Craft Catatonia

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Hoo boy….I am beat down to a nub. I have been arts and crafting my ass off in preparation for the upcoming local county fair.

While the term “county fair” may imply something small and hick-ish, my local fair is anything but. It’s a huge event

Back in February, I visited with my godkids in Las Cruces, and they were all fired up about their own county fair coming up in September.

My niƱos are all about 4H and have decided to raise pigs this year to show at the fair. Their excitement was contagious, so I came back to Northern California fired up and ready to participate in my own fair.

In fact, I was so excited that when the guidebook arrived, I decided to sign up for four events. Four. Which means I’m either stupid or sadistic. I, uh, have a full time job.

Since the fair kicks off June 11, my four entries are due, oh, NOW.

The events I’m doing are: short story, photography, visual art, and baking.

Yes. I said baking.

The short story had to be turned in over a month ago so the judges had plenty of time to read and evaluate the stories. Last week I got the smoking hot news that my story won my genre category, which was Western.

Whoo hoo! The fair hasn’t even started and I’m liking this already!

The story will be published in an anthology of stories put out by the Fair and sold to benefit charity.

Pretty damn excited, I can tell you that!

The photography entry has gone fairly well, too. I knew which photo I wanted to use and it was a matter of getting a good print made (harder than it sounds) and then cutting the mat and framing the piece. I got that done mid-last week. Boom!

The visual art piece is a Dia de los Muertos inspired craft. Oh, how this work has vexed me. I had a *very* ambitious idea and have spent the last couple months constructing tons and tons of tiny details and figures and touches. The work, just finished this morning, doesn’t include all of the aspects I’d hoped to accomplish, but I have to say, I’m very proud. This project really pushed the bounds of my abilities as both crafter and storyteller.

Yesterday evening I slumped back in my chair, catatonic. I had nothing left. I had glue and paint all over my hands, sweat on my brow and an ache in my lower back that defies superlatives.

But yet I was still compelled to keep going and finish this piece on deadline, for no other reason than the pure satisfaction of having completed something so very boundary testing.

I did it. I DID it. I’ll be damned…I actually did it. Whoa.

Today I’ll turn in the framed photo and the art work and then I’ll do a little “I made it by the deadline” dance.

Then I’ll collapse.

But wait, there’s more! The deadline for the fourth event comes up next week. I entered the “ethnic desserts” category and I’ll be whipping up a batch of Biscochitos.

New Mexico! Representin’!

And then I will eat my fill of anise seed treats, slip into a sugar coma, and sleep for a very long time…or at least until The Muse taps me on the psyche again.





I Got Girl Hands!

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Look away, boys, I’m headed down a girly road today.

While The Good Man is watching James Bond (The Man with the Golden Gun), I am on the other end of the couch doing up my finger nails.

I don’t usually mind painting my own nails with regular polish. It can be messy, but I’m fairly good at it.

Last month while at the hair salon, I got caught up on the latest trashy mags like People, US and Star. In one of them I saw an ad for Sally Hansen Salon Effects and it piqued my curiosity.

This new product is nail polish strips that are applied like stickers to the nail. I was VERY suspicious that I’d be able to apply this product without totally messing it up, but I went to a local CVS to check ’em out.

While there, another woman was looking at the selection and I asked if she’d tried them. She said she had, and what’s more, she told me that after a week (she’s a hairdresser), the nail polish looked as good as ever. She held out her hands to show me.

She also noted that these bad boys were pretty easy to apply, and recommended putting on a top coat just to seal ’em in.

I was convinced, so I dove in and bought a couple boxes. They aren’t cheap, $9 at your local Walgreens or CVS, but that’s still cheaper than a professional manicure.

Last week I tried the “Raise A Glass” champagne color and got many compliments. Through eight days they had nary a chip and stayed on very well. The only reason I took off the color (with regular nail polish remover) was that I was ready to try a new color.

Today I’ve applied “Bling It On” and am quite happy with the glittery pink color. I use a product called Out The Door for a quick dry topcoat (I get it at Target) and all is wonderful.

I gotta say, this is a quick and easy no muss way to apply professional looking nail polish.

Just had to share my new find!

And just to meet the rules of the blogging road, I was not paid for this post, I’m simply very happy with this new product. See my crappy iPhone photo below.

Happy Sunday!



(Note to self, get some lotion on those cuticles!)


I Don’t Even Recognize Myself Anymore

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Oh no.

I have a confession to make.

It’s too horrible to mention, though it must be said out loud. Perhaps an open discussion will take the stigma out of it.

Here it goes:

: deep breath :

I’ve got the Christmas spirit and I don’t know why.

This is a perplexing condition. Usually I’m very, very cranky from about November 15ish until about January 3ish.

I hate the music. Hate the cheesey decorations. Hate the whole hubbub.

For reasons I cannot explain, every once in a while, I get the spirit. I *want* to celebrate the season. I have a burning desire to decorate. I hum Christmas carols. I plan out gift lists and actually, *gasp*, send holiday cards out.

It’s an illness for which there is no cure.

It’s been about three years since I had this affliction. I cannot explain why it hit me so hard this year, but here it is with all its screaming tinsel and shouting jingle bells.

Halloween snuck up on me out of nowhere. Thanksgiving arrived and caught me unawares.

But Christmas? Nope. I’ve got my catcher’s mitt on and I’m waiting for ya!

I even…well, I did a bad thing yesterday.

It looks like this:

I know! Don’t look at me…I’m so ashamed.

At least it’s not decorated yet.

But that’s only because…

No, it’s too terrible to speak.

But I must.

There are no ornaments on my tree yet because….

Ok fine.

Because I’m MAKING THEM ALL THIS YEAR!!!!

It’s a sickness.

: hums : Just hear those sleigh bells ringing their jing-jing-jingling tuuuuune. C’mon it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with yoooouuuuu.

Photo by Karen Fayeth, taken with my iPhone 4

Tis the Season

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Yesterday was a weird day.

Sure, mid-December always gets a little bit dicey when going out to run errands, but yesterday was especially odd.

I had a list of things to procure and not a lot of time, so over lunchtime I started at the top of the list. First stop, Home Depot.

Oh Home Depot, I know so many people love you, but I rarely visit your orangey evil warehouse.

I needed some tools (I have a fun Christmas project for The Good Man’s little sister in progress). Since Home Depot is the Wal-Mart of hardware stores, and I wanted to spend only a little green, I decided to give it a try.

Wow, did you know there is some sort of force field going on in Home Depot? As soon as I set foot in the lumber aisle, I became invisible! It was really instant and rather startling!

The U.S. military should look into this!

The secret to a true complete invisibility shield!

A girl in the lumber aisle.

I found that on the tools aisle, I was only partly invisible. If I said, “hey, I need help!” then they could sort of see me. It wasn’t just me either, there was another woman trying to get help regarding a door knob she was considering.

She got the attention of one male employee who condescendingly answered her question then walked away…though she wasn’t done asking questions.

Oh, I did discover that in the gardening section, by the small pink canvas pruning gloves? They could see me fine.

Something about hardware and lumber.

Weird, huh?

My next errand was to go to the post office. A gift ordered online had arrived. Yay!

Well, it being mid-December and at lunch, the post office was crazy busy. We use a very small postal annex with only two employees, so that makes things an even bigger holdup.

It was a very, very long line.

Well, you know, this is to be expected this time of year.

Except for the cranky old man and the horribly cranky old woman in line behind me.

The old man kept cranking about how he can’t believe the lines and he had been there and hour before and the line was this long so he went and had lunch to wait it out and wouldn’t you know it the line is still long and how can this be!

You get my drift.

Then the lady chimed in.

“There are just too many people these days. Too. Many. People. You know why it is so crowded don’t you? Because of all the immigrants. Obama keeps letting all of those immigrants in. They all want the free stuff so those damn people keep coming in and it is just too crowded!”

Uh. WHAT!?!?!?

Crazy old bat continued on that line of rant for a bit longer, then went back to complaining about the line. She said, “Why is there only one person working, where is that [racial epithet redacted] who works here?”

I was horrified. Absolutely stunned into a horrified shock.

Evidently the “spirit of the season” is discrimination, racism and anger.

Once I picked up my package, I got in my car and made my way out of the parking lot. As I waited to turn out into traffic, I had the audacity to wait for a group of six kids from the nearby high school walking by on lunch break.

Audacity because the evidently impatient man behind me felt I shouldn’t have paused. So he laid on the horn and yelled “GOOOO!”

Well, clearly the spirit of the season has infected me as well, because I unrolled my window and shouted “WHAT THE F–K IS YOUR PROBLEM!?!?”

Tis the season to be assholish, fa la la la, la la la la……

Look at me pass on the season’s cheer….

I think I’ll hunker down at the house for the remainder of the year. It seems better that way.

Whoa, whoa the Fourth of July…whoa!

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Man. Can’t believe we’re already into July. Of 2009. Wow.

Been a little quiet here on the blog-o-rama since I was out and about all weekend.

Big fun. Well worth it!

Sure, I thought I could never top last year’s holiday celebration, featuring the viewing of fireworks from a Cessna aeroplane.

But this year went ahead and topped it.

There were fireworks, but not like you think.

This year, The Good Man and I loaded up the car and went on a road trip.

Destination: LA

Reason? My amazing, world-class talented cousin wrote and produced a musical and chose this weekend for a family and friends weekend show.

Now, I had read an early version of the script, so I knew what to expect, but this show blew well past even my own expectations!

It was an amazing night, all around.

So there we were in West Hollywood…my cousin was wise and prescient enough to get us a limo (easy to corral a lot of family that way!).

We all got ourselves dolled up for the show and loaded up. Off we went, cruising the streets of Los Angeles.

So yeah, you know, on the Fourth, I got to emerge from a limo, in LA, on my way to this fabulous new show…

Cuz I roll like that.

Yes, I was able to keep my skirt down as I emerged. Yes, I was also wearing chones. I also roll like that.

No one needs to know that really, rather than “emerge” from the limo, my high heeled foot slipped off the step rail, thus whacking the side of my foot on the way down and causing me to actually tumble out of the limo.

But in my memory, when I retell the story, I emerged gracefully, like an elegant movie star from a bygone era.

It was just all around, an amazing weekend that went by way WAY too fast. I got to be with my cousin, one of my most favorite people in the whole world. I got to be with family, I got to see a killer show, I got to hit a couple Hollywood hot spots, and I got to have another amazing memory to make with my fabulous husband.

I can’t ask for anything better than all that!

And now, here we are at Monday.

This morning, there is a line for the auto-espresso maker.

The light of day in the real world is always a bit of a let down, now in’nit?