Sunday, April 27, 2014

no one is surprised by this

i went to the fabric store to buy white filler fabric.  that's all. i wanted some bleached muslin.  this isn't even everything i walked out with! stupid joann's was having a GIANT sale.  there were so many disgruntled husbands and kids in that store. that part was kind of hilarious. i bought some good blender fabric, some flannels for baby blankets, and i did get three yards of bleached muslin.  so hooray!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

post-post comicon update

oh man, i never updated my blog about comicon! i'm the worst!  at the very least, you have to see this photo of me looking dorky next to ron perlman while my children look fabulous:

my hair literally never does that fucked-up bang thing anywhere unless there is a camera nearby.  also, i am going to be a perpetually short parent.

meeting ron perlman was exactly like when ralphy met santa in a christmas story.  i basically clammed up until we were walking away.  he seemed nice and gracious, though, and i have photographic proof that hellboy lives. what more could i want?

the kids and i had a great time in the city.  we took taxis everywhere, which feels so cosmopolitan. we watched a lot of cartoons on the tv in the hotel.  we spent too much time and money at uwajimaya.  we came home with a billion comics and toys, and the girlchild thought of all the costumes we can make for next year.  she digs the steampunk, and i feel like we will be learning how to make corsets and rayguns this year.  lucky for me, steampunk fashion is friendly toward chub scouts.

see? i'm not always shiny and weird looking! that kid, though, is always cute.

i met bwana spoons like five minutes into walking into the convention.  right after i had said to the girlchild, "yeah, i try not to buy too much on the first day; it's really just a day for looking."  he had some tiny original watercolor and ink paintings, though, and i knew they would go fast.  i've always been a big fan of bwana, and had that dopey star-struck moment.  i actually said to him, "um, i didn't think you would be here." and he said, "yeah, me either.  i got a booth at the last minute."

the boychik and i also discovered, quite happily, skinner.  not only was skinner a nice young man, but his art is amazing and disgusting and wonderful.  i bought the boychik a critical hit shirt because it was boss, and now i wish i had one.  i have a strict rule at comicon though: i buy one shirt.  only one tshirt because let's face it, i have a ton of black tshirts.  this year, i scored and found an anton lavey shirt that my husband LOOOOOVES.  (no, he hates it.) 

it was great to have both kids at the con this year, and i hope i get to take them both for a few mores years to come.  if they ever get too old to go to comicon, i'm going to be sad. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


i know it really is that time of year; the danger of frost has passed, and i need to get out in my raised bed garden and plant some stuff.  i like my little garden.  this will be year three (!) of living here, and my third attempt at having a real, honest, veggie garden.  the first year was pretty slapdash; we ripped some azaleas out and plunked in some seeds.  the second year, we put in a three raised beds. two did great, one was too shallow.  this year, my plans are pretty modest. i want to grow some beets (i want to grow a billion beets), some peas, some carrots, and a bushel of kale.  the kale from last year actually wintered over! that stuff is amazing. 

i went to my mom's this year for easter.  i love my in-laws, but they get pretty much every holiday, and to be honest, i did not want to have a jesus-easter. i know, i'm a terrible person. the last holiday at their house had a lot of jesus talk (one of D's brothers is getting back into it, and my father-in-law is also very religious) and it just makes me uncomfortable. i'm not like an angry skeptic/slash/atheist, but i had some bad experiences with people who talked a lot about jesus when i was a kid and the whole thing just makes me cringe.  i never say anything, and don't plan on it, but i spend a lot of time worrying at some point i'll get caught rolling my eyes or being an asshole.  i just wanted to eat my mom's ham and be with my sister's kids and my aunt.  it ended up being a very quiet day, and it was great. 

i spent the whole weekend at mom's, which was very nice.  my relationship with my hometown  suffered after my dad passed away.  i used to love going back, but after he died every trip became a nightmare.  i admit, 9 out of 10 times i still burst into tears at some point driving onto the island. weird little things trip me up; baby cows in fields, his favorite grocery store, random memories.  it's probably worse because i drive his truck now and i banked hundreds of hours in that thing with him traveling to and from school. it still smells like his cigarettes on a hot day.  this is really why i will never part with the truck. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

unashamed weirdness

i've been working on incorporating leftover bits of fabric into free-form-ish quilt blocks.  i take the scraps from the bags i'm working on, and sew them together, with various strips and scraps and pretty bits of other things.  it's becoming this giant quilt that i am seriously in love with. the improvisational, wonky, random nature of it really appeals to me. 

i've always felt kind of artistic and happiest when working on a project of some sort. the past few years i've worked really hard on a few things i did not feel confident in: color theory and sewing proficiency.  color theory is such a strange thing. you think to yourself, "for shit's sake, color is color and as kids we know what we like and what matches."  but do you really? what about color values? what about things that don't match? playing with colors is quite possibly the best way to work out whatever color theory means to you. sewing is the best way i know of, currently, for me to work on color.  work with color. to just sew things together; sometimes with great forethought, sometimes with none.  to see what happens and what i like.  what i've learned is this: i really do like red. i really, really, truly, 100% love the color red. it resonates with me. i want to use it in everything. in fact, did you know i only sew with red thread? if you can see it through the white fabric i'm using, even better. i've been doing that for years, and i realized why i do it and why i will never stop.  red is just my thing. like cocktails in mugs and wearing too many black t-shirts, red is my color. red is my spirit animal.

currently i am working on my stock and plotting out craft fairs and shows i want to do this summer and fall.  this means i am going to need to buy a phone that is nicer and can go online, so i can take credit cards and debit cards when i'm out.  i am not, and have never really been, into making pinprick a full time gig. i love it too much to put that kind of pressure on it. i also love sales and schmoozing and selling stuff i make. it gives me space to create for myself, and funding for other projects. it also gives me an ego boost.  i like it when people like what i make. 

i've had to do some tough-love, not-the-fun-parent shit the past few weeks and let me tell you, it gets old fast. i understand now why my parents hated grounding me. it's such a pain in the ass to enforce that shit.  lately i've also really missed having both kids at home. i know the boychik is doing his thing and becoming a mensch and all that, but i wish he were here. the worst part about step-parenting are the years you lose.  i sometimes feel like i'm playing catch-up, trying to make up for lost time.  i know they don't think of it that way, so i should chill out.  (but you know, i'm kind of neurotic. go figure.) 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

working girl

i've been taking the leftover bits from my pouches and sewing them up with random bits of fabric scrap to make what i lovingly refer to as "franken-squares."  the squares are getting bigger and tonight i started to frame them in solid fabrics.  my plan is to give them some solid space to float in, because a whole quilt made of franken-squares side-by-side is too much for the eye to take in all at once.

i've also been working on new additions to the shop, like these adorable coasters.  they are truly quilted, with some flannel as the filling. they're soft, but not smooshy, if that makes any sense. i didn't want to use real batting because i didn't want them to be all big and weird. these are firm and solid, but lay nice and flat.
my truck has this weird fuel leak, too, so i couldn't really go anywhere today. don't cry for me argentina, though: you can buy fabric online.  dammit.

so spent the day listening to podcasts and sewing fabric together. i also made a delicious indian curry (everyone in my house says "oh, i hate curry" then eat it all when i make it. how can anyone hate curry? it's awesome.) and discovered my newfound love of two podcasts in particular:

  • oh no ross and carrie: in which two delightful skeptics try out religions and movements and give honest, not-asshole, feedback.  they're funny and irreverent but still super kind about the subjects of their investigations.  i love them.
  • sawbones: a wife who is a doctor, and a husband who is not, discuss medical weirdness from years past. tonight i listened to them talk about medical marijuana as well as mesmerism. i loved every minute of it. 
i literally listened to hours of radio today and sewed for miles. it was amazing. dear saturday, you were a good time.  love, amanda