Friday, October 31, 2008


Anyone know who these 3 kids are supposed to be? Need a hint?...

Mahna Mahna!

Doo doooo doo doo doo...

Easily the best Muppet Show sketch ever!

I found this via Craftzine. Click here for the whole story and the video on French Toast Girl's blog. (Warning: the song will be stuck in your head for DAYS!) She says the kids will have "the video loaded onto [an] iPod (which has speakers) and will provide a soundtrack - or an explanation as needed - when we go trick or treating. And instead of "Trick or treat" they can say "Mahna mahna."

So cool!!! I want to see a video of the kids in action. I bet it's hilariously cute! The woman who did this for her kids is so on my awesome list! It's something I wish I'd thought of!...and/or had 3 kids to do it with who love "Mahna Mahna" as much as I do!

An Evening With Temple Grandin

I had the pleasure last night of going to hear Temple Grandin speak about "Autism, Animals, and Design". It was basically a snippet of what you would learn if you read any of her books. But it was cool to hear her speak. And she's quite a funny woman!

For those of you who don't know, Temple Grandin is an accomplished author and designer who has autism. The only reason I knew who she was is because the speech therapist at the preschool I used to work at lent me her copy of "Thinking in Pictures"... hoping it would help me gain insight to working with a child with autism. I'd like to think it did.

My mother, who is now an aide in a special ed. clasroom, emailed me yesterday morning, telling me that Dr. Grandin was going to be in town that night. I was a bit worried at the short notice that I wouldn't be able to go. The information of the website was making it sound like you had to register and there was going to be limited parking and limited seating. But it also said it was open to the public...and I knew I would kick myself if I didn't at least try to make it in. We left my parents' house at 6:00 (the presentation started at 7:30)...and were able to park at the school and avoided having to park somewhere else and use the shuttle, and get a good seat. By the time the presentation started, the small school theater was packed. I was hoping with so many people there that I would see someone I used to work with...and I did run into the speech therapist and social worker from the elementary school I worked at last year.

I sort of felt a bit silly since I'm not in "the industry" anymore and don't have an autistic child (the main reason I'm sure 95% of the people were there). But my 2.5 years being a 1:1 aide for a little girl with autism has changed my life forever, given me a deep compassion for children living with autism, and sparked an interest in learning more. Plus, I have a friend and a niece with Asperger's (a condition that is often lumped together with autism and sometimes considered a "high functioning form of autism"). My friend is actually going to be a guest speaker at a Autism/Asperger's support group meeting in December...taling about what Asperger's is and what is it like to live as a person with Asperger's. I'm excited for her!

Temple Grandin's website -
Read Chapter 1 of "Thinking in Pictures" -

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arts & Crafts Time Can Be A Babysitter's Best Friend!

I watched my friend's kids yesterday afternoon while she went grocery shopping. At my art class at the homeschool group this week, I was teaching the kids about Henri Mattisse and his cut paper art. So I had a lot of leftover scraps of construction paper left over...
Some of the kid crafts I've come up with recently have been the kind that end up with me doing the majority of the work when I do them with kids under 5 (I teach 8-12 year olds in my class). But cutting and gluing paper?...I think the little kids can handle that. Although I helped the 2-year-old with her gluing. But she got the hang of scissors really quick!

I did David make a paper chain (you can see it on the table at the right side of the picture ). But he started doing a few of the links himself after awhile.

At first it was just David and Maggie at the table. Lukie didn't want to do arts and crafts and played by himself and with his baby brother for awhile. But he finally got into it. I think he had more fun snipping tiny pieces of paper than gluing any on. We made a paper "pizza" using all those tiny snips of yellow paper for the cheese. I didn't get a picture of the final product because I was trying to be a good babysitter and not let the baby get into anything he shouldn't!

Like putting Lincoln Logs in his mouth!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Necktie Dress

Ah HA! My mother had the picture I as looking for! She said she looked for an hour and a half for it! I knew someone had it! She says she wants me to come over to help her organize her pictures...

Anyway, the reason I was asking my mom for this picture was because I caught a cool post over at CraftyPod about crafting with old neckties, and I was reminded of a friend of mine who made things out of ties (back before it was cool!). She made purses and skirts and stuff, but her most impressive project was when she made herself an entire dress out of old ties (that my brother had brought her from Goodwill when he worked there) and wore it to a formal event.

Out of any of the necktie dresses I've seen, none ever compares to Christine's in my mind. I love the swirly flowy pattern she did with it! I wish I was half the creative seamstress she is! But I just make monsters. ;)

More PhotoBooth Love

I was searching through my pictures for something specific (a picture of a friend of mine in her homemade formal dress made out of neckties) and finally came across my other photobooth pictures. Two of them are the classic "strip" format, but the third looks like a polaroid...which reminds me that I have another of the polaroid-looking ones somewhere. The far-right is me and my brother when we were kids. Next to that is me and my old friend Jessica. The last "Polaroid" one is of me, my brother, our friend Alan, and my high school friend Lacey (and for some reason, a small stuffed gorilla).

I am so tempted one of these days to sneak Luna (my dog) into one of the malls with a photobooth and take pictures!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Second Storie

I first heard about second storie from a random little card I found in the bathroom at JoAnne Fabrics. I was intrigued and happy that there is actually a crafty group here in Rochester. I went on the website and signed up for their emails.

I was sent an email today from second storie about how "it's not too late" to apply for a vendor spot at their indie art + craft bonanza event in November. I went to their site to check out the application, and was considering applying, but realized that November 29th & 30th is Thanksgiving weekend, and I'll still be in Cleveland.

Darn. Finally a crafty even in my area I can apply for...and I'm going to be out of town.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Etsy stuff and some personal meanings

Okay...I have to do a new post because my mom says she "lives for [my] blog" and was disapponted that I hadn't updated since the last entry. So....ummmmm....let's see what's new...

I have more items in my Etsy shop! A few more monsters and an art piece...

You know you want her!
This is my first mixed media art piece. I'm really satisfied with it and almost hate to sell it... but I think it's one of my more sellable art pieces. It's astheticly pleasing without being overly personal...even though I do have a personal meaning behind it.

The phrase "discover a new dream" and the placement of the first box over the figure's lower stomach is linked with an acceptance of the apparant inability of my husband and I to have children...and moving on...and trusting God and waiting for Him to move...because He did this for a reason, no matter how unfair it may seem on the surface sometimes.

With that thought, I'm reminded of that story about the tapestry. The story has many different incarnations. I seem to remember one version involving a little girl sitting underneath her grandmother's needlepoint. Another involves a master tapesry maker in the middle east and his apprentice. I found a site that has a plethora of poems and stories about the picture the weaver, loom, and tapestry relate to God and how we don't always understand because we don't see the finished picture. (warning: there is music that comes up with the page. Scoll down to the bottom to turn the music off if it drives you nuts.) I had no idea there were so many different quotes, stories and poems about the same analogy! I wonder who came up with it first?

"A Christian man’s life is lain in the loom of time, to a pattern which he does not see, but God does; and his heart is in the shuttle. On one side of the loom is sorrow,and on the other is joy;and the shuttle, struck alternately by each,flies back and forth carrying the thread,which is white or black as the pattern needs;and in the end, when God shall lift up the finished garment,and all its changing hues shall glance out, it will then appear that the dark and deep colorswere as needful to beauty as the bright and high one.”
--Henry Ward Beecher

And now I've probably made mom cry. Sorry mom!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jewelry I Dig

I feel like I've been in a creative schlump lately. But I think it's mainly because my workspace is a mess right now. But one thing I have been doing is making necklaces. I found some cool ceramic donut beads at the store (I don't remember if it was Joanne's, AC Moore, or Michaels) and made myself another necklace.
It's so simple to make...the hardest part is putting the clasps on the end of the leather cord (I opt to just tie my own), but I think the charm is in its simplicity. And it has such satisfying results that I have been making more of them as gifts for friends. I've already given away 3 of them this month for friends' birthdays. Now I need more beads (I love these donut beads!). I guess it's off to the craft stores tomorrow! (before my coupons expire!) I may start selling them in my Etsy shop as well.

Speaking of jewelry and Etsy shops...these are some cool jewelry pieces I saw on the Etsy Gift Guide...

Handmade Christmas

I know some people may think it's "too early" to be thinking about Christmas gifts, but when you want to give your in-laws their gifts when you see them at Thanksgiving, AND you want to handmake is a pretty good time.

Last year I saw that "Pledge Handmade" button/badge (see right) on a lot of the craft sites I browse. But I'm not wanting to handmake gifts out of any philosophy or "stick it to the man" feeling towards consumerism/commercialism...I just like how satisfying and meaningful giving a handmade gift can be...and also more economical.

Handmade items for kids and women are usually pretty easy. But what stumps me is what to do for a handmade gift for a man...more specifically, my father-in-law & brother-in-law. I tried looking at the Gift Guide at Etsy...but nothing really struck me. Anything that did, I either didn't have the skills to make (metalcraft/woodcraft/leathercraft...all the manly crafts for the manly gifts), or it was too expensive to buy from the Etsy merchant selling it.

Maybe I'll just forget it and get them gift cards. :P
Maybe I should forget it for now and get knitting and/or painting if I'm going to finish any of the gifts I'm making!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RaNdOm SuRvEy

1.What was your favorite summertime activity as a kid? Playing outside with my brother
2.What was your first pet's name? My first dog's name was Ayuda (Spanish for "help"), my first cat's name was Tony (the tiger)
3.What model car did you learn to drive on? A 1994 Dodge Van & a 1995 Dodge Intrepid
4.What's your proudest moment as an adult? Getting married (many times in my youth I never thought it would happen!)
5.What are your top 3 hobbies? Painting, sewing monsters, scrapbooking
6.where do you call home? My apartment in Rochester, New York
7.where did you call home at age 11 (or any age)? A house in Mulvane, KS/a house in Red Creek, NY.
8.What word do you love to say? Yay!
9.where do you go to relax? My bed or couch
10.Who was your first kiss? My husband
11.Least favorite food? Baked Beans
12.Least favorite subject in school? Math

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PhotoBooth Love

So I recently discovered the blog Scrumdillydilly... yet another quirky, crafty blog. One of my favorite things that she does is her Photo Booth Fridays...which reminds me of my own love of old school photobooths. So in honor of my new favorite crafty blog, here are two of my own sadly-oh-too-few photobooth picture strips.

The one on the left is my first one ever (with my parents in June 1983 at Sylvan Beach...according to my mother's handwriting on the back). It's one of my favorite family photos...#1: becasuse I was such a darn cute 1 year old baby!...#2 because I love my dad's crazy smile in the last frame! The second frame I think is the best picture though...because I'm actually smiling at the camera instead of looking confused.

The one on the right is the last one I took (with my husband at Big Fun in Cleveland when we went to visit his family in August). I wish it would have developed better and not had that streak in the middle.
This is a note stuck on the outside of the booth that I thought was too funny not to document.

I know I have two other photobooth pictures somewhere that I can't find right now. One is a color one with me & my brother when we were kids (I look about 8 or 9). The other is with my friend Jessica from a couple years ago (2001? 2002?) . That one is in color as well. I don't know if it was a classic "dip & dunk" one or a digital one, because the picture quality was very good. I'll have to dig those out and post them one of these days.

Check out to find a booth near you! There are 3 listed at Sylvan Beach, so I don't know which one my picture was taken at. There are 3 in Rochester (well, 2 in Rochester...1 in Victor). I may have to start my own photobooth tradition...if even only once a year. Maybe twice...birthday and anniversary.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Fellow Monstermakers: KittyPinkStars

This week's monstermaker is KittyPinkStars. I've come accross her a couple times on my crafty blog internet travels. She deserves a post.

I love her quirky little characters. It almost seems unfair to call her a "monstermaker" since her creations are so sweet looking. They make me want to consume large amounts of sugary treats...kind of like how I always seem to crave chocolate when watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the new Tim Burton & Johnny Depp one...Gene Wilder creeps me out).

Kitty makes most of her little guys out of socks (a woman after my own heart! GO SOCKS!), and also knits some of them. And of course...she has an Etsy shop if you want one of her sweets-loving critters for your very own.

One day I may attempt to knit a monster...but for now my knitting skills are limited to to simple scarves and fingerless gloves/gauntlets...maybe a hat on the Knifty Knitter loom.

Anyway...her blog is fun. She is "pink,kooky,obsessed by all things japanese,sweet treats,kittens,knitting random things! Oh and making sock creatures!" She seems like a very fun & quirky gal. I think we'd get along well if we ever met. Her most recent posts are about the Wreck This Journal...which I would love to do myself someday. Seeing what she did with hers inspires me. I just have a hard time justifying spending money on a journal to destroy. But I suppose that's the break oneself of OCD-like perfectionism. I have the same habit she does of having a compulsion to buy blank journals, but then not writing in them for fear of "ruining" them.

Yeah...I need that Wreck This Journal. Will someone buy it for me for Christmas?

*Both pictures are from KittyPinkStars' blog & flickr pool*

Friday, October 3, 2008

Playing with Words

I just saw a link to through a blog post at You can write your own text in, or use a website for Wordle to take the words from. I was intrigued and made the image below using my blog's url for the imported words:

I tried making different versions by playing with the color scheme and font, but none of them so far have come out as satisfying as the first.

I was curious how it chooses which words to be bigger, because the same words were big each time I did it...but then I read "Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text." So apparantly I've been talking a lot about Impressionism,Kids, Paint, and Class this Week.

iHanna mentioned in her blog about how she loves how the words randomly fall together and could be sort of poetry starters. This was the first one I noticed in mine..."Plush homeschooler next enables childhood". Hee hee! That just makes me laugh! Who sees any more funny ones in there? (I'd try clicking the thumbnail below so you can see the actual sized image at Wordle) Leave me a comment telling me which ones you see and make me laugh some more!

Click the thumbnail for a larger view on Wordle


EDIT: I just found this one...check it out!