Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Etsy Update

I finally managed to add some new items to my Etsy store. Check 'em out to the left and just below or go the Tiny Montgomery shop proper for the full Etsy experience!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The green leaves of summer are calling me home

I painted the rest of my leaves and overall I'm pretty happy. The morning glory:

I think the canna looks better now.

The hydrangea:

And the second hosta:

I think I will try to wire some beading on any of the leaves that were cast with a opening. I'll have to think on that.

Currently I'm casting a bowl out of one of my giant hibiscus flowers. Keep your fingers crossed!

Na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye

It's Saturday, my second day off in a row (yay) and I'm happy being rather lazy. Just had a nap, and finished up the laundry. Once I get done here, it's some painting and then reading reading reading.

The other day I got an adorable message from NaNa, a Japanese band, to my Myspace page. Unlike most (e.g. 99%) of the slacker bands that contact me through Myspace, this duo actually bothered to 1) write me a real, personal message and 2) actually listen to the streaming audio of the latest edition of my show, Emotional Rescue. Imagine that!? They offered to send me a CD and I, of course, took them up on it. I liked the snippets I listened to online and I'll give most anything a play at least once. Subsequent messages were equally adorable with their slightly ajar English (and I'm not criticizing -- I don't know a speck of Japanese!) and I looked forward to getting the package. Well, those kids must have run right out and posted that package because I got it today.
The contents:

Note the completely cute addition of a KitKat bar. (Note to bands: Sending DJs pressies along with your CD can only do you good.) Now note the very interesting flavor of said bar:

Yep, it appears to be a cantaloupe melon-like flavor. Mixed with chocolate, one assumes. I'll report back when I open it up.

I've only managed to paint four of the cement leaves and I'm still not entirely happy with the canna. Gotta go back and make it...darker, maybe. Dunno.

Here's the brown-eyed susan leaf:

The morning glory:

And the hosta, next to its natural brethren:

And after some painting, this is what I'll be spending the rest of my day and night with:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Please please don't eat the daisies; don't eat the daisies, please, please

Who is sick of hearing about my roller coaster work life? You? And you over there? Well, that about covers all my readers, so I'll include myself too. The good news is that I'm not going to bitch and moan. I think that from here on in, things are going to be [mostly] smooth sailing. I've expressed my worries to my boss, she was perfectly great and I feel sooooo relieved. So for now, things are good!

On the project front, I have several cement leaves done to the first stage. I still need to paint them, which is, of course, the hardest part (well, the hardest part to making them look good anyway), and then seal them with something. But I thought I'd post a photo of the leaf bowls/plates in their raw, cement state. The top row is: hydrangea, black-eyed susan, morning glory, morning glory, hosta. Bottom row is : hosta, canna.

I think my favorite is the hosta leaf, there in the center. Here's a closer view:

I do love the big canna leaf plate too, but it has a big crack, damn it. I have to figure out how to avoid the cracking...

I think I'm going to paint them with metallic paint, in not particularly natural leaf colors. Or not.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Estates for Sale

It's Sunday, we're both home and nothing is on the burner to do except find some estate sales to prowl. First destination is a home in the CWE where we found the bulk of our purchases today. Books, a bird-patterned crewel pillow (for 10 cents! see below), playing cards (most for Mail Order Bride's Dana) and some gold chains.

I also picked up a keffiyah here which I think was being used as a tablecloth as it was presented in the linens area. It's a really nice one, thicker and a little more detailed than the one my friend Alex Weir picked up for me in Turkey around 23 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I still wear and love that original one, but it's nice to have another, especially for $1! Anyway, you can barely see it in the photo as Olive thought it a nice bed.

Lastly I got a funny little gold colored holder with six gold-trimmed shot glasses. Wouldn't that be cute for jello shots?

At the second sale we encountered an unpleasant lady conducting things, unwilling to bargain, citing her "fiduciary responsibility" to the client. It's an estate sale fer crissakes, lady. While Steve was drooling over the Esquire magazines from the 40s and 50s (they were quite lovely), they were priced from $10 to $15 each and, as she made clear, were not negotiable. All we left with was the Betty Crocker cookbook.

The third sale, in Parkview, was pretty cleaned out by the time we got there (and it was only 11am or so!), but I did snag the needlepoint Raggedy Ann pillow. Why? I don't know, except that it was $1 and it kind of scared me.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to again try to cast little shallow bowls made out of cement molded on leaves. The first time I attempted this my concrete mix was all wrong and they just crumbled as they dried. Further research told me that I needed plain Portland cement for the project so I set off for Home Depot to find some. Well, they indeed had it -- in 94 pound sacks. I managed to get a somewhat unwilling employee to help me get it in the cart and then a much more cheerful young gent helped me get it into my car. On the way across the parking lot he was chanting the HD slogan "You can do it. We can help" and humming their theme song. It was amusing. What worried me was how I was going to get this 94 pound bag out of my car when I got home. I mean, I knew I could lift it, but I also knew I couldn't go very far with it. I only managed to get it up to the front porch, but I was going to work there anyway. What this taught me is that when TV or movie characters rather easily cart around human bodies, it's SO fake. Obviously, a sack of cement is more concentrated, but STILL.

The cement leaves are still curing so I won't photograph them until they are done. I did check them out and they seem more structurally intact this time. I hope so. I want to also paint them. I think the cement absorbs paint in a very interesting way...If these work, I'm also going to try making one using one of my giant hibiscus flowers as a mold. I think that could be just fantastic looking.

Also yesterday I was inspired by another artist to make some papier mache vessels. I made a form out of wire and chicken wire and covered it in newspaper strips and flour paste. It's still drying, but I have high hopes for its potential. Suddenly I'm very interested in vessels -- things that can hold other things. Things that are useful in some way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Go on take everything take everything I want you to

Oh, the roller coaster that is my work life! Miserable days, happy days, days split evenly between the two. I'm hoping to level out at some point and be able to blow off the unpleasant vibes and just be confident in my performance. Surely it will happen before too long. Then I get to start all over again with a new crew of people when my 'real' store opens and I transfer there! Can't wait! But I've already worked a couple of shifts as the supervisor and it was kind of intimidating. How to balance being authoritative enough with still being friendly and encouraging is quite a challenge to me. I'm trying to take tips from the managers who have inspired me and establish my own routine.

Anyway, things are all right. I did do some painting the other day, though not to any completion of a project or anything. It still made me feel better to just be able to stop thinking thinking thinking and do, you know? Today I have a day off and while I could easily spend more hours with the paint, I'm going to visit my mom and my niece in St. Charles. Hopefully I'll get home in time to do some creative stuff as well this afternoon.

I wish that I could insert here a picture of what Steve and I saw as we were walking Foxy Brown this morning. On the next block over we were walking down the street and I looked over at a house and saw FOUR cats all sitting in the window staring intently at us. We crossed so we could see them closer and suddenly a fifth cat popped up and commenced staring. It was the cutest, cutest thing. None of them moved an inch, just stared and stared. They looked like a poster. All beautiful cats (who am I kidding? I think all cats are beautiful) including a pale tortie, a tabby point Siamese and some sort of long-haired Siamese blend. I am terribly envious of any cats with Siamese characteristics and these make me long for a kitten. My beloved tortie Lydia's mother was a Siamese, so Lydia has the very distinct personality traits, but I'd love to have a cat with the outside traits too.

Do I have anything else to say? Hmmm. Time is flying at the same time it's going slow. Our DJ gig at the Royale was moved to July 20 this month (rather than the first Friday of the month) and it seems like it will never get here. I have to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the next few days and the last HP book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out next week. In tribute, I'm wearing my tiny silver Harry Potter wand pendant all month. Yeah, I'm a geek.

OK, now I'm just writing for the hell of it and that's not interesting to you or me. So, see ya when I have more to say (or show).

Saturday, July 7, 2007

i don't know what it is, but you got to do it

I just found out yesterday that an acquaintance bought my mom's house. The house that I grew up in from the age of three and that I considered Home. Out of all my siblings, I think I was the only one sad and angry that my mom was selling and moving to St. Charles. I just couldn't believe that I, who had never lived further than five miles from that house in my whole life, was going to be the one so far away. The sale happened around March or so and if I happen to be in the vicinity of the neighborhood, I cry. I miss the house and I miss my mom living so close to me. And now I have to think of someone I know living in MY house. Frankly, it is freaking me out. I'd much rather have a stranger living there. What are the odds, anyway? There are a billion houses for sale in the city at any given time. Why'd she have to buy my house?

Generally I'm in a bit of a funk. I can say with absolute certainty that I prefer not working to working. The same old bullshit applies to just about every job, it seems. Maybe I need to work in the solitude of a tollbooth or something like that. Hours of blissful alone time. Sigh. Why can't people just be happy doing their own job? Why do so many feel the need to fuck with others to make themselves feel better? I don't always hate my job, honestly -- I really do enjoy it, a lot. When I'm with the wrong crew, though, it's kind of miserable. Since I'm wallowing in self-pity I'll just go ahead with my whining and wailing.

Why oh why can't I make enough money selling stuff I make so that I don't have to have a stupid job? Can I think of something that will be a smash hit that everyone will want and need? People don't need pretty jewelry nor do they need extra, decorative purses. They want them, sure, but they aren't essential. I think household goods are an easier sell because people feel justified somehow as it's not a personal purchase. So, what can I made in the household department? And I'm trying to think of new packaging ideas for the items I do have already. Sometimes it's the whole packaging/image that convinces someone to buy something. But when will I have time to do any of these things? I'm only working part time, but spread out over six days a week so free time where I'm not exhausted is scarce. Not to mention the lack of any creative motivation these days.

Wah wah wah, poor poor me, right? Whatever. I'll get over it. Why I think I'm so special that I don't have to work for a living I don't know. It was just so nice to dream for that brief time that I could make some real money being creative.

In happier news, my hearty hibiscus bloomed today! And the flowers really are as big as [smallish] dinner plates. See?

For perspective, I put my hand in another picture. Keep in mind that I have rather large man hands:

I'm also happy with the progress of my planter with rumex and creeping thyme. Look how cute the thyme she is creeping! Notice the insidious morning glory vines invading!

So there it is. My garden is blooming. Me, not so much right now. I think it would be really helpful to my psyche to be able to create something today. Something cool, something cute, something someone might want. We'll see what happens.