Saturday, January 30, 2010

Home sweet home!

I got back from the hospital late last night and am very tired and sore but I am feeling much better than yesterday. I spent about 10 days very sick, unable to hold down any food, and in a lot of pain before my sweet husband convinced me to go to the doctor. I have had problems with ulcers in the past and so I thought that I was just having problems with them again since the pain was in about the same area and was very similar.

On Tuesday I went in to urgent care. I went to an excellent facility called MD Urgent Care where everyone was very friendly and they saw me only a few minutes after we arrived. The Doctor then prescribed me some medication and scheduled an ultrasound for Thursday to look at my Gall Bladder.

On Thursday my ultrasound was over at about 10:45 and at about 1:00 I got a call from the Doctor about the ultrasound, which I was told not to expect until next Tuesday. I had several Very large gall stones, and it also appeared that my gall bladder was very infected so the doctor had me go in to the hospital that night. I ate a bowl of soup at about 2pm on Thursday or they would have operated that night, but they operated at about 10am Friday instead.

I was supposed to come home this morning instead of last night, but my baby was not allowed in to the hospital so they let me go early since everything went well.

I will probably not be able to play in the tournament at the end of February, but that is ok I guess.

I hope everyone is well, and thank you to those who sent me well wishes, it was greatly appreciated!


Thursday, January 28, 2010


Erica is in the hospital waiting for surgery to have her gall bladder removed. And I am home alone with Autumn. Not that Autumn isn't cute, but I'm happier when Erica is at home.

It has been quite a week here.

I've been doing aerial surveys for big game on the res. No, I don't hunt, never have, probably never will, but it is part of my job.

We've been flying in a nice little helicopter, which, if you haven't done it, is remarkably tiring, even if you don't get air sick.

The plan was to cover about 500,000 acres in 5 days. And then it snowed. So, today was postponed. And then Erica went into the hospital, and an BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) man that the Natural Resources Program works with a lot died of cancer. So I will probably end up working this weekend too.


Oh...I posted some knife stuff over on Hangedmandesigns too.

Erica's surgery should be pretty minor, a couple little holes in the tummy, some R&R, and she should be able to skate in the tournament up near Seattle next month.

She's hard core.

And I love her.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am sponsoring a giveaway on! to enter follow this link to her blog: Win it Wednesday

I am giving away this bones red roller skate bearing necklace. It is reversible. I used these bearings in my roller derby skates.

We can also make custom versions of these. I have two of them and I wear one or the other almost every day! I love them!

Please visit to enter her giveaway and win this awesome item!

Please also visit her store

Also, I finally went to the DR to talk about my stomach. I have been in a lot of pain every time I eat and throwing up about once a day. I thought it was ulcers because I have had problems with them in the past and it feels very similar. The Dr. I saw yesterday is leaning towards gall bladder stones. I will have an ultrasound tomorrow morning to look for those. He also gave me a prescription for Prilosec for the ulcers and another one for if it is my gall bladder. The one for the gall stones I take with every meal to prevent pain, and so far it has really worked! I have been on a very low fat diet, but I have to cut back even more until we find out if it is gall stones.

Other than that I am doing very well, Autumn is adorable, as always and Adam is wonderful, as always!

Have a good day!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Jacki over at featured our store on her two for Tuesday blog post!

You can see the post by going to her blog

I love this cuff from her store, and it is on sale now for only $8.50! Click on the picture to go to the listing.

I am also on ChristieCottage's BNS thread and I have made some wonderful friends over there! If you are thinking about joining a BNS thread, which I highly recommend, I would suggest starting on ChristiCottage's thread.

BNS stands for Buy and Sell, there are also buy and replace threads. I love them because they are a great way to meet people and network. It is like being part of a community of people that support and promote each other. I have been less active in them the ones I am on since the holidays, so i need to drop in soon and chat :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Twinkie Cup

Autumn Admires the Trophy

This Saturday, in celebration of our friend John's ( Johnny Rocketpants in the derby world) 30th birthday we joined him at an indoor race track for a very fun party.

This is how Rocketpants explained the event:
To celebrate my 30 years of greatness, I require a competition of epic proportions. Hence I must insist on reviving one of the greatest challenges ever conceived -- The Twinkie Cup. A battle pitting friends against friends in tiny cars, hurling down the concrete at moderately quick speeds with the victor given the most glorious trophy in all of motorsports -- an oversized Margarita glass full of golden sponge cake with creamy filling.

We will race from 8 - 10 pm, with the winner determined by their top 3 lap speeds. As well, a twist will be implemented to spice up the competition. Those participating may dress in Smokey & the Bandit attire with their ensemble deducting their total time.

In this competition, you can deduct time in the following ways:
1. Having mustache: -3 sec
2. Wearing Bandit attire (pearl-snap shirt & boots): -6 sec
3. Wearing Smokey attire (police uniform): -12 sec
4. Wearing Sally Field attire (wedding dress): -24 sec

Adam and I Prepared for the party by making fake mustaches

We had a great time on Saturday night! I did not race this time because I was watching Autumn. I didn't race last time either... I don't know why...

Adam and I wearing our fake mustaches. Mine is pink :)

Adam Raced and got about 4th place.

Bill won the Twinkie Cup this year, Thanks to his beautiful wedding dress.

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of Rocketpants! He looked awesome in his fake stache, cowboy hat, mother of pearl snap shirt and boots.

In other news I have been very sick for the past week. I have had really awful stomach pain and throwing up daily. Last week I had a cold on top of that. When I Was going to FIDM I had some really bad ulcer attacks, and they acte
d exactly like this, so I am assuming that is the problem. I am taking some medication that should make it feel better soon and I am also eating really mild foods like oatmeal... but I really want a pickle, damnit! I would also love to eat pasta with tomato sauce or even an orange.

Also, I have created the inner ties in the wedding dress I am finnishing up so it looks MUCH better now. All I have left is the viel, which I plan to make this afternoon. Sorry if you are tired of looking at this silly dress, expect to see it one more time after the final pictures are taken :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Busy with Custom Orders!

I have been sparse lately, partially for reasons that I can't explain, and mostly because we are busy with several custom orders, and I am very busy with roller derby. I am skating 4+ days a week again, which is fun, but I also spend a lot of time planning the 2 practices that I run, researching teams and drills and doing other things behind the scenes. We have also started climbing every Friday again.

Here are a few pictures from our trip to Michigan:

Adam and Autumn looking into a koi pond

A nice picture of the two of us

Autumn looking gleefully into the donation box as though at 14 months she already knows the power and importance of money in this world.

Also, last Saturday I died my hair black. I like it.

So, these are our custom orders:

Yesterday I finished these adorable Martial Arts Kiddos. There are 12 of them, 6 boys and 6 girls. I tried to make a good multicultural mix. I think they are cute but am a little worried that they are fragile.

Adam also recently finished this awesome kitchen chopper. I really love it and am encouraging him to make more. He does have a few kitchen knives on the bench though, including a stainless steel one. I cant wait to see how they turn out. I will be shipping this one very soon.

Then there is the wedding dress I am working on. All I have left to do is cut the stray strings, and make the veil. I also decided today when I put this dress on the form to take pictures that I wanted to add some strings to tie up the skirt from the inside to make the raised skirt a little easier to accomplish and also create a more even billowy drape. I will take some nicer pictures when the dress is done.

I also am feeling a little sick. Bleh. It's a tired achy flue-ish cold.

Also, I have had several people ask me for cards that they can hand out.... so I guess I need to design some new cards, eh?

Take care for now, folks.

XO -Erica

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Fall 2009 Kateigaho Internation Edition

My dad gave me a copy of this magazine for Christmas – If you have any interest in sushi, knives, the fall, tea, pottery…or just japan in general, check it out. He bought it for me due to the knife aspect.

As a knife guy, Japanese swords have always been the pinnacle of the craft. I hadn’t really thought too much about what happened to the swordsmiths and technology after swords weren’t quite as necessary. Yes there are certainly a few who still make high quality katana. But what about the rest?

The answer is apparently kitchen knives.

The same excessive detail that went into crafting a katana now goes into a wide variety of special purpose kitchen knives, some specific to particular types of fish. Who knew?

Just like for swords, they use a combination of hard and soft steel, but unlike swords and unlike western kitchen knives, the majority of them are single ground (like a chisel). Apparently this allows finer slices, preventing damage to the meat of the fish.

And just like for the swords, the bladesmith gets the blade to its rough shape and then its up to the polisher to finish it up.

A little obsessive for my taste, but interesting none the less.

So check it out for something a little different.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A NEW YEAR PART ONE: Looking back

I feel like this year should really begin with the birth of Autumn, even though technically she was born in November of 2008.

Autumn, Minutes old

Autumn Ringia was born, November 14Th 2008 via Cesarean at about 8:00 am after 17 hours of labor. the Cesarean was necessary because she was not positioned correctly.

uncle Nick, Aunt Erica and little Autumn (about 4 weeks old)

I learned a lot this year from Autumn. Most importantly I learned that things don't turn out as planned SURPRISINGLY often, especially as a parent. Some of my plans, failed due to perseverance, and possibly exhaustion-like using cloth diapers. Others failed because not everyone can do them-like breastfeeding- which was a long, determined, exhausting experience that left me feeling heartbroken, useless and defeated. I still have never had the energy to record my thoughts and emotions regarding breastfeeding, but may soon.

Captain Furious ( Autumn 4 weeks old)

8 weeks after Autumn was born I started skating with Rose City Rollers in Portland. It was nice to get out, and get a lot of exercise.

silhouettes of roller girls

I Decided not to return to work because daycare cost almost as much as I would get paid, but It was hard on me to spend all day at home with a baby-as wonderful as she is- and skating didn't help with that. Adam was traveling a lot for that job and it was depressing.

Autumn and I at the rose garden in Portland

In February I opened our etsy store. I had no goals or expectations and found the community to be an addicting and welcomed reprieve from my life as a stay at home mother, wife and derby girl. I was also surprised that things sold without a huge amount of effort from me.

Arm warmers were out top seller in our etsy store this year

I can't remember much about March or April. I found myself too stressed out by skating with Rose City to really want to stick around, and at some point I quit because I couldn't attend many practices and I didn't want to subject myself to unnecessary stress when I felt like I was already at my wits end at home with a baby, and often left alone during the work week while Adam was doing surveys in other states.

Autumn and Daddy

In may Adam and I moved back to Albuquerque! I am so happy to be back home. I started skating with duke city derby again which makes me very happy! I also started working for my dad which really helped me break up my day and feel more productive and less trapped. I get to take Autumn to work with me so it works out very well, and the extra money is very nice. Adam did NOT have a job when we left Portland, but before we moved in to a house he had secured a position as Natural Resources Manager for the pueblo of Laguna! Everything seemed to come together so smoothly. I am sure my mother would say " it was meant to be".

Adam seems to enjoy his job, and I enjoy working part time for my dad. It is very nice that autumn gets to see my dad so often, I think it is good for both of them, and it is nice for me to get out of the house.

Autumn Thinks that dinner looks good!

At the end of last year's travel season Duke City Derby lost Kamikaze Kim, which has been very difficult for me and many other skaters. Kim moved to Seattle, and I am sure they are very happy to have her. Kim is an amazing skater and an amazing person, and I miss her very much. She had changed a little in the year that I was in Portland- but then I suppose, so had I- and some major changes had happened in her life that would surely effect anyone.

At the end of the season Killer Queen and I were elected as the new travel team captains. We have some very big (even though they were actually really small) shoes to fill as Kim's predecessors. I think that in some ways we are doing pretty well, but a lot of people are very sad that Kim is gone and seem to be taking it out on us, and the rest of the team. We may lose some very good skaters, which would be disappointing. A few other skaters have also really stepped up, and been very helpful, and I am very thankful to them.

Adam and I

Our First Christmas on etsy was very lucrative. I did not have any real sales goals when we opened our shop but I was really surprised by how many sales we did make, and how little effort it took. YES, it is a lot of work, but without doing craft shows, art shows, or promoting ourselves locally we were able to make enough sales to buy ALL of our Christmas presents with pay pal money from etsy sales.

I guess that leaves us about where we are now, Many things unresolved as is always the case in a new year, and a few things changed forever, so completely that It is hard to remember what life was like before.

Autumn at the Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor Michigan

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Finishing touches

Given that I feel like I never have enough time to work on my knives, it appears that I have actually gotten quite a bit done. I also received some knife related gifts this holiday season, including some wood for handles, and a magazine about Japanese chef's knives. I didn't learn a whole lot about the Japanese knives, but it was an interesting article anyway.
Anyway, this post is about the visual change from relatively raw blades, to finished products. On the next forging session maybe I'll take the idea a little farther, from raw metal to finished product.

But I digress...

At the end of November I posted this picture:

Since then I have finished 4 of these, as well as forging an additional custom knife, and two custom letter openers.

Many of my knives change shape quite a bit during the creative process – for a dramatic example, look back at the November 30th post on Kitchen knives.

Of the knives above, starting at the left: The big Kukri styled chopper is still languishing unfinished on a shelf; the heat stained santuku styled knife (third from left) was finished as seen below, and sold!

The hunter (second from the left) changed shape and became hidden tang, and is at the far right in the picture below; the big and small daggers are waiting for me to acquire a little patience and are unfinished; the scalpel (top) is finished and in the middle of the picture below.

The knife on the left in the picture below is the custom kitchen chopper that I made for a friends mother.

And finally the knife all the way on the right changed shape a little, was finished and given to my dad for Christmas.

I know some of these pics aren’t new, but it seems relevant to have them all in the same place for this post.

That’s all for now folks. I’ll probably be posting the official specs and maybe some better pictures of individual knives over at hangedmandesigns.

Monday, January 4, 2010

HI, From Michigan

Hello, today is our last day in Michigan!
I have to admit, I can not wait to go home.

It seems like we have been very busy, though I am having a hard time really pin pointing anything we have done...

We went to the local botanical gardens, which is run by the University of Michigan, and is small but very beautiful.

Adam and I spent one afternoon walking around in down town Anne Arbor, which we enjoyed in spite of the frigid temperatures.

We went to the mall with Adam's mom to return an item, and spent a little time walking around the mall. Victoria's Secret is having their semi- annual sale, so I indulged in some items for myself, some new underwear and some heavenly lotion and perfume as well as a few make-up items.

For me the highlight has surely been visiting the riverside skating arena, which is the nicest skating rink I have had the opportunity to skate in. The Oaks park rink in Portland is also very nice, but the staff does not let you skate even remotely fast, and that is annoying. Adam's parents were nice enough to babysit that night so we got to skate together which is rare. We had a great time and even ran into a few Detroit roller girls and some of their newbies. I probably should have tried to attend one of their practices since I brought all of my gear but it felt like our stay flew by.

Then of course we have spent a lot of time with Adam's family.

Happy new year, all. I have so much more to say... hopefully I get around to it in the new year!