Friday, July 31, 2009

Fun-find Friday: Beat the heat with batik

One of this month's EtsyBlogger's carnivals is about picking a shop on etsy that we think has especially "hot" items for summer. I was already planning to write about one of my new fave clothing shops on etsy, SolunaCR, and since this shop fits the carnival theme perfectly it bumped me off my procrastinatory tendencies so I could get in on the carnival deadline :)

Anyway, I ordered a pair of pants from SolunaCR earlier this summer and I'm absolutely in love with them. They're light, comfy, and fit me perfectly, thanks to Juan (the man behind SolunaCR) working with me to make a pair that fit my measurements. His English isn't perfect (he's based out of Costa Rica so it's not his native language), but his customer service is impeccable. In fact, I've just ordered two more pairs of pants from him since I liked this first pair so much.

All his stuff is batiked by hand, and most, if not all, is handsewn too. Highly recommended if you're looking for some last-minute additions to your summer wardrobe--or some early additions for next summer :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Weds.: Zorro squared

Monday, July 27, 2009

I think I've finally recovered...

So, as expected, my sister's bachelorette party got a little crazy. Unfortunately for me, that included running-down-an-alley-while-slightly-intoxicated-crazy, which resulted in gravel embedded elbows, a knee that still looks more like a pear than a human joint, and a sprained neck (I didn't even know it was possible to sprain necks, so I guess it counts as a learning experience).

More amusing was the fellow-word-nerd I met at the booty-music-and-frat-boys dance club my sister and her friends decided was in order Saturday night. My favorite quote from my conversation with this gentleman was "yeah, I know I'm not likely to meet anyone I can really talk with at a club like this, but there are just so many honeys here."

Yes, that's right, a nerdy playwright from DePauw used the term "honeys." I think I would have fallen off my stool laughing if I hadn't 1) been trying to look sympathetic and 2) been too injured to move enough to fall anyway.

Now that you're all terribly sad at having missed out on that kinda fun (I know, I'm just so terribly cruel), I'll attempt to perk you up. In August I'll be having a giveaway over on my local team's blog of a 5x5 print of Kitty Love. I'll include details, links, etc. once it's actually up and running, but I wanted to give you all a heads-up now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun Find Friday: Miesmama's fern clutch

Miesmama is this month's featured EtsyBlogger, and she also happens to be the maker of an adorable clutch I spotted a while back and fell in love with. This is it here--cute, right?

She also has a really lovely blog filled with great pictures of handmade stuff and other fun things.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

[WW] This is the girl I'll be spending the next few days with...

...and she's my sister, and it will be for her weekend-long bacherlorette party. As you might guess from the pic, I'm sure it will turn out to be story-ful. (Okay, so it was an almost wordless weds.--what can I say, it's hard for word nerds to shut up completely )

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun-find Friday: When in rain, do as the rain does?

Due to some absolutely icky family drama that I will not drown anyone with here, I've been feeling fairly down the last few months. I'm not usually a big "retail therapy" kinda gal, but when I (re)discovered this necklace recently, I decided it was the perfect way to remind myself that if you're having a gray day you might as well flaunt it--or be pretty about it--or, I dunno, at least support handmade while indulging in your retail therapy? Anyway, I splurged, and got myself this lovely piece. It hasn't arrived yet, but I'm planning on slapping it on the first chance I get, and wearing it to every ridiculous drama-laden family outing for the next year. If nothing else, it will give my fingers something to fidget with when I'm feeling the overwhelming urge to slap someone for being horrid :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A random tag seems in keeping with my mood these days...

A few minutes ago I discovered I was tagged by The Pink Crab; since I'm newly recommited to eclectic blogging I figured I'd go for it--only I'm not going to tag 10 people because I don't want anyone to feel obligated who doesn't like this kind of thing. So, if you'd like to participate, just leave the blog name and url in a comment and I'll edit this post to add your blog for others to visit :)

Anyway, the tag is just to list ten random things about yourself, so here we go:

1) I have a food intolerance to wheat and any kind of dairy product, and the only meat I eat is seafood, so going out to eat with me is always, shall we say, "interesting" (thank god for asian food or I'd never be able to eat out).

2) Every time people find out I have 4 cats and 1 parrot they ask if the parrot is afraid of the cats--and are always surprised to find it's actually the other way around (Whizzer, the parrot, has bit all the cat's tails at least once, so they tend to leave him alone).

3) My undergrad is in the Humanities, my MA is in Literature, and I'm currently working on a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition--but I may not get a job that relies on any of these when I'm finished.

4) Yes, I teach writing. No, I'm not a grammar nazi. Go ahead and end sentences with prepositions or split infinitives all you want around me :)

5) Despite my lit degree, you're more likely to find me reading urban fantasy than literary classics (I'm actually working on writing one of my own).

6) I was deathly allergic to cats (and almost every other animal and environmental allergen) as a child. I almost died 3 times before the age of 5 because of my allergies.

7) I'm both a fan and practicioner of holistic medicine--massage, acupuncture, Reiki, supplements, name it, I've probably tried it.

8) I first got involved in art when I was about 3, with my grandmother, who was a painter. Then my grandfather (on the other side) taught me to draw (he was an amateur cartoonist). Despite the family influence, no-one in my parents' or my generation (besides me) is really involved in art or crafting.

9) I actually do a lot more crafting and art that isn't cat-related--I just read stuff on etsy (and elsewhere) encouraging people to find a niche market, so I focused on my cat crafts for public consumption. But actually, my favorite piece of my art has no cats in it--it's this abstract black and white nude here. I also crochet, knit, embroider, and sew.

10) My husband is just as eclectic in his interests as I am (he's a teacher, research assistant, writer, photographer, wood-worker, antique-tool-restorer, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting right now), so our house is completely overfull with the byproducts of our various occupations (we don't have a garage, attic, or basement in our current home--but that's my main requirement for wherever we live next).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday sneak-peek (& a few questions): PurrPrints Keychains

The gal on etsy who has turned my designs into magnets in the past was having a big sale last month, so I added a new goodie to my order: keychains. I don't have them up in my shop yet because these pics aren't up to snuff, but I couldn't hold back my excitement at sharding them. They're 1.25" big (the roung part, that is) and just adorable (I know, there I go being modest again. Aren't I the charming one?)

What do you think? Should I sell these, or just give them out as promos? What price would you expect? (Between etsy's base 20 cent fee and PayPal's base 30 cent fee, plus the percentages each take, I'm trying to decide if a low price-point item like this is actually cost-effective to sell or not)

Friday, July 3, 2009

You've all gone and ruined my mascara now

ActuallyWoman Wearing Flowered Bathing Cap and Applying Mascara as Water Showers Around Her, that would be impossible since I never wear the stuff, but if I did there would be the slight possibility of it being ruined by all the incredibly cool comments you all left on my last post. I feel like a twist on a Jack Handy mantra "I'm crafty enough, I'm catsy enough, and gosh darnit, people like (snarky, topic-schizo) me!"

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks. Realizing I don't actually have to be completely thematic to keep y'all coming back (okay, so I'm going overkill on the folksiness, but I do live in Kentucky after all) seems to have broken my writer's block and given me a few new ideas to chatter on about.

Consider yourselves forewarned! I'll still keep to cats and crafts more often than most topics, but you may find a bit more about all my other distractions, like reading urban fantasy, being in a PhD program, and having a parrot (poor thing is getting a complex that I only ever talk about my cats). That, or maybe I'll open up different blogs for each of my themes...hmm, no, I don't think I'm there yet...but if I seem like I'm headed in that direction and need to create some other blogs, don't hesitate to let me know :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How can I be at a loss for words when I teach writing?

I feel silly admitting this, but I've been paralyzed by (I'm sure excessive) indecisiveness over what the heck to actually post about these last few months, leading to pitiful posting stats, I know.

Here's my dilemma--it seems like everything I read on building and maintaining a successful blog indicates you should have a theme--and that makes sense, because most people probably return to blogs for a reason, wanting to see more of whatever was there that first got their attention.

The thing is, I feel waaay too scattered to stick with a theme these days, and it's left me wondering whether to post on the stuff I'm really thinking about, which has absolutely nothing to do with cats, crafts, or even (my personal favorite) snarkiness, or whether to try to generate some cat and/or craft themed posts.

As a writing instructor, the biggest thing I tell my students is that they have to write a bridge between their purpose and their audience--but in order to take my own advice, I feel like I need to know a bit more about who my audience is. So...age, weight, height, mother's maiden name, social security number? You don't mind leaving that in public, right? ;)

Ha ha--yes, I know, I'm just so hilarious you can hardly hold your sides in. Actually, what I really want to know is: why are you here (not on the planet, on my blog--though if you can answer the first question, color me impressed!) and what do you like reading? Do you like it when I dig up photos from etsy or artfire to show off fun handmade finds? Do you like it when I post videos or photos of my cats? What about random cat info, like the last post? Or pictures of my cat designs? How about miscellaneous stories from my life (and, with those, do you prefer the funny ones, or is somber stuff interesting too)?

Don't worry about hurting my feelings here--I want the real, nitty gritty stuff. I didn't start this blog to pour out my feelings, after all (I have a honest-to-goodness paper and pen journal for that), but to connect with people. So what I'd really like to know is how best to do that. Lay it on me, full force.

Oh--and if you have any pointers on how you get yourself posting when you get stuck in a rut, I'd welcome those too