August 20, 2018

Reading list

Not read yet:
Brain and meditation by Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer. Not light reading but it sounds very interesting. About how meditation actually changes  brain patterns. I have already read several books by Matthieu Ricard and I highly recommend Happiness. 
Ponyo storybook based on the Miyazaki movie (one of my all time favorites). 
The art of  My Neighbour Totoro. Making of the movie.
Partly read:
The Farm at the edge of the world by Sarah Vaughan. Gave up at 1/3. Not my cup of tea, family saga with flashbacks to  WW2. Have not even bothered to zap through to the end. Farm animal goring scenes sealed the NO NO deal for me.
Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop. Quite a fun read. The end was a bit meeeh to my liking but the whole format of the book is really enjoyable. An anthology of short stories set in different areas of Greece. A perfect holiday book.
The Savage Altar by Asa Larsson. Some medium horror, very much in the style of Millenium. OK, quick to read, have pretty much forgotten all about it by now ;)

August 17, 2018

Star Wars Identity exhibition

Look, I am a cute fluffy ewok :)

I unexpectedly went to see the latest Star Wars exhibition.
I have seen quite a few in the past and I thought it'd just be another one.

There were still some original costumes...

  ...and some models...It turned out to be a bit more interactive, you get an electric bracelet at the entrance and through the different exhibits you create your own Star Wars character. I wanted to either be a Ewok or a Gundan...went for the Ewok as they are much fluffier ;)

 I wouldn't mind having this Jar Jar original sketch on my wall.

I used to make cosplay costumes it's really interesting to see the fabric and details up close. It's often surprising how "rough" they are.

I enjoy this kind of details, a bas-relief depicting an ancient fight of the Jedis against the Siths.

August 13, 2018


Yes, Halloween is just around the corner ^_^

Glow-in-the-dark ring

Cat brooch

Quantities are very limited as I have decided to discontinue those styles, so grab your favorites while they last.

For jewelry,  shop here
For ear plugs , shop here

August 08, 2018


OK, all the stuff I need for my first new item line have been ordered.  The first batch of patches is being produced, I have finalized how I am going to ship them out...and now I am over anxious.
What if this idea crashes and burns like pretty much all my other plans?
My first pin design is ready, all I have to do is to send it over to the manufacturer...but all the "whatifs" are creeping in my mind...

 I ordered new paper stickers (from Vista Print)

I decided to use up all my "old" business cards before ordering new ones...just in case...

 Fingers crossed the design  comes out as vivid and cute as I envisioned it...

August 06, 2018

New items

While waiting for my new products to be made, I keep listing my usual stuff.

My Plug shop on Etsy
My Etsy shop for kawaii and harajuku jewelry

August 02, 2018

Mercutio the cat

Watcha up to? 
Mercutio the cat is the latest addition to the McBain family. He arrived on Christmas day, terrified by the evening fireworks...I saw the cat runnning like crazy in my alley way, I opened the bay window and he sprinted right inside.
10 minutes later he was napping on my stomach in front of TV.
I searched the web to see if there were a missing cat ad, looked around the neighbourhood. Nobody seemed to be missing Mercutio. He didnt seem very inclined to leave either. He wouldn't even go outside for over 2 weeks.
He is very sweet and cuddly (when it's not too hot, in which case he doesn't know you). His other names are Mothcat (because of the moth shaped spot on his nose) and Muffin.

Don't take photos!

You still there?


Leave me alone!!!

July 30, 2018

Patches and self doubt

OK. I have ordered my first custom patches. I am super nervous, full of self doubt. Let's face it, nothing I ever did met much success. I am on the point of giving up all together. It's too hot, I am too lonely and just generally very unhappy with my current life with next to zero social interaction.
Warning, going into very personal stuff don't have to read if that makes you uncomfortable.(writing it mostly for myself)

My family has never been very supportive of anything I chose to do. The pressure was terribly (still is) overwhelming at time. I got stuck in a life I didn't want just out of sheer could I dare to want things for myself...selfish girl! How did I dare to go out with friends (let alone boyfriends)? How did I dare to go away alone (L.A. seemed like about far enough to get away, it was not)? How did I dare to have a life?
Unfortunately guilt always brought me back, cut me out from friends...guilt is still holding me and most of those people have been dead for over 10 years...And now I cannot get out of this way of thinking that I actually don't deserve anything. I don't deserve friends, I don't deserve a job I like, I don't deserve a boyfriend, I don't deserve anything that makes me happy really because I am selfish.
And even though I now know the problem is not and never was me, my lizard brain doesn't want to know anything and keeps me in my old non-working unhappy ways.

I should get the patches in a month or so. They'll be sold in my DinaFragola shop.

July 23, 2018

New project

I have been half-heartingly working on a new project. No need to keep it a secret as pretty much no one cares  nor wants to steal my ideas LOL
I was super excited when I first came up with the idea, needed a new graphic tablet (got a Wacom, who would have thought I'd get a Wacom one day...certainly not me).  I installed the softwares I need...and nothing...
I want to make patches. Been searching for a suitable company  but nothing I am happy with so far.  So if you know of a company that  makes custom patches (and maybe enameled pins), let me know. Preferably in Europe, and not the in UK.

Frank ignoring me

July 20, 2018

Summer reading list

Summer. Bored. No plan. Too hot for my currently slow brain. Not in a good place.
So hiding away in books.
Lots of vintage UFO books here, probably the weirdest of my interests. Won't detail the books as I don't think too  many people are interested ;)

Not read yet:
Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop. I admit I bought it because the side of the book is aegean blue (can't see it here) and has pictures inside.
The Savage Altar by Asa Larsson. Bought it because it's called Boreal Horror in French. I do hope there's some horror in there...
The Farm at the edge of the world by Sarah Vaughan. Bought it because that's currently where I'd like to be.

Partly read:
Yeah, I have the habit of starting several books at a time.
The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich (e-book). Don't think I'll finish that one though it's kind of short. It's based on a real story of a guy investigating cattle mutilation. Sounded intriguing. It's not.
Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd (e-book). Too complicated and convoluted for me. 2 intertwined stories, one set in the 18th century one in 80's London. I gave up after 2 chapters. Might try again if I find a French translation.

Kotori by Yoko Ogawa. Loved it. Ogawa is one of my favorite writers. This one didn't disappoint. The Japanese word "kotori" has a double  meaning, it's either "little bird" or "kid snatcher". But nothing horrible happens here, it's a soft, nostalgic and a little sad story of 2 brothers, one of whom loves birds and can only speak in bird language.
Fuku Fuku stories by Konami Kanata. A manga about a cat named Fuku Fuku (oddly re-named Choubi Choubi in French). I am not that crazy about manga in general but those by Konami Kanata are really neat. Her most famous work is Chi's sweet home (also a cat). Very kawaii

NB: The glasses are actually a photo prop as I can't read with them on ;)

July 10, 2018

Day Job, part 7 - in the office

Random photo of a work space with a cat
We never heard again  about the middle of the night alarm incident. But sure enough when we went back to the shop everything had been moved around and things were missing.

Some days, when you were really unlucky the boss would ask for help in her office.
You'd just have to file some papers, plastify some sheets...but mainly you'd do nothing at'd just wait there. Not that she was working much either.
Let me tell you about my first afternoon there...I had to file about 20 sheets of paper, which took me about 5 minutes...and I took my time. That's all I did. From 1.30 to 4.30. Meanwhile, my boss made several doc appointments, called some friends, made some online personal payments...that's about it. But, "that was a great work day!I did so much!"
And you should have heard her, how she was compeletely overhelmed by the amount of work she had to do. Worst part, I think she was absolutely convinced she was overwhelmed. But she also knew she was not working much as she would pretend to work when someone else would enter her office.
An when she was actually doing something , it was so slow and so unefficient.  It usually took a whole afternoon to place ONE order...and every single time, she'd close the page without saving and we would have to start over.
My last full day there, we had to check 2 bills we had gotten for the same we had to compare the 2 lists. I just wanted to do it, quickly, by myself. But nope, I had a sheet, she had the  other...after half an hour (and not much progress) she decided she needed her glasses she had forgotten at home. So she left, just like that...she disappeared for 40 minutes and came back without any glasses.
Thankfully I had my phone.
She had very limited computer skills...her computer would take over 10 minutes to open in the mornin as she never closed any programs. And it was a mess. She never quite understood what a network was either, so she kept "losing"  files. Seriously at first I thought she was joking when she was making stupid things on her computer.
The look on her face when I once told her to "click right and scroll down" I was suddenly speaking Chinese. And that time she thought "customer helpdesk" was a person's name...
I quickly learned to never volunteer any help...but sometimes I would just burst out  out of frustration.
And the bizarre things she'd ask for her Excel files...making it obvious she never had any training.
Yet, pretty much everyone seems completely oblivious of what she was really like...she was always being so nice and helpful...
And you know what the scary part is (yes, because there is a scary part)? She was the one in charge of workers safety. She was the one who had to be up-to-date with emergency procedures.
So there was nifty signs all over then place, exit signs, fire alarm signs...But on the other hand, we had only one set of keys for the shop. There were bars on every window in the shop and only 3 doors, the 2 back doors had to be locked all the time, the front one could only stay unlocked during the shop opening hours. 3 locked doors, one set of keys...with 4 people working there we spent half of our time looking for those damned keys...imagine in case of fire...I brought up the problem, no usual.
Normal from someone who could not understand that a product we received frozen with the mention "has previously been frozen, cannot be frozen again" is a MAJOR health hazard. That was the last fight I had with her, I had to insist and insist (though I was, I didn't know yet,  in the middle of a major infection and battling high fever) for her to call the company who had sent those frozen products to us. And you know, though I was obviously unwell, she had me wait 45 minutes before she called. In retrospect I should have just left...after all, not my problem, not my responsability. But I stayed. She was instructed to destroy the products right away.

Read           part 1 here                    part 2 here                    part 3 here                    part  4 here                    part 5 here                    part 6 here

I could go on and on about that...but this will be the last installment. It didn't leave me in a good place and the dramatic ending didn't help...

July 02, 2018

An unusual visitor

My cousin and her family came for a visit...this is Bailey's the dog. She is an adorable basset hound.

Helping  with office work

Being cute in the garden

Playing with the plush hedgehog

Helping in the workroom

She pretty much inspected every single square centimeters of the house

 The cats were less than impressed :D
 You can see more photos of Baileys in this post

June 28, 2018

Diamond painting - a new way to waste my time, huh hobby, I mean

Maybe you have come across those on social media already...but I had never heard of those until recently.
Diamong painting, they call it...though there's no painting and even less diamonds.
It a bit similar to paint by number which I never liked and pixel art.
You basically glue little plastic squares on a sticky sheet according to the symbols. Sticking sh*t on sh*t is my one and only that was made for me :D
Easy and time consuming...just what I needed.
The result is perfectly kitsch and I am not sure  what to do with it.
Next I'll probably need the sad clown, the crying  kid and the howling wolf...

Symbol chart

The little plastic squares stick to the "pen"...

The first one I made. Obviously the larger the painting, the more definition you get...that one was a bit small...

June 25, 2018

New dangle plugs for your stretched ears!

Just added to my Captain cosmos webshop.
I am no longer updating my Dawanda store but if you prefer purchasing through Dawanda, I can list them there for you.
All my plugs are sold as pairs unless noted as singles.