Monday, October 11, 2010

Ties that Talk

I got started on a new alphabet, which I used in my Old Skool rabbit print.  It's meant to look like old-school typewrite font, and I like it because it's not too big and not too small.

I have a helpful hint for all you block-carving people out there: when it comes to alphabets, you don't need to do it all at once.  I printed up the alphabet I wanted in the size I chose, and have been carving the letters I need as I go.  When I'm done with the letter, I put a check mark under it on the paper, and put the paper away in a binder for another day.  Keeps me from getting overwhelmed with all the caps and punctuation and numbers and lowercase letters I have to do.  I'm kind of an instant gratification sorta gal. :0)

So I used this alphabet to make this "nerd" tie, the text of which I then outlined in purple paint for crisper edges.

Then, I got on a tie kick, and I pulled out two ties I made years ago that never sold, mostly because the text had straggly edges and looked unfinished.  So I did the same thing as I did to the nerd tie, and I went around the text edges in black and added a little decoration and here you have it:

They look better now than they did before, fer sure.

I also worked on the photography a little.  I don't have excellent photo skills or cool backgrounds, so I've been putting everything on plain backgrounds and altering the background using  I think it looks pretty cool and fits with my personality and my store's personality as well.  Even with the photo-editing, it still is easier than trying to set up the perfect background shot.

I also added my etsy mini to a tab at the top of this blog.  You can go there if you're interested in buying or in looking or in getting ideas.

I've had a three day weekend.... can you tell? :0)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bunny Old Skool block print

I've been working on block printing for a while and decided to go for something a little bigger than I had before, and with multiple blocks and colors. 

I also wanted to do something where I could vary the main print a bit by having different add-ons.  In this case, I have the rabbit as the main image, and the walkman can easily be exchanged for a cookie or a cross or a flower or whatever, and the text can be changed as well, making a totally different type of image.

I started out by carving a large (10") bunny in a different style than I am used to (usually, I do outlines, but this was filled).  I carved some alphabet blocks too, in a typewriter font, and then decided to add to it by making a walkman-style image to stick in the bunny's hand, and some earphones for his rabbity ears.  Here's the result:
So I made a giant patch with it and put it on sale in my etsy shop, figuring people could stick it on the back of their hoodies or jackets, or on a tote bag or something.  Clearly, the patch would need to be trimmed and sewn on, but I think it would make a cute design.   You can get it here in my etsy store!

I also used it as the basis for a zazzle design.
And you can buy the whole series of Old Skool walkman-wearing bunny stuff here in my zazzle store.

Not sure if anyone else will think it's as funny as I do, but just me thinking it's funny is a start, no?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What An Awesome Day!

What a great day today has been!  It's 65*F, the sun is shining and there's a nice breeze.  My mom and I took the dogs out to the hunting training grounds for the first time since we stopped going because of the ticks.  The ticks were gone, and the place had mowed a 2 mile trail by the river so that the dogs could get to the water.  Even the thickets of cattails were mowed.  Hooray!  It seems the dogs may actually be tired!

I cleaned out my closet and found this great, green-toned skort / skirt thing from Ann Taylor that I no longer wear.  I decided to turn it into a kawaii-cupcake skirt.  It's a size 4 ladies and can be purchased here on etsy.  Here's a pic:

I haven't made anything in a while, so I'm glad I found this.  I found a bunch of other things I can upcycle, too.  Can't wait to print more!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Week Left!

One week left till I get my first class of 5th graders after teaching ten years of 7th and 8th.  Monday is an Institute Day, Tuesday is Meet The Teacher, and the Wed. is out first half day.  How very, very scary.

My classroom looks almost pulled together.  My class library is set up mostly, and I bought about 40 bins at the dollar store.  I am trying for something like this: by Beth Newingham.  I saved all my personal books from 4th grade on up, so I have a huge amount of girl-protagonist books, but not a lot of boy ones.  I'll have to work on that.

Two of my old students helped me set up the room, and we hot glued stuff to the walls.  I came in this morning, and even that had fallen off the walls.  Nothing sticks.  We spent three hours doing that gluing yesterday.  Gr.

I have been in the classroom every day this week and will probably continue through Sunday.  There's so much to do and so many boxes to unpack.  But.... I found out I could bring the dog while I work!  Three other dogs were in the building today with teachers who were fixing their rooms.  I know my pup would prefer that to being home alone.

On an unrelated note, I wrote an article on HubPages about losing weight with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or Hypothyroidism.  You can find the article here.  I checked the Hub stats to see how people were getting to my page, and all the search queries on google were saying things like, "Can I lose weight with Hashimoto's?"  It made me sad, because it is hard to do, and it's sad that all people's doctors aren't as good as mine, who really takes care that I feel good and healthy.  I hope it can help someone out of a health jam.  It's a sucky disease, to be sure, though I figure as far as autoimmune diseases go, I'm sure glad I got this one over some of the other options!

Stay healthy, ya'll!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Make a Screen Panel for a Sliding Glass Door... and other stuff...

So I've got less than two weeks left till school starts again.  I've been doing a ton of online writing, some of it for Demand Studios, which actually pays twice a week, on time, and is pretty cool, though some people hate it  That's a post for another time.

Anyway, been writing for HubPages a lot, too, and I wrote a Hub about how to make a pet-proof screen panel to use in a sliding glass door.

Here's the address:

Here's a picture:

It's really awesome if you have pets that are constantly trying to crash through your screens to get to something juicy and tasty in the outside world.

The directions are kinda simple, but it may be tough to do without actually seeing it being done.

Hope you can make sense of the directions and that the project lets you enjoy some nice summer days!  feel free to leave comments on my Hub. :0)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Blog

I have been posting more often on my new blog:

It's a humorous blog about life as a teacher, life with pets, life as a foreigner, and it's completely illustrated with my awesome images.

I hope some of you will follow me there, and I'll follow you from there if you'd like.

Have a great summer!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Riley's paw is better and he's finally almost done with the antibiotics.  The weather has cooled down a bit (only in the high 80s!) so that we may actually go to flyball again tonight.  The training school is in an converted warehouse and it's not air-conditioned, so it's rather awful in there when it's hot out, even at 7 pm.

Speaking of antibiotics, one of my friend's dogs had the runs for the past week or so, and it wouldn't stop.  As my poor pup had ongoing diarrhea (he had colitis) for almost a year, I figured out a four-prong approach that almost always gets rid of diarrhea in dogs (unless the dog has worms or a parasite or something).  I figured I'd share this in the hopes that it helps someone else out.

Doggie Diarrhea Solution
  • cook ground turkey (frozen bullet packs) and mix it with cooked white rice.  Feed this for several days with no dog food
  • add a teaspoon or two of canned pumpkin (check label - must be 100% pumpkin, not the pie filling) to each meal
  • grind up a probiotic tablet and add half to the dog's meal.  You can use doggie probiotics but they are harder to find and are more expensive
  • get slippery elm capsules and empty the contents of one capsule or more per meal into the dog's food.  Slippery elm bark coats the bowel and works in humans of all ages, including babies, and for cats and dogs as well.  It has very few side effects (one, actually, that I've read: inhibits vitamin absorption if taken incessantly over weeks) and helps in cases of nausea, acid reflux, colitis, Crohn's, IBS, and most other stomach complaints.  You can find it here on Amazon.  That's the brand I use.  You can read more about it here at Alternative Healthzine.

Rice binds, turkey is low in fat and grease, pumpkin is fiberous and absorbs moisture, slippery elm coats the GI tract, and the probiotic restores good gut health.

I eventually switched my dog and cats off kibble entirely, which helped out a lot, but occasionally when my dog eats, say, a dead mouse out in the field, this helps.  Your dog should be better within three or four days, if not by the next few meals.

If you're interested in this and would like to read more, I wrote a HubPage about it here:

In the last few days, I made a whole set of new designs for my zazzle t-shirt shop.  Most of them included dog photos that I altered using the free program paint . net, mostly because it's free and easier for me to figure out than the professional programs that cost a bunch.  Here are some of the designs.