Thursday, July 28, 2011

Someone Go Get the Mystery Machine

Since you guy were so awesomely smart about my hangie up thing, I thought I'd throw another mystery your way.  

I picked up this little guy at the thrift store, but I have no idea what he's supposed to be.  (Yes, I know for a fact that it's a boy - don't ask how I know that).  

It's only 3.5 inches tall and 3 inches across the top.  There is no maker's mark.  The outside of the glass is covered in little tiny bumps - kind of like he has goosebumps.  I'm sure that's not the technical way to describe it, but I'm not exactly a technical person.  





The fan design on the side looks Art Deco to me.  The glass is really thick.  If I hit someone over the head with it, they would definitely know they'd been hit over the head. Not that I'd ever do that.  Hahahaha.  Yeah, right.   

My guesses are: 

Ice bucket for people with teensy little hands who like teensy, little ice cubes
Sugar bowl
Short vase
Jelly server
Salt cellar 

So, any of you know what this is?  (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's really an ice bucket for miniature ice cubes, because how cute would that be?)

Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interview 12: Jen from Poops

Guess what?  It's time for another interview with and Etsy seller.  Today's interview is with Jen from Poops.  She knits and embroiders all sorts of fun (and funny) things! 

Who are you and what do you do?
Fair Isle Wool Child's Hat
My name is Jen Lacey but everyone online and most people in real life call me "Poops." It's a nickname I got in college. I'm currently between real jobs, having dropped out of the workforce 7 years ago to be home with the kids full-time. I'm a fiber craftsman for the most part. I love textiles, and I knit and crochet, spin, do embroidery, and I sew. I can do other stuff if I have to, but I always seem to come back to fiber in some way or another.

I also do a bit of writing now and then, I read books like a fat kid eats candy, and I love to really super-hard crossword puzzles. I'm an Aries, and my turn-ons include good fiber, good tequila, and good friends. My turnoffs are preachers, vegetables, and being sweaty.

Why do you do what you do?
I can't help it, I guess. I find myself creating things without thinking about it. I'll sit down, grab a ball of yarn and just start knitting because to just sit in my chair and not have something in my hands feels unnatural. Sometimes if I don't have my knitting handy, I'll visualize myself knitting something in my head. I've actually dreamed patterns in my sleep. I think in sketches and half-thought out turns-of-phrase.

How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT)
Hand embroidered sign in 4" hoop
I've been making stuff as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was old enough to reach the foot pedal on her Singer, and I used all her fabric scraps to make dresses for my Barbies. I was probably around 8 or so when I figured out how to make a gored skirt and bust darts without a pattern. In second grade I got in trouble for drawing an enormous mural in pencil on the wall over my desk when I was supposed to be doing math. I still suck at math and have a habit of doodling in the margins of my books.



What’s the crappiest job you’ve ever had?
Felt Pear Patch

I've been pretty lucky that I've never actually had a truly dreadful job. They've all had good points and bad ones. But I think I was unhappiest working for Joann Fabrics. I was good at my job, but the corporate atmosphere combined with having to deal with customers *shudder* just was not a great combination.

But then I never scrubbed toilets or worked in fast food, so maybe my bar was set pretty high.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
Wool Shamrock Baby Booties
My first goal is to get all my kids into school full-time. Once my days are my own I will have to really focus on bringing in some extra income, so my short-term goals are to get us to a more financially secure place. My decision to stay home with the kids has meant us flying by the seat of our pants for a long time now, and I look forward to bringing in a steady paycheck again. I'd love to be able to make Big Money with my hobby, but it's just too risky a proposition.

Of course a lot can happen in the next three years it's going to take me to get the littlest in school full-time, so I'm just playing it day by day for now. Maybe my shop will just take off one of these days.

I also have a secret dream of being a school lunch lady. I think I'd be awesome at it despite the fact that I don't like kids.

Who is your hero/heroine?

Hand Embroidered Sign 
It feels weird to say it out loud. The people I admire are people who are truly generous and selfless almost to a fault, but still very human. I look to people who aren't critical and always see the good in others as an example of how I'd like to be. I wish I was more like that, but I seem to always think of myself first, and I'm really quite snarky. I know that's probably shocking to some, but it's true. And I'm full of ideas of things to help people who need help, but they usually just stay as ideas. I admire people who have a vision and then have the balls to see it really turn in to something and change lives.

And, when I look to my heroes and feel bad that I have feet of clay, I remember "I'd rather talk shit and do good than talk good and do shit," and I feel better about my life.

What was the last book you read?
I'm currently on a marathon reading spree. The coolest novel I just finished is The Lace Reader. It's an odd story that takes place in Salem, Massachusetts and I really couldn't put it down. I'm also in the middle of reading my way through the Kathy Reichs "Bones" novels, so The Lace Reader was kind of a palate cleanser: a literary sorbet, if you will.
____________________________________________

Thank you Jen for such an awesome interview.  Now everyone needs to go check out her shop and buy one of her fabulous things!  

Be Happy,
Rachel


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Airing my Dirty Laundry

Last week I decided to make my own laundry soap.  Why?  Because 1.  It cost much less than store-bought soap, and 2. I'm cheap frugal. 3. It makes me feel very Little House on the Prairie-ish. 

I'm going to give you 2 different ways to make it.  The first will be the way that everyone else makes it and the second will be the directions to make it my way.  

Their Way

What you'll need:  1 cup measuring cup, old grater that you'll only use for soap, quart jar with lid, borax, washing powder, Fels Naptha soap.  

Grate 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, pour into quart jar
Add one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder.  
Place lid on jar
Shake
Use one tablespoon per load of laundry.  One batch will wash approx. 50 loads. 

How simple is that?  Seriously.  I guess it was so simple that I felt the need to complicate it so I would feel as though I'd really  accomplished something rather than just mixed up something a trained monkey could do.  

So here is how I made my laundry detergent. 

1. Buy Borax, washing powder and Fels Naptha soap while you're with your boyfriend.  
2. Explain to boyfriend that the soap doesn't really contain naphthalene in it, so the laundry isn't going to spontaneously combust mid-cycle, even though that would be kinda cool.  
3. Dig through 427 piles of junk in the workroom to find the old grater you'd bought just because it was a dollar and you never know when you'll need an old grater for something.  Cuss.  Yell at inanimate objects.  Blame the cats for losing your grater.  
4. Find grater underneath your work table.  Of course.  
5. Gather borax, washing powder, soap and a gallon sized jar.  
6. Realize that you've forgotten the damn grater and now you can't remember where you set it down.  
7. Return to the workroom .  
8. Realize that you haven't checked your email in an hour or so.  
9. Check email.
10.Two hours later, remember that you're supposed to be making laundry detergent.
11. Return to kitchen.
12. Realize that you've once again forgotten that bastard of a grater. 
13. Go back to the workroom and refuse to look at your computer. 
14. Spend 10 minutes locating grater.  Give your cats the stink eye just in case they were the ones who lost it to begin with. 
15. Go to kitchen and start to grate soap.  
16. Realize that grating the soap on the big part of the grater might not work very well for laundry detergent. 
17. Switch to small holes. 
18. Figure out that grating on the small holes is going to take forever and your hands are already cramping. 
19. Switch back to large holes. 
20. Think about how much Fels Naptha soap looks like some kind of off-color, Cheddar cheese.
  
21. Grate too close to your knuckles. 
22. Apply band-aid to your remaining nub of a finger. 
23. Manage to get half of the grated soap in your giant one-gallon jar that you thought you'd need because you're were going to make 2 batches of laundry detergent, right?  Well, at least you were going to before you figured out that grating soap was boring and stupid and painful and Laura Ingalls can just suck it. 
24. Scoop up other half of soap off of counter and dump into jar. 
25. Ignore the soap that fell on the floor. It'll just act as a cleaning booster the next time you mop the floor.  
26. No it won't hurt the cats if they eat it.  They'll just have really clean insides.  
27. Add one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder to giant jar. 
28. Wonder why you have the urge to eat the borax and washing powder. 
29. Vaguely remember something about pregnant women craving laundry powder. 
30. Head back to computer to research odd cravings. 
31. Determine that the cravings are probably a symptom of a horrible, deadly disease, and put Pixie sticks on the grocery list so at least when you're craving washing powder you'll have something else powdery to eat (on your death bed). 
32. Go back to kitchen and place lid on giant jar. 
33. Shake jar. 
34. Wonder what a cheese flavored Pixie stick would taste like. 
35. Get a little grossed out about the thought. 
36. Determine that your laundry soap is just way too special to be used with the plastic scoop that was in the Gatorade canister.  
37. Head back to workroom to find an old silver spoon.  
38. Peel velcro off spoon that was there when you bought it.  (I'm guessing someone had the spoon stuck to a wall - probably a wall in their laundry room so they could scoop their lovely homemade laundry detergent). 
39. Take pics of your marvelous laundry detergent in the giant jar.  
40. Clean extra soap, borax, powder, blood and sweat off of counter. 
41. Place giant jar of laundry detergent in laundry room. 
42. Fix yourself a stiff drink. 




TADA! It's that easy! 

I guess I should add that this doesn't cost very much to make.  The three ingredients were about 8 dollars and I still have plenty of the borax and washing powder left.  The Fels Naptha is only a dollar a bar, so subsequent batches will be cheap, too.  

Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interview 11: Jessi from CrystalFyre


{I screwed up Jessi's shop name and I just feel like a great big goober for doing it.  I've corrected it, now.  Jessi's username on Etsy is evoneli, but her shop name is CrystalFyre.}


We're due for another interview with an Etsy seller.  Today we're talking with Jessi from CrystalFyre.  Jessi makes super cool bracelets and I'll let you tell her what she does with the proceeds that makes her super cool, too.    

X Series Paracord Survival Bracelet
Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Jessi Beam. I'm a spunky girl with a lot of passion for creating random things. Currently I make Paracord Survival Bracelets that help out the American Brain Tumor Association. I've also been known to do some Crochet, Charm making, Buttons, and other various little things.

Neon Green Bracelet
Why do you do what you do?
I like to make people happy. That's what started all of this for me. Holiday? I'll hand make you a plushie or a clay work that's better then any average store bought gift. And It really continued from there to, Hey!, Maybe I should put some of my crafty things online! Yay! Other people like them ^.^ . And of course, I like doing what I can for which ever charity I'm currently working with. Be it The ABTA or Toys for Tots around Xmas Season.

Colonial Blue Bracelet
How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT) 

I've been crafting since I was in Elementary school. I'd bring in clay pieces and things I made of paper craft and sell them to my school mates. That continued way into high school, where I expanded into Graphic design and came up with the name CrystalFyre. I'm currently working on building my screen printing press - Something I've always dreamed of having for years.

I think that three is the magic number. What is your magic number? 
Rose Pink Bracelet
I agree. I like the number 3. I tend to group things into Threes actually. I always hang out with people in a group of three. Maybe I'm OCD. I'll have to look into it.

CrystalFyre
Who's your favorite Muppet? 
The ones on fire.

What's your favorite knock-knock joke? 
Knock Knock! Who's there? You're Face! -Punch person and walk away-
Not exactly a normal knock knock joke, but I guarantee they won't be asking you for more knock knock jokes =)

Thank you Jessi, for such an entertaining interview! Now all of you should head over to CrystalFyre and buy a bracelet and support a good cause.  Go now! 

Be Happy,
Rachel



Thursday, July 14, 2011

How Many Roofs Could a Roofer Roof?

There are men on my roof.  Roofers.  Noisy roofers who got started this morning at 6:30.  I can understand why they got started working early.  It's hotter than a blazes outside and I imagine that the roof - the roof - the roof is on fire.  But, that still doesn't mean I'm happy about strange men banging on my roof early in the morning. 

This is the picture I took from the front door just now.  



Nice yard ornaments, huh?

I'm really surprised that it came out so clear because the glass that I was taking it through it much dirtier than I realized.  Our maid is seriously slacking.  

At the moment, the roof fellas are directly overhead and I fully expect one of them to come crashing through the ceiling at any time. I'm not exactly sure what all is going on up there, but it sounds like an elephant is mating with a walrus - and neither of them sound like they're very good at it.  What would the baby of an elephant and walrus be? An elephrus? Walephant?  




All of this roofing business would be much easier to take if the roofers were actually hot roofers who insisted on working outside shirtless.  There are three of them.  I call them Small, Medium and Large.  Unfortunately, Large is the only one of the three who likes to work sans shirt.  

So, if any of you have a thing for fat, sweaty, shirtless roofers, come on over.  We can sit and have iced tea on the back porch while watching tar paper and shingles rain down while the sound of mating wild animals plays in the background.  It's just how we entertain in Arkansas. 

Be Happy,
Rachel



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interview 10: Ally with Crooked Smile Creations

It's time for another Etsy seller interview.  Today we're chatting with Ally from Crooked Smile Creations (cute name, huh?).  Ally makes some simply fabulous purses and wallets.   
Rose Tapestry Purse

Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Ally, the brains, beauty and brawn behind Crooked Smile Creations. I make handbags of many styles and handbag accessories, like wallets. Besides my online endeavors, I live in Tampa, Florida and take care of my four legged companions and my hubs, Jason.

Why do you do what you do?
That has a rather lengthy history. I worked in an office setting for decades and never liked it, but you gotta pay the bills right? The Hub's job took us overseas for a few years and I didn't work during that stint and focused on other things. Now we are back in the US, and I just couldn't see myself getting back into the old routine, so I decided to try a new one.
Denim and Gingham Wallet

How long have you been doing it?
I've always done some kind of craft, but my Etsy shop has been open for a year. I've recently started venturing into other online venues. Fingers crossed I would like to get an online following so this craft can actually pay for some bills, or groceries, or at least few drinks.

What's the best costume you've ever worn?
I have never liked wearing costumes. My oh so lovely sister posted this picture of us on a Halloween from our childhood on her Facebook page. I'm the one with the baseball bat. I believe this ruined me for life on costumes.

What is your motto in life?
If it isn't broken, don't f**k it up by fixing it.

Wrist Wallet Cuff
My comfort meal is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. What is your comfort food?
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and Apple Pie.

Name something (an inanimate something) you love, and why.
Highly fragrant flowers (all kinds). I like going outside in my yard and enjoying all the scents. It's just a little thing that makes me feel good.

Striped Carpet Bag Purse

I just have to say that Ally interviews almost as well as she makes bags.  So, go check out her shop and buy a bag (or three).  

Be Happy,
Rachel

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where'd You Go, Rain?

It seems I've been given the responsibility of harboring a cold.  I'm hoping it only needs refuge for a short time.  I've already given it safe harbor all weekend and I think if it's not gone by Wednesday, I'll have to turn it over to the authorities.  

See what cold meds do to me?  They make me speak of my cold as though it's a defector escaping from 1980s Soviet Russia.  

I really don't have anything to blog about today.  Actually, I have things to blog about I just can't think well enough to actually write anything worth reading.  I'm not sure why I'm attempting to even do this...maybe I should just throw up a picture or something.  

You know what would be nice?  Some rain.  We haven't had rain in forever and I would like a day or two of rain. 




Speaking of umbrellas (which we kind of were), here are some that I might actually carry if I owned them. 







I think my favorite is the last one.  

Which one do you like? 

Be Happy,
Rachel

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Summer of the Odd Vacation

I'm off this afternoon to First Thursday in Fayetteville.  

I thought while I was on the road, you might like to do a little traveling yourself.  


Atlas Obscura has the coolest, weirdest places to visit and if I had unlimited funds and a hired driver, I'd go to every single one of them.  

Places like Gibsonton, FL which has long been a wintering town for circus folk.  

Image of Gibsonton, Florida located in Gibsonton, Florida, US | Gibsonton, Florida. (Creative Commons)


Image of Crypt At Center Church-on-the-Green located in New Haven, Connecticut, US

Maybe I'd do a little shopping at Tail of the Yak in Elmwood, CA.  


Image of Tail of the Yak located in Berkeley, California, US | Tail of the Yak. (Creative Commons)

There are pages and pages filled with amazing places.  You can even select a particular location and see what it has to offer.  

There are only 4 places listed in Arkansas and 2 of them are in Eureka Springs.  There are way more than 4 odd places in Arkansas.  I may have to submit a few myself.  

Anyway, if you like unique places, you'll love Atlas Obscura

Be Happy,
Rachel

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Put That In Your Pipe

I've been using a flange and pipe to hold my bangles for a couple of years ago.


 Just recently, I was cleaning out some supplies and came across 2 more flanges and another length of pipe.  I decided that it would be great to hold string and twine.  




All you do is screw the pipe onto the flange add your string and twine, screw on the other flange, poke twine through one hole and your string through another and voila! 

When you want to use the twine, just pull it from the hole.  Flip the whole thing upside down to access the string.  

I think they'd also be great hung on the wall with the pipe sticking out to hang scarves on.  

What would use use them for? 

Be Happy,
Rachel

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

I hope everyone who's celebrating the 4th has a safe, wonderfully fantastic day!


Be happy,
Rachel

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Week in Review: 6-27 to 7-1

What did we do this week here on The Curious Crow? 

On Monday, I got mushy about this guy.  



Tuesday we had another great Etsy seller interview.  This time it was with Mary of WickdCreation.

Wednesday, we made a little chicken salad. 

                               
Thursday we got a smile from some funnies I've found in various places. 

                                       
Today, I'll be going over to the thriving metropolis of Berryville and hitting the thrift stores.  Hopefully, I end up with some fantastic things to put in my vintage shop.  

Next week, we'll be talking about the dress form I bought last weekend that's from 1908.  She's an old broad and I have great plans for her.  I'll also need your help solving my workroom dilemma.  It needs some serious help. We'll also be having a giveaway.  Yay for giveaways! And who knows what else will happen.  Maybe Johnny Depp will come by for a cup of coffee.  
A girl can dream can't she?  

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend filled with great things! 

See you next week. 

Be happy,
Rachel