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…


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.

Little Houses


I’ve got this neighbor named Ben. He was the inspiration for my RELAX post. (If you want to see him in a half-shirt and short shorts, I highly recommend clicking on the link.) He’s a realtor, and when I opened my shop a little over a year ago, he began commissioning custom tea towels for his buyers, depicting a stitched version of their new home. It’s a clever gift, and as he claims, “it’s better than a ficus”. I should probably adopt that as my motto.

The great thing about these projects is that most of these houses are in my neighborhood. Often when I’m out walking my dog I’ll point to a home and say, “I’ve stitched that.” I also cannot help but look at architecture differently now, seeing buildings in stitches rather than brick and mortar. Although I love stitching all of the pop culture icons of my particular fancy, stitching these houses for Ben has taught me more about lines and perspective than any of the portraits I’ve done.

So here’s a shout out to Ben, for supporting my silly shop, and for broadening my stitching horizons. To get your own, all you have to do is buy a house from him. Madisonians can give him a shout at He’s pretty important and has an entire website named after him.

With that said, I also want to mention I will be participating in TWO shows in November. I’ll post more info as the dates approach, but for now, you can follow the events here:

The Crafty Fair – November 15th at the Goodman Center

Craftacular – November 28th at the Masonic Center

There will be tons of crafty shit at both shows, so mark your calendar if you happen to be in the area.

The Simpsons

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I hope there is someone out there who really, really loves The Simpsons because I will only allow this son of a bitch to go to the most loving of homes. Why? Because it took me damn near forever to complete. In stitching terms, that is probably only a few months, but when we are talking hours invested, I can’t even think about it or I’ll faint.

The tablecloth was found in a thrift store, like all of my accoutrements. The lace edge and sunshine yellow called my name, screamed my name, and I was truly giddy taking it home. I first envisioned stitching Yellow Submarine on this gem. When The Simpsons also came to mind, I went with the franchise I felt was less likely to sue me. In the end, I know I made the right decision and I enjoyed every little stitch of this project. I typically require much faster gratification, and I’m not quite sure why I didn’t abandon this midway, as I tend to do when thousands of stitches are involved (refer to the Iron Maiden post, for example).

I spoke to my hat model about giving this away on my Facebook page. His shook his head at me as if to say, Oh, you silly, silly chump, and told me to post the hell out of it on my Etsy. Copyright infringement, be damned! So, that’s what I did. If you’ve got a large budget for needless nonsense, check out the listing! If not, feel free to congratulate me instead.

Dolly Parton

Sometimes I receive a custom order on Etsy, and I get pissed because I didn’t think of it first. A few weeks ago someone requested a Dolly Parton tea towel, and as usual, I got completely carried away and created an entire retrospective. Luckily, this led to the requester ordering more stuff, but that’s not really the point. The point is she thought of something awesome before I did.

Anyway, the Dolly tea towel turned into a set of Dolly napkins. This is one of those projects that fell into place so easily that it worried me. I was quickly mesmerized by Dolly’s huge rack, and I just happened to have the perfect blue and white flowery vintage napkins. See? Kismet.

Dolly napkins

Don’t these lovelies make you want to slap your knee and give a big “yee haw, y’all”? Well, they are long gone, shipped off to the east coast to a woman I don’t know but I’ll always slightly resent. To stitch out my anger, much in the same way Ren dances out his anger in Footloose, I immediately made another Dolly set, this time on some vintage placemats.

Dolly placematsNow. Don’t we all feel better?

PS. Rhinestone, my favorite Dolly Parton film, is so bad I can only allow myself to watch it once a year. However, if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. Sylvester Stallone is also in it. They sing together. It’s a country music train wreck. You’ll love it.




A few weeks ago, someone on Facebook asked me to remove one of my posts that included a reference to Dicks by Mail, a site that will send a bag of candy gummi dicks to anyone you choose, anonymously, for a mere 15 bucks. I felt is was my duty to inform my half-dozen Facebook fans of this service because a) it’s fucking funny, and b) I would LOVE to get a bag of dicks in the mail (hint hint).

Now I am having a sale in my Etsy shop using the coupon code DICKWEED because a) it’s fucking funny, and b) I laugh just thinking of someone out there typing “DICKWEED” during their check out in my shop.

There you have it. I am a simple person, with simple pleasures. Go take a look at the shop. Type in “DICKWEED”. It will make your day.

Facebook Give-away

space invaders giveawayHey, Nerds. I’m giving away this sweet Space Invaders beanie because it’s two degrees here today and I’m trying not to let this winter crush my soul. Head on over to Facebook to enter. This is hand-dyed yarn, people! Courtesy of Malon’s Shop.