Friday, December 12, 2008

A Homemade Christmas

Ok, so I think I'm pretty safe posting on here, seeing since 2 people read this blog and neither of them are family.
I'm stoked about this Christmas. I'm giving out pretty humble presents to my side of the family, but the majority of everything I am giving out was either purchased on etsy or it is something that I am making with my own two hands, and most of it is not jewelry. In fact I think I'm going to wear out my sewing machine this week!
Making presents is hard, fun, exciting and tiring. But what says "you're important to me" more than a gift made just for the recipient? I mean, a lot of what I'm making could be described as "cheap" or "cheesy", but I prefer to think of the presents I'm making as "thoughtful". I hope to take pictures of what I've done and post them up here after Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy your holidays!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

ACH! I'm leaving town for Black Friday!

I'm having a Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale at my etsy shop! I might be a little slower than usual getting back to my fabulous buyers, since I'll be in Florida with my in-laws for most of it, but I am charging ahead with the sale anyway. :) Check it out and have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A New Look....Eventually

I've started retaking all the pictures in my Etsy shop. The ultimate goal is a new, unified look.
My husband is out of town this week and he has the camera with him, so I have to wait to take more pictures, but here is the start.
Taking pictures is tiring for me after a while, but I think it will be worth it in the end.

I hope you like it, and even more importantly, I hope it makes my jewelry more attractive and ultimately more buyable (that's not a word). :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Olympics

Permit me to reminisce a bit. Not too long ago, but kind of far away, I was once a Youth Ministry Coordinator. One of the programs I ran every fall was an event I called the Pumpkin Olympics. Every year, I planned this big event for the first weekend after Halloween. It was great, because as soon as Halloween ended, the local farmers market was more than willing to donate all of their leftover pumpkins for this event.
We did all sorts of sporting events with a pumpkin twist. There were pumpkin relays and shuttle runs, pumpkin basketball, and of course, pumpkin shot put, perfect for those pumpkins that were getting a little soft. We capped off the day with an elaborate pumpkin obstacle course. My very first year was quite memorable, too. It was a rainy day, and part of my obstacle course included crossing the monkey bars on the playground (it was optional, with a 10 second penalty). One of the girls, a fourth grader who knew that monkey bars weren't her strong suite, decided to try the crossing them anyway. She slipped and fell halfway across and fractured her forearm. I was new, and she was the principals daughter. I was mortified. Fortunately, her parents were understanding and forgiving.
Pumpkin season is over now, and if I were still in Wisconsin, come Saturday I would be shoveling broken pumpkins off of asphalt basketball course at the church and school that I once worked at. This might not be true for you, but you may be in the position to snag a few end-of-season pumpkins at a good price. If you are lucky enough to get some sugar pumpkins, I encourage you to cook them up and leave the canned pumpkin on the shelf this Thanksgiving.
Cooking a small sugar (or pie) pumpkin is easier than pie, pardon the pun. All you need is a pumpkin, a baking sheet, a sharp knife, and a large spoon. Simply cut your pumpkin into two equal halves and scoop out all of the seeds and stringy pulp from the inside of the pumpkin. If you make sure to give the pumpkin a good scraping to ensure that you get out as many strings as possible, your end product will be that much smoother. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until the pumpkin is totally soft. Let the pumpkin cool for a bit, and then simply scoop the flesh from the skin of the pumpkin and store in an airtight container. Baked pumpkin freezes and thaws very easily, and a small sugar pumpkin will give you about 2 cups of pumpkin puree.
Then, if you want to separate the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin guts and make delicious homemade pumpkin seeds, go for it. In my opinion, there is nothing better than freshly made pumpkin seeds in the fall, and you can experiment and season your seeds with whatever seasonings trigger your fancy. Enjoy your late fall cooking!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Handmade Soap = Heaven!

Etsy is a great place full of handmade treasures, but in my humble opinion, the greatest thing available on etsy is handmade soap. There are a ton of friendly and knowledgeable soapers on Etsy willing to answer your every question about soap. Search the forums for these people, and you might find you learn more about soap than you ever wanted to know!
Learning about handmade soap is great, but using handmade soap is an experience not to be missed. I have purchased soap from several soapers on etsy and I will never use commercially made soap again. I've never had sensitive or dry skin, so I never realized what I was missing until now.
I am currently using Cranberry Orange Soap from Swan Mountain Soaps available at Swan also makes other wonderful bath and body products and some seasonal jellies that are incredibly delicious! This is my second bar of soap from this shop, and I am a huge fan. When I get out of the shower, my skin doesn't feel tight or dry or oily, it simply feels clean and wonderful! The scent in the shower is delicious, and the lather is incredible!
I have been wanting to purchase some Alaskan beer soap from Swan Mountain for my husband, but he is proving to be a tough convert to handmade soap. I'm going to keep buying it for him, though. Eventually he will come to the dark side.

I did purchase this soap, Bay Rum, from the incredible soaper Dennis Anderson available at It smells incredible, and I can't wait for my husband's supply of body wash to run out so that he will actually use it.
Dennis has an incredible selection of soaps and other bath and body products available in his shop. If you are a lip balm addict, I recommend checking this shop out!
I highly recommend that you check out all the available soaps on etsy, ask questions and try different soaps. Eventually, you too will find soap nirvana.
And if you are on my Christmas list, you just might be getting some awesome handmade soap for Christmas, you never know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Homefront Team Winter Challenge!

One of the fun parts of being on Etsy is being a part of the Homefront Team, a team of military spouses and such. Right now, we have a Homefront Team Winter Challenge going on. Check it out here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I promised an update

So, I bet you're all wondering how the vendor booth thing went on Saturday, aren't you? Ah, I know you forgot all about it, it's ok. :)
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 5:00. Ok, it was early, but there was nothing bright about it! I got myself all gussied up and finished loading the car before setting off to my friends house. We met up, and things were going great. We had everything we needed and we were a little ahead of schedule so we stopped at a coffee shop to grab a morning pick-me-up, make mine decaf. When we got to the venue, things were up and going and they were ready for us to check in.
They took us to our vendor spot, where I had to stand and scratch my head for a minute. My friend had taken care of all of the getting and going and had really invited me along to fill out her booth a little more. She had purchased two spots, each spot was supposed to be for an 8 foot table, so we brought two eight foot tables. The lady told us at that time that the additional spot which was purchased at the same price as the original was only supposed to be a 6 foot table, "but they'd let it slide". OOOkayyy. Then we couldn't for the life of us figure out the configuration they wanted our tables in. We were squeezed in behind two other vendor booths, and they explained that the shoppers were to come into our little "U" shape, except the top of the U was over half covered by another table. Yes, we were hidden in the back of this stupid little place.
Well, we set up, and unfortunately, I forgot my camera. Fortunately, the booth turned out kind of cute. We had muslin draped to the floor and the tops of the tables were covered in a purple velvet. I had one half of a table, and I hung my necklaces from branches stuck in two banana leaf vases and arranged my earrings on a wooden lazy susan. It was very organic looking.
The conference started and the organizers came to chase us out of our booths to "participate". I'm sorry, but I came to sell jewelry and I wasn't very comfortable leaving a table full of merchandise behind. They insisted that there was security and that we needed to leave our booth, so we did. We didn't go participate either.
Let me explain about not participating. This was a women's conference based on sharing Christian faith and growing in that faith. I'm cool with that. It's just that I am of the slightly more conservative Lutheran flavor, and this conference was of the Southern Baptist/Pentecostal/charismatic flavor. I have nothing against different flavors of religion, but I'd rather not participate in things that I might not necessarily agree with or feel comfortable doing.
So my booth partner and I went outside and talked, and then went inside and found an inconspicuous place to stand and talk and watch our booth. Then the vendors were fed lunch, a lunch which we were required to buy for $10. A lunch that consisted of a mayo-pasta-chicken salad and a roll. It was like purchasing food at the airport.
The conference broke for lunch and the ladies were given 45 minutes to lunch and shop. I think two people came by during the lunch break. One bought a cell phone charm from my booth partner. Another asked for my business card.
After lunch we looked at the program and saw that the conference lasted two more hours then ended with "shopping" again at the very end. Some vendors started breaking down right away, but our booth was too complicated to break down without disturbing the conference, so my booth partner and I went to Goodwill for a half hour.
We came back as the conference was wrapping up and I fervently held out the hope that someone would come by the booth at the end of the conference. HA!
Lesson learned. We won't be participating in that conference again, but we did figure out a really cute booth set-up and I have a bunch more inventory now that I can add to my etsy shop. It wasn't a total bust. (At least that's what I keep telling myself.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Show Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am sharing a vendor booth with a friend of mine at a women's conference. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, but I'm also a bit nervous. I'll tell you how it went on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Craft Show Display, Yea or Nay?

I'm not gonna lie, I'm broke. I have a small part of a vendor table at a conference this weekend and I'm trying to come up with a cute and economical way to display my small amount of wares. I tried this idea this morning. What do you think? (Oh yeah, there will be a tablecloth.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My blog, someone else's blog

I decided the other day that I was a little tired of my blog layout. I have tried and tried to change my blog by using free templates I've found on the web to no avail. I'm thisclose to paying someone to spiffy up this dang blog!
Here's a pretty blog on the interwebs, featuring my etsy shop.
After you read it, go check out America's Handmade Homefront's lovely shops on Hyena cart. There's some really cool stuff there!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Am I a slacker?

I can't figure out where my time has gone lately. My regular schedule over the last few weeks has been interrupted, and it has affected this poor blog. I have been blessed to have an item appear on Etsy's front page (WOOHOO!!!!) and I've been busy with photo editing, creating, and schoolwork.
I have to mention another little happy milestone for me this week. Last night I went to a yoga class at my gym. I haven't been there in a while because of school, but last night I was going no matter what! The instructor is great, very soothing, and she doesn't even seem to care that I absolutely can't do yoga. I try and struggle through the class, but I kind of look like a fool. You are no doubt wondering why I go. My theory is that eventually, with thousands of years of practice, I will be able to sort of do some yoga, so I keep trying. Well, last night, the whole class (except me) is holding a downward dog position, and the instructor tells us to go into the plank position. Normally, at this point, I will attempt a plank position and utterly fail. My elbows and shoulders will go all jelly-like, and I'll fall into the mat. Last night, I went into plank position, and to my utter surprise, I stayed there! I was so excited, I had to show DH again when I went home. I don't think he was that impressed, but me, I take the little things. :) I have to give proper credit to my personal trainer, Josette, for this little milestone. She loves to torture me with all sorts of upper body strength exercises, and I am very grateful for that!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm featured here!

Check out this neat interview with me, the indie designer! (you can laugh a little.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Etsy Front Page 9/19/08 wastenotwhimsy

Oh my! I curated a treasury and it made the front page of Etsy! I'm so stoked! Seriously awesome!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Heart Project Runway.

If you know me, you know that I'm a little bit of a PR fan. I really like Leanne on this season of PR, and am going so far to predict her for the win. Leanne sells on Etsy (so cool!) I had to create a treasury celebrating her designs and her color palette that she used for her Bryant Park collection. It's up until sometime on Sunday, please check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Behind

I promised last week that I would share my Grand Canyon weekend with everyone. Yes, it was two weekends ago, but I keep my promises, if not exactly in the timeliest fashion.
Yes, the Grand Canyon is big and stunning. I really don't think there are words left to be said about it's beauty. There are plenty of words left about the insanity of people who arrive at the top of the canyon and say, "I wonder what's down there? Let's go check."
It gets hotter the further you go down, and the climb back up is hard. And I didn't even go that far down.

I wasn't smart enough to take a mule ride either, I just took a picture of the people who were.
Yes, that's a picture of a squirrel right next to my foot. Next to people, there were an insane amount of squirrels on the trail, and they were not shy about getting in there and picking up any dropped food. They were also very well fed.

On a second note, I was very grateful for my hiking boots and very flummoxed by the people hiking in flip-flops, skirts, and other clothing meant more for sitting than walking down and then back up a rather steep climb.
Sunset at the Grand Canyon=totally beautiful and worth the walk back to the rim even though I was sore and tired. It was a great experience, and I'm even more sold on hiking than I was before.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apron Swap

I participated in an apron swap this summer. The theme was Fall because we were all to receive our aprons at the beginning of the fall season. My apron is out and has been graciously received by my swap partner. It was fun making it, I think I really do need to sew a little more, and not just t-shirt bags. My sewing skills are still not that great, but practice makes perfect!
Next post: my weekend at the Grand Canyon. I'll try not to bore you, I promise!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Photography "Studio"

Welcome to my photography studio! It's my apartment patio. It faces west, so for most of the morning I get bright indirect natural light. It helps that I live in Las Vegas so a morning without sun is an extreme oddity.

I have a few "go-to" props, including my backdrops, the cut-off bottoms of two t-shirts, one cream and the other navy. Also, I rely very heavily on a white frosted vase, which incidentally was the vase that came with the very first flowers (and present of any sort) that my husband sent to me when we first started dating. I have a small collection of rocks also, some from the shores of Lake Michigan, some I picked up in Alaska, and others from the National Petrified Forest in Arizona. I like the texture and interest that rocks add to my photos.

Other things I also use are the patio wall itself, with its distinctive stucco texture, some dry black beans, dry branches, and some pink silk lilies (which were a part of my hometown wedding reception). Taking photos is quite romantic for me. :)

I shoot my pictures with a rather standard Kodak Easy Share camera on the Close Up setting (otherwise known as macro). I think that I happen to be the lucky victim of great circumstances for decent photo shoots. I am also a person who has always thought in macro. I love texture and color and getting right up close to it to really experience the fullness of sensation.

My photo studio, camera, backdrops, and props aren't completely ideal. For instance, I sweat a lot while taking photos (it's HOT in Vegas!), and just recently came upon the revelation of sitting while I take some shots in order to help steady my hands. I would love a tripod and maybe a light tent, but the concept of my jewelry really came about making the most of what is available, and my photography is the same way.

I really enjoy taking pictures, and for those who struggle with it, I encourage you to make it true to yourself. You never know, you might begin to enjoy photography, too!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where does the time go?

This past week seems to have gone by so fast. I'm usually not wondering on Saturday how I got here so quickly because my life has been pretty slow paced for the past few months. Not that much has changed, either. I did join a gym this week and worked out almost every day. I ended up trying both a yoga class and a water aerobics class this week. Yoga was harder than I anticipated, and water aerobics were easier than I had imagined. I also stumbled upon Project Runway: Australia this week and spent a day just watching episodes on Youtube. It's actually fabulous! I love PR, and the Canadian and Australian versions are both awesome.

Today Goodwill was running a 50% off everything in the store sale, so it was a perfect time to run out and stock up on surprise supplies. I've found a plastic cow and a necklace made from a walnut painted like a jack o' lantern in one jar already. I won't be making jewelry from them! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So cute!

So Amanda of Sygnet Creations makes some super cute things and sells them on etsy. You should especially check out her awesome travel pillows! And she blogs, too. On her blog yesterday and today, she made up some rhymes that are a take off of nursery rhymes, but are about different etsy shops. Today she included my little shop! Go over there and check it out, it's adorable!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations, shelaby_96! You are the lucky winner of my blog giveaway. (Cheering and confetti) That said, do we know each other? Reading your blog, I'm almost positive we have to have met.
Well, I've been super busy over the last few days, actually insanely busy for a person who never does anything. :) I've barely been online at all between Thursday evening and this afternoon.
Friday I went to base for a reception that was held for all of the new Staff Sergeant selects, my wonderful DH included, and then we went out afterward to celebrate. We ended up at Red Rock Casino at the end of the night, in the arcade of all places. We spent $25 and won a handful of candy. Woot!
Saturday was a girl's day out for a few Air Force wives (and one Air Force airwoman/wife). I am really mostly acquaintances with all but one of the girls, but it was fun anyway. And long! We started the day at 9 AM, and I didn't make it home until around midnight. One of our stops was at Goodwill, and I bought a jar of broken jewelry as supplies to make more pieces for my etsy shop. I took a few pictures of my raw, unsorted materials, to give you an idea of what I work with. I'm excited about some of the separate possibilities, and looking forward to a challenge with some of the other materials. :)
Today I had to work to get up and make a dish for a potluck lunch. My friend Nichole picked DH and I up this morning and we drove to Mount Charleston for church in the mountains. It was beautiful up there, the weather was excellent, and the service was just what I needed after a long weekend. After church was the potluck, and then we sat and visited with members of the congregation. I got to hold on to the cutest brindle coated beagle/Boston terrier puppy (a bogle) for a while. I really want a dog!
I really hope that your weekend was excellent also. It's time to get to sorting my new materials!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm not neglecting my dear readers. I promise.

I usually like to have a picture for every post or at least every other post. I don't have a picture today. :(
I have been preoccupied with watching the Olympics and having insomnia lately. Insomnia really messes with one's ability to think clearly.
I've also been on an Etsy spending spree. I congratulated myself for making sales by spending twice the amount of my toal sales in other shops. :)
I bought a bunch of soap, some soap dishes, and lavender. I feel good about my purchases because they are not hard to justify. I mean, who doesn't need soap?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yay I sold something!!!! And a Giveaway

Now when my friends or family ask, "Have you sold anything on Etsy yet?" I can say, "YES I HAVE!!"
I went from having 0 sales to having 3 sales in about 24 hours, too. I sold a necklace with a PIF (PIF means Pay It Forward, and it's not so much a sale as a gift, which makes it even more fun!) on Wednesday night, and I was so excited about it, I had to go tell my husband, who was mostly asleep, the exciting news. Then last night, I sold a pair of earrings, which came as a surprise to me. I had to go tell my husband again, and this time he was totally asleep. I think he heard me, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't all that happy about me waking him up out of a sound sleep! I shall try to only sell things when he is wide awake from now on! ;)
I'm so happy about my sales, I made a little trinket to celebrate and now I want to give it away! I think I like sending packages as much as receiving them. As I send them out, I'm imagining the person on the other end opening their package and loving the contents, of course!
If you would like to receive the *surprise!* trinket that I want to give, please, just leave a comment on this entry. I will randomly pick a winner in one week, next Friday, August 22, I think. Make sure that I have a way to contact you if you win. (The best way to do that is leave your e-mail address in the comments section)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My new favorite and why I love what I do

Sometimes I make a piece of jewelry and then obsess over it because it is colorful or elegant or attention-getting. This is one of those necklaces! These colors are so vibrant, it gives me energy just looking at it!
I am so blessed to work with recycled materials. I work with what comes to me, broken and discarded things and I don't do a lot of picking through things to get my materials. I mostly take discarded jewelry off the hands of friends and buy lots of broken jewelry from the local thrift stores.
I have to sift through what comes to me and see how different elements from different pieces of jewelry come together. I never simply restring what comes to me. I always recombine elements of different pieces. I do a lot of experimenting, too. Sometimes elements scream out that they need to go together, but the technical aspects don't work, so I have to remake it until it works. Other times I get a great idea and when I visualize it, it looks bad.
Every time a necklace works, or my accidental beads match in that perfect way, I feel the thrill of my creative vision being realized and gratitude for the beauty that is all around us, that can be seen if you just look.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Etsy shop featured on another blog!

I woke up this morning and immediately went outside to take some Etsy pictures. When I got back inside and on my computer, I got a lovely surprise! My Etsy shop is featured on a blog!
I got another lovely convo about my photography, too, so a couple things to make my day!
I have a meme that I WILL post soon, I didn't forget, Robin!
I'm off to work on pictures, though, and maybe list some new jewelry on Etsy!
Have a blessed day!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ok, it's tagging time!

I've been tagged for a meme by Robin from (I really need to learn how to link)

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you

2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)

5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog

6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Random items about me...

1) I am number 6 of 7 children, and all our names start with the letter K!
2) I had my wedding dress made for me in two weeks and saw it for the first time as I was getting dressed for my wedding.

3) My oldest sister is the only immediate family member not in the picture above. She is profoundly mentally retarded and lives in a group home.

4) The picture above was taken a year after our actual wedding, we didn't have a reception for our wedding.

5) I love to "invent" in the kitchen. I love cooking!

6) I miss WI. I miss the community of East Troy and the kids who were members of the Good Shepherd youth group most of all, and my heart is hurting for them right now as they have experienced a great loss.
Now, I am afraid that I don't know 6 people to tag. :( I'm glad I was tagged, but now I'd have to tag strangers, and I don't know how that would go! Thanks for reading, comment away!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ricky!

Don't look so sad, it's your birthday! And I baked you a lemon bundt cake. It looks delicious, can't wait to dig in!
Here's to many more years!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Terrorists targeting Presidential Candidates?

Or not. I don't know, and that's not what this blog is about. i was talking to friends the other day about generating more traffic on my blog, and they suggested having a sensational title. Eeh, it doesn't hurt to try, and it's a little funny.

Last weekend I finally got up to Mt. Charleston! Ever since I moved to Vegas, I've complained about the heat and lack of vegetation. People have always encouraged me to visit Mt. Charleston, which is about an hour drive from downtown Las Vegas, and about a 45 minute drive for me. DH never seemed to want to go, but on Friday, he decided we should go and spend Saturday night there. So he reserved a cabin at the lodge, and Saturday morning we set off.

We decided to hike a trail before checking in, and we picked a trail named Mary Jane Falls. The brochure said it was an intermediate hike that should take an hour each way.

Not so much. It took us two hours to get up the trail, mostly due to my general out-of-shapeness, and an hour to get back down, It was worth it. We saw this butterfly on the way up.

This butterfly was somewhat easier to photograph. :)

When we checked in, the lady at the desk good-naturedly scolded my husband for not asking about their military discount when he called to make the reservation. Then she threw in a free bottle of champagne instead. This is what the back porch of the cabin looked like. It was heavenly.

We woke up on Sunday intending to hike a second trail before heading home. We overestimated ourselves. Instead we headed home and went to see "The Dark Knight" I realize that probably makes us the last people on earth to go see it, but that's ok. We prefer our theaters a little empty. It was a pretty darn good movie, too.

And as a parting shot, a newly listed necklace from my etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Major awesome buy!

I honestly went to bed last night planning out pictures I was going to take and post today. I was going to post my stalled progress on my t-shirt throw, a skein of hemp that I am very unsatisfied with, and the cover of a book that captivated my interest so thoroughly that yesterday I did practically nothing except for reading.
Things don't always go as planned in life however, and I woke up early this morning not feeling well and inexplicably thinking about needle felting. I got up and perused etsy for needle felted wall hangings for a while and then I was driven back to bed by my unhappy body.
My DH has been home from Afghanistan for around nine months now, and on his way back he had a layover of sorts in Kyrgyzstan. He went to a restaurant, and in the foyer of the restaurant, there were some stalls for tourists to buy little pieces of Kyrgyzstan. My DH bought a few of those pieces, which made a few things clear to me. The first was, there's probably a lot of sheep in Kyrgyzstan, because everything he brought back was made of wool. The second thing that was clear to me was that Kyrgyzstan had rapidly joined Mongolia on near the top of places I wish to visit someday. There was an organic beauty to the crafts and pictures of this place that I can't even pronounce.
This finally brings me back to the beginning. I had never heard of etsy when my DH handed me the piece pictured above, but I had heard of needle felting, thanks to Martha Stewart, so I knew what this piece was, even though my DH didn't. He had chosen it because he could roll it up and put it in his backpack for the ride home!
Since this picture was taken, we have gotten this piece framed, and we spent $350 on the framing. My DH was a little baffled at the cost of the framing, while I am still a bit baffled at how much he spent buying this piece originally. A similar sized piece of needle felted artwork on etsy costs around $200 and is worth every penny. The DH claims he doesn't know exactly how much he spent buying this piece, but it was around $40. I call that a great buy!
And honestly, it's probably the most beautiful piece of art I have ever touched. I am honored to have it in my home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Creative mojo

Hanging around creative people makes me more creative, I think. I am inspired by people who get an idea in their head and then try to realize that idea. I have been frozen from trying to realize many of my creative ideas throughout my life.
It's my mother in my head. I love my mother, and she is the one who taught me practicality. I think she might have done too good of a job at it. I was always afraid to make creative mistakes, in that if something I "invented" didn't turn out, then I just wasted materials and money. Wasting anything was always a sin in the household I grew up in.
I've learned, though, that the creative process is just that, a process. Most things you try new won't work the first time, but you will learn techniques for the next time. Now that I used recycled materials in almost all of my crafting, it's loosened the knot in my head that's terrified of wasting things. I've also had this realization: Unused materials are wasted twice as much as materials that are destroyed by learning. Write that on your workroom wall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thoughts on faith

A couple nights ago, I was having trouble getting to sleep. I thought I heard a bug on my sheets, something outside the window, etc. I'm as bad as a little child with my imagination in the dark. I started to pray about my fears, as is my habit. As I started to pray, I also started to think about why I was praying. Did I believe in my professed faith? Did I believe that God heard and answered my prayers? Now I have heard all sorts of logical arguments (or apologetics) for and against Christianity. Prominent atheists seem to be churning out a lot of books lately and Gnostic works such as ideas popping up in "The Davinci Code," and the gospels of Thomas and Judas are suddenly "found" (or refound, if you know your history of Christianity). There are so many arguments and counter-arguments. I am a masters level student with a pretty high IQ, and I can recognize many of these arguments, while not always being able to form a counter-argument. So why do I consider my faith to be valid? This is my answer. Because I have faith. There is an absence of sense and a bit of mysticism in my answer, but it is my answer. I believe that my faith in God is a gift from God and evidence in itself of God's evidence and the truth of the Bible. This might be too simplistic for some, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.
(If you came here wanting to read about jewelry, sorry for dragging you through that.) ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flickr Mosaic

Wee! This was fun! I know the idea of most memes is to be tagged, but I couldn't resist stealing this one. If you see this, steal it from me please! And let me see it on your blog!

The instructions to create the mosaic are:Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr Search .Using only the first page, pick an image.Copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker.
What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you go to?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Favorite drink?
Dream vacation?
Favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
One word to describe you.
Your Flickr name.

It's Amazing

how dirty a house can get while you're not feeling well. There are dishes piled up in the kitchen and tissues in the bedroom and living room. I really didn't feel like doing much of anything for the last two days with this stupid cold. I'm picking back up today, just in time for class. Oh, and yea, last Monday was my birthday (30, uck!) and my husband gave me a shiny new cobalt blue Kitchen-Aid mixer! Now that I'm feeling better, it's time to bake! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sneak preview!!!

So I'm sick and feeling, well, icky. I've got stuff to post on etsy but I'm not feeling up to it. So you get to see some of them first! Aren't you lucky?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'd love to post a picture

but I can't because I don't have my pictures. I'm not posting from my computer. I broke my plug-in for my laptop somewhere between Missouri and Las Vegas. Bummer, I know. Vacation was great, but I'm still recovering. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

People like my photography!!!!

I've received a handful of compliments on my jewelry photography in the last couple of days. It makes me happy! Ok, I'm headed out to MO late tomorrow night. I'll see you all on the flip side!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Homework day!

On Mondays I'm always scrambling to finish homework that I've been procrastinating on. Luckily, this week there's not much to get done.
Last Tuesday when I went to the thrift store I bought a large mason jar filled with broken jewelry. I've deconstructed almost all of it and made quite a bit of new pieces already. It was an exciting and inspiring find, and I wanted to share a picture of one of the pieces I made from two broken necklaces, a single earring, and some faux pearls that I had already. I love how it turned out!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

On the USAF and John Philips Sousa

I had a delightful Indepence Day weekend! It's winding down today, and was mostly quiet yesterday, but that can be really wonderful. On Friday, a few friends wanted to get together, see some fireworks, and grill out. We were looking for places to see the fireworks, when my DH asked if I'd seen the anouncement in the forward he sent me. A few weeks ago, he had sent a forward from base that outlined the activity offerings they had going on for the next month or so. I had skimmed it, but I didn't remember what I had read.
The announcement included the plans for the base fireworks show. There was to be a free picnic, some vendors and fireworks at the base park (appropriately named Freedom Park). So we loaded up a cooler with drinks and headed off to the base. A live band offered entertainment while we ate, chatted, and waited for the sun to go down.
When the fireworks began, the sound system offered up a soundtrack of Lee Greenwood, John Philips Sousa, and the national anthem among other patriotic music. I found myself reflecting on how appropriate it was to be spending Independence Day on a military base. We also had a happy discovery that one of our friends was there, having returned from his deployment at 2:00 AM.
All in all, it was a good day with friends, celebrating our country.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Our family has a sort of family reunion every 4th of July weekend. We hang out, go to the hometown rodeo and parade, drink all sorts of beverages, and eat watermelon and brats. This pic is of my nephew from last year's celebration. I can't be there this year, but it's at the forefront of my mind. To everyone out there, enjoy your Fourth, however you celebrate!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I didn't make it to the farmer's market yesterday (I got lost), I couldn't sleep last night, and a call from the lawyer's office woke me this morning. Bah, I say, bah!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gotta Run!

I got my DH to leave me the car with A/C today, so I must take advantage. I want to get groceries, go to a few thrift stores, pick up my friends mail (she's on vacay for most of the summer, and I'm her apartment sitter), and last but not least hit up the farmer's market. I've never been, I hope it's good, I'm dying for farm fresh food!

Sometimes, Nevada bums me out, ok, it does a lot. It is not the fault of Las Vegas, but I've been terrible at assimilating here.

I'm homesick for Wisconsin and green grass, cool summer nights, and FLOWERS!! I'm not a gardener, that is my mom's job, but I could always tell what part of spring/summer we were in by what flowers were blooming around the house. I took them all for granted.

Around a month or so ago, I was in Trader Joe's and I kinda sorta wanted to buy some fresh flowers. I had it in my mind to pick up some stargazer lilies (my favorite!), but another flower they had caught my eye. Trader Joe's was selling fresh cut peonies. This is probably not exciting to anyone else, but my mom had massive peony bushes as I was growing up. In early to mid June, those fluffy pink puffballs of flowers were everywhere, along with the sweet smell that waved at you as you passed by the bushes on the way to do chores or just enjoy a beautiful June day. I had to smell the peonies at Trader Joe's, and then I had to walk away. I wanted to buy them and bring them home with me, but that would just have been another reminder of how far away from home I really am.

On to better things. I made the earrings in the picture and took pictures of them, but I don't think I'm going to post them in my etsy shop. I'm planning on giving them to my little sis on the occasion of her and her husband buying their first house, quitting her job, and moving to a new community. Her husband is now a for real pastor and starts at his new church in about two weeks. We're going to visit, and it's in MO, so at least we get to go to the Midwest!

I feel like I should make something for the new pastor, too, but I'm kinda stumped at that one. :)

Now I really do have to run!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday, Magic Monday

Another Monday, another week. I know I don't have to get up and go to a job on Monday mornings like most people, but I do wake up to an empty house because my love is already hard at work doing what he does. And I have class on Monday, so Monday usually means making sure my homework is done and my reading is read. Today, I'm starting a new class, Critical Analysis in Research. The title alone is making me dread this class. The only thing worse for my little intuitive flighty self would be a full-blown stats class. I got a BA for a reason.
So the little things are being taken care of and for fun, I'm putting together a t-shirt blanket. In a burst of impatience at this cluttered apartment, I decided that it was time to get rid of all the old t-shirts just lying around not being worn. Sentimental soul that I am, I couldn't just throw them out and say goodbye to all the memories that they represented, but I didn't also want to make a hoity-toity t-shirt "memory quilt." Those always seem too full blown for something as humble as a t-shirt. So, I mercilessly cut my (and some of DH's) old tshirts into squares, not even fully preserving the design in some cases. The intent was to preserve the spirit of the shirt more than any design. I've started sewing the squares together, but now I have to rustle up three more shirts to finish. I'm not intending to put any batting of any sort in the blanket, I'm just going to back it with hodgepodged t-shirt material and sew through both layers in a frankensteiny attempt at machine quilting, I guess. I'll post a pic when it's done.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My new Etsy shop

I'm selling stuff on Etsy now! It's crazy! I'm super excited about this. I've been on a little frenzy lately, making jewelry and little bags for it, taking pictures, editing and creating. This is cool. I've been on for two days, I've not advertised at all (yet), and two people already heart me!!! Yay!