Just another week… some work, some rant…

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Hello dear ones! 

Brainy by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Last week I was finishing Mikey the ninja turtle. He’s all done, and a few days in the mail already–He’s on his way to Ontario, Canada, so he takes a bit of time. Here he is if you hadn’t seen him.

mike the ninja turtle by kim's sticks and strings

I’ve started Zombie Lucille Ball and there will be a Zombie Ricky Ricardo.  I’ve been daydreaming about this order for a few weeks.  Jill is cool enough to give me lots of freedom in making them. She didn’t even tell me what age, or what they should wear… which, I might add, is amazing!  She’s tall, 9″ tall so far without hair and shoes… Did I tell you I’m going to make shoes? Not crochet shoes. she’s Lucille Ball!  I’m going to attempt polymer clay shoes…crazy, yes, I know.  It could go well, they could just fall apart…both have happened in my head already, so I’m prepared for either…

Have had a few new ideas for upcoming spawn. I can’t do anything about them for a couple months. which is probably good. Some of the ideas need some mulling around…  I really need to figure out a way to wake up and be  “ready to work.” I could totally use a few 10-12 hour creating sessions.  That’s not really something that I get too often, but it could be nice.

♥♥♥♥

This part of my blog has strong opinions, some swearing, and a naked zombie at the end. Not safe for work, whiny people who don’t like strong language, or for those Pattern-Please bitches…

So, I know I’ve written about this before, but I’ve seen it happen lately, and it still gets me all crazed.   It’s the Pattern-Please Princesses again… That’s their new name. And Princess isn’t a compliment…she’s a sort of useless, overentitled good-for-nothing.    For you who aren’t hookers, Pattern-Please Princesses are the ones whose comment on a picture of a lovely creation that has been crocheted, or knitted, is “Pattern please,” like that makes their harpy like shrieks better. I’d like to smack them.

You are a hooker, and you have designed something SOOOO wonderful. It’s truly exactly how you envisioned it.  You put up a picture of your creation, a piece of your soul.  And some idiot comes along with “Pattern please.”  Yes, they deserved to be slapped in the face.

I don’t create patterns, I don’t work from patterns (except for socks and gloves, but then they’re patterns where I choose the yarn and needles, make a gauge swatch, and measure the hands or feet–very personal items, made for a specific person).  I realize that’s not really the norm. I don’t like patterns for most things… to me, it’s like using someone else’s words to tell my story, someone else’s skills to create MY vision.  But some hookers, knitters too I imagine, see something lovely, cute, amazing, and then instead of FIRST complimenting the artist on how much work went into it, what a wonderful creation it is, just want the instructions for themselves…ugh, they annoy me so.

Last weekend I was looking at micro-crochet to share in a community I help admin, and I saw some very amazing little creatures.  I found them on flickr, and was looking through the pictures, when I saw them… the Pattern Please Princesses.  On one picture in particular, there were 3 of these shrews, not one of them told the artist anything about how lovely, how much work went into creating them, not one bit about how they were envious of her skill. Just pattern please, and when the artist said she didn’t create patterns, they harassed her. “Why not” “When will it be up?” “Can’t you just write down what you did really quick”  One bitch kept on, asking “Can’t you just go look at it and write down some numbers for me? It can’t be that hard to count.”  She, in particular,  deserves a double slap.  What. The. Hell.

If you are one of these princesses, my opinion of you is amazingly low.  You must not know what it takes to have an idea and create a thing from just your idea.  I’m not talking about the folks who use patterns for most everything they create, I’m talking about the jerks who think everything should be a pattern, given away for free, so that you can create  everything you want.  They kind of remind me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings… I imagine them hording patterns in some filing system, stroking their preciouses.

This is in red, for effect.  If you are a Pattern Please Princess, yes, I do want to slap you, you deserve it.  You CAN change.  IF YOU NEED A PATTERN, and I use need loosely, because well, that’s just a crock of shit, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL YOU FIND HOLY, COMPLIMENT THE ARTIST!!!!!!  Your creation is lovely/amazing/so very cute! I’ve not seen anything I like so much/It’s just the most wonderful _______/ You are so very talented/It must have taken you so much focus to create the great detail/The stitching is so lovely… You get the idea.  Compliment the work you like so much. It doesn’t cost you anything, and obviously you think the creation is wonderful, you want to make one. THEN, after a few sentences of praise, then, you may ask if there might be a pattern.  IF THERE IS NOT, OR WON’T BE, DROP IT. Keeping at it makes people embarassed for you, you look like some jerk who just won’t move on. Really.  I’ve deleted comments because I couldn’t look at the begging anymore.  It’s desperate. And shallow.  If there’s no pattern and there won’t be, say thank you and move along.

I will always wonder about the real lives of Pattern Please Princesses. Are they so very annoying in the real world? How did they get to be that way?  Why didn’t someone just tear into them just once?  How were they never set straight by someone in their lives, a family member, a “friend,” a boss? How did they just not get told “not everything is for you.”  I probably seem a bit sensitive about it, but after coming across about a dozen creations where the Princesses just hounded the artist without properly praising first, I began to just feel so ashamed of those other hookers.  So much so I had to go looking at other art, just to find a picture of something that the comments didn’t say “tell me how you made that exactly.”

I actually don’t belong to many crochet groups, communities, because I can’t stand the Princesses, and they are in every group, looking for patterns, wanting to know why some won’t share.  One Princess told me that in order to join their community I had to share a pattern of my own creation, for free.  My exact words were “Fuck your community.”   A bit harsh, maybe.  But I’m not a Princess, and couldn’t possibly hang out with them. I just wanted her to know I don’t belong with them.  I am so. much. more than that.

So…that’s been my week. Finishing Mikey,  starting Zombie Lucy, being inspired to create some new things, being annoyed by Princesses.  Just another week…  Hopefully I’ll be able to show you  more of Lucy next time, right now she’s just a faceless zombie with underpants.

Zombie Lucy and my grinch by Kim's Sticks and Strings Zombie Lucy's pink undies, by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Have a good week, Keep it creepy!!!

My First Rant of the Year… You had to know there would be one…

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Hello dear ones!!! Trying to stay on schedule, write once a week…ish.  It’s THAT time again…time for a rant!!!

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My friend T and I were talking and she mentioned that she’d been thinking about unfollowing some folks on Twitter; she followed them because they were crochet accounts, and suddenly one person is tweeting about being sick, how her head is all stopped up, and then talked about her mucus.  Another one is about how her kid is feeling.  Does anyone else find a few faults?  *looks at crowd to see some hands raised* Good, some of you get it off the bat, I’m glad of that.

Let me start off by saying if your business is that you have no arms and you knit with your feet even though you have arthritis and have to wash your feet and keep them soft so you can knit, and you’ve got 2 kids to keep up with, and you sell your creations, then all of that can go in your posts, on Facebook or Twitter.  That’s who you are.   Own it. If you say you’re an artist, but then all your posts stop being about your art, then the folks who followed you for your art your art could stop following you…you’re not holding up your end.

I know  folks get sick.  I understand that there are many people who are very sick, and many with long term illnesses.  I get, also, that folks like to share something about themselves, you know, give their business a  personal touch. That’s cool.   I tweet about loving coffee, horror flicks, warm weather, my husband and dogs…and if I’m feeling under the weather, I may tweet about it, though nothing too specific.  If I’ve followed you on Twitter because of your art (music, paintings, sculptures, drawing, you’re a writer), unless your next piece of art is about or uses your boogers, DON’T TWEET ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!  Unless we’re friends somehow other than Twitter, that’s more than I want to know about you. I feel my life has been cheapened by reading tweets about your boogers.  I don’t even really want to hear about my husband’s mucus, much less that of a perfect stranger, who I followed because of their cool art, which is now not all that cool, because you burdened me with knowledge of a bodily secretions.  Thank you.

Even in a small, mostly online business, one must have a certain amount of professionalism.  On Facebook, lots of people, myself included, have a personal profile, and one for business.  That’s partly so that we can control who has access to our personal information.  I am a bit different on my personal page, than I am on my business page.  *whispered* I swear on my personal page, but try to conduct myself a bit more professionally on my business page.  I’m  more reserved on the yarny page.  I don’t act at my day job, as I do at home (I swear A LOT MORE at home). Would you want to walk into a store only to hear the shopkeepers talk about being sick, and going into detail about it?  Would you stay? Would you ask for the manager? Would you want to hear about their sickness daily?  Wouldn’t you feel like you know waaaaaaaay too much information about someone you just wanted to buy something from?

I do follow people who have kids. I don’t follow anyone BECAUSE OF their kids.  If your Twitter account is “Fiona’s Fancy Crochet,” chances are I’m following you because I want to know about your damn fancy crochet. I don’t want to know that your kid is sick or can’t sleep or is teething.  I’m not saying an occasional tweet about how you’re not sleeping because your child is having trouble or is sick or something, BUT if I follow fancy crochet, I want to know about fancy crochet.  If I follow Henry’s Horror Art, I want to see horror art, I don’t really want to know about your kid’s impetigo, colic,  or eating habits. Again, a post now and again, something not too personal, is ok.  Remember, someone could favorite a tweet daily, but chances are you’re still strangers, except you both like Cthulhu art or cooking, or sci-fi/fanstasy books.

This can all be solved by having a personal account  and a separate business account on Twitter.  You can say whatever you want on your own account, talk about your boogers and  your kid’s weird skin patch, and having to pick up hairballs in the night from your cat.  On your business page, you should tweet about things being rough last night so you didn’t get sleep, hopefully it will be a good day.  If you decide to keep just one account, less is more when it comes to talking about  your personal life.  Think about it this way:  When I see someone has followed me on Twitter, I immediately go to their page, I read their description and their most recent tweets, and that’s how I decide to follow or not.  If your description says you’re an artist, and your last week’s tweets are about your foot fungus, I won’t follow you. If you’re a writer, and you’ve got blinding migraines, that’s different, what’s going on with you affects your creative process. A hooker (crocheter), with arthritis, likewise, can tweet some about the pain. Don’t make the bulk of your posts about your illness though.  It can appear that you want people to follow you because of your illness.

I need to say, too, that the same goes for Facebook.  It doesn’t cost you anything to have a business page, fanpage, etc. Do not make perfect strangers who want to purchase jewelry from you wade through the posts about your ear wax, your kid’s homework, and why you had to shave the dog.  And again, you can lightly pepper your posts with bits about yourself.  On my facebook posts I talk about my dogs, occasionally about the husband, my love of horror flicks, my health, my job… But it’s gently sprinkled in.  People don’t ask me to make them a spawn because I have 2 dogs and like horror movies.  I will  admit to having unliked/unfollowed businesses whose posts began to always talk about their families… your business page should be for mostly business-related content.  Otherwise people have to start deciding whether, or when, following you is worth having to sift through the personal stuff… and sometimes, it’s not.

I am not in any way saying that it’s not ok to be a mom who works at home and talks about being a mom and about the business. I’m not saying that you can’t be someone with a long-term illness who creates wonderful art, and talks a lot about your illness.  I AM saying that there are people who won’t want to wade through THOSE posts to get to your art.  I’m not a parent, and am really not all that interested in the children of strangers, so I’d have to decide whether or not your art was cool enough to have to put up with posts about when your kid came home from preschool the other day… maybe, but maybe not.

And by the way… Let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those people who takes pictures of their food. I just don’t get it.  I may post about having a yummy meal, but not all that often.  The husband loves to take pictures of his food and post pictures, but he also likes to cook…I do not.  There are a lot of folks who do this, celebrities, chefs, foodies, average people… If you’re a chef, a baker, food critic… this is cool, and relevant.  You just went out for a sandwich and salad and want me to see it? WHY??? I don’t care.  I don’t care what celebrities, actors, directors, famous writers, politicians, bands, or presidents eat… not really.  And if you’re a business, NOT related to food in any way, I really don’t care much.  Yes, I do occasionally tweet or post about eating or drinking something particularly yummy, but it’s not the bulk of my content. I tweet about needing more coffee, something most artists mention… we like caffeine boosts, coffee, tea, soda… what have you.  But my business is not food related, so there’s not a really good reason for me to post about food. (If I found a frog in my salad though, I’d tweet the hell out of that with pictures…BECAUSE IT’S CREEPY!)

I check out which posts get more attention, what content people “like.”  It’s easier to check on your insights on Facebook than on Twitter and Google+, but I still do check on things.  I wonder how often people check on things like that, how often do you look at your posts and think “hmmm, I posted a picture of my art, and 49 people liked/favorited it, but I posted that my kid is sick and I’m tired of finding boogers on my pants, and only 2 people liked/favorited it, and I was unfollowed by 4 people.”  That would resonate with me.  If you have a business account, and there are posts which no one likes… maybe you should ask yourself what it is about that post that NO ONE LIKES,  and then don’t do that again.

So, what now?  You’ve read this, and gone back and looked at some of your posts, and realized that you’ve got lots of posts no one likes? No one likes  the ones about your kids? People don’t favorite tweets about the bedsores on your bum, even though you’re a bedridden artist? Change it… or don’t, up to you.  Just know that your content is how people judge whether they’re going to follow you.  I might just follow someone who’s an artist and a parent, and some tweets are about the kid, trying to keep up with a running kid and not being able to work as much as liked, with some posts about the art generously thrown in.  I would not follow an artist whose entire last page of tweets was about a child being sick.  That’s for your personal profile.  I’m no guru,  I have no specific idea what content is best for you.  I know what posts get the most attention for my page, and I am always trying new things to see what effect they have on the number of views… Your posts are the advertisement for your business if you don’t pay to promote them… Make them count FOR you, not AGAINST you.

So, go to your pages, your favorite artists, business people…look at their content, the posts that lots of people like.., and also, look at what has no likes, no favorites… think about why, it’s good to check out what’s doing well, and what’s not.  Remember that all this is just stuff that floats around in my brain, so maybe don’t take it deadly serious… But it probably couldn’t hurt to look at what you’re posting on behalf of your business… if it is too personal or not really business appropriate, you could be driving people, customers, away.

Keep it creepy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where I completely admit to being obsessed… or all the crazy little bits I put into creating a couple spawn

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Hello my lovelies!

It’s been 2 weeks since the last post, and while I sit here I wonder why it is that it’s been 2 weeks, why didn’t I just sit and do this last weekend?  I was sitting her trying to figure out what it is that kept me…ooooooh… I had my creation blinders on!  With most of my projects, I can put the doll down, and pick up something else, a different project, a different activity, and I’m fine.   I can switch gears and make something else, or do something else, and the project is safely tucked away in part of my brain, I make/take notes for myself about the current state of things, and what I’d like to do next time I pick it up.  But not my last order.  I was making a Pink-toe Tarantula and Samara Morgan from the movie The Ring, for Rick, a really cool artist and tattoo artist friend.  Rick is a creepy-crawly lover, so the spider was going to be life-sized, which is slightly harder than one thinks.  Most measurements are note exact, spiders don’t seem to love to be measured, PLUS, straight leg-length is hard to get on a spider since they’re bent, in life (straight leg measurements are usually post-mortem activities)  Well with all the knowledge a non-spider person can get (at least 2 hours searching and tarantula sites) I started on the PinkToe.  They’re actually quite lovely, with long, vibrant pink hairs all over their bodies, my thoughts turned to how to get those right.  This was not going to be a project where fun-fur could be used, that would NOT be ok.  I got very shiny, very fine, polyester thread, black and hot pink, and sewed them in by hand.  Crazy, obsessed? Maybe.  But my tarantula looks quite like a real tarantula rather than a crocheted spider, even though it’s slightly larger than life-sized.

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When I was working on the spider, I was obsessed. Possibly because sewing in the hairs on the legs and body just took a long time, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way.  The spider needed to look big and hairy, like it did in my head  I really wanted to take some forced perspective pictures of her destroying Sacramento, but my next project was Samara Morgan, and I was more obsessed.

When I say obsessed, I really mean it.  I didn’t want to work on other projects, and even upcoming projects didn’t interest me, and I always am excited about what I’ll be working on coming up!!!  I didn’t want to read, and I never seem to get enough regular reading time,, certainly not daily, and almost not at all while working on her.  If I was going to sit down, I wanted to work on her.  OBSESSED!!!

The other part of my obsession is that when I’m making something that has a definite look, but more than that, an absolute look.  Frankenstein’s monster has a look, but he’s changed a bit here and there, due to artist interpretation. Samara Morgan has an absolute look, super creepy, pale blue-ish with deep black cracks and slimy grey-ish black gunk on her skin, a long dress that is blackened with slime at the hem and bottom of the sleeves, and long, hanging black hair…but it more than just hangs, it has some eerie, creepiness to it…  This was not going to be a doll that could have yarn hair, it had to be fine, and hang just the right way.  Crochet thread approached the right look, but wasn’t as shiny as I needed this to be (shiny thread makes her hair look a bit like it’s wet, like it does in the movies)

(When I start a new doll, I often give a cursory look out there at other artists’ dolls of the same characters, looking for inspiration, but rarely do I look at crochet versions, those aren’t what I want mine to look like.  Let me qualify that~ When I searched for Samara Morgan art dolls there were the plastic/vinyl/clay/porcelain versions, the ones that really tried to grasp the creepiness, really tried to get her look.  Crochet versions were pale in color, with some sort of dress, black hair, sometimes safety eyes, sometimes just a frowny face……many I wouldn’t have known they were Samara Morgan except that’s what I searched for.  I realize, I really do, that it’s MY craziness/vision/obsession.  I need my version to look as much like the thing as I can get it to.  Part of that is the details.  “Details, baby, details.”)

First off, she’s small,  Not my smallest doll yet, I think the zombie fairy I made for my friend Teeni is my smallest whole doll (I’ve made small zombie torsos, but Zombie fairy, Pipette, is small.

pipette

 

Anyway, Samara is just 6′ tall, and made thin. She’s also, at the suggestion of my friend Teeni, pale blue.  In the movie she always had a pale blue to her skin, and though the yarn I used  is paler than she is, it did the trick.  She also seemed to me to have a definite order, mostly for convenience, but I had to do her face first, I needed some creepiness.  I used black embroidery floss for some of the cracks in her face.  Her eyes were grey, with a line of red and tan threads under each eye, because her eyes are reddish underneath.  I also painted on, with acrylic paints, some of the black and greyish slime that covers her skin…she really is dirty from being down in the well.  While the hair, the very last thing I did was the most time-consuming, the dress is the thing that caused me the most freakouts, not big ones mind you, but ones that cause me to need another pair of eyes to tell me it’s ok…thanks T!  I don’t sew.  Ok, let me re-phrase that.  I don’t have a machine, or real sewing skills–since I’ve never had a machine of my own, I’ve never really practiced, and though I’m certain I could learn to follow fairly simple patterns, the fact remains that all my sewing is done by hand, and kind on-the-fly.   Like in most of my creations, I don’t really make patterns for the pieces I have to sew, I just do a quick sketch on the wrong side of the fabric and sew–which is a lot harder to do for the unskilled when the dress is for a 6″ doll!  UGH, TURNING THE DRESS RIGHT SIDE OUT SUCKED DONKEY BALLS!  (Disclaimer: I don’t REALLY know what that is like, but I’m sure it’s bad!  I coffee stained her dress. and used black acrylic paint to get the right color.  Then finally time to sew in her hair!  I used the same black polyester thread i did for the tarantula, it’s really shiny, and hangs just the right way.  I’d sew in 4-4 thicknesses of thread at a time, just to increase the coverage, but it still took quite awhile, since I used superfine thread.

I put her away for a day, I usually put dolls I spend a lot of time on away for a day. I need fresher eyes.  I get detail blind–I only focus on the small things…the dress probably came out a bit too dark and still smells a bit like coffee… her skin isn’t quite the right blue… her face could have been attended to a bit more…    There are always things that eat at me, sometimes way past the message that they’ve arrived and are currently being adored!  Yep, some of my dolls haunt me!   Usually once I get the message, I’m good…but there are a few of my spawn that I just…want to……leave just the way they are because they are loved, and that sheer fact amazes me every single time.  I am always so in awe that people come to me, and often tell me they’ve wanted something like this for awhile and trust me to help create their vision…  which is always always always, all in the details.

So here she is, I love her, I think she’s the creepiest doll I’ve made yet.  My creepy little dead girl

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And here are the PinkToe and Samara leaving me Friday

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I’ve since started a new project, a witch similar to one I made a couple of years ago for a very lovely lady.  The witch is a lot of fun, being much more subjective, with just some color specificities.  I love the project, am not obsessed, and it feels easier, *sigh*.  Not that I don’t like creating specific characters, I SO do!  I love working on  really specific creations, they really make me work and push myself, but I do also like a break of other creations in between.  Also, I started trying to come up with a crochet skull pattern of my very own, one that will look good as just a skull, but also will be good for creating sugar skulls with! i want to yarn bomb with some, hopefully for Dia de los Muertos!  Oh, and I need to make some more mary-jane slippers, my toes are chilly in the morning, it’s almost fall here in northern-california!

So, I guess this was all the stuff that’s been in my head the last couple of weeks.  I was really too  “all about the spawn” to even sit down and write about how much they can take over my life.  Luckily I have a really understanding husband who doesn’t mind so much that he has to remind me to come up for air and get out of my head for a bit (his words are different, same sentiment…he’s not gonna read this).

It’s September now, which means it’s almost time for me to announce my contest.   Also have to get to making those prizes.  Stay tuned for occasional pictures of those, and for the halloween story contest, I’ll be reminding folks here and on my page, and will be posting all the entries here on my blog just like for the Easter Bunny stories.  OOOO, just for what’s going to happen in the future, I’M GOING TO BE MAKING A KRAMPUS THIS YEAR, WOOHOO!!!

Thanks for reading and commenting and putting up with the weirdness! and KEEP IT CREEPY!!!

My Creations Make The World Die A Bit??? Now I’m Mad With Power!!!

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Hello lovelies!  Hope all is well with you, and that you’re ready for another installment of the crazy-ness that lives in my brains…just a reminder, NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR KIDS!

This week I’ve felt a bit like I was running around  screaming  EEEEEEEEE in a really high pitched voice.  Work has been a bit frantic.  My boss is pregnant, due in about 2 weeks, but, well, who knows… it’s her first baby.  AND we’re having an auction at work next week~if folks don’t pay their storage unit rent on time, they can accrue fees, and if they keep not paying we let them get to 2 months usually, and then they go to auction, after all the appropriate notices have been sent.  It’s  a stressful time, folks keep calling trying to get their stuff back for cheap, and they like to yell. OH, and if my boss goes into labor early, I will have to work alone and be at the auction…EEEEEEE!

I’m also kicking it into high gear with the spawn! Making a tarantula, life sized, and Samara Morgan from The Ring

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…and a bear and a dog, and so many other things, AND NOW, suddenly, I’ve got this need to start working on a skull pattern of my own.  I’ve been using Lion’s skull pattern http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70464A.html , but I really want to make my own.  I’d like it to be about softball/grapefruit sized, with light worsted weight, so that it’s smaller with thread.  I’m currently waiting more impatiently for stores to put up Halloween items, so I can find a nice model.  Yes, totally busy, and now my brain won’t let me rest…I’ve got several different ideas for Frankenstein’s monsters, this skull, and a list… I’m not complaining, either, just helping you understand the EEEEEEEE!

I’ve also been noticing more the shortcuts we take, which I think in part is due to social media.  some stuff which is banal, and some stuff that just makes me feel like we’re unbecoming humans.

Some of the lighter stuff  is thread jacking, of which I am a complete GUILTY!  I will comment on someone’s  thread, and then start a conversation with someone, not the person who the thread belongs to, and just take off…I really should create a new conversation, or talk in a chat box, but I don’t.  It’s probably the equivalent of jumping into someone’s conversation and changing it without asking.  I do it lots, sorry if it’s happened to you.   I DO know folks who dislike it very much, and while I try not to…I also don’t frequent the thread of those people. I like organic conversations, I like to see where they go.  Sometimes that’s not always appropriate, but…I did say sorry.

There are people who’ve just completely lost all their social niceties.  Maybe they didn’t have any to begin with, maybe they’re rude as hell in real life, and I’m lucky enough not to have to see it.  I know I mentioned in on Facebook, but it could do with some expansion…  I’ve seen, and had a few, negative commenters lately, and I wanna know  WHAT THE HELL!?!  People come right out and say “I don’t like that,” “The colors are off,” “You need photography lessons,”  “That would be better in blue,” “Why don’t you make those hats you made last year,” “When are you going back to making things like you used to?” and I saw someone say “Hey, I can make those, I can have a shop and make things and sell them too!” I got a pm the other day, “You know you’re not a real artist, don’t you?” to which I responded “You know you’re not a decent person, don’t you?.” right before blocking them.  And then someone did send me a message that said “When people are no longer interested in ugly or creepy things, they will realize you aren’t talented at all. Your “work” isn’t beautiful or thoughtful. A bit of the world dies each time one of your dolls goes out.”  A BIT OF THE WORLD DIES?!? REALLY?!?  REALLY REALLY???

I totally had no idea my creations had so much power…MUAAAAAAAAAAAH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH AAAAAAAAAH!

Now. to just put all those people together into one group, and just respond to them en masse:

DEAR BITCHES… What the hell?  As creators, ARTISTS, makers of wonderful things, we don’t care if YOU don’t like it.  If it wasn’t made for YOU, you can kindly shut it, because you’re not only making yourself look like a tactless dolt, but it really is just plain rude.  Folks don’t like it when people question their mamas but here goes nothing:  Didn’t your mama teach you if you don’t have something nice to say, then SHUT THE HELL UP YOU IGNORANT ASS!  The world, and all it’s kabillions (actual term, means lots and lots) of people are NOT here to please YOU!  If you don’t like the art,creation, picture, comment, don’t click the like button!!! Wow so simple!  Actually going out of your way to tell an artist you don’t like their work is rude/stupid/shitty/mean/hurtful/pathetic/means something more about the person who left the comment.    It means I wouldn’t like to know you as a person.  There are many pieces I’m not into, and pass up without clicking like.  I don’t always click the like button for yarn crafts, so you know.  I’m not a mum, so chances are I won’t click like for anything baby, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.  I click the like button for friends, their works, especially ones that they’ve really been working at, for the effort, and, well, a bunch of other reasons, as well as that I like it.  I click like for some cute  stuff, depending on whose work it is, if I really like it, or if  it inspires me to think about a creepy version (sometimes I see your cute work and I want to make the monster/zombie/creepy version, that’s inspiration too!)  But if I don’t like it, I just don’t click like.  That’s all.  IF someone is asking for critiques, just so you know, “I don’t like it” really doesn’t cut it.  I’m sure, after being shocked by your straightforwardness, the artist doesn’t care about your opinion again.   If I walk into a store, and let’s face it, our facebook pages are our “virtual stores (and hangouts),” I wouldn’t look at something and tell the proprietor “I don’t like this.”  It’s rude, inappropriate, and chances are that person will SAY something like “Well, take a look around, maybe we’ve got something else you like better,” but WHAT THEY WANT TO SAY IS “Turn the hell around and march your happy ass out of my store you rude bitch, there is nothing here I will sell you!”  Now, when you buy from an online store, that is really a facebook page, things are a bit less formal.  You are greeted by a cover photo, maybe some info from the artist, there are usually photo albums to look at, and you have the options to click the like button and leave comments, if you like stuff, or, if you don’t like it, YOU SHOULD JUST LEAVE THE PAGE! If you don’t like something, leave.  Don’t go back to that page!  Try to act more mature than a gradeschooler!

When it comes down to it, leaving a negative comment says more about you than you know.   It says you’re rude, that you think you’re owed something in life.  You “think” your opinion matters, should matter, to most, because “it’s a good one.” Leaving negative comments says you’ve got sour grapes about something in your life…you could have made this, you wish you had time/the ability/felt a creative spark.  It says you’re narrow-minded and controlling…did I mention I don’t want to know you?  Did I mention if I ever happened to know someone who wanted to tell an artist they didn’t like something or to change the color or some kind of shit I’d kick them straight in their bung hole as they walked away!!!  I’d do it!

*sigh* There are some days that all the political blaming and crappy negative on my facebook newsfeed drive me to only look at the art posts. most of which I’ve got on a list, so that I go to that list, and only see those posts.  But when idiots leave rude comments I want to hug the creator, and kick the offender.

ARTISTS OF ALL GENRES: It is completely ok to hide the comment, and block that person. There is no need to subject yourself to that. All negative comments are immediately hidden, I often leave a pearl of wisdom, and then I block that person.  I don’t need them in my virtual if I wouldn’t have them in my real life!

Really, people don’t re-read what they’re posting, I swear.  I sometimes type out things, and when I re-read, I may not like how it comes off…so I don’t post it…hell, you CAN delete it too.  I think I’d like to know that folks consider what they’re releasing out into the world before they do it.  I’ve gone back later and not liked something and deleted it.  We’ve got the ability to constantly re-evaluate ourselves, and make things better, make things “right” or even to change them.  I know there are people who already think they are amazing, and don’t need to change a thing… I don’t want to know those folks.

So, I told you I was going to let you in on the crazies, didn’t I?  It may not be much of anything, the stuff I blog, but the pressure release valve is back to “normalish” again.  A semi-peaceful state has been returned to the Kimdom, and all will live creepily after!  Seriously, blogging helps sort my head, the creatures scratching around upstairs feel less stressed, and…crazily enough to me, some of you read this and comment!!! I love you!!!  Ok, have to go, things to do, parts of the world to kill with my creations!

KEEP IT CREEPY!!

I Love My Friends…

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Hello, my lovelies! Glad to see you here again! This post really is about you!

It has been a particularly good week for me, nothing really out of the ordinary has happened.  I’ve been working on Calvin and Hobbes characters for my friend Danny. For those of you not from the U.S., Calvin and Hobbes were comic strip characters created by Bill Waterson, a boy and his stuffed tiger, who the boy, Calvin, saw as a quite tall, upright walking tiger, who could talk.

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It was pretty popular in the mid to late 1980s, yes, dating myself, and it was in the daily paper, and there was a color half page on Sundays.

Here’s mine

Calvin and Hobbes by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Danny always makes me stretch.  He never just asks for a zombie, or something simple.   AND he orders everything as a keychain–he collects them, there’s one for most major happenings in his life. So everything I’ve made him also has a keyring on it.  But we’ve been friends since high school, and, well, I enjoy a challenge, and don’t mind putting a keyring on something…now my spawn get to be part of his giant collection.

Danny was the first to order a Grinch, and It got all  kinds of love.  His was special, he has my zombie eyes, and is wearing a hat. He’s also holding Cindy Lou Who’s dead-head…

My first grinch

Danny also ordered a flying monkey and an Oompa Loompa, from the first movie.

My Flying Monkey and Oompa Loompa from Kim's Sticks and Strings

But this post really isn’t too much about what I’ve been making, but more about all my wonderful friends, especially, the hookers.   I’ve commented to my friend Teeni of late, I am so very impressed with “our hookers.”   I’ve mentioned before that I’m an administrator for The Treblemaking Hookers, https://www.facebook.com/TreblemakingHookers, a crochet community on facebook that promotes the love, business, and art of crochet.  So when we talk about “our hookers,” it’s about the folks who are regular participants on the page, and on our yarny pages, and you know who you are!  You are the folks I connect with daily, weekly, regularly about projects, have chat  and giggle sessions with, and who I appreciate so very much.   We have days where we celebrate finished products, and pattern designers,  and these hookers are so positive and supportive of each other, it just makes me so happy!

And this week, this same group of hookers, our hookers, MY HOOKERS, as well as my other friends, and creepy lovers, fellow artists, amazing minds have given me so much  LOVE, with the best part of it being that I was in a place that allowed me to just go ahead and appreciate it all.  Add to that with a couple of folks getting their packages and totally being so very happy, and it’s a pretty great week.  I think that I’m finally settling in, and feeling a little less crazy, and I allowed myself to just sink into how wonderful all my friends are.  I feel pretty blessed.

I’ve told you some of the negative things that go on in my head, from way back.  And also in my head are the voices that tell me I’m not that talented.  I’m sure a few of you probably hear that voice once in awhile… NEVER BELIEVE THAT VOICE!!! DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT VOICE!!!  That voice can steal your mojo, leave you feeling terrible about yourself, and is really wrong.  That voice is very counter-creative!  That voice has been pretty silent this week, which is pretty cool!

 I invite you all, hookers,  artist,  writers, readers, moms, dads, friends, to try to listen to the words of your friends, and families, and loved ones, instead of the negative things you may focus on.  Even for just a weekend…just put the negative out of your mind. I know it’s hard, trust me.  And remember, too, that you have to give back.  You have to be one of those positive voices for others; you have to help stifle the negativity.  But the benefits are amazing.  When we lift each other up, we lift ourselves up, as a whole.   With the way the world is today, all the negativity, why not set out to be a bit more positive?  Why not be one of those positive, nurturing voices for someone?  I am so very grateful to each and every one of the folks this week who has been so über wonderful!  So go ahead, tell someone something nice, give someone a pat on the back, find someone who may be having a low day, and give em a bit of encouragement.  It’s not only lovely to hear, but is so very good for you, as well.  *whispers* I love you, all my friends!

♥♥♥

So, I’m nearly done with “the big Hobbes,” the one that Calvin sees. Then they will be off to the post. AND THEN IT’S BACK TO CREEPY DOLLS!  I really do love creepy dolls the most, though I’ll be making a few more “non-creepy” things over the next few months, and am excited about all of them!   *whispers*  Next, I’m making a  life sized Pink-toe Tarantula and Samara, from The Ring…yay for possible creepy dreams!!! Oh and some zombies, and an Ash Bear…well, it looks like I need to go put some yarn and a hook in hand, yarnspawn still aren’t making themselves…

HAVE A SUPER WONDERFUL, CREATIVE WEEK, SHARE A LITTLE LOVE, AND, AS ALWAYS, KEEP IT CREEPY!!! 

International Yarnbombing Day, Jill’s Tree, and Rachel and the Golem

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Hello Lovelies! So glad you’re back! This was a busy week! They’ve all been that way for a bit… more changes and craziness to come, I’m sure!

So LAST weekend was International Yarnbombing/Knitting(hooking) in Public day.  And it totally caught me off guard… even though I had written about it,  the Treblemaking Hookers had posted and planned on it… and my work on the Golem totally had me so wrapped up that I didn’t take any time for making things for yarnbombing.  I ended up with  4 3D  monster hearts and 7 green fuzzy 2D  hearts with “stitches” sewn on, not what I had wanted, but I also realized I wasn’t as into these for yarnbombs as I had been for the skulls.  I’m wondering if maybe for yarnbombing I don’t need to simplify, follow a pattern, already created, make something a bit easier, something I can go on autopilot for… THEN, to add insult to injury, my sad old phone that I used to take pictures lost some of the photos, and some went corrupt, and I can’t retrieve them… Plagued from the get-go, I must change things for the next time!

BUT, some of my friends DID do lots of yarnbombing, and I”m going to share their pictures, because I love them all so much! Here goes:

fatimacollage

Fatima lives by the sea, and so created an ocean-based animal yarnbomb.  All the critters got sweet tags with her website and a note saying please give me a home! Wonderful!!!!!!

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Denise yarnbombs regularly! She’s always taking cute wee critters to libraries and parks and out when she goes and does her errands, I love this woman!!!  This yarnbomb day happened to coincide with her 30th wedding anniversary, so she made one critter for each year, and took them to the park! LOVE!!!

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My friend the Mad Crochet Scientist made the CUTEST wee safety cones, hollow like the real ones, and put them all over the playground, with notes telling kids to have a safe summer. DAMN CUTE!  I used to work with preschool aged kids, I know those cones are going to be well loved and played with!

liz

Liz left wee bookmarks in places where they’d for sure be found, and hopfully taken quickly. I like small, swee yarnbombs like these.  I always feel like someone finds them, and maybe instantly, their load gets a just a bit lighter.

wanda

Wanda made eyes for these hats and then put them on the fence of local Community Garden. She got the granddaughter to help out. I love those hats! AND there’s a good possibility that I”ll make some around mid-fall and yarnbomb with them.

Vania

Vania, and some ladies from her knitting group each made a flower and decorated the lions! LOVELY! And I do enjoy a group project!

linny

Linny left these very lovely butterfly hairpins in a bag, to keep them nice in the weather, and a note.  She said they were taken when she came out of the restaurant after having breakfast! LOVE!!!

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Amanda left something completely lovely for her mail carrier! I’d LOVE to have been a fly on the mailbox to have seen the face of the mailcarrier!  They need love too!

StephanieAycock

Stephanie turned her stop sign into a flower, and even though the wind caused the petals not to cooperate as well as she’d liked, I love this so very very much!

This week I spent working on Jill’s tree, and stump, for her stop motion video.  It had to be wool, because it had to be felted, there will be wool characters in the movie. This project was amazing to me. I had no idea why I had not made a posable tree before!!!  Of all the movies and cartoons and books where there were creepy trees that could reach up and grab folks, why had I not made one yet???  I’ve started looking at trees, looking at bark colors, and branches, and the way the trees lean, and thinking about where eyes might go…trees may not always have a mouth, or a big visible one, but they always have eyes.    Don’t get me wrong, some trees will have mouths, big, gaping ones, small menacing ones, strange smirking ones.  But some will just have eyes.  I’ve already got my next tree on the hook.  I’ve already made the weight pouch for it–I’m kind of in love with using BBs, they’re small, and have lots of nice weight for the size.  The only other thing I might use would be fishing weights. because I can get fairly small ones, that are heavy. I eliminated, for this tree, the floral tape, and this tree won’t be made out of wool.  I’m hoping to get the branches to taper a bit more.

treecollage

Image1586 Image1595

The eyes don’t have pupils. Those are just for the pictures.  These guys are going to be in a movie, so the eyes have to be able to move.  I plied the 3 ply yarn down, and crocheted wee chains and used them for tree bark, seemed important, even if I couldn’t get a good enough picture of it.

So the tree has taken hold of me. I honestly can’t tell you why so much, except every time I look at the tree I think of all those cartoons I watched as a kid, and Saturday morning shows… even the Ents in LOTR.  So now I’ve started one already.     It’s already got a bit narrower trunk, but it’s a side thing, I’ve got a Cthulhu on hooks next for someone.  And I start my new job on Tuesday. So there will be a bit less hooking 3 days  a week…a bit.

golem&Rachel

Remember these two? They’ve done their job. They’re with John F.D. Taff and his “now” fiance Debbie in New Orleans at the World Horror Convention.  In a very elaborate coup, the Golem, armed with sexiness and  a wee note in his mouth, proposed marriage to Debbie for John. She said YES!!! It was the creatures, they pushed it over the edge, I just know it!!!

So that’s my week, friends! Hope yours was wonderful, and that this coming one will be freaky, fangtastic, and as always,  A BIT CREEPY!!!

Our Weekend of Sharing the Yarny Love…or, Yarn Bombing With Friends…

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Hello lovelies! Beginning of the week post, no rants, though, just some yarny lovc. 

So, this last weekend was the Global Yarn Bomb-a-Long with my lovely group of hookers from Treblemaking Hookers, https://www.facebook.com/TreblemakingHookers.  For those of you who don’t know, yarn-bombing, yarn-storming, guerilla knitting or crocheting is all the same thing, it’s a yarny form of graffiti, which, technically, is illegal, though most don’t get prosecuted for, it just gets taken down. Projects can be big, like an entire panel to cover a pole or a tree or an Albert Einstein statue, or they can be smaller, hats on statues, bunting, cute little things hanging from trees… you get the idea.  When your piece, or what yarn bombers  call their “installation” is big, you have to plan to remove it.  People don’t always mind a yarn bomb, but old, faded and tattered yarn is, well, not good.  I have big project phobia, after a bit, no matter what it will be, I don’t like working on it, so I make smaller pieces, pretty often skulls, hearts, or flowers, all that fit in the palm of my hand.   They’re small, easy to take and “install,” AND, for me, the coolest part, always gone after a bit.  It’s kind of my way of spreading a bit of yarny love around.  I make something I love, put it somewhere that one might not normally see yarn, and, at least in my head, someone walks by, sees it, and falls in love. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  

some of my skulls

some of my skulls

more skulls

more skulls

A couple weeks ago, I asked the group how many might be interested in an impromptu group activity, and got a great response!  There were so many who hadn’t before, but wanted to, and I have to say I am absolutely impressed with all my hookers!  So many made such lovely items, all with the intent of  the yarny bits of love being taken, it makes my heart smile even now.  We’re from all over the world, and just happen to love yarn, and hooking, and, well, sharing.

anne bombs anne yarn bombs Anne Crafted Whimzies anne yb

Anne’s children helped her yarn bomb! The youngest helped with tags and the oldest helped install. I didn’t put tags on mine, but a wee note telling people to take a bit of yarny love home with them makes me happy! The tag says “Give this whimsie a good home”– Awwwww!

crochetcraftsbycarole     This was made by Carole, and her husband helped her install at night! She said they had a great time, and laughed lots! Incidentally, when they got home, a fire had started in a neighboring home, and because they were just getting home, they saw it, and her husband put the fire out… how cool to go from yarn bombing to being heroes!

KatieMcCollum Crepe Myrtle Bracelet   Katie made a very lovely bracelet for a Crepe Myrtle!  I love this! Beautiful and springy, it makes me smile to think of decorated trees!  I”ve never done this type of yarn bomb before, but I do love it!

tracyreynoldsyarnbomb   Tracy made a sweet Bo Peep and some sheep that she fully expected to be taken, which made me wonder where she lived so I could run over there and see people smile at the cuteness, and watch for the person who was finally brazen enough to walk away with them…SO CUTE!  Her neighbors should feel lucky!

Denise 2   Denise library   denise niemann

Denise likes to do this on the regular! She makes cute little stuffies, names them and then leaves them all over town while doing her errands, LOVE HER!  She left her yarn bombs with tags AND NAMES at the library in different sections, and an elephant at Lowe’s. Makes you want to go to the library, doesn’t it!

fatima   Fatima braved the weather to put lovely bunting up on this sign. She said it sprinkled a bit, but the lovely garland was still there later on when she went to take sunny pictures. Flowers are a lovely sign of spring, and Fatima is helping spring along!

dreamcatcheryarnbomb Dreamcatch dreamcatcher maella   Dreamcatcher made wonderful bookmarks with cute tags and placed them all over!  How wonderful to be walking along and see  a very cute bookmark with a tag that tells you to take it!  Every time those folks are reading they will remember that day!

kimlapsleywooleytoons    Kim made the cutest little Tin Man, he even has an axe! And those wee things hanging from the barbed wire?.. Hearts! What else would the Tin Man be climbing barbed wire for?  The hearts are teeny AND crocheted as well!

mad crochet   The Mad Crochet Scientist made a skull and a small note saying that he needed a new home.  She went back a bit later to the bench where she placed him, but he’d already found a new home within an hour…cool.

Amandacrictchletslug Amanda itchy crochet itchy crochet   Amanda decorated a park near her with lovely bunting and snails.  She had her brother and his friend help her, and they played on the playground, so not only did they spread love, but also had fun! And they were all gone when she went back, so someone has cute bits of yarny love from an anonymous wonderful person!!!

deannaskull owl at th court house deann deannasnake rentabike   De’Anna and her kids went about placing some yarny love about town, and they had a parade and a band at their yarn bombing…I’ll have to schedule that for next time!  The owl is at the court house, and the skull in the tree was placed there while a police officer was in his car just a few feet away… she wasn’t arrested, thankfully. And look, rent a bike, get a snake!!!

320766_473182852751411_817174126_n 945330_473183219418041_370507796_n linny   Linny yarn bombed some people she knew, and some random people too… One person got yarn bombed AND candy…win-win situation, thank you very much!!! And who woudn’t love a heart on their windscreen wipers?

922684_599802436696774_386417723_n 931409_599800380030313_1810646819_n 942284_599799866697031_123428760_n   Ellen was away for the weekend, at a sci-fi/fantasy fair and took her yarn bombing with her!  Her multi colored skulls made even the dreariest places way better, and bathroom yarn bombs make me giggle every time!!!

chris quirky   Chris made a bunch of things for her yarn bomb, and wrote her story~

I WANT TO TELL YOU A YARN (bomb)
APRIL 2013

After a week or 2 of gathering ammunition to launch in our *global* yarn bomb weekend (27/4/2013), the day arrived and I was ready for attack. 

I had a plan. In our main city there is a small, infrequently visited, historical site that now houses a few shops and a few little flats, but it is so out of the way in the city centre that not many people visit and the owners of the shops there often suffer from lack of custom. Three of the shops there are actually *craft* shops, one selling all manner of leatherwork gear and supplies (where I get my leather supplies for belts, bags etc), one a *trinket* type shop and the other a yarn shop. 

My plan was to *bomb* the place, get people talking about it and hopefully more would go and visit the area to see the yarn graffiti and at the same time pop into the little shops there. But alas, I could not get into town this weekend and so I had to think of somewhere else. 

So it was off to the supermarket for supplies and as we drove into the car park I 
remembered that the Metro Station was there and BINGO found an ideal place. 

So Gomez (the hubby, hehe) said off you go, I’m hiding in the supermarket. (such a chicken). 

I proceeded to tie on my little bits of soft shrapnel hoping that I would be able to get them all on before a train came in so that I could go back and sit in the car and watch what happened. Unfortunately my timing was bad and a train came along just as I was almost 
finished. 

A quite *mature* lady came to the fence near the tree and said with a grimaced look that said I was in for a scolding, “Erm, what’s all this in aid of?” Honestly, I felt like a naughty little school kid and thought I was in for a right blasting though I don’t know why. Lol 

I explained what a yarn bomb was and told her that this was part of a *global* bombing by a group of friends on the internet and we are helping to put smiles back on people’s faces. 

She never once smiled throughout this conversation, which worried me a bit, and then she said in a rather gruff way, “Well don’t you think it’s a bit silly, people will take them away?” I replied “Oh yes, well that’s the idea, there will be a note saying “If this made you smile today and you see anything you like, please take it.””. Her face still showed no emotion. Lol. She then said, “Oh well there’s not many like you out there today.” I said “Thank you, and feel free to take one if you’d like one.” “Oh, well what have you got?” she said. After giving her a list she went away with a butterfly and said, “Oh and it did make me smile” but it must have been a secret one because I still didn’t see it, lol

I loved that story so much, and still love it after reading it for the 4th time.

donna   Donna is new to our group, but joined in!  She made these super cute owls and a sign that told people they were up for adoption and please come get one… such cute owls, and what a lovely idea!

164281_10151881998984951_698032141_n 168851_10151881998654951_813161533_n   Danielle braved the rain also to put up a bit of yarny spring love out for the world!  These are so very cute! Great job Danielle!

486703_578786632154578_826179675_n   Wanda spread wonderful yarny love all around too!  I copied her by putting a skull at the gas pump, gas is so expensive that it’s nice to get a little something back after filling your tank  and emptying  your pocket!!!

Ok, this next picture isn’t yarny at all. My friend Ken makes wonderfully creepy dolls. Werewolves, zombies, vampires, creeps and ghouls, all amazingly creepy!  He happens to follow the Hookers, and got so excited about our yarn bombing weekend that he made a special doll to put out at a local park.

KenShoenebaum  I love this so much! Ken, you’re more than welcome to Creepy-Doll Bomb with us June 9 for International Yarn Bombing day! This is SO VERY COOL!!!!

Oh yes, International Yarn Bombing Day is June 9 this year. I’ll be participating. So will many of my hookers, they said they so very fully enjoyed this that they can’t wait!  AND I know we’ll be adding a few more folks, some have already expressed interest in joining,which just increases the yarny happiness.

So, that’s my post. I love each and every one of these people so much, pouring their time and energy and love into their projects, ones that went out into the world to find homes with completely random people.  I’ve been grinning from ear to ear while typing, hope this put a smile on your face too.

Have a really great week, so very much love to all my hookers! And, as always, KEEP IT CREEPY!!!!!!