There’s a mouse in my pants!

Look into the stone-cold eyes of my kitty and ask yourself: Am I looking directly into the heart of a sick, trained killer?

Well, the answer is yes, and it’s also the reason we’re not getting a Writing Critique until tomorrow. Let me tell you the story…

As I prepared for bed at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. last night, I closed my laptop and looked up just in time to see my cat chasing a mouse across the bedroom….. and directly into my pants!

Yes, the mouse took refuge in the pair of jeans I had left on the floor – maddening both me and the cat. What ensued could have been part of a well-choreographed comedy routine, as I danced around the room, mostly naked, squeamishly trying to shake a mouse out of a pair of pants, while my cat ran around in crazy circles below, trying to catch it.

I finally dislodged the rodent with a good shake of the wrist, and it went flying across the room and directly under the radiator.

The next hour was filled with meowing, scurrying, banging and squeaking as my two cats tried to remove the nimble thing from the heating unit. I sat, slightly shocked and half-asleep, trying to decide whether I should cheer them on in doing their domestic duties, or lock them out and let the mouse escape for the sake of some peace and quiet. I admit, I was a little intimidated by the fierce show of fangs, claws and “I-can-kick-your-ass-cus-I’m-a-predator” attitude.

I finally retired to the living-room couch, feeling slightly like a sick voyeur at a snuff film.

Suffice to say it was a long night, followed by a long day at work (sadly, the news business does not stop for weekends or holidays) and I’m about to hit the pillow like a sack of bricks right now. Goodnight!

Advertisements
Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 10:24 pm  Comments (8)  

Free Handmade Mug Giveaway!

Yay! I’m turning 25!!

And to celebrate, I’m going to send one awesome person one of my handmade porcelain mugs! All you have to do to be entered to win is to post a comment with one fact about the year 1983. It can be historical, personal or pop-culture trivia. I’ll start:

1983 was the year I was born (woot!).

It was the year Michael Jackson broadcast Thriller, and the year that President Ronald Reagan created Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Nov. 2.

1983 also saw the death of master playwright Tennessee Williams and famous blues-man Muddy Waters, as well as the birth of modern pop star Amy Winehouse.

What else ya got?

(My birthday is Sept. 3, and one participant will be selected at random Sept. 4! ALL participants can get 10% off any purchase in my shop this week by writing “Happy Birthday” in the notes to seller! Thanks for making 24 such a great year!)

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 2:12 am  Comments (55)  

Gonna be 25!

Whoa – halfway between having a couple of beers with a friend and collapsing into bed tonight, I realized that I’m going to hit the big quarter century mark next week!

Go me, for surviving this long! (Someday I’ll tell you about the crazy days I worked on a crocodile farm in Africa… No, not making that up!).

I think that calls for a celebration, don’t you? I haven’t decided what yet, but I have that tingly feeling that there is another giveaway coming soon. Ooo, or maybe a writing contest? I’ll mull it over and post more tomorrow!!

P.S. I listed some pretty pretty plates recently! Check ’em out!

Published in: on August 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm  Comments (9)  

Easily Distracted

So…I was recently introduced to Polyvore. And immediately, hours and hours of what was previously perfectly productive time was lost into the abyss of fashion collages. So now I’m sharing the link with you guys, in a sadistic ploy to drag you all down with me!

I’ve barely had a taste of what the site allows you to do, but believe me, it’s already quite addictive. You can put together collages with thousands of pre-clipped fashion and design images, or you can nab your own images from anywhere (except Etsy, oddly. But flickr works fine.) The super-cool thing is that the images remain linked back to their original source and clickable, even after you “publish” your finished work.

I almost certainly will be playing around with this more, and posting more collages as I get a little better at designing these things (wishing I had more 2-dimensional design experience!). If you want me to include your images in my future masterpieces, feel free to post your flickr link in the comments!

Snap, crackle and pop

I’ve got a wonderful white crackle glaze at the studio, but for some reason, I just can’t get it to work. There’s always a little too much on, or a little too little, or the wrong type of clay. And too bad, because a crackle done well is something to take note of.

Certainly these little polymer clay crackle earrings, by Danielle’s Designs, managed to catch my eye! I love how she makes the most of the texture in her design, by contrasting the uber-blue cobalt against a clean, white disk. These are definitely earrings that jump out and say, “Notice me!!!”

Published in: on August 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Distilled Awesome

Yes, I admit it. I AM a big nerd. But if you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog yet…. you are seriously missing out.

Joss Whedon’s has put out another killer show! And frankly, what could be more awesome than a tragic musical love triangle between the adorably nerdy evil scientist, Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), asshole hero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and goodhearted, quiet Penny (Felicia Day).

And if you don’t have a big crush on Harris, Fillion or Day (depending on your personal preference) by the end of the show… something ain’t right with ya!

(Yeah…I’ve just been watching web videos all night. Go me!!)

Published in: on August 25, 2008 at 11:13 pm  Comments (4)  

Etsy Writing Critique #17

Don’t settle for drab product descriptions! Join me for another week of my Etsy Writing Critiques.

Duffy, of Duffy Designs, has offered herself up to big red pen this week. I love her daring metal-work and eye-catching designs. But unfortunately, I think her descriptions sell her work short. While they are cohesive and coherent, they rely on low-impact vocab and sometimes confuse with imprecise language.

Let’s have a look at a description for a bold copper cuff:

~~~

This copper cuff is etched to give it a nice pattern.The edges are hammered for an interesting edge. The center piece is bronze, also etched, with a sterling silver cold forged wire, riveted to the cuff. Since the metal is not extremely stiff, it would be easy to adjust to your wrist. A patina is added to give depth to the design. This original design is a new addition to my line and I’m really fond of it. I hope you are, too.

The smaller two pictures are other choices. One has copper wire design riveted to a bronze piece and the cuff and the other has a rectangle of hand stamped bronze riveted to the cuff. You can convo me to tell me which design you prefer. They are all the same price.

~~~

This description reads smoothly enough, but I was surprised to see bland words at key junctures. Duffy says her piece is “nice” and “interesting.” She’s quite “fond” of it. Eh.

Something seems a little out of whack when I find her designs more exciting then she appears to. I’ve already used some words to describe her work in this critique – Daring, bold and eye-catching. A number of others come to mind: Elegant, rustic, arresting, tribal, natural, earthy, graceful and fluid. I’m sure others could come up with more!

Remember to let your descriptions help reinforce the way a buyer might feel looking at your creation, or the way they might want to feel when they wear it or see it in their home. If you are the kind of person who would buy and wear Duffy’s cuff, you are probably looking to make a bold statement with your outfit – “nice” is a little too tame for you.

Duffy’s second paragraph confused me for a minute. It took some looking back and forth at her pictures to realize that she essentially selling three different cuffs in one listing – with instructions to convo her with a preference. Why? This tactic seems to “bury” two gorgeous cuff choices below the top one. And, before I read her description more carefully (something not everyone is going to do!), I thought the photos showed the back-side of the first one pictured.

I would break each cuff into it’s own listing – give them each a chance to shine! And then add a line to the description advising buyers to check out the other options.

Oh, and don’t forget details like measurements – I’ve got teeny, tiny little wrists, so those are going to matter to me a lot!

Here’s what I would write, if I was given a free rein:

~~~

Conjure up dreams of hot, tropical jungles and sensuous drum beats.

The bold, geometric shapes of this copper cuff provide the perfect backdrop to a fluid twist of silver wire.

The cuff is hand-etched and hammered, set with a bronze etched centerpiece. An elegant cold-forged sterling silver wire is riveted on top. The metals are treated with a patina to bring depth and color to the piece. The cuff is slightly flexible and would be easy to adjust to your wrist.

Please see my other listings for other original cuff designs!

~~~

The bit about the jungle is simply the image that popped into my own head when I looked at the piece – others might see something different!

Either way, I hope that gives Duffy some inspiration – don’t hesitate to be a cheerleader for your own work! Good luck!

~~~

Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives!

~~~

Published in: on August 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm  Comments (7)  

Hot Hot Heat

Well, due to some unexpected circumstances (like a sunny and breezy gorgeous day that demanded I be outside) this week’s Writing Critique will get served up on Sunday instead of Saturday.

Until then, I’ll let y’all enjoy a shot of me spraying soda into a kiln at Peter’s Valley this summer. The soda is dissolved in water and vaporizes when it hits the fire – melting onto the sides of pots and creating an amazing textured surface. Inside the hole I’m spraying into, the temperature is around 2300 degrees F!! Hence the huge gloves and the special UV sunglasses…the kiln is burning so hot, looking inside can actually damage your eyes.

Don’t I look badass?

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 10:17 pm  Comments (4)  

Build me up, buttercup…

Three little flowers, sittin’ in a row…

I love this necklace by Copper Frog Studio – wouldn’t it be a perfect way to cheer up an outfit in the winter time?

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm  Comments (3)  

Do you smell smoke?

One thing you never want to hear over the office PA system:

“The fire department is putting out a small brush fire by the side of the building. There’s no reason to panic…”

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 4:12 pm  Comments (3)