It’s been a busy few weeks and the next few will be busy too. It has all come down to one crazy push before we end our 2014 show season with the Sonora Christmas Festival in November. Applications for 2015 are already going out, if you can believe it. The wheel, it keeps on spinning…

We had SUCH a nice time at the KMVR Celtic Festival.

The weather was, alas, not so congenial all the time. It thundered, roared and rained like mad. Our booth held up pretty well overall. I was pretty amazed at the hardy Northern California festival-goers – they were total troopers and came out in droves.

On Saturday night, we ate organic crepes, drank hot sweet spice tea, and danced in the rain to the lively tunes of the Screaming Orphans. Joy was rather overflowing at times.

Also (and it is entirely possible that it was not an “also” but rather, the first thing I noticed when we arrived) there was a pie truck.


I might have eaten six warm, freshly baked, hand pies.


Actually, let’s just be real, I totally ate all those warm and fresh blackberry hand pies over the course of the festival weekend.


It takes a lot of pie to keep smiles like this intact.

We had the best time ever!

Such a difference from when we were sitting in our booth at Crafted, waiting for crowds of shoppers who never came (though I hear that it’s a little more lively there now and that the market is really picking up steam, which is great news). A former co-vendor once said how glad she was that she had a “home” because it meant that she never had to go do an outside show again. I am genuinely glad that it has all worked out for her. Just because that particular model didn’t work out for my business doesn’t mean it isn’t a great model for hers. The model that resulted in stagnation for me was, perhaps, exactly what she needed to bloom.

I guess that’s one of the great things about small, creative businesses. It isn’t a one size fits all thing. We all have a niche, somewhere!

Well. Except, perhaps, the cat. The cat spent most of the trip in her carrier, complaining loudly. She kept it up for the entire trip to Portland.

rest stop cat

The cat was more like, “Yo this really sucks. This cage is small. Do I get complimentary peanuts? A soda? Anything? Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there? Guys? Did I mention THIS SUCKS?”

For like, 800 miles.

She isn’t complaining here in this shot because we put the carrier on the picnic table at the Dunsmuir rest stop and she was enjoying the fresh mountain air. We were enjoying the fresh mountain air and lack of complaining.

We risked the Vortex of Awful that is Medford, and got a motel for the night just to give everyone a break from the incessant feline yodeling. Honey didn’t mind the motel. That’s probably because she got to enjoy laptop time and free wi-fi. We did mind the motel, but that’s a story for another time and possibly a one star Yelp review. The bears were thrilled that we took them to their favorite diner chain for dinner.

diner bears

Sadly, the diner was caught in the Medford Vortex of Awful and thus became fodder for another one star Yelp review. The bears said that they didn’t mind the sand in the Captain’s salad one bit (they are, after all, bears) and they think we’re just picky. We’ve decided to skip Medford entirely next time and try our luck in Grant’s Pass instead.


And then… Portland. Which is a Vortex of Awesome. We had a really good time in Portland doing not much of anything at all. There was a trip to Powell’s Books, but then, there always is. You can’t go to Portland and not visit Powell’s. The bears were gratified that we made it in time for storytelling.


The cat settled in beautifully. She was thrilled to be in Portland, obviously.


There was epic coffee. Because, did I mention, Portland? Portland has spoiled me for coffee forever. I may not be able to survive on the swill they serve in California or really, anywhere that is Not Portland.

coffee a la portland

And then it was a leisurely drive down the coast of Oregon to Eureka. August tends to be foggy and cold in Eureka. We didn’t do much there either except hang with my dad, take epic naps, and go out for a hot tub one afternoon. There was talk of the beach, but then naps wound up being the more popular option.
The best part about Eureka – aside from my dad and being home for a minute – was finding gluten free chocolate mud pie – also dairy, egg and nut free. I might have eaten the entire thing, sans the few slices I (grudgingly) shared.

gluten free pie

This pie was not from Portland. They didn’t sell this pie in Portland, which is baffling. I’m sure this is an oversight that Portland will rectify before my next visit. They do, however, have a website for this pie. If you are eating gluten free, you really should take a look.

Then, alas, it was back to reality, back to life, and back to the mountain.

Looks like my nest is about to be empty again, just in time for stacking the firewood delivery, and chopping kindling and eventual snow shoveling.

Well played, young adults. Well played.

Ongoing update, this week!

It is all about the glass this week, here at Honey&Ollie. Glass, art beads and artisan elements!

Across the Rubicon: reminiscent of ancient silk roads – Celtic patterned bronze, sari silk, ancient Roman glass, art glass and Chinese turquoise.

Starry Skies Over Palatine Hill: ancient Roman glass, Scorched Earth ceramic components and vintage sari silk

Through Painted Deserts: bronze, Sleeping Beauty turquoise and poppy jasper

Roman and art glass up today… sea glass tomorrow!

Happy Birthday!

20 years ago today, something awesome happened and my life got exponentially better by far.


While it’s hard to believe that it’s actually been two decades, I have loved every minute of every day.


Happy birthday baby girl. I love you. <3


Yet More Fun With Cats

It all started a few weeks ago, during the Twain Harte fair, when Lovebug, Fifth Viscount Naughtypants, the Earl of Angelfluff, Mr. Tinklebritches Esq. III figured out how to get around the patented Grip Security Measures we’d installed on the back screen door. He took several extended romps through the lion and bear infested forest (y’all, there was a black bear just hanging out next to the wood pile two weeks ago), and discovered a lovely system of culverts and pipes under our road. Pipes that a resourceful fellow could duck into in a pinch, say, if a human being were pelting after him trying to forcibly return him to his Indoor Cat state. Done properly, a fellow could then pop up on the other side of the road and make his escape, while the hapless human was still peering fruitlessly into the culvert pipe, calling, “Heeeere kitty kitty….” and shaking a bag of salmon treats.


He is the Lone Free Ranger. Who has only ever had Inside Cat shots, because we erroneously believed that he was on board with the Inside Cat idea.

My bad.

Last week the Lone Free Ranger won an all expenses paid overnight stay in a luxury suite at the cat hospital, where he was diagnosed with asthma. So now he is on steroids. Our rambunctious, bear wrasslin, outside lovin’, take a walk on the wild side, little cat was initially thrilled at the idea of steroids. Visions of bodybuilding stardom danced in his little pea brain, perhaps a walk-on role in an updated barbarian movie was in his future!


No no. Those are the wrong kind of steroids. You aren’t going to be pumping it up with Hans and Franz any time soon, I’m afraid. These will just puff you up, my little Viennese sausage.

A few days later, he had to go back to the hospital. Indoor Cat meets Outside Virus. We added two more medicines to the regime. This is when I realized that every penny I made in San Jose was going to wind up in my vet’s bank account and I might have to sell a kidney to pay the rent.

1. We are now dosing the cat with meds five times a day.
2.My vet is probably planning an extended trip to Hawaii.
3.I will never be able to afford Hawaii because cat nebulizers are expensive.

Hawaii Sunset
This is Hawaii. WHERE I WILL NEVER GO. (and this is the flickr feed of the person who took this awesome picture)

So I’m curious. Do I look like a rodeo clown? Because wrangling this cat feels kind of like what I imagine I would feel like if I were a rodeo clown.

When he hears me open the fridge to get his meds out, he quickly leaps up to the top shelf of the cat tree and turns on the Death Ray Glare. Our cat tree is +6’ and I am only 5’7”. You may be starting to see a problem here.

little black raincloudbug

As I go look for a stepladder, he sinks his claws into the living room curtains and hangs on for dear life. Once the cat has successfully been extricated from curtains and cat tree, it takes three of us to actually get the meds into him: The Squasher, The Big Meanie and The Surgical Nurse.

The Squasher, has to sit (gently) on him and sort of restrain him with their knees, while (gently) maintaining a (gentle) grip on his scruff. It is not a risk-free task. We are all sporting livid claw marks around the knee area.

The Big Meanie, has to get the tip of the syringe between his tightly clenched little jaws in order to squirt the medicine into his mouth. This is tricky. The second he sees the syringe, the cat starts whipping his head around like a Moray eel. It is very easy for the Big Meanie to miss the target entirely. When this happens, the Squasher inevitably winds up with medicine all over his or her pants. At this point, everyone has to wait as the Surgical Nurse reloads the syringe. The Squasher must retain their grip on the cat. The Big Meanie must make the cat believe that this isn’t actually a violation of the Geneva Convention, that really, it’s for his own good and that this hurts me more than it hurts you.

The cat buys exactly none of it.

It is the Surgical Nurse’s job to load and hand the syringes over in the right order, as they are called for. “Doxycyclene!” “Towel!” “Prednisone!” “Water!” “MEDIC!” She must be ready with a paper towel in case a knee or a chin is in need of mopping. She must have band-aids, and Bactine close at hand. We all like this job best.

Last night the cat figured out how to spit his medicine across the living room. This morning he one upped that feat, made an alarming noise, spit his meds out in my face, clawed his way free and leapt to the top of the cat tree in a matter of seconds. There he sat, daring us to wrangle him down for a second time. There’s a point in every battle where someone says, “fuck it. You win.” Well I didn’t actually say, “Fuck it, you win.” No. I was trying to get prednisone out of my eye. But I thought it.

The cat has since informed me that I am violating his human rights. I will be hearing from his attorney and that also, he called the UN. I told him that the UN is busy and to get off the damn cat tree, it’s time for his dewormer. I haven’t had the guts to tell him that after his antibiotics run out, the vet will be jabbing him in the arse with Outside Cat shots. I’ll let her explain that one. She just got back from Hawaii after all. She’s nicely tanned and not covered in scratches and prednisone. Fresh. Yeah. That’s it.


Spacious Nuthouse Estates is currently chock full of nuts! And, er, cats. The Youngest and her cat have come home for an extended summer visit, before heading up to the Pacific Northwest. They’ll be making the permanent move later this fall but we get to enjoy them for a couple of months before they continue their journey to parts farther North.


Er. MOST of us are enjoying the visit. Except for Mr. MacGreedypants here, who won’t share the catnip mice.

My sofa.


My recliner.


My car.


Ok. Fine. You win that one. But do you deny, sir, that the other day when you and Ollie were wrestling in the kitchen, the both of you went THROUGH the screen door like you were Jet Li and Jackie Chan in a Hong Kong action thriller?


Mmmm hmmm. I thought so.



Do you further deny that later that day, you ripped out the mended screen door and escaped for an extended romp through the mountain lion infested forest?


Or that you then peed on the sofa?

You know. The one currently covered with duct tape.


Mmmm hmmm. You, sir, are the reason why we can’t have nice things.

Fortunately for me, I live with a grip (translation for non movie folks – grips hang lights and big screens and make complex “riggings” for those things at work. And at home, when you have a problem, they come up with solutions that usually involve zip ties, duct tape, scrap wood from set flats and other improbable but effective items). Aaaaand, he happened to come home this weekend. Aaaaaand he just happened to be sitting nearby when Bonnie shoved her head through the screen/duct tape seam, and got herself stuck, half in and half out.


Ten minutes later, the red duct tape was gone, and this had taken its place.


It’s like, things in my life covered in duct tape but kind of tidy looking and also more effective than the entire half roll of red duct tape I’d plastered all over the screen last week.

Thank you, honey.

In closing, I would just like to state that cats will destroy everything you love. Especially if it’s your grownup couch, which is the first piece of furniture you didn’t get off the side of the road on trash day in West Hollywood, but actually bought new.

And your $95 grown up screen door that you bought at Home Depot because you’re an adult now and grownups buy things like doors.

Cats are basically jerks.


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