In Which Maxx Makes Earrings for his Teacher

8:43 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Maxx was home all week last week with some strange stomach bug which didn't really make him sick per-say, it just required that he frantically race to the bathroom three or four times each day.  It was a rough week.  He was bored, I was distracted, we were all trying to work at the Beorningstead as much as we could, Molly was studying (ha!) and we were all worrying about our neighbors.

Our dear friends and neighbors, Ken & Kim, are struggling with the seriously declining health of both of their fathers.  Kim has been in Burlington almost constantly for the past three months helping care for her dad and last week, Ken's dad broke his leg.  Now both of them are in Burlington and neither outlook is rosy.  I fear it is going to be a sad summer in Ft. Jackson. 

On Saturday, we had some earrings to make for a party Molly was invited to.  Maxx wanted to play beads, too, and I realized that I hadn't prepared anything for his awesome kindergarten teacher yet.  Mrs. Arquiett has been so wonderful with Maxx.  She has been patient with his needs and behaviors.  She has been educating herself about how to help him with his sensory, attachment and social issues and I know that she has been instrumental in Maxx's progress this year. 

Maxx chose the beads and we strung together some lovely RED earrings.  Maxx loves red.  He loves Mrs. Arquiett, too.  He's going to miss her over the summer.  (I think I will too!)

In other news, we are making slow progress over at the Beorningstead and we have some potential buyers coming to look at the Ft. Jackson house on Friday.  We have a new realtor and she really seems to be working hard to get our house seen.   Bry has received his teaching assignment fornext year.  He will be working full time in an 8-1-1 program in Huevelton.  It will be a big drive every day (1 hour, on good roads) but it will be full time, he will have a full time aide in the room, he will have a planning period, most of his students will be mainstreamed and will mostly be in his room for academic support.  Heuvelton is actually a wonderful little district so I think he will like the atmosphere there AND they actually use their snowdays when the weather is truly awful, instead of saving them for hockey tournaments.  (Don't even ask.  I am still furious.)

Now - on to work for the day.  Soooo much to do!

Shops are on Vacation

10:09 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
You'll notice that my Etsy shops are no longer in my sidebar . . . .

We are moving next week to the new house.  We plan to have our first night there on Maxx's last day of school next Wednesday.  There's still a lot to do and it will be VERY rustic at first (like - no kitchen, no real bathroom - just a tiny toilet room and a tiny shower room - ongoing construction all summer, a studio sink and a microwave,  etc . . .) but it is TIME. 

When I'm settled into the new studio, I will decide whether or not to re-open my Etsy shops.  The stuff going on over there makes me sick.  (see Etsy Bitch for more info - new garbage every week)  Goblins' Market DIED in March and I haven't sold much of anything at Luna's Baublebilities over there in the 3 years I've been there.  I'm tired of paying listing fees with no guarantee of customer service and their arbitrary and vindictive approach to enforcing their own TOU makes me a little skeptical of trusting their management style to my income.

I'm taking a break while we move and see how I feel when I get settled.

ArtFire Goblins' Market will remain open with limited inventory.  I really like ArtFire.  

Wish us luck with our move.  You can see more about our progress over at the Beorningstead blog.  We're so excited to settle over there!

If Only I had Made it in Pink

10:30 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
Since I'm obviously feeling confessional this week, having posted a photo of my epic cake FAIL of last week over at the Beorningstead blog , I thought I would let you all take a look at my latest bead fail.

Pretty weird, right?











The latest Beadwork magazine has a short tutorial on making sparkly beaded rings so I played around with the project a bit yesterday. 

I made a sort of fun little orange spiky flower ring.


And I beaded a setting for a scintillating rivoli and then decided to see if the duck bills I bought with the latest mega box of beads would work with this  design.





Ummm....






I was shooting for something floral but it certainly didn't turn out that way.  I think it looks like some bizarre sea creature gone horribly wrong.  Molly says it looks like a butt.  (If you have a large, short haired dog, you will instantly see what she means.  It is rather sphincter-ish.)

If only I had made it in pink.






Speaking of butts.  I'm so disgusted with Etsy.   They had full frontal female nudity on their front page a couple of weeks ago.  Oh - the artist's photographer had airbrushed out some specific anatomical details on top and the models hands were covering her groin area but it was still nudity on the Front Page.  The item in question was a hoop skirt support made to be worn under period costumes or alone as a "futuristic design statement".  The seller makes latex clothing.  Most of the images for the clothing available in this shop border on or qualify as soft p*rn.

You know what?  That's FINE.  If someone is having fun making a living selling titillating little costumes - go ahead.  I have no problem with that.  I don't even have a problem with them using racy images in their shop to sell their wares.  It's their shop.  I do not believe in trying to censor other artists and I think that there should be a place on Etsy and other venues for all kinds of  art - whether that art contain happy unicorn, Christian iconography or images designed for a mature audience.

I DO have a HUGE problem with Etsy putting those soft p*rn images on their Front Page and I'll tell you why.   

For those of you who don't know much about FAS/FAE, one of the major challenges kids with this disorder have is a more than average level of difficulty making good sexual choices.  These kids are at a higher risk for STD's, teen pregnancy, date rape - etc. because they have an overwhelming curiosity about sex and intimacy, very little to no impulse control and very poor decision making skills.   I thought that we would be dealing with this issue in - oh about 10 years or so, during puberty.  But no.  It is here NOW. 

Maxx is hyper-interested in breasts and other lady parts.  He has already been exposed to p*rn on the school bus.  He asks inappropriate questions quite frequently and tries to engage in inappropriate touching with me and Molly.  We have had incidents of inappropriate tickling with other female family members that we have had to address with him.  We try to dress him in jeans because if he wears softer pants he runs around all day grabbing his goods.  We have had numerous discussions about biology and male vs. female anatomy, respecting people's privacy and what sort of touching is appropriate and what is not.  He levels off sometimes for weeks at a time until something sets him off - like seeing magazine covers in the grocery store or a scene in a film or on TV that shows a lot of skin and/or cuddling. 

Now some of you might say - "Oh, he's just a boy - boys are just interested in girls!"  Yes.  Boys are interested in girls.  As they should be.  Maxx is Obsessed with female bodies.  There is a difference.  His behavior and manner change when he is obsessing.  It is very troubling.  We work hard to keep questionable images out of our home in order to make at least this space safe for him.  He has enough issues to work through that he shouldn't have to be grappling with that particular obsession right now.

I left work at Creative Spirit because the owner was preparing for a new exhibit containing several "adult" images.  I was fine with that until he made it clear that he intended to hang one of the largest paintings front and center at the bottom of the stairs leading to the only bathroom in the building.  His intention in hanging the piece there was not to draw attention to a particularly masterful painting but in his own words, it was to "shake up the moral foundations of this community a little bit." 

Never mind that we had several parents visit the store with their children and if a potty stop was needed, these kids would have to be brought down through the gallery - right past the 'mature' content.  With no warning whatsoever.  I don't know if this guy ever actually hung that show that way or not.  I left and didn't look back. 

Etsy's front page is on our drop down navigation bar menu for Firefox because I stop into Etsy every day to manage my shops there.  I can no longer trust that opening Etsy with Maxx sitting on my lap or hanging out around the computer is safe.  I'm strongly considering shutting down both of my Etsy shops.  My supply shop has tanked over there.  Either something is STILL broken in the search or I've made some sort of blacklist as a result of speaking too bluntly in the forums about the numerous problems sellers have been having since March.   Either way, that source of income is drying up has dried up.  Pair that with not being able to trust Etsy to follow their TOU/ Dos and Don'ts and NOT put nudity on the front page makes me think that never clicking on that Etsy link again might be a good idea. 

Sigh.  Thinking about Etsy lately makes me depressed.  Thinking about FAS makes me feel overwhelmed.  I've had to think about both of them in one morning - I guess Ziggy and I should go walk off that Nutella on a rice cake I just ate and then try to figure out what on earth to do with these stupid duck bill beads.  Any ideas out there?






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