Monday, January 31, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Deja Vu

I am sure most of you get the reference, but for those of you who are a LITTLE slow, this week is Groundhog Day. That amazing movie staring Bill Murray as the weatherman stuck in Deja Vu until he figures out how to "do things right". In celebration, I have put together a little Deja Vu of my own. See if you can spot the the repetitions in this week's collection.
















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Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Favorite Book and Parenting

As a self-proclaimed geek, it is my duty to adore Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I read it for the first time in college and identified with this tortured child who wants to do the right thing but keeps being pushed to the dark side. OK, maybe I am mixing up my references, but like yelling home run at a football game, it made a little bit of sense.

I recently read the article Creating the Innocent Killer: Ender's Game, Intention and Morality by John Kessel. It made me think about why I was so easily able to forgive the horrific acts of this boy as a young person. I saw myself in him, being told what to do by grown ups and other kids. Often seeing vengeance as justifiable. Mind you, this was well before Columbine and many of the other bully-related tragedies of the past decade. When the news covered these events, they were quick to condemn the act, but also victimized the accused, saying these tragedies could have been prevented.

One of the things Kessel points out is the role adults play in the "creation" of Ender. As a child reading the book, I paid no attention to the fact that his parents were relatively absent in his life. Why were they not protecting him from Peter? Why was there no discussion of what happened with the bully at school? The boy was 6!!!! My little guy punched a peer his second week in kindergarten. They were playing superheroes and my son took it too far. Believe me, not only did the principal get involved but I was right there explaining to him what he did wrong. Over and over again in the book, adults purposely don't get involved in the bullying of Ender in order to teach him to defend himself. He ends up killing 2 kids and an entire alien population in the process. Good job guys. 

Friday, January 28, 2011


A few weeks ago, i made reference to the apes and robots looking for equal rights. Little did I know it was allot closer to reality then I thought. Have you seen this video?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsy on MSN mag Glo

Touchdown! MSN has this amazing online magazine called Glo that has a feature article today on Etsy and the cool things you can buy for Superbowl. Check out all the rest of the gems but be sure to take a good look at my beautiful boy's smiling face in my Football Helmet Winter Hat.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Shop: Organize your Space (Part 2)

If you want to read how the saga began, be sure to check out Day 1 here. And so we continue...

Now that the floor was (mostly) clear, and the room next door was filled with stuff, it was time to start finding places to put it. I came up with this idea to "display" my golf club covers and hats rather then store them away in boxes after a customer ordered something I had in stock and I proceeded to re-knit it, only to discover the item on completion. Not a huge deal, but certainly a waste of my time during the busy Christmas season.

When i did craft fairs this past year, I would hang this light weight plastic fencing from my tent and pin all of my club covers and hats to it for display. i have loads of extra, so i thought that would make a great bulletin board type way to hang things in my room. As you can see, i still have plenty of space left. I also took an old foam core sign and put it on my currently unused easel with pushpins to keep track of important papers. Note that it is blank, i have not gotten to that part yet.

Next was the stuff i have not used allot recently recently, but I am not ready to part with; my painting supplies. i was able to consolidate the mess and get everything into one cabinet. i stacked all the paintings in their respectively sized shelves, including those unfinished ones I left out in hopes it would remind me to get to work.

Still there was so much more to be looked through, and this was only the stuff that I DIDN'T use on a regular basis. The last cabinet I worked on that day was full of yarn, but not the yarn I use for my shop, this is my personal stash. It also houses my collection of knitting needles and unfinished projects collected in their individual bags. I decided that i was much better off stacking coloring books high up and making my yarn more accessible in hopes that I will get to use it more often. i also used a recently cleared chest of drawers to organize my total mess of knitting needles, scissors and random tools.

Fortunately, this was Friday, and I was able to get a nice relaxing weekend in before I would tackle the next day of work on "The Room". i discovered through this process that as usual, the areas that were the most out of control housed the things that were not mine at all, they belonged to my children. I made the mistake of keeping their art supplies in this room as well. But that challenge came on Monday.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Who's The Man?

All this football in my house had me thinking about men. What kinds of things would the superman(ly) geek in your life love to have? A few of these may work for you.
















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Friday, January 21, 2011

Undiscovered Gold: What's the Use?

It is getting harder and harder to find something to feature here every week. I guess after writing a few of these things I have become jaded to most of the shops I "pounce" past on etsy. I love it when one of these shops grabs my attention with something truly unique.

I introduce to you ghowiellc by Susie McDonald. Unusual is one way to describe her work. Quirky might be another you would choose. I love it!

Susie has taken the art of mosaic and applied it to your pantry. She transforms dusty old salad bowls into living works of art to be displayed proudly year round. Some of her pieces have hundreds of tiny parts painstakingly glued to them creating a mini diorama.

And the reviews are in. While participating in the Austin Texas Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, feedback was glowing. Children and Men (not generally the target audience of a craft fair) were found admiring her bowls. Susie even heard some kids say they were "cool"; I would have to agree.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Shop: Organize your Space (Part 1)

Can you believe this mess? How can anyone work in chaos like this? Yarn all over the floor, paintings leaning on the wall, bits of paper and candy strewn about. I had this room built so I could leave my art out in mid-project without fear of my children getting into it. What it became was a storage space where I go in, get what I need and leave; often throwing things in there when I am in a rush.

This January 1st, my New Year's promise to myself (because resolutions just don't work for me) was to organize this space in a way that would be usable. Just so you know, i am not organized OR neat by nature so this was going to be quite a challenge. And so the quest began...

Day one i took pictures of the mess. It was amazing I was able to get in to take pictures! My plan of attack was to get everything off the floor and in bags based on what is used together. There were bags of yarn, stacks of frames, finished and unfinished projects. At first it felt like I was moving garbage from one room to another; which is exactly what I was doing. However, as I moved it, i was sure to put it with its mates in either bags or stacks. I decided that there was no reason for empty frames to return to the room, so they were stacked in our storage space with old mirrors.

As you can see, there is a floor in this room. I even decided to change the painting on the wall on day 1 to bring a more positive vibe to the space; it is a basement for god sake!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Rainbow Coalition

Today is MLK day in the USA. What could possibly be geeky about that? Well in the Star Trek universe, during a time when black and white people could not sit together in a restaurant, Lieutenant Uhura, a black woman, served side by side with men of many ethnicities and extraterrestrial birth. She even rose through the ranks to become a Commander in the films. Roddenberry saw the future filled with equal rights. Just watch out for the apes and the robots; they will be looking for their rights next, and we all know how that turns out!

a note for those that may not know: the Rainbow Coalition is an organization headed by Rev. Jesse Jackson, supporting diversity peace and justice around the world