January 29, 2012

And all the stars were just like little fish…

First, lemme get this out of the way: Argent’s painting is finished. I haven’t photographed it in full yet but I will and after he receives it, I’ll post those pictures. Here’s one pic I took before I varnished it though:

I am absolutely in love with those little Martha Stewart glitter stars. I used white ones and pink ones and they’re all iridescent and they have names like “sugar cube” and “sugar plum”. I used up almost all of my white ones on this painting and they only come in $30 kits, so I won’t be using white ones for a very long time.

Next up is…Blake’s Uncle John died yesterday morning. He had early onset dementia and from what I’ve been able to gather is that he either basically starved to death (in a home) because he stopped eating or he had a heart attack because he was anorectic. Blake said that John was around 100 lbs when he died and he was a very tall man. He had apparently been sick all week but no one told us that until yesterday morning. I happened to have gotten up at 7am and when you see a 248 area code on your call display at 8am on a Saturday, you answer it. So I did and it was Blake’s Aunt Pat and she was so upset because that was her brother and it’s all just very sad because he was a wonderful man and the person in the family Blake related to the most. He’s taking it pretty hard.

Originally just Blake and I were going to go to Michigan for the funeral because hey, it’s not like I have anywhere I need to be, but then he wanted to bring the kids basically for comic relief and so they could get to know the Albanian side of the family and there was a chance that his sisters would be bringing their kids as well, the youngest two Blake has never even met because they live in Lake Tahoe.

Last night Blake and I decided that it would be best if I stayed here because I’m just not ready to be that far away from home and the hospital and my nurses just yet. I would be completely self-conscious about my belly and my extremely thin hair and I’m really emotional since being sick and if anyone mentioned me being sick, I’d probably lose it like I do, still, when people bring it up here. We’re just not okay and we’re not really ready to talk about it. Also we would have to bring all of my medical supplies and pills because I have a dressing that needs changing every other day and while Blake is perfectly capable of doing it, it’s just one more thing for him to worry about so I’ll just stay home and let the nurses deal with it. Another thing is food and feeling sick and potentially throwing up. I get really worried about it and then Blake worries about it and he doesn’t need to be dealing with that on top of a funeral for someone he was really close to and keeping track of the kids.

He also wants to go visiting Michigan friends while he’s in town and he wants to stay longer than is necessary for the funeral and I just don’t have that in me. I get tired really easily. I’m on really heavy doses of certain medications that makes me forgetful, not good company and I need to be in bed by 10pm. And I usually need a nap in the morning because I get up at like 6am and then I take hydromorph. I can’t just be go go go go go which is what this week in Militiagan is going to be.

So, we agreed it’s just better for him if I stay home where he doesn’t have to worry about me when things will be stressful enough. Ronny and Alex are around if I get scared or if something bad happens and I have the dogs. The nurses will be coming every other day to change my dressing and make sure I have all the necessary medical supplies. People will be around.

And honestly? And before you call me a selfish bitch, Blake and I have discussed this; 4 or 5 days of being alone and being able to watch all the bad TV I can handle and making art in my office and eating what and when I want to and sleeping where and when I want to sounds pretty damn good to me! Blake says I can do that now, but I can’t really. Someone is always wanting my attention or I feel guilty for not giving it to them even when they don’t ask and my “me time” suffers as a result. (That sounded horrible…please don’t take that horribly.) It’s taken me 5 months to feel okay enough to even go in my office and spend the day in there, when that’s where I belong.

So that’s what’s happening.

Onto yesterday! Yesterday we went on my artist’s date and it was GREAT! I had my $10 and I decided before we left for Michael’s that I’d bust open my Buddha bank to get some change for tax in case something was $9.99 and what I found in there was $20 in twoonies, loonies and quarters! So I loaded my wallet with that and put the pennies, dimes and nickels back in the bank and off Blake and I went to Michael’s. My mission was to first of all, buy gesso because I need it both now and for Squam and now that I was $20 richer, I could afford to get it, but my artist’s date mission was to buy something for $10 that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy and then come home and make something with it.

On our way to Michael’s, Blake wanted to stop off at this health food store because right now he’s eating 5/6 meals vegan as per Knives Over Forks. He’s been using the crock pot to make veggie soups and stews for the week’s lunches and he’s been having steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. Then sometimes a salad or tofu or stuff like that for dinner (but sometimes he eats what we eat). We’ve also, as a family, completely switched to wholegrain breads and cereals but I can’t do pasta because whole wheat pasta is just way too disgusting.

Anyway, Blake went to this store while I stayed in the car and he bought tempeh and this weird soy sauce stuff that I forget the name of but he put it on his salad last night and it smelled really gross. While he was in there, I could see in my side mirror that right next door was a flower shop. Wanna know a secret about me? Flower shops are one of my favourite places on Earth. Especially in the dead of winter. When I had my job, all winter I would make sure that I had flowers on my desk because I just absolutely love them. I cannot stop touching them and smelling them and staring at them. The kind doesn’t even really matter but I love flowers where the edges of them are a different colour than the rest of their petals. Carnations and roses often have this and those are my favourites. Next I love daisies, particularly gerbera daisies because they come in all kinds of colours.

When Blake got back to the car, I told him I wanted to go to the flower shop to look around, which we did, and they had a bucket of pink and orange carnations so Blake and I decided to go halvesies on them, using the change from the Buddha and his change from the car.  I was very happy because this kind of carnation is one of my favourite flowers, I just cannot even explain my love of them, I think they’re absolutely gorgeous.

After that we were back on our way to Michael’s and when we got there they had coupons at the front of the store for 40% off any item and Blake explained to me that this was better than the coupon I had for 25% off my total purchase because I was only buying one thing and with a 40% off coupon, I could get something for like, $17 for $10.

Just because part of my mission was to go down aisles that I normally wouldn’t go down, I went down the wood aisle and looked at little wooden plaques that were around $2 and I thought I could paint girls and put them on these but ultimately I decided not to get any of those because really, how would those little wooden plaques differ from the big pieces of wood I have sitting in my office? Or even a canvas? It’s just another substrate for the same old thing!

But in that aisle, something caught my eye. It was on the very bottom shelf, kind of hidden by other things. There were 3 or 4 of them but I only needed one. It was a wooden shadowbox with a wood-framed glass door that stayed shut by magnets. And it was $17. With my coupon it would only be $10 Blake said and the moment I saw it, ideas practically melted my brain so I had to have it. So I put it in the cart, declared I was done, let’s find the gesso and get the fuck outta here.

Well, we had to go down the paint aisle to find gesso because it would make sense that it would be there. For the record, it is not, but what IS there is that gorgeous Martha Stewart paint that I love so much. I had to stay there and look at all the colours again for a little while because they are just so goddamn beautiful. What really struck me this time though, was this orange glitter paint called Orange Sorbet. Paint was not in my budget so we left the paint aisle and found the gesso which was $11. Just then I had the crafty idea that if Blake got another 40% off coupon and we went through the checkout separately, I could get the gesso for $9. So that’s what we did because we are very very sneaky!

I went through the checkout first and my shadowbox was $11 with tax and I was practically laughing on my way out to the car because I felt like I was getting away with murder! I just couldn’t believe I was getting this magnificent thing for such a low price! And then to get $11 gesso for $9 on top of that, I was laughin’!

So I got out to the car and put the shadowbox in the back seat and checked into Foursquare while I waited for Blake. I knew he’d be a while because Michael’s was having a major sale on custom framing and there were a lot of people in line behind me so I screwed around with my phone and when Blake got into the car he handed me the gesso AND the orange Martha Stewart glitter paint I oh so coveted because he is just so goddamn romantical! I almost cried!

On our way home, Blake said he was feeling kinda bummed out about John and wanted to know if I’d go out for dinner with him to this new burger place he’s been wanting to try called South St. Burger Co. so I said “sure” because they serve New York Fries, which make the best poutine in Ontario as far as I’m concerned (not counting actual poutineries in Toronto and Ottawa). So we went there and Blake got a big burger with pretty much everything on it and fries while I got a small burger with just ketchup and a small poutine and the food was great. This place only uses grass fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic-free beef and I didn’t think there’d really be a difference but there really was. It was just…beefier, if that makes any sense. Anyway, it was good and afterward we just went home.

Once I got home, I was in a pretty good mood and eager to use my new paint so I decided to smash my date into my Smash Book, so here are pictures of that:

So all in all, a good time was had by all and Blake’s mind was taken off the funeral for at least a little while and I got inspiration IN SPADES. I am going to be very very busy for the next week or two, I think! I don’t even think I’ll need an artist’s date next week! Or if I do, I think it’ll probably just be a trip to Starbucks or something (which Blake may need after being in MI for a week) because I was literally flooded with ideas yesterday. There’s no more room right now for any more because I have to get these ones out first!

Okay, now I think I’m going to go start my list of things Blake needs to get from the grocery store so I don’t starve to death while he’s gone and then I’m going to hide out in my office staring at my flowers and wiping orange glitter paint on my apron.

January 27, 2012

E/N

A few days ago, my friend Joey Michaels wrote a post about E/N which brought back a flood of memories for those of us who were involved in it back then and then Artfag made a top secret, invite-only Facebook group where all of us old-timers have been catching up and remembering old times.

It’s so funny to think about how little has really changed for me. Out of all 80 of us, or at least the ones who have been participating, I’m the only one who’s really still blogging the same way I did back in 2000. Every single day. I’m still on Camwhores (formerly portal 9), where I’ve been since mid-2001. I still post in the E/N style, I think. On both sites.

I dunno, I just never really thought about it before today, that things never really changed for me. Everyone else is off doing grown up things and talking about “the good ol’ days” and I feel like I’m still pretty much living them. It’s never really occurred to me until today that most of the people reading this post have no idea what the E/N scene was, let alone were they a part of it. People rarely believe me when I tell that that I started blogging, like for real, before the word “blog” even existed.

Back then, camgirls were smart as well as beautiful (not saying they aren’t now, necessarily, some are, but in a totally different way) and most of them were super geeks who coded their own websites by hand. I didn’t though, I used Dreamweaver which was notorious for writing sloppy code so even though I used it, I would have to often go into html mode and fix the code by hand, so I consider it a half & half thing for me.  This is an image of the main page of the last layout (I think) I coded and created by hand. I was so damn proud of it:

If you’ve never read my “About the Site” page and are curious about my site’s history, you should check it out. There’s a link in there to my first Angelfire site even. Remember kids, everything you do on the internet is PERMANENT! What’s so funny to me about my Angelfire site is that my version of a blog sometimes back then was to write on paper, then scan it in and post that. I should do that more often NOW haha We have a new scanner but I don’t know how to use it or I would totally do that. Also I was talking to Blake about this design just last week:

When I lived in Rob’s basement when I was in high school, on one wall I made this design, except in a circle, as a huge mural. I don’t think there are any pics of it but it was pretty cool and I was pretty proud of it. I was telling Blake about it last week but I can’t remember why, except I did say that I should draw it again in my sketchbook so it wouldn’t be lost forever and lo & behold, here it is!

I don’t like poetry. I don’t like reading it and I don’t like writing it, but after Rob and I broke up, I went through a brief poetry phase. Here’s one of them:

Piss Off

Go back to where you were.

Go back into her arms.

No one needs you here,

all you do is harm.

I hoped you were in a ditch somewhere.

I hoped for blood and gore.

I hoped that you had killed yourself and

your little whore.

I wished that you were starving,

And didn’t have a home.

I wanted you to know great pain,

I wanted you to roam.

I prayed that you had been beaten,

I prayed that you were dead.

I thought that you were staying there,

and you’d stop messing with my head.

But now you’re here and I hate you more,

Than I ever thought I would.

I thought that you had finally left,

finally gone for good.

I wished that you would disapear,

Or shrivel up and die.

But you’re still here living happily,

and I still wonder why.

Why couldn’t you have been a good boy,

And slit your fucking throat?

Nothing I would love better than to

watch your dead body bloat.

Can’t win them all I guess,

But I can always hope.

If you ever want to kill yourself,

I have lots of rope.

Hahahahaha!!! Isn’t that hilarious? I also think it’s funny that on my Angelfire site, I had a “PMS page“, which was basically the original version of my “Shit I Hate” page. I’m also still really proud of this troll story I wrote. If you knew the guy it was based on, you would find it hysterically funny too! :oD

More poetry; I wrote this one for Madison when she was first born:

Too funny!

But yeah, it amazes me how much and how little has really changed since then. Especially the latter for me since I feel like I’m still in the same place, doing the same thing as I was 11 or 12 years ago or however long it’s been (I started my first site in 1997, so how long ago was that?).  On the FB group, we were talking about “what if…” and wondering why none of us ever really made it “big” in the blog world and I still don’t have an answer. It kills me that people like Dooce get all this recognition for the same thing myself and several others have been doing better and longer. What makes her so special? What makes her more marketable than us? Why did she get a book deal? I don’t get it. She’s not the only one, I’ve written about the Mormon mommy bloggers before and that whole thing STILL baffles me.

Anyway, the trip down memory lane was a welcome change from the usual. Do you remember the E/N scene? What/who do you miss the most? Spill! I miss being pretty and having nice hair. Oh yeah, I still maintain a small webcam archive, which can be found here.

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PS. Another thing I just remembered is that a few years ago on Facebook, someone referred to me as an “internet celebrity*” and Madison saw it and was like “wtf does that mean?” so I had to show her my site and some of my Camwhores archive and explain the whole shebang to her. She actually thought it was really cool but now that she’s aware of the fact that there’s a relatively big audience, she won’t let me post everything about her anymore, which sucks, but I respect that. Wes knows about everything but my activity on Camwhores and he thinks it’s the coolest thing ever and constantly tell me what I should tell you guys about. “Tell them I did this!” he says all the time, like when I’m filing him or taking his picture. A total ham.

Okay, nurse Cheryl (ugh) is going to be here in 2 hours. I’d better get a bit more sleep.

(* It’s easy to be an “internet celebrity” when there are only 50 people on the whole entire internet haha)

Edit: Apparently Steph formerly of Delightz.net made the FB group, not Artfag and Steph wrote a really nice post about it which you can find here.

Edit #2: Here’s Artfag’s post about the whole thing.

January 26, 2012

She said “I dig ya baby, but I got ta keep movin’…on.”

So the two main things in The Artist’s Way are morning pages, which I’ve been doing religiously, and the “artist dates”, which I haven’t done yet.

An artist date is something you do weekly, for an hour or so (keeping in mind that The Artist’s Way is mostly intended for people who have a 9-5 job), to “stock your pond” or “fill your well”.  I like the fish stocking analogy better, so when you’re on your artist date, you’re supposed to do things like go to a museum or a movie or Starbucks or an art gallery or an art supply store – anywhere where you may see things in an artistic perspective.

To me, that’s pretty much everywhere. I have an eagle’s eye for detail and the appreciation of the beautiful people and things around me but the other part of the artist dates is that spouses aren’t invited. She even says so in the book. Artist dates are something you have to do by yourself. Also the closest museum that I would have any interest in is in Toronto and I’m pretty sure most of the galleries around here are watercolour landscapes. I’d put money on it.

So we’re going to do the artist dates a little different. Blake’s going to give me $10 cash every week and I’m going to use that money for my artist date. Gas to get there doesn’t count with my $10. All we can afford is $10 (and barely that) but I think that’s a good number anyway because these artist dates are supposed to be FUN, not a source of grief, so $10 it is. And Blake’s coming with me because I have no other choice, really, and I don’t think he’ll detract from the exercise.

On your artist date, you’re supposed to go places that inspire you, that allow you to take mental pictures of things because as an artist, you need to “restock your pond”, you have to add mental images to your imagination. Creativity is one thing but inspiration is another. All artists paint what they see or what they have seen. Some may argue that some artists, like Jackson Pollock for example, paint from within themselves but even then, they’re painting things they’ve seen or experienced in the past because they *have* to. (Although in my opinion, Jackson Pollock made paintings that “look cool” and he got swept up in other factors that made him famous – BUT THAT’S JUST ME. I still like him though and I watch the biopic about him regularly.)

Anyway, I need to restock my pond. I need brand new little fishies swimming around in my head.

But I don’t know where to go for $10! Starbucks is a given and Blake even said that he’d drop me off there and come back for me in an hour if I actually wanted to sit down and people watch but I don’t think I could do that so he’d have to stay with me and do that. Starbucks is in the same plaza as Michael’s and I could spend many many artist dates at Michael’s. For example, I could take my $10 and use it to buy ONE THING, like blow the whole wad on ONE THING, then come home and make something with it. The reason I’d do that is because I would probably never, in a million years, pay $10 for one thing EVER, unless it’s a basic supply like varnish or gel medium or gesso etc. I’m thinking about buying ONE of the Martha Stewart scrapbooking stickers that’s really elaborate and make a card with it. Or a book mark. Those are like, $8 a piece. Or even buy TWO pieces of Martha Stewart scrapbooking paper, which are very nice but very expensive.

At Michael’s I could also challenge myself every week to go down an aisle I’ve never gone down before. Really, all I do now is go to the paint section, the jewels section, the scrapbooking paper section, the ribbon section, and the Martha Stewart scrapbooking section. It’s a HUGE store with at least 10 other aisles that I’ve never been in!

I could do similar things in Curry’s but Curry’s is more of a fine arts store and it’s pretty boring because I wouldn’t know the first thing about 75% of what’s in there BUT they do sell Golden Acrylic paint which is very expensive but I could maybe buy ONE 1oz. bottle of a colour and challenge myself to only use that colour and black & white to make something. They also sell Gelly Rolls gel pens. I have a few but could use a few more colours (all I have is a silver that doesn’t work and metallic pink). I’m not sure what the challenge could be with those but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Do you guys have any ideas as to what I can do on my artist dates for $10 or less? I’d love to hear it! (But keep in mind that I’m in Canada and things are a little bit more expensive up here, unfortunately.)

Now I’m off to watch the Toddlers & Tiaras season finale that I missed last night and do those damn morning pages. But first I think I need waffles.

Happy Thursday!

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Posted at 12:53 pm in: Art , depression , Food , Life , Money , S.A.D. , Squam , The Artist's Way , TV , winter , Work
January 25, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s Day so much because I just love the decadence and how over the top everything is. I love doilies and lace and chocolate and hearts and pink and red and white and TURQUOISE and cherubs and LOVE and LOVE FAIRIES LIKE THIS ONE!

Or maybe she’s more your type?

Either way, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m getting pretty giddy about it. I don’t have anything planned for it, I never do (which is kinda weird considering it’s my favourite holiday) but I’m looking forward to everyone’s blog posts on Valentine’s Day themed cards and art journal pages and crafts. :o)

Yesterday was crazy productive. I finished my girl for the Sketchbook Project book so all I have to do now is slap a quote on her page, do something with the cover, varnish the cover and I’m done! But then I have to start working on the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition, which honestly? I know I’m going to do a half-assed job with because my heart’s just not in it. For me, the Sketchbook Project is a lot of work and I just can’t afford to spend my energies there right now. It’s not due until April though so maybe I’ll find some time between now and then.

I worked on Argent’s painting yesterday and she’s almost finished. I have NEVER worked so hard on a painting in my life. This one was a lot of work and I really hope he likes it. I”m really really worried he won’t. :o/ The point of the painting is for it to be good luck so I’ve been putting as much positive energy into it as I can and only think happy thoughts while painting it no matter how frustrated I get with it. And if this fucking thing wins him the Powerball, I’d better get a cut! :oP

Anyway, there will be pics of Argent’s painting AFTER I send it to him so I don’t ruin the surprise.

Now I have to go write my morning pages and start working. Cheryl was my nurse today and I don’t like her, she never listens to me and she comes to fucking early it just ruins my whole day. Hopefully today will be okay.

Happy Wednesday!

January 23, 2012

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is TUESDAY, which means, no nurses, no kids and no Blake – it’s my DAY OFF! I’m so stoked! Here is what tomorrow will ideally entail because I do better with structured days than unstructured ones:

  • Morning pages (I’m doing The Artist’s Way again. Last time I did it for a week and gave up, this time I’m doing it for real because I think the crux of my depression is that I’m creatively blocked. Very little makes me unhappier.)
  • Waffles with REAL maple syrup (because my mommy loves me) and butter
  • Moulin Rouge and sketching (I got brightly coloured feathers on my last trip to Michael’s and I want to use them in a burlesque painting)
  • Burlesque (with Xtina Aguilera) and more sketching
  • Figure out what to do with BEADS. If anyone has any idea on what I could do with brightly coloured glass seed beads, I’d love to hear it. I mean like, in my paintings, not in general. They were on clearance in tubes for $1 at Michael’s a while back, good quality ones too, so I got a whole bunch of them  and they’re really really pretty. The only thing I’ve been able to think of for them is to make them gravel in mermaid paintings. There’s gotta be a better use for them.
  • Read The Artist’s Way for at least an hour.
  • Read Painted Pages, which came today, for at least an hour.
  • By that time, the kids should be home, so I’m going to see if Madison wants to watch The Sweetest Thing because that was the movie I won in the grocery store’s colouring contest (actually it’s 3 movies on 1 disc but the other two are stupid; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and My Best Friend’s Wedding)
  • While we watch the movie, I’ll finish my last Sketchbook Project sketchbook page.
  • Salmon steak and salad for dinner

Then the rest of the evening is a mystery! I know I’ll watch something with Blake, maybe The Tempest if there’s nothing else on TV because I know we have that downloaded and maybe we have The Ides of March too (I hope so, Ryan gosling, rawr) but whatever we watch, I’ll be working on Argent’s painting, which is fast becoming the bane of my existence because I keep FUCKING IT UP but hopefully tomorrow I’ll get a handle on it.

Tonight we’re having steak and grilled garlicy buttery potatoes for dinner (with peas!), and the Leafs are playing the godforsaken Islanders and we’re gonna win GODAMMIT and that’s all I have to say about that.

Today was pretty uneventful. I sat in my office all day and watched Oprah-related television while I wrote in my Artist’s Way workbook about my issues right now involving all things creative, then I started reading The Artist’s Way from the beginning because the last time I picked it up, according to my last morning pages, was the winter of 2005 and that was before I went nuts and considering I remember very little in this house before I went nuts, I figured I should just start all over again instead of where my bookmark had left off. Evidently I only read a chapter of the book the first time around too. No wonder it didn’t help me.

Janice was my nurse today. I like Janice, she’s nice and bubbly and funny and probably my favourite out of all of them. She also listens to me, for the most part, whereas the others don’t really. :o/

Anyway, I spent most of my day away from the internet and it was pretty great, so I think I’ll do the same tomorrow. I need to have better days than the ones I’ve been having, that’s for sure.

Have a lovely evening!


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January 22, 2012

Squam Love

Last night I got my Squam registration! I got all three of the classes I wanted as my first choices AND my mom and I are roommates in a 24-person cabin! 24 PEOPLE OMFG! Here are the floorplans for our cabin: First floor/Second floor

It looks like most of the double rooms have their own bathrooms, or at least the ones on the right do, so hopefully we can get there early enough to claim one of those. It also looks like each double room has its own sink, which is good, because as long as I can wash my hair & face in the sink, I can go indefinitely without a shower as I’ve learned from having a giant axe wound across my belly. I’m not very good at floorplans or maps, but it looks as though there are 3 showers/tubs in the cabin? Also, if you look at the map, it looks like Squam will take place in Deephaven and our cabin, being the biggest, will probably be the closest to all of the classes, if they’re any good at planning (and I have every reason to believe that they are), so that’s good.

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Squam is going to be the best time of my life, I can feel it. Every time I think about it, yellowy-orange light fills my chest and comes out through my eyes, like this picture; this is me when I think of Squam:

This is a mixed media piece by an artist named Shelley Kommers and I would really really love a print of it for my birthday, which can be purchased here for $18. *cough* It’s my favourite piece of last year (or maybe it was the year before but I only saw it last year) and I desperately want a copy for my future office before it goes out of circulation or something.

All last night and this morning I worked on my Smash Book. I started a page to write down all the things I’m grateful for and another page of women I admire. Currently I’m grateful for Diet Coke and my life and I admire Oprah, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams but only because those are the women whose pictures I could find in the few magazines we had kicking around the house.

Right now Blake is making me “the tomato thing”, which is my favourite food and Madison’s sitting on the chair in front of me internetting. Wes is over at a new friend’s house, named Wes. It’s really just a lazy Sunday in Sunnyland and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wes: Before & After

Wes has never really had a haircut before because Blake would just shave his head since he was small. Wes had requested a haircut for his birthday, because he wanted an actual hairstyle, so we said “yes” and waited for his hair to grow out. I couldn’t stand looking at it and decided yesterday that he needed to get it cut like, right now, it couldn’t wait until his birthday (Feb. 13th) and this is what the stylist did to his melon. He’s happy with it and that’s what matters. :o)

Posted at 1:59 pm in: Kids , Life , Wes , winter

Tiny Bubbles

PS. I love Zots, especially when dealing with vellum.

Posted at 1:50 pm in: Art , Art Journaling , Creativity , winter
January 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Musicians: Yes. We get it. Technology has made it easier for us to “pirate” your music. However, technology has also made it possible for people with little to no talent to be successful in the music industry. So what do you say we just call it even.”

– Missy Donatuti-Alison

What a great point!

Posted at 6:54 pm in: Friends , Quotes , winter

SUNNY SMASH!

It’s finally here!!! The Smash Book I ordered (with my birthday money) last month finally got here today and I figured I’d write about it because when I Googled it originally, there wasn’t a lot of information about them that wasn’t “official”. First I’ll show you the official videos from YouTube so you can get an idea of what a Smash Book is:

If you go on YouTube and search for “Smash Book”, you’ll find the official videos like above, but you’ll also find “flip through” videos from people who have started using their Smash Books, as well as flips through homemade Smash Books. (Some are good and some are lame. And some are made by 12-year-olds so before you judge one as “lame”, consider the source!)

So by now you’re probably wondering what in the holy hell IS a Smash Book, because I certainly wondered myself after watching the videos and getting a two-tweet explanation from my friend Jazmin. Like I said, I Googled and there was very little out there that really explained the concept. A Smash Book is basically a scrapbook or more to the point, a journal with ephemera. The idea is that you use the accessories – which I’ll get to in a minute, just you wait – to “smash” into the book your memorable receipts, ticket stubs, notes, ideas, lists, doodles and stuff like that. Ideally what you would do is keep the book and a few of the accessories in your purse or bag and when inspiration strikes or whatever, you pull the book out and smash in your thoughts.

Like say you were at Starbucks waiting for your date to arrive. You’ve never met him before, it’s a blind date, and you’re feeling nervous because he’s not there yet. You take out your Smash Pad, which is a pad of lined paper that looks pretty (basically) and you jot down your feelings. Then you use the Smash Stick, which is a pen on one end and a glue stick on the other, to glue that little piece of paper onto a pre-printed page that has a picture of a cup of coffee on it. You close the book just as your date walks in and as you’re putting the book back in your bag, he sits down and he has the loveliest smile you’ve ever seen. Instantly you feel butterflies in your tummy and you can’t help but blush and smile back as you push your warm hand into his and shake gently, never taking your eyes off of his.

The date goes wonderfully and you can’t help but think that this could be the start of something big. He leaves before you and when you stand up to go yourself, you see both of your cups sitting on the table and inspiration strikes. You quickly take the lid off of his and cup it into yours and you walk back to the office. Once there, you pull the cups apart and cut out your names from each of them, flattening them against your desk. You take your Black Dots Smash Tape and carefully tape each cup piece onto the page in which you jotted your thoughts previously, leaving space to write out the details of the date when you get home.

THAT, my friends, is a Smash Book. Here’s mine, I got the Retro Blue Smash Folio:

Attached to the book are Smash Bands, the black and white thing and the blue thing. They’re just over-sized elastic bands.

Inside the book are pre-printed pages. Some are nice and some I’m not really sure what to do with because they’re cohesive on their own and it would be weird to write and “smash” over them. Like some of them have a lot of words on them that all fit together or one big photograph across the whole page and it seems (to me anyway) that you “shouldn’t” smash over them. On the page above, it would seem “wrong” to start smashing over the left page, don’t you think? But you’re totally supposed to! I think, anyway! That’s what people are doing in their YouTube videos, so I guess you just do whatever? That’s going to be hard for me.

These are Smash Sticks. The top one is black pen on one side and the bottom is pink pen on one side and they both have the glue stick on the other end. I think these are genius. The black one came with the book and I ordered the pink one. Actually, I thought the book CAME with a coloured one, I assumed blue, which is why I ordered the pink one. I don’t mind the black one at all, I was just surprised when I opened the package.

This is a Date Smash Stamp and I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, it was $5.49, which was the most expensive thing, besides the book, in my order but I got it precisely because I’ve wanted a date stamp for a long time and they’re normally like, $10-$15 at Michael’s so when I saw this one for significantly less, I jumped on it. And as an added bonus, it has interesting phrases too. Now realistically I’m not going to keep a stamp pad and a messy stamp in my bag, this is something you use at home after the fact, but I think it’s cute and I also think it’ll get a lot of use beyond the Smash Book.

These are brads (Smash Captions – although I have no idea why they’re called that because they’re not captions o_O) with the added bonus of the little date pad at the bottom. Brads are good for adding little pinwheels to your pages maybe, or securing thicker stacks of paper. If you’re unfamiliar with brads, they are metal with little winged backs that you spread to secure them to the back of the paper you’re pinning, like this:

These ones are very pointy and sharp, so you could have some of these in your Smash Kit in your purse or bag and be able to use them “on the run” without needing a hole puncher, depending on what you’re trying to do with them. For most things, I think they’d be pointy enough to go through the paper.

This is Black Dots Smash Tape, which was a whopping $3.29 and if I was paying ANY attention, I probably wouldn’t have bought this. It is washi tape, which you can get at any craft or art supply shop for about the same price, but you can get nicer ones. And I happen to have 3 rolls of it in my office that I never use for anything, including black, so I really didn’t need this. That said, you do get a lot more tape in the Smash roll than you do in the DeSerres one.

This is a Smash Clip and it came in a set of 6 for $3.29. They’re metal and various colours and they say things like “Yes!”, “LIKE”, “WANT”, “CANDY”  and then there’s a green one with a mustache. They’re really just fancy metal bookmarks but I like them and think they were worth every penny.

These are Paper Smash Tabs and what you do with them is you use your Smash Stick and you fold these in half, gluing each inside and you fold and attach them to the side of a page so you can find it later. Then you write whatever you want on the blank part (or do it beforehand, that would make more sense).

These are Secret Smash Pockets and they’re about two inches tall with their flaps down. 6 for $2.19! What a deal! I actually got 3 different types of pockets/envelopes (the Secret Smash Pockets are actually more like envelopes) and my beef with all of them is that they SHOULD have come with a double-sided adhesive strip or two on their backsides rather than making us rely on our Smash Sticks. Glue stick glue is okay for light things but the pockets could get pretty weighty depending on what we’d put in it and I’d feel better if they were stuck in using double-sided tape. I fully intend to add double-sided tape to my pockets before I put them in my Smash Kit.

More pockets, these ones are pretty big and would take the whole bottom of a page.

These ones are also big but they hold a whole month’s worth of calendar so I think I’ll be buying more of these. In the background you can see the Smash Clips on the left and on the right are Red & Blue Smash Stickies and Write In Smash Stickies which are just little stickers that have pictures and sayings on them. I forgot to take individual pictures of those. Oops!

These are the aforementioned Smash Pads. They’re just these little pads of pre-printed paper and each pad has themes. Here are a few examples:

These will definitely be a part of my Smash Kit, which I’ll carry around with me in my bag for moments of inspiration. I already have a little book that I carry around in my bag that’s similar to a Smash Book, I suppose, but I don’t carry around things to put in it and it’s not as big as the Smash Book. Instead of writing in that little book, I’ll probably write things on my Smash Pad and smash them into the Smash Book. Smash smash smash!

What I really like about the whole concept of the Smash Book is that it’s made to be portable and it’s really for people like me who have a hard time with a traditional scrapbook or art journal. I don’t really print photographs (expensive, my printer sucks) so I don’t scrapbook and I am HORRIBLE at art journaling for reasons I’ve previously explained, so the Smash book is really perfect for me.

I get really really antsy in public places, that’s part of my agoraphobia obviously, but with this to play with, I could probably sit in Starbucks (or wherever) for an hour and have a conversation with Blake if I wanted to and not worry about people staring at me. In fact, I plan on testing out that theory once I find a good container to use for my Smash Kit. I mean, I could even whip out my Smash Book while I’m waiting for a movie to start and Blake’s left me to get popcorn and drinks so I don’t lose our ticket stubs. I’d just open the book, select a page, whip out my Smash Stick and glue them in. Normally I tape my ticket stubs into my paper journal (where I write pages and pages and pages of text) and don’t really do anything with them other than that, but I do save them all and this is just another way of doing things.

The Smash Book has kind of been controversial in the art journaling community but I don’t think the criticisms are fair. Comparing the Smash Book to art journaling is really an apples and oranges thing, I think.

Anyway, do you have a Smash Book? Can I see it? If you don’t have one, would you be interested in one? I’m just curious to see if I’m alone in my excitement over it. Let me know!

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Posted at 5:46 pm in: Art , Books , Crafts , Creativity , DIY , Smash Book , Sunnyland , winter

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