Friday, August 31, 2007

My latest project has come to completion

You know how I have a lot of blogs? Well, now I have this one called sewigami. That is where I'll post sewing related things from now on. It'll be really boring to non-sewers, but if you want to see more about this lined jacket I made for my stepmom, go there.

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Saving the world, one paper at a time

Always having been a bit on the conservative side, and therefore not exactly labeled a passionate environmentalist, some may be surprised to know that I am on a big recycling kick.

I actually have recycled on some level for about 6 years. When I lived in an apartment, it was a pain. I'd save plastic and cans, but I had to pack it up and drive it somewhere to dispose of it. Once I moved into a house, I was thrilled to have the city pick it up every week at my curb. I don't understand why almost nobody on my street takes advantage of this. It's free (well, you pay for it with your taxes or utility bill or something, so take advantage!) and easy. I mean, how much harder is it to put your cans and plastic in a different bin next to your regular kitchen trash? How much harder is it to put your newspapers/junk mail/other paper in a bin, too? If you put all that in the trash can, you'll just have to take out the trash twice as often, so you're not really saving any effort.

At first, it was a battle with Mark. I moved in and bought a small plastic trash can for the kitchen that we could save cans and bottles in. It's no farther to put those items in the bin than in the trash can. He was sort of opposed to recycling because he once saved up a bunch of cans for a long time and had a big cockroach nightmare in the car when he drove them to cash them in for 30 cents or something.

Anyway, I have the bin for plastic and cans and then in the entry way I have a nice little basket magazine rack for newspapers. This was good enough for me for a while, but I was still lazy and threw away things like shampoo bottles and junk mail and other paper.

Then I read a story about how it is cheaper for the city to process recyclables than it is to process garbage. And then I thought about how much trash there is in the world and envisioned having to live in the dumps like people in Mexico when the trash takes over. Only the people in Mexico live in the dumps because they are poor, I think, and not for that reason. Also, I don't suppose garbage will take over the earth in my lifetime. But I decided that probably at least 1/3 of our garbage could be recycled, so I made it a goal to recycle everything I was aware was recyclable. So far, Mark's not really cooperative. I mean, he recycles the newspapers and the cans and bottles, but I still am forced to dig the junk mail out of the trash because he thinks I'm a bit annoying with this whole thing.

Just now, I cleaned the bathroom. While this is a feat unto itself, what I was going to say is that I used real cloths instead of paper towels! Normally, I have a full trash can of paper towels after I clean, but not this time. I'm still weighing whether it's really any better that way because you have to use water and detergents and gas and electricity to wash the cloths, so if you religiously used cloth napkins instead of paper and rags instead of paper towels, are you really saving the earth in the long run? Not sure.

One final thing that bothers me is kitty litter. It's not flushable, and even if you buy the kind that claims to be it can clog your toilets. But I have three boxes and they are not near a toilet anyway. The best I can do is scoop it into old grocery bags, which I guess is at least reusing them, but it seems like they will never decompose and all that nasty poop and litter will just sit there in them for 11,000 years. If anyone has a solution -- biodegradable bags? -- let me know!

Is jockness in my future?

I've discovered a really good workout: basketball. Mark and I decided to go shoot hoops at the community center yesterday, and I was amazed by two things:
1. how much basketball terminology this sportsphobe was able to throw around like a badass.
2. how much work it was. The court seems a lot smaller when you're not on it.

I decided to "run drills" (that was one of my sports terms, though I don't know if it's accurate in basketball) and I made it back and forth up the court maybe 4 times before I was gasping. Basketball always seemed so easy when I was watching (which is never). Here are some things I learned:

1. It's hard to dribble and not look at the ball the whole time. And it's hard to change hands.
2. It's hard to run up and shoot without stopping to analyze where the basket is for a while.
3. It would therefore be really hard to do these things if you had a bunch of people trying to block you and steal the ball from you.
4. Granted, the ball could have been a bit flat, but it was sort of hard to dribble it hard enough to keep it coming back up to my hand height, and since a real basketball player's hand is about 3 feet higher up then mine, I really feel for them.

Needless to say, I'm a bit sore today and I think I'll add this to my workout routine.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Revvvvvvvvd up

I have updated my Web site with a shopping cart for easier purchasing. Before, it linked to, where people had to sign up and make an account. That was a pain for potential customers, so I've put a regular shopping cart.

My payments are accepted through PayPal, and no account is required. One-time payments are A-OK!

I'm also putting together a mailing list because in the past I felt like I was spamming people. If you'd like occasional news and updates about Burst of Happiness, please sign up below! Your inbox will not be bombarded, I promise.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Featured shop: ME!

I am very excited because my shop and I have been featured in an alternative paper called Local IQ. OK, I know I got lucky because I know some of the people who work there because they used to work with me at the Journal. But they asked me, so it's still an honor.

Here it is, poorly scanned in:
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It actually says my business name and my name and that they are available at one place locally, but my crappy scanner did not make this clear.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Haiku in the Loo

Everyone: I have started a new blog. It doesn't replace this one, it's just something to nurture your souls. Visit it:

My new earrings

I bought these two pairs of earrings from seller ivcreations. I put out a call for "delicate" jewelry and she was one person who responded. I LOVE her stuff. I couldn't decide from between about 10 things, but I settled on these two:

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Do I positively glow?!

One trick, when you're terribly unphotogenic, is to always purposely look stupid in pictures. I'm not saying I'm the butt-ugliest person to ever walk the planet, but boy does it take a lot of tries to get a decent picture of me.

Anyway, this post is about Bare Escentuals' bareMinerals makeup. You are all familiar with the lame yet intriguing infomercials. You know, swirl, tap and buff your way to beautiful skin?

Well, I finally decided to try it. And OH MY GOD! It really works great. First of all, if it seems hard at first, it only takes a couple of days before you're a pro.

You can get the starter kit for $60 (I bought mine locally instead of from TV. This saves time and you aren't enrolled in the automatic shipment "club") and you get two foundations (which you may prefer to mix for the perfect color) mineral veil - which is an illuminating finishing powder and "warmth," which is just a tricky word for bronzer, despite what they say. I haven't mastered "warmth" yet and tend to look a little streaky-brown when I use it.

The kit comes with three brushes: the kabuki brush for those with horrific skin who need to plaster on a good three inches of makeup, the regular brush for the rest of us, and the concealer brush. See, instead of a separate concealer, bareMinerals has you use the foundation with a special smaller brush. I don't like this, so I still use my Clinique airbrush concealer. I find using the bareMinerals as concealer leaves obvious spots, which is exactly not what you're going for.

The other great thing is that it's made completely from natural stuff, and even if you don't wash it off before bed, THAT'S OK!!! I tend to have lazy periods where I can't be bothered for days and weeks to wash my makeup off before bed. I realize this makes me a disgusting pig, but my point is that I start to break out and have icky skin, which then makes me stop being a nasty pig for a while. With bareMinerals, I never have to wash again! Oh yeah, and by the end of the day, when my forehead is usually as greasy as a double pepperoni pizza, with bareMinerals it's still as though I just applied my makeup.

ADDED 8/22/07: By the way, my skin has completely cleared up since using the product. I don't understand it, but it's okey-dokey with me!

Consider this my stamp of approval! Go forth and start swirling, tapping and buffing!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Downtown Albuquerque: Classy or Assy?

I joined some artist friends Downtown for a day of selling. You can pay the Downtown Action Team 10 bucks (as long as you have a business license) and set up shop for the day. There are shady spots, so no tent needed. Yippee, right?

Once we set up, it smelled a bit funky. And the flies! So many flies, I am probably going to have maggots hatching out of my skin in a few days. Then I notice this:

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It's like a litter box for dogs. Or a poopy park. Call it what you will, it's really gross and it was a few feet away from my booth. Why was there a large litter box in the middle of downtown? Because of the Blinded Veterans convention. At first, I did wonder why there were so many people with seeing eye dogs wandering by. Also, the fact that so many of the people in the area were blind might explain our lackluster sales.

Nevertheless, it was fun because I was with friends. If I had been alone, I would have been so bored. I guess the homeless guys weren't in the market, though as another friend pointed out later, "wouldn't they be the ones who need bags?" Ahhh, the bag lady market. Genius!

Some pictures:

Ren's booth (Plastic Pumpkin Designs)
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My booth (Burst of Happiness)
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Paula Manning-Lewis's booth, shared with Josephine, but I don't know her business name (oops)
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Inter-artist bartering, Paula, left, and Ren
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Hanging out
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Finally, the flies got the best of us, and Ken pointed out that the reeking sewer grate right in front of Ren's table was probably more to blame for the stench and flies than the giganto litter box.
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Sorry, I didn't get permission to post photos of these people, so holler if you don't wanna be here, guys.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Workin' out, gettin' skinny - I hope

My history: I used to be really skinny and could eat whatever I want. Not so much anymore, though I've still got a pretty good metabolism, all things considered. I also used to be a workout freak several years back. Then I had to plan a wedding and got hobbies and started a business, and working out just got pushed to the back burner. Then my butt/thighs got flabbier and my clothes got tighter.

I've been paying for a membership at a local gym for years, but I go through long periods without using it, so it hurts to see that money go down the drain.

Then I read about the Taylor Ranch Community Center in Albuquerque. It has all kinds of free facilities, including a workout room with pretty nice equipment. It's smallish, but there aren't a lot of people there. And did I mention it's FREE?! Well, you're paying for it with your taxes, anyway, so take advantage! It's new and nice and full of cute old people.

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So what are you waiting for, fat ass? I'll see you there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"The oldest person"

My Grandma just turned 86, and she's in great health. Yipee! I wished her a happy 14 more, so we'll see. We went to one of those Japanese hibachi grill places. I hope I got that word right. She was excited it was her birthday and demanded that the chef sing to her. He said, "me? or a bunch of us?" with much fear in his voice. She wanted everyone to come sing. He asked how old she was and she said 86. He said she's the oldest person who ever came into that restaurant.

Here is a fried rice heart. Nothing says love like fried rice. Just ask my belly!

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Here is Grandma, Mom and Tony

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Mark and me. My arm sure looks fat, but it isn't really. My butt's fat, but not my arm.

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Grandma asked for it. They got out the gong.

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She needed help to blow out one candle! That's the irony of getting old: more candles, less strength.

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My friend Ken makes jewelry. My friend Ken makes cool jewelry. My friend Ken made this ring and I bought it. It's made of silver, brass and copper. And I dig it. It's hard to see in this picture, but it's like a neopolitan ice cream, but made of metals. Check out his store, Skintillate.

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Cowboy? More like Cowbutt

Mark was cleaning out his closet. He was strangely attached to this bad look, except with the concept of actual pants. My response was an over-honest, "Wow. You look awful!"

I told him if I took a picture, I was going to post it on my blog. He told me not to, but I warned him!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Duke City Renegades

I'm part of a group of local artists, artisans and crafters who sell their items. We call ourselves the Duke City Renegades.

Ren, of Plastic Pumpkin Designs, and I have finished most of the Web site.

To learn more, click and read!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Recent show

Not having immersed myself much in the art world during my lifetime, I was unaware of First Friday events. OK, I'm still not sure if it's a local thing or a widespread thing, but I guess art studios on the first Friday of each month open up to the public and the artists display and sell their items.

Some friends of mine, Ren and Ken, aka Plastic Pumpkin and Skintillate, respectively, share a studio at Factory on Fifth in Albuquerque. I participated in their First Friday event this month. I did sell one bag right off the bat, which was exciting. Ren bought another one later. It was $25 to participate, plus 20%, so in the end, I came out ahead. I look forward to participating in more, especially closer to Christmas.

Here are some photos of my booth, and an exciting action shot of me!

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Latest items

Haven't kept up lately, so here's a quick post of new stuff:

Lightly padded tote/purse:
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Green and brown handbag:
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blue and yellow plaid handbag, lined in matching floral print:
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Custom made padded laptop tote:
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A couple of makeup bags:
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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Big, fat, unpopular, sucky, crappy, cyberspace loser

I am not in the top 100,000 visited Web sites, according to Actually, I'm probably not even in the top million-to-the-googleplex power Web sites, but if you tell your friends about Burst of Happiness, maybe I can make it to the top million-to-the-billion power. It seems worth a try.

My Simpsons me

Here's my Simpson's avatar, though I'd never really wear fuchsia lipstick or nerdy pants like that.

Here's Mark's, which he let me do with much grumpiness:

Make yours at!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Goodbye, knit wit

My friend Chickenbone Jones introduced me to the most hilarious blog ever: Threadbared.

Threadbared has posted it's last post. No more laughing at bad knitted garments from the 70s. Go now, while you still can, and read it. Go.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I heart cuscuses, not to be confused with couscous, the heart-healthy whole grain

When I was little, I received a card in the mail with a cuscus on it. On the back of the card, it taught me about the animals. It was one of those things where they wanted me to subscribe and they'd send me a different animal card every so often.

I loved that cuscus and I saved it forever. T-shirt Face would tease me about it. I still have it, actually.

Would you like to meet the cuscus? It's a furry little marsupial that is in the possum family and lives in Australia. You know how they get all the freaky animals Down Under. Here are a few pics:

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Oh! So cute and velvety! And that prehensile tail! One Web site says that cuscuses don't have enemies. Cool! Maybe they taste bad?

Then I found cuscus-related products! Like this cuscus skull!

Or this cuscus artwork!

There's also this cuscus boutique, but it doesn't appear to be related to a cuscus beyond the logo.

I hope you have grown to love cuscuses as much as I do and will encourage more cuscus product production, because this is all I could find for cuscuses on all the Internet.

The kind of thing that makes you feel like you should slit your throat, hang yourself and put a bullet through your head all at once.

I am a bad mommy.

We just got back in town last night. We have two cats, Suggs and Roady, who are 14. Cats are easy -- they can go a few days on their own if they have lots of food and water, but just in case, I asked someone to stop by one time. We left Saturday and returned Tuesday evening, so they were only unattended for two full days -- Sunday and Monday. So I asked a friend to stop by Sunday evening to fill their water fountain (yes, Roady has a Drinkwell fountain because she likes running water).

The important thing to know is that Roady is a very thirsty cat. She doesn't appear to have any health problems that would cause this, such as diabetes, but she drinks a lot. Well, I come home, and her fountain is running dry. Not a drop left. I felt so awful -- I'm not sure how long they didn't have water. I mean, it's hot, and all it takes is a few days, I'd think.

I took her fountain inside and put it on the counter, but she ran outside, so I left it for a second and when I came back, she'd found it on the counter and was licking at it. So I filled it quickly and she drank and drank and drank and drank...
I gave Suggs her own bowl, and she drank and drank and drank and drank. And as I watched them, I started to cry.

Come to find out, my friend got confused and came the evening I left and so nobody checked on them the rest of the time, poor things. I've never felt so awful, though I'm sure they had forgotten all about it within an hour.