Oct 172017

AKA: Long live Too Lazy To Be Evil

the CoDU pickle monster
Creations of Dubious Utility was the shop name Slick and I came up with, many years ago – about 13 years past now, late at night in a shitty diner as we talked for hours. We felt it would appropriately encompass items we were likely to make for sale. We have decent vocabularies, are clever, creative, inventors and both lean to a mix of practical and artistic existence, in ourselves and in our creative endeavors. The name is great for us and people like us. It is not great for the masses. More often than anything else, I have to explain to people how to pronounce “dubious” and what it means. This generally saddens me, although I refuse to let something good go past just because some people are ignorant. That isn’t my point, although it is a factor.

The biggest point is that Etsy shop names can only be 20 characters long and Creations of Dubious Utility is 25 characters (without spaces, obvs). It simply won’t fit. I joined Etsy “back in the day” when your username was automatically your shop name and you had a shop, by the way. Now you can sign up for Etsy and not have a shop unless you click a button and give it a name. Thus, I technically had a shop for years, but did nothing with it. When I finally decided (last year) that I was okay with putting items in my Etsy shop on a more than seldom or occasional rotation, I pulled up our shop name idea, Creations of Dubious Utility, made a banner, a logo, got a couple stamps for packages, etc.. I did it up. After a couple weeks of casual preparation, I was ready. I went to officially change the name on my store only to discover the character limit. Dammit. I’ve left it this way since, but now that I’ve sold a couple items, the big, actual problem has come up. Creations of Dubious Utility is not my actual shop name, but it is the one I “advertise”. When a sweetie who bought one of my shag bag zipper pouches was asked her where she got it, she told them my shop name – which the asker could not then find, because it does not exist. Fatal flaw, game over, customer lost. Well in this case, not lost because said sweetie knew my username and told the asker that and the asker did find me that way, so fatal flaw avoided, but through no creditable action of my own. I mean, short of having a username that is fairly easy to remember and I am consistent with it. Or as often as I can be with two username-Doppelgängers occasionally competing with me on platforms, but you see my point.

the CoDU title

I thought for a while I’d change it to something shorter, something equally catchy. Maybe something that still kept most of the original Creations of Dubious Utility so I wouldn’t need to change my logo or stamps. Or, maybe simply something new, short and snazzy. I have a couple pages of possibilities I considered. Eventually I came around to trying to get my standard username into the title, since that is (as proven by the anecdote above) effective, in spite of my misstep. That brought up a problem for me – I try to keep my personal blog and personal username, well, personal. I am Sarcastra, online. I don’t mix the blog with other things, although I will mention other things on my blog, which some people (who are dummies) cannot seem to understand. If I mention on the blog that anyone who shows up at the bar tonight will get a free drink from me, and I’ve also sent this in an email to some friends, some people will show up at the bar, complaining that I’m only buying drinks for people to get them to look at my blog. I cannot express how much this pisses me off. It’s like a hot coal in my metaphorical stomach.


I wanted to keep my Etsy store and profile separate from my personal profile. Except, the problem with that is I don’t want to be an Etsy seller profile. I don’t want to do the fake-social, online-traffic-seeking, always-smiling, never-offensive, stylishly fresh photography of shop items persona. I want to be my Sarcastra that I am naturally online. Sure, I’m going to offend people sometimes, but that doesn’t mean much to me anymore. I mean, have you met people? They suck. Why waste concern for them? Until, of course, they’ve got torches and have ganged up at your door. Then it’s a problem. After that, there is the GLARING fact that I (and all that I make and do) appeal to a very small sliver of population. Appreciation for my expressions of my existence is an exclusive, niche market, let’s call it. I don’t care about that much anymore either. Same with the aforementioned torch gang (or cyber trolls, same thing), sure, but my biggest reasons for the separation were privacy, caution, and acknowledgement of the separation of expectations – and I don’t feel those things are important to me in this matter, at least not enough to keep up the duplicate efforts.

So, now that I’ve explained this all way more than anyone else actually cares about (except me, and this whole blog is for me!) we have this:

the TLTBE logo

tl;dr: I’m changing my Etsy shop name to Too Lazy To Be Evil instead of Creations of Dubious Utility.

Etsy Banner
Etsy shop banner.
The devil heart logo will become my shop logo, too. I already have stamps, and my website, I’ll point Creations of Dubious Utility at Too Lazy To Be Evil to redirect the one or two people EVER who might find their way there. I’ll be doing a relaunch with some new items, maybe a sale, definitely some little freebies like stickers and cards. And that’s it. My shop name will exist now and should be easy to remember.

Also, I have to tell you now that if you show up at the bar for your free drink and Etsy coupon, and complain that I’m doing it to drive traffic to my blog, I will lose my shit with you.
The Good Place, still, NBC.
“Janet, if you hand me a cactus, I swear I will lose my mind.”

Jan 052017

The prize bag has been delivered, so I can share the contents now!

The goods. Clockwise, starting at upper left, the 2017 daily planner, 2017 year of the rooster card pack, Ghosts in Space zip pouch, some multicolor cats (a custom sticker of my artwork), a green custom Sharpie, a badge stating that AmyKatt is the second 5th time winner, and another badge with my blog icon on it.

I made the simple zip pouch with ghost fabric lining and starry space fabric outside, so I named it Ghosts in Space. Hah. Thought it could be handy to have a pouch to hold pens or whatnot alongside the planner. Or not – zip pouches always end up being useful in some way.

The stars glow, although it is difficult to tell in this photo.

Congratulations, AmyKatt! Everyone else, make sure you play next time for you own chance at neat things like this! I have to make sure to do more prizebag giveaways this year. It seems like something I shouldn’t let slip away.

Jan 012017

The Randomizer says:

Congratulations to AmyKatt!
Your prize bag is being finalized and will be headed your way this week!

Thank you, everyone for your participation. The more people that play along, the more I want to do future giveaways.

Dec 272016

2016 has been a full and eventful year, with most of the opinion that the bad outweighed the good. I definitely can’t argue that, but I know it could be worse. It can always get worse. To finish off this year and wish it Good Riddance let’s have a “How could it get worse?!” giveaway.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with your idea of what would finish off this year in the worst, most spectacular, horrible fashion! Massive, unseen meteor headed our way? Nuclear war? Outbreak of a deadly Poke-Virus? Be creative – or don’t, all entries will be counted once. The deadline is the new year, by MT. (That means at 2359:59 MT on 31 Dec 2016 – as the ball is dropping and you’re seeking a kissing partner!)

Summary: comment about how this year could get worse before 2017.
Included in the giveaway bag will be at least these two items:
My freshly created Chinese New Year of the Rooster cards so that you may send original, handmade cards to people, and a 2017 Daily Planner by Moleskine so that you may detail all the joys or sorrows of every day of the upcoming year.

Of course there will certainly be more things in the bag, but at the very least you have an idea of what you’d be getting if you won. The winner will be chosen at random the next day when I wake up and get to my computer, the time of which is entirely dependent on my hangover, which is entirely dependent on how hard I partied the night before – or if I went to sleep early.

The Fine Print:
You must be a registered user for this blog – because that is how you can make comments! You may have only one entry into this contest. You must either live in a place I commonly drive to or past or be willing to submit a mailing address to me to receive the prize if you win. I’m happy to mail the prize anywhere in the contiguous United States where it is legal to do so. The prize bag contains items I’ve personally purchased, gathered, or created which may be desirable, useful, useless, offensive, sublime, or merely silly to you; I make no guarantees to the value, usability or likability of the prize, although they have been historically well received.

Page of previous giveaways!

Nov 302015

This ended up as a wrapped package instead of a bag, but I’m going to leave the title as is.
The goodie prize package, wrapped up and ready for delivery.
Tied with a red ribbon and dropped on Ymabean’s doorstep in the snow.

The goodies in the gift package.
The goods! Starting upper left, a zipper pouch. I threatened to turn the test prints of Moxie into something and here it is. Ymabean is a fan of orange and her Bitty Kitty is orange, so I dyed the print and did a little patchwork along with it. Not bad, I think. Clockwise, we have the Bitty Kitty, at its feet a couple stretch bracelets with owls for Ymabean and frogs for her wife (respective fav animals), the winner badges – I had to press a 5x winner badge. Ymabean is the first five time winner of the bloggy giveaways! Green TLTBE Sharpie (its first appearance here) and some interesting salt scrub soap from Lush. Lush! I buy too much/many things when I go to one. Especially soap. I don’t need soap at all – I have soap for years.
There were fewer items in this prize bag, but they were more time-intensive in their creation/gathering so it balances out.

Congratulations Ymabean!

Now who will be our next winner? Another multi-win? A newbie win? Maybe Ymabean will be the first six time winner instead? Stay tuned to find out!

Nov 092015

We have a winner!
Our giveaway winner!

Congratulations to Ymabean!

As part of your prize bag, please choose one of the Bitty Kitties below to come live with you.
Bitty Kitty choice for the prize ba,!
(more details on what these are later in the week)
They’re not in their final form yet, three of them don’t even have hearts at this point. But, the one you choose will get finished up and be part of your prize bag.

Thank you all for your participation. The more people that play along, the more I want to do future contests and giveaways.

Now, time to get cracking on year 13!

Nov 042015

Today, Too Lazy To Be Evil has existed in reality for 12 years. 4383 days of my website.
To celebrate this occasion, I think we should do a prize bag. So, for a chance to win the 12 Year Anniversary Prize bag, leave a comment below congratulating me for still being on the internet.

Summary: Enter a congratulatory comment on this post before 0900 MT on 09 Nov 2015, which is next Monday morning.

The Standard Fine Print:
You must be a registered user for this blog – because that is how you can make comments! You may have only one entry into this contest. You must either live in a place I commonly drive to or past or be willing to submit a mailing address to me to receive the prize if you win. I’m happy to mail the prize anywhere in the world where it is legal to do so. The prize bag contains items I’ve gathered or created which may be desirable, useful, useless, offensive, sublime, or merely silly to you; I make no guarantees to the value, usability or likability of the prize, although they have been historically well received.

See this link for past contests, giveaways, winners, prize bags.

May 062015

There is a secret surprise on the blog right now.
Is that redundant? Secret surprise?
Anyway, there is.
I will announce what it is next week, unless no one trips over it. In that case, I will say nothing and there will be a different secret surprise some other time.
Good luck.

 Posted by at 12:18  Comments Off on Secret Surpise
Oct 272014

The prize bag was delivered over the weekend, so now all may revel in the goodness, even if you weren’t the lucky one this time around.

The Happy Halloween Contest Prize Bag, all done up and ready for delivery.
Now that I’m not out gathering up miscellaneous bags all the time, I found some treasured Edward Gorey gift bags at the bottom of the stack. This one was so appropriate for the Halloween contest and the last one (cats) was fitting, too. I hand lettered this contest winner tag – you can tell because it is so damned sloppy.

The Happy Halloween Contest Prize Bag, the goodies.
The goods! First, the special item I mentioned, a pumpkin carving Dremel kit on the right side. Carving up a jack-o-lantern will be so fast and easy now! And messy. In front of the Dremel are some Halloween themed temporary tattoos, Stacey’s first set of winner Sharpies, butterscotch candies, a skeleton cat head pin. Middle front and moving clockwise, some Halloween skull rings, rubber severed fingers, TLTBE and winner badges, along with a big green bunny badge, and some wax vampire fangs. Upper left has some specialized Nerds candy tubes beside a pair of crochet kits in envelopes. Some more cute postcards that I’ll never use, a Death By Pie sticker and a sparkly black cat temporary tattoo finish out the stash this time around.

Phew! Another prize bag wrapped up! I liked this contest a lot; it was one of my favorites. I liked all the short little stories about costumes past. Sweet, funny, fond memories were pleasant to read. Thank you all for playing and don’t forget to come back for more!

Previous Prize Bags:
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 7:19  Comments Off on Happy Halloween Contest – Prize Bag!  Tagged with:
Oct 172014

And thanks to Random.org here is our winner:

The winner!

Congratulations, Stacey!
I will be in contact with you shortly to coordinate prize bag delivery.
Thank you all for playing! I enjoyed all the costume related stories.

ETA: Stacey is out of town currently, so the prize bag will wait patiently until her return.

 Posted by at 7:36  Comments Off on Happy Halloween Contest – Winner!  Tagged with:
Oct 132014

Halloween, stolen from the internets.
This month I have a special item for the prize bag, so we must have a giveaway. This is my favorite holiday, although I always have trouble getting a costume together and am inevitably a last-minute witch.
The Wizard of Oz, Wicked Witch
With my wardrobe, dressing as a witch is actually lazier than pulling a sheet over my head to be a ghost. Still, I think costumes are a huge part of the holiday, so that is where our focus will be.

In the comments, tell me about a Halloween costume that sticks in your memory. Was it awful, falling apart or uncomfortable? Was it the best of the show? Did nobody understand it? Did it take forever to make? Funny? Scary? Pretty? Ugly or disgusting? It doesn’t have to be your costume – think of what you’ve seen, your friends, something from a party. Even an idea for a costume that you haven’t made or seen yet is fine. Just make a comment about a costume and you’re in the running! We’ll close the giveaway entries at 2130 MT on 16 Oct, Thursday so the winner can be announced by Friday morning.

Summary: Enter a comment about a Halloween costume before 2130 MT on 16 Oct 2014, which is this Thursday.
The Too Lazy To Be Evil jack-o-lantern. Yes, I made it.

The SFP (The Standard Fine Print):
You must be a registered user for this blog – because that is how you can make comments! You may have only one entry into this contest. If you make multiple comments, you will still get only one entry, so comment as desired. You must either live in a place I commonly drive to or past or be willing to submit a mailing address to me to receive the prize bag goodies if you win. I’m happy to mail the goodies anywhere in the world where it is legal to do so. The prize bag contains items I have collected, been given, picked up, found, bought, or even made myself, for whatever reason and may be desirable, useful, useless, or merely silly to you; I make no guarantees to the value, usability or likability of the prize bag items, although they have been historically well received. The prize bag contents are of my own choosing and are not being provided in exchange for any influence or services from you beyond your comment entry and your eternal, undying devotion to this blog and; therefore, my ego. And Moxie says you must be her minion after her takeover of the world, so there’s that.

Aug 202014

The prize bag has been delivered, so let’s take a look at the goodies inside!
The Cat Culprit Prizebag goodies
Starting right at 1200 we have art! This is a small print from illustrator Manjit Thapp . I liked it so much, I ordered a second to give away and this was the time. At 1300 we have a packet of cute postcards from Mollie Makes. I like them, but frankly I have so many postcards already I’m going to be working on sending them the rest of my life! At 1500, we have a Cashmere lotion that I impulse bought at Bath & Body when I was picking up my bubble bath. That damn store in that damn mall. Continuing, at 1800 we have a delicious Godiva truffle bar and two custom TLTBE winner Sharpies! Closer to that complete set! 1900 brings us a pair of badges, one of drinking party bunnies (part of the Centzon Totochtin) and a 4x Winner button. We’re getting some high-stakes ties going on with the contest winners, here. At 2000 we have a sweet blue washi tape, because you can never have too much washi tape. 2100 is some hand sanitizer with a stylish fox label and finally, at 2300 we have a pad of humorous, check-the-box parking citations. I figure Ymabean will easily find the chance to use these!

There we go! Another prize bag, woot! I am pretty sure I left out a couple trinkets due to the workshop being still covered up from recent construction, but I’ll make sure to find them and add them to the prize bag pool for the future. There was a great response for this contest, so I will try to do at least one more this year. Especially now that Ymabean and AmyKatt are both tied at four wins each, with half the TLTBE Sharpie sets in their packs. Random is only one win behind them, so this is getting exciting! For me anyway, because, yes, I am a nerd.

Aug 192014

The Catch the Cat Culprit Contest was won by Ymabean and the prize bag is awaiting delivery.

The Cat Culprit Prizebag
Ymabean is on a new shift at work, so we’ll be playing handoff with the bag to get it to her. Come back tomorrow to see what cool goodies you missed out on this time so that you’ll be ready to come back and play for the next contest!

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 Posted by at 7:26  Comments Off on Catch the Cat Culprit Contest – Prize bag ready  Tagged with: