Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Staplers gave me freedom

(I've shamelessly stolen this plea for submissions from Kari's blog. 'Cause 1) no one says it like Kari and 2) I'm sleepy and need to get off the computer. Kari, my apologies for only being creative enough at the moment to at just come up with a different post title.)
My friend, Kari, has hustled me and some friends into helping her start up a zine. We're going old school - Kinko's, staples, glue sticks, the works. What we need now are submissions.

So, without further ado, please let me introduce you to:


Aprön needs your stuff. We’re a brand-new quarterly zine searching for esoteric crap to fill our inaugural edition. Short fiction, non-fiction essays, chunks of dialogue, weird and exciting recipes, knitting ideas and instructions, photographs, collages, comics, stain removal tips… whatever you’ve got, we want to see it.

The only requirement is that your piece evokes a feeling of affection. The same kind of affection you feel for your crazy aunt and her askew lipstick. This is a quirky comfort zine with a pinch of Schadenfreude. It mixes media and metaphors all while leaving you with a pleased bloated feeling.

Email submissions to apronthezine AT gmail DOT com. If you need to mail something, let me know and I'll send you the address.

Also, we can’t pay you. Yet. We will give you free copies of the zine, though, so you can brag to your friends. Sometimes ego is more than important than groceries.

Aprön. Tie one on.

PS. If you know anyone who wants to advertise in the zine, please email me. The rates are obscenely cheap.

PPS. If you want to subscribe to the zine, or be informed when its published, or just get lovingly spammed by me and my crazy friends (kidding. kidding.) send a note to apronthezine AT gmail DOT com and we'll add you to our email list.

Spaceboy, stockings and other things to get the creativity flowing

So I'm still in a bit of a rut, just 'cause I've got so many things floating around in my head at the moment, but I'm happy to report I've still squeezed in a little time for crafting here and there. My stinkin' camera is still out of commission, and there's no chance of remedying that until Christmas (at least). So for now, all I've got is my laptop camera. Apologies for the crap-a-liscious pictures.

I started a Spaceboy this weekend. I got the pattern last month at Maker Faire (my first Wee Wonderfuls pattern!) and have been itching to make one for my friend's son. I got the pieces cut out and embroidered the face, but he's still in pieces. Hopefully I'll be able to stitch him over the holiday break.

And in the "I actually get *paid* to do this!?" category, I made a stocking last week as a sample for Leslie's Stockings class. No picture for now (see first paragraph) but Leslie let me raid her stash of amazing wool felt and vintage sequins, and I came up with an owl design based on an Enid Collins purse. Gah! Why am I doing an owl ... again!? I don't know. I get sick of seeing them around, but still find some strange desire to craft with them. Who knows why.

And, again in the "I actually get *paid* to do this!?" category, I've just started on as a contributor at BurdaStyle. I'll be supplying random sewing news feeds just about every day. Victory! I have a "valid" reason to justify my blog addiction! And I'm already feeling the crazy urge to sew an entire wardrobe. Between new Project Runway and spending loads of time on the BurdaStyle Web site, I suddenly feel like I need to buy/make a dress form! (On a side note, if you have an favorite fashion/sewing/pattern blogs or web sites you want to share with me, please drop me a line at averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com. I'm subscribed to a million,and have loads of Goole alerts set, but don't want to miss anything. Send! Send! Send!)

And, finally, as though the creative opportunities weren't flowing fast enough (one of the manymanymany things I'm thankful for this holiday) my friend Kari asked me to help her launch a new zine called Aprön for the spring. Leaping Lizards! Finally! My high school dream of working on a zine is coming true! Fifteen years later ... but still. Best of all, Kari makes me laugh like crazy, and understands (nay, *encourages*) my random spewing of Annie quotes. I'm going to make a separate post with all the details and call for submissions. I'll be working on the production end of things, and contributing a craft column called, "Toast is the New Squid." Funfunfun. Serious. Fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stitch Wrap Up and busting out of a craft rut

Who else was at the Handmade Mecca that was Stitch this weekend? Holy smokes! My brain was spinning from all the cool things, people and inspiration. I was there working for Leslie, and we had fun workin' our corner booth. For almost eight straight hours, the stream of traffic was constant, and so.much.fun. I roamed a little bit and gawked at amazing purses, the coolest ties I've ever seen (made from old school kid Star Trek bedsheets!) and got giddy when I'd stumble upon a booth from someone I've read about or heard about. It was a blast.

And even though I was surrounded by inspiration all day (and night!) on Saturday, I have still been finding myself in a craft rut. I think it's because I've just had a lot of work to do, but -DANG- I just have not been feelin' it lately. I have a whole list of stuff I want to make for gifts, another of just fun things I want to try, and then I look around and notice (again) that there's a pile of clean clothes that have been sitting on my chair for almost two weeks waiting to be put away. And the roadblock goes up. I think I need a day or two to just TCB and then the creative juices will get flowing again.

I hope.

Friday, November 2, 2007

And the test results are ....

Thanks for the sweet comments about AK's testing stress and crafting for her comfort. I am beyond thrilled to report:


She got in the car after school today and was proudly toting her test with a 100% score and a big smiley face. She even got a "Super Speller" award that was signed by the assistant principal (a super cool guy whom she loves, so this was like having a celebrity sign something for her!)

She said, "Mama, it was the blue bird!" I reminded her that her father also studied really hard with her this week, and we did lots of practice tests. Later, when she was telling my mom about her success, she said, "It was because papa helped me study, and mama made me a bird!"

Damn, folks. I don't have many successes as a parent, but I'm taking this one. And to hear her acknowledge Chris and I working together to help her succeed..... guh. It killed me.

Her teacher was fine with her having the bird, and let her keep it on her desk while she took the test. AK even mentioned that the bird "told" her how to spell one of the words.

Can she get sent to the principal for cheating with a softie?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Crafting for Comfort

As a kid, I only went to the principal's office one time. I'd gotten in trouble on the school bus for being loud and not staying seated. I was terrified - absolutely terrified. I was a pretty good kid, and being sent to the principal's office was akin to being branded with a scarlet letter.

Shortly before I made my visit, my sister gave me something very special: a pencil. The pencil itself wasn't very special (not covered in favorite characters or freshly sharpened or anything) but she told me that if I held on to that pencil while I was in the principal's office, I'd be just fine. She said I could hold it and think of her and know that I was going to be ok.

It made all the difference in the world. I held that pencil so tightly, I had marks grooved on the palms of my hand. I made it through my sole visit with a principal relatively unscathed.

Twenty-five years later, I get to return (or at least pay forward) the favor. My daughter has a test tomorrow. It will be only the second test of her entire life. Her first was last Friday, and it went ... not so well. She was so scared, she started crying, and then freaked out when tears got on her paper.

AK is a people pleaser and a perfectionist - already. It scares the crud out of me, and it's entirely foreign to my own way of thinking (grades? eh ... I wasn't that worried about them). I doubt I'll be able to fully change this feature of her personality, but I'm going to go ahead and start giving her some coping mechanisms and see if that can help ease some of her stress.

We were driving home from school today, and the subject of her Friday spelling test came up. She instantly clinched up and started to wail. I knew that feeling all too well. I jumped in and asked if I could make her a little something that she could carry with her to school and either put it on or in her desk to help keep her calm while she takes the test tomorrow. I told her it could be like me being there with her.

She was all over that idea, and quickly came up with the idea for what she wanted: a blue bird (I have a blue bird of happiness figurine on my desk, and she loves it). She was specific in her design request - a flying bird, wings spread wide, no feet, black eye and a black beak.

Fortunately, she is not in to perfection regarding the things I make for her. She just gets tickled that I make anything at all. I whipped up this little blue bird tonight while watching shows, and it's anything (anything!) but perfect.

I take that back. It's anything but perfectly made, but it's perfect for what she was needing. She asked if I could bring it up to her room and put it in her bed when I finished it (this is something she always asks me - if I'm making something when she goes to bed, she requests that I put it on her pillow when I'm done). It's tucked in by her tonight, and hopefully will be tucked in her desk tomorrow. We still need to check with the teacher to make sure it's ok if she brings it to class ..... Here's hoping there are no tears tomorrow.

P.S. - Sorry for the quality of the image - our camera broke last week. It stinks when I have to scan something that's poofy. But .... this means that we might be getting a new camera for Christmas, so I'm not too bummed .....