Comic Inspired Bag and Birthday Wishes

Sorry if I've been off the grid, but recovering from this past holiday season has NOT been easy. Too much food and alcohol, too many presents that weren't sanctioned by "Santa," too much time with the kids, stuck in the house with nowhere to go and nothing to do. It's enough to drive a questionably sane woman over the edge, you know?

I have also been going through a dry spell and haven't really made anything worthy of a blog post. The creative well had been dry. More than dry. It had evaporated to the point of crumbling when touched.
So I've been trolling through my iPod for inspiration and for songs from a sunnier past. Basically, I've been going back (way back) to the music of the 80's and early 90's, especially Duran Duran because, let's face it, Simon LeBon's lyrics are anything but angst-ridden. Well, that is if you can figure out what the heck he's talking about.

The iconic Nagel cover art. Uh-huh!

Yesterday, while jamming out to "Hungry Like the Wolf," I was flipping through the pages of the latest issue of WIRED magazine and came across this ad for Ray Ban sunglasses:

Spurred by this comic book style ad, I travelled back to the early 90's when I tried my hand at comic book collecting. Yes, a cute boy was involved and he worked at a comic book store near my school. I remember wandering in that first day, looking for a comic that my nephew collected, and seeing the golden aura of this boy's curly blond mane. My mouth went dry and I didn't know how to respond to the simple question he asked: "Do you need any help?"

This is Shade the Changing Man drawn by Brendan McCarthy in the 90's.
But I was rendered momentarily mute by his direct gaze, and he tried to fill the awkward silence with typical salesman's questions that I could barely hear. I happened to be standing next to the "S" section and Shade the Changing Man viciously stared at me to speak up. I leaned against the comic book rack to try to relax and cute boy's eyes lit up. He saw Shade beneath my elbow. He assumed that I was a Shade fan and launched into an enthusiastic riff on all things Vertigo and the illustrator Brendan McCarthy. I didn't understand a word he said, but that's how I wound up buying these comics that I never really read. To this day I can't remember if I even took them out of the protective cellophane bags.

And so the warm, fuzzy memory of an innocent and unrequited crush (no, I never dated him) brought me out of my post-holiday blues and I decided that the Ray Ban ad needed to be made into something. Anything. I felt like crafting. Woohoo!

In a very McGyver-esque move, I took some packing tape, duct tape and an old pillow case to make a mini messenger bag (or you can even call it a man purse, aka "murse"). With the help of my trusty Kenmore, we churned it out in less than a day:

I'm thinking that my immediate future involves the crafting of duct tape/magazine ad murses. And more Duran Duran music!

Today happens to be my Mom's birthday, which could have been disastrous had I not been in a crafty mood. After finishing my bag, I began to think about some of the happier birthdays we celebrated with Mom.

One birthday about fifteen years ago, I decided that I was going to bring home her birthday cake. Usually, one of my sisters did the honor, but that particular year I was adamant that I would get the cake. Which I did. But what happened on the way from the bakery to my parents' house was pure idiocy on my part. 

In general, the month of January in New York is cold and icy. So the streets are usually treacherous if one does not wear the appropriate shoes, like I did that day. Being young and stupid, I wore pretty shoes of the ridiculous variety rather than winter boots that keep feet warm and bodies from slipping on the ice. And as I walked the single avenue and few blocks from the bakery to the house, I lost my balance at least 5 times. This meant I swung that cake box over and over again.

After dinner, my Mom opened up the cake box and this is what she saw:

Everyone was stunned and I was completely embarrassed. But after the initial shock wore off, my Mom laughed and laughed until her eyeglasses were misty from tears. The cake was still edible, so we stuck some candles on it and we all sang Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love and miss you.