Cyndi Lauper

My first exposure to Cyndi Lauper was Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, the 1985 movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt as girlfriends who audition for a television dance competition. As expected, shenanigans ensue and integrity prevails. It’s an 80s feel-good movie, after all, even if it’s not very good. I first saw the movie at Debbie Przykucki’s birthday slumber party. I don’t remember much about the party, but strangely, I remember how to spell Debbie’s last name.

For me, the song by Cyndi Lauper isn’t one of her greatest. Sure, it’s a catchy pop song, but I prefer the sadder True Colors and Time After Time. Besides, I don’t think girls really do just want to have fun. They want wages that are equal to their male counterparts. They want affordable and easy access to contraception. They want to be free from antiquated gender roles. They want to never again hear, “you’d be prettier if you smiled”, from a random guy on the bus.

I know. Not everything has to be a feminist rant. So, I’ll leave you with Cyndi, a bad ass in her own way, adorning a doily with some afternoon tea.

12669453_943424595707486_4870459266777954140_n

The Shining. Again.

12744083_951261091590503_3988783055653386840_n

It might sound strange, but I find The Shining to be an incredibly comforting movie. Maybe I just want to land such a cooshy gig as being the caretaker of a swank hotel in the mountains during off-season. I only know that when I feel wound up, it helps to crawl under a blanket and watch The Shining.

A couple years ago I knitted up a hat series based on this film. In retrospect, I could have made a few dozen hats inspired by the visuals in the Overlook Hotel. Since I tend to enjoy embroidery over knitting these days, I jumped back into it with my needle and an old doily. While many would argue that Jack Nicholson sneering “Here’s Johnny…” through the chopped up door is the most iconic image, I find Shelley Duvall to be much more interesting. In fact, I love this movie in spite of Jack rather than because of him.

I predict I’ll be stitching more scenes from The Shining, even if they don’t prove to be lucrative. A girl’s gotta get her laughs wherever she can, after all. I will try to include characters other than Wendy, although I can’t make any promises.

 

 

Shop Local

Today I will ship my final consignment package, this one to South Milwaukee, completing my whirlwind of getting stitches out to six local shops.

By “local”, I mean shops in Wisconsin that are owned and operated by “locals”. I know we all try our best to do the right thing, but I just wanted to make that clear after seeing “locally owned” on the placard outside of a west side McDonald’s. I also heard that Macy’s will be adding an Etsy section to one of their stores. Does that seem weird to anyone? I think it’s weird. Anyway, if you are out and about, check out some of these fine establishments on my shop local page.

I have inserted a fancy slideshow below, which is sample of what I have spattered across the state. Go get it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

David Bowie

Much like Schneider (RIP, Pat Harrington), I was hashtagging Bowie before he died. But wasn’t everybody? He was the mainstream oddity that everyone could relate to. Although Bowie was on my to-do list since the inception of my little shop, I never went there. How does one capture such color and glitter in black thread?

I received a custom request for an Aladdin Sane hankie a couple of months ago; a gift for a soon-to-be eight year old who shares a birthday with Bowie and Elvis.  I’m thankful for that request. I’m certain I never would have stitched him otherwise, especially after his departure. So, thank you, Betsy and Pete. Your daughter is already cooler than I’ll ever be.

Bowie and Clara

2016 Vision Quest

I always thought I was an introvert, but maybe I’m not?

November was a busy month, which included a trip to New York, two craft shows, and a six-day visit from my bestie. As expected, I learned a lot from the shows. I was most nervous about a) talking to people, and b)having enough stitches. The latter didn’t turn out to be a problem, even though there were a few customers exasperated by the fact that I do not stock 27 pre-made Spock tea towels. The talking, surprisingly, was also not a problem. I quickly realized there are two kinds of shoppers pertaining to my product offerings. One type of shopper will stop, stare, tilt his/her head, frown in confusion and walk on, sometimes with a bit of hostility. The other type will glance, do a double-take, smile, laugh, and eventually engage with me. (I’m choosing to leave out the third type, which is usually a middle-aged male, who stops and points at every stitch on my table, naming the subject and waiting for my affirmation. Once everything is properly identified, he smiles with satisfaction and walks away.)

Stitch Boom Bang Booth

It’s the engaging that surprised me. I didn’t expect to feel such a rush of gratitude when someone “gets” me. I didn’t expect that joyous common ground of nostalgia. It felt warm and fuzzy to see so many of my stitches leave in the hands of appreciative souls. Is this what it’s like to “love what you do”? I still think that is a bullshit motto, but I also recognize that I’m a cynical jackass. Regardless, I might not be as introverted as I thought. I’ll always prefer my couch, my partner, my dog, and a box of wine to a party; however, that might just mean I’m lazy rather than shy.

Taking a look back at my 2015 Vision Quest, I nailed all of my goals. This, my friends, is a lesson in keeping a low bar. If your goals are to expand output and participate locally, then it’s pretty easy to feel like you’ve got the world swinging from your nuts. For 2016, let’s step it up a notch.

  1. More shows! Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago. Applications will be submitted, even if I’m not confident of acceptance.
  2. Local shopping! I’m working to get some stitches available for sale in local shops.
  3. Wide wide world of web! I’m terrible at social media. I have to figure out how to broaden my presence without being annoying.

That’s a pretty short list, now that I look at it in writing. I should add an item about napping more, because I get tired just looking at those three tasks. Again – introverted or lazy? It’s such a fine line.

I end this post with my favorite custom order from the holidays, requested by Dinner is Served 1972 for her mother. As great as this little sampler turned out, it can’t be as great as the recipient for uttering such a truth bomb. Here’s to a kick ass 2016!

Dinner is Served sampler

The New York Times called me up…

12373170_918486778201268_5971122980362046839_n

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole post, here is the link the the article: I AM AWESOME

For those of you who have already seen this on Facebook or Instagram, I apologize. While I find it difficult to toot my own horn, I’d be a moron if I failed to post this in every outlet available to me (although I still don’t understand Twitter).

So, here it is. In today’s Style section of The New York Times, you will find a little article on page 9, right next to a giant Tommy Hilfiger ad. I am quoted as saying “If it’s funny, I’ll do it,” and I think that is my new life mantra. It probably was before, but now that it has been brought to my attention, I will work harder to employ it in every regard.

I also did two local shows here in Madison that I have been meaning to blog about. I’ll get to that after the holidays, because right now I’ll take some time to celebrate how incredibly wonderful, yet lucky, I am.

Until then, enjoy the rest of 2015. Here’s hoping 2016 is great for all of us, because we are all awesome and funny in our own way.

Three’s Company, Mrs. Roper, and a Facebook Giveaway

11224727_10153646714660071_631912074786539554_n

Sometimes I give things away on Facebook. Last week, I offered up a custom handkerchief, and the winner requested “Mrs. Roper. But classy.”

This was the result, and I have to say it is pretty hilarious. She is currently on her way to Georgia, where Justin plans to use her to “wipe his piehole”. Do I have the best Facebook fans or what?

Today’s lesson: Join me on Facebook to get some free stuff.