Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seeing spots

The other day my friend asked if I was obsessed with polka-dots....
Well, I will admit to having a strong fondness for them.

Scarf - Christmas gift!
Cardigan - Forever 21
Shoes - Wet Seal
 Jeans - American Eagle

Can I just say that AE jeans are the best. I live in those pants. LOVE.
Oh, and a note about the shoes.  While they don't really appear to be anything special they most certainly are. They have a fuzzy texture very similar to flocking! Eeeep!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Shopping for colors

Yesterday, Keith and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to give our living room a mini makeover! I'm so excited for the freshness a change will bring!  Right now it's still in the works but here are a few sneak peaks.....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pre-New Year's reflections

Now that Christmas has come to a close and all my gift cards are spent, I have been focusing my attention on the coming *new* year.  Thinking about my future inevitably causes me to reflect on my past.
I analyze things like childhood passions, fleeting friendships, and the meaning of bike riding in the alley. Oh, and remember Giga pets and Tamagotchis? Mine was the ultimate in awesome: a baby T-rex.  Geez, I loved and nurtured that thing. Until, you know, I didn't. ha!

This list, 10 Things 90s Kids Will Have To Explain To Their Children, phrased those loveable electronics like this:
At some point, we carried around little plastic eggs with tiny screens on them — in these screens lived our hearts, our pets, our raison d’etre, our very own Tamagotchi. We loved them, we listened to their tiny electronic screams of malnourishment, and we occasionally forgot to pick up their poop for long enough that they died a tortured, poop-filled death. They were perhaps our first foray into the life-consuming world of electronics and self-absorption, later to be fully manifested by Facebook.
Was that not the most perfect way of summing them up? The rest of that list is definitely worth a read. I couldn't help but grin and snicker my way through it.
Long live Lisa Frank!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas snaps from 2011

These are some of the random pics I took over the holiday weekend. Much like the Thanksgiving holiday, my family and I lived in our PJs for the entire Christmas weekend. Such luxury!

This kitty is such an attention hog! Good thing she is so loveable.
Note that I'm sporting the half-dressed, half-PJ look (clearly, early in the weekend) :P

My stocking! We all have stockings like this, but not identical. They are so precious and one of my favorite things about Christmas. I believe my mom's was made by her Grandma and everyone else's  was made by my Aunt. Such talented ladies!
That beautiful blue and white ornament came from my Great Grandma and is an antique. Sadly, it's the only one like it left as all the others were broken when we were little and lived in a house with wood floors.

 My sister doing yoga poses in her sleep under a wad of blankets and a cozy quilt made by my Grandma B. I love that she only has one sock on!

Christmas morning! Jenna was sooo excited she had the largest present in the room. I told her it was her coffin hehehe  It was a trampoline.

What a wonderful Christmas! I am so blessed!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Joy of Christmas day

The Birth of Jesus!

 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said,
"Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

   Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
   Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Luke 2:1-20   The Message

Friday, December 23, 2011

DIY forest green matte nail polish

So I must say that I really, really like this trend of matte nail polish, so when I saw on Pinterest that you could make it by mixing eyeshadow and clear polish I had to try it.
Guess what!? It totally works and I couldn't be more pleased!

This is the stuff I used. Cheap stuff. :D

 You can see the area at the end where I scraped out a bit of shadow, it didn't take much at all. Unfortunately, I'm unsure how much polish I used because I just poured it out until the mixture seemed right. I mixed my stuff on a disposable plastic plate and that works just fine.
From my understanding, the more shadow that's added the more matte the finish becomes. Oh, make sure that the shadow is thoroughly mashed into a powder before mixing it with polish.

Check out this awkward pic in which I have no pinky finger. Compared to the duck you can tell that the polish came out matte.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My lovely Fossil purse Christmas present

Yesterday, I went with my dad on a surprise trip to pick up my Christmas present....

find it here
Omigahh! I'm getting a Fossil purse! That Fossil purse! My mom and I went shopping the other day and I was eyeballing it but NEVER expected to actually get it. Seriously, if you knew my dad you would be just as surprised that he just plunked down nearly $200 on a purse. I feel kind of guilty....

My only complaint: That he had me go with him only to make me wait until Christmas to get it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Metals 1: Project 3

This was the last project for my Metals class. I'm so sad that it's over. I'm even sadder that my schedule doesn't allow me to take more Metals in the spring.
This project was to make a container with  
      1) a pressure fit lid
      2) some form of etching
      3) a fairy tale theme.
I choose Peter Pan.

The first thing I had to do was the etching. I used nickle silver for this piece, mostly because that's the metal I had, and like I said in my post about Project 1, nickle silver is hard and cranky. In order to get a decent etch depth it had to sit in the acid for 5 (FIVE!!!) hours.  Soo ridiculous. Fortunately, it turned out well. (To give you perspective, with copper, etch time is more like 2 hours.)

The black is the Resist. This picture is after it came out of the acid, was neutralized, and I gave it a quick rub-down to remove some of the Resist. When I first put in in the acid it was solid black everywhere except for where the crocodiles and clock were.
The Resist actually burns off during the annealing process so after this point the black, dirty stuff on the metal is just heat patina.

Next, I soldered on a strip of metal that would later act as the lid lip. (sorry, no pics of that step)
Then I bend the metal so the to ends met, soldered them together, and hammered it into a cylinder. The silver solder line is really obvious is the pic below.

I used a both a ring and bracelet mandrel to shape the metal.
Once I smashed it into shape, I had to cut the metal lip band off. This was a hassle but by doing it this way it ensured a better match of the two pieces, Unfortunately, it was not a perfect fit and I did have to stretch the container part by forcing it down to a wider part of the bracelet mandrel. Stretching cranky nickle silver was a Major Pain, as you can imagine.
When I got the lid to properly fit on the body it was downhill from there.

This is the body soldered onto the bottom. I stick soldered on this project, which uses so much more solder, but, in my opinion, is way easier.

Attaching the top of the lid was a bit trickier since the etching had to be lined up.  To do this I cut tabs in the metal that could be curled up and used to 'pin' the lip band in place. These were later cut off so it didn't have to be pretty, thank goodness.

Once those two pieces were soldered together all that was left to do was saw the excess metal off, clean up the metal, and coloring.
To clean the nasty heat patina and solder blemishes off the metal I used a Dremel with buffing bit.
**Ladies, if you have never used a Dremel get acquainted with it! Awesome, awesome tool.** Once the metal was cleaned to perfection I used a bit of spray paint to add some color into the etched parts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I have dedicated today to finishing up all my christmas preparations. There is lots of wrapping to do and a bit of painting. A trip to the store is in order because I still don't have a gift for my dad. (Yah-raah, out into the madness.) Other than that, I shall be working on fun things all day :) One such thing is a project using these awesome leathers! Eeep!

I found the band Crystal Castles last night and I love it. I know it's trippy drug music, but let me just say it's also freaking awesome for middle of the night painting. :D

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quote # 5

I found this completely random and unexpected bit of art in my mail box the other day.

Do I have a clue what it means? Absolutely not. But my super smart, chem-student sister does. :D You can tell she was busy studying.

Today's thought:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The library

For part of our Out'N'About day Keith and I visited the library.  I love going there and wandering aimlessly, plopping down where ever I find an interesting book. The smell of paper and the quiet murmurs of other people is really soothing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flocked and Christmasy things

Yesterday, Keith and I had our first Out-N-About day since who knows when and it was AWESOME!
Out-N-About days are full of nothing important and everything lazy and fun. We have been long, long overdue for one of these.
One of the things we did yesterday was pop into a couple of my favorite thrift stores. I literally had not gone treasure hunting in over a MONTH and part of me was dying. (Curse you, school!) So you can imagine my delight when the first thing I see upon entering the store is a mountain of Christmas stuff. I spent 30 minutes in that one little area and it totatly paid off! Look what I found!

On a side note, that deer reminds me of a cat my parents have. She has huge round eyes and a smushed face too!
Anyways, except for the red glass 'bells' and the tinsel puffs all the ornaments are flocked :D

I updated/cleaned up a couple of the ornaments... check out the before and afters.

I'm so excited to have found that little teal bird. I feel like I have a proper flock since it helps tie the other two together. It's kind of foggy now, but I'm pretty sure when I saw the head of that bird peeping out from under other stuff I leapt over a couple boxes to get to it. You know, in case the little old lady standing near me had her eye on it too, I had to make sure I got there first.
What to know a secret? I got all of those for under $2.00!!! 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While I'm on the subject of Christmas, I have an update about the homemade Christmas cards:
Apparently we made the cards a tad on the miniscule side.  Even the smallest envelopes we could find dwarf our cards :(  They look sooo stupid!!!!! Hahahaha

Note to self - When making cards, buy the envelopes first.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cards of Christmas cheer

I have a confession.
I was going to be a total scrooge this year and not send out Christmas cards.
Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) a barrage of lovely cards came to us.

After I hung some of them up and stood back to admire them I started to feel a bit guilty. I mean, these people obviously think about us enough to write a card... maybe we should return the gesture? And geez, it's still a couple weeks away from Christmas - how many more cards (pieces of guilt) are going to come in?
Sooo, I caved. We are sending out cards.
To make it more interesting, I gave myself a challenge: Make 60 Christmas cards without spending more than $5.00. Totally conquered that challenge! Assuming, we can pick up 60 envelopes for under $5.00.
** Let me just say that I have the most awesome husband in the world. I totally planned on making the cards by myself but Keith jumped right in.

Last night our living room floor became craftacular and we churned these lovelies out like we knew what we were doing.

I think they turned out so cute, even if some of them look like they were made by a 4 year old ;)
I was going to write a verse inside but the silver sharpie I was using was too fat. It was also too much writing for my poor hand. 

Keith got really into card making:

In case you can't tell, it's an elephant behind a pile of snow.  When he first showed it to me I thought it was a boulder (oops!). My excuse was that I was looking at it from across the room and it didn't have the santa hat yet.  Valid, right?