Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blow you a kiss/it will reach you tomorrow/as it flies from/the other side of the world

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone already. I had a lovely and boisterous day with my family, with lots of food, plenty of drink and a rather drunken and jovial game of Mexican Train (trust me, I was disappointed to find out it wasn't a naughty game - you use dominos). The members of my family actually living in St. Louis seems to be dwindling every year and it makes these holidays even more special.

I sat around in a post-holiday mope yesterday for some reason. Perhaps it was just a low-level hang over. At any, I didn't do a whole lot with my day; I certainly did not go shopping and take part that which is known as Black Friday.

This morning, however, I awoke with great anticipation about doing my absolute favorite shopping of the year. Craft Alliance in University City has an annual pottery sale the weekend after Thanksgiving every year. I've gone for years, buying gifts for my family and many things for myself as well. Considering that I normally go for the streamlined, modern design of the mid-century, it continually surprises me that I love the organic earthiness of handmade pottery. I swear that things taste better when eaten or drunk out of my pieces. It's always freezing cold on the front patio of Craft Alliance, but I think that helps me get into the Christmas spirit as it's generally the first holiday shopping I've done. Dana met me this morning and I introduced her to my $10 and under method of shopping. There are so many gorgeous things in that range that I rarely need to spend more for an individual piece. Without further ado, here's what I got.

Also this weekend was the Rock 'n Roll Craft Show. Last year it depressed me that I didn't participate. This year I felt invigorated and inspired and I will submit to be included next year. I won't let myself down again and I'm resolved to start compiling inventory as soon as I can. I only got a couple of things at the show; the thing is that I can resist most items at RnRCS because, I tell myself, I could make them myself. Not that I will, but I could (and not everything, of course). What I find curious is that while I love pottery, I really have no desire to make it myself so I'm happy buying the work of other artists. At any rate, I did get a couple things - a handbound book made from an vintage book, and a lovely pair of earrings with teeny peridot and peachy briolettes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Estate sale-in'

We went to an estate sale in Affton yesterday and it turned out to be a fairly good one. It took me a very long time to go through all the costume jewelry. Unfortunately, though the jewelry gave me the idea that the house would hold much goodness in the area of accessories, purses and shoes, the jewelry was just about the only thing that interested me. There was even a surprising lack of good kitchen stuff. But I did gorge a little on the jewelry so I'm not complaining.

I had to be judicious when confronted with a box full of really cute and unusual shot glasses. I wanted them all -- had no use, nor any room, for any of them but these three were irresistible.

I wish this had a lid, but I had to have it regardless. A bulldog head teapot. Bet you never said those words together before.

My favorite kind of recipe booklet, vintage and focused. Many of the meat recipes call for the addition of lard. How great is that?

A bin full of playing cards yielded these beauties.

And this, a Ladies Home Journal from July, 1965 featuring an article by Kingsley Amis (!!!) entitled "Does James Bond Really Hate Women?" (For the record, my answer to that question is "Fuck yeah, he does.")

Now, on to the jewelry. First is this weird spinning bubble thing. I believe that's some kind of sacred heart of Jesus image on one side. I'm not sure what's on the other. Anyone have the facts on something like this?

I'm not sure of the age of this funny little brass bird and nest pendant. It looks pretty modern.

I will put this funny little ball pendant (about as big around as a quarter) on a long gold chain.

I'm not sure what to think of this odd snail pin. I think it might be fairly good quality as the little open portion is actually wire wrapped rather than molded. I can't find any markings on it though.

I love these earrings and I hope a dip in Coca-Cola will bring back their lustre. Yes, real Coke is like a miracle when used to clean mucky jewelry.

And this, a very unusual piece of jewelry. A chunky chain bracelet with a little (relatively) music box attached. The music box is not little when compared to most things that hang off of bracelets, just as compared to music boxes. I haven't gotten it to work enough to discern the tune, unfortunately. (I just took some time to get it to play the full tune and sadly I don't recognize it. It's lovely though, in that macabre, music box way.) There were once stones mounted in the center of that starburst, but they've long since fallen out. I think it's pretty without them.

How lucky was it to find a Scorpio signet ring?

Another religious piece. Until I looked at this very closely, I thought it was just a pin with a turquoise coloured enamel center. Then I realized it was some kind of Mary thing. Again, anyone have any insight?

Last but not least, this long gold chain with little amber and gold disks hanging from it.

And finally, I must get my hands on this book.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You know that I could be in love with almost everyone/I think that people are/The greatest fun/And I will be alone again tonight my dear

Before I get to posting the paintings I've done, I'm going to rant just a bit over my former employer, Big Fucking Espresso. My last day of work was September 26. As of today, November 21, my separation has not been processed and I have not received my two weeks of vacation pay (I did not take one single day off during my 18+ months of employment except for jury duty and the death of my brother-in-law), nor has my insurance been sorted out as they think I'm still employed. A lesser person might have been using my employee numbers to receive discounts and get my free pound of coffee every week. Or maybe a smarter person. Frankly, I can't really stand to step foot inside one of those green prisons so I'm not sure it's because I'm noble or because I'm stupid. I had to speak to my full of vitriol district manager ten days ago and she made a host of empty excuses as to why the separation hadn't been processed and claimed to be doing it again as we spoke. But now ten days later, nope, not a sign. And her excuse, when the 800 line people called her as I waited today, is that she's had issues with her laptop. She's a fucking lying, evil little woman. They suggested I go one step further and speak to a different level of management. I did and this person did not like the way things had been handled and she promised to call that district manager immediately and take care of it. We shall see what happens.

Okay, deep breath.

I painted, finally. And here's what I ended up with.

C. Pick, "Alone Again Or #1" 2008, watercolor on paper, 4"x5.5"

C. Pick, "Alone Again Or #2" 2008, watercolor on paper, 5.5"x4"

C. Pick, "Alone Again Or #3" 2008, watercolor on paper, 4"x5.5"

C. Pick, "Alone Again Or #4" 2008, watercolor on paper, 5.5"x4"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Only love/Can make it rain/The way the beach is kissed by the sea/Only love/Can make it rain/Like the sweat of lovers/Laying in the fields

I wish I didn't have to struggle so hard to muster my energy to write or draw or paint or make jewelry or whatever. There was a time when that energy just poured out of me -- I honestly didn't feel like I could have stopped even if I'd wanted to. Do we all have a finite amount of creativity inside? Are all the things we're born to do just up in our brains, rattling around till it's their turn to emerge?

Yesterday it took me about three hours to write a 300 word blog post for the KDHX blog. That's not even beginning to count the hours I spent in the previous couple of weeks agonizing over what I would even write about. I am very envious of Steve, who seems to write as naturally as he breathes. I can't even imagine.

Last night I knew that today I wanted to draw. I didn't even begin to think about it until almost noon today. Then various things distracted me (I'm easily distracted at that point in the process) and I didn't get back to it until after 8pm. But after a couple of trials, ideas popped out. I liked the, I pursued then and I might even be able to give a credible explanation as to their deeper meaning. These first two pictures are the preliminaries. The last four are just awaiting paint.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shameless self-promotion

After laboring over them for entirely too long, I am finally about to hop in the car to deliver my latest cards to Subterranean Books. So, go support independent booksellers and artists and buy some stuff!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can't keep my hands, my hands my hands out the cookie jar

I had to make an emergency lunch trip to Fu-Lee (along with a stop at Walgreens for some makeup geegaws) to soothe my tortured soul. The wonton soup and the St. Paul are currently working their magic and this was the fortune in my cookie:

Use your charm and personality to obtain your wishes.

Oh, if only that worked. : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talk to me/Tell me your sign/You're switching sides like a Gemini/You're playing games and now you're hittin' my heart/Like a drum

I've been internally debating bangs for weeks now. Yes. No. Yes. No. Maybe. Yes. No. Yes. I am not a fan of hairdressers; unlike most people I find the time in the chair rather tortuous and the results are rarely what I had hoped for anyway. Thus I tend to have either really short hair (when I get that itch to have it all cut off) or a long period of growing out the short cut. I am currently in that growing out stage, almost two years since I had it cut to under an inch all round. It's beyond my shoulders which is officially "long," right?

Anyway, bangs. I knew that if I went to a hairdresser, my hair would end up shorter everywhere (they always promise not to cut too much but they always do) so I've been shoring up my courage to do the deed myself. Today was the day. And I'm pretty happy with the results.

Like anyone gives a shit. But hey, it's my blog.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm good to go and I'm going nowhere fast/It could be worse I could be taking you there with me/I'm good to looks like I'm still on my own

I don't think I've ever resorted to the bullet-point blog entry, but today I have a bunch of little things I want to write about today, so deal.

  • We'll start with Election Day. Holy shit, it really happened. We won. (The night was marred only by a close up shot of my most unresolved ex-boyfriend, complete with a studied beatific smile, in Grant Park. One million people there and he ends up on TV. Whatever. I'm sure he's still the neurotic, tortured artist he always was.) Today at the grocery store I had to choke back the happy tears when I saw the People and UsWeekly covers featuring our new president and first lady.
  • Subterranean Books requested more cardstocks so I ordered more Gocco supplies from Japan and spent a couple of weeks torturing myself over designs for one vaguely holiday card and one unspecific notecard. I managed to do all the printing I could do yesterday, but I still have to actually put the cards together and embellish them properly. Special thanks to Allison for a pile of kid books she salvaged for me when her school's libary culled their collection. I printed on a bunch of them and I think it looks fabulous. (I suspect Allison would also approve of the images from the old Flowers of Somewhere or Other book I printed on.) I documented the mess I made yesterday:

  • As if I don't ramble on enough here, I asked the Mister if I could write for the Euclid Records blog and he graciously accepted my offer. To read my ruminations on the 20th anniversary of R.E.M.'s Green, click here.
  • Last night we went to Off Broadway to see Magnolia Summer perform, celebrating the release of their new CD. The band sounded great and I got to see some of my favorite people. Can I just say that I know some hot 50 year old men. I am quite certain that 50 year old men did not look like this when I was younger. My only regret of the night is drinking hard cider, which has left me with a raging headache today. I do not regret, however, introducing one of those 50 year old hotties to both the concept of glory holes and the wonder that is Xtube. I hope he had a good time when he got home.
  • While unpacking groceries from my car trunk this morning I discovered this:

  • I suppose I bought this adorable beauty at an estate sale and it escaped from the bag, but I have absolutely no memory of having purchased it. So, it's a divine little surprise to find it, particularly since I'm in and out of my trunk at least a few times a week and we haven't been to an estate sale in months.
  • Stay tuned for a link to the new KDHX blog. I will be putting down my music related thoughts over in those parts. In fact, I should be working on my debut entry about Elbow right now.