slightly wonky


Body suit boycott
January 23, 2015, 11:25 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , ,

Has anyone out there ever baked a recipe using expired flour?  Probably not.  Well, OF COURSE, I did that yesterday.  The problem is not that I don’t know how to read…or that I don’t understand what numbers are.  The problem is that I have a warped sense of the passage of time.  I somehow thought that I had bought that whole wheat pastry flour within the past six months.  But alas…no.  I had not.  I had probably purchased the flour a year and a half ago.  The muffins that I made with the expired flour were…gross.  Blech.  What is even worse is that this is NOT the first time that I’ve done this.

I kid you not.  I’m really not facile in the kitchen.  Have I mentioned that my cleaning skills are also shoddy?  If I could get fired from my job of “stay-at-home-mom,” I probably would.  I know that I should be more gung-ho about scrubbing and cooking…

(ha ha!  not!)

This is what I tend to me more gung-ho about:

armwarmers

 

YES!  Knitted arm warmers!!!!  For those of you who are either never cold, or live somewhere warm…people DO wear arm warmers.  I think our thermostat is set to 65 degrees, which means that I need these things.  Ignore the yarn umbilical cords…I just haven’t finished them up yet.  I know that I should basically knit myself a wool bodysuit, but that sounds like to big a project for me…VERY big…especially around the rear.  I got an email from Elle magazine today telling me that bodysuits are in, so my suburban mind is taking note…

bodysuit

 

Really?  That doesn’t look fun to wear.  Seriously.  Reason #364 that I’m glad that I’m not a celebrity…I’ll stick to wooly arm warmers thankyouverymuch.

Besides making arm warmers for myself…I’ve been TRYING to make progress on my Etsy store.  I’ve got a bunch more things made and listed.  Now, I’m just waiting for the orders to roll in.

Any minute now.

Waiting.

Still here.

Hmm.

I know…I have to do MARKETING…PROMOTION…STUFF I DON’T LIKE TO DO.  Sigh.  I know that it’s possible to hire someone to do that FOR me…but I can’t afford that.  If I could afford stuff like that…I’d hire a personal chef long before I’d hire a marketing person.  Right???

That bodysuit is really creeping me out.

I recently bought my son some ice skates.  No, he does not know how to skate…but I figure this might help.  We live right by a reservoir that freezes over.  It’s super fun to pop down there for a bit of skating…but it’s also kind of like extreme-off-road skating.  I’m used to a freshly zambonied rink…so dodging cracks, small ice mountains, and rocks in the reservoir (or “res” as it’s known locally) is kind of difficult.

skating

 

This is my son in an “action pose.”  He didn’t want me to photograph him flopped on the ice.  Go figure.  He tells me that he doesn’t want skating lessons. He says that I’m going to teach him.  REALLY?  That’s fascinating to me, as I’m probably the last person that he listens to.  I think that he’s just trying to avoid having lessons.  Sometimes, I think that my son would like to put his fingers in his ears and yell, “LA LA LA I AM NOT LEARNING!” at the top of his lungs whenever I try to “teach” him anything.  Apparently, he already knows it all.  Did I mention that he is seven?  I thought that the “know it all” stage came much later.

Sigh.

I’m going sign off now to do some reading about marketing and promotion.  BOOORING.  It’s just going to tell me to chat up social media, tweet about my breakfast, and post about minutiae.  Gag.

heart 1 5

Just buy some of my stuff…okay?

Kidding.

Sort of.

(Is this considered “guerrilla marketing” or “inept harassment”? Discuss.)

 

 

 

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No love for the post office
December 15, 2014, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Sewing | Tags: , , , ,

post office

I know.  It’s a stressful time of year.  I get it.

But why is it that the post office closest to me has staff that are the LEAST helpful?  Actually, surly might be a better word.  I was bringing a sold Etsy item to the post office.  I was using a free padded envelope for priority mailing that I had ordered from the post office.  I printed my label.  I was all set.  UNTIL…I reached the desk at the post office.

“You can’t send this in that envelope.”  Blank stare.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you have a Priority Mail Express envelope, not a Priority Mail envelope.” Blank stare.

“Well, my paid shipping label says Priority Mail.  Could you just put some Priority Mail stickers on the envelope and cover up where it says Express?”

“No. I can’t do that.  You have the wrong envelope.”  Blank stare.

“But this envelope is physically identical to the Priority Mail envelope…except that it also says “Express.”  Can you just cover up the word, “Express” with some of your Priority Mail stickers which are right there next to your hand?”

“No.”  Blank stare.

I kid you not.

I ended up going to the OTHER post office in Arlington.  And do you know what the woman behind the counter at the OTHER post office said?  WELL!  She said that she would put Priority Mail stickers on it, no problem!  IMAGINE THAT!

SIGH.

I know that I should be more forgiving…but that was totally ridiculous.  That is not the first time that this employee has made me feel like my head was going to explode with frustration.

post office again

 Avoid this post office like the plague unless you want your head to explode

Grumble.

So, I participated in a neighborhood Holiday Sale at a friend’s house yesterday.  It was so much fun!  I had a great time chatting with the other artists in the area and the neighbors that came by.  I even sold a print and a scarf!  WOO HOO!  I did eat a ton of Christmas cookies, so that wasn’t so good.  Here’s a bunch of new stuff that I’ve made:

circle1

Isn’t it beyond cute???  It’s a little quilted pouch, and it’s around 5 1/2″ in diameter.  It has a zipper, and the lining matches the border.  Adorable, right???

Here is the NEXT one that I’m doing:

circle2

 

I did some basic hand quilting on this one.  As soon as I can finish it, I’m going to photograph it and put it up on my Etsy store.  Unless, of course, I decide that it is too cute, and that I must keep it.  Mine!

I also made these other pouches, which are listed:

slightly wonky pouch1

and

slightly wonky pouch2

Cute, right?  The top one just sold recently.  Woo hoo!

Okay, I’ve got to run to do the bajillion errands that seem to be piling up…much like the dust bunnies that surround me.

Speaking of running…check out the photo of these baby legs that I found online:

babylegs

I want to die, these are so cute.  The next time that I have to go to the post office, I am going to pull up this image on my phone to fill my mind with happy thoughts about fat baby legs…even if it turns out that I have to deal with surly employees and that I do have the wrong friggin’ envelope.

BABY LEGS!!!

 



Ho Ho Hell has begun…
December 1, 2014, 10:35 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We had a lovely drive out to central MA for Thanksgiving!

SNOW

I love Thanksgiving.  It’s like Christmas’s non-crazy twin, or family without the frenzy.  That sanity is short lived, as Black Friday follows (Christmas’s eccentric and unstable Aunt), and today is Cyber Monday (Christmas’s left-brained, introverted second cousin who won’t put down his phone, and hasn’t actually communicated with another human being using his vocal chords for a least two years…)  Thanksgiving is the only somewhat NORMAL member of that holiday family.

Is it bad that I haven’t started to do any holiday shopping, or even any holiday PLANNING, for that matter?  Probably.  Let me help those of you who are also behind schedule by making some gift suggestions:

Mary O’Malley on Etsy:

maryomalley

O’Malley is a fantastic artist who creates intricate paintings that are exotic and gorgeous.  Please take a look at her Etsy shop HERE.  You can either get a lovely reproduction of her work, or you can splurge and get an original.  A brilliant gift idea!

AlmostSundayInc on Etsy:

almostsundayMy friend owns this store, and there are TONS of cute options for gifts.  I like the idea of either personalized stationery or a cool print.

Nicole Porter Design on Etsy:

nicoleporterAren’t those wooden plates/bowls AMAZING?  Please check out her shop HERE.  Again…unique and beautiful gifts abound…

OrangeLadyBird on Etsy:

orangeladybird

For those of you who don’t want to fool around with shipping anything…my friend (who is a graphic designer) has lots of DIGITAL items to buy in her shop.  You can get a download of her digital creations…which you can print at home to your heart’s content.  Check out the cool “infinity banner.”  I like the “home scavenger hunt” cards as well…especially if they had a drawing of my husband’s house keys, which he seems to lose constantly.

I’m basically suggesting that instead of heading to the infernal MALL to buy generic gifts for people…that you buy stuff that is UNIQUE and HANDMADE from brilliant and crafty people.  What would you rather have in your stocking?

THIS?

dump cake

Yes, that’s for real.

or THIS?

omalley

Mary O’Malley

Seriously.  That drawing/painting is divine.

In stark contrast to that gorgeous creation, my son and I have started a comic strip.  It’s kind of hilarious.  It’s mostly me doing the scribbly drawings, and he colors it in and laughs.  Here are the first two pages:

CARTOON 1

 

CARTOON 2

We made up this ridiculous clam character.  He took the drawings to school today, so I’m sure that they are wadded up in the bottom of his backpack by now.  Sigh.  Stay tuned for more.

While this is the kind of drawing that I’ve been up to lately, my friend, Helen, recently had a show open and is the artist-in-residence at the New Art Center in Newton.  WOO HOO!  Her show is titled, Becoming Four Women.  Here is a brief description of it:

The New Art Center is pleased to announce the opening of Helen Payne: Becoming Four Women. This exhibition centers around four female characters that Payne has been developing over the past several months. Payne imagines these women at different stages in their intertwined lives. Taking on their disparate personalities, Payne journals, paints and draws in character to create a series of work that tells a multi-media story from several points of view.

I was lucky to be able to go to the reception.  Here are some of the images of her fantastic work:

payne 2

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen has done many beautiful drawings on tiles, such as this one.

payne 1

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

That is a gorgeous oil painting of one of the characters that Helen is exploring during her residency.  You can stop by the New Art Center, and find Helen busy at work.  Please stop by!  It’s an amazing opportunity not only to see her work, but also to TALK to her about the work.  How often do you go to a gallery and have the artist right there?  I should tell you to bring her food as well, as she probably forgets to eat (unlike me).

payne 5

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

This is Helen’s desk in the gallery.  You can see numerous sketches and drawings scattered about, with notes about each of the four women she portrays.

payne 6

Helen Payne, Becoming Four Women at the New Art Center

Helen is a virtuoso of both painting and drawing.  Please go to learn more about these four characters and the fascinating narrative that Helen has created between them.  The show is up until December 20, so you have PLENTY of time to go, (especially as I have already done the planning for your holiday shopping!!!  You can thank me later by sending me some of these.)

REMEMBER:

Buy hand-made goods!

Spit upon mass-produced/generic junk!

Bring a snack and say “hi” when you visit Helen!

AND…

Send me peppermint marshmallows! (just kidding…sort of…)

Enjoy the holiday season without needing to be put in a Santa Claus themed straight jacket, as January/February will be here soon…and that just sucks!

Ho Ho HEEEEELLLP!!!



Manbaby nightmares and Etsy

 

tree

Yay!  Fall is here!  I love the colors on the trees…apple picking…apple eating…pumpkins…the whole thing.  One thing that does trouble me, however, is the dreaded Halloween costume.  My son has told me that he wants to be some kind of Pokemon.

Oh.

Great.

For those of you that don’t know, there are a billion different Pokemon characters, and none of them look remotely like a six year old boy.  Example:

pokemon 3

Seriously?  How am I going to make any one of those into a costume???  Suggestions?

What if I bought a Pokemon stuffed animal, and just strapped it to his head?  Weird?

He spends a lot of time drawing Pokemon, which I think is cute:

pokemonI think that those are made up.  I mean…I know, I know…ALL POKEMON ARE MADE UP.  I meant that these two are not “official” ones.  Basically, I’m going insane over here with the Pokemon nonsense and I need someone to talk to me about something adult and tangible.  World news?  Syria?  Ebola?  Honey Boo Boo?

Hmm.  Depressing.

Perhaps non-stop talk about Pokemon isn’t that bad after all!

So, my minor achievement (besides vacuuming) is to have actually created an Etsy store!  Check it out here.  Yes!    You can now buy some of the crazy stuff that I make!  So far, not much has happened.  The odds of anyone “finding” my stuff on Etsy is similar to the odds in Horton Hears a Who.

horton

Right?  Sigh.  It’s tough being a metaphorical dust speck.  If you have any constructive feedback about my Etsy store, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

I’ve recently gotten some fabric back from Spoonflower that I’m using to make scarves.  Spoonflower is an online, on demand textile printing service.  So, you can design your own fabric and then have it printed!  It’s kind of cool  Here’s what I made:

infinity pink 1

It’s a knit infinity scarf.  Here it is again, with more of the green showing:

infinity pink 2

I love it! I need to find a reasonable looking person to model it for me. Actually, I know tons of reasonable looking people, just not any that would be willing to be photographed for Etsy.  Hmm.  Yet again I am feeling the disadvantage of not looking like a supermodel.  Sigh.

infinity pink 5

Maybe I should take a cue from a famous artist and try this strategy for modeling?

magritteRene Magritte, Les Amants

Right???  I could even cover my head with my SPOONFLOWER FABRIC that I DESIGNED!

Would that be appealing, or sort of freaky and disturbing?  I’m thinking the latter.

Maybe I can just photoshop on a cute head?

 manbabyman, baby, manbaby by Ed Alkema

WHOA.  Okay…NOT a good idea.

Oh…nevermind.  Just let me know if you’re a supermodel and would be willing to either:

1. Model my Etsy creations.

2.  Go grocery shopping for me.

3.  Vacuum.

4.  Take out the trash.

Thank you!

 



That might cost extra…
September 19, 2014, 9:37 am
Filed under: Sewing | Tags: , , , , ,

I am SO happy to have time to work again! I’ve scurried around my basement studio space furiously trying to clean in up in order to be more productive. It’s better…I’ve got sort of an “organized hoarder” set up. I keep fantasizing about living in a more “minimal” way, but then all of the things that I like to do are the OPPOSITE of minimal: sewing, knitting, drawing, painting, ice hockey. Why can’t I be more cerebral? Oh well.

Is it time for lunch yet?

I recently finished making a cute bag:

new bag

The entire purpose of making this bag is to sell it.  Unfortunately, I kind of want to keep it.  SIGH.  This is a problem that I have often.  The inside:

new bag inside

See!  I even made a little pocket inside with a fabric label on it!!!

new bag detail

I love the little wood bead zipper pulls. How can I possibly sell this?  On that note, I’ve started trying to cobble together an Etsy store.  It’s a lot of work!!!!  I’ll let you know if I ever get it up and running.  How much should I sell this bag for?  $1K?  $2K?  Just kidding…sigh.  If you say $20, I shall give you a good whack with a knitting needle.  It’s HAND MADE…for goodness sake.  You can’t get that at Old Navy!  Hmm.  Maybe they have cooler stuff at Old Navy?  Oh well.

Remember that silk chiffon top that I mentioned in a previous post?  I finished that too!  It nearly killed me.  I vow NEVER EVER to work with that fabric again.  It’s worse than silk charmeuse…it’s like trying to sew cotton candy.   Here it is:

a-blouse1

Sorry about it being wrinkly.  I wore it, but couldn’t be bothered to iron it for the photo.  I love it!  It was a royal pain to make, though…

a-blouse2

Don’t you like the cool layering effect?  No?  Too bad! If anyone has any helpful sewing tips for chiffon, besides finding someone more skilled to do it for me, please let me know.

Does anyone out there in cyberspace have an Etsy store?  Or, do you shop on Etsy?  If so, what do you think of these product photos?  Are they nice, or shoddy?  I still haven’t found an available super model to photograph with these items.  I realize that deficiency may result in fewer sales.  I don’t really want to put MYSELF in the photos, as that will GUARANTEE lower sales.  Hmm.  Seriously…photo feedback appreciated.

Speaking of photos…my son is having his school photo taken on Monday.  I have to select the background that they will use.  I have a choice of: corpse grey, two choices of electric blue, electric purple, smouldering ember orange, and sooty emerald green.  Not great.  I still can’t figure out which is the least hideous.  Why can’t the kids stand in front of a leafy bush, or something natural?

photo colors

Which would you pick?  Ech.  I’m worried about choosing the blue, as my son has a lot of blue shirts.  His photo would end up looking like a floating head if his shirt matched the background…also not good.  Maybe the gray???  I wonder if they can photoshop in a smile, as my son tends to scowl at cameras?  That might cost extra.  He also needs a haircut, but photoshopping in that will probably cost more than the haircut.

We seriously need to find a new place to get his hair cut.  The place we go is SO SLOW, and it pains me to even contemplate taking him for a haircut.  We ALWAYS have to wait somewhere between 1-2 hours until it’s our turn.  Haven’t they heard of APPOINTMENTS???  Why can’t I schedule a time to be there so that I don’t have to try to entertain a six year old for two hours in a barber shop?  Nightmare.  They do a good haircut, though.

Okay, I’m off to try to do something remotely useful.  I’m not sure what that is yet, but I’m sure that it will come to me.  If you know of any places to get a good kid’s haircut THAT TAKES APPOINTMENTS near Arlington MA, let me know.  And, no, a Flowbee is not an acceptable alternative.

flowbee




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