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Unique Without The Scary

Updated on January 15, 2013 - Interesting & Unusual Gifts (hold the weird, please)

There are a gazillion sellers on the Internet, have you noticed that? Maybe you're wondering why I chose to add to the problem - I'm afraid I couldn't help it. My creative monster is officially out of the closet (see explanation by way of a rambling monologue below).

It's nice to be able to buy handmade touches to put in your home or give for a gift; it's awfully hard to find them though. I'd rather have a root canal than go to the mall. I'm tired of stores that hire bubbleheaded individuals that know nothing about the things in the store, and really don't care either. Why should they? It's not THEIR stuff. I like trying to find that special and unique something to give as a gift to be cherished - who wants to get 5 of the same item in as many colors for a shower gift? On the other hand, there are some mighty strange things out there when you try to find something that's a little different.

I've found a wonderful site to set up my shop - Etsy - it's a special place for "all things handmade". One of the best things about Etsy; you're buying directly from the person that made it (and you'd better believe WE care!) Wysiwigs, pronounced "whizzywigs" is an acronym and stands for, "What you see is what I've got :o) <-- smile" and was a good fit for me AND my shop. With my creativity now unleashed and pinging all over everywhere, I think I have covered nearly all the bases as far as occasions and individuals (wedding, baby shower, birthdays, home decor, housewarming, old, young, holidays, and just because - that one's my favorite! :o)

As I have all but created myself into a corner on my mad benders, I hope you'll come visit me at my shop. I haven't found a way to curb my creativity yet, but I did find a wonderful group of women known as "FAM" - Fabulous Artistic Moms, who are similarly afflicted. I am signing off here and going to publish this page, which I have hopefully done correctly (and do I know? Nope.) I have added a technological disclaimer below, in the event that perusing this lens causes a headache...

I need to go and be a grownup now, so I'm going to try to focus here by reciting my daily litany:

I will not start another piece

I will not start another piece

I will not start -

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh I just had the BEST idea...

Perhaps a Word of Caution Here

DISCLAIMER - Click at Your Own Risk (Techno-Twit is at it again)

There is life after dial up, but it sure isn't the same. Opening and maintaining an online shop caused us to rethink our internet connection. Until I joined Etsy, I didn't do much with the net other than check my email every day and there was time to go have lunch as I waited for it to load. It took far too long attempting to set up a shop, and I do not wait worth a flip (of course it could also be the 9 million other things glaring at me from my "ToDo List" that played a part). The transition from dial up to high speed was supposed to be easy (oh wait, it was :o) The problem was me; technologically I was still puttering away on a 2hp motorscooter and heading straight up the on ramp to the Audubon...

I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing here, maybe I should just go ahead and say that now. I don't mean I landed on Squidoo by accident; that's deliberate. What I mean is, just about the time I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things technologically speaking, I hit a key and POOF! Everything I've typed is now in Japanese. Hmmm. Or maybe it's, hit the little x right up there in the corner you click to close only to find it meant delete this time. Well now, wasn't that just special? and so what if you actually remembered to save it's GONE! Aside from the jargon which is everywhere, are the options; yes I know I need to promote my shop but WHERE? How? I'll never figure it all out; best to take the Nike approach and "Just do it"...

So bear with me and be patient - I'm working on it. We've learned so many new things over the past couple of months, important things like dashboards exist in a number of other places besides the inside of your car; it is not necessary to say "excuse me" after you blog; threads are for more than sewing; there are nice people left on this planet; Google is a verb; and hey, I don't even ask "for what?" anymore when hearing the word for-um.

UPDATE: Somewhere in the month of June, I lost my tiny mind. How, you ask? I decided to build a website for our pending non-profit. Now I'm sure someone will ask how on earth I knew how to build a website (to which I would reply, "I didn't".) I am, however, learning how to accomplish this daunting task - one repentable word at a time...

Curious? It's at

Editor's Note: The site is under construction; I'm up to 20 or so pages - I think - but I fear that the disclaimer and construction notes will remain plastered on the home page until somewhere around doomsday (whereupon it won't exactly matter then, will it? :o)

My C.A.M.I.O.

OR- Jen's Creative ADHD Monster Is OUT!

My creative monster is officially out of the closet. It wasn't my fault, well not really. In a manner of speaking, the blame rests entirely on the fact that I've had cancer. You see I was an art major in high school - pencil sketches were "my thing". Of course such things were only for fun and not a responsible choice for a career (starving artists and all that). So when I became a responsible grownup, I closed the door on my creative self, and although I've done some crafting over the years it was completely under control.

I'm sure you noticed the tense there; was, as in past, as in not anymore. I work in a school system. Generally this allows some time during the summer to learn something new which was then used for gifts (my justification, if you will). Over the years, I've learned to crochet, make candles, do calligraphy, make jewelry, scrapbook, and make candy, among other things. Everything was going well, right up until last year.

I had reconstructive surgery last summer. Being fairly young at diagnosis (40) and active, I opted for reconstructive microsurgery using straight tissue (so I could keep my muscles where they belonged, thank you very much). The only downside to this decision was a much longer recovery time, which meant I would definitely need something to do...

I had seen some craft pages dedicated to the art of teabag folding a.k.a. kaleidoscope origami and was intrigued. This seemed an excellent way to pass the time during my recovery and would mesh well with my other crafts as gifts so I decided to give it a try. The closest I can come to a coherent explanation (and specific details remain unclear to this day) would be to offer a kind of analogy - I cracked the door to the closet holding my creative monster, just a little. The results were most unexpected; the door blew completely off the hinges, squashed me flat, and now my creative monster is on the loose.

I am still me (I think), but now I find myself possessed by creative benders that trigger a whirlwind of activity in a kind of mad scientist mode where I run around muttering to myself incessantly. I don't understand what happened, not really (it was kind of sudden) but I am now constantly overwhelmed with the need to create things, all OVER the place. I've started sketching again, and I was scared when I started. It had been so long, what if I lost it? What if I just couldn't do it anymore? But cancer has made me realize that life can be much shorter than we expect, so don't waste any of it - ever. So here I am, my creative monster running amok, "masterpieces" all but piled to the ceiling - and knowing that if I create anything else we're going to have to MOVE :o)

UPDATE: As of September 2008 I have officially proven my hypothesis regarding the existance of AADHD (Artistic Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) by adding watercolor painting to my repertory. Why? I really couldn't say, actually. Well, except that it was something I always wanted to try. Kind of like Pysanka; I always thought that was so cool. Hmmm, I do have some eggs in the refrigerator I wonder how hard that would be to do...


Feel free to just say hi... - & thanks a lot for stopping by! (Heh heh heh)

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    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens. Nice job putting all of this together!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 8 years ago from California

      After all this time I finally get to this lens :) *Blessed*

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      I'm so glad to know you! Your humor keeps me going somedays!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Jen, this is one heck of a story! Well done; I'd love to see more pictures scattered throughout your text!


    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      I love your drawings and your sense of humor.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 9 years ago from Canada

      Love your drawings 5* and thanks for dropping by!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 9 years ago

      [in reply to enslavedbyfaeries] Why thank you. My humor may be a bit bent, but hey ~ it still works (mostly :o)

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 9 years ago

      You are so fun and talented! I love your writing, drawings and sense of humor. :)

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 9 years ago


      'scuse me :o)

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 9 years ago

      [in reply to JaguarJulie] Thank you so much for your kind words! Imperial Woman "back" would be the flip side of the ACEO (Art Card Edition Original) I took a photo of the original origami artwork and used it for an origami fold on the other side of that ACEO - what you were looking at on the back was a picture of what was folded on the front (and does that even make sense?? :o) I'm always so fascinated by the patterns they make!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 9 years ago

      [in reply to JaguarJulie] Thank you so much for your kind words! Imperial Woman "back" would be the flip side of the ACEO (Art Card Edition Original) I took a photo of the original origami artwork and used it for an origami fold on the other side of that ACEO - what you were looking at on the back was a picture of what was folded on the front (and does that even make sense?? :o) I'm always so fascinated by the patterns they make!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      I love paperweights -- checked out your etsy store and love A Flutterby for Fall. Checked out your flickr photos and found something interesting -- Imperial Woman ACEO Back. What is that? Is that a framed graphic image? Your drawings are amazing.

    • profile image

      tdove 9 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • profile image

      Bubblebrain 9 years ago

      Good job!! What a joy to read your fun stories 5*****!!

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 9 years ago

      I really liked the slide show. It just creates movement and complimented your lens, besides showcasing your artwork. Those images in your first slide show are very soothing, did you realize that? I wouldn't mind it as my screensaver ;)

    • profile image

      Pamela2Heaven 9 years ago

      hi~ lookin' good~

    • profile image

      BABYKITTY 9 years ago

      Just found your lens and love it!

      Can totally relate to the monster that takes control of the creativity in us and just makes us go on and on!! I'm pretty sure it's related to the same monster that makes us buy more and more crafting supplies too!

      I'll be looking into Esty--sounds like another area to sell my goodies at!

      5 stars!! and joined your fan club!

    • scrapperkare profile image

      scrapperkare 9 years ago

      I agree with CindyL -- your writing IS addictive! and very creative gifts you craft together . . . nice lens . . . 5*****

    • GlennaJones profile image

      Glenna Jones 9 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      What interesting stuff, glad you let your creative monster off the leash!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I love it! Found your writing highly addictive, in my opinion- right up there with Erma Bombeck (whom I love to read). We need more people with personality like yours in the world and especially in our schools. Please keep it up. :)

    • profile image

      site-builder 9 years ago

      My Wife and I love your work.

      High Five to you...

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      5 star lens! I particularly like your drawings, very good!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 9 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      We need more creative monsters set loose. Hopefully you have encouraged others to open that door "just a crack."

    • profile image

      LeslieBrenner 9 years ago

      Nice lens. Your favoriting story is funny...go to your dashboard, the top folder that says "my favorites," click on that, and then you may have to search for your lens through all the other lenses you favorited. But it's there somewhere. When you find your lens, click on "quit this fan club." Ta da.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      LOL love the creative monster analogy! Great lens! I might be temped to join....

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Lookin' good Jen! :o)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      yea! great stuff! your page looks great!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Well done Jen!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Ooh, if I can read the Swahili below I can post to tell you how nice your lens is! Funny that I think it reads "nerdhead"!!

    • gurneywagon profile image

      gurneywagon 9 years ago

      VERY NICE...keep that creativity flowing! 5*

    • beeobrien lm profile image

      beeobrien lm 9 years ago

      Great lens. Beautiful work.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 9 years ago

      Yes, Techno-Twit strikes again...I have managed to favorite myself (which is tacky). Did I do it on purpose? Nope. I was trying to figure out how to fill in the stars on my side. Sigh. So do I know how to get it off? Nope.

    • profile image

      wraybyrd 9 years ago

      I love your stuff! I like this site too. I have purchased several items from you and plan to continue buying gifts from you. I love the idea of giving someone a one of a kind gift. Since I am NOT crafty it works:) I really love the wildlife drawings. I'm glad you picked up the pencil again.

    • profile image

      Jules_Rules 9 years ago

      Oh Wow! Your stuff is awesome too!

    • profile image

      bdkz 9 years ago

      Beautiful artwork! Great lens. 5 Stars!