Monday, February 29, 2016


Sometimes when Moriya and I are chatting online during our work sessions, I like to imagine us in a kind of Waiting for Godot absurdist play. It goes like this.


The curtain opens on an empty stage, save for two desks positioned on opposite sides. One is messy and covered with papers, shipping materials, and Laffy Taffy wrappers. A laptop sits in the middle. The other desk is neat and organized, pens collected in a container and papers stacked neatly on one side. 

Enter HALEY. She is wearing an orange striped cardigan and bright red and green leggings with reindeer on them, though Christmas came and went more than two months ago. She has clearly not taken a shower. Her dog CLYDE is sprawled out on the floor by her desk. 

Haley looks down at her phone, tapping away on the screen. 

Haley: "AMAZING!"

She turns back to her computer and begins typing furiously. 

Enter MORIYA, carrying a beer and her own laptop. Her hair is frazzled and her face carries the marks of the bedtime battle she just engaged in with her three-year old. She trips on a baby toy. 


Her computer beeps. She reads the screen. 

Haley: "My uncle just texted me this! AMAZING!"

Moriya types in return. 

Moriya: "Divining by CHEESE? Now THAT's the kind of stuff people should text about. AMAZING!"

They both take a seat at their respective desks, Moriya at the neat and organized one, Haley at the messy one. They type to each other. 

Moriya: "I love our new About Us page! Is it lame that my baby is in my pic?"
Haley: "No, people love babies. I was thinking about that as I was circleizing it."

They both pause for a moment. 

Haley: "Circleizing is totally a word."
Moriya: "No it isn't."

Moriya considers again. 

Moriya: "Seriously? That's amazing!"

Haley shrugs sheepishly. 

Haley: "No, it's not. I'm joking. Though it should be. There's probably a real word that means the same thing."

She stares into space, talking to herself. 

Haley: "Encircling. Kinda. Circle crop?"

Moriya takes a deep pull from her beer and then peers at her computer, confused. At the same time, Haley scratches her head and considers her screen. 

Moriya: "Oh, man. I can't find a tool in Illustrator and I don't know if it's because I've had a beer or because it's actually missing."
Haley: "I cannot for the life of me find any details about how to divine the future using cheese."

A moment passes. 

Moriya: "It's because I had a beer."
Haley: "BINGO. 'Young maidens in countryside villages would divine the names of their future husbands by writing the names of all prospective suitors on separate pieces of cheese. The one whose name was on the piece of cheese that grew mold first was believed to be the ideal love mate.'"

Moriya chokes on a sip of beer. 

Moriya: "That's so wonderful and romantic. *sigh"
Haley: "'Another method of Tyromancy was to write the possible answers to a question on separate pieces of cheese and them place them inside a cage along with a hungry rodent. Whichever piece the mouse ate first would provide the desired indication.'" (She laughs with glee.) "This is the best."
Moriya: "It's kinda like MASH but with cheese and rats."

They work away for a moment, Moriya pausing every once in awhile to take a sip of her beer and Haley trying to ignore Clyde, who has gotten up and keeps scratching her leg to try to get her to pet him. 

Moriya suddenly lets out a shriek and starts laughing. She grabs her phone and takes a picture of her computer screen.

Moriya: "OK. I was looking for a background for my states graphic. I just sent you a Snapchat of what came up when I clicked on a USA map from Google Search."

Haley picks up her phone and lets out a similar shriek. She also starts laughing. The audience sees what she sees enlarged on a giant screen on stage. Clyde gives up and lays back down. She types again. 

Haley: "WHOA there."
Moriya: "WTF. That's like straight up porn."
Haley: "Clicking on an image took you there??"
Moriya: "What if a kid clicked that?! Yes!! Of just the USA map! My kids are never getting online. That scares the shit out of me."
Haley: "You're just going to have to get heavy child locks on your internet. Try safe search."

Moriya clicks around, then starts laughing hysterically. She grabs her phone again and takes a video.

Moriya: "I tried it with safe search. Look at what I sent you."

Haley looks at her phone and also starts laughing hysterically. An image of an animated couple having exaggerated, graphic sex appears on the screen on stage, then disappears. 

Enter Haley's husband, MICHAEL. He is tall and bearded. He looks at his laughing wife quizzically. 

Michael: "What's so funny?"
Haley (in between giggles): "Moriya was trying to find a map of the United States, and when she clicked on it, it redirected to porn, and then she tried it with safe search, and it redirected to ANIMATED porn..."

Michael just stares at her for a moment, then, patting Haley on the back, disappears back off stage. 

Moriya: "I"m laughing so hard. Okay, how do I turn this mother-effing safe search off?? I don't want safe search."
Haley: "Bahahahahha. I don't even know."

They both sit back in their chairs, cackling quietly. 


P.S. Special thanks to my Uncle Jerry for thinking of me when he heard about tyromancy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why don’t you make cards for gay couples?

We get that question a lot. Other things we hear a lot: “You guys seem so accepting and make cards for everyone, so I’m surprised you don’t have cards for same-sex couples,” and “You guys need to make a gay wedding card,” and “You guys are the coolest, smartest ladies in the whole world.” Ok, maybe that last one I made up. Wishful thinking.

We thought about it for awhile. And then we started asking ourselves questions like “What is a ‘gay’ wedding?” and “How would a card for a same-sex couple be any different than what we’re doing?” and we drank a decent amount of wine and ate too many cookies (as we always do when trying to get to the bottom of something) and after all that traumatic thinking was over, we came to a fairly obvious conclusion: Love is love and looks the same no matter what.

We wanted to make our Valentine’s Day, Wedding, Engagement, Anniversary, and just general Love cards about… well, LOVE. Novel idea, right? Love doesn’t care if you’re a man or a woman, or black, white, or green. This is what Love cares about: doing it, loving you despite your absolutely horrendous gas, and feeling like you have a partner in this crazy world.

In conclusion (this is my 5th grade essay paper), it’s not that we don’t make cards for gay or straight people, it’s just that we make cards about love. Simple as that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DIY Monster Felt Board (Reposted!)

My one-and-a-half year old daughter is obsessed with Monsters. OBSESSED. Or, "Monssers," rather. She doesn't quite have a grasp on the "t" in there, yet.

I couldn't handle watching Monster's Inc. one more time (it's a delightful movie the first 25 times) and we had already blown through other monsser activities. I had to think of something. FAST. Did I mention she's obsessed?

I'm telling you people what. Anyone can do this project. I hate it when bloggers say that and then come up with these super-elaborate projects, like making wreaths out of toothpicks and rice. There is nary a grain of rice required, I promise. This project took me about 90 minutes on a Sunday morning while Rose and her more-fun-than-me father were romping around in the family room.

I picked up a $5.99 pack of felt from Meijer (not sponsored, just keepin' it real and telling you where I get my stuff) and went to Monsser Town.

That's what my table looked like about 30 minutes into the project. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to cutting out the shapes, here. I will give you some very open-to-interpretation, loose instructions.

First, you're going to need some eyeballs. I made a few different sizes by tracing various round objects ranging from drinking glasses to nickels. The pupils were drawn on with a black sharpie.

The mouths were pretty fun to make; I made four different variations. Most of them included fangs, teeth, tongues, and a smile or two. You can make them as friendly or scary as you want and can find inspiration as easily as typing in "cartoon monster mouth" into Google. There are so many different ideas out there!

Felt is awesome because it virtually sticks to itself. All I did to make the Monsser Building Board is cut out a rectangle from a pizza box and glue two pieces of yellow felt down. You guys. I'm not even kidding you; it's really this easy. I eyeballed the trim when I was cutting it out from the felt squares and glued that on to make it seem a bit more finished. (By the way, I used Aleene's Original Tacky Glue for this whole project.)

You'll need some arms...

and a few differently shaped bodies. I just made these up as I went along. Get creative! Or copy something you find online, like all great artists!

A few other "accessories" I cut last minute were two sets of horns and a few polka dots for the festive monster. You know the one. He's always the one that spills his cocktail on your new carpet.

All this time cutting, I was thinking about the big reveal to Rose. We got her amped up by telling her we had a new monster game. Did you say MONSSER?!


She absolutely hated it and wasn't at all interested. Can't you tell? ;)

The best part was she thought you had to bang the sh*t out of the pieces to get them to stick. Each delicately placed eyeball was immediately followed by a WHAP WHAP WHAP by her open fist.

I love her crazy makes-no-sense-to-me-but-it-does-to-her monssers. 15 eyes, mouth-foreheads, and all.

(Dads make great stepping stools, don't they?)

So, I guess that's it! It seems like this should've been more complicated than that, right? Lucky for you, it's not. Now, go forth and build! We'd love to see your projects if you create your own. Either tag us on Facebook or link up in the comments! Happy Monsser Making!