Monday, August 22, 2011

Curious Crow Interview + Comments

ETA: Idiorhythmic's Shop For all you lovely lolitas and alternative fashion lovers, there is a seller on Etsy who is trying to raise the funds to save her home and hopefully prevent an ugly custody battle. She's been in the dealer rooms of many conventions in the Midwest, so chances are you may have seen her work before! In any event, many of her waist cinchers and corsets have been marked down in price by $40-60 dollars, which is a great discount and a great chance to help someone in need. She also has a ton of cute and affordable wallets and bags, scarves and bustles!

(Now back to your post already in progress.)

I got a heads up from Butters at Super Shiny Jelly that folks were unable to comment on my blog. Changed the layout from a third party back to a native Blogger skin, so give me a shout out if you can so I know it's working!

I recently had my interview with the Curious Crow, and I worked like mad to get everything moved over to the new shop for it. I also had several relatives and friends that gamely volunteered to model for jewelry pieces. Honestly, I think my shop is looking better than ever--my inventory is at an all time high, my photography skills have improved dramatically, and just having a better camera helps, too. I even finished a new collage/multimedia piece that I'm very pleased with. It's a portrait of Ada Lovelace, which you can see after the jump. There are some detail shots on the Etsy listing too, so you can read more of the text and see the glitter and gold shimmer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Suddenly, cats. Thousands of them.

The new DA and the new Etsy page are now officially up and running. There's a few items left in my old mpatrick shop on Etsy, but I have most of my expired listings redrafted and ready to go on Tencrowns.

In other news, the chaos that swirls around my life has struck again--a couple that I'm friends with had their apartment building catch fire the other day. They're staying with us until they can get the deposit money saved up for a new place, having brought along their two cats and a kitten that was found in an unoccupied unit of their building. (The firefighters asked them if they knew who it belonged to, and they weren't sure, so they took him anyway.) So there are currently four cats at home alone with me as I am trying to work and they would all like my attention. On the whole though, I think it's a positive change--they only had smoke damage, so their stuff was safe though smelly, and they'd had a number of bad experiences with both their neighbors and the management. I'll be very happy to see them in a safer neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bad and Good

Lots to talk about that has kept me generally away from the internet: there was a stroke in the family, things are not looking good. The car I had for two months blew something in the engine, and apparently the same engine is used in some little racecar, so used parts are in high demand and hard to come by. My roadside assistance left me sitting on the side of a highway for a little over five hours--naturally this caused me to miss a whole day of work--because the first vendor they sent couldn't find me and didn't bother to call to clarify my location, and another one had a shift change of some kind and never even entered my order into their system, so I didn't know that nobody was coming for me until the hour and half timeframe they were supposed to show up in had passed. It was nothing short of magical. I then got to spend my two days off from the day job in which I should have been working on art kicking tires.

On the plus side, I now own the nicest car I've ever had, and got a good deal on it. It's a bit of a mom-mobile, and a bit more boatlike than I am used to driving, but everything in it actually works and the body's in good condition, which is something I've never had before.

I have an interview with the Curious Crow in a couple of weeks! I have a series of six stamps to plant, with one left to carve! I also now have my own YouTube channel. After screwing around with Windows Movie Maker for a bit, I cobbled together some brief footage of our trip to Indian Run back in June. Some constructive criticism would be much appreciated. (PS, there's links hidden in there.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cornhenge and Indian Run Falls

 If you live in Central Ohio, chances are you probably know the exact place I am talking about when you read the word "cornhenge," even though that isn't its actual name. (It's actually Field of Corn.) I sure as heck knew where it was, as I have probably driven past this weird art installation/monument a thousand times in my life. For those of you lucky enough to not be stuck in Ohio, I took some photos both of the Field of Corn installation and the scenic nearby Indian Run Falls, which I had no idea existed. I thought the sights of these two were pretty cool, but we also picked up Spirit Stone Frog's "Haunted Heather Glen," CrazyGirlz's "Happy St. Patrick's Day" at another Dublin landmark, and jeeves' "Go! Fight! Win!" Photos after the jump!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Here's a shark.

Not much to say at the moment except that I have a miraculous day off this weekend, and plan to do some treasure hunting! I'm also in the process of consolidating my various little webpages under a single name so that it's less confusing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Orchids and Creepy Baby Angels

I went through and uploaded some pieces to my long-neglected DeviantArt account. There's a lot more that needs to go up there, too, but I thought I'd share what I got up there here, too. These are some resized versions to fit nicely in the blog, but there's links to the individual deviations as well if you'd like to see them  larger. Everything interesting after the jump!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quit Your Day Job.

I know things haven't been very active around here lately, but I've been kind of busy breaking my back for peanuts. I finally worked up the nerve to quit one of my two regular jobs, and have resolved to be more productive and more active online, and am in the process of putting together a little website as a hub to unite all my disparate little pages.

I've never had to quit a job--I've been seasonal help, I've been laid off, and I was fired once, but this is the first time I've ever had to submit a formal two weeks' notice and all. It was kind of weird. Anyone have a good quitting story?

(The melonheads prints turned out nice, by the way. Pic and link after the jump.)

Monday, May 16, 2011


I'm back. Sort of. The Etsy shop was updated today with a new card and get this--I did some adjustments and am now offering FREE domestic shipping on just about everything in the store, and even better FREE WORLDWIDE shipping on all prints, cards and stickers! How awesome is that?

Following a couple of new blogs as well, and I'm going to play catch-up on reading! (I've worked about two weeks without a day off, my new place is still a wreck and something in my car is making an awful noise, bear with me here.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movin' On Up, and a Question About YouTube

Just FYI, I'm losing my mind this week trying to move and balance both workplaces. Packing up my art materials is always the hardest part, because I know the minute I tape up the box is the minute before I'll have an idea. The great thing about the new place is that I'll finally have a space dedicated to being studio space; a nice finished basement where I'll have space and no television or video games to distract me, so here's hoping that I'll be more productive as a result.

It's a silly question, but I was playing around with the video function on my camera the other day. I know a lot of artists have livestream channels where they invite people to come and watch them paint or draw. I don't really have a webcam, but how interested would anybody be in art and crafting video tutorials? I know YouTube is inundated with that sort of thing, but honestly I've seen several that aren't done particularly well, or they are, but pretty obviously aimed at the stay at home scrapbooking mom/grandma type. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I often have a different perspective and background than a lot of the people I see presenting these things, so I feel like it might be more interesting and more engaging for people who tend to veer away from demographic--applying these sorts of techniques to alt fashion accessories or to modeling for tabletop gaming, even if it's just a change in the aesthetics and the subject matter, or directing and reviewing resources like books, websites and retailers. Hell, I'll do bits on whatever it is people suggest. I just keep finding more to do when I've already stretched myself thin!

Anyway, I look forward to reading your opinions and catching up on everyone's blogs sometime next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In Which a Lesson is Learned

So, I finished carving the melon heads yesterday, and I went to do a test stamp. I pulled up the carving, and there was only a very faint ghost of ink on the paper, and the stamp itself was still black. So, the regular, super-tough battleship grey lineoleum? Not great for stamp carving, as it turns out. I should have done it on a medium with more "squish," but the other linoblocks I have are soft to the point where I didn't feel comfortable leaving it out to be stamped with over and over again, afraid that it would break down or tear pretty quickly. On top of that, the lineoleum seemed to suck up the oil-based ink. I tried cleaning it afterwards and it doesn't want to budge. Rather than go to my linocutting supplies or the admittedly small circular plastic-y stamp blanks I have, I'm going to get a hold of some of Speedball's SpeedyCarve material, which comes highly recommended by other stamp carvers.

You can take a look at the (mostly) finished product after the jump. I may yet do some fiddling and clean out some of the undercutting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Green Lawn, Take Two; Silver Clay & More!

My PMC arrived in the mail! It's such a small packet, but I can't wait to start working with it--plan on doing pendants to start with. I have a friend who has tools for shaping rings, but I think I prefer to start with something where size is less important until I get a feel for the shrinkage. I've worked with polymer clay now and then as a replacement for ceramic clay--I'd done a few ceramic pieces in high school and loved the idea of fabricating jewelry pieces, but it's hard since I no longer have access to a kiln. The silver clay can be finished with a torch, so it's somewhat more convenient. Very exciting, and I can't wait to share the results.

Red Wolf and I went back to Green Lawn Cemetery on Sunday to pick up a few of the boxes we hadn't had time for last trip. They're technically only open from noon til four on Sundays, so we had kind of a narrow window, and I didn't fuss around taking as many pictures this time. We picked up all but two of the seven box series "A Royal Garden Party" by DrWatson; one is gone and the other is a bonus box, the clue to which takes some deciphering. We also got a couple of stand-alone boxes and picked up another hitchhiker; Wereallinthistogether's "Eve Was Framed." It was originally planted in 2007 as a mystery, and moved its way up from Florida (St. Cloud, near my old home town of Kissimmee!) through Ohio, so that was pretty amusing.

Speaking of which, there's a good chance that I will be going to Florida this summer with my in-laws, so I'm seriously considering carving up a hitchhiker to turn loose down the empire of the rat when I finish with the melon heads stamp. Green Lawn photos after the jump.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Melonheads Sketch

Seeing as how horror won out on my poll, I took in a lot of suggestions, but I ended up going with Red Wolf's idea of doing something cryptid related. We're both big into cryptozoological phenomenon and UFOs and all that fun stuff--we may even be going to the Mothman festival in West Virginia this September. It's just across the Ohio river, so it's not too long a drive for a goofy weekend getaway. Thanks to all the ideas everyone submitted though, I have a stack of stamps to carve!

Anyway, I got to reading about some creepy tales of Ohio and I came across the melonheads, the Loveland Frog, Hilltop Asylum (which I've driven past but haven't explored, Hilltop has become not a great neighborhood to hang out in), the tiny town outside of Cincinnati, the gates to Hell in Columbus which I've actually been to, and all kinds of weird stuff. Now, I think the story about the melonheads is complete bunk, but it's interesting, and it seems to be an Eastern U.S. regional thing as there's very similar stories that supposedly take place in Michigan and Connecticut, probably brought over as a retelling of an English story.

I based my sketch off of a photo of a hydrocephalic child's skull. Image, story and links after the jump! Actually you know what? I'll just put the image after the jump, that way it won't be spoiled for anyone that actually wants to track this thing down once it's planted. I forgot about my AtlasQuest traffic!
 Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia on the Ohio version of the story:

The melon head stories of Ohio are primarily associated with the Cleveland suburb of Kirtland. According to local lore, the melon heads were originally orphans under the watch of a mysterious figure known as Dr. Crow (sometimes spelled Crowe, Trubaino, Krohe or Kroh or known as Dr. Melonhead[3]). Crow is said to have performed unusual experiments on the children, who developed large, hairless heads and malformed bodies.[4] Some accounts claim that the children were already suffering from hydrocephalus, and that Crow injected even more fluid into their brains.[3]

Eventually, the legend continues, the children killed Crow, burned the orphanage, and retreated to the surrounding forests and many believe they feed on babies. Today, some believe that the melon heads may be sighted along Wisner Road in Kirtland, and Chardon Township.[4][5] The legend has been popularized on the Internet, particularly on the websites Creepy Cleveland and DeadOhio, where users have offered their own versions of the story.[6] A movie, "Legend of the Melonheads"[1] was released in 2011 (and available on DVD), which is based on the Ohio legend and various other legends in the Kirtland area. This is to be followed by another movie "Dr. Crow" scheduled for production in 2012. 'Dr. Crow' is a period piece showing how Crow created the melonheads. Both feature films are written and directed by Brian C. Lawlor and produced by ShockStar Studios[2]. Another feature film simply entitled "The Melon Heads" [3] is based on the same urban legend (in name only) and is slated for release in late 2011. Directed by Eddie Lengyel and produced by Fright Teck Pictures, the movie stars Joe Zamora, Roger Conners, Shawn C. Phillips, Kelsey Zukowski, and a hand-full of up and coming b-movie actors and actresses.

However, some people debate it, and there are accounts of Dr. Crowe being an actual person in the area, though supposedly a dentist in the 1940s, which doesn't really follow with the rest of the story. There are more anecdotes and a more flavorful telling of the melonheads story at Weird Ohio. I'm going to have to look up the movies and see if they're any good. 

SPOILER for letterboxers after the jump!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hey, do you crochet?

I know there's a few crafty types keeping on eye on me here, I just wanted to share the Etsy shop of a lady that has some awesome cute amigurumi and other patterns, as well as finished plushes shops of a couple of nifty ladies that crochet and provide crochet patterns. I can't crochet to save my life, but I thought it may be of interest to someone else!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Congrats Card

Super busy day ahead of me, but I thought I'd pop this up before I took it to work! A coworker of mine at Job #1 was promoted from an assistant manager at our store to a salaried store manager for another location in the city. I thought it would be nice to make a little something and have everybody at our store sign it.

The flourish at the bottom didn't turn out quite right when I stamped it, and the ink dried so quickly that I couldn't emboss it or anything. So out came the raspberry colored Sharpie and I filled it in by hand.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Horror wins!

And no one is surprised at all. I have a couple of ideas, so I figure I'll do some quick sketches and show them off here on the blog with a new poll. In the meanwhile, I'm working on some new prints that I should have up on my Etsy soon-ish.

Any creepy suggestions for sketches? I already have thoughts for doing something with the Mothman or maybe a Jekyll and Hyde set, but I'm totally open to other ideas and will have a real post up as soon as I have something to show!

EDIT: Magpies now up in the Etsy store!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Etsy Treasuries

Horror is off to an early lead, but there's still a few days left to vote! I'm already brainstorming ideas.

Meanwhile, I've been on Etsy for some time, I've never really made use of the Treasury feature until now--I've actually started to be included in several treasuries myself, and it's an awesome feeling, so I put one together.

And in addition, here's a few treasuries I've been featured in, after the jump.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In a carvin' mood!

Hey, I'm busy working my day job(s) for the rest of the week, but with the weather getting warmer (albeit yesterday's sudden snowstorm) I really want to make up my own letterbox and get it planted. I've tossed a poll up at the top of the blog. I figure I'll do that for a while, and then I'll make a new poll to narrow it down from these three broad categories. Honestly, I have no idea what direction to go in. Vote as many times as you want!

What I'm thinking is that I will do what's referred to as an "LTC" box--not only will I carve a stamp, but I'll make a limited number of ATCs to store with it, so the first few people that find it will have something a little extra-special to have. Don't know what an ATC is? Artist Trading Cards-the Wikipedia article covers it fairly well!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Green Lawn Cemetery, Take One

So, I don't know how much attention anyone pays to my AtlasQuest widget up there in the corner, but if you do, you may have noticed that my find count has shot up pretty dramatically over the past couple of days. "Why?" you might ask. The answer is the Green Lawn Park located here in Columbus, Ohio. It's a historical cemetery full of monuments, elaborate mausoleums, and a wonderful assortment of local flora and fauna. It's the resting place of several local figures like Eddie Rickenbacker, famous race car driver and WWI flying ace. We saw cardinals, blue jays, and goldfinches, enormous trees as well as a bridge and several monuments over a hundred years old.

The other wonderful thing about Green Lawn? It is absolutely chock -full of letterboxes. I found this out when I started to compile a list of new areas for us to visit. There are several single boxes and a number of series there too--so many in fact, that we only managed to get ten of them in one day. The park is just so huge and there are so many planted there that even with the plenty of time we allowed ourselves, there was no way to get every single one. We're going to have to go back on another one of those rare occasions we have a day off together. Unfortunately, the park is located close to downtown, and some people apparently have a hard time respecting the grounds, which has made me resolve to start packing a trash bag or two in with our usual kit. All in all though, it was a beautiful, overcast day to spent amongst the departed. I can't wait to go back and get the other half. Lots of photos after the jump!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First finds of 2011!

I've been waiting so long for the weather to not only turn warm but a little drier to get out and do some letterboxing. Well, yesterday was finally the day that both Red Wolf and I had free (after taking care of some necessary shopping and looking into a new apartment) so we headed out to a cemetery and one of the metroparks to see what we could find. A couple of photos, dealing with a park ranger and being denied clues after the jump.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Extemporaenously Kate! :O

Of Extemporaneously Kate, since comment button on her blog seems to be broken. GIRL, GET YOU SOME OF THESE: Knifty Knitter Looms. I sucked at needle knitting too, but I picked these up and they're super easy to work with. Granted, the only things I've made so far have been dishcloths and scarves, but I've found several books with all kinds of patterns for things like hooded vests and jumpers, and how to work all sorts of different stitching, and I've also read that you can pretty much adapt any standard knitting project to a loom. If you don't like plastic, I've seen wooden knitting looms and wooden ones with metal teeth, too, but those are a little more pricey. I made some scarves for my nephews and niece for Christmas; they all look pretty samey and they're really the first pieces I've done so they're not perfect, but you can see now nice and even the stitching comes out. Someone get her ass over here, I'm dumb and can't find contact info on her page.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Snowpocalypse

Living on the southern end of Central Ohio, I fortunately missed out on the worst of the massive snowstorm. We did get some ice and wind, and there's just a little snow flurrying down now. I haven't been out driving yet since I've been off of work for a couple of days, so tonight will be an adventure. Our power got knocked out a couple of times, but only for a few minutes each time, so luckily we didn't freeze to death. So looking forward to warmer weather! I've been working on some paintings since we haven't been able to really get out and do much, and I've tossed up a button over in the sidebar to my Etsy shop. Only it's mostly full of old stuff that's not so great right now, so don't look now, look back in like... a couple of days once I've got some stamps carved and paintings finished and things printed.

I have had so many projects on my plate, including helping out with a friend's comic project, getting started on my first comic. Hours have been cut at work, so while the time to just chill and do creative stuff has been nice, but as a result I've been stressing about finances and for the first time ever did my taxes just as soon as I got my W2. Can't have it all, I guess.