May 23, 2017

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Posted at 1:33 pm in: Art , Crafts , Etsy
March 25, 2014

What’s your damage, soldier?

Woke up this morning at 4:15am like I always do, got up and went to the bathroom without turning the light on and as soon as I start peeing, I start gagging. I grab the garbage can to my right – in the dark – and sat on the toilet barfing into this garbage can on my lap almost until it was time to start work at 5am. Then working from 5am-8am went like this: answer 5 e-mails, run to the bathroom to throw up or just dry heave for 5-15 mins, repeat.

Blake put me to bed at 8am and I woke up about an hour ago (11:30am-ish) with pain in my pancreas so this is the beginning of a pancreatic attack. I’ve taken hydromorph and now that I’m not working I can medicate with cannabis so if I can keep the nausea/vomiting and pain under control, usually things won’t escalate.

What did this? From what I can tell, because I now have to write down every single thing I eat, it was simple cheese sauce from a packet on broccoli last night. I eat frozen Green Giant broccoli and cheese sauce all the time with no issue but lately the texture of their sauce has kinda grossed me out, so I wanted (what I call) “real” cheese sauce on real broccoli. So that’s what Blake made me. And now I kinda wanna die a little.

But hopefully with the hydromorph and cannabis it won’t escalate further.

I was screwing around with polymer clay on the weekend because I have an idea for a big clay project and I wanted to make sure polymer clay was the way to go. I hadn’t used it since I was a kid and man, this stuff has gotten so much nicer in the last 25 years! I remember the old Fimo was SO HARD and you had to work it in for like a million hours until your hands cramped up to be able to work with it, then they introduced soft Fimo but it was more expensive and too rich for my 10 year old blood. Then I lost interest in it until Sunday when we went to Michael’s and I spent the gift card my mom got me on the colours of polymer clay I needed to make a couple of little guys, which we burnt because we screwed up the math and our oven runs hot :o/…

…that mouse was supposed to be elephant grey and baby pink. Anyway, making them was fun and I definitely want to proceed with the bigger project once I work out some of the logistics and play with the remaining clay to figure out how best to bake it in our wonky oven. I’m also going to invest in an oven thermometer at the suggestion of a bunch of my friends on Facebook, just to see how far off our oven is and how it cycles. My friend Mark – the one from the UK with the neat fish tanks, not the one who bought a forest in Nova Scotia – found this really good series of blog posts about baking polymer clay, so once I get my shit together and really get into this project, I’m definitely going to re-read those and maybe seek out more resources. The more info the better.

What I haven’t figured out yet is how to fund the bigger project. Polymer clay is pretty expensive and not really in my budget and I’m going to need a lot. I only bought this stuff to screw around with because my mom gave me a gift card for my birthday and there was nothing else at Michael’s that looked interesting. I didn’t know it would lead to IDEAS. If I’d have known that, I would have stuck to scrapbook paper! I still need to figure out if I’m capable of executing it with the oven we have anyway and I have so much on my plate at the moment that I just don’t even have the desk space right now to work on it so it’s a far ways off.

The gift card though, oy! We get to the cash register and she rings up our stuff, scans my coupon on my phone and swipes the gift card and it wouldn’t work. Long story short: The customer service lady worked for 20 mins to get the gift card to work in the machine and it wouldn’t, 1-800-MICHAELS is not open on Sundays for them to check the balance and when the lady peeled the sticker off the back to reveal the PIN # the paper came along with it, ruining the legibility of the numbers. Finally the lady just GUESSED the PIN # and it went through! The lady had never seen a cardboard gift card before and said she’d tell corporate that they suck. I was so so so fucking thankful that Blake was with me and handling the transaction because I was kinda freaking out. I knew worst case scenario was that I’d have to pay for my purchase, which I had enough money to do, and my mom and I could work it out. I figured she kept the receipt for the gift card because…that’s my mom…and I only spent as much as the gift card was for so somehow it would work out, but the fact that people kept trying to get in line behind us (we were at the customer service desk) and the lady kept having to tell them to go to another register was freaking me out and I wanted to melt into the floor. When she guessed the fucking PIN though and it went through, for a fraction of a second there I think I might have believed in God. At the very least either her karma was good or mine was or something. But nah, it was just a flukey “win”. And she was GREAT for persevering. That’s good customer service, that’s the kind of customer service we provide our customers at my work (which I happen to think is excellent on its own, but especially when compared to most other companies’ customer service). Michael’s had kinda been on my shit list after they sold me old varnish that fucked up a painting and the cover of a sketchbook (which the varnish manufacturer made good on, because DecoArt ALSO has excellent customer service) but I think we’re square for the time being.

Last week I bought myself flowers because they were just so beautiful they had to come home with me, and they’re still going strong. They’re Gerbera daisies, which are actually more related to sunflowers than daisies, according to Wikipedia:

Aren’t they crazy beautiful?
Isn’t my desk crazy messy?
I should just put all that paint away…I may just do that.

In discussing the first day of spring the other day, my friend Rugg reminded me that prior to me getting sick, he had helped me, for my birthday, turn my front yard into a wildflower garden and my back yard into a vegetable garden. This year he asked me if I wanted to plant and it had been something I’d been thinking about now that we’ve decided this is our forever home, but not very seriously because I just don’t have any money and Blake doesn’t care so it’s not like he’s going to give me any. We have decided that we’re not going to have a vegetable garden again because it’s too much work when the grocery store is down the street and sells fresh Ontario produce that’s pretty affordable, but Rugg bought me these hanging planters for tomatoes to grow upside-down, you’ve probably seen them on TV, the spring I got sick so we never really got to use them. I planted them and everything, but then I got sick and no one looked after them so they shrivelled up and died. They’re pretty neat though and you don’t have to weed them, so we figure we might as well. Fresh tomatoes warm from the sun on a PLT is one of life’s greatest joys, so I figure we should probably give it another shot, if only for that possibility. Other than that, all I know for sure is that I’ll be planting the usual cosmos and bachelor’s buttons out front – wait, back up…

…this spring, when the daffodils and hyacinths come up, I’m relocating all of them to the garden that’s in front of our front porch (where only hyacinths grow now, I think) and if there are too many to do that, then I’m just going to plant them randomly throughout the front yard because that’s where all of my little spring flower bulbs are. The reason I’m relocating them is because I want the garden beneath my living room window to be cleared out for peonies because after the daffodils and hyacinths die down in like, the end of April/beginning of May, I can’t get anything other than dandelions to grow there because it’s too shady, it’s right under a big maple tree. I haven’t actually researched whether or not peonies would work there, I just think they will because I’ve seen peonies growing in shade before so some varieties must be able to. If not, suggestions for something LIKE peonies would be welcome if anyone knows anything about gardening! (Keep in mind where I live though…)

Another idea I’ve been thinking about is turning the former vegetable garden in the back into another wildflower garden with more of an emphasis on butterflies and the possibility of a bird feeder in the middle. I want to get one like this, on a pole, but I’d need my mom and John’s help with the pole because I don’t even know where you would get one of those or how you would put it in the ground. All winter I’ve been buying suet balls and we’ve been tying them to the branches of the tree out front. We’ve had little chickadee guys, a woodpecker-looking guy who may or may not be an actual woodpecker because we’ve never actually seen him peck wood and a bunch of different types of black birds. The kids, and even Blake, have all liked watching the birds and I like watching them too if I’m in the kitchen or sitting on the rocking chair in the living room while I talk to Blake at his desk. I’m not sure we’d feed the birds in the summer, they eat the wildflower seeds anyway, but we’d like to feed them in the fall/winter/spring and you can really only give them suet balls in the winter because suet is animal fat so when it’s too warm, they fall apart. Just another idea.

Something else I know as a definite because Rugg and I have already discussed it is sunflowers. Lots and lots of sunflowers. And of course morning glories and moonflowers to grow up the stalks, among other places! Yeah, I have plans and ideas…I just have to get them all in one place and organized because some things will need to be ordered immediately, like peonies, and planted early inside, like tomatoes. Sooooooooo I’m gonna stop babbling and go do that. I also have to make sketches for the polymer clay project. Things they are-a-happenin’.

PS. Madison dyed her hair red yesterday after school…at school in the girl’s bathroom because she’s banned from using hair dye in our house since she bleaches or dyes everything in the bathroom and we just had it redone and we’re in the process of painting the whole room white. So she bought hair dye at lunch and started dying it in the bathroom at school and when she got to the rinsing part, she had her head under the sink, which she said was barely dripping water on her because they’re all water-saving faucets (haha), when a lady janitor came in and said, “oh you’ll never get it done that way” and lead Madison to a janitor’s closet down the hall where she could use a hose and wash the dye down a drain hole where it matters not if she gets dye anywhere. She’s overjoyed that she can now dye her hair again and I’m happy for her, but I REALLY wish she’d use gloves when she does. Right now she looks like she murdered someone…maybe she has…hmmm….

May 5, 2013

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

So on Friday night, Blake and I were watching the movie This is 40 (which we still haven’t finished, but WILL godammit) and this scene came on and we laughed and laughed and laughed because that was Madison like, two weeks ago…

…so we pause, rewind, and call Madison to show her. And she screams back, at the top of her lungs, from the cavern that is her room, “I’M FUCKING BUSYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!” And we’re killing ourselves laughing and I say to Blake, “I’ll bet you a million dollars she can’t get her dress off,” because Dipshit wore a prom dress to school yesterday with a corseted back that takes a minimum of one person to help you get into and out of.

Wes comes in and asks if we heard her say she’s “fucking busy”. We confirm that he did. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying by this point so I tell Blake to go check on her and to confirm that she can’t get her dress off. SO he goes down the hall to her room, knocks on the door and is like, “hunnnnn? are you okay?” She screams, “NO I AM FUCKING NOT!!!” He says, “Are you having trouble getting your dress off?” “Yeah,” she mutters. “Do you want help?” “NO! GO AWAY!!!”

I am hearing this and coughing and almost throwing up I’m laughing so hard and finally she comes out of her room wearing jeans and a t-shirt and she’s looking remorseful. “I threw paint,” she says. “You what?” we say. “I got mad and threw paint.”

I am in fucking HYSTERICS, throat sore from laughing so hard, and then she says, “I tried to clean it up with my leggings but all it did was get paint on the leggings.”

So I got out the camera and we went to investigate…

Madison: “I feel like I’m being dog shamed.”
Me: “You are.”
Note the paint all over the pillow.

The pictures are blurry because her room is a cave and because I was laughing so damn hard.

So yeah, that was Friday night’s excitement. Then Brian messaged us to see if Blake wanted to go over to his house and jam on the porch so we did that until it got super dark and we had to get up early in the morning so I think we only stayed out until 10:30pm and then we came home.


PS. Madision did watch that scene from This is 40 and thought it was hysterical.

Posted at 9:19 am in: Art , Childhood , Crafts , Creativity , Kids , Madison , Spring
August 21, 2012

Nourishing the Muse

So someone rudely informed me recently that I only live my life online and therefore I have no perspective. On life, I’m assuming, this person threw a tantrum and didn’t clarify further. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends. Oh well. Anyway, I don’t live my life online although I can understand why people might think that, I am online a lot, I’m always connected, but so are most of my friends. I don’t see a problem with that, I mean, welcome to my generation (which this person is supposedly a part of but his comments made me wonder if it isn’t he who was the sheltered one, but I’m straying from my point)…anyway, yes, I am agoraphobic and yes, I don’t leave my house as often as most people. I have a job that allows me to work from home and my “outside the house” destinations really boil down to Michael’s, Curry’s and Starbucks. Oh and the beach and the doctor’s office. But I don’t see how those places are any different than anyone else’s. Why would someone who leaves the house more often than me have a better perspective of life than I do when I talk to literally 50 different people per day online and we discuss more intimate things than I would discuss with a stranger on the subway? From my observations, people who leave the house all the time usually keep to themselves. All of my friends who regularly use public transit protect themselves from the other passengers by way of very obvious headphones. Everyone I talk to, or maybe not everyone but the vast majority, goes through their “outside” lives in a bubble with the goal to not engage anyone, so how is their perspectives on life “better” than mine? And since when is this a contest anyway? I think everyone’s perspectives on life are equally valid without exception. To think otherwise would be awfully close-minded and insulting because you’re invalidating a person’s entire life experience. (Which was his point; to be as insulting as possible – I think anyway.)

What made me think of all this is the fact that in the last 24 hours, I have experienced things. I have nourished the muse, filled the well. Probably moreso than the loser who wishes he was a tiger and worships David Hasselhoff, who tried to tell me I’m not as awesome as I feel.

Yesterday Madison made me a BLT on an everything bagel because she loves me. In fact she’s doing it again as I type this and I suppose I’ll write the rest of this while I’m eating. (And chances are, I’ll give half of it to Wes because I can’t eat a whole one by myself. It’s just too much grease for my lack of gallbladder but oh so tasty.) I am so lucky to have a daughter who cares about her family enough to think of them when it comes time to prepare food. I would think most teenagers would only think of themselves and their own needs. Madison is constantly asking me if I need anything and if she can do anything for me to make my day better. For a while I was afraid that she was doing this to like, take care of me because I’m mentally ill or whatever, but I’ve been reassured that it’s just because she loves me. We definitely have a bond that’s different than the bond I have with Wes. Equal but different.

Madison made herself bacon and eggs while she made me my BLT and at the same time, she and Wes are making blueberry and carrot muffins for the whole family. In fact, I wanted bacon and eggs too but after the muffin making, there were only 2 eggs left so that’s why I’m having a BLT – so Madison could have bacon and eggs. After all, she’s doing all the work, she deserves to have the meal she wants. It’s only fair.

Prior to making muffins, the kids were in Madison’s room painting. They hung pieces of wrapping paper backwards on her wall from floor to ceiling and they’re using my paint to paint these sheets of paper. Wes painted nyan cat so far and a planet. Madison’s still sketching out her creation in pencil. She’s definitely more of a planner and Wes is more of a do-er.

Madison likes to plan experiences for all of us, particularly Wes, so I think she should be an event planner when she grows up but she doesn’t know.

Today I had an extra day off because I worked for Belinda last week so she worked my shift for me today. I had said I wasn’t going to be online at all today but I wanted to at least make this post because I feel like so much has happened in the last little while, like quality stuff.

This week Blake is taking a class in Toronto I think to learn something about Oracle. Last night I called his cell because I thought he should be home already but there was no answer and I never leave voicemail so I just hung up and figured he must be in the deadzone near Horseshoe Valley Road. A few minutes later he called me back because he was at the flower shop in Barrie that sells peacock feathers, asking how many he should buy. We decided on 6 because their “eyes” weren’t as big as I had envisioned them in my head. In case you haven’t read my post from a few days ago about peacock feathers, here it is. (Long story short, I’m planning an elaborate painting using them.) I never asked Blake to stop off and get them and I didn’t ask him to pay for them either. I get paid at the end of this week and my plan was to go to that flower shop on Sunday to get them. He beat me to the punch. THAT is what a supportive husband looks like!

I sketched out the peacock painting on the last page of my current sketchbook and I’d scan it to show you but since the feathers’ eyes are smaller than originally anticipated, I’m going to have to alter the design quite a bit. But now that I have the peacock feathers, the next step is to go to the zoo and take Polaroids of actual peacocks. Luckily there’s a zoon in my town, the Elmvale Jungle Zoo, that has peacocks so that won’t be too hard. I would like to go on Sunday but I’m not sure that’ll happen because we’re supposed to go to pow wow with Kara on Sunday but Heatha can’t come and she was Kara’s ride so I’m not sure what’s happening now. I don’t want to go to pow wow without Kara because if I’m going to go, I want a tour guide, so if she can’t come up then we’re not going.

The other thing is that there’s this big Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario that ends on Sunday and I really really want to go see that because I’ve never been to an art museum in my life and I love Picasso. Or at least what I’ve seen of his work. It’s $25 admission, which I don’t really have to spare, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I think it’s going to win out over pow wow and the zoo because I can go to pow wow next year and the zoo literally any time I want to, it’s just up the road. Also I think Alex wants to go to pow wow with us too but she’s going to a convention of some sort so maybe waiting until next year when she can come is a better idea anyway.

For someone so sheltered who doesn’t get out much, I certainly have a bit of a scheduling conflict!

I still haven’t tested varnishing Polaroids but I took a ton of really awful, blurry shots yesterday because I was using the tele lens when I should have been using the macro so I’ll use those to test it out. What I was taking pictures of and why is actually sort of exciting! Or at least I think so!

So I haven’t totally worked out the whole painting yet, but I want to do a painting with a fairy girl with monarch butterfly wings and she’d be holding a Polaroid picture of a monarch caterpillar! So that’s what we were taking Polaroids of yesterday when Blake got home from work. To be totally honest, I’m not so great with the Polaroid but Blake, despite his hate of the camera and low-fi photography in general, is like a goddamn Polaroid whisperer. When I’m struggling to get a shot and wasting film, he can just take the picture and have it be fine. What a dick, eh? Regardless, I now have like, 12 pictures, both blurry and nice, of monarch caterpillars.

I also have 3 monarch caterpillars sitting in a tank on my desk. :o)

They were born in my milkweed patch (which I grow for this reason, milkweed is all monarch butterflies eat) and I would say that they’re a few weeks old judging by the size of them. In about a week and a half, they’ll stop eating and crawl to the top of the tank and hang upside down, forming a “J” shape with their bodies. Then their skin will split (it’s actually pretty gross) and they’ll form into bright green chrysalids with a gold line around the top.

Then in about another week & a half to 2 weeks or so, the chrysalids will turn transparent and the butterflies will emerge. At first their wings will be wet and all crinkled up so the butterflies will pump their wings to straighten them out and to pump blood into them while they dry out. At this point, in the wild, the butterflies would be extremely vulnerable to predators because they can’t fly yet. Monarch butterflies are poisonous to some birds but not all, from what I’ve read, but I don’t know which birds actually eat them. I know lots of birds eat the caterpillars though, while only a few eat the actual butterflies.

It’ll take a few days for the butterflies to actually be able to fly and at that point we’ll take them outside and let them crawl on our hands until they’r ready to fly away. I always wait until this point in the summer to hand raise the caterpillars because it’s their last generation of the summer and these ones won’t have a short life like previous generations of the same summer and they’ll make their migration to Mexico for the winter. What I’m not totally sure of is if these butterflies will go to Mexico and then return to Canada in the spring or if they fly to Mexico, lay eggs and die and then THOSE new butterflies fly back to Canada. I googled a few years ago when I started doing this but the internet wasn’t clear on that point.

The kids can tell the caterpillars apart, but I can’t and they’ve named them. Madison made this handy chart to tell them apart but they still all look the same to me. Apparently all of them but “Sniffer” are females according to Madison’s google fu but I don’t see this supposed line on their butts that’s how you apparently tell their sex.

Wes named Sniffer and Madison named the other 2.  I forget what Tozzo means (it’s Italian for something, “stubby” maybe) but Rubigo apparently means “caterpillar” in Latin.

Here are pictures of our current house guests:

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love them so so much and so do the kids. I wonder if they can feel our love? Y’know like how dogs can supposedly smell fear? Do you think animals or creatures in general can sense love?

Right now I’m reading The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice and it’s obviously about a werewolf. In it he can smell fear and innocence and he can sniff out people who mean harm. I realize it’s fiction, but I’ve often wondered like, when I’m loving my dogs, do they know that’s what I’m doing? The cat sure doesn’t. She doesn’t appreciate kitty lovins. However, if I’m “torturing” the cat by holding her in my arms and petting her and rubbing my face on her head, none of which she likes because I’m holding her, if I set her down on the ground she doesn’t take off and hide from me. She’ll lay there so I can love her how she wants to be loved. So maybe she does know that I’m loving her and not torturing her or being mean to her. With Lucky, even if you’re telling HOOVER what a good dog he is, Lucky’s tail will be wagging. So I think they know or can sense it. I’m sure studies have been done on this, I just haven’t read them.

Speaking of The Wolf Gift, I’ve gotta say I’m thoroughly enjoying it and I really didn’t think I would because I’ve never had any interest in werewolves. I’ve read almost every book Anne Rice has ever written (I couldn’t get into her angel books, but I did try!) and it really bummed me out when she stopped writing the Vampire Chronicles (but I understood why) and found God instead because that’s just so fucking boring. Her Jesus books were alright and from what I understand pretty historically accurate and well researched but if I wanted to read about Jesus, I’d read the bible. But because she wrote them, I read them and just thought she could do better. Then when she announced she’d be writing about werewolves, I was like, “whhhhhy Annie, whyyyyyyy?” but she’d done a really good job of creating a character who you can’t help but care about. I’m about halfway through the book and so far so good. I recently discovered the disgusting joy that is cheddar cheese flavoured pretzel Combos so I’ve been eating those and reading most evenings lately.

On Monday I had to get up early for good ol’ Cheryl who had to come and change my dressing. We’re using silver on it to keep the infection down but the dressing isn’t waterproof so once again I can’t shower. :o( Dr. Hanrahan ordered waterproof bandages with silver in them but my homecare nurses claim they can’t get them so I’m stuck with Aquacell AG which looks like felt and you can’t get it wet or it deteriorates and it sticks to the scab and ribs it off so healing is slow and then gauze on top, taped on with clear surgical tape that I stole from the hospital. I’m not happy about this. They’ve ordered waterproof bandages that we can use in combination with the awful Aquacell AG but they haven’t come yet. Cheryl says I might not be able to go swimming this year at all with how this last bit of wound is healing. What happened to me being Wolverine?

Sex the other day went okay painwise during the actual act but at 3am that night, I woke up in excruciating stomach muscle pain and I had to come into my office to take 4 Tylenol 1s and an extra strength Ibuprofen and I had to wait until they had kicked in before I could go back to sleep. The next day I couldn’t figure out what I must have done to make my pain WORSE than it was a week ago and that’s when Jax reminded me that Blake and I had had the relations the day before and that’s the only thing it could have been. I was sure if we did it doggy-style it would be okay because that doesn’t really engage those muscles but apparently I was mistaken. :o/ Now at night when I turn over, I practically cry because the pain is so bad.

In a week and a half I have to start weaning off from the hydromorph and I have no idea how I’m going to manage that with the pain the way it is. If I’d have understood what Dr. Hanrahan was saying when she said I had to “make the decision” to stop them, I would have spoken up about my pain levels. But she didn’t really ask about my pain and I thought when she said I had to “make the decision” she meant when *I* thought it was time to do so. Blake and my mom assure me that was not the case so because I misunderstood, I have to start weaning in a week and a half. Way to go genius.

On September 18th, Mother Mother will be releasing their new album called “The Sticks” and I am so fucking excited I can barely stand it! I wish it was coming out sooner so I could bring it with me to Squam but at least it’ll be a nice thing to come home to anyway. Here’s them doing “Dread in My Heart” on a porch somewhere for some magazine or radio station or something. I don’t know if it’s their song or a cover or if it’s even going to be on the new album, but I really hope so because I’ve heard them do it a few times now and I really love it:

My big project this week is decorating the cover of my new sketchbook because my old one got full and I need one for my 2nd class at Squam. (Well, I obviously need one anyway, but it’s in the material list for Squam too.) So far the cover has a layer of white gesso, metallic pink acrylic paint, crackle medium and white paint over top which is pretty much the beginning of every painting I do. I think my colour scheme is just going to be pink and turquoise like I do everything but I’m going to try using fabric for the girl on the cover’s dress instead of paper because that way I can (theoretically) use pink for her dress without it turning orange when I varnish it. The unfortunate part of doing that is that I’m going to have to locate my iron and find a dog hair-free place to iron the fabric. The last time I used my iron I was making crayon hearts like a million years ago so chances are I’m going to have to clean the iron too so I don’t get crayon wax on my fabric. Getting crayon wax out of the little holes at the bottom of an iron is extremely difficult. I guess I’ll have to use Q-Tips!

Blake just texted me that he’s been to Michael’s and has procured me a brand new, 8 oz. bottle of Titanium White Americana paint so when he gets home, I’ll be good to go to start working on these new paintings, the ones with the Polaroids.

Anyway, I said I wasn’t going to be online today and it’s taken me a couple of hours to write this post so I guess I’ll wrap it up and get back to my sketchbook. I hope you’re all having a fantastic Tuesday!

Edit (9pm): Two of the caterpillars are hanging upside down in a J-shape! We should have chrysalids by morning! Guess I underestimated their age!

August 10, 2012


So get this! Free People, which is a website/shop I love, is selling embroidery floss wrapped earphones for $50!!!!!! What a rip off, you can make them yourself, using earphones you already have, for like, $5. I showed you how to do it in December. Interested? Here’s the link to my tutorial. 

Posted at 6:08 pm in: Crafts , DIY , Tutorials
July 30, 2012

Drain You

So I’m now drainless and stapleless and guess what! I have it all recorded! But first, here’s a video of Blake emptying my drains before bed on Saturday night because I cannot deal with “old” fluids like, evaporating back up the tube and into my body or something and thus I cannot sleep without the drains being empty.

So here’s Blake emptying the drains. YUMMAY!:

Yep, those were my fluids that came out of my body. Yep, we absolutely did get some on us but NOTHING compared to the other night when Bake was doing it at my desk for the first time and he squirted bloody fluid like, EVERYWHERE. All over my face, my eyes, my hair, my computer screen – just all over everything. And of course, I start laughing, which is just hell on earth, and I couldn’t stop, which made it worse. Ugh.

Anyway, today was Cheryl day and since my drains were putting out less than 30cc (or mL? I dunno, are they the same thing?) of fluid in 48 hours, it was time to take them out.

There are actually TWO videos; one for the right drain, which is only like, 2 & a half minutes long. Then there’s the 14 minute one where Cheryl takes out the left one and my staples but I think that one’s boring and Blake needs the internets right now to work and they can’t be slowed down by uploading and stuff so I”m just going to upload the first one and if you guys really want to see the second one, I’ll upload it later tonight and post it in the comments or something.  That is, if you want it, I don’t care either way, personally. It’s just me crying and swearing.

Without further ado, here’s the first video:

The drains coming out were weird weird weird. They went in a LOT further than I thought they were going to be and the first one fucking HURT LIKE HELL. And it made me feel sick (I still feel sick) because you can feel this long *thing* slithering around in your guts as it gets pulled out and it is a really freaky feeling.

So yeah, that was my Monday. Drains, sleeping, the movie Kids With Friends (weird movie, I don’t think I liked it). Next up: macaroni and cheese (not Kraft Dinner, the real deal) and probably another movie because we downloaded a ton yesterday. And then just praying that my guts don’t explode now that I don’t have staples holding them together. I still have to wear a binder until Dr. Hanrahan says it’s okay not to and honestly, I’m scared to look at my scar now that it’s been “open” for like, 10 hours now and I’ve slept on it and I’ve stretched a little here & there because now I can and I don’t have these giant silicone testicles hanging from my waistband to hinder me any longer.

But the thing is, I feel like shit. My guts feel like shit. Have you ever truly winced? Like watching a movie where you wince, where your face shrivels up and you sort of feel sick to your stomach in a low kind of way not unlike the feeling you get when you go over hills on dirt roads really fast in a nice car and you think, for a split second, like you are on the verge of pure and utter catastrophe, no matter how small? My stomach is in a constant state of that because I have seen my guts – hell, YOU have probably seen my guts – and I don’t want to see them again so this binder isn’t coming off without medical necessity. Like, Cheryl says she’s coming back tomorrow to look at the drain holes and the scar so I’ll take the binder off then and look. After that though, I dunno.  I don’t think I’m ever going to want to see myself naked ever again. Blake and Cheryl swear that this is not the shape I’m going to end up being because I’m carrying all this extra fluid but I feel like such a fat cow because while I agree, it IS going away little by little, I can’t help but wonder how *much* of it is fluid and how much of it is my guts that they couldn’t fit back inside my body cavity.

HO HO! I hear the oven timer! That means dinner is fast approaching and I told Blake I’d be ready to watch another movie by the time food was ready and I still have to post this over at Camwhores, sooooo peace oot!

May 31, 2012

Insert Title Here

Bonjour mes amis! Comment ca va? Ca va tres bien!

And there’s about the extent of the French language I have right there. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Blake and I are half-assedly learning how to speak French since it IS our 2nd national language and everything. Plus we plan to go to Quebec eventually and then hopefully France as well. We don’t have French-English dictionaries yet though, which would probably be incredibly helpful. We’re working on it.

Right now we’re pouring all of our money into our anniversary party. I finished addressing the invitations yesterday and Blake’s going to mail those out today so at least that’s taken care of. Then Blake needs to make a private page/event on Facebook for the afterparty (or I will, I guess) and we’ll invite those people and then it’ll be a party!

I have no idea who all will be staying over at our house but I know Alex & Ronny will be and maybe Deanna & Lucas and maybe some of the Michigan people. Maybe some of the Toronto people. Massive vacuuming is going to have to happen before this party if we’re going to have people potentially sleeping on our floor. The plan is still to have a big breakfast in the morning so regardless as to whether or not people are actually sleeping here, they’re invited the next morning for breakfast, courtesy of Blake and his wicked culinary skeelz. I still don’t know what’ll be easier though: toaster waffles or pancakes and if we would bother with toast or not since the only egg option is probably going to be scrambled eggs just to keep things simple. Therefore, no one would need toast to dunk into their eggs. (Which is the only reason I can see actually eating toast, personally.) Waffles or pancakes are super important because we got maple syrup from the Maple Syrup Festival just for the occasion.

Planning parties is very hard and very stressful. :o/ Hopefully when we’re celebrating our 20th, our kids will plan it! (Ha! Fat chance.)

It’s gonna be fun though, depending on my level of pain. Since I’m not sure when surgery is going to be, I could be in a lot of pain OR we could schedule the surgery for afterward and it wouldn’t even be an issue. I guess we’ll just have to see what Dr. Hanrahan thinks.

So yesterday I saw this really upsetting video of these 4 years olds (I’m guessing), singing a song in church about how “there ain’t no homos going to heaven” and then not only did the adult congregation clap, they whooped and cheered and gave the kids a standing ovation. I don’t even know where to begin with that one and I’m not linking it so here’s “Running Faggot” by Kids in the Hall instead:

And then Blake told me about this crazy thing happening here where this teenage girl wanted to start a gay-straight alliance type of group at school and she was told she couldn’t. Why? Because she goes to a Catholic high school and that’s a total “no no” in the Catholic religion, right? So okay I get that but the thing is, our religious schools (or at least the Catholic ones) are partially funded by the province. By the government. And so our government has laws against hate speech and all kinds of laws against discrimination for being gay and gay MARRIAGE is legal here so this is a total conflict AND there’s a petition about a bill that needs to pass because:

There is currently a Bill in the Ontario Legislature that has the potential to guarantee that students who wish to form gay-straight alliances in publicly-funded schools must be permitted to do so.

1. We need to make sure that this Bill passes, with the protections for LGBTQ student groups in it, so that my friends and I will be able to form gay-straight alliance groups in our schools.

2. We also need to ensure that this Bill is amended to guarantee that students will be able to name their groups – so that schools won’t be able to prevent students from calling groups “gay-straight alliances.”
If Bill 13 passes, with the proper amendment, then no student will have to fight as I have to get a safe space in their school. No student will have to go up against school boards and administration in order to create a group in their school where they can be themselves and be supported by their fellow students. That will be something that schools must allow.”

I have no idea how it’s going to play out. The Catholic school board/church has vowed to “fight back”, whatever that means but I really hope our government is just like “pffffft” and swats these assholes like flies. I’m not really sure how a Bill is passed in our system, to be perfectly honest, so I’m not sure who, exactly, votes on this thing but I signed the petition and those e-mails are apparently going to the people who would presumably be voting on it so I guess we’ll see what happens? I know a well-written paper letter to these people would be more effective but who does that anymore and I think there’s a time issue at hand here, or at least that’s how I read the letter.

I understand why our government funds religious schools – I really do – but if they’re going to do that, they have to make sure those schools are teaching every child the laws of the land of this country, not just what the bible says.

But that’s just me.

It was so surreal when we were registering Madison for school and they asked us if we wanted to have our taxes go to the Separate (Religious) School Board when we were filling out the paperwork, or the public one. She was going to public school so I thought that was a strange question. We said “public” since that’s where she was going and I haven’t given it an ounce of thought until this morning.

Anyway, I think it’s fair the way school taxes (or how I think they work) are collected and used, I get why the province funds religious schools. I think the way it works is that your school taxes go directly in the pockets of the schools and the school systems based on what you check on your kids’ registration papers in the beginning. If you’re Catholic and plan to send your kids to Catholic school then I think it’s totally fair if you want your taxes to go to that school system.

Then again, I could have NO idea what I’m talking about. I’ve never read up on how taxes in this country work or anything like that, this is all based on that one question on Madison’s registration papers in junior kindergarten.

Anyway, however it works, I hope the province stops funding them if they won’t stop bullshit like trying to prevent gay students from bridging the gap between straight students and themselves. These kids are taking it upon themselves to do that because the adults aren’t making the effort. Don’t parents see the awesomeness of that? It’s like happiness friendship club where – oh my god – kids learn tolerance and compassion and understanding and they grow and evolve as people! Isn’t that like, the goal of creating new humans? (Especially at that age?) You would think lovers of Jesus would be ALL over that. But they’re not in this case, so I hope the province throws the book at them and privatizes religious schools.

But who knows what might happen?

In other news, Wes came home the other day really excited about his cereal box. I guess they’re doing a unit on media studies and the task was to make fake cereal boxes for some reason. Well, Wes got really into it and all last week he was bugging me to register DOMAIN NAMES for him based on his fake company and his fake cereal name, saying that he’d like to learn how to build a website.

I think he’s way too young to have unfettered access to the internet but as Blake pointed out, he can make a site in Notepad and save it all as .html and open it from his desktop like a website, to start off with at least. He also pointed out that we have Dreamweaver on the family computer so there’s that option too, although I find DW hard to use without the Visual Quickstart Guide. I’m torn as to whether or not I should buy him the domain name he wants to build a future site maybe, so I’ve either cut out or blurred domain names on his cereal box, as well as our phone number, which he had on there, so if he still loves this idea in a couple of years, the option’s there.

So here’s his cereal box, that he was really really proud of and wanted me to show you all:

So I took a break from posting these photos to go make breakfast (turkey on a kaiser woop woop!) and during that time, Wes was in the kitchen having his breakfast (Honey Nut Cheerios) and he asked me if I’d ever “heard” of there being prizes in cereal boxes. So I explained to him that most of the cereal when I was his age came with prizes and so he asked me what kinds. I told him stickers and rings and small toys. And his mind was completely blown. Why are there no prizes in cereal anymore?

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Happy Thursday!

PS. So Wes is all excited about his cereal box, right? And he comes home yesterday and says he’s going to start making the game pack that’s on the left flap of the box. I gave him a sketchbook a looong time ago that he has barely even used at this point so we’ve told him to wriiiiite it down. If it’s a good idea and you want to remember it, write it down. If it were up to Wes, there would be cardboard prototypes of EVERYTHING cluttering our living room. I’m really curious to see his sketchbook in about a year if he starts actually using it the way we’ve just taught him to.

PPS. There’s video of Wes explaining his cereal but I used the Rebel and I’m not even sure it’s in focus or how to bleep all of the websites he lists since it’s a .MOV file.

February 9, 2012


So we went to see Dr. Hanrahan yesterday. This was taken while we were waiting:

Issues. He has them.

I can’t even remember half the stuff we talked about really. We of course talked about the fact that this Dr. Mays who’s supposed to be doing my pseudocyst-draining procedure, still hasn’t contacted us and the furthest we’ve gotten with him is an estimation of like, JUNE for the procedure. Apparently he still has people waiting from July of last year. Dr. Hanrahan said she was going to put the feelers out to try and find someone else to do it but that we shouldn’t get our hopes up because it *is* a complicated procedure.

It’s complicated but it’s only going to put me out of commission for a day, three days tops, and then I’ll be ready for my big surgery.

My big surgery is going to go fine. I’m not worried at all. I was before, but after she squished my guts all around yesterday to make sure that they’d fit where they’re supposed to, I’m not worried. She said that I should do what I can to maintain my current weight. I asked her how long recovery from the surgery would be and she said 6 weeks. But then she corrected herself and said 6 weeks of not lifting ANYTHING (her emphasis). I asked her if I could still type and stuff and she said I could and I asked her how long I’d have to be in the hospital and she said “a few days”. So not the WEEKS Siske was leading me to believe, thank god.

Dr. Hanrahan did remind me that she would be working with muscles and that there would be a lot of pain to deal with, but I’m glad I’ll at least be able to type because that’ll give me something to do while I recover. I might even still be able to paint.

Before I segue into painting, I took these pictures when she sent me for blood work.

They claim that’s less than a tablespoon.

Just routine blood work. Oh and I told the doctor about those weird pains I get in my pancreatic region now and then, those stabbing, radiating pains that sent me to the ER about what, a month ago? She said it’s just the pancreas being unhappy having those cysts on it and that there’s nothing that can be done. She wrote me an rx for Percocet, which scares the living shit out of me because I know it’s habit forming and I know I have a super addictive personality. I have just heard so many horror stories of prescription painkillers, this one in particular, causing so many people’s downfalls that I’m terrified to take any. I want to take one just to see what it’s like, but I have to wait until I’m in pain so I’m kinda hoping I’ll have one of those attacks soon so I know whether or not Percocet is going to knock me on my ass. Like, is it going to make me pass out or will I be totally fine? I’d really like to know *before* I need it so I dunno, so I just know that if I take this, I’ll need to lay down or if I take this, I’ll be fine.  But I can’t just take one, so I have to wait.

I took those pictures of blood work paraphernalia because I’m sloooooooooowly getting over my fear of needles.

So yeah, that was my yesterday. So much fun, let me tell ya. I feel like I’m forgetting something about yesterday but I can’t, for the life of me, think of what it is. Oh well.

So painting…I royally fucked up my orange tiki girl when I pasted her onto the board and I’m afraid she’s not fixable. It’s kinda hard to explain, but I kinda accidentally gave her knees. Oops. I’m going to have to give her a loooong grass skirt and if I do that, she’s totally recoverable.

The sun mandala painting is ready to be scanned, but I don’t know how to use the scanner, so I have to wait until Blake can help me  and teach me how tomorrow. Bummer. So the agenda today is working on hula girl and to try and reshoot the video I made yesterday.

Yesterday I tried to make a video of me drawing one of my girls because someone said they would like to see it. So I made one. But now that I’m looking at it, I see that the angle is all wrong and I’m going to have to reshoot it today. The problem is that I have nowhere to put the tripod for it to be on my left so my right hand isn’t in the way of the shot. But I’ll figure something out. I’ll either use what I shot yesterday ANYWAY or I’ll see what I can do about reshooting it.

I’ve decided that the colouring book is absolutely going to happen. I just have to figure out the logistics, draw everything of course, scan everything of course, lay everything out of course, and then I’ll publish it through Lulu or Amazon. I think Lulu has the most choices as far as types of paper and the covers and stuff. It’ll be a softcover because I’ve never seen a hardcover colouring book in my whole entire life, and the paper won’t be “colouring book paper” because that bleeds through with markers or wet media, so I’m going to use heavier paper for the scribblers, daydreamers and those who colour outside the lines.

I thought about whether or not I’d just draw the girl and skip making her a scene and I’ve decided that that’s probably the way to go. The kids (or the kids at heart ;o)) can draw their own scenes. They’ll probably be better at it than I am. I do think I might write a little bit about each girl though. I always envision their lives while I’m drawing them so I thought maybe I could include my drawing daydreams. We’ll see.

But this is absolutely going to happen. I’m going to start drawing it TODAY.

The other thing is that I really liked my friend Mariko’s idea of magnetic paper dolls. I was thinking normal paper dolls in the beginning but I wondered like, do girls actually play with those anymore? And they probably don’t. Plus it’ll be really hard to make sure the dresses fit and the tabs are where they’re supposed to be. Magnetic paper dolls, like these, just make sense.  But the thing is, where was I going to get those printed? There’s no print on demand company like Lulu or Zazzle or Cafepress that’ll do those and we don’t have money to pay another company up front to have them printed and then, could I even sell them on Etsy since they’re not exactly handmade? But then Mariko, because she’s a fucking GENIUS, linked me to these bad boys and now I’m obsessed with the idea of magnetic paper dolls.

If I ever get my job back, the very first thing I’m going to do is buy a whole bunch of those magnetic sheets, a new printer that I can use for both the magnetic paper dolls and prints and then I’ll be in business.

My only real concern now is A) what should I call my girls? I liked Madonna’s “The English Roses” so I would like a name like that, but I can’t think of anything and B) how do I package the magnetic paper dolls? Should I cut them out myself or leave them for the parents to cut out?

Lots to think about. The thought of real live little girls colouring in MY little girls on rainy days fills me with such joy, you have no idea. Like, I never would have imagined that was possible. And the idea is so obvious too! How the hell did I not think of this sooner?

Okay, today’s my big day off so I think I’m going to go find breakfast, do my morning pages and then get to work. This colouring book isn’t going to draw itself!

PS. OH. MY. GOD. I just had a thought. It’s too late to do it this year but NEXT year I could totally do a colour book of Valentines for little girls to cut out and give to their friends. That would make my life.

PPS. For future reference, it’s never a wise thing to tell me I *can’t* do something.

February 5, 2012

Artist Date #2!

Yesterday was artist date #2 and I had a FABULOUS time only spending $14!

I decided we’d just go back to Michael’s for artist date #2 since artist date #1 was so successful. Michael’s is probably my favourite store on Earth because I get in there and I just feel like I’m home. I look around at all the beautiful things and just kind of enter this trance-like state where I’m in absolute creative bliss where all there is IS imagination. My brain starts firing a mile a minute and I’m bombraded with images of the things I could do with the things all around me. I don’t just see a package of Swarovski crystals, I see the bindi of a mermaid in Fiji. Know what I mean?

The first priority was getting a sheet of foamcore because I need it to make my girls sturdy so I can put them in the shadowbox and have them stand up straight. Jeck is sending me some vintage Valentines and what I have envisioned is two girls giving each other Valentines, but what I’m afraid of with that is that it’s too specific. *I* would have something out like that year round, but would anyone else? I dunno. My other idea, which I kinda like better, is to make a burlesque girl or two and make the background like a stage. Then I’d paint the outside of the shadowbox black with red sparkles and get Blake to drill small holes all around the sides of it so I can wire the inside with Xmas lights just like the bulbs on a burlesque stage. The lights are LED so there’s no heat from them to burn the paper so it could be left on/plugged in indefinitely.

I’ve been looking for a way to make girls with “mink” stoles (made out of marabou) but it was bugging me because you can’t really do that with canvas for fear of the canvas fraying and wood would be difficult because you can’t sew through it and if you drilled through it, it probably wouldn’t look right, but the shadowbox idea would work extremely well for it and I think I’ve just convinced myself that this is precisely what I’m going to do. I think one should be in a long, red “va va va voom” kinda sequined dress with a red stole and one should be in a white flapper type dress with a black or white stole (thoughts?). I’ve got this lovely metallic ruby shade that would be perfect for hair that I’ve been dying to use (which they’ve now discontinued!), so I think I’d put that on the girl with the white dress and I’d probably make the girl with the red dress a blonde.

It’s funny…a couple of weeks ago I was pissing and moaning that I was all out of ideas and now I’m so full of ideas I hardly know what to do with myself. I feel like I have so much work to do between the shadowbox, which is going to be a lot of work, and this “orange girl” I’m doing.

Blake got me that orange Martha Stewart glitter paint last week called “Orange Sorbet” that I’m completely obsessed with so I think I mentioned that I painted two boards with it, one a thin layer for putting under white crackled paint and one a really thick layer to use on its own as a background for an undetermined girl. I’d been staring at the second board all week, not knowing what to do with it, when I turned to Twitter yesterday and asked for ideas. Katie suggested “Creamsicle”, which I liked, but it still didn’t feel right and neither did anything else anyone suggested so I tweeted that I’d put the board away and work on something else rather than force it when my friend TE came up with a genius idea that is so good I can barely stand it. I don’t wanna say what it is though in case I mess it up and get frustrated with it and it never happens, which is a possibility because it’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever attempted. I think it’s going to be pretty easy, to be honest, but it’s something that could frustrate me easily too, so I don’t wanna count my chickens before they hatch. If I can pull this off though, I think it’ll be really cool.

So anyway, foamcore. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s two pieces of Bristol board (er, cardstock weight paper, I guess) with a piece of light foam sandwiched in the middle of them. I don’t know what other people use them for, but we used it a lot in ad school as the background for our print ads when we were doing presentations. Because of that, I thought it would be a good idea to check Staples on our way through Barrie because it was on the way to Michael’s and it was also on the way home, so if it ended up being cheaper at Staples, we could easily go back and get it.

Well, foamcore at Staples was $5.56 a sheet. For the same size sheet at Michael’s, we lucked out because it was 3/$5! I only needed one, so I could pay for it with the change in my wallet and still not put a dent in my $10 artist date budget!

On our way to Michael’s, we were behind this guy:

You can’t really tell because my camera was focusing on our dirty windshield instead of the car but that’s a fucking HUMMER with the license plate “SIZDZMTR”. It was being driven by a guy, so is he admitting that he’s overcompensating for his tiny penis?

Anyway, at Michael’s I got sidetracked by the Martha Stewart paint again because it’s on sale for 40% off, which is an extremely good deal that was very very hard to walk away from. The glitter paint is just so goddamn beautiful. But I can get paint any time and god knows I have enough of it and what I don’t have, I can mix myself anyway, so I figured paint wouldn’t be a wise investment at this juncture.

We kinda wandered aimlessly for a few minutes, just going down aisles and looking at stuff, when we got to the bacck of the store where the yarn is and it sucked me in like a Dirt Devil: GLITTER YARN. MARTHA FUCKING STEWART GLITTER YARN. Check these bad boys out:

I had a REALLY hard time deciding on colours. They had a nice light purple, a nice light turquoise (but I figured I’ve done enough turquoise for the time being), a really interesting bright green, red, a really crazy magenta that I almost bought but Blake said it was too overwhelming and again, I decided that until “Magenta Love Fairy” sells, there’s no point in doing another girl with that colour scheme. They were $5.99 per skein BUT they were also on sale for 40% off so I could afford these TWO plus my foamcore and this:

That journal was $1.50 but I had a 40% off coupon so I saved 60 cents! So not only did I get all that for like, $13 but I had $1 left over to get a ginger molasses cookie from Tim Hortons on the way home. SCORE!

For some reason Madison laughed at me, I think, for taking pictures of my yarn. I set the yarn up on my desk to take the pic and when you turn my camera on it makes a tinkling sound and when Madison heard that she ran into my office and almost wet herself she was laughing so hard. o_O She never did tell me why she was laughing, but I think that was why. I dunno why that’s funny.

Anyway, she is one smart cookie who is definitely on the same wavelength as me because she told me exactly what I intended the yarn to be: the trim on a girl’s dress.

So for those playing the homegame, I’ve got the shadowbox on the go, the orange girl and now a pink girl and a blue girl who are going to have frilly trim on the bottom of their dresses. Busy busy!

Now I think I’m going to go do my morning pages and then when Blake wakes up, I’m going to have eggs and breakfast sausages. I am SO glad he’s home! I am SO glad everyone’s home! The house just wasn’t the same without them.

PS. We ran into Raymond & Lauren in the Michael’s parking lot and it was really good to see them. Sometime soon I think we need to invite them over.

PPS. Argent is so fucking wise and amazing and he said something to me yesterday that he probably wouldn’t want me to share but that I will cherish always. Thank you so much for being my friend. I am not worthy. <3



January 21, 2012


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!

X-posted to Live Journal!


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

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