Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Tradition Survey

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags or pretty gift boxes if I can. I hate wrapping paper.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I grew up with real...CJ grew up with artificial. I insisted that our first Christmas as a married couple, we have a real tree (see picture at right). The next year, we got an artificial because we still had pine needles in the corners of our apartment!
3. When do you put up the tree? My parents used to put it up 2 weeks before Christmas. My hubby and I don't have a set time...but sometime in December (and no earlier!).
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we got to it. I think it made it to April last year!
5. Do you like eggnog? not really
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I have memories of a talking, Teddy Ruxpin-esque Fievel doll. But maybe that's just because we have a home video of it.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad
8. Easiest person to buy for? My nieces (I have to stop myself from buying them more! Kids are so fun to buy for!)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? no
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail...if I send any
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can't think of any. I subscribe to "it's the thought that counts" most people know my tastes pretty well.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Muppet Christmas Carol!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I think of it. Probably early to mid-November.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? probably
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Grands biscuits
16. Lights on the tree? yes...but not the multicolored or flashing/blinking ones. I like white. Our tree has a strand of white and a strand of blue.
17. Favorite Christmas song? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Depends on the year...we alternate. If we have Thanksgiving with his family in Cleveland, we have Christmas with mine here, and vice-versa.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21 Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up we did it in the morning, but three years ago, since CJ had to work in the morning, my family did it on Christmas Eve. We liked doing it that way and have done it like that in the years since.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The never-ending holiday music in the stores. It's killer if you work in retail. I hated it when I worked at Goodwill and we were forced to listen to Christmas music in the back room. I like "church" christmas music...but not all the "fluff" holiday music...although certain songs grow on me like "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas"!
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? We have a blue and silver theme
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I'm a Christmas ham kind of gal
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A hippopotomus! really, I always hate this question. I can never think of anything specific. I'm blessed and have it pretty good...but I'm sure I'll think of something. I did want my own iPod until CJ started letting me carry his!
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Missie and/or Mom
27.Who is least likely to respond to this? anyone who doesn't read my blog!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My First Craft Show!

God is cool.
Remember about how I was saying in my last post about "if I do a show"? Well...lo and was no sooner had I published the post that I got an email notifying me of a new Etsy Conversation (kind of a private message thing within Etsy), where I was offered to participate and be a vendor (for free!) at a local holiday craft show!
YAAAAAAAAAAAY! My first craft show!!!!!!

I'd better get busy. I guess I'll be sewing like a maniac tomorrow! Gotta make more holiday Nubbins! I should get my business cards designed and printed too. I'm going to be busy. I'm going to Cleveland on Wednesday though for Thanksgiving with CJ's family, spending the weekend there and coming back on Sunday. Maybe I'll just bring my sewing machine with me. If I'm going to be there for 4 days, I might as well be productive!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Monsters on the Line

I was "cleaning" my desk last night and redid my "display" of monsters I love too much to part with. I like the clothesline thing. If I ever do a booth at a show, I think this is how I'd want to display them (sans the desk junk!).

Does anyone miss (or remember) my fuzzy-lipped/big-lipped monsters? Should I start making them again? My style has definitely evolved from when I first started monstermaking. These big-lipped guys below are two of my favorites out of my earlier "vintage" monsters.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finished Nubbins

Here is my first set of Nubbins! (check 'em out at my Etsy shop!)

The red & green ones are my featured "Holiday Edition" Nubbins. They'd make great stocking stuffers!

I'm really trying to get more on top of marketing my monsters and my shop...especially with the holidays coming up. I'm doing the Give-Away Day on December 3rd, and planning on doing a "toy drop" inspired by the Toy Society. Anyone got any other low-cost/free marketing tips?

Hmm...I need to get myself some calling cards/business cards.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Food Chain Plush

I caught sight of these funny little "Food Chain Friends" monster sets over at Ohdeedoh.

I love them! It's a cute and brilliant idea. I'd love to figure out how to make a simple set of my own.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Geeky Elvish Name Translations

This is something completely random and geeky I found via a post on Angry Chicken...with this site, you too can find your name in elvish. Yeah...I know...I am an uber-geek. You should have seen me when the Lord of the Rings movies first came out...I was REALLY an uber-geek.

Yes...I have an Elvish "tengwar" font (the text is my name spelled with elvish letters). Like I said...uber-geek (but quite not as uber-geeky as some people). The picture was a result of me playing in photoshop after some friends told me I looked like Arwen/Liv Tyler (which I consider a big complement since she's so pretty).

Anyway, I couldn't find my name spelled correctly on the elvish name translation site (no one ever has it spelled "right"...K-I-R-A) but the three names listed below are the closest. They all have similar meanings too...

Keira (Black-haired) - Moréfindiel (pronounced "More-ay-finn-dee-ell")
Kiara (Dark) - Móreadhiel (pronounced "More-ay-ah-thee-ell")
Kiera (Dusky) - Dolledhiel (pronounced "Dole-eh-thee-ell")

I'm getting a "dark" theme here. My name does mean "dark" in Irish, but in Persian it means "sun" , and in Russian it means "light". All are accurate. I have dark hair and light, fair skin. I feel I am both in my personality as well.
Here's my hubby's name...

Connor (Strong-willed) - Melcindómien (pronounced "Mehl-kin-doe-mee-ehn")

(Man, Elvish names are freakin' long!)
I love how fitting the meanings are for both of us! Although I thought Connor meant "wise". I just looked it up in one of my name books and it says Connor is a form of Conan, which is a Scottish name that does mean "wise". But another book I have (I have a thing for baby name books) says it means "high desire" in Irish. I'd say all of them are accutate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Give-Away Day

Hey there blog peeps! I'm attempting to do a little promotion for my shop. A friend of mine emailed me and let me know about Sew Mama Sew's Give Away Day on December 3rd. I will be planning on participating and doing a give-away on that day on my blog.

PS: I have some red & green "holiday edition" Nubbins sewn and stuffed! I just need to photograph them and get them up on my shop.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sneak Peek: Nubbins

Here's a sneak peek look at my newest monsters...the Nubbins. They'll be small, simple little monsters with no arms.

Hopefully I'll get some sewing done tomorrow and have most of these little guys assembled. I wanted to make some monsters that will be small and simple, and quick and easy to make so I can sell them for a cheaper price. I was inspired by the fact that one of my friend's kid's favorite monsters that I have made is this little orange guy with no arms.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mad Scientist Studio

I have a fascination with how certain people can use found objects and old random junk and turn it into beautiful art or shabby-chic, rustic decor. I can be such a style schitzophrenic sometimes, because I love so many different styles, but can't possibly do them all cohesively in one apartment.

Anyway, check out this post over at Design*Sponge. I only skimmed over the words, I was looking more at the pictures.
Sometimes I wish I had a space to have a "mad scientist" studio. That looks a mess, but isn't a mess all at the same time. My "studio" right now is just a plain mess. That's why we have bamboo screens to shut it away from view when we have people over.
~Sigh~ I'll get organized someday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Purple FIngerless Gloves

I finally finished the purple fingerless gloves! Aren't they gorgeous? Someone is getting them for Christmas...

I need to get cracking on a pink pair next for someone else for Christmas...

Homemade Pass the Pigs Game

This homemade "Pass the Piglets" game I saw at Roman Sock via Craftzine made me think of my Mom.
Does anyone else remember Pass the Pigs? I remember that it was Mom's favorite game for awhile when I was a kid. She brought it everywhere for awhile. Most of my memories of playing it are at my Grandma's house. It's such a cute, simple game.
The version that we had looked a lot simpler than the one that is for sale now. Ours was a simple black plastic case with two pig-shaped spots that held the little rubber pigs and scorecards.

If I was a more experienced knitter/crocheter, I would totally make this for Mom for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random Monster Inspiration

Can anyone see the monster in this picture?

I think it's funny I'm finding inspiration for monsters in an Oreoes package.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


My husband and I just got finished watching last night's Sanctuary off the DVR (it's a show on SciFi Channel), and I have the urge to make something deceptively cute & fuzzy out of felt & fleece and name it "Nubbins". If you watch the show, you'll understand. (Ask Dad about the Nubbins Mom, he'll get it.) For a quick description of the Nubbins, think of Tribbles (small, round, fuzzy, eat everything, reproduce really fast)...but with big lemur eyes, Gizmo ears...and lots of sharp little teeth.
"Sanctuary blazes a trail across the TV landscape with never-before-seen production technology. Starring Amanda Tapping, best known to fans as the brilliant Col. Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary is the first series to shoot extensively on green screen, using virtual sets and extraordinary visual effects.
Sanctuary follows the adventures of the beautiful, enigmatic and always surprising Dr. Helen Magnus (Tapping), a brilliant scientist who holds the secrets of a clandestine population — a group of strange and sometimes terrifying beings that hide among humans.
Along with her new recruit, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), her quirky tech wiz Henry (Ryan Robbins) and her fearless daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), Magnus seeks to protect this threatened phenomena as well as unlock the mysteries behind their existence."

While the backbone of the show's premise involves an assumption that the theory of evolution is true (which I do not agree with) it is an intriguing show. Hey, it's science fiction (emphesis on the fiction).

My favorite quote from the episode:
"Women and geeks first! Oh wait...that's all of us!" -Henry

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Mom's Blog

I hung out at my parents' house last night and helped my mom sort out her Blogger accounts and make her blog look pretty. I made her a blog title image.

She likes moose and pine trees...the classic Adirondack icons (she loves the Adirondacks). I made her an image for each season. The one shown above is obviously fall. I made one with snowflakes for winter...

And one with birds for spring/summer...

Mom says I'm "a computer genius". Not really...that actually really describes my hubby more. I just know design stuff. He knows all the technical programing stuff that leaves my brain hurting if I tried to understand it. I just know how to use the tools to make things look pretty. He knows how the tools get made.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cute Story & Politics...

I hate politics and can't wait until today is over and we can all get on with our lives without campaigns and mud-slinging commercials with the end tag of "I'm Joe Shmoe and I approve this message!"...and then everyone can start complaining about a whole new president and a whole new set of government officials. But I know that, regardless of who wins, God is in control and I don't have to worry.

Anyway...speaking of the election, here's a cute story via the CrankyPants Blog.

"Henry: Guess what? We got to vote in my class today!
Me: Cool! Who won?
Henry: Barack Obama got 11 votes and John McCain only got 3.
Me: Yeah? Who did you vote for?
Henry: Well, you could check Barack Obama or John McCain, but if you wanted someone different you could check 'Other'.
Me: Really? Did anyone write names in?
Henry: Well, I wanted 'other' to win. Guess who I want to win?
Me: Who?
Henry: YOU!
Me: Wow! That would be a really hard job.
Henry: Yeah. [pause] You have to just keep shaking everyone's hand. "


I remember way back in the day when George Bush Sr. was being elected. I remember I actually called in to Nickelodeon's "Kid's Pick the President" to vote...and I voted for Bush because I liked the way he looked better than the other guy. I just thought he looked like a nicer person. But that's how you think as a little don't care about the deep issues, you're base your vote on "that guy looks nicer". I wonder if that's why this kid's class majority voted for Obama...because he's young and smiles a lot and is just more "attractive" than McCain. I think this year's Nickelodeon Kids Pick the President's winner was Obama too.
Oh you shallow children...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Belated Halloween Post

I spent Halloween at my parents' house. We always have so much fun! Mom and I just like dressing up! Any excuse to dress up! Mom, CJ, and I were pirates, and ran with the theme while passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Dad just wore his favorite costume...his normal black pants and hoodie with a blackout face mask. He didn't grow up celebrating Halloween, so he doesn't get as into dressing up as Mom and I do, but he does have fun with it. I think his favorite part is scaring people...but not in a mean way.

It was really nice out, so Mom and I both had the idea to have a fire in the front yard and hang out there to pass out candy. Mom took it a step further with giving the kids a choice. She has a big, old trunk in her front yard garden...and she also had a ornately carved wooden jewelry box. So she put the candy in the small "loot box", and then picked up random things around her house (old toys, markers and stuff) to put in the big "treasure chest". And then when the kids came up to our "pirate camp", Mom gave them a choice which box they could choose to pick out of. "It could be a trick or it could be a treat!" Mom would tell them.

The little kids tended to choose the big box (and were quite satisfied with getting to choose a toy), while the older kids wised up and usually picked the little box. Older kids have usually learned that bigger does not always mean better. Plus I think a lot of kids thought that something was going to jump out and scare them if they opened the big trunk (no...that was another year with my brother popping out of a much larger trunk...that is now acting as an end table in my living room!)

Oh, and Mom bought Luna a Halloween shirt in the kids section of WalMart! Since King had a halloween shirt to wear (glow in the dark skeleton torso), Mom wanted Luna to have one too! The basketball has a little motion sensor and blinks with little red lights when she moves! I thought the long sleeves looked cute on her! There is a dog shirt I saw at Old Navy that is on clearance that I want to get for her for next year. This one looks like King's shirt, but has a little red heart in the ribcage. (I was hoping to find a picture on the Old Navy website, but it's not listed). I would have bought her one, but the only sizes they had were extra small and extra-extra small...and while I did debate about the extra small, I think Luna only needs a small. She's a small dog, but not a tiny, itty-bitty dog. She's not a Chihuahua or anything (despite what the dog-ignorant people in my neighborhood ask me when they see me walking her. For these city people who only know Rottweilers and Pitt Bulls, any small dog to them is a Chihuahua.) Anyway...I think I'm going to check the other Old Navy stores in the area to see if anyone else has the shirt I'm looking for.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

EM:HE Airs Tonight

The episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that was in Geneva that I went to is airing tonight on ABC at 8:00!
I might be on TV! I was there for the reveal. Look for me in the audience shots!

I just finished watching the episode, and am teary as I always end up being whenever I watch EM:HE. By the way, I didn't see myself in any of the shots of the audience. They were either too fast or not in the area I was in. Maybe I can pause it on the DVR and pick myself out! Yeah right...not likely. Oh well. At least I can say I was there!