August 2009

Etsy featured Melaniefaveau’s bread tag jewelry last night, and the sheer quirkiness of the idea inspired me to actually compose a blog. Wow! That must’ve been some muse, huh? Actually, I’ve long been a fan of casting simple foods in a strange light… harking back to my “Ghost in the Pot Roast” days.
In high school, my best friend and I had a series of jokes pertaining to food.
Peanut butter was the code name for a guy I liked, she composed a poem entitled “Celery String Shampoo”, together we began writing a play called “We’ll Kill Them with Cheese Crackers”, and we nicknamed ourselves “The Potato and the Carrot”, ingredients in the Pot Roast Ghost. Funny, even then, Carolyn’s vegan side won out, because the Pot Roast was meat-less. LOL

Of course, it’s no surprise I find plenty of humor from the years I’ve spent working retail in grocery stores… so a blog about The Fabulous Food Humor of Etsy was right up my alley!

Here are Melanie’s Bread Tags

(the “expiration date” is customizable, and necklaces are also available)

Browsing The Grocery Aisles of Etsy

A T-Bone Steak pillow by Zaennabanana. She also sells round-eye pillows… and meat ornaments!

Meatloaf TV dinner pendant by ItsAllAboutThePrint.

Fortune Cookie slippers by Sushibooties. For folks like me, who hang out in our PJs all day… and the “fortune” is customizable! How cool is that?!?

Blueberry pie hat by GrannysGarden123. The ice cream sundae hat, with syrup and a cherry on top, was cute too!

Cereal Necklace by Shayaaron. She makes lots of miniature food items, including noodle soup necklaces and tuna-salad sandwich stud earrings!

Of course, Etsy is huge! And there are many, many more artists creating funny food treasures who weren’t featured here. Perhaps I’ll continue this blog as a series, and title it “Wednesday’s Dinner Night with Etsy” LOL!

I recall my only foray into designer food jewelry..

I was working my customer service job at Ben Frankin Crafts, where I found daily inspiration to indulge my creative urges. It was through that job and the encouragement of my co-workers, that I first stepped outside my traditional painting niche, to explore embroidery, floral and wreath arranging, origami, stenciling, and decoupage. I later took the series of Wilton cake decorating classes, and left BF to become a wedding cake decorator in a bakery. But I digress….
One day at work, while browsing the dollhouse miniature aisle… contemplating the amount of money and effort one can easily put into the hobby… I saw the cutest miniature, metal frying pans – complete with tiny eggs and bacon sizzling inside. There was a small hole in the handle, perfect for attaching French hoop earring wires. So I purchased two frying pans, and made myself a set of earrings as a joke.

I only wore them for a couple days, before a friend of mine took interest and wanted a pair for herself. I gave her mine. (Neither of us worried about germs and such things)… She offered to pay for them, but I didn’t take it seriously.
Looking back, I could’ve opened my Etsy shop right then, and made a fortune selling frying-pan earrings. No doubt, it’s too late now.

Wearing my handmade frying pan earrings
Here’s a blurry picture taken of me wearing the earrings. (See, already I was practicing for those Etsy thumbnails!)

Honestly, I don’t have the desire to be a jewelry seller. Aside from the fierce competition (art is competitive too!), I’m just not that into jewelry. I’ve spent alot of money on earrings and pendants over the years, and have had even more money spent on me (as gifts)… but they tend to suffer the same fate as the men in my life. I use them for a few days, and then discard them into a drawer and forget their existence. Eventually, I either give them away or lose them.
Fussing with earrings requires that additional 3 minutes of primping, that my lazy low-maintainance self just can’t seem to muster.
People are just fortunate that I care enough to brush my teeth, and shower with my luxurious handmade, Etsy soap. 😛

Now, those fortune cookie slippers, on the other hand… Those are definitely on my Christmas wish list!
“Fortune warms the feet and heart” – Me


Joe and Mia, father and daughter

I came up with the idea for this blog last Thursday. I was struck by how fortunate I am (in so many ways), and instead of focusing on areas where my life is lacking, I wanted remind myself occasionally that I have a great deal to be thankful for.
At the top of my “Thankful List” was the amazing support and companionship I receive from Joe. I consider this first, because relationships have always been difficult for me.. I often wondered whether Mr. Right would ever find me, or if I would dump him 10 minutes after our introduction in some petty fashion.

I sat down to compose a Top 20 List, highlighting all the things I love about Joe. In and of itself, this was not a challenging task, because he causes me to fall in love with him each and every day… and his fine qualities could inspire 50 such lists.
However… *cough* when I reviewed the initial list, it seemed overly negative – as it dwelt mainly on comparisons between ours and failed relationships from my past. I wanted this exercise to be positive, and yes …even romantic, so I put the list away and forgot about it.

Until this afternoon.

Re-examining my list, I realized it gives insight into my way of thinking, screwed-up as it may be. I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what makes me fall for someone. I never had an image of the “perfect man” in my mind. On the contrary, I chose men based upon how dissimilar they were to my growing list of inexcusable flaws.
“Has he ever beaten his girlfriend?”
“Has he ever shot a cat?”
“Does he shave his butt or measure the circumference of his arm muscles?”

If they passed, I dated them. And as each relationship bit the dust, my list continued to grow.
There are countless ways to be a jerk…

For Joe:
Top 20 Reasons Why I Love You

1. You don’t call me up, drunk, quizzing me on where you are and who you’re with.

2. You don’t share juicy, intimate details with all your friends; or if you do, only with friends discreet enough not to pass the tales back to me.

3. You don’t “rank” me among your exes, and tell me how I might improve my overall score.

4. You haven’t tried to dump me for being beneath your standards, while setting me up on a date with your desperate friend or relative.

5. You don’t flirt with other women in my presence, in a lame attempt to seem desirable.

6. You’ve never told me that your ex was “so special” that nobody will ever replace her in your heart.

7. You don’t insist that we spend quality time with your sleazy cousin, who makes it known to everyone (including his girlfriend) that he fantasizes about being with me.

8. You don’t write letters to your other (secret) girlfriend, and give them to ME… to deliver for you!

9. You don’t kiss like a dog, by licking all over my face, including my nose.

10. You never insisted that I think about you every second I’m not with you, or call you on the phone every possible chance I get… because obsession is a healthy measure of love.

11. You never forced me to wash my hands after petting a cat, because deadly “Cat germs” are transmitted through holding your partner’s hand.

12. Likewise, you never insisted that rinsing a cat’s water-bowl in the kitchen sink, would cause deadly “cat germs” to grow in the basin; mutant germs impervious to bleach and detergent, that will contaminate any dishes which come into contact with the sink.

13. You never started a serious argument with me because I didn’t reply to each of your 150 daily text messages.

14. You never claimed that only “a whore” would be seen at a gas station after dark, wearing shorts.

15. You didn’t try to convince me to quit my job, move, re-invent my wardrobe, or change my beliefs simply because the reality of who I am didn’t live up to the fantasy in your mind.

16. You don’t require me to “prove” my feelings every time you’re feeling insecure.

17. You don’t invent imaginary conspiracies, where everybody at your office, the fellow commuters on your train, and the strangers behind you in the Subway line, are all plotting to ruin your life. (Because you know the universe does NOT revolve around you….)

18. You don’t tell me that my hobbies are a waste of money, and my time would be better spent cleaning the house.

19. You’ve never fed me cheesy sci-fi plots as an excuse to break-up.

The classic Comet-Interfering-With-My-Brain line: “You see, the ME from the FUTURE traveled back to this point in time, where the comet appears. Now that TWO versions of me are here, I can’t think straight.. and I need some time alone, to separate my thoughts from my future self’s thoughts…”
And yes, someone did try that! And no, I didn’t buy it.

Last but not least:

20. This list wasn’t your idea. 😉

I love you because I don’t need to spell out my feelings eloquently in blogs every week… you KNOW I care, and you’ll care for me just the same, even if this list never gets published. You’ll never know what a relief that is… (because half of my blog ideas never do)

And for all my exes out there: If you stumble across this list, and start wondering whether certain remarks herein were making reference to YOU…..

Excuse me. *cues the Carly Simon music*


You’re so vain…
And absolutely right!

I am also thankful for all of you, because without your idiotic ways and immature behavior, I never would have recognized Mr. Right when (at last!) I found him. 🙂

cat checking out my new Epson 2880 photo printer
To my faithful three viewers, who might be wondering how the honeymoon is going with my wide-format Epson 2880…
I received my new printer on the 4th of August, just as the UPS website promised. When I checked Tuesday morning, and it was marked “out for delivery”, I was chomping at the bit and pacing the floor until it arrived.
It was larger than I imagined from the photos; obviously it needs to be large, since it prints 19″ wide and the foot (once extended) is fairly long to accommodate those poster sized prints, 30-40″ in length.
I wasn’t able to test drive it until Joe got home that night, because my kids’ naps didn’t synchronize themselves as they usually do. The large box sitting in the living room probably helped to keep their curiosity piqued and their fatigue suppressed.
While I waited, I read the entire owner’s manual (except for the foreign bits). I also installed the hardware, and completed the basic set-up of the machine: hooking it to the dining-room computer, plopping in the cartridges..

When Joe came home, he fashioned a make-shift “desK” for it, from one of our end-tables. I selected my scan of ‘US Army Cat’ for my first test print. The original had sold on eBay, but I didn’t have any copies yet for sale. The printer performed above and beyond my expectations. Like a new car, it was strangely quiet and didn’t thrash the table at all or devour the paper. Basically, as Joe pointed out bluntly, it behaved like an expensive printer SHOULD, and not like those $50.00 junk printers you buy from
discount retailers.

The print quality in particular was exceptional. It faithfully rendered every brushstroke and nuance of color in Army Cat, and every subsequent painting I tested. When I tested it with “Clergy Cat” and held it side by side to the original, there wasn’t a noticeable difference… except that my original paintings tend to have multiple paint layers from covering up my mistakes!! 😀
So basically, the print looked BETTER!! As only the top layer is scanned and printed, you can’t see all the lumps and bumps of uneven paint. It’s more polished. And of course, little touch-ups for stray marks in Photoshop doesn’t hurt either.

I’m printing right now with Ultra Premium Presentation Paper (which is high quality photo paper, used for wedding and portrait photos) and also on heavier Velvet Fine Art paper, which is textured. I’m looking forward to making another investment in some canvas rolls (as this printer supports both canvas fabric AND rolls) to create some 16″x20″ stretched canvas, hand-embellished prints.
But first, I’ll need to research “how to stretch a canvas”. LOL

So far, I haven’t had any malfunctions with the printer, as some unfortunately have according to reviews. It seemed to me, however, after reading the manual… the the majority of the complaints were written by folks who obviously had NOT read it first. They apparently wanted to print directly out of the box; I’ll bet they also get spare screws and wing-nuts in their furniture kits too.
One person on Amazon said his printer began a self-cleaning mode immediately after switching the power on, and it wasted half his ink?! Cleaning modes are carefully
described in the manual, and they are done manually by request. So he pushed something.
They also do NOT waste half of your ink when allowed to cycle through properly. But if he triggered it into repeating a cycle or two, well then…

I’m not experiencing the “huge drain” of ink, although my prior research prepared me for a 20-30 print capability on one set of ink cartridges, using the higher settings.
That seems to be the case with mine…. for professional artists and photographers, who resell their work for $10, $15, $25 and more, the cost of ink and paper will be a deciding factor in their mark-up. Just like my costs for outsourcing and shipping.

I definitely would not recommend this for personal, printing-at-home use if you’re not planning to re-sell your photos or art prints. It would be more cost effective to take your personal photographs to a developer or outsource them to

I’ve noticed, however, that having this printer is feeding into my natural inclination to “slack off” creatively, because I can always fall back upon printing older works.

In the past, when I outsourced, I couldn’t afford to place an order every time I completed a painting or photo-manip, or I’d be ordering 10-20 of the same print (large orders being necessary if you don’t want the shipping charges to bite your butt). Therefore, I would rush to complete multiple pieces every couple weeks, allowing me to order 2-3 prints of each one. While I was waiting 2 weeks for them to arrive, I would be pushing myself to create more.

I need to keep that momentum going, to continue creating and selling new works…

I’m almost finished with my Donna Reed-esque housewife cat, with the original going to eBay; prints will be coming very soon!!