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Eating Lying Down

I never understood this, but one of the most common fears people who aren't familiar with the way I function have about me is that I will choke because I usually eat lying down on my side. I've been doing this for nearly 29 years at this point, and so far so good. I'd say that's a pretty good track record. I can think of one time where I legitimately choked on a carrot, but that was because my cousin was goofing off and making me laugh hysterically at the dinner table, and I inhaled as I was chewing. Apparently I turned a li[...]

Meet My Furbabies

For any of you that know me, you know that my dogs are three of the most important people in my life. I can't remember ever not having at least one dog, and since my parents were/are veterinarians, I grew up with four-footed siblings instead of tw-footed ones. This week, I thought I’d formally introduce you and give you some background on each of my furbabies. Lexie: Sheltie/Border Collie Mix | 8 Years Old | 34 Pounds First and foremost, meet Lexie. Lexie is probably the dog that I’m most proud of, the one that[...]
humane society of louisiana

Partnering with the Humane Society of Louisiana

I've recently embarked on a partnership with the Humane Society of Louisiana where donors are awarded a piece of my art based on how much they donate. The Humane Society focuses on fighting animal cruelty, neglect and mistreatment throughout the entire state. As you would expect, my family has known the head of the Humane Society of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson, since before I can remember, and when he approached me with this partnership idea, it felt like a natural path for me. A local news station, WGNO, recently featured my[...]

ADA Accessibility with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

As most of you know, I am a total concert fanatic. Other than art (which in most cases is at least 50% work), I don't have a whole lot of hobbies. Concerts give me a chance to get out of my house (where I live AND work) and to allow me to take a break from the real world. It's not only a change of scenery, but also a total and complete brain rest. Here in New Orleans, we have a massive music festival every April and May called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There are usually no less than nine stages set u[...]

Partying with Florida Georgia Line

My friend Christy (with whom all of my avid blog readers should know well by now) and I have been following the band Florida Georgia Line for some time. Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, along with their band, put on an absolutely amazing show. How they have not won Entertainer of the Year yet, I honestly have no idea. Although they sometimes get a bad wrap for not being traditional "country," their music is fun and upbeat, and their concerts are a place to let loose and have a good time. They may not be the ABSOLUTE BEST voc[...]

My Pet Portrait Process

Posted In: All | Featured | KAK Art & Designs
Today I want to give you guys a look into my process when creating a watercolor pet portrait. I started painting pet portraits when I was about twelve and had immediate access to clientele through my parents' veterinary practices. Over the years, as my style evolved and became more refined, I got more and more requests to paint people's favorite furry friends. They also make great gifts, and help ease the pain when a favorite pet passes away. Step 1: Drawing I had an art teacher in high school that instilled in me[...]

KAK ART Handmade Jewelry Designs

Posted In: All | Featured | KAK Art & Designs
I started making handmade jewelry when I was about fourteen. My dad had just had his double lung transplant, and in a weird series of events, reconnected with an old veterinary client of his who was into all kinds of art, including jewelry making. Ellan Vavrick is extremely talented in a number of mediums, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, stained glass, and print making. Although there is about a forty year age difference between Ellan and I, on many levels we connect like we've been friends forever. She has[...]
being sick osteogenesis imperfect

Being Sick and Having Osteogenesis Imperfecta

It's summertime, and you know what that means-everyone seems to be sick with that miserable upper respiratory cold that goes around without fail at this time every year. You know, the one you have tried desperately not to catch? The one where you tell yourself it's just a sore throat, and then before you know it, you're pretty sure you're dying from drowning in snot from the inside out? Yeah. That one.  Having Osteogenesis Imperfecta makes catching a simple cold a major problem for me. Because my rib cage didn't develo[...]
child abuse

“Looking Up” Excerpt: Caged? Child Abuse?

Parents of children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta are often charged with child abuse, simply because their kids always turn up with broken bones. My muscles can break my bones when they contract, making it seem like my bones break at random. You can see where, especially if a child has a lower severity of OI, parents are blamed when the child shows up hurt at school and can’t say how they hurt themselves. Well, my parents have also been charged with child abuse, though for a slightly different reason… My parents ar[...]
wheelchair control

10 Useful Gadgets Brought to You by People With Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Having Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone Disease, certainly poses some unique problems for those of us with short limbs and limited mobility. Here are ten gadgets/adaptive technological advances that help actual people with OI as well as other disabilities. 1. Wheelchairs: This one is pretty obvious, but most of us with the more severe forms of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Types 3/4) use electric wheelchairs for mobility. Most of us use one of Permobil's models because they are technologically the most advanced and e[...]