The Toy Maker, by Richard Hunter

Just over two minutes long, The Toy Maker is an inspiring peek into the life and creations of Ron Fuller. With a genuinely nostalgic approach, Fuller hand crafts detailed, mechanically functional pieces. His sense of humor is literally built into his work…watch the video and you’ll see what I mean. (link via Junkculture)

Here is a tiny Wikipedia article on artist, Ron Fuller.

Here is more information on film-maker, Richard Hunter.

Florida

Almost a month ago, my family spent a weekend in Florida. With my sister and I both “grown up,” and the four of us all having lives that involve jobs and things we care about, it is very seldom that we are all able to commit to a weekend together for an adventure. We went to Titusville, a town outside of Orlando, to visit a handful of my dad’s side of the family. Here are some things that happened:


I don’t fly regularly, therefore I am SUPER EXCITED anytime I do. I mean, seriously, you’re literally flying through and over the clouds. It’s beautiful. Luckily my sister and I had plenty of space on the plane, so I was not distracted by a lack of legroom or annoying strangers. Full on cloud fixation!


This is Dottie and Ray (Dottie is my dad’s cousin). We stayed with them, and basically had half the house to ourselves. I had my own room. It was ridiculous. Dottie has lots of stories and Ray worked at NASA for years. They’re quite nice and hospitable and enjoy playing trivia at a local bar.


THIS is Aunt Rita. She’s a big reason why we went in the first place. She helped raise my dad. He lived with her for a few years when he was a kiddo in New York. Needless to say, she’s pretty important. She’s super cute and sweet and very independent, which I really respect about her. Aunt Rita doesn’t like to arrive somewhere empty-handed, loved driving, and sometimes kept the kids up with her and her husband’s weekend parties back in the day. She’s awesome.
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On the left is my dad, and on the right is Rita’s son, Don. They’re sitting outside in Dottie and Ray’s gorgeous enclosed patio, with a golf course behind them (prime retirement)! Don has a mild-mannered personality, and enjoys living out of the city, surrounded by nature. So here are two childhood friends, almost 50 years later…a reserved yet genuine and caring interaction.


Left to right: Cameron, Gary, Dad. Gary is my dad’s nephew, who he somewhat recently got in touch with through Facebook (internet, right?). Cameron is his son who seems very smart and personable, especially for his age. This was my first time meeting them. Apparently Gary looks like his dad, Eddie, who unfortunately passed before I was born.

Most of our time was of course spent visiting with family. Honestly, to a 23-year-old Austinite there isn’t a lot to do in Titusville anyway. I asked about thrift stores in the area, and Ray was nice enough to take Eve and I around town on her search for records and my search for pretty and hopefully vintage things. She found a handful of awesome records for 25 cents each at the fifth store we stopped at. I got a dress there, as well as two necklaces and a few glasses frames along the way.


A big group of us went to a seafood restaurant called Dixie Crossroads. I don’t actually eat fish, but we had a great waitress who told me about a veggie burger that wasn’t on the menu. Almost everyone else got rock shrimp, which I’d never heard of, and we don’t have in Texas. The way it is prepared makes it taste kind of like lobster. Faces were stuffed and stomachs were happy. If you ever go there, get coleslaw as a side – delicious! Now here is a picture of my mom next to a giant lobster.

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Left to right: me, Aunt Rita, Dad, Dottie, Ray, Eve. This is the required group shot.

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After the restaurant on the last night, we took Aunt Rita back to her apartment, to say goodbye until next time. I decided to possibly embarrass my dad by putting up this photo because it’s so special. Aunt Rita, in all her cuteness, wanted to listen to Elvis on a CD she has. She started dancing as soon as it came on. Thanks to my mom’s suggestion and my dad’s compassion, he danced with her for the duration of the song. It was beautiful.

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Thanks for reading.
-Jenn

10 Ways to Re-use T-shirts

I have a ridiculous amount of old t-shirts I never wear. They’ve been sitting in drawers, wasting away for years, and I feel it’s time to do something about them. Problem is, so many represent memories that I don’t want to let go…but I also don’t want to wear giant unflattering shirts. I searched online for ways to make old t-shirts into something new, and here are some cool projects I found:

1. Yarn
2. Memory Scarf
3. Freestyle Quilt
4. Bags
5. Notebook
6. Craft Kit
7. Produce Bags
8. Mat
9. Beaded Necklace
10. Crocheted Rug

Projects that lose the images on the shirts: the yarn, beaded necklace, crocheted rug, and mat

Projects that maintain smaller parts of the images: the notebook, craft kit, and produce bags.

Projects that show off the main part of the t-shirt: the scarf, quilt and bags

For the shirts that I want the images, I’m thinking of the scarf and / or quilt. There’s something comforting about your memories keeping you warm… The yarn, rugs, and necklace could be an excellent use of scraps. Hopefully this gives you some ideas if you’re looking to do similar projects.

Any suggestions?

-Jenn

PS. This is also my first attempt at using Illustrator ever. (yeah free trial!)

SXSW Update

SXSW is finally coming to a close. Downtown has been flooded with angry drivers, every business with a 10 x 10 foot space became a temporary “venue,” and every other event you heard of was called something by something something. (My favorite description that I came up with was drunk by drunk consequences.)

Like probably most Austinites, I too get annoyed by the week long takeover of our city. But honestly, I’ve gotten used to the party everyday. Most of my days this week have begun in the late afternoon, and involved cheap drinks and awesome people. Improvements for next year: earlier starts, more planning ahead for bands, and more shows all together.

Thee Oh Sees / 29th St. Ballroom / Friday, March 16.
There must have been 20 people from the crowd on stage by the end of the last song.

Here’s a quick – really quick – summary of my SXSW week:

Monday: attempted Thee Oh Sees, Spiderhouse, familiar faces, too crowded, 4am crash.

Tuesday: downtown evening wandering, Tuesgayz, Belaire, new folks

Wednesday: wow hangover, hangover lunch, Wardenclyffe, Pi Party, The Mole People, The Seedy Seeds, concrete tripped, porch beers

Thursday: oh dear icing my foot, horrible traffic / parking, random friends, downtown early evening wandering, booty bounce dance party with Nicky da B starting right in front of me, WAFFLE TACO, painting branches

Friday: tacos, amazing & cheap vintage from Green House, close friends, queso, The Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees (for real this time!), dude spilled beer on my leg, found $10 on the floor.

Saturday: SPENT.

Life can’t only be one giant party…it’s a balanced party. Gotta keep it going. So excited for the reminder of what happens when I choose to go outside and get outside of my own head.

~Jenn

Zippered Hand Warmers!

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ACK it’s been awhile. Life’s been kinda…crazy around here lately. Updates on my corner of the world soon. But first, checkout this awesome diy project for you knitters out there. Don’t knit? I suggest learning a couple of basics. It won’t take you long, there are tons of youtube videos for help, and then you’ll be able to create things from just some yarn, which feels great.

I found this link through CraftZine’s Blog, but the project is from the Purl Bee.

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Zippered Hand Warmers! Here’s what Whitney has to say about them:

” Zippers, in this case, dispose of their actual use and embrace the whimsy of their style. Bold and chunky, bright and friendly, these zippers are here for our entertainment only! Wear them on the palm side or the knuckle side; up, down, or half way in between, they’ll make you smile!”

Truth. See the whole pattern HERE. May your wrists be warmer and you life be sillier
-Jenn