“If you don’t have anything nice to say…..

August 30th, 2007

then don’t say anything!”

That’s what the family elders taught us kids, and i have taken it to heart lately! I am in one of my (now seemingly ETERNAL) funks, so i have avoided posting because i just can’t bear to whine in public anymore. I am still hovering around out here, but i am hushed and healing and waiting til have good things to show and tell about again!
We got a new puppy….the verdict is still out as to whether that was a bad or good thing, as i REALLY did not need another kid….and of course a puppy is very much like a kid. Much of my time is now spent cleaning up after “Pocky”, walking her and trying to train her, etc. Fortunately, i love her, she is sweet little puggle (pug/beagle mix) and has fit right into the chaos that is Casa Loco Buttonbox. Time will tell if my sanity holds out long enough to housebreak her.

Other big news is that the Mister is interviewing with a BIG BIG BIG uber-cool company, one that everyone wants to work for, and it would be an amazing opportunity for him. However, the interwiewing process is INSANELY difficult, and grueling…they are really putting him through the wringer. If he gets it, our lives will change drastically, we’d be moving to Charleston…..i think that i would very likely LOVE living there…but you are talking about the girl who has a hard time even forcing herself to leave the house to drive five minutes to the grocery store! Not to mention the extreme difficulty i have with making new friends.  Part of me is utterly petrified to be removed from my comfort zone, even tho’ i am extremely unhappy here and dream daily of escaping the land of Idiot Beauty Queens and suburban hell-scapes. Anxiety abounds. So what else is new, right?
So anyway, that’s a quicky update…i am still here and i still love you guys, i promise. i have about 100000 projects in the works, even tho’ the carpal tunnel is forcing me to take my sweet time finishing anything in a timely manner. I will be back back soon in a better mood and with new pretties. Until then, big big hugs!


The Sugar Skull That Killed Me

August 14th, 2007

The good news….

Sugar skull skirt is finally all done! I think i re-incarnated this secondhand wrap skirt into something new and groovy! I shall be listing this girl and a few other things in my shop later today if anyone feels like doing some shoppin’! :)
Alas, the sugar skull was not so sweet….


was the catalyst for this:

My hand is a mess. Tingling, shooting pain, aching when i try to use it much. I am wearing this brace and taking motrin in hopes that keeping it still will help it heal. It’s breaking my heart because i can’t embroider, or do much of any handwork at all, like turning and stuffing dollies and hand sewing, etc. This is one of my biggest fears come true….if i can’t keep my hands busy i will go crazy. Being creative is such a important part of my life, what would i do if that was taken from me? Someone fetch me a straightjacket, because i will most assuredly need it if this does not clear up quickly. I feel very depressed and incredibly upset over the whole situation. Also, i am applying for the next Mutation craft fair coming up in November, and That means i really need to step up my “making”. Oh, is there EVER a drama-free time in the buttonbox????
ANYWAY, i am trying NOT to mope too much, and will try working on other non-embroidery or dollmaking projects. I have not done any candles or journals and such in ages. Time to get out my collage supplies!

I hope everyone is having a great week!


rockin’ the slump

August 9th, 2007

Well i am just beyond flattered to have received TWO nominations for Rockin’ Girl Blogger, from NeoVamp and Bandaids Required! Thanks so much, ladies! I am tempted to nominate you guys right back, but you already know i think you rock, so i will widen out the circle alittle….

My little Orange Kitchen is a new girl on the block who is very fun to read. She has the world’s hottest grandma. :)

Bonni over on Exhibit B is an INCREDIBLE artist who’s paintings are creepy and marvelous. i never tire of looking at her art, tho’ La Llorona gives me nightmares.

Bitter Betty……Bethany is a HUGE inspiration, crafting, sewing and rockin’ the vintage like nobody’s business! She has some great vintage sewing comics up lately that instruct and amuse tremendously.
Maybe this nomination will inspire me to be a more consistent blogger. It’s been too hot to move here lately, and all i have been doing is embroidering and moping. In my annual summer slump, nothing new or interesting to say, alas. Hopefully, inspiration will pick up soon…i hear rumors that halloween goodies are beginningto appear! Almost time to gear up for my most favorite time of the year!

Hope everyone is staying cool and having a grand week :)


Nora Irene

August 6th, 2007

When Nora Irene visited the sideshow, she was amazed by the Tattooed Lady. She found her so fascinating and wonderful, she dreamed of all the tattoos she would get when she grew up….


Well, a few folks pointed out that i never divulged her demise, and wondered where her tattoos were…well, technically she *is* a skelly, so all her skin and fleshy bits are long gone :) But, truth be told, the poor little dear never got any ink of her own, even tho’ it was her greatest dream. Sadly, her family was so upset and disturbed by her indecent desire to get tattooed that they did what any respectable family would do with a “deranged” girl…they locked the poor thing away in the attic to ensure she never escaped to join the sideshow, and the unfortunate darling whithered and died in her sorrow and longing to become an Illustrated Lady!

My humblest apologies for not telling the complete story! LOL! I hope this answers all your questions about the fate of poor Nora Irene!

“Nora Irene” little dead ragdolly is my homage to two of the first “Tattooed Ladies” in sideshow history, Nora Hildebrandt and Irene Woodward, way back in 1882. Nora’s story was that she and her father were captured by Sitting Bull, who tied her to a tree and made her father tattoo her every day for a year to earn their freedom. Somehow, i don’t really think that is why she got all those tats!

Irene Woodward popped up a few weeks after Nora made the scene with the sensational tale that she’s gotten tattooed to protect herself from “hostile sexual attentions” of Indians in the wild west.

Why blame Native Americans!? :(

I am certainly no historian, so i can’t claim to know anything for sure, but if i had to guess, i’d say these women made a daring (and lucrative) career choice, and the ink was not forced on them. Back in those days, it was a pretty big deal to see such scantily clad women, so viewing tatooed ladies in “freakshows” was probably just a good excuse for uptight Victorian men to see some skin!!!!

Anyway, whatever their reasons for getting inked, i appreciate that women can get tattooed however much they like these days without being in a freakshow! I am going to visit Shavon over at Purple Lotus again this friday to talk over some more work i want to get done. I bet she knows lots more about tattoo history than i do, so i will ask her!

Hoping everyone is having a lovely day!

xoxo amanda

beach tales

August 3rd, 2007

First of all, thank you to everyone who so kindly reassured me that i need not worry so much about the trip. You were all, of course, completely correct that everything would be fine…..the only bad thing i can complain of is that we are all sunburned to a cinder due to what turned out to be the crappiest sunscreen ever invented by man. Some sort of quick-dry spray on “for kids” SPF 50 stuff that did not work well AT ALL. :( So we all look look like a bunch of over cooked lobsters and are in a good bit of pain, but none of us are suffering from any jellyfish stings, or lost limbs or any bites taken out of us by sharks. :) Tho’ a fisherman on the beach DID catch one near us, it was maybe a foot long or so…it wouldn’t have eaten much! Hahahahahah!

My dad is a master camper. I was impressed beyond reason when we arrived and he unfurled the most massive tarp i’ve ever seen and proceeded to hang it over our ENTIRE site. It covered both tents, the dining canopy AND the picnic table. Which was a very good thing because there was a huge thunderstorm the first night we were there, with torrential rain and high winds….but we all stayed mostly very dry and secure under this marvelous shelter. Monday night was the only time we had any bad weather, thank goodness…the rest of the time was perfect weather. And our site was right by the shore, with all these wonderful little “jungle-like” trails for the boys to run around and explore.

You follow this little path and end up here….

It was blissful…we mostly hung out on the beach at low tide, when there were huge tide pools about knee-deep and like big ocean “swimming pools” without waves and currents. Perfect for beastie to splash and play in. Full of fascinating little critters for the kids to study as well!

When swimming got too tiring, there were castles to be built….

And i got to be the captain of a flying pirate ship!

Back at camp there was plenty of interesting wildlife…it seems that my beloved Cardinals show up everywhere i go. This one was so tame, it would land right next to me in hopes of a handout.

And speaking of looking for a handout…. once the sun set and darkness came, the trouble would begin. Hunting Island has the cheekiest, most thieving raccoons i have ever seen. They were not the least bit afraid of humans and one even came sneaking right up by my feet while i was toasting a marshmallow….i think he’d have stolen it right off the stick if i have not looked down and noticed the rude little bugger. IT only took on night of getting our food stuff totally ransacked, after than we put everything edible in the cars at night to keep the the rude little bandits out of our goodies!

There are beautiful mermaids all around Beaufort County. As i understand it, each one was painted/embellished by a different artist. They are all really beautiful!

Anyway, i won’t make you look at my 10000 beach photos…it’s like being forced to look at someone else’s dull vacation slide show. If you want to see more of THAT, look here.

On the way home, i made my poor, eye-rolling family stop here for some history

This place was one of these most eerily beautiful places i have ever seen. I have no doubt that ghosts walk here. I just looked it up and the legend is  that there was a woman seen dressed in a simple brown dress dated in the Pilgrim era. She stands near a grave of an infant who died. A feeling of sorrow over comes some people.

The grounds are surrounded by beautiful live oak trees, some of which have been damaged by storms and had limbs broken off. In order to save the trees, they bricked up the wounds left by the broken branches. It was really amazing looking.

It’s amazing how the living tree grows around and engulfs the bricks…i have never seen anything like it!

Anyway, there are more pictures of the ruins and the graveyard here.

So now we are home, and i am doing mountains of sandy laundry and basting my kids and myself in Solarcaine. We had a wonderful time, but now i need a vacation from my vacation. I am so tired! But proud of myself for not allowing my fears to cripple me, and getting there in spite of all the irrational reasons my brain gave me to stay home in my safety zone. I can’t wait to go on more adventures…..i miss the beach already.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!!! xoxoxoxo