Friday, December 28, 2012

Dragonflies Have Human-like 'Selective Attention'

I've always been a little obsessed with dragonflies.  They are so beautiful and their flight and hunting skills are so mesmerizing that this article really interested me.  You might find it interesting, too.  Here's an excerpt:

"Dec. 20, 2012 — In a discovery that may prove important for cognitive science, our understanding of nature and applications for robot vision, researchers at the University of Adelaide have found evidence that the dragonfly is capable of higher-level thought processes when hunting its prey."

Photo by Marc50 on Flickr 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kitty Update

Olive has calmed down a lot and only hides when she wants to sleep during the day.  Otherwise, she is a very talkative little cat who seems to need almost constant reassurance that we've not forgotten about her and that we're here for her.  She has started investigating us and getting really close to us so that she can sniff our scents.

My husband got her a cat toy that looks like a mouse/bird (mouse with feathers instead of a tail) that dangles from a wand.  I got her started playing with it yesterday evening and she she continued to play long after I had stopped.  All in all, she played for about three hours and also enjoyed her catnip scratcher.

Like most cats, she figured out the litter pan with only a bit of coaxing.  She watched me dig in the litter pan and then immediately hopped in.  Cats are so easy!  I guess it's to make up for how difficult it can be to house train some dog breeds.

We're so relieved that we managed to get her indoors when we did because I believe that she is going into her first (and last!) estrus.  As the night progressed, her meows morphed into something that seemed more like "I'm in heat" meows.  She's definitely not ready for us to pick her up and put her in a carrier so a kitty sedative will be necessary.  I'll be calling the vet to make all the plans for her to be spayed.  Had we not gotten her indoors, there would have been yet another litter of kittens running around the neighborhood, homeless.

Edit to add:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day!

I'm offering free shipping on jewelry orders (US & Canada) today for Boxing Day.  Either convo me before placing your purchase so that I can set up a reserved listing with free shipping or I'll refund your shipping through Paypal--whichever is more convenient for you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Kitty Is Indoors!

The little feral tuxedo kitty is now safely indoors!  It's been an almost three month effort to gain her trust enough that we could get her inside long enough to close the door.  She freaked out a little bit initially but then found herself a hiding spot.  There's been no meowing and no aggressive behavior at all.  She's a timid little thing so she is currently hiding but there is food, water, litter, a corrugated cardboard scratching pad, toys, and catnip waiting for her upon her emergence.  Her name is Olive Marie (Marie was added because she came indoors on Christmas eve).  I'll post photos as soon as I can take some without scaring her.  Until then, I'll leave you with a description.  She's around 7 months old, a short haired tuxedo, and has large, expressive green eyes.  Her whiskers are glossy snow white, long, and numerous.  Her markings are roughly symmetrical and it looks like she is wearing white go-go boots and short gloves.  Her appetite is enormous and I can tell that she is going to be a larger framed cat.

I can finally rest knowing that she is safe and that there is one fewer homeless kitty.

Edit to add:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cajun Night Before Christmas

How about a little regional twist on the classic Night Before Christmas?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Quiet Day

Papa Noel

Today's been quiet and fairly peaceful--but not entirely.  A big male, smokey gray cat decided to chase away the little female tuxedo cat (Olive) that we are trying to tame into a house cat.  My husband chased him away because he is aggressive and we can't let him think that he can continue to threaten her.  Olive is getting a bit braver each day so, our resolve grows stronger.  I am determined to save this kitty!

My husband is making me a small, square red oak table (just 2' x 2') that I can take outside when I want to saw or hammer in natural light.  This will help with metal dust and give me a portable table that I can take to shows.  I'll post photos when it's finished.

I've had a last minute shopper today.  We figured out a way to deal with the item not arriving in time for Christmas delivery by creating a "digital gift" to be printed and included in a card.  I think it's great that we have modern options like that.

I hope everyone is getting to spend time with their families and friends.  I'm enjoying baking and cooking a few favorites that we don't eat but once or twice a year.  I'll be cooking the remainder of the evening so that we can have our special meals on Christmas eve rather than on Christmas.  Our Christmas forecast is severe thunderstorms with the threat of tornadoes which doesn't really sound like a day to be in the kitchen.  I'd rather have our festivities a day early.  I hope my readers enjoy better weather than we're likely to endure!

Hold close those that you love and spread a wish for peace!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's The End of the World As We Know It (Not!)

O.k.  The day is young but I think it's fair to say that the world has not ended and won't be ending today.  So, let's get on with making gifts for those we love, baking and cooking real food, feeding stray kitties (wish me luck in taming the little tuxedo into an indoor house cat!), and trying to make life better for those around us.

There are enough horrible things really happening in this world for us to bother worrying about what may or may not have been a Mayan prediction.  Go hug someone you love!  Just imagine what the world could be like if we all chose to make today the day that we commit to bettering the world and, in fact, make this the end of the world as we know it and rid the world of so much hate, hunger, and ugliness.  2013 has the potential to be a good year...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Baking

I'm starting my holiday baking and wanted to share some of my favorite recipes.  All of the links below will take you to the recipes on the original websites or one of my Pinterest boards where I have pinned the uploaded recipes.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls

King Arthur Flour Pumpkin Cake Bars w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

cranberry upside down pumpkin cake
Cranberry Upside Down Pumpkin Cake

apple cake
Apple Cake
(also excellent made with toasted walnuts--English or black)

sweet potato pecan muffins
Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins
These are great for breakfast or a healthy snack

Lemon Sticky Buns
Lemon Sticky Buns
Meyer lemons are in season!

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
Not going to lie to you--this one's naughty! 
(I prefer to use a combination of sour cream & whole milk instead of buttermilk)

King Arthur Flour Favorite Fudge Cake
Favorite Fudge Cake
Naughty, again...
(I prefer to use Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk or regular yogurt)
This recipe is great because you can bake it in a bake & give foil pan, it travels well, and is a hit at parties.

chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies
Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
(It's a great recipe as-is but I like to use high quality organic chocolate chips--around 4 oz. or so and I also squeeze the ginger juice from the pulp.  The ginger pulp is a bit stringy.)
Just a heads up for next year:  These cookies ship extremely well.  I wrap them individually and none have ever arrived broken or stale.

I have other favorites that I bake every year but I keep those recipes a secret.  I'm not quite ready to give them out.  Do you have any recipes that are your private creations that you won't share with anyone else?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cute Holiday Cat Animation

Simon's Cat:  "Fowl Play" by Simon Tofield

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday at the Piety Street Market

We had a great day at the Piety Street Market.  There were lots of shoppers and the weather was great--actually unseasonably warm.

Piety Street Market

We saw lots of friends:

Etched Bracelets By Hillary Albins, New Orleans LA
Beautiful Etched Bracelets by Hillary Albins 
 (former classmate at the New Orleans School of Metalsmithing)

There was great music:

Ingrid Lucia
Ingrid Lucia
(Thank you for lending me your sunglasses!)

Miss Sophie Lee and Margie Perez at Piety St Mkt
 Miss Sophie Lee & Margie Perez Choosing Their Next Song

 Lots of color:

Shoppers at Piety St Market
 Shoppers at the Start of the Market Day

Even the neighborhood is colorful:

Rise & Preserve NO Mural
Rise & Preserve NO

BP Oil Pelican Mural
A Statement Regarding BP and the Oil

Everyone seemed to be in a festive mood:

Bananas in Bloom and Vespa With Wreath
 Vespa with Holiday Wreath
(Note the Bananas are in Bloom!)

And it seemed to be very much the family affair:

Face Painting at Piety St Mkt
 Face Painting

I really enjoyed my Greek salad & hummus wrap.  The food was delicious:

Food Vendor at Piety St Market
Food Vendor's Tent

I stuck to my simple table set-up:

Libellula Jewelry and Cicada Silver Market Table Set-up
Children Seemed To Love the Mini-Stockings

Libellula Jewelry and Cicada Silver Market Table Set-up
A Few Men Snapped My QR Codes This Time
(I Ran Out of Business Cards!)

I hope to be at the January Piety Street Market on the 12th.  I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Piety Street Market

Piety St Market Poster

Come join me at the Piety Street Market in New Orleans on Saturday (tomorrow) from 11 am to 4 pm. The market is located at 612 Piety Street at the Old Ironworks in the Bywater.

There will be nearly 60 different vendors guaranteeing a huge variety of wares.  Come support independent artists, crafters, designers, and food vendors!  And, remember that buying handmade and finishing your holiday gift shopping at the market helps to support small businesses and helps to keep more money within the community.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Domestic Shipping Deadlines

Late shoppers, please note that the cut-off dates for domestic mail service are fast approaching.  Even if a package is shipped before the cut-off date, I still can't guarantee that orders will be received by Christmas.  It's the nature of the beast so to speak because so many things can happen with the United States Postal Service.  I will do my best and hope that the USPS does, as well.

First Class Mail (December 20)
Priority Mail (December 21)
Express Mail (December 22)

Domestic orders $75+ will automatically be upgraded to Priority Mail at no extra charge.

International & Military:  We are past the cut-off dates and packages will not arrive in time for Christmas.

OCH Holiday Market and My Weekend

OCH Holiday Market at Zeitgeist Cntr

I was a bit underwhelmed by the OCH Holiday Market on Saturday.  I think that it has the potential to be a really good market but the indoor space is in serious need of better lighting.  Shoppers commented that they couldn't see vendors' items and that they couldn't discern colors.  Had I known ahead of time that the lighting would be so dim, I would have brought lights with me--very large, bright lights.

My other quibble is that so few friends even knew that the market exists.  I'm talking about people who are totally in-the-know about what's going on in New Orleans and they hadn't heard of the OCH Market!  I think that the market needs to be more aggressively promoted if they want to compete with older markets such as Freret or newer markets like Piety St.  I recognize that having a market in Central City makes it a tougher sell to some potential shoppers but it's an up and coming area that is definitely getting revitalized.  It's too bad that Café Reconcile isn't open on Saturdays because that might help bring more customers.  The market should partner with the café for promotional purposes.  I'm not going to give up on this market and may decide to try it again but for now, I plan to focus on markets that are more well-known and have more serious shoppers.

My husband took these photos just as the market was opening:

OCH Holiday Market

 OCH Holiday Market

 OCH Holiday Market

OCH Holiday Market
My table was next to Nyssa Lyon of Hourglass Productions
You should definitely check our her fabulous jewelry!

Libellula Jewelry & Cicada Silver at OCH Holiday Mrkt
A view of my table

Libellula Jewelry & Cicada Silver at OCH Holiday Mrkt
...and another
Don't you just love my earring display frame made by David Bergeron?

The Fat Falafel Truck at OCH Market
My husband got his lunch from the food truck outside

Falafel Platter from The Fat Falafel Truck NOLA
Just a little food porn:  The Falafel Platter

My lunch was from Tsai and I scarfed it down before he could take any photos.  Oops!
  • Olive Boule
  •  Spicy Mushroom Soup with Scallions and Curried Squash (could have been a lot spicier)
  •  Fresh Greens with Parsley-fried Black-eyed Peas and Cheese (feta)
  •  Mint Tea (seriously refreshing!)

Jimbino Vegan & the Cannibals
We listened to great klezmer music by Jimbino Vegan & the Cannibals
which was timely (first day of Hanukkah)

Project Create at OCH Holiday Market
Children having fun making holiday cards as part of Project Create

Sunday was a lot of fun because the friend that my husband and I were staying with had a porch party and Heidi of Ex Post Facto Jewelry and I were able to set up our tables for a little holiday sale, as well.  It was great getting to know her in-person and I have the feeling that our little show was only the first of what will be many!

And just for laughs, a new Simon's Cat animation:

'Icecapade' by Simon Tofield

Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting Ready For A Holiday Market

I've been interested in the OCH Art Market in New Orleans for quite some time.  The market was named for Oretha Castle Haley who was one of Louisiana's leading civil rights activists.  I finally decided to take the plunge and will be selling there this Saturday.  Each month, the market has a theme with this month being the holiday market.  I'm sure that came as no surprise!

OCH Market Themes For 2012

Holiday markets in New Orleans are typically very festive and colorful in an off-beat, quirky way so, I expect this to be no different.  I'll have an indoor table which should be comfortable considering the weather is currently forecast to be rather warm for this time of year with a high of 75°.  I really hope that the forecast changes because weather that warm doesn't seem very much like holiday market weather!

I'm tying up loose ends this week and also getting ready for the show--busy, busy!  In addition to my usual offerings, I'll also have some new items at lower price points in the hope that I can get some of those stocking stuffer dollars and impulse purchases. 

If you're in the New Orleans area on Saturday, please drop by; I'd love to meet you.  Market hours are from 10 am to 3 pm and because this is recognized "Cultural Products District", there is no sales tax on original art!

Here's more info about this month's market:

View Larger Map

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hurricane Season Is Over!

November 30th marked the end of the Atlantic hurricane season.  I think we can all agree that we're relieved that it is over!  Isaac's destruction in parts of Florida and rampage in Mississippi and Louisiana were more than enough to deal with in one season--but mother nature wasn't yet finished.  Superstorm Sandy forever changed the coastal communities of New Jersey and New York while causing widespread power outages throughout the Eastern Seaboard.  Those who experienced the extreme flooding and wind & surge damage will be dealing with FEMA, insurance companies, and red tape for the foreseeable future in their rebuilding attempts.  Let us all hope that they are treated better than those who have endured the same with previous storms.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Earrings Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Jó who won my etched copper earrings in the November giveaway!  I'll contact you soon.  Thanks so much for following my blog.