Well this would’ve been nice to know about before Christmas…

… but better late than never! Wendy Tsao of Child’s Own Studio makes soft toys based on children’s drawings – “each one as unique as the child who drew it”. This is such a clever idea that obviously requires a lot of talent and skill. Can you imagine the look on a child’s face after receiving a soft toy that they themselves designed?

What a great concept! Go see more of Wendy’s work now, I bid you!

article-2143862-1310A568000005DC-257_964x717 article-2143862-1310A618000005DC-735_964x683

Enjoy Life, Stay Fit!



Merry Christmas, everyone (Yes, my protestant friends, it’s still Christmas till the 12 days of Christmas are over on Epiphany, January 6th)! I hope you all are finding it a blessed season with friends and loved ones this year.

One thing I love about this time of year is when people give me homemade sweets and expect me to eat them.

One thing I hate about this time of year is when people give me homemade sweets and expect me to eat them.

See, I don’t need any help rationalizing why it’s fine to pig out* during Christmas. This is when people bake, when they put their love into food and present it to those they care about. I receive delicious confections from family, friends, and clients throughout the season. Beautiful cookies, fudge, coffee cake, toffee, and chocolates (and never mind the wine) are piled high throughout my kitchen, needing only to be eaten before they spoil. And what a shame it would be to let them go bad or throw them out before their time. And since my better half wants NOTHING to do with dessert (poor, confused thing), it is simply up to me to eat them all. I know.

Of course, no one can eat loads of such things through the winter months, hiding out in big sweaters, and not expect to look plump come spring time. It’s really just physics. So what to do?

Poor, lonely equipment downstairs. I neglect you because I love you.

Well, exercise – duh. And I don’t know about you, but that can be harder to do when it’s cold out. I’m less motivated to bundle up and drive to the gym, or even use my own equipment downstairs. It’s cold down there! And forget running in these temperatures. I just want to curl up and watch MasterChef  with some nice wine and a plate of fudge. So I guess what I’m saying is that I, for one, need a super-convenient way of staying minimally in shape when my motivation is at its weakest. But luckily I have found a great solution: Jillian Michaels.**


Me by summer! Ha.

I’ve never been a fan of that TV show, The Biggest Loser. But I am a fan of home workout videos that are actually challenging and effective. P90X is definitely challenging – to the point of being more trouble than it’s worth, IMO – and effective if you actually do the work. I love the plyometrics and yoga from P90X, but the rest seems much more geared for male physiques (hey, if you’re male, go for it!). Even the ab work flared up my sciatica – which is weird. So when I found out that Jillian Michaels, from Biggest Loser fame, had her own series of workout videos, I decided it was just waaaay too convenient not to purchase the instant versions on Amazon, play them on my computer, and do the workouts right in my office! Yes, in my office! Like I said, way too convenient.

And these instant videos are very reasonably priced! I currently own three of her nine or so videos: 6 Week Six-Pack, Ripped in 30, and Killer Buns and Thighs. Each workout features a modified beginner version of the exercise, and then a more advanced version – so that really anyone (without injuries or bad joints) can master the movements. All you really need to start is a yoga mat and some small weights. Most videos have 2-4 different workouts on them, making it easy to vary the workout from day-to-day and keep most muscle groups adequately shocked throughout the week. Which is key if you’re trying to tone and/or build muscle and/or burn fat. I’m really, seriously pleased with this option for staying in shape through winter, and beyond.


Not actually what a home workout should look like.

Well anyway, that’s my recommendation – my gift to those of you out there who unapologetically love sweets. Let’s enjoy ’em, and then work ’em off! You’ll thank me once the endorphins kick in. 🙂

*Yes, I know that sugars and foods with high glycemic loads are quite bad for you (fats, however, are NOT to be avoided – a low-fat diet will actually leave you fatter, more stupid, and prone to high cholesterol and disease [if you don’t believe me, ask yourself why more Americans than ever eat “low-fat”, yet are on statins]- but that’s a whole different post), and when I say “pig out” I’m not truly recommending binge-eating of sweets here – only that it’s fine to eat more of them during the holidays.

**The notion of eating sweets and then exercising to compensate is most likely not one Jillian Michaels would support. But it’s better than eating sweets and not exercising – right?

Mother and Son

Here is a little resin rendering of stained glass that I made into pendant-form. The Blessed Mother and baby Jesus sparkle away in this piece, though my camera doesn’t quite manage to capture the glimmer. And while I’m aware it’s still the season of Advent and this image might seem premature, I also know Christmas shopping happens now if you’re good and organized (and not one who procrastinates till the last possible second). So this one will go in my shop now. [UPDATE: This piece is sold out.]


Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus pendant necklace


And even closer!

Shaken, Not Stirred

Most people don’t like wearing martinis; it tends to indicate a bad run in of sorts when drink meets shirt, or worse yet, face. But this little martini is perfectly at home being worn – especially to holiday parties. I did a funny thing here where I sculpted a tiny image out of Fimo and then coated it with resin. Necessity is the mother of invention… and I needed to invent a way to make a festive martini charm. Ok, maybe “need” is a strong word.

I’m not an alcoholic.

Oh, and apparently there’s a new Bond out.