Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Sale!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, if you celebrated!  I spent most of my time cooking, cleaning, cooking some more, cleaning some more...and well, you get the picture!  

I did not venture into the Black Friday shopping madness, though I did drop by Michaels on Thursday for their Thanksgiving evening sale.  There were some great buys (with coupon) and everyone was really calm and happy, which was a pleasant surprise.

I am currently having a 10% off holiday sale (no coupon required!) in my Artfire store and wanted to let everyone know about it!  The sale lasts until December 15th, so be sure to get your holiday shopping in!  My earrings make great stocking stuffers :D

I will be adding more items in the next couple of weeks too and they will also be on sale for the discounted price, so check back often!

Best Wishes!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Only 7 more days...

Until the end of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Holiday Scavenger Hunt!  Have you submitted your entry yet?

So many beautiful prizes and two great ways to enter!  Good luck!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yet another way to win during the Smooshers Holiday Scavenger Hunt!

Have you checked out the Polymer Clay Smoosher's website yet?  There is this great Holiday Scavenger Hunt going on, that gives you the opportunity to win one of many beautiful polymer clay prizes!

Now, you have another great way to win!  Check out their blog post to find out more's quick and easy, plus you get an extra chance to win one of these gorgeous creations!

Good Luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Scavenger Hunt!

Want to have some fun and embrace the holiday spirit early?

Want a chance to win a beautiful, handcrafted polymer creation?  

Members of the Artfire Polymer Clay Smooshers guild are hosting a Holiday Scavenger Contest!

Visit their website to find out all of the rules to participate.  Here are some of the great prizes that have been donated by guild members:

The hunt is extremely fun and a great way to start your holiday shopping!

Good Hunting!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What is Romance?

This week, our blog theme for the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild is Romance.  These beautiful items from talented Smooshers showcase all of the beautiful ways that romance can be interpreted.  

The very word conjures up a variety of images for every person.


Sweet desserts…

Hearts…floating on air…

Blazing passion…

Poetry of love…

Our sweetest honey…

The sunshine of our life.

My boyfriend doesn’t write lengthy sonnets, or send me roses on a weekly basis.  Our romance is expressed through homemade dinners, visiting local vineyards, 

Reading together, curling up to watch a good movie and spending time with our family, friends, pets and each other.

However you define romance, make sure to sprinkle some into each and every day.  Tell your loved ones how you feel about them and cherish every moment. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Joys of Life

There are so many things in my life that give me joy…my family, my friends, the beauty of nature around me.  One of the things that has always brought joy into my life is my love for animals.  Growing up in a rural area, my parents encouraged me to commune with nature.  They supported my interests in wildlife and taught me to respect nature.

One of my favorite insects to play with while growing up was ladybugs!  One of my favorite memories was when my family and I were at a state park where they were demonstrating how to smoke tobacco leaves on a working plantation.  While other people were running away screaming by the hundreds of ladybugs driven out by the smoke, I was enthralled by my new “friends.”  

I suppose this love of nature is why I chose a career path that lets me work with animals on a daily basis.  When I think back over the past ten years as I have moved from state to state and worked in different organizations, I am amazed with the huge number of species I have been in contact with. 
My first experience working outside of the normal animals (dogs, cats, fish) was when I completed an internship at a zoo in Tennessee.  I absolutely loved my time there and was able to work with a wide variety of exotic species.

One of the most heartwarming and significant encounters I had while working there was a female Bengal tiger.  Now, I was always partial to white Bengals…I love their ivory coats and beautiful eyes.  This beautiful orange tiger, “J”, taught me not to judge by appearances.  I never expected to see personalities within larger animals, like you can often see in the household dog or cat, but J was absolutely amazing.  She would “chuff” as I approached the fence, an affectionate sound of tigers.  She loved the different types of enrichment that I would put onto her exhibit and would watch me carefully as I walked around, placing different aromatic oils or hide goodies for her to find later in the day. 

One month, I was kept extremely busy in different areas of the zoo and did not have the chance to visit J for several weeks.  I was heartbroken to be away from her for that long, but I was working with other large cats and in order to prevent communicable diseases from being transferred, I had to stay away.  Finally, I was able to go visit J early one Sunday before the zoo was opening.  The other husbandry tech and I climbed out of the gator and saw this tiger, sitting and staring intently at us.  

We then heard the strangest sounds…it wasn’t a full growl, but rather just a very low, very steady “grrrrr.”  I looked nervously at my companion, “What does that sound mean?”  She shrugged, looking very perplexed and told me to stay back while she went to see what was wrong.  After a few moments, the tiger was acting normally again and she waved me through to go to the exhibit.  One corner of the night enclosure was badly positioned between a tree and a steep hill, so you had to squeeze between the fence and tree to get to the door.  J watched me the entire time, while the other zookeeper went ahead.  Nervous by those intent eyes, I started to squeeze by the tree, keeping one eye to the ground for my footing and one eye on the tiger.  

J picked this exact moment to lunge at the fence, hitting it hard with her paws and stretching her entire length above me (about 6 feet or so).  I yelped and fell backwards into the dirt, staring up at this magnificent, albeit terrifying creature.  The tiger looked down at me for a long moment before she dropped to her haunches…and began chuffing at me!  J had played a practical joke on me!  At first I was irritated, since I had fallen into wet mud and was still shaking from the encounter…then I was amazed that this tiger was acting just as she always had with me.  The zookeeper was amazed and had never seen that behavior before.

I could have dismissed it as just a random animal behavior, but apparently my reaction was very reinforcing for the tiger, because as I was leaving, J did the exact same thing again!  This time, I was prepared, but no matter how prepared you are…a six foot tiger stretched above you is impressive!

My career has carried me through working with exotic species, agriculture and traditional animals.  Surprising to many people, some of my favorites are in the rodent family.  Mice and rats are extremely complex animals.  Sociable animals, to the point that they enjoy being held if treated properly.  I enjoy working with them and their antics bring joy to my work life.  My favorite part of the day is when I retreat to check over them and make sure that all is well.  Some days, I prefer animals to people! Less drama, more truth.