Friday, June 28, 2013

My House Art that is Art in My House

Embroidery is time-consuming. As is quilting, crocheting, knitting, and crafting in general. My mom quilts and spends twenty thousand billion hours on each quilt. If she sold a quilt, calculating its price at seven dollars an hour, it would probably cost someone a million dollars and the soul of a dying unicorn. So she never sells them. It's simply not worth it. She gifts them to friends and families and hopes that they appreciate them.

I still sell my embroideries, but trust me, I'm not making very much money. I usually just hope to break even or make two dollars. And I sell as fast as I stitch, so because of supply and demand, my embroidery prices have gone up. My Etsy store is empty, except for a 'custom order' option. Most of my custom orders have been made through private messages on my Facebook page. I have the coolest customers and they come up with the funniest ideas for embroideries.

It's hard being an artist. Most artists create art as a compulsion, rather than as a means of bringing home the bacon. Mmmmm. Bacon.

And so, when I do sell anything, I like to use that money to buy art from real, hard-working artists. It is a better investment of my time and money. I make things for about a buck-fifty an hour and so do they.

Here are a few works that I have purchased with my Cotton Floozy earnings. I like to buy funny things.

One of my favorite crafter artists is Iggy Starpup.

I own these two lovely prints.





And she makes the most wonderful embroidery hoops IN ALL THE LAND.


Grumpy Cat
BUY ME HERE!

I added big watermarks because pictures like these tend to go viral, and then the artist never gets any recognition. This happened to another one of my friends, Jennifer from Grimmricksen. She didn't have a watermark on her awesome button (which, duh, of course I own a real-life button of this) and it went viral. I saw it EVERYWHERE. You probably did, too. But she went unaccredited. She tried to do some damage control. I tried to do some damage control, but it was like trying to stop a horde of Bieber Fever Tweens with nothing but a butter knife and a voice of reason. IMPOSSIBLE. Grimmrickson now has a watermark. Smartness.

Get your own button for your blog HERE.
Or buy a purty print HERE.

On my fake-fireplace mantle I have this lovely print from Kat Martin.




Here is a closeup. 

DON'T BLINK.

My kids love it, because they are huge Dr. Who fans. I like Dr. Who myself, but stopped watching after David Tennant left because I lurv him. I know. I know. I've heard it's really good. I promise to give the new doctor another chance. Although, I guess he's not new anymore and they are about to get a new NEW doctor.

This is not the only Dr. Who art I own in my home. I also own these kickass prints from Desarae Lee.


Desarae is a local artist and we are still planning on doing a collaboration once I get my shiz together.

SO SHOP FROM SMALL-BUSINESS ARTISTS. Sure, they make no money off of you, but if everybody shopped from them, we might be able to take a bite out of Val-demart Walmart.

Do you have a small art business or Etsy? Let me know about it! I would love to support you and your awesome.

(Also please check out these shops and artists that I have highlighted in previous posts, tweets, or pinterest pins: Real Pretend Vintage, Wonderstrumpet, Eleven19, Bad Baby QuiltsNicole Maki, and Native & Pilgrim.)


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Debrie Bardeaux is Punny

'I'm not a MOTHERBOY anymore. I'm a MOTHERMAN!'

I finished watching all of the new season of Arrested Development about three seconds after it was released on Netflix. I had planned on not watching it all at once, since I wanted it to last all summer, but yeeaaah. Whoopsies. I had planned on pacing myself. 

But I do not know how to pace myself. Mr. Floozy is always getting after me to slow down and enjoy the experience more, whether it be television shows or the books I am reading. I like to read books fast. And I will start to freak out if I don't have about three books lined up and ready to read. Once one book ends, I pick up another without taking a breath of air. This might be a problem. I heard that breathing is important.

I used to be really good at cataloguing the books I had read on Goodreads, but not so much anymore. The only point of Goodreads for me is to remember what books I have read. If I don't mark it down, I will go to the bookstore and accidentally buy a book that I already own. I did this last week. 

I know that I watched Arrested Development Season 4 too quickly. I plan on watching it again in a year or so. If you haven't watched it, you should, but be forewarned that the show starts pretty slow, but quickly picks up and becomes unstoppably hilarious. The second to last episode about Buster was dayamn funny. (See above embroidery.)


Maria puts wigs on her dogs. I like her.

 And Maria Bamford was in the show! as Tobias F√ľnke's new love interest, Debrie Bardeaux (pronounced 'debris.') I love Maria Bamford. My friend Yvette pointed out her youtube series to me about two years ago. You need to watch the first episode. You will dork-laugh until your eyes sting. The first episode of 'The Maria Bamford' show is titled, 'Dropping out of Society' and tells about when she had a nervous breakdown on stage, disappeared from society, and wasn't seen again until three months later when somebody recognized her selling clock radios on a street in Detroit. Depression has never been so funny or kicked so much ass. Because she is from Duluth, Maria does a killer Minnesota accent. Anytime she does an impression of her mother talking about Target, I keel over.

Are there any other funny shows that I should be made aware of? I mean TV shows. (Netflix please.) I hardly go to movies anymore because lately they super suck.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FLOOZY'S MUST-HAVES FOR SUMMER SURVIVAL

I should warn you that I will be writing about how much I hate summer for the next few months. For those of you who love summer, my deepest apologies. I am glad that you like summer. I am relieved that not everybody else shares this crappy feeling.

There are a few things that help me get through the summer. Things that make it much more tolerable. Here are my MUST-HAVES FOR SUMMER SURVIVAL.

#1. PORTABLE EMBROIDERY OR CRAFT PROJECT

I have a tendency to be anti-social. I am very social when I can write to people instead of talk to people. I know a lot of people deplore Facebook, but it keeps me much more connected to the world than I would be if I didn't have daily access to the news of my friends' lives. 

But despite my hikikomori tendencies, I do leave my house quite often. I have found that having a project that I can do with my hands helps me interface with the peoplez. It keeps me occupied and allows me to still carry on conversations with those around me. Somehow it calms down my stress levels. Crocheting is good. Embroidery is good. Cutting up celebrity magazines into teeny tiny pieces is also good. 

If you see a weird lady around Utah County sitting under the shade at a park somewhere, stop and say hi. Or just wave at me if you are anti-social, too. You'll know it's me, because I will be stitching something weird.





#2 PETTIPANTS

Shut up. These are cool.

Plus, they keep you cool, thwart thigh rub, make your skirt not see-through, and prevent you from exposing your granny underwear (that you are wearing under the granny pettipants) should you fall down.



#3 THE IKEA BLUE BAG

There is so much crap to haul around in the summertime if you have kids. These are great for holding beach towels, goggles, sewing projects, and rubber mallets.

#4 A RUBBER MALLET

If you prefer shade, having an umbrella is a must. And to be able to easily hammer an umbrella into the ground, you need a rubber mallet. But I should warn you that not every establishment will allow you to bring a rubber mallet onto their premises. For example, I went to the water park the other day and they confiscated my rubber mallet, in case, and I quote, 'somebody decided to go on a mallet spree.'

Also, it is handy in case you suddenly find yourself in a Warner Bros. cartoon.



#5 AN UMBRELLA

What I said in #4. Don't forget your mallet.


#6 BLACKOUT CURTAINS

I find the sun to be oppressive. Too much of it makes me cranky. I like keeping my room dark and dungeony by using blackout curtains. Plus, it will save you money by reducing your electricity bill.




#7 LADY ANTI-MONKEY BUTT POWDER

My friend Steph introduced me to this miracle product. It absorbs sweat and prevents chafing. Keep a travel-size bottle in your IKEA blue bag next to your rubber mallet.



Use these fine products and it will make your summer less hideously loathsome gawdawful!

What are some of the things that help you get through summer?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Fool me twice, Paris, shame on Mr. Floozy.

Before the whole London bit of our Great Euro Tour 2013, Mr. Floozy and I were in Paris for a day. Weirdly, we flew into London and then took the Chunnel to Paris right after we landed. Somehow that worked out better price-wise. The lack of sleep from the time change and the exhaustion from traveling made everything take on a surreal quality. I get extremely loopy when I haven't slept and my memory of those events is cloudy. I think I remember having some really weird conversations with the nice French ladies who sat next to me on the train and offered me peanut M&M's. I remember vaguely talking about the movie Napoleon Dynamite. And maybe Utah pioneers.  And they looked at me like, Whatever, Crazy American Lady. Here, have some more peanut M&M's.

(All through Paris I saw people eating peanut M&M's. What is with that?! It's like they were just discovered by Parisians and considered haute cuisine.)

Mr. Floozy was seated waaaaay back somewhere else on the Chunnel ride and could overhear snippets of our conversation, which was stilted because of the language barrier and weird because of, well, me. I am weird when lucid. Get me sleep-deprived and I will start seeing pink elephants. When I get weird, Mr. Floozy becomes my handler. He let's me know when I am over-sharing or mumbling or whatever. He helps me rein in my dork. Like Mike Birbiglia, I DON'T PICK UP ON SOCIAL CUES. Thankfully, the ladies were nice and always smiled and I am sure that somewhere in France a blog post is being written right now about how there was this weird American lady on the Chunnel who rambled on about ligers and bonnets.

Finally, after several hours of cheap snacks and no sleep we got to our hotel.

In Paris, France.

Our hotel.

In Paris.

France.

Here. Look. This was our window view.



I know! It looks like Paris! Sure, we were in Paris, but I didn't expect something so Parisy. It was like we were on a movie set or something.

Mr. Floozy and I took a biiiggg nap and then woke up and had an excellent dinner somewhere. And yes, you are supposed to 'power through' to avoid jet lag, but one of my friends from Belgium who travels overseas all the time (hi, Ellen!) told me that this works for some people, but not all people. If you are really tired, take a nap. You will still sleep through the night. And we did. We slept soundly in our wonderful, luxurious, Parisy Paris hotel room.

The next day I was on my own while Mr. Floozy went to business meetings. I had read on the hotel website that the Louvre was in walking distance. This was a lie. As I learned after about an hour of walking. I turned around and went to the Eiffel tower instead. I had to meet my husband in the afternoon for our train to Brussels and was running out of time. So, the Eiffel tower it was. It was cool and touristy. Nothing more or less than I expected. And despite all of the PICKPOCKETS ABOUND BEWARE! signs, I wasn't artfully dodgered once.

And I was only street-conned twice.

What! I didn't have my handler!

The first was a lady draped in peasant garb.  She came at me with deliberation. 'You dropped this ring!' she said, waving a cheap, fake-gold ring at me. 'No, no! It isn't mine,' I assured her. She thrust it into my hands and said, 'Take it!' I held it for one second too long, though, because then she was demanding a reward. 'You give me money now! Is nice ring!' 'I don't want the ring,' I tried to explain. I knew this wasn't working and I was out of my depth. This lady was a pro. 'Here's a euro,' I said as I fished though my wallet as she watched. 'I can't buy a sandwich with that!' she exclaimed. 'Here, give me that $20.'

I gave her the American twenty dollar bill and she walked away. I now have a dumb ring bouncing around in my purse with the rest of the flotsam. And somehow I feel like she deserves that twenty bucks. She has a finely honed skill and I respect that.

The second time I was street-conned was by this attractive Indian man who stopped me and said he was an artist and 'liked my style.' Flattery works. Even totally bogus flattery. He asked me if he could draw my picture. Having just been conned, I was wary and determined to not be suckered again. 'I don't want to pay anything!' 'Did I ask you to pay me?' he calmly replied. Gah. He had not. Yes, I am a sucker. 'Fine.' I can't deal with confrontation, so I thought the quickest way out of this was to comply and get it over with. I followed him to a bench and he studied me as his pencil scratched across a paper.

He showed me the final results and I gave him two euros so that I could make my escape.

I have lost the artistic sketch he made of me, but I have redrawn its likeness to the best of my ability.

It looked something like this.



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ey, ukhnem! Happy Birthday Song





It was my mom's birthday in April and my little brother's just two days after that. While driving to my brother John's birthday party, I started to do a very scary thing with my head. I started to do math. There was no way that John was the age he said he was. No way possible. Unless it meant that I wasn't the age that I thought I was. So I did the math -- while driving-- and no, I did not get into a car accident, being distracted with all that thinking. I realized that I was not 38 years old (which is what I have been telling everybody, including that nice lady at the Passport office who didn't correct me or who wasn't good at math either.) I am 37!

It was like the gift of an entire year descended upon me!


For my mother's birthday present I made her a Happy Birthday Dirge Banner. She loves to sing this sad funereal birthday song. She even sang it while she had cancer. My mom. Is cool. At some point I will let her know that it is sung to the Russian Commie tune, 'Song of the Volga Boatman.'










Here it is all together. Sorry about my thumb getting in the way.



And sure, it was supposed to be a gift for her April birthday, but I got it made by Mother's Day. Close enough.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

But the CGIed Tigers Come at Night...

I was young once, and dreamed a dream, and just like Fantine, my dreams were thwarted by a tiger that came at night. And that tiger was RICHARD PARKER. The end.

Okay, my dreams were not the same as Fantine's or that delusional shipwrecked Indian kid. My dreams were much more straightforward. Write a famous novel, marry Colin Firth, and move into a well-upgraded English castle. That was a pretty doable dream, right? 

Instead I got married to a very nice man and had a bunch of adorable brats. And that has turned out to be an okay dream too.  I really love my life.


"You become a woman
when people come out
of your vagina and
step on your dreams."

-Louis C. K.

Here's what I think. Maybe, I went through a decade or two without spending a lot of 'me' time. Maybe my kids stepped on my dreams a bit. I am often embarrassed that I never finished my college degree. Perhaps if I had delayed marriage and childbirth I would be a famous anthropologist slash museum curator slash novelist. But who are we kidding. That sounds like way too much camping involved.

Now that my children have grown older and are mostly self-sufficient, I need to figure out a new plan. I need a new dream, people. What would you recommend?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marriage Equality

I don't have a lot of time to blog today because I have been busy working in my garden. Every year, as soon as my spring allergies slow down, I go out and buy lots and lots of flowers. Kazillions. I make everything look flowerabulous. 

And then by July I get depressed and they all die.

Hopefully, this year I won't get depressed! and will have a garden that will live all summer. Fingers crossed!

So, since I don't have much time, being busy planting metaphors, I would like to make sure that everybody out there knows how I feel about marriage equality. And instead of writing a sonnet or painting my face in rainbow striations, I am going to express myself with an embroidery. 



If you are unfamiliar with that symbol, it is the equality sign used by the HRC.  And I know, I know. They are not a perfect institution. They haven't always been inclusive enough with the trans-awesomes. But here is my embroidery anyway. Love on, good people!

Psssssst. Anybody can copy and use this picture.

Smooches.