Category Archives: Art

I DIY’d a Pair of Bernie Sanders Inauguration Mittens

Making a Purse out of a Shark Toy (Video)

With my book finished, I suddenly have time to make YouTube videos again. I’ve dabbled in various types of videos, but my favorite thing to do is make/sew stuff, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on in the near future.

Anyway, enjoy this video, and feel free to subscribe to my channel if you want to see more content like this!

You can order my book here.

You can find me on

Instagram: @emilytheduchess

Twitter: @emilysmucker



Patreon: (This is where I post bonus blog posts, about more personal/controversial subjects, for a subscription fee of $1 a month [or more if you’re feeling generous]. I try to post twice a month. My latest two posts were titled What 2020 Has Given; What 2020 Has Taken Away, and The Ditch on Either Side of the Road.)

MOP April 11: An Uncool Taste in Music

A couple years ago I took a field trip to the Oregon Coast with my geology class. I didn’t know anyone except the teacher. My lab partners had signed up for a different field trip. When lunchtime came, I sat by myself and daydreamed, figuring I’d be left alone.

I wasn’t.

A guy with a big smile and a Pink Floyd t-shirt walked over. “Can I sit here?”

“Um, sure!”

General small-talk ensued. He was very nice. We exchanged names and a few other inane bits of information, and then he asked the question. The absolute worst small-talk question of all:

“What kind of music do you like?”

I have heard that question many times in my life and have never figured out a satisfactory way to answer it.

To be honest, when I was a young teen I didn’t think I liked any music. I found it boring and distracting, often with stupid lyrics that didn’t make sense. So when people asked what music I liked, I told them I didn’t like any. Which I think was confusing for people, because who doesn’t like music? I mean really.

I satisfied my music needs in two ways: by prolifically writing songs and playing them in my head, and by watching musicals. Both of those are pretty abnormal ways of consuming music. The former could have been construed as “cool” if I’d been willing to share them with anyone, which I absolutely wasn’t. But the latter. I mean, unless you’re with a bunch of theater geeks, there’s no cool way to say that your favorite genre of music is show tunes.

In books and movies, the coolest artsiest characters always have “a good taste in music.” I have never been able to figure out what exactly that meant, but since Pink Floyd Guy was wearing a band logo on his t-shirt I was pretty sure he knew the secret. And I was pretty sure it wasn’t show tunes.

“I don’t know,” I said, finally.

“You don’t know? Do you like Switchfoot? Taylor Swift?”

“Kinda, I guess.”

“Well what kind of music do you like to sing?”

“I don’t like singing,” I told him. But later he heard me humming one of my own songs to myself so he didn’t believe me.

I started thinking about this when I went on my last road trip/camping trip with Ben, and in the process of taking pictures for my blog I snapped a picture of the music I’d brought, which was mostly soundtrack and musical music. I stared at the picture, wondering if I’d actually post it, and if I needed to explain my music taste. I realized that in nearly 11 years of blogging, with approximately 650 posts under my belt, I don’t think I have ever really talked about what kind of music I like. I don’t know if I’ve even mentioned that I write songs.

And I’ve always despised that question that I never quite know how to answer: “What kind of music do you like?”

Of course I love oddities of human nature, and after discovering this one of my own, I wanted to post about it and see if I’m the only one who likes uncool things but doesn’t talk about it much. I mean surely not, right?

So, what uncool things do you like? I really would be fascinated to know. Pretty please?


All You’ve Ever Searched For

People end up on my blog by googling some pretty interesting things. I find them vastly amusing. Today I decided to make cartoons of some of them.

Search: Cantaloupes under rubberboots


Search: Miley Smucker


Search: Girl in pool of slime


Search: Mennonite rule on red vehicle


Random Thoughts and Also Japan

Have you ever had a time in your life where everything was going reasonably well, except things having to do with blogging?

No? Well it goes something like this:

Your computer quits working…

You have no camera or photography skills…

You try to post and wordpress won’t let you link anything…

You haven’t posted in a while and so you start to avoid your blog because it makes you feel guilty….

Yeah. In other exciting news, Friday night I slept for sixteen hours. It was an accident and I woke up feeling disoriented. And my new-for-me computer wouldn’t turn on. It wasn’t a very cheery morning.

I would post pictures of some of the room projects I’m working on, except, oh wait…my room is a terrible wreck right now. It’s not my fault. I mean, if you live in a super-tiny room and want to paint two of the walls you sort of have to shove everything else into one corner.

I could put up before and after pictures of my newly-spackled wall.

Or not.

In other news, this whole business with Japan has me feeling somewhat like I did when I was twelve and 9/11 happened.


Yes, confused. Like, something so horrible has happened and I just can’t get my mind around it cause it’s so BIG, and there are so many factors to the problem. So I end up feeling more bewildered than sad.

Pictures, I think, are best. Not big before and after shots of the landscape, or pictures of indistinguishable rubble, but one of people in the grocery store, looking for food, while the shelves stand empty.

I think pictures like this touch me most. Ones that shows what life is like in these terrible frantic days where everything is in disarray.

Can you imagine going into Safeway and seeing all those empty shelves?

You might get a basket full of stuff…and then have to haul it over wrecked cars.

If I was a journalist covering the disaster in Japan, I would explore what the typical day is like for those who’s lives were effected by the tsunami.

Like, work for instance. Would you go to work the day after a tsunami hit? My first thought is, “of course not,” but what if you worked in a grocery store? You know? Maybe they’d want you to come in even if it was your day off, because they knew everyone was going to be rushing in and buying food, and they needed every employee they could get their hands on.

Would your boss be able to contact you? Would your cell phone work?

So your job is ten miles away and your car is destroyed. What do you do all day? Look for missing family members? Move cars off the road? Salvage as much as you can from your house? Try to keep your things from being stolen?

I wonder about this guy, salvaging his beautiful pottery. Will anyone buy pottery at a time like this? And also, if someone did want pottery, what would keep them from just walking in and taking it?


These pictures, somehow, make me sadder than a headline stating that tens of thousands are dead.

It’s not really the dead ones I’m sad for, but the people who are trying to deal with dead family and friends, while going to the grocery store and finding no food on the shelves.

(All photos from MSN)

The Pile of Fluffy Stuff on my Floor

I tried to make this cushion cover but with fluffy stuff like cushion material and fabric there is a large chance that somewhere along the line your measurements won’t measure up and you will be left with a large pile of extra fluffy stuff on the floor.

I am kind of sorry if that made no sense.

So, my “weekly project” that was this huge mystery like coughtwoandahalfweeksagocough still is not done. It was an easy enough project. I was just a wee bit lazy or uninspired or working too hard on my Ypulse article to get really crafty.

Yeah, I’ll go with the last one.

However, I finished out my bedroom furniture by buying another desk for it. A small one. Now my room will have a writing/crafting rolltop desk/dresser, a vanity desk/dresser, a bed, a mysterious project, and a nightstand.

Except currently the “nightstand” is a bright pink plastic tote. So maybe I haven’t quite finished getting furniture. But I am close.

Guess how much I spent on my cute little vanity desk/dresser?

Wait for it…


Yep. A free craigslist find, exactly what I was looking for, posted the same day I was looking, in Brownsville where I was headed the next day.


Maybe I can re-do my room without spending a cent. Except I already spent $2.50 on old records. So maybe I can re-do my room for under $5.00 or something.

I think I may have figured out a way to fix my hideous drawer handle problem without spending any money.


Hopefully on Saturday I will re-paint two of my walls white which means that I need to move furniture and live in cramped messy quarters for the rest of the week and sand and put that goopy stuff in holes and all that jazz.

Is this post pointless without pictures? Perhaps. I just got tired of not posting.


Or something.

Adorable Antique-tacky

I came up with a new home-interior decorating term.You know, like shabby-chic. Only it’s not called shabby-chic, it’s called adorable antique-tacky.

(The reason there is an apple on the chair is because I am trying to be artsy. That is also the reason the picture is tipped. Did you ever notice that all artsy photographers tip their camera before snapping the picture?)

Characteristics of adorable antique-tacky items:

  1. They are adorable
  2. They are antique or retro or old-ish looking
  3. They have odd proportions/ugly colors/garish colors/contrasting colors which somehow add to their charm

(First piece of furniture I ever re-did, about four or five years ago. My tools were: A leftover tube of paint from Amy, a footstool that my Dad made ages ago which always wobbled/fell apart, and a picture of Babar the Elephant King. Total cost: $0.00.)

(All photos taken by me with Mom’s camera. First three items belong to Mom. Last three items belong to me. Except I may have given the footstool to Jenny. I don’t remember.)



P.S. There is a huge difference between ADORABLE vintage-tacky and just plain vintage-tacky.

Like, crocheted afghans with yellow and orange and brown yarn would just be vintage-tacky.

Or those kleenex-box covers made with plastic grid and yarn.

Or those yarn-covered clothes hangers.

Pretty much everything that is made out of yarn. Except normal things like sweaters and scarves. Yarn is meant decorate people, not houses, in my humble opinion.