Friday, September 26, 2008

Love & Logic

As any parent knows, raising responsible kids can be a huge challenge at times. On occasion, my two adorable Little People leave me speechless (read: apoplectic with frustration and dismay). Sure, the kids think it's a hoot seeing me like this, but I don't want to pop a blood vessel: I need a way to cope.

Enter Jim Fay and Foster Cline, who have worked together to bring us Love & Logic, or in other words, a strategy for parents to help kids learn responsibility, and still have fun with their children. They describe Love & Logic in a nutshell (which I swiped from their website, but I think they won't mind...too much...I hope...):

"Love and Logic is a philosophy of raising and teaching children which allows adults to be happier, empowered, and more skilled in the interactions with children. Love allows children to grow through their mistakes. Logic allows children to live with the consequences of their choices. Love and Logic is a way of working with children that puts parents and teachers back in control, teaches children to be responsible, and prepares young people to live in the real world, with its many choices and consequences."

I've been listening to "Didn't I Tell You To Take Out The Trash" http://www.loveandlogic.com/ecom/pc-130-28-didnt-i-tell-you-to-take-out-the-trash.aspx

while I'm working on the torch. I have to say, the more Jerry & I use Love & Logic techniques, the better they work, and the kids are responding really well. We've instituted a policy that children are welcome to eat dinner as soon as their chores are finished...I tell ya, nothing motivates a kid like a hungry tummy and the smell of dinner!

Love & Logic is worth every penny - we especially like the CDs so we can do other things while we listen. We've found it most helpful to listen repeatedly, and really get the strategies down...so we don't have to stop and think every time our kids leave us apoplectic!

Wishing you a day of fun and laughter,
Chris

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little crazy, but fun!

I finally did something today that I've been meaning to do for oh, say, a couple years...and boy do I feel great about it! I can't believe it took me THIS long to do this, especially given how much it makes me smile and feel good inside. Yes, I finally stopped and bought myself a bunch of flowers for...get this...TWO DOLLARS! A lady who lives around the corner from our home has a little stand with a sign that reads "Mary's Bloomers, fresh flowers Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday." Another sign reads "bokays for $2."

I couldn't begin to tell you why I've never stopped before, but when I was driving past this morning, after dropping Thing One and Thing Two off at school, because they BOTH dawdled this morning and missed the bus, I saw Mary herself out by the road, arranging bouquets for her stand. I realized that even if I did only have $3 cash in my wallet, spending 2/3 of it on flowers was well worth the money. Mary, a very sweet lady, and I chatted a bit while she finished arranging the flowers. I told her $2 for her beautiful flowers was an amazing bargain, and she said "it's a little bit crazy, but it's fun...kind of like life!" I couldn't agree more, Mary, I couldn't agree more. Thank you Mary, for sharing your lovely garden with me! I think I'll be stopping by a little more often.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Living the Creative Life, by Rice Freeman-Zachery

Rice, thank you for sharing your heart and vision with the rest of us!

Reading your book, Living the Creative Life, was a huge affirmation for me as an artist - I'm in awe of the way you put it together, and how you incorporated the quotes and wisdom from the various artists. I no longer feel like an alien stuck on this planet, I realize now that other artists go through all the weird mental stuff that I do (OK, well, maybe not all the weird mental stuff, LOL.)

I'm in a transition phase right now, relying less on my freelance writing to sustain my business, and working to incorporate my art, teaching, and books into "what I do." Like any transition, it's a scary time and place for me, filled with fear and self-doubts, and yes, even the (shudder) completely filled-out (in a moment of weakness) application for employment.

I'm working on things, yes I am. Jerry and I made an ungodly amount of soap (which needs to be posted in my etsy shop), my writing partner Peg Krzyzewski and I sent out a number of proposals and queries for our book, I've written and submitted two articles for The Flow, and since my torch just got hooked back up, I'm melting glass again. (deep sigh of relief)

I believe in what I'm doing, and I believe this is what I'm supposed to be doing, but it takes a while for these efforts to bear fruit and faith can waver a bit. This is where Rice's book came in, to bolster my courage and refine my focus, and affirm that yes, I am an artist, and fully capable (with a lot of Divine intervention, thankyouverymuch) of succeeding beyond my wildest dreams.

My suggestion to other creative sorts, whether or not you plan to pursue your creativity full-time, is to bless yourself with a copy of Living the Creative Life at your earliest opportunity. http://www.amazon.com/Living-Creative-Life-Inspiration-Working/dp/1581809948/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-4022737-5071116?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191342982&sr=8-1

P.S. Peg & I heard from a publisher earlier this week who's presenting our proposal to her acquisition committee...yippee! ...oh yeah, and that completed job application? It's still on my art table, being studiously ignored by me.

Peace,
Chris

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Torch Booth is Complete! YAY Jerry, you did a TERRIFIC job!

I am the luckiest girl in the world - married to the bestest guy ever. Jerry finished my torch booth this past weekend, and it is beautiful! Thanks Jerry! You ROCK! I'm headed out to work on the torch right now, so following is a pic of the completed project. I now have terrific lighting and a ventilation system that really SUCKS! This pic was taken before I lit the torch, so the bench is still pretty clean...

Again, thanks Jerry! I love ya!
xoxo,
C

Friday, September 19, 2008

Girls Blow Glass for Charity!


OK, yes, I've been a slacker blogger, but it was for a good cause: I've been working on a story for The Flow magazine http://www.theflowmagazine.com, about the Female Flame Off. If you're anywhere near Berkeley, California during October 31-November 2, 2008, head on over to Revere Glass School http://www.revereglass.com and catch some of the red-hot action at this free-to-the-public event.

In its third year, the Female Flame Off is an international group of women glass artists who gather to compete and raise money for charity. This year's beneficiary is the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) http://www.rawa.org. Glass artist Roze Chikiar originated the event, which just keeps getting better and better each year.

Categories for this year's Flame Off include Functional Sculpture, Wearables, Mystery Box, and Guys Blow in Drag (dress, shoes, and cleavage are mandatory; wig and makeup are optional).

It's not too late to get involved with The Female Flame Off as a participant, volunteer, sponsor, or vendor. To learn more, check it out at http://www.femaleflameoff.net

Peace,
Chris

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

the incredible 3 minute blog post

Well, it's been a busy day today - my first full day back home after a quick trip to California to visit my 95-year-old grandmother, my parents, my brother and his new wife Laurie. Gran is old, and getting tired, and moved in with Mom & Dad the Friday before last, because she was miserable in the assisted living facility she was in. She was not doing well Friday when I arrived, but Saturday and Sunday she perked up, and Matt, Laurie, and I were able to give my parents some desperately-needed respite. Saturday, Mom & Dad took off and wandered about the county together, and Sunday, Matt & Laurie took our parents on a "field trip," leaving me alone with Gran.

I thoroughly enjoyed my precious one-on-one time with my Gran, except for the ever-present fear that she'd fall and break a hip...

OK, the timer just beeped, so I gotta get, but I did want to mention that I submitted the book proposal to three publishers today, so now Peg & I just need to wait & see who jumps on it first. I *know* it's going to sell, it's just a matter of time to see who it goes to. Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Goin' to California

Like the song says, I'm headin' out and will be back Monday night, so hopefully I'll have something fun to post Tuesday. Or not. Depends on how the flight goes.

peace,
Chris

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Foodies Unite!


coconut-kaffir lime-infused sea salt from Buck's Fifth Avenue

Anyone who knows me well knows I love good food and I love to cook. With two family members allergic to wheat and corn, I cook a lot of Asian dishes: Japanese, Thai, Indian, you name it - anything with a rice-based cuisine is a no-brainer - I don't have to figure out substitutions or omit ingredients. Additionally, we don't get to use convenience foods - like salad dressing mixes, seasoning blends, pre-fab meals in a box, you name it. Yeah, it's a healthier lifestyle, but sometimes it can be a lot of work.

That's where Buck's 5th Avenue comes in. Located in downtown Olympia, WA, Buck's carries an incredible variety of herbs, spices, and other culinary delicacies.

We're particularly hooked on the black truffle oil - for about $12, you get a tiny (1.86 oz or so) bottle that seems to last forever, because you only need a few drops to make a salad dressing or a soup really pop. We got my parents a bottle of the black truffle oil and one of the white truffle oil for Christmas this past year. Buck's also carries a porcini oil too. (And powdered porcini mushrooms.)

Buck's also carries a huge variety of peppercorns, different types of salt, and some wonderful seasoning blends; in particular we really like the Indian blends, such as tandoori (I sprinkle this on oiled chicken strips and bake for yummy yummy chicken strips - also, it makes an incredible chicken salad sandwich, when you mush up the tandoori chicken strips with mayonnaise), chana, and masala. Too, they have a great bruschetta mix that is as yummy in pasta as it is on (gluten-free for us) bread. Anne Buck, the owner is a delight, and you don't have to be a Puget Sound local to benefit from the world of spices in this tiny store - just order what you like from their website! http://culinaryexotica.com/index.html

Yours for tastier food,
Chris

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gail Crosman Moore


One of my favorite artists, Gail Crosman Moore, has kindly agreed to let me interview her for the upcoming annual Women in Glass issue of The Flow, a magazine for glass artists. I first became acquainted with Gail's work in an issue of Bead & Button a couple of years ago. The article included pictures of her glass beads along with something new to me: felted wool and glass beads! (thus the addiction was born, LOL)

Gail is a mixed media artist and primarily works in borosilicate glass, felted wool, and precious metal clay (PMC). I wrote a profile of her, and through our conversations, I discovered that she is as delightful a person as she is a talented artist. To see more of Gail's work, check her site out at www.gailcrosmanmoore.com.

Peace out,
Chris

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pulling the plug...

on my email lists - yes, feel free to call me an ostrich. I am sticking my head in the sand, and I'm damned proud of it!

The constant stream of crises in my in-box demanding my attention and my signature on the latest petition to save (insert cause here) has become more than I can bear. I still care passionately about the health of our planet and human rights, and will do what I can to help in my own ways, but the chronic bad news weighs heavily on my mind and sucks the joy out of my daily life.

I realized that I need to focus on what's right in front of me right now: my sweet man, our wonderful kids, Ivy, the best dog in the world, and my lovely garden. In order to be the loving, kind, and nurturing person I desire to be for my family, I have to let go of trying to save the rest of the world, at least for the time being.

And...to help me kick the rest of the negativity, I'm taking walks, working in my garden, listening to Dakshina by Deva Premal (http://www.devapremal.com/), and drinking copious amounts of chamomile tea.

Here's a picture of Ivy the wonder dog, guaranteed to brighten your day:

Wishing you peace and serenity,
Chris

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Show & Tell

It's been a busy week at Casa de Hansen, so I'm posting TWO show & tells today, to make up for yesterday's non-post.

Number one: Jerry's working feverishly to finish up my torch booth and get me back melting glass as fast as he can. Here are a couple of pics so you can check it out. He's installed two 650 cfm fans, for a total of 1300 cfm, and he's out at this very moment purchasing the lights!!!!

A closer view of the fans and ductwork.
And a view from inside the torch booth, looking up. Yes, my DH is DA BOMB! Thank you thank you thank you Jerry! You ROCK!
Number two: While Jerry's been busy with the torch booth, I've been struggling to stay sane with my beads - whipped up a sweet little brooch for my sweet Aunt Sharon who is battling breast cancer. I am nuts for felting wool and embellishing it with beads. Thank you Gail Crosman-Moore (http://www.gailcrosmanmoore.com/) for inspiring me to combine wool and glass! Here's a peek:

Wishing you a delightful Sunday!

Friday, September 05, 2008

To Amuse and Delight

Marilyn Scott-Waters is one of my very favorite people on the planet. No, I've never met her, but she is kind, creative, and generous. How do I know this? Check out her website and you'll see what I mean.

An incredibly talented and imaginative artist, Marilyn designs paper toys to encourage adults and children to play together. Her website features a mind-boggling (and ever-growing) number of free downloadable designs and templates for everything from Marble Mice (http://www.thetoymaker.com/Toypages/07Marblemice/07marblemice.html) and thaumatropes/spinners (one of the most cool toys EVER!)(http://www.thetoymaker.com/Toypages/02Spinners/02Spinners.html) to little boxes (http://www.thetoymaker.com/Toypages/18Fushiabox/18FUSHIABOX.html) to hold tiny treasures.
All you need to turn the downloadable designs into fun is some white cardstock, scissors, tape or glue, and some string or thread (for the thaumatropes and some of the other things). The Marble Mice need marbles.

Marilyn has written a book, entitled The Toymaker, which is filled with toys to cut out and put together. At $12.95, it's a great deal and great fun for all ages!

Marilyn, your artistic outreach is inspiring. Thank you!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I love my spoons!


OK, I've got my FlyLady timer (http://www.flylady.net/) set for 10 minutes and I'm blogging away...

Thought for today's entry, I should tell you about my wooden kitchen spoons from Johnathan's Wild Cherry Spoons. (http://www.woodspoon.com/) Yes, I know, it's pretty exciting, huh? These are *not* the straight funky wooden spoons that give you splinters however...these are individually hand-crafted of cherry wood, sculpted lovingly to fit the human hand. Bottom line? They are as delightful to use as they are to look at, and with correct care, they'll last a lifetime.

Here's a link to the spoons I received at Christmas-time last year:
http://www.woodspoon.com/mediumsaladset.aspx

This is the medium salad set, but I use mine for everything - stirring up stiff cookie batter, stirring soups and stews, and yes, I do use them for salad once in a while.

It helps them survive better if you wash them by hand and treat them with oil once in a while, preferably virgin coconut oil...

Peace and love,
Chris

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Underwater Islands SOS - you can help

Melting icecaps have triggered a rise in sea level...which might not be such a big deal if you live in Denver, but if you live in Fiji, the Phillipines, or Papua New Guinea, it means big trouble.

According to President Remengesau of Palau, a small island in the Pacific, "Palau has lost at least one third of its coral reefs due to climate change related weather patterns. We also lost most of our agricultural production due to drought and extreme high tides. These are not theoretical, scientific losses -- they are the losses of our resources and our livelihoods.... For island states, time is not running out. It has run out. And our path may very well be the window to your own future and the future of our planet." (lifted from Avaaz email message)

Palau and other island nations are calling on the United Nations Security Council to address climate change as a pressing threat to international peace and security.

Avaaz (www.avaaz.org) is collecting petition signatures supporting the island nations' request; the petitions will be delivered by island ambassadors next week to the U.N.

Learn more, and sign the petition at: http://www.avaaz.org/en/sos_small_islands/?cl=123193062&v=2098

In peace and love,
Chris

Slacker Blogger No More...

I feel like such a slacker blogger, so I've decided to try to update my blog a bit more often - the goal is to spend 10 minutes on my blog every day...stay tuned to see how it goes, LOL.