Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kitty Lickfest

Our cats Uma and Kali having a lickfest on our back porch.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How to plant a vegetable garden

"Fun, dirty and gratifying"

How I did it:

  1. Researched soil enrichment and plants on the internet; watched the sun pattern for a few days to determine where sunlight hits the plot and for how many hours

  2. Created a budget for the project

  3. Bought soil enrichment materials

  4. Hired someone to till the soil enrichment materials into the plot

  5. Created a layout for the planting, after researching what plants should and should not be planted next to each other and what plant supports are required for each

  6. Bought plants, tomato cages and a trellis for the cucumbers

  7. Put them in the ground, cooing encouragement to them all the way

  8. Set tomato cages and trellis in place

  9. Water extensively (a sprinkler is a godsend)

  10. Put a 3" layer of mulch down one week after planting

  11. Continue watering frequently, enough to provide 1 - 3" of water per week (depending on your climate)

  12. Talk to your plants regularly during weeding sessions and daily check-in's

  13. Harvest vegetables as they mature....Yay!

Lessons & tips:

  • Listening to your favorite music makes every task more enjoyable

  • Plant summer squash with a lot of space between it and other spreads, and the leaves will cover everything else around it.

  • Take photographs of every stage, so you can track the garden's progress (and show off your handiwork to the world!)

  • Buy the largest tomato cages you can find and be prepared to make tee-pee supports out of 6' (or taller) wood garden stakes--set them in place around each plant to form a 3-sided tee-pee shape, lash them together tightly at the top, pound them into the ground with a rubber mallet and then secure the vines to it as needed using strips of nylon hose or old socks.

Resources: You Grow Girl website
Better Homes & Gardens website
My parents :)

It took me 3 weeks.

It made me Satisfied

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This is the cutest picture I've ever taken!

The beautiful head of Gunter is being presented to the world by his faithful lady, Brandy.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I've fallen off the digital planet.

It's a fact, dear reader.

I took a break from the internet while my mom was visiting for two weeks in April, and I've found it difficult to get back onto my digital schedule, as it were.

I'm insanely busy getting ready for the upcoming INDIEana Handicraft Exchange (see earlier post for details and link). I'm currently stuck on making pillows, which are so fun and fast, but I need to switch over to handbags...or I won't have any for sale! Can't have that :)

Here's a mobile phone pic of one of my favorite new pillows:

Let me know what you think!

So, I appreciate your patience. Give me a few weeks to get my work done, and I'll write once again on a more regular schedule.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Current favorite kitty links

Maru's blog (the comments under each picture and video are the best)

The trials and travails of Winston and his side kick, Rudy.

Cute Overload! (Repository of all things cute, animal-related)

Junku's Flickr Photostream: Cat Collection

Stuff On My Cat

Cat Prin (English version, but the Japanese version has many more pictures) Cat Prin is a popular online clothing store for cats.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Emotionally tired.

In fact, more like exhausted...

Tony and I have been trying to get pregnant for one year and seven months. Why did I worry so much about getting pregnant for all those years? I could have saved my money on birth control, that's for sure.

The doctors are absolutely drowning me in hormones, and it's driving me crazy, literally. This is a very lonely experience, and I'm beginning to wonder how long I can do it. It's isolating in every way...I don't recognize myself anymore. I've always been sweet, cheerful and outgoing; now I'm bitchy, short-tempered, sad and don't feel interested in things I normally love. I can't get the word "broken" out of my head...why won't my body work?

I've always wanted to be a mom; I never realized how much of my confidence and self-worth was wrapped up in this one event. If I can't get pregnant, it will force me to relearn who I am now and rethink who I will be in the future.

I've been scared to write this, scared to reveal to the outside world how terrible I feel right now. But it's starting to kill me to keep it in, and not very many people read this blog anyway :) My dear friend Kikii advised that I start writing down my thoughts, lest they poison me while hidden away in my head, and I guess she's right.

So, here it is. Not fun, not cheerful, not comfortable to read. Not to live either, unfortunately.

More positive postings to come, I promise!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yay! I've been chosen.

I'm super-excited to announce that I've been chosen as a vendor for the upcoming INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, to be held June 13, 2009 here in Indianapolis, IN. It's run by an awesome group of crafters and handmade lovers and has drawn bigger crowds each year.

Check out further details at:

Now, I've got to get to work making everything I'm going to sell. It's going to be quite a busy summer.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

First Chicago show last night for Yuki

We played at Darkroom, a sexy and chill bar in Chicago last night with Tiger Spirit and The Village. It was sponsored by KEXP radio in Seattle, Goose Island 312 beer and The Onion. It was for KEXP's monthly Equalizer event, in which local/regional bands are featured.

Darkroom's decor is right up my alley--red walls, black booths, and erotic photos lining the walls. The tables are covered in a metallic glitter that looks good when the lights are low, and the bar itself features a two vintage cash registers, creating an atmosphere that was fun and easy on the eyes. And, most importantly, it has a nice sound system.

We played first and rocked out, if I do say so myself. It's so nice to play in front of new people. Tiger Spirit followed and, as a hometown band, had a pretty nice crowd. It turns out that Tony knows 3/5 of the band from his straight-edge/hardcore years in Birthright, so it they had a lot of fun reconnecting and recounting the exploits of years gone by. As their blog says, they create "slow burning layered songs." Their singer is rather hypnotic and has obviously listened to loads and loads of PJ Harvey, which is in no way a bad thing. We look forward to bringing them to Indy for a show with us hopefully sometime this summer.

KEXP interviewed all of the bands for an Equalizer video feature they put together after every month's event. We were up for ours immediately after coming off stage, so we were pretty dazed still and in true irreverent form. Conversations involving the four of us tend to go in strange and ridiculous directions, so the results should be hilarious and somewhat cringe-inducing. They'll likely edit it down to only 20-30 seconds, which should work in our favor :)

The KEXP folks are hard-working volunteers, so it may be a minute before last night's video feature is posted, but if you're interested, look for it here.

We had a great time hanging with Chicago friends we don't get to see very often (two of whom were most gracious hosts for our overnight lodgings--THANK YOU!), and fun was had by all. We even bought some moonshine from an unlikely source.

I think we'll do it again sometime :)

PS--Haven't heard Yuki yet? Check us out here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New kitty pictures

Taken while enjoying the beautiful spring weather and grilling out on Sunday....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

(Sigh)....Frustrating day.

I got the official referral to a fertility specialist today in our quest to get pregnant, which is both encouraging and depressing at the same time. After struggling to keep it together whilst on Clomid for the last few months, they've now added in the HCG shots. Yeah, more hormones! Just what my mood swings needed. But, at least progress is being made, and I have actionable items instead of just crossing my fingers and then getting disappointed.

I also have major high-school-level drama at work, where it seems (once again) that a target has been painted on my back. So frustrating, so annoying....can't people just concentrate on their own work and leave me out of it? And my husband had such a typical male response and method of encouragement, it was almost funny. Almost.

So, dear reader, I apologize that I'm a little down, a little negative today. I'll "power through this" and feel better tomorrow, I'm sure.

Have a beautiful night :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring! How I've missed you...

What a gorgeous day. The sun is shining, my windows are open to enjoy the mid-60° weather, kitties are sitting on the screened-in back porch, and my coffee mug is warming my hand. Life is good!

I participated in a bazaar/flea-market type thing last Sunday, which was my first foray into setting up a booth for my sewn-goods. Pretty good crowd, but they were primarily there to snap up all the good deals on used clothing, jewelry and shoes. When comparing a $3 top to a $45 handmade handbag, my stuff probably seemed pretty expensive....

However, it was great exposure, good practice for my upcoming craft fairs and a damn fun time with my dear friends, Brandy, Amber(s) and Kikii. And thanks ever so much to Katie @ Savvy Salon, who hosted the event and was ever helpful, sweet and accommodating!

Here are some pictures of my booth:

Well, time to clean up my sewing studio after the tornado of an upcoming craft fair swept through it and make the pillow that represents my first sale in the CODhandmade Etsy shop! Isn't it super-cute?

Have a great day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Well, hello! Welcome to my home.

Sewing is a triumph for me.

Each day I spend in the midst of creation is a day I've fed my soul--corny, but happily true. I've been immersed in arts & crafts my entire life. I'm very lucky to have amazing parents with artistic backgrounds themselves; my dad is the head designer for a family-owned and American-operated furniture manufacturer, and my mom is a poet and now-retired composition and literature professor. She also happens to be a terrific seamstress and taught me how to sew. Thanks Mom! I fell in love with my dad's 1960s Canon camera in high school and received my bachelor's degree in fine art photography in 1999, leaving sewing behind me for the time being.

You might have been wondering, why the particular choice of "triumph" in the first sentence?

From 2000 until April 2008, I struggled with creative block which, if you've dedicated your life to expression, is a deeply depressing circumstance. I only made work once or twice a year; the difficulties eventually reached my musical endeavors as well. It's not the happiest topic, so I certainly won't dwell. I don't need to think about it anymore anyway. Because...

That time ended when I did (what I thought at the time to be) a silly self-help exercise from the book my mom gave me for Christmas (organizational help for the right-brain dominant--i.e., creative types, like you and me). I was instructed to dream and dream big, with no worries about practicalities or logic. Near the top of my list? The desire to start sewing again. I had to dream big to realize this?? Scary, I know. I hadn't thought about sewing in years. I took a couple of intermediate level sewing classes at Joann's just to get myself comfortable again, and I've been off and running ever since.

Thanks again, Mom. You're truly the best.

I made Cult of Domesticity LLC official in 2008 and now dedicate myself to designing and creating modern/chic/impeccably crafted fashion accessories and home decor items. I especially love handbags...but, who doesn't? I also sell my fine-art photography through a sister company, ShotByGwynneth.

So, dear reader, here we are.

I decided to start this blog to keep me sane during my 70 hour work weeks, while I balance my day job, my exciting new business venture, my band Yuki, my best friend & husband Tony, and our four (yes, 4!) gorgeous cats. We're also trying to get pregnant--can't wait to throw a baby into the mix :)

Please, feel free to comment and question away. I can't wait to hear from you!

PS~Did anyone get the Brenda Dickson reference in the title? It's from her cult classic TV feature, Welcome to My Home, that the soap opera star put together in 1987 to school us all on style, fashion, diet, and exercise. As Brenda so succinctly says, "Style is as just as important as your look."