Crafty Love! Random Stuff I Like

I was never that big on dollhouses as a kid (except for my Barbie Dream House with elevator and rooftop terrace). But I really want to get this dollhouse kit and put it together and paint it for some lucky child, since I would have absolutely no where to put it once I finished. It reminds me of the Victorian house I grew up in, although ours was much less ornate. $87.95 by Victorian Doll House

I already own a vintage apothecary bottle like the tallest one in this set. I use it for holding incense sticks on my kitchen counter. I love it so much I want an entire set of them. I love containers. I’m trying to get organized at the moment and do Spring Cleaning, so that’s what inspired this selection. $34 by Lack Luster Co

This past Saturday, I went to a pottery show in Hickory, NC. There was so much great stuff there, and it was so crowded that it was slightly overwhelming. I really racked up, with a huge salad bowl, some Christmas ornaments, and a necklace from Odd Designs, whose beautiful irridescent Raku work was something that really stood out as being unique at this particular show. The pendant I got is irridescent and leaf-shaped with abstract organic carvings. I love it. After I bought it, though, I had this thought: “This is totally something my mom would buy for herself.” So, apparently I am already turning into my mother. It’s a bit early for that. $18 by Odd Designs

Skittles and Driver’s Ed

Oh, Driver’s Ed. The summer between middle school and high school, we were required to take a two week class described as “the book portion” of Driver’s Education. I wouldn’t be allowed any hands-on training for another two years, when I turned fifteen. But for some reason they thought studying the rules ahead of time would be helpful.

I can tell you, based on my actual driver’s test, that I did much better with the hands-on, actual driving portion of the exam than the written part. Perhaps it was due to the fact that I hadn’t seen the questions in two years that I came within one question of failing the written portion. I remember the question I missed. It was related to blood alcohol levels and legality. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what that had to do with obtaining a license to drive. Then I was thinking, “Why do I need to know the consequences for something I’m never going to do?” Now I get it.

Our book part of driver’s ed was held at the high school, which would have been a cool introduction into the next level of life, but the high school I was to attend was in the process of being built. Mine was the first class to attend all four years in the new school. My Driver’s Ed class was at the old school, where my grandmother and countless cousins had gone.

The one thing I remember about those two weeks were the breaks. At every break we were given, we made a bee-line for the vending machines, because we had never had vending machines at school before and it was a novel concept. It was adultish and cool. Someone actually trusted us with change and junk food in the near vicinity.

Every day at break, we bought hard candy. I don’t know what everyone else bought, but I bought Skittles. Every day. Crinkly red plastic tubes of M&M shaped sour candies. Taste the rainbow.

Every day with my crinkly red tube of Skittles, I sat on a low brick wall with people I didn’t know and had not grown up going to school with. We talked about what high school might be like. No one could say exactly. We leaned heavily towards those kids with older siblings who were already there. But since we were going to a new school, all the rules were different, and no one could say how it would be different exactly. Even the kids who were already in high school would be new again. We were in a unique position of  avoiding the typical freshman torture. We’d be in a new environment, but so would the upperclassmen.

We sat there eating Skittles, doling out everyone’s favorite colors accordingly, bonding over the sharing of them, taking heart in the fact that we all felt just as lost as the next kid who was claiming the lemons.

Back in class, we had to sit through boring videos about teenage car accidents, and we wondered why they thought we’d be that stupid. I think the class was taught by some coach or P.E. teacher. We all rolled our eyes and suffered through. And we passed strawberry Skittles underneath the desks to our new friends from across town who we’d be spending the next four years with, in what ways we hadn’t yet imagined.

To this day, I can’t eat Skittles without thinking about being 13 and in Driver’s Ed the summer before high school began.

Good Lyrics: Wooden Ships

I try not to do too many song lyric posts in a row, but this one goes right with Revolution. I am on a revolution/ counter culture kick right now. Okay, who am I kidding? That’s every day. But this song is awesome sauce. Good morning, America!

Wooden Ships
by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (obviously one of my all time favorite bands)

If you smile at me, I will understand
Cause that is something everbody everywhere does
in the same language.

I can see by your coat, my friend
you’re from the other side
There’s just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won?
Say, can I have some of your purple berries
Yes, I’ve been eating them for six or seven weeks now,
haven’t got sick once.
Probably keep us both alive.

Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy
Easy, you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline, let us be
Talking about very free and easy

Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving
You don’t need us.

Go, take your sister then, by the hand
lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving
You don’t need us.

And it’s a fair wind, blowing warm
Out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I’ll set a course and go…

Good Lyrics: Revolution

Revolution 1
by The Beatles

You say you want a revolution?
Well, you know, we all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know, we all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction,
Don’t you know that you can count me out?

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know, we’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know, we’re all doing what we can

But if you want money
for people with minds that hate,
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know, we’d all love to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know, you better free you mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao,
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right?

MamaSox Rox My Sox!

Girl, you don’t need to “put your guitar down.” It’s all about you and your guitar. Keep being true to yourself. Your voice is powerful enough, and you have enough emotion, that you can’t lose. I feel like you have still not unleashed yourself. Like they said, “People love you — take it in!” GO MAMASOX! We love you! You are a superstar and you’ve earned the right to enjoy the accolades. When they talk about how you act like you think you’ve got it in the bag, they’re wrong because you’re humble even though you are the best hands down. YOU ROCK! GO, GO, GO!!!!!

Crafty Love! Random Stuff I Like

I have a real obsession with the color green and with trying to bring the outdoors in. I even have tree branches hanging from the ceiling in my hallway. Everywhere you look around my apartment, there is something green and/or leafy. Naturally (pun intended – ha), I could see this lovely stained glass box just about anywhere amongst all my green treasures. We’ve talked before about my collecting boxes and then not knowing what to store in them. And I would feel the same way about this one. Maybe I can collect boxes just as small pieces of practical art! But I need display space for that. Sigh. Will work on it. $75 by Gallery Stained Glass

Oh, how I love sushi — the exotic flavors as much as the food art aspect. Incidentally, this recent article in our local newspaper is like the best review of a sushi place ever. I sort of fantasize about becoming a master sushi chef just to be able to enjoy it at home. But the closest I’ve gotten is buying all the necessary ingredients, and then cooking and eating them at the same time but just without assembling them into the requisite roll shapes. I don’t have all the equipment anyway — like a rolling mat. But I’m pretty sure that if I had this beautiful leopardwood sushi table, I would probably just have to, at that point, go buy a rolling mat and get started. It is so typical of me to enjoy a food based mainly on its aesthetic virtues. $50 by Newberry Kitchen Accessories

Have I mentioned yet how much I like practical things? I love the concept of this — it’s a zippered arm band that you can wear while jogging or whatever instead of having to carry a purse. Because I love the look of (some) purses, but I hate carrying them. I don’t like to feel weighted down. I often think about how, in the event of a surprise parking lot attack, my purse will probably slow me down by the extra five seconds I need to react and escape. I probably spend way too much time thinking about exactly how I would toss away (or perhaps use as a weapon) my bag if I needed my hands to be free. Just think about how much safer I would feel with ARMIES! (Love the name, also.) $12 by Bean Tails

Crafty Update: Sofa Cushions

This is a horrible picture because I am not very good at using my new camera yet. The story is that my futon was getting pretty squished, and the bland tan cover needed some visual improvement. I bought some huge 27″ pillows from Roses for like $8 a piece and made covers for them out of some embroidered silk taffeta I scrounged from the back of my fabric closet. (Yes, I have a fabric closet. My mom has a fabric room. My grandmother has a fabric house. It runs in the family.) The back of each pillow is dark brown corduroy (purchased for mere cents at a by-the-pound thrift store). So I basically have a new couch for under $40. As you can see, Birdy already has her spot hollowed out. She is dismayed that the amount of sprawling-out space to which she is accustomed has diminished. But according to my lower back, this set up is way more comfortable than the mashed flat futon mattress.

Please try not to dwell on the dog hair underneath the futon. Birdy likes to lie under there to sleep because it’s dark and cool. And I’m a lazy vacummer.

In this picture, you can see the patterns and texture of the fabrics better. I made these as floor pillows for Coocatchoo’s yoga studio a while back and had leftover fabric. Her pillows had a natural colored linen backing. Making your own pillow cases for big ugly pillows is actually a really economical way to decorate. One plain pillow insert in this size can be purchased online for about the same price as I purchased and recovered all four. Now if I could just figure out how to reupholster my ugly chairs…

TGIF! Random Survey

It’s been a crazy week. I had two night-time seminars, which means I haven’t been at home much this week. Which is why Birdy is currently under my desk in my office, passed out from built-up anxiety of having to guard the apartment. On Tuesday night, my boss played a horrible practical joke on me regarding the location of a laptop. (“You don’t have it? I thought you got it!”) Unfortunately I couldn’t see him laughing in the text message. So I’m ready for some down time. Seriously. On a happy note, I was told to pick up a package earlier in the week, and I didn’t think I’d ordered anything. It was a wonderful surprise from my friend, Cheryl. She sent me a huge book of vegan recipes from Amazon with a sweet note. I can’t wait to start trying some of them! I promise to post the results. In fact, I have a good vegetarian recipe to post as soon as I can find the pictures. Until then, enjoy this random info about me. 

Is your second toe longer than your first? No

Do you have a favorite type of pen? Oh, yes. Pretty much anything that’s not ballpoint.

What color are your toenails usually? Toenail colored. When I get pedicures I go for turquoise glitter, though.

What was the last thing you highlighted? A signature line.

What color are your bedroom curtains? It’s actually a giant Indian mandala tapestry in blues and purples for light blockage.

What color are the seats in your car? Dog hair colored.

Have you ever had a black and white cat? Yes. His name was Sylvester. So original! He was cool.

What is the last thing you put a stamp on? An invitation to a company event.

Do you like cinnamon toothpaste? No.

Closest thing to you that is yellow? Tube of Carmex.

Last person who gave you a business card? Manager of the Twin City Chop House.

Last person you wrote a check to? Cancer research in memory of someone who just passed away.

Last time you had someone cook for you? Around Christmas, Al made me some awesome spaghetti casserole.

How many emails do you have? Like 5 or 6, but I only check two and have most of them forwarded.

Last time you received flowers? Coocatchoo gives me flowers quite often in the spring and summer.

Do you play air guitar? No, I play steering wheel drums.

What is your high school’s rival mascot? When I was there, it was the Cavaliers. I’m guessing it probably still is.

Last thing you read in the newspaper? One of Jenny’s blind employees got hit by a car this week walking to work.

Last place you had pizza from? Barley’s Taproom in Spindale, NC

Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut? Dude, I can’t even remember. Which is way too long considering that I live in Krispy Kreme’s headquarters city.

Have you ever drunk Crystal Pepsi? Yes, we thought it was so cool when it came out until we tasted it. Gack.

Crafty Love! Random Stuff I Like

I can’t get over the innovation of these cool cuff bracelets. First of all, the embroidery is really detailed and colorful, but to make it even more interesting, it’s done on recycled men’s neckties. I really love these, and there are about four different ones I’d love to have. I also appreciate this seller’s pledge to donate a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit pet rescue in San Francisco. $45 by Madrigal Embroidery

As someone who works in marketing and advertising, I really love nice graphics. Somehow the color combination in this cat-and-bird print is unexpected, but it works. Love the inclusion of pink in the forest — reminds me of spring and blooming dogwoods! Also, since my pupper is named Birdy, I kinda have a thing for birds. $20 by Simply Fine by Karin

I am one of those people who has cases for everything. My purse is full of cases. Ipod case. Ipod cords case. Reading glasses case. Cell phone case. Change case. Camera case. Flip case. I even have a case of paperclips. Hey, even if my apartment is one big pile of stuff (but I know exactly where everything is), at least my purse is organized. This little felted case would be perfect for a cell phone. It sort of defeats the purpose of tiny technology when you can’t ever find it in the depths of your bag and spend half an hour digging around for something that feels like it could be a phone. Meanwhile you’ve missed 4 texts. I have a phone case already, but my two complaints about it are that it’s a little too big, and it has no closure, so the phone still falls out sometimes. This one would solve all of that, plus I LOVE the color and design! $25 by Sircu

Go MamaSox!

I’ve never really watched American Idol before this season. I mean, I”ve seen a couple episodes here and there. But I never got attached to any of the contestants. But holy shit — if Crystal Bowersox doesn’t win this year, I will go back to thinking America is a bunch of frikking idiots, in the words of Doctor Evil.

It is the absence of talent like hers that made me shun the show in years past. This year, hearing what she is bringing, I”m like, not only would I vote for her if I had cable and knew what was going on in real time, but if she doesn’t win and she ends up putting out an album anyway, I’m BUYING IT! This country has not heard hippie soul like hers since Janis Joplin. I”m blown away by her authenticity and raw talent. No one else on the show measures up to her. Some of the others are semi-talented. I think Siobhan Magnus is cool. But I don’t think she has mass appeal. I thought it was a load of crap that Katie beat out Lilly Scott, who was awesome as one of the most original talents anywhere. But none of them hold a candle to my dear Crystal.

The last episode involved eliminations, and Crystal looked totally pained the whole time. I couldn’t quite figure out if she was worried for herself or just as pissed as I was that Lilly got voted off. Or maybe she was still feeling rotten since she’d recently been hospitalized. In any case, Crystal, YOU ROCK!  Please stick it out for those of us who are not all about mainstream radio and who think you are the absolute bees’ knees.

Your talent is effortless and amazing and makes me cheer for you. And that is a hard thing to come by for anyone.

Go MamaSox!

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