Friday, October 19, 2012

Candy Corn Turkey

Happy Friday!

I have visions of candy corn and turkey dancing through my head, as is evident in my Candy Corn Grumpy Turkey.  I didn't mean to give him candy corn for his tail feathers; it just sort of happened.  But I like it.  I think it makes a statement.

I awoke several times in the night to the aroma of slow cooked pork.  Yes, I have been reading creepy books at bedtime, but not last night and there are no pigs in the book either.  The aroma was no figment of my imagination.  The smell wafted from my kitchen where I was indeed slow cooking pork for a tailgating dish.  Yuummmm.  'Tis the season for tailgating, and Halloween candy, and Thanksgiving meal planning (which means I may need to test run some recipes tee hee), and bulging blue jeans!!  AARGGH!  The pounds just creep up on you, don't they?  So, that means it is also the season for blowing the dust off the exercise equipment and tossing those musty workout clothes with a Bounce sheet before putting them back into rotation.  But with the start of the season comes the promise of great things.  Great meals and a little extra bending room in the waist of my favorite bluejeans.  So, I am excited.

I am also excited about my newest skulls.  Several have already found new homes, but a few remain to be adopted.  You can find them in my Etsy shop today.  More to come.  In the past I focused on the earrings, (and some prefer the earrings.  I have already done some custom earrings for those who had bought some last year.  So, if earrings are your thing, just ask!) but this year I have been enjoying the versatility of the pendant -more room to play and more ways to incorporate other materials.  I finally gave in and bought a jar of Renaissance wax to seal my steel.  Anyone have any tips about using this stuff?  I am just winging it at this point.  I also found a punch and die tool at Michaels that is supposed to work on 16 gauge material.  Let's hope it is as sturdy as it looks.  I'll get back with you on that one.

I hope you all have a fabulous Fall Weekend.  Enjoy a cocoa, a lager, a game, or just the sound of the leaves rustling across the patio and the song of the wind chimes as Autumn announces her arrival.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Express Lane Rant

How’s that speedy check-out lane working for you?  Do you find that half the time you want to use one none are open?  While I stand in an open express lane,  I find myself covertly counting the number of items in the basket before mine.  (On the whole the public tends to underestimate the number of products it is buying.)  And when I commit to one of these “quick” lines, I know that I have accepted a gamble, usually a losing one at that.

I have tried to cut my losses.  I have tried to create a system for determining which line will move the fastest.  There are so many variables:  the types of items being purchased, the cashier, the customer, coupons, sales events, even the time of day.  (You know, when it’s finally your chance to put your package of Tampons on the counter only to have the checker turn off the light because her shift is over, or it’s break time.)  I remember once last year when I thought I had made a brilliant choice.  I chose the line with the woman purchasing a gift card.  How long can that take?  Well, it turns out she was purchasing THIRTY of them!  SEPARATELY!  Thirty items in the ten and under lane.  Well, I guess since she paid separately she found the loophole.  But if I had seen thirty women purchasing single gift cards, I would have stood behind five people instead.  At least the cashier resented that her “express lane” status had been abused and she apologized to me.

Yesterday, I encountered an enabler.  Yep.  An express-lane cashier who exacerbated the wait.  I admit that I did not thoroughly consider all the variables.  But it was well past 5:00, the time that I lock my door to the crazy world and refuse to participate until the masses have settled down in front of their televisions.  And so when I got in line behind the single elderly woman in her Wal-Mart-provided motorized scooter in the “20 Item” line, I was simply ticking away the seconds until I could get home and put some supper on the table.

Those seconds ticked into minutes and I craned my head around to find her scooter’s basket already full to the brim with those offensive white Wal-Mart bags.  She still had another 8 items on the conveyer belt, and that’s when the monetary transaction games began.  “How much do I owe?  Oh.  Well put those two items on then.  Now how much do I owe?”  She paid the first bill of $100.00.  Then everything else needed to be rung up as another transaction, but maybe she didn’t want all of it. 

At that point I was glowering, shifting weight from one tired foot to the other, shooting red laser beams from my eyeballs at the “twenty items” sign hoping to disintegrate it, mentally calculating how much more time I would be there versus getting in another line behind several people, all the while pretending to humor my children by listening to at least parts of what they had to say. 

I spent 15 minutes being “next in line” before I changed lines and found a spot behind two other customers.  I paid for my 12 items with a thirty second swipe of the credit card and left with the octogenarian customer and the senior citizen cashier still tying up the express lane.  Old age may rob our senior citizens of their mobility, continence, and basic good manners, but it endows them with cajones the size of steroidal watermelons and tunnel vision.  (I say this with love and a smile, because I am VERY close to one of these described octogenarians.)

And that is my rant this week.  Avoid discount box stores after 5:00.  Never fall for a lane that is doubly hexed.  And NEVER NEVER take those check-out signs at face value.

Wooden Butterfly Skull- pendant
Cherry blossom detail
Oh, yeah, last week I gave you a tiny peek at my current projects.  They progressed a little slower than I hoped this week, but here’s what I have to show today.  (I have a few more still under construction. Once I have those complete I will begin putting them on Etsy.)  Feel free to leave feedback.  I learned that white is good in theory only.  All polymer clay artists will tell you that white is only white while it is in the package.  I knew that.  What I didn’t count on was how difficult it is to photograph white!  Suggestions are welcome!

Cherry Blossom Field Skull - pendant

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Here's a peek at what I have been up to this week, but just a peek!  When October arrives I can't help but start creating skulls.  They are a little Day of the Deadish and a whole lot of cute.  I really like mixing materials, and I hope to experiment more with that this year.  Check out my Etsy site where you can find a few resident skulls right now.  But the newbies haven't been listed yet.  They will be arriving soon, like in the next week.  So be sure to visit a few times.
This was one card I just had to hold on to for a while.  I LOVE this image from Tiddly Inks.
It's not just skulls that have kept me busy these days.  Nope.  I had a wee bit of surgery which gave me some extra time to play with Copics- and it gave me a BUNCH of reasons to make Thank-You cards.  And what says thank you better than Copics?  And since I had so much "down time" I decided to add to my colorful collection of markers.  They arrived and now I am busy creating some crafty storage for them. But I promise to save that for another post.  

I also have to give a huge shout out to my Mom!  She earned her OTCH during my blogging absence.  An OTCH- one of those acronyms that I have no idea what it means.  I do know it is incredibly difficult to achieve and in the sixty years our local dog training club has existed only five people have earned one.  And while a simple little card cannot possibly be adequate congratulations, I nonetheless felt inspired to drop one in the mail.  The image is a personal favorite from Smeared Ink. I love all their little Grumpies!  I also LOVE the dew drops- the clear and metallic pink plastic embellishments on the front.  They bring an element of fun.  And you can't see it in this photo, but the black strip at the top and bottom is actually glitter tape from Michael's.  I found it on a Halloween end cap and knew I had to have it.  I think I will have to buy another roll or two!

Have a great weekend!-  Renee