12.29.2015

Inflation Calculator: See How Far the US Dollar Has Fallen

With all the harrumphing amongst presidential candidates in regards to raising the minimum wage and/or closing the supposedly sexist pay gap, I can't help but ponder: Rather than bureaucratically coercing businesses to pay more money to employees, what if the Federal Reserve worked at raising the value of the US dollar?

After all, the value of the US dollar has only fallen 2,297.3% since the federal government was given control to regulate inflation upon the creation of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Only 2,297.3%. That's all. 


To put it another way, according to the US Inflation Calculator, an item priced at $1.00 in 1913 would cost $23.97 in 2015, with 2,297.3% being the cumulative rate of inflation. 


Now, while the US Inflation Calculator website defines Inflation as 'continuously rising prices,' the site also defines Inflation as 'the continuous fall in the value of the dollar.' Hence, the value of the dollar has fallen 2,297.3% since 1913, the year the federal government took control of regulating inflation and currency.


Yes, that's right; the same federal government that voters expect to fix the problems they created. That federal government.  

Even in my own lifetime, since 1978, prices have risen 264%; thus, the US dollar has gone down in value 264%. Of course the dollar has made gains here and there over the years, but overall it has gone down; so far down I question if it will ever rise again.

Granted, the Federal Reserve 'working' to return the value of the US dollar is nothing more than a preposterous paradox of poppycock; that's because the Federal Reserve has  been 'working' all these years and the result is the current state of affairs with the dollar being devalued over two-thousand percent. 


Perhaps the Federal Reserve needs to stop working, stop controlling, stop regulating, and stop devaluing the US dollar. But, then again, maybe the US dollar isn't worth saving any longer and should finally be put out of its misery. What do you think?


How much has the Federal Government devalued the US dollar in your lifetime? Find out with the US Inflation Calculator. Use your birth year, $1.00 for the purchase price, and the current year.

By Eve Penman
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12.18.2015

Repurposing Punk: Reversible Bag Sewing Tutorial

My sewing machine has finally been serviced, so I broke it (and me) in by making a moderately challenging reversible bag using an old pair of Carhartt jeans, a cotton fat quarter, and a couple of t-shirt cutouts for a touch of personal flair.

The tutorial linked above is for a larger bag, but I experimented and sized it down into a handbag (see pic for cutting board measurements). I based the size of the bag on the fat quarter when cut in half; I then cut the denim jeans to the same size and drew a pattern on paper similar to the one in the tutorial.
Eat your heart out, Riff Randell.

I'm happy with how I utilized the final scraps of one of my 20-year-old Ramones concert t-shirts. I used a medium sized zig-zag stitch around the t-shirt cutouts and made a few laps to secure them.
The other t-shirt I used features pin-up art from Bawiddiman. I love his style and couldn't part with the t-shirt even though I don't wear it anymore, so it has been sitting in the project pile for a good while now.

Same goes for the Carhartt jeans; due to holes they were set aside this past year in hopes of becoming something else. Well, I am pleased to say they are something else, indeed. I cut both legs of the jeans a little above the knee area and there's still plenty of denim left for other creations. Click here for 35 Clever Projects for Old Denim Jeans.
Talk about cute, and the exact right size for what I envisioned. The cutouts could use more embellishments, either patches or embroidery, but since it's a reversible bag any stitching added now would make the reversibility pointless. However, buttons would make for awesome removable embellishments no matter which side of the bag is used; problem solved.

I can't wait to take it on my next outing.
If you have questions on how I made the handbag (the tutorial is a little vague in areas), please comment below or email me. Thanks!

If you want me to make something out of your old t-shirts and jeans, please email me. Thanks!

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8.29.2015

Buffalo Bill for Diet Coke: He Wants to Wear You Like a Suit

Since watching Silence of the Lambs recently,
I don't see the Diet Coke commercial the same way:
You're so cute
I want to wear you like a suit
I think you'd look pretty good on me 
Buffalo Bill for Diet Coke:
He Wants to Wear You Like a Suit

But maybe that's just me?
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8.10.2015

My Zazzle Order: Postcards, Stickers and a Magnet, Oh Boy!

I received my order of goodies this week that I placed through my Zazzle shop:
  • 3 sets of postcards
    • I ordered 8 of each and they sent 9 of each; bonus!
  • 2 sheets of stickers
    • 20 stickers on 1 sheet; stickers measure 1.5 inches
  • 1 magnet
    • Not pictured above

My intention with this order is to:
  • promote my work via networking and local stores that allow promotions on community boards 
    • first one posted
  • see for myself, firsthand, the quality of the items Zazzle puts out
    • as Bill and Ted would say: Excellent!
  • send out snail-mail surprises
    • a handful already in the mail!

Cherry Blossoms Promo Card:
These came out awesome, like everything in the order. All the cards are thick, glossy, smooth, bright and bold; I love them! The printing of the text and images is clear; I have not found any errors from the production process. 

I love all the font choices and color options; Zazzle has a huge selection to choose from. For all the information I added to the front of the card, the fonts/colors complement the image well and make the text appealing to the eye (FYI, pretty fonts/colors can entice reading more than bland fonts/colors). 

I designed the backside of the card as a greeting and brief introduction; I will also be adding self-crafted rip-off tags to the bottom. Not all community board locations may allow rip-off tags, so I planned ahead and added my shop websites to the side borders (seen better in the photo above).

Greetings from Sequim! Postcard
I love that Zazzle allows people to select a backside color for postcards; again, they offer a wide assortment of colors. I chose orange for the backside of these cards as it complements the golden Cat's Ear wildflowers on the front beautifully.

The cards can be customized to any color the buyer chooses and text can be added, too. Again, these cards are glossy, thick, smooth and beautiful -- and they are not available anywhere else except my Zazzle shop

'The Best Dink Ever' Memorial Card
Overcoming the loss of Dink has not been easy, mostly due to the way in which we had to let her go, but I work at not letting the sadness overpower me; one thing that helps is her photos.

I made the memorial postcard to send to friends and family as a reminder of our little sweet pea. I have also placed one of the cards at Dink's spot in the window with her box of ashes; seeing her face reminds me that her Dinky spirit is with us even if her body is not.

I chose pink as the background color for Dink's memorial cards; vibrant and bold, girly and sweet, just like Dink. Instead of 'RIP Dink' on the front, as I had originally intended, I changed it before finalizing the order to 'The Best Dink Ever' as those were a few of my parting words to her in our final moments. Dink will be forever loved and she will always be The Best Dink Ever.
Click Here for 'The Best Dink Ever' Magnet

'The Best Dink Ever' Memorial Magnet
I also had a 2 inch-by-2 inch magnet made special for Dink's paternal grandma; losing a grandcat is not easy.

The quality of both the image and text came out crisp and clear, and it works just as it should (pictured above securing postcard to refrigerator). 

I have made these magnets available in my shop, along with the memorial postcards, should anyone want a keepsake of their own (links below photos).

'Sun Sea Lavender Love' Heart Stickers
This is my first set of stickers to showcase Sequim, Washington, the area where I live. These smaller stickers measure 1.5 inches; the perfect size for decorating, crafting, collecting, giving and sharing. Larger hearts, and other shapes, are also available, which is another thing I love about Zazzle products -- lots of options with one design!

I ordered these ones in glossy, as that was the default setting, but matte finish is also available. I like the glossy finish as it is super shiny and catches the eye. And yes, I am secure in admitting that I like shiny things.

Before posting this item for sale I shifted the text upwards slightly, as the text at the bottom came close to the sticker edge. Placing this order helped a lot as far as seeing what the finished product looks like, so I know what to look for when designing products to make sure they come out their best. 

'Blossom Under the Sun in Sequim, Washington!' Round Stickers
I made this set of stickers for promotions and, again, to get an idea of what the product quality is like. The quality is excellent, the stickers are beautiful, shiny, and meet my expectations; on par with anything purchased in a brick-and-mortar shop. 

I used light grey font for my shop addresses underneath the blossoms and it may be too light, but that was the purpose of doing this; to see what it would look like. So now I know and knowing is half the battle. 

I love this photo of cherry blossoms, which is why I used it, but I wanted to add prose to it and thus was inspired to create: Blossom Under the Sun in Sequim, Washington! The rhyming was not intended, it just worked out that way. Having reviewed these stickers up close, it showed me where I needed to make corrections before posting them for sale. Follow the link above (under the photo) to see what they look like now!
Did you know, the United States Postal Service now has Forever Stamps available in postcard denominations? Well, they do. Color me stoked to the max and keep an eye on your mailboxes! 

Overall I am very satisfied with this order and feel more secure and knowledgeable about the product quality having now seen firsthand what some of my ordered designs look like up close. I have ordered through Zazzle in the past, from other stores and also from my own, and knew they put out quality items, but it is still good to see for myself...and to buy items to promote myself around town!

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7.18.2015

Hey, Hey, Hey: It's a Marilyn Monroe Quote Mashup with Monica Lewinsky and Bill Cosby!

This Marilyn Monroe meme showed up in my Facebook feed:
It got me to thinking:
Marilyn Monroe got it on with John F. Kennedy, a President of the United States, and she is adored the world over.

Monica Lewinsky also got it on with a President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and she is not adored the same as Marilyn Monroe.

So, why is it that Marilyn Monroe is adored and Monica Lewinsky is hated, even though they both were 'the other woman' to married men, and Presidents at that?
(Answer: Double standards.)

And, if quotes attributed to Marilyn Monroe are viewed as inspirational, would they be equally inspirational when paired with Monica Lewinsky photos?
(Answer: The awesomeness is uncanny!)
I mean no offense with my Monica/Marilyn mashups.
My intent is to get people to look at something in a different perspective and maybe, possibly, peek outside the box that blocks the light. A girl can dream, right?

Real or not, I find these quotes to be inspiring paired with Monica Lewinsky, more than with Marilyn Monroe, mainly because of what she has lived through.

I do not and cannot pretend to imagine what Monica Lewinsky personally went through during the entire Blue Dress incident that ended up becoming what it became.

How would you handle it if it were you:
The attention, the threats, the interviews;
the immense disgust/hatred/etc. that absolute strangers have for you when they judge you without knowing you?

Would you live through it?
I suspect not everyone would.
That is why I admire Monica Lewinsky for surviving it.

It is so easy to say:
I would not have done what she did and she brought it on herself.

I used to say that too.
But that is bullshit.

Everyone makes mistakes.
Evv.
Ree.
One.

The difference is that not everyone recovers from their mistakes.
More power to those who recover and to Monica Lewinsky.

So, then it got me to thinking more:
Would inspirational quotes attributed to Marilyn Monroe work when paired with anyone else who has become condemned in the Court of Public Opinion?

(Answer: Hey, hey, hey, they do!)
Again, no offense intended.
Only an intent to offer a different perspective and an enlightening laugh.

When it comes to Bill Cosby's innocence or guilt in regards to the rape charges, I offer three words of wisdom from Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive:
I don't care.

My personal bias is on Team Cosby no matter the outcome;
I have been entertained and educated by him for so long and from such a very young age (remember Picture Page on Pinwheel, anyone?) that I will not desert him as a fan.

Bill Cosby has never harmed me personally, so why should I condemn him? The legal battle is the accusers' battle, not mine, and I refuse to be swayed by them or the Court of Public Opinion.

It is eye-opening to see people instantly side with accusers that they do not know, nor have been entertained by, nor educated by, nor have they been a part of people's lives if only by making them laugh and think. I know who I do not want sitting on my jury, should I ever need one.

Please, don't forget:
Chuck Berry videotaped women in bathrooms and had IRS problems, yet people still rock out to his music today.

This, too, shall pass.

But should any of these people be role models:
Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky, Bill Cosby?

People are free to admire, and be inspired by, who they want and for whatever reason they want.

Admiration (and inspiration) is in the eye of the beholder.

Where one person will see good, another person will see evil.
Where one person will find humor, another person will find offense.
Where one person will say 'Spam', another person will say 'I don't like Spam!'


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7.10.2015

Runner's Log: My Unorthodox List of 50+ Running Don'ts and Dos for Runners and Non-Runners

It excites me when I get a sale in one of my online shops -- wow, somebody found my creation out of all the others and bought it! -- but the Runner's Log journals in my ProseAndPix Zazzle shop excite me in an extra special way.

The reason is because I see a sale of a Runner's Log as empirical evidence that someone is out there running, pushing themselves and bettering themselves (or giving it as a gift for someone who will be doing such things); and that makes me happy to know someone is bettering themselves; and now my creation gets to be a part of that betterment process and that is a totally awesome feeling, to know that my creative prowess is helping inspire good rather than evil. Or so I like to think.
Therefore, in recognition of another Runner's Log journal being sold (thanks, buyer!), I have created my own unorthodox list of running don'ts and dos for runners and non-runners alike to learn from and enjoy.

Don't:
  • Don't be a jerk
    • Non-runners: this means not throwing objects from vehicles at runners or assaulting/harassing runners in others ways. In general, please do not do this to anyone as you are the one who looks like a dick, not the other person.
  • Don't be harmful/hazardous to others
  • Don't belittle others 
  • Don't listen to haters
  • Don't compare yourself to others
  • Don't compete with elite athletes if you are not one
  • Don't doubt yourself
  • Don't be nervous or scared
  • Don't bitch about the hill
  • Don't push yourself to the point of immobility (unless you have a team of doctors taking care of you)
  • Don't set unrealistic goals
  • Don't overlook opportunities to run somewhere you have never run before
  • Don't support running clubs or stores that don't support you
  • Don't volunteer with running groups that don't support you
  • Don't act entitled on the roads or to handouts at races
  • Don't depend on others to have supplies for you when it is your responsibility to have your own supplies
  • Don't wait until the last minute to show up for a race
  • Don't stand where you don't belong in the starting line-up
  • Don't hate on the weather
  • Don't let gadgets run your run
  • Don't forget why you run
  • Don't look back unless you plan on going that way!

Do:
  • Breathe
  • Stay hydrated and fueled
  • Be courteous
  • Smile
  • Be creative
    • make obstacle courses out of pay meters, street signs, water hydrants, benches and more!
  • Stretch as needed
  • Walk or slow down as needed
  • Enjoy the scenery
  • Encourage fellow runners
  • Get out of the way for faster runners
  • Be careful around traffic
  • Look where you are going
  • Be seen -- wear bright colors and reflective gear!
  • Tell someone where you are going
  • Carry ID and mace as needed 
  • Try something new -- routes, running partners, races!
  • Rest and recover
  • Be confident in your abilities at any level
  • Support running clubs and stores that support you
  • Volunteer at race events and with running groups that support you
  • Say 'Thank You' to the race workers, volunteers, organizers and sponsors
  • Prepare yourself to be as self-sufficient as possible on long runs and at races
  • Sign up for races as early as possible to save money
  • Exercise your PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) 
  • Revel in your runner's high
  • Find your zen
  • Have fun
  • Keep going
  • Record your training runs, race stats, goals and PRs
  • Buy a Runner's Log journal designed by Eve!
Runner's Log  by Eve
Thank You for Your Patronage!
Happy Running!
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7.07.2015

Peer Pressure vs. Racism: The Real Reason People are Blacklisting the Rebel Flag

In an instant life can change. Something that was once present without question is suddenly gone with the wind and you are left in a whirl wondering 'Hey, what happened?'

While popular consensus is that censoring a symbol from American history is a solution to a momentary problem brought on by someone who committed a heinous crime, I only see it as a reactionary measure equal to blacklisting trench coats because of the Columbine High School shooting, or banning music because kids killed themselves while listening to it, or stopping all sales of the Dixie Chicks albums because they spoke out against President Bush (before everyone else did). 

In other words, people who are choosing to voluntarily blacklist the Rebel Flag now, in 2015, are not taking a stand against racism. Blacklisting the flag at this point is nothing more than basic grade school peer pressure as it is being done to save one's face when confronted by the herd.
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Case in point: Why is it that when the Dukes of Hazzard movie came out in the last decade, Willie Nelson and Jessica Simpson weren't being called racists for starring in a film with a theme associated with the Rebel Flag? How come people didn't have to hide in shame for being associated with the flag then, and why are people voluntarily blacklisting it now out of shame...and does this mean that wearing Daisy Dukes is a sign you're a racist?

Is this truly all because of one person who committed a heinous crime? Wow. If that is the reason, talk about willingly giving that person a lot of power over one's own emotions and rationale.

Is self-control really that rare these days? Must be.
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Applying the same logic as is currently being used on the Rebel Flag, consider these hypotheticals: What if a person who committed a heinous crime had a picture of themselves wearing a Justin Bieber shirt, or a pro-breastfeeding shirt, or a Save The Whales shirt? Would those things become demonized in the public's eyes and blacklisted as well? If not, then why is the Rebel Flag being demonized?

And heck, what if someone went into a movie theater and killed a bunch of people during a film's midnight premiere; should that film no longer be allowed to be shown?

Does this line of logic and questioning make sense to anyone? 
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Does anything about blacklisting the Rebel Flag make sense to anyone...other than peer pressure to political correctness and groupthink mentality?

Anyone else remember learning about peer pressure? The feeling that you must conform to the crowd when you do not want to and you must do what the crowd is doing even if you do not want to, in order to be accepted by the crowd.

Because if you are not accepted by the crowd you may be shunned, called names, beaten up, sued, or possibly killed...all because you dared to be you.
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Kind of funny that so many people who claim racism is terrible are simultaneously putting pressure on people to conform to society's momentary standards and to do things they do not want to do out of fear of being rejected, sued, and possibly harmed.

Now that is terrible. 
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Thank You for Not Conforming!
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6.28.2015

RIP Dink: Please Lock Up Your Dogs

This past week I have chosen to refrain from explaining to everyone what happened last Saturday that caused the sudden death of my sweet little Dink, as I do not want to have to repeatedly tell people something that tears me up inside.

I felt it better to focus on my sadness in the moment when it was most acute and fresh, instead of putting my energy into blame, anger, and hatred for what brought about her death.

I plan to share more about the event and my afterthoughts from it as time goes on.

However, under the circumstances at this time, I only want to share with others the information that is currently posted outside the property in an attempt to notify the rural neighborhood dog owners and other neighbors (local authorities have been notified by the property owner as well):
Cat mauled on its property by 2 loose dogs; Clallam County; Sequim, Washington, USA.
REWARD
Seeking information regarding 2 loose neighborhood dogs that on Saturday, 6/20/15, at approximately 9.a.m., trespassed onto this property nearly 1/10th of a mile and mauled our cat 100 feet from the front door in her play area. 

She had to be put down by the vet due to her injuries.

DESCRIPTIONS
1. Medium-sized dog; grey/brown/black coloring;
furry tail curved upward similar to a Husky or Keeshond.

2. Smaller dog; dark in color; companion to other dog.

These dogs may have received marks/injuries during the mauling.

PUBLIC SAFETY
These dogs have been spotted loose on this road once before.

If you have any information please contact Jen at OlyPenJen@Gmail.com
Thank you.

RIP Dink ~ 6/29/07 - 6/20/15 ~ Forever Loved and Missed
PLEASE LOCK UP YOUR DOGS.

ALL DOGS FOUND TRESPASSING ON THIS PROPERTY
WILL BE SHOT.
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In an effort to raise funds for the anticipated vet bill, I have been making use of the suffering by adding new pro-cat products in my ProseAndPix Zazzle shop.

Check out the new categories: Cats, Dink the Cat, two different 'Have You Loved Your Cat Today?' product lines, and 'With Sympathy'; new products are always being added. Please visit my shop and share with other cat lovers too.

There is also Dink artwork available in my shop at Society6.com/EvePenman along with Gozer artwork too, naturally.
All the creator proceeds I receive from the sales in my stores (a small percentage of the sales price) will go towards paying the vet bill whether the purchased products are cat-related or not. 

If you would like to help with the vet bill without having to purchase anything except our deepest thanks, please visit my Donate and Support page to make a secure, direct donation via PayPal. 

We opted to have Dink cremated, a $200 cost. The thought of returning home with her lifeless body to bury was more than we could handle at the time; we were in shock. We tried to stop the cremation a few days ago but it was too late as she had already been picked up for processing. 

While working through our grief we have talked about making a memorial marker for Dink on the property once her remains are returned to us; most likely a plant outside that we can see all the time as a reminder of her sweet Dinky spirit that surrounds us now. 

I also intend to make something beautiful out of the scene of the event, possibly a bed of catnip, as I do not want this to curse our joy of the property after less than a year of living here. I laid fresh dandelions at the scene today during my morning talk with Dink as it marked the week anniversary of her passing. RIP Dink.
Thank You for your support!

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