You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘homegrown life’ category.

Ah, friends, it’s been a while!  But not without good reason.  As I mentioned here and there I started my first real job since the birth of The Bug about two weeks ago and I’ve been busy busy.  Which is weird, because I’m never busy.  Ever.  Anyway.  The job is the most spectacular, quite possibly tailored by some wonderful deity especially for me, job.  Basically, I sit in a room and warehouse of sorts all day surrounded by boxes of things that crazy people in our community have deemed as junk…which is of course my idea of heaven.  It’s like being at a yard sale…all day, and with really good shit.  What’s even more righteous is that I can bid on the stuff I put up for auction at eBay (so can anyone else in the community) and I get to cancel out all the shipping business that usually restricts me from buying stuff there.  And speaking of the community, they seem to be as equally excited about this eBay finally getting off the ground and doing good for our Good Samaritan Center too.  People have been taking our cards by the dozens and even my boss seems to have a renewed interest and excitement in this job that I have, one that they had a hard time finding someone to do before me.  I walked in the other day and she had went nuts in the office and cleaned it up like none of us had ever seen and now a large part of our back room is devoted solely to what I get to do.  Anyway.

I’m rambling but this is exciting dudes!  Okay, maybe just to me but still.  Some of said excitement stems from these glorious goods I either picked up in the actual store or through eBay this week.  Good stuff, good stuff…

{The woman that brought this in for donation said that her husband had it made for her in the 70s and that he’d paid 150 bucks for it.  I, however, picked it up for 2 quarters.  Score!}

{2 Glasbake casseroles.  Got them both in the eBay store for $1.98.  Again, SCORE!}

{Most of this I picked up while on my way out the door on day this week.  I’ve been keeping my eye out for some vintage Tupperware (we just sold a really righteous bread box on eBay today) and the two plates, from what I can tell, are for the kiddies.  That lip catches their junk and the lid is to keep leftovers.  And that clever little green guy happens to be a pickle container.  There’s a piece inside that you lift out to drain all the pickle juice when grabbing some gherkins.  The Fire King mug is one of two that I won on eBay.  All in all: $3.98.}

I know, all that vintage goodness must have you chomping at the bit. You can check our wares (and bid, bid, BID!) here if you’re interested.

In my minimal amount of spare time I’ve been keeping up with the doodle business and I’m really just trying to get comfortable with it before I get to working on it all in Photoshop and perhaps letting you, the lovely masses, have a go at snatching some prints up for your happy little pads.  I’ve also got about a million and three quarters things to put up in the Vintage Shop but I’ve been blowing that off in favor of lounging with The Bug after a day of work.  Stick around though (if you’re not too busy) and I’ll fill you in when I get around to it…

Ever feel like your brain is really nothing but a weight, not serving any real purpose but to give you bitchin’ neckaches?  Yeah, me too dudes.  I’m scattered, I’m all over the place, and I can’t hold a steady thought…wait, what was I talking about?!  But in the midst of that and dealing with life and breakups and toddlers things are actually going pretty peachy.  Amazing, I know.  I’m grateful for it though people because let’s face it, the alternative is me adopting 12 cats, coating my unseasonal puff paint sweater in cat hair and skipping into the grocery store drenched in feline piss (fun image, eh?).  I wonder if maybe I don’t do better, mood wise and in my head, when my plate just seems too full…

Ah, but speaking of plates, look!

I know you MUST remember the Homer Laughlin Celeste plate I rambled on and on about weeks ago and the other day while thrifting as a remedy to sadness, I found two more plates, that giant bowl, the sugar bowl (sans lid, dammit!), and…wait for it.  WAIT FOR IT!  Those two glasses that I KNOW must go along with the set.  I’ve been researching like a mad woman to find out who might have made them so I can find more but with no luck.  Any clues, my dear friends?

I’ve been filling up the Vintage Shop too kids and let me tell you, the time consuming-ness of it is actually delightful.  Seriously, I get such a thrill from finding something I know someone out there will adore.  Have I mentioned my being a weird ass?  Yeah, there’s that.  Anyway, peruse some of the new and righteous goods…

{Vintage LeeWards Four Seasons Paint by Number Kit.  Even has the paints man!}

{Dyn-O-Mite Glasbake Mugs, bitches!}

{Fire King mug & saucer that was actually reasonably priced at this totally pretentious antique store near me.}

{Some pretty righteous hand embroidered pillowcases that I know someone’s Granny spent hours working on.}

All that and more in the Vintage Shop…PLUS!  A while back someone started cleaning out this house up the street from me that had been empty for years.  The woman died at least 5 years back and the stuff had just been left sitting but apparently the house had been sold and is now being remodeled.  Anyway, the were just throwing the old woman’s cherished treasures by the roadside (so sad!) and I scored hardcore.  There was a bag of vintage dresses (I’ve still got about 10 that need to be photographed and added to The Shop), a giant set of blue Kimberly Fire King mugs and other various vintage mugs, and couches man!  These two old couches, all decked out in velvety damask goodness…too bad they’d been out there for days and had been rained on and ripped up by evil Satan dogs otherwise I’d have grabbed them.  So I grabbed what I could and from a stack of musty smelling books, I snatched up a vintage Singer Sewing Book from 1954, a McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft (from the 70s I think), and this…

This book, Billy Baldwin Decorates.  Apparently this fellow was some big wig interior designer in the 60s and 70s, even decking out Cole Porter’s Hollywood Hills home.  Anyway, it’s been sitting on the coffee table for months now and turns out, with a little eBay research, that sucker is valuable!  Like, worth 100 bucks or so.  Holy shit people, I know right?!

So that’s that for the thrift portion of today’s blog.  In other news, one of my sister’s good friend’s mother died the other day and she wanted to get her something that she could keep longer than a big, non-smelling bouquet.  She picked up a picture from Jessica, framed it, and I added some fontage to make it pretty and personal.

Turned out cool, methinks, though my ol’ Pops couldn’t decipher what was written.  Anyway kids, until next time (let’s all hope that’s sooner rather than later), keep on truckin’.  I’ll be doing the same :).

I was born with a cynical heart, that much is true, but this week has been taxing.  This week and last weekend, which was absolutely the weirdest of my life.  Well, aside from that weekend I crapped a human being out of my body, that was a little surreal.  But these past seven days haven’t been surreal so much as they’ve just been shit.  I’m coping and I know that in time things will certainly get better but that’s just a small consolation while in the throes of readjusting my life.  I’ve learned that sometimes people can fix horrible wrongs…and that maybe they actually will, much to the benefit of their little boys.  At the same time, love can be the total shits.  Counting on someone to be there inevitably means that one day they just won’t.  That I should have seen coming I suppose.  It’s just science I guess.  Or odds.  Or some shit like that…

I know I’m being vague but my gigantic mouth prevented me from not saying something about the goings-on on this here blog.  Life never goes exactly how you want it to and that’s just a dumb expectation.  But when it falls apart, even worse when it falls apart when you least expect it to or when you need it not to the most, it’s devastating.  But it’s also a chance for reevaluation.  Was it worth it?  Of course it was, it always is.  But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck ass, right?  It’s just life man.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that things aren’t going to magically revert back to the way that they were and that the way that things were wasn’t nearly as awesome as I thought it to be.  But it’s not all bad, you know.  Good things shall come of this I bet.

In the meantime, expect more doodles that are the exact opposite of the LOVE’s you’ve been seeing for months.  It’s called ‘coping’ scientist.  Look it up in your Psychology textbook :)…

Sometimes, kids are weird little people. And of course, by sometimes I mean…well, ALL THE TIME. The Bug lives in a mixed up world, from my grown-up perspective. It’s a world where wiping your ass and doing your best to not dribble pee all over your clean underwear is just not a priority. A world in which eating sour cream as the main course for lunch is not only okay, it’s preferred. A weird weird world that tells him the living room floor is a trash can, the city pool is a toilet, and that vomiting (sour cream) on his bed is acceptable. All of this is why I’m so hesitate to take the little man out and about into the real world in which I live, where we grown ups understand that whipping out your peter (as he affectionately calls it) in the soup aisle at the grocery store is not going to help you make friends.

Despite this fear of being mortified in public my best friend and I have been taking The Bug out and about for the past few weekends. I won’t lie, it’s hard work. Convincing my kid that live, real, in the flesh, breathing elephants and monkeys and seals at the zoo are cooler than a $4 Pepsi is a losing battle. Should have seen that coming I suppose (but seriously readers, when is a fucking hippo TOTALLY IN YOUR FACE MAN! not cool as hell?!).

Overall the zoo was a bust. Not a total bust mind you, he did get to see all those animals he’s only thus far looked upon as drawn characters on PBS, but it was rough. There was the heat and the gajillllllllllion and a quarter people that decided that very day must have been the best ever to visit the zoo. There was me being totally annoyed that he did not seem to give a shit about the aardvark when we just drove two hours so that he could. Essentially, there was me being a grown up. And I think, as I look back on it now that maybe I was ruining it, instead of The Bug.

Before the zoo trip was yet another trip to one of our State Parks. Again, with the heat/humidity straight from the corridors of Hell, Midwest! I’m not sure we can be friends anymore, central US. Anyway, the trip was nice, just a short drive from home but if I remember correctly I chastised him in the Nature Museum for prodding a topographic map of the Park and on the way home it’s likely that we argued about going to Taco Bell instead of the awe-inspiring gloriousness that is McDonald’s to a kid. Again, me with the adult bullshit.

I remember all these outings and how taxing they were but when we get home and I really mull over what we did that day, I realize that the kid needs slack. Know why? He’s a kid! He doesn’t give a shit about the outrageous cost of admission, the ungodly heat index, or the fact that someone’s got to make dinner, clean, do 7 loads of laundry, and finally clean up sour cream vomit in his room when we get home, all while trying to find the motivation to put together some new bags and make a living.

I’ve been having trouble with inspiration lately. Trouble actually meaning the total inability to give much of a shit about anything but all this grown up junk clogging my brain. I feel like it’s totally possible I’m missing out on things with The Bug and just life in general and that if diagnosed with a debilitating mental disorder tomorrow (um, this is possible I think) that rendered me unable to enjoy anything at all, I’d hate myself because I wasted all this goodness. I’ve often commented that my brain just doesn’t work, that it’s nothing but 8 pounds (thank you little fellow from Jerry McGuire for that tidbit that has stuck with me for umpteen years) of heaviness giving me a neck ache for no good reason because it’s not helpful at all in my life. I’ve heard of Mommy Brain or Mommy Amnesia or whatever stupid phrase they’re calling it these days, which basically says that when you have a kid you lose, on average, 7 IQ points (look it up, scientist) and that your brain is just never the same. Yeah, thanks for that. Just what I needed. But that surely isn’t the cause for spells like this, those that make me see the beauty in fewer and fewer things and that tells me that making sure all the dishes are done is more important than catching The Bug in the act of literally talking out of his anus so that I may laugh hysterically for half an hour (at least). I feel grown up man, and that’s a bummer.

This isn’t meant to be a downer post, quite the opposite actually. Part of my reluctance to give up on this indie business that I run (aside from the amazing support I’m lucky enough to get from my friends and family) is because I don’t want a real job as society defines it. That’s grown up and it feels frighteningly final to me.

To the point: I’m too grown up lately. Farts are no longer funny. A blow up pool in the front yard is no longer the best thing that’s happened all damn week, for the moment. And this has to be effecting my inspiration, which is inevitably linked to my motivation and output. But this is surely an easy to remedy issue, and that’s comforting. Instead of spending so much time being grown up and annoyed that I have no desire to make anything, I should focus on…farts.

In conjunction with this post, I offer an apology. This is a craft blog of sorts and that content hasn’t been here for a while, if there was content here at all. I should be cranking out tutorials and projects and other random cool shit man, but I’m not. So to my seven readers, I hope you’re still here. I’ve publicly acknowledged my lameness and you can expect it remedied post haste. The only thing on the agenda today is a swim in the pool out front, a couple wrestling matches in the living room, and lots of just staring at my kid while he spins circles aimlessly. Because that shit is funny. And funny is always inspiring…

Story of my life folks, story of my life.  Today I really should have mowed the backyard.  The outrageousness back there has reached brush hoggin’ proportions but i just can’t bring myself to cut down all these, the wildflowers that are currently making it look like a fairy tale back there…

**

This morning I should have been cleaning the house and finishing the embroidery and two pillows I started for the new couch (we’ll check in on that vintage awesomeness later, by the way), but instead we went a yard salin’.  It was there that I picked up these…

It’s Taylor, Smith, & Taylor – Taylor Ironstone.  Even with that extra little tidbit there I still can’t find the pattern online.  And also, I got it for free.  Yeah, free.  It’s not really my style but did I mention it was…um, free?!

This however, THIS MY FRIENDS HOLY GOD DO YOU SEE THAT?!, is totally my style.  And whopty-do, it’s Franciscan!  A Franciscan Earthenware platter, to be exact, from 1973.  This was not free but it also did not cost me what it would have on eBay or in a antique market, because it wasn’t anything close to 30 bucks.  In fact, it was a big fat dollar.  God, I’m awesome…

**

The Bug should have been taking a nap roundabouts noon…but instead he was fishing with my significant other, leaving me almost an hour by myself to do nothing.  But I did that nothing in peace.  Sweet Jesus it was quiet…and awesome.  You can never fully appreciate simple quiet, I think, until you’ve parented singly.  This is the fruit of his labors…

He actually caught more than one but the man was nice enough to not bring ALL of them home.  This little sucker is now apparently moving into the front yard.  And he brought his own bucket!  How nice of him :).

**

In other good, rather awesome news that has nothing to do with me blowing off an entire Friday, my nice neighbor lady (who dammit! deserves a name — it’s Jessica for future reference) brought up this awesome owl as a gift and later returned with this mushroom necklace that her husband just started hand-carving from found deer horns…

See, awesome, just like I said.  You can find your very own mushroom necklace here and while we’re on that subject, you should totally check out these too…

{Chain Saw Carved Mushroom, $15}

More coolness, right?!  Her full shop here is full of even more vintage loveliness (check out that orange vintage iron).

Two things real quick…

1. I opened a vintage shop.  And by ‘I opened’ I mean my bitchin’ Moms opened but whatever.  Pop in Homegrown Vintage next time you’re bored out of your gourd.

2. I have to say this and I have to say it in all caps, FUCK CAILLOU!  You know, that kids cartoon about the small child who is still weirdly bald despite the fact that he’s like fucking 8 (his parents should totally get that checked out man)?!  Yeah, that kid.  He’s whiny, borderline retarded (at least), his cat sucks, AND he’s on PBS which means that we must watch it.  And keep in mind people, that I’m telling Caillou to suck goat nuts despite the fact that it’s one of the few cartoons that will actually get The Bug in a chair.  For more than 8 seconds!  Plus, I think Caillou’s neighbor, Mr. Hinkel, is totally a pedophile.  And his dad is a felon.  And his mom works the corner of 8th and Main on Friday nights to make ends meet.  Here, observe:

Alright, that’s not PARTICULARLY annoying but this is not a show parents should be in the room for while their kids watch it intently, lest we all plan out a mass suicide.  And if that happens (please Jesus, put me out of my misery!) I’m taking that weird cat with the blue spots with me…

Sometimes it’s tough being me.  And most of the time, it’s even harder being me and attempting to run a blog alongside my business.  I’m vulgar.  Really vulgar.   I don’t share the same delicate sensibilities that most successful bloggers (with the exception of course, of Dooce) have, what with all my cursing and inappropriate stories about my child and occasional photos of myself drinking heavily and hanging in a kiddie pool.  My great-granny, while alive, was embarrassed by me even though she loved my ass (I think).  My parents spend most of the time while we’re hanging thinking about how their lives might be different had they raised a proper girl.  My dad tells me to shut up 27 times a day while trying not to laugh at the disgusting questions I constantly ask him (“Hey Dad, do you want to know what an Abe Lincoln is?”).  But I like myself and as we’ve discussed, I like the word fuck.  Anyway, my point is unless you’re running a sex blog the way I talk in real life is certainly not appropriate for what I try to accomplish with this blog.  I’m constantly struggling with whether or not it’s okay to actually publish my thoughts on blow jobs in exchange for some housework done by my significant other (don’t tell him I just said that, DEAR GOD HE WOULD SHAT HIMSELF) or some of the hilarious things I tell The Bug just because he’s three and still has no idea what I’m talking about unless it’s in reference to trains or cheese.  I am unconventional which could be a problem in the sticks where I live and out here in the blogosphere – did I mention how astonished I was that Holly even mentioned my bio because holy shit, I went back and read that and why in God’s name was I talking about binge drinking and accidental pregnancies?!

Anyway, my point is through all the proper and lovely blogs I read, I’ve never really met anyone like myself that was able to pull off talking about design and craft while still talking about how you constantly make your small child thrust his hips back and forth suggestively while dancing because dammit, he’s only three AND THAT IS SERIOUSLY FUNNY.  (Sidenote: Sesame Street is now airing The Ball Show.  The Ball Show DUDES!)  That is until this morning when More Ways to Waste Time alerted me to the total awesomeness that is Reclaiming Miss Havisham.  There’s cursing (“fantastic bitches”), sarcasm, beer, AND CRAFTS!  I’m in loveI feel like I’ve found my soul mate people.

In other news, today I’m gonna make a serious effort to get over myself and come to terms with blog vulgarity.  I’m going to resolve to talk about the fact that yesterday I cleaned up The Bug’s room for the first time in 3 months and found poop (note to readers: DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN UNLESS YOU’RE REALLY INTO SHIT).  Then I’m gonna call my dad and ask if he wants to know what a Rusty Trombone is (another note: DO NOT google that people).

It’s Mother’s Day, the one day a year I can make The Bug give hugs every 8 seconds (one day HE WILL GROW UP PEOPLE! and his long eyelashes will no longer get him off the hook, and then I’ll be bailing him out of jail and attending therapy with him, which I’ll most likely have to fund)  because morally, it’s the right thing for him to do.  This is the one day a year I can expect unabashed respect and that he will not eat my deodorant if I let him go to the bathroom alone.  Today, friends, is supposed to be all about me.

But I can’t but feeling that it’s all about my kid.  Without him, I wouldn’t be…well, me, today.  I’d most likely be that old girl who, yes, was tons of fun, but wasn’t really happy with herself.  I wouldn’t ever know the joy of dancing around at noon, with someone who loves you NO MATTER WHAT, forever and always, regardless of how badly I might fuck him up.  Without him, I wouldn’t know so much about trains and cheese and poop, and there’s no bigger tragedy than that, really.  He’s taught me so much about myself and I cannot thank him enough.  He’s a cool dude.

Yesterday, The Bug (i.e. my mother) gave me my Mother’s Day gift.  It’s an awesome mid century modern credenza, exactly what I’ve been looking for since the day I was born (by the way, to my own mother, thanks for birthing me and all!).  Of course, he didn’t fund the purchase, what with him being too young to work (but when he hits seven man, it’s off to the saw mills), but he was very proud of himself for getting me something that made me happy and I was so stoked that even though he doesn’t get the meaning of today, he smiles too just because he saw me do it…

This morning a funny thing happened, something that all at once showed me how absolutely absurd and rewarding and often times hilarious it is to be a parent.  Jude woke later than I and I heard him stirring.  I figured it was only a matter of minutes before he came running in, full speed, requesting a wide array of the usual things he wants just after the sun has come up – band aids for his funny bone, pickles and lemonade for breakfast, or maybe a round trip ticket to the North Pole.  You know, normal toddler fare.  But instead he screamed to me in the other room, “Mommy!  MOM!  It’s gonna be okay, don’t be scared.”  I sat for a second, wondering what in the hell this little thing that I can’t believe is made from any part of me (not because we’re not alike, but because he is so much more spectacular than me) was going to say next.  More screaming from his room.  “Mom!  Don’t be scared of that monkey!”  Don’t ask, I don’t know.  Apparently, there’s a monkey living in some far off jungle that wishes to do me bodily harm…but The Bug wanted me to know that it would be alright.  I think he meant to say that regardless of what happens, that even if primitive creatures venture here all the way from a foreign rainforest to rip me apart limb by limb, that he’ll still love me.  At least that’s how I, still amazingly and happily in awe of the fact that I am one of those people who is thought about on this day of the year, chose to take it.  He probably just meant to tell me that Curious George is a nice guy or even that the guy in the yellow hat would make a nice daddy, but it’s Mother’s Day and shit man, I’ll take whatever I can get…

Motherhood is not easy, especially when one is going it alone.  I worry everyday that even though I’m one of the lucky ones who manages to live NEXT DOOR to the crackhouse instead of in it, who somehow puts food on the table every night despite my inability to cook (we eat a lot of spaghetti), and who doesn’t have to stick her kid in some hellhole of a daycare while I spend the day worrying about whether or not he’s shit himself and is being tended to properly, that I’m messing him up.  It can’t be easy, stuck in a house with me all day.  It’s certainly not easy being stuck in the house with him all day.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way, you know?  He’s mine and somehow he’s managed to pull off being absolutely perfect despite me.  Of course, I worry that he’s not getting enough Vitamin C, that I probably shouldn’t have let him eat that dirt for lunch (worms and all), or that I should have wiped his ass more throughly after his daily poop because he’ll probably get worms now, for sure.  I worry that he’s picked up my annoying habit of TALKING ALL THE TIME and that he’ll never make friends because most of the ones he has now are my age.  But honestly, I think he’s okay.  And if he’s not, it’s fine, I’ve already started putting money back for his therapy later in life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you blessed with children out there.  Here’s to hoping that they shut up for 18 seconds today so you can throughly enjoy their presence in your life.  And if they won’t – The Bug never does, says his “mouth is full of words!” – duct tape it up.  It’s Mother’s Day for God’s sake, no one will fault you tomorrow.

I’ve spent the past few days obsessing over embroidery and hand drawn type.  Now I’ve got a serious neck ache…

{Ahhh, love!}

{L, l, and tons more l…}

**

In The Shop tomorrow…

**

**

More tomorrow…

Yesterday.  Searching for wildflowers to transplant in the woods behind my parent’s house (these woods, despite the fact that they live in the middle of our little town).  My mom and The Bug exploring…

{There’s a creek back there. that I, somehow, wasn’t aware of.  The beavers have built a tiny little dam and the deer ran off when they heard us coming.  Lovely…}

{Just as lovely is my parent’s backyard.  The entrance to the woods behind the house almost looks like a fairytale to me…}

{Up on the old garage…}

{Mom’s green thumb rouses in me the want to create a gorgeous yard at our house even though we rent.  I’m on it lately, planting wildflowers, venturing out to our local nursery (stocked by the Amish, no less), and mowing my heart out…}

**

Work today despite the fact that the nice weather outside is beckoning me.  More tomorrow.  And as a side, I’m extending that 20% off offer in The Shop for the next two days.  Go forth and take advantage…

{i am sam. i make things.}

This is where I detail the goods I make as I'm making them, the music I'm listening to as I discover it, and the inspiration that I stumble upon when I'm in need of it.
email :: homegrownandthebug [at] gmail [dot] com