Thursday, May 21, 2009

Art for the MAIL in your life...

just a quickie before I hit the hay.... Took Lennon down to the playground this afternoon and in between manning the swing and pausing to "wook it airplane"s :) I did a quick photo shoot of some recent projects that I've mentioned lately.. The steering wheel cover.. the Recycled envelopes and such... I am attempting to list the Recycled Envelopes as we speak but Etsy's listing editor is giving me some hassles with uploading my photos... :( Keeps getting stuck. Anyways, hopefully those will be up tonight before I'm through.

I also spent a good portion of the day swearing at my sewing machine... but the final result made me smile wide. I created some gifts for my students in the writing class I teach. They've done an awesome job and have grown so much.. tommorrow (today?) is our last class and I wanted to give them something special. So I crafted some journals with some leftover scraps of ribbon and fabric, as well as some tacky cover but nicely blank-paged journals I had picked up for the project... I will post photos tommorrow after I have given them, since they have the website address for this blog and though it's not likely they'll visit in the next 15 hours, JUST IN CASE... I want them to be a surprise. I'm off to finish the battle with Etsy's servers, and then to join my snuggly wee one :) Have a peaceful night all...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

lazy days, funky ways, sunshine rays, and what the hays

Hey There all of you out there in the WWW...
I have been being so bad about blogging lately, but I promise I will pick up the slack and try and post every couple days at least... anyways...

I spent much of the past few days running in circles and attending to the car... On saturday night I let my little brother borrow it to drive his girlfriend home, just across town. He only has a motorcycle at present and it was a little rainy and foggy soooo... 20 minutes after he left I get a phone call. The car had stalled and would not restart. Same thing had happened to me the previous night but when I had put some gas in it started back up so I figured the gas gauge must be broken.. it also happened earlier that day when I was picking my mom up from visiting my Grampa in the hospital... same apparent remedy with the gas... So I grabbed the gas can and headed down to rescue my brother. Only this time it started without the gas, and he hadn't gone far enough for it to have been just an issue with the gas gauge... so I followed him towards my mechanic's garage the next town over. Half way there the car stalled again, this time at the stoplight in a very busy intersection... after much fun of running back and forth with gas cans, being sworn at and called not-so-nice names by a couple disgruntled motorists apparently convinced that we had broken down just to get in their way and piss them off... and having a police officer dialing the number of a tow truck, it FINALLY started... I jumped in and drove it to the mechanic's with the ole slow-and-roll-through technique at the couple of back road stop signs (since it only seemed to stall out when you come to a complete stop)... 200 and some-odd dollars later, it turns out it was the "Crank Shaft Sensor"... SO hopefully (crossing my fingers) the car is now quirk-free, at least for the summer because I am so broke after the past couple weeks that if one more thing malfunctions I fear it will have to sit there for a couple months until I catch back up on my debts...

Happily, I have a few custom Letter orders in the works and the summer camp I am teaching is rapidly approaching. I think I may spend this whole weekend throwing a massive tag-sale. I have a TON of stuff I don't use or need that is either sitting in one of three storage spots, or is stashed in random corners and nooks in my bedroom and living-room... Even at a quarter per item I could probably do pretty well for the three day weekend... We shall see.

I have unfinished letters on their way and I will be working on those soon.. expect pictures. I also spent some lazy time today gluing and pasting some awesome little recycled envelopes, I have to take some photos tomorrow and that listing will be going up this week. I also have to catch up on listing a bunch of the items from the last photo shoot. While my mom and I were out this past week end I found a super awesome little crystal bottle at a tag sale (for a QUARTER!) that I'm going to rig up as a vase for my car... And I finished the Steering Wheel cover in my car, which I THINK looks really rad :) Picture of that in posts to follow... Now on to the seat covers and floor mats..

FInally, today, after picking up my poor car, Lennon and I took a run down to the lake... We weren't there for long but we had a good time... I've been in such a funk over money problems the past several days that it was a much needed break from reality :) I think I'm going to make a pact with myself that if it is nice out, I'm going to take him outdoors for at least 2 hours for the next two weeks straight. Deal? Deal. :)

SOrry for the lack of crafty photos, but there were just SO MANY good ones of my Lemon :)
G' Night...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A GIVEAWAY and Mother's Day ...and Many more...

What a busy week! I went to pick up my car last weekend and since then I haven't stopped! Car show was fun, and the car I was given is AWESOME :) Brought it for a quickie to my mechanic who said it's in great shape after fixing a tiny leak in the power steering system... I took it through a car wash, vaccum, the whole shebang and now it sparkles... I've also got several ideas to dress her up and give her a little bit of "personality"... I will be using canvas to make some floor cloths instead of mats.. I will be using the seat covers the previous owner left behind to make some really fun patchwork seat covers... I want to rig up a bud vase on the dash using a bottle or two from my empty bottle and random little containers collection.. and I've already begun covering the steering wheel with a felted wool contraption that (I hope) will be the best of all the projects, and nice and comfy cozy on my hands...

In other news, I have been hard at work inverting security envelopes and then embellishing the daylights out of them... Much fun and I hope they will receive good and loving homes when I place them in store soon... I have also been updating and editing listings in my ATIONS shop and replacing a few pictures in Mama Trashheap's shoppe here and there so go stop by if you have a moment, have a quick peruse and let me know what you all think of the improvements.. More are coming over this next week.

I dropped a little gift off for the wonderful car gifter this evening, you can see photo's of what I made for her below... I did forget to stick in another couple little goodies I had intended so she'll likely be receiving another care package in the mail this week.

I have decided to offer a little giveaway... A $25.00 gift certificate good for any one of my shops.. to enter leave me a comment... you may leave as many comments as you like for as many entries with a limit of ONE COUNTABLE COMMENT PER POST (so you are limited to the number of blog posts)... comments should be constructive or applicable to the post you are commenting... in other words, please do not just go through each post typing in "HERE'S MY COMMENT" or Spamming advertisements all over (though one or two plugs of your goods is fine ;)) and to receive 15 entries you can post a little blurb and link about my blog on your blog or website and then come back and tell me you did :) The contest will be going until 12:00 AM JUNE 1st 2009 . On June 1st I will place each entry in a big ole jar and pick a winner with the ever popular swish and grab technique :) Winner will be announced on my blog on June 1st-2nd. Have fun! :)

In Lennon news, he has been developing and refining his language skills like mad this week... and his wonderful childish powers of observation and association never cease to amaze me... such fun to hear him explaining the world in his uncorrupted and bubbly ways... this past weekend he pointed to the sky and told me to "LOOK IT THE TOY STORY"... so Up I looked... to see the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds that are depicted upon the walls of the bedroom of the child "Andy" in the Pixar cartoon movie TOY STORY.... I still smile when I think about it :))

On mother's day Lennon and I went and got a pancake breakfast and brought it down to the nearby lake.. we spent a good portion of last spring there before I became ill last summer... We played on the swings and dipped out toes in the cool water.... as we were tossing rocks into the gentle waves, goofing around with our dramatic sound effects and Lennon's contagious giggles it occured to me that I might have missed this... and very easily could have. Tears got the best of me momentarily... all that has happened since last mothers day, and that with the ever so slightest change in actions and outcomes Lennon could be motherless on this, his 3rd mothers day.... And I would have missed that tiny face with a ridiculously big smile and the "sploosh"ing of those rocks... I am so thankful I didn't.....

with that thought, Lennon is fast asleep and we will be getting up in way too few hours... After some budgeting issues and fee increases since my last round with the Motor Vehicle Department, and lots of paperwork digging and many hours of phone tag with insurance agencies, I will finally be going to register my car bright and early tommorrow Later I'm hoping to head over to my local green community for some R n R, good company and conversation, and a lesson in the art of Foraging for edible plants..... Needless to say, I should get on to some sleepage...
Take Care until next time,
Mama Kalee the Trashheap :)

Friday, May 8, 2009


Hello and Howdy Enablers :)
I don't know about other areas of the country (or world) but today in Connecticut was BEAUTIFUL! Perfect temp, blue skies, just lovely... actually, with one exception the past few days have all been pretty nice. I took advantage of the weather on Wednesday and took Lennon down to the run off some energy at the lake while I took some photos of some new creations, and some reshoots of some of my not so hot photos... Hopefully I'll find the time over the next few days to get these up into my shop. I did a clothing photo shoot with my baby sister Addi (incidently it is her 19th Birthday today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDI) to showcase some of the upcycled clothes I created several months ago... That will also be going up in the trashheap's shoppe very soon.

New creations the past few days were mostly of the felted beads or written variety. However, I'm noticing that as the weather is getting more consistently nice... my thoughts and inspirations are turning away from the crocheted and felted... to the painted, the upcycled and the repurposed... Over the next month or so I'm thinking that much more creations of this variety will be spilling forth... I will also be placing my monthly order for blank letters from my supply-guy and for the next two weeks I expect to find paint on my wardrobe and under my nails on a very regular basis while I work on creating several full orders and a whole lot of Pay It Forward orders

On to my best of news... On a whim, while online a few weeks ago, I had submitted a small want-ad in the "neighbor to neighbor" column of a local paper asking if anyone would be willing to trade with me, some muralist work for some or all payment of a used car... I didn't really think anything would come of it, but figured, what've I got to lose... I am in dire need of a car, I had jobs lined up for this summer, teaching summer camps, art classes and such, and I have had no car of my own ever since I sold my car last June a couple of days before I ended up with a very serious illness... it was a long and hard recovery and just the past couple months I've finally started to get back to my old self again, but have still hadn't begun to be able to get back on my feet financially... it's the old catch 22 of needing a car to get to a job to make money... and needing money to get said car...

SO ANNNNNYWAYS :) To get to the point... I got ONE single response to the ad... A wonderful woman several towns away offered me a 99 Hundai that runs and is in great shape with the exception of a transmission issue... which isn't necessarily an issue.. it could last another couple years for all we know... and the woman is GIVING it to me and wants ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in exchange... I plan to make her something nice regardless... she is a dog trainer so I'm thinking maybe a picture frame or two and a set of letters spelling "WOOF" or something along that lines, with paw print design... I go pick up the car tommorrow, and next week will be much fun time spent at the DMV(dept motor vehicles) and such getting registration and whatnots.... Happily, waiting rooms at the DMV provide ample opportunity for sketching and felting :))))

What a wonderful blessing and SUCH AMAZING PEOPLE that do exist out there... I am so incredibly thankful for this little bit of help... It feels like maybe... just maybe there is someone out there looking out for me, and maybe my 10 year streak of catastrophe after catastrophe is finally winding down... :) Here's hoping... and to give a little more back to the universe I'm going to be putting up a few "PIF" TWENTY CENT LISTINGS in each of my shoppes next week... I'll let you all know when I do so you can get'em while they're fresh :)

On Thursdays I teach a writing class to 6-12 grade students.. I wrote a poem during this past one, about my Lennon, that I'd like to share... the title was inspired by his love of trains... he says "train train" instead of "choo choo".. he thinks that is the noise they make, hehe :) Here is the Poem....

"Train Train"

Every time he says it
my heart just turns to smush
like the tiny buggies he "quishies"
between his fingers till its goosh

He likes his uncle's "sickle"
when he revs it it goes vroom
Instead of "mom" he calls me "Key"
says "ah Yah You" when I leave the room

Sometimes he be's a "Peenbutt"
but mostly he's just "Hah-Pee!"
We "wook it cars" and "wook it Fwollers"
and sometimes "wook it trees"

The "toy planes" in the sky
and "ban-yahyahs", "beegles" and "ookies"
oh the wonders of a "Gow-Beech Twuck"
and all that HE's taught ME to see...

Lennon and I had a great time tonight running on the playground for a couple hours...playing "I Get you" and swinging.... Tommorrow morning we are going to a car show that my big brother, Donald, is DJing, later going to pick up my car, and finishing the day at a dance recital for little sis, Addi... The funk is dissolving and tommorrow should be an AWESOME DAY! Perhaps if I am not too spent I shall pop in for a quickie tommorrow evening...

Until then,

Monday, May 4, 2009

bedside, blowflowers, banners, and beads

Ello Ello,
Much to say and not alot of moments of clearheaded-ness this week(end). My grandpa (Nanu) has been in the hospital for the past two months, and this past week we very nearly lost him. Fortunately he pulled through for now, but it's very hard to see him in the shape he is in... At 88 years old I know he has a had a life that many can only hope for, but just the same, it is terrible to see how scared he is. He realizes that his end is near... and that there is nothing that those of us who love him can do about it. I visited him this past Thursday, and when I left I was almost certain that it was the last time I'd ever see him... I wrote this later that day during the writing class I teach.


"I love you", I said as I turned to go. He mouthed it back and puckered his cracked and dry lips... I kissed his old forehead and his mouth and squeezed his gnarled hand. "I'm sorry if I've ever disappointed you" I whispered quietly in his ear. His eyes teared and he shook his head... One last spoon of ice chips and another gentle smoothing of his silvery hair. I took my glove off and laid my hand upon his pale sunken cheek and turned away.

At the door I removed that horrible blue plastic tarp and looked back once more at him... a skeleton of the Nanu who once beat me effortlessly in arm wrestles... though he occasionally let me win. Images flashed of my childhood years, when my brothers and sisters and I would spend nearly all summer every year at their house. For sunrise to after dark we would play and laugh in the pool that he complained about, but lovingly tended to just for us... his grumbling voice and the way he'd shout "Riggio!" at my Nana, and she right back at him in her no nonsense way... Spaghetti and meatballs in the screenhouse: Manja!". The choice words he taught me in Italian when telemarketers would call, and the times when he'd whisper to me that I was his favorite and then wink and squeeze my hand... Or when he would brag about how beautiful and smart his granddaughter was and how I was going to be the first woman in Major League Baseball, and later the first woman President... I thought about all the times I'd failed him... When I crashed his car the day he let me borrow it to take my driving test... when I didn't go to college despite my top ten class status and in spite of his expectations... The summer my boyfriend and I were homeless and lived in his screenhouse.. when I became a single mother at Twenty Five, and when I dreadlocked my hair... I wondered how many other moments I had forgotten....

"I'm sorry for all the times I've disappointed you", I said... "Never" his eyes replied... I said goodbye and I knew it was for good.
4-30-09 K Prue


Not much more I can say on that, other than I hope when his moment comes, it is quick and painless for him, and that if there is a better place on the other side, that he finds it with ease...

In creative terms this weekend was nearly a bust as well... I took my wool and needles with me when I dropped my mom off at the hospital and sat in the car with Lennon sleeping while I felted a dozen or so beads... I am exchanging jewelry for care from my Naturopath, so I worked on some of the beads for her necklace and finished her bracelet (see photos). I also took Lennon to a park near the hospital where I taught him how to help scatter dandelions seeds or as we call them "blowflowers"... He kept picking the yellow or closed ones and blowing super hard trying to get them to scatter as well :) I managed to snap a few really cute photos of him in action....

Yesterday, I designed some new banners for my parents Jewelry shop, (which I operate for them) and some new boxes and avitars for my advertising campaign... and have been surfing the web and networking something fierce! So far so good, I've had a few new followers in just over 24 hours and quite a few new page hits! I also put my time to use in organizing some of my supplies... My beads are now much more accessible (see photos) and I think I may just sit down and try to create some of the designs I've dreamt up (literally) over the past few nights. I really want to clean up my bedroom and workspace/corner of bedroom which is in DIRE need of it (see photos at end of post), but we'll see what Lennon has to say about that... all I know is that I've got to get out of this funk...

I've got so many awesome ideas on things to create that NEVER take shape... My schedule with Lennon that was working like a charm went kaput when we were sick a few weeks ago and I STILL have not gotten back on track! I may have found someone willing to trade me a car for some muralist work and it took me nearly a day to call them back (you'd think I would have jumped immediately..). And I've got a Lawyer I am retaining to represent me for a very bad illness I had last year as a complication of food poisoning... and I've been holding the paperwork for almost a month now instead of just sucking it up and writing the lousy couple paragraphs needed on one page of it. :( FUNK... FUNKY FUNKITY FUNK.... and not the good kind of FUNK. Someone (or I) needs to kick me in the rear-end. Help! :)

One final thought, I'm tossing around the idea of doing some giveaways... any interest? Leave me a comment and help me decide whether or not to do it! :)