Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Those Who Can't DIY (Anything)

Yes, I'm back from the grave! Actually, things IRL have just been keeping me so exceptionally busy that I haven't had a chance to update here.

But now I'm back, and it's a gripe that's really gotten so under my skin I had to vent and see if I'm alone in this.

Img from Popular Mechanics, 1949
My husband is currently at a nearby co-worker's house being a wonderful, generous person and taking care of some handyman things around her house. Things like hanging a picture or two, hooking up her printer, and other assundry fix-it things that I wouldn't bat an eyelash at. Except she can't do these things. This is what floors me - it's not that she doesn't have time or is just not able. It's that her husband isn't around for a while, and apparently she never learned and has not intention of learning how to do these things. (For the record, she stated in her email that she didn't know how to do them - not that she was bad at them, which is a fair statement. I can at least give you credit for trying. Some people just aren't meant to play with tools.)

I don't know this co-worker very well, so I asked my husband how she didn't even know how to hang a picture, and his answer was that maybe her dad never taught her. Now I get that I grew up in a family of girls who were tomboys, with a father (and grandfather) who had a wood-working shop in the garage and gave us our own set of tools to go off to college with. So yeah, I realize that I was lucky in that, and that my interest in power tools may be higher than the average human. I am pretty proud that half the tools downstairs in our basement are ones I've purchased over the years and when I was living on my own.

But is this a gender-based issue? A woman who plays the helpless female card so men can do these things for her? She didn't have a dad around or who cared enough to teach her to fend for herself? Or is it just that she has no interest and always had someone around to do it for her?

I think what I just can't wrap my head around is that she never had need to hang a picture herself. Really? Is a hammer that difficult to use? You can't stop by Target and pick up a picture framing kit that has all the stuff in a little plastic box neatly organized into handy little compartments? And you can't go on the internet and check the bajillions of websites that tell you how to do stupid little things like choose what nail or hook to hang a picture with? Or look at the directions that came in your printer box that tell you how to hook it up? I just, I don't get it. I'm practically speechless with not getting it.

So - thoughts? Am I just being completely judgmental here and I'm more independent than most because I can use a hammer? I could use some perspective here.

(This is an awesome set of tips from Popular Mechanics, BTW - even if it's just to see images from their magazine that date back to the 1910s!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Free Custom Owl Calendar

Alisa Coburn
If you're like me, you're still getting things settled into the new year. That includes getting my new 2012 calendar all set up. And lucky for us, the wonderful people who brought us the free custom owl calendar from last year have a whole new set of gorgeous, fun owl art for this year. Nathan Jurevicius is back, with a piece involving an owl as well as a crow - oooh!

Pick which owl art you want for which month, click a button, and voila - you have your very own custom 2012 owl calendar to print out! As was true last year, there is no shortage of great pieces - so much so that I may have to make two calendars to enjoy.

Head over to My Owl Barn and have fun!
Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Artists I Love: Justin Hillgrove

"Wild Ride" by Justin Hillgrove
When I first started attending WonderCon, it was for the nerd factor - animation, comic stuff, designer vinyl toys, seeing cosplayers in person. But what quickly became my favorite thing about the con is Artists Alley. This is where I always end up spending the majority of my carefully budgeted money, and I always wish I had more to spend - even if it's just to support these amazing artists.

"Bed Time Stories" by Justin Hillgrove
Last year I ran across a few artists I had never been exposed to, but fell in love with their work immediately. One of those people was Justin Hillgrove. He's based out of Washington, near Seattle, and specializes in monsters and robots. How could I resist that? I had a really hard time picking just one print, but ended up going home with a signed print of "You're the One": a tree monster cuddling a (Tim Burton-esque) toy duckie.
"Separation Anxiety" by Justin Hillgrove

I also got a chance to chat with him, and he was very humble and nice - especially accomodating since I took so long to decide on a print, and I'm sure he was thinking "just pick one already!". He even signed the print for me.

I love how detailed his work is, and how much emotion his pieces have. It may seem light-hearted, but you truly feel sad for the poor little reaper sitting on the gravestone, and your heart swells at the monster so attached to his toy. Each piece pulls you into a specific micro-world, as if you've popped your head through a window into another universe where monsters run freely through the woods with little creature friends gleefully clinging to their back for a joy-ride, or big tree monsters tell bedtime stories to the little ones all falling asleep in a pile. Almost unbearably sweet, and one of those prints you want to have on your wall so you can gaze at it (when you're supposed to be working) and imagine what life must be like in that wondrous world.
"You're the One" by Justin Hillgrove

Definitely check out his work. His prints are very affordable, and he even has iPhone cases and t-shirts. And if you're in the Seattle area, check out his show and festival listings to see his work in person.

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