Friday, May 30, 2008

if your father's a robot or a caveman, now's your chance

I'm trying to cater my goods towards holiday shopping hordes and groups who want to buy stuff. I guess that's called marketing?

My newest attempt is to make two (so far) themed flip books for Father's Day gift options.

father-daughter robot dance

This one is called Father-Daughter Robot Dance. This is the first time I made a flip book primarily using Illustrator, and the program practically had a heart attack because of all the 3-d effects I was using to make the robot bodies. Luckily it saved without crashing.

father-daughter robot dance

And here's Cave Dad and Son, my second cave man themed flip book.

cave dad & son

cave dad & son

I sliced off a little bit of my finger when I was making this one. I'm having a challenge dealing with the cutting portion of the flip book assembly procedures. It's what slows me down the most. That, and drilling. I use an x-acto knife to cut, and a drill with a really thick needle as the bit, and so far there haven't been any catastrophes, but it's slow going. Considering the first flip books I started out with I poked the binding holes by hand, this is faster and more efficient by leaps and bounds. I guess I just need to refine my techniques and perhaps figure out a quicker and safer way to cut out the sheets. I know die cutting exists but I don't really understand those machines or their templates or if such things are customizable.

So, I'll keep doing what I'm doing until I find a better way.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

fresh catnip! and don't go flehmening all over my dinner

According to How Stuff Works:

Although no one knows exactly what happens in the cat's brain, it is known that the chemical nepetalactone in catnip is the thing that triggers the response. Apparently, it somehow kicks off a stereotypical pattern in cats that are sensitive to the chemical. The catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Large cats like tigers can be sensitive to it as well.

I want to see a tiger playing with a bushel of catnip.


The feline receptor for nepetalactone is in the vomeronasal organ, located above the feline palate. The location of the vomeronasal organ may explain why cats do not react from eating gelatin-enclosed capsules of catnip. Nepetalactone must be inhaled for it to reach the receptors in the vomeronasal organ.

This vomeronasal organ is also known as the Jacobson's organ, described here:
While snakes and other reptiles flick substances into Jacobson's organ with their tongues, several mammals (e.g., cats) exhibit the Flehmen reaction. When 'Flehmening', an animal appears to sneer as it curls its upper lip to better expose the twin vomeronasal organs for chemical sensing.

Oh my gosh, so "flehmening" is that horrible face cats make when they smell something and have a disgusted look on their faces. I always felt insulted if Patches did that around some food I was eating.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Being bad at the thrift store, plus begonia, butterfly bush and upcoming catnip franchise

I was bad. I totally broke the rules again. Oh well.

sewing box

Today I got this big box of sewing stuffs at the thrift store. I feel a little odd splaying its contents all over the place, because I wonder what happened to the original owner... but then I think if for some reason that owner can no longer use sewing supplies, I'm sure she'd want someone to have them and be using them. There was also some papers outlining a sewing class, so maybe this box is the sewing class treasure chest.

I kept going back and rifling through this box trying to convince myself not to buy it. But there was so much crammed in there, I had to buy it.

sewing stuffs

This includes all sorts of ribbons, elastic, needles, fasteners, tracing papers,and so on and so forth.

sewing stuffs

Some of the more interesting things are: some kind of handmade double measuring tape contraption attached to a wooden spool with a string coming out the end; a blue thimble from Warrensburg, Mo.; a velvety and lacy brown ribbon; a Sears "gift to you from Kenmore" sewing kit; and a strange plastic squeezy bottle of some liquid substance (what is it!?).

So, I will have to use these products to justify the continued stock piling of craft supplies. I need to make some stuff, or else I really have to stop buying supplies.

* * *

Prior to my thrift store follies, I visited the farmer's market for the first time this year. I got some delicious citrus soy candles from Pure Light Candle Co., coffee, my favorite baked good by the No Wonder bread man, a begonia plant, sage and thyme, a butterfly bush AND a hanging basket of catnip. The hanging basket of catnip is going to be a hit, I'm sure of it. Patches and her suitor who was waiting outside the door already partook this evening. It's a pretty hefty catnip plant, so I'm hoping I can harvest the catnip and expand my cat related products to include sensory delights.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

gnarly Carrots, plus the return of Charlie and Cubby

I think I discovered the reason not to plant carrots too close to each other.

carrots, vegetables, garden

And I think this is a rare instance where the term "gnarly" is entirely appropriate.

carrotsm, vegetables, garden

Sadly parted.

greens, vegetables, garden
The greens mix together well without any developmental issues.
This mass may include any of the following: fennel, arugula, spinach, mustard, lettuces, carrot tops, swiss chard, oregano, basil, rosemary.

And I'm finally reunited with my favorite Russian stop motion characters: Charlie and Cubby. I have a videotape of their adventures that I stumbled upon some years ago before the dawn of the internet. The rest of their adventures have always been a mystery, but thanks to YouTube maybe I can catch up on some of their doings.


Surprise! Japanese dub:

Friday, May 2, 2008

squirrel with gun, discriminating weirdos, thrift store cat and vigorous zucchini

Disclaimer: this post is just going to be a hodge-podge with no particular theme.

squirrel with gun

In purchase reports, I bought this cute/ not quite scary squirrel with a gun keychain from MonkeyDogStudio AKA OneMansTrash at last Saturday's Bizarre Market. She had some other cool ones too!

I also just won some screen printing supplies on ebay, though I'm pretty sure this breaks my rules about not buying craft supplies when I already have too much. BUT, I have mixed emulsion and need to use it ASAP, so I guess that's an excuse.

* * *

In other news, the discriminating weirdos at Moe Sew Co. had some deep thoughts on some of my embroideries. I'm very flattered by the term wantable weirdness and also the fact that they somehow managed to work a freakish 1970 commercial into the review. Thanks, discriminating weirdos.

* * *

Speaking of weird, here's that framed cat picture I bought last month at a thrift store. It's not totally clear if the maker was entirely pro-cat, but at any rate, I think it's pretty funny and wacked out.
weird cat from the thrift store


THE CAT IS always greener on the other side of the fence ◘ a rolling cat gathers no moss ◘ just say "no" to cats ◘ read my lips - no new kittens ◘ I left my cat in San Francisco ◘ frankly Scarlet I don't give a cat ◘ able to leap tall counters with a single bound ◘ four score and seven cats ago ◘ a watched cat never boils ◘ if at first you don't succeed, get a cat ◘ a kitten a day keeps the doctor away ◘ give me liberty or give me cats ◘ kittens should be seen and not heard ◘ she'll be carrying six white kittens when she comes ◘ ask not what your kitten can do for you but what you can do for your kitten ◘ my cat runneth over

* * *

And last but not least, some zucchini is really anxious to grow up. One of them (on the left) punched through the soil so vigorously, he's still wearing a little hat made out of a clump of soil.