Monday, May 30, 2005

Veggie Smart Tips

Creepy Cebolla & The Dangers of Electricity

"A crossbow is not only dangerous to its intended victim, but can also be dangerous to the vegetable wielding it. I will demonstrate."

"So please remember to keep your crossbow away from nasty electrical sockets or you just might end up looking like me. Thank you."

Copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


I love mail. Now the mail that I speak of is not of the electronic variety (though I do love email, but Scottie the postal officer cannot beam packages over to my pad via this method, yet, and for an internet shopping queen such as myself email cannot provide me my fix), but the good ole fashion snail mail variety which appears in my mailbox (or strewn below due to my postal worker- see below)in the rain, sleet, snow (okay, so not in West Los Angeles, but occasionally it hails here) to my home. Please note that for a few years I didn't love to get mail. Getting mail was a very stressful situation which left me always wondering where the heck my Netflix DVD's had wandered, why my books never seemed to arrive at my door and who knows what else went missing. For a few years getting mail at home was just another notch on my "things to be very neurotic over" belt.

First and foremost our postal technician could be described as (i) not very content with his employ, or (ii) not very content with his client-base, or (iii) just down-right mean. for example, if my husband or I happened to arrive home while he was processing his delivery and (God forbid) offered to take our mail in before he placed it in the box (or threw it below the box because it did not fit) he would proceed to YELL (yes, YELL) at us exclaiming that we are just going to have to wait until he has filled our box or littered the space below our box with our mail and then after he departs, AND ONLY THEN, may we retrieve the mail from our box. Sounds a bit like a drug deal, eh? The guy is in a word, cuckoo. Apparently, walking around in the wonderfully breezy, sunny, beachfront adjacent community of West Los Angeles has not really rocked his world. Combine crazy postal worker with my second HUGE complaint, many, many missing packages, and as a result you get me, sprinting to our local UPS store plunking down fistfuls of cash in the hopes that my postal pains will become memory. And so it goes.

So, I love to get mail again!

Here is what I have received in the last couple of weeks:

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Okay, the crown and the wand I received at work from a wonderful co-worker in our Chicago office. She was obviously acknowledging and paying tribute to my head peon status at the investment bank I toil at each day.

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My flopsaber! Wooohooo! Made by the wonderful and talented Ro. I am so delighted with my flobsaber that I almost wish I still received mail at my home so that I could then do battle with the evil postal worker and show the guy who's boss. Well, almost. Nonetheless, I LOVE my flopsaber and the wonderful, amazing Ro!

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Okay, these paintings were hand-delivered, but they deserve a mention because I have been trying to get my best friend Bea to "gift" them to me for a least a year (possibly more). Bea is an amazing painter, my best friend and the voice of reason in my life for the last ten years. Bea, can you believe we have known one another for ten years???? We're old now.

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More crocheted items to "customize". Now, an explanation for the uninitiated, most of the time I crochet my monstrous creations from scratch, but sometimes I find stuff on eBay that calls out to be, well, customized. Take these fruity potholders, for example. I believe that if made bionic (i.e., add some eyeballs, possibly some limbs and maybe a few weapons) they would cease to be potholders and become "The Apple Corps (get it - apple core, he, he, he) defending the fruity galaxy! (A mind is a terrible thing to waste people, so I dream a little every now and then!)

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More potholders to customize. Notice the chicken? I luv the chickens...

Other items received in the mail this month:
  1. Moola - oh yeah, money for my birthday!
  2. Lots of yarn - as Deneen says it's been a "yarngasm" kinda couple of weeks!
  3. More junk from eBay including a crocheted ladybug keychain and more yarn (I know what you're thinking, I have a problem with this yarn consumption thing).
  4. More stuff that I cannot remember right now.

Mail rocks, even if it is delivered by an irate postal worker!

Oh, I have a poll on the sidebar asking what kind of holiday creatures you would like to see me create. Please vote! I need help!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Month of Softies Submission - May Flowers

I tried and tried people to do a nice sweet flower. Really. I did! But, to be me is to be a bit twisted. So, my submission to May's Month of Softies May Flowers theme is something more, well, carnivorous....

A Venus Flytrap!

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With eyeball!

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Notice the nerves hanging off the back...

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Big smile!

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And fabulous white...well, teeth!

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The whole thingamobob is crocheted out of various weights of mercenized cotton and was created using sc and a little dc and hdc for shaping. Ta-da! There ya have it. Carnivorous flora. Whooohooo!

All content and images copyright 2005 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cinematic Liaisons

It was a weekend filled with activity: mediocre movies, meals at three separate dining establishments, new hair, bold hair and yes, razor cut hair. What do all of these things have in common besides me, your hostess with the mostess, LadyLinoleum? My husband (and the crowd cheers)! No really, he's an actor, cheers are what this guy lives for...

This is my husband:

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This is my husband as a puppet:

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And this is my husband with with a wookie:

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Mr. Linoleum...Not LordLinoleum. No. Much like Queen Elizabeth has her Prince Phillip, I have my Mr. Linoleum - very important to retain my title, rights and priviledges despite having taken marital vows...I digress.

Now, before the photographic moment with the wookie, Peter and I dragged our very tired bodies over to the Director's Guild to go see "Kingdom of Heaven" with the Friday night Lipitor crowd (read old actors). Now, I know what you're all thinking, cool, movies at the Director's Guild with all those stars! Oh. My. God! What an amazing experience, right? Well, err, no. Not really. The Screen Actors Guild has lots of stars, but they also have lots of career extras and elderly actors or worse yet, eldery career extras. Once in SAG, they have to dynamite 'em to get them out. So, as Hallmark would say, SAG is forever. Ahhh, touching...Believe me, rarely do we see the likes of Ed Harris or Russell Crowe walk into the DGA for a SAG screening.

So, the Lipitor crowd...even though they are pushing 70 and riddled with high cholesterol, hip surgeries and thick reading glasses, those actors are still actors, always willing to tell you about their next show/movie/audition, their last show/movie/audition, their future show/movie/audition and the show/movie/audition they were in 15, 20, 30 years ago.

I try not to make eye contact.

Fortunately, for me, I have my husband with me who is also, yes, an actor and yes, he is there to integrate me into the conversation. Like it. Or not. And guess what my husband likes to talk about? You got it! His next show/movie/audition, his last show/movie/audition, his future show/movie/audition and the movie that got him his SAG card. The other thing that my husband has in common with this crowd is medication. Prescription drugs, oh yeah. With this crowd the only thing better than talking about your past, current and future show/movie/audition is, you guessed it, how much Lipitor, Prevacid or Maalox (okay, it's over the counter, but equally as interesting to throw into your litany of drugs taken daily) you down at regular hourly intervals. No, this is no ordinary movie going experience. Not. At. All. Did I tell you yet that you have to arrive at the theater one hour before your show begins? No? well, yes. You do. And so, the past/present/future/show/movie/audition/Lipitor/Prevacid/Maalox group disco lasts for THE ENTIRE TIME. Yes, it does.

I tried myriad ways to avoid the conversation, sometimes crocheting or knitting while waiting for a film to begin, but this called more attention to myself (someone always asked me what I was making to which I would reply, a giant squid or a lifesize pirate - wrong answer - I should have said scarf, hat, glove - those items do not provoke discussion the way giant squid or pirate do) and then it was all over. The past/present/future/show/movie/audition/Lipitor/Prevacid/Maalox group disco would grab hold of me and suck me into the medicated abyss.

I tried reading and even while doing that my husband would eventually tap me on the shoulder in order to introduce me to one of his fellow raconteurs for good measure or need third party verification of some anecdotal gem he was fleshing out for the crowd. Damn him...

Currently I pretend to be asleep. So far, so good.

So, "Kingdom of Heaven", two mediocre thumbs sideways. Not bad, but not really good either. Bummer, because I like Ridley Scott and hey, Orlando Bloom is really looking good there.

The following night we were off to the people's theater in Hollywood (the old Cinerama Dome). Okay, I make fun of the Lipitor crowd, but there is something to be said for seeing movies with a bunch of actors. NO ONE TALKS DURING A FILM. Not a peep. And they don't let you eat in the Director's Guild either because opening candy or chomping your popcorn distracts from the viewing experience (I miss the popcorn, but whatever). Then there is the theater for the rest of us. Those rules DO NOT APPLY. But you do get wookies making photo appearances and as many milk duds as your jaw can withstand.

At the people's venue we saw Star Wars. I am a big ole scifi fan. I will watch rerun after rerun of Stargate SG-I (yes, McGyver is in this show and yes, every planet in and around our solar system looks like British Columbia, so what) but man, Revenge of the Sith ain't no Episode 4.

It takes talent to hit two mediocre movies in one weekend and live to tell the tale, but we did it. We rounded out the two day movie-fest with Bloody Mary's at Sunday brunch and new do's, hairdo's that is. Mine, a lovely deep red razor cut (not as scary as it sounds), while the hubby is sportin' a tragically hip bed-head do.

So, I didn't get to crochet much this weekend. I will be playing catch-up this week with all of the churros and chickens that I need to churn out. I will do it though. I am motivated. Christmas, birthdays and orders await!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Stitch N' Bitch and Errata

Well, just got in from the West Hollywood Stitch N' Bitch. This is my second meeting and I just LOVE IT THERE and I LOVE EVERYONE THERE. What a great group! We meet at Farmer's Market in WeHo and we (well, I) drink wine and knit and crochet and talk and talk and talk! It's fabulous! I finished the serape for Ro's churro tonight WITHOUT spilling any merlot on it, thank you very much. I am a veteran crocheting drinker (this needs to be proclaimed on a t-shirt or button or something). Alas, I digress.

I talked so much at SNB that I didn't get to work on my Month of Softies submission. This month the theme is flowers. Now you all know by now that I cannot do a traditional flower so my flora contribution is just a bit twisted. Hopefully I will be able to finish it this weekend and put up some pics. For now I will leave you swathed in an air of mystery.

I was able to spend lots of time talking to Laurie tonight! That was a treat! Last week, I was so overwhelmed with the whole SNB experience I didn't get to really talk with her and pretty much she and Ellen (LA Ell) were the ones who urged me to join them. Anyway, Laurie and Ellen and Karyn and Lori and Faith (ole' college bud) and Crystal and Tammy and if I missed anyone I am so sorry, you all rock! Everyone should run to their neighborhood SNB and crochet, knit, drink, talk....Whatever! Just go and have fun!

Now onto the other stuff...The pic below shall be credited as the genesis of my obsession with pirates. I crocheted this lovely pegleg while living in the Middle East (oh yeah, I lived in the Arabian desert - that is another chapter *read novella* for another time). In fact I am/was so obsessed with pirates a dear, dear friend composed a song about this phase in my life. Here is but a snippet:

"She steals your soul with a killer smile.... abandons your heart and twists your mind you fall for an angel, a woman so kind she's the rainbow you had never seen, she is but a L.A. Queen" (Lyrics by King Sam I)

Okay, I don't get it either, but it's kinda cute!

Now, for the pegleg:

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So, it's a little phallic! Get your minds outta the gutter people!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Carboloaded Crochet and Pirates!

Yes folks it's the moment you've all been waiting for: Cheez-Its and Churros and DONUTS, oh my! All of these fabulous crocheted, eyeball-sportin', carbo-based creatures can be found on ONE webpage! Whooohooo! Can I tell you all that this website is taking me a REALLY LONG time to complete! Oh well, I am having fun and hopefully I won't bore you all TO DEATH with my web construction sloth-fest.

Onto more of my non-functional fare...

What is a mermaid to do without a pirate to seduce?

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And don't forget the pirate beanie with eyepatch...Arrrrrgggg!

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These fabuloso pirate duds (i) cannot be worn (by most of us that is - read "must be peg-leg ready"), (ii) are fashioned out of acrylic yarn (I love's cheap and there aren't any dyelot issues) and (iii) duds are designed and crocheted by moi using single crochet throughout. Oh, this guy is a little shorter than the mermaid, but he likes tall chicks.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Functional v. Nonfunctional

I went to the Hollywood Stitch N' Bitch the other night and was struck by the fact that I was the only one there who was making completely nonfunctional items. This was not always the case. Back (way back) when I was in my teens and early twenties, every item I made was functional. I crocheted and knitted many, many apparel items that I designed and wore. I was having a great time and my designs were getting lots of attention from my college professors. So, why the change? First, I wanted to get a MFA and teach (which meant I had to start making art for art's sake and not cool clothing - or so I was told). Second, I was becoming exposed to a whole lineage of artists using fibers as the primary medium in their art (Kiki Smith, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Annette Messager, etc.). I was awestruck. Thinking back, this was the turning point when I began to make items inspired by apparel, but were not really wearable tapping into that art historical tradition that evoked women's history, tradition and craft.

So, I began crocheting a series of bras inspired by the myriad slang terms in our vernacular used for breasts (i.e., knobs, knockers, torpedoes, etc.). I made over 20 bras and continued the theme by making undies. None of these items could be worn. I felt as if something magical happened. These items went beyond mere apparel and became art. I started to get a bit of attention through gallery shows and installations AND because of this I was accepted into a graduate program to pursue my MFA degree. I thought I had bridged the craft v. art gap. I thought I had made it!

Thus was the nature of my PROGRAMMING. Here I was, a chick in my mid-twenties pursuing an MFA degree from a prestigious art program that specialized (and still does) in abstract painting. Did you get that? Abstract painting? And here I was with my Rubbermaid bins of yarn and hooks! Not freaking paint! Don't get me wrong, I am classically trained. I know how to paint, sculpt, cast, weld, etc., but I didn't MAKE ANY ART using any of those processes! Anyway, the headtrip was underway and it lasted two years - every professor I had was trying to get me to put down the damn yarn and make some "high art" (I still find this strange because they let me into the place based upon a portfolio full of yarnage (yes, I just made this word up). I relented and started casting these big ole plastic and rubber sculptures. They were huge and toxic to create. To make a long story short, I survived my MFA program and started to teach shortly thereafter. Thus began the long process of my DEPROGRAMMING.

It has been eight years since I graduated from Claremont Graduate University. Eight years of trying to shed that "high art is not made of yarn" junkola! So, here I am making homicidal veggies and puppets....thumbing my nose at the art world! And I've been trying to get back to making something functional. Here is my attempt: a seven foot tall mermaid (she was supposed to be a wearable costume, but ended up an Amazonian, apparel inspired object). I tried! I really did. LOL

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The deprogramming continues....

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Belated Tattoo Friday Pic & Ode to David Spade

Okay it is! Even if it is late, this bovine still graces my lower backside!

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Satisfies the "Flash Your Tattoo Friday" from Three Olives and Some Yarn.

On another note, I will be 36 years old this week. Yes, I am 36 years old and I have a big tattoo of a bull. Be nice people!

Anyway, I celebrated my birthday with my mom, husband AND beautiful daughter Magdalena (12 years old) at one of my favorite restaurants, Woo Lae Oak in Beverly Hills. My child loves it there because she gets to cook her $18 chicken breast cut up into very palatable pieces in the center of the table (and she has to cook every little morsel herself WITHOUT the help of any adult). Korean barbecue rocks people, even the overpriced Beverly Hills variety!

At any rate, my husband, mother and I were talking (and drinking a fabulous bottle of Chardonnay accompanied by tons o' appetizers) while my pre-teen starts to have adolescent convulsions next to me due to the fact that David Spade is just seated a couple of booths down from us. She was totally cute! which point she begins to mention all the play by play of EVERY episode of "Just Shoot Me" she has ever watched as well as the artistic merits of the movie "Joe Dirt". Are you getting this picture? The child is obsessed. So my husband (also an actor) says to her, go up and introduce yourself. She says, "No, no, no, I am too embarrassed, but did you know what I love about the movie, 'Dickie Roberts: Child Star'?"

Once again, we say to her, you're a kid, you can get away with going up to someone famous, gushing all over them and NOT LOOK LIKE A STALKER. Do it. Do it. Do it! So, my progeny, sporting a fushia fur poncho and fabulous Converse sneakers with flames marches up to his table, tells him she thinks he wonderful and asks for his autograph. The guy was totally gracious and signed the back of her business card from a local beauty supply shop (c'mon people, I don't carry autograph books in my purse)!

Can we all say that we think David Spade rocks!

Here is my beautiful child...this girl is PRICELESS!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Road Kill Korn & The Life Neurotic

Here's the elder member of the Vegetable Liberation Army, Road Kill Korn!

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I don't have this guy's story up on the website yet, but I hope to get that done this weekend.

On another front, I've been rearranging my studio/"we don't know where to put it so it's been put in this room" room before work for the last three days. Okay, let me preface this with a little bit o' history. I am neurotic. There, it's out there. Now, the level of my neurosis is such that I get up every morning an hour and a half to two hours earlier than I must get up to get ready for work so that I can clean my house/organize stuff around the house/feed my zoo/etc. So, in a neurotic fervor I've been trying to get my stash under control, for the past three days. I am pretty good about keeping up with this, but occasionally it still gets out of hand. The reason for my sudden need to organize the not organized is that (i) as I stated above, I am, you guessed it, neurotic and (ii) I will be moving in a month or so, give or take, and I am desperately afraid of NOT having enough plastic bins ( I love plastic bins - I will be erecting a shrine to Rubbermaid soon - pics to come). So, I have been trying to gauge how many more I will need to buy before hard-core packing ensues. Big problems right? For one who is neurotic, you betcha!

This brings me to my next issue...we will be moving. I HATE moving, but it must be done. The hubby and I are in the process of purchasing an overpriced condo in West Los Angeles (we currently inhabit an apartment a couple of blocks away from where we are buying). We wanted a house, but in our 'hood crackerboxes (we're talking 1000 square feet) are pushing 1 million bucks (oh yeah, welcome to LA). And we can't move further out (the infamous Valley) because I won't go to work if I have to commute and well, my family likes food so I don't have much choice. I HATE commuting even more than moving! So, we are getting a 1700 square foot condo, fixer-upper (yes, we have to overhaul the place because right now it is pretty much "early ugly" or as I fondly refer to the current decor, a visual nightmare) for an exorbitant price that takes my breath away, really. So, my usual state of level 5 neurosis has been kicked up to level, oh, 8 or 9 (I'm being conservative).

I don't know about you all, but for me, when I am in this state of mind, crocheting is my lifevest. I work out all my neurotic anxiety with hook and yarn. And for me, the smaller the hook and yarn the more complex the pattern, the more likely I am to lose myself in the process, thereby quelling my current state of "neurotica" (yes, I know this is not a word). Hence the sudden need to crochet mini-things and my much beloved filet crochet. I have a couple of filet UFO's that have been sitting for months crying out to be finished. Now's the time to pick those up (one of them is my filet crochet opus - all the lyrics to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious") and make some headway.

Anyway peeps, I wanted to say thanks again for reading my blog and posting comments. I REALLY, REALLY appreciate it!

Chicken Nugget

Here's the newest edition to my nekked chicken family:

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This bathing beauty is just two inches in height! Yep, got right down to it with size 8 DMC pearl cotton and my little hook (size 0).

I seem to be crocheting small things lately. Last year everything was life-size and WAY larger than life-size (i.e., the squid). There is no more room in our small abode to store large pieces. However, we are moving to a much larger home in a few months so maybe I will make some more huge pieces. For now though, this is working for me.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Ceci n'pas une Cheez-It.

Yes, I have completely lost my mind....

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Weekend Maelstrom

Plans for the weekend:

  1. Finish the newest member of the Vegetable Liberation Army (I will post pics of him as soon as I finish).
  2. Make headway on a few other WIP crochet, sewing and book making projects.
  3. Dust the house and do the laundry.
  4. Clean bird cages! This little guy (named Lox) is pestering me to get with the program. He is sitting on my shoulder right now and whispering in my ear, "You better get it together Lady. We have a need for seed."

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  5. Visit my mom to celebrate both of our birthdays and Mother's Day.

I wonder if I can get all of this done????

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Take a Ride with the VLA!

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The Vegetable Liberation Army invites you to visit their new headquarters on the web!

You can read details about Killer Korn and Bludgeoning Bell Pepper so far. I still need to post background information for the remaining members. Take a look and let me know what you all think.

Lots goin' on over here guys! A little scattered due to a lot LESS crocheting and a lot MORE computing than I'm used to.

Hey, have I alluded to my felt addiction? I don't think so. Well, check out one of my puppets (oh yeah, I LOVE making puppets)! This guy is a secret agent working for the Department of Agriculture who is after the members of the VLA. Anyway, he is made entirely out of felt and embroidered with pearl cotton. All of my puppets are hand sewn (and most of them are more puppet-like than the big "oven mitt" form below...LOL). I do have a sewing machine, but sadly, I don't have enough space to set up a sewing area. Anyway, I really like hand sewing so it's okay for the moment.

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Finally, I REALLY, REALLY need to buy a Crochet Dude messenger bag! I love Drew! What a riot!

Monday, May 02, 2005

I've been silent, but busy during the last week trying desperately to launch the Monster Crochet website. Needless to say, I have a html knowledge base of -10, however that has improved from the -100 state I was in before embarking on this blog odyssey. Anyway, I hope to get back to serious bloggin' this week (right after I finish reading the shopping cart module for the website). I am smiling on the outside, yet screaming on the inside....

Anyway, despite my digital pain, I will get that site up and offer a plethora of creatures and stories to behold, some for acquisition and offer cool freebies such as patterns. It'll be fun (if I survive)!