Anthro-esque DIY Dollar Store Business Card Box

It's been a while since I've done a "Look What I Found at the Dolla Store" feature, so although this is just one item, let's add this to the list! If you can't find these at your local dollar store I'm pretty sure Michaels will have something similar, so save your coupons and make it a cheap "almost dollar store" buy.

Of course, it does require a bit of transformation to get it to it's final state, but it's an easy project.

When I came across these little boxes at Dollar Giant, they instantly reminded me of something I may find in an Anthropologie or a a stationery store. They are the perfect size for holding business cards on your desk, but I'm sure you could think of a million other things you could put in them. Lipstick. Coins. Tea Bags.

I bought both a rounded edge box, and a squared edge box, but I'll save the latter for another post! I didn't take a before photo (bad blogger!) but I found the square edged box on the Dollar Tree website.

I've painted enough wooden craft boxes in my lifetime to fill a room. I'm sure I'm not alone here, right? Every time I see one, I paint it, thinking it's going to look absolutely amazing and I will be able to display it for all the world to see. Truth is, it usually looks just like a cheap wood box painted with craft paint, and it usually ends up inside a cabinet somewhere playing home to my chequebooks and reciepts. Out of sight. This time, I wanted to do something different, so out with the paint, and in with the "homemade old wood" recipe!

I adapted the "recipe" for this since it's a small teeny tiny box. I used just one teabag, not steeped for more than a few minutes. I also used one steel wool pad,  just a cup of vinegar, and let that sit for just about 12 hours (the longer this mixture sits, the darker your wood will be).

It's such an easy and painless "painting" process because you're just dousing the box in liquid and there's no such thing as drips or a messy paint job. Do make sure you cover the entire box in both solutions though. Whatever you don't will remain the unfinished wood colour. Make sure to let the box dry between the tea and vinegar mixtures, and then let it fully dry before adding any other paint embellishments.

I thought the box could use a bit more panache, so I put my Silhouette to use and made my first ever stencil. I used vinyl, but I think next time I might try some of my thicker adhesive cardstock as the vinyl was a touch tricky to stencil with.

And par ce que everything sounds better in french, I decided to stencil "les cartes" instead of just "cards". Way more fun. Who knows if the French even refer to business cards as "les cartes", but it has a nice ring to it, mais non?

I just used a white craft paint to stencil with my Martha Stewart plopping sponges ( or whatever they're called). After the paint dried, I gave it a quick sand to add to that aged look, and then did a single coat of water-based poly. You'll see in the photo below that the sanding was also necessary because clearly I'm not a great stenciller.

And the verdict? I'm obsessed. I may only have a need for one business card holder, but I seriously want to go buy and refinish ten of these right now. They are just so stinking cute, and at $1.25 each, are about the cheapest bit of lovely I own right now. And with my new business cards being printed as we speak, I'm even more excited to bring them home and store them in a sweet place they can call their own.

Stories we dont hear, from people we all know.

Fired from @WholeFoods because they needed time off for surgery. #ows #S17 #election2012
Fired from @WholeFoods because they needed time off for surgery. #ows #S17 #election2012

There are hundreds of stories like this one and worse. The stories of folks like us, who are directly affected by injustice. Our concern is where do they go? Where do they live? Who will help them?
And most important----What can we do?
Get involved- We need your voice.


Denise Maldonado, my Lady, currently resides in Hartford, CT, and on the 3rd of January she received a letter in the mail with disappointing news from Sawyer Career Institute. The letter stated that the school informing her that Sawyer will be closed permanently.  

Not only the Students received the bad news, also the Teachers did not get a notice before the Holiday vacation. 

Miss Maldonado was majoring in Medical Terminology, and she was really looking forward to her bright future. It's pretty overt that Denise's 2013  New Year is not going well for her. By this sad news, it does not phase her at all. She has her chin up high, moving forward with motivation, dedication, and to find a new home  to continue her education.

Here is more information below on how the Sawyer Career Institute closed down.

Students and teachers gathered outside the Sawyer School in Hartford on Wednesday morning, angry over the school’s sudden closure during holiday break.
Students and teachers are frustrated with the lack of answers coming from Academic Enterprises, Inc., the Rhode Island company that runs the Sawyer Schools in both Hartford and Hamden, as well as the Butler Business School in Bridgeport, all of which have shut their doors, kicking a total of 1,200 students out of class. 
“I was ready to graduate and then they closed the school,” complained Charlene Brimage, who was trying to get her degree in business.
“I was three classes away from going out on externship and graduating in April,” Arelis Quinones said.
“Our schedules were already out.  We were already scheduled for classes,” Don Lanier, an instructor, said.
Some students received a letter telling them class was out permanently, while others heard through social media.
The instructors, including Lanier, received a call from their supervisor over the holidays reporting that classes would not resume this week as scheduled.
“We have no answers about anything,” Lanier said.
The Office of Higher Education addressed the abrupt closing in a statement saying they “received a brief email on December 30, 2012 from Academic Enterprises Inc., stating that the schools have 'suspended' operations.'"
The statement also urges students impacted by the closure to contact the Office of Higher Education for assistance.
"We encourage all impacted students to register with our office so that we may learn of their status and help answer their questions about finishing their coursework and obtaining potential tuition reimbursements,” said Jane A. Ciarlegio, executive director of the Office of Higher Education.
Connecticut General Statutes prescribe procedures for schools to follow in the event of closing.  Schools are required to notify the Office of Higher Education at least 60 days before closing.  The notification gives agency officials time to work with school representatives to assure an orderly transition and cessation of business.  Both Sawyer Schools and the Butler Business School allegedly violated this requirement.
How the schools will be punished, if at all, following the state’s investigation, remains to be seen.
By Todd Piro
|  Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013  |  Updated 12:38 PM EST

A tale of two massacres.

I was going to put down some thoughts on the Newtown school massacre but felt that the subject had been covered to death by the other bloggers and my contribution wouldn't add much to the subject. Still, it did pique my interest in the subject of school shootings and Wiki has a good entry on rampage killers.  Unfortunately, these events are not that uncommon and there appears to be a long history of them. Still, two cases caught my eye which seem to well illustrate the crisis of masculinity in our current culture.

The fist case is that of the Virginia Tech Massacre.  Roissy's comments at the time were, I felt, particularly pertinent.
The killer of 32 people at Virginia Tech used a .22 caliber and a 9mm pistol.
Why wasn’t this guy rushed by anyone?  He’s calmly picking people off.  Bloodshed all around.  Imagine you’re there, trapped in that classroom.  You know you’re as good as dead if you just sit immobile like a juicy target, so you may as well lunge for him and drive your thumbs in his eyes.  You might still die, but you’ve improved your odds dramatically, especially if you go at him during a reload.  He’ll maybe get off one or two shots at you but handguns are notoriously inaccurate, especially when a person is running into your face disturbing your zen-like aiming.  You’d stand a good chance of him missing or you incurring a non-fatal flesh wound.

So a rude thought intrudes.  Engineering campus.  Nerds.  A taxonomy of guys who’ve probably run from fights their whole lives.  Total inexperience with summoning the warrior animal spirits.
There are times of crisis when brainy deliberation or pavlovian avoidance response will do a man no good.

Maybe the bullets were flying so fast, the killer so accurate (from marathon sessions of video gaming I bet), the timeframe so compressed, that in the chaos no one had an opportunity to do anything.  Well, except for this guy.

But if that’s not the case, then I’ll be uncharitable and ask…
did nerdiness cost lives?
yeah, i’ve changed my thinking on this. i think passivity is a systemic problem with men in the West, [ED]not just relegated to nerds. i’m pissed that one guy was able to calmly kill 30 people without anyone at least trying to subdue him, so that colored my reaction.

i talked to a guy recently who went through nyc police training and he told me that a certain percentage of people will go into shock and do nothing in the event of a crisis. the nypd trains their recruits by having them walk around corners and get “shot” unexpectedly with harmless plastic caps. the first few times it happens the recruits stand motionless in shock.

after a few rounds of this training the recruits are able to think better on their feet and react quickly.
Compare this with another school shooting, this time in Bremen, in 1913. From the Wiki Entry;
At approximately 11:00 a.m. Heinz Schmidt entered St. Mary's Catholic School, armed with six to ten revolvers or Browning pistols (depending on sources) and about 1000 rounds of ammunition, which he had bought several weeks prior to the shooting. Because of the large number of rounds, the owner of the gun-shop, where Schmidt had bought his arsenal, deemed it necessary to contact police, though the incident was not found to be important and thus not investigated any further.

In the hallway on the first floor Schmidt encountered Marie Pohl, a teacher at the school, who was just stepping out of classroom 8b, and, seeing his agitated appearance, questioned him about his business at school. Without answer, Schmidt proceeded to shoot at her, barely missing her head. While Miss Pohl fled into a classroom nearby Schmidt entered room 8b, which was occupied by 65 girls, most of them being 6 or 7 years old, and immediately began firing at them. Also shooting at the children after they hid under their tables the gunman instantly killed two of them and wounded another 15. When the girls fled out of the classroom, Schmidt followed them, still shooting. While trying to escape, one of the girls fell down the stairs, broke her neck and died.
The gunman then went back and unsuccessfully tried to enter another classroom that had been locked by a teacher who had realized what had been happening. Schmidt shot at the school janitor, Butz, who attempted to apprehend him, hitting him in the face, before going upstairs where he was tackled by teacher Hubert Möllmann. When Schmidt managed to break free from Möllmann's grip he shot the teacher twice, hitting him in the stomach and shoulder, whereupon he proceeded to shoot out of a window at the children on the schoolyard, injuring five boys. The shots also wounded a roofer working nearby, who, together with his colleagues and other people alarmed by the shooting, then rushed into the school building, though as they arrived on the first floor the gunman had already been subdued by janitor Butz and a teacher named Hartlage. When Schmidt was led away by police he was met by an angry crowd outside, which beat him up and attempted to lynch him, until the police officers managed to hold the mob at bay with their sabres.
In total, Schmidt had fired 35 rounds, three girls died instantly, while two more later succumbed to their wounds – the last victim dying some time in mid-July – and 18 children, as well as three other persons were injured

At Virginia Tech in 2007, the only people who seemed to offer any resistance to the shooter were an old Guy and middle aged female teacher. Where where the young men? (Apparently a student named Henry Lee was assisting the female teacher barricade the room but no one was rushing the shooter.)

On the other hand, back in 1913, the janitor, the teachers, even the roofer working next door and his mates--who had ample time and opportunity to run away--all rushed the bastard. Butz, the janitor, even went back for seconds after being shot in the face!!  Balls of steel I tell you.

(Picture of German Reservists from 1911. Pretty much the same type of guys who would have tackled the shooter.)

Somewhere between then and now, the manhood died.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that the First World War was the dividing line between the old and modern world. 

Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively – why you should care, why you should go!

On Monday January 7th 2013 in Federal Court Springfield, opening oral arguments will be heard for the motion to dismiss the case of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) v. Scott Lively.  This is not the defendant’s first attempt at dismissal.  
Lively is of course claiming his First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech and Religion. This historic case against Lively is for crimes against humanity, for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  It is a first case of its kind anywhere in the world and it is happening here in Massachusetts now that Scott Lively and his Abiding Truth Ministries – Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group – reside here in the Commonwealth.
For many years Scott Lively has travelled not just our country but the entire world spewing his own special form of hate and persecution imparting his own unique ‘knowledge’ of the ‘Gay Agenda’.  He claims he “knows more than almost anyone else in the world” about homosexuality.
In 2009, he brought his theory and his purposeful anti-LGBTI agenda to a Uganda workshop and a month or so later the Ugandan Parliament suddenly saw the introduction of what is now known as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, with harsh penalties that currently includes the death penalty. 
Scott Lively bragged that he had created a "nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda."  Oh, and don’t believe the rumors from the BBC or the AP or even Lively’s latest missive about the death penalty being removed as the bill cannot actually be modified until it is officially debated in the Ugandan Parliament.
Why should we care about what is happening in Uganda thanks to American Evangelicals?  Because if you’ve listened to the crowing of Lively, Perkins, Fischer, and others of that ilk following the bill’s reappearance on the Ugandan Parliament’s agenda in November you’ll have heard that it is exactly what they envision for the US too!
Not as likely to happen here as it seems in Uganda where it enjoys a 96% favorability rating thanks to the decades of lies spread throughout the African continent about how the American and European gays are coming for their children to recruit them into homosexuality, and how pray-away-the-gay really works, no really, and a whole host of other ridiculous unfounded claims easy to dispel if you have access to facts.
Here in the US, Scott Lively recently traveled to Springfield Missouri to lend his hand to derail that city’s proposed sexual orientation nondiscrimination ordinance, which he called a “Gay Fascism Bill” for which he now brags that he should be called in whenever a ‘Trojan Horse for the Gay Agenda’ like that crops up because surely he is the only one who can extinguish them as he claims to have done there.
So our LGBT brothers and sisters in Missouri will continue to be fired, evicted, and denied their civil rights thanks to our Commonwealth’s resident. 
Keeping in mind the more they succeed, the more emboldened they become everywhere. Here in the Commonwealth, we remember how public accommodations were removed from the Trans Civil Rights Bill.  Are you good with all that?  Are you okay with death and life imprisonment penalties for gays and their allies?  If not, please consider attending the court hearing to show support that this demonization of the gay and trans communities must stop everywhere.

What: Oral argument on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss in SMUG v. Lively
Where: Hampden Courtroom, Federal Courthouse, 300 State St., Springfield, MA
When: Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

Cathy Kristofferson
GetEQUAL/MA and Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition Springfield




All prepped and ready for the New Year with small goals and plans made and lots of dates set in stone. The year 2013 is almost full already as there seems to be something to look forward to almost every month at this stage. I think my biggest resolution for the year is just to make it to the end with out pulling my hair out.

What better way to start the year of with BIG pops of colour and a super cool Brisbane location.

Top: H&M
Skirt: Country Road (Similar Here)
Sunglasses: Similar Here

Photo's by my girl Starring Nobody

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