Monday, March 29, 2010

Reclaim the Apron

For too long have such beautiful garments represented female oppression!

I made an apron this weekend.

Just so you know, I will not be wearing my apron to do any of the following (although, I will not hold it against you if you choose to do any of the following in your apron, as they actually are quite functional):

Dishes, sweeping and/or mopping, vacuuming, dusting, wiping anything down, scrubbing, spraying, sweating, feeding/playing with/burping/having a child, any role society expects me to perform simply because I am a woman.

If you consider it to be housework, I will probably not be doing it in my apron.

Just to clarify, I do not experience any of the following as housework (although, I will not hold it against you if you do experience any of the following as housework):

Sewing, cooking, decorating, weaving, nesting, organizing, rejecting any role society expects me to perform simply because I am a woman.

Aprons are just cute and fashionable, okay?

If when I wear my apron outside of my house you respond with a comment about where my gender should be, including, but not limited to, the kitchen and/or bedroom, I will probably intensely fantasize about your demise and kindly remind you that, historically, men wore aprons first.

Reclaim your apron!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reflect and Distract

Like animals to shiny objects, I have always been attracted to reflections.

Michael and I distracted ourselves for at least fifteen minutes bouncing up and down on the kitchen floor to create ripples in the reflected image from a pot full of water.

I truly value those rare moments when I am entertained and amazed by the world as easily as I was when I was a child.

My crafting has been slow lately.

I've recently had a lot on my mind, so this project was perfect for directing my thoughts. The repetitive motion and pattern really helped to neutralize my negative thoughts.

Felt, embroidered embellishment to a skirt I made.

How do you distract yourself from sometimes incessant negative thinking?


Friday, March 19, 2010


My favorite human organ is the brain.

And considering that an organ is totally a thing (reference, The Anatomy of Things), I made a screen-printed plaque to honor the brain, with all of the major lobes labeled!

I am officially a nerd.

If you share my brain obsession, it would be very wrong if you have not heard VS Ramachandran speak about the brain's influence on civilization (mirror neurons) and his experience with various brain syndromes and what they teach us about the brain (Capgras Syndrome, phantom limbs, and synesthesia). So cool. Watch them at, a super sweet website full of lectures about all sorts of interesting topics.

What is your favorite organ, and why?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little Bunny Stew Stew

Occasionally, I would browse the animals for adoption on all of the local, no-kill shelter's websites, such as PAWS Chicago and The Red Door, just to overload myself with cute until I could not bear to look any longer. At some point, Michael picked up the habit, too.

And one day, he proposed to me, "What if we actually adopted a bunny? This one, maybe?"

There was this adorable, itty-bitty bunny named Smitty with which we fell in love over the internet. No wonder he was gone by the time we contacted the shelter, but I was relieved to hear that more bunnies had arrived that were not posted online. Michael and I drove to the far north side just to play with all of the rabbits.

We stayed at the shelter for hours.

There was Tawny, an attention-starved rabbit that we labeled a puppy-bunny because of its size. She would stretch up towards your fingers, to force contact with you like a cat. We were told that most people didn't like to adopt big bunnies and Michael and I honestly felt we didn't have the room to house such a giant.

Tawny - source

Then there was Pinto, a sweet, but hyper bunny that hopped around us in circles and made us too dizzy to take home.

Pinto - source

There was Avery, a bunny with the most beautiful coat and friendly affect. He followed us from one side of his pen to the other, even when we were outside of the boundaries, just to be near to us. Avery has a serious heart defect that had kept him from being adopted for two years! Michael and I were pleased to find out that he had finally been chosen, but was awaiting surgery to be neutered, a potentially fatal operation for Avery. We wished him luck and moved on!

Finally, we met Dandelion, a bunny I nicknamed Dandy. Dandy was high on pain-killers, as he had just been neutered. Michael and I were unsure if it was the drugs, but Dandy was so calm and loved the pets (as in, rubs)! I stood at Dandy's cage a lot, stroking his soft, sandy fur. Dandy was a gorgeous bunny, with big cheeks and a cute butt he stuck up in the air when he was being touched.

We took Dandy home one week later.

We drove with Dandy in a small, plastic pet carrier. I was a worried wreck on that drive home. Every single road bump felt like a mountain, every pot hole, the depth of the ocean. I talked to Dandy the entire time. He was totally chill, burrowing into an old sweater I used as a bed in the carrier. Considering that bunnies do not respond to their names, and despite the fact that I did like the name Dandy, Michael and I decided to change his name. Michael insisted on Bunny Stew (because he is punny) and I compromised with Stewart, to pay homage to Sir Patrick Stewart.

I introduce, Sir Bunny Stewart!

Stewart's life since coming home with us has been very simple.

Stewart spends a lot of time in his litter box. I still find it strange that bunnies eat their hay and defecate in the same place. Ew.

Stewart has totally kicked his pain-killer addiction and still loves the pets.

And Stewart eats.

And eats and eats and eats and eats.
Om nom nom nom.

GIF animations generator

Stewart looks darn cute no matter what he does.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wacky Weekend

Saturday was bonkers.

[Too] early rising for a weekend, ex-boyfriend's wedding, jealous brides and envious glances, prom pictures, stained glass dome, "I want to eat from your buffet", rainy day, sea of green, drunken throngs, bunny rabbit name change, road bumps bigger than usual, happy hour with Three Floyds, questioning the newlywed about wading through rivers, forgiveness between foes, not my clap, cancelled flights, Just Married rickshaw, big inebriated mouth, blubbering in a bathroom, designated drivers do the job, and what we learned from House, everybody lies.

Photo updates coming soon.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Anatomy of Things

Think of biology class dissections, minus the stink of formaldehyde and gore and flesh.

And that would represent perfectly my new craft direction. I'm not sure from where the inspiration came, probably looking through photographs of sewing machines for tattoo ideas, but all of a sudden, an overwhelming urge overcame me to see the innards of all of the mundane objects by which we're surrounded. To cut through plastic and metal; and to name the little bits and pieces inside.

I've been experimenting with screen printing a lot lately, so I figured this would give me another opportunity to hone my skills. And let me tell you, this was tough. Having to cut out the teensy-weensy sections of the sewing machine picture! Oi! My neck and back and fingers hurt by the end of it, from having to focus so intently and tense all of the muscles in my body to better control the Exacto knife. For my first try, and considering the detail it entailed, I am satisfied with the outcome.

Unfortunately, there are a couple parts where the paint bled under the paper and it looks sloppy. This can totally be solved in future prints by using a thicker piece of paper or another material. I had to fill several parts in by hand that were not adequately painted when I silk screened the image, as well. I used acrylic paint for the screen print, as well as to darken the outer edge of the plaque. It looks a lot like a nice wood stain, I was impressed.

To hang the plaque, I simply put push pins in the back and attached some string around them, leaving it a little loose so it could hang.

Although it will be awhile before its opening, I've decided to name my future Etsy The Anatomy of Things.

I intend to continue this style for a while, on plaques, bags, t-shirts, and notebooks, but I figure the title will apply no matter where I take my crafting.

Is there anything in particular that you'd like to see dissected?


Monday, March 8, 2010


"Finish what you start," she said.

At the screening of Handmade Nation, the film-maker Faythe Levine made me very aware of all the creative new things I've started. Enter my natural fear of it all slowing down to a stop. It has been five days since I last posted, and I am feeling terribly guilty about it.


The truth is that I am overwhelmed and distracted.

When at work, my focus should be on my clients, but instead I am thinking about crafting. When with my boyfriend, my focus should be on conversation, but instead I am thinking about crafting. If the internet is available in my presence, then I am probably using it to explore the blogosphere, including the online Indie Biz 2.0 class I am taking to prepare myself for opening an Etsy. I feel really disconnected from the direct world because of this obsession that has overcome me and it feels great. It's the first time in my life that I've actually felt creative and a part of something big. But, it's also becoming detrimental to my relationships at work and in my personal life.

How do you find balance?

Handmade Nation inspired me to the core.

I have been thinking more about my involvement in the DIY craft movement as a form of activism, or craftivism (a word coined by Betsy Greer). Activism against capitalism, against big business, against the mass production of goods, against sweat shops, against the pretentious world of gallery art, as way to express my dedication to the solution of the social problems around me.

Think of crafting as a more approachable way of raising consciousness.

Ms. Levine described crafting as, "making the mundane noticeable." If I can do that to spread ideas that I believe will transform society in positive ways, then I can sleep soundly at night.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Creole Vegetable Soup-dee-doop

Winter is almost over and I am going to miss soup weather.

To mourn the incoming heat, and the unbearable sweating that will ensue if I eat soup in said heat, here I will post a recipe for Creole Vegetable Soup.

(which can be adjusted as you please)

1 cup of split peas
3 large carrots
3 medium onions
1 large sweet potato
1 stalk celery with leaves
2 tablespoons of minced parsley
6 tablespoons of butter
2 quarts of water plus 1 cup
Pinch of cayenne pepper (I used way more)
2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup light cream (I used soy milk)


1. Soak peas in water overnight and drain.

2. Peel and slice the vegetables, mince the celery and leaves, and place together in saucepan (there was so much, I used the soup pot) with parsley, butter, and 3/4 cup of water. Cook uncovered until the water evaporates.

3. Combine the cooked vegetables with the drained peas in the pot and add the rest of the water and seasonings to taste. Simmer for two hours.

4. When the concoction is done simmering, separate the vegetables from the broth using a strainer. Save the broth in a bowl.

5. Purée vegetables using a blender.

6. Combine the puréed vegetables and the broth in the kettle. Add the cream (or soy milk). Stir until completely mixed. At this point, I also added more cayenne to make it spicier.

7. Serve topped with croutons.

If you're not slurping it, you're not eating it right.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tattoos of the Future

There is so much skin on my body to be filled and I have so much to express.

I am addicted.
Don't bother to do an intervention.

I have some basic ideas brewing in my noggin for future tattoos, but no actual designs yet, which means it will probably be a long while before they take up some skin square footage. Not to mention, my ability to fork over the funds.

Oh, dear.

To celebrate the creative power within every woman and to exalt the beauty of femininity, I'd like to get the ten muses, including Sappho.


The style I am thinking about for this tattoo is best seen in Gustav Klimt's painting Fishblood. A lot of line work in black. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to get any color tattoos, besides maybe earth tones, such as brown and its variations.


To revel my own, personal creativity, as well as that of the women in my family, especially my grandmother, and her mother, too, I'd like to get a vintage sewing machine tattoo. By the time I was old enough to learn, my grandmother had the hardest time working with her sewing machine. It was always broken (even if it wasn't) and she could never get that darn thread in the needle and it frustrated her so. This tattoo is for her. For me, the sewing machine also represents self-sustainability and the ability to mend oneself, whether emotionally or physically.


What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any tattoos of the future?


Tattoo Tuesday

For those of you who follow Sometimes Sweet, you must be familiar with Tattoo Tuesdays!

As it is Tuesday (right?), and I have some tattoos of my own, I thought I'd share them with you, as well as plans I have in mind for future tattoos.

Hello, there.
Showing off my tattoos makes me a feel a little vulnerable, can you tell?

My newest addition is the separation of Pangaea. On one end, all of the continents are conjoined to form the land mass Pangaea. As you follow around the band on my arm, you'll watch Pangaea begin to separate until you find the continents in their present placement.

As our world becomes more and more globalized (in good ways and bad), we humans find ourselves further and further connected to each other (in good ways and bad). This tattoo represents that change. The distance and differences we perceive between people from around the world are only an illusion. Yes, we have experiences that are unique and we are socialized by distinct cultures, but really, to our core, we are the same. For me, Pangaea represents the link between us all.

My next tattoo, which I saw in a dream and planned for years before I actually inked it, is a lightbulb with a brain inside. Some of you are aware of my love affair with the human brain and neurology. This tattoo is a token of those affections and a tribute to the amazing and mysterious powers of the brain. To think that everything we see, hear, say, feel, touch, taste, think, perceive, and experience takes place in our brain totally astounds me. We have so much to learn about human experience and behavior. I believe these answers will come from the brain. As Fiona Apple said, "He said it's all in your head, and I said, so is everything, but he didn't get it."
I get it, Fiona, I totally get it.

This set of symbol tattoos is a doosy. I didn't get them at the same time and the meaning of the symbol I got first has changed significantly for me.

The infinity symbol came first. A now ex-boyfriend and I got the infinity symbol on our wrists together, to represent the length of time our love would last. How foolish and naive were we? Our relationship ended not long after we got the tattoos, but I can say that I will care about him deeply forever. The kind of love I have for him has changed a lot.

Hence, the delta, or the triangle, the symbol for change. I got this tattoo next, paired with the infinity symbol, to represent the idea that the only thing that lasts forever is change. Reminding myself of this has helped me through a lot of tough times.

The last two symbols have fairly simple explanations, as they represent my belief in and struggle for the equality of all humans, no matter their gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, class, etc. Also, my rejection of the dichotomies of sex (male-female), gender (masculine-feminine), and sexuality (heterosexual-homosexual) is represented here.

The last and oldest tattoo, located between my shoulder blades, I got spontaneously when it was finally legal for me to do so. Embarrassingly enough, this tattoo design can be found in White Fluffy Clouds, a collection artwork and writings by Brandon Boyd. That's right. The same Brandon Boyd of the band Incubus. I was a total fan girl throughout high school. I still love the design, but nowadays I usually explain it away by my trip to India. Shh, don't tell. What I did learn from getting this tattoo, is that I will probably never get another that I didn't design myself. There you have it.

I wanna see and read about your tattoos, too! Send me a link to a picture or write a blog post to share!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Casimir Pulaski Day


Pulaski aided the American Revolution, despite being from Poland, and despite not speaking a lick of English (or so the story goes). We celebrate his birthday (which actually isn't until the 6th) in Chicago because we have one of the the largest Polish populations in the world, second only to Warsaw.

I am not Polish, nor did I truly celebrate this holiday.
But, it gave me an excuse to post the video of a song that has been stuck in my head all day long. Maybe you've heard it?