Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Careers are for chumps. I'll just blog myself into financial freedom.

  So I was at my day job yesterday, and I said to myself, "I like my job, but I would rather be paintin' stuff".  I guess it is the fate of most people (though not all) to work their "regular job" until that time when a magical set of circumstances present themselves and you can finally do what you really want for a living.  I think everyone wants to love their job.  I think most don't, but they just do their job and forget about it when they come home, so they can concentrate on what they enjoy- i.e. family, hobbies, school, or possibly working on a new career.  But then again, if you did what you loved every day, maybe you'd get burnt out faster.  Maybe you'd put so much of yourself into the job that  you'd lose all of your enjoyment of it; both your work and your play are combined into something that can't be separated- so you risk spoiling both if you get burnt out.  Maybe I'm wasting too much time thinking about this.

I'll bet Bob Ross liked his job.  And his happy little paycheck from his happy little licensing.

I'll bet Charles Atlas liked his job of manufacturing men.

  I'm working on my big super-secret project tomorrow again.  You know, the one that requires me to form another company and copyright some stuff and work with those Apple folks.  It is going well so far, luckily.  I'm laying out some pages and trying to finalize the "look" of my characters.  This may take a few tries.  My business partner in this is really cool, so I know we will work this out.

  Oh, and we're testing out 2 products we mocked up over the weekend.  A couple of very good friends helped us out, and the testing is almost done.  Now the real work of getting past the prototypes and into production begins! This is kinda fun, actually.  We have a test marketing procedure in place, and hopefully some first run items will be tested out by next week or so.  No one told me that one of the problems with merchandising is that you want to keep all the stuff for yourself.  I'm gonna end up like those people on hoarding shows, with stuff piled 9 feet high and 14 badgers living in my house with me while I'm screaming that all the rotting vegetables in my living room are still good.

Yeah, I nearly tripped over the sense of identity I lost years ago under a pile of newspapers and jars of  Ragu.

I added this for no reason.

I'm tired.  I stay up way too late typing these blogs.  I need more sleep.  I wish I had a hammock at work. Well, I think I will wrap this one up, kids.  Gotta put more stuff for sale on Etsy, too. Remember, check out my stuff on Etsy, or I will put a gypsy curse on all of you.  Just kidding!  It's actually just a regular curse...

Now go to your room and think about what you've done.




Friday, June 24, 2011

I thought everybody had a Hellboy lunchbox.

Rather than another boring tour of my silly house, I'll just give you photos of random objects that are strewn about my dwelling.  Take it as you want- self-absorbed display, time-killer, lack of anything better to do- but at least it may be interpreted as entertaining.  So no complaining!  You're in MY house, yo...

Here's a photo of my husband's Hellboy lunchbox.  This one contains preserved pumpkin stems from previous Halloweens.  He sprayed them with several coats of shellac to keep them intact.  Yeah, he's weird.
My husband Carlos "The Jackal" keeps weird things like this all over the house.
Here's another weird thing my huband built/modified.  Made a clock out of an old broken sony walkman CD player.
The 80's are BACK, baby.  Well, not really.  But you can tell time like it's 1988.

Here's a few of the  silly action figures in our office/studio. Yes, it is dorky.

With their combined skills, Pumpkinhead and Speed Racer were able to work together to get 2 orange squares on 1 side of the Rubix Cube. This task took 8 months.  Eventually they just peeled off all the stickers to make the colors match.

We bought this thing at Caputo's a week ago, only because it looked interesting.
We still don't know that this is. But we're letting it get dehydrated to shrivelly to see how cool it will look.

In the grocery checkout aisle the other day, my ever-vigilant husband noticed this next to the Slim-jims.  Apparently he thought it was specifically marketed towards him. I'm not sure if he thinks it's a weapon or food.
Sheer marketing genius.

I'd like to introduce you to Goaty.  He's my stuffed goat that I keep on my nightstand, next to my waterglass, my phone, and my Johnny the Homocidal Maniac hardcover compilation.  Goaty keeps me safe, but he's got crazy eyes.  Actually, my husband glued some googly eyes on him to make him look crazy.  It worked.
My eyes may be crazy, but I'm as sane as Gary Busey.  I also can fly and shoot lasers from my horns. 

Here is one of the new products we've got on Etsy.  I'm still making paintings, but we're also starting to market our other products.  We took this photo last night.
Soon, I think everyone will want a bag with a creepy girl on it.  Acually, I'm kinda counting on it.

Had enough?  Can't take any more of our domestic weirdness?  Good, because I'm done, anyway.  I'm still working on the other items I'm putting on Etsy!  Just got my first order for this backback, too!!  Gotta make some more.  I'll be selling backpacks with other characters, including Beaky the Crow.  I'll show that to you all soon.  For right now, check out the Nissa backpacks. http://www.etsy.com/listing/76565487/nissa-string-backpack

Gotta run, kids.  Behave yourselves, or at least keep off my lawn.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Would you eat a burger with an egg on it? Would you?

I'm going to the Music Box Theater this weekend!

Woohoo!  It's been so long, but this is going to be FUN.  I need this.  It's well worth the trip for a midnight movie at the Music Box with our friends Glammie and Paul. Ooh, maybe we can go to Kuma's afterwards!  They have THE best burgers, but my hub doesn't like the waffle fries.  What can I say?  There's something wrong with him. Well, there are a few things wrong with him, but this kinda disturbs me.

Just look at this burger!  LOOK AT IT!!
So how was the weekend?  (I'm going to pretend that you are all talking at your monitors, telling me about your respective weekends.  It's nice to pretend.)  I hope ya'll relaxed, or did something fun/constructive/legal/non-explosive.   Oh, speaking of explosives- gotta check how fireworks stockpile is doing.  I have no idea if we have any left for the Fourth of July.  I think we have some bottle rockets and Roman candles left over.  Oh, I gotta buy some of those burning "snake" things.  You know,  they're a little compressed cylinder that you light, and it expands into a charcoaly-snakey thing?  I love those.  I remember the scorch marks they used to make on the driveway.

Quite possibly the cheapest "fireworks" EVER.  But I like 'em!
Hey, Crows Feet Studios  has finally narrowed down our product line to 4 different items.  We're going to start test marketing them this week, and hopefully get some meaningful numbers back in 2 or 3 weeks.  We decided to get away from the usual stuff that people try to slap their logo on, and went with some items that were much more interesting.  Don't worry, we will keep you posted.  I'll let you know a little before they hit Etsy- I promise.  And hey, you can tell us what you think of them, too. Or just say "hey".  I set up the comment box here so that anybody can comment, not just the "followers" of this blog.   I don't believe in forcing people to "follow" this blog in order to comment.  I find it more fun to try and hypnotize people, anyway...

I wish I could make sparkles and shiny,swirly lines with a quarter.

Occasionally I try to hypnotize random people I run across on walking trails, but they don't stand still long enough for me to dangle that pocketwatch back and forth and use my creepy hypno-voice on them.

That's all I've got for now, kids.  I gotta go finish painting another canvas, and then update our website.  We're adding more prints to Etsy every week now.  You would be very, very foolish not to look at them.  All the other kids will laugh at you if you don't.  I'm serious.

Nighty-night.  This blog is closed for the evening.  No loitering.

 - Christine


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Do you have any idea how good REAL pizza is?

I used to live in Evanston. You know- north shore, Northwestern University, pretentious neo-hippies, old money- the works.

I was there for a good chunk of my adult life, and so was my husband.  He went to school downtown Chicago, then moved to Evanston. And I worked downtown Chicago, too.  After I had my first child, I thought of moving further out- mostly because of safety issue, plus the housing market at the time was pretty good.  We decided to move out to Plainfield  (which we had never even passed through before!)  for these reasons, knowing full well what a big change it would be for all of us. 

  We don't regret the decision, but there are some things we miss about the city.  Great old movie theaters (like the Music Box.  I LOVED that one.  And the old McClurg Court theater that closed up),  really cool video stores, art galleries, & museums- but what we really, really miss are the restaurants.  In Evanston, we were 8 minutes away from ANY kind of restaurant you could think of.  Brazilian, Afghan, German, French, Polynesian, Thai, fondue, tappas, fusion- you name it.  And today we decided to let the kids experience the Adler Planetarium, plus a Chicago landmark- Gino's East.  I know it's totally touristy, but the kids had to experience Chicago and some of the best pizza on the planet.  They're old enough to have a little easier time absorbing it.
Inside of Gino's East.  It's not considered graphitti if it's encouraged by the management...

Dinner was SO good.  The appetizer platter was excellent.  The kids had some thin crust cheese pizza, and we had the deep dish. It took them a couple tries to get out order right, but is was worth it!  Even my son admitted that the deep dish was the best pizza he ever had!
For all you Star Trek fans out there-  "NO KILL I"
We brought our own Sharpie to sign the wall, but they actually provided one for us!!  Very nice.

My entire manifesto didn't fit above the table, but I got my message across.

We originally wanted to go to the Shedd Aquarium, but it was free admission week and the line was 3 HOURS LONG.   We simply couldn't wait that long, so we just scooted on over to the planetarium instead.  It was more expensive, but a wise choice.  Besides, we saw a dead fish on the walk over from the Shedd Aquarium, so that was kinda the same thing...
It may look abandoned and  post-apocolyptic, but I assure you that people were inside.

My husband kept acting disappointed that they didn't have Buzz Aldrin stuffed and mounted in the front entrance to the planetarium.
Why is Copernicus holding a steampunk Wii controller? 

There were lots of kids activities inside, with simulated spaceship controls and such.  This one just looked funny.
Talk to the rocket??  Just try and stop me!

One thing that we should have taken a picture of was a bizarre play area that consisted of a big box of kitty litter that kids can play in, and a pile of plastic vegetables that was next to it.  I'm not sure exactly what was the point of that.  But, my kids had fun throwing the vegetables in the kitty litter.  That last sentence was rather odd, now that I read it again...

AUTHOR'S NOTE-  I just added this picture because it is just...insane.  The Shedd Aquarium actually PAID for this monstrosity.  LOOK AT THIS THING!  It's a creepy 20 foot guy hugging a fish!!!  Psychologists could have a field day with this thing!!!
This is without a doubt THE most demented fountain I have ever seen.

A little astrophysics, a little pizza and a walk downtown made for a great day for everyone.  I highly recommend it.  We didn't get to do everything we wanted, but we can save it for the next trip.  I have SO much more planned, including an excursion to my favorite art supply store in the universe- Utrecht's.   Mmmmmm....
Oh, I should mention that we are getting our prints up for sale on Etsy tonight.  We are going to have 2 different kinds- one on art paper, the other on professional photo paper.  Should be up later tonight.  We also had our website altered to include a link to our Etsy shop on the "paintings" portion of the site.  Check it out, if you dare.

Okay, I gotta go.  Go read a book for Pete's sake.

- Christine

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home Tour- The Final Chapter.... At least until I don't feel like writing anything interesting.

I love this weather.
This is what spring is supposed to feel like.  Temperaturses topping out at the mid 70's, breezy and cool.  We ate breakfast on the deck, and no bugs bothered us at all!  This NEVER happens.   We may actually have a fire outside tonight. 

Any interest in milking my little tour of the house some more?  Come on, it's a pretty good time-killer.  Just one more post on this nonsense- I promise.  This time we will focus mainly on our DVD's, and throw in some random objects in just for kicks.

Here is our main DVD wall.  It may be time to get rid of some.  After all, how many times do we actually watch "Sneakers"?

This is a portion of them  We have more in milk crates on the floor. We own about 4 Blu-Rays. 

Here's the top shelf stuff.  You can just see the first season of the A-team. 
Yes, we enjoy the series Supernatural, as well as Alton Brown's "Good Eats".  Get over it.

Yes, more DVD's.  It's a non-stop thrill ride.

You know, "Constantine" might have been Keanu's best role.  Seriously.  Is that sad?

Here's a bit more of the nonsense we have on the office bookshelf.
Who hasn't wanted a die-cast model of Ecto-1?  Or an action figure of Marv in an electric chair?

This is stuck to the other side of my magnifying lamp.

Our daughter drew this mummy, with the speech bubble "uuuuuu".  It's phoenetically accurate.

"Be careful what you wish for..."
This was 79 cents on Amazon.  Can't beat that with a stick.
That's the office.  Well, a heavily edited version of it, anyway.  We didn't take pics of many things- there simply is too much stuff to take photos of.  Maybe another time.

Gotta run, kids.  There is a canolli in the fridge, and no one will keep me from it.   See you on the flip side.

Oh, and check out our Etsy stuff.  Going to add more tomorrow.  Wait and see....

- Christine

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blogging, Rambling, Whining & Self-promotion. Isn't that what the internet was designed for?

Except for the addition of a garage, this is basically what I live in.  Suburbs are GREAT.

Let's take a break from our silly tour of my cookie-cutter vinyl house-box in the 'burbs.  You've seen one house full of crows, you've seen 'em all, right?  Right.

Oh, I know people from the Apple Cult will be mad at me for this.  They need to install a humor chip.

I'm in a rambling mood tonight.  Listening to the Killers right now on itunes.  You know, it's really, really annoying how your Apple devices are pretty much useless unless you use itunes.  Ever have your computer crash, and itunes crash with it?  Good luck gettng your music back from your ipod.  It can't be done using Apple software (as far as I know)- you have to download a program that you have to search the net for (a third party developer)  just to get all the music back onto your computer.  If you didnt get the music from itunes, then it's gone!   Well-designed software that is specifically geared to keeping you dependant on Apple.  That's capitalism, I guess.
  Well, I can't put down Apple too much.  They do make a pretty decent product, for what it is.  In fact, I will be selling Apple something pretty soon.  You know that saying about a door closing, and a window opening up?  Well, I just had a HUGE window open up.  I'll be working with a UI/UX designer friend to create something that will be used in a few different Apple products.  Can't tell you what it is yet until our company is formed and the copyrights go through- but I will be keeping you in the loop.

Nothin' like a little sci-fi steampunk.

Anyone seen Sucker Punch?  I'm looking for an honest opinion on it before I go see it in the cheap theaters.  There's that old theater in Joliet next to the Barnes and Nobles that has showings incredibly cheap during the day!  If you sneak in food (which, of course, I would never do, nor encourage anyone else to do...that would be wrongedy-wrong) it makes for a dirt-cheap 2 hours of entertainment!  I don't see many movies in the theaters anymore. 95 percent of the time it simply isn't worth it.  But, a few movies simply must be seen in the theater for the full effect.  Honestly, how many movies are actually WORTH the drive, the parking, the 10 bucks a head, the 368 dollars at the concession stand, and the annoying people around you who are too stupid to figure out that the cinema is NOT the place to use your cell phone? 

There are times when I genuinely wish for a recurrence of the 50's.

Now, there is one exception to my feeling on this- drive-in theaters.  I have a renewed interest in them for the last few years, and I can't wait to go to another.  My current favorite is the Midway Drive in way out by Sterling.  I absolutely adore going there, and it is well worth the gas to get there.  It is in the middle of NO WHERE.  The first time I went out there, there were no lights for MILES, and I was positive that Malakai and the children of the corn were going to stab us with rakes.  But I loved it.  I loved tuning my radio to the audio frequency they put out to listen to the soundtrack, I loved the foil-wrapped burgers at the concession stand, I love the fact that it was literally in the middle of a cornfield.  Absolutely nothing beats seeing "Night of the Living Dead" at 2 in the morning at an all-night drive in.  I am enjoying this bit of American history while it lasts.

All they want is to give you a hug.  Honest. 

I figure I should wrap this up.  Sorry if I went a little long on this one.  Blogs are so incredibly self-indulgent, and it's very easy to forget that there is a strong possibility that no one is terribly interested in what you are rambling about! :)  I wish more people would remember that.  Heh.  Witty remarks and clever phrases can't replace useful information and meaningful knowledge, I guess.

Okay, I've had enough of this blog thing for tonight.   Go do something constructive. 




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Home Tour Part 4- This house is NOT clean...

You know what movie I'd like to see again?  "Poltergeist".  Yeah.

And so continues our whirlwind tour of select portions of my home.  Yes, I'm just as excited as you are. I timed this so that it wouldn't interfere with the royal wedding a few weeks ago.  I'm too classy to take away the audience from the royal family.

Here is the one room that may keep you interested for the 3 1/2 minutes it takes to read this blog.  There are so many knick-knacks, action figures and crappy nonsense that you're bound to find something that is mildly interesting.  I captioned all the photos for you.  Some of them are funny-- others may just disturb you.  I'm not going to pretend to care what the affect is on you.

Here's my work area.  ooooooohhhh....I'm messy, so therefore I'm talented.
I got this huge steel drafting table for 25 bucks about a decade ago.  I hope it isn't cursed or anything.

Look!  More crap!
I use the magic 8-ball to make all of my financial decisions.

And yet MORE crap! It never ends.
My "desk friends" keep me company, but sometimes they tell me to do bad things.

I just like Christopher Walken.  And so should you.
I don't think having a picture of Christopher Walken needs any explanation.

Edgar and Skeletor are good friends.  On Wednesdays they play darts at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Yes, I keep Edgar Allen Poe in a cardboard candy coffin.  He likes it in there.

Go out and read something by Jhonen Vasquez.  Don't argue, just do it.
Johnny the Homocidal Maniac is actually quite inspiring.
Good ol' Siouxsie Sioux.  She looks like she wants a bite of my Three Musketeers. 

If you don't know who Siouxsie and the Banshees are, you must leave right now.
Aliens are actually very festive creatures.  Just don't look too closely at their eggs.

My magnifying lamp is used to hold up silly things...
My tickets to a Cure concert 4 years ago.  Held to my lamp with sushi magnets.

Yeah, every artist has some kind of stupid action figure. 
Dr. Zaius still won't let the rest of the action figures in the Forbidden Zone.  Damn dirty ape.

Just got the printer.....Mmmmmmmm....
Good wide-format printer.  Good printer.  Stay.

Next time I will take you through my DVD collection.  I know this is a lot of excitement for you, but I think my readers are tougher (or at least more desensitized) than most.

I'm tired now. Blogging makes me thirsty.  Disperse.