Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE Plan

After the utter mayhem of Christmas subsides--assuming I survive--I plan to devote myself to the birthing of fantastic new robots.

I will entrench myself in the basement workshop . . . perhaps with chocolate covered snacks and 12 packs of Coke.

I will warm myself by the heat of my whirling drill press.

I will don my new safety goggles (a birthday present from my boys) and throw--nay, heave--caution to the wind.

I will create like never before.

For, you see, robots await to be unearthed . . .

Monday, December 20, 2010

Have my Three Become a Band of Brothers?

Went to cook a Pop Tart for my son. Realized I was under attack.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Haz-Mat Toilet Downgraded to Level 3 Threat

My life is a toilet bowl of chaos. Down I go in the swirling depths, perhaps never to be seen again.

Speaking of toilets (nice transition, huh?), my mom gave me a gift certificate last Christmas for 2 hours of a service's housecleaning. I, of course, never made use of the certificate. (Imagine months of hurt/disappointed face of mother.) So I finally had the cleaning booked for today.

Now, I'm pretty well grounded in reality about the state of my house. I definitely had no illusions about a whole house cleaning. I just wanted the bathrooms cleaned.

[Okay, yes, that included the Haz-Mat bathroom upstairs (otherwise known as the boys' bathroom), my dusty and lime-stained master bathroom, and the 1/2 bath everyone uses. Did I mention they're dirty, beyond neglected, and gross? But all I was asking for was the bathrooms.]

Turns out, two ladies come (neither speak English), and one of them spends 25 minutes on the bathroom in the basement . . . the one bathroom I didn't care about. By miles, it was the cleanest bathroom in this house. My mom, who I left in charge, says nothing.

Fast forward: My 1/2 bath got a barely cursory cleaning and the master bathroom didn't get finished because my mom told them to stop cleaning . . . they were over their hour. Yes, only one hour, since there were two of them.

Disappointment. Hoping for shiny, clean bathrooms that would change my life. Got adequate.

Should I be complaining? Okay, no. I know it was a nice gesture on my mom's part, and the bathrooms are cleaner than they were. I suppose I was just setting my expectations too high--maybe life-changing was a bit much.

So the good news? The silver lining (not the blackened, hard water lining in the toilet)? The good news is I finished two robots today . . .

The clock actually works on the second one. Ooooh!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Birth of Bailey the Barista

Earlier this month, I was given the task of creating a coffee robot for a very nice woman I'd met at a previous show.

I, of course, procrastinated until last week.

However--in spite of the eager assistance of my four-year-old apprentice--I was still able to unearth Bailey the Barista from the pile of metal in my basement, and just in time, too.

Her body was a given. It was the ever-important head I had to choose next.

The third head (a vintage brass mister) seemed to have the best proportion, while also complimenting the gold tones of her body. So next it was her feet . . .

A bot of her beauty obviously needed the height and grace of the brass candlestick.

A couple of arm choices . . . a copper measuring spoon or an antique gold drawer pull?

Eyes? (You know, they say eyes are the window to the soul. You may ask, do robots have souls? I choose to believe mine do.)

As the trail and error design process came to a close, the best part was upon me . . . using my drill press!

And, wah-la! Bailey the Barista emerged.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Last Show of 2010

Tomorrow is the Holiday Art Fair at the Lawrence Arts Center. It will be my last show for a while . . . thus, the frantic list making and widespread disarray.

(Can we all take a moment to curse my propensity for procrastination?)

However, today, by not showering and ignoring everything else in my life, I have triumphantly trompled several projects.

Okay, yes, I am still in my pajamas (which, by the way, have an enormous hole in the leg that has grown exceptionally fast); and, yes, I was forced to forgo my luxurious afternoon nap with my cuddly four-year-old. But have I mentioned that the life of an artist--or, rather, a procrastinator--is a heavy burden to bear, requiring all sorts of sacrifices?

Good news, though:
  • New colorful robots are ready for tomorrow
  • My steampunk jewelry is fully stocked
  • And I'm over halfway done with my master To-Do List.
Impressed? I hope so, and I hope to see you tomorrow at the show.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Paralysis of the Brain

I'm sitting at a cluttered desk with three different To Do lists in front of me and a plethora of jewelry in various stages of completion. I have so many things to do that I don't know where to start.

Earlier in the day, I actually did start several things. The problem is, within minutes, I would get distracted or think I needed to re-prioritize and start something else which, in turn, ensured absolutely nothing got done.


Did I mention my kids are upstairs yelling at each other (which I'm sure will escalate--perhaps in 30-45 seconds--into wailing and gnashing of teeth) and that I have no clean underwear left?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All Hail the Conquering Cleaner!

Upon returning from the far away land of Missouri, I was determined to start a week-long creative frenzy.

You see, my last show of the season is this coming Saturday, and I want to introduce new robots and have lots of jewelry on hand, taking full advantage of the holiday buying madness. Hopefully. (Anything you can personally do to further inflame the madness would be much appreciated.)

So yesterday, I went downstairs, brimming with the loftiest of dreams, only to be shot down by the reality of my neglected workshop.

Armed with spider spray and a Route 44 Coke, I came, I saw, I found table tops.

(Notice the practical use of the air hockey table for robot assembly stations. Nice, huh?)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

"No, you can not sleep in the cabinet tonight."

Monday, November 22, 2010


Almost every year since we moved back to Kansas, we've gone on "vacation" with my mom and dad to one of their timeshares at the Lake of the Ozarks.

This year is no different. Currently, I'm sitting in an outdated, yet surprisingly spacious condo. Because I only have the use of a three-foot ethernet cord to gain internet access, my computer is precariously balanced on the couch's faux suede armrest while I awkwardly type away.

[Sidenote: No matter which condo we get, it always seems to have the same builder's grade teal carpet with flecks of pink, aqua, and tan zigzagging through it. Why is that?]

Every three minutes, I find myself saying, "Step over the cord!" (with an occasional "Go under the cord!" thrown in for variation's sake). My three rambunctious boys seem to have gone deaf--or just can't hear me over the reverberating echo of their own shouts--but I stubbornly adhere to my mantra as any other distracted mother would.

I knew my uncharacteristically optimistic hope for this trip was far-fetched to begin with: This would be a week to relax, to regenerate, to reawaken my creativity so that, at the end of the week, I could go back home and produce works of utter genius.

However, after three days, a little bit of reality has set in--under the guise of a three-foot ethernet cable and a rainy afternoon.

I suppose, at this point in my life, these vacations are really for the kids, and though that might mean letting go of my hopes for personal rest and relaxation, I'm certainly going to take full advantage of vacation mentality and eat chocolate chip cookies with a little less guilt . . . and maybe even chase them down with a 12-pack of Coke.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Computer tower. Allegedly fixed. "Should turn on."

Completely unhooked. Thousands of unplugged cords lying in a dust puddle.

Skinny rectangular mdf compartment. Slide tower in.

Heavy, immoveable desk approximately two and a half inches from the wall.

Fingers do not have eyes.

[Insert clip from Office Space. Smashing the computer with background of loud rap music.]

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Rare Look into the Phenomenon of Productivity

I've been quite productive today. I mailed two Etsy orders (in an appropriate amount of time, I might add!), contacted some stores about my steampunk jewelry (okay, so it was just an email feeler, but at least it's something), took pictures of several new items, contacted a couple of people about special orders, and even loaded some of those new items on Etsy.

I could conclude the day by conquering the world and turning everyone into recycled robots . . . or, at least, lovers of recycled robot . . . but, I think I will simply bask in my accomplishments and look for something innane to watch on TLC.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Plague of Flies

Our house is being overtaken by flies.

They're everywhere. Everywhere, I tell you.

Is it the colder weather? Is it the unswept kitchen floors? I know not the answer. My response has been to repeatedly remonstrate the boys about keeping the door shut (they have been instructed to dash in and dash out), but to no avail. Those tricky flies have to be coming in another way.

Although I have not yet identified that stealthy means of entry, I can certainly attest to the fact that they just keep coming. Our wood floors have become unmarked graveyards for hoards of flies. (One night, my oldest and I counted 22 dead flies in the living room alone.)

Why is this happening?

On another note, I took my whole family to the antique mall and found an incredible, orange enamel teapot for only $7! One of my best finds ever!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Been a Long Week

The short synopsis of this endlessly long week:

- Monday, my main computer refused to turn on. (Think no access to files, photos, emails, etc.)
- I am now "sharing" my laptop with my eight-year-old son who thinks it's his computer because he's making an 8-point-font, extensive spreadsheet of all his baseball cards (numbering well over 500).
- My house feels as though it has entered the deepest, darkest level of disarray there can be. I'm scared to go in the bathrooms--scared enough to consider implementing a blindfold policy for all who dare enter.
- I've come to the realization I am not an organized artist, no matter how hard I try. (See above reference to deep, dark disarray.)
- My boys are pretending they hate each other and, subsequently, fighting about everything. However, I'm going to cling to the belief that they do love each other and this is somehow all just a misguided masquerade for my benefit.
- I inadvertantly keep "volunteering" to do things at the boys' school . . . enough said.
- My oldest has come home sick today. Tomorrow is Grandparent's Day at school, and he is very concerned about who will be the cochlia in the 3rd grade Parts of the Ear presentation if he can't make it.


Long week. Not enough robot making or watch disassembling.

BUT . . . Good hasn't completely gone into hiding:
- I love my art.
- I love my kids.
- And, maybe, just maybe I can make a robot that will take care of all my worldly needs!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wheeeel of Fortune!

"Look at these luxurious prizes...fabulous merchandise just waiting to be won today on Wheeeeeeeeeeel of Fortune! A 14 Karat gold money clip and lighter! A pair of motorcycles! Total retail value: over $38,000!"

"You've got about $129 left.
Would you like to use that to buy the metallic fish sculpture? Now, you've got $23 left. We can put that on account or on a Tiffany gift certificate."

Does anyone else miss the good ole days? I've been playing Wheel of Fortune on Facebook, and it's made me nostalgic.

I just want the his and her matching jogging suits for $300, Pat!

Now, I promise I'm going to go list items on Etsy. Hold me accountable, and check it out later today. If I haven't, I'll sacrifice a Bitty Bot on the altar of the craft gods to atone for my sins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Pitfalls of Children and Cameras

Despite the need to fulfill my currently empty promise of listing more jewelry on Etsy, I instead tried to take pictures of Bella in her new ROBOT collar (made by my friend and craft-booth-mate Sarah).

After this experience, I fear my success rate, at least pertaining to getting jewelry listed, may be quite limited today. Children should not be allowed on the premises.

But don't you love the robots?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun

While hanging out at the craft show on Saturday (notice I didn't say selling at the craft show), we noticed something. Halloween weekend, coupled with middle-aged women's propensity to buy and wear holiday-themed attire, offered us a challenge: catalog and calculate Halloween wear.

We set the point system as follows:

Shirts/Sweaters/Vests = 1 point
Average Accessories (more discrete, like candy corn earrings) = 1 point
Headgear and Stand Out Accessories (i.e. bat glasses) = 2 points
Costumes = 2 points
Pants (the holy grail of holiday wear) = 3 points

We set goals with different prize levels and began.

The day was ours. A cornucopia of Halloween garb paraded past our booth, multiplying into an outstanding 81 points: 51 sweaters/shirts, 10 small accessories, 9 stand out accessories, and 1 full costume.

Unfortunately, the elusive Halloween pants were not to be found.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Agent Double 0-Dork

While donning my disguise of a fun mom, I'm "supervising" a playdate with one of my son's friends and acting like I'm fine with the fact they're playing war and killing everyone in sight. I pretend not to cringe as I hear my three-year-old yelling, "Die!", and I look away from the melting ice cream bar on the kitchen table.

Meanwhile, back at the lair--I mean, my destroyed living room--my jewelry is slowing being perfected and cataloged while my evil cat purrs in satisfaction. (Okay, so I don't have a cat. I have that lovable dog that sheds like a maniac, but just go with it.)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find me at the top secret Lenexa show and buy everything in my booth, thereby saving the world from apocalyptic devastation.

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds--that is, if these boys have anything to do with it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Falling By the Wayside

While I sit here looking into the living room and recalling yesterday's "Hoarders" marathon on TLC, it occurs to me that I have let a few things in my life go. Let's just say household cleanliness has been woefully neglected.

I still have jewelry (in various stages of completion) covering the coffee table and surrounding rug, balls of dog hair skittering across the wood floor like tumbleweeds in an old western (remind me NEVER to get a shedding dog again), and laundry here, there, and everywhere--yes, there's always laundry to be folded and put away.

But I'm an "artist." And a mother.

Doesn't that justify my disorganization and general messiness? Can someone tell my husband?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weapon Of Choice - Fatboy Slim

I was looking for a "Lowrider" music video to go along with my great Conversion Van idea (I thought it could be the theme song), but then it hit me. What I really need is a little Christopher Walken.

(By the way, you should ask my husband to do his Christopher Walken impression sometime.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Good 'Ole Days

With multiple-day shows this month, I've had a revelation: Perhaps those old conversion vans weren't as bad as normal society makes them out to be.

Think about it. Most of those wood trimmed beauties had crushed velour seats reminiscent of the overstuffed couches of the eighties--talk about comfort! Then you've got accordion mini blinds (or maybe curtains!) for privacy, you've got a back bench that folds down to a bed, and, if you're lucky, your bucket seats may swivel around, making a great living room/conversation area. PLUS, there just might be a hook-up for a TV/VCR combination.

Could this be post-show heaven? An oasis of velour luxury after a long day of camp-chair overkill . . . no driving back and forth or getting up extra early on the 2nd day . . . hmmm.

Or should I say bombdigity?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maple Leaf Fallout

Thanks to everyone who came out to Maple Leaf this past weekend. It was great weather overall, and our tent didn't threaten to blow over like last year (also, we set it up with a lot less grunting and giggling this time). Yea!

Some robots found new homes (which is always extremely satisfying), I got to see some great people from last year, and I had lots of fun hanging out with my sister Joy and my friend Sarah.

Now, I need to catch up on laundry (the color pile seems to have taken a liking to the medium pile because they reproduced like rabbits this weekend!), do the dishes that have lounged on the counter all weekend, and clean up the art-disaster-area in the middle of the living room.

Such lofty goals. I'm betting I'll burn out and take a nap after lunch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Desperation and Borderline Exhaustion

This has been a busy week. I spent last weekend and most of Monday in a procrastination-fueled frenzy while attempting to perfect my Steampunk Clock/iPod Player for the Charles River Museum (as well as get it mailed--think dog hair in packing tape all over the Kroger box I used).

Then I moved on to a messy first attempt at turning vintage film canisters into Star Wars characters . . . with a LOT of input from my 6 and 8 year olds. (No, for the eighteenth time, I do not want to make Jabba the Hut.) Let's just say I own a lot of spray paint cans now, and a few oddly streaked film canisters have gone by the wayside. Oh, and did I forget to mention none of the Star Wars characters have actually been completed?

Why do I take on these things right before a show?

My living room has been hit by Hurricane Georgie-Porgie (I don't know, I was trying to come up with something clever, and it didn't really work). The coffee table is filled with metal and jewelry debris. The floor is covered with Hobby Lobby bags, empty Coke cans, and a thousand pairs of pliers.

The Maple Leaf Festival looms like a dark cloud over my soul. Will I finish any earrings? Will there be a Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker Bitty Bot duel to the death? Will I gain 10 pounds this week from my Coke consumption?

I suppose only time will tell.

Or you can always find out if you stop by my booth at the Maple Leaf Festival. (Although I beg of you not to say anything about the weight gain--I'm sensitive about things like that.)