Thursday, April 5, 2012

The End Of Ceramic Christmas Trees

I have some not-so-good important news for you today...but also some hope if you still want a ceramic Christmas Tree handmade by Dark Horse Arts and Gifts. We were so overwhelmed this past year (2011) with orders for our trees, that as of today we are still fulfilling orders from December!

Ceramic Christmas Trees For Sale
11 Inch Ceramic Christmas Tree
A BIG THANK YOU to all of our patient and loyal customers who have been waiting for their own special tree to be completed so long after purchasing. We are doing our best, but as you may know there have been some significant obstacles...

As you may or may not know, Mom had a heart attack and had open-heart surgery, only to have that grafting fail in the month following the original surgery. She now has several stents and is doing much better. Glenn has his own disabilities due to a former back surgery a few years ago for a thankfully benign, but large tumor in his lower lumbar area. Then there is me...

After taking care of everyone else while running our little business and working full time, I broke my back in January 2011 (lifting of course a bucket of clay to pour into a Christmas Tree mold), however I did not know that it was actually broken until two vertebrae completely collapsed and the pain forced me to the Emergency Room. Long story short...believe me you don't want to hear all the details and I prefer not to re-hash them... I had back surgery and it was found that I had cancer. Apparently what appeared to be a breast cyst was actually breast cancer that had metastasized to my bones; specifically my spine, ribs and pelvic areas.

19" Ceramic White Christmas
That was back in May of 2011, and since then it has been an experience of a lifetime. So many friends and even strangers stepped forward to help me get the alternative treatment I was seeking, because there was no way that I was going to have chemo or radiation. Glenn was so wonderful in caring for me and he even started a Facebook page here:
so that people could donate whatever amount they could to help me get to a clinic in Mexico to undergo alternative cancer treatment. If you want to know more, you can visit my True Story here where I contributed to a natural health website in hopes of helping others and getting the word out that there are alternatives that work.

I am still undergoing treatment, but making good progress, finally.  I was down to 89lbs when I came back from Mexico, and as it turned out, the treatment protocol they had me doing was helping, but was not as aggressive as my cancer. That is why I now take Protocel for my cancer and again, you can read more details here.

Now that all three of our team have our fair share of obstacles and challenges, we have with great regret decided that we can no longer continue our ceramics business.

We have our business up for sale, and we have a couple of interested buyers.  This process will take some time though.

Because we had so many heart-warming stories for our wonderful customers about their family traditions including a Ceramic Christmas Tree (started by Mom or Grandma, etc.) and that they wanted to carry on this tradition and purchased our vintage-style, handmade new Ceramic Christmas Trees made to order just for them, we have decided to complete the orders we still have outstanding which we anticipate being done no later than June 2012, and we have opened up our dedicated website to accept "pre-orders" of trees for this, our final year.

7" Miniature Collection
You have the opportunity for a limited time to pre-order any of our Ceramic Christmas Trees on the website and we will make your tree starting in July and you will receive your order no later than Thanksgiving.

As you can imagine, we cannot produce many more trees given our health situations - it has definitely slowed us down and I am only able to supervise and do very small things to help. So, to be frank, if you want a tree from us, or a collection of trees, order now.

As I mentioned, it is with deep regret that  we have to stop making the ceramics that we so love and enjoy making for others to treasure, but I am sure that you can understand given the circumstances.

Whether we are able to sell our Dark Horse Arts and Gifts ceramic business or not, this pre-order season starting now until we reach maximum orders we can fulfill before Thanksgiving will be the last that we make.

We are also selling the last of our other in-stock items at our Etsy store here:

Once the items you see there are gone, we will not be producing anymore.

Once again, we wish to truly thank all of the wonderful people who have stepped forward to help us in out times of need, and our continuing need for support, including the great folks at TACA (Tucson Arts and Crafts Association). We are very fortunate and grateful to everyone.

We hope to hear from you and if we can make that Special Ceramic Christmas Tree or other item for you before we close our 'virtual doors' then we will be very happy to do so!

All my best wishes for your great health and happiness in all things,

Silver Bells Collection
Old Fashioned Deluxe Collection

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DIY Time! Paint Your Own Ceramic Horse

I remember when I was a little girl and there was a carnival in town, I always coveted the miniature horse statues that you could win as a prize at some of the games. I never did win one... sadly I guess I sucked at those games (but doesn't everybody :)  So my search for getting a horse statue that I could love for my very own continued until today. 

After searching for the last 2 years, we found a great design for a small standing horse that I just love! And the best part is, unlike the plastic Made In China horses that you get nowadays, our horses are ceramic and can last a lifetime... plus you get to paint it!!!

You can see an example of my first try painting this little darling horse. I think he came out beautifully. Eventually, we will offer some finished horses in this style - and since I am always looking for ideas, if you have a favorite type of horse, leave me a comment so I can make one  - but for now I am offering this little horse as a DIY Paint Your Own Ceramic Horse kit at our Etsy store or just bisque piece paif you have your own paint.

It is very easy to paint, and girls go crazy over this project. Really memorable for birthday parties, or as a gift that will last a lifetime. Really... I have some ceramic pieces that I made when I was 11 years old that look like new 30 years later (OK I just gave away my age a bit! lol ) 

I really ope you love this paint your own ceramic horse as much as I do!  Love to see your comments :)

All my best wishes for your health and happiness,

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Amazing Cucumber - 13 Things You Didn't Know It Could Do

I love finding natural ways to combat household problems or everyday issues -- and of course we all know what cucumbers are: they are just another vegetable we put on salads and possibly in cruditès. But I bet you had no idea how versatile cucumbers really are. You'll probably never look at a cucumber the same way again.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeine and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up which can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance (try it on your car windows when it’s raining or cold).  

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Give yourself a micro version of that expensive spa treatment without all the chemicals in most of those expensive spa products. Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too! 

Read 8 more ways you can use cucumbers (including how to use cucumber for hangovers, a "green" way to clean stainless steel sinks and faucets...and more!)   Enjoy!  

 For information purposes only. The content on this page is not intended as advice. Your results may vary.

To your great health every day,