Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Shave November Preview!!!!


SO very excited about this! I was lamenting the fact that I can't really tweeze my chin hairs because of the goings on with my neck and the pinched nerves. My dear friend Maureen Matz invited me to the No Shave November event that was created on Facebook to make me laugh. BOY did it make me laugh! Well, we both posted on the Facebook wall of this event that we were attending, and a little while later, a gentleman named Rich Germain posted that women were to be excluded from participating! As you can imagine, Them's fightin' words to someone like yours truly! I decided to run with it and state that I would indeed be participating, and not only would I be participating, I would be blogging about it as well!  In the meantime, I am inviting all the women I know to "attend" this event . Why can't we not shave too?

Today, a gentleman named Boyd Tracy posted on that event page stating that he was one of Facebook's legal council, and that if I wanted to make any blog posts about other body parts, I "may do so independently" but that the page was for facial hair only. To this, I guffawed. Yes, you read that right...guffawed. Not only will I be blogging about not shaving WHATEVER I DECIDE NOT TO SHAVE, but every day, I will be mentioning BOTH of these gentleman by name as well as linking back to the Facebook event. What began as a funny with one friend trying to cheer the other one up has now become a crusade of sorts.

Again, for all who want to "attend" this event, please do so here and click "attending" . Participation is purely optional, but I sure would love the support in giving mysogyny the what for!!!! Besides, they have over 300 men who haven't even answered their "invitation" to the event. We can build the ranks!!!

Oh...I would also like to personally thank Mr. Rich Germain and Mr.  Boyd Tracy  for the impetus for my November Blogging Exercise!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Handmade Toy Alliance Blog: Press Release: The HTA Reaffirms Commitment to Buy Handmade and Local

Handmade Toy Alliance Blog: Press Release: The HTA Reaffirms Commitment to Buy Handmade and Local

Mix Pup Palooza!!!!!!

Meant to blog about this sooner, but time has been slipping away from me this month, BUSY BUSY BUSY!

I was fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to host a party to introduce the Mix Pups line by Jazwares.  Aren't they supercute!?!?!?!?!
In attendance at this red carpet event were Miss Sedona Hess, Mr, Alexander Hess, and a few of their closest friends (Brianna,Robyn,Maddie,Genna,Alika,Heather,Jaymee,and RaeAnn). The Pawty van was a HOOT for the kids!! We help them set it up to take a picture, but this cute little scene lasted all of 47 seconds after the camera flashed!
In keeping with the spirit of mixing and matching, what I decided to do was to place all the rest of the pups and accessories into a bin and let the kids do some mixing and matching of their own! Here, Alex is ready for some Pawty cake!
And Sedona is trying to take over...
THIS is where we we began seeing the slight problems with some of the Pups. They are designed to have their legs pop off to be able to change costumes, and pop back on. What we FOUND on several of them was a small defect that prevented some of the legs from staying attached to the Pups (I and the other two moms were kept pretty busy taking care of this. Here is a picture of what a "normal" Mix Pup looks like when you pop off their legs...the little nubs are both the same size and are extended far enough from the body to keep the leg in place when it is popped back on.
Here is a pic of an example of a pup with an "abnormal"nub set up...see how they are close to the body and one of them doesn't even extend enough to hold the leg on! In fact, this gal came out of the package with the back left leg unattached, and you can see why-the nub is barely visible...
This next gal came out of the package with BOTH legs unattached, and neither would reattach...BOTH nubs were barely there....
BUT...that doesn't keep her from displaying a WONDERFUL "can-do" attitude on her cute little puppy face!! I think we should make one of those little carts to attach to her hind quarters!
This NEXT gal....well, it just freaked the girls out...but Alexander LOVED it. It came out of the package with it's "neckbone" showing! We tried to push it back in, but the "bone" itself would just not go any further either into the body OR into the head. 

Interesting, yes, but it made the head just keep coming off. BUT....at least the "neckbone" was in the shape of a cute little heart!
Now, this one's actually being set aside--seems like Alexander thinks it's an awesome Halloween decoration!
All in all, though, most of the Mix Pups we received in our party pack were perfect, and the kids had a WONDERFUL time with their Pawty! 
In addition to their Mix Pup set that each child got to play with, one lucky child (Genna) received this small "doorprize", but unfortunately, she had to leave before her name was drawn due to a rather heinous potty emergency--I had to give the goods to her mother a few days later...
I definitely love the concept of these SUPER CUTE toys, and am REALLY hoping that they can work out the manufacturing kinks so more of the Mix Pups can keep their limbs! The kids all want more!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October is here! 31 days of crochet!!!!!!

I have deemed October as the month I begin posting some of my crochet projects and project updates (with perhaps an article of jewelry or two thrown in for good measure...). Since I have been having problems with my connectivity for the last several days, I will summarize the last few days' worth of projects.
Baby Starghan Coverlet  made from a SUPER soft Angora Rabbit/ Lamb's Wool blend harvested from a thrift store sweater using this pattern .
Starghan made for Alex using this pattern ... BOTH of these were begun using the pattern, and then I crocheted as many rounds as I needed for the size I wanted.

Earflap hat  made for Sedona from some very soft blue boucle acrylic yarn harvested from a thrift store sweater and pink fuzzy yarn from my stash.

Today, working on some gifts (beginning another couple starghans and some kitchen towels), and also in the tedious process of deconstructing another GORGEOUS Angora Rabbit/Lamb's Wool blend sweater (cream color).




ShoestringMuse: American Craft Week!!!

ShoestringMuse: American Craft Week!!!: "American Craft Week is upon us!!!!! Why the excitement? I'll tell you why--from Oct.1-Oct 10, individuals, small businesses, and organizati..."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

30 Days of Brenda Day # 30 ("One Last Moment")

One last moment....eesh. All these moments. Well, I will just take this moment to THANK YOU for bearing with me through this month-long exercise! It's been great! A little frightening, slightly embarrassing, A LOT cathartic! Hopefully you will stay with me through my October -- I've been crocheting like a fiend, looking forward to everyone's feedback!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

30 days of Brenda Day #29 ("My Aspirations")


My aspirations....I don't aspire to "greatness"--at least not in the most widely interpreted sense of the word. I DO aspire to leave my mark on this earth, no matter how small or large. I think the bigger question for me would be "How would I like to be remembered?".
In answer to THAT, I would like to be remembered as kind, loving, intelligent, and confident (not to mention being remembered as DEAD SEXY by my husband ;))

Friday, October 1, 2010

30 Days of Brenda, Days #26,27,28...COWPIES, fears, and yearning OH MY!!!

So today is a consolidation of sorts....I have been a busy beaver the last several days crocheting my hiney off. 3 days in one post!!! I did it before, I can do it again ;).

Day #26..."My Fears"
Another hard one to really "sum up" succinctly, but I'll give you the short list of things I fear intermingled with things I do not (no longer/never have feared).

Since watching my daughter die, I no longer "fear" death...my own end will me no match for the devastation and pain of losing her.
I no longer "fear" my father...
I DO still sometimes "fear" the dark. You know, in that way that sometimes, you get "spooked", climb under your covers, and don't even peek out.



Day#27..."My Favorite Place"
Oh, THIS is a fun one!!! HANDS DOWN, my favorite place in the WHOLE USA would have to be the The Cow Pies outside of Sedona, Arizona--aptly named, because, from above, they look like, well....COWPIES!!!  Just imagine--hiking to the top of that one right in the middle of this picture, just sitting there, and being so encompassed and enrobed in not only the sheer beauty of your surroundings, but also the ancient energies that are just humming around you. To say it's an awe-inspiring experience would be a gross understatement. I DID hike to the top of that Cow Pie right there in the center, and was both overwhelmed and humbled at the same time. I truly felt my own significance AND insignificance in "the grand scheme of things" (don't ask how that's possible, but it is--just sit on the top of a Cow Pie, you'll "get it" ;)).

Day # 28..."Something I Miss"
There are a lot of things I have "missed" on and off over the years....here are a few:
Seinfeld....What's the deal with that??
Little "Mom & Pop" shops that sell tons of penny candy
THE HAIR BEAR BUNCH cartoons!!!

American Craft Week!!!

American Craft Week is upon us!!!!!  Why the excitement? I'll tell you why--from Oct.1-Oct 10, individuals, small businesses, and organizations come together in recognition of the countless ways handmade objects enrich our national aesthetic and economy. You  may ask,"Why is American Craft" important?". The Handmade Toy Alliance pretty much sums it up :
"Buying local, living within our means, supporting small business and the US economy – these are all things that many of us are doing more and more often these days.  With money being so tight, we are all living with less, and putting more thought into the purchases we do make.

So, this lends the question, what are we doing to improve all of our situations, build up American businesses and put our money where our mouth is (literally)?  What can each of us do to help charge up the economy and support each other?  We certainly have less than we did this time last year, so how can we look ahead to the future and still buy, well, things?
Buy handmade – it’s as simple as that.  We can’t afford to buy as much as we used to, but we can make conscious choices to support specific businesses.  We can go to the local mom and pop toy shop, rather than the big box store.  Sure, we might only get 2 items, rather than 4, but those products will generally be better made, more thoughtful items.  And, a local company will benefit from your choice, rather than a large corporation.  We can choose to frequent farmers markets and craft shows.  These events allow us to meet the maker and hear the story behind the product.  It instills the value of American craftsmanship in our families and our children.  We can choose to look to Etsy and the Handmade Toy Alliance for gift items.  Our product options and the sheer beauty of the items we find will be multiplied ten fold to what we find in large department stores.
If everyone made the pledge to buy just one hand crafted product for someone on their gift list this year, think of the thousands of businesses that will grow and nourish our communities. It may mean reframing how we go about our purchases, taking a little more time to choose what we need, or want, going back to a simpler way of life.  But, it will be so worth it."
Baby steps, people...baby steps. For ever person pledging to buy at least one local handmade item for someone on your holiday gift list, there will be at least one more locally made item that is being enjoyed by someone. ONE more handcrafted item (made with  love and skill by a local AMERICAN artisan) will be appreciated. One more local AMERICAN artisan will be better able to support their family. 
This economy has SO many people trying to find the "best deals" and the "best ways to save money"--How about stopping to take a look at the BIG picture of how our growing dependence on "big box" and "discount" stores increases our dependence on foreign made cheaper (both in price and quality) products. If our nation would actually SUPPORT itself by making more of a commitment to buy local and handmade , perhaps our dependence on "cheaper" products would lessen and we can actually be the masters of our OWN domain and crawl out of this economic hell that we put ourselves in ;).
If you are interested in taking the pledge to buy at least one local handmade good this holiday season for someone on your list, please go here . Feel free to pass it on!!