Friday, March 27, 2009

Who took my community? And when are you planning on bringing it back?

My boyfriend’s father passed away last week. And nobody came. People went to see his two sisters. Brought food. Said they were sorry for the loss. Sent cards. Flowers. Nobody came to our house. Maybe because we live in a different town. Maybe because they suck.

When my father passed away at home in Nova Scotia we were turning people away and telling them to take their food back home because we had no room left in our freezer. There were neighbours at our house 24/7 for a week. My aunts and uncles wouldn’t go away if we wanted them to. And that’s the way it should be.

I apparently live in “friendly Manitoba” but I’m not so sure right now. Maybe someone lied to me. Maybe I’ve been displaced without my knowledge and I live in “unfriendly frozen shithole”.

I remember when I moved here I was told my neighbourhood was community centered, down to earth, a friendly little hippie community. But it was 3 months of me saying hello to every person I saw in my building before anyone would talk to me. And when a new neighbor moved into the basement apartment in my 6 suite building I brought fresh muffins. Because no matter what the new neighbours do have, you usually are safe in assuming they haven’t gotten food yet. He said no thanks. Which had me shocked and stuttering. “what do you mean no?” He asked what kind they were. “They’re apple. They’re fresh. And I brought them down for YOU”. He said he didn’t think he’d like them. After a few more unsuccessful attempts at forcing him to realize his obvious faux pas I simply told him “Look. I brought you muffins. And you’re going to take them. I don’t care if you throw them out, throw them at cars, feed them to the fucking dog. You’re going to wash the plate and bring it back. I live in apt 5. Welcome to the building”.

See? Not only do I actually live in a brutally unfriendly universe, unfriendliness is extremely contagious. It took about 2.47 minutes to turn me from a well-meaning neighbor to the fucking cunt upstairs.

So do you need a lesson in good-neighbourship?

1. Accept gifts from good neighbours. You never know, they might rub off on you before you can ruin their day
2. When they're having a rough go, you know - because you noticed - and you brought them food because nobody likes having to cook in the first place, especially not hwne they're in crisis
3. If you hear them fighting, you ask them separately if they're ok
4. If you hear them making up, you have the tact not to mention it
5. do I really have to spell it out for you? If I do, you're obviously too stupid to ever become one and you'd be wasting my time anyway.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who knew?

I've been having a lot of money troubles ... related to a broken car, insurance rates going up, a load of my laundry being stolen and necessary to replace, and a trip to India I thought I could afford until all the other stuff happened.

But who knew you could call your phone company and say "I need my bill to be cheaper" and they'll cut it in half? Or that you can call student loans providers and say "I'm broke. You're going to have to lower my payments or you're not getting any" and your payments will be cut back by 75%?! Or that you can tell your live-in boyfriend "you're lazy. I'm tired of fighting over housework. You pay me like a maid and I'll just keep doing it all but we can stop fighting over it already" and you can make an extra $50 per week?!? So now I feel like I'm back on the happy train (choo! choo!)

I'm going to make it to India because I'm brilliant. Or brilliantish. I still have a lot of work to do to snazzy up my etsy shop and to increase my sales on there because if etsy could provide a reliable extra few bucks every once in a while, I'd be able to finally relax (and wouldn't that be lovely?)

Spring is so close to being here in full. And I'm celebrating my 26th birthday this weekend. That might contribute to my feelings of elation. Just a bit. Maybe it's the anticipation of gifts. Or good food. Or friends. Or all of it.

Who cares? I want it all. Bring it on.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tiny little pretty things

I always thought that maybe someday I'd own a shop. And I'd call it tiny little pretty things. It would be filled to the brim with eclectic one of a kind items that were inspiring and fantastic at once.

I work in an agency with street youth. Another dream. Did I have to give up the first one for the second though? Because I've been working on one item for 2 days straight now (which is going to be the most fantastic stuffed robot in the history of the world) and I've only finished the feet!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Right now

I feel ...
Excited - I am in the process of making the coolest in the universe stuffed robot that just happens to be partially recycled because she'll be made out of my old jeans and my favourite material (buttons!)

Rebellious against the letter I got in the mail today telling me I have to take a defensive driving course in order to keep my lisence even though the two accidents I got into that led to me being mailed this letter were due to too much ice on the road and me sliding at 5km per hour or less.

Disheartened at the severe lack of funds that is my current bank account and at the idea of looking for a second job to work part time a couple evenings and maybe one weekend day per week to make up for it. On top of the full time and highly demanding job I already have and all the while trying to squeeze in some creative time to keep up with my etsy shop but also trying to balance out the amount of money I'm spending on my trip to India.

Thrilled at the idea that the first time I ever leave the country, I'm going to India! What the hey man?! Who'd uv thunk it? I'm going SHOPPING and I want to see elephants and my travel mate just wants to jump in a dinghy and go white water rafting ... sure!

Confused about my birthday. What does a girl who's broke ass like me do to celebrate?

Guilty that I ate a 1/2 bowl of chocolate covered almonds this evening ... and I'm not even going to make the excuse that that's ok every once in a while because I've been eating crap way more frequently than every once in a while.

And tired. Sleepy ... yawn

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who stole my towels?

Someone in my building stole a whole load of my laundry. Who does that? And who can take someone else's towels and not think about the fact that they'd touched the same someone else's naked body? (I know I would ... and I wouldn't be thinking about it pleasantly). Who?

To make myself feel better I searched etsy and found these by janesays:

Aren't they fantastic? I'm feeling better already
And then I found this by momofmak's:

Sucia starts with S. So does Sarah (my real name). And Special (cuz I am - I do not steal your laundry)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

a terrible horrible no good very bad day

Can I move to Australia?

I hate today. I hate it I hate it.
I got up today to a grumpy live-in boyfriend who was so preoccupied with his own stress he didn't want to kiss back.
I get all ready for work and on the way I get in a car accident. A true accident, but the "You're seen to be at fault, your deductible is $200 and your next lisence will cost $800" variety.
Did I mention I bought tickets to India for a once in a lifetime kind of trip with a girlfriend that I can't really afford?
I get to work and I get to tell my boss that the speaking gig I was supposed to do with some youth last night got cancelled when we got there so I had to pay the youth to do nothing and then drive them home.
I ate 5 cookies and I feel fat.
I get through the day somehow and when I get home my place is a mess and I'm hungry and cranky and I'm having a terrible horrible no good very bad day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I need to move

See this? This? That tiny little coffee table littered with my crap? That's my workspace. And it's all I've got.

What do you do with 2 hours?

I'm at home. But have to go back to work tonight. I have a slightly less than 2 hour break in between. What can I do?

Tidy the apartment & do les smelly dishes - 1/2 hour

Seal and finish magnets I'm working on for my etsy shop - 5 mins

Go for a run (include time for mandatory shower) 1.5 hours = not going to happen

Watch tv - 17 bazillion hours of my life (I heart the tube)

Brainstorm things to do - 15 mins

Waste approximately 2 hours on the computer reading blogs, updating etsy shop and sending ridiculous and ABSOLUTELY necessary emails - perfect

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

so cool

I just made this:

Wordle: suciainwonderland

thanks to Vintage Jones at
Otherwise I probably never would have heard about it and probably wouldn't have spent upwards of 1/2 an hour trying to make a really cool one.

Recipe for a bad day

Begin by ensuring that you have everything you need. Specifically, one tired girl.
Mix in equal parts chaotic work place and public speaking engagement.
Add too many tempting cookies in the staff kitchen
In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients: no one needs you, you can't go home early, nothing interesting is happening, you haven't received an email in 2.47 hours, you really want to play on your blog but know that would be frowned upon (you naughty employee you)
Combine wet ingredients and dry and mix until you are ready to shoot yourself.
Cook until eyebrows are furrowed, all responses are one word and you cannot think of anything other than getting the hell out of there.

*no offense if meant to be taken by anyone i work with. My bad day had absolutely nothing to do with you and absolutely everything to do with me having a bad day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

off balance = artistic genius?

To follow on my last post ...

maybe I don't resent being off-balance at all. Maybe I am creative because I'm off-kilter and maybe following the beaten track would be the end of Sucia.

Maybe ...

Slightly left of balanced

I'm having a really hard time finding balance in my life. I don't even understand how other people do it. Honestly. I'm probably at the point where if you told me you've got it down I would kneel down, worship you and devote a very small religion to your name.

I mean, ideally, I would love to have time for nutrition, fitness, work, friends, creativity, my relationship, my home and adventure/exploration/travel. But who has enough hours in the day?! I certainly don't. I alternate between devoting the majority of my time to work and going crazy, devoting most of my time to creativity and becoming a hermit, and devoting most of my time to my friends and failing at everything else.

I miss being young and everything just ... working. You can tell me that my world is a little more complex now, but I was a wonky kid. I used to eat mozarella cheese with molasses on it (I swear, I do not eat that anymore ... often ... don't knock it til you try it!) and zoodle sandwiches (exactly the way it sounds and splooshing all over the place). I would read a page of a book, memorize it and rewrite it word for word. I put on synchronized swimming exhibitions with my friend in her parent's pool. If that's not complex I don't know what is.

But for some reason, since becoming an adult, I'm obsessed with balance. And the more I try to achieve it, the more askew I am.

Monkey love

It absolutely seems like the sock monkeys are my favorite item to make. I love making them, I love how adorable they are, and I love giving them personalities, making up their stories and taking their photos while they pose oh so openly.

The newest one is Tatu. She's a hardcore tattooist and contortionist currently living on the streets and singing for food. When I was making her I thought she needed some oomph so I started to applique felt designs on her (tattoos). I just have so much fun with them and I really hope that when people buy them they will make their day a little brighter, more fun, or more goofy (whichever feeling was lacking, I hope they fill the need).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New bracelets

I've just posted these new bracelets in my etsy shop. I love these and have several that I wear myself all the time. Where else does salvaged meet shabby meets pretty meets recycled meets color me wonderful?

Who is Sucia?

I am very well aware that many of you will know what my name means in Spanish. And I have to assure you, that was not my intention.

My boyfriend's father is Mennonite and calls me Sucia as an affectionate way to say my name - Sarah. I'm a very energetic young woman and am often told "Shush ya Sucia!" by my boyfriend who thinks it's hilarious. Needless to say, the name has caught on. However, when I guessed at the spelling, I guessed drastically wrong. Oh well, life goes on.

Sucia is the name of my etsy shop as well. And has developed her own sort of personality. I see Sucia as this well-meaning person who does not always come off as kindly as she means to be. Sucia is adventurous and goofy and has no fears when it comes to admitting she is confused. Much more competent than Sarah, Sucia can navigate her way through this crafting / business world like Sarah can find her way to the artsy books in any bookstore (in 2 seconds flat). Both of us are slightly geeky - but the cool kind of geeky, you know? We both relish second hand clothes and having awesome items that nobody else has. We are a lot the same but Sucia has become my sort of alter-ego who excells in the areas that I am weak and makes friends much more quickly than her shyer alter-ego (me) is apt to do.

I've grown to love Sucia and I hope you do too.

Ethics of crafting

Being someone who believes wholeheartedly in protecting the environment, human rights and general happiness, I try to make all my crafting ethical. But nothing's perfect and some production practices and results end up being more ethical than other attempts.

Like if I bought a pair of socks that were too small and turned them into a monkey. I could have donated the socks. But I didn't. Or when I make my cards I do use a bit of "virgin paper" - white paper that has not been used before. Can you forgive me? I ran into another crafter in a chat room on etsy once who couldn't believe I buy bangles at the thrift shop and cover them with magazine paper to create the lovelies I sell in my shop. But I promise you, I only use the ugly ones. Picture - orange, plastic, glitter, opaque ... those are not descriptions of separate bangles, that was one of the ones I used.

I like to think that when I do transform objects that I've found I am making them into something better, prettier, more functional. And I know there are other ways to get around it - like buying recycled paper to use for the white parts ... But I also don't have the money that it would take to make sure all my crafting processes are 100% ethical from start to finish.

I also realized I don't have to indulge these details to you but I like to think I am an upfront and honest person and when I asked myself What would Sucia do? This is what I came up with.