Thursday, July 7, 2011

Celestria News

OK, so I lied. Not posting as often as I said I would. But hey, at least it's only been about 8 mos instead of 9 months since my last post so I'm improving! I'm still healthy and feeling good. I've found that I don't seem to regulate my temperature too well anymore. I get COLD really easy. I was still wearing two jackets and gloves into May on my walks. SO far I'm liking the warmer weather as long as it doesn't go past 90 - LOL!

On the art front: Have been working on a Border Collie puppy series this year. Many thanks to my BC friends who let me use their puppies as models! Trying to get some things done so I can have stuff ready for a vendor booth at the BCSA nationals. Here are some of the puppy pieces I've done so far:

On the Border Collie front I took Gracie to her first show for 2011 the first weekend in June at the Gridley, CA show. Wettest, soggiest weekend EVER! I'm a fair weather showing type of girl so pouring rain wasn't my idea of a good time. However, Gracie went BOB on the first day for a 3 point major. Judge had great things to say about her including that she thought that she had good substance, her movement was flawless - no wasted motion. Yes! That's what I want to hear!!! Nothing the second day and then went RWB to her sister Sadie on the third day. Also took along my blue-eyed, striped butt boy Kael and showed him for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised that all three judges I showed to gave him RWD. Two judges I think would have liked to have given him WD, but I think him having two blue eyes and the striped butt was a little more than they could deal with - LOL! He showed very nicely for me so I was happy.

Kael (Celestria's Warrior O'Tonalee, PT by CH X-mas Cracker at Clan-Abby x CH Tonalee's Hiland Hope, PT, FDCH) is also now a daddy! He was bred to Pam Hartman's lovely blue merle girl GCH Fallon's Silver Phantom. Lovely litter with 5 girls and one boy. 1 black & white girl (looks just like her grandma Laura), 1 stunning blue & white girl, 3 blue merle girls and 1 blue merle boy. All puppies are doing great in their new homes. The blue girl, Xena, is being kept at Fallon Border Collies as a show prospect and should make her show debut in October. Isn't she just the prettiest little thing?

Can't wait to see this grandpuppy grow up!

I'll probably show at the Dixon show in August and then we'll be off to the BCSA national in September.

Also, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Sandy Bohr with Mariah (CH Celestria HiTop's Wind Song) who got her HSAs a couple of weekends ago with THREE (count em!) THREE HIT's!!! Also Congrats to Maryln Fiscus with Concho (CH Celestria Caliente's Concho) who went RHIT to his sister on two days of the trial and also got his HSAs. Plus, Jayme Martinez got the only qualifying duck run on the first day with Kestra (Celestria's Kestra O'Tonalee - who has too many titles to list!). Very proud of all of our furkids who are excelling in the herding trials - way to go!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don't Faint - I actually Posted Something!

Yeah, so I'm actually posting something. Now, now, don't roll over and faint. It's only been what...9 months, but honestly I had a good excuse. 2010 started out pretty well with getting my beloved Gracie puppy (whose 1 year old birthday is tomorrow BTW!). Then in April I suffered a stroke, on my birthday of all days and I'm not that old! I also found out while I was in the hospital that I had a leak in one of my heart valves that was misdiagnosed as asthma for about 8 years. Luckily, the stroke was pretty mild and I was out of the hospital the next day. It only affected my speech slightly and the thumb, pointer and index fingers of my right hand. However, that is my drawing hand! I recovered remarkedly fast - didn't need rehab or occupational therapy at all. They were pretty surprised when I walked in with this drawing done 22 days post-stroke:

Regardless it's taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things art-wise, especially painting. I put even attempting that until the end of October. Pencil work was OK, even though struggling with fine detail work a bit, but because I use such small brushes I just wasn't sure how much control I was going to have painting. I decided to start with an OSWOA (Original Small Work of Art) and have it halfway finished. The weather hasn't been cooperating all that well for working out in my studio. I don't have water out there for cleaning brushes so have to run back into the house when I need to do that. I've done a few other pieces in the last several months, but have pretty much been taking it easy with the art work. I'm currently working on setting up shops at,, and possibly

On the plus side from the stroke and heart issues, I've really changed my eating - no processed foods (fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meat), no salt, no dairy, very little fats (even the good kind) and started walking about 5 miles a day. I have become an expert on what foods have the lowest sodium content and what foods will give me the biggest bang for my sodium goals. My main goal is to NEVER end up in the hospital again if I can help it and I want to be around for a good long time. So while I didn't make those changes with the intention of losing weight, I've lost 64 lbs and am down to a size 8, plus I physically feel better than I have in years. It doesn't take much to make a difference, it just takes the will to make changes and stick with them :)

Gracie has been SO much fun! We get a huge kick out of her. She is such a character and is very human-like in wanting to talk to or communicate with us. We've found that when she thinks it's bedtime at shows, she's not happy until I go to bed - she's very much into power napping! She is a very tall, leggy girl and she is much slower to mature than her littermates. She still looks rather puppyish compared to her sister Sophie. So I'm putting her up for the year and will bring her out again next spring. Hopefully she will have matured and filled out more by then. I'll be trying her on stock for the first time in two weeks. Considering that she has shown a recent demonic need to shear my sheepskin throw of all of it's wool, I hope the sheep at the test fare better - LOL! Here are a couple of pix of Gracie at her first show at 6 mos. old in May 2010.

Well, that's it from the Celestria front for now, but I'll try to post much more often in the future :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's New in the Celestria Zoo

Wow, I didn't realize that it has been that long since I posted anything on here. I admit it. I'm a really terrible blogger! Actually, just got very busy during July and August getting ready for, organizing and putting on the BCCNC specialty show. Then was sick most of September, followed by a few more health issues in October, which was followed by the holidays. But it's a new year so will try to get back to posting on a regular basis :)

OK, so here are a few updates.

Celestria Dogs - We have a new little furkid here at Celestria. I'd like to introduce you to Gracie (aka Fallon's Divine Grace at Celestria)! She is a great-granddaughter of my beloved Skye (wow - where did the time go?) and definitely shares some of great grandma's personality traits. Gracie's sire is Concho (CH Celestria Caliente's Concho) and her dam is Misty (CH Shoreland's Misty Moonlight). Is she adorable or what? She's got my husband totally wrapped around that little paw of hers. I'm so looking forward to showing her later this spring!

Grandma Bunny absolutely adores Gracie and they play just about all day long. I think Gracie is really good for Bunny because I think Bunny has missed Skye quite a bit.

Loki is continuing with his herding training although I've decided to let my herding instructor handle him. He's a lot of dog and he can totally wear me out. I think he'll progress much faster with her working him. I'm hoping he'll be ready for Started later this spring, but he still gets major teenage boy brain and he really ought to be past that by now. However, he adores Debbie and loves to work stock so I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

Took Gracie and Laura up to play in the snow on Valentine's Day. Totally last minute idea. We were past 5,000 feet before we even saw snow which really surprised us. Since we were more than halfway to Reno at that point I called some friends to see if they wanted to visit for a bit. Laura is NOT thrilled with snow and thought it was really rude that we expected her to pee in that cold stuff - LOL! However, she got to go play ball with some cute doggie buds until she was about ready to pass out, so that made it up to her. Gracie liked the snow, but since she's still just in her puppy coat she got cold rather quickly.

Art Work - Well, haven't really done much in the last six months but here are the latest few pieces I've done. This one was a commissioned piece of a Bearded Collie:

These are some colored pencil pieces I did on Kentucky Black Slate. I've actually done about eight of them now. People seem to really like these and I love the uniqueness of each piece of rock. The hard part is finding the right size and thickness in the pieces of slate. Not to mention slate is a fairly fragile rock - it shatters and it has extremely sharp edges:

This one is Jamie Jackson's Bryson.

This one is Sandy Bohr's Alex.

That's about it for updates right now :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Aw-w-w-w! SO CUTE!!!

Celestria Art Update:

OK, I know I said the next piece was going to be a Beardie, but I ran out of one of the colors of ink that my printer takes so couldn't print my reference photos for it. So, I pulled this one out to finish since it was already about a third of the way done. I had started on this about a year ago, then put it away when I got busy with other projects.

This is Kestra as a puppy (Celestria's Kestra O'Tonalee, CH X-mas Cracker at Clan-Abby x CH Tonalee's Hiland Hope, PT, FDCH). Kestra is out of a litter I bred and she belongs to Jayme Martinez who is a friend of mine. She's turned out to be a terrific agility dog and does herding also. She has so many titles at this point that I can't even begin to remember them all.

This is one of the very few canine drawings I've done for myself and one of the even fewer that I've done of my own dogs or dogs I've bred. I think the grand total is like three. Four if you count a plaque I did that went as a judges gift :)


Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Studio is Finished - Whoo Hoo!!!

After nearly three years my art studio is finally finished!!! I LOVE my studio! No more working out of my kitchen and dining room areas. No more gigantic drafting table in the dining area and I can actually use my island for kitchen stuff again!

Here's a couple of pics of my little slice of Heaven.

Celestria Art Updates:

I just finished a Border Collie portrait of Margot McKereghan's girl Fanny. Fanny won the portrait as an award at a herding trial last year. Next up will be a Bearded Collie, then two more Border Collies and then an Aussie. After that I'm focusing on some fantasy work for awhile.

Celestria Dogs Updates:

I entered Loki in his first herding trial last Sunday and he got his first qualifying run for his PT (Pre-Trial Tested) title. He didn't get me run over or anything - life is good :) However, one of the three ewes that were set out for us was a big girl and she must have thought Loki was going to eat her because she kept crowding me and stepping on my feet. Loki kept us very entertained during the rest of the trial with his Pepe Le Pew flirting antics every time he saw a girl - the dog has major Boy Dog Brain. He's so funny about his flirting and he doesn't impress the girls in the least. I swear I saw several of them roll their eyes. Haven't we all felt that way at one time or another when dealing with the opposite sex (no offense to the men out there as I'm sure you've felt the same way once or twice :) ?

Nothing much going on with the other dogs - all happy and well. The sheep are all doing well and the lamb is almost as big as her grandma now. Oh, and we named the lamb Sheba-a! LOL!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finally Finished!!!

I'll bet you were thinking I was going to report that I didn't have any new art work. Well, wrong!!! I finally finished several things and it's still the first week in May - Whoo Hoo!!!

Celestria Art Updates

I recently finished this piece of a BC doing obedience work with scent articles. It was done as part of a collage for the 2009 Border Collie Society of America (BCSA) Specialty Logo (more on that in a bit). Painted with acrylics on 140 lbs. hot press water color paper.

That was the last piece needed for me to finally finish the 2009 BCSA National Specialty Logo. The show chair wanted it done in grayscale this year. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but it was A LOT of work. A total of 7 1/2 individual paintings were done for this, although 2 1/2 ended up not being used. For additional info on the 2009 BCSA National Specialty go here

Celestria Dogs Update
I started herding with the Loki Monster again after an 18 mos. break and he hasn't given me another concussion........yet. Although my herding buddies keep ribbing me and asking if I've got my helmet with me. Yeah, I'll probably never live that one down - LOL! My herding instructor was very pleased with how Loki was working after such a long time away and asked if I was planning on getting his PT (Pre-Trial Tested title) or just going straight to Started. In an effort not to embarrass myself, I think I'm going to do the PT first. Apparently the time away from the sheepies was a good thing. Loki has grown up and matured mentally. He's working really well, but I do see signs of his mother's (Bunny) sense of humor popping up (i.e. trying to pull a little wool if they think they can get away with it). Not to mention, my timing has apparently improved with lack of use - go figure! Anyway, looking forward to our first trial but I'm only going to be able to do one day at that one due to a previous commitment.
Not much going on with the other furkids. They are all healthy and happy :)
Our lambiekins continues to grow like a weed, but she still doesn't have a name. I just haven't found the right one yet. The rest of the sheep are all fat and sassy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April Update

Yes, I know - it's been two and a half months since my last post. I'm not good at updating - I admit it. I just always have so much going on that I have a really hard time keeping up with things like blogging - it's one of the reasons I've resisted blogging for so long in the first place. I really don't know how some people keep up multiple blogs, plus things like myspace, facebook, livejournal, etc. And now twittering seems to be the newest thing. Yeah, it's all a bit much for my taste.

On the Celestria Art Front:

Sorry to report that I have no new pieces done at the moment. April is an extremely busy month for me with birthdays and dog events going on all month, so it doesn't leave a lot of time to work on anything else. Plus, I hurt my right thumb in the beginning of March and it has taken quite a while to get it back to normal so I can draw or paint. You really don't realize how much you rely on your thumbs until you can't use them!!!
However, my art studio is just a few steps away from being finished now. The walls are painted, the ceiling fan w/light is in and working. However, there's some wiring confusion in regards to the two sets of flourescent lights, but it should get worked out shortly. After the lighting is in, then comes the linoleum, baseboards and window/door trim and then I will be able to move my drafting table, bookshelves and art supplies into the studio - YAY!!!

Celestria Dogs update:

Let's see...Loki broke a toenail in March - split it right up the middle with bone exposed. That meant vet visit and antibiotics. At least one of the dogs breaks a toenail badly enough for a vet trip every year. I blame the clay soil we have. After a good long rainy period it gets saturated, then when it starts to dry out it gets really STICKY. The dogs dig in when running, they make a tight turn and the toenail sticks enough to cause torsion and viola - nasty broken toenail. Anyway, the Loki Monster is fine now and being a silly boy as usual.

Laura got her neck and shoulder a bit out of whack playing frisbee with my young niece and cousin. She doesn't realize that she's 8.5 yrs now and not two. Laura will always be a young dog at heart and in her head, but that also means she doesn't know when to quit sometimes which causes her to end up hurting now and again. Anyway, Laura and I both visited the chiropractor about a week ago and got adjusted - it was the first time for both of us. Interstingly, the chiropractor said that he found it amusing that he pretty much did the same adjustments on both of us. He also said I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders. Really....????? No surprise there, but it was the best my neck and shoulders have felt in years! Definitely have to see the chiropractor again! The nice thing was that he was surprised to find out how old Laura was. He said if I hadn't told him, he would have guessed her to be about 2 yrs. old because her lumbar area was in excellent shape with no signs of arthritis. Maybe Laura is proving that being young at heart can also help keep you young physically.

Bunny has developed a new habit which is both funny and just a little annoying at the same time. She has only one toy she likes which is a stuffed octopus with long dangling legs. She's decided that when I go to bed, it's playtime with her "octie". Yes, let's jump up on the bed with Octie, toss him around, throw him off and jump after him repeatedly. Then get mom to play "Kraken Attack" with her. While I'm really happy to see her having a good time playing I just wish she could find a better time than 10:00 p.m. (I get up around 3:45 a.m.) I realize I haven't helped by playing with her, but she seems to really like this alone time with me and after she plays for about 20-30 minutes she's ready to snuggle and sleep. So I guess I'm willing to be a little more tired in the morning if it keeps her happy......The things we do for our dogs!

Kael is just his same good natured self. As long as he gets his treat in the morning and his dinner on time, and his share of attention he's a happy camper.

Oh, yes. We finally got our sheep. We have three purebred Mouflon sheep which are a "hair" breed, meaning that they shed and don't need to be sheared yearly. We have a grandma (12-13 yrs. old) and her two daughters (7 yrs old and sisters from a set of triplets) and this year's lamb from one of the daughters. We are really enjoying them and I don't care what people think - sheep are not stupid and they do have definite personalities. The Mouflon sheep is one of the oldest breeds of sheep and rather rare now. The breed is considered to be one of the two breeds from which all domestic breeds of sheep originated from. Mouflon sheep were originally wild sheep from the Corsica, Sicilia and Sardina. Here's a pic of our sheepie girls: