My blog site has changed….

22 Aug

Hey all!

I’ve pretty much abandoned this blog (since it’s been about 3 years since my last post on here).  But I still get notified that there are people subscribing.  So if you’d like to keep up with my babble, I’ve got a different blog I just started that you can go check out….. Everything Bad Happens to Kristen.

Thank you all a billion for everything you do!!!!

xooxoxoxxoxoxo

~kkf.

The new “feminism” is looking pretty male….

20 Sep

Brad and I like to watch stupid things before we go to bed to unwind.  So when Roseanne Barr’s Comedy Central roast popped up on our netflix, we decided that it couldn’t get much stupider than that, so we dove in.  I knew it would be dumb- but I didn’t think it would be so disheartening.  After an intro of Bikini Kill’s song “Rebel Girl”, and after the female comedians proclaimed their feminism, here is what the jokes consisted of (and keep in mind, all the jokes I’m going to reference were told by women directed at the other women):

Fat joke

Fat joke

Lesbian-just-need- some-dick joke

Fat joke

Rich-chick-slept-her-way-to-the-top joke

You’re-now-ugly-because-you’re-old joke

Fat joke

Slut joke

Fat joke

Lesbian is a bull dyke/trying to be a man because she has short hair joke

Fat joke directed at the young thin girl

Young thin girl making obscene jokes and then doing the dumb doe-eyed girl routine

Fat joke

Many you-were-pretty-and-slept-your-way-to-success-but-now-you’re-old-and-ugly jokes

Fat joke

Many slut jokes

Fat joke

The only woman who didn’t participate in the Ladies-telling-dude-jokes was Carrie Fisher… who actually called out the ridiculousness of the rampant “I can only be a funny lady by acting like a stupid dude”, and basically just made fun of how much of a addict she is (which was pretty funny).

I know this was a roast, and I know that the point is to rip each other up.  But ladies- is that all you’ve got?  And with Roseanne Barr as your target- that was the best you can come up with?  Low-brow frat boy humor?  And then you claim “We’re feminists!” while relying on the worst of Misogyny Comedy 101?  Fat, slut, and dyke jokes?  The guys that were roasting Roseanne didn’t even rely on such bottom-feeding tactics… and that’s saying something.

So a big depressed *sigh* for Roseanne and the ladies at her roast…. EXCEPT for the always wonderful Carrie Fisher, who knows that women should be above grunty testosterony humor.

Artypants Update….

15 Sep

Helloooooooooooo bunnies!!

Just a few little artsy announcements to fill your Saturday afternoon (which I hope isn’t as unseasonably hot for you as it is for me… because it’s like hell took over outside here in too-sunny Huntington Beach- and it’s GROSS!!).

TONIGHT!!!….  in beautiful Asbury Park, NJ (I love this town) at the AMAZING Parlor Gallery (I love this gallery even more) I am in a wonderful group show called “We Find Our Way”.  Artists in this show include Michael Mapes, Paul Romano, Scotty Albrecht, Jody Travis Thompson, Bryn Perrott, Brandon McLean, Ray Sell, Andy Pawlan, Kevin Hebb, myself, and Dennis Lee Mitchell.  It opens tonight, and if you’re in the area you should go.  For reals, yo.

“We Find Our Way” Group show at the Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ

The next show coming up is local for me (which I hardly ever do local shows, so I don’t have to travel for this… YAY!!!!).  I am participating again in the wonderful “Monstoberfest” group show at the fantastic Rothick Art Haus gallery in Anaheim, CA.  The opening is October 13th, and it is always a blast!

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Aside from works for upcoming shows, I’ve decided to start a couple huge paintings (which I always regret doing because they take so damn long to finish and cost a fortune to ship- but I apparently am in an abusive love affair with stress, so I will continue to keep doing this to myself), and have been doing silly drawings.  To put giggles into your day, here is some of my new silliness:

ImageImage

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I did a bunch of these… they’re my “Hare Studies”… get it? “Hare” studies?! Well… it made me laugh.🙂

I’ve been posting a bunch of my “works in progress” on instagram.  So if you want to find me and be a friend with me on there, my username is kristenferrell.  I also post way too many photos of my dog, my cats, and all the ridiculous plants I grow in my backyard.  That is all I have to say for today.  Until we meet again, my darlings, I will leave you with some glorious photoshop magic performed by my dear and wonderful Stevil Kinevil on a photo of me and Brad …. enjoy.

In remembrance of David Rakoff (1964 – 2012)

14 Aug

In a culture where “Twilight” is considered literature, we need good writers.  Let me emphasize that properly:

We NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED good writers in the most aching and desperate way.  With this, we also need to cherish the good writers that are currently creating our stories for the future.  One of my favorite writers, David Rakoff, died this week at the upsettingly young age of 47.  This man’s words have made me belly laugh, and spontaneously burst into that gross kind of crying where your face is distorted and you produce shameful amounts of snot (and I am that asshole who cracked jokes when Julia Roberts died in Steel Magnolias and was happy to see Leo die in Titanic…so to get me to cry is a pretty monumental event.  Getting me to belly-laugh is just as difficult).   He was one of the great ones- and the world is a much darker place for missing out on all the things that he had yet to say.

I’m ashamed that it took this beautiful wordsmith dying for me to publicly sing his praises… so let’s not make that mistake again.  Please feel free to share in my comments the authors that are currently moving your mind-mountains with their words so that we can all give them the respect they are due.  Because if the only stories we have to leave to the world are filled with sparkling virgin vampires- we are in big trouble.

If you haven’t heard of David Rakoff, please begin your google searching now.  While you’re searching, here is one of my favorite little writings by Mr. Rakoff.  I am usually not a fan of contemporary poetry (as I stated before, I’m a pretty jaded asshole and poetry just makes me uncomfortable)- but this poem is so good that it has made it’s way to my Top 10 favorite writings.  Please take 10 minutes out of your life to honor the life of this great writer.  Hopefully his wit, humor and insight will make your heart swoon the way he has always made mine.

The perfect ending to my relationship with door-to-door Jesus salespeople….

30 Jul

We get a lot of door-to-door salespeople for the lord in our neighborhood. By a lot, I mean at least 3 times a week (that I’m aware of).  Politely telling them I’m not interested doesn’t make them go away.  Lying and saying that I looooove Jesus so so so so much doesn’t make them go away.  Being rude doesn’t make them go away.  Our “No Soliciting” sign doesn’t make them go away.  Nothing makes them grasp the concept that other people don’t need imaginary friends guiding their life just because they do.  I am fed up with these people.

I also feel it is HORRIBLY rude to show up to someone’s house before calling first.  I don’t care who you are.  It’s just proper manners.  If you didn’t call first, you are trespassing.  End of story.

So it’s around 7:30 at night.  I just got out of the shower and am soaking wet- and the doorbell rings.  I look out the front window and see 2 ladies on my doorstep- bibles and pamphlets in hand… and I see red.  You do NOT show up to a strangers house past dinnertime unannounced to try to push your personal agenda onto their life.  You just don’t.

So I grab the machete I keep under the bed in one hand, and my crazy barking little Chihuweenie dog in the other (she goes bonkers at the doorbell).  I throw open the front door, soaking wet wearing nothing but a tanktop and my underpants and say in the loudest, happiest and most crazed voice “HI!!!!  Is there something I can help you with?” while smiling like I’m having the most amazing acid trip ever known to man.

They both look satisfyingly stunned, and start backing away.  My dog, Monkey, is barking like she has rabies at this point, and the ladies don’t know whether to keep their eyes on the psycho dog or on the almost naked lady with the machete.  They pick up speed with their exit, mumble something about being sorry to have bothered me, and get to a near run by the time they reach the end of my patio walkway… as I’m screaming after them, “What’s wrong?  Don’t you want to talk?  I’d LOVE to talk to you!!!”.

I hope that this finally gets my address on their “Do Not Disturb” list.

True story.

(next time, I will sick my little monster Monkey dog on them.  She can be pretty fierce…..

Monkey the Crazy Monster Puppy

Giving Etsy it’s own department at the Center for Lessons Learned….

15 Apr

8 months… holy shit…. It’s been 8 months since I’ve posted anything on here!!  Dear lord, my bunnies- if I had known that time had actually sped up while I wasn’t looking I would have adjusted my life accordingly.  Let me say that the past 8 months have been a foggy blur, and I’m sorry for the dead air coming from my end, and let us move forward. 🙂

What has brought me out of the black hole I’ve been living in was an extremely shocking experience with the DIY shopping site Etsy.com.  When I’ve lectured at art schools or been asked in interviews/blogs/etc what a good way to start selling art/arty goods is, my first response has always been Etsy.  It’s a great way to get exposure because of it’s social media aspect, and it’s really cheap and easy to use.  Just as an experiment to see how many new people I could draw to my works, I decided to open an Etsy store in addition to my official webstore where I offered smaller one-of-a-kind arty things as well as my sunglasses line.  It was going great, and was cheaper than my official webstore so I decided to drop my big webstore and move everything over to Etsy.  Here’s where the problems started.

The day after I announced on my facebook fanpage that I would be moving everything over from my webstore to my Etsy store, I got an email from Etsy saying that items of mine had been flagged because they didn’t meet the Etsy requirements- and they had shut my whole store down.  I’d like to think that the timing of my posting the store move and my items being flagged were a coincidence… but there are a handful of creepers out there who don’t like me, and realistically one of them reported my store to be a dick.  Eyerolls and sighs all around.

So here is the nutso part of this… in the email from Etsy, here is a list of what I had to provide to them in order to get my entire store reopened:

  1. All shop info
  2. The names of everyone involved in any aspect of my shop from ideas to creation to shipping,etc
  3. Location of shop, identities of photographers, shipping locations, etc
  4. Photos of everyone involved in the shop
  5. Detailed description of how all items are made
  6. Length of time to make each item
  7. Every material used – and photos of raw materials of all everything involved with making the item
  8. Where materials are purchased plus proof of purchase of materials: photos or scans of receipts
  9. Photos of all tools and equiptment
  10. Photos of all work spaces
  11. Photos/graphics of all patterns used for items
  12. Photos of a step-by-step process of how everything was made

All the photos sent to them had to be shot next to a piece of paper showing your username and the date for authentication.  My shop was to remain closed until I provided answers that they felt sufficient to all of these questions.

To all my arty little sweethearts out there – THIS IS BULLSHIT.  Allow me to go, step-by-step through all the reasons WHY this is bullshit…

  1. Only ever disclose what shop info that you are comfortable disclosing to an unknown source.  You have no idea what’s on the other side of that email you’re sending out- so be careful with what you give out to protect yourself.  They have all the information that they should need when you set up an account.
  2. You are the owner of the store, and that is all they should need to know.  You shouldn’t be required to expose the identities of anyone who might have anything to do with your art.
  3. Photos of everyone involved in your art?  Come on… really?  So if I have friends who drop off my packages for me, I have to photograph them and send it to Etsy?  No way.  Too intrusive.
  4. Detailed description of how items are made… don’t provide this.  These are your trade secrets.  If you’re making something that is really unique, do not send this information to a faceless business that creates daily blogs on how to make things.  Again- you don’t know who gets these emails and you will have no idea how this information will be used.  Protect your art and it’s process.
  5. Length of time to make your items… I had clothing, jewelry, sunglasses and paintings on my store.  To be able to answer this is fully unrealistic.
  6. Photos of the raw materials- again, do not give out this information.  Unless you are selling materials, don’t give up aspects of how you make your unique items.
  7. Reciepts or proof of purchased goods?  That is information for whoever does your taxes- NOT for a faceless corporate website entity. No one but the IRS has the right to see that.
  8. Photos of tools and workspace:  The majority of the people on Etsy create out of their home,and Etsy knows this.  There is no way in hell I’m going to send photos of my house to anyone I don’t know.  That is an invasion of privacy, and just creepy for them to demand.
  9. *Photos of graphics and patterns*- this is a biggie.  Never ever ever ever ever disclose your graphics/ CAD illustrations / patterns to ANYONE except those who will be assisting you in production.  Period.  Ever.  Etsy states in their “DO’s and “DON’Ts” that: “A third-party vendor may be used for intermediary tasks in some crafts. Acceptable examples include but are not limited to: printing the seller’s original artwork, metal casting from the seller’s original mold or kiln firing the seller’s handcrafted ceramic work.”  I am in the unique position with my day job (where I design sunglasses and eyewear) that I am able to design unique sunglasses with my own CAD illustrations and have them manufactured in small quantities, and then I do the embellishments and packaging by hand.  The same goes for my clothing (which are from my own patterns), and my laser-etched necklaces. These items fall within Etsy’s guidelines.  But I will NEVER give out the original patterns, illustrations or CAD’s to a corporation.  And industry standards/ common knowledge dictates that I keep this information private for my own protection.  To hold my potential income and entire store hostage until I give up this private information breaks so many ethical rules that it’s insane.
  10. Never give anyone you’re step by step unless you want to be knocked off.  Period.

I emailed them and told them that I wasn’t about to give out such detailed and personal information, and that I wanted my store closed permanently but to remain on buyer status so that I could still shop from the artists that I loved.  They proceeded to kick me off Etsy completely.  I emailed them letting them know that it was sad that I could no longer support the artists that I shop from through Etsy since I was totally booted- but that I would just buy directly from the artists instead.  They didn’t want to loose a single penny, so they reinstated my account as just a buyer.

Here’s what creeped me out the most about this… there are people who have built up their etsy store so much that it is a major source of income for them.  And all it takes is 1 person flagging their shop, and the whole thing is shut down.  Your store and source of income can get hijacked and put on hold indefinitely until you meet Etsy’s the over-the-top demands that violate industry standards and your privacy.  So if you have 1 crazy person out there who doesn’t like you, they have the power to shut you down.  And if you are able to convince Etsy to open your store again- you can just be flagged again, and again, and again.  You have no power over your own store.

After this happened to me, I got tons of emails and links from my darling bunnies to tons of other artists that this happened to.  Here are a couple:

“Etsy shop suspended!- What you need to know”

“Etsy Closes Azreal’s Accomplice”

Apparently it’s impossible to get them on the phone.  And even after you comply with everything they ask, they can still keep you shut down- just because they want to.

So here is my official retraction for any public promotion that I have ever given Etsy.  This is not a safe business step.  The control over your shop is apparently in the hands of people who want to falsely flag you and the whimsy of Etsy- and not in your hands where it should be.  This is just wrong.

To the spiteful little creeper gem who flagged my etsy store- THANK YOU SO MUCH!!  And I mean that with the most sincerity ever.  I got shut down on etsy before I moved everything off my official webstore, so this was such a blessing.  I learned so much about etsy that I needed to know, and was able to (with great ease) just move everything back onto my official webstore and not lose a penny of my DESPERATELY needed income. This was an awesome learning experience, and in the end I am super thankful for it.

So here is where I open this up to my readers…. can I get some feedback for the crafty cuties out there who want an inexpensive and reliable webstore?  Where should they go?  I’m on homestead.com- and I do love them very much, but there is a monthly fee for it (and some new artists aren’t at a place where they can afford a monthly fee).  Ideas and feedback, anyone?  Let’s all help each other out with big brainstorming!!!

Thank you for tuning in to my lengthy rambling.  In my head, I’m giving you all a gigantic hug!!

(ps… since everything is back on my webstore, you can get these new editions there right now.  Click the pic and check it out!!  xooxoxoxxo)

"Eve" apple sunglasses

Infertility Darth-Vader’ed me to the Dark Side of being a Dog Lover

29 Jul

I always knew I only wanted 1 child.  I never once had visions of family vacations with my “children”, or huge holiday events with a big family I spawned… nor have I ever once felt bad about Sullivan not having any siblings.  I have replaced myself in the natural order of human population, and my job is done.  I am also well aware of my limitations, and I only have room enough in my psychological and emotional stability for 1 child.   I had my one child early in my adulthood, and I have my herd of cats, and it’s all good… right?  Apparently my hormones did not think so… and I had never realized just how powerful hormones are.  They are so powerful that they can turn a Crazy Cat Lady into an even crazier Pocket Dog Owner (dog purse and matching decorative leash to boot).

In the beginning of January, a slew of tumors discovered on my cervix were stamped with the “Cancer” diagnosis.  I don’t want this information to evoke any emotion from anyone, because I feel melodramatic even mentioning it (but it’s the entire reason why I am now I creepy Pocket Dog owner, so I am going to mention it).  I am in no way a “Cancer survivor” or even a person “Living with Cancer”… I am at best a “Cancer Tourist”.  I have had many friends who have lived with cancer, died from cancer, or have very much earned the title of  “survivor”.  I did not earn a thing.  I got tagged by cancer and got kicked around a tiny bit by the emotional turmoil it brings with it- but all it took for me to escape it’s clutches was having half my cervix removed, and from now on I need to have biopsies every 6-8 weeks to keep an eagle-eye out for new growths to promptly chop off until there is nothing left of my ill-behaved cervix.  I caught it early and am lucky (ladies… you had all better be getting your pap smears religiously, because the ONLY reason I’m lucky is because I’m religious about my lady-checkups).  But I officially can never have any more kids…. and I’m so very much totally ok with that because the last thing I need is more babies.

What I’ve always found funny about people is that once we’re told we can’t have something, that’s the one thing we want.   After the chop-chop of my cervix, I found myself getting increasingly clingy with the little things in my home.  I kept trying to cuddle and baby the cats far more than they are comfortable with.  I began hovering and smothering Sullivan with maternal coddling FAR more than a 13 year old boy could EVER be comfortable with.  I wasn’t coherently thinking “baby baby baby baby I need a baby baby baby” because knew I didn’t want a baby… but I was trying to make all the self-sufficient creatures around me to be more infantile and dependent on me.   This desperate need to nurture SOMETHING exploded in me.  I was creeping myself out, but I couldn’t really stop it.

About 6 weeks ago my BFF that I work with came running into my office and asked me if I wanted a puppy.  She saved a puppy from a kill shelter, but her dog and the puppy didn’t get along and she wanted to find a new happy home for it STAT.   All afternoon I fought it, but my ovaries were screaming “SAVE THE BABY!!”.  I texted Brad about 50 times debating all the reasons why we couldn’t have a dog in an attempt to talk my crazed maternal drive out of caring for another baby, but he finally said “You know you want the damn thing. Just bring it home”.  And that was that.

I am now thoroughly convinced that someone should have given Octomom a litter of unwanted puppies before she had her litter of babies, much trauma could have been avoided.  From the moment I got the puppy, all maternal screamings were quieted, and she was my new baby.  I have gone from being the adamant cat-lady disgusted with dogs to being that creepy dog owner that carries my dog around in my purse, taking her with me on all errand-running outings, and she has attached to me the way a toddler clings to it’s mother’s leg.  She’s part Chihuahua, and they usually only really bond with 1 person in a family- and despite how much Sully wanted her to be ‘his dog’ – she’s 100% mine.

So I introduce you to my little Chihuahua/Weiner dog (technically called a Chiuweenie) – Monkey.  She’s pretty much the best.  And our cats HATE her.

They day we got her, only 4 pounds.

My little sleeper!!

 

My neighbor and I and our matching Chihuahuas

 

The only time I've seen her NOT torturing poor old Oscar

So that’s my story.  From this point on when I obsessively talk about my dog, it is because she is literally my new baby.  And for all you out there who think you might want babies- get a puppy first.  It might just take care of that maternal drive and save you shit tons of money (and your dog will never steal your car when it’s a teenager).

The end.