Wednesday, October 31, 2007

it's finally over

well... halloween came and went. personally, i hate halloween... and apparently i always have (ask my mother). having a child means you have to act like you like things that you don't, like DORA (why does she yell everything she says) or holidays that suck (halloween).

he had so much fun. he dressed as a skunk, quite a unique costume. no, i didn't sew it... i didn't even buy it, it was a gift from my advisor. but boy, did he rock it. every time he went up to someone's door, he'd give an adorable "trick or treat" with his little chicklet-y smile. then he'd say thank you and before he walked away he'd turn to my sister, my husband, and i and say "let's try another one!"

he seemed content once his little pumpkin bucket was full to head back to the house... and then it was more about how excited he was to give out candy. i've never seen a kid as into giving out candy as him. what a little doll... somehow halloween was better this year that it was any of my previous twenty-mufflealskjd years.

last night i watched "frontline" on PBS. it was about the author of this book called the undertaking by thomas lynch. he is an undertaker, family owned business. amazing show. really... profound what he had to say. i think one of the moments that really went into me was when he talked about burying children. he explains how he never keeps a stock of children's caskets, always orders them as they are needed. he says they're covered in beautiful pink or powder blue crepes. he would estimate size needed by looking at the size of his own children, laying sleeping in their beds. thomas never charged more than wholesale for the caskets, and did the funeral for free, hoping that god would spare him what these parents were going through.

he makes no mistakes about it being a business... he, afterall, has a 'corner on the market' in his town. but he had a special ability to remain reverent, compassionate, and useful during these peoples' times of need. had he discussed how his life was only about helping others, refused to acknowledge the funds transferred during such a time, or acted as though he DIDN'T thank god every time his loved ones were spared, i would have considered him to be quite a fraud and dismissed him. but because he was willing to talk about being an undertaker as a living human and not a facade, i felt for him and trusted him. if nothing else, he did say some very profound things about death and grieving.

i highly recommend reading his book, 'the undertaking', and watching the frontline episode about his work. i was so engaged and amazed, that there were times during the show when i couldn't move or close my eyes, my heart was so wide open.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

please help, need judge

every year for the last 30 years, my family has had a pumpkin carving CONTEST. we would all carve a pumpkin... there are NO rules, and small children draw a design and an adult carves. everyone participates.

the FIRST person to come to the door on halloween night would be the official judge (totally random, you can't cater to the judge so it's anyone's game).

well, THIS year we're out in the country and there will be no trick-or-treaters and in fact, we collectivley live in 3 different houses so...


the FIRST person to post back on the original etsy thread chooses the winner (the competition was FIERCE this year).

thanks for giving someone the power to gloat for one full year.


yours truly,

punchanella and family


this LOOKS like what i want, but it's not.

i need these

but i need them have holes that are threaded, NOT metal stirrup hook thingies. is that so wrong?

i just want to put a rod through the two ends. i just want to make this adorable bag that i am thinking of.

do you sell bamboo handles with holes for a rod? comment me and GIMME.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

5 favorite things

this is not about the stuff we all know about like, "whiskers on kittens", or "raindrops on roses" this is stuff you may or may not know about that is fabulous.

1. iron chef america (the midnight airing). why is this so fab? because it's on EVERY night of the week, including weekends. let me just say i've always been an insomniac, and in the best of times a 'hard to fall asleep-er'. i need to watch tv before i go to bed (i know, 'read a book!' NO. it makes me THINK and if i THINK i don't SLEEP). so where was i? right... it is always on for me to watch before i fall asleep... why else? because it makes me believe i am, in actuality, a 'foodie' because i know the terms and i know the techniques. i wouldn't eat half of it (refusing mushrooms and fish precludes me from eating most foodie foods), but in my fantasy, i would eat it, and i would JUDGE it just like the fat dude that writes for Vogue.

2. drive-thru starbucks. i KNOW that when starbucks was born, it was never meant to be a drive-thru, it goes against its core values (found on page 8 of the employee bible, i've seen it). no, starbucks strives to create an atmosphere, one in which you, as the consumer, are encouraged to chat and have custom orders, and know the staff by name. barf. BARF. i want to be anonymous, i don't want to chat, i want things regular, and damn it, the drive-thru affords me the antisocial-ness that i crave with the tazo chai latte that i need.

3. melamine. it's fabulous, don't start with me.

4. tiny laundry. listen... if i want to wash ALL my clothes, i have to do 3, maybe 4 loads of it. if i want to wash all of my 4 year-old's laundry... i throw it all in at ONCE. that's a savings of 2, maybe 3 loads. seriously, i wish washers were big enough to do that for adults. make sure your little one wears similarly colored items, this does NOT work if you're mixing white with black... word to the wise.

5. hairpins. hairpins, they... i mean hairpins... listen, hairpins are like... okay, hairpins create order where there was chaos, and you know what... that's alright with me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

it's easy to get caught up on NOTHING

i was just sitting here threading a cord on a shoebag i'm making. my husband finished watching football while he wrote an essay and '60 minutes' came on. i couldn't find the remote so i left it.

it was anderson cooper, and he was talking about plumpy'nut.

plumpy'nut is a ready to eat, preparation-less peanut butter-like substance enriched with vitamins/nutrients... used in famine relief. it's not a bar, it's a paste... which means moms can feed it to infants on the tip of their finger, and the older kids can squeeze it into their mouths.

this product is somehow intimately connected to 'doctors without borders' which i know nothing about save for what med students have raved about. apparently doctors without borders will change your life.

so moms go to the plumpy'nut depot and pick up tubs or packets. i can't sit here and go through all the details of the broadcast, they were sad and inspiring... but i think the grave-digger in niger said it best: he's digging way less graves for small children nowadays.

so: imagine - you get married at 11, you have children by the time you're 15. you have an average of 8 children, and approximately 2 of them will die before they are 5 years old. say what you will about population control, this is these people's LIVES. if your child is malnourished... they may become 'anorexic' by the time they are 1, which means they will have no desire to eat and become listless. then the skin lesions start all over their skinny little arms and they gasp for air until their heart stops (which i've seen in real life, watching a gasping, dying person is no small thing, imagine a child).

PLUMPY'NUT? plumpy'nut. really. i am amazed no one thought of it sooner! it's saving lives. for better or for worse, peanut butter enriched with milk powder is saving lives? my god... every time you DON'T walk miles to get some plumpy'nut to save your babies lives... be thankful.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the goodest way to ruin your hair, straight OR curly

this is my sister. there she is, in line to get on the 'maid of the mist' in niagara falls. minutes prior to this, she spent one full hour flat-ironing her hair. i think we both knew that the 'mist' (which is actually pelting water ball-ettes) would disrupt her hair somewhat. i think we even discussed how we'd have to fix it at the hotel afterward... there was mention of how my hair, naturally curly, would be EXTRA curly; how jealous was she when she realized how much better my hair would look after the boat ride.

however, no one was prepared for what would REALLY happen on that boat that day. they should call it 'maid of the monsoon', because that's what it is. it's worse than that... just WATER would have been one thing, but this was fish water, that's right: water that fish live in/touch. particularly disgusting. she looked like she fell asleep on a wet beach with no blanket, and i looked like those curly haired dogs... portuguese water dog, that's it... after it's been chasing sticks in the river. i'm glad we did it, because now we can say that we did, but our daytime vacation look suffered a great deal.

p.s. the hershey store in the falls is NOT a factory, and the chick at the counter will tell you as much as she asks for the 6 bucks you owe for that chocolate bar. what? yes, 6. there are NO hershey tours, but the guy at the brock will tour you if you want. we didn't want.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

a walk in the woods

i'm blogging too much, because life's been kind of hard lately. not hard like, oh man... i really need to kick this heroin so i can get my kid back and try to shake this chlamydia. not hard like that.

more like, wanting more in life means giving up more in life. it's a weird paradox.

i don't know if i can settle for not having a big career. i chase after this PhD like it's my destiny. is it? i can't devote the time it needs. not because i don't love it and enjoy it, but because my little one needs a mom, and i need to have more in my life. i can't exclusively be any one thing... not just a mother, not just a scientist. i have to have both, you know? so will i ever make it?

add into this mix the fact that my husband has also decided to attack a giant mountain. they guy is working at 4 things at any one time. college teacher, student, independent architect, and family man. he's at his max for time. every time we're in a pinch for money (every month), i tell him... 'me and the little one are fine. you go work, and be strong, and we'll be fine in the end with our bills PAID'. the toll for this is enormous though. the 3 of us need each other, and not just in small scheduled, rushed, half-assed doses. i know we gotta get there to be there, but it's not like in those inspiring movies of hard-working people becoming somebodies. most of the time you're tired, and you wonder, is this right?

i'm not going to change a thing. i know that in order for us to survive both my husband and myself have to be working. not just financially, because i grew up in a home where BOTH of my parents were workers and intellects, and that fed my soul in a way i can't explain. i gotta give THAT to my little one just as much as a PB&J sandwich.

Friday, October 12, 2007

necessity breeds competency

ok, so i was at the lab yesterday and i decided i wanted to apply to trunkt. i got REJECTED once, so i didn't want to screw around and have that happen again, so i had to bring out the big guns.

the big guns being the new clutch. i love this clutch. i'm not sure how well received it will be by customers, but i LOVE it. anyway, i wanted to include it in my portfolio for my trunkt application. however, it has to be connected to your online store in order to use it... so i HAD to put it up on etsy. i was in a rush for 2 reasons... 1. i was at the lab at the time, and i'm always doing 45 things while i'm there, 2. i am hysterical when i decide to do something and i feel that these things cannot wait until a better time. so for that reason, i had to come up with a name, and fast.

thought process:

peep-hole style handles. peeper bag? no. peepshow bag? people will think there's something naked to see. hmmmm, peepy bag? reminds me of the creepy peepy character on boston legal. rehab bag. i love that... but i can see members of the buying public being sensitive to it. amy bag (amy winehouse... get it?). no no, too obscure and EVERYONE names their bags after girls' names. back to peepshow clutch. peep clutch. that's almost cute because it sounds like a bird, but it references peep-hole. PEEP CLUTCH. done.

i put it up, i got lots of views and more than that... I GOT ACCEPTED TO TRUNKT! see my profile here. not only that, but i made a showcase after i got accepted (a collection of things i think are fabulous from other designers that go along with a theme), and it was FEATURED ON THE MAIN PAGE all day (that's it on the picture up there)! soooooooo cool. :)

this is getting ridiculous

necrotic and broken. i'm NEVER going to graduate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


i made the bag, you know... and it was awful... and i had used up both of those fabrics making a travesty, and i couldn't stand that. i mean, it was really eating me up inside. so i fixed the handle issue and my husband fixed the gaping mouth issue. and now, i think it's my favorite little thing. i just need a name for it. i ordered some nigella fabric which i should get next week. then i will make more of these little lovelies. WHAT AM I GONNA CALL THEM?

here's so more views...

Sunday, October 7, 2007


let's start from the top of the day and work our way down.

1. it's thanksgiving, and it's 89F outside. i roasted a turkey. so. hot. we ate outside, and after dinner S put on his swimsuit and played in the sprinkler. now, WHO remembers a thanksgiving like that? forget it.

2. i have this gift bag that i got a while back that i use to cart around all my etsy product. i like it... it's got a certain charm to it with it's boxy-ness and openness. i figured, how cute would this be if it were scaled to be a clutch??!?!?

so, i figured i would try it out tonight. the pattern i calculated was flawless, and the design was fabulous. HOWEVER, because i spent all day making thanksgiving dinner in a 95F house (no AC!), and i'm exhausted... things went awry when it came to cutting the fabric. here are the errors:

red arrow: messed up the cut out and hole became 2cm too long

black arrow: measurement error leading to the distance being 2" too short. (yes i work in metric and imperial).

so i'm all out of these fabrics and all i've got is a clutch that my husband actually laughed at when he saw... but i can order more, and i can try again when i'm less tired.

happy thanksgiving all!

Friday, October 5, 2007

new ide-ar: the tote. i know you've never heard of a tote.

what do we think? i think i'll be very sad to part with it, and i better get more of this fabric so that i can recreate it for me. i'm getting so needy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

please pass the homemade cranberges

i can't even talk to you about the lab today, because i'll have a freak out. all i know is that i am DAMN sure i'll be in tears at the next lab meeting, which happens to be tomorrow morning. CRAP.

my inlaws are coming for thanksgiving tomorrow. that's alright. what is NOT alright is how MESSSSSSSSY my house is. i just can't. i can't, and i won't clean it tonight! i'm exhausted. SO TIRED. i have to hope and pray that my husband isn't sick tomorrow and can clean, because even if i wanted to (i do want to), i can't leave school early tomorrow. full day.

something is holding me back from completing the big mouth bags. i keep saying it's the zipper length, but it's not. it's may patience length, which IS a thing. they'll be nice though, i have to get them together!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

proof that you CAN indeed buy your friends.

MOO cards!!!!! i sent them 20 bucks, they sent me a hundred bidness cards, and look... i'm their new best friend.

now i just have to decide how to allocate my 100 cards. i wish it wasn't this way, but i get really stingy with things like this. if i buy myself a great body scrub, i'll use it once a month, if i get fabulous fabric, i keep it on the shelf as to not 'waste' it. however, all that means is that i can never enjoy what i love. der.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

ah, success

i fixed it!

ah, failure.

soooooooo, i had an order for a custom brush roll. i made it (see above) but it's deformed. i don't have any more of that fabric left. AS;KJ;LAKDSJF. you can imagine my frustration. the fabric ripped at one of the corners, and furthermore the inside pockets are crooked. good thing this is a person i know in real life and i can ask to pick another fabric or wait until i get more of this one.

my little one was home sick yesterday. today he's home again, but i'm fairly certain he's totally faking. this is evidenced, i believe, by the fact that he wants to go pick apples, and has eaten a crazy amount of timbits and smile cookies.

he's watching sesame street, and i think tricia yearwood (that's a person, right?) is dealing with the idea of death by singing a song about how her 'friend' is so far away, farther than china and she'll never get to talk to him again. death, right? just say, he's dead. don't lie to children... just explain it how they can understand. hm... now there is a hip hop song talking about numbers. i'd like to be all old and go, 'things have really changed' but remember when we were kids... the songs were contemporary then, so why shouldn't they be now.

wow... today is really rediculous for boring tangents. want to see the most perfectly sewn thing i've ever made? i hope it sells.
alright... you will suffer my minutia no longer.