Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ooohh oooooh that smell....

Good Evening Dear Friends,
Lo and Behold, The past couple days have been quite enjoyable! On Sunday night I was able to get together with one of my closest friends (since freshman year of high school!) who is in from Boston and had a bonfire picnic fit for royalty :) Her younger sister (with husband and son) was there as well, and Lennon and her son Julian had a great time running around until dark. Roasting hotdoggers and marshmelons on sticks and drinking a cold beer around a warm toasty fire... the sounds of young'uns laughing and cracklin' logs in the crisp spring air... cheeks glowing pink in the heat and the scent of campfire lingering in your hair on the journey homeward... is there anything more lovely?

Yesterday was largely uneventful... lots of computer time trying out new methods of self promotion... you will note my new "twitter" feed to your right ;) I felted a nifty little case to look just like the camera it now contains... it was not perfect, but I was definitely pleased with the end result! I shall post photos of that another day...

Today was a much needed grocery shopping trip, followed by an hour and a half at the playground with Lennon. There was another mother there that I had a very pleasant conversation with (which is rare... I find I get more odd stares and glares for my dreads and artsy fartsy appearance than I do any actual enjoyable grown-up encounters at this particular playground...) AND while I was conversing I kept my wiggly little fingers busy with a needle and wool. The final result of this playground trip was a smiling little dude and a nice little rainbow felted bead (again I will post photos another day). This adventure was immediately followed up with another quick trip to ANOTHER grocery store for a few missing items... And THEN..

Once I arrived back home, I put away the groceries, got Lennon settled and then took a quick run over to my (boston) friend's family's house (she's dog sitting) again for some good conversation on the patio... We sat there breathing in the night air.. reminiscing and laughing... sharing the secrets of art and truth and the universe and God... and (of course) plotting to take over the world. It is good to be reminded now and then that though I count but few as friends, those few friends can be counted on for bringing so much light into my life (and, I hope, I in theirs). Now I sit here typing beside my sleeping babe in this late hour and feeling so amazingly greatful for all that I have... and for the possibilities of tommorrow.... Sometime I start to forget how wonderful life is... missing the beauty of it all by looking too hard for the flaws...

How sweet it is... and how fragrant are the roses...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crud, Crud and more crud...

Hello there readers,
Its been a pretty cruddy 24 hours. Yesterday my older brother was in a motorcycle accident that should have killed him... thankfully he survived though with many a sprain, cut, scratch, and bruise... After my family had gotten word of the accident there was a heart-stopping 2 hours or so where we knew nothing other than that he had been in a motorcycle accident on the highway, took down a light pole, and was "conscious" and in an ambulance being rushed to the ER.... so, needless to say, yesterday was not the best day (though again, THANKFULLY, was not anywhere near as bad as it could have been had the outcome been slightly altered...)... So then this morning after breakfast I logged onto my email account to find that someone is filing a PAYPAL DISPUTE! Here is the details, I leave it to you to decide if this is justified....

-The item purchased was a PAY IT FORWARD listing (i.e. TWENTY CENTS PURCHASE + $4.80 for shipping and my paypal fees)... which means I MAKE NOTHING and actually LOSE MONEY on these (since my materials, fees, and shipping come to over ten dollars..) and am putting an hour or two of my time into creating the item FOR FREE.

-The item was a CUSTOM HAND PAINTED wall letter of whichI usually would charge anywhere from $15.00 to $35.00 for + shipping. ALL of my letter listings (including this one) CLEARLY STATE that the turnaround time for creating and shipping is 6-12 weeks. Often if will be sooner than this, but I like to give myself ample time for the unexpected delays that can and will happen... I also do not like to make promises of lesser timelines that I may have to go back on. Most other custom painted letters and childrens decor has SIMILAR or the SAME timeframes. SO anyways....

-The item was ordered just over THREE WEEKS ago. At the end of week one I received an email from the buyer (a fellow etsy seller who makes CUSTOM polymer'd think such a person would be familiar with checking the turnaround on a CUSTOM item) asking the status on her "outstanding order". I responded politely that AS NOTED IN THE LISTING the timeframe is 6-12 weeks, and thanked her for her purchase and her patience in giving me ample time to create this item to her wishes. I never received a response to that message until 2 nights ago when I received a message stating: "I know you said 6-12, but I don't think I want to wait any longer, I would just prefer a refund. thanks te*****co"... Stunned by such behaviour and unsure how to respond I did not craft a reply at that moment.... it is stated in my shop policies that I cannot give refunds on custom items, and I have already purchased the letter and materials for her item... Today I logged onto my email to find A DISPUTE filed with both Paypal and Etsy.

I am so aggravated and amazed by how little appreciation some people will show for an ACT OF GOODWILL.... there is not too often that something will make my jaw drop for a lack of what to say and how to deal with it... This is one of those times. This buyer has over 3000 feedback from her several years on etsy. I have under ten on that shop... So I can't even leave her appropriate feedback for her behaviour for fear of retaliation which will hurt my reputation more than hers..... my paypal account is now overdrawn since i just paid the months fees for all of my shops and was down to pennies in the account... so now I will be out not only the $5.00 for the purchase, but the nearly $10.00 in materials and all of the time and aggravation of dealing with this BS....... and THE WORST OF IT IS: I hate to even think like this, and I LOVE creating Pay It Forward listings... but this has tainted my desire to do it, perhaps irreparably. What a sucky thing for a person to do, over $5.00 and an apparent inability to read the two paragraphs in a listing BEFORE PURCHASING IT.

Emotionally spent and Exhaustively yours,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Crafter's Paradise

Hello my friends,
Today was Ahhhhhhh-mazing! Every 6 months or so I go to a wholesale bead show up in Massachussets with my mother (from whom I received my crafting genes). Today was one of those shows and it was a DAMN GOOD ONE! It's usually the same vendors every show but at this one there were SEVERAL new ones with some REALLY awesome beads. This one booth had porcelain beads that are each indidually hand painted like little works of art. I probably spent a good hour drooling over their product though in the end I did not buy any because I simply could not choose a favorite out of all the really cool pieces! Next show I go to I will surely set aside a "few" dollars to stock up on some of those...

Another vendor I really liked was a Lampwork booth. I blew all of my budget there and bought quite a few items from them including some glass cartoony naked lady beads that were so funny. I am going to make some jewelry to put up in Mama Trashheap's Shoppe so (along with some other cute fish, chickens, and such) these adorable and silly little girls will soon be available for you to own. Be on the lookout!

After I spent all of my cash my friend and fellow artist Madelyn and I stepped outside to let Lennon stretch his legs and to soak in some sunshine. My mother and sister stayed inside to continue shopping while Lennon, Madelyn, and I had a picnic of chocolate animal crackers and 3 dollar a bottle (yeah.) bottled water. My smiling little boy bouncing around, Good conversation, a patch of grass, blue skies, and a bag full of pretty glass craft supplies... what more can a girl ask for?!

Following the bead show we stopped into a Cracker Barrel restaurant for some grub and then proceeded on to the New England Felting Supply shop in Easthampton Mass which is one of my favorite shopping spots in the world. This place is UNBELIEVEABLE and to a felter or fiber artist it is an absolute PARADISE! You walk in the door and it is as if you were a child walking into a giant box full of every color of crayon imaginable.. There are ROWS upon ROWS of bins with rainbows of soft fluffy goodness, pick your own, deli style.. shimmery accents, books with great projects and inspiration, beautiful samples of the creations people have made with their fibers. Wonderfully textured swatches everywhere... batts, and boxes... bundles and bags... everywhere you look: COLOR and loveliness... It is truely breathtaking. I skipped and danced too and fro throughout the isles pinching off a little of this and a little of that. When all was said and done I walked out their door with two plastic bags packed full of fun for around 30 dollars. If you're ever in the area I highly recommend checking this shop out.. it's the second time I've been there and I'm pretty sure that it will not be the last! :) Anyways, thats mostly it for today. The past couple days I've been doing a lot of digital designing which, while a fun creative outlet, is not the most interesting thing to give a play by play on! However, in the near future you will be seeing the fruits of my labors so stay tuned! And with that, I am off to drink an ice cold bottle of Grolsch (with the swingtop) and dip my fingers into a bag of treasures! Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vintage Ice Cream Paper

Top of the evening to yah,

Does anyone else recall "Ice Cream Paper"?? It was this cute paper that we used to use in kindergarten grades to write our letters on... it had three lines: chocolate vanilla and strawberry and a great little illustration of an icecream sundae at the top... Anyways, for whatever reason I woke up this morning to a picture of this paper in my head. I used to love the stuff and my mom used to have this mass supply of it. So I asked her if she had any left and sure enough she did... Long story short, My latest brainstorm was to create my own version of this paper, and so I did. And then I was so inspired by the idea of making paper for little kids to learn with, that I made another design... and then another.. cars, trains, cats, sock monekys... all in all I came up with 8 designs, finsihed and just waiting for me to list in my shoppe. I believe I will be listing them in my Ations shoppe. I will let you all know once they have become available for purchasing.
Later in the day was the writing class I teach for a local youth organization. It was a great class and after 4 classes with these students I am really feeling like we are making some good progress. Their homework for next week was to start a book which will be an ongoing project for the remainder of the class... I am really amazed by the intellect and communication skills that these kids are already showing at the tender ages of 13-16... Can't WAIT to see what they come up with for this book project. With their permission I may post a bit of their writing in a blog at the end of the class semester. THats all for now, Lennon and I went to the Library earlier and borrowed a new (to us) DVD for him.. So I'm off to go cuddle up with him and see what "Chicken Little" has in store for us :) G'night and Be Well!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Heart Trees

Good Evening sweet Enablers of mine,
Just a quick note to let you all know, I've posted the ANIMAL ANTICS Stationery Line... as well as the "I heart Trees" set. Go get yours just in time for EARTH DAY! :) Have a wonderful night!

Banners and Blurbs

Hola, Aloha, and Hello!
My illness is happily passing and I have subsequently fallen back off the wagon... Several New additions to Mama Trashheap's today, including a series of three bracelets/ Wrist Cuffs inspired in part by the ultimate arch enemy: THE JOKER. Not too long ago, I was playing around with a bit of wool in some of my favorite colors, green and purple (MMmmmmmmmmmm....Puuuurple), and decided to do get my hands wet with some felting.. After lots of soapy elbow grease I unrolled my felting mat and heard this crazy, CRAZY, lunatic of a voice in my head say "why so serious?". So I pulled out my needle, a pinch of Red wool and my button stash... and VOILA, three fantastic little creations that I couldn't be happier with.... I'm debating pulling a listing and keeping one for my own wrist!

Next, I listed a new Crocheted Tam hat that is part of an ongoing upcycling project. I save all of my scraps of yarn, along with bits of ribbon, shoe laces, fabric strips, hemp, cord, and such.... wind them all into a ball and once it's big enough I toss it into my pocketbook for a quick and easy fix anywhere and anytime! The latest Scrappy Ball turned into this really cool and quirky hat, lots of handspun wools, some nice satin ribbons and eyelash yarn, and a whole mess of hemp twine! Check it out and let me know what you think... I LOVE these hats but since I already have a good dozen or so for my own personal wardrobe I figure I better let this ole girl go... WANTED: A GOOD HOME FOR HER.

This afternoon, I also sent my Printable files off to my local staples, as my printer is suffering from an incurable and fatal illness... an inability to print in color... fortunately this is nothing that a 20 minute trip to staples can't cure and I have a good 30 or so files to print (which makes it even more efficient and economical) .....soooooo, Revised Melloheads listings coming soon AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: by this time tomorrow my new Animal Antics Line of Printable Paper Goodies should be up and available for you to take home and love'm up real good!

My final frolic of the night was a digital one... Directly above this post you will see but one of the fruits of a speedy "paint" job (I don't have Photoshop on my little mini Acer Aspire yet, only on a rather cumbersome old desktop)... I have also designed new banners for Mama Trashheap's and for my more personal (and random) blog, "Musings of me mind". That's about the size of it... I don't quite feel like I've gotten my fix for the day but I should probably retire to my bed, or else I fear I may stay on here doodling away in crappy and cheap windows drawing programs all night and come tomorrow morning I'll be very very sorry... A fine evening to all and to all a grand night,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

*Cough* Hello *sneeze*

Good Evening readers :)
My apologies for the lack of posts the past few days, but my household has been hit by a 48 hour cold bug... First Lennon had it for a couple days, and then of course as soon as he is better it knocks me on my butt... Ain't that always the way, can't both get sick at once and get it out of the way... oh well! So anywho, I've had my hands full trying to chase a toddler while coughing and sneezing my head off, and the creativity has been in temporary hibernation. I did finish a few more of the stationery pieces to go with my Animal Antics set, and tomorrow I will be photographing them and hopefully putting them up in my shoppe. Then again all of this depends upon how sick I still am cause right now I want nothing more than a hot cup of tea and to curl up in my warm cozy bed and not have anyone disturb me for a good 14 hours or so... but.... me thinks Lennon likely will not see fit to cooperate with this dream of mine. My guess is that I'll probably just have to settle for a cup of tea, 6 or so hours of sleep, and with a bit of good luck, MY VOICE will return to me tomorrow morning! I hear a tea kettle calling my name.... Have a good night all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Animal Antics

Greetings and Good Morning Enablers!
I spent nearly all afternoon and evening yesterday working on some new designs for my printable stationery and signed art prints that will be in mama trashheap's shoppe. I came up with what I think are some SUPER cute designs for the animal lover and/or vegetarian N vegan crowd. Hope you like them (see photos of the stationery below). I also spent the entire morning raking the front yard and chasing Lennon away from the road :) Which, despite the 3 years worth of sticks and stones among the leaves, was actually fun in this beautiful weather.. I did get a nasty sliver in my hand from the old cruddy wooden rake, which was NOT FUN... at all.. its still in there and it kinda hurts, it is in my right hand and I'm gonna try and dig it out soon, I am not looking forward to the digging... but pain or no pain, it won't stop me from CREATING!

That's all for now, Lennon was up half the night coughing and I'm not quite sure if he is sick or if his throat was just irritated from the meltdown he had just before bed... either way he got so upset when I tried to give him some homeopathic cough syrup that he proceeded to throw-up on the bed... so now I have to go wash all of my bedding... What a fun night... hopefully I leave you now.. to A MUCH BETTER DAY!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


...I fell asleep without posting, but I have to go on a quick rant about how much it sucks when you accidently save over computer files you worked on for 2 hours and didn't save anywhere else... sigh.. I made this really cute crazy penguin stationery... and then I saved another stationery I did after that over it by accident. Sucky suck suck. Oh well, anyways, I came up with several really cute designs for some Printable stationery sets I'm going to be putting up on Mamatrashheap's Curiousity shoppe (see photos below). I'll be working on some more today, including a great little set for the Veggie-heads out there.... A couple of them aren't really eco or green themed in any way but, they were just random cute ideas I had... and that's pretty much what Mama Trashheap has become the venue for... Randomness ;) Anyways... I'm going to take Lennon over to the playground for a bit, and then later me thinks I'll be drawing and possibly painting some new printables.. be on the lookout for cute critters creations coming soon!!!!!!!! :)
Later Gators,

All Images Copyright Kalee Prue 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Marketing and New Venues

Hello again,
I've been a busy little bee today! Spoke to administrators at my local library and another local childrens-geared business about donating some items for them to display with my name and business info, and have gotten the green light on both which is pretty cool! :) I am also working like crazy to try and set up my new Artfire "Melloheads" shop while Lennon is napping. Have 5 items up already, I'm hoping to get at least 10 and then start on Mamatrashheap and Ations at Artfire as well. We'll see how it goes, I'm hoping to find some other good venues, etsy is just getting so big these days that it is hard to get your items seen. Any suggestions?

Half Asleep Brainstorming

Good Morning my enablers,
and a good morning it has been for me as well so far! I'm not sure at what point during the night this started, but the dreams I was in the midst of this morning when I awoke were all about brainstorming new crafty projects... oh wow... I really am ill! But seriously, last night before I went to bed I had been browsing around etsy, and I guess I was massivly inspired or something! One of the several really nifty ideas I awoke to was a reusable party banner made of fused plastic... and from there I brainstormed through changing Lennon's diaper, washing up, fixing breakfast, and now I sit here typing this as I finish the last few bites... usually I wait until the evening to blog, but I am just so excited about the stream of ideas flowing right now that I had to capture it all! I do believe I am going to work on some reusable upcycled party sets this week.. and probably a set of DIY Patterns for the same. I also had a ton of other ideas that could totally all come together to form a DIY functional upcycling E-BOOK, which I'm REALLY psyched about that possibility! Man, Once I had the idea of the banners it has also now opened up a whole new world of ideas that could be done with fused plastic.... it probably also helped that last night I stumbled upon a baby bonnet and a RAINCOAT made completely of fused plastic! Purses and pouches are wonderful... but THAT is some creativity right there! Now I can't shut this flow of ideas off... eating breakfast Lennon was waving his fork around in my face and instead of fearing for the safety of my eyes, I started having visions of this super cool mobile/wind chime that could be made with silverware swisted and spiraled into some interesting shapes and suspended on butter knives..... yes, ladies and gents, I either need some SERIOUS help, or else a SERIOUS workshop space! Anyways, I am pretty sure that my Lennon is wreaking the kind of quiet havoc that only a 2-year old can pull off... and there is a sink full of dishes calling my name, so I best be getting to my day. Happy dreaming ;) and farewell until the next-time!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Drawing at the playground

Greetings Enablers!
I took my little one to the playground this morning... did I play? Chase him around? not much... instead I walked behind him DRAWING all the while in my notebook... It was around 40 degrees and Lennon and I were all bundled up from the triple layered jackets to the wool hats... all except my fingers which were FREEZING but which I had to keep exposed to hold a pencil... I also discovered once I had arrived at the playground that all of my pencils were virtually pointless... so I used a pocket knife to whittle some points! Am I strange?? I have no idea... But the one positive thing about this odd behaviour is that it keeps me from having to engage in parental gossip sessions :) So I sit here drawing again... and having again refrained from my felt for the moment, I am starting to jones like you would not believe. Tommorrow just might be the day I give in... I have attached a few photos of some recent sketches. A friendly farewell and a happy hoppy day to all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

one day at a time

Today was mostly a good day... I did pick up the pen once or twice... drew a few new Mellohead designs... One is a book plate, and another will be the design on my business card. I also sketched out a few ideas for a new line of stationery products I am working on which will eventually be found on I have this love of all things sock monkey, and I will be puting all sorts of fun funky socky items on there as well!

I feel like I am getting stronger, and though I slipped a little, all in all I did seem to fight my creating cravings pretty well. A few times I thought about my felt.... sweet, sooooffftt, felt.... and had a yearning or two for yarn... but By eating I was able to avoid giving in... another day in the books, does it ever get any easier?

Happily, I am finding more and more enablers out there who have been so gracious as to take away some of the evidence, a dreadlock bead over at mama trashheap's curiousity shoppe went just today. Yay! One less incriminating goodie in my home... Thanks for reading, and come back soon!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Houston, we may have a problem...

Hallo and Welcome! I am Kalee, and I may be a compulsive creator. I think it all started when I was a kid... I started out with the normal childhood outlets... play dough... crayons... maybe the occasional permanent marker when my mom wasn't looking... it all seemed harmless enough at first...

...But as my illness progressed, I soon was obsessed with embroidery floss and toothpicks... my worry dolls were the most detailed worry dolls the earth had ever seen.. and I made them by the dozens. Worry dolls of my favorite band (instruments and all), worry dolls of Disney characters... and worry dolls of every color, style, profession that my little 7 year old brain could possibly think of. I still stumble upon one here and there with a fair amount of regularity...

Phase after phase passed.. I found all sorts of new materials to get my fix... beads, pom-poms, and chenille stems... empty coffee cans, clothes pins, and colored paper... and then it happened.

The pen found me at 9 years old, with my first poem entitled: "The baby". It was about, what else, my new baby sister. I'm not sure if I have a copy anymore but I do remember it started with the lines: "The baby sleeps, The baby weeps, when the baby cries, she sees many peering eyes looking at her, just her"... A version of it, with a small drawing I had done won me a blue ribbon in a local fair children's contest, and gave me my first taste of recognition as an artist... even more than that, I realized that through my creations I could finally have my voice be heard... and in a family where I was but one of six children that was no small thing!

Anyways... from that point on a monster had been unleashed, and nothing could keep my pen from the page. As the years rolled by I continued to use my "gateway drugs", the pencil and pen, I also discovered in my early teens, the paintbrush and canvas... later I would fall in with a bad crowd and get hooked on the guitar and the song... but none of that compares to the addictions which now wake me at night, in a cold sweat... visions of trash and wool dancing about... Sometimes I wonder if I should seek help, but I am far too busy trying to pull every thought from within the deepest crevices of my mind... and to give them a solid form.

The needle marks from my felting needle are getting harder and harder to hide... and it scares me that someone might find my stash of plastic bags and cardboard and have me commited... but I hope that maybe with this blog, this psudeo-anononymous confession, and my growing number of Etsy shoppes (5 and counting) in time I may be ready to accept help.. after all, the first step is admitting you have a problem ;) ... and in the meantime, perhaps I will be able to find a few kind folks to take my creations off my hands, and thus ridding myself of the evidence... lest my loved ones catch on.

Please visit my etsy shoppes and take home the evidence!