June 29, 2015

#LikeAGirl

This won a Titanium Lion at Cannes this year (Canadian agency, yay!). If you haven’t seen it, take a look, the whole thing’s a fucking masterpiece. A billion times better than having a happy period, too.

February 4, 2014

Best Thing Ever #1

So I get a lot of e-mails from people and companies who want me to promote their “thing” on this blog and basically I never bother answering these e-mails unless they’re really rude and then I tell them off. This is because I don’t believe in false endorsement. And I don’t think anyone else should either. I think people should be honest about the shit they like and the shit they don’t like and to be passionate about both the shit you love and the shit you hate.

This post is a culmination of three things:

– Got an e-mail yesterday from a guy with a cause whose pitch was compelling and something I thought was sort of cool but it was a yearly event that had just passed. Because I thought his cause, his story and his implementation of it was good enough and something I could get behind, I e-mailed him back and told him to remind me next year before the event and I would mention it in a post. This is RARE and something that I’ve often said no to to friends and acquaintances because I just wasn’t connected to the cause in any way and didn’t feel like it would be genuine.

– I just had a conversation with someone about the fact that I have this weird character flaw where if I really really like or believe in something, I’ll do everything I can to be involved and help that thing succeed whether it benefits me in any way or not. I have a history of this.

– I just got an e-mail from the Amazon.com affiliates program saying that since I hadn’t earned any ad dollars from them in 3 years, if I didn’t update my payment and tax information to be paid out, they were going to charge me a $10/year maintenance fee. At first I thought, “go right ahead” because I’ve hardly ever used my affiliate links for anything, mostly because I’m really lazy and don’t want to load up Amazon every time I want to talk about something, and the reason I never signed up to be paid out all these years (since 2006 haha) is because they wanted me to fill out a tax form and for a long time I didn’t have  a working printer and scanner  so I couldn’t or at least not without difficulty. Then I just forgot about it and every time I got an e-mail from them I just deleted it unread because the amounts were always so small they seemed insignificant, especially when their minimum payout is $100 anyway. But when I got that e-mail today I logged into my affiliate account with the intentions of closing it since I knew I was nowhere near the amount to be paid out and to my surprise I was half-way there (big accomplishment in 9 years, shut up). BUT I still wouldn’t make enough to be paid out before they started charging me that $10 fee. Then I saw that you can get paid out in Amazon gift certificates which would be useful to me, so that’s what I did.

These three things, combined with the fact that I’ve generally felt really negative the last little while and am actively trying to bring more positive into my life and therefore yours too since you read this stuff, made me decide to make this post because it’s about something I love, something that was given out of love and it’s something on Amazon. I don’t actually care if you buy it on Amazon if you can find a better deal somewhere else or something similar, but this is mine, my experience and my story and I apologize if the advertising offends you. These posts, if I make any more, won’t always be about things you can get on Amazon but if they are available on Amazon, I’m going to link them with my affiliate link because there’s really no reason not to and actually not doing it is sort of a waste of perfectly good copy.

This is my first Best Thing Ever:

When I first got my job over 3 years ago now (although this month is the 2nd anniversary of getting hired back after being sick), the ability to get up in the morning was a legit concern because for most of my life up until that point, I had been a mostly nocturnal, cave-dwelling troll. My attempts to switch things around when they first hired me were really really difficult and I was seriously scared I’d made a huge mistake, when my friend Kevin linked me to the Philips Wake-Up Light (the one in the picture is actually the Philips Wake-Up Light Plus, which has a dusk setting, and is only available on Amazon used for a mere $499) and asked me if I thought I’d use it. I told him I’d try it so he sent me one and I’m not even kidding, like within a week I was getting up at 8am every morning like a normal person. This is also how I wake up at 4:30am every morning without waking Blake up (usually). It’s one of the best things I’ve ever been given!

Say you *have* to get up at 7am, like that’s the absolute latest you can sleep without being late for work. You set the Philips Wake-Up Light for that time and what happens is at 6:30am, the halogen lamp will come on very dimly, so it’s practically just glowing in the dark. Then over the next half hour, the light gradually increases to simulate a sunrise and as it does this, according to the box, “the light increases the level of energy in your body, preparing your body to wake up” so by 7am, the light is at its brightest and it just wakes you up naturally. An optional feature is that at 7am either the radio or the sound of birdies comes on to make sure your ass is awake, which is a function I have turned on, but I’m so used to the light now that I wake up naturally about 10 minutes after it comes on. That IS if I got enough sleep the night before. If I didn’t, then those fuckass birdies are going to wake Blake up and then he’s going to poke and grunt at me until I get up and since that sucks for both of us, I just go to bed at a decent time every night and getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning and NOT becoming an axe murdering psychopath isn’t as difficult as people assume it is, thanks to the Philips Wake-Up Light.

February 3, 2014

Stoner Bowl XLVIII

Soooooo I watched the Super Bowl yesterday because nothing else was on and I didn’t really have anything better to do. This was my first real Super Bowl and I gotta say, it was pretty freaking boring except for the one part where the one guy like, had a breakaway and ran a long way and no one caught him and he scored a touchdown (?). That was exciting. That was like “run Forreeeeeeeeeeeest!” But that only happened once. And because I’m Canadian, I was watching Canadian ads, most of which I’d seen before and weren’t special to the Super Bowl.

I did get caught up on the American ads this morning though (or most of them; if it looked like it would be a crappy ad because it’s a crappy brand, I skipped it), thanks to the Huffington Post, and I think Axe, as much as I’m loathe to say it because I hate Axe and traditionally also their advertising, is the winner as far as I’m concerned. And what is with Dylan totally selling out for Chrysler? Wut? That was a TWO MINUTE ad. They paid a lotta scratch for that and I think it might piss more people off than endear them to the company. The Butterfinger peanut butter cups commercial was just creepy and come to think of it, so was the M&M’s one. I loved Coke’s “America the Beautiful” and think it’s hilarious that stupid fuckers on Twitter were calling for a boycott of Coke because of it. So stupid. I think the SodaStream commercial with Scarlett Johansson was kind of interesting in that she was all about “helping people” but she  dropped her ambassadorship for Oxfam because it conflicted with that endorsement. (I’m not saying she was wrong, she has her opinion and that’s fine, I just think they should have gone with a different approach in the commercial. Especially because that commercial sucked balls.)  And that’s really all I have to say about the ads this year, they were just completely underwhelming, nothing really “wowed” me. Then again, I’m kinda hard to please…y’know, that’s not even true, that is not even true. It’s just that making good ads is not that difficult. Sometimes the simplest ideas can “wow” a person and that’s especially true with ads.

Yesterday we went to Penetang with the idea being Flynn’s, but we parked out front, got to the front doors and other people walked in, opening the doors which flooded the street with music. Live music. Also, it was Super Bowl Sunday and Flynn’s IS a bar, so we decided to go to this cafe down the street called Froth that Blake’s been wanting to try for a while. Their chalk sign out front says, “Froth and was chosen as one of the best restaurants in the country by the national restaurant guide “Where to Eat in Canada”, now 43 years old.” and every day, they e-mail the specials to their mailing list. Here’s an example from Friday:

Soup is Coconut Curry Sweet Potato or Cream of Parsnip –

Sandwich is BBQ Steak Bacon Cheddar –

Wrap is Mexican Chicken –

Vegetarian is Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Panini –

Quiche are Chicken Bacon Blue and Cheddar Cheese or 3 Cheese & Spinach or Ham Broccoli Cheddar

Bowl of the day is Sweet potato Avocado Rice Bowl

Salad is Mango Spinach Walnut

I would eat absolutely none of that but they have two paninis and and a bagel sandwich that I would eat, which is why we decided to go. Blake got some kind of black bean quesadilla that he really enjoyed and I got a BLT on a bagel, which was good because their bacon is excellent quality, not super fatty but it was bad because the bagel was hard as a rock.  Blake got a cappuccino and I got a pomegranate iced tea, both of which we really liked. I dunno, it was okay. I don’t think I’d ever be like, “YAY LET’S GO TO FROTH!!!!” like I have been with Blue Sky and Flynn’s, but if Blake wanted to go and he was paying, I wouldn’t not go.

I don’t know what the deal is with Penetanguishene that makes it this crazy food mecca, but we’re pretty convinced it’s magical.

Anyway, I think I’m going back to bed. Peace oot.

January 31, 2014

Don’t Be a Fool! Stay in School!

This fake stay in school PSA is the goddamn funniest thing I’ve seen all week and that’s saying a LOT because there were two episodes of Getting Doug With High this week and one of them was an hour and a half long! Woo! The ad is probably not safe for most work places but not due to sex…it’s an ad that could be played before a movie but probably not on TV, let’s put it that way.

When I was in grade 9, my friend Shelley and I were selected to attend a stay in school seminar in Toronto which was hosted by Erica Ehm, a Much Music (Canadian MTV before we had Canadian MTV) personality I’d never heard of because I lived out in the boonies and didn’t have cable. I got singled out to be part of the seminar partly because they looked at my file and saw that Children’s Aid had been involved, but also BECAUSE I was good friends with Shelley who was constantly in trouble and sometimes she used me as an alibi. She and I also skipped class sometimes.

Anyway, they put us on a bus from Port Perry to Toronto which is like, um, I dunno, an hour & a half away and they dropped us off at this big, grey building, gave us name tags and welcome bags and told us to come into the main auditorium and sit down to wait for Erica Ehm whom I’d still never laid eyes on, but Shelley was excited about it because she grew up with cable.

Well. Erica Ehm comes onto the stage and starts talking about staying in school and how if she didn’t buckle down and get an education, she wouldn’t be the successful, cool adult she is now. The way she said it all though was like…well, we might as well have been hearing it from our own guidance counsellors, like I don’t even know if Erica wrote the presentation herself but it was awful and that was at 9am. Her presentation was over in half an hour and this thing was to go until 2pm with more presenters planned, like I know there was a cop there to talk to us about staying on the straight and narrow.

We were both like, “oh god kill us now” because we had no choice but to sit in this seminar with 200-300 other kids from other schools and be bored to tears. That’s when these three guys come up to Shelley and they start talking about “getting out of here”. The guys were from our school, grade 10, all long hair and leather jackets with plaid flannel shirts on them in some fashion, whether worn buttoned down or around the waist, they each had one.

Shelley asked me if I wanted to go on an adventure with the guys. I reluctantly said “yes” because we were in Toronto and anything could happen but it was better than being stuck in that room being told the same shit over and over again all day, especially alone if she ditched me for these guys.

All we did was literally walked right out the front doors of the auditorium, down the stairs and onto the street and not a single adult even looked at us. At a stay in school event!

The full events of the day are lost to time so I can’t give you a play-by-play, but on our way downtown, we played this game where we’d sneak into tall office buildings and see how far up we could get before they threw us out, with the goal being the roof. It was actually pretty shocking how many roofs we got onto, but this was a pre-9/11 world and security just wasn’t what it is now. No one threatened to call the cops or detain us or anything like that, they just escorted us out. And since we were assholes, the game then became to try and get back into those buildings on our way back to the auditorium from downtown, where we had stopped at The Condom Shack and I’d bought a french tickler condom, glow in the dark condoms and a few flavoured ones. I wasn’t even sexually active, I just thought they were funny.

When we got back to the auditorium, the seminar was just ending so we sat in the back like we’d been there the whole time and then at the end, we grabbed our free lunch, got on our bus with everyone else and went home.

THE END.

December 3, 2013

Trying to make ends meet, trying to find some money then you die…

It’s 4:30am and I just woke up. It’s almost time to start work. (Realistically it’ll take me all morning to write this.)

Blake and I have been talking a lot about life and we’ve come to the decision that we’re NOT going to move and that this house, despite its faults, is going to be our forever home because Blake only has to commute twice a week now (which was the main reason we were going to move in the first place), Madison’s going to be out of the house in a couple of years and Wes is going to follow shortly after so once they’re gone, it’s not like we’re suddenly going to need more room. It’s just going to be me and Blake and the dogs (Madison’s taking her cat when she moves out and another one will not be gotten).

Yeah, this house is not even remotely close to my dream house, but it’s redeemable and now that I know we’re here to stay, I can do certain things I couldn’t do before, like potentially the “teacup wall” or bringing back the wildflower garden (or a version of it). Sometime soon Blake’s going to have a dishwasher put in. I asked him if it would be possible within the next 10 years to put a roof on our porch so it would actually get used and he said that was a definite possibility.

We’re eligible for a mortgage 3x the size of the one we have now and we looked at a lot of really pretty houses that I’d love to live in, but there’s no point in getting a mortgage bigger than the one we have now for a house that’ll be too big in a few years and honestly? I don’t really want to have to clean a big house.

Once the kids are out of the house and it’s just us, we really only need a “home base” rather than a fancy house that impresses people when they see it. We don’t know what the future holds, obviously, but I haven’t seen much of this world and I kinda thought traveling might be a possibility, once the kids reach independence, and traveling is expensive. I’d rather have a small, functional house with disposable income for things like travel, as opposed to a nice, big, fancy house where your only option is to sit in it because you can’t afford to do anything else.

I’ve been saying this whole time that I wished we didn’t have to move because I like being 10 minutes from the the world’s longest freshwater beach and my whole mental health support network is up here, so this decision is not unwelcome.

Do I wish we had a nicer house? Of course. But now that we don’t have to be “safe” because we’d planned to sell the house one day, we’re free to do all kinds of things to it to make it the one we want to live in. I don’t know what all of those things are yet, I haven’t thought about it (we only made this decision a few days ago) but now that my imagination is free to go there, it’s gonna go there.

The teacup wall, as some of you probably remember, is something I came up with a long time ago, pretty much when we first moved to this house in 2005 and it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. The original idea was to cut off the backs of teacups and teapots and stick them to the wall using something like maybe stucco or some other type of “outdoor wall cement” but now I’m thinking a better idea would be to leave the cups and pots intact so the morning glories and moonflowers have more room for their roots. Also cutting a teacup in half is probably a really difficult thing to do, especially when you don’t even have a saw. I’d still have to drill a hole in the bottom of each teacup for drainage but all I need for that is a masonry bit and I just watched some stoner kid make a bong out of a Patron bottle and a masonry bit, so if that kid could do it, I’m pretty sure I could too. Or Blake could. I think what I should do is put up sheets of that wood that has all the little holes in it, prime and paint it and then wire the cups and pots to that with stainless steel wire. Where I would get stainless steel wire or if that’s even a thing, I have no idea, but I would hate for the wire to rust and then 10 years from now my cups start popping off the wall.

Before I can do the teacup wall though, this whole room needs to be rebuilt. My office actually used to be a carport but they made 3/4 of it another  room because they put in a gas furnace and didn’t have anywhere else to put it (the house had electric baseboard heaters previously). The problem, though, is that we doubt this room is legal in any conceivable way. They used chipboard for the outer walls. CHIPBOARD. We’ve had nothing but problems with the roof in here leaking because since this room was never meant to be a room, let alone a heated room, they didn’t vent the roof/ceiling properly so the warmth from this room causes ice dams on the roof which fucks it up. That’s going to be the next big project: fixing the roof. Again. This time though, I think we’re going to see if a metal roof is possible.

Since this room used to be outside, the whole length of it to my right has vinyl siding on it which means that hanging anything on that wall is pretty much out of the question. And that sucks. So when we rebuild this room, that’s coming off and we’ll put up drywall.  Then we’re going to try and find something creative to do with the furnace. Obviously it can’t go anywhere else, but maybe we can build it in and make built in bookshelves around it or something.

Another thing on the list of things to do, since this is now our forever home, is improving the lighting in this house. You rarely see the inside of my house because the light, or lack thereof, in this house sucks, especially in the living room. We already plan on painting the living room, including the ceiling, so we’ve decided that when that project rolls around, we’re going to look into built-in ceiling lighting because as of right now, there isn’t any and it sucks relying on two yellowy lamps to light the whole room. I’d also like to put a ceiling light in the hallway because there isn’t one there either.

Something else I’ve been thinking about now that we’ve made this decision is the Springwater Guild of Artists and Artisans and next year’s studio tour. After the tour, the guy who keeps everything organized for the guild asked us to let him know if we’d be interested in doing the tour next year. I replied with a polite, “No thank you,” for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that we weren’t sure if we’d be here next year. But now we know we are.

The thing is though…it’s $50 for membership into the guild and for that you get to attend meetings to plan the studio tour, you get one picture on the main page of their site and one picture on your bio page on the site, that also has a link to your site or your shop or whatever you want (I link to Etsy directly from there). To be in the studio tour it’s $75 on top of that. I’m not getting any traffic whatsoever from the guild’s site to my Etsy shop. I sold 4 greeting cards at the studio tour, which I think totals $32 – minus the processing fees for two of the cards because the lady paid with Visa. I also volunteered a lot of my time and energy for the project with pretty much no return. Another “benefit” of being in the guild is that sometimes opportunities arise like when I had my work up at the township office for all of August, which are cool, but others aren’t so cool. (I have a really really hard time forking over cash for “exposure”…)

Financially, this is a no-brainer. This year I lost money on the whole guild thing. However, I am part of this community now for better or for worse (after 8 years of living here haha) and maybe this is really stupid, like throwing money down a hole, but I think paying $50 to be in the guild is sort of like…helping out your community? Or something? I like that the guild exists, even if it doesn’t really benefit me at this point…maybe it will one day? Does that make sense? And as far as the studio tour, I’m still thinking at this point it’s a tentative “no”, but we’ll see what I create between now and May-ish, when I have to decide. Who knows? It’s quite possible the studio tour isn’t even going to happen next year. Also, in the new year I plan on making smaller paintings (8 inches x 8 inches) with a lower price point, as well as a couple of batches of ACEOs, and I’m wondering if I had those at the studio tour this year, if I’d have sold any of them. I had two ACEOs on my table for sale, the only two I have left, but I don’t think people really knew what they were or what to do with them, especially since they’re the same size as my business cards, which resemble artist trading cards. I think if I were to do the tour next year and have ACEOs on my table, I’d have one or two in small frames as a suggestion as to what to do with them.

I just think, maybe, now that I know what to expect from the guild, from the people in the guild and the studio tour, that maybe I should do things differently in the new year. We’ll see.

And like I said to Blake a few weeks ago, maybe a better idea would be to take the $125 I’d be spending on the guild and studio tour and try running some Facebook ads. I don’t even have to do it to know that I’ll get a better ROI.

Like I said, we’ll see.

July 17, 2013

Cryin’ Won’t Help You, Prayin’ Won’t Do You No Good

Here’s today’s theme song:

I’ve only updated 4 times this month and it’s already the 17th. Remember when I used to post 3 or 4 times a day?

I don’t really know why I haven’t been updating. I guess I just haven’t had all that much to say. And I’m not exactly getting feedback these days so I don’t really have all that much as far as incentive. I don’t even think Blake reads anymore.

I got notification the other day that my Memoir Project book has been digitized but I tried to read it and they’ve messed it all up. Here’s the link anyway. I really only wrote about when I got sick so it’s not like it’s full of stuff you guys haven’t heard 100 times before. I also found one instance of where I should have written “too” but I wrote “to” instead. That shit drives me crazy and I wish I could fix it. I even proof-read it twice before sending it off! Oh well, what’re ya gonna do?

I have 4 days left of work hell. Five if you count the fact that we have our weekly work meeting the day after my last crazy shift which should technically be my day off. Once I’m done all that though, I’ll have 25 hours banked that I can take off whenever I need to. Nine of those hours are going to be the Saturday of the studio tour and the rest I think I’m just gonna save in case I need a sick day or in case we go to Montreal, which Madison wants to do this summer. I wouldn’t mind going to Montreal but I don’t speak very much French and Blake speaks none. Wes just started French last year so he barely knows any and we’d be relying on Madison whose best mark this year was en Francais. I hate working from anywhere other than my own desk so if we do go, I’d take some time off. But since I don’t really *want* to go, I’d feel like those hours were wasted but at the same time, if I didn’t go I’d feel left out, so I dunno.

I think next week or the week after we’re going to go see my grama. My mom says she’s been feeling well enough that she hasn’t needed people to be with her 24/7 so that’s good, but let’s be realistic, also temporary. My mom has a show to do in August so at least this is giving her some time to make product for that and prepare for it etc. My grama requires a shot of heparin in her stomach every day and I dunno who’s giving it to her since people aren’t with her every day anymore. It’s a blood thinner. When I was in the hospital, I had to have the same shot (as well as wearing compression socks, which are terrible!) and it fucking hurts. Like, first the needle part physically hurts and then the heparin itself burns and stings. It’s only like, 10 or 15 seconds of pain but pain is pain and I haaaaaaated that. My grama has to have it because she has/had blood clots in her lungs. I had to have it because I was bed-ridden and with the lack of circulation, blood clots were a possibility.

I should be painting today, since I’m awake (and I don’t intend to go to sleep until about 5 or 6pm because I have to get up at 2am to work at 3am, boooooo) but I just don’t feel like it. Plus there’s nothing to really watch and I have to watch something while I paint.

I watched The Newsroom premiere on Monday morning but I couldn’t really follow it. Same with True Blood. With the hours I’ve been keeping, my brain is just mush. Unless it’s work-related, nothing sticks. :o/

Anyway, I think I should force myself to go paint. I have my next project sketched out already so I need to work on that (it’s sort of a commission, sort of not…it’s an idea I’ve had for a while now but my friend said he’d almost definitely purchase it if I did it and I REALLY need money right now so that’s why I chose it to be next) and then I have to work on an 8 x 8 inch painting for the food bank. I get the feeling that I’ve explained this already somewhere but I forget where…on the studio tour we’re supporting the food bank as our charity and each artist is donating a piece of work to be used for a raffle/draw. Like you would buy 10 tickets for $10 (or something) and then you’d put your ticket in a basket beneath the piece of art you want and then at the end of the tour we’ll draw the tickets and whoever’s ticket gets chosen for each piece gets it. And the money obviously goes to the food bank.

I have NO IDEA what I’m doing for my piece so I suppose I should figure that out…I also have to buy a tablecloth for my display at the township office next month which I’m stupidly nervous about. That doesn’t even make sense considering I don’t even have to BE there for it or talk to anyone or anything like that. I’m more scared of my paintings being damaged or stolen.

I also have to make hang tags for the paintings, which I’ll staple to the back of the canvases. That was my mother’s idea.

I have a lot of stuff I need to do but no desire to do any of it. But I better get my shit together because all of these events are happening SOON so…yeah…

Anyway, I’ll wrap this up by saying GO VISIT MY ETSY SHOP!!! Or my ZAZZLE SHOP!!! If ya see anything ya like, BUY IT!!! :oP The reason I say that is because I need to know what I’m putting in the township office and I need to know what stock I have for the studio tour so if you had your eye on anything, you should totally grab it now!

And if anyone has any idea of what I should do for the 8 x 8 inch canvas, I’m all ears!

Peace oot, homies.

PS. One of my ACEOs was chose for an Etsy treasury this week! Check it out!

July 11, 2013

Asses Kicked, Names Taken

I went to bed last night around 7:00pm, then started work this morning at 4am and I would LOVE to be asleep right now but I have a work meeting at 2pm. Shortly after said meeting, like maybe an hour or two later, I’m going to take my evening pills and go to bed because I have to work again at 2am until 8am tomorrow morning. The good news is that after I’m done work at 8 tomorrow morning, I don’t have to work again until 2pm on Saturday. Granted I have to work 9 hours on Saturday, which sucks, but then I can sleep in on Sunday morning. Then Sunday night (well, technically Monday) I have to work 1am-5am. So I kiiiiinda still get my days off (Sunday and Monday), I’ll just be sleeping through most of them.

Then next week….Tuesday I start work at 5am, then Wed.-Fri. I work 3am-8am but Friday night I have to work 11pm-5am Saturday morning, sleep, then start work at 2pm-11pm and then my last crazy shift is the Sunday night (technically Monday morning) 1am-5am. Then it’s all my normal shift work after that.

I was worried I’d burn out and not be able to handle this but as long as I get creative with my meds and sleep when I’m tired, I should be good. Or at least it has been so far. It’s not even how many more hours I’m working while Belinda’s in Asia, it’s how weird they are that had me worried. For the last year & a half, my schedule has been pretty rigid. Go to bed at 9-9:30pm, get up at 4:30am, start work at 5am, go back to bed at 8am, wake up again around 11am and then paint the rest of the day. The only day that truly sucks in my regular schedule is my 9 hour long Saturdays. But even those I’ve gotten used to because they’re busy and I don’t have time to think about how much they suck haha

So that’s work right now. My meeting’s in an hour and 7 minutes so I better stop blabbing about work and write this damn post.

I’m so tired I’ve pretty much forgotten what this post was supposed to be about.

Yesterday I started a Twitter account for the Springwater Guild of Artists & Artisans (SGAA) where I’ll be tweeting about events we involved in, including the studio tour, so if you have any interest in that, feel free to follow it. I think we have 7 followers at the moment haha Really, the goal of the account is to get the local newspapers and radio stations and local celebrities to tweet or retweet about the event. I also think that during the studio tour, I’m going to live tweet the event using that account. My plan is on the Saturday I’ll get Madison to watch my stuff at the library while Blake and I take an hour or so to go to each stop and tweet pics along the way. I think I’ll also figure out how to incorporate Facebook into that too. I’ve kinda been designated the social media guru so…yeah…

Then this morning I spent a few hours on the SGAA site, on this page specifically that has all of the artists participating in this year’s tour, and coming up with 4 or 5 interview questions for each of them. Then I e-mailed each of them their questions and I asked them to e-mail me back their answers, along with 1-3 pictures, which I’ll then put together as little profile articles to be posted sporadically on the SGAA’s Facebook page. The idea will be for people to see those little articles, which will be based around pictures, and share them, boosting our signal.

I’ve also got the Facebook advertising nailed down so it’s been a really busy morning! I am SO ready for bed!

Anyway, the studio tour isn’t for another 2 months but here’s the Facebook event anyway so if you happen to be in our area, you can “save the date” so to speak. The tour is on September 21st & 22nd from 9am-4:30pm. I won’t actually be IN my studio because my studio is really “the grown up living room”/my office and there’s no wall space to hang any of my stuff so I’ll have my stuff set up at the library in the center of town.

Two & a half weeks from now I have my exhibition for the month of August at the township office. I’ll post more details about that when I know them, for example, WHERE the township office is because I have no Earthly idea. I know it’s between my house and Barrie but that’s all I know. I also know I need to buy a table cloth for the table they’ll be providing to me to use for my setup.

Earlier this week I ordered 400 business cards because I figure between people just asking me for them all the time, the township office exhibition and the studio tour, I very well might need that many and at the moment all I have in my wallet is 4 measly little MOO mini cards (which I did not get any more of, but I did get my cards from MOO because I wanted several different designs).

So long story short, I’m busy and getting shit done.

On Sunday I finished my “Silver Angel” painting, which, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably seen progress pics of but you may not have seen the final result yet. So voila!

More pics are available on Etsy…
…where you could also BUY HER!

But I’ll show you this one here though too so you can see what makes her so cool:

Her dress is mirrored silver with holographic, 3D stars!
(That were REALLY REALLY hard to photograph.)

When I had her glued onto the canvas (notice that it’s actually NEGATIVE! my backgrounds are always WHITE but this time I went BLACK!), she was pristine. So I started the varnishing process and when I got to her dress and brushed on the varnish, all was well and when I was finished, I put her on top of the washing machine away from shedding-in-clumps dogs. Then I forget what I did, I think we watched TV or I did something online, but when I checked on the painting about an hour later, I FREAKED because the varnish over the holographic paper was CLOUDY, completely ruining the effect. It was so humid on the weekend that it took until Tuesday morning for the varnish to cure and turn clear, which it did THANK GOD, but man I was losing my damn mind until that happened. But in the end it all turned out and now I’m trying to think of things I can do with the other holographic papers I picked up when I was at Michael’s a few weeks ago.

BUT!

Last night I decided on what my next project is going to be. It’s actually something that I’ve had in the back of my head for a while now and I even bought the material to do it like, 2 weeks ago, but I wasn’t sure if it would be my next project or not until a friend on Twitter last night said “heyyyyyyy remember you said you were going to do [X] painting? Whatever happened to that?” and I said I was still thinking about it but that I had all the stuff to do it. And then my friend was like, “well, if you do [X] painting, I will almost absolutely be buying it,” and that spoke to my poor, broke ass so that’s what I’m going to start working on tomorrow after work. It’s NOT a commission because it was something I had planned and had even sketched out already, already had the materials, but it IS a sale, so yay! It’s been way too long since I sold a painting…

Then after that I think my next painting is going to be an 8 x 8 inch piece for the food bank. The studio tour is partially for charity so we’re selling raffle tickets where the proceeds go to the food bank and each artist is donating a piece and what will happen is, you buy say, 10 tickets and you put them in a basket in front of whatever item you want to bid on. You could put all 10 in the basket in front of my painting for better odds of winning it, or you could put 1 ticket in each basket for the chance to win multiple prizes. At least that’s how I understand it’s going to work.

Anyway, the food bank donation raffle stuff will be set up at the library where I’ll be and I think I’m going to see if Madison can run it and have the hours go toward the volunteer hours you need to graduate high school here. I haven’t run that past her yet but it’s a thought I had.

Okay my meeting is in 12 minutes so I better post this, then post it to Camwhores, then pee, then have the meeting.

OH! Speaking of Camwhores, I’m doing a members only show on Friday night at 10pm EST! If you need a free trial to watch the show, e-mail me and I’ll send you an invite! Sunny@SunnyCrittenden.com! This week’s theme is storytelling, so that’s what my show’s going to be all about. Should be interesting.

Peace oot, homies.

June 7, 2013

An Oldie But a Goodie

FACT: There is NO SUCH THING as “subliminal advertising”.

– Sunny Crittenden, ca. 2001-2003

April 8, 2013

One.

I have a lot to post about today so this is post one of the three posts I have planned. If I don’t get to all of them today, then I’ll finish them tomorrow. I actually slept pretty hard and didn’t wake up until 11:30am and it’s now 1:10pm so I’ve kinda wasted half my day. So I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Yesterday we went to Beaverton, where my mom lives, to look at a house we thought we might purchase. It’s this one. It had enough rooms for us, in fact it had an extra room even and it had a pool, which could be a plus or minus. It was also just down the street from my mom. And a lady killed herself in the living room, so it’s been tough to sell it so we thought we might be able to t alk the price down quite a bit based on that.

Our real estate agent talked to the lady who’s selling it, because it’s a private sale, and she said she’s firm on $280k which is out of our price range, however, our real estate agent told us to look up this one and in doing so, we’ve decided it’s pretty perfect and Blake’s e-mailed our real estate agent to set up a time we can go see it.

Originally we were going to wait until Madison was out of high school and Wes would be just entering high school to move but I’m pretty fed up with the poor excuse of an education both kids are getting here and I want them in Durham Region (we’re in Simcoe County – totally separate school districts) as soon as humanly possible. I’m not saying Durham Region is the cat’s ass or anything, but it’s where I went and I’d like to think that I’m not exactly a dummy. I mean, Madison just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird for her English class and it is LITERALLY THE FIRST BOOK SHE’S EVER BEEN REQUIRED TO READ FOR SCHOOL!!!!!!!!! And she’s in grade NINE!!!!! And worse? It is literally the only book she’s GOING to be reading this year for that class! Can you fucking believe that? What a goddamn joke! Wes is in grade 4 and he’s never been assigned a book to read either. Pathetic. And unacceptable. (And don’t worry, my kids read a lot of books for their own enjoyment at home so it’s not like they’re illiterate or anything.)

It’s going to take some time for us to get our house ready to sell. We need to fix up the bathroom and paint the trim on the outside of the house, as well as the outer wall to my office where there’s been some water damage from giant icicles that form there. So we have all spring to get that done and then hopefully we can put it on the market and sell it before the school year begins in September. I’m not sure if I should plant my wildflowers in the front this year in order to sell it, like if that would help, or if we should mow it and have it be a lawn. Thoughts? I think probably the lawn would be a better selling feature, but the house definitely looks better with the flowers out front. So I dunno.

After we left my mom’s, we went home via Orillia and we went to Mariposa Market and had lunch. I had a chicken pot pie, Blake had a pulled pork sandwich and the kids had super cheesy lasagna. Then Blake bought us all fresh, homemade donuts and he bought me 2 jars of dutch apple pie jam, which is my FAVOURITE and I had it on a bagel last night for dinner and again for breakfast this morning. Just look at this stuff:

Normally I think chunks of fruit in jam is gross, it reminds me of sugary boogers, but I love the apples in this stuff. The only thing not so great about it is that it also has raisins but I pick those out and give them to the dogs. I also got a small jar of strawberry jam because that’s my second favourite and theirs is really good.

So ever since I quit smoking almost 2 years ago, I’ve had dreams of smoking about once or twice a week and it seems like the more stressed out I am, the more I have these dreams and when I wake up, I’m tempted to smoke. The temptation is never strong enough for me to act on it, I do NOT want to become a smoker again, but the dreams are definitely problematic and they tell me that I’m having t rouble coping with whatever, life, whatever.

Ever since my grama got sick, I’ve been having these dreams a LOT. In fact, at Easter when we went to my mom’s, I came really really close to asking her for a cigarette (she wouldn’t have given me one, I’m pretty sure). The whole way  there in the car, I was thinking that I was getting closer and closer to something stressful but that I’d also have access to something that – in my mind – would relieve that stress (a cigarette). Obviously I didn’t ask her for one, but still, the urge was there.

So this has all been in the back of my mind for a while now, pretty much ever since I woke up from the coma, and then last week, this commercial featuring Courtney Love hits the internet:

It’s no secret that I love Courtney Love and that I am a sucker for good advertising. And this is good advertising.

Well, I started researching these e-cigs because I wanted to see how they worked and basically they work like a smoke machine that you’d see used at a concert or a theatre performance and the “smoke” that comes out of them is actually vapour from a liquid called e-liquid which is where the flavouring and the nicotine is. I didn’t want nicotine though, so when I first looked at the NJOY ones that Courtney was using, I saw that you could get the filters with no nicotine so I started googling where to find these in Canada. Well, you can’t get that brand in Canada but in my research, I found that it’s actually illegal for e-cigs in Canada to have nicotine so I thought that was pretty interesting and exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to trick my brain into thinking it was smoking, but in a way that wasn’t harmful to my body or that wouldn’t get me addicted to anything.

So I found this site, Esmoker Canada, and I ordered a starter kit for both me and Blake, who thought maybe these e-cigs would also trick his brain into thinking he was smoking and that would help his creative process and help him write because traditionally he would lock himself in a room with a pack of cigarettes and write until he was finished. Since quitting smoking, he’s had trouble writing. (Well, that and he never has any alone time.) He wanted tobacco flavour and I got strawberry and vanilla.

The e-cigs got here on Saturday and we tried them out. I liked mine pretty much immediately but Blake didn’t really like his. He said they made him feel nauseous and they hurt his throat. Through playing with mine all weekend, I’ve found that the key to them is that you treat them more like a cigar where you don’t inhale the smoke into your lungs like you would with a cigarette, but you hold it in your mouth so you can taste the flavour. Every now and then I’ll inhale the smoke to get the feeling of smoking and so far I haven’t had any smoking dreams but it’s only been 2 nights so it’s still too soon to tell if the e-cig has stopped them completely.

What mostly made me decide to try the e-cig was that…pretty soon I’m going to have to go to my grama’s wake and funeral and it’s going to be really stressful. Not only am I going to need an excuse to leave the situation every now and then, which vaping outside would provide, but almost my entire family smokes and the temptation to bum one from someone is going to be strong (and not everyone would be like my mother and say “no”). If I have the e-cig with me, I won’t want to smoke an actual cigarette.

I don’t think if you are a non-smoker or haven’t been a smoker before that you should start smoking these things (although I can’t come up with a reason as to why, honestly) but if you’re a former or current smoker, I think they’re a useful tool. A fully charged e-cig will last me a whole day and one filter will last me almost all day but I think as the novelty wears off I’ll use it less and a filter will last a whole day. Strawberry is definitely nicer than vanilla and I have cinnamon coming. One filter/cartridge is approximately $1 CDN and the site I’m buying from has free shipping so it’s a LOT less expensive than smoking.

Here’s a video of Katherine Heigl on Letterman showing how they work:

Anyway, I think they’re pretty neat and mine came in handy last night while watching the Mad Men season 6 premiere where the smoking gets ridiculous (although it wasn’t that bad in last night’s episode, but did y’all think there was a LOT of references to weed? Even Betty asked the pre-hippie people how much it cost).

The next thing I’n going to write about Mad Men is pretty spoileriffic so stop reading NOW if you haven’t seen last night’s episode yet:

So Betty goes through the trouble of going to basically a slum in NYC with a picture of Sandy, trying to find her. Then she goes into the flophouse and finds Sandy’s violin, stays all day and helps the pre-hippies make “goulash” and then the leader of the pre-hippies insults her and tells her that Sandy fled to California (or so she was hoping to do) so Betty leaves the flophouse in a huff and LEAVES THE VIOLIN IN THE FOYER? Why? What was the motivation for that? I understand the whole “not my kid, not my problem” thing but it wouldn’t have taken Betty ANY extra effort to take the violin with her, put it in her attic and save it for when/if Sandy re-emerged. The girl’s mother had died and it was implied, sort of, that the violin was attached to her somehow. Is it just because Betty’s a shitty person that she did that? I don’t get it. 

I loved seeing Lindsay Weir as Don’s latest conquest. Awesome. 

SPOILER OVER!!!

Stupid Mad Men went 15 minutes overtime, which is great, but not when you only set the DVR to have a 5 minute buffer at the end. I had to stay up until 1:30am to watch the goddamn ending. Ugh. #firstworldproblems

I think the only thing I have left to talk about in this post is my shadowbox. This is what it looks like right now, when open. I haven’t glued down the fire yet because I’m not sure what glue I’m going to use and that one fucking bulb is still not lighting up unless taped in a specific way and the electrical tape won’t stick to the box properly so I’m not sure how to fix that:

Anyway, that’s it for this post. I’ll go work on the next one. Peace oot!

PS. Hoover’s ear is fine. It’s not vasculitis, it’s actually SCAR TISSUE from a certain blonde, four-legged family member constantly chewing on it when they play.

March 22, 2013

I Like My Beats Fast & My Bass Down Low

I just finished reading The Walking Dead volume 17: Something To Fear (the first trade past the 2nd compendium) and I have no trouble admitting that it made me cry like a fucking baby. :o( It’s kinda killing me that I have to wait to find out what happens next. That’s my beef with comics, I just want to read a story from beginning to end. But with comics you only get bits and pieces and it drives me crazy.  Also just the format of comics is too slow for me, I don’t like pictures in my books. Having said that, I’ve really enjoyed The Walking Dead, but I think that’s mostly because the compendiums felt more like real books than comics.

Yesterday’s CBT was pretty useless. It was the chapter on “anger, guilt and shame” and completing “responsibility pies”. Seriously. Well, I don’t often get angry and when I do it’s completely justified. Like they said “write down the last time you were angry and rate your anger with a percent”. So I did.

Justified.
No “responsibility pie” necessary, I’m well aware of who’s responsible for this and it’s not me.

I just don’t really get angry. I have guilt about not doing productive things but that doesn’t really jive with a “responsibility pie” because the examples they used were like…well lemme explain what a responsibility pie is. So you have a situation. The examples they used were Marissa was sexually molested by her father when she was a kid (shame), Vic was pissed at his wife for bringing up credit card debt and yelled at her (anger) and someone got a DUI (guilt, I think). So then for each thing, you assign a bit of responsibility to each person or thing that surrounded those events and you do yourself last so you don’t automatically assign yourself too much of the responsibility out of guilt, anger or shame. So like for Marissa, they assigned 70% of the pie to her father. Then they assigned 10% to her mother for not protecting her. then they assigned 10% to the alcohol her father consumed before molesting her and then maybe 5% because I suck at math, to her grandfather for molesting HER father and the 5% that’s left was Marissa’s share for not doing more to stop the molestation. So that’s a responsibility pie. Now you can see how it doesn’t exactly apply to the last thing that made me angry.

On the way home Blake and I were trying to think of the last time I was angry and like, we had a minor fight last Friday and I was pissed at him but neither of us remembered what it was about. Like I said, my guilt doesn’t really apply to this at all and I think it’s pretty obvious I have no shame.

So CBT this week was a bust. Next week they moved the class to Wednesday but because Blake and I already arranged it with our bosses for Thursdays, I’m coming in next Thursday as scheduled and we’re just going to have a mini class with me and one other lady.

Next week is “Assumptions and Action Plans”. Oh joy of joys.

We got a call yesterday that Rick (my caseworker) wouldn’t be able to see me but this Susan woman could. Blake called back to see what that was all about and they didn’t elaborate much but said Rick was going to be gone for 4-6 weeks. I hope he’s okay. :o/ You usually only take a sudden 6 week vacation if something’s wrong in my experience. Anyway, I can start seeing this Susan woman instead if I want but I don’t think I want to. I just don’t see the point. Blake may disagree, I dunno, we haven’t really talked about it in great detail. I don’t want to deal with a new person and I’m not sure I need a caseworker anyway. Rick hasn’t exactly helped, I don’t think, and it’s just one more hoop I have to jump through and I’m sick of all this bullshit. I just want to crawl under a rock and be left alone.

I haven’t heard anything new about my grama. I’m not really being kept in the loop. My mom e-mailed Blake asking what time we have off for Easter and she said she may have something up her sleeve which is a terrifying prospect. I only have the Sunday off (well and the Monday but Blake doesn’t) and as long as we’re home by 9pm, I don’t care what we do. That’s the Game of Thrones premiere and the Walking Dead finale, so yeah…

I sent my Aunt Betty a framed print of this picture on Monday:

For those not in the know, that’s sap dripping out of a spigot into a metal sap bucket and I sent it to my Aunt Betty because my whole ;life, up until a few years ago, my Aunt Betty & Uncle Bill made maple syrup by tapping the trees on their property. It was sort of a big deal. My Aunt Betty is older now though and my Uncle Bill fell and hit his head so he’s apparently not so much “all there” anymore so they don’t make maple syrup anymore but it’s still a lot of good memories for all of us so I thought she’d appreciate that picture. She’s going through a lot right now with my grama dying & all so I thought I’d send her something to make her smile.

Anyway, I have to go work on something before I worry myself into anemia (you win 10 internets if you get that reference!) so I’ll leave you with this pretty genius commercial from Friskies that I have no ties to whatsoever, other than a love for creative advertising:

Peace oot.

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