Ah, my favorite holiday and birthday all rolled into one. I hit 32 this year, and well, at least people are still telling me I don’t look it. Well, everyone except that mean lady that gave me a facial on the ship last year. She said I was getting wrinkles!!! Rude. You just don’t tell people that. We want to remain in denial. I want to remember myself as I was at twenty. Wait, no I don’t, I was overweight and had straggly hair. That’s perfect for a witch costume on Halloween, but not so great the rest of the year.

bunny.jpgSpeaking of costumes, PostSecret has this card on the current list. Sigh. I mean, what’s up with little girl costumes these days? Newsweek did an article on them recently Skimpy skirts, barely there tops and French Maid costumes? No way am I letting my kid out dressed like that… but then, you saw what I’m dressing her as… it might be just as bad.

Whatever happened to dressing up like some TV monster in a grocery store costume. You remember those, dont you? They are printed plastic jumpsuits, with a plastic mask that is so hot that your face starts sweating the moment you put it on. And what’s worse, is that if you try to talk, spittle gets all over the front where the mouth is supposed to be but never actually lines up with your mouth. Ah the smell of those nasty old costumes really takes me back.

Well, we’re back from “The World” – that’s DisneyWorld to you lay people. Altogether, it was a really nice trip. The DVC Members Cruise was fun, but for some reason this time the food was lacking it’s usual luster. It’s not a really big issue though, as the family and I are not really big eaters. Why go on a cruise? Aren’t cruises all about the food? Some cruises might be — and I have no frame of reference — but Disney cruises are all about Castaway Cay. This has to be the cleanest most beautiful beach in all the world. And I mean it. Somehow the whole island just reeks of Disney. There is not so much as a leaf of seaweed on any of the beaches, the sand is perfectly contained to the beaches and doesn’t invade the “inland” spaces and walkways. Ok, so before this turns into a commercial…

This trip we tried a new hotel for the three nights after the cruise returned (sniff). We decided to give it a go finally, batten down the hatches and try out Shades of Green, the hotel reserved for military personnel. Now, I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and I went into this hotel expecting a dumpy brown building with boring brown rooms and the smell of 1980′s carpet. I was nicely surprised. The hotel itself was nicely designed, but overall lacked Disney’s theming. But hell, for the price we paid — cost is based on a person’s pay grade — it was clean, and spacious.

Every day on the trip, I kept thinking of things I wanted to write here. I had about 10 great ideas I’m sure, but honestly, I can’t remember any of them. Some day, I’ll learn that taking notes, is generally helpful, but until then, I will remain scatterbrained and spontaneous (ha!!).

I did decide I was going to revamp the site, and change this blog from strictly about my art, to one that is more about me. I have four blogs at the moment, and keeping up with all of them is, well, more than painful. In goes all my blogging about returning to Tang Soo Do, the depression I’ve been battling lately, all my stupid ailments that no one can figure out and my inherent non-geekiness. Although, some parts of the other blogs will have to be toned down as this one is much more public. :)

I also decided that starting today, I’m going to try (very hard!!) to take a picture of my daughter every day. I’d love to see the progression when it’s all done. Which leads me to the next thing, what is a good camera to buy? I want something compact and lightweight and pretty much point and shoot, I’m not into all that fancy-schmancy photo gear that plagues my husband’s camera.

Well 3 more days until we leave for Florida and the Bahamas. And I’m happy to say I’ve gotten all of my Etsy orders for Halloween packaged and shipped. I’m actually down to only one Halloween item left. A little lonely pumpkin:

And I’ve had enough of black cats to last me a life time. I do have just ONE more to make for a customer who has been very patient with me while I look for the perfect black cashmere sweater for hers. But she’s not buying for Halloween, just because he reminds her of her sweet deceased pet. :(

I’m so ready for that vacation! The last week has been a confusing mess of trying to package and ship items. I really hope I didn’t get any of them mixed up. (Now, I’m not so sure I would ever want to be the featured seller on Etsy.) I also ran out of promo packs… So I need to either buy some stuff so people will send me promos to pass on, or I need to find promo donations somewhere.

I’ve also really got to get cracking on the Christmas items, and start perusing the items on Etsy for gifts! Speaking of gifts, I promised I would show you what I got for my friend Sarah’s wedding. She recieved it last night and loved it. Or, maybe she’s a really good faker. Honestly though, how could you not love these:

I bought them from JDWolfe’s shop. Oh she does such a great job. The colors on the glazes are just beautiful, and the bowls are flawless. I highly recommend anything from her.

Remember this painting? Well it’s been finished for a while, it’s even hanging in the hallway at home.

I love how the eyes turned out, and I love that it looks like Chris, but what the heck is that thing in the lower left corner? I mean, it’s not his neck, it’s like his face has been contorted into an odd shape. It’s not bugging me enough to take it down and redo it. :)

Here’s the newest attempt at painting. I’m going to hang it above the desk/sewing table in my sewing room. You know, the one I keep blabbing about, but never actually show you? Heh! Don’t look at the feet on this painting. Besides the fact that it’s not done, I was really struggling at getting color AND form right on the feet. It might just be that I need to paint on a huge scale. Part of my problem I’m sure, is that I like stiff stiff stiff brushes, and I only have one brush that is both tiny AND stiff.

Anyway, maybe I’ll show the finished product some time in the next half century. You know, the same way I’ve been promising pictures of the sewing room all clean and shiny.

In other news, Etsy is having a costume contest and I’m going to enter the kid’s Shego costume. Judging by the entries I’ve seen, we should have this one in the bag. But that’s me getting too overconfident. I’m actually pretty sure I’ll hear nothing. Chris has even made these great green glowy light things for her hands to emulate Shego’s magic powers.

I have no idea how we will top this next year… And I hope we don’t have to, because this costume was a major PITA. I mean, I basically had to cut the body suit pattern apart and put it back together with the correct colors in the right places. At one point, the kitchen table was covered in butcher paper copies of the pattern so that we could cut them out with seam allowances intact (This because I am essentially stupid and would forget to cut out seam allowances).

So other than painting, cleaning and making costumes, I’ve been sewing black cats. I have sewed something like 8 black cats in the last week. (And sold them all in my Etsy shop) If I had more black felt, I’d make more cats, but I don’t. Oh darn!

I’ve been working on cleaning out, and rearranging my sewing room for the last few weeks. I did a bunch of research, looked at other people’s ideas on flickr, (copied a few,) and started purging junk I will never use. I also managed to talk the husband into selling the daybed that took up way too much room in favor of an antique “murphy” bed that we found on craigslist. It’s really more of a hide-a-bed that folds into a cabinet, but it takes up a LOT less room. I even bought a new set of shelves. In total, I’ve spent about $75. The furniture cost me $25 (after the sale of our daybed), and I spent a fair bit at IKEA buying hangars and boxes, but so far I’m happy.

I even spent a whole evening folding fabric uniformly. I figure if it’s out where I can see it, I’ll be more likely to use it. And hey, I don’t have nearly as much as I thought! I guess it’s time to go shopping. Ok, not really. But I’m pretty happy seeing it all neat and tidy like.

I just wish I could bring myself to photograph it. Unfortunately, as I don’t feel it’s quite done, you get no action shots. Soon though, I promise.  I’m even painting a picture to hang over the sewing desk. I hope it comes out ok. And then I’m going to splurge on this really nice easel for my birthday (only 21 days to go – yikes!)

But in my search on flickr for the best craft room ideas, I came across this completely ludicrous photo. It was posted as sort of an ironic, “yeah whatever” photo, so I don’t feel bad in the slightest ripping it to shreds.

And so I present to you, Pottery Barn’s idea of a craft room.

Honestly, how inaccurate can you get? Most craft rooms are a messy little corner completely over stuffed with way too much junk that the crafter can never find, much less USE. In fact, from what I can tell from my research on creating a good studio, most craft areas are really spread throughout the house in places that are deemed unusable by other members of the family. Under beds, in the back of closets, etc.

So what kind of dreamland do you have to live in to envision a room with enough natural light to be the breakfast nook? Where your work surfaces are clean and shiny? Where are the ink stains and other miscellaneous crap that builds up on the flat surfaces? Who can keep rolls of wrapping paper in an open cubby like that without their 3 year old walking in a chewing on it? And then the dog comes in and knocks it all over and tramples on it.

The lamps are in such a place that any crafter worth her (his) salt would be bent over working hard and suddenly sit up to recieve a severe knock on the head from them. Oh and while we’re at that desk, don’t get me started on the stool. All I can think is I would need to alternately see my chiropractor and massuse every day to recover from sitting on it.

And now I’m just getting nit-picky, but are there any actual crafting supplies in that room? To me it looks like a really nice place to wrap presents and enjoy a cup of tea… but that’s it!

Ok, rant over. Time to go back to cleaning…

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