Thursday, July 30, 2009

One of Those Days

So today I took off from work to make jewelry. Lots and lots of jewelry.

At least that was the plan.

Instead, when I got up, I didn't feel so great so I laid around and played on the computer for a while. I am currently obsessed with this game. It's a great time waster. Too much so, most of the time... (shh, don't tell)

I finally got up off my fat lazy ass duff and got ready to go downstairs to my studio but then I remembered I needed to take out the garbage. So I did. Then I took care of the cats. Then I had a little lunch. Then I remembered I needed to print out the pirate picture of Zeke because they are all coming over tomorrow and I needed to get the pictures framed.

For some stupid reason I must have had my head up my ass the printer seemed to be having technical difficulties. Everything printed out pink. After some trial and error I got that fixed. Then I couldn't get it to re-size. Got it to re-size but then I couldn't get it to print at all. Then I got an error message that I was out of gray. Out of gray? I just put gray in the damn thing 2 months ago and I've hardly printed a thing! Called Secret Agent Man to see if that seemed normal. The consensus was no. Called tech support and the lovely, polite girl there said, actually, it is normal, since I tend to print "high" quality and on matte paper. Huh. Replaced the gray.
At that point I started thinking it was too quiet in the house so I went in search of my iPod. It finally made an appearance in the bottom of my purse. (I swear that thing is like Mary Poppins' carpet bag! One of these days I'm going to get to work and find both cats in there. And the toaster.) Got music playing and then the doorbell rang.
Great. I was in sweats, had not showered yet, and had some serious bed-head going on. Answered the door anyway and...
...awwww. S.A.M. sent me flowers! "Just 'cause" flowers. (The best kind!) They are beautiful. There's just one problem...

Buster loves flowers. Really loves flowers. Especially roses. He rubs and rubs and rubs on them, eats them, smells them, rolls on them. S.A.M. has almost stopped buying flowers for me because Buster frequently and often knocks them over. The last time I got a big bunch of flowers I woke up around 2 o'clock in the morning to something. Couldn't quite figure it out...and then I heard: "drip". "Drip." "Drip."
Buster had knocked over the vase and the water was all over everywhere! And of course, he was laying on the other side of the dining room with this "How'd-that-happen-I've-been-laying-all-the-way-over-here" look on his face. Fun to clean up in the middle of the night. (Not.)

A couple months ago I had a small bouquet that my mom brought me, and put them in a pretty little vase on the dining room table. Thought they'd be fine: no roses.
After Buster almost tipped them over for the fourth time I found a large candle holder I had (like this but without the top) and the vase and the flowers fit right inside. It looked a little funny, but not bad, and Buster couldn't knock it over.
I thought maybe I could do that with the roses. But the bouquet and vase were too large and heavy. While trying to fit it, I knocked the heck out of my knuckle. Didn't pay much attention because I quickly realized they weren't going to fit and was trying to wrestle it back out of the opening. Set the vase on the table, put the candles back in the lantern and went back downstairs to mess with the printer again. Wiped my wet hand on my sweatshirt while calling S.A.M. to thank him for the flowers and then realized that my hand wasn't wet. It was gushing bleeding gushing blood. Ran upstairs and rinsed it off while trying to talk to S.A.M. on speaker.
It looked like I had tried to do a knuckle-ectomy. I must have caught it on the glass of the lantern. I actually thought I was going to need stitches! I must have sounded like it was bad because S.A.M. came home from work to help but by the time he got home I had it all bandaged and was back downstairs fighting with the printer.

I proceeded to print on the wrong side of the paper twice, scale the picture down wrong once, crop the picture too short twice and then print it right -finally- at which point I was so done for the day!

I never did get any jewelry done.
But I did give Buster his own rose. He loves his rose. He even carried it upstairs and put it on his special bag. (Oh yah, he has a jones for plastic bags, too.) Crazy cat.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Direction

Well, actually a re-visit of an old direction...

Years ago when I had nothing better to do with my downtime (read "no laptop") I was knitting a lot, but it wasn't really fulfilling the more creative desires I had. I was painting not much some, but wanted to do something else.
I have always loved jewelry. All kinds. I get the Sundance catalog, which I adore, and regularly drool over the jewelry, especially hers. I am really drawn to that gypsy-looking stuff. The one I fell in love with she no longer sells, but it had rough rubies and pearls and was layered with all kinds of trader beads and stuff, kinda like this one. I wanted it so bad, but it was really freakin' expensive a bit beyond my price range.
Then one day Secret Agent Man and I went to a local little shopping center to have lunch and walked past Wonders of the World. The sell beads, lot and lots and lots (you get the idea) of beads. (Anyone know the HTML to use to cue up an angel choir here? Anyone?)
Changed my life.
Sort of.
Anyhow, it did become my new obsession of the week. I bought beads. Silver beads, glass beads, pearls, semi-precious gemstones, crystal, all kinds of stuff. I made myself a version of that necklace. (Which I would show you a picture of but it broke and I still haven't fixed it yet...I know, I know!)Then I made little lanyards for all my friends at work. I started bringing stuff to work and making jewelry in my down time there.
Then my work decided that we could not craft or knit or anything because it causes carpel tunnel. (Whatever. I type for 10 hours a day, wouldn't you think that doing something different would be good for me?) So that left little time for jewelry.

Then I got the laptop and was able to really spend time drawing, even at work. Yea!
But, I still have all those beads! And every time we get anywhere near a bead shop S.A.M. drags my ass in there to buy more stuff. Seriously. I have tons and tons of stuff.

So I have decided to get back into jewelry. I opened up a new Etsy store, olive hue 2, but I don't have anything listed yet, as I am still waiting to get pictures taken of stuff to do listings. But seeing as I'm an artist kind of person, I drew some pictures. Really! Some of the earrings I have so far look like this:

I'm kind of excited and hoping to get lots done in the next couple of days. My artwork is not selling exactly like I'd hoped, and apparently I still need to find my niche. I have started another shop at ArtFire to see if maybe I can reach a different base of people. We'll see.

In the meantime I'm going to try something different for a while. When I get actual photographs of some of the jewelry I will post it here and you all can let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Funny Things My Callers Say pt 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3

Just another day in the life at 911. All the callers were "girls".

Caller: I'd like to report an olderly man driving recklessly.

Me: A what?

Caller: An olderly man.

Me: ...okay...

Caller: I'd like to report a reckless driver on the freeway.

Me: Ok, let me have you to talk to the State Patrol...

WSP: What are you reporting?

Caller: A reckless driver on I90.

WSP: What are they doing?

Caller: Well, I'm going at least 85 and he's totally pulling away from me.
(FYI, our speed limit there is 70 mph)

WSP: Um, you wanna slow it down to 70 ma'am?

Caller: Uh, what?

WSP: You can't go 85 ma'am, and if you do you shouldn't tell me about it.

Caller: Oh. Okay.

and my personal favorite of the day :

Caller: I'd like to report a lady walking down the street who looks like she having some trouble walking. She might be drunk.

Me: Okay, how old is she?

Caller: She's elderly.

Me: By elderly, what do you mean, 70, 80, 90?

Caller: No, I'd say she looks about 42.

Me: Where are you? I'm gonna come beat you with my cane kick your ass. (No, I did not really say that to her, but I really really wanted to!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So, a while back I did a picture for my niece for her birthday. I just finished up another piece for my nephew, who is turning 7 in August. He says he likes Star Wars and Transformers, but I just couldn't figure out how to turn him into either one of those things. He used to like pirates. Hopefully he still does!

I used this picture that my dad took as the base for the pirate thing. His pose (though silly at the time) turned out to be perfect!

Hopefully he's not too much of a "big" boy to like it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Barns and Gremlins

So last week Secret Agent Man and I took a much needed trip to see my folks on the south west Washington coast. We took the long way there and back, by car, because we like road trips and the weather was nice. We had lots of snacks and an iPod with 12,185 songs on it (I know, crazy, right?) on "random play".
We went through a little farming community called Lamont that has this sign as you come into town. I love how they keep track of their population!

We then took a dirt road through some farm country for a while and saw lots of old buildings, some standing, some not so much.We found this little building we think was maybe an old schoolhouse at one time.
(I tried a couple different "actions" on it (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman). Hmmm, I may still have to play with it a bit, but I kind of like the middle "sunny" one.)

On the way home we drove a different direction and found this neat old covered bridge, the Grays River Covered Bridge, which is being preserved by some hysterical historical society. It's in really great condition and was kind of fun to drive through. I warmed up the photo a bit to try and make it pop a little more.

We also found, on our way home, a great big wind farm near Vantage, which was really cool, those turbines are freakin' huge! The picture, alas, is not mine, as I was tired and did not want to drive on up in there, but next time, for sure!

It was nice having the drive time with S.A.M. We always have stuff to talk about and he loves maps and odd routes so we usually end up seeing some interesting sights.
I wish we could go back to the beach, however! It's hot hot hot here! It's very nearly 100 today, which makes me glad I'm sitting at my air conditioned desk, but I'd rather be looking at waves, even if it's chilly and rainy. The one good thing about my shift is that with being off late, my car has a chance to cool down before I get in to drive home. Which brings me to the other half of the title of this post.

Yesterday I was driving home from work and as I pulled off the highway and onto the street that runs up my hill I heard this horrid hissing noise. My first thought was that something was wrong with my stereo - sunspot interference or some such.

So I turned the radio off.
No good. I could still hear it. For a split second I thought there was a snake in my car, but then my common sense kicked in and I decided the chances of that were slim to none (thank God!). Marmots maybe. But not snakes.
So then I thought maybe I had a flat tire, but I wasn't noticing anything odd with the steering or that the car was listing to one side or anything. At this point it's getting dark and I'm kind of freaking myself out a little, so I called S.A.M. and told him to meet me in the driveway, which, being the awesome hubby he is, he didn't give me any guff about. I pull up and he gets in and that's when I notice it: I cannot hear the hissing any more.
Just to be safe, however, I back out and we drive around through the neighborhood.
We drive around some more.

At least S.A.M. is not laughing at me. In fact, when we pull into the driveway again he gets out and checks my tires for me.
So I'm starting to think I had Gremlins in my car.

Not this kind:
This kind:

Then S.A.M. says to me, "Did you have a bottle of water in there or something?" I said, no. Then it dawned on me. Remember the aforementioned "snacks" we had on our drive? We had some sodas (and chips and cookies) in the backseat. *head slap* I had forgotten one partially empty soda back there. In the 90+ degree heat we've had here, it all but exploded , with the soda hissing out all over the upholstery.

I'm so glad it wasn't really Gremlins. I hate those bastards.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IQ Test

So this past week I had a right nice visit with the folks at their "beach place" (I like to call it that because it sounds swanky, but actually it's where they live all the time. It's nothing fancy, just a nice quiet, small place on the Washington coast. It rains a lot but I just love the sound of the ocean and everything, including the beach, is within walking distance. I never sleep so well as when I'm there.)

Anyway...while I was there my dad gave me this IQ test. I thought it was pretty cute, so I'm passing it on - with pictures. (I'm sure it's been around a while, but it's the first time I heard it, so there!)

The answers are at the bottom of each picture. Don't cheat! I will know.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.
This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way and whether you can think outside the box. Or the refrigerator, as it were.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?
Wrong! Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.
This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend .... Except one.
Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant.
The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. Sheesh.

This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the "professionals" they tested got all the questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively proves the theory that most professionals do not have the brains of a four-year-old.

Now go give this test to your kids and see how smart (or smart-ass) they are!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What the Hell Was I Thinking?

A couple months ago I saw a really cute blue silk skirt for sale in an Isabella's catalog. Apparently I did not act fast enough, and they no longer carry said skirt. Or they just don't want me to buy it. Either way, I started looking around online for another blue silk skirt. I saw one listed on that looked kind of cute. It was called a Kariza. Never heard of it by that name before but I have seen similar listed as "wrap" skirts, "magic" skirts, and "sari" skirts. (Sorry is right. But wait, I get ahead of myself...)

Looks cute, right? Looks fun, right? That's what I thought, too. So I bought one. In lovely shades of blue.
I got a long one. You can't do the short little baby doll shirt style, but that's ok, I just wanted to do a cute skirt. Maybe a sundress style. Whatever. Like these:

First off: Ignore the skinny bitch in the picture. The important thing is that she is holding a glass of wine. This is important: A mostly empty glass of wine (if you fill it to the top, like I do). This is because you need to have a drink or six after attempting to wear one of these infernal garments!
Second: Do not be fooled. These are not a "one size fits all" garment. These are not a "one size fits most" garment. The one I ordered claimed it is a "one size fits most" and then stated size 2-14. Really? 2 to 14? Because, really, doesn't it take seven size 2s to make a 14?
Come on, people! Really?

I am, often, a size 14 (i.e. "normal"). I am, sometimes, a size 16 (still "normal"). On a really, really, good day I can sometimes even wear a 12, but not often enough to count. But I thought, it's a skirt. It's loose. It's adjustable. (Obviously.) To be safe, however, I emailed the seller. I told her, I am between a size 14 and a size 16. I don't see that you sell any "plus" sizes. Do you think the regular one will fit me?
Her response (copied directly from her email) was this:
its most sizes. i think #14 will be o.k.,

Huh. Ok. I figured, what the heck, it wasn't expensive and if it fit I would have a nice skirt.

Well, it came yesterday. It is pretty. It does "fit", in that it wraps all the way around me. It doesn't quite fit right if I "wrap" it the way they suggest with the strap tucked through the little hole it's mean to fit in. It ties just behind my hip unless I want one really long part and one really short part of the strap. But I can work with it. I may even be able to wear it as a dress. Except.
I can't figure the damn thing out! The listing said you can wear it "100 ways". I think the torture diagrams instructions included 12, maybe 16, drawings of how to tie it. None of them are really clear.
I tried one of the dress instructions, one I thought I might actually wear.

First I had to hold the skirt behind open behind me, like a bath towel. Then you tie the straps loosely in front. Criss cross the straps (that alone took me 45 seconds to figure out). Then you place...the tied straps....behind your head... and, and...dammit, I got my arm stuck in the strap opening, don't ask me how. Seriously, don't ask. I have no idea. I tried to get my arm out. Somehow I got the dress twisted and now I was really stuck. Finally got my arm out and the dress untied and decided to start over again.
Secret Agent Man is in the bathroom asking, "What are you doing out there?" I'm laughing and I know I look like a complete idiot so all I say is "trying to figure out this damn dress."

Four tries later, looking at the damn cartoon drawing, I give up.
The cat is looking at me like I'm a complete idiot. S.A.M. is laughing at me. The damn cartoon drawing is also laughing at me. I'm laughing and thinking I need a drink. Which is fine, seeing as we are supposed to be getting ready to go to dinner.

However, today I thought I'd try it again. Maybe the cute skirt option. Where you tie the bottom layer one way, then tie the top layer a different way... or the other cute short dress option with the twisty top...?

You know, if you are going to submit drawings as instructions, make sure you KNOW HOW TO DRAW!! I can't, for the life of me, figure this drawing out! Not only that, but they only include, like, every 3rd step. I know the "instructions" are missing something because I am not a moron (shut up! I am not!) and I should be able to figure this out!
I finally gave up and went to the computer and Googled instructions. I found a video. There are cute little girls modeling the skirts. I'm sure some martial arts instructor wrangled the skirts on them, because I'm sure I am smarter than a little girl. Or that bitch wearing the cute yellow skirt. She's smiling. She's mocking me, I'm sure of it! She's there, in her little video, the smiling skinny bitch, laughing at me for not being able to figure out the damn crayon monkey drawings that came with my skirt "skirt".

That's it. I'm turning it into a table cloth.
Where's my wine?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Nothin' new to share because I'm working on custom stuff right now, so I thought I'd post some old favorites of mine. It's summer, and beach time, and these seemed to fit.
For those who are interested, these were done in Corel Painter.