Creative people are scavengers. We find all kinds of stuff useful. All the makers I know are dumpster divers, recyclers, hoarders and magpies. Which is super awesome because when they clean out their studios, a great river of stuff starts moving around. Cuz nobody is throwing anything away. No! Not in a million years. But  A isn’t going to do anything with that box-o-shinys so gives it to B, who has all this yarn she meant to do something with but knows she never will so give it to C, and so on and so forth.

In a recent crafty junk migration, I have acquired these!



Are they not fabulous? Old clock cases make awesome nichos. I may even wire these up, since I have this great inner space to play with, and make them light up nichos. If you can possibly get more colorfully obnoxious than one of my shadow boxes, it’s one of my shadow boxes with blinky lights. Woohoo!


Playing with heads

And here I thought no one could take the place of my little Pubert.


But I gotta say, this guy is just as charming as far as I’m concerned.

He’s here…, along with however many new nichos I’ve posted recently that I didn’t tell y’all about because wow who wants to hear about every single new thing I post. Unless you do? Well hollah if anyone feels left out of the game then. You could always follow me on Etsy. I think it’s the same as following me on this blog. It tells you when I’ve done anything new. Ah, technology.

Anyway, his creepy little sister is next in line to be hung in a cage surrounded by rusty metal. I also have a teeny porcelain guy who I’m afraid to hang where he can be bumped by anything, so I’ll have to make special arrangements for him. He’s got a hook attached to the bottom of his neck where he used to be strung to the rest of his body, so I’m thinking he needs to be a bat boy and  hang upside down. I could make wings for him. I have these adorable tiny cages I found at the crafty store in the clearance bin.

It occurs to me that last paragraph taken out of context would probably get me on some watch list or other. Disclaimer: No actual babies were disarticulated in the creation of this experiment, or any other.

Playing with fire

So I tried a nifty thing called annealing last week. It’s the process of gently heating metal with the very tip of a torch flame. Currently my silverware gets bent by brute strength alone. I have plenty of that, but it does wear out the tendons more than a little, I’m limited in the shapes I can make, and said shapes aren’t as graceful as I’d like.

My best friend has a lab that puts mine to shame, as it is filled with large power tools and things that make fire, like propane torches. He’s also got more metal working experience than I have. So we fired up the torch and experimented.


This is a major difference from what I can do with pliers and my own muscle. Not quite where I want to be with it yet, but we’re going to play with it, maybe change to an acetylene torch, and see what happens.

I desperately want to take a metal working class over the winter, because omg can you imagine the shenanigans I can get up to with access to a coke forge?

You down wit OCD?

Yeah, you know me.


Yes, those are sequins. Sorted by color and shape. I’d have sorted by size too, but the hardware store didn’t have a big enough drawer thingie.

My ocd is way ocd-er than your ocd!

And hey, y’all wanna hang out? Come by the Evanston sidewalk sale on Central street tomorrow and Friday from 10 to 6. My favorite yarn store, Montoya Fiber Studio, hired me to be their monkey, so I’ll be there, you can buy yarn where I buy my yarn (Ooooooo…!) and everyone will have a good time. There might even be lemonade.



Fan girl

I’m not one. I haven’t met many famous people, but those I’ve met I didn’t feel particularly overwhelmed by. They’re just people. They’re rich and so can afford to do spectacularly stupid things, but they’re still people. I’d probably freak out a little bit if I met someone like the Dalai Lama, but beyond that I think the insanity that surrounds the famous is kind of stupid.

But. See, so I’m going to meet Neil Gaiman next Tuesday. By “meet” I mean stand in a line to get a book signed, and probably have the opportunity to mumble something polite and forgettable because he meets a bazillion people on these tours and I’m just the bazillion and first human staring at him like he has eyes on stalks and babbling inarticulately about how I love his work and desperately trying to remember what I do to get my face to act normal so I don’t make him think I’m a crazy stalker lady.

Neil Gaiman has been my companion since high school. His stories literally changed my life. They opened entire universes like giant, mythical, sexy orchids in my light starved brain. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say his stories saved me, a time or two. I was kind of a messed up kid and his stories made more sense than life did, and I thought, “Someone gets it”.  And that tiny feeling of not quite so alone was all the lifeline I needed I guess.

He’s magic. Nope, you won’t convince me otherwise. He’s always been magic. And people freak out on him ALL THE TIME. I don’t want to be a person who freaks out at him. I want to be…well, lets be honest, I want to be memorable. You can’t help but want to be memorable to someone whose work moves you so very much. But I’m a pragmatic gal. I’ll settle for not coming off like an epic goober.

I must stand face to face with a magic person and behave like I can string coherent sentences together. Right.

I admit, I’m a bit daunted.

I want to give him a present. Is that stupid? He’s probably got a basement full of random shit his fans have thrown at him over the years, so I feel like what’s the point. But I kind of want to anyway.

It’s hopeless. I’m just going to stare at him and drool, aren’t I.






Work ethic, I haz some

If you’re going to sell things to people for a living, you need to be reliable. I get that the muse is fickle, but if you want to get paid, you’ve got to learn to work on a timetable. This is true of anyone selling anything at all.

I’m currently having an issue with a supplier. It’s been almost a month since I contacted her about materials I need, and I’m still waiting on the thing I put in an order for. I currently don’t know whether or not I’ll get this thing, or if I’ll have to spend way more money elsewhere to get it. And it brings the issue of reliability and customer relationships to the fore.

What I’m waiting on is for a custom order. I’ve explained to this customer that it can be hard to get the raw materials for a reasonable price, and she’s pretty laid back about it all. But this still reflects badly on me as the final stop along the production line that I can’t wrangle my suppliers to get their shit together. Extra super annoying that this custom order is the result of services that I donated to my photographer friend in need (you can go here and donate your support too… So someone paid a good amount of money to help someone else, I’m part of that transaction, and I can’t deliver in a timely manner.

As a crafter, as a tax preparer, as a chef, doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re in the business of doing a thing for other people in exchange for money, the relationships with your customer base are your survival. If you treat those lightly and allow flakiness to rule your work ethic, you’re going to lose business. Maybe gigantic companies like Sprint and Apple (We hates them both so much, precious.) don’t need to give a damn? But small time folks like me do.

The difference between “eat” and “starve” is people being happy over all with your work and the manner in which you deliver it.