Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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First we take the shoes, then we take a nap*

*with sincerest apologies to Leonard Cohen.

© 2010 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

So. I now own a pair of sneakers adorned with my own patterns. Now, back in middle school, I would've gotten whomped for drawing all over my Keds. But now that I'm all grown up, the look is totally en vogue. I uploaded my designs to Zazzle.com and had them made into some sweet lo-top Pro Keds—can you believe this is possible?! Anyone can upload a design for their own shoes, so long as the copyright isn't held by someone else, and you have total control over every element of the design. Beyond cool.

But wait! Want some nifty kicks but don't know a pixel from a pica? I went on a shoe-designing kick this weekend—my insomnia and carpal tunnel is your gain: I give you the Cottage Industrialist Zazzle shop. Clever name, no? Yeah, well. Anyhoo, go have a look-see, just for fun!


My nifty new shoes arrived last Friday evening, thanks to an incredibly dogged Fed Ex man who actually called me on my cell phone (!) to find out where he should leave my shoes since I wasn't home and he'd already attempted delivery earlier in the day. I should have come home, put on my new kicks, and quit while I was ahead for the weekend. But after a fun Saturday full of 6-year-old water park birthday festivities, I woke on Sunday inspired to duplicate my crafty endeavors of the last week and pumped to sport my new kicks. First things first, I was excited to head to a new farmer's market here on my rural island, rather than driving 10 miles to go to the store where they sell the stuff grown on my rural island. But I showed up, and there was no one there. I mean NO ONE. Like tumbleweeds and whistles no one. It was still early in the day. I should have listened to the gentle whisper of the universe that this day was not gonna be my day. Friends, you know I did not listen.

I got home, emboldened by my practically effortless seamster adventures from last weekend (the damned covered buttons having been relegated to distant memory), and eagerly cut into a whole mess of fabrics, intent on sewing a simple ruffled skirt for the birthday girl from the day before (now would NOT be a good time to comment on my gift-giving timeliness). Easy-peasy. Or not.

Things I learned from this weekend's sewing project: 1) Sewing patterns are infinitely more useful when you follow their instructions; 2) Sewing machines work far better when you do not insist on putting the sewing needle in backwards; 3) Bobbins will always run out of thread with 4" left on a 36" hem; and 4) Steam irons are wonderful...except when you "forget" and fill them with tap water instead of distilled water, and they burp black mineral crud on your white fabric. At some point, I simply stood up and said, "Nope. Not today," and walked away, with a minimum of cursing or institutional-grade muttering. Proud moment.

I marched over to my printer, intent on salvaging my crafty day, and got set up to print out thank you cards for my son's birthday (again, now would not be a good time to offer commentary on my timeliness). My trusty Epson was flashing the orange-y doomsday light of inklessness, but I was undeterred. I had bought a whole box of cartridges a couple of weeks ago, even though I only needed the yellow at that time. My status check thingy instructed me to replace the Magenta and Light Magenta cartridges. Child's play! I dug into the box and pulled out a Magenta. And another needless Magenta. But no Light Magenta. A wee error in box packing. And, well, there may have ensued a tantrum, replete with gnashing of teeth (aaaand that'll be another $500 to my dentist—do you think he's got a kickback deal with Epson?) and flailing of arms.

And then I took a nap. Or, perhaps more accurately, a nap took hold of me.


No fanfare. No victorious craftopia. Just a nap. And when I awoke, we headed to my mom's house for dinner. Her farmer's market had been open. She made her divine fresh creamed corn. There was other good stuff, too, but I can't remember what it was because CREAMED CORN. I made dessert. I burned dessert. (Seriously.) I made dessert again. And the second time around, it was pretty damned good. Life was pretty damned good.


This weekend, my husband and my son and I were sitting around talking, and my husband asked my son, "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?" My son said, "Grass." (Yeah, I don't know either.) My husband said he would choose invisibility. "What's your superpower, Mom?"


If I could choose anything to be able to cloak myself in, to douse the world in, it would be contentment. Sometimes I get so caught up in an arbitrary goal I've set for myself that I fail to sit tight, look around, and enjoy what I've already accomplished, what's already been given to me. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Sometimes we all need to just give up, take a nap, and wake up to life with fresh eyes.  

"Ok, so mom's superpower is Contentment."

I've got a long way to go to live up to my son's easy pronouncement—my claiming contentment as a superpower was far more aspirational than actual. But it's good to have a goal, right?

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Reader Comments (6)

Especially enjoyed this post, Cameroonie. And your shoes are slammin'. My next click will be to your Zazzle shop.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I like your superpower choice :) That was kind of the FedEx guy to call you when he could've just left the package & got on with his day. Those shoes rock! I went to the cool site you created and my favourite is the Chrysanthemum in Neapolitan ones. Very cool indeed :)

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ Mum In Bloom

Roonster, you are a genius. I'm just having trouble picking a shoe to order ... love Love LOVE them all.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This always delights but sometimes... well, I'm proud to know you. Please keep this up forever!

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYLD

Great post! I like the superhero power you came up with :)

I love your shoes!! My favorite are the Chrysanthemum in Neapolitan; totally awesome!

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerrie

These kicks are awesome - thanks for sharing how you made it possible. I'll definitely check out your shop.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne

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