Ombré Succulent Wreath at The Smudgery

Ombre Succulent Wreath | The Smudgery


After a very thankful Friendsgiving in Brooklyn, I woke up early on Friday morning, but not for the usual reason. In past years I would get to the mall, outlet, or stores sometime around 4 am (or earlier!) to partake in the annual shopping mania we call Black Friday. Even the name is foreboding, but I do love me a good sale. This year, however, with the national discussion centering around police brutality, labor, and the systems that create inequality, I finally put my money where my mouth is and abstained from Black Friday shopping.

I took the energy I would have spent battling crowds, making snap decisions on whether to buy that cheap, functional sweater, or maintaining my calm in the midst of insanity and channeled it into The Smudgery. I taught myself how to pull a beautiful ombré print and finally added a new item to the shop. Check out the colorful process after the jump.

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Why I Craft

Why I Craft | The Amateur Everything

Growing up, I always associated crafts with kid projects. Like the time we made “Chinese lanterns” for Lunar New Year, or painted wooden eggs for Easter. (Sidenote: I painted my egg off-white, in a surprising display of foresight and used it as a prank for April Fool’s day. My mom spent a solid minute or two trying to crack it for breakfast). Art was never a consideration for me, in terms of higher education or a career. I had friends who were good artists, and I was not one of them. I am pretty sure I went through most of my young adult life grinding through books and essays, writing papers and trying to figure out some sort of sensible career. I think I am still pretty lost when it comes to all of these adult-y things (and from my informal research, it doesn’t get much better), but at some point in the process I made a birthday card. I don’t remember who it was for or what it entailed, but for the most part, I drew and colored. It was the middle of finals week and I was procrastinating, but instead of making me feel worse, I felt better after making something that I knew could be enjoyed by another. It grew from there.

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Copper the beagle linocut

This is a linocut print from a few months ago, carved in memory of my beagle, Copper. He was fourteen years old when he passed, and we had been friends since I was eight. Needless to say, we grew up together and it was really hard, and still is, to not have him around anymore. But I think he lived a full, loving life, so that’s some consolation for his absence. He still makes appearances in my dreams.


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Workspacing | The Amateur Everything

Ack, this is so delayed but I finally have a craft workspace set up! No more working on the dining room table! In October I secured a ride to the Brooklyn Ikea and picked up a Linnmon tabletop and some Lerberg trestle legs. The tabletop sits right on top of the legs, which seemed incredibly precarious so I bought a couple of pipe brackets at a hardware store nearby and secured the legs to the tabletop.  I also picked up that great task lamp and the cube storage shelves for all of my thangsssss.

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Link Roundup #6

I’ve been hoarding links, too tired, busy, or distracted to sift through them over the past couple of weeks. I finally forced myself to sit down and go through a few of them, and here is the result. I hope this makes up for the lack of recent posts!

Aparna Nancherla’s Performance on Conan — I’ve been following her on twitter since she joined the writers of W. Kamau Bell’s Totally Biased. Her sense of humor is dry but refreshing, subtle and hilarious. This set is quality. An interesting side note: this performance makes her the first Indian woman to perform a stand up set on late-night television. Also, this aired on Columbus Day. And to bring things full circle, Hari Kondabolu, another writer on Totally Biased, brings us this reminder:

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Link Roundup #5

Sen. Warren on Republicans’ Shutdown Threats — While the shutdown is now a reality, Elizabeth Warren lays down exactly how ridiculous the move is by Republicans.

Thoroughly Modern Mindy Kaling — a solid interview with one of my favorite comedians.

“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting.  Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person.  You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman.  Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”

The ‘Parks & Recreation’ Characters Sure Do Spend a Fuckton on Clothes — When I worked for the government I sure as hell could not have afforded this wardrobe. Unless the outfits profiled were the only things I owned and I never went out for lunch.

Why Do I Poop More When I Have My Period? — So, there’s actually a biological/hormonal correlation! Who knew? I was too embarrassed to ask.

Aaron Becker’s inspiring sketchbook via Design*Sponge

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The Linocut Crafternoon Party

The Linocut Crafternoon Party | The Amateur Everything

My birthday was quickly approaching and there were a lot of things that I wanted. I wanted a real party (or at least a small gathering). I wanted to do something more than just dinner-at-a-restaurant-I’ve-been-meaning-to-try (often with a side of getting embarrassingly drunk at a nice dining establishment). I wanted to give my friends something, too, beyond a sense of obligation to attend, a wicked hangover, and an empty wallet. Recently, I had too many of those days/nights/celebrations and I think we were all starting to feel a little fatigued.

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