October 17, 2011

CraftLife Episode 15 – Bound To Be Creative

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:08 pm by treacleandinketsy

I caught Christmas trying to sneak up on me this week.  What was I thinking, getting distracted by all of the lingering hot weather?!  The truth is, it will be here before we know it, and it looks like “full steam ahead” for me until the end of the year.  Even though by schedule will be bursting at the seams, I will do my best to keep to a regular podcasting schedule if at all possible.

Already behind on your Christmas knitting?  Have no fear!  Make a virtual tacky Christmas sweater for everyone on your list!

If tee-ball doesn’t pique your kid’s interest, and violin lessons aren’t working out, how about Mutton Bustin’ for a change?

October is half-way over, but Treacle and Ink is still Going Pink for breast cancer research. All sales made during October will Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Need a comedy improv fix? Here’s a bunch of “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” videos. These bring out Adam’s over-the-top laugh. 🙂

I really enjoy using the traditional anniversary gifts list as a guideline to help me get creative with anniversary gifts.

The Holden Shawlette, by Mindy Wilkes – DONE!

My current sweater deconstruction will (hopefully!) result in a few pairs of French Press Felted Slippers, by Melynda Bernardi.

I am so excited to be attending Ysolda Teague’s “The Perfect Sweater” class offered by The Woolie Ewe!

The Pocket Sandwich Theatre is presenting the 30th consecutive year of Ebenezer Scrooge, a musical based on the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol”. I’m very pleased to be able to participate in the capacity of Music Director.

Lyrics to this week’s song (based on the song “B*tch” by Meredith Brooks)


I knit a lot today
At the office, in the store,
And the subway.
I smiled at you, but you look at me like maybe I’m a great big oddity,
Some strange mystery.
Yesterday you spied
What I was doing, and you flagrantly implied
I did not look like what you think a knitter looks like.
Will this always be my fate?
It’s time to educate you,
And set the record straight.

‘Cause I stitch, I’m a mother
I’m your sister or your brother
Hand-knit items, I make many
I just might be your Granny
I’m a Las Vegas showgirl
I rock the CEO world
I am anybody that you’ve ever known

So take my sticks and string –
Put them together, I can make most anything.
Baby booties, scarves, and sweaters, or a life-sized knitted royal family
So what, if I decide to make
A toilet paper cozy?

‘Cause I stitch, I’m a mother
I’m your sister or your brother
Hand-knit items, I make many
I just might be your Granny
I’m a Las Vegas showgirl
I rock the CEO world
I am anybody that you’ve ever known

So if you think you’ve got me figured out
You’ve got another think coming
I think it’s cool you try to relate
But I am anyone at all

‘Cause I stitch, I’m a mother
I’m your sister or your brother
Hand-knit items, I make many
I just might be your Granny
I’m a Las Vegas showgirl
I rock the CEO world
I am anybody that you’ve ever known

Yeah I stitch, drive the carpool,
Coach some football at the high school
Funky hip-hop I devour
Sing opera in the shower
I’m a gamer, I wait tables
I help where I am able
I am anybody that you’ve ever known


October 3, 2011

CraftLife Episode 14 – Don’t Patonize Me!… Well, Maybe

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , at 10:25 pm by treacleandinketsy

A good friend of mine and I had the great fortune of spending a month in New York City, doing an independent study for credit toward our Theatre degrees.  Before we left our hometown and headed north of the Mason-Dixon Line, I made a tee-shirt that said, “Actor For Hire” in big, bold letters on the front.  While this tee shirt did not lead to any acting employment during my time in the Big Apple, it did lead to inquiries as to where others might purchase one like it.  I guess I wasn’t the only one looking for paid work as an actor.  This week in the podcast, we’ll be taking a look patronage in the arts, the good parts and the not-so-good parts.  I’d love to hear what you have to say about it!  Leave me a comment below.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if all actors stopped working for free?  I did, in this blog post.

The Treacle and Ink Etsy shop is officially Going Pink!  100% of the proceeds from all sales during the month of October will be donated to Susan G Komen for the Cure.  Please enjoy a browse and pass along the link.

It was very nice to have Adam back on the podcast!  I’ve missed him lately as he has been enjoying much football in his man cave.

Pumpkin Premie Hat, modeled by my Snowball mic

In addition to the premie hats, I am still hard at work on the Holden Shawlette.  The end is near!

Lyrics to this week’s song (based on the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin)

Don’t Worry, Knit Happy

Here’s a little sock I knit,
Stitched it together bit-by-bit
Don’t worry, knit happy
With every stitch, something could go wrong
Don’t think about that, just sing this song
Don’t worry, knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Ain’t got no needles so costly and nice
Your less expensive ones will suffice
Don’t worry, knit happy
Sometimes you will drop some stitches,
And some of the wool gives you the itches
Don’t worry, knit happy
Look at me, I’m knitting happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Give me your Ravatar.  When you worry I’ll draw a smiley on it.

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy

Ain’t got no coin, ain’t got no cash
That’s okay, you can knit from your stash
So don’t worry, knit happy
‘Cause when you worry, your gauge gets tight
And makes your knitting to look affright
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Now here’s a little sock I knit
Try it on and see if it fits, like good little knitters
And don’t worry, knit happy
With every stitch something could go wrong
That is why you should sing this song
And don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

Oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Don’t worry
Knit happy
Don’t worry, knit happy

July 20, 2010

Keeping The Memories

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 11:24 pm by treacleandinketsy

I have this stack of tee shirts that represents just about every play I have ever performed in.  Some of them have gotten a little too worn to still continue to wear, while others have mysteriously gotten a little too *ahem* small to continue to wear.  I have slowly been removing these tees from my drawer and consolidating them in a box that I plan to transform into a tee shirt quilt.

Never having made a tee shirt quilt before, I am turning to my sister, Julee, for help.

Julee's Bonclarken Quilt

Check this out!  This is her first attempt at a tee shirt quilt, and I must say, I am impressed.  Most of these shirts have come from her time as a staff member and Camp Joy volunteer at Bonclarken, the ARP retreat center in the beautiful Smokey Mountains.  The denim squares and rectangles are upcycled blue jeans.  Yay for repurposing!

Julee bonded interfacing to the back of the tee shirt blocks to add stability and keep them from curling up around the edges, like tee shirts tend to do.  She backed the quilt with a brown daisy fabric and used a navy binding around the edges.

What do you think??  I’m now much  more inspired to get cracking on that old box of theatre tee shirts.  And, actually, I like this pattern so much, I just might use it for my quilt as well.  What is it they say about imitation being the best form of flattery?

June 4, 2010

It’s Not Just All About Crafts…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 4:27 pm by treacleandinketsy

The main theme of this blog, from the beginning, has always been Etsy and crafting.  Of course I have veered off the straight path here and there, because I am more than a crafter.

I’m a wife,

Leaving the reception.

a daughter,

Mom and Dad!

a sister,

Julee, me, and Stephanie.

a musician (and BFF!),

Me and The Marvelous Maven.

an actor,

Saying "goodbye" to Beth.

a cook,

My totally-from-scratch Thanksgiving gingerbread church from '08. I know it was a little while ago, but I'm still so darn proud of it!

a traveler,

I like a cruise... but I"m definitely up for something a little more off the beaten path.

an amateur photographer,

Somewhere in Asheville, NC, I believe.

a tea lover,

Tea at Biltmore. Ahhhhh.

dog lover,

Jan Austen fanatic,

video gamer,

fantasy football master,


…And so much more.  More than likely, all of these different aspects of me will show up here in my blog, so please feel free to read what interests you and skip over what doesn’t.

Now, what about you??  I know there is more to you than our shared interest in Etsy and crafty goodness.  (Or maybe, like The Marvelous Maven, you’re not not so much into the crafts, you just like me for me.)  I want to hear what else makes up you. What other skills/talents/passions do you have?  What do you just LOVE…and what could you totally live without?  Leave me come comments below!

May 27, 2010

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” ~Semisonic

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 2:20 pm by treacleandinketsy

This is not so much a craft post as it is an introspective monologue. So, if you’re really more about the crafts, don’t feel bad about skipping over this post and digging through the archive for some nifty how-to’s to carry you through until my next post.

For those of you who are still with me, thanks! I just wanted to get a little more personal and update you on some choices I have made recently.

THEATRE and DRAMA-DIGITAL COLLAGE SHEET - BOTTLECAP ART- 1-inch circles for bottlecaps -- downloadable PDF - by HotTomatoInk

Before we moved here to Texas, I was working three jobs: Bank Teller, Church Music Director, and Advertising Sales Executive. We moved, and I went from having three jobs, to having one: actor. My dear husband and I agreed that, since we were moving to a much larger area with more opportunity, I would focus on giving acting my best shot, and not be tied down with a full-time job elsewhere. I asked for six months; he gave me two years.

In those two years, I have had some wonderful experiences and met people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have had my first real experiences in front of the camera and have made some great theatre connections. I have made a decent living – by actor standards – which is to say, not a whole heck of a lot.

Roundhouse Kick - funny cool kung fu fighting humor tee shirt NEW - by TheShirtDudes

Now, I am approaching 30 and have come to the point where it is time to make a change. We live a good life in a lovely little rental house with two of the sweetest dogs ever. I have nothing to complain about – except that I want a little more than that. I want a house of my own and children of my own. I want the freedom to change my hairstyle and appearance without the expense of getting new headshots made. I want to take kung-fu lessons. I want to start a theatre for the disabled. I want to travel and see more of the world, and maybe fly home to visit my family more often.

These desires all have one thing in common, they cost money. Now, I don’t even like to talk about money, but it is a fact of life. And, as I said before, we do live a good life.  But, the only way for us to move forward from where we are now, is to become a true two-income family.

Which brings me full circle.  My desire for these “other things in life” has now grown to the point that it outweighs my desire to be a full-time actress.  I’m not saying that I’m giving up acting completely.  I have no intention of quitting improv, or divorcing Ida Straightshooter, or dropping out of projects that can be worked around my schedule.  In fact, I am interested in getting more involved in the theatre scene around here.  But, I have also decided that now is the time for me to get settled in at a full-time “real job”.

I Want to Be a Bank Teller VINTAGE BOOK - by debfetherlin

I sent off my resume on Monday to the bank that I was working at before we moved.  They have new branches opening up here in DFW, so I thought it might be a good shot.  They called me on Tuesday for an interview on Wednesday.  That was unexpected.   The last time I went job hunting, I looked for four months without being called for a single interview.

So, now I wait.  I am hopeful.  The sooner I find a good full-time job, the sooner I can begin my next life adventure.  It’s an exciting thing to stand at the edge of a new beginning and think of all wonderful possibilities that lay ahead.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

Scripture Art DELIGHT (Psalm 37) 8x10 print - lifeverse

I’d love to hear your stories about big life changes you have made.  Leave me some comments!  Encouragement is especially appreciated. 🙂

April 19, 2010

Confession Of An Actress

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 4:32 pm by treacleandinketsy

I was excited to land an audition last week for a SAG feature film.  I got the audition information in an email from my agent, along with the sides.  (For those of you who don’t know, “sides” are the scenes that you read in the audition.)  I opened up the .pdf file to find that it contained one scene and two blank pages.  I read through the scene a few times, and then printed it out, feeling very good about the audition.  As the pages printed out, I discovered that the two pages that were blank on my computer screen were actually another scene that didn’t display properly for some reason.  As I read over this second scene, my heart sank.

This second scene required my character to be very upset and cry hysterically as she talked about her boyfriend who had just died.

Don't cry- Original art painting by Ireneagh

I can’t cry.

Okay, yes, I can cry if I’m sad or upset about something in real life,  but bringing up tears on the spot during an acting scene…that’s just not a skill I have yet developed.

And it doesn’t help that my dear hubby can cry at the drop of a hat.  I can command him to cry, and within thirty seconds the water works are in full force!

Needless to say, I felt like a complete idiot trying to get through that second scene at the audition.  I tried to play it my own way when I read through it the first time, but the director asked me to go back and read it a second time with the hysteria and crying.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!


Maybe it’s just one of those things.  I can’t roll my Rs either.  I can’t squat and sit back on my heels without falling over.

Or maybe I’m a bit of a fraud – it certainly feels that way sometimes.

Whoopi Goldburg once said, “An actress can only play a woman.  I’m an actor, I can play anything.”

For now, I guess I’m just an actress.

March 4, 2010

I Petted An Armadillo

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 3:41 pm by treacleandinketsy

The lights are low and the music is cranked up. Neon lights line just about every inch of wall space, the food smells delicious, and the mirrored saddle is glistening above the middle of the dance floor. There’s just one thing missing…

Suddenly the doors swing open, and in walks Ida Straightshooter! Now, our picture is complete.

Yes, last night was another night at Billy Bob’s Texas as one of my alter ego’s, Ida Straightshooter. This alter ego happens to be a saloon girl by trade, but don’t get any funny ideas. This saloon girl is known for being a great hostess, and NOTHING else. 🙂

Ahh, the life of an actor. It definitely keeps things interesting, and no job is ever the same. I’ve been hosting events as a saloon girl every now and then for about a year now, and so far I have roamed the plush private club at the House of Blues in Dallas, spent some time in the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort, and last night, at the world famous Billy Bob’s Texas, yes, I got to pet an armadillo.

Would you get to do that at work?

March 3, 2010

Spread The Word To End The Word 03/03/10

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:48 pm by treacleandinketsy

I would like to send out some love today to the members of our families, churches, communities, and the world, who are mentally disabled.

I have been fortunate enough at different times in my life to be able to get to know and work with people with a variety of different mental disabilities. I volunteered a couple of times as a “Special Friend” at Camp Joy. (My sister is blessed enough to still be able to do that each summer.)  I worked with children in a classroom setting when I was studying Music Therapy.  I also worked one-on-one after school as a tutor for a sweet little boy for the majority of my college career.  It is a dream of mine to become involved with a theatre program for the mentally disabled, much like Carolina Actors with Special Talents (C.A.S.T.), which is headed by the amazingly talented Debra Leopard. Here’s a news clip from a few years ago. I was fortunate to get to see this show! There is something so precious and special about each and every person I have known who is living with a mental disability, and there is so much that I have learned from my relationships with them as well.

Today is a day set aside to raise awareness about a movement to end the use of the r-word. The Spread The Word To End The Word movement was started by a group of young people, and is now backed by the Special Olympics, Best Buddies International, and over 200 other organizations. The goal is to eliminate the minority slur “retard” or “retarded” from casual speech and legal and professional verbiage.

When I was younger I, like many people, used the r-word quite often in casual conversation, usually to describe something that was out of place, or just plain stupid.  I never intended any offense to the mentally disabled, and quite frankly, I don’t think they ever entered my mind.  I had no clue that my words might be hurtful and offensive to others.

Now that I know better, there is no excuse!  The use of the r-word is offensive to our brothers and sisters in of the mentally disabled community, much like the n-word is to our brothers and sisters in the black community.  While we have come a long way in eliminating the use of the n-word, we still have a long way to go to get rid of the r-word.

I issue you a challenge today.  If you use the r-word, no matter how well your intentions, stop.  If you have already made the decision to not use the r-word, I encourage you to take some time today to Spread The Word To End The Word.

February 22, 2010

“Hey, I’ve got a ‘What if…'”

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 2:55 pm by treacleandinketsy

Little Women - one of my all-time favorite productions. And, yes, I would do it again for free!

I am a part-time actor who, like most of the rest of the part-timers, wishes she could be a full-time actor.  It’s an awesome thing to discover that one thing you truly love to do – that thing that you love to do so much that you would even do it for free…which brings me to this post.

Paid acting jobs are not an easy thing to come by.  I have a great agent who stays on the ball, and I submit to various casting calls every week.  She also sends out a newsletter about once a week that is full of opportunities that have been sent her way, but with which she is not directly involved.  I also get a newsletter from the local actors’ career center, S.T.A.G.E., as well as another popular DFW area actors’ newsletter called The Column.  All of these newsletter are filled with a variety of acting opportunities from stage to screen, with 95% of these opportunities having one big thing in common.  No pay.

Squier Art & Design

Now most, if not all, of these non-paying projects will have no trouble finding actors aplenty to fill their needs.  Like I said earlier, most actors, myself included, love what they do so much that they are willing to do it for free.  But today, I got to thinking…

What if we just stopped working for free?

What if “great experience,” “footage for your demo reel” and “drinks and snacks provided” was no longer enough?

We just filed our 2009 taxes today, and let’s just say that, as an actor, I managed to bring home a bit more than you start off with in Monopoly, but no where near enough to win the game.  According to K. Callan‘s Book “How To Sell Yourself As An Actor” (6th Edition, 2008), 39.5% of Screen Actors Guild members earn between $1 and $3,000, and 27.5% earn nothing at all.  So, I actually did pretty well in comparison.


But you can’t call that a living.  It’s really a crazy balancing act to pull off.  In order to afford food, shelter and basic necessities, most actors have to have another job.  But making a go as an actor requires you to have complete schedule flexibility to be able to go wherever, whenever for whatever audition or call-back, sometimes with less than a 24-hour notice.

Many actors, myself included, have gone to college and gotten undergraduate or graduate degrees in Theatre or Acting, or something similar.  How many other professions that hire degreed individuals can you think of that expect their qualified employees to work for free?  If a nurse or a teacher contribute their skills to a project or institution for no charge at all, it’s viewed as charitable, noble, even philanthropic, as it should be.  To be quite honest with you, if, over the years, I manage to make enough money as an actor to recover the cost of my schooling, it will be a goal well-met.

So, I ask you again, “What if we just stopped working for free?”

I did my very first show at The Ritz Theatre!

Well, I can come up with a handful of negatives right away.  Community theatre, where so many people first get bitten by “the bug,” would suffer a great deal.  Granted, there are some community theatres that manage to pay actors a small stipend – maybe enough to cover gas back and forth to rehearsals – but there are many that are just trying to keep the doors open and the electricity bills paid.  It would be a devastating blow to so many small town theatres if the love of the craft were no longer enough to compel actors to donate their time and energy to making magic on the stage.

Then, there are the small indy film productions.  Most great directors got their start  in much humbler beginnings, and with less grandiose productions than, say, Indiana Jones or Avatar.  My husband is a wonderful director/producer.  I would jump for joy if he decided to helm an independent production and was able to assemble an all volunteer cast and crew.  There are already so many other costs involved in making an indy project.

For actors who chose to not invest the time and money in a classical education, non-paying jobs offer great on-the-job training experiences, in most cases.  You learn something new with each and every project.  These individuals would likely have a more difficult time landing paid jobs when competing with others who already have the experience and resume to back up their more fully developed talents.

Rat's Art

With these negatives, however, I could also see a few positives.  There would be more paid acting projectsavailable to us would-be working actors, which would be a  HUGE blessing.   If you have had difficulty finding a job in this economy, then you have had a small taste about what it is really like trying to make a living as an actor.  Sure, jobs are out there, but the hiring pool is deep and wide.  I’ve read that 90% of an actor’s job is looking for a job, and I’d have to say that my own experience is reflective of that.

Quirk Abilities

I also can’t help but wonder if the overall quality of work would improve.  I have witnessed absolutely phenomenal performances, both in live theatre and on film, and I have also seen performances that were so bad it took all of my willpower to not run out the door, or turn off the television.  It is in these later instances when I have often begged the question, “How did that person manage to get cast in this production?”  Well, was it a paid job?  You’re probably not going to get Anthony Hopkins to audition for “My Senior Year Film Project.”

I know actors are at the bottom of the totem pole.  I get that, I’ve accepted that,  and I have no problem knowing where I stand.  I’m not saying that actors should or should not stop working for free.

I’m just wondering, “What if?”

February 19, 2010

If We’re Not Funny, It’s Your Fault

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:18 pm by treacleandinketsy

The rumors are absolutely unfounded – I did not fall off the face of the planet.  WordPress was having some issues yesterday, and I wasn’t able to get my post to publish.  So far, it looks like everything is moving smoothly today, so you’re going to get a double dose!

Yesterday, after a full day of steadily working (and completing!) my new April styled table runner, I was very much looking forward to kicking back and relaxing with an evening of comedy.  That’s right, last night we served up another healping of After Hours Improv comedy.

The Cast

Now, being a cast member, “kicking back and relaxing” may not be the right term to use.  Improvisation required you to be alert and on your toes, because you never know what is going to happen.  But, there’s nothing like the feeling you have after a show well-done, and last night was no exception.  We had an awesome crowd, and that only makes for an even better show.

Thursday night is not is not our regularly scheduled performance time.  We’ve been blessed with a good many private gigs in the month of February, but we are in the house and open to the public delivering family friendly, serious comedy every Saturday night at 8pm at the After Hours Improv Theater in the historic Rogers Hotel in downtown Waxahachie.  So, come out and see us if you’re in the general area, or hire us out and we will bring the funny to you!

Here’s a bonus to all of you savvy shoppers and super cool blog readers out there. You can find a coupon for $1.00 off admission here.

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