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!