I found the key!

But it seems the typewriter is misplaced.  No New Year resolution list making for me.

I do enjoy a good New Year's resolution and generalized declarations of intent to self improve.  I mean, by other people.  Not me.  I'm getting a little bit too old (and jaded) for self-improvement and, frankly, it's hard keeping up with all the good stuff in my life without adding more.

Not like there isn't anything to improve on around here.  The house is a mess, the children are semi-feral, the DIY lacks the D and the freezer is full of corpses but nobody has taken out anything for dinner. 

BUT, I prefer to think of the house as gloriously messy because the only tidy places I know belong to people who no longer want to live there (staging my house for sale was the only time it was ever neat enough for company, it's true). The children are delightfully semi-feral.  And I'm relishing the DIY that sits upon the pile waiting to be done because it's nice to have something to avoid and feel like reading a book instead is a subversive treat.  As for the freezer full of corpses, well, you let a few people know that you are interested in learning a bit of preservation and taxidermy and your world is suddenly rich in deceased animals.  So that's not so bad. 

Girl child's altered tee
 What is it that they've said about life stages?  In your twenties and thirties you are trying to impress the world and in your forties you start just trying to impress yourself?  It's been easier since I refused to read or watch anything that even faintly hints of self-improvement.  I'm pretty tired of myself as a topic in general, so for this New Years I'm just going to resolve to keep learning about the world beyond my physical and mental boundaries and how I can appreciate it more. 

(No need to point out how I'm talking about how tired of talking about me on a blog all about me and mine. I'm all about the irony.)

A terrible picture of a slightly larger than life doll I made last month... it's out now visiting professional artists, getting some enhancement and, judging from progress photos, a lot of personality.

If you want to see what terrible things the semi-feral childs and I are up to everyday, check out my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maladybeastly/

Until next time, don't you go changing a thing.


Dry mounting a scorpion

Happy New Year!

I was super excited to finally have a chance to sit down and try my very first attempt at dry mounting a scorpion.  This critter came to me from a friend whose pet passed some half decade ago.  Through several years and a couple of moves, the scorpion had been kept frozen.  Until today. 

Realizing that this isn't everybody's cup of stinger, I'll keep this brief, though I'm always paying attention to the comments if there are questions.  The pictures are of the final part of the procedure.  The pins are there to brace the scorpion but do not go through the body anywhere.  The scorpion will sit and dry for a couple weeks before I pull out the pins and see what I done did.

For anyone curious, these are the instructions I used.  The hardest part was finding syringes (Peavy Mart ended up being the place to go).  And messing with the wood glue - next time instead of trying to inject the uber thick paste, I'm going to try something a little different. 

If there is a next time... scorpions are actually in fairly short supply in my part of the world.  I'm trying to figure out how to politely and respectfully ask my friends and family to bring me their dead (pets).  Road kill is acceptable too. 

I have read that taxidermy is the hottest trend for middle age housewives who love their DIY and, I thought, I'm middle age, I'm a housewife, I DIY.  And after cleaning up boy vomit and changing diapers for years, the inside of anything not currently trying to bite me or asking me for food isn't going to bother me much.  Sign me up!

And bring me your dead.


Buffy the vampire slayer on prime time

The childs, particularly girl child, are in love with all things vampire lately, mostly thanks to the film What We Do in the Shadows and Terry Pratchett's Carpe Jugulum.  Finding vampire, or rather, Vampyre, related culture is a thing for us now.  I took a chance and introduced the childs to Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv series from awhile back (it happens to be on Netflix).  I had no idea how they were going to react (tacky? scary?) but turns out that they Love It. 

Buffy is, according to the childs, silly and fun (my baby hipsters love the kitsch), but has way too much kissing and not enough killing.  It's one of the few shows they both want to watch at the same time.

Here is the childs' unguarded Buffy watching expressions.  Fear faces.  More than likely it's because Giles is kissing someone (old people kissing, ewww!). 

Our little house and my low tolerance for noise that I do not generate means that everyone watches their shows with their personal speaker in order to keep the volume low.  A semi-prone person means a cat in sitting on them.

Having watched Buffy when it first came out, I love hearing all their Buffy jokes (like the three faces of Angel - the straight face, the straighter face and the heavy brow ugly face.  It's much funnier when boy child makes the expressions.)  Or when one starts whining about not having enough time to study because one must go save the world, a.k.a. the Buffy defense, but it still does not get one out of homeschool work time.

Other than Buffy, I plan on showing the childs Lost Boys (probably okay, haven't seen it in awhile - it may turn out like that day when I showed them Dude, Where's My Car? and regretted it within the first 10 seconds of the movie) and Interview with a Vampire.  Girl child will probably love that and the boy will hate it. 

Whatever we watch, girl child's allegiance to What We Do in the Shadows will stay firm.  I'm going to say that if you cut her in half, WWDINS quotes would be going all the way through.  They've threatened to put out a sequel about the werewolves (not swearwolves) which she eagerly awaiting, if Taika Waititi could get on that, that'd be great, thanks.

So, world, what have you got for age appropriate-ish vampire culture?  Graphic novels, movies, books?  Humour and/or heavy irony is appreciated.  Got any suggestions for us?


all the things

In case you are wondering what this home schooler's house looks like in December, it looks like a cluttered, cabin-fevered sweat shop.  That is an actual workbook buried under the gift candy canes station and broken slinky. 

(Where did that slinky come from?  I swear the child is wearing that hat by choice.  And those are her official school pants. She is entirely her own creature.) 

I'm always amazed at all the stuff we can cram into a sixteen by twelve foot space that serves as our main school/communal area.  That's all my sewing machines and doll making tools, a few hundred books, a type writer, computer, large games wardrobe, table and chairs, couch, laundry waiting to be folded, a half dozen skulls, a couple cats (alive and heat seeking - do not make a lap here unless you want to have wear a purring lap blanket), and children everywhere.  And now a Christmas tree.  All while maintaining a clear four foot spot of baseboard space so girl child can compulsively do headstands against the wall. 

A little squishy in here.

If anyone tries to do anything so crass as to give us stuff for Christmas, I will feel rage.

A bonus right now is that the actual life-size doll that I made occupies a probably not-surprising amount of space is about to ship out to a tattoo shop where it will spend the next few months being indelibly altered by the artists in residence.  If you are interested to see how that progresses, I'll be posting update photos on my Malady Beastly Instagram.*

In the meanwhile, hope everyone is warm and living with reasonably interesting clutter.

* Malady Beastly, in case you are wondering, is a mash up between my roller derby name and a childhood nickname that I did not appreciate at the time but I've since learned to embrace.  It suits me better in my forties than in did in my tweens.    


Dollyshop Theatre - new listings on Etsy

Hey!  Speaking of shop updates, I've just added a few listings to the shop that my other personality, Malady Beastly, works at when I'm not paying enough attention to her.
Somewhere over here
is a button to visit my Dollyshop Theatre etsy store.  Push it.  See what happens.


There is some new ratty and generally hostile creatures.  If such a thing appeals to you, you can follow my doll work at Dollyshop Theatre on Facebook.

And there is a tab at the top of the page to take you to the Tumblr gallery, although I have some personal reservations about Tumblr as of late so, perhaps, you know of a great site that can host a decent gallery?

Speaking of galleries, funny thing, that the above doll, Rumplestiltskin, whom I spent over a year stitching in the Grimm's story on, was stolen right out of the gallery it was being displayed in.  Art theft!  I feel annoyed and intrigued all at the same time.  I would really like to know where Rumplestiltskin has gone and also let the thief know that it is cursed with some terrible hoodoo.  Probably everything bad that has happened to you since you stole this doll is because of the curse.  

And that's it.  If a doll catches your fancy, find it in the shop or message me to find out where it is and if it can be rounded up.