Thursday, August 25, 2011

And the Sign Said...

After I'd posted my Yard Sale Rules, Julie from Entirely Apropos, made a comment about how terrible yard sale signs are.  She's 100% right.  Most yard sale signs are horrible.  I thought that yard sale signage needed a post all on it's own, because there have been too many times in my life that I've gotten lost due to some poophead's inability to make a proper yard sale sign. 

First the basics. 



The above arrow means turn left.  You should place these signs at the intersection where we should actually turn left, not 3 blocks away.  

This next arrow means turn right.  Follow the same placement instructions as the left arrow.  


This arrow means "straight ahead".  You should use it when you live four miles off the paved road and you want to let us know that we should keep going straight even though we're getting a little worried that we're driving in the exact location that Deliverance was filmed. 

 
The next arrow means "go to hell", and it's just not very nice to tell people who might buy your used bowling shoes to go to hell.   Were you raised by wolves?


If you want everyone to think that your yard sale is too good for normal arrows, you may use the following pointers.  


You are not allowed to use these graphics to indicate where we should turn.  


Please make sure that all of the pertinent information is visible by someone driving a car at approximately 35 miles per hour.  The higher the speed limit is, the larger your sign should be.  

This next sign is the type that causes wrecks, whiplash, general frustration and lots of cussing. We have to slam on our breaks to read the address you wrote 2000% smaller than the rest of your sign, you big buttface.  


If your handwriting sucks, have someone else write the sign.  This sign is not acceptable.  


Finally, once your yard sale is finished and you're taking the leftovers to the thrift store, dumpster or down the road to leave them in your neighbors front yard, take down your signs.  The next time I follow a yard sale sign only to discover that the sale was three weeks ago, I will come to your house and kick you in the shins and possible poke you in the eye.  The carnage will be horrific, people.  


Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview 16: Joe with Metal Art Dude's Metal Shop

You know what today is?  It's time for another interview with an Etsy seller.  But today really isn't just another interview. It's an interview with Joe with Metal Art Dude's Metal Shop, and he's awesome, but it's also the last interview on The Curious Crow...at least for now.  Now instead of filling Tuesday's with fantabulous interviews with even more fantabulous sellers, I'll just be posting a bunch of drivel about who knows what.  

Rusty the Springer Sculpture
But now let's get on with the interview.  

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm the great and powerful welder of OZ. Really, I go by Joe and metalartdude. I create sculpture from scrap metal and also make clocks from old hubcaps.

Why do you do what you do?

I got a welder as a present one year, what else was I supposed to do? Fix broken things? Start a welding shop? Oh, wait I do that also. I remember art classes as being one of my favorites growing up. I started college as an engineer but ended up doing something a little more creative, the degree no one heard of Industrial Design. I really enjoy making things with my hands using, wood, metal, bread, or plant material. I don't have a good explanation for what I do with the metal, I see things in the pieces and make different sculpture. I like to make faces that remind me of the false face images and masks that I saw growing up in western New York.
Holstein Cow Head Sculpture

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

Actually I did IT for about 5-6 years and hated it, Information Technology, totally draining creatively. Then I worked in Architecture, that was the best job. Well the art business is great but the pay could be better. I've been welding and creating different metal art for about 15 years or so. Before that I painted cows with acrylic paints, which was enjoyable but metal art sculpture was so much easier for me, it flows, the process ,and the creation. Plus I get to drive around and dumpster dive at auto repair shops, pick up metal on the street, and go to junkyards, can't beat that. I've been making clocks from hubcaps for about 1 year.

Spark Plug Guy

Who do you think would win in a fist fight, Betty White or Angelina Jolie?

Angelina Jolie, but I would want Betty White to win.

What is your motto in life?

Just hit the gas and get out of the way. Plus it's fun to go fast!

1957 Olds Hubcap Clock
What's your favorite knock-knock joke?

Knock, knock! Who's there? Interrupting Cow. Interrupting Cow wh....Mooooooo!
It's my daughter's favorite and she tells me the joke all the time.

What's your least favorite word or phrase?

"My Bad" Arrrrrrrrrrrghhh, I hate that. Just say "I'm a dumbass, I f'ed up, sorry I'm such a stupid person I can't even say, Sorry."

Gnarly Dude
Thank you, Joe, for such a great interview.  I think it was a perfect ending to the interviews.  Now, go over to Metal Art Dude's Metal Shop and buy, buy, buy.  Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.  

Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interview 15: M. Patrick with Tencrowns Studio

Guess what time it is?  It's interview time! This week's interview is with M. Patrick from Tencrowns Studio.  I'm eating a cold, leftover pork chop as I'm writing this, so don't mind the occasional chunk of breading that may fall.  Do any of you like cold pork chops?  I love them.  

I'm just going to shut up now and get on with the interview.  

Mystery Woman Pendant
Who are you and what do you do?

I am a somewhat neurotic recluse that graduated from art school a few years ago and haven't done much with myself since, except working retail jobs to pay the bills. I do a little bit of whatever catches my interest, but I would primarily consider myself an illustrator, though a lot of my work has leaned towards printmaking lately, which sort of goes hand in hand with my letterboxing/stamping obsession. The DREAM is to one day get my graphic novel drawn and published, but it turns out that writing and drawing a whole book by yourself is a lot of work, so in the meantime I'm learning more about comics publishing by being a proofreader, letterer, and occasional color correctionist for The Farlight Saga, which is written by my friend Jared. He's working on a lot of technical stuff to get the new revision up right now, so there isn't much to see on the new website yet. It is available for purchase here though: comics.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=87923 , and will be updated on its old home at DrunkDuck, though all that's there now are the cover and some chapter heading: www.drunkduck.com/Ethos/5347289/

Pink Butterfly Card

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because honestly, I don't know what else to do with myself. I feel like I literally have to make things otherwise I would go crazy. Art's always sort of been my catharsis because I have a very limited ability to express my feelings to others. I used to bottle up emotions to a very unhealthy point, but I've learned to deal. I also just have a lot of nervous energy and like to have multiple things to do at once. While this leads to a lot of interesting projects, it unfortunately makes it difficult to finish many of them.

How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT)
Radiohead ACEO

I've been painting and drawing since I was very small--probably about five years old or so. I used to get so frustrated watching Bob Ross and trying to follow along with a little box of watercolors and crayons. I started entering competitions, selling pieces and developing a portfolio in high school, so probably starting in 2000 or so, and attended the Columbus College of Art & Design from 2002-2006.

Do you sing in the shower?

All the time. Usually old show tunes or Type O Negative.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Either some kind of scientist or a novelist/artist. I was very big into paleontology and teratology. I also had a pretty kick-ass rock collection.


Magpie Print
What's the best costume you've ever worn?

The best costume I ever wore is kind of a hard question. I do have this really awesome witch's robe and a matching shawl that my grandmother made for me when I was a kid. I wore it probably from ages 7-14, whenever I felt like it. I could probably still fit into it, though it might be kind of short. Damn, I need to find that shawl. Alternatively worst costume: the year my mom made me dress up as a clown for Halloween because she didn't feel it was appropriate for a little girl to go as something scary. My sister helped me ditch it later and dressed me up as a vampire, as I recall.


The Melonheads ACEO Print
Now wasn't that an awesome interview?  You know what else is awesome?  Everything in Tencrown Studios.  So you should get your collective derrieres over there and buy some cool stuff.  

Be Happy,
Rachel

Monday, August 15, 2011

Born to be Wild

Two of my sisters are coming to town today from Kansas City! OMG! Instead of them staying here at the house (because there's a boy here and ew, boys have cooties) we're getting a room in town.  A girls only room.  NO BOYS ALLOWED! 

I'm sure we'll be pulling some shenanigans and having loads of fun the next few days.  Our shenanigans won't be anything like going on a drunken rampage and pulling stop signs out of the ground with our bare hands. Instead, they'll be more like sneaking into the pool after hours, and making funny faces while we're standing in front of the Mary statue in the Catholic church.  Because we're hardcore that way! 

No matter what, It will be kind of cool to be a tourist in my own touristy hometown.  And, we'll be doing lots of junking, because that's the kind of vacations my family takes, which are a step up from our childhood when our parents used to take us on vacation just to look for rocks.  

I'll be sure and take lots of photos and post them on The Curious Crow's Facebook page. 

I already have tomorrow's interview scheduled and you should definitely read it and buy stuff from the interviewee.  

Um...I guess that's all. I have to go pack now.  

Have a good next few days and I'll be back soon. 

Be Happy,
Rachel

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yard Sale Rules

This past weekend was the city-wide yard sale in Eureka Springs, which is the little freak show town in Arkansas that I call home. Eric and I went Friday morning and discovered that there weren't very many sales this year.  I think there were 50 something on the list and we went to almost all of them, and we still had room in the car by the time we were finished.  No one should ever go to that many yard sales and still have room in the car.  

There were a lot of ways that the yard sales could have been improved, because frankly a lot of them were pretty bad.  I realized that there weren't a list of written do's and dont's of yard sales, so I've decided to take it upon myself to write a list of yard sale rules that I think should be strictly enforced.  

Rule No. 1

Shirts are required.  I don't care if you're a dude, put on a shirt.  No one wants to see your man nipples - especially if they're over 70 years old.  I saw more man nipples last Friday than you can shake a stick at. I have no idea why you'd want to shake a stick at man nipples, but whatever blows your skirt up. 

{I felt that a photograph would be unnecessary and unwelcome here. If you need a visual of 70 year old man nipples, just imagine a wrinkled piece of pepperoni with gray hairs on it.}



Rule No. 2


You must price things as though you were having a yard sale rather than hosting an episode of Antiques Roadshow. If I wanted to buy old crap at antique store prices, I'd go to an antique store where there's air conditioning instead of standing in your front yard sweating in places that makes walking unpleasant.  







Rule No. 3


Be friendly.  Greet your potential customers.  Smile.  Be engaging.  Don't act like having a yard sale is similar to having a colonoscopy with a shop vac.  If it's that horrible for you, contact an estate buyer and sell all of your stuff in one fell swoop. Then you can spend your day doing something you'd find more enjoyable like sanding the skin off your face.  





Rule No. 4


Be friendly (see Rule No. 3 in case you have a really short memory), but please don't tell me your life story. Or the life story of your grandmother, or the life story of your dog, or the life story of the ficus tree you have in the living room.  I'm sure you're a lovely person with fascinating tales, but the truth is, I just don't care.  I'm there to buy your unwanted crap so I can then turn around and sell it for 20 times more than I paid for it.  




Rule No. 5

If something or someone has peed on a stack of fabric you're trying to sell, don't sell it.  Or at least wash it before you sell it so we don't know that something or someone used it as a toilet.  No one wants to experience picking up a piece of fabric and then almost passing out because they just got a whiff of peed-on fabric that's been marinating in 90+ degree heat.






Rule No. 6

If you announce that you're willing to deal, then when I ask how much the vintage garment bag is and you say "$5" and I say, "How about $3?", instead of saying, "Nope. It's $5." say, "I'd take $4". 


THAT'S HOW YOU DEAL. 





                                       Rule No. 7

Please put a price tag on everything. I know that putting a price tag on everything isn't fun, but it's not exactly physically taxing is it? I'm not asking you to price all your items while you're running a marathon. Just plop your ass down in front of the television with a big box of yard sale stuff and a box of ho-hos,and start sticking. You probably won't even break out into a sweat. I guarantee that if you price things, you'll sell a lot more of your stuff.



Rule No. 8

 I understand that it's a privilege for us to come into your yard or garage or whatever and dig through the pile of t-shirts that you've ripped the sleeves out of and then worn to mow the lawn, but could you try and not be so condescending?  Yes, some of us shop at yard sales because we have to.  Some of us shop at yard sales because we want to.  Just remember that we put our ratty t-shirts on one sleeve armhole at a time, just like you do.  

So, there you have it.  Just a few simple rules that will not only improve your yard sale going experience, but should you be having a yard sale, it will increase your sales.

I'm not sure how people have been having successful yard sales before this list of rules was written.  


Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview 14: Ms. March Hare from MsMarchHare

Time for another interview.  Today's interview is with Ms. March Hare who runs the Etsy shop, MsMarchHare.  Ms. March makes jewelry of the coolest kind, and it's a varied selection, too.  Which means that there's something for everyone!  

I'll let Ms. March tell you more about herself, what she does and animal testicles. 

My Soldier Boy Necklace
Who are you and what do you do?

Well...I'm a middle aged, married (24 yrs) woman with 2 grown sons. Like most of us in this economy I'm living on a wing and a prayer, and looking for anything to boost my income short of prostitution. I love all kinds of art, and have painted, drawn and sculpted for most of my life. I started making Jewelry when my sons were young because it was easy to pick up and put down fast when a nap-time ended or a knee got scraped. Jewelry making is probably closer to drug abuse as any craft project. The packets are small, the tiny stash gets bigger and bigger, new things need to be tried (soon I was weaving, and wire-wrapping then I was mainlining resin). Eventually you have to start making and selling, and the back room becomes a lab of some sort...or drying 
room, or hydroponics garden, filled with beads, findings, wire, and stock 
being packaged for sale. NOT THAT I REALLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT OTHER STUFF. Just lots of MSNBC specials. 

Currently I am into the resin, doing lots of experiments with that. That and the Gay Pride jewelry I started out making for my son's best friend until he suggested I sell it.


Gay Comics Necklace
Why do you do what you do?
I just like making things I would like to wear myself. When I was younger no one made the things I would have liked so I do it myself now. I also like giving my friends and family these things and it makes me feel good to see them enjoy something I made just to suit them and their personalities. If I can make a few bucks now out of it, so much better. I can't afford fair booths, and craft shows, so Etsy seemed like a good fit. Right now my biggest hope is to pay a bill or two until a full-time job comes along.


Birds of a Feather Necklace
How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT)

Crafting? Since I could open a can of Play-doh. I remember sitting on the basement stairs, using an upper step as my table and dangling my legs through the step I was seated on making elephants and snakes Play-doh.

As for "IT"...Last Sunday. Weather's been too hot for a lot of "IT".


Beaded Rainbow Ring

If you could travel to any other country, all expenses paid, where would you go?

I served in the Air Force in the 80's and got to travel quite a lot then. England, Germany, France, etc. Which was cool. But I never got to go where I really wanted the most.

Egypt. During the recent people's protests in Egypt I scoured the news every night, not just in the hopes no one else would be hurt, but hoping the precious history of Egypt would be spared. When I saw the breakage of some of the Tut artifacts I sobbed like a baby for days. I love Egyptian history, and hope to travel there some day.


Heart's Blood Necklace
What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
When people write "loose" when they mean "lose". That and cell phones/texting in movie theaters and while driving. I'm a simple person when it comes to pet peeves. 



Corset Necklace
What food will you absolutely not put in your mouth? 
Anything that was once the testicle of any animal. Seriously. I'm not interested in dining on some critter's man-sack.

Do you consider yourself a geek or nerd? If so, what makes you geeky or nerdy?

Geek....I'm too technically underprivileged to be a nerd, though I'd like to be My eldest son is both a geek and a nerd. I do geek out over Doctor Who, Torchwood, Star Trek, Marvel Comics, My Little Ponies, Epic Meal Time, Regretsy, and all things B Move. I love Renn Fairs, Star Trek Conventions, Rockey Horror viewings, Drag Queen competitions, and will some day attend Comic Con!

Muchas gracias, Ms. March Hare for the wonderful (and quite funny) interview.  Now is the part where I tell you to get over to MsMarchHare and buy some jewelry.  Christmas isn't that far away, you know. Go shop, shop, shop!

Be Happy,
Rachel

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Skin and Bones is the New Black

Pre-post caveat:  This rant is aimed at women who are purposely losing enough weight so they can look like a skeleton.  I realize that there are women with health issues that cause weight loss.  Please don't misunderstand where I'm coming from. 

What's the deal with models trying to look like bones in a dress?  They're getting thin to the point of being extremely unhealthy. I think that the most attractive people are the ones who are healthy and happy - no matter what their size.  

A lot of models are losing weight by: not eating, laxatives, purging, diet pills.  None of these are healthy options for shedding pounds. 

Have a look-see at the models that are clanking their bones down the runway these days: 





this is not healthy

For the love of all things holy, eat a biscuit, a spoonful of peanut butter, lick a cheeseburger, suck on a French fry.  Eat something! You don't look sexy.  You look malnourished.  

Being too thin can be as bad on your body as being too thick.  You're at a higher risk for heart problems. You have a better chance of having osteoporosis.  Your immune system can become weakened, and you may even become infertile.  

It's not just models who are starving themselves into oblivion.  It's also actresses.  





being this thin just makes your head look HUGE

And I hate to tell you, Angelina Jolie, but...


You look like this



So all of you models, actresses and other women who are losing so much weight that you look like an anatomy class specimen, stop being such horrible role models for our children.  Teenagers go through enough angst about their bodies.  Come by the house and I'll make you some meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and yeast rolls with real butter on top.  Gain a little weight. Enjoy being and looking healthy.  Dare to have a curve or two that isn't the curve of your ribs.  Relax.  Eat a spoonful of ice cream once in awhile.  You'll probably be much happier, and you'll definitely be much healthier.  

Be Happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview 13: Gen from The World Famous

GREAT BIG GINORMOUS UPDATE: Gen is going to give away one of her fabulous slouchy hats in a giveaway right here on The Curious Crow.  

In order to win the hat, you have to: 


1. Like The Curious Crow on FB or follow The Curious Crow Blog (let me know which you did in the comments.  If you already do both of the above, you're awesome and get a free pass on this step)
2. Go look around The World Famous then come back here and mention something about one of Gen's awesome items in the comments. 

You can leave this info in the comments on any of this week's posts.  You can even enter it on every day, but you'll still only be entered once into the giveaway.  


And, here's the hat. Keep it for yourself or stash it away for a Christmas gift.  (I'd totally keep it for myself)



We now resume our regularly scheduled post.  
________________________________________________


It's interview time again.  Today's interview is with Gen from The World Famous.  Gen crochets coffee sleeves and hats and hair pins, and she makes all sorts of cute jewelry.  I'll shut up now and let Gen tell you more about herself.  


Orange Slice Coffee Sleeve
Who are you and what do you do? 


My name is Gen Taylor. Unfortunately, no one I know believes in the idea that my first and last name are two different names; they just blend together to form my true identity. I knit, crochet, sew, make jewelry, and a boat-load of other crafts. I also work customer service for a furniture company.

Why do you do what you do?

 Why I work customer service? Because I'm broke, have college loans to pay off, and they were hiring. Why I craft? That's a different story. (ha ha). I was always a really imaginative kid, always thinking of making stuff out of what I had and coming up with creative solutions to problems. My crafting kinda stemmed out of there.

How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT) 
Giraffe Earrings

 How long I've been doing IT? I'm a lady; I'll never tell ;). Oh, duh, you meant CRAFTING! Maybe I should read the whole question next time. lol. I starting crocheting when I was 12, however, the more I kept doing it (not IT, crocheting) the more I realized I was crocheting wrong. I was taught how to knit somewhere between the ages of 14 and 16. I was taught both crafts by my younger cousin/ pseudo-sister. She was taught by her oldest brother, who was taught by his (Polish?) grandmother. She crochets and knits like Europeans do, so watching everyone around me here in America knit throws me off. I knit backwards. Once I really started realizing that I knit backwards, it was almost impossible to teach anyone the skills I knew, or teach people at all. When I first learned to knit, I taught myself every other stitch under the sun. I'm rather proficient. When I was about 20 or 21, I decided I was going to give crocheting a shot again. I taught myself how to properly do it, and I now I can do it super fast. Go me!

Brown Cotton Slouch Hat
If you could travel to any other country, all expenses paid, where would you go? 

 To be honest, I don't know where I'd want to go except Hawaii. I know it's not another country. I believe in the idea that you shouldn't go to other countries unless you speak their language, and I don't speak more than English. I have a hard time with that one as it is. Ha ha. I would like to see London sometimes, as well as Australia, but that's about it. I'd rather Hawaii. I've been to every state in the US except Louisiana and Hawaii. I just want to go!

Do you have any pets?

My house is a zoo. I have tons of pets. I know that's not a good idea, especially for having a craft shop. I do, however, keep all of my products away from my animals and hanging off the walls on my bedroom. I have 3 dogs (2 black labs and some kind of shaggy thing) and 5 cats. The two newest ones were my graduation present from my parents. They're my babies and I love them dearly.

Butterfly Bobby Pins
If you got 3 extra hours in one day, what time would they be between and how would you fill them?

 If I got three extra hours a day, it would depend on the day as to how I'd use them. If it's a weekday and there's nothing better to do, I'd work them to get some overtime so I can pay off my college loans faster. If it's a weekday and I'm spending time with my boyfriend, I would add 3 extra hours to sleeping so he can get some sleep and be able to go to work in the morning (he lives a half hour from me, then another half hour to work, in Jersey traffic. It‘s not pretty.). If it was a weekend, I'd use the hours for knitting. I'm currently working on a present for a wedding in December, and it never seems to finish.

Shoes, socks or bare feet?
Pink Crochet Hair Pins

 Shoes if I'm in the house (especially in my room, since I always seem to have straight pins in my carpet up there), sock if I'm wearing shoes, and barefoot in public places, especially sidewalks and carpeted offices.

_______________________________

Thank you, Gen, for such a fabulous interview! Now all of you should skedaddle over to The World Famous and buy, buy, buy.  

Just so you know, I don't ever really use the word "skedaddle", but now that I've sat here and said it out loud a few times I might start.  It's kind of fun to say.  

Be Happy,
Rachel