Made Craig get up at 11 to open gifts. Mom got a double diamond ring representing Craig and I. (perfect- blood diamonds= your children...) I got the pink bike tape that I thought was a lost cause but my parents found in a vintage bike warehouse in Butler. Amazing! Also got "Rules of Thumb for Chemical Engineers", "Cradle to Cradle" and "Living Down Stream." Since it was the year of literature, Dad and Craig got a bunch of hockey books and then the dog got his head stuck in a gift bag. Column 2 We headed to Aunt Carol's for pomegranate liquor (and pomegranate martini's of course) and she was the proud new owner of a PLL bag. Then it we headed home to prepare for everyone coming over. My mom had forgotten to pick up the catering the previous day, so it was a stressful rush to whip up some stuff (including mom's famous haluski), but in the end everyone else had brought so much stuff that we didn't even had table space for all the food. Craig, me, Kelly & Natalie took our annual photo infront of the tree, this yr including Nat's new husband Dan (also a barely practicing chemical engineer), and my hair was extra big this year. Most left around midnight but Bobbie, Brad, Matt, Craig and I told stories until after 3. It was a perfect Xmas.
We had to break the tradition of going to my Aunt's for Xmas Eve to go to the largest house I've ever been in owed by a 30yr. old. My cousin's and their newish baby had recently moved back to Pgh from DC. I was super nauseus when we got there (not from that, just from being sick recently) but Mom's bourbon slush quickly knocked me back into shape. Luckily the baby didn't bite anyone. Column 2 Aunt Nancy was the proud recipient of a PLL scarf. After that we went to another cousin's house and he gave me one of my grandfather's pipe fitting/valve guides from the 50s which was pretty awesome. I continued down the path of non-veganness and consumed many of my aunt's homemade panjoks (sp?- flat flat, thin 1x1 squares). Ohhhh soooo gooood. Then we headed home to each open one gift. Mom got a bling-bling Westie ornament and I got a super-sweet gel seat. Fell asleep watching A Christmas Story and swear that I woke up in the same exact place. Perfect.
Column 1. Wake Craig at noon, rush home to the Conway Lounge, mom was double fisted when we arrived. Everyone was there. Gathered my entourage and headed to the Belus's. Bobbie was decked out in Steeler's Gear. Most everyone was wasted by the time we got there. Column 2 Bobbie, KT and I exchanged gifts. Even FaFa was in from Harrisburg. 100 proof homemade Cherry Cordial. Since I couldn't drink, I forced the boys to eat the most horrible rumballs ever. Column 3 Drunk 'n' Dialing. Brad shows off why his chest can't get tan. This kid was in bad shape. Amy was in bad shape telling Rush awful stories. At least Mr. Chinchilla & I had time to bond.
Shitty doctors visit. Car Crash # 872 & 873. Tracer Party. Craig came to visit. Hound Dogs. climbing party at Matt & Melissa's. Guitar Hero. Work gathering. Surly Girl. rental car. last minute mall trip. pain killers. clean aptartment. Surly Girl. head to head flesh hunt. home.
So alot of baby stuff has been around me lately. On Monday night I got to see the room that a friend has been working on for their forth-coming kid. It was a total suburban pedestrian room, done out with cute animals and the whatnot. I think I was a bit sad b/c she's the only close lady friend in Columbus and I want to buy her fun things like this, but they'd really appreciate things more like this My pick was from 1 girl 1 boy, vendors who were next to us at Handmade Arcade. I really wanted one of their shirts, but the largest size (they only had kids clothes) was in purple, and I don't really do purple. I only got to talk to Stacy of 1boy1girl for a brief second, but she was really cute and sweet, plus gave me some printing advice, especially encouraging since I'd be struggling with the linocut prints. I feel like I should be tapping into this wave of baby indie craft stuff. I stumbled across this quilt yesterday, and it's awesome. It would be easy and super fun to make. Add a few actual pirates fighting, some blood, a well-know political struggle and it would be perfect for BLC/JMS. Mainly I think that I had babies on the mind b/c I was struggling on a Xmas gift for my cousin's baby. They are hoity-doity lawyers that just moved back to Pgh from DC with their 1 yr old and are having Xmas eve at their house. So I was racking my brain on what to get/make them. I have a million cute baby ideas, but felt the pressure of their perfect lives. So today I decided that nothing that I could make would be good enough and I'm gonna play the ignorant card so I don't have to go to the mall. I let my mom buy them some William Sonoma cookie mixes or something. Bamm- stress relieved!
More items were listed on my etsy site today, so take a look around. A few of the bike cuffs went up, finally. I've been hesitant to put things on etsy and get my site going because I struggle with photographing everything. I can take a decent picture of a decaying cheese factory or a rusted-out bike rack (see below) but can't photograph my products. It's the line between digital and regular film that's hard for me to cross into. And the product pictures are so 'normal' and need to look professional, neither of which I am. So it was interesting today to get a complaint from an esty buyer that my bag was 'dingy' compared to the photo. Usually I get totally opposite feedback, so I refunded her money. She said that she'd buy something else to make up for it, but I can't deal with this type of drama, I take it to heart too much. I just want to make stuff and sell it. That's it. Someone else needs to handle these customer interactions for me. :-( Especially today, I haven't gotten out of bed yet except to fetch ginger cookies. Oh yeah, and to get ginger ale.
So the stomach pain turned out to be ovaian cysts. 14hrs, a pelvic exam and a CT scan, and I'm pretty skeptical in their answer. They were unable to tell me why now, their probability of the pain being from it and what to do now besides treat the pain. They weren't too keen on my suggestion of "cutting it out so I can get back to work. They told me to take the painkillers and not go to work. Pretty frustrating. The sadly positive part was that I got to hang out with Basak for 7 of those ER hours. (photo courtesy of her) and then Robbt waited from 3-5:30 am. He had his bike on the roof of his car, which pretty much got ripped off by the 'height clearance' sign in the garage. His bike was intact, but the yak rack had a few broken rivets. He brought me home and we ate snacks and he installed some stuff on my ubuntu computer and I got to hear all about his new projects. So not a bad night after all.
Although I seem to drink more frequently in Columbus, it just seems to be more toxic in Pittsburgh. The shot of Slivovitz at first appeared to have brought me to my current state. But how can a liquor deemed "Croatian plum brandy bearing a flavor profile similar to that of Ronsonol lighter fluid" do that you may ask??? Well, actually probably just a coincidence as I wasn't feeling well on Friday, and the stomach stuff seems to come and go in 6/8 month waves. Maybe it just takes 6/8 months for my self control to totally dwindle down to nothing.... (most likely option)
It's pretty frustrating to be backed into this situation of not being able to go to work or any of the 8 million items on my task list. (Work reports, etsy stuff, xmas gifts, cleaning, climbing) I've just been dwindling in and out of sleep, catching up on My So Called Life, pondering a trip to the lovely OSU ER. Not sure why I'm so apprehensive about this place. Through undergrad I had been in various ERs that were way scarier/creepier/worse service than the OSU one, maybe I'm just sick of the Health Care system in general.... But alas, the day was not totally lost, decided to pass on the ER and headed to Dublin instead. I got to see the lovely Basak werkin' the coffee at Whole Foods and the bigger-bellied Bobbie and her & Sam's in-progress baby room. Plus, Bobbie had made Ruth and I cookies and fudge packaged in a holiday tin. Its so easy to forget about holiday things like cookie baking when not at my parents (not that my mom bakes Xmas cookies, but my parents both work in elementary schools so we get those benefits) and abseining from places like the mall. Pulse Rate -Whatever it Takes
As promised, here is another post of items aquired at the Handmade Arcade Today's feature is from Kellee and Matt of My Favorite Mirror. They were across the aisle from us, but we didn't really have a view of them until late in the day when the crowd thinned out a bit. They have really cute mirrors with great packaging and an amazing set up. Including one that I got from one of my favorite illustrators Jill Bliss *swoon* Plus, Matt and Kellee were super funny- icing on the cake I tell you! Go buy their stuff! You can get them everywhere!
So JG and I treked to Pittsburgh to mom's birthday and Butch's annual holiday party. I had missed the last few years so decided I need to see everyone, and it was a really good decision. There was nothing for us to eat besides tomato sandwiches, which was kinda a downer but the lady locks were amazing. The night was more low-key than previous holiday events, but that isn't to say that damage wasn't done.
I used the word nebby today and fried up two cabbage pierogies. It was awesome. Sold a few things on etsy so I'll post a few more items this evening. Other than that, things are good. I've ended my stint in NY and it seems like I'll be in Cbus through the New Year. Whoo-hoo! Binghampton was a pretty cute town though. IBM used to employee over 30,000 people there, (or course no longer) so there is all the associated dying/dead industrial remenants. But downtown along the river were some really spectacular old homes gorgeously decorated for the holidays. I found a little Natural food shop with mock tuna wraps and wanted to eat here but didn't have a chance as I was really sick last week and there just wasn't time this week.
There were bike trails everywhere and downtown there was an amazing old railroad bridge converted to a bike path and lit. It melted my heart. <3 align="center">
I gave the Great Olivia a good deal of stuff last week, and hope to give her more necklaces and rings to sell at Wholly Craft! They have a bunch of stuff going on in December, so check out the listings. Not only can you purchase some amazing stuff from indie crafters near and far, some sweet ladies like Emily will help you to make holiday cards and the whatnot. Check it out!
So I’ve finished my tenure in South Bend (ugh, still need to pay that speeding ticket though!) and have moved on to NY. But here’s what happened there. Compressor (pic 1) pushes air through the sparge legs (pic 2) into wells 45’ deep in the ground. The Soil Vapor Extraction legs (pic 3) suck pull a vacuum on the soil and suck air out. Sometimes you get water and it goes into a tank (pic 4) and the air gets vented up to the atmoshpere and bam! Cleaner groundwater/soil.
With the last break of good weather, I decided to redo my rack. It’s pretty old so it was in pretty rough shape. I sanded it out a bit and turned it pink! It was a trading spaces style makeover on the Surly (i.e. swapped out the stem with one that I already has, rewrapped the bars and painted the rack and H2O bottle shottily with paint that wasn’t totally meant to go with the primmer- but damn it looks good!) JG and I then headed to Nelsonville to ride the 14 miles to Athens, stuff ourselves at Casa on burritos and beer and ride back. It felt less like a torture bike and more like a party machine. Whoo-hoo!
Although my weekend was amazing, it was kinda sad for me too. I took advantage of the nice weather to deconstruct my bike so that I can strip the frame. I had a pretty amazing idea of how I was going to rebuild it (think hot pink and teal), but I’m struggling to find hot pink bar tape and don’t know what to do about my cranks. There were many reasons for the deconstruction (needed repainted, powder coating on cranks was horribly chipping away, chrome is super pitted, back wheel is unnecessarily black, wreck ripped the bar tape, airplane losts it’s propeller, seat cover isn’t working out) but it still feels like I lost a child.
My newfound love for screen printing resulted in a crazy amount of printing the Monday before Thanksgiving. Although I wasn’t totally happy with my images (or course I was rushed in my selection) I’m still pleased. And I just love the process of physically printing them, so the images could have almost been anything. I manly printed scarves, but I continued to print some patch-type ones, like seen here. And now for sale at Wholly Craft.
Squirrel in South Bend: Over the next few weeks, I'll slowly post about the amazing items I acquired at the HA First up is the amazing squirrel print from Ms. Mary Mack I wish I could have traded early on when she still had stuffed/cloth ones, but the paper one seems to travel well.
So then the doors opened. The inital crowd was different than expected. The husband-dragging-wives in LLBean gear, the moms just stopping by after the craziness that is Whole Foods on a Saturday, etc. We were in the first aisle and it was impossible to move for about the first two hours, but no one was really interested in everything. It was even overheard the organizers commenting on how everyone was leaving without bags in their hands. After a bit, the crowd thined out and sales started increasing. I was a bit sad by my goods. I really thought that I had hit it with the new bags. They are better constructed and more interesting than previous, but there weren't that many squeals for them. I dunno, maybe I'm just spoiled. I sold most of them, but no one seemed totally in love with them. In fact, people bought most of the older stuff, like:
People were especially into the plate necklaces. I kinda felt like everyone was doing those now, but it came down to only one other booth had them, and they were just pendants, not whole necklaces. And, I didn't see a lot of people that I expected to see- Chris from Moxie Dada, Monica from Diva's, Nish, Jill from the Quiet Storm, Andybot, Emma, Like Summer, Etta, Aunt Nancy, Favian, Dave, Alexis, Michael, James, Spat, Nikki, etc.
So I was hoping to finish up everything for HA Thursday evening before we left for Pittsburgh, but I got sick on the way home from South Bend Wednesday night and pretty much laid in bed until we left. So Friday was crunch time. Let me tell you, JG cuts tiny threads like a champ. I had family in from CA so we hit the Harp and Fiddle for fried pickles, The Church for lotsa beer then Mad Mex for a way-too-late dinner. Needless to say, we did not tag and price everything before passing out. The drive into the city in the morning was a bit rough too, but the HA was really well organized, so set up was easy. There was a bit of a design flaw in the height of my purse stand, but I was feeling pretty good about the new purses:
I gave a friend one of my glass microscope slide charms and here's what she made with it. Not totally my style, but to each their own... Finally got to watch Style Wars and it was even better than expected. And I got a two stencil comissions this week too. One from the old Subtext days to some album art for the in progress Isha and Zetta album. And another from a friend of himself from a ridiculous danceparty a few years back. Whoo-hoo!