I'm glad to see that there are many of you who are still kicking around. Especially the ones who have been here for almost a decade (or more!) like I have. That's pretty amazing.
So, there is this video lingering around on our local cable providers channel, and guess who's ugly mug it is? MINNNE.
It's a little look behind the scenes of Monster Kookies in Episode 3 of Collectors & Collectibles. Take a looksie and let me know what you think. Damn does that camera ever add a gazillion pounds. I kid, I kid... it's really all those cupcakes and tacos, not gonna lie.
Maybe I need to exercise those sculpting fingers. Aw well.
I HAVE been working on a MechOwlie - his name is Dev, actually. Dev hasn't made it to the oven yet, though. I tried to take a photo of him with my cell phone - a WIP - but it made him look squished and contorted. And remember that MechOwlie I mentioned that I was working on after a long sculpting hiatus? The one that fell in the oven and got all messed up? He makes a feature in the video above.
Polymer clay is NOT forgiving AFTER baking. Your mistakes will be preserved forever. You know what they say - you can't polish a turd.
Anyways, I'm gonna go back to listening the 1989 Batman OST by Danny Elfman. Because it's fucking amazing. UP THE CATHEDRAL? YES.
Love and cupcakes, guys. <3
Long time, no write. I do check DA once in awhile, though - it's just one of those sites that I can't abandon completely, even though I haven't been up to much sculpting these days.
That's the artists life, though (if you can call me that, I've always struggled with that term). Sometimes the motivation and inspiration leaves you. In my case, it's been almost a year since I last sculpted something. It doesn't help that I am the kind of person that I am. I'll spare you the story of my life, and just tell you that inspiration and motivation often elude me.
I always have to be doing something. And if I'm not sculpting, well, I better figure out something else to do. Something productive and creative. I've always loved cooking and baking - in fact, I went to college for it. I figured I might as well turn it into something that'll keep the bills paid. So that's what I've been up to. It's still artsy, just a different medium.
Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate... that's what I've been up to. It's been interesting. I've done a lot of markets and even some weddings. It's not as creative as sculpting, but it's like building with Lego, and I like Lego.
My sculpting studio sits vacant and cold, though. I went in there a few months ago to tidy it up, hoping that by cleaning it I might re-ignite a little spark, and it felt like it might happen. I even finished a sculpture that I had started a long time ago. It decided to fall over in the oven and as a result it is a permanently hardened mistake - completely squished on the one side. That little shred of inspiration - gone, right out the window. Aw well. I guess it just wasn't meant to work out the way I wanted it to.
I've also got myself not one but two serial copy cats - one who copied my work for years and then fell off the face of the Earth only to come back and do it all over again, and then another one who just recently started. Pretty much all of the stuff I've made has been copied. The only way I could deal with it is with a great amount of time and money - both of which I don't have, and I just can't be bothered to give a crap about it do anything about it anymore, anyways. People can be real scum, that's just the way of it. I haven't made anything recently, so they'll have to go back and copy the things they forgot to copy the first time around, I guess.
In the past while I've lost two people in my life that were important to me. Everybody dies, that's just the way of it. Doesn't change the fact that it can be a real bitch, though. One of them was very unexpected, and the other was sick, then better, then sick, then better, then boom - sick and gone. Death is a real messed up thing - they are there, then they aren't, and it doesn't feel real. Until you need to talk to them or see something that reminds you of them, then it's real again and again.
I didn't plan on writing this much, but there ya go. I'm still alive.
Don't get me wrong - most people are great! But I would much rather be behind the scenes doing what I do best.
Did I tell you that I started a YouTube channel? People have been telling me for YEARS to start a YouTube channel but I didn't really give it much thought until now. I think I have about ten videos over the past month and a half or so, so you should check me out!
Monster Kookies on YouTube: click here
ALSO, I am having an awesome contest on my Facebook page! SO ARTISTS, I know a lot of you aren't on Facebook, but you can still view the contest even if you don't have an FB account. BUT you can send me your entries through DA, as well! Just NOTE me. Here are the rules:
THE MK STEAMPUNKIFIED CONTEST
Do you guys like to draw? Well, I am holding a contest in which you will draw me a steampunk/industrialized animal or object - anything you want. One per person, please. Then, you send me a message through the Monster Kookies FB page and attach the drawing you made. I will add these drawings to a special album here on FB, and on DECEMBER 1st, I will be choosing a winner. What does the winner get? Their drawing will come to life as a one-of-a-kind Monster Kookies figurine.
SO SPREAD THE WORD. SHARE! And get drawing - contest entries will be accepted until November 31st, 11:59pm ET. Make sure to sign the photo, of course. Send me your best!
MK Steampunkified Contest Entries: click here
IF YOU GUYS COULD SHARE THIS ENTRY WITH FELLOW DEVIANTS, that would be awesome! I'm trying to create a HUGE collection of drawings! Even if your drawing isn't absolutely amazing, it is the CONCEPT that is most important. <3
AND FINALLY... I am trying to collect points to get a new DA subscription. I really miss mine, and haven't had one for over a year, now. If you'd like to donate points, you can do it here: click here
I am really excited about doing some new sculptures - I've been playing around the copper colours and that lovely green oxidized patina colour. I should have a new mechanical bird in that style up in my Etsy Shop very soon. After that, a MechOwlie in that style will follow. I can't make these MechOwlies quick enough. I've got a bit of a waiting list for them, at the moment...
I've also got a bake sale coming up. I'll be making sweet treats for our local Maker's Market. There was a serious gap for markets during the "off-season" so a fellow foodie came up with the Maker's Market. I will be representing the Sweethart Baking Experiment, which is basically my FB page where I share all my baking. I've always got a lot on my plate, apparently... keeping busy keeps me sane. I'm sure many of you can identify with that! Be good, guys. <3
Thanks for your comments on my last entry - it was nice to see that some of you are still hanging around here. I still feel relatively the same since my last entry...
I've got one day left until two weeks of full-time madness at my 'real job'. I generally work there part time (I sculpt in my studio the other half of the time). I get to be stuck on my own for those two weeks when it's realistically a two person job (if you want anything to really get done). Should be interesting - that's all I really gotta say about it. But I have a feeling that I may be throwing in the towel soon thereafter. It's just not for me, anymore. I wake up and dread every single day of it, and there comes a point where you gotta say 'enough is enough' and walk away, despite how bad people will make you feel about your decision.
Something interesting happened lately, though - a piece of my work, notably Oliver the Mechanical Birdie...
He underwent a little bit of a colour change, courtesy of Photoshop, and was used on the cover of a French version of Haruki Murakami's "Wind-Up Bird Chronicle".
That's pretty exciting, methinks. I've never had anything of mine on a cover before, so it's definitely a new milestone, for sure.
I haven't been sculpting as much, lately, but I figured that if I am not being constructive in that manner that I should be using this know-how to show others how I do what I do. So I started a youtube channel.
Monster Kookies on YouTube: TheMonsterKookies
I realize that most of you can't really put a voice or a face to my name - now you can. Lucky you. Hahahah.
Anyways, check me out, like, subscribe, all that youtube-y stuff.
My partner in crime, Jason, also has a YouTube channel. Mostly about gaming and off-roading. He's been heavy into the Space Engineers and StarForge games, lately, so check him out too if you're into that stuff:
Jason on YouTube: BoNeS487
Anyways, I don't have much more to say... it's been cold here, very Autumn-like weather, and it's been lovely and gloomy. I'm diggin' it.
Lots has went on in the life of Kookie. I've got a list of sculptures that I am working on at the moment. Most of them from prior commitments and prizes for contests. But after this, I am taking a break from the sculpting world and playing around with other mediums. I've been dabbling in painting bones and other objects, henna, and yarn painting. None of it will probably ever be as exciting as the polymer clay that I have been using for the last six or seven years, but... I don't think anything will be.
It's hard having potential locked inside of a brain that lacks any luster or motivation. I am reminded of this almost every single day. I heard it today at work from a stranger that had been talking to my boss (apparently I am a topic of conversation) - "You're so talented! You just need to... let it out, you know?". It kills me to hear this. It kills me to hear how people think I am this incredibly talented person, yet I've been struggling to make ends meet for my entire young adult life. I've never made more than minimum wage - employers love to tell you how much potential you have, pay you in peanuts, and bleed your creativity dry. They love people with no self-esteem, because they know that you'll do anything to prove yourself. And when it comes to being a self-employed artist, well - the saying "starving artist" exists for a reason. I've been struggling. When people tell me how much I need to break out of my shell and do MORE, it hurts. Because I can't.
I'm down to sculpting only once a week or two. I barely meet deadlines. And that is why I stopped taking commissions, really - it's because I just can't do it anymore. I've been miserable since I was a teenager, and that probably won't ever change. When I first started sculpting, it was a release, but after years of taking commissions and trying to make a living out of it, I feel as if I have been sucked dry. But in a way, I feel a little relief because I feel like pieces of me - pieces of a former different self - are scattered throughout the globe. People own past glimpses of my happiness. They hold it in their hands, and that brings me a little peace.
Creating things in my own time without the deadlines is another story. They may not sell as well as commissions do (people like control in the designs of things), but I enjoy it a lot more, which is what I have settled on. And I am content with that. I can live with that.
I've learned to live with this constant melancholy - some days it is even bearable - those are the days I can create something, but most of the time I am just neutral, which can go either way for creating something out of it. It's the down and out days that I can't create anything.
I sometimes find it impossible to get excited about anything. It's a struggle. In a way, I miss being a teenager - the turbulence and the life-or-death reaction to everything. Feeling everything so deeply that you felt it in your bones. Hacking at myself and feeling that adrenaline rush, then immediately regretting it. Some of those scars are ten years old, now...
Now, I am a dull and lifeless twenty-seven year old that barely feels nothing at all.
I don't really talk to anyone, and can go weeks without talking to a friend or an acquaintance. When I go out, I generally go out myself or with my partner of five years, who is realistically the only person that I can stand for long periods of time. That, and my Mother whom I visit once a week to hang out and do crafty things or watch old movies. I wouldn't dare say any of this to Facebook land, where my friends and family and acquaintances and co-workers are. DA, regardless of the fact that it has become very baron, is still my home, and it is full of people that I would rather talk to. And I haven't even met you or seen your faces. But I think it's easier that way. Sometimes it's easier to think and type and backspace than talk and think only to say stupid things.
Anyways, that's enough for now. Sorry for reality...
Current listening: Dead Can Dance's "Spleen & Ideal" album.
As I always seem to start my journal entries: It's been awhile!
Things have definitely changed a lot in the past six months, that's for sure. I ended up moving to a new apartment, got a new studio, and things changed quite drastically. I got a part-time job outside my home to stop me from being such a hermit and it's been very nice. I enjoy my job a lot and I am usually working about five hours a day, five days a week. I'm just glad to be out of the house and I have learned a lot more about being social.
Any job I have ever had I have always been "behind the scenes", so to speak. Most of my jobs have been in kitchens, so you never really have to talk to anyone besides your co-workers or boss. This job is a little bit of both, actually - making chocolate, treats, and working on orders in the back and then making hot and cold beverages, scooping icecream, using the cash register, and chatting with customers in the front. And even though I deal with a lot of people on a regular basis through Monster Kookies and Blackmaille, it's almost always behind a computer screen. With the exception of conventions, of course.
Aside from work outside the home, work inside the home - Monster Kookies and Blackmaille, are getting a little more busy as well. I'm a lot less stressed out now that I have stopped taking custom orders and can concentrate more on what ideas I may have that day. I can come home and work on a project idea that I had earlier that day and not have to worry about creating it to someone elses expectations or in a specific timeframe. It's just my specifications and my time. On the downside, when you don't have a deadline, it often leads to procrastination. I've had a few projects that I am *just* getting around to listing that I have been working on, off and on, for the past four months. Take a looksie!
For the plain and simple reason that I am not home all day like I used to be and just don't have the time needed to concentrate on other people's ideas in a timely manner (people often have a specific deadline such as a birthday or holiday), I don't plan on re-opening custom orders anytime soon.
Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy a good semi-custom order, which is why I have still been offering MechOwlies every so often. The customer gets to choose the colour theme, which still allows me a lot of creative freedom with the final design as that part is determined by me. I've gotten into a good pace, as well. As I sell one and finish/ship it, I will list another one shortly after. That way, I can concentrate on one at a time and give it my full attention until it is finished before I begin to think of the next one.
Everything in my shop is already made and ready to be shipped, aside from my Pokehearts and Companion Hearts because they are my biggest seller and I am always making them. I enjoy making them, as they are rather simple in design but rather meticulous and easy to screw up if you aren't paying attention. I enjoy little things like that - they keep my mind busy.
Speaking of keeping my mind busy, I've been working on some chainmaille, too...
Do you guys remember the bunnehs I made a long time ago? Five of them in five different styles. Ninnles, Mischief, Pixie, Luna, and Xpid:
I don't have a photo uploaded on DA of Pixie - I'll have to do that later when I re-find the photo.
Anyways, these bunnies were turned into adorable characters for a cute little Mobile videogame called "Luna Attack" - it's for Android based devices. Check it out if you like fun little platform-jumping games. You move your phone to move the character. XD It's kind of cool seeing my characters in a different medium, that's for sure.
Luna Attack: Download HERE
Anyways - I hope you guys have been good. Santa is coming soon. I'm going to be making a lot of my gifts this year and have a few recipes that I have been meaning to try. What do you guys do for Christmas?
So, obviously it's been awhile, hasn't it? It seems as though I start every journal entry with that, don't I? Aw well. I used to be quite the avid journal writer, but as I have gotten older I don't seem to write as much as I used to. But I have to go to work soon, I've got some time to kill, and I thought I would update folks on what's going on.
I've got a part-time job now, so that's taking up a lot of my time. It's about five hours a day Monday to Friday so I don't get a whole lot of time to sculpt during the day, which is kind of what I wanted. As much as I love sculpting and creating things, I feel like it is turning me into a hermit, so I decided to seek work out of the house. I work in an icecream shop, actually - pretty similar to what I was doing two years ago before the tornado destroyed the place. Just a different icecream shop, now. I get to make chocolate, do lunch specials, make lattes and milkshakes, scoop icecream, think of new ideas for candy and sweets, and I just got finished designing a brochure for the store, as well. It's been good for me, really - just something different, you know? It's definitely not the same as staying home all day and sculpting and sitting on the computron.
Before I got another job, I was feeling burnt out and uninspired, so I stopped taking custom orders and decided to get one of those "real" jobs everyone was talking about. Heh. Now I feel a lot better and I actually feel like experimenting with my own ideas. Just recently, I started working on a mechanical tentacle with a gap of the midsection missing, revealing copper wire with a lovely patina - I also added a lot of rust, which is really fun to play with. It's got wires and stuff sticking out the ends, too. It's going to go into a shadow box of some sort, along with one of those labels on the bottom that will make the piece look like some sort of scientific specimen. I've got another idea on the go, but it hasn't been sculpted into clay yet. But it'll happen eventually!
I guess I don't have as much time to sculpt as I used to, but now when I DO get to sculpt, I get to create what I would like to create - not what someone ordered, you know? Stopping custom orders and getting a job outside the home was probably the best move I have made for my happiness levels. So far. I've also noticed that because I have been sculpting less, my copycat has been getting bored and moving onto other crafting endeavors, which is interesting. I guess if I don't give her any ideas, then she can't exactly come up with anything else to sculpt.
I've been playing with more chainmaille lately, and have been using glass rings in my work, as well. It's a very nice combo, actually! I recently found this beautiful Swarovski crystal donut ring in these wonderful cosmic colours that I want to add to a bracelet or necklace, but I haven't thought of what weave yet.
DeviantArt seems to be a lot more slow, these days. I still check it everyday, though, and answer comments and look at new deviations that pop up in my feed. What has everyone been up to?
I'm not digging the fact that the Summer heat and humidity is coming, but I guess I will get through it like I do every year. XD Be good, cupcakes.
So, Kookie is packing up and high-tailing it out of here! And I am taking the Monster Kookies studio with me. This means bigger and better things for MK, so I am pretty happy about this. We've had it up to *here* with this place and all of it's crazy amount of problems - not to mention the neighbour above us - and it's time we got a little place to ourselves. It isn't too far away from here, though, and we will be nice and close to a lot of amenities.
It's a little house - an old thing, but it's been partially renovated. New roof, new siding, new windows, so we don't have to worry about leaks and drafts and holes, which makes me unbelievably excited. The new place even has lots of electrical outlets and light switches! This may sound ridiculous, but our current place has a real lack of electrical outlets, and since it is an old Victorian home that hasn't much in the way of updating or maintenance, a lot of the rooms don't have lights on the ceiling - we had to buy plug-in lights.
It's an upstairs and downstairs, which is awesome because I love running up and down stairs - it makes me feel like a bit of a kid. There is a full bathroom on the main floor as well as a little tiny bathroom upstairs with a toilet and sink, which is nice at night being as the two bedrooms are upstairs. The bathroom door upstairs has the strangest little vent at eyelevel on the door, so you can watch people go to the bathroom. Behind this vent, we're going to hang a photo of some sort of creature... so when you come up the stairs and look at the bathroom door, it looks as if we've caught a monster and we are keeping him in the bathroom - and he is staring at you.
The MK studio will be going in the front bedroom and the other bedroom will be... well... a bedroom. The kitchen is pretty old, but it has a full double sink. It also has a gas stove. This makes me a lil' nervous because I haven't used a gas stove for awhile and I don't want to blow up the house. But I will figure it out. There is next to no counterspace but I am going to use a chunk of old cupboards/counter from my parents house - they ripped out a whole chunk of it when they were renovating and it's still perfectly usable. We still have to get a fridge and washer and dryer, though... and possibly quite a few more things... which brings me to my next subject!
♥ HEARTS FOR KOOKIE ♥
I'm sure you know that MOVING can be an expensive process, and being as I will have to close down my shop for a few weeks, I am trying to raise a little extra money for the big move. So I am looking for some help!
On Monday, February 11th until Friday, February 15th, I am holding the "Hearts for Kookie" promotion! There will be only TWO of my goodies available in my Etsy Shop (www.monsterkookies.etsy.com/) - The Pokeheart and the Companion Heart. I am offering them at a special price!
I am offering two coupon codes (HEARTSFORKOOKIE1 and HEARTSFORKOOKIE2) - feel free to choose one of those codes and use it at checkout when you purchase any of my two special lil' hearts - whether it be one or several! All hearts sold in the 'Hearts for Kookie' campaign have a planned shipping date of February 20th - up to that date, I plan on being a busy little Kookie as I work on all your orders.
You buy a heart, and that helps me with the upcoming move. Pretty simple, huh? After the 15th, my shop will be closed down for a few weeks. But don't worry, Monster Kookies will be back FULL SWING in early March. I'm super excited!
Anyways - I have to do a little packing. Be good, you guys! And eat lots of falafels... ♥
It's been awhile since I last updated with a somewhat personal entry. Unfortunately I have been a little neglectful with DA, lately. I know - BAD KOOKIE! There is such a ridiculous amount of deviations that I have yet to upload. I know that nobody likes when people upload about a gazillion things all at once, so I will try to upload them all very slowllllly. Okee?
These last few months have been rather slow and boring to be quite honest. But all of a sudden, the end of November hit, and WHAM - orders out the bazooka. It got a little too crazy for me to handle all at once, so I had to close my shop down for a few weeks to catch up. I'm still not caught up, actually.
This is my second last shipment before the holidays. Lots of stuff, there! Had to get my Mummy to help me out. Usually I just walk to the Post Office with a few big bags, but this... just wasn't possible. Haha!
If you ever want to stay up to date with the status of Monster Kookies, new stuff, coupons, photos of what I have been up to... and you're sick of waiting to hear about the details on DA, definitely check out the Monster Kookies Facebook Page. I update that thing like crazy...
I made a special Christmas present for one of my most favourite people in the world - DevilishDesigns:
"Apparently DevilishDesigns and I are playing a game. I wish I knew about this sooner! Here is something NEW and UNIQUE that I made just for her. I'm thinking about trying dragons, next. Merry Christmas, DD - with love from Monster Kookies - your daily source of inspiration."
I've been busy busy BUSY creating MechOwlies, that's for sure. I think I have made about 10-15 MechOwlies since I last updated my DA gallery. Wowzers. Here are my latest ones:
That is Boa, Abo, and Oba. MechOwlies No.40, 41, and 42. They are triplets! Of course they have their own little unique traits, though. One is a bright purple, bright gold, and bright teal. They each have different gears on their tummies, too, and are going to three different places in the world!
OH! For those of you who didn't make the deadline for Christmas orders, definitely check out my Etsy Shop! I have Gift Certificates, now! They can be bought in any amount and can even be sent on Christmas day with a special message if you like.
So what's new for the New Year? Well, I am going to be making an addition to the Joey The Bat collection with my own rendition of Joey. I'm also going to be making a special guest appearance at an awesome store in London, Ontario called Uber Cool Stuff and will possibly be doing some live sculpting, there. Aside from that, I want to try some new stuff, work on more Squ33x mice, do some more chainmaille, and keep doing what I am doing.
I've been thinking of taking up a new hobby. Just something to do in my spare time and doesn't require a lot of money or materials to get started. What is your hobby?
I hope to say more in the New Year. But if we all die before then, well... it's been a slice (of brain cake).
The results are finally here!
I have tallied up the score for the 'Inspired by MK' contest, and it was pretty close! 3 points were awarded for each of your "1st Place" choices, 2 points were awarded for each of your "2nd Place" choices, and 1 point was awarded for each of your "3rd Place" choices.
In FIRST place... was #6! You win a $40 credit.
In SECOND place... was #5! You win a $30 credit.
And in THIRD place... was #11! You win a $20 credit.
All credits may be used in either my Monster Kookies Etsy Shop (www.monsterkookies.etsy.com) or in my Blackmaille Etsy Shop (www.xblackmaille.etsy.com). This credit does not include shipping - that will be paid for by me. You may also choose to purchase something larger, and then just pay the difference.
Congratulations to everyone who entered. You all did a great job, and the response was great. I've got a lot of folks asking me to do something like this again, sometime. I definitely will!
You guys are full of awesome!
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks, everyone!
So it's time to choose the winners for the Inspired by MK contest!
It's simple - there will be THREE PRIZES. ONE. TWO. THREE. THREE PRIZES. Not telling you what.
...But they are Monster Kookies items, for sure - of course!
All those who submitted an entry will also be contacted after the contest, as you will all get something nice...
to say thank-you for entering!
Winners will be chosen by VOTE. That's what role you guys get to play!
In the comments below, nominate your TOP THREE FAVOURITES. One being your favourite, two being your next favourite, and three being your third favourite.
1) Number 2
2) Number 4
3) Number 6
I will tally up the votes using a points system. Your first choice being worth 3 points, next choice being worth 2 points, and last choice being worth 1 point. And I get to include my own top three choices, too.
What do you base your vote on?
Well - creativity, originality, skill... keep all of those in mind!
There are 20 deviations, all of them have a number.
No - you cannot vote for yourself, and you may only vote your top three ONCE.
GET THOSE VOTES IN BY NOVEMBER 9th. That's TWO WEEKS.
#1) :thumb323007135: #2)
#5) :thumb327258921: #6)
#11) #12) :thumb331981741:
#17) #18) :thumb333180941:
Good luck, guys! And thanks for entering.
You guys submitted some awesome stuff!
We're nearing the one year anniversary of the day that the F3 tornado hit our town. It's definitely been a really crazy year for many people some of it has been bad, and some of it has been good. I definitely get a little freaked out when thunderstorms come in over the lake, and I think everyone does, now. Only recently did some people even get to start re-building their houses because of insurance reasons. It's sad. But it's good to see progress. About 95% of the businesses that were destroyed due to the tornado are back, too. Unfortunately the place I was working at wasn't one of them.
I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to those that helped us out, last year. Monster Kookies managed to raise $819 for Goderich, and many of you donated money. So thank-you. It's meant a lot to all these families and businesses that have been trying to get back on their feet.
Now, putting these matters aside
I thought that it was time for a DA contest! I haven't had one in awhile, and I know that there are so many very talented folks here it's the perfect kind of crowd. I'm already doing a "Share & Win" contest on Facebook, so if you're on FB and haven't liked the Monster Kookies Facebook page, get over there and take part in it. Look for the "Share & Win" MechOwlie photo on my page, and read the description so you know what to do. There is also a special coupon there for my Etsy Shop, as well. The contest is over at the end of August just ten more days!
The "Inspired by MK" DA contest starts on August 21st and ends on October 21st. So what is it exactly? Well, can be all sorts of things, really you aren't limited to any medium. It can be traditional, digital, whatever you want. But create something inspired by Monster Kookies.
Do you have some Monster Kookies goodies of your own? Take some fun photos of them, use props, do something strange and unusual.
Are you good with photo manipulations and digital drawing? Use some of the photos from my gallery and make something awesome with them.
Like a particular piece in my gallery? Make a tribute to it. Sculpt it. Draw it. Come up with your own twist on it.
Here are some great examples that have been inspired by Monster Kookies!
There really aren't too many rules, so go crazy! All I ask is that you don't outright copy any of my work. Don't just pick one of my sculptures and try to re-sculpt it come up with your own twist on it, or create it in an entirely new style. Be creative! Also - NEW WORKS, only! Contest entry must be made for this contest, and it cannot be a past deviation.
Most importantly have fun!
THE CONTEST HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 21st!!! All you need to do is upload your contest entry to DeviantArt, put a link to my DeviantArt page or this journal entry in the description, and then send me a Note with a link to your contest entry. Simple as that! After October 21st, I will make a journal entry with ALL of your contest entries, and we will have a public vote on your "Top 5" favourites. YES There will be prizes!
Questions? Comment below!
ENTRIES SO FAR...
A fellow Deviant, beatblack is in need of our help, today!
Sarah, also known as Beat Black, is the maker of I Heart Brains BFF Necklaces, and she has been making them since 2010.
Recently, Sarah discovered that Hot Topic has been selling something eerily similar to her design, as seen here:
If ANYTHING is going to be done about it, we need to make a big stink! I mean HUGE. This needs to go VIRAL, people. Because it just isn't fair, and independent artists are always getting ripped off. Hot Topic is an unbelievably huge company - can they not afford designers that can come up with their OWN ideas?!
It may not be big shots at the top of Hot Topic themselves that are stealing - it's the folks in which they import their stuff from. But by selling it, they are SUPPORTING this thievery.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Share this link from the "You Thought We Wouldn't Notice" website:
Have A Heart, Hot Topic
Write on the Hot Topic Facebook wall:
Hot Topic @ Facebook
Write to Hot Topic, directly:
Hot Topic Contact Page
Tell Regretsy about it:
Tell The Consumerist about it:
Share it on your blog, here on DA, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Tumblr, Pinterest, word of mouth, text, - whatever you can!
Hot Topic won't know what hit them!
Beat Black says:
"Just a quick update, I got a real email from Hot Topic. They said they will remove the necklace from in store and online while they investigate. It's still up but I'm hoping it will be taken down soon."
"the hot topic issue was posted on the consumerist today. Also the brains have been taken down from their site and are supposed to be taken off sales floors by the end of today while they "investigate"..."
The Consumerist: This Hot Topic Brain Looks Awfully Familiar
It's definitely been a crazy few weeks, that's for sure. I recently finished a freelance project with a company that is working for Toyota's Free Yr Radio - they needed some sort of "whimsical steampunk" design this year, and they liked my stuff, so they came to me. They requested a MechOwlie and a Squid in the style of my Mechanical Jellyfish. The MechOwlie had to have a mustache and a tophat. It didn't turn out half bad, actually!
I sent the originals to them because we just can't get the resolution that they need for the photos. They need one of those fancy dancy commercial cameras that has an uber sharp macro - kind of what they use in product photography when they want to blow up something that is the size of a pea to the size of the Empire State building. Lol. Anyways, the images are going to be used on their website, banners, printed media, and the stage backdrop for bands. The backdrop is going to be like 8 feet high! So cool. An 8 foot MechOwlie?! I'll probably never see that ever again. Haha. I'll be getting credit on the website and will be giving them business cards for their shows so that when someone asks "What is that thing?! Can I get one?" then they know where to go.
It was said by the company I am working for that they were actually discussing an arm wrestle with Toyota to see who gets to keep the originals. I almost pissed myself when I heard about that. XD
One of my gerbils, Scrappy, isn't doing so peachy lately. Last night he wasn't eating, drinking, or breathing right. He was ice cold. It was to the point where I thought he would be gone by morning. This morning he was still breathing, and I have been feeding him water with a syringe and giving him little grains of cooked rice. He actually drank some water and ate some rice, which is good... he's also getting warmer, which is even better. His breathing has also gotten a little more faster, too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he pulls through it...
Did you hear that I got featured on Etsy's "Quit Your Day Job" series? I was so happy to be a part of it. When I first started on Etsy, I was always reading stories about other successful sellers, and was hoping that someday I could be a part of it. If not Etsy, but in some sort of other selling venue or my own store - either way!
Check out the article, here:
Rob Boyce of Your Life In Stills did a great job on the photography. I had no idea what I was doing, so I figured I would get someone else to help me. He managed to make a very un-glamourous Kookie look not too bad! I spent four hours cleaning my clayspace to get it nice and pretty for the shoot, as well. I've tried to maintain that tidiness since then. XD
My mind has been a little changed about Tophatter, lately. At first, I thought it was useless for anyone that actually had nice things to sell. Most of which was selling was just cheap chinese crap made to look handmade. But things like Boutique, where the starting bid is $20, is pretty good. I've been selling some watch parts there, too.
It's good when you sell handmade items that are on the least expensive part of the scale. So it's not technically good for my Industrial Hearts and MechOwlies, but it is definitely good for little things. And destashing! I've been selling a bit of chainmaille stuff there, as well. I came up with a "gearmaille" flower design that is totally unique, as well. I'm really happy with it!
I've just got to get my hands on more focal gears for the middle - they are kind of hard to find, actually. I hope I can find more.
Anyways, that's all for now, I think. I want to say thanks to everyone for all their support on my last entry - I couldn't answer all the comments, but I just want you all to know how much your comments meant to me. It's nice to know that the DeviantArt community is much more than artists and art appreciators - it's a community of people that love and support eachother. <3 That's hard to find.
Hey guys, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Here is the "bitter":
I haven't felt up to writing lately, and unfortunately there was a bit of a tragedy in a very good friend of mines life. I've known her all through public school and high school. We grew up together. Well, unfortunately her little brother took his own life. His funeral is tomorrow. It really hit a nerve with me. I watched that kid grow up, and it's one of those things where I wish I could have known how he felt - I would have had something to say, and I would have told him that I know what he was going through.
As a young teen, I landed myself in the psych ward after I had taken an overdose the night before, attempting to take my own life. Unfortunately, it wasn't the first or last time I had tried. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, and it was something that I had struggled with all throughout highschool and most of my young adult life.
In addition to dealing with depression, I had developed a habit that I wasn't proud of, and subjected myself to self-injury for about ten years of my life. As I went on through highschool, I faded away from most of my friends, and only now have I started to slowly re-connect with some of them. I've been writing articles on the topic of mental health issues throughout the years, sharing them with people throughout the world wide web. Along the way I have made friends that have dealt with the same issues, or have found what I said the least bit helpful.
I have been selling little "Strawberry Gashes" necklaces to bring awareness to issues like self-injury, depression, and suicide for the past few years, and then donating a good portion of the profits to the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). The amount of e-mails I have gotten from people who understand the message and from those who currently deal with these issues, or have in the past, has been both amazing and heartwrenching.
Suicide, depression, self-injury - all of those have been topics that really hit home with me, and I have never known anyone that was part of my life who had died at their own hands. Until now.
I know it's a common misconception to hold these things against yourself - "If only I could have talked them out of it". "If we all just listened!". But sometimes listening isn't enough. The only person that can save us in the end is ourselves. Some of us get through it. Some slowly, some quickly. Some with bumps along the way. Some with close calls. And some barely holding on.
But some of us don't. And all we can do is be there, and hope that they'll atleast look over their shoulder, or maybe even turn around...
But sometimes it just doesn't happen that way.
You'll be sorely missed, Frankie.
And now the "sweet"...
I've been in touch with Etsy for the past week or two. It started with a message from their Market Integrity team, notifying me that my shop needed to be cleaned up a little bit. There were some problems with the keywords/tags. I fixed it. Then I got another e-mail telling me about their policies on folks who have multiple shops. Apparently that's cool, but if you have multiple Etsy shops, all shops need to be named in your Profile. So I had to mention Blackmaille and Happy Gerbil Munch in my Monster Kookies profile. Seemed like a really strange rule, but... alright. I fixed it. They both wished me luck on the coming feature.
I got an e-mail from another Etsy representative a few days later telling me that I am going to be featured in Etsy's "Quit Your Day Job" column and she gave me the interview questions. I was practically crapping my pants when I heard that. It was nuts! I am so unbelievably excited. We are gearing for a July 3rd publish date. They needed professional shots, so I hired a local photographer to snap some clayspace action shots. I was ridiculously nervous, as I don't like having my photo taken, but I think it went okay! I don't know why I don't like my photo being taken. I just like my Monster Kookies stuff to represent me - not my face. Hahaha! Maybe I will build around my face with clay. Turn myself into something industrial inspired. I don't know. What do you think? XD
Maybe I'll be a human MechOwlie!
Anyways, I've got a lot of claying to do, today. I just made more Peppermint swirls and they turned out awesome. I love making those things. They are just a really long process to get them just right.
Later, smelly cats!
I've only got about 10 or 20 minutes to write this stuff down. After that, the drugs will wear off and I will probably start text-screaming...
I got my wisdom teeth taken out and all was well. The procedure went swimmingly, and I was sent on my merry little way through happy land to the pharmacy where I could get myself some painkillers. Boy oh boy, that didn't last long. Only one a half days went past and I was blubbering like a baby because the pain killers weren't working anymore. When I called the dentist back up, they told me that I probably had dry socket and that I would need to come back in. But, oh, there was no surgeon in town at the time so I would have to drive to whatever city he was in at the time.
Let's pause a moment for GREEN BALLOON TITTIES!
Uhhh... no. BUT there would be a surgeon at a *closer* city on Monday, though! Yes, because my friends or family can just ditch work whenever they want and drive the drooling and pain-ridden Kookie to whichever city there is a dental surgeon. *rolls eyes* So, I am going to call them this week and see if there is a surgeon in town after Monday. Otherwise... well... I will probably go insane from the pain. I begged them to get better pain killers in the meantime, and even those didn't work. I got Percocet, which is a mixture of Oxycontin and Acetaminophen - did nothing except make me feel disassociative from the pain for about 20 minutes and then loopy and high for the next hour or so. As well as nauseous and dizzy.
So I have been in an immense amount of pain since Wednesday, and it doesn't look promising at this point. I've been eating things that resemble wallpaper paste and water, basically. It's been pretty nasty...
I had my birthday party just before April ended. Yes, Kookie is a quarter century old, now! I'm old enough to be classified as an antique car! IF I WERE A CAR.
My cousin bought me nerd glasses for my birthday. Do they suit me?
My birthday was spent filling our tub with balloons and watching Jason gallivant around the house with balloons shoved up his shirt and down his pants. He just really wants himself some tits and ass, I guess!
BALLOONS! IN THE TUB!!!
The BIGGEST can of fake nacho cheese I have ever seen...
Anyways, I am feeling dizzy and it's time to lay down. I wanted to mention that I am doing a draw for Hunger Awareness Week. Check it out. Win stuff! And it's for a good cause. But it's only for THIS WEEK, so check it out while you can and pass on the word, will ya?
Let's take another balloon moment. Jason in the BALLOONS!
Sorry for the dull entry. I'll be back after I stop drooling, I promise.
Well, I've given up hope on Winter... the polar bears that routinely come to my door and discover new ways to lure me outside into the blustery snow and try to eat me every single Winter have basically said "Fuck this shit - Kookie isn't worth it" and headed back North. I do believe that this has been the most mild Winter that I have ever seen here in good old Canada in my twenty-five years of existence... I am not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
It's supposed to be 22°C this weekend. 22°C in the middle of March?! A little strange. I'm used to seeing snow all the way up to my birthday in April. By the way, that is 72°F for my American friends. We're even supposed to get thunderstorms, tonight. Keep in mind, it is *still* Winter, and Winter thunderstorms have always been pretty rare. They're saying that it's an extremely early thunderstorm season, and an even earlier tornado season in the U.S. midwest. They even got a tornado in Hawaii, recently. Mind you, it was an EF0, but it's still a damn tornado. In Hawaii. That's pretty rare, as well. Not only has it been an early tornado season, it's also been a very deadly one so far... it's all got me a little freaked out - so freaked out that I woke up at 8:30am, this morning - THE WORLD IS ENDING (a little at a time).
Just a few nights ago I was awoken by a thunderstorm at about 4am. I don't think I have ever slept through a thunderstorm, to be quite honest - they should make me into an early warning system. Thunderstorms will start making their way into my dreams, and then I will wake up at the first sound of thunder way out over the Lake - before it even hits town. It's been like that since I was a kid. I've been scared of thunderstorms my whole life, but I have been equally fascinated in them, as well. As I was laying in bed frozen like a bag of baby peas, I saw a lightning bolt through my eyelids and thought, "Uh-oh, that's gunna be a loud one" and a loud bassy rumble shook the house. In fact, Jason was sound asleep, but was alarmed when he woke up to what sounded like somebody banging at the front door. It scared the shit out of him. It just rattled the old thin pane of glass on the big old door like somebody wanted in.
I've discovered coffee! I know - probably not a good thing. My parents gave me their old coffee maker and I got some amazing fresh ground coffee beans the other day. I've been drinking a very small cup of it every so often in the mornings, and it really perks me up. The smell of coffee has always made me happy, but now I get to smell it in my own house. I've been using this really awesome dark hot cocoa powder in place of sugar and chocolate milk in place of regular milk - damn is it ever tasty. I only have about 4 oz of it, but it's really nice. I've also been drinking London Fogs - hot steeped Earl Grey tea (the type with Double Bergamot), hot steamed milk that has been whisked to a froth, and a little bit of vanilla syrup. Yum yum! I've always been a tea drinker, but I have taken a liking to coffee, as well. I'm trying to keep it minimal, though.
It's been about a month since I got my first "batch" of dental work done. Just the right side of my mouth. Since then, the right side of my mouth has been really sensitive, so I have been babying it by chewing on my Left side... which was a bad idea, because it has irritated all the teeth on that side, which is the side I haven't had any work done on yet. So now it's even more sensitive than the Right side. I haven't been able to eat anything that is hard or crunchy in very large quantities, which makes me sad because I *love* to eat. Duh. I was *really* hoping that I could put off the second batch of dental work until I have the first batch paid off (healthcare in Canada isn't what it's cracked up to be - dental OR eyecare isn't included, by the way) but it just isn't going to happen. I have an appointment on Monday to get a check-up and see what's up with the Right side of my mouth. It's been a month and I am still popping pain killers like candy. That can't be normal. I recently got my hands on some Acetaminophen with codeine, but it doesn't seem to be doing much.
I also caught myself a cold, AND the corner of my lip has been so cracked that everytime I open my mouth, the crack just re-splits itself and I am back where I am started. I hate that. It's almost gone, though - after about a month of it. It's been really dry outside and I am quite bad at remembering to apply lip chap like a normal human being is supposed to. Aw well. You live, you learn.
Also, I wanted to pass on the word of a fellow Deviant - DemonGodMiko
She has been trying to make some extra $$$ to help her Dad pay for some very necessary surgery. She has been selling jewellery for this very reason, so if you can spare a few dollars at all, check out her page and buy a bracelet - she has some pretty cute rainbow Pony Bead cuffs... or pass on the message.
I'm getting really close to opening up the Blackmaille shop on Etsy. Someone on DA commented last time that it sounds like a "second job" to them, and yes - I guess you can say it is. I thrive on variety, so it'll be nice to be able to do something constructive in my evenings that *isn't* clay, as I try to stop claying around dinner time so that I can actually spend the evening with Jason. I used to clay all night and be a total hermit, so I had to prioritize my time and really "schedule" it out a bit better. Chainmaille is something to keep me busy while I am sitting on the couch at night with Jason. He likes to play his games and whatnot, so it's nice to keep him company. I'm hoping that with Spring and Summer just around the corner that we can get back outside and take a walk. Yesterday he decided to put some gas in the tank and we went for a burn in the countryside in the truck. It was nice. We went to Ball's Bridge, which is one of the only old iron bridges still around, and went down some old dirt sideroads that we haven't been down before. Got the truck a little muddy, which was the initial intention, haha.
I got to try my hands at making at decorating a cake a few weekends ago. I haven't gotten to do that since college, actually! But it was my parents 25th anniversary, so I had to do something special.
I don't think I did too badly. And I got to make lots of royal icing flowers. It was pretty fun.
Have I ever told you guys that I am into Sprouting? I've been growing a bunch of different sprouts and shoots, lately. Here are some 8 day old Green Pea and Speckled Pea shoots - they were harvested at Day 10 and were delicious.
I'm also currently sprouting some three day Marrowfat peas, a mix of four day Alfalfa/Clover/Radish/Canola sprouts which will be good for salad and sandwiches and I even sprouted some Rye so that I can make Rejuvelac - which is a fizzy fermented beverage that is really good for you. I've never done it before, so it's pretty interesting so far - just one more day and it'll be drinkable. It smells funny...
Kind of like me.
There has been a bit of hussle and bussle downtown now that Spring is coming. I've told you all that the place I was working at, making chocolate and gelato and whatnot (Sweets & Memories), won't be re-opening, but in it's place is going to be a restaurant called "Kevin & Pats on the Square", I believe. They say that the restaurant is going to be opening sometime in May, and that they will be serving the gelato we used to make at Sweets & Memories, which is awesome. I guess everyone missed our gelato so much that they wanted us to make it at their restaurant. I don't know if my old boss will need help making that gelato to serve there, but maybe I will have to ask her. For some reason, there is also another place that serves icecream that will be opening, called "Scoops" where the old Bargain Shop used to be. That will be three places that serve icecream (if you count Gelato) on the Square. Seems sort of odd to me, heh.
There have been a lot of people getting screwed over by insurance companies after the F3 tornado in August. There are *still* houses that haven't been repaired or torn down because their insurance companies are fucking around with them. It makes me so mad. These families are just trying to get back to normal - how are they supposed to get back to normal when their house is in shambles? Here is a video showing some of the situation. In fact, the first 1:10 of this video is actually where I used to work... *that's* what the store I used to work in looks like now. It's gutted. And there isn't any money left to go much further than that...
Our town also just received word that the Bluewater Youth Centre, located just North of town and employing more than 200 people in the area, is closing down. It's really got a lot of people down, that's for sure - all that is left in "big industry" here is the Sifto Salt Mine and Jockey plastics. Other than that, if you don't work out of town somewhere or have a government job, all that's really left is minimum wage jobs. I've also gotten word that we will be getting a Staples - which is basically the Walmart of office supplies. Jason works at a locally owned independently owned office supply store in the shipping department. I guess you can put two and two together. If Staples can do what a Walmart can do to local and independently owned businesses... well... you know.
If worst comes to worst - we move. Shit happens, I suppose - you gotta go where the work is, and I can take Monster Kookies with me wherever I may go. Selling your own artwork isn't the highest paying job, but I can get by on what little I have because I try to live within my means. Besides, it doesn't take much to amuse me - give me a bag of jellybeans or a jar of beads, and I'll be entertained for hours.
Anyways... I'm trying not to be too depressing, so I'll leave it at that.
I was at the Post Office the other day, and as I was leaving, I looked towards the square to see a 6 foot tall fury blue bear waving at traffic. I then proceeded to go home and swore that I would never do crack again...
Off to the Post Office I go!
P.S - Am I the only one that really likes Brussel Sprouts? O____O
Also. This video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg3OIt…
I practically pissed myself laughing. Or... perhaps *farted* myself? XD
So I am finally caught up. It's been unbelievable, actually. At first, I looked at the long list of things I needed to accomplish, almost died, then two weeks went by and I was done. I guess I was on auto-pilot. Hah!
I even discovered a new brand of polymer clay. Can you believe it? Here I am in black and white with my best pouty face, presenting the new and oh-so melancholy EMO! Sculpey brand polymer clay. It comes in one shade - black.
Fantastic. What will Polyform think of next?!
I've been trying to prioritize my time. I have a tendency of overworking myself to the point that I realize that breakfast was 10 hours ago, and I should have ate something...
So, I've given myself one of those awesome 9-5 jobs. Work five days a week from morning until dinner and take the weekend off like one of those lucky bastards. *cough, JASON, *cough. Yeah Jason, I'm looking at you...
I try to do something else at night. And I think I have found my nightly-calling. No. Not prostituting myself. Although that is a longtime dream of mine...
I have re-discovered an old hobby, actually... something I did a lot when I was a teenager. Chainmaille jewellery. I've made so many pieces, though, that I decided that I should start selling them. I need something to keep me busy at night. And I know that by selling my chainmaille work that I won't be super busy, namely because there are a LOT of people selling chainmaille and so the "market" is completely over-saturated, but if it gives me something to do once in awhile, that's great. I find it very relaxing, and I can easily do it while I am sitting on the couch at night with Jason.
Polymer Clay (sculpting) and Chainmaille (attaching rings together in an articulate pattern) are surprisingly completely different, which is why I like them both. Getting away from the sculpting at night will keep me fresh, and the Chainmaille keeps me patient and orderly. And we all know that Kookie needs someone to keep her in line. It might as well be jumprings...
Anyways. I was like... you know what... people on Facebook probably don't want to see my chainmaille on the Monster Kookies page because they are there to see my clay works. So I thought... "I need a name". Somebody suggested FeMaille, and I thought... that's really awesome... but then I discovered that it was taken. So then I was looking for words with "maille" and I was thinking of uber corny things like "You've got maille." Har har. But then I stumbled on blackmail. Blackmaille. Yeah. Blackmaille. That sounds awesome! Edgy, cool, and right up my alley. Not saying that I am edgy OR cool - you all know that I am a total doofus.
So I took a photo of some of my work, some jumprings, and some of my tools, found an awesome font for "Blackmaille", and voila - this is what I came up with. A little side project - something to keep me out of trouble at night:
As you can tell, clicking on that photo takes you to the Etsy Shop in which I will be selling these pretty lil' chainmaille adornments, but there isn't anything there yet. Just taking my time with creating a bunch of designs before I list anything. I wanted to use blackmaille as my Etsy name but it was taken. It is taken by someone else that happens to do chainmaille (Bah, I guess all good ideas are taken, huh?) but it seems to just be their username. They don't have any logos or any information calling their shop "Blackmaille" so I figured... meh... I'll just be xblackmaille.
I made a Facebook page, too. It doesn't have many followers yet, but if you guys would follow me, that would make me very happy, indeed! Heeeeere: www.facebook.com/blackmaille
I'll be posting photos of some of my chainmaille here on DA. I don't exclusively show *just* polymer clay on my DA account (I've shown my drawings, paintings, and photos, too!), so I'll just separate it to a special folder in my gallery.
Anyways. That's all I really have to say about that...
I have to organize a little party, this weekend. Yeah, Kookie is being social... isn't that awkward. Lmao! It's for a friend of mine, and she would like to drink for her birthday since she rarely does so anymore. She has asked for Gin Gimlets and spinach dip. Very fit for some very strangely coloured vomit, I'd say! Throw some pumpernickel bread in there, and you've got yourself a prize combination. Epic, even.
I'm just looking forward to making cupcakes.
Boy oh boy, has it ever been an interesting few weeks. I ended up getting a lot more orders than usual, and so I started to run a little low on clay. I thought, no worries... I'll just make a big order and get myself a whole lot of the stuff. So I placed a large order with the company that I usually get it from, and I expected that it would get here in about two weeks. I also made sure to grab an extra retaining ring for my extruder, as the one I had before was defective and it broke on me. Bah...
So two weeks came and went, and I was quickly running out of clay - especially Premo Silver, which is something I use a lot of. There was still no sign of the package. I sent them a message asking if they had a tracking number for it, but I *still* haven't heard anything from them. A few days later, I ended up running out of clay. O___O
I started e-mailing anyone that had placed an order with me and told them that their orders were delayed. I started looking around for other sources, and found a few places in Canada that sold Premo. However, they didn't have as much as I needed (I was looking for about 3-6lbs) and I had to look elsewhere. At that time, I decided to close my shop to avoid creating an avalanche of orders as I work on the ones that are delayed.
Finally, I stumbled on a company in Ottawa that is the main distributor of Polyform products in Canada. Polyform makes all the Sculpey and Premo products. I contacted them, and they had clay on my doorstep in just a day. Go figure. They don't sell retail, though, so next time I am going to have to place a $200+ Clay order with them. That isn't so bad - I'll save on shipping that way, won't have to order so often, and it'll be a great price. Not to mention, all the clay will have time to sit in my clayspace so that when I open a package it isn't too fresh and mushy. This may save me some time with the leeching process, that's for sure!
I'm going to keep my shop closed until I catch up on all these orders. I'm really glad I stumbled on this other company for my clay, because I still haven't heard from the company in which I originally ordered from, AND my order is still MIA... *sigh*
It's been a long time since I went to the dentist, namely because I don't have dental insurance and I can't really afford it. But I decided to go yesterday. Kids - If I could give you any advice, it would be to brush twice a day, floss, and for f**k sakes - don't put off your dental checkups. I am now taking donations for the "Save Kookies' Mouth" fund - that's all I am gunna say about that...
It really sucks. I honestly don't mind going to the dentist - my teeth like a little love once in awhile, but I definitely wasn't expecting a long list of all the crap that is wrong with my teeth, although I was expecting him to tell me that my wisdom teeth will need to be pulled. That was included in the long list. I need to go in on Feb.9th to get the "first batch" of work done. *sigh* NO MORE SWEETS FOR YOU, KOOKIE! But it's my own damn fault, and I guess I am going to have to take my lumps...
There isn't any other way, anyways. Dentistry isn't covered by healthcare in Canada (neither is a trip to your eye doctor) and I don't have the insurance/benefits to help me out. There are plenty of places in the county that help people cover their dental expenses, but they don't help those who are self-employed or they only help those who are on Ontario Works (which is also called Welfare or Social Assistance - not sure what it is called in the U.S. It's probably called Welfare, I assume?). I can't tell you how much paperwork they wanted from me just to help me out with dental fees. But like I said, it's my own damn fault... if I took care of my teeth as a kid, I wouldn't be in the financial predicament that I am in now. I'll just take my medicine and find a way through it, somehow. Although I am feeling pretty stupid about it...
I'm just hoping that by mentioning it that I make people think twice about their dental health. Haha! It may seem expensive to get a check-up, but damnit is it even more expensive if you ignore it. >_< Bah...
We still haven't gotten any snow. I honestly feel like we're living in Vancouver. It's just rain, rain, rain. Temporary snow, and then rain.
Anyways, back to work I go! This is definitely going to be a busy few weeks as I get caught up on everything...
I ended up taking a walk to the Post Office today, and all I could see and hear around me was endless construction. I don't like leaving the house as much as much as I used to, now... not that I left it often before, but everytime I go out, I feel guilty, because I am stepping into the land of wind-battered homes and empty spaces. All I lost during the tornado was my job. I've got a leaky roof, and an annoying neighbour upstairs. But I didn't lose my home or my treasured possessions. Yes, insurance covers that stuff most of the time... but insurance can't bring back lost pets, old photographs, and little sentimental trinkets from times passed. And insurance can't bring back a human life. I feel horrible for all these people.
Tornadoes aren't all that common, here - we live just above Tornado Alley, which goes through a lot of central states in the U.S. But it happened, hit our town dead on, and I think it caught a lot of people off guard because it "just can't happen here". Of course that isn't true. I believe that the U.S. recorded one of the most active tornado seasons in 2011. It was a very strange year. Even now, I am a little concerned... it is mid-January, and I took a walk to the Square in my Spring jacket. I was boiling by the time I got home.
I've called Goderich my home for most of my life, besides the few years I spent in Toronto, and in one day everything was changed so drastically. It's really nuts. It's heartbreaking wandering through all the destruction 5 months later - almost half a year, nearly! The East part of Goderich in particular was my "hood" as a child, and still so, even now. I re-call visiting all these houses for Halloween getting my treats, biking, walking, running past them because I spent a lot of my time outside. I still live in the East end of Goderich, just a little more North, now. The trains still rumble my house, and I can see the line of trees bordering the Maitland riverbed and all those trails. All I have to do is walk up the street a little bit, and BOOM - back on Earth -the tornado really happened. No, you weren't having a nightmare.
I miss waking up early, walking up to the Square, and going to work for a few hours, that's for sure. I know I have said that a million times, by now.
I miss the city, though - I haven't visited there since FanExpo, which was just a few days after the tornado. Everytime I want to visit the city, I am too busy to do so... but when I have some spare time, I just don't feel like going, because I could save the money doing so or it's just too much of hassle. I have to get a ride to Stratford (the home of Justin Bieber. HOORAY!), which takes an hour or so, and then I gotta take the train into Union Station in Toronto, which takes about 2 and a half hours. Then I gotta hop on the Subway to get where I gotta go, and if I can't stay with a friend of mine then I gotta stay at a B&B, which is rather cheap, but adds up after a few days stay.
I do plan on visiting again sometime in the next month or so, though. I heard of a wonderful little place called Bobbette & Belle Artisanal Pastries that supposedly makes the best French Macarons in the city. I've never had a real French Macaron, before. I also need to get my Falafel fix at Main St. & Danforth. Of course. I need to go to Fashion Whore on Bloor St. to check out their new display of Monster Kookies stuff, as well!
New Years Eve was definitely a crazy evening. I decided to be social for a change and had a few people over. I guess the guy next door was partying a little harder than us, though, because he managed to put his head through the bathroom wall and split open his neck and chin on a tile. He had to get stitches.
I'm visiting my cousin this weekend for a few days - maybe the smell of country air and more cow poop on my boots will do me some good. Hehe.
There shall be a new species of mechanical birdie emerging from Monster Kookies in the next few weeks. I'll make sure to upload photos when he is finished. I'm really excited about it.
Jason got me a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for Christmas. I have wanted one ever since I was 14. Thank goodness he got it on sale, otherwise I would have felt horrible for him spending that much money on me. I also got lots of socks and underwear from my family (YES!), tea, tea pot, booze from my under-aged brother (???), one of those neat planters for growing tomatoes upside down from my other (not-underaged) brother, a blender, some pretty mugs, a Batman t-shirt, and a butane torch. Yes. A torch. No, Kookie isn't a pyromaniac (well... maybe...) but it is for Creme Brulees and whatnot. My cousin got me a deep frying pan, too... which is pretty awesome. I needed one badly. It was a Green Christmas, though.
Besides that, not a whole heck of a lot is going on, really. I'm trying to make an attempt at eating healthier, drinking more water, and taking my vitamins. I decided to take some Niacin yesterday, because it boosts your mood and such, and it's been awhile since I took it. I had to lay down because my body was boiling, red, and spiky-tingly. It's called Niacin Flush and I completely forgot about it. I was taking them on a regular basis at one point, so it didn't happen anymore, but boy-oh-boy was I ever red. Haha! It's a completely normal and healthy bodily response, but it's pretty strange.
Polar bears aren't digging this green weather. They may be giving up. I may not get eaten this Winter, after all!