Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So...here it is! Arrows and notes point to the more interesting parts. Oh, and pardon the crappy quality of the picture. I think I was shaking with excitement.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Please stop over and check things out! Come back here and let me know what you think!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
LunasaDesigns' Bumpy Road Ring - $38
rikrak's Christmas Orange & Green Tree Felt Stocking - $18
kpglassjewelry1's Stem Necklace in Tangerine Orange with Oxidized Sterling Silver - $92
BeckyM's Pumpkin Pie Felt Food - $8
CableGal's Braided Cable Scarf - Orange - $40
jessgonacha's you are my sunshine unframed gocco print - $8
dandelionblu's Tiny Maple Dangles - $34
2ReVert's Recycled Skateboard Bangle (Smooth) - $22
prettylittle's Pumpkin Baby Booties (Felted Merino Wool) - $28
lupin's Little Poppy Pin, orange - $14.50
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
1 ½ c. oil
2 c. sugar
3 c. grated carrots
2 c. flour
1 15 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. nuts (pecans are best)
1 c. raisins
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 box confectioners sugar
Drain pineapple; use finely grated carrots if possible. Mix all ingredients. Bake at 325 degrees.
9” tube pan = 1 hour; 9x13” pan = 45 minutes
That is an alarming, yet surprisingly not shocking, statistic. CNN recently posted an article, via Oprah.com, discussing the degree to which America is rude. I know, I know. Shocking and horrifying that our Great Nation could possibly be a haven for aloof human disregard and, as Jerry Seinfeld put it on a recent Oprah show, and ever increasing "lack of civility". My mother raised me with certain rules and regulations in regards to politeness and general social decorum, and I'd like to think that I've turned into a polite and kind person. I stand up in the bus when an older person boards so they may have my seat, I say "please" and "thank you" and "have a nice day" to just about anyone who crosses my path, and I even look people in the eye who are begging for money on DC's streets and apologize for not having anything to give them. I am not a model of politeness, but I try.
What I often run into is a deep-seated frustration with anyone who isn't polite. And in turn, I generally attempt to give them a "taste of their own medicine". I can be gruff, aloof and even downright insolent when the occasion suits. My message doesn't always translate, but I always feel vindicated (to some degree) that I've shown the offender the error of their ways. Also, having worked retail for close to 10 years full-time, and sometimes even double-time, I'm keenly aware of how pervasive and ingrained rudeness is in American culture.
Dr. P.M. Forni, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct and The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude, notes that "everyone can improve the quality of their relationships and lives by choosing to be more considerate, courteous and polite." In the age of earbuds, iPods, scurrying to work, alarm clocks, cell phones and a distinct lack of sleep, I realize that this sounds like judgmental overkill. Who is anyone to impose their Miss Manners approach to life on you? Do I have any idea of what your life is REALLY like? Well, honestly, no I don't. But I do know that despite the many hurdles I've faced in my own life, which include long commutes, early wake ups, late nights, lack of sleep, lack of food and even drastic temperature changes while on the job, I still have managed to meander through life minding most of my Ps and Qs. It has brought me great relief in situations that would be otherwise challenging. And these are mostly situations where I'll never see the person again. It's my own little attempt at paying it forward.
While working at Trader Joe's many years ago, I went through a FISH! training. The basic tenets of FISH! suggest that you choose your attitude every day. Whether you're home watching cartoons, at work dealing with coworkers, or out shopping for holiday gifts, pick the person you want the world to see. It sounds corny and unnecessary, but the rewards are sweet. Not only do you have charming and sweet mini-relationships with people who know nothing more than your name or your preference in dishware, but you actively choose to increase the quality of your life.
"The bottom line? Going through life rude and angry can make you sick."
Mind Your Ps & Qs poster from John W. Golden @ Etsy.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Jam Thumbprint Cookies - Ina Garten
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- Raspberry and/or apricot jam
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Anyway, Etsy has turned into Le Chat Noir for me. Aside from my mother's adorable scrapbooked and handcrafted cards, and the stuff I make on my own, I've found that Etsy is a fantastic place for high quality, handmade stationery. I recently discovered farouche, an operation based in "sunny California", and I must say...I'm in love. Here is a delightful assortment of farouche finds, all of which will be added to my collection at some point or another.
Personalized Craft Room Tags - $15
30 tags in 10 different styles, measuring 2"x4" each. Personalized just for your crafty creations!
Personalized Baking Tags - $15
A unique and vintage-inspired set of 30-2"x4" tags for all your baking needs! There is also a Christmas themed set too!
Rocket Woman Note Cards - $25
A set of 20 personalizaed kick ass rocket woman cards. I know EXACTLY who is getting these for Christmas.
Drunken Tags - $4
A set of 8 drunk-themed tags to attach to birthday gifts, housewarming gifts, or tokens of sincere regret [for inappropriate behaviors and/or actions].
Ten Worst Pick Up Lines - $5
10 cards in the set. I quote the artist: "Hey Baby! These cards are little larger than a business card so they can easily be kept in a wallet for that special situation when your own words are not enough. They also make a fun alternative to a gift tag."
The items I've selected are my personal favorites. farouche also has an incredible selection of notecards including peacocks, typewriters, trout, hearts, deer, revolvers, and women extraordinaire. They've got gift tags out the wazoo, including signature dandy tags, pulp fiction tags, and yee haw tags. Basically, farouche has just about everything anyone could need to outfit their stationery collection. I'm definitely going to use their shop as a jumping off point for the bulk of my holiday shopping.
Monday, November 10, 2008
My specific gripe is with the proliferation of the soft, knubbly, and elusive "wool and acrylic" blend that so many people are using for hats, scarves, shawls and other knitted items. The colors they use are so hip and fresh, they couldn't possibly be that wacky grandma yarn from Michael's or AC Moore. AH HA. It is. Lion Brand makes a delightfully easy-to-knit yarn called Thick & Quick, and hipster knitters are using it for their creations. I've even seen certain knitters, featured on Etsy, have pictures on the web of their "studio" which consists of skeins of this stuff with the WRAPPER REMOVED.
If you want to charge $75 for a scarf that cost you MAYBE $15, be my guest. There is always the need to account for labor and creativity, I guess. But when you're making and selling handmade things, don't think that we're all so easily duped. I worked retail long enough to spot frauds and I'm not going to give the handmade market some sort of pass just because they're doing it the old-fashioned way. It goes without saying that handmade crafts would have even more universal appeal if the price points were more attainable. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the incalcuable cost of labor for the reassurance that whatever you are making and selling will advertise itself and you'll recoup your loses times 10 in no time.
The event, featuring 50+ crafty vendors, will be held indoors at St. John’s Church located at 2640 St. Paul St, Baltimore from 10AM - 5PM (at the corner of 27th and St. Paul Streets in beautiful Charles Village).
Friday, November 7, 2008
Look for fantastic felt ball creations in my Etsy shop soon!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Looking for an inexpensive way to advertise for the holidays? Patuxent Publishing Company [they publish community newspapers in MD] is offering local artists and crafters the opportunity to advertise in their Holiday Listing, which publishes Thanksgiving week (Nov. 24-28). For $50, you can have your shop name and/or Web site placed on a full-page ad that will circulate throughout Maryland to more than 130,000 readers.For more information, contact Mollye Hubbard at email@example.com. Deadline is Nov. 14.
- Gay jewelry - I think jewelry targeted to gays is kind of ridiculous, regardless of their cause marketing tactics. The end.
- Prop 8 Hysteria - because the majority of it contains faulty and flawed gay rights rhetoric and is laced with both thinly-veiled and completely unveiled racism
As far as Prop 8 is concerned, it's laughable how much press, money and attention has been thrown in its direction. Despite my pseudo-anarchist preferences, we have a system of government in this country that forces us to elect individuals (who then make appointments) and it is the responsibility of those people to make decisions on our behalf. I know, I know, it sounds overwhelming unfair but that's how it works. And it is both the privilege and the responsibility of those elected officials and appointees to legislate and uphold the basic tenets of our Constitution. All that stuff that our forefathers wanted for everyone should, for the most part, not be in the hands of the people. OH BOLLOCKS, you say. And I say so too, because I believe that people shouldn't have to operate under such an oppressive structure. But we do. Look at how special interest groups, lobbyists and money affected the voting for Prop 8. It is the responsibility of people like Obama and Supreme Court justices to say, "regardless of the popular vote, regardless of lobbyists and special interest groups, regardless of the hate and bigotry that has infected our country down to its roots, and regardless of any sort of faith-based legislating, denying any American rights afforded to another is NOT RIGHT." And this is where I praise the baby Jesus for inspiring this nation to vote for Obama. He gives us real, palpable hope. And I believe that he will appoint justices that will find any legislation, such as Prop 8, to be unconstitutional. This statement made by the highest of the high courts will allow ALL LGBTQ Americans to live as they wish, and access the rights they are currently being denied. THAT is the point.
Dan Savage was quoted at Joe.My.God yesterday and, without pause or hesitancy, he blamed African-American voters in California for not standing up for "us" like we did for them on a National level. As though we negotiated some sort of swap with Black voters...you vote for us, we vote for you. He quoted an accurate statistic, from what I can tell. He said that 70% of African-American voters, at exit polls, said they voted Yes on 8. What he failed to mention was that ONLY 6.7% of voters in California are actually African-American. That means 93.3% of voters in California are NOT African-American and completely disregards the estimated 58.9% of white voters who took to the polls on Tuesday and contributed HEAVILY to the Yes on 8 initiative. And he also fails to critique, in any way, the very white religious right (specifically MORMONS), who made it their Lord's Work to raise millions of dollars and innumerable units of HATE in order to have this initiative pass. White gays are seething about the injustice leveled at them by Black voters when, in reality and based on simple mathematical equations that can be completed in one's head, it was white people who fucked them over. Got that? Our white brethren did this.
I said to my BFF the other day that I was going to be THAT white girl and quote a prolific Black writer/activist about this struggle that LGBTQ folk are facing. Audre Lorde is quoted as saying "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." LGBTQ people have, as a matter of practice, utilized the rhetoric of the civil rights movement in order to draw attention and em/sym-pathy to their cause. "I'm not going to move to the back of the bus on this issue", "Separate but equal doesn't work for me", "Shouldn't Black people understand what it's like for US" and the unapologetic quoting of Black historical figures to draw comparisons between our struggle and the struggles that occur along racial lines in this country. My BFF then said, "wouldn't it be great if we used the tactics of the civil rights movement and gave up stealing the rhetoric?" YES. And that is why I quote Audre Lorde. Using the master's tools, which in this case are money, government, hate and violence to dismantle the master's house is an effort in futility. Cheering about the money we raised for the No on 8 intiative, or raising money at all, is a master's tool. Aren't there better, more effective and righteous ways we can go about our fight for equality?
My final point centers on this ridiculous fight, in general. I believe in marriage. My parents have been married for over 30 years. I think it's lovely that they found love and have stuck with it so long; that they sealed their commitment under the eyes of God and through paperwork provided by the state of Virginia. I believe in marriage for anyone who wants to get married. I do not believe, however, that marriage should afford anyone special rights. That is the injustice here, in my opinion. Beyond the debates about marriage being a religious institution and civil unions being what the government really provides, marriage is simply a privileged institution intended to only validate the individual when paired with someone else. Our fight should not be for marriage rights. It should be aimed at abolishing marriage rights altogether and extending those rights to all individuals. And it is because of that philosophy the fight for marriage rights, and the rhetoric surrounding that fight, boggles my mind. We are second class citizens because we are denied rights as individuals, not because we are denied rights as couples. Anyone who does not have the rights provided by marriage is a "second class citizen" under these terms...that includes single heterosexual people.
I am in a deeply loving, committed long-term relationship. I would love to, one day, be joined in marriage with this person under the eyes of God (and I know a gay priest who is going to do it!). However, my relationship does not cancel out my individuality. I want the rights I deserve whether I am in love or not. I also want to not have my love sanctioned by the government. They don't need to be involved. The religious right doesn't need to be involved either. I told my BFF that this Prop 8 situation was as much an issue of politics as it was an issue of semantics. We need to step back and figure out what is right and fair, for everyone, and not just for us. Issuing threats and invoking racism is not a means to an end. It will only serve to erode any possibility we have, as an oppressed group, to achieve the goals we have for our community. Our President-elect does not believe in withholding rights to individuals that the Constitution explicitly states belong to them. I believe him. And I believe that any person who has experienced oppression in any small or big way has a concept of what needs to be done in order to deconstruct and eradicate bigotry from the social and political landscape in our country. Finally, white LGBTQ folks: I ask you to have faith and to think, carefully and thoroughly, before you speak.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Em made this pumpkin bread for me when we first started dating. Well, actually. The pumpkin bread was made and I was fortunate enough to have a slice. I didn't really appreciate the fantasticness of this bread until I found out that I had a dairy allergy. It's dairy free! Stick to the recipe, including the vital "make a well" step, and you'll have two loaves of spectacularly delicious pumpkin bread. If you have local apple orchards within a reasonable distance, I highly recommend you pick up some apple or pumpkin butter and spread it on top. DIVINE.
Pumpkin Bread (Em's Mom)
4 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
Mix together dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Add 1 cup Wesson oil, 1 can (14 ½ oz) pumpkin and 2/3 cup cold water. This seems like a silly step, but it's very important for some reason. Make that well!
Blend this well with beater.
Add 4 eggs – 1 at a time – beating well after each addition.
Pour batter into 5 small or 2 regular size loaf pans (greased & floured).
Bake @ 350° (small – 1 hour; Large – 1¼ hours).
(We've made it with Splenda before, and I will warn you that it is not delicious. The bread doesn't rise and it has a funky aftertaste.)
Anyhoo...if you'd like to second the nomination I gave myself, head on over and click the small green circle with the + in it, next to my comment. Otherwise look for more information from me when the voting process commences. And if you're reading this, thanks for reading!!
- All Krispy Kreme customers with an "I Voted" sticker on will receive a complimentary star shaped donut with red, white and blue patriotic sprinkles. Dammit if I can't have donuts.
- From 5-8pm (your local time, I suppose), walk into any Ben & Jerry's and receive a free scoop of your ice cream of choice (Cherry Garcia, ahem). Dammit if I can't have this too.
- Head into your local Starbucks and receive a free tall-sized (12oz) cup of coffee after you vote. Can I get a splash of soy milk?
- MOST IMPORTANT:My lovely Bucko and her family, who own Rock Candy in the Lauraville neighborhood of Balitmore, are offering a fantabulous discount for any vote-enthusiast (all ages!). Come in wearing your "I Voted" sticker, paraphernalia from your favorite candidate, or invent some sort of fantastic cheerleading routine (ask for Joel specifically if you plan to do this) and perform it in the store! You'll get 15% off your purchase TUESDAY November 4th.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Crafting "colleague" (if you will) Tina Seamonster and some crafty pals have created Hello Craft: The Future of Making Is In Your Hands. She told me about this endeavor a few months ago and I have waited breathlessly for it to finally be born (excuse any grammatical nonsense in there).
What you have with Hello Craft is a lovely website, a blog, and a podcast. Now, I'm not hip to podcasting as I often find it difficult to process information aurally...I'm just more of a read-and-retain kind of learner...and I only subscribe to one podcast right now, Craft Mentality. But Hello Craft's podcasts (subscribe to them through iTunes here) are participant-driven and kept short...between 5-7 minutes each. Thus far there have been two podcasts, one from this chickadee and one from Tina Seamonster herself. It's absolutely amazing and beautiful to hear how crafting is, in so many ways, a genetic compulsion. I've found that in my craft-socializing, that most people cannot NOT craft. It's right up there with breathing. And so this site is dedicated to advancing and highlighting people who need to craft/make to breath...to live. I love it.
I'm going to work on a "script" to tell my crafting story, or about how crafting has been a part of my family for generations, or even just a story about my grandmother. In the meantime, I highly encourage my [limited] readership to head on over to Hello Craft and read, listen and enjoy this fantastic project. And look forward to an exciting event hosted by Hello Craft in 2009!
While I get my Etsy sale organized this morning, I'd like to ask you, my [limited] readership to hop on over here and say hello. I haven't figured out how to track feed subscribers using Google Analytics, so I really have no idea how many people read my blog, just people who visit it directly. If you have a spare moment, leave me a comment and tell me what you like and don't like about Queering Domesticity.
And keep your eyes open for news involving my forthcoming pre-holiday insanity sale on Etsy.