Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Zone

There's greens and beans and cornbread cooking. And most important of all, there's a Twilight Zone marathon on TV.I could write at length on how New Year's Eve is a natural between-time, the sort of fairy tale borderland of time that starts adventures, and the Twilight Zone is a perfect cultural touchstone for that sort of unfettered unpredictable weirdness. I could go on about that, but the truth is the Zone marathon has just been a part of my New Year's Eve celebrations for year, even on years when I couldn't rustle up any other sort of celebration at all. A New Year without the Zone would be like no New Year at all.

But that dummy's freakin' me out, man.

Etsyblogger of the Month!

EDarn it, last of the month holidays totally mess up my Etsyblogger posting schedule! It seems rather unfair to make Calkat compete with New Year's Eve.

But I bet she can! At least she can for me. Because over the Clay Shoppe, Calkat makes these:

Don't know what they are? They're polyclay molds! That is, for using with polymer clay,l not, you know, made of polymer clay. Look at the detail on them! I think they'd be great for some of my projects, don't you?

Oh yeah,Calkat also has some sort of very intriguing jewelery shop, and a store that sells, I don't know, some of the most amazing bottles that I would totally dance over if I danced at all.

So go check her out, and hey, maybe you can actually enjoy all the spinny flashy features of her blog. You kids today and your high speed connections, I don't know...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Afters

I know there's technically a week to go before the New Year starts, but in my head, the year always properly ends at Christmas. The next week has lingering celebrations and lots of cleanup, but it's really just a deep breath before the New Year brings proper time back.

So I'm glad this year, which has been one of my favorite, got one of the best Christmases ever. There was the traditional total lack of sleep (ok, I dreamed about presents and trees for three hours before I couldn't keep my eyes closed...), and a visit from Santa (cunningly disguised as my Father-in-law) almost as soon as my husband and I were both up, and two family dinners, and great gifts shared out all around (I got my first MP3 player! Yaaay, I'm only like half a decade out of touch now!). And for the first time in years, no one got sick, nothing got spilled, and absolutely nothing caught fire!

There was even a wee little cold spell to set the proper mood. Even I like a little cold weather for Christmas.

Now there's piles of goodies to be put away, and decorations to wrap again for future holidays, and a lovely handmade journal to fill with photos and scraps of paper and little notes. And there's a new year to prepare for, and books to read, and a million reasons to celebrate ahead. But for now, I'm going to brew some of my Christmas Tea, and put on the last holiday CD of the year, and enjoy the last few minutes of a perfect holiday and a great year. Thanks, everyone, for being part of it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On the last week of Christmas, My Internet Gave To Me...

A truly humbling amount of swag, that's what.

Yes, it's Christmas Eve, and I have a lot to do. But when Santa delivers a Christmas basket of wonders right to my door (or at least right to my cattle guard)

just two days before Christmas? Some sort of attention must be paid.
Look at that basket. That is MASSIVE. It's stuffed so full it can't even be lifted by the handle! It's stuffed so full I had to divide up my photos just to show it off!

So first, the foodstuffs:

That's TWO POUNDS of honey from New York; a sweet little jug of real maple syrup from Ohio; a barley sugar Christmas Tree lollipop (with sprinkles!); a box of cranberry-nut-chocolate clusters;a jar of homemade four-berry jam, a jar of appleberry pie butter, and, weird and wonderful, a little bottle of dangerously concentrated Concord grape juice, so thick a flashlight against the bottle can't shine through. Fantastic!

But wait! There's more!

A wonderful little Victoriana type illustration of a stocking, with a little box holding even more candy treats; a tin Santa ornament; a silver-metal posy, ready to hold goodies of any kind; and, all handmade, a fantastically glittery cranberry wreath that really comes alive in Christmas lights; a Santa basket (and I love that face!), a stained glass tree suncatcher, a polyclay cutout tree with its own bells; a jingle-bell candy cane; and a wee Santa to enjoy all the Christmas trees.

And of course, there's the basket itself, with its yards of ribbon and gold glittering floral ornament which, I must note, turns into a hair pin so very easily.

Not pictured, because it doesn't photograph well: an LED Christmas tree, complete with battery, and a pine-scented sachet, which has already been roped into urgent service.

This is the last post I'm making before the big day; I sure can't come up with anything more appropriate than a magic gift basket! I fully intend to be passed out with a holiday hangover this weekend. So I wanted to be sure to say Merry Christmas to everyone who's stuck with this sometimes-blog this year, especially my Etsy friends. Whether your house observes the holiday or not, I hope you all have reason to celebrate, tomorrow and every day.

*Santa in this case being Jaz of Octoberfarm blog, one of the most amazingly generous people on the planet. Go look! She's even holding *another* giveaway!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Look! A Distraction!

I am making 12 kinds of cookies, wrapping an insane number of presents, and trying to clean up the house, so I can have the week after Christmas totally off, and veg out with a will. But I haven't forgotten you, my bloggy faithful! For those of you who get as internet dependent as me, here are a couple of Cara-related bits to entertain you:

An interview, discussing Aaaahrt, process, and Star Trek. From when I had time to blather! Ah, the good old days of October!

And a couple of people were sweet enough to feature my Twelve Days of Christmas art!

So go check them out, you know?

And buy a cow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bribing You for A Good Cause

Well, I'd wanted to post up a bunch o' art to go with this, but Technical Difficulties keep happening. And this is important.

See, there are a few things I do every Christmas. I put up the tree, I bake a dozen kinds of cookies, I watch all my Rankin-Bass Christmas specials...

and I donate to the Heifer Foundation.

I don't have a lot of donation-money, so I like being able to focus it in one place-- and I like Heifer because what goes around keeps going around, indefinitely. See, what Heifer gives people is livestock-- cows, sheep, pigs, bees-- and all the training and techniques they need to get the most out of their livestock. And what they ask in return is that people share that gift; the first female offspring (depending on the animal, sometimes the first several female offspring) must be given to another family in need.

Heifer goes beyond just assisting with livestock; they help organize environmental reclamation projects, community groups, and literacy classes. They put an emphasis on helping women particularly, insisting that women be equal partners in any received Heifer gift in even the most restrictive countries. And they do it all by working with local communities, building up goodwill and hope for the long haul. It's everything I'd tell people to do if I had money and any skill at organization whatsoever. So they get my donations.


Why am I telling you this? You may well wonder. Why the heck should you care what gets my altruism going?

Because I am totally willing to bribe you to make YOUR altruism work. Starting, well, now, if you give a donation of 10 bucks or more to Heifer, I will draw you a picture of a critter.* Any critter. You want a sheep? A giraffe? A hippogriff? I'll do it. I will! I'm crazy! And I'll send it to you, either as a high-res jpeg, if you're just wanting a file, or a card, if you'd like something a little more tangible. No shipping, even!

How will I know you've donated? Because you're going to email me a copy of your receipt (with your credit card info and such removed, of course!)-- just copy, paste, and email to
along with what critter you want, and whether you want a card or a digital file. If you want a card, an address for the mailing thereof would also be appreciated. I won't share any of your info with anyone else.

So go buy a sheep or a beehive, or a stand of trees, and let me know about it.
I'd love to be totally swamped with critter picture obligations!

Fine Print

*Fine print about the piece- it will be drawn digitally, I keep copyright and reproduction rights,and I am open to comments about what style or color or whatever you'd like, though no promises here. I will do my best to make it a *good* picture, so if you like my art, you should be happy. Pictures will be 3 x 5 or 4 x 4 inches; let me know if you want rectangular or square, or I'll choose myself.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas and Coconut Flour

Wow, apparently the Internet Likes Recipes. Who knew?

However, as a whole, it also appears The Internet Eats Wheat. If you don't, and I don't, the rash of recipes going up right now is kind of frustrating.

Or would be, if I didn't have coconut flour!

Coconut Flour is, in my never-humble opinion, the greatest flour on the planet. It makes the *best* pancakes and quickbreads I've ever turned out. It makes my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe possible. It thickens up pecan pie way better than wheat flour. And it's super healthy, full of fiber and protein and good happy carbs.

It's also really forgiving; I can't use sugar, being on a hilariously low-carb diet, and have had to improvise every CF recipe to accomodate that. And it works! You know what happens in a wheat-flour recipe if you just replace sugar with a dose of stevia? Sadness and regret, that's what.

Anyway, I'm tired of seeing my gluten free friends casting around for holiday substitutions when coconut flour is as near as the internet! Here, then, are a couple of my favorite recipes, from Bruce Fife's excellent Cooking With Coconut Flour, with notes and comments by me, 'cause hey, you're here for that, right?:

Nut Butter Chocolate Chippers
(These things are better than trail mix. Soft and chewy, they keep like you would not believe. And they're more packed with nuts than a Snickers bar, but they don't *taste* like nuts. They taste like vanilla-y chippy yummies.
Fun fact: If you are allergic to nuts, this recipe will make your head explode liek the guy in Scanners! Festive!)

(note: I use barely-sweet chocolate chips and Splenda or Stevia sweetener in this-- but I don't like super sweet stuff. This is the original, standard low-sugar recipe, for those who aren't so limited in their carbs.)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter. I use almond butter, 'cause I like it, but I hear it's hard to find in some places without an HEB. Be sure, whatever nut butter you're using, it's the pure stuff, with all the oil still in and without any weird sweetener or sugar or starch or whatever)
3/4 cups brown sugar or sucanant and 1/2 tsp stevia
4 eggs (I never said this was low fat. Coconut flour loves fat. That's ok by me!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (If you hate vanilla; I always use at least a half tablespoon, or why open the bottle?!? But, ah, that's me. That's not the book.)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups nuts (I like pecans. I am required by state law to like pecans. Plus they're the best nut in the world. So there's that. But hey, you can use your crazy other kinds of nuts, if you want.)
2/3 cup sifted coconut flour (Protip! Keep your coconut flour at room temperature! It has juuuuust enough fat to set up like a sandbrick if you freeze or fridge it. Yet it won't go bad on the shelf. Baffling but true!)

Mix softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix in nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut flour. Batter will be runny (but will start to seriously thicken if you turn your back on it. The awetasticness of coconut flour largely comes from its moisture absorbing magic. Do not take a long phone call after you mix this batter.)

Put spoonfuls on greased or parchment-paper covered cookie tray, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of your dollops. Cool and remove from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Not from the book:
Breakfast cake!
(Now, I think these are like scones, but that may just be me. I freely admit I am not the most qualified judge of scones.
Regardless, this is a wonderful, slightly sweet, very good toasted with butter or painted with jam, yellow cake. Baked in a loaf pan it's actually a pound cake, but I like mine in silicon muffin cups. I also suspect a good thumbprint cookie recipe lies in here...)

5 Eggs
1 t Baking Powder
1 t vanilla
1 lemon
2 oz Cream Cheese
2 oz Melted Butter
1 c Sugar Substitute
1 c coconut flour
Beat 5 large eggs. Add baking powder, vanilla, Zest and juice of lemon. Add sifted coconut flour, sugar equivalent (I use 1/4 tsp liquid Splenda).

Then add cream cheese and butter, melted together.

Mix, bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. (30 minutes, if you're doing muffin cups)

If you have any questions, ask in the comments- I will happily answer at the earliest chance!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Recipes, Gluten Free

All right, if there's snow on the ground (and there is snow on the ground! Snow! Still freaking out....) then it's time to start holiday baking (if only because the oven is a major source of heat in this house!).

You may not know that I'm on a fairly strict medical diet, called the Modified Atkins (for seizures) that limits my carbs hard, and for similar reasons have had to cut out gluten entirely. No treats then, you think? Not a bit of it! Check out:

Christmas Color Cookies

3 large egg whites
2-3 tbsp sugar-free Jell---oh, I mean, flavored gelatin dessert;P of your favorite flavor

Parchment Paper (NOT waxed paper! Oh for the love of all things edible, NOT WAXED PAPER!)
shiny cookie sheet
Electric Egg Beater (although, if you just hate yourself, you can do this by hand...I guess...)

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. If you don't know what that is, it's when you pull the beaters out, and the whites stay sticking straight up.:)

Pour on the Jell--uh, gelatin dessert powder. Beat into the egg whites until fully added (some worry about overbeating the egg whites. I have never ever ever seen this happen, in over a decade of making meringues of all sorts).

With a spoon or piping bag, drop spoon sized dollops of meringue (any size from teaspoon to tablespoon, really-small ones will be more like candy, large ones more chewy) on the parchement paper (doesn't have to be on the cookie sheet- one of the reasons parchement and meringue are such good chums is that you can totally get a sheet of paper loaded and waiting for limited cookie sheets!). But put the paper on a cookie sheet before putting the whole thing in the oven at 225 for an hour or so, depending on your dollop sizes.:)

These cookies will be the color and flavor of the gelat-oh, we all know I mean Jello. But you can add extracts of almond or vanilla or even chocolate to change the taste up-- almond-cherry or chocolate-orange are great! But I like lime and raspberry. What's your favorite?

Snow? Snow?!? SNOW!

Holy CATS. I was up early, decorating the tree. And then this weird sound came from the outside, and if you're from colder places, you probably know what I'm talking about. But I'm from Central Texas, so I have a thousand words that fail to describe it utterly. And lo, I opened the door, and there it was, like a really gentle hailstorm.


So, like anyone who's lived in Southern Central Texas their whole life long, I lost all my sense and ran out in my total lack of proper clothing to take pictures. I got bunches, actually, but I don't think anything says "We did not expect this" on an environmental level like snow in blooming sunflowers.

So. Uh. Wow. Happy Holidays, with a vengeance!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Featured Etsy Blogger: The Fab Miss B!

Well, heck, in the midst of my not being well, I nearly missed noting our Etsy Blogger of the month! And that would be a shame, because not only does the Fab Miss B host giveaways, she stocks aprons in her store! Giveaways are of course a nigh-surefire sign of a good blogger; anyone giving away Loot is invested in their project, after all.

As for aprons-- well, they make everyone, of either gender, instantly cuter AND classier. And they're terribly useful. They protect more extensive clothing, and yet often outshine the very items they're sacrificing themselves for. In short, aprons are one of the truest signs of Civilization, and any shop stocking them should be encouraged as being a standard bearer for our times.

So, you know. Go visit Miss B!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Carapace Versus the Orange Gourds of Doooom

Time to bust out my ethnocentrism and wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving! Even if you don't live in the US. November? Or you could join us in eating ourselves sick on big plates of food; it's really one of the easiest holidays to play along with. I'll join in yours!

I mean it. I love the holidays. Any holidays. All Arbor's Day of the Chrimukwanukah Solstivus Eve, whatever you got, I'll take it. Every Thanksgiving I can lay my hands on (did you know the first American Thanksgiving was actually in Texas? No? It's true!), Halloween and Day of the Dead, I don't care. Any excuse for strange foods and rituals is a good one!

But there is an element of the latter-month holidays that fills me with dread, one nasty nigh-inescapable blight on this shiniest of seasons. One nasty ORANGE blight.

See, I'm allergic to orange foods. It's not that I dislike them. I *dislike* canned peas. Canned peas do not make me throw the heck up, or break out in hives, or have trouble breathing. But pumpkin, sweet potatoes, even humble carrots, when cooked...they bring the doom upon me. And most of the year, they are easy to avoid. But today, on this festive holiday occasion, they are everywhere. And so I have learned earlier than most to cook my own holiday dinner, and hold Thanksgiving only with those close companions who have shown an understanding of concepts like "anaphylactic shock" and "next time the mess goes in YOUR shoes".

So today, armed with turkey and pecan pie, I go once more to brave the trials of Family Fun. I'm grateful to be able to go to a fairly safe place; and I'll be even more grateful to return home, if I can sneak by the well meaning relatives and stealth pies once again.

May your Thanksgivings be fun, and less full of danger!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thank You

Time for another Etsy Texas Challenge! This month's theme was Gratitude, which is noble as heck, but awfully abstract and hard to portray.

I think the team may actually have gone too abstract, and I'm not sure there's going to be enough entries here to run the challenge. But for you, my bloggy faithful, a picture:

There is nothing more hideously critical to the learning process than an audience. So thank you, mysterious people of the internet, for hanging around this rather infrequent blog. Your comments and encouragement are more appreciated than you know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Look! A Distraction!

Though I do the wonderful Folk of Etsy a great disservice to call her such....

I'm trying very hard to have a fun post for ya'll tonight, but for now, why not check out my interview with Folk over here:

She asks a lot of fun questions, and I took my own verbose time answering them, so that should keep everyone busy for quite a while. Look over there, while I remember how to type!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fair Notice With a Turtle

I am not well.
There's no punchline here; it's not a joke about me being crazy. I have some serious health issues, and they're rearing up to bite me lately. So I may be a bit quieter than usual. A whole big bit. I'll try to keep the blog lively though, and when I post I'm liable to not be in my right mind, so stick around! And if it's ever quiet for two weeks at a go, you can call the Marines. Or the Coast Guard. Or the Glee Club. You know, whatever.
I don't like to talk about it, because it is complicated and boring. But I felt my hypothetical blog readers, needed some explanation for my occasional long quietus. So, there it is.

Hey! Check it out, I'm drawing a turtle!:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cephalopod Rodeo

I don't talk about other blogs a lot. This is a shame. And weird. There are many very cool blogs out there, and talking about the good work of other people is always easier than coming up with my own stuff.

For instance, Cephalopod Tea Party, a fantastic blog about cephalopods and only cephalopods (pronuounced SEFalopods, not, like kep-halo-pods or anything weird), dedicated entirely to the awesomeness of our headfooted friends. No random self-promotion, no craft talk-- this blog is for octopods, and squids, and other similar awesome things. And the Tea Party is having a potluck, inviting other people to contribute things Cephish! These being some of the neatest and most artistic beings in the world, I couldn't resist:

Though I of course can't do the chromatophores justice. I did a lot of image study here, though it wildly and profoundly does not show. Now I want a Cephalopod Photo Album.

However, I did not draw a Cephalopod Rodeo. I did not think of it until I had to title this blog post. But I think I now know what the next thing in my Etsy shop will be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thank You, Etsy Texas Crafters!

Oh boy, I won the Etsy Texas Crafters Dia de los Muertos challenge! Well, I came in fourth. Which is better. No, really! See, the challenge has prizes, and every challenge I've entered, the prize I really wanted has been third place or later. It is bizarre, but true! This month it was a pair of luxury washcloths from the lovely Laine, of Cradle And All, who even let me choose my pattern!

Don't those look amazing? It's just the sort of thing I always sigh after and never buy, because I am a sensible responsible household budgeter who is saving all my money for patching the roof. No fun, and not nearly as luxy as these washcloths. I think that's the best sort of prize or present, really, something useful and loveable but the budget. So big thank yous, Laine! And it goes really well with my prize from last time!

Last time? I was in the lower-place prizes again! And I won a Pink Sugar Whipped Soap from Amanda of Fairy Bubbles.

Which is pretty great all on its own, right? But then she went and double-sized the prize just because she's that cool! I love using this stuff; it's like showering in an ice cream sundae, but somehow getting clean, instead of just sticky. And then I smell good, but somehow don't attract ants. Fantastic! You really should try it out. But only if you like smelling good.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Have No Words

It is time for me to Enjoy Being A Girl. You do not want to know what I want to be saying today.

So have a comic instead, to explain why I've been away this week:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dance Of the Bones

VOTE FOR ME! Or, you know. Vote for someone else. But vote here:

Soft skin blushes because it knows
It can never dance alone
Powder pink and sun gold,
Old and loose and young and toned,
Hot blood sweats and muscles struggle,
But the dance is made by bones.

Etsy Texas is having another one of their art challenges! The theme this time is Day of the Dead, a wonderful Halloween co-holiday that remembers those gone and invites them back into our lives. I'll post the voting link here whenever it's live, and of course you'll all go vote for me, yes? Or at least vote. Man, I'm not even in the running on this one, but I wanted to play along. I really love Dia de los Muertos, and every year I make sure to get a few calaveras and hold a memorial in the local woods. I've had no complaints, so I must be making someone happy.

I don't remember where the poem's from. Could be I got it wrong. But it was running through my head the whole time I made this.

Anyway. Go look at all the entries! There are some really amazing pieces up. And vote vote vote! Well, just vote:

And come say hi
to the great people who made the entries!

It's coming along...Nicely?

For those of you who asked-- oh, wait, no one did! I don't care! I'm going to talk about it and YOU CAN'T STOP ME because it's my blog! Bwahahaha!-- the cartoonish version of the dancers is coming along.

I have to love this piece, because it has been part of the process of a lifechanging discovery, about which more later. But for now, look! I'm doing stuff!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Party Panic!

I have blogged before on my deep and abiding love for Halloween, day o' hedonism. This year, for the first time in ages, Halloween is falling on a Satyrday, thereby allowing me to have aparty with those of my friends not granted the artist's schedule.

This means, for the first time in years, I need a costume. Now to be sure, I have plenty of fancy dress- Renaissance festivals of a decade have left me well engarbed, and my recent passion for steampunk had only added to my wardrobe's oddness-- but for me these are *normal* clothes, which I wear any day I don't attend the dread Office Job. I want to dress up as something unusual and disturbing for Halloween! Without falling back on anything political. I mean, Zombie Nixon is plenty unnerving, but so overdone, you know?

Also, I do not want any "sexy". This disallows pretty much every female costume in the stores.

So, this is a callout to all my hypothetically extant blog readers-- what should I wear to the ball? Give me your suggestions, and don't worry about making them too weird-- because if I can't wear it, I'll draw it, and do a Halloween Costume Ball of the suggestions I get here!

ETA: I monetized my blog pretty much just to see what weirdzo ads Google would throw at me. I note with bitterness that I now have an ad for "Sexy" Halloween costumes on the side. Next week, I am blogging about trolls and old socks. See what they make of that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Etsyblogger O' the Month!

The Etsyblogger of the month is...Made By Melissa! Yaaaay, MM!

Now, this is a tricksy post for me, because I don't know Melissa that well. I am a bad dilettante Etsyblogger, and out of touch with even our most faithful members. And she does not appear to be co-geek, as Roseworks is. So let's go meet her, shall we?

Oh, dear. It looks like she's a very nice sane woman. And a very consistent blogger, too. A whole bunch of fine traits I cannot relate to. I suspect she won't appreciate my visit. Especially when I steal those fantastic glovies she's working on! Maybe she'll forgive me if I visit her shop? It looks like she's having a sale! Ooh, and look at all the scarves! I am sucker for a good scarf....


Sorry for the lack of pictures, folks--the internet is craaaawwwling for me today. Hello 26 kbps! My cybersecurity is ensured by obsolence, alack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm Back! With Sketchness!

The Renaissance Festival was amazing! We had perfect weather; the place was busting with costumes; and there were a couple of amazing new acts, along with the usual favorites we go to see every year. Now I'm back, caught up on my sleep, and approrpiately, eager to try some new art.**

One of the most amazing shows at the Festival was Shunyata Bellydance, a troop of artists from all over the world. Bellydance acts often disappoint me, because they're prone to emphasizing the Sexy!! aspect over the sensual and artistic side, and turn into, essentially, a strip show. Which I'm not against, in theory, but am horribly bored by in practice.

But these dancers were completely about the art. Their costumes and the stage all worked together; they used the sun just right, even though that's some very unreliable lighting. They used swords and smoking candles and never seemed to be in any danger. And they were funny, telling all kinds of jokes in the movements of their dance.

Oh, yes, and they were very hot. I assume. I mean, I'm not wired to really say if women are sexy, but I'd be feelin' darn sure of my chances if I moved like that, you know?

So I'm going to have lots of dance-based pictures coming to me in the next few days, I expect.

And here's where the problem starts. Every interview with any sort of artist will ask "Where do you get your inspiration?" or worse, "Where do you get your ideas?", which rather misses the point. I mean, getting ideas is easy. Editing them is the tricky bit. I know, for instance, that I want to draw some version of this insane three-bodied goddess move I witnessed. So I draw a basic sketch (aka Attack of the Random Stick People):

But now what? Do I take it in a fairly realistic direction? That could be impressive, if I pull it off. It is pretty complicated, though, and will require another half dozen preliminary sketches:

Or go very cartoony, which would let me emphasize the motions of the dancers and the circle pattern that's all over? That's...not easier, but it could be very neat, too, and let me try more exaggeration than I usually do in cartooning:

Of course, since my digital setup is working again,I may try to do both! What do you think? Would two versions of the same piece look weird in the shop? Should I worry that the two versions don't look very different in Random Stick form? Do you like cookies or ice cream better? Are any of them as good as well-made coffee, of which I should plainly have less?

These are the sort of questions that keep me up all friggin' night. Which explains the posts, yes?

**That's an era-appropriate act I'd love to see at a Renfest-- watch the mad artists! Boggle as they rediscover perspective, proportion, and the concept of "lighting"! Gasp in horror as they yell at the Pope not to interrupt them! Laugh uproariously as they lick the points of their cadmium-soaked brushes and go utterly bonkers!

I'd watch it.***

*** Stupid Renaissance artists, with their "quality" and "realism" and "using more than three colors in a picture". Had to go and make everything complicated....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Exaggerating Here

Yes, it's fall in my part of Texas, which means I need to have my entire wardrobe, from swimtrunks to longjohns, on call at all times. That little vignette above? That was last week. I had the heater and hot chocolate and iced tea and air conditioning in the same day. It's...invigorating.

So of course it's perfect traveling weather! This weekend I'll be goin' down to Ren-Town, visiting the great big Houston-area Texas Renaissance Festival. It's laughably enormous!I'll try to get ya'll one more post before I go-- but since I think the next weather change on the wheel o' climate is Locusts, no promises.

And to all the new blog followers-- Hi, welcome, afraid that posts sometimes lie skimpy on the ground. And aren't all essays. I like essays, but sometimes a gal's gotta go cartooning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So Then There Was That Time I Nearly Burned to Death

crossposted from one of my forums, because hey, this was EXCITING:

My dear darling husband nearly burned our house down last week! Cooking! I don't know how the man does it, but he always makes huge billowing clouds of billow when he cooks *anything*. He can get smoke going in a stew. So I was not surprised to see the kitchen erupt in smoke; I was surprised to see him being lit by the flame of a merry blaze.

You know what my dear sweet wonderful husband did then, confronted with a brightly burning grease fire?

He blew at it.


And said "Whoa", when it jumped higher, and directly towards him.

Meanwhile, I was of course saying, in a calm and rational and not the least panicking voice, "BAKING SODA! USE THE BAKING SODAOHMYGODWHATAREYOUDOING BAKINGSODA! RIGHT! THERE!"

I handle stress well.
In my defense, I was gathering our valuables for imminent flight.
At last my husband's language processing centers finally realized that "baking soda" was not an epithet, and dumped about 1.5 pounds of white powder on our 4 inch radius burner. The flames went out, with a final billow of white smoke.

And quoth the cause of all the trouble, "Wow."

And so the day was saved, thanks to the power of common sense. Shouted at 150 decibels.

Until he did it again, five minutes later.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reality is Dangerous

One of the reasons I like working in digital-- and am gnashing my teeth at the current tech-failure that is preventing me from doing so--is that in digital, nothing is irrevocable. For instance, if I got something to this level of Done:

where it's lookin' pretty good, but I can't quite get it the extra step to being just actually good, I can play with it, confident that if I make a horrible horrible mistake, I can just erase those steps and start again. That's problematic in itself of course, because I can waste hours playing with highlights and filters and oh hey maybe she should be holding a book oh wait no a shell. But at least I don't have the horrible paralyzing fear of being about to wreck something completely after hours of work, based on a vague sensation that there ought to be more shadows or something. Gah.

Anyway. Advice on what to do with these pieces to make them more...dramatic? Polished? Something? Is hereby solicited, while I go work on some protoform paintings that aren't driving me to existential angst. Gah, once more.

Friday, October 2, 2009


It's October! I don't know what's going on with your weather, but around here that means we're securely back in the land of double-digit Fahrenheit. Yay!

Oh yeah, and there's some sort of holiday. With candy and costumes and I'm having a party this year, and apparently can't even pretend I forgot Halloween.


Friday, September 25, 2009

All About ME! In Watercolor!

The ever fun Etsy Bloggers Team is having another carnival! Unfortunately for me, all the recent carnivals have been photo-based. Now, shop images notwithstanding,I have an innate mistrust of photographs, at least as applied to people. The problem is that people think photographs are accurate, and thus complete. In fact, photographs leave out almost everything important almost every time. I can't get behind the idea that you'll know me better just for seeing a photo.

Also, my camera is broken.

But my scanner works! So, here is collection of things you would never know from a mere photograph:

Notice that you have now also learned that I have abysmal handwriting, and that I am far too trusting of very cheap paper. Try getting THAT from a Polaroid, hah!

Ahem. Off to look at the blogs of people whose cameras have not deserted them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And I'm Back!

Well, that little hiatus wound up being longer than expected, thanks to the Magic of Conflu--but now I'm all back and cognizant! Hello to the new people here; let's see if I can't get something interesting up this afternoon!:D

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Away I Go Again!

Another con is coming- one of my favorites, Animefest, in Dallas! If you're going to be there too, come by our table in the dealer's room-- I'll be the woman in top hat and full corset, rejoicing that I don't standout at all!:D

And if you're not going to be at Animefest, and you wonder when I'm actually going to start blogging properly again, then rejoice! For this is my last convention of the year, and after a week to recover, I should be able to properly focus on other things again. Like this blog, which I miss. See you all next week!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hey Everybody, Look at Me

The lovely Crystal has been sweet enough to give me an interview on her very pretty blog, which I can't figure out how to follow:

So go look, and tell her how much you love me, and how very clever she is to showcase someone so awesome. And see if you can't get on her good side, too, because Crystal is fantastic!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Still Alive, and Posting!

Hey, it's only been nine days since my last post! I am getting less atrociously absent! Go me!
But I am slow indeed these days-- blame it on the summer heat and the internet-killing timesuck that is Con Season-- and know full well I need to get back on the blogging and arting horse. But it is very very hot, and my muse has fallen out of shape. So I'm training her back to fightin' condition with the Index Card project! It's all my own, but you can play along at home! The rules are simple:
* You get 100 index cards.
*You get 5 days to put a picture on every one.
*No subject or media off limits. Nothing is too twee, too weird, too stupid or derivative. The only rule is that each card has to have a bit o' art on it in five days.
* After you've done the pictures- in stages, or in the end-- you have to show them ALL to an audience. Me, I'm putting mine up in my Etsy shop when I'm done, even if I think they do stink.

Which is important, because at twenty pictures a day, they ain't all awesome. Here's a random sampling of what I've managed to do so far:

I may post them all here in time, as this is a better place for feedback than Etsy, really. But not until I'm done!

One of the things I'm enjoying about this is writing down descriptions as I go, which is going to make listing a lot easier.

Now, if I can just get myself blogging regularly...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All Hail Me!

Because it's my birthday. Well, ok, not yet.But soon! August 3rd, actually! My 4th annual 27th birthday, a fairly significant one, at that.

My birthday and my Etsy birthday coincide pretty neatly, so I want to do something cool, shop-wise. So I turn to you, blog-people, for advice-- what should I do for my loyal and semi-loyal patrons? Free shipping? Percent off? What do you like to see going on in a shop?

Send me your ideas, leave a comment, whatever-- because I'm doing another giveaway here, right now, and I'll be drawing my winners on the day itself! What's the prize?'ll see. But if you like my art,you'll want it.

Meantime, I am off to conquer the world like a pinata full of chocolate and paint. Meaning, I guess, I'll miss a lot and end up winded and falling over. Still: fun!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hot Dog Time!

There are many things I would not know if not for the internet. Blogging, in particular, has brought me news of a great many things that anyone not desperate for material would find inconsequential to an almost staggering degree. I feel like a newspaper columnist!

For instance, did you know right now we're having some sort of hotdog..awareness...thing? It appears to be true! Now, I have nothing against hotdogs. I do not hold with the baffling snobbery that says it's great to eat the ass-end of a pig, but not the lips. And since I can actually read an ingredients list, I know that most hotdogs contain exactly what an average pork meal would anyway, i.e., pigmeat, spices, maybe a little starchy binder. The Jungle was a long time ago, folks, we get meat in our meat these days. At least in America.

In fact, hotdogs were an essential part of my path to culinary maturity. Tis true! Hotdogs, you see, are safe to trust to a young child who might not have entirely grasped the concept of heat-based hygiene yet. While most people eat them straight or on a bun, I was taught the wide legacy of hot-dog based white trash foods, like beans-n-wieners, hot dog pasta, and the never-again-to-be-spoken-of hot dog salad. Hot dogs broadened my horizons and kept me off the streets.

Yes, there are those who sneer at hot dogs--even those who would ban them-- because they're a cheap and commonly popular protein source, and we can't have that. But to heck with them--when they've eliminated the evils of school-lunch "salisbury steak", then perhaps we can talk. Until then, step away from the dogs. For without hot dogs, what would we eat at spectator sporting events? What could we grill on a moment's notice on sweltering hot summer days? What would be embedded in Jello Salad in old cookbooks, causing us all to have momentary but severe concerns about the existence of just and loving gods?

And most importantly, without hotdogs, how could the Texas State Fair have been the birthplace of that most perfect stick-food, the corndog? Answer: it couldn't. And then the Texas State Fair would not be maniacally devoted to promoting fried madness. And we would probably have had to cede the most lunatic food competition to Minnesota or some forsaken land where "lutefisk" is a concept. As it is, we can claim to deep fry Coke, so we're at least in the running. Thanks, hot dogs!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Impossible Time

There is an old pendulum wall clock in our living room that has never, in my twelve years of residence, ticked, tocked, or struck. There is a good reason for this; it's broken. Like, seriously broken. Pieces are missing; springs are spring. It is pining for the fjords. It is an ex-clock.

And then yesterday, I ran into it with my elbow. It swung wild for a minute on the wall. I caught it, steadied it, set it back not quite straight.

And then, with a great ratcheting whirring noise of gears, the clock started to tick. The pendulum began to swing.

And an hour later, it rang time.

A full day later, it's still going.

Now, the clock is not accurate; it rings whatever hour it darn well feels like, when it feels like it; and the pendulum loses and gains time arbitrarily; and the hands seem to regress and advance at whim. That is not the point. This clock shouldn't be working at all. It is not possible for this clock to even simulate function. And yet it is doing so.

Much as I'd like to maintain my rationality, here, a lifetime of fiction addiction and subsequent genre awareness prevents me. Clearly, this is a portent of some great sort. I choose to believe it signals that this is the time to achieve impossible things-- write a novel! Win the lottery! Clean all the dishes and have a clean sink for an entire day!

And, of course, pack a bag for traveling in an alternate universe. Because if this baby strikes thirteen, it's go time. I've read the books.


Seriously, it's weird. Tell me of weirdness in your world! Or what impossible things you want to do! A very nosy person wants to know!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Walk Through: Season Girls, with Watercolor!

Hello, my poor neglected blog! How are you today?

Yes, I've been away. I could explain why, but it's complicated and involves terms like "neurovascular", so let's skip it, shall we? I want to get to blather!

I have a lot to blather about,certainly. There's the Etsy blogger o' the month (seriously, check out Lazy T Crochet on Etsy), the looming Akon update (I am now to the Editing Scythe phase of that post. Gyeek. Anyone know how to do a Blog Cut here?) and the fact that I have become Carapace, Queen of Giveaways this month, and need to gloat on my swag with supervillainess cackling.

First I need an Idea. If I've got a good solid one, I'll sometimes just start drawing on the Cintiq; but I wanna break out the paints today,so I go experimenting on a good ol' paper sketchbook. Hmm, no particular idea in mind. When I don't know what way to, how about Art Nouveau?

Ok, so I'm not totally content with them. But if I wait until I'm totally content with any idea,I will not only fail to get anything done, I will enter some weird alternate state where the work other people do is actually undone by my entropy.

Anyway, I love this part, when the idea is still new and innocent and full of possibilities. Look at those sketches, they could be anything! Time to start corrupting them! I can't show you the next bit, because it's where I put draw a new clean version on watercolor paper with non-photo blue pencil, and that, well, doesn't scan so well. That's sort of the point.

But I can show you the next step! Using what's sometimes called "dry on dry"- that is, watercolor with hardly any water on dry paper-- I paint my outlines. I use midrange-price brushes, Ebony brand; I like the level of spring they've got better than the supposedly awesome expensive brushes I've tried. Which is good, since a ten-brush set of Ebony costs less than a single expensive brush. Anyway, I digress. For this set, I'm doing the outlines in matching colors to the fill, at least at this level. Here we go:

At this point, if you know me well enough, you might notice that these are a familiar couple of faces. To you I say: yes, very good, and also Hesh, no one else needs to know about that. Yet.
I LIKE these outlines; they're pretty much where I want them to be. I especially like the winter woman, and the way her scarf and the curves of her hair interact. You'll notice I've flipped the sunflower girl; that's an old trick to make the eye see proportion issues it might have missed. Dont' worry, she'll be back to normal in the next one.
I pause to note here that I'm told some people find watercolor very challenging. It's actually a very forgiving medium! I and my shaky hands love the heck out of it. It allows lots of color to go down fast, and certain level of fluidity that I can never get with ink. It's also really easy to blend colors on the page. There's not the endless forgiveness of acrylics, but there is a level of speed and ease that no other coloring method, not even computer, offers.
However, watercolor shares with ink the potential to totally ruin any amount of previous work as you go along. So, since I like my outlines, now it gets scary. Now, I have something I can seriously screw up! Yay! Better lay down some color while I'm still on my high:

Oooh, the pants are turning out niiiiiiice. Winter is a very hard season to represent; in really cold places it's "white, with white bits" and here it's "like the rest of the year, but desaturated". Winter is actually shades of gold and pale blue here; the grass is all sunburnt and dry but not dead, and the light has that quality that only comes from being angled uncomfortably far from the sun. Watercolor's really the only media that works for it.

Summer, though, is actually pretty tricky. I think the summer picture might have benefited from some more accessories, but I got caught up in the Swoopy. Something to keep in mind when I redo these on computer. On the other hand, it'll probably look just fine at postcard size. I'll see; maybe I can redeem it in later stages with some interesting paintwork. Thoughts?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ohmigosh, SALE!

Yeah, yeah, I have a bunch of posts you're expecting. And they're coming! But first, I would be a neglectful hostess if I didn't mention I am having a SALE! tomorrow. As part of my Etsy Texas team, who I neglect awfully, I must say, and who are having a big $5 sale for Fifth Monday. Suddenly, I love Fifth Monday and cannot wait. So, besides going to my shop, you should totally be searching ETC5. Ok?

Anyway! All my ACEOS are going to be 5 bucks. All! And I've got a few special listings planned. And I'll be putting up ACEOs as fast as time and my internet connection allow. Maybe I'll even get my shop to crack a hundred! Woo!

Ok, back to natter into the keyboard for a while.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ta DA! I Return, To Finish A Piece!

Whew! Sorry to be away so long-- the Kon of Cons really takes it out of me! I love conventions, but they are an exhausting endeavor. I have spent the past week pretty much sleeping, and believe me, you are glad I did. My conversations with actual people this last week have gone like this:
"How was the convention?"
"What did you do?"
"I...had fun!"

So not the most riveting dialogue. Sincere, but not interesting. But I will have con stories for you, never fear! Presented as interpretive dance-- er, comics, most likely. Right now, though, let's finish up a project, shall we?

Remember last time, when I had a pair of pictures well on the way to being finished? Well, as usual when I'm near completion, I stepped back and waited on them for a couple days. And as usual when I do that, I decided I didn't like them so much. At all. Especially my Snow White; the inking was all wrong. Emergency re-ink!

Snow in Ink:

And I never liked that color scheme! Well, that's a lie, I liked it quite a bit. Very period. Why did people so often seize on orange and blue? Whataburger? Naruto? Any comments?
But I want this to be a bookend piece with Rose Red, and orange and blue does not rock for her. Plus I have-- cue the ominous music-- just found a tutorial on a way to do toned color work, over at the insanely gorgeous Lackadaisy Cats.
So first I put in the shading in monochrome:

Then put a very thin color tint over it:

So it looked like this, altogether:

Yay! Now I add a background, and like five layers of effects-color to the hair. I would show you those, but they don't show up much at all unless you're totally anal and have spent five hours staring at this thing already. That's the thing I'd bet most non-artists would not believe, the level of work we put in our stuff that NOBODY ELSE WILL EVER CARE ABOUT EVEN A LITTLE. But I couldn't let this go without those overlays! I need help.

Anyway! Finally, it is, if not done, too far along for me to risk mucking with it anymore. Even on computer, there's a point where I start spitting out stupidwork, and that road eventually leads to sparkles and tears. So let's wrap it up here, shall we?

And now I get to do the same thing with Rose Red! Well, I've done it, actually. So, hopefully this week, these two girls will go up in my Etsy shop! Maybe even with their paired bookcover piece! Yay, me!

Oh, yeah-- I missed my internet!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm Leaving You!

But only for a few days! I'm heading off to Akon in Dallas, land of nifty architecture and nightmarish street planning.
How bad are the streets? My honeymoon was spent in Dallas; we stayed at a fairly nice hotel. A nice hotel that we could not reach.
Mind, it was easy to leave the hotel, get on the highway, and go about our business every morning. But that was a one-way feeder road. There was simply no corresponding road leading in. The main roads went right past it; there was a big green lawn...and ONE exit point, for that one way feeder road.

Oh, and a very clear rut in the grass from the main road, where everyone who worked there, visited, or just delivered pizzas said "To heck with this" and violated traffic law in a fairly blantant fashion. Everyone. Even the cops.

So perhaps I should say, I'll be back soon-- Monday, in fact-- provided Dallas has not started any road construction in the meantime. Yeek.

But if I do not return, remember I was working to the last! Remember those muddy sticks I showed you the last time?

Well, I put a little more detail into the mud:

And then, with the Magic of Photoshop, opened a layer under the lines and played around with colors a bit. Seriously, this is something I ONLY do in Photoshop; colorwork takes ages by hand, and it's very hard to revamp a painting in more than minor ways, so aside from some rough color layouts done before I even start a piece, I have to pick a scheme and start with it. In the land of computer graphics, I can try a dozen combos, and just take what I want and scuttle the rest, in about the time it would take me to do ONE traditional color piece. I thought I liked this...

Next time: Near the final stage? Time for a panicked radical change!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Love Blue Tulip!

Holy cow! My latest bloggy giveaway victory,from the estimable Blue Tulip Designs:

What makes this really amazing is that I only WON two cards. That was the deal! And Martha- Blue's secret civilian identity-- was super sweet about it, asking me all kinds of questions to make sure I got the cards I would like most-- even offering to make me a custom invite! Wow! But I said, no, that wouldn't be right, and asked her to just give me what she thought was coolest.

And look!

Isn't that pretty? That wasn't even in her shop when I entered the contest; she made it up all pretty just to surprise me! But it wasn't as surprising as this:

Bwaahahah! I love it! Look at the stunned little monkey face! I think anyone who's ever been in an accident can relate.

Anyway, yes, that's TWO cards that weren't even for sale, sent super-fast straight to me! I'm highly tickled.

Sadly, these are my cards now, which means I can only give them away, not receive them. Which means someone needs to be in an accident or have surgery or something-- that monkey's too cute to languish in a drawer! So I shall be forced to turn to a life of crime, commiting acts of violence just to let cards live there proper lives. I shall be known as The Calling Card Crippler, and there will be dark True Crime TV shows made about me. I'm hoping for City Confidential myself...

Oh, but wait, I'm still blogging. Right. So in conclusion, Blue Tulip rocks! Visit her! Now!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Carnival: Summer Line

First off, if any commenters still want to join the Halloween PIF, there's room for ooooone more. Just leave a comment in the post under this.


I am in grief, because I missed the last Etsybloggers blog carnival. Alack, because it was about fairy tales, and if you like hearing me ramble (and if you don't, why on earth are you visiting my blog? Rambling and occasional sketches are all I offer here!), well, you are grieving too, because there is seriously a hundred years worth of prattling to be had off fairy tales.

But this carnival is, conveniently, about my New Stuff for the Summer * and my new stuff for the summer is apparently going to be heavy on the fairy tales! Yay! In fact, check out these early sketches:

Oh boy, doesn't that look promising! Hah, I kid. Early sketches always look like someone kicked muddy sticks on a page. Mine do, anyway. Maybe yours look like Degas layouts, I don't wanna know.

Anyway, can you guess who they are? I bet not, because that's a rough sketch, and it looks like mud! But in the stage it's at now, that's a really rather pleasing composition of Snow White and Rose Red.

I always liked Snow White and Rose Red a lot better than just the Snow White story. True, it's missing the wonderfully wicked Stepmother, and the disturbing fact of the dwarves, but it replaces them with an evil gnome, a talking bear, and sisterhood with axes. Better deal all around, and that's before we even get to the color contrast. The Grimms and their translators did some fantastic things with very basic language, and that's coming from someone whose favorite authors are mostly in the grand Dickensian tradition**.

Anyway, I seem to be on a kick illustrating the stories of my childhood. I don't expect I'll be doing a lot of the Disney-famed stories-- they aren't the interesting ones, anyhow. But The Girl With Golden Hands? Brave Little Tailor? Mother Hulde? Oh heck yeah. I'm getting itchy sketchin' fingers just thinking about them.***

There's also going to be a new set of clays in my shop, with a little more potential usefulness. Over on this blog, there's going to be, well, prattling about fairy tales, some con stories, and not a few photos, if all goes as planned. And sometime-- I'm not saying when-- a great big enormous summer sale! So stick around, this'll be the best summer ever at Caramakes!****

*Well, it was that or birthday stuff, and my birthday stories are kinda depressing.

**Tell me more about the bottle on the windowsill! Exactly what shade of green is it, and how does this reflect the nature of society, again?

***Dear Disney: Unless you're willing to have the mutilation scene in full glory, leave Golden Hands and Mother Hulde alone. Thank you.

*** Also the second summer ever. So it's an easy promise to keep.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just for Fun, to Pay it Forward

The Play of Light and Shadow has this little Halloween PIF going on:

And has generously capped it at three people, so the shy weird kid in class who only has three real blog readers can still play! Whew!
Having just survived our end-of-semester rush, I am feeling rather undead myself, and very much in the mood for some Halloweenness. So here's the deal: You be one of the first three commenters on this post, you get a big of Halloweeny suprise, drawn by me meyself. I do not promise it will be awesome, only original. Er. I will need to contact you for your mailing address, but worry not, I will not be mailing you dead fish or anything.
Then-of course-- you must go forth and Pay! Bwahaha! By offering a similar small bit of early Halloween to three readers on your blog! And linking back to me. Theoretically, if everyone did this faithfully, I guess a PIF could last forever! The sociologist in me is very interested to see that. Alack for proper network tracking software!
Leave your comment, let me know you do want a bit o' art from me, and share your own Halloween spirit. Easy, right?
Now, I'm not gonna advertise this post. This is for long-timers, says me. So comment, I wanna know who I'm working for!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tick, Fleas, And The Finer Things in Life

It may not come through on the blog, but I am not the girliest of girls. I don't wear makeup, except at Halloween; I don't wear perfume, ever; and my devotion to green (it is the best of all possible colors, at least for me, and will be the subject of another blog post) means I never wear pink.
But I am grateful for at least one aspect of the morally bankrupt beauty industry, and that is depilator creams. Let me be clear: the hairiness of my legs does not concern me as a general principle. Anyone close enough to tell had better be beyond caring. If humans were all I had to worry about, I wouldn't worry.
Humans are not all I have to worry about.
Come the summer months, I like to run around-or, well, ambulate around-in shorts and short socks. When I moved to my current location (Sticksville, Population: Cows)I found something besides peace and a lovely green smell in the waving grass and thick undergrowth. Or a lot of somethings. Or they found me.
Yes, my heart may be full of love (or blood, one would hope), but my yard is full of ticks, despite the best efforts of the cows. And fleas. And weird little clear bugs...
And they all think I'm delicious, and they all loooove hairy legs. If they were human, this would be flattering; since they're not, it's icky. I'm not quite that xenophilic (plus, I would like to keep my heart full of blood, thank you.).
So I depilate. I tried shaving a few times, but as the Waco Kid says, "I shoot with this hand."* Leeches couldn't get as much blood out of me as I did with that razor. Sam Peckinpah, eat your heart out.
So that left me with depilating creams. Which work. They work great! They take off the hair, no doubt. And they make my skin itchy and dry for days, and they stink to high heaven, and they make my fingernails slimy. But no bugs! And no fun.
But giveaways are fun! Especially when I win something, like a big fat gift certificate to Favors R Us. No sooner did I get my certificate, than I bounced over to Favors R Us, with A Plan.
Today, the cream of stinking became necessary once more (dear deer ticks: kindly drop dead en masse. Thank you.) So unfurred myself. And then, in hope, deployed my new Secretish Weapon:

Cucumber Aloe Sugar Scrub.
Right away, the itching stopped. When I toweled off, my legs didn't smell like chemical; they smelled like Nice. And my nails look better than they did before I deployed the dread cream.
So, I don't know if sugar scrub reverses the effects of aging, or sun damage, or pregnancy. But I know it undoes the nasty effects of some very nasty chemicals in about thirty seconds, and doesn't even tear up my skin doing it. Triumph!

*If you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch Blazing Saddles. If you do know what I'm talking about, watch it again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Featured Etsyblogger of the Month: Createathought

I am a bad, bad blogger about my team duties. Specifically, my Etsyblogger team duties. I keep missing the featured monthly blogger, and that is not fair. These are good folks! I should talk about them!

But in my own feeble defense, I just don't have anything to SAY about most of them. If someone has a baby-oriented shop and blog, I have no comment, except "Look! Babies!", which will indeed totally be my post if that comes up again. Add that to my tendency to forget the month entirely, and well, I've missed a few.

But this month's blogger is different! This month's blogger has journals!

Really quirky journals that I hereby claim in the name of Me!

I love journals. Given my state of mind, I carry one everywhere, to keep track of things like whether I need to buy milk and when I have my next doctor appointment and whether I am wearing pants that day (no, I'm wearing a skirt.Today.)And as you can see by that first journal, these folks have my color favoritism well in hand. So go, check 'em out.

But don't you dare buy MY journal.