Tag Archives: Interview

Another Hard-Hitting Interview

27 Dec

I hope everyone had a great weekend, whether they celebrated the holidays or not. I’m hoping at the very least the year slows its hectic pace now that Christmas has passed and everyone can enjoy a little peace before the new year.

I have another interview for you by Mrs. December, Gen with a G.  Gen’s talents at interviewing aren’t limited to 4 year-olds, I can assure you. She’s like the Barbara Walters of Calendar Girls. We interviewed each other before assigning topics for the blog-trade and I’m posting the first half of this interview today. It turns out we both share a love of Starbuck, the smokin’ hot pilot from BSG. The one with authority issues. Gee, it’s no wonder we get along.

What is the earliest vivid memory that you have?

I remember the lamp shade. The light filtered through in a particular way, marking the wall with a tiny hexagonal pattern. Like me, it was from the seventies. My aunt had taken my two cousins and me over to the Thorburns’ house to play and eat dinner. I was in the highchair. My sister was not born yet.

I was given milk in a sippy cup. I hate drinking milk. Always have. Hate it.

I tried to tell my aunt: DO. NOT. WANT. This was before I could speak, so she didn’t understand. Or maybe she did, but didn’t care. I just remember the frustration of feeling like I was not understood. I realized I was going to have to communicate this concept in another way, so I knocked the cup to the ground. The lid popped off and it spilled everywhere. My aunt said, “Bad girl! No, no, no! Bad girl!”

She bent over to the floor, wiping and muttering.

Success.

I think that you probably watched Battlestar Galactica based on a few of your tweets (which only makes me adore you more).  If you have watched BSG, which character was the most sexy, and why?  And most importantly, would you have sex with a cylon?

We’re barely halfway through the first season but I adore it. The men in the series so far are:

1. Drunken John McCain

2. Jaime Escalante

3. Evil Dr. Julian Bashir.

4. Lee (cute, but not my type)

5. & 6. the two guys Boomer is screwing. (Helo’s actually kind of hot.)

7. Pointdexter, Assistant to the President

I can’t say I really want to jump any of their bones. Although according to Wiki this guy appears in the second season and I reserve the right to change my mind. He looks kind of hot in that photo but a personality can ruin that, so he’s just a maybe. For the time being I shall call him Sargent Bicep.

8. Sargent Bicep (possibly?)

All the girls, however, are patently do-able, excepting Madame President. I would refrain from screwing her out of respect for our great nation. Starbuck, of course, is the best, and I’d be a fool to turn her down. I want to do Starbuck, but I also want to BE Starbuck.

If my husband were a cylon, I’d still totally do him. The only thing that would change is when he tells me he’s too tired to rub my feet I’d say LIAR! YOU’RE A ROBOT! NOW MAKE WITH THE FOOT RUBS OR NO CYLON SEXYSEX!

The Haps

9 Dec

Here’s the haps:

* First and foremost, I’m participating in my Etsy Team’s sale, which means everything in the Little Big Shop is 15% off for shoppers who use the coupon code “librarylove.” Today is the last day of the sale. As my friend Librarianearp says, tell all your friends about the sale, or the terrorists win.

* The lovely and talented Windsor Grace allowed me to interview her. Check out her blog and an Etsy shop.

* I guest blogged for world-traveler and good friend Marie on her food blog Five Flavors. She asked me to post a recipe that I make often and so I’m sharing with you my version of Rebaked Potatoes. I attribute the success of my marriage to this recipe. It’s hard to fight when you’re eating enormous amounts of cheese. You’re just too damn happy.

* It’s worth mentioning that Marie is in New Zealand, which means I’m reaching a whole new audience: Middle Earth.  

* Anthony went to his first Christmas party with his new company. And he didn’t get drunk and Xerox his butt! I’m counting that as a win.

* Last night we did some shopping at Target and Isobel ran through the aisles shouting, “WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE DID IT!” She also does this new thing where she says, “No biting! No biting!” before she tries to bite you. She’s also obsessed with the concept of sleeping. If the TV’s not on, it’s sleeping. If the bathtub isn’t full, it’s sleeping, if the neighbor dog isn’t currently barking, he’s sleeping. It’s adorable. Everything she does is adorable, though.

* Isobel quit using binkies when she was just a few months old. I really think that was tipping point in between her being a newborn infant and her being just a baby. Sometimes Isobel rummages through her old baskets and comes across her old binkes. She generally starts shouting, “Baby! Baby! A BABY!” The other day while I was doing laundry she left the room and came back a minute later with two binkies. One she put in her mouth and one she insisted go in mine. So we finished the laundry with binkies in our mouths.

When you have a toddler, you just have to roll with it.

* My daughter SINGS. She sings “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Ring Around the Roses,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and pretty much everything on Yo Gabba Gabba. Grandma taught her how to sing, “La Cucaracha”, and the other night she learned “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in about three minutes. I’ve been trying to get a video of her singing. She’ll sing sponantously: at dinner, in the car, while playing with her toys. She’s a big (little) girl now.

Etsy Interview: Windsor Grace

8 Dec

In support of handmade and small businesses, I am interviewing etsy shop owners for the holidays. You can find my interview with The Red Star Designs here and my interview with Excessively Diverting here. Next up is Windsor Grace, owner of Knit in Public Etsy shop and blog.

I met Windsor Grace through twitter. First I found her blog and then I started talking to her personally. I feel weird following people one twitter unless I’m interacting with them, so I got to know Windsor through conversation as well as blog posts.

Recently I included one of her rings in an Etsy Picks post. I freaking love that ring and I talked about it to the point that she just up and gave it to me, can you believe that?! Probably she did that so I would just SHUT UP ALREADY, but even so it shows her generous spirit. Additionally, she looks like Snow White. CUTE.

It’s freaking adorable and I don’t blame you at all if you request her to make more of them just for you.

Here I am, pretending to BAM my kitties.

This would have been PERFECT for my Rogue costume at Halloween.

Now, onto the interview!

(I’m very proud of myself because this time I didn’t have to rely on interview questions from monster.com.)

1.  It’s obvious from your blog, Knit in Public, that you love knitting. But your jewelry is a wonderful surprise. How did you get into jewelry making?

I do looooove to knit.  I got into jewelry designing a little as a kid.  My grandmother took my brother, cousins and me to a bead shop in her little town and let us pick whatever we wanted.  I have always been fascinated with anything artsy and/or craftsy.  (Yes, I know craftsy isn’t a word)  I worked with seed beads as a child and teenager.

Then, my love of painting and drawing took over and I forgot all about the joys of jewelry.  I came across some jewelry made of shrink plastic and I thought, “I can totally do that!”  So, I did.  It gives me a chance to draw and sketch and use colors and blend while also turning it into something wearable.  I really love the jewelry.  And, I took a metal smithing class a few months ago and hope to have more interesting things in the future.  Right now, I’m so totally focused on the knitting, it’s hard to know I will get bored with it in a few months, but I certainly will.

2. Would you briefly describe your process for jewelry making? How long does it take to make each piece?

Hmm…I get a piece of paper and sketch out a design.  Or, I may have something already going in my head and I just need to get it on the paper.  I then trace the design onto the shrink plastic and color it in.  Depending on how involved the piece is, they usually take between 2-5 hours from start to finish.

3. You have such lovely hand-knit items in your shop. What inspires your knitting most?  What inspires you in general?

Thank you!  What is inspiring me right now is knitting multiple color strands at the same time.  I’ve also been working at using the twisted stitch in different and interesting ways.  Knitting is like a huge canvas and it always amazes me that I made that with my own two hands and a ball of yarn.  It’s the best feeling!

In general, the things that inspire me and things that feel innocent, yet sparkly and beautiful, doesn’t that make sense?  Winter golds and winter whites and bold, beautiful reds.  Snow.  I am realizing (right now) I’m being inspired by Christmas and the fun and glitter and excitement of the season.

4.  Remember when I had that dream that I went to a play wrote by you and you were singing and dancing and it was a whole epic production? How’s that coming along?

I vaguely remember that.  It’s coming, if by play with dancing and singing, you mean me singing in my car and occasionally dancing (very badly) around my room in my undies 🙂

Oh, and since you didn’t ask my favorite interview question of all time, Would you rather be a Centaur or a Unicorn? I will just answer it anyway. Unicorn, duh.  Men can’t see them.

Windsor Grace is offering a coupon code for the holidays! Just type in “dreambig” for 20% off your order in her Etsy shop.

Etsy Interview: Excessively Diverting

24 Nov

I have a special affection for Lisa Rabey. She’s a librarian, an awesome friend, and now, an etsy shop owner. Lisa turns classic works of literature into glorious ornaments and lovely pins. Right now she’s working her way through Jane Austen, a personal favorite of mine, and plans to work with other classic novels also. And she’s offering Little Big readers a discount! Read further for details.

Ornaments like these make gorgeous gifts for the holidays, and her exquisite pins make the perfect stocking stuffer – if you can resist buying them for yourself.

1. Would you please tell me about the process of making these awesome pins and ornaments?

Tell Me About Your Pins – The Novel Accessory

I have one method for making the pin itself, the text however has variations.

I use recycled wood that has been pre-cut into 2″x1″x1/8th, sand it down so it’s smooth. I then paint it with a single layer of paint or wood stain to keep the wood grain visible. After the paint has dried, I add a single layer of luster. The luster takes 15 minutes to dry, but because of how many layers I will be adding, I make sure each side dries 30 minutes for the first layer.

For pins where I print the quote myself, the quotes are printed on archival antique, heavy bond paper in archival inks in Baskerville font.

I adhere the quote to the pin with a single coat of luster. Let dry for 15 minutes. I repeat this step several more times so that there is anywhere from 3-4 layers of luster on the paper and pin.

The following day, I adhere the finishing to the back and let that dry for an hour. I then add another coat of luster to the back to blend in the pin adhesive. I give it one more coat through front and back and let that dry again overnight.

I can do maybe a dozen or so pins in a sitting, but the whole process takes several days.

For pins where I am recycling the text from the book, the text is meticulously cut out and adhered the same way as the quotes I print myself. Same process, just takes a bit longer since there is no guidelines available for cutting the text since it is freehand.

Tell Me About Your Balls – The Novel Ornaments

For the ornaments, this is a little bit easier. I played with various size balls (heh. heh. heh. I’m 12!) and I really liked the 4″ ones the best for presentation. I stuff the balls (heh. heh. heh.) with strips from a book. Right now I’m working through all of Jane Austen’s books, but I plan on adding more from other classical works in the next few weeks.

The text is printed, again in Baskerville font, on archival heavy bond paper in archival inks and printed on both sides. Each 4″ ball takes up 2 sheets of paper, which with JA’s chapters being so short, can be a full chapter or a chapter and a half.

For balls (heh. heh. heh.) that I use recycled text from, the amount varies so it can be 3-4 pages instead of two, depending on the size of the book.

I top the whole thing off with a pretty ribbon, suitable for hanging (left or right – heh).

I choose the Baskerville font because it was one of the more popular fonts used in printing back in the day.

2. What are your future shop plans?

The next medium I will be working with will be clay. I’m getting really excited about all the possibilities I can do with the pins and am looking forward to stretching my creativity into using new materials.  I’ve started playing with the clay recently and hope to have product up in the stores sometime in the late December or early new year.

3. I love Pride & Prejudice. I realize this isn’t a question. But I fucking love Pride & Prejudice.

I started laughing madly when I read this because TheHusband hates, hates, HATES Jane Austen! He tried reading Northanger Abbey once and started referring to it as NorthBanger Abbey.  So now I refer to this as well, which makes me giggle. A lot. I think one of the reasons why I love Jane so much is that she’s antithesis in literature of what my husband loves, namely dead, white, male Russians.

Though honestly, I loved Jane before TheHusband and I got together but nothing says “Eat crow, husband!” like Austen’s absurd popularity that continues to grow nearly 200 years after her death.

I also think part of her appeal is that she is the godmother of loads of different literary styles, not just “chick lit” such as satire, romantic comedy, comedy of manners, irony, pastiche – I could go on actually, in which she influenced the early Victorians and later which influenced the moderns which influenced contemporary authors.  There is very much a direct line from her to many contemporary authors today – even if they don’t want to admit it, but secretly they know they can’t deny it.

I’m NOT saying she’s the founding person in any one of those genres (though many associate her with being the founding person for chick-lit, which is FINE. I GUESS.), but I AM saying that her work at the time she was writing eschewed what was popular.

Byron and the rest of the Romantics were all hobnobbing about on their great European tours, banging their cousins and half-sisters or wandering around the Lake District talking to trees while the transcendentalists in America were just getting their feet wet.

Gothicism was starting to wane (“Northanger Abbey” is a pastiche to Ann Radcliffe, THE author of Gothic novels) so here is our dear Jane writing these dear little novels about society, culture and life in the country that was radically different than what was being published OR written at the time.

And then she dies tragically, unmarried and with no children. How can you not love her for this?

Then! To make it even more awesome, all six of her novels are considered “greats” in literature. I don’t know any one author in the entirety of the written English language who can make the claim that their entire canon is considered “required”

Most people who “love” Austen love her for P&P and no nothing of her other work, which is disturbing. Or they associate P&P with JUST the ’95 BBC version ala Colin Firth and his g-d wet shirt scene. I just pity these fuckers.

4. What is your secret? Do you have a secret? Is it embarrassing?

I look younger than my husband (who is 7 years younger than me) because of all the virgin’s blood I drink. You know, like TrueBlood but not quite as sexy! Heh.

But Wait, There’s More!

Lisa is generously offering Little Big readers a 20% discount if they use the discount code LITTLEBIG20 at checkout. Visit Excessively Diverting – Novel Accessories to see all of her wonderful, adorable, novel accessories.

Etsy Interview: The Red Star Designs

23 Nov

 

If you are like me then you start preparing for Christmas early. I’m not talking about decorations. Some years I’m just lucky if I get any decorations up at all. I’m talking about shopping. I usually do a bit of Christmas shopping all year round because honestly, that’s the only way we can afford it.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, I’m going to be interviewing some of my favorite etsy sellers. My first victim interviewee is conveniently also my BFF Angela. She recently took the etsy plunge and opened her own card shop. She creates beautiful custom invitations, cards, notes, and birth announcements. The beauty of her shop, The Red Star Designs , (besides the fact that it’s a Mama-run creative small business), is that customers can choose from the cards she has already created, or she can combine elements from different cards or create a new card just for you. Because she’s awesome like that. 

I recently interviewed Angela via text message. I’m going to admit that I’m not the best at coming up with interview questions, so I had to rely on monster.com for some help.

Here’s a transcript, directly from my phone, of our interview:

[Earlier texts edited for space, content, possible illegal activities, and blasphemy.]

[Besides, they were mostly just us smack talking and complaining about things.]

[They would have sounded a lot like this:]

Me: OMG. Angela. Did you see her butt?

Angela: It’s SO. BIG.

Me: She’s like one of those rapper’s girlfriends.

Angela: I hate things that are stupid! They are so stupid!!1!!

Me: They are dumb in their brains!!1! I hate them, too!!1!

-FIN-

I’d like to officially interview you about your store for my blog. Is it ok if I do it via text message?

Sure!

What do you enjoy most about designing cards?

I like the challenge of trying take a vision for a design from just an idea to reality.

Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you willing to relocate? (Note: I might be relying on monster.com for some of these questions.)

I am a wife and mother of a one year old. I have a full time job that doesn’t allow for much creativity so I find a lot of enjoyment in being creative in my free time. I would say I have an eye for design but at times lack the technical knowledge of how to execute them. But I do try and learn new skills all the time.

And that’s a negatory on relocation.

Do you have a theme song that plays in your head every time you do something that’s badass?

No, but lately my Life Theme Song is “Two Hands” by Capitol Punishment.

That works! One more thing: how custom are you willing to get for people?

Pretty much as custom as they want to get. If I am able to do it, I will. If someone has an idea for an invitation or announcement they want I am totally willing to try and bring it to life.

  If you’re looking to buy holiday cards from etsy this year, head on over to The Red Star Designs and support an awesome small-business mama!