Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reliving My Youth with Save Ferris

When I was about 18, one of my friends introduced me to ska music. I'd always been partial to reggae, dancehall, and rocksteady - music I'd heard sporadically in my life - but didn't really know a lot about the style in general. Two of my friends were totally immersed in the punk and ska scene at the time and through them, I found my love for traditional and third-wave ska. I'm a sucker for a good horn section in any genre of music and both of these nailed it for me. As soon as I heard the first chords of my first Hepcat song (this one specifically, I just remembered) I knew I needed to start branching out from the radio crap and alternative music that was everywhere.

When I was about 21, I was coming home from work, blasting Save Ferris' It Means Everything album. I don't know if you've ever heard Monique Powell sing, but that woman can BELT. I can barely hold a note but Lies was one of my favorite songs and when it came on I, of course, sang along. I'd never been able to hit her notes fully because I just don't have her kind of lungs, but thought that I'd take advantage of being alone in my car to sing as loudly as I could. Maybe then I could hit her notes! So there I was, speeding down Los Feliz Blvd., singing at the top of my lungs and doing the song a modicum of justice. Then she got to the part I always cut off at - a long, intense wail of "LIIIIIIEEEEEESSSS" that ends the whole long, intense bridge of the song. I was DETERMINED to hit that note. I hollered so long and so loud I actually made myself dizzy and nearly passed out while driving. I had to stop singing just to catch my breath.

My friends and I spent our late teens/early twenties traveling up and down the California coast to watch our favorite bands perform. I can't even count the amount of times we saw Hepcat, Slow Gherkin, Pharmaceutical Bandits (now Rx Bandits), Dancehall Crashers, Mad Caddies, Codename:Rocky, Edna's Goldfish, Alkaline Trio (they are not now nor were they ever any form of ska, but we saw them play A LOT, too), and dozens of other small bands play. I even went to see the Mighty Mighty Bosstones all by myself once, my friends all being unavailable or away at college.

As it goes with indie music, most of the bands I listened to at the time no longer exist. Or they've evolved into a different sound altogether. One of the perks of living in LA since the end of the all-too-brief ska revival that spawned more popular groups like Sublime and No Doubt was getting to see Hepcat play their yearly reunion shows. We've gone every year - well, I did until I moved to Miami, anyway - and it's still an awesome experience getting to listen to the live version of music that defined so much of our youth. I can credit that time of my life for being the first time I realized there was a whole world of music I knew nothing about and that just because it didn't come from a major label or wasn't part of the regular MTV rotation (remember when they actually played music videos?) didn't mean it wasn't worth seeking out. In fact, it usually meant it was better.

"Lies" just came on my iTunes and prompted this little trip down memory lane. I'm happy to report I still can't hit that goddamned note.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It Ain't All About Crafting

I came across a blog yesterday dedicated to pulp and vintage noir and it made me think. I've got plenty of other loves and obsessions that I rarely discuss here 'cause I figured the blog should mainly be about crafting. But, to keep things interesting, I think I'm gonna start featuring other tidbits - after all it's my blog and I can do as I wish!

So, today I thought I'd show you my office area - the place I'm usually found when not busily making items.

It's just a little desk sandwiched between two large bookshelves overflowing with books (my first and other love). My poor desk is in desperate need of refinishing since it's older than I am and is one of the few cherished possessions I nabbed away from my parents when I first left home. It's quite literally been with me forever and even though it's small and damaged and old-fashioned and totally impractical, I can't imagine parting with it.

My favorite part of my "office" is my artwork.

I have a mad fascination with pulp cover art and mid-century romance comics so I simply framed up some of my favorite postcards. They tie-in the books that surround my desk and add color to the plain wall. Cheap and easy! I often absent-mindedly stare at them as I work and I always find myself inspired by their style and bold colors.

The latest addition to my area is the little hand drawn piece that sits on my desk.

It's a piece by Mike White that The Doomed got for me at the Miami Comic Con a couple months ago. I thinks it's ADORABLE and it always makes me smile. You can check out more of Mike's great comics at

I hope you enjoyed this little departure from crafting and already have more posts planned for other topics. For now, though, time for me to get back to the crafting!

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Questionable Cuff

'Round these parts there's always a new cuff being worked on. I can't get enough of them and figure I don't have to! The latest one is made out of a houndstooth-print ribbon and I thought the classic black/white/red color combination would be perfect.

Hmm. I do like the colors together and the button, but I'm not sure the blanket stitch works here. Houndstooth is already such a busy print and I think the red all around the edges clashes and is just too distracting. The Doomed wasn't entirely sold on it either so I think I gotta go back to the drawing board on this one. My best bet is probably to simplify it down and let the red button stand alone. What do you think?

In positive news, may I tell you how much I love my new buttonhole cutter?

Such a basic thing but it works so much better than my ol' x-acto knife. And I'm totally digging the mini-mat it came with! It's the simple things in life that make me happy. :)

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


This has been a week of firsts for me: first time shipping to Canada (yay for shoppers!);
first time taking Moondoggie with me to the post office and leaving him outside ALONE to wait (he's a very well-behaved dog, but he IS a dog and I'm overprotective. The Doomed's main concern was what if he attacked someone, mine was what if someone stole him 'cause he's so cute.);

See that windowpane next to gentleman in red? My camera didn't catch it but I could peek at Moondoggie through there. Spent the entire time bouncing in and out of the post office line making sure I could still see him.

first time using my prototype handbag (I'd like to start making and selling bags in the shop but it's definitely a new venture for me and I wanna make sure they're well-made and hold up);

Embroidered handbag!

and my first time doing four days straight of my spinning class. Am I crazy? Maybe. I'm definitely sore but I gotta admit it feels good, especially considering how much time I spend sitting on my posterior, crafting away. I'm gonna even it out by stuffing my face with pizza this weekend - I've been craving it and haven't had pizza in a long while. Gotta live a balanced life. :)

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Odd Duck Handmade Indie Bazaar & Craftfair - Finished!

Guess who manned her booth all by her lonesome at the Odd Duck show this past Saturday?


It wasn't supposed to work out that way but The Doomed ended up having to go to work and I'm nothing if not a trooper. So, after our now traditional pre-show McDonald's breakfast, he helped me set up, then took off - leaving me without a co-seller and booth buddy for what turned out to be the whole day. But you know what? I don't need no stinking man! I did it myself and, if I do say so myself, I did rather well.

All set up and ready to sell!

Oh, and I had had such great plans to meet and greet and document my second craft show as thoroughly as possible. Instead, I only got to take pictures of the area immediately surrounding me and met and greeted only those who came up to me.

Wanna see?

To my front left

Right in front

To my right

Fascinating, isn't it? The show was excellent, tons of people all day long, and everyone seemed to be making sales. Even me! I was indoors, on the second floor, basking in air conditioning and, boy, was I  lucky because it was a scorcher that day. It took a little longer than my first show for me to start making sales but once I did, it was a steady business day for me.

I even got to meet a few folks! Katie from Kaytea had the booth to my right and we ended up chatting all day. Having her to converse with made the day far more entertaining for me and I was really glad I got a chance to meet her. Plus, she makes adorable baby clothes (modeled by her own adorable baby). If only I knew some babies to shop for! I also met Tanya of Dreads and Curls, a fellow knitter who makes such beautifully detailed accessories along with her partner (who's name escapes me at the moment - darn it!). I love their shop name - she's the curls and her partner's the dreads! Ha!

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and hungry and my cheeks hurt from all the smiling - but it was so worth it. I can't wait to do it all over again! Honestly, it's so much work and stress getting ready for craft days but nothing compares to the genuine feedback and appreciation you get from folks at theses shows. I love it!

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