Thank you for your votes! Once again we had a tie in the Lake of the Month voter, this time between Duluth and Hawaii. In honor of the gorgeous weather we've been having here, I've broken the tie on my own in favor of the Hawaiian Islands. Sorry, Duluth fans! I'll put Duluth in the next line up and hope that you're able to rock the vote a little harder next time.

See that sad dog up there? That's Jack. He had a bad week last week. He was struggling to use his back legs, he bumped into doorways, he was really lethargic (well, way more so than a typical retired racer), and he "decorated" our carpets in three different rooms. A trip to the vet, some good meds, and lots of rest and care, and he's definitely on the mend. This can also be said for me, as I've been a wreck over his condition, and on the verge of tears nearly every half hour.

Thank you to all who voted in the first Lake of the Month poll! It was a fun race to watch, that ultimately ended in a tie between the Seattle and New Orleans areas, with the Hawaiian Islands coming in third. To break the tie, I enlisted the help of Mr. Jack-a-Roo who has 13 years of quick and decisive tie-breaking experience. O.K., not really. He's just a silly old pup who has a long and sticky sniffer. Here's how it all went down:

We're kicking off the Lake of the Month fun with five awesome candidates, chosen from some inquiries and interest I've garnered over the last year.

Lake Bemidji is the lake and namesake of my home town in Minnesota. Its longer name refers to the Mississippi that "runs through" the lake, and the lake boasts that it is the most northern point on the mighty river. The shoreline features a famous set of statues of Paul Bunyan and his trusty companion Babe the Blue Ox, and some say that Lake Bemidji is really one of Paul Bunyan's foot prints.

I'm pleased to introduce the newest feature to my new site: The Lake of the Month Voting System. It's that little, cream-colored box on the right side of the screen. See it? Here's the nitty-gritty:

How it works:

Each month, I will create a new piece to be added to the shop’s inventory based on the results of a poll. Anyone can vote once each month, and the results of the poll are available anytime. The location with the most votes wins, I create the piece and its template, and then I offer it for purchase in a wide variety of color sets.

My studio is... well... it's practical. It's not lovely, airy, sun-soaked, or spartan like all good studios are supposed to be, but it gets the job done. My studio is the messy pony tail of the workspace universe -- It ain't pretty, but it helps me get my work done.