Piecework

my living room might as well be a tenement in brooklyn circa 1922

When I was in college I had one of the coolest jobs ever.  I worked for a woman who had launched her own greeting card business and my job was to pick up a huge stack of cards, photographs, envelopes, plastic bags and labels, take them home with me, turn on awesome history channel and nature documentaries, assemble the cards/packaging while I learned cool stuff, put them in a box, deliver them to her and then get paid.  Yes!

The thought of doing piecework (I was paid per piece, not by the hour) was super exciting to me.  The more I streamlined my process the more money I would make.  If I could make 100 cards in an hour and was being paid 10 cents for each – woah!  Ten dollars!  But then if I learned how to economize my motions (combine like tasks and repeat them as opposed to making each piece from start to finish before starting the next) then I could make 300 cards in an hour.  $30 an hour for a college student??  Yah!!

So my skills have come in to play this last month while churning out bottle cap after bottle cap after bottle cap.  It’s glamorous.  I’ve been watching a lot of cop shoes since I’m sick of Netflix petering out all the time.  I brew up a pot of tea, set up my workspace (coffee table:  sorry, boyfriend) and my hands get to work.  My mind wanders and I come up with new ideas while mixing epoxy.  I don’t need to talk to anyone which keeps me focused on drilling little bitty holes in the caps.  Then I come up with something like the picture above at the end of ‘a batch,’ breathe a sigh of relief and think “Oh my God I think I might be crazy!!”

That’s not really something the product development department needs to worry about.  Human resources, though, better make sure there’s an ice cream cone and a walk up the Eastern Prom for employee wellness as soon as this order is over!

The spread above is my normal workspace.  I’m brainstorming how to move it upstairs so the live-in, very tolerant boyfriend doesn’t kill me.  In any case, for any of you interested in epoxy process here’s a little rundown:  Underneath that big ol’ tupperware is a grid of bottle caps in various stages (some are drilled with jump rings in them, some are empty caps that have just been half-filled that will be drilled after they are dry.  The half-filledness supports the drill and makes them break less frequently).  Once I’ve mixed and poured the epoxy (with the windows OPEN!!) I put the tupperware on top to keep naughty little cats out and to prevent dust (and naughty little cats’ fur) out of the caps.  Then I use the top of the tupperware as a workspace for my next task (gluing images in, assembling charms, gluing pins and magnets to the backs).  That’s how I manage not to usurp the entire dingdong coffee table.  If you have more questions about pouring epoxy please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

Beerings. (glug glug glug).

Ok, ya got me.  Every now and again on a Friday, Saturday…er, Monday, Tuesday (really any day_ I have been known to enjoy a drink or two.  It started long, long ago in a world where Audrey was (kids cover your eyes) 16 and making friendships simultaneously with ‘the big kids’ and the ever-economical life-of-the-party, Natural Ice.

“Ew.  Gross!”  you’re thinking but no, you’re wrong!  It was the succession of Natural Ice to Miller Lite, Miller Lite to Miller High Life, Miller High Life to PBR and so on and so forth that eventually led me to such heavenly beverages as Stone Brewery’s Smoked Porter and the take-no-prisoners destruction behind Unibroue’s Fin du Monde.

No holds barred. Those Canadians are crazy!

And, lately, whether recapturing the ‘back-steps-of-the-grange-hall-at-an-indie-show’ days or purely from lack of bankroll I’ve been remembering, embracing and yes, even celebrating the poo-poo beers of my past.  Here’s how to celebrate yours:

Forget Montezuma's revenge after a night of these bad boys

Miller Lite actually doesn't taste that bad at all...

Order shamelessly at Local 188 and you'll save yourself a whole lotta green

Hot Dogs. Miller High Life. Need I say more?

Because, gosh darn it, the only way to make something that is already nostalgic and delicious even better is by putting it on something you can wear.  Beerings are on sale at my Etsy store (click any image to get there) for $10 and I’ll even drive them over to you if you live locally to save on shipping.  And that’s not all – no matter what your brand I can make it, so if it’s not pictured here or in my shop that just means I haven’t drank that recently!  I would be happy to buy a couple of singles of your favorite, down ’em, and then break out the dremel tool.

Some favorite memories of beer, through time, won’t you walk with me?

1.  Climbing the quarry at night, drinking in the woods at the top and then realizing, perfectly inebriated, that scaling the rock wall down was unanticipated.  (Hint:  you have to jump the remaining 10 feet)

2.  Panicking at bars after my 21st birthday feeling desperately in need of having ‘my drink.’  This soon became Newcastle which makes sense because I have a wild sweet tooth.

Don't panic, Audrey!

3.  Any of a handful of nights involving brewskis that led to seeing the next morning without all that pesky ‘sleep.’  The most notable of these would be prom night, watching the sun rise at Willard Beach with friends.

4.  The opening of Novare Res in the Old Port, and any subsequent new beers that I’d never tasted before that I learned I loved.

5.  Tasting home-brewed beers from a wedding I shot last year.  The labels had my photographs printed on them!  How cool is that?!

 

I would love to hear of any and all your favorite beer memories, …is that an oxymoron?