Sunday, March 30, 2014

buy handmade vol 101

This week we head to Maryland..

Name: Inga Lena
Age:  35
Occupation:  Artist
Etsy Shop:  Absurdery

     When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I’ve been creating forever.  As a child you just want to make stuff with no preconceptions and impress your parents with gifts or decorate your environment.  The desire to create just hangs around and grows in artists instead of waning as they get older.  So, even though I have been making art and giving it as gifts for ages I started creating things that people wanted to buy in 2009.  I opened my first of several Etsy shops selling plush creatures.  That’s when my hobby turned into a creative business.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I came up with a million horrible names and then this one that fit.  A couple years ago I stopped making and selling my plush monsters to pursue art dolls and monster sculptures.  I really felt at home with the name of that shop but it was too material specific, Plush Riot.  So I thought and thought and wrote down lots of words that I liked and felt represented my new direction.  I didn’t want it to restrict me in the future if I veered one way or the other with materials.  Using my own name has not been appealing to me for whatever reason.  I was looking for my ‘forever’ shop name.  I came up with Absurdery, which isn’t actually a word so I got to make up its meaning. It’s a noun that means ‘an absurd or illogical object or action’.  It fits because my subject matter has always been a deviation from reality.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
It is not my full time job.  I have always worked with animals, both in the veterinary field and horses, to make money.  The art has always been the fun part.  As we speak I am making a huge change in my life, moving with my family across the country from DC to LA.  If now isn’t the perfect time to pursue my art as a career then I don’t know when it would be.  I enjoy Etsy as a marketplace but would ideally see my work in brick and mortar shops as well as in more group and solo gallery shows.

How would you describe your creative process?
I see arbitrary shapes in my daily life and they spark the idea of some part of a monster.  An ear or a facial expression or hand seen in a shadow or a leaf or the way food is arranged on a plate.  Then I run and get my sketchbook so I don’t forget.  Usually I come up with great ideas right before I fall asleep or when my sketchbook is unavailable.
My creativity itself goes through phases.  There are days, weeks, when I sculpt maniacally.  Other times I am in the painting zone and finish off all those creatures I just made.  Then there is the marinating period when I spend most of my time mulling over ideas and sketching.  It has taken a long time to become in tune with those phases and to be as productive as possible at each of those important times.  I find that if I try to force one thing when my psyche wants to do something else I just end up frustrated.  I know that being a full-time artist makes just listening to yourself and wandering through producing pieces impractical, but hopefully I can get those habits to work in my favor.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by what could be but is not.  What little beasties would lurk in the forests of other planets or alternate universes?  Would they bite or just rifle through your belongings?  How would they move around, eat, communicate, what would their offspring look like?  There is rarely a deeper meaning behind my monsters.  They are simply the flora and fauna that inhabit my imagination, inspired by reality.  
In other artwork, Instagram is a great place to peruse the awesome work and different methods other people use.  It is always inspirational to keep going, especially if you’re banging your head against the wall.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
This is super cheesy.  My 3 year old (at the time) daughter was hanging out in my studio making stuff with her kid clay.  She asked if she could have 2 of the polymer teeth I keep in a jar for monsters.  She jammed them into this wad of colorful clay that had 2 bead eyes and announced that she was making monsters like me.  I will keep that toothy clay glob forever.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I started riding horses when I was 8.  Since then I have taught riding lessons, coached a high school equestrian team, and competed in eventing and dressage.  I have an 18 year old thoroughbred gelding, Duncan, who I got as a 4 year old and love dearly.  Horses make me happy.  I also enjoy making poop jokes, watching The Walking Dead and eating red licorice and cheese, but not at the same time.
Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
I never had a strong sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I always enjoyed being with animals and making things.  It was no surprise that I was drawn to the veterinary field and continued making art all the while.

Five years from now you will be…
Firmly inserted in the art world, having a solo show or two under my belt.  My daughter and bun-in-the-oven will both be in school, giving me more time in the studio!

Describe yourself in five words:
Stubborn, imaginative, strong, shy, silly.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your Pandora, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
I tend to stream Pandora’s Indie station or The XX station, so whatever is playing there.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Make what truly inspires you as weird as it may be, not what you think people want you to make.

Friday, March 28, 2014

fff vol 109

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

These are amazing dishes!

Please can I move in?

What I would give to just live in the middle of nowhere.

Get in my belly!

Holy mother does this look yummy!

Tee shirt Dress of the week:

This is so adorable, and the mini wiener dog on the very front chest, sells me!

I honestly cannot believe the weekend is already here. Was a very quick week, full of some disappointments and also one positive. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger and all that right?

Hope all is well with everyone! Have a great weekend, I know I need some much needed sleep!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bad word: Parabens


Hazard Score: (EWG Risk Score)
Four - Seven

Hazard score key:

Low hazardModerate hazardHigh hazard
What is it?

They are listed on the label as methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, benzylparaben, isobutylparaben, and propylparaben.

Where is it found?
They are used in lotions, shampoos, conditioners, srubs, eye makeup and deodorants.

The Risk:
Endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity
Endocrine disruption: Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also increase the expression of genes usually regulated by estradiol (a natural form of estrogen); these genes cause human breast cancer cells to grow and multiply in cellular studies [9]. Parabens are also linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation [10]. Since parabens are used to kill bacteria in water-based solutions, they inherently have some toxicity to cells

A scary statistic: New research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled. In 60 percent of cases, all five esters were detected. Parabens are chemicals that have been shown to have estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer

My Opinion:
Another chemical ingredient with many names, but all nasty little chemicals. They are also found in food preservatives as well. 

As always read your ingredients list and know that anything you are putting on your hair or skin, and anything you are ingesting will be absorbed into your skin and could be potentially hazardous. Especially with build up of these chemicals over the years.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

wiw vol 54 Grimm

2011 - 
Amazon Prime


Portland detective, Nick Burkhardt, has seen some gruesome crime scenes, but nothing prepares him for the strange visions he begins seeing: seemingly regular people momentarily transforming into hideous monsters. A visit from his only living relative reveals the truth. Nick has inherited the ability to see supernatural creatures, and as a "Grimm," he is tasked with keeping the balance between mankind and the mythological. A reformed "Big Bad Wolf" becomes his greatest (and also reluctant) ally and confidant. It's not long before his work as a policeman leads Nick to the criminals he once thought were only found in fairy tales.

The mister is using Amazon Prime's one month free trial, and I have to say I'm addicted and have found some great shows. Grimm is one of those shows. Talk about an addiction. I love this show and have almost finished watching season one. Plus it has one of my favorite actors, Silas Weir Mitchell. If you have Amazon Prime - check out this show immediately!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 100

This week we find ourselves in Austin TX..

Name: Taylor Hart
Age: 33
Occupation: Crochet Guru

Tell us a little about yourself. 
Jeez... it's always tough to talk about yourself. Welp... I'm originally from Columbus, Ohio.  My husband Matt and I moved to Austin, Texas a little over 5 years ago and never looked back. We live in a little "hip community" on the eastside of town that is up and coming. It's really quite unique. We have a little two bedroom home with a HUGE backyard with a nice little garden and some chickens. Oh, we also have two puppies Lucy and Sophie. I taught myself how to crochet from a clever little book I bought... at the time I worked for the City as an Ambassador taking calls and had a lot of spare time on my hands so I thought it would be "neato". I picked it up really fast and started making little "plushie" toys for people around the office. Everyone really seemed to enjoy them so I started charging for them. (A girls gotta make a little cash on the side am I right?) What started as a "little hobby" turned into a small side business.... which turned into full time gig. One day the Mister and I thought it would be hilarious if I made a crochet taxidermy head for our house.... just for laughs. It turned out weirdly cute and everyone that came into our home loved it. So I took the idea and "ran with it". Now I sell in several well known boutiques around Austin and in Houston area. The business has really taken off and here I am.... enjoying every single minute of it!

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I've been crocheting I wanna say since 2004 and had a online store through Big Cartel but never successfully sold anything. I've been on Etsy since 2011 and it's been quite the "learning experience".... which sounds bad but it's really not. Things just take time.... I learned to have a lot of patience. Starting your own business is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Etsy is a great way to sell your handmade goods.... you just have to take time to sit down and learn the right way to utilize it. It's really a great tool to have. Social Media is a BIG part of how I get myself "out there". I swear.... half the time I'm taking photo's and posting them on either Facebook, Intagram or Google +. The other half is actually producing the work. 

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
It's a sad sad story from my childhood. Ha ha! It's not really that sad....  just one of the few horriffic things that has happened to me as a young awkward pre-pubescent girl growing up in Columbus, Ohio. I'm pretty sure I was in middle school and there may or may not have been a popular rap song that was released right about this time with the lyrics containing the phrase "You ain't nothing but a Pigeon" in it somewhere..... Welp, some young man (I don't use his real name because then that would give him too much credit) came up to me on my daily walk home from school and told me "I was nothing but a Pigeon". Gasp! Now this may not seem to be a "big deal" to other people but to my young developing mind it was tramatic! I was "plain Jane". I wasn't special... beautiful or talented in any sort of way back then... well not to my knowledge I wasn't. 
To my parents I was.... but that didn't matter. I wasn't an "exotic bird" of any kind.... just a dumb old Pigeon. So you see how that may have effected my character development as a young teenage girl in the early 90's. I thought it was pretty clever and quite frankly... it sound good. 

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
To be honest... I think I would be scared if it did become a "full time job". I usually make the majority of my sales through the boutiques that I sell at and trade shows. I love doing trade shows.... it gets the ol' heart pumping ya know? I love to meet new people and chat with them. I like to see who I'm selling to and get to know them on a personal level. Quite often they are into a lot of the same stuff as me. Trade shows are also a good way to "open more doors". I would love to sell more on Etsy than I am now but I also have other goals that I'm striving for in the future. Maybe even in the near future. Curious? I'm actually working on a pattern book right now. It's a time sucker... but I've always wanted to publish my work. It's gonna take a lot of time.... don't hold your breath.

How would you describe your creative process?
I love being around other interesting and creative people... my husband, friends and people I surround myself with are all very talented in their own ways. They help me when I need to bounce some ideas off them... and I do the same for them. They are also really great about telling me the truth... like when my idea is a total piece of crap. They usually do it in a nice, sublte way. I also love music, movies and the outdoors. A lot of my creative process is about pushing myself to do new things as well as doing things I don't necessarily want to do. I've become very "comfortable" with being "uncomfortable". Let's face it... if I never pushed myself to do anything new or different there would be no "Nothing but a Pigeon". Everyday I try to do at least one thing out of my comfort zone whether it's business related or not. It helps develop character.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Jeez, this is another tough one. I hate to sound like a cheese dick but my Husband Matt is a big influence on me. He is my best friend and partner in crime. Um... I love fashion. That's a big one as well. Sleep helps a lot to. You know, the older I get the more sleep plays a huge factor in my creative process. I often dream I'm crocheting... I'm not joking. I enjoy my "down time". I love to garden and play with my dogs. 

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
Yes! As I mentioned above a BIG part of my sales come from trade shows. I'm preparing for The 2014 Renegade Craft Fair SXSW Edition taking place March 13-15th. Eeeeep!

• What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 

I've participated in The Blue Genie Art Bazaar in 2012 and 2013 as well as The Cherrywood Art Fair in 2013. This March I'm showing at The 2014 Renegade Craft Fair 
SXSW Edition. This is a first and I'm pretty nervous. I always get nervous before shows... it's "my thing". Austin Flea is another one I participate in quite often. I was also really into First Thursday on S. Congress. 

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?

Crocheting is pretty time consuming so it takes me months to prepare in advace for a show. I'm talking like 4-3 months in advance. How do I mentally prepare myself? It's quite unique really.... 
1. Eat right
2. Sleep a lot
3. Watch Netflix a bunch
4. Buy tons of Yarn (that's always important)
5. Have your Husband give you hand massages ever night
6. When the show gets nearer try not to freak out.

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 
Oh man. So many thoughts are swirling through my head right now. I've been to some pretty disorganized shows before.... it was a mess really. Always plan on something going wrong. You just have to know that there are going to be "bumps" along the way and you have to "roll with it". Nothing is perfect and really.... why get upset about them. All you can do is take it with "a grain of salt". I've had "shipping debacles" and "crazy customers". Really crazy!!! I lost a little sleep over it and had some heartburn but I learned from each experience. I've also had wonderful shows as well! People just tend to remember the bad ones.... The point is "it's all a learning experience". You just have to "push through it" and hopefully you will make it out unscathed.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
I ended up keeping one of my first faux taxidermy heads from back in the day. The other ones I sacraficed to the Crochet Gods and harvested the yarn and polyfil for future projects... but I kept just one. It's pretty sad and pathetic but Hey, I didn't know what I was doing. I like to keep it as a remeinder of my "humble beginnings"... and it's fun to laugh at.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
What don't I like to do? That may be a shorter list. I love to plant things and watch them grow. I love my chickens and my puppies. My favorite thing to do is sit outside with my Husband and watch them play. I love BBQ's with my people. I love tubing down the Guadalupe River in the Summer sipping on a nice cold brew. Music and dancing in the kitchen while I cook. I have a few dear friends that I enjoy laughing with. We understand eachother "sick sense of humour". I love to play dress up... that never gets old. I love singing in the car while I'm driving and don't care who sees it. I love cuddle time on the couch with my Husband and dogs while we watch Netflix. There's more where that came from.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
When I was a wee girl I wanted to be a singer or actress. When I became older it changed to Marine Biologist.... now I don't really know. All I know is I want to be happy. I try to live everyday to the fullest and not sweat the small things. The older I get the more I realize that I may never know what I want to be and I'm okay with that.... I just want to be a good human being. In the end.... I would like to live in an airstream trailor with my Husband traveling. Living simply and off the grid as much as possible. 

Five years from now you will be…
I see myself living where we are living right now. Five years actually can go by super fast! I see us with the pups hanging out having a good time. Of course I want my business to expand... but I'm not sure in what direction at this point. It's still pretty new. I do want to have a few books published by then. 

Describe yourself in five words:
Oh no! Do I have to?

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Ha ha! This is going to really amuse some people... other people might find it quite sad.
Hall and Oats "Out of Touch"
Nu Shooz "I Can't Wait"
Wham "Everything She Wants"
Empire Of The Sun "Walking on a Dream"
Crystal Castles "Vanished"

I surprised you on those last two didn't I?

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Yes! If you love it do it. Learn as much as you can from other people or through your own experiences. You gotta just dive in. It's scary and you may be broke for a long time. You'll get used to it. Push yourself to try new things. Do this in a daily basis. You'll never find out what wonderful things that may come your way if you never try. It's a learning process and you will run into obsticles. Don't beat yourself up too much. Dream BIG and be positive. Get good sleep. If at first you don't succeed... you know where this is going right? Try again. You are going to make mistakes... you're human and it happens. Try not to let the little things get you down. Be excited... this is an exciting time in your life!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

fff vol 108

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

beards, glorious beards..

Please can I move in?

Get in my belly!

yum, yum yum

Tee shirt of the week:

Good ol' Johnny..

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. I just sent out my applications and fees for this years markets that will start up in the next month and a half. Time has just flown and I don't ave nearly as much done as I anticipated. Time to kick it into high gear and get this stuff done!

Been working a bit of overtime at work, thinking about putting the extra $$ toward those tattoos I've been dreaming of.. we shall see. I probably will wimp out as usual.

Nothing else really exciting going on. It's spring..but well here in NY there is still loads of snow on the ground and it was snowing out on the first day.

What's new in your neck of the woods? Happy weekend! We have loads planned for this weekend, I'm really excited because we've been kept up inside for so long it will be nice to do something a little different besides going to market then hibernating the remainder of the weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bad Word: Cocamide DEA

Cocamide DEA also known as cocamide diethanolamine

Hazard Score: (EWG Risk Score)

Hazard score key:

Low hazardModerate hazardHigh hazard
What is it?
Surfactant, Foam booster, Emulsifyier

It is a chemically modified form of coconut oil, used as a foaming agent.

Where is it found?
It is used in shampoos, liquid hand soap, bubble bath, shavin cream, hair color and bleaching, hair relaxer, shampoo plus conditioner, lip balm, laundry detergent, soap, car cleaner!, hand wipes (the list keeps going)

The Risk:
Plan and simple - it has been found to cause cancer. This chemical also causes skin and organ toxicity. 

A few companies using this ingredient:
  • LUSH
  • KMS
  • John Freeda
  • The Body Shop
  • American Crew
  • Organics by Africas Best
  • Rusk
  • Organix
  • Paul Mitchell
  • At One with Nature
  • MANY ETSY "Eco-Friendly" companies
My Opinion:
What is wrong with people? I am deeply offended and sickened by these companies that think because is engineered coconut oil, that they think it's organic? all natural? eco-friendly?

Companies saying things like "coconut derived". That makes it ok to use, and magically it becomes eco-friendly?

There are some days I just want to scream at the ignorance of these companies and their manipulating, word twisting ways to gain sales. I was mortified to find out just how many companies, even companies stating they are organic, that are using this chemical and passing it off as natural.

Mind bloggling!

As always, my moto - read the ingredients before buying anything that is going to be used on your person! Don't just think that because they say words like "vegan" "all natural" or "eco-friendly" that they are any of these things!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 99

This week we head off to Los Angeles, CA..

Name: Tina Rodas 

Age: 32
Occupation: Designer/ Maker of cuteness
Etsy Shop:

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Cristina Rodas, you can call me Tina. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and moved to Los Angeles almost 11 years ago, although some might say I live in Tina land. Tina land is a magical forest where everyone's nice, things are sparkly, striped socks are strongly encouraged; a place where creatures and inanimate objects speak for themselves. Time is irrelevant and creativity is boundless in Tina land and I am happy to reside there. The coolest thing I ever made is the tiny person who is now not so tiny, steals my sewing supplies and eats all my food. Hazel is now almost nine years old and a contributing resident to Tina land. 

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I started creating when I was 13. My stepmom gave me her old sewing machine and I would stay up late at night in my room making clothes for myself. After high school my sewing machine sat unused for many years until 2007 when my daughter was 2 years old. This is when I began making toys and purses just for fun. The first few pieces I made were purchased by friends right away. This is when I decided to open my etsy shop. 

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I had been making trees for a few months and racking my brain trying to come up with a name for my business. One day in my back yard my daughter noticed a baby tree that had sprouted out of the ground and immediately said "hi tree!" That's when I knew that's what it HAD to be. 

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Yes, fortunately I have been able to do what I love full time! I also freelance as an art department prop maker for commercials, movies and TV shows which is such a fun job. I am always asked to make something weird and unusual that I've never made before and It's fun to see my work on TV. 

How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is ever changing. I find structure and routine restrictive. I allow myself to be informed by the process and revel in they joy of my mistakes becoming my greatest successes. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly the internet. Thank the stars for that thing. Seriously though, pinterest can be very inspiring! I also love to go camping in Sequoia National forest once a year and come back refreshed with my mind full of ideas. 

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 
I love doing shows. I spend an awful lot of time in my studio at my sewing machine making and shipping orders out. Craft shows are a great way to connect with people and to see them interact with my designs. I always learn a thing or two from the experiences. I also enjoy meeting other designers, I've made some great friends through doing various shows. 

My typical shows are Unique LA, Renegade Craft Fair, Designer-Con and Patchwork. I plan on doing all of those this year again. They are my favorites.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
This is sort of one of my quirks. I don't do a whole lot of preparing other than making product. I'll make a production schedule for myself as soon as I get the acceptance email from my prospective show. Other than that, I throw everything in the car for load in and that's that!

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 
The first show I did was a festival called Lightning In A Bottle. It was pouring rain, freezing cold, and intimidating. I put my big girl pants on and was touched by the response to my work and everyone's kind words. I learned something. I'm not sure what yet, but I'll back to you when I figure it out. 

What is your most cherished handmade item?
My most cherished handmade item definitely has to be this crocheted mouse my Grandma bought me at a yard sale when I was 3 or 4 years old. I have no idea who made her, but I took mousey EVERYWHERE with me when I was a child. Now she sits on the shelf in my studio. I look at her every day. She is quite tattered after 30 years. 

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love cooking, I cook for my family every night. I also love to play music. I studied Cello, Bass and Piano at a preforming arts high school in my hometown. I love to obsessively crochet in"down time" and I LOVE to get lost in fun adventures with my friends. Also if there's a thrift store within a 50 mile radius of my house, I've been there. Lots of times. 

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

Five years from now you will be…
Hopefully, riding a unicorn off into the sunset. 

Describe yourself in five words:
It's difficult for me to quantify myself so I deferred to a dear, very eloquent friend who proposed these words; vivacious, iconoclastic, approachable, sprightly, and frolicsome. I don't know what any of those words mean, but I trust that they're valid. So there ya go. 

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <Spotify >, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list? 
Regine Spektor, Fiona Apple, Saint Saenes cello concerto, Radiohead, and inspection 12. 

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
If you want to do something, no matter what anyone says, just keep doing it. There's no magical advice, it's dedication, diligence and research that'll get you there.

Photos taken by Jack Strutz:

Friday, March 14, 2014

fff vol 107

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

Stayed tuned, on April 6th she will be gracing us with a behind the scenes interview!

Please can I move in?

Get in my belly!

Yes, please

Tee shirt of the week:

Great new shirt from Threadless

Random find of the week:

I love this. if I was still a teenage girl. this would be the poster hanging on my door to my bedroom.

The end of another week. We got hammered here with snow this week again. Teusday it was 45 and starting to melt..Wedesday..18 more inches of snow and below zero. Welcome to New York! When will Spring come?!

This weekend we are going to be working on our "set design" for our markets. the mister has some great ideas. I'm excited to have a totally new look to our vendor space along with lots of new products. The deodorant labels are almost finished (just need to make the 2nd one for the men's line) and get those ordered this weekend. Then gotta work on packaging for my mens line. It's so crazy how you go into the winter thinking you have all the time in the world. Then all of the sudden its mif March and you have no clue where the time went!

Hope everyone is well and if you are living in the North have shoveled yourselves out (hopefully) for the last time this year!