Welcome To The Wild Wood

Welcome to my website – Wild Wood. Here you will find many fantastical creatures, adventure, and maybe catch a glimpse or two of the Empress of the Wild Wood herself…

http://laurenfairnot.wordpress.com/

This is a private website, so if you want access please email me at flauren@umich.edu, and I will invite you to the site. Also, one page on the website is password protected, email me and I will give you the password and invite.

Happy Summer,

Lauren Fairnot (or as I am known in Wild Wood, Empress Ozana of the Wild Wood)

 

Summer Plans

Ah…summer vacation. The beginning of four whole months of nothing but days of sleeping in till noon and sitting in front of the TV for as long as you want. There are no tests, no all-nighters, and no finals,  just endless realization.  At first, it feels like a dream come true, but I am sure most of us have felt the summer lag – when the lackadaisical summer becomes too much and you actually find yourself missing the hustle and bustle of school life. For a long time I just waited out the summer lag by fantasizing about the upcoming school year (kinda ironic because I tend to spend most of the school year fantasizing about the upcoming summer).

However last summer I discovered the perfect way to avoid the summer lag – making plushies to sell. I know it sounds a bit weird, but to my surprise this has shown not not only be an enjoyable activity, but a profitable one as well. The plushies I make are fan art from the show My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.  The show is quite popular right now, and fans are willing to pay a mighty sum for custom-made plushies of the characters. I can’t blame the fans though, fan-made plushies can be very cute and very high-quality. Making plushies kept me from having to have a full-time job last summer, and I am hoping that I can make this summer even more profitable. I have new and improved plush patterns, and a summer’s worth of experience in sewing under my belt. I already have a list of sewing projects I want to make to sell, but then again, I think right now I should focus on surviving finals before thinking about the summer.

Farewell My Old Friend

 

Goodbye my faithful dog.

Its hard to believe its been nearly two years since the loss of my childhood dog, Mike (or Mike-a-nator as he was known back in the day). He was 13 at the time I lost him, and I had known him ever since he was just a 1 1/2 year old pup. Mike was a black English Cocker Spaniel. To this day, I have only seen two other dogs like him. Apparently English Cocker Spaniels were quite popular about 20 years ago, but ever since then their decline has taken a nose-dive . Nowadays the breed is one the more obscure ones, with most people hardly even knowing that the breed exists. Let me fill you in about what English Cocker Spaniels are like. From my experience with Mike, I can say that English Cocker Spaniels are excellent family dogs, but they may not be your cup of tea is you’re looking for an energetic or playful dog. My dog’s idea of “being playful and energetic” was sleeping all day, and then only wanting to play fetch at 9 at night when no one had time to play with him. Apart from that, they’re very patient and kind dogs. Never once did Mike bite or scratch me.

I had Mike for almost 12 years, ever since the day we fond that scraggly pup at the Humane Society. When we first met him, we knew the first thing we wanted to do was change his name. Mike? Mike for a dog’s name? That seemed like one of the weirdest names for a dog. However once we took him home, the name grew on us. Over the years Mike became a beloved (albeit lazy) family member. His favorite things to do were to the eat  and sleep, and if you wanted to give him a bath you were in for the fight of your life. Cocker Spaniels are bred to work in watery environments, but Mike was the exception; he hated water. After 11 1/2 years with Mike, we were forced to give him up to the Humane Society when we moved to an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I don’t know if he was adopted out or simply put to sleep. However he was very old and had gone deaf by the time we gave him up, so I am guessing that unfortunately he was put to sleep. Oh well, maybe when I graduate and get a place of my own I’ll get another dog.

Dogs, like clothes, go in fad cycles, so maybe in another 10 years or so I’ll see more Cocker Spaniels in the neighborhood. Until then, I’ll always have my memories of Mike.

 

Pay attention to your monitor

Awwwww

Awww who could resist this face? This is the face that tells you, “It’s just one most video; they’ll be plenty of time to write that paper after.” Of course one cutsy-wutsy puppy video leads to two, and three, ten… and the next thing your know, you’ve wasted half the night watching videos of  puppies howling or kittens demanding attention.   What is it about these cutsy animal videos that always draws us in? Their innocent faces, their eagerness to please, or maybe it’s those eyes… Whatever the reason, I like may other students, find myself almost every night wasting at least a good chunk of study timewatching cute animal videos on Youtube. Some people love to say that Youtube is little more than a place for meme videos or videos of your pets, and now I see why they say that. It astonishes me how addicting these pet videos can really be. But based on the 69 million and counting views on this video, I don’t think I am the only one suffering from this addiction of animal adorableness.  Now you may be wondering: is there a cure for this disease of epic cuteness? After months and months of research, I have found one way to prevent this horrible addiction – X out of your Youtube browser and get on CTools for once!

Crank It Up To 11

“Once we crank that bass up to 11, it cleans the dishes on a microscopic level” – DJ-Pon3 on dubstep dishwashers.

Poor Octavia,I may have not lived with a dubstep-loving DJ, but I know what its like to have endure a noisy neighbor. Last year I had a very harsh experience with the students living in the dorm in Bursley Hall next to me. They were the type of students who loved to play their music loudly, and had little consideration for others when they did. Consequently, many times I found myself having to study outside my dorm, much to my discomfort. Despite my many attempts to reason with them to keep their music at a reasonable level, they flatly refused to compromise. Now for a while I was found myself in a habit of coming back and complaining to them, even when It was abundantly clear that they weren’t going to turn down their music for me. The RA of my hall was no help either. She was the type of RA who only did just enough to get credit, and mostly left the rest of the residents to sort out their problems on their own. Needless to say, she was less than sympathetic with my troubles.

Strangely enough, when I look back on my I am almost glad that I went through that experience. As a high-strung woman, I find a lot of times I am very easily annoyed or set off by small things, and that’s a habit I’ve been trying to get rid of for a long time. As annoying as they were, my next door neighbors reminded me that in life you’re going to have to make a lot of compromises and put up with a lot of things you don’t want to. That aside, had there have been a more pleasant way for me to have learned that lesson, I gladly would have taken it.

A Postal Nightmare

Princess Luna is looking pretty. Little did she know of the horrible fate the post office had in store for her…

If I learned anything from spring break, it is never to rely upon the nightmare that is  USPS Standard Mail.  It all began when I successfully auctioned off my first ever fan-made plush on eBay. In case you did not read my last post, or do not recognize this character, the plush pictured above is Princess Luna from the 2010 children’s show My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.  It took a good month of work to get this plush done. When I put it for sale on eBay, it sold for a grand total of $380 dollars. Everything had run been running smoothly so far, at least until it came to shipping. This plush was HUGE – I mean 40 inches tall huge! Finding a box for this thing had been a nightmare. After passing up probably 20 different boxes, the only one I found able to fit it was a 45-inch tall box for a mini-fridge I had ordered. I packaged the plush,  addressed it to the winner of the auction, and then headed on down to the post office. That was when stuff hit the fan – turns out the $17 dollars I had charged for shipping was no where near enough to get this package to the buyer. The post office clerk told me it would be at least $65 dollars to ship this thing by Standard Post, and that was the cheapest option they had!  Having no other option, I handed over the rest of my paycheck and sent the package by Standard Mail.

This was when the real nightmare began. According to the post office, the package should have arrived within 5 days, but 2 weeks later I got a complaint from my buyer that the package had not arrived and an eBay case had been opened against me. I called the post office and spent the next 3 days basically being transferred from one branch to another. No one had a straight answer as to what had happened to package, if it was lost or damaged, or simply had not arrived yet. The tracking number I had been given was incorrect, and what the post office had failed to tell me when I shipped the package out was that Standard Mail can take up to 15 days.  Apparently Priority and Express mail can hold up packages shipped by Standard Mail. In the end the buyer did receive the item, and the case against me was closed. So next time I send out one of my plushies, I will make sure to get my numbers right, and always always use Priority Mail.

My Little Plushie – Sewing Is Magic

Spring may be just around the corner they say, but Lyra Hearstrings knows it’s still time to bundle up.

Who would have thought that I would be able to turn my obsession with a children’s show into a profit? After a good two weeks of hard work, I am proud to present my second fan made plush to the world. This little girl here is none other than Lyra Hearstrings, resident unicorn and musician of Ponyville. Just in case you’re wondering, this character comes from the 2010 children’s show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. When I first became a fan of the show, I quickly fell in love with the fan base market. It was full of talented plushie makers from all around the world, cranking out  beautiful and show-accurate plushies of the show’s character. Naturally these fan made plushies don’t come cheaply , but fans seem to be willing to spend the extra money on the fan-made stuff. Naturally Hasbro, the show’s sponsor, has their own brand of official plushies as well. These plushies are significantly cheaper, but when it comes to quality well

Now how did I become a plush maker? My first handmade plush was less than successful (no such thing as a failure if you tried).  After that I went back to the drawing board, and after several trial-and-error designs I made my second plush. This was the first one I put up for sale on eBay. It took 3 auctions, but in the end I managed to auction it off for $380 – a success in my books. My latest plush (pictured above) was probably the most difficult of the three, which is surprising considering that this was the first to not use tedious hand-embroidery (machine embroidery is MUCH easier and faster – I’m talking an hour of work vs. 3 days of work per design.) In the end though, I am very pleased with the result.

If any of you happen to be interested in buying this plush, go here for the auction (up until this Sunday 3/20/12 evening around 9 pm).