Wreck This Journal 02/27/09

I’m still rather nervous about breaking into my journal.  I resist doing things at random.  I resist even more being told to magically come up with something.  When someone asks me to tell them a story, I go blank.  Even if someone said “come up with a color/number/animal,” I’d stare at them dumbfounded.

Ever the cop-out, I decided to try this page, thinking it would be easy as pie:

Crack the Spine

Crack the Spine

Let me preface this by saying I only buy used books (apparently with the exception of this one).  My reasons are many, but include being poor and being hard on my books.  I currently have a book in my bag that’s covered in drips of soda.  Oops.  I am no stranger to a cracked spine, is what I’m trying to say.  I like my books to be warn in and loved.

This, apparently, has dulled my ability to crack a spine.  Either that, or this is one amazingly made book.  Probably both.  The spine -maybe- bent a little.  But crack it did not.

Mind the mess the Hippy left after cleaning out his car

Mind the mess the Hippy left after cleaning out his car

The book, however, does now remain partially open at all times, which I’m going to consider a small success.  Hopefully the spine will crack more over time.  If not, I want my money back.

Did my best to keep the mess out of this one

Did my best to keep the mess out of this one

Since I know that’s not a proper “wreck,” I decided to take on another page.  One marked “Scribble wildly, violently, with reckless abandon.”  Eep!  Reckless abandon?  Have you met me?  I need plans.  Order.  I draw out everything that needs “placement” before I ever begin working. *hyperventalating*

Oh, get over yourself, DK…

Violently, indeed.  My pen left holes

Violently, indeed. My pen left holes

I plan to revisit this one on a regular basis, actually.  It demands more colors, and I think it’s a rather good way for me to let go.  It’s not about looking pretty; it’s about getting the willies out of you.


New Feature: Wreck This Journal

Because clearly the Wii wasn’t enough, I felt the need to treat myself to a book.  Actually, I bought this before the Wii, and it was less than $10 with shipping, so we’re good.


It says "Start here" in the corner, so I did

I fell in love with Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith a few months ago when I saw it on another blog.  Can’t for the life of me remember which, so for that I apologize.  I haven’t gotten any further than the corner because I’m a little nervous, but also excited.  Maybe someday I will blog about why the phrase “nervous, but also excited” amuses me so.  Maybe.

Before I start posting my own “wrecks,” you can see what other people have been doing to this book here.   I’m reluctant to spend too much time looking at those, because I would rather not be influenced.  I will try to add one page a week.

There’s a fine line here…

If you read the “Meet the Ghoti” page, you’ll notice it mentions I’m a stickler for grammar.  I feel as if I should also add linguist to that list, because while I am a stickler in writing (I don’t necessarily consider blogging writing, as I find it far more conversational), I’m not so much a stickler for speech.  You won’t ever hear me correct the way someone says something, though I often do it in my head.  The only time I will ever correct someone is when they correct someone else for saying “So-and-so and me.”  There are times when “me” is correct, so if you are going to be a dick, at least get your information straight.


Given this knowledge, it should come as no surprise that I love this shirt from Signals.  I wouldn’t wear it… don’t get me wrong.  But I’d probably be game for making a bag that said that.  I have this sickness.  You see, when I read things, I often read them the way they are “supposed” to be.  I don’t have a problem with people ending sentences with prepositions, but I really just love the sound of a sentence that’s been manipulated to not end that way.  “I am the grammarian about whom your mother warned you.”  Beautiful.


Completely unrelated, however, I do think this hoodie is about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and I would actually wear it.  If I had $60 laying around, it would be mine, no questions asked.

(Props to Signals… these images completely belong to them; I make no claims that they might be mine, though I did screenshot them myself.  Both images link to the Signals website, because I firmly believe in fair play, and I also think the Signals catalgue is awesome.)

Back in the kitchen

These last couple weeks have seen me back at my sewing machine in preparation for the Christmas season.  It occurs to me that to the regular world, September is too soon to be thinking about Christmas.  But I’ve been in the retail world for a large chunk of my life, and Christmas started a week or two ago (a couple months ago in fabric land).

When working so hard, it’s important to get enough fiber.  The easiest way I’ve found is to serve up a heaping helping of your scraps.  They will give you enough energy to get through even the longest of hauls in front of your machine.  Be sure to use scraps from many different kinds of fabric to get a varied portion of all your essential nutrients.

I personally prefer them at room temperature, but scraps are great hot or cold as well.  And it’s a perfect way to reduce the amount of waste you generate.  It’s just like the Native Americans using every part of the buffalo.

Isn’t it?


Currently I’ve got my products in two stores: I Like You in Minneapolis and Nature’s Blessings in Pennsylvania. My partner and I have been actively trying to get ourselves in other stores, but it’s been a slightly uphill battle.

One store has been impossible to get a hold of. Granted, my partner and I work full time, and can’t really make phone calls during the day. When we can make phone calls, they aren’t open.  We have a deadline, though, and we’re sticking to it.  We actually want to hit as many stores that day as humanly possible, so we’ll see where that gets us.

There is a major question that keeps coming up:  What is a fair cut for the shop selling your item?  A general consensus is that 60/40 is the most common break down.  It’s what we follow at I Like You, and I’ve heard of many other stores with the same split.  Some shops charge a rental fee instead of commission.  We rent space at Nature’s Blessings at a relatively reasonable price.

But what to do when it feels like the shop is taking advantage of the artists they are seeking?  The obvious choice is to say no to the store.  There’s really no question about that, but past that, what can you do?  It sucks to sit by and watch as someone takes advantage of the independent artist community.  It’s a bit like being able to see the hint of some horns from under their hat, and not being able to warn anyone about them.

If artists and crafters had some sort of a union, we’d be able to band together to get the fairness we deserve.  I’m not saying shop owners don’t deserve 40% or even 50%.  There’s a lot of money and hard work that goes into a brick and mortar, work and money I don’t have to give.  But I shouldn’t be expected to shell out what amounts to three days of labor every month.  Not when I’m not getting anything in return to make it worthwhile.

Maybe this will come back to bite me in the butt someday, but I’m willing to take that chance.  If I don’t stand up for myself, who will?

Artist Spotlight: Happify

I had the pleasure of chatting a bit with the woman behind the great art of Happify at Craftmas, but I neglected to get her name. What I do know is this: Her art does what it says (it happifies me) and she has amazing taste in shoes.

I really can’t get enough Happify, and I was hooked when I bought this shirt at I Like You


If I could wear it everywhere, I could. I swear this on my life. I want a gift certificate to I Like You for Christmas purely so I can buy more Happify goods. Like this calendar:




I really can’t think of any Etsy artist I’ve been more obsessed with. I like to think it’s for very good reason.