Thursday, December 31, 2009

the ABC's of 2009

It's 9:53 PM as I start to write this post. We'll see how far I get into the alphabet before the year goes BOOM!

A is for Asparagus. It's gonna be ready next spring, and I'm SO excited! Spent a lot of time in the garden plot this spring, summer, and fall. It is so fun to grow ur own food, and fry it up in a pan! Makes me feel like a pioneer.

B is for Bryant Lake Bowl. I got onstage again this past year, thanks to my friend Jason and his desire to do a sketch comedy show. We did 4 rounds of show this year, and while it was a ton of fun to write, act, and direct again, I think I've gotten it out of my system for the time being.

C is for Cat. My sister's cat, Raja, who has been my foster cat off and on over the years, ran away from their brand new house in Chicago, and was found safe (a little dirtier than normal) a week later! She and her husband met all their neighbors handing out flyers and everyone was lookin' out for the Raj. They are SO lucky, she is 15 years old and is on her 8th life, for SURE. She ran away a few times while living with me, but never in the 'big city'. Oh, how I wish we'd attached a camera to her during her travels.

D is for don't have any clue what D is for.

E is for Elegance, my buzzword for 2010 (is this cheating to already be on to the next year?). I felt like I was coming out of a cocoon this year, in many ways. And moving forward, I will be looking to create my most elegant self. This will affect the way I dress, express myself, and treat myself and others. Eee!

F is for Flowers, again, I did some really fantastic weddings for some super-fabulous couples. Each wedding I do, I think to myself, "I could do this for a living!". And the next day, when my back is killing me and I'm nursing stuck fingers from pinning corsages, I think, "Whew, I'm glad I don't do this for a living!".

G is for Guthrie Theater. Once again this year I got to work in the Prop Shop, on several shows including a brand-new work by Tony Kushner, a hero of mine. As a writer myself it was fascinating to be on the fringes of something so epic being worked out before our very eyes. And when I say fringes, I mean it. I didn't see any of the hundreds of drafts or re-writes, I just heard about them being trickled down to my level of responsibility. Which was to gather props, furniture, and other items called for in the script. But in a work that's constantly in flux, those things can change in an instant. And they often times would be superfluous by the time I got them back to the shop. But that's what makes it such a cool job.

H is for HAT PATTERN in One-Yard Wonders!!! Yes I know, the last two were ALSO in last year's ABC's, but hey, they're both still exciting!

I is for Injuries. 2009 started with my sis breaking (ok, shattering) her wrist the day after New Year's. And then, just a few days after Christmas this year, my nephews and sister-in-law and I were sledding on the craptastic snow/rain/slush mix that we had gotten on Christmas, and my 3.75-year old nephew Matthew broke his leg! He was such a trooper. I think I have complained more about the cuts I got on my arm earlier in the day than he has with his broken tibia! He got a super sweet cast though, purple with a band of glow-in-the-dark wrapped around it.

J is for Jokes. I started to write a lot more Jokes this year, to give to my comic friends. Some of them were hits, some of them were misses, some of them are yet to be appreciated for the genius they are. I'm sure future generations will look at my work and say, AHA, so THAT's what that meant. Just like Wyld Stallyns, I guess.

K is for...uh....that's a tough one! Last year it was 'Kitchen', and I guess I'll say this year I spent even MORE time in the kitchen than last year.

L is for Learning to Crochet! Thanks to my friends Sarah and Hunter, I finally picked up the hook and got busy crocheting. I LOVES IT. Many more possibilites for structural work than knitting offers. Why was I so afraid to learn?

M is for Mahtomedi Class of 1994 15-year High School Reunion. Wow. 15 years. I helped plan the festivites, but couldn't come to the shindig at a bar in Stillwater until about 10:30 because I was flowering a wedding, but HOO BOY that didn't mean that I missed out on all the drama! A good time was had by all, and it was fun to see who had changed and who hadn't changed a bit.

N is for New Stores for Duckie Uglings! This year, I tripled the number of places that carry Duckie Uglings, and just at the end of the year I picked up yet another! In addition to i like you, and various art workshops that I do through Art Scraps, these new stores have given me enough income so that I'm working FULL TIME as an artist now! YAY!

O is for Octopi, which I've perfected the pattern for, and now love to make! I just took some to the Electric Fetus, where I will be the featured artist for January.

P is for Purple Coat. I got this bitchin' purple coat at Old Navy, 50% off, then I also had a 30% off coupon. They might as well have given it to me! I love it. I get awesome compliments on it when I wear it.

Q is for QUIET DOWN! Sometimes when I'm on the phone, like, just this moment, my mom comes down and tells me to pipe down because they're trying to sleep. Sigh.

R is for recycling. I am going to recommit to recycling plastic bags and paper this year. It's ridiculous how many plastic shopping bags I have collected this year, when it was a goal last year to always use re-usable shoppers. I know a lot of places collect those bags to recycle, but that just creates more waste and pollution if they're doing it to newish bags! I'm gonna wear out the ones I have, and remember to bring my own when I go shopping.

S is for soda, as in Baking Soda. I learned you can use baking soda to wash your hair, so this summer for about 2 months I gave it a try. I LOVED it, made my hair very soft and gave it great texture, until I got my hair colored, and I realized it would strip out the color way too fast. I may go back to it next summer when my hair gets too oily, but for now, I'm back to using the Whole Foods Lavender stuff which is to die for. (Can't find that one, so here's the mint one)

T is for trainwrecks. I realized I am a sucker for gossip websites, magazines, E news daily, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, Rachel Zoe, pretty much anything or anyone who has a self-destructive thing going on. If I had a therapist (another T word) we'd probably have to talk about my own self-destructive behaviors, and how it probably makes me feel better to see others screw up their lives, too.

U is for unemployed, again, which I am SO happy to be. I was able to do things and be places that I would not have been if I were employed in a job where I had to show up and punch a clock for a certain number of hours per day. I am so incredibly lucky to live with my parents and not have to make a mortgage or even a rent payment, and I understand that this arrangement can't last forever (and probably shouldn't, since I'm neither an Italian man nor an elephant). But for several reasons this year, I am so thankful that I had the freedom and flexibility to be there for those who I felt could use my help.

V is for VALENTINE'S DAY! No, I didn't have a Valentine of my own, but it was my G-ma's 90th birthday this year. Born on Valentine's day, delivered by a Dr. Valentine in Tracy, MN, my Gram is a very big part of my life. Here she is in the Halloween Costume my mom and I made her, since her name is Dorothy we thought it appropriate!

W is for Weight Watchers. My mom and I joined at the beginning of October, and I've lost 20.2 lbs so far on the program. I am proud to say that I had lost 10 before starting, so I am down 30 lbs from my heaviest. That means I have another 70 to go and I will be down 100 lbs, which is what I have gained since High School. It's going to be a struggle, I have no doubt. But Weight Watchers has been an amazing tool to help me fix some very bad habits that were creating a very unhealthy lifestyle. Sure, I have bad knees, but they're not going to get better with 100 extra pounds on them! With these first 30 lbs gone, I have seen a huge difference. What excites me the most is the thought of doing a total overhaul to my wardrobe this spring. Vapid? Shallow? Perhaps, but I'll be making some better choices as far as style and fit go, rather than buying whatever fits. And taking my 'What Not To Wear' book along for guidance.
Doing the program with my Mom has been really amazing, we are able to support and cheer each other on.

X is for size 3X, the largest clothes I had, and now I'm fitting comfortably into some things that are just good old XL (though a lot of things are XXL). I know that's not as accurate as numerical sizing, but to me, it's pretty awesome. After I've reached my goal, the X will be a thing of the past.

Y is for younger than 34, which I feel that I am most days. But I'm not, and I still sometimes answer 31 when someone asks me my age, not out of vanity, but out of forgetfulness.

Z is for it's time for some ZZZ's, I have a long weekend of sewing ahead of me, so even though the ball is dropping at this very moment in Times Square (it's 11:00 CST), I'm signing off and hitting the hay.

Smooches to you all, please post your very own ABC's of 2009, and link back to this post!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hurry! hurry!

in my haste to get the pattern up for the owl ornaments, i left out a few key steps. ah...perhaps a full tutorial would have been better. in any case...

the updates are in blue in the instructions. and here as a PDF please refresh the jpg and pdf, if you need to, to get the corrected version of the instructions.

happy owling!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

At Long Last....

and here as a PDF.

I didn't do a proper tutorial with photos and what have you, because these guys really are very simple to make. Covering the back with pretty paper covers a multitude of bad crafting sins, so don't worry about making them too exact.

One step I did skip, is that if you use animal eyes, you have to cut the backs off the plastic pegs of the eyes. Whoops!

And I will post some photos from Betsy's baby quilt and pillow when I get a chance. In the mean time, I am trying to get everyone's gifts done before a quick trip to Chicago to celebrate in her new house, with her newly rescued cat :) (raja had been found by a neighbor! yay!0

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

creating space....

i promise...i haven't forgotten about this....but it's just gonna take me a few more days.....

wondering what that button over there on the right hand side of my blog is for?
check out this awesome website, and perhaps win a wonderful christmas present (to keep of course) while you're at it!

i have both of the 'where women create' books, and devour the magazines as well.

though it's well documented on this site, i have a constant battle with organization and decoration in my studio. some day, it would be my dream to have it into good enough shape to be shown in the magazine. but at this point, it seriously looks like an elf exploded in there.

the last of the giant beeb orders is out the door, but thursday (i.e. tomorrow) we have our valentine's day meeting. and the W7 collective opens tomorrow and i have given nothing. AND betsy's shower is this weekend. so the studio won't be getting cleaned up any time soon, the making of messes will continue, at least through the weekend.

Friday, December 04, 2009

28 hours per day needed

because then i could get in 20 hours of work/sketch comedy/star manufacturing/driving and 8 hours of sleep.

i have to pull out of the ginkgo coffee house show this weekend due to the fact i have not had time to make anything, ANYTHING except stuff for my bibelot order, and get stuff ready for my sketch comedy show (which opened last night and was HILARIOUS). so it's with regret i have decided not to do that show.

however, lauren and whitney will be there with their beautiful scarves, wraps, and jewelry, so check them out if you are in the neighborhood!
that is all....