Friday, July 09, 2010

Rufus the Goofus, my mixed media puppy

At long last, an update on our giant puppy-hound... He's a mixed media pup because he's got ink (tattoos in his ears) and steel (holding his leg together), as well as flesh and bone. Very appropriate since I'm a mixed media artist!

Took Rufus in to see Dr. Salloom yesterday at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, and she was very impressed with how well he's using his leg. She had me walk him around so she could see how he moves - she said she couldn't even tell which leg he'd broken (based on how he was using it).

As you can see from the pics, he's healed up nicely, but there is substantial muscle atrophy, so we need to build his muscles back up. I have been taking him for short walks every morning, up and down some small hills near our home, and he seems to be doing very well. A few days ago, I began taking Ivy out with us, and Rufus acts more like a healthy non-injured hound when she's along for the walk - he even does the greyhound trot with her.

One thing that we are working on is Rufus' leash manners - he was OK before he broke his leg, but during his convalescence, I let him wander, on-leash, and just followed him, for two reasons. 1. I wanted him to take things at his speed and not over-exert him, and 2. I felt for his mental health, he really needed to be able to go sniff things, and stand around and listen to the neighborhood, since the rest of his life pretty much sucked. This worked fine while he was in a cast, but now that he's feeling so much better, and we're going on walks, he's decided that he wants to be the boss all the this 82 pound hound does his best to drag Mama where he wants to go. Mama's getting a great upper body workout, but it's getting old, faster than a greyhound can find bacon.

This first pic shows Rufus' cast, and gives you an idea of how big it was, and how it fit on his leg. It's in two pieces because Dr. Salloom bisected it at one of his first bandage changes, which allowed her to cut it down to fit Rufus' leg as the swelling in his leg diminished.
In the second picture, you can see indentations along the edges of the cast where they had to cut pieces of cast away, in order to better manage those pesky bandage sores. I took pics of the cast, and then plopped it, without ceremony, in the garbage can.
Rufus still has a lot of recovery ahead of him, but I'm hoping the worst is behind us. We wouldn't have made it this far without all the love and support we've received from so many people. Thank you all, so very VERY much!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The "C" Word...

Commitment is a big word – not just because it has ten letters in it, but because of what it means. Commitment means sticking with something and hanging in there, even when difficulties arise.

Commitment is big too, for what it does. A tiny commitment, of maybe just 15 minutes a day, can develop into huge results.

Say you want to achieve a goal, so you decide to work 15 minutes every day to work toward that goal.

Your commitment is what keeps you showing up and making the effort, every single day, no exceptions, even when you’re not in the mood.

Eventually, you will reach your goal. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen because you put the rest of your life on hold, it’ll happen because you honored your commitment to work toward your goal 15 minutes every day, no matter what.
Here’s one example of what commitment can achieve: Yesterday, the building inspector came to sign off (finally!!!) on the roofing permit. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my husband Jerry re-roofed our house last summer. And broke his back doing it. Yet, once he healed, he was back up there, finishing the job, because he was committed to the project. I am not at all happy he broke his back working on this project, but I am proud beyond words that he completed the job, and did such nice work.

Another example of commitment, and one more in line with the Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog discussion topic: floral lampwork beads. Earlier this year, I signed up for a floral bead swap. Never mind that I didn’t really *do* florals, I’m such a swap junkie that I put my name on the list.

I practiced and experimented with a few different floral designs, hoping one would turn out pretty enough to swap, and mostly disappointed each morning when I opened the kiln. But I was committed to that swap, and to learning how to create a non-embarrassing floral bead, so I stuck with it and kept trying.

Finally, I recalled a coffee cup that I’d once had, with a glossy black background and lovely bluish-purple irises, and thought that might make a nice bead, so I gave it a go.
Here’s the picture of the prototype for my “acceptable” floral beads – as you can see, I made tulips, not irises, but the basic design is reminiscent of that coffee cup. I decided to see how nice I could get these, so I kept working and practicing the tulip beads, and eventually wound up with beads lovely enough to send out in the swap.

Here are a few more pics of some of my more refined tulip beads. I have a ton of ideas for this design, and am committed to developing them. Too, I’m inspired by other floral bead makers, like Leah Fairbanks, Dolly Ahles, and Kim Miles, whose work demonstrates their obvious commitment to the form and encourages me to keep working on my own floral beads.