7 Days of Inspiration: New Kittens, Bison, and bell hooks!

The past seven days have been incredibly inspiring and exciting for a variety of reasons. First up: new foster kittens! I picked these guys up on Sunday, and as usual, they came with crazy names: Kylah, Kyzen, and Kylene. The momma cat (Kaydee--seriously, who comes up with these names?) is hanging with me too, though she's about 10 pounds away from being photogenic. We're working on it.

These kittens are terrified of humans, especially the kind wielding medication and eye drops. They've challenged me to come up with creative ways to lure them out from under the couch, and as a result, I've tested every long, non pointy object in my apartment, finally settling with the giant Cheshire Cat novelty pen that I got from Disney World ten years ago. (Because of course. Why is life so on the nose sometimes?)

Next up: bell hooks and Gloria Steinem in conversation at The New School. A million thank you's to Vanessa for showing me the RSVP for this free (!) event, which was truly incredible. When I read bell hooks's Ain't I A Woman for book club, I really appreciated how she made feminist theory and history accessible to her reader, without losing any of the emotional poignancy. In person, I found her (and Gloria!) to be the same way. They made some incredible comments about the state of feminism and challenged the audience to continue fighting on behalf of women everywhere.

I left feeling rejuvenated and excited about the next generation of feminists, which will also include Willow Smith--she was sitting four feet away from me with her mom (and fellow Baltimoron), Jada Pinkett Smith. They are both even more beautiful in real life, and I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped open when I saw them walk into the auditorium. 

Finallya new book + bison jack-o-lantern. This week, I've been reading Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, which is everything I want in a novel: a feisty, headstrong lady who turns down men right and left, all while asserting her right to flirt and run her own damn farm. Thomas Hardy's Tess of d'Urbervilles is one of my favorite novels ever, so I know things are about to get real tragic--I can't wait. Anyway, in FFTMC, farmer Gabriel Oaks wakes up in the middle of the night to find that his dumb sheep dog led 200 pregnant sheep over a cliff, where they plummeted to their death. I couldn't get those sheep out of my mind, so when my co-worker invited me to carve pumpkins, I dedicated my pumpkin to them. Unfortunately, my sheep carving got a little top heavy, so I gave him horns and voila! he's now a bison. 

When I light it, I remember how lucky I am to not depend on sheep for my livelihood. Instead, I'll just live vicariously through Thomas Hardy and the Herdwick Shepherd twitter account. If you aren't following them yet, what are you waiting for?


How to Make Emoji Potato Stamps

I LOVE emojis. Once, my friends and I planned our perfect dates in emoji form. Mine obviously involved petting dogs and eating strawberries. I'm not sure how I feel about the 250 new emojis that are coming--it's hard enough keeping track of all the ones that already exist on the iphone! 

I've wanted to make potato stamps for a while, though using an x-acto knife makes me very nervous. The last time I attempted to make potato stamps, I was 10 years old and accidentally stabbed the skin between my thumb and my finger (sidenote: what is this body part called?). But now that I'm an "adult" (LOL), I figured I should try again. I'm happy to report that I'm typing this with all ten fingers, so there were no casualties from this craft.

Cookie cutters are ideal for your base shape, but who has cookie cutters? I used the scoop that came with a container of Tang (Which was probably purchased for some form of jungle juice).

This part brought back nightmares of my stabbing trauma. 


I watched a few tutorials online, and of course, Martha Stewart's was the best one. She's a crafting/business genius, and makes everything look so easy. I found that my potatoes were slightly watery (?), and I'm not sure why hers weren't. She probably grew them in her perfect garden.

Sharpies seem like the best sketching tool, but once they get covered in potato juice, they are useless. Stick to roller ball pens. 

X-acto knife success! 

Carving out these guys was easier than I thought. I was feeling slightly homesick, so I put "12 Corazones," a Telemundo dating show, on in the background and pretended my family members had suddenly developed an interest in "hombres musculosos" (muscular men). 

I made the "ok hand" emoji too. I wanted to use my gold glitter paint, but it was too thin. (Boo).  Thankfully, my roommate had paint to donate to my crafting cause. 

Stamp, stamp, stamp.

It might be tempting to dip your stamp into a pile of paint, but these stamps require a paintbrush and patience as you brush the paint onto the raised stamp. After these guys dried, I broke out the glitter and markers. Below are a few of the cards that I made!

I would call this a success! Next time, I want to make the prayer-hands emoji and the girl who is flipping her hair. 


Update: Victoria pointed out that one of these cards has a major typo. The card has since been  updated to read "CONGAToS," and I am saving it for when someone I know adopts a cat.