Two Thousand and…when?

I spent New Year’s 1999 to 2000 on a bridge in the middle of town with y best friend. I spent New Year’s 2009 to 2010 in a “secret” bar. Like we didn’t see that evolution coming.

The holidays, when not busy being irritating and stressful, are a pretty wonderful time for me. Particularly, they come accompanied by a nice one to two week vacation and the older I get, the more the idea of gainful employ seems like it’s for suckers. While sleeping in until 2pm every day might not be the way to lead anything resembling a life, I just can’t help but give in. But! Dave and the pup seem content to laze for as long as they can, so who am I to upset their comfort?

One of the highlights of home-time in New Jersey was getting to go to wonderful old Cape-May-by-the-Sea and hanging out on the beach. Here I am, total bag-lady, beach-bum style: (the sun sets over the water because CM is a peninsula separating the Atlantic from the Delaware Bay. Very nice.)

Came home with some really nice whelk pieces; black and blue and gold crazy delicate and beautiful. Seashells were the first thing that I really “collected” as a kidling. Maybe they were second to toy dinosaurs. I can’t recall, but it does provide proof that I have always been interested in “things”.

Beyond family and friends and drinking scotch, I am happy to return to the Isle Rhode and march forth into a new year, hopefully one as challenging yet fruitful as the one left behind. So far I have A). made two (count ’em: 2!) etsy sales AND B). I’ve worked on packaging.

A). I’m not sure where or why I have gone necklace crazy. Maybe it’s because stringing stuff around your neck is pretty universal and a good way to showcase small ideas while having them remain a wonderful and personal item. Maybe it’s because in college, I would fill my pockets with all sorts of found gee-gaws and now I need a way to usefully purge them. Because, without function, I am nothing. Transition! I’ve put together 3 new necklaces that I call “bowerbird”ly but secretly, Lola has influenced me to think of them as post-apocalyptic assemblages; trinkets found and horded from a past culture, hastily strung around the neck for safekeeping and admired for their vernacular beauty, both individually and together. But that’s a heckofan artist statement and a little more melodramatic than I am comfortable with being in a way more public and judgmental forum. Hey! Photos!

Not all are listed, some might end up going to the Kafe. I also whipped up a new money clip before break. I’m not sure how none of these have sold yet. Clearly, you are all stupid and don’t appreciate the spirit of mischief and adventure. Or you’re poor and a money clip would be of no use to you.

B). The idea of packaging presents me with some problems. As much as I love clever packaging and am easily swayed by it (duh. I am American.) I do realize that it’s pretty dumb and wasteful. And I hate how the unspoken, ultimate goal for handmade goods is to be a spitting replica of something factory made or commercially available. Point: RI’s own Craftland, which don’t get me wrong, has some nice stuff from some talented artists, some of whom are my very own friends. But for them, packaging is a big sell. They’ll even tell you that.
I can make you a pin. Or a set of pins. Or some coasters. And that’s really nice and hopefully you will appreciate the thought I put into this gift for you. But then I’ll put it in a little celo wrapper and add a tag. Oh! How cute! It’s like a little take on a real, live item! Maybe I’ll slap a little price tag and some copy on it! Like in a store! OMG IRONY! DIY OR DIE! TAKE THE HANDMADE CHALLENGE! Consumerism sucks. Buy this thing.

I hate this.
This is one of the many reasons that I hate the modern crafting/ “craftivism” culture at large.
And I can never articulate it well enough but boy will I try.
Why the same, old, tired paradigm? When you can re-invent everything? What a chance to squander!

Anyhow, I’m a capitalist, not an activist. Here’s my dumb packaging:

I think that this is an old-fashioned but simple and low-impact solution. My guilty, gnawing soul is calmed by idea that the majority of my paper products are recycled scraps and that even the printer was plucked from the garbage at Brown U (with 2 full inks inside!) All appropriate info can be added to the card on a need-to basis and after it’s served its purpose of brand identity, it can be recycled or composted or turned into a bookmark or shopping list. When I send stuff, I can write a small message of thanks on it. Then I usually wrap it in some of my nicer scrap, paper or fabric, tie it up with some scrap yarn or ribbon or what, and shove that puppy into a pre-used bubble mailer. A brown paper shopping bag makes for a good front label to cover over the vital info from the mailer’s last trip through the USPS. I don’t trust that the recipient will use the mailer again, but the wrapping may be saved and hopefully will then take up residence in the family craft drawer… or “gift wrapping room”.

Oh. And the unmentioned C). Making good on a drunken new years deal to do some polar swimming with a friend. Much like the time I declared that I would move to Rhode Island, USA after having downed maybe a few too many, I intend to see this one through just as well.

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