Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the Queen does not cook

I know a lot of people out there love to cook. They love the whole creating a meal and serving a happy family gig that somehow escapes me. My sister in law would try a new recipe every week....for me, its cleaning out the fridge left over casserole and weenie-water stew. Cooking is not my thing...

I can cook, and I'm a pretty damn good one if I say so myself...if pushed I can cook a beautiful duck with either orange or cherry sauce, your choice. But do I wanna...nope.

And I can get all old school and make some bean soup with a smoked ham hock, red beans and rice or lentil ahead first.

My mom use to cook up a storm. We always had both a pork roast and a beef roast every Sunday...and never ever had fake potatoes, hamburger helper or mac and cheese...she made her own pickles, relish and summer sausage...her Christmas cookies (lebkuchen) were made in September and stored till December...hard as nails but perfect with coffee. She loved, not so much.

When asked where my favorite place to eat I will always say the same thing...Denny's. But not any Denny's, oh no, the one on Waikiki beach with no windows and the sea gulls flying in to snatch your french fries...dang, I would get an extra order just to be there now.

I hate the entire process, all the way from going to 3 different stores to find all the ingredients for some recipe, to washing, chopping, cleaning, steaming and whatever else I have to do to get the stuff ready and then the presentation! which my family will generally sit down, salt it heavily, pour ketchup all over, and call it good...(could have been a kitchen sponge for all they notice) and the only rule I have is: if I cook it you will eat it and call it good no matter what. If asked you may reply with either 'it was great, lets have that again' or 'it was great, but don't rush out and buy more'.

I am so grateful for people in my life that love to cook. I understand the need to nurture, to put on the big apron and create wonderful things made with love and just the right amount of seasoning. I get it, but for me I wanna go to Denny's.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

doing what I do...

Brand new today! More junk into 'Junque' and while this may not be everyone's cup of tea, I kinda like it. But lets face it, I have no taste.

Ask anyone who knows idea of style is matching a pair of jeans and a old band uniform blazer. I am known to be seen in an antique smoking jacket complete with black satin sash, and my favorite jean jacket is 30+ years old.

I try to avoid clothes that hurt or leave red marks, so I pray nightly for the person who invented stretch denim. My style is early American comfee with a dash of thrift store style.

This carries into my home as well. I don't have a lot of storage space so I use antique picnic baskets on top of my cabinets. Wooden milk crates are in almost every corner filled with LPS, plants and other assorted necessaries. And My furniture came from an estate sale and still had the tag from 1910.

Style has nothing to do with how I work or dress. If I see something that needs to be in my home I don't really care if it is broken, dirty or mismatched...I can fix it! I love old clocks and many can be seen in the background of my Etsy photos...none work. You want to know what time it is you need to check the microwave. Old barometers, got em' everywhere...I don't even know what a barometer is exactly but they are cool. And don't be surprised to find an old saddle hanging from a beam in my living room...or a pair of snowshoes, or a antique sword, or Indian head all works.

Anyone can buy style, I just do what I do and it makes me happy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

positively being positive

A long time ago I went to Paris. It was (in spite of everything I did) awesome.
I went with a friend and did every typical American thing a typical American would do...ate too much, drank too much and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I need to remember those times as I am dealing with the day to day frustrations of being alive in Michigan.

Trying to keep myself positive as my state slowly sinks into the abyss of the recession is challenge in itself. 23% unemployment rate..really...can you double check that.

Of course, being out of work myself doesn't help. I want to be a contributing member of society, to pay my taxes and to matter again. SO why am I dinking around all day gluing things together...cuz I live in Michigan and its all I got.

So, today I am going to think of Paris in the spring...
of chocolate slowly dripping down a scoop of hard vanilla ice cream...
of the sound of Ernie Harwell on a hot July day
the smell of suntan lotion
warm sheets straight from the dryer
jiffy pop
the entire album of 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'
and the first time I heard Bessie Smith

ahh, that's so much better...

Friday, March 26, 2010

confused...very confused...

Urg! I just got a call from the Dr.s office and apparently my cholesterol is up by 50 points...50 POINTS! I eat salads all freakin day! I eat no red meat, no fat and no overly processed food!!!!!! (And believe me it sucks a big one!) I drink decaf coffee, don't smoke, drink maybe 3 drinks a year and wear my seat belt for fraggle rocks sake. I avoid salt and haven't had a Big Mac since the Clinton administration. I buy .5% milk, medium eggs and eat fiber every day. What the ^&*& more can I do???

I WANT A DO OVER.! And right now I am assuming the hospital has gotten my blood work wrong...its a conspiracy I tells ya!

no one ever told me one morning I would wake up and my lips would be gone. One day they have color, the next...I look like a flesh colored smiley face.

my hair would slowly turn to steel wool with a mind of its own. You can hot oil treatment all you want it still looks like 'the Ghoul'...(local Detroit 70's reference, kiddies)

since when did my boobs start to hang like Spanish moss??? (1978 probably)

Growing old is not pleasant...those AARP flyer's that come daily in the mail showing the smiling white people on some sail boat looking all healthy and fit are a myth made up to convince the population to buy a time share.

I am just freaking mad and think I will go get a Big Mac...urg!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who the Queen is...

This is one of my earlier necklaces, and I like it, I like the fact that it has a small butterfly and is made of junk and the picture turned out nice (someone actually told me I could sell the picture instead of the necklace...hmmm) it represents who I am as a designer.

Other things represent who I am as well:

My cheap ass hairdo tells you I am not a slave to fashion or convention. While I would love to be sporting a fantastic new do with highlights, lowlights and all the other lights in between, I just can't justify spending that kind of cash to impress the dogs.

The dog hair dust bunnies slowly turning into tumble weeds tell you I am not a housekeeper. I'm dealing with it just fine, thanks you very much.

My office, filled to the brim with old broken junk, pieces of jewelry and assorted bits and bobs tells you while I'm not making any money I still have hopes of becoming the junk-maker to the stars!

The fact that I am still married to my first date tells you that I am either incredibly lucky (I am) incredibly tolerant (eh...) or hubby isn't very picky.
(hes not)

The fact that I still find time to blog tells you I am unemployed, unaffiliated and unmotivated to do anything else.

And the fact that you find time to read this tells me you are either incredibly bored, incredibly loyal or feel the need to read. For whatever reason you are reading, I thank you from the bottom of my crafty little heart.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Advise from the Queen. Vol 1

Today's musings will be from the book of life, Chapter 1 Verse 1...

1.There are certain things you should not buy from 2nd hand stores or deep discount places...those include:
a) condoms
b) hair dye
c) any form of medicine that has to be inserted into any orifice
d) anything with Elvis as an icon
2. Waiting till the last minute to make the Dr.s appointment will not force you into loosing the last 10(or 50) pounds you promised to loose...go to the Dentist instead, they don't weigh you there.
3. Wanting aint getting, especially in the form of good weather, cheap airfare and cute shoes that fit
4. The bigger the bra, the more industrial it looks
5. The more complicated the phone, the higher chance you have of dropping it in the toilet.
6. The hair style you see in the mirror at home has nothing to do with what is actually on your head
7. Leave anything with the word 'skinny' in the title to the 20 somethings (unless it is directly followed by the word bitch)
8. Being frugal is different from being cheap. Frugal=looking for a sale. Cheap= dumpster diving behind the Sunoco
9. Never pass up the opportunity to take a wizz. Trust me on this one!
10. The chance of getting the ....(insert need here, ie: job, call back, right size panti hose) is about the same as being hit by a meteor...go ahead and try, just wear a helmet.

That is your words of wis-dumb for today, all rise and sing the Queen Ginya song...
"You can't always get what your waaaaaant..."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the wisdom of crowds

Today I went to an auction, and not just any auction, but an equipment auction for David's work. Had my eye on some padded envelops...cases and cases of them. Marked #629, auction started with #1...long day ahead.

The crowd was a mixture of "John Burch society" wannabe's, skater boyz and old dudes with nothing else to do. The only other women there were either totally confused about gender or somebodies mom trying to score her boy a cheap laptop. One guy wore complete camo and an elf hat...not sure what category he fit into. Carharts and Michigan jackets were the order of the day.

The auction started with a room full (and I mean FULL) of laptops and they were selling them at a starting bid of $100. Now if everyone would have shut the &*%$ up they could have had them for that, but nooooooo, somebody started bidding against each other and the next thing I know its gotten up to $250. After the first guy 'won' the bid the auctioneer offered the rest at that body said a word, so back to the starting bid again. Figuring they would have learned a lesson from the first go round I thought they would stand mute...nope, bidding stopped at $240...hello??? starting at $100, STFU!!! People!!!

They had some tables I wanted, and waited till afternoon for the bidding. David ran to the bathroom and stopped to talk to the cashier...keeping the bid card with him. All 9 went for $2 and me with no bid card. thanks David!

This went on all day, people bidding against each other for junk. We were there till 2:30, and finally the bidding started for the envelopes. The auctioneer decided he was wasting too much time so lumped them all together in one bid...there were over 100 cases. I had my price for a case, and maybe a skid if I had to... but 100 cases, oh well...let the bidding begin!...lost by $5. There is a day I wont get back. We left with nothing.

I have always been a firm believer in the wisdom of crowds. Making my way in an unfamiliar airport I always followed large groups who seemed to know where they were going. After today's experience I think I need to re-think my beliefs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the things I go through....

I love the newest items I just posted on my site. Its a tiny gold watch with a filigree jewelry finding (code for: I have no idea what it is) a black sandstone heart and a fluorite stone on a chain. It is the definition of what Queen G is all about...making something from nuttin'.

But, what I have to deal with getting these things is a challenge in itself. This watch case came from a interesting (nasty) little 'antique' store in my area. This place is in a creepy location complete with duct tape on the window and no parking unless you have great insurance and a crappy car. I had driven past this place a million times never quite getting the nerve to go, its THAT kind of place. But, I finally got my courage up and went in. It was closed, but the owner came flying out of somewhere, honking and waving us back. 80 years old with hair flowing down his back...interesting I thought. And it was, so much crap to go through, and prices that were all negotiable and getting lower by the minute as I listened to his disjointed stories of his kids, sisters in law and other assorted relatives.

The next place I went had a guy who assumed every piece of junk in his place was hand delivered from Jesus himself. Prices higher than retail because 'he needed to make some money too!', yeah,!

The third place was full of stuff that someone would need, someday...and the next time I need a laundry basket full of wet, moldy wicker baskets, that's the first place I'm headed. 'Easter', the guy said as he noticed me grimacing at the pile.

By the time I got to the Goodwill my nerves were shot. I know there is a recession and people are in dire need of stuff, but they have to be so stereotypical??? Does the cashier at the shops all have to be dentally challenged (or hygienically ignorant?) Do all the shops have to have that funky 'just died' smell? And why is there always a Peter Frampton album laying around.

I don't care about the funk as long as we all understand that most of this stuff is junk...not priceless heirlooms just handed down through the generations to be bagged in dirty Ziploc bags and tossed in a peach basket in some dingy garage somewhere. Gimme the 80 year old guy who will cheat you if he can and respect you if he can't...I can deal with him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


With deep thanks to I find myself thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.

Apparently growing up is an option not all of us have opted for. I, for one can not find any good reasons for becoming a responsible adult. OK, I pay taxes, did my census, drive the speed limit(sorta) and eat lots of fiber. But, my parents were grown up and I certainly didn't want to be like teachers (for the most part) were grown up and there was only one of them I ever thought I would want to be like...but that was an example too far above my station. (RIP, Mrs. Nicholas).

When I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian, till I watched 'All Creatures great and Small' and found out you had to stick your hand up a horses ass...thanks PBS, for dashing my dreams!

Then there was the Surgeon phase...note: being a Doctor wasn't even part of this equation...just Surgeon, thank you very much.

Then: the lonely starving artist, working for hallmark...drawing cool cards or writing commercials like 'Freddy and SAM'...(cute commercial, probably on Youtube) but I realized they were in Kansas City and didn't want to live there. Note: I did manage to design a snowman Christmas line for them I guess that means I can check this one off.

Commercial artist, illustrator, art therapist, they were all things I wanted to be. My mom wanted me to be a nurse. (I would be the WORSE nurse in the world!!!) My dad just wanted to make sure I wasn't a lesbian, any thing after that he would have been happy with.

Have I lived up to my potential? Sitting in front of a computer writing inane thoughts about things no one really cares about? Glueing things together and hawking them on the Internet? All I can say is, who said I am done? Maybe I wont be an astronaut, or a nurse...(even tho my mom told everyone I was) but maybe, just maybe the phone will ring and i will be off on a new adventure. I have potential!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back when we had style

I love this picture of David's grandma. I haven't heard a lot about her and what I have wasn't that complementary, but what I do know was that she had style. One look at that awsome hat will tell you that. And she was a frustrated poet, a song writer and a dreamer. I have heard she wasn't much of a housekeeper, cook or cuddly mom type...(sounding too ding-dong familiar) I would have liked to meet her.

But I love the style she put into this picture. When was the last time anyone took a formal portrait? When was the last time we sat in front of a real camera and not someones cell phone. Do we really want to be remembered as a blurry image on someones blackberry?

Back in the day, women dressed up. They wore hats! Now if you wear a hat you are either trying to hide a bad haircut or think you are Brittany Spears. They didn't run out to the market wearing pj bottoms and a U of M sweatshirt. (and a pair of cheap knock off ugs for that dash of style). And they for sure never left the house with out proper undergarments...look, if you need a bra, wear a one wants to see you being hauled through Walmart by security because they think you are stealing bags of grapefruit in your shirt.

I am speaking to myself too...I am guilty of running to the store in my crappy sweat shirts and pull on stretchy-probably-slept-in pants. I will show my face without any makeup...and we wont discuss the hair issue, not today. When did we loose style? I would hate to think the feminist movement caused this...burn your bra, ok...but not ALL of them. You don't have to be a slave to fashion to have style. Hell, it doesn't even cost much is you got that certain, Goodwill-Thrift Shop eye for detail mentality. C'mon ladies, lets not all end up on the "People of Walmart" website.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One of those days

Today I am having one of those days. A day that everything I touch turns to crap.

I tried to make some jewelry and ended up dropping a big glob of glue between my control key and shift key. And those keys are kinda important...

My dogs decided it was spring and needed to go run the stink off...amazing how fast that little one the time I corralled them back they had both rolled in something wonderfully aromatic.

I tried to make muffins and over filled the the smoke alarms work.

I got a rejection letter from a company I forgot I applied to...

and my coffee maker finally died...well, dieing a slow painful death

I want a do-over. Well, maybe I don't...maybe I just need to pray that the good lord will help me endure my blessings and keep me humble in the face of these piddly little annoyances. I am kinda good at the 'BIG STUFF'. The emergencies, the presentations, the catastrophes. Its the little crappy everyday things that make me wacky. If the remote battery is low, I find myself throwing it at the wall...yeah, I need an intervention, or a hot fudge sundae. Either one, and lets hop tomorrow is a better day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WAY too old for this...

I am always looking for ways to promote my shop and have posted many comments in ESTY forums section. Someone sent a You-tube video to one of my posts and now I have that song running through my head...

what song..??? 2Live Crew, 'get the ^&%*& outta my house'.

So here I am, a 50 something white woman with a rap song rattling around in my is catchy, got a nice beat and you can dance to it...I give it a 76. (for those of you too young to remember...'Bandstand' reference, go ask your grandparents)

niiiiice...I'm trying to read all the inspirational emails I get from well wishing friends and all I can hear is:

The f&*)

Trying to chat this morning in the ESTY chat rooms and that song keeps popping up...just goes to show that there are some things that transcend age. And I don't even LIKE rap. Even when poor misguided white country singers try it. (sorry Toby)
with the exception of Kid Rock...and (showing my age) the Beasty Boyz.

I know I am way to old for this or for wanting to dye my hair with bright blue streaks, for wanting to throw on some club gear and buy some glow in the dark necklaces and find a place that plays techno...I know it. And no one wants to see my giant white thighs in a mini skirt and corset, no matter how much the 'person' at Hot Topic says it looks cool on me...

I need to stay out of the jr. stores and go where I belong...Coldwater Creek. (which has nice jeans btw) I need to embrace my AARP life and move on...I will still wear what I think is cool, in spite of whatever age or style dictates. I will flaunt my 80's rat tail throwback braid with pride and use way too much eyeliner, wear too much jewelry and out of style chunky platform shoes. And you can like it oooorrrrr....

Outta my hooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuussssssssseeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

photo courtesy of photobucket, is not me!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yellin' at the dog

The older I get the more I find myself doing pointless things. This morning I actually flipped off my coffee pot...sad but true. Maybe I have always done pointless things and never paid much attention to it. Maybe I have always tapped the top of my soda can or shook up the milk...I probably always 'rinsed out' the glass before I drank from the tap.

Or maybe I am spending way too much time here at home with no one but the animals for company. Do I really think they care when I go to the post office? Do I actually think they know what I am talking about when I am going on my looooooog tirades about who's poop is this??? (when we all know who's it is) All they know is 'Alpha dog is making that loud high pitch sound again...I think I need to find a hiding place, hey! I just made that!!!'

And the cat, lord the cat...he could care less what high pitched or otherwise sound I make...he just enjoys the show.

We all do pointless things, we all put the lid back on the butter tub before we throw it away, fold our underwear, or vacuum behind the couch. Not sure if it is because we really, really care about the person who would actually look behind our couch, or think our garbage men will consider us ill bred if our trash isn't properly packaged.

And I know for a fact the dogs don't care either way.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

making crap from crap

I love looking in places to find interesting things to make into other interesting things. I love the idea of looking past the item and seeing what else it can be. I love tearing things apart and putting them back together and will gladly spend hours doing that. I wish I felt the same way about other things in my life, like, or cleaning or (gawd help me) exercising.

I am always thinking of how to expand this into other areas of my life. At some level I do...I use old plastic fruit bags (the net kind) to scrub my dishes, works a charm! But I haven't gotten to the 'cool whip' as dishes phase. I haven't reused bread bags and gotten on board with the whole 'green' warming be damned.

I will spend an entire day digging through boxes of junk, spend another full day tearing them apart and then putting them back together and post on Etsy, but bitch and moan if I have to run down and start the dryer. I'm not exactly domesticated.

My motivation is nothing more than creating stuff. As an artist (yeah, right) I am always thinking about this, but ask me what is for supper and you might just get your ass handed to you...I don't DO housewife well. I make crap from it art, call it dinner, I don't care. The only rule in this house is, if I cook it you WILL eat it. You don't have to like it, you don't have to eat it all (that's what the dogs are for) but you will eat some and call it good.

I want to be successful in my business, I want someday to see Drew Barrymore sporting some of my lovely 'junque', I want to feel like I made the right decision about going full time at this, but mostly I want to have fun and keep making crap from crap.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

haircut from hell...

I have been looking for a hair stylist for about, oh...30 years. I had a good one back in the day, but she decided to become a dental hygienist...then I got another one, and she went back to school to be a teacher...3rd one went to nursing school...and so on and so on. They all seem to want to be something other than a stylist. Not that I could blame them...I would hate that job. People coming in wanting to look like the newest pop star(Lady GaGa must have them hiding under their chairs)or celebrity. People expecting the stylist to correct home perms, cheap color and do it yourself haircuts(remember the flo-bee). So the idea of cutting hair day after day must be hard. Ok, I get the whole 'the job would be great if it wasn't for all these nasty customers' vibe...I get it. But someone needs to sit me down like a 3 year old and explain the whole hairstylist to English delema.

I had my hair cut yesterday...I told the 12 year old anorexic bleached blond that I only wanted a trim...leave the back and sides, only trim the top...keep it the same shape. So why did I walk out looking like the ass end of a Pekingese??? How does 'cut 1/4 of and inch' turn into 'please shave my head and make me look like I have scabies'. Why, when I take pictures in to give the stylist an idea I end up looking like I just got out of prison??? And why oh why do I think they next one will finally 'get it'??? It isn't gonna happen...somewhere there is a disconnect and I am clueless as to why.

I once went in and said I wanted a hair cut like either Liza Minnelli or Sharon Osborn (all cool and sticky-uppy) after cutting for a while I was spun around and shown my new disaster...'that doesn't look like either of those people' I said as I tried to run my hands through what remained of my hair...'I don't know who either of those people are' she said. And we wont talk about the time the stylist got into a fight with her husband while cutting my hair, he came in all drunk...*shudder*...bad day, very bad day...or the time the lady forgot me while processing a perm...

Yesterday the girl said 'oh, my mom's friend has a haircut like this, she loves it, shes an older lady too....(WTF???)

My favorite author, Terry Pratchett had a character in a story that had the same problem. He would take pictures of style into the shops and get the typical short back and top. He finally gave up thinking he didn't have a head for a hairstyle...
I, apparently do not have a head for a hairstyle either, so I am gonna just accept that I am at the hands of the person with the sizzors and hope they are having a good day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Time denial

I am not a patient person.  For those of you who know me personally this may be a suprise (or not).  I can not stand to wait.  When I say we are leaving at 9:30, that means 9:30...not any time that has those three numbers in it.  (as the time stamp will show, I am waiting now to leave and showers have just started...gonna be a loooooog day).
If I make an apointment for 10:00 am, i'll be there at 9:30...I get to the airport 3 hours ahead and will never miss the trailers before a movie...I hate being late! 
SO, needless to say I married a person in "Time Denial"...he is never late to work, but I know for a fact he pushes it to the last second.  His idea of on time is just before the next apointment starts and he never ever is anywhere early (unless I have to go've seen us, sitting in the lobby, the man blissfully looking around while the woman is glaring at her watch grumbling to herself...that us!) 
My husband is a laid back person.  His reply to my frustrations is ..'when have we ever not gotten there...' and we always have gotten to where we were going, just not in my time frame.  
Being late is a form of rebellion...its like telling the world to flip themselves off, 'I will get there when I get there, in the mean time, screw you and wait'...its very rude and disrespectful. 
It also makes me abso-freakin-lutely bat %^& crazy, so I think my hubby gets some enjoyment out of seeing my 'Daffy Duck' style meltdown.  Its the classic type A person marries type at 11.

There are certain things I just don't mess with because my head will explode...taxes, christmas shopping for his mom and bill paying.  All must wait till the last minute. I am not sure what happens if you pay your bills ahead of time, I think they must put yoru name on some list somewhere...
And about the same time everyone is talking about their refund from the IRS, David starts thinking about getting the receips and calling the accountant. (Lord knows how they deal with it) When I was single, I would do my taxes the day I got the the bills the day they came in....I know, stupid!

So as the sound of the 2nd shower starts and people are wandering around looking for breakfast I will close, I feel a rant coming on...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When Pigs Fly

One of the first things you will see in my house is this picture. Not sure the name...something about the pond. But I love the image of the pig smiling and jumping into the pond. The pig (in his little piggy mind) is flying. So it is possible! A lot of things are possible if we just try a little harder.
A lot of things seem impossible too, at least to
1)Folded laundry being put away buy any other person in this house. Apparently I am the only person who knows where it goes...after 30 years you'd think the idea of reversing the process, getting clean towel, using towel, putting in laundry would come to mind.
2) Cats not horking up a hairball on your freshly washed housecoat.
3) For dogs not to lick, hump, gag, or fart when company is here.
4) Forgetting to buy at least one ingredient in a new recipe
5) Not to get a zit, cold sore or bruise just before any family picture or interview.
6) To find a good hairstylist who doesn't want to be something else and will go to great lengths to tell you how horrible customers are while waving sharp scissors.
7) Not to get that mud streak on the back of your dress pants while getting out of the car.
8) For the phone not to ring as soon as my butt cheeks hit the bubbles in the bath
There are millions more and it is only making me crazy just thinking about them. Dropping toast will always fall butter side down for no apparent reason other than 'just cuz'...SO, if I have to live with the impossibilities of this life at least I can do it with my little piggy smile as I hurtle through space. weeeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Queen is confused

I have been shopping a lot lately...a lot. I have been looking in shops and malls to get a handle on the new trends in fashion and home decor in order to be more 'current' in my Esty offerings. And I must tell you, I am confused. Frankly, it don't take much but at some point you just gotta say (as my Hubby would put it) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot????
Take a tour around the local junior shop and see what I mean. Jacked up jeans with holes and fading...$80, ACDC shirts in a size that would fit most toddlers (when most girls wouldn't know who ACDC are, much less care) and skirts that are so short they can double as hats. Now, I know I am sounding a bit granny like... a grouchy one at that, but c'mon! At least in the 70's we had the brains to 'distress' our own jeans.
Ask any one in their early 50's and they will go into great lengths about making their own purses out of their brothers jeans. Making 'big Bells' by inserting a triangle piece of fabric into a straight leg pair of jeans (but never Levi's...they were fine on their own), washing pants about 50 times before they were soft enough to wear or 'fraying' the hems to look cool. We knew how to rock those $9 'plain pockets'.
I know things change, and its a brand new world out there, but why are all the junior shops filled with icons of a time before they were born??? Beatle shirts? Fine, Michael Jackson...whatever, Run DMC...would any of these girls know a Run DMC song on a bet???
Ok, we did have a weird fascination with the 50's back in high school. We even had a sock hop and all tried our hardest to look cool, the guys all wearing white T shirts rolled at the sleeves and greasing their hair maybe this is normal. Each generation looks back to find what was cool in the last one. Maybe it is a way to connect with each other. Or maybe I am just confused and ACDC is really cool after all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What inspires me...

Most people can find inspiration in a sunset, a Bible passage, or even a baby's smile...I need to look elsewhere. I can go to the nastiest garage sale run by some toothless old ex-con and find something there that will make me hope my hepatitis shot is still active and dive right in. I will be the one at the Goodwill buying the jacked up shoes that are covered in mildew and sweat stains because they have great shoe clips still attached. Look for me crawling around the Salvation Army, digging in the boxes of unmarked sewing supplies...I'm the one with the hunched shoulders and hand sanitizer around my neck. Got some peanut butter jars of old nuts and bolts laying around? I'll take them...old tins of buttons...give me a call! I love the unloved!
I have been known to buy boxes of autopsy records, old diplomas, pictures of dead people in their coffins from the turn of the century, and teddy bears with both ears loved look at my house will tell you I am not a slave to the conventional. If it is weird or wacky I already love it! My last fabulous find was an antique barber chair...its awesome! All chrome and red leather and should show up in my pictures on Etsy soon. (Thanks Tiffany!!!) I'll leave the classy decorating to Martha Stewart.
And hopefully my passion for the odd will help me in my new business...(at least that is what I am telling myself). Finally using those old buttons, bags of broken jewelry or cigar boxes may just start paying back.
So, to those of you who send me the emails filled with heartrending messages of hope and salvation, um..thanks, but can I go digging in your attic?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reflections on Mothers day

I am in the process of making some items for Mother's day and find myself thinking about some of the gifts I gave my mother. I got to admit they were all pretty lame. All the way from the macaroni encrusted soup can all to the pearl ring I bought with my employee discount at Best Products, Co. Inc. Yup, the gifts I gave were more about me than her.
My mom was a very practical, no nonsense, prickly kinda person. Those sickly sweet mothers day cards, boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers (fresh picked from the vacant field across the street) were just barely tolerated and disposed of as soon as possible. My mom wanted things that made sense to her, the problem with that was no one knew what that was. She loved flowers, but outside growing, not slowly dieing in a vase, sure to be knocked over by some wayward cat. She made her own candy, so to pay for an overpriced box of Whitmans only irritated the be-jebus out of her. She didn't want any jewelry unless it was the good stuff, thank you very much! (and only wore it on 'good' occasions which apparently never came) Needless to say, we all dreaded Mothers day.
One year, my sister and I completely gave up and went to the local hardware store and bought some canning jars, tiny ones, a size she didn't have and was always complaining about. They were pretty nice with an embossed design, rings and lids and a set of fancy~ schmancy stickers to write on. My dad was furious! He thought that was the most thankless, cold hearted, awful gift known to man...'give your mother some empty jars, what were you thinking!...' he made us go at the last minute and get some flowers. Needless to say, my Mom loved the jars and kept them for 'good'. I never knew if she really liked them or just wanted to piss off my dad...yup, it was that kind of family.
So, I am putting together some things for mothers, sweet necklaces with pearls, hearts, cameos, and all the other schlock associated with MOM...but, just for those mom's like mine, I am gonna make a funky clip with a watch hanging from it, practical and mom wouldn't have cared for it but would have used it because it worked.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

For those of you that don't know, I have started a jewelry business on Etsy. It is made up of found objects made into jewelry (so far). I didn't necessarily want to start this business, I never wanted to be in business for myself. I am a crappy boss and haven't had a pay check in years. (not sure why I stay) Anyway, last week I got my 9 bazillionth rejection email and decided to pack it in, throw in the towel, give up, get over it and move on. Queen G is working full time at dinking around.
To help you understand why I am feeling the way I am, I want to share some actual things that have happened to me in the interview process. First, I have to let you know I am in a rather specialized field; gift and home decor design and product development. A field that most businesses think they can either : A do them selves, or B) do without. The recession has made companies very wary of trying something new and the entire industry is filled with the 'second mouse syndrome' as in...let the first mouse take the chance, the second mouse will get the cheese. So a person with new exciting ideas are wanted and paid well, as long as those ideas are not so new or exciting. So, interviewing has taken me all over the states...from here in Michigan to Jacksonville Fla. I have interviewed in Kokomo, Fort Wayne, New York, Dallas, Marshall Texas, about every suburb in Chicago, Indianapolis, Omaha and Minneapolis. I have driven in snow storms, flew during thunderstorms, and taken the train a few times. To say I am willing and eager to work is an understatement.
So, just for funzies I will share some of the interesting comments made to me in the interview process:
1) My personal favorite, after having driven to Indianapolis: 'We knew we didn't want you for THIS job, but we wanted to meet you. (Thanks, that's 400 miles I wont get back.)
2) After driving to Grand Rapids in an ice storm: 'Wow, thanks for coming...the job isn't available anymore, but we appreciate your willingness to come in this weather'. ever hear of a phone?
3) After flying in to Omaha, taking an entire series of tests that involved writing a poem about a candy dish, taking a personality test, a hand writing analysis, drawing lawn ornaments, coming up with a new design for a clothes hanger, meeting with everyone from the President of the company down to the head of shipping...'We've decided not to fill the position'
4)" We were kinda hoping to find someone with some taste", well crap, you shoulda said!
5) " We aren't exactly sure you would fit in with the rest of the staff, they are young and vibrant"...huh???
6) We love what you can do, your portfolio is great, and you have the experience we are looking for, but think we want to go in another direction...if you know any one else, please let us know." yeah, you betcha!
7) After being flown into Jacksonville: "its between you and another person, and frankly the other person is better"...well, nuff said.
8) 'Your skills and abilities far outweigh our needs at this time'...that' the nicest kiss off ever!
9) "I would hire you right now if you lived closer"...didja notice that my resume had my address???
10) "Our concern is that you will be bored"
So, after the last ' thanks but no thanks' I think I am done. I am tired of answering the same tired old standard HR questions, of buying new interview outfits and printing resumes. I am tired of talking to '20 something' HR people who have no idea what my profession involves, begging people to review my portfolio or having people give me backhanded compliments that they think I am too stupid to get...I am tired of waiting for the phone to ring, I'm just flippin' tired.
Career builder, Monster, Yahoo Jobs, you have been my constant companion every morning for a few years, and I wont miss you. I wont miss looking for local jobs and finding 3 in a 100 mile radius...all involving the health industry, I wont miss sending resumes and getting 'out of office' replies, and I for sure and for certain wont miss's been real and it's been fun, but not real fun.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Queen as housewife

I am not a house keeper, not at all, wasn't born to it, can't understand the logic of it, basically hate it. And I live out in boondocks central where we have visitors (not counting my loyal jewelry making coven and the misguided JW) maybe once a year. The odds of me having a 'dinner party' are about the same as Howard Stern for President. I am not lazy I just don't care. People come because they want to see me, if you come to see the house, make an appointment.
So I am going to rant a bit about housework as it applies to me.
1) I don't wash junk...I don't keep cool whip bowls, butter tubs or plastic forks. There probably should be a land fill named after me, but I just don't do it.
2) Dogs shed, get over it...
3) Laundry will be done as soon as I get to it...My mother had a laundry day that stretched into the night, but she was using a wringer and various tubs of water...I got a machine.
4) Anything is better than is a boring, thankless job that is never done. No one cares unless its not done and I don't care either way.
5) Cooking is fun on TV...when there are people to shop, chop and wash. There are people who enjoy the process but for me its like watching a person slowly unravel an Afghan and leaving the yarn on the floor.
6) Fabreeze is a miracle and should be listed in the nation register.
7) Washing the dishes is a part of cooking...and while I hate it, they must be done as soon as possible...if only to avoid the whole egg yolk as cement thing and the 'where did these little flys come from' conversation. My solutions: exchange students.
8) Don't put it down, put it away! Gawd, I need that tattooed across my forehead.
9) I understand the whole dusting thing, just not the point.
10) If someone in my house leaves some schmuge in the drain there is a good possibility it will be on their plate at dinner time...same goes for undies, chewing gum and tissues.
11) Craft supplies, books in neat piles and anything in antique ball jars are there for 'effect' and are exempt from the cleaning process. Old mail, 3 week old newspapers and teenage fashion magazines are considered trash 24 hours after I tell you to move them.
12). Don't expect much and you wont be disappointed.
My house will never be sparkling clean, it will never be listed in 'Log Home' Magazine or be used as an example of also wont be on "how clean is your house' or 'Hoarders", its comfortable and relaxing and that's exactly what I was hoping for.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finding my way

I am terrible with directions, terrible! I couldn't tell you if I were going north, south or anyplace in between. Left and right are basically a good concept but if I couldn't make an 'L' with my hand, I would be guessing. Ask anyone who knows me..I am just a big old bag of confusion when I need to go anywhere. Mapquest, don't get me started on that...last time I used mapquest I was heading to Canton, Ohio and ended up in Pennsylvania. Onstar is my only salvation and all car purchases have been made by the availability of it. They have helped me find my way, settled arguments with David, found us restaurants, antique malls and service shops. The good people at Onstar have talked me down, calmed my nerves and got me through...I love Onstar!
The biggest problem for me is I am married to a person who is fanatical about directions...ask him to draw you a map and it will include every road sign, fire hydrant and dog house on the way. He also insists on never taking the same way anywhere. If you call for directions to my house I will tell you, take US 12 and turn...(making the L sign) Left. He will start with ' heading south go 3/10th of a mile till you reach the gas station, making a slight turn, go through the light, go another ...bla bla bla..." whatever.
And I have found that directions are important...and I mean like, IMPORTANT important...not like the directions of a bag of microwave popcorn important, but more like defibrillator important... And while I try, I am not a 'detail' person, so directions are good to have. Give me good directions, with pictures and tiny arrows pointing to the important bits and I am good. Assume I know what you are talking about and I will be calling you from Pennsylvania, in the rain, in the middle of the night, pissed off and wondering why my Miata doesn't have Onstar.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Boomer bust

I am a boomer, as in Baby-Boomer. Not sure how or why my generation was given this title and not sure I like it but what the heck. So, being a boomer I have lived through some interesting things. First and foremost for me was that Sunday night when my boyz were on Ed Sullivan. I remember it like it was yesterday...all my cousins sitting around at our house transfixed in front of the tv ( about the size of a mini cooper) waiting for the EVENT to take place. We all busted out in screams when THEY hit the Dad, coffee in hand, walked into the room and stood for a minute and said...'look at the hair on those 8-balls' shook his head and walked back to the kitchen. Life as I knew it would never be the same. And I fell for the whole package, the shoes, (beatle boots) the trading cards, records, books, magazines (tiger beat, 16...), bobble heads and flicker rings...
Some things about being a boomer are etched in our memories forever...the day Kennedy was shot...our school didn't have a fancy-schmancy intercom system, there was a black phone on the wall that never, ever rang...except this once. My teacher went to the phone, stood for a minute and then turned to us, tears streaming down her face and said...'Children, you are going home early'...for some odd reason, we knew something terrible had happened. And after all, we were taught to expect the end of the world..tuck and roll if we are on fire, hide under our desks in case of a bomb, 'duck and cover' the cheerful little song went. Buses took us home that cold November day to a house filled with silence and Walter Cronkite trying to make sense of it all.
The day Martin Luther King was shot, then Bobby Kennedy...we were getting use to the horrible things and took refuse in those four 8-balls who sang about 'love, love, love...all you need is love'

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My heart has wings

My newest item in my Etsy shop. I like it because I have always liked the concept of a heart that has wings. Something about the image draws me to it...a flying heart, spreading love. Kinda sappy, sure. I'm not a sappy person, generally I am kinda the Rosalind Russel to the worlds Julie Andrews. My personality tends to drift towards the cynical and ironic, rather than cute and fuzzy. Don't show me pictures of your kids cuz I'm only gonna have to lie...'yup, that's a baby all right, made that yourself, didja..good job'
I also am not too warm and cuddly but play me a patriotic country song about someones daddy being killed in a war or the factory shutting down and I am weeping buckets. I can't even pony up enough concern over natural disasters (my bad, I know...) but show me a oil covered duck and I will be filled with outrage. Weird...maybe its because people should generally know not to live in a town that is under sea level, but the duck never saw it coming...who knows.
I wish I were more sentimental, the kind of person that will rush to your side when something bad happens...I do try ( I do!) but if you got arrested for drunk driving, don't call me to bail your happy ass out...get comfy, cuz you are staying put! I only got 2 kidneys, and they are mine! I can't loan you any cash, co-sign a loan or take you in...good luck, god bless...have a nice day.
Having said that, I will drive to your house to help move, paint, clean, (well...maybe not clean) go to your garage sale, hold your hand while having contractions, hold your hair while you are puking, bring food (I may even cook) go to funeral homes, hospitals and churches. I will do what I can if I know you are doing what you can. And after all, isn't that the essence of a good friend???

Monday, March 1, 2010

reflections on motivations

I am a coffee drinker, any kind, any place, any where. 90 degrees or minus 10. Cold, luke warm, black, with cream or instant...doesn't matter, I need my java. I got the lingo down and my coffee shop (a place that use to be called Beaners but in a wave of political correctness gone mad, is now called BigB.) my drink of choice is a Venti decaf-Lotte with sugar free vanilla and skim milk...aka the 'why bother'. I love it but at $4 a cup, I make due with Speedway de-caf and french vanilla cappuccino...$1.
I love my coffee and make no apologies for it. My neurologist (a lovely woman who loves to ruin my day) has decided I am not allowed caffeine or artificial sweeteners. (yes, I know how bad they are bad for me, I get it!!!) So I have to use in moderation. She is also insisting on a fat free-fiber infused-fresh vs fried lifestyle...yeah...sure, whatever you say Dr. Granola. I will wear my seat belt, not smoke, avoid fried food, no red meat...but give leave me my coffee!
Coffee is a social thing..'lets go get some coffee' sounds so much more inviting than , 'hey, wanna grab a big ole' tub of tofu and some bean sprouts'. Coffee cake, yeah, you milk and a wheat germ, makes me happy.
My husband is not a coffee drinker, never has liked the taste. He also doesn't drink, smoke or swear...(not sure what he is doing with me) so he doesn't quite get my need but will dutifully drive miles out of his way to get me my coffee. Good man, (or maybe he just doesn't want to deal with the 3 headed ghidra that I turn into when I don't get my fix).
And, I have been caffeine free for years now so its not that. Its the 'how can it possibly be morning, I have no coffee' mind set I have. I come by this naturally, my parents had a pot going 24/ bought a restaurant bun-o-matic and everyone that came in, got their coffee and sat at the kitchen table for some tall tales, out right lies or penny ante poker. So, grab a cup and enjoy the rest of your day, I got mine, its gone cold, got a rainbow oil slick on top and grounds on the bottom...just right!