Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Little Scarrie Carrie

I was going to post the etsy link for this lovely ballerina... but it sold about 20 minutes after she was listed...  still wanted to post something tho... so here's her pic...

Friday, November 22, 2013


Saw a coyote today... didn't get a pic tho... he was hanging around the dumpster of the church, in the parking lot behind the house.

We've had some bad weather today, wet and cold days, and I guess tje coyotes are looking for an easy meal... but you don't see them often, they're very wary. so I very quietly watched.  They're fascinating to see. 

Then, as he began moving away across the parking lot, another coyote came out and joined him.  Except... this one was white.

I've only vaguely heard of white coyotes before.  They're rare.  The native Americans referred to them as Spirit Coyote. 

I was awestruck. 

I slowly reached towards my pocket for the phone, and the camera, but the slightest movement on my part immediately drew their attention, and they disappeared. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two updates, and something new...

Alright, this laptop is acting up big time  today, so I'm going to see if I can get this posted somehow...
Back when I first posted about the Pregnant Onion, I promised to update when it bloomed.  Well, it's been blooming for a little while now... so here's the update... better late than never, no?
And the pineapple top is showing signs of life.  If you look really closely, you can see the roots starting to grow...
And finally, last but not least... these little tatted bracelets...
These started when I was using leftover crochet cotton to tat and crochet little "friendship bracelets"  Those little bracelets take about 10 to 15 minutes to make, and I can sell them at the flea market for a buck each.  Of course, you can only make so many of them before you get really, really bored,  and I started tatting this flower lace, because I  remembered the pattern, and then, I noticed that I could thread ribbon through them, and then I wondered what they would look like with buttons threaded on too... and I just happened to have these cool metal buttons from a shirt that had ripped, and now I got these bracelets.  I may sell them at the flea.  Or Etsy.  Or I may find someone to  give them to.  Not sure yet. 
Anyway, as you  can see, I've been keeping myself busy, between making these bracelets, and making those crocheted totes which are selling really well at the flea, and I'm afraid I haven't been blogging as much lately. 
I do check other peoples blogs, so I'm not ignoring you! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Etsy store

Well here's the link to the shop.

Already sold a few things... actually, one of the Bob's lasted less than 15 minutes...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Growing pineapple tops...

One of the big advantages of working at a flea market is that there is usually a guy selling fresh produce from the back of his pick-up truck... Now, there's two sides to this... The vast majority of fresh produce from these trucks and from the "Farmers Markets" is the exact same produce that you find in the Supermarket.  They buy this at fruit and vegetable wholesalers, load the truck and bring it out to sell.  However, since they're not paying the huge overhead... you can get some pretty good deals.  For instance, last week, pineapples showed up at the flea for $2.00 each.  And if you got a fresh pineapple, you might as well grow the thing, right? 
You start by examining your pineapple.  Don't worry about dead leaf tips, the thing will still grow.  Getting perfect green leaves is of course better, but they're not absolutely necessary. 
Second, the further south you live, the more likely your going to find that the top has been 'cored'.  They cut out the growing tips.  They come up with lots of politically correct reasons for this... but the ultimate outcome is that if you're living in semi-tropical areas, say Florida, the gulf coast, California, they basically don't want you producing your own pineapples at home, and they most definitely don't want you growing every pineapple top you get your hands on and possibly producing a cash crop.  A lot of time and money has gone into developing some of these commercial varieties, and they have to protect their investment.  One of the most practical ways of doing this is to remove the growing tip from the pineapple tops to make it much more difficult to propagate.  However, most of the United States doesn't have the right growing conditions, so they only do this to fruit that's being shipped down south. 
Provided you have a top with at least some green, and a viable growing tip, then you grab the fruit in one hand, the green top in the other (both can be prickly, gloves or a couple of dish towels might come in handy) and twist them in separate directions.  The top will pop right off and you'll end up with this. 
Yeah... I know that some people say to cut across the top of the fruit, and leave about an inch of the flesh on the bottom.  Which will begin to rot and stink to high heaven as you're growing it.  I don't recommend that process, as it's icky and messy and just generally not nice. 
Instead, what you do is start removing leaves from the bottom...
As you do this, you'll start to see small rootlets... this is a rather developed one, most are just tiny little bumps wedged between the leaves. 
Keep removing leaves until you get about an inch of stem, you'll start getting into clean stem without rootlets.  You can keep going until you only have the growing tip, but I don't do that. 
At this point, you have two options. 
 1.   The pineapple stem can be dusted with rooting hormone (or not, it's really up to you) then planted in a good potting soil, where it will root and begin to grow within a month
2.  Or you can stand the thing in water (a narrow mouthed Ragu jar supports the leaves and works well) and sit it on the window to watch the roots grow.  
I opted for the latter.   
Now... will I have fresh pineapples?  No time soon.  Provided you can give them enough heat and light, it's generally 12 to 18 months before they can be persuaded to bloom, then a further six months before the fruit would be ready to pick.  In my part of Texas, heat and light aren't a problem, but the lack of humidity seems to affect them in a rather negative way. 
But they do make a rather interesting patio plant, with a resemblance to agave after the long leaves start growing. 
If you have youngsters around, rooting the pineapple you got in your Christmas fruit basket can be a fun project over the winter.  I'll update in a few weeks so you can check the process. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Ok... I'm going to start out by plain flat out admitting that I have no real love for moles.

They are pesky creatures who dig all over the yard and leave mounds of dirt in the lawn. 

I don't hate the things, and I suppose they serve some sort of purpose in the great scheme of the universe, but overall I'm generally pretty indifferent to the trials and tribulations of their existence, and I would generally prefer not having them around.

Of course, my general indifference is probably hinges on the fact that I've never really been confronted with one.  It is, after all, difficult to empathise with something when you have no idea what it even looks like. And I'm OK with that.

And I would have been perfectly happy in my bubble of indifference for quite some time, if this danged dog hadn't
stuck a pin in it. 

This morning, I opened the front door and almost stepped on the carcass of someone's hunting expedition. 

"Shadow!  Why the hell did you leave this dead... this dead... uh... this... what the hell is that?"

Well, as you've probably guessed, it was a mole.  Don't panic, I'm not gonna post any pictures.  I'm going to confine myself to a description.  If you can imagine a snub nosed rat, with no tail and extremely short hair, who squints.   You've pretty much got it.  

Not the best description I  know, but I'm still not posting a picture. 

Not that I haven't had the opportunity to take a snap shot.  You see, Shadow, the cocker spaniel in question, had discovered he possesses a new skill, and is exercising his talents with a diligence that is almost admirable.  I can't blame him... it's not like he has any other skills, I mean he's not neglecting his needlework or anything. 

So far I have been presented with four of these deceased critters.  Before noon.  I'm almost afraid to go out and fetch the mail. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Some Etsy advice please.

So... it's probably been well established that i work in a flea market.  

Its probably also been established that I'm a not of a scrounge.  I'm not exactly a dumpster diver, but if i find out you're throwing something away, i might want it...

Anyway, the last round of storms that went through left a pile of sheets, curtains, etc damp in one of the dealers booths.  I cornered them they were walking to the dumpster, and aquired them.  

After washing the mildew smell out, I ripped them into strips, and crocheted them into bags.   

Like this...

And the flea market Ladies went bats.  Of five bags, this is the only one left, and only because wasn't finished.  

And tje ladies have all promised me more sheets and stuff...

So, here's the question... If I put these on Etsy, is $20 too much to charge?  They're very convenient.   If they stretch or get dirty, you just throw them in the washer.

They work as shopping totes.  They're upcycled.   All the green buzzwords...

What you think?

Monday, November 04, 2013


Warning:  The following is me just typing from a page in my handwritten journal.  I figured I'd type it into the computer because it kind of shows my writing process, and how much of it is just talking to myself using an ink pen.  It also, has a few amusing points.  Besides, I needed a blog post, and, I really couldn't think of anything happening worth blogging about because I've been focused on opening the Etsy store for the past few days, and rather than rewrite all of it again, I decided to do this.  It also pretty much shows the process of self-doubt, frustration and plain flat out bad writing that goes into making even a small little blurb for an internet store site.  When people say something to me like, "Oh, I so admire writers, I just can't seem to do anything like that!"  I'm often left with the impression that they think Vladimir Nabakov just sat down in front of a typewriter and great novels somehow magically appeared.  I hate to break it to you folks, but there's some effort involved. 

It also reminds me of one of my art teachers.  Whenever someone said something to Miss Jo along the lines of "Oh, I can't even draw a straight line!" she would give them a long look and say... "No one can really, that's why they make rulers."

Which doesn't really apply... but I always liked that story, so there we are. 

Anyway... on to the journal entry.  With one explanation... most of my writing doesn't involve quite this much drama.  The thing is that I don't really like this sort of thing.  Honestly, when I have to write my resume, you'd be well advised to get out of the house.  Taking a vacation to the next state would be a good idea.  I'm not kidding. 


I'm taking a break from setting up the Etsy store. 

The thing that has me stumped is the Describe Yourself box.  I'm supposed to tell the entire world who I am. 

Well, if I'm excruciatingly honest about it, I guess I could just say "I am an arrogant, opinionated, know it all bastard" and leave it at that... but I don't think that'll work.

I could give a sob story, basically saying that buying from me would be seriously helping out a person who is down on their luck and desperately needs the cash and appealing to their pity... but I've done enough sales to know that 1) guilt trips aren't really a good sales tactic, and 2) when you do that you're defining yourself as basically a failure, you can't really blame the planet for thinking you're basically a failure, so I should probably describe myself as a great success story and basically lie. 

OK... I'm kidding.  What I need is one of those annoying feel-good blurbs. 

How about something along the lines of "I am a flea market dealer who has been dealing in antiques and collectables for the past 10 years.  Recently I have been applying my art school training to constructing small, primitive dolls, and other folk art projects."

Well, that's just bloody boring and just like every other idiots moronic blurb and I don't think it qualifies as a feel good blurb because lets face it - it doesn't make anyone feel good or feel much of anything so that just sucks. 

Dammit, I'm a writer, I can do this  or I call myself a writer.  why can't I just stick to bad fiction.  I can do that. I'm damn good at bad fiction.  I'm shit at this self serving moronic shit. 

OK... you start by putting a bunch of info that might be applicable and throwing it on the page, then you rewrite and edit.  Let's start by adding to that boring blurb up there...

How about...  "I am a flea market dealer who has been dealing in antiques and collectables for the past 10 years.  Recently I have been applying my art school training to constructing small, primitive dolls, and other folk art projects.  My hobbies include Gardening, antiques (DUH) getting drunk with my friends, watching bad horror movies and sleeping---

Shit, seriously Claude... OK,

Hobbies.  Gardening.  wood carving.  sewing, crocheting, making crap from nothing... uh...collecting skulls, damn I'm boring...

OK... the bobs are what snotty art people call mixed media constructions... they're a combo of wood-carving, sewing, whateverthehell you call wrapping fabric around wire... I'm not a doll maker, primarily because I'm not that big on dolls... It's really kind of amazing that I make them to begin with...

FUCK the damn cat just vomited on the damn floor...

Ok...  dealt with--- FOCUS

How about this...

I am a mixed media artist who utilizes woodworking, (wood carving?  Whittling? UHHHH)

with textile arts to produce primitive (Folk Art?) pieces.  (objects?  voodoo dolls?  Whateverthefuck you wanna call them?)  and that doesn't work because I'll be selling other stuff too...

stuff to sell

crap I make
crap I bought to make crap but never did
crap other people make
crap that I found that I thought was cool but don't anymore
crap I think other people will think is cool...
face it, I'm selling crap.


I am a mixed media artist, currently working in mixed media/folk art constructions, often utilizing found objects.  I am also the owner of Cactus Cowboy Enterprises, which is a business dealing in antiques, collectables, primitives and vintage objects, which I will be listing to spark your creativity, as I believe the creative urge is the most valuable and underutilized human resource available. 

OK... don't know where the creativity thing came from... but that's actually not bad. 

Needs tweeked, but I'm getting closer. 

Somewhere closer at least. 

I need coffee. 


And that's where the journal entry ends... anyway.., there's my fascinating thought process at work.  Hope I didn't put anybody to sleep at their screens...

And now that I've got that out of my system... does anybody out there know of, or have any experience with, a good Android app for Etsy?  There are several apps out there, and they all have reviews, but I can't make heads nor tails of them.  Most of the apps seem to be searching Etsy, and all of them have a lot of whining reviews for listing and selling on the go.  Thought I'd ask to see if there was any experience...

have a good day...