Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seller Interview with Tangled Metal

Hello all my wonderful readers! I can't believe I'm actually starting a following. This is awesome. You guys are awesome.

Before we get started with this week's seller interview, I would like to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who's checked out the For Jason shop on Etsy. She has gotten a great response so far. Let's not stop there! Keep buying, and my fellow members of April's Army, let's get creative! :) It really has inspired me a lot knowing that my work will be going to help someone who needs it. I can't wait to see where the future funds will be given.

Now, onto the main event! Today we're going to meet Eric, the man behind Tangled Metal on Etsy. You AA members have probably seen him around in forums as well. I hope you all enjoy. Without further ado...

Name: Eric Young
Home State: From Texas but live in Arkansas now
Home City: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Favorite Color: Black, green, red, brown
Favorite Drink: Beer:Guinness, Wine:Merlot, Liquor:Thors Hammer Vodka, Breakfast:Strong Coffee, During the day:Water

So, Eric, you're a dude. If there's something that's sadly lacking on Etsy, it's dude artists. So what made you decide to start creating jewelry and things in the first place?

My father is a silver and gold smith, my grandfather was a gunsmith, I come from a long line of blacksmiths and metal workers. Metalwork is in my blood. My family has always been in craft shows, art shows and owned galleries and shops since I was very young. I started making chainmail around 1986. My father wanted me to learn silver and gold smithing but I did not have the patience at the time. So, what do I learn, a craft that requires a huge amount of patience. Go figure.

What, specifically, drew you to creating chainmail? Were you into European history? Tabletop gaming? Something else entirely?

Yes,yes and yes. I read the complete works of Shakespeare when I was 9 years old. Maybe that is what messed me up. Just kidding. Shakespeare got me into European history. Then I branched out to Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. A lot of chainmail in there for sure. Sure, there was some tabletop gaming influences. I was young when D&D was getting its start, but I remember my dad was interested in the dice because they were multi sided. This was all before the internet of course. There were no training manuals, no books written on it or anything. I looked at pictures in books at the library and tried to learn by sight.

How long did it take you to perfect your skills enough to create the intricate pieces you're selling today?

I started over 25 years ago and I am always trying to do a better job. I started out cutting up coat hangers, much to my mother's dismay. I now use commercial flush cut rings and create rings myself with a jeweler's saw. I started doing production pieces early on. I was slow. It would take several hours to make a pair of earrings. Slow and steady wins the race it would seem.

How long does it take you, on average, to make a beautiful piece like your Very Purple Glass Bead Chainmail Handflower Slave Bracelet?

My very first 30 bead handflower took about 4 hours. Now, as a production piece, it takes me about 30 to 45 minutes from start to finish. I had to become very fast at making chainmail when I was a booth owner at the Kansas City Renaissance Fair. Seven weeks of fair, 250,000 visitors, a lot of stock. When I was in the height of making full time, I could make a complete long sleeve shirt in under 12 hours.

You have a lot of really original chainmail pieces. Where do you come up with the idea to make a chainmail leather cuff bracelet or a chainmail cat-o-nine-tails?

Copy is the greatest form of flattery. When I was on the road at Renaissance Fairs, I would create a new item and within 3 months it was being recreated everywhere. So, I had to stay on top of new items, constantly creating new and unusual pieces to be different. There have always been the standard items that many other chainmailers do, and there is a reason for that. When you have a shop you need to have things that people recognize to draw them in. Then you wow them with something they have never seen.

You also make some really lovely Steampunk jewelry and accessories. If anyone has read Regretsy, or just searched for Steampunk on Etsy they'll find that not many people really know what qualifies as Steampunk. How does this, for lack of a better term, ignorance of the genre effect your sales and the interest in your shop?
I think that a lot of things are mis-labled Steampunk, but you have to understand, Steampunk is a newish fad. Want to know what steampunk is? Imagine Jules Verne meets Tim Burton and throw in a little H.R. Giger. It is a mixture of Gothic, Science Fiction and Victorian. Steampunk isn't one thing, it is a blending of many. Gears, cogs, sea creatures, corsets and top hats. People who look for actual Steampunk items find people who make them. Sure, there are plenty of things out there that make it hard to find but eventually, people will move to another fad like handmade owls or octopi.

If you could define Steampunk in your own words, what would those words be?

See above. The definition changes in my mind on a daily basis.

As far as chianmail goes, I can't help but note your prices are very low. Knowing that you could charge a lot more for your art, is there a reason in particular your prices are what they are?
Really? My prices are low? Interesting. I thought they were high, but as some of my friends say, I live in a bubble from 1989 to 1998. My prices back then were even lower. I guess because I am so fast at making chainmail that I just pay myself a decent wage. Perhaps it is time for me to give myself a raise. That is the one bad thing about working for myself, my boss is a slave driver and doesn't pay me too well.

What, in your opinion, is the sexiest thing about a woman sporting a chainmail accessory? (Or man, for that matter. I don't want to discriminate.)
I think wearing something that brings out natural beauty is the sexiest thing. Like green beads on a necklace bringing out green in the eyes. I think that wearing chainmail jewelry makes you feel sexy and that brings it out. Just for the record, I wouldn't want to discriminate either, but I prefer women. :)

Do you play video games? If so, what would your favorite game of all time be?

I used to play video games. I started way back on my Commodore 64. I was always quite fond of the Ultima Series. I also played Ultima Online for over 11 years. I finally quit last year. Not to play another game, but because it became boring. Now, I don't play any video games at all. i do not even own any Console Gaming Systems, but I would love to have a working Nintendo and some old games.

Do you play any tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons? If so, which of your characters was/is the most fun to play?

Here again, in my younger years I played. I grew up in a pretty small town and there were not that many nerds so I never really played that much. I always played a warrior when I did play. There is just something about a Paladin that was fun.

How did you get involved with Etsy?

I went into retirement from chainmail around 2002 when I broke my thumb. I could not hold pliers. It took a long time before I could use my hand and it still hurts if I work for more than a few hours at a time. I really didn't want to start doing shows again and deal with that stress. I needed the extra money. My girlfriend, owner of Curious Crow Design and Curious Crow Vintage suggested that I put up a few pieces. Low overhead and high visibility always look good to an artist, so here I am.

Is there a certain aspect of Etsy that you really like? What is it, and why do you like it so?

I like a lot about Etsy. Having a shop open 24 hours a day, having a built in online community. Low fees. Rating system with feedback. These are things that are very difficult to achieve with your own website.

If you could give one piece of your art to a celebrity, who would it be, and why?

First of all, Celebrities have the money to pay for it. Second, there are several celebrities who wear my work. And third, I would much rather give a piece to charity. All that said, I made a dress a few years back that would have looked very nice on Cher.

What is your favorite way to advertise your Etsy shop? Forums? Twitter? Facebook? Why is it your favorite?

My shop isn't even a month old yet. I am still trying to figure out the best way to advertise. My personal Twitter account has almost 9000 followers. I started my Tangled Metal Twitter a few weeks ago and it is around 400 followers. I seem to get most of my traffic when I post new listings to twitter. My Facebook Fan Page has just over 30 "Likes" so, there is a little bit of trafic from there. I am going to be doing a monthly art show and will be giving out business cards, so hopefully that will also increase traffic.

Who has been the biggest influence on your art and creativity?

My family has always been a huge influence on me. Today, my girlfriend, is by far the biggest influence on me. She's a very talented artist and encourages me to create.

If someone new to Etsy asked you for one piece of advise, what would you tell them?

Read everything you can before you list your first item. Learn about Etsy specific SEO and take great pictures. I am VERY lucky that my girlfriend is a photographer too. She has a great camera and a great eye. The one thing that will keep you from sales is a bad picture.

Do you have anything else at all to say to the nice people reading? Anything your heart desires. :)

Compliments are great, but remember that the greatest form of compliment is to purchase something from someone's shop. I have a day job outside of Etsy, but there are many aspiring artists out there that Etsy is their only form of income. If you have money, share it by buying something from someone. It builds people's confidence to make a sale. It may also pay their bills. This is not a shameless self plug, like I said, I am not relying on Etsy to feed my family.
Here are links to my different web presences:
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/TangledMetal
Website: www.tangledmetal.com (Still working on it)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TangledMetal
Facebook: www.faebook.com/TangledMetal

Thank you all for reading. Tune in next week for another wonderful member of the AA team, Folded Frippery!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


So for those of you who didn't know, I'm a member of an Etsy team called April's Army. April is, of course, the lovely, hillarious woman who is responsible for Regretsy. One of the funniest fucking sites ever.

Here's a lowdown of why I'm posting this quick blog. Every month from here on out the April's Army crafters are going to have charity items for sale. This next month's charity is hopefully going to a woman who's boyfriend is dying of pancreatic cancer. Well, he's been approved for a clinical trial that could help him to live ten more years. She's not asking money (even though she hopefully will be getting some) she's just asking everyone to promote the Etsy site she set up to pay for his treatment.

That's right, she's working with her own two hands to keep her boyfriend alive. And I was hoping to buy a video game with my Etsy sales...anyway. PLEASE check out her site, tell your friends, we want her completely SOLD OUT before the end of April!

Thanks guys! Post this link EVERYWHERE!!!

 The shop name is For Jason and the url is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ForJason?ref=seller_info

Goodnight, and good luck,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seller Interview with Firelight Fusions

Today is a momentous day! Today I present to you my first in a weekly installment of Etsy seller interviews. These interviews will provide you with some super-fun and informative insight on my fellow Etsyans who work hard and produce wonderful things to share with all of us.

So without further ado, the lovely Christina. The brains and heart behind Firelight Fusions!

My name is Christina, and I live in Seattle, WA with my husband, my dog, and my cat. My favorite colors are purple and silver. In the Fall, I'll be attending DigiPen Institute of Technology and beginning my Bachelor of Arts in Game Design. My secret sinful beverage is Pepsi... I try not to drink too much of it when I'm working my magic but I'm addicted!

So, my dear, how long have you been a "crafter"? Is it something you've always been, or did it happen to you later in life?

I used to make things and go to craft stores with my parents when I was little, so I guess it's always been there. The biggest predecessor to becoming a perfume maker was probably my tendency to take everything in a bathroom - shampoo, conditioner, mousse, anything liquid - and turn it into 'potions' that I would proudly display to my family. I think they thought it was too cute to get mad at me for!

What drew you to Etsy?

I have a friend who started her shop about a month before mine: UnityWorks. I had always considered making a shop but I didn't really know where to begin. With Unity's help, I was able to figure out the first steps towards making a name for myself on Etsy.

Your products are, for the most part, video game related. How did you get into video games?

This is another thing that started when I was just a kid. My dad and I used to spend hours on the Super Nintendo, playing everything from Super Mario Bros to Jurassic Park to Donkey Kong Country. I eventually graduated into new systems and single player games, and I've never looked back.

Is there a particular game you just absolutely adore? And why do you adore it so?

There are a lot of video games that have special meaning to me or are associated with important times in my life, but I'd have to say "Monster Rancher" is the one I have the most fond memories of. It's a cult classic game for the PlayStation 1; you produced unique monsters by inserting music and game CDs, and then you raised the monsters on your ranch and battled them. I adore it because it has an incredibly creative game mechanic for producing new monsters and I think more games could use that kind of ingenuity.

What video game character is most like you and why?

Oooh, that's a tough question! Maybe Tifa from Final Fantasy VII. I grew up as the girl-next-door/tomboy type. My favorite form of exercise is to pound away at my heavy punching bag in my garage. I also think we have the same sense of responsibility and a similar no-nonsense attitude when something is important to us.

What made you decide you wanted to make perfume?

I used to collect scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, which is a very popular perfume oil website. For our wedding anniversary two years ago, my husband decided to give me some of my own essential and fragrance oils and some empty bottles. I just went crazy with it. I now have almost 55 different fragrance/essential oils on my shelf and counting!

When you're coming up with your scents, how do you decide which character to draw inspiration from?

It varies. Sometimes I try to think of iconic characters that I believe have very distinct characteristics that would make a great perfume (Princess Peach was my first in that category!). Sometimes it's just a character I've always loved, like Shy Guy, and I want to honor that character by crafting a scent for them. And sometimes, I just make the blend without any character in mind, smell it, and realize that it represents a certain character to me - that was the case with Lara Croft.

What is your favorite base scent to use in men's fragrances?

I like to change it up, but I think my favorite note is Egyptian musk or patchouli. Egyptian musk is so subtle and sweet but still so masculine. Patchouli is one of those scents that many people hate when they smell it independently, but when it's in a men's fragrance, they love it - and probably don't even realize that it's there, if the fragrance is crafted well!

What is your favorite base scent to use in women's fragrances?

I've always been a sucker for vanilla. It seems like you just can't go wrong with vanilla. I also enjoy working with ginger because it's an extremely complex base note that can smell completely different depending on the top and heart notes.

In general, how much trial and error is made before you find the scent that perfectly captures the character you're trying to, well, capture?
Sometimes I get it on the first try, but not often. It usually takes at least two or three tries before the scent smells 'right' to me. This is especially true of men's fragrances; I think that it's easy to make something smell feminine, but it's hard to get just the right balance to make perfume oil that smells like cologne.

Have you had any strange character requests from the Etsy community?

Let's face it - considering the product I make, nothing anyone can throw at me is any stranger than the stuff I've come up with myself. I've certainly had some suggestions that presented a challenge. I had a request for a Garrus, from Mass Effect, scent. Luckily the person who asked for it had some idea of what she thought it would smell like: desert-like, blue, clean. I haven't made the blend yet because I'm waiting for some ingredients to come in but it's definitely one that I see being difficult!

As a perfume fan, I know people can get kinda wacky when describing scents. What is the weirdest and/or funniest feedback you've ever gotten on one of your scents?

Oh, wow. I think the funniest feedback (not on my page, but said to me in person) was that the early blends I made of Firaga smelled like 'cleavage'. That cracked me up! I think scents are all about coming up with creative and inspiring ways to describe the scent. That's why many of my scent descriptions are so abstract, especially the Elements set. Look at BPAL's website - I think a large part of their resounding success is finding extremely poetic ways to describe a fragrance blend.

What gaming system is your favorite and why?

I play most often on the XBox 360 because I get the largest sense of community from it, but my favorite console of all-time is probably the PS2. I spent so many hours on that console playing some of the best games I've ever played. I still sometimes pick up 'new' (read: really old ones I've never played before) PS2 games and play them, that's how much I love that system.

As a member of Etsy's "nerd" community, do you find yourself purposely pricing your products lower than you could in order to make them accessible to fellow nerds?

Absolutely, yes. Many perfume oil makers just repackage the stuff they buy from wholesale manufacturers and then still resell it for $15 for a 1/2 ounce bottle. I am making the blends myself from many ingredients as well as using jojoba oil as my base, which is more expensive but never goes rancid like grapeseed or almond oil, but I charge only $8 for a 1/2 oz bottle. It's more important to me to share my blends with other geeky folk and hear their great feedback than to make a profit on the sales.

What is your best selling scent, and did it come as a surprise to you?

Yoshi's Island has been very popular; not a surprise because it's a great blend and Yoshi is a popular character. I've been surprised by how many people ask for samples of Shy Guy, and by the number of people interested in the Final Fantasy Elements scents. It's hard to say what will catch someone's attention!

What is your favorite way to promote your shop? Facebook? Twitter? Forums? Something else?
I think Facebook has a lot of potential, but I don't have a lot of followers yet. If you can build up a following and make sure people don't hide you on their friend feed, I think it can be a great tool for keeping customer loyalty.

If someone just starting on Etsy were to come up and ask you for only one, single piece of advice, what would that advice be?
Join teams and stay active on the team forums! It's so fantastic to meet new friends and talk about the things you enjoy while also appreciating each other's shops and helping each other make sales. Building a network and a community is critical, and you can do that most easily by joining a team full of other people who love the same things you do.

Are you working on any new projects you'd like to tell us about?

I have a lot of ideas up in my brainspace that haven't actually been developed yet. At the request of a fan, I'm going to be making some Sailor Moon themed scents. I am also trying to expand into other kinds of scented products, such as the sachets available on my site, so I'd like to make some simple themed soaps.

When you're having a "pamper me" day, what is your ideal meal and dessert combo?

The meal has to have mashed potatoes as a side... Yum! I eat too many desserts as it is, but if I get to choose anything, I'll choose a hot fudge sundae. Even the cheap ones from McD's make me so happy!

What kind of music do you like to listen to while developing your products?

I'm in love with a wide variety of music genres, but the music that really gets me in the mood to be productive is dance or electronica music. You can't argue with a great beat.

Do you have anything else to say to the salivating public before we wrap things up? Really, anything at all you want to say, just go ahead and say it.
Hmm, well, if anyone wants to connect with me, my blog is gamergirlriot.blogspot.com/ and I am always open to making new gamer and geek friends. Besides that, I want to say 'thanks' for taking the time to interview me, this was a lot of fun! I look forward to reading your future interviews and blog posts!

Thanks so much, Christina. All you readers out there, if you love me, you'll go visit her shop and buy lots of stuff. ;) Seriously though. Show your love for the nerd crafter community!

Until next post, have a nerdtastic day!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hello Hello

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. It took me a couple days to get over Ann Coulter's stupidity. Ugh. Anyway...it was the weekend of birthdays for my little family this weekend.

We went to a two year old's party on Saturday. Super, amazing, cute. So much fun. Then Sunday night my BFF Karen had her birthday celebration. After which, there were drinks of the alcoholic variety. Long story short, Mystique's dad now knows the color of her boyfriend's penis. w00t!

I have good news for all of you who love the nerd culture, but can't figure out how to express it outwardly. I'll be featuring seller interviews, hopefully one a week, in my blog! This will give you the down low on Etsy's nerdiest nerds, so then you can go buy stuff that just screams: I AM A TOTAL NERD, DEAL WITH IT!!!

At least, that's what I do. If you can't deal with the nerd, you should just go cry in a corner and listen to bad music!

So what did all of you do this weekend?

Don't worry, contest winners. Your jewelry is nearing the completion phase. I just have to re make one. The joys of unpredictable plastic substances.

Thanks to all of you, and have a nerdtastic day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ann Coulter; America's Biggest Idiot (and that's saying something)

Good day, all.

Last night marked the first night of the all-girl comic society at Iguana Comics. There were five of us there, and I think it was a great success. We talked about how we got into comic books and what we're reading currently. Everyone had a different, but equally interesting story, and I have now added about five new books to my "read list" that I'm looking forward to checking out.

That said, on to the stupidity.

I never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever thought I would be backing up Bill O'Reily. EVER. As a general rule I rue his existence. However, watching his interview with Ann Coulter last night, I found myself saying "shut the fuck up and listen to Bill, you idiot woman!" Like I said, shocking. If you haven't seen the interview, you might want to watch it before reading on: She is Stupid

This is your official warning. Some of the links I post in this blog are a bit graphic in nature due to the fact that we're talking about NUCLEAR radiation in high doses and the effect that it has on the human body. I feel that seeing the effects that Ms. Coulter argues are "good" for the Japanese people is important in making my point. If you don't want to get angry, don't click them.

So basically Ann Coulter put out an article the 16th stating that she's looked into scientific research that says radiation is actually good for you and makes you less likely to get cancer. Here is the article. The first paragraph makes me want to punch my computer screen. GR! Good ol' Bill had her on his show the 17th to talk about the article that has, unsurprisingly, drummed up a lot of angry responses. (See above video.)

Ok, yes, Ann. They use radiation treatments for cancer, and it works sometimes. What they do not use is NUCLEAR FUCKING RADIATION! Are you retarded? How did you even get a job in the media?! Ugh. Anyway...

There are different kinds of radiation. Japan is dealing with a potentially epic meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. See the data here. 

According to our lovely Ann, (is anyone else completely annoyed by the way she talks?) the people of Japan should be thankful that the earthquake is causing a nuclear meltdown and they should stop complaining. In her opinion, they're now going to live longer than anyone in the continental United States. Yes, Ann, because nuclear radiation worked so well for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did she spend her entire life completely oblivious to photos of the survivors of the nuclear bombs? That is the kind of radiation exposure the Japanese people would be getting should Fukushima fall apart.

This is about the mildest of the immediate effects of nuclear radiation on the human body. That is someone who SURVIVED. People near the epicenter of the blast were incinerated. Nothing left but their shadows, forever burned into walls and pavement. I imagine to this she would argue that that was a bomb, not just nuclear fall out. So let's explore that, shall we?

How about this person, Ann? Grotesque, right? Well, due to the lack of flesh-melting burns on this citizen, I would guess they were dozens of miles away from the bomb blast. This is what happened when they were exposed to nuclear radiation. It has been firmly documented that nuclear radiation causes painful, horrible mutations of the human body. What would you rather have, skin cancer, or a leg the size of a cherry tree?

Let's be fair here. Ms. Coulter probably doesn't view the Japanese people as human enough to care about what will happen to them, and their children for generations to come, should the power plant melt down.

What about these men, Ann? Are they human enough for you? Do American Soldiers hold enough sway in your pretty little world to make you care? Well, before and after the bombs were dropped on Japan, they were dropped here in the US, with US Soldiers used as test subjects to study the effects of nuclear radiation on humans. In fact, the government was so sneaky about it as to enact an Atomic Secrets Act so that it couldn't come a bite them in the ass when American citizens developed horrible injuries and mutations from the radiation they were unwittingly exposed to.

To this day, it is nearly impossible to find photos of these loyal American Soldiers whose families have suffered since the day they were used as lab-rats. I have seen it. My uncle Wayne interviewed soldiers of WWII. Some used in these tests. When I find the videos I've seen with my own eyes, I will post a link to them. Until then, read this blog for more concrete facts on the nuclear effects on US Soldiers.

By the way, Ann, if any country should know how much to fear the effects of nuclear radiation, it's Japan. You know, the country we dropped the bombs on? In case I didn't make that clear earlier. Don't tell them it's nothing to worry about! They've been dealing with it for decades, and now this? They know exactly what will happen should this plant melt down, and they have every right to be freaking out about it.


It's photographs like this
and this
and this
and this
and this
and so many, many, many more...
...that make your shamefully un-researched article so very, very offensive and WRONG! And to go argue your point on national television?! Even Bill fucking O'Reily was offended by your outright ignorance. The people of Japan who are suffering from loss, chaos and pain will not live longer should the Nuclear plant fail.

This child does not deserve to suffer the same fate these children did.

In closing, Ann Coulter, you are a bitch in every sense of the word. There is no phrase in the English language horrible enough to describe your latest self-righteous spattering of horse-shit all over America's already suffering media. My only hope is that Fox News is so utterly embarrassed by your display of stupidity that you get discredited once and for all. You deserve to go be the first human to crawl through the Fukushima plant and experience first hand the effects of your so-called "beneficial" radiation poisoning. You really believe that it will keep the Japanese people stay alive longer? Prove it. I dare you. I fucking triple dog dare you. No one here would miss you.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Here are the winners of the comic necklace contest. I just picked randomly, so there was no "judgement" passed on anyone's fav. character. ;)

*Tom Adams

Emily and Kristi, as a thank you for participating, I have a special coupon code for the both of you to use in my shop. email me on Etsy or at bobombshell.creations@yahoo.com to get the code!

Thank you so much, everyone! I had so much fun doing this and reading about your favorite characters.

Note to the winners, it will be probably around Friday when all the necklaces are finished and ready to ship. Oh, which reminds me, I need shipping addresses. :) Email them to the address I posted above. I hope you enjoy them!

Thanks Everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Expected the Dissapointment

I saw Red Riding Hood last night with my husband and some friends. It wasn't my first choice of movie, and I wasn't expecting a whole lot from it, but man, it really brought the pain.

In theory, it should have been good. A gritty, dark twist to a classic fairytale, werewolves (so in right now) and no Disney starlets. In practice, it was horrible. It really drew you in, too, with some epic, sweeping camera shots of snowy mountain ranges and this cute little Nordic-ish town nestled between them. Then the narration starts. Not narration that was needed, just narration for the sake of narration. As if the writers said, "I don't think the general populous would understand our deep, interwoven plot, so we better just spell it out for them." Lame. At that point, though, I was still willing to give it a go. That is, until the boy with the faux-hawk came on screen.

Rule number one when making a picture about ANCIENT civilizations: No faux-hawks. Sure, people back then had greasy hair as a consequence of sparse bathing, but they had not the precision scissors needed for his meticulously placed cut, not to mention NO ONE ELSE HAD ONE! If you're going to go hawks in a period piece, go all the way, or not at all. Am I right? Maybe it's an ancient Nordic-ish tribe that had some historical claim to the fauxhawk. But no, every other male character in the fucking movie had the straggly, matted hair dos you would expect from a period piece. LAME!

I have been saying Nordic-ish because, well, it is never defined as to what, or where these people are. They dress in generic "dark ages" garb (except, once again, for the lead male who somehow got a hold of something from Billy Idol's closet.) They eat mushy, goopy looking bowls of soup and bread. Their houses have thatched roofs, and it's snowing there pretty much all the time. Well, not all the time as, in the first scene,  it's all springy and stuff, but then apparently they forgot which season they'd chosen. Ugh.

So are we more than one scene in from the movie? No? Ok. Well, already my ability to "suspend the disbelief" is growing perilously thin. The plot is that...well, as much plot as I could piece together from this film, is...Valerie, the main character, is in love with her childhood friend, Peter (obvious much? Peter and the wolf?) but her mother has arranged her marriage to a family that passes as "rich" in this society (which apparently means they're blacksmiths) and she's all moody and depressed about it, as her and Peter want to be together.

Now, from the beginning they really, really want you to think Peter is the wolf. He has a faux-hawk, he dresses completely in black, and, in a town where it's ALWAYS snowing, he's the only one who wears A T-SHIRT! This is the first of all the many red herrings this movie throws at you. They're like, "oh look, it's totally peter, no wait, it's totally her angry fiance, oh no, it's this guy who's only had about 30 seconds of screen time!" I am pretty sure they just used an episode of Scooby Doo as their outline for writing this thing.

*Sigh* I am getting bored by this movie just writing this blog. I'll just hurry it along with a couple key points so we can lessen the pain and suffering.

One big thing is the rivalry between Peter and Henry (the arranged fiance) is hardly rivalry. From the beginning Valerie picks Peter, and stays with Peter the entire movie. Not much drama there. The guys throw scowly, angsty looks at eachother, but that's about as bad as it gets. You would think, since they're trying to make Peter the hero of this story, that they would paint Henry as some kind of flawed person. Entitled, selfish, mean, or maybe just annoying. No, Henry is a genuinely good guy. He's actually a lot nicer to Valerie than Peter is. WHAT?! Who the fuck are we supposed to be rooting for? There are two dreamy guys, both willing to put themselves in harm's way to protect, save and marry Valerie. Peter is the rebel without a cause, and Henry is sweet, kind, and a damn good blacksmith. What's not to love?

Anyway...I seriously think this movie shouldn't even be called Red Riding Hood. They just kind of throw a red cloak in there for no reason whatsoever. Her grandmother just kind of gives it to her. It plays no role in why she is who she is, it's only mentioned one other time, and that's when another villager is accusing her of being a witch. "She wears a red cloak!" the crowd lets out a huge gasp of horror...HELLO, she's been wearing the damn thing practically the ENTIRE MOVIE! SHE HARDLY TAKES IT OFF THE WHOLE TIME! Where were these towns people for three quarters of the movie? So yeah, it's basically just a nice, eye popping wardrobe piece that could have been taken out of the movie all together and it would have made no difference.

Another problem I had was the religious aspect. The movie makers were trying to go for some form of christianity with crosses and the whole shebang. Their religious leaders being "fathers" and whatnot. But the rituals and practices of the town seem to be a lot more pagan in origin. Everyone prays to god when the wolf comes to get them, then drink and dance and have weird, confusing lesbian encounters in the middle of town square. Make up your mind! They didn't use religion to solve the wolf problem or anything. It was just kind of there, needlessly.

I do have to say that the set design was very pretty in this movie. It reminded me of forest sets from 80s fantasy movies. So fantastic and different that you couldn't help but just like them. Sadly, the horrible story and the ridiculous inconsistencies with the time period were so brash and unapologetic, that the set does absolutely nothing for me. They even end the fucking movie with a musical montage of Peter and Valerie walking around the mountains with her red cloak (which magically grew 20 feet) trailing behind in the wind.

There is no resolution in the end. Henry doesn't get the girl, and for as much as they built him up in the movie, they just kind of brushed him aside at the end. The town goes back to the way it was, even though there's no wolf now. But they still offer the sacrifice every month. STUPID! Oh, and btw, her dad was the wolf the whole time. They don't even give you a good explanation of why he was so desperate to turn Valerie into a wolf and take her with him. (Implied incest?) "We'd be invincible" really only works in Saturday morning cartoons.

The writers thought they would try and keep you guessing by just throwing a bunch of red herrings at you. They literally tell you who to suspect then entire movie, which just made me think, "I probably shouldn't suspect that person. They're pushing it waaay too hard." In my opinion a good mystery thriller doesn't need to throw suspects at you. If it's written right, you will find people to suspect on your own, without any painfully obvious hints. Pretty much the only person they didn't imply was the wolf at one point in the movie was her father. Hey! Guess who the wolf was!

Yeah, basically, fuck Red Riding Hood. This movie was terrible. If I knew I was going to waste my money THAT much, I would rather have seen Beastly. (Which is another rant entirely.)

When it comes out on DVD, I say yes, rent it. Get some friends together, have some drinks (at least two) and pop it in. Sit back, and enjoy the pure hillariousness of this film. DO NOT, however, pay ten dollars to see it. They take themselves so seriously, it's very, very funny. There's even a moment where you're supposed to believe that comically large mandolins are playing electric guitar cords...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

On a scale of 1 to 10, Red Riding Hood gets epic fail.

Don't forget, comic necklace winners are going to be posted tomorrow! But for now, goodnight and good luck.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Comic Nerds! (of the lady variety)

So today I was visiting our amazing local comic book store, Iguana Comics. It is seriously one of the reasons this town remains bearable. One of the owners, Sunda, invited me to her new weekly event. A comic book "club" for girls. Obviously, I'm stoked to go seeing as Sunda is awesome and this can only lead to exponentially increasing awesomeness. I was just thinking about how weird it is that guys STILL think that girls don't know diddly about comics.

I know more about comics than most guys I know, but they automatically assume that because they can name Superman's arch nemesis, they know more than me. Being uncommonly loud and outspoken, it doesn't really cross my mind when I walk into a game store or comic store that I will probably be the only girl in there. I will almost certainly be the only girl to cringe when a woman places the DC comic her child decided he didn't want into the Marvel section hap-hazardly. (I mean, have some fraking respect!) But, since most girls are a lot daintier than me on the whole, of course they are going to be intimidated by the loud, boisterous, most of the time smelly guys who make up the community of nerds in game and comic stores.

They're gross. Guys, that is. And if they're not looking down your shirt, they're probably making fun of you. Ok, well, that's not fair. Not all guys are like that, and knowing a few of the Iguana guys, I know they're good people. Girls in general, however, are just nervous about being around big groups of guys talking about geekdom. And let's face it, guys are way more likely to jump down your throat at any little mistake you might utter pertaining to comic books and tabletop gaming than they would be when talking about other subjects. Guys can be mean. I think they probably just want to feel like they do know more than girls about comics as a rule of gender, but still. That's not always true.

So I guess my rant tonight is about what an amazing fraking idea it is to host a night where ladies can gather and talk about comic books, be introduced to them, or just gossip about how beautiful Nathan Fillion is to their heart's content. They won't have to worry about slipping up because, as a girl and reader of comic books, I know I am always game for more ladies in the midst of all the nerds. It makes it a lot less awkward when I let something uber geeky slip out in public when there's another girl who goes, "I totally know what you're talking about." We aren't here to judge, we're here to drool over Logan's pecks! We're here to talk about the Angel vs Spike rivalry until the Cylons come home! We are here to be girls who love comic books!

For those of you who live in "the valley" the ladies night at Iguana is Thrusday(s) at 7:00pm in the store. Oh! And keep those comments for the giveaway coming! If you missed my last post, I'm having a comic panel necklace giveaway (Check them out on my Etsy site) to up my followers. It's easy:
1. Follow my blog
2. Post a comment on this post, or the previous one telling me who your favorite comic character is and why. Three entries will randomly be chosen to receive a comic panel necklace featuring the character in your comment. :)

Goodnight and Goodluck!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Woohoo! Bloodwork came back from the lab, and I am mono free. As tempting as Bryan's offer to join his mono club was, I think that's one group I don't mind staying out of. EXCITING! But that means my chronic fatigue hasn't been explained, just the dizziness. (Inner ear stuff).

But anyway. I'm going to have a giveaway, to see if I can get some blog followers. Here are the rules:

1. Follow my blog
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me who your favorite comic book character is and why.

I will have my husband randomly choose three responses, and each of you will win a FREE custom comic panel necklace featuring the character you name in your comment. I'll see how many responses I get by Monday, March 13th and go from there. So if all goes well, March 13th's blogs will have the winners listed. :)

You know you want a free necklace! So please follow me and support Etsy crafters! :)


Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Nerd Rant...

I was reading someone's blog yesterday, and they were talking about how nerd crafters have to under price their work so that nerds can afford it. This is so true. I don't know why, but the world is sadly lacking in wealthy nerds.

I don't mind underpricing my work. I just want people to be able to enjoy it. Sure, I need to make money with it, but I wouldn't make any money at all if I didn't give people a good price. It sucks. Not because of the underpricing, but because nerds should be able to afford cool, handmade stuff too. This is the main reason why I also welcome trades in my shop. There's no reason you shouldn't have what you want if you have goods to offer in exchange. Hooray socialism! ;)

Last night I was working on some new comic book onomatopia charms for a fellow Etsy seller, Vicky. She's going to make little hair clippies out of them. :) I'm really excited. The fact that someone appreciates my work enough to want to incorporate it into theirs is a really awesome feeling. Here is what I've come up with so far:
What do you think? I thought they turned out pretty good. No! is my favorite. I love the drippy, swamp thing font I used. :) Vicky makes the most adorable kids clothes. This is for a trade for Fiona's Easter outfit. I'll post pictures when I get it and all that jazz.

Check out Vicky's site, it's super adorable: In the Rose Garden 
I'd like to give her a big thank you shout out for working with little old me so I can afford an adorable, hand made treasure for my little munchkin this year.

Much more to come on the comic book front. I am personally really proud of my comic panel necklaces which can also be key chains. I have a super cool Buffy key chain I'll be posting either tonight or tomorrow. you know, when I can get some great pics taken and edited.

Anyway. To all you nerds out there, keep being awesome. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Too Much to Search Through

Do you ever feel like there's too much stuff on the internet?

Today I'm searching for a birthday gift for a two year old girl. There is just too much adorable stuff to choose from on Etsy! Too much adorable stuff in my price range, even. Don't get me started on finding a Valentine for my daughter. That took hours of looking. 

Sometimes I just feel like the internet has given us too many options. It's nice when you have something specific in mind, but what if what you have in mind is totally vague? Not to mention I don't even know what kind of stuff this little girl is into. Animals? Play food? Unicorns? Do I just get her something that says, "Here, this is a gift that would be safe to buy for any two year old girl." Or do I go for something that says, "I spent many hours researching the absolute best gift for you, I'm just really stuck up like that and I expect you to worship me for the gift choice I have just made." Ugh. Sounds bad either way at this point. 
I was looking for post it notes for my friend, Marissa, the other day online. POST IT NOTES! There are too many post it notes choices. I spent my free time for two days trying to decide which ones to order. Sheesh. Who would have thought that there would be so many choices of post it notes that it would take days to sift through even the very tip of the ice berg? Really, I am sure I didn't look at even half of the avaliable options on ebay. I finally said "No, I am going to get these, and I'm not going to think about the possibility that there are post it notes out there that I would rather have gotten her. I'm getting these! That's final!"

So back to children's birthday gifts...

I like to support people on Etsy, and since I have a week and a half before the party, I'm considering a hand made option. It would be unique, cute and something that wouldn't say, "I spent a lot of money on your daughter so you'll like me." At least I hope not...

Here are some of the options I'm considering:







Like I said...too many options. I'm leaning towards the cupcake crayons because it would be something fun and simple, and useful. The party invitation is a cupcake shaped card, so it might also be something the little girl is into? All I know is, we could go to *shudder* WalMart and spend as much money on something cheap and lame. The little car is so cute though...Ugh! Decisions. I have come to the conclusion that the internet is a bad place for indecisive people.