude and the determination to get all 13 good homes! No, I mean, great homes!

There will be an adoption application, home check, and fee. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Fiona Dec 1, 2011

I haven't blogged in a while and I haven't beaded either. At first it was because I didn't have time with the new puppy that we rescued, Fiona. But, sadly, she started having seizures 10 days after we found her and they wouldn't stop. We elected to put her to sleep instead of having her suffer because the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. I never want to have to go to an Animal Clinic E.R. ever again. I imagine that is one of the most depressing jobs there is because of the highs and lows. But then again, I am thankful to them for their kindness and their understanding and their effort to figure out what was wrong with her. We also found out what we thought was a decent veterinary practice was indeed overworked and just not very interested in figuring things out. So, we've looked for a new vet and will be checking him out later this month when Charlie and Apple are due for heartworm checks. He was the only vet we could find out here that would even answer his phone after hours and he even does house calls!

The loss of little Fiona was and is devasting. Heartbreaking. In just 10 short days we fell totally in love with her and she had us all (including Charlie and Apple) wrapped around her paw. She passed away in the early morning hours on Nov 16th.

This loss has opened some old wounds from losing Mojo last year. It begs a lot of questions and I haven't gotten many answers. Losing anyone young is incredibly hard. There aren't any good reasons.

Anyway, we've been moping around and sort of depressed and just going through the motions. Every day, several times a day I would just say out loud, "I want Fiona back" and of course I can't have her back.

We miss her. We loved her. And we can only be thankful that we found her, fed her poor starving body and gave her a name and a home. I'm pretty sure she had a good time, I know we did. If only for 10 days.

Here are a few more photos of this loveable girl, Fiona.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday 11-9-11

Sorry I missed Monday's post, but we've had a bit of excitement around here. My horoscope was actually correct this month when it mentioned an addition to the family... a new baby. Its a girl! We found a puppy wondering around one of the roads on the way home.... an area that is rather country so we didn't do much door to door searching for owners. Plus, she was rather young and in rough shape so we figured she may have been wondering for a day or two. A trip to the vet, no microchip and not a single lost and found ad meant that she was ours if we wanted. We wanted. We weren't going to tempt fate by putting her into the system... they are all kill shelters around here. We weren't going to try to find her a new home either... that would be long and hard and we were rapidly becoming attached. So, she received her first round of puppy shots and came home. "Puppy" Ahleman is now Fiona or Fi for short (pronounced "Fee") and I am sure you can imagine, not much is getting done... especially beading. We are trying to get on a schedule and with the help of all of us, we are doing pretty good. The other dogs love her and the cats are still undecided but certainly curious. I think she will fit in just fine. She weighed only 5.5 lbs on Saturday, was guess-timated to be around 8 weeks old, and a rather small pit mix. Since she is so underweight, we may re-evaluate what breed we think she is later.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Anything Goes Friday 11-4-2011 Some Eye Candy for the Weekend

This is just a little eye candy for getting through the weekend :-) This wallpaper is available for free from *** Click on the picture to be taken to the website.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Beading Table Wednesday 11-2-11

This Hot Pink and Black Paw Print Lariat was made for my friend, Franny. And now it represents my listing for a made to order lariat in your choice of colors. I still have more to make, but things have been crazy busy and they are slow in coming.

It features 11/0s Miyuki Delica seed beads for the paw prints and Czech seed beads for the bead strings connecting the paw prints and fringe. It also has pressed glass beads as accent beads and measures 81" long.

I still haven't made myself one and I gave my prototype to my daughter to hold her over until I have time to make her a hot pink and black one.

This bracelet was created with the Artfire Beadweavers Guild November Challenge in mind. The theme is "Bollywood" and I was not very familiar with this concept, but with the help of an internet search, I was quickly schooled in this design term.

I used 11/0s Miyuki Delicas in bright gold, hot pink, red, orange, and a touch of silver-lined crystal as if silver threads were woven in.... I was trying to walk the line between the outrageous Bollywood style and the beautiful sari fabrics from India. The bells help add a touch of whimsy to this tapered cuff.

*** As always, click on the picture to be taken to the page where the item is listed for sale.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November 1, 2011

Well, it's a new month and I'm ready to change the format of my blog posts again. I think it's been about 2 months since I tried doing a post every work day, and I did pretty good, but it's time to admit that it was just too much. I don't think it's really helped me get more viewers, but who knows. It did help me get projects finished, but I do still have some UFOs and now I find that I have 4 trays that contain active bead projects.... Yikes! Anyway, I'm gonna just post 3 days a week.... "Eye Candy Monday" - "Beading Table Wednesday" - "Anything Goes Friday" and I'll see how it goes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eye Candy Monday 10-31-2011 Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When I Win the Lottery Thursday 10-27-2011 RV

I've always wanted an RV. Simple or big and sexy, I don't really care, I just know that for all of the driving around we do on trips (I really don't like to fly) an RV would really come in handy. I haven't decided on a make or model or even if I'd rather have one that gets towed behind a truck or one that can tow a small car. I just want one and so of course, when we win the lotto, it is on our list of "to buy." It would even come in handy when we have house guests for extended periods of time. Of course driving through New Mexico (I've always had a love affair in my mind with this state) and then going to the Grand Canyon last week makes the desire for an RV even bigger. If we didn't have to pay for a hotel we couldn't stayed longer and seen more.... And what a way to homeschool my kids? Would it get any better than learning on the road about our wonderful country? So anyway, here are a couple of pictures for you;

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

W.I.P. Tuesday 10-25-2011

I haven't gotten much done aside from the cuffs yesterday and the set of 12 navy paw prints above. The others are all still in progress as of tonight. I have a good excuse, though, we went on a mini vacation to the Grand Canyon via Albuquerque. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back. Especially to Albuquerque and the Painted Desert.... some day :-)

First Freebie Pattern Friday!!

As I posted two days ago , I am going to start posting on my blog again... on a regular basis. *Gasp* I know, I know, but my schedule is ope...