Monday, December 29, 2008

Bring on 2009!

Earlier in the year, I posted about giving 2008 a stink eye due to all of the crappy events that had occurred. Little did I know that I was only jinxing myself by posting that back in.....June?, I believe. 2008 continued on the path that it had set for itself during the 1st few months, going out with a bang on December 14th, when I required an emergency appendectomy spending 5 days in the local hospital. Not a great Christmas gift, if you ask me, but at least I won't have to worry about my appendix every again as long as I live.

So for 2009, I have decided a few things.

  • I will not have any unnecessary surgical procedures requiring time off of work. Total time off work in '08 was 6 weeks. Four when I had my foot nearly chopped off for a plantar wart issue, and then 2 for the appendix going rogue.
  • I am going to continue to move toward my goal of being more healthful by renewing my motivation in my Weight Watchers group and being more active.
  • I am not going to dwell on negative situations or people and strive to be happy with my life and my choices every day.
Okay, so I realize this is a super serious, semi-sappy post, but everyone is entitled to one once in a while right? I should be posting very soon with some fantastic Christmas and New Year's pics.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fuzzy Candy Canes

I found an awesome tutorial for felted candy canes at the feltcafe blog. I have been wanting to try to make felted items for a while, but just hadn't found quite the right project to inspire me to do so. Everything I saw just looked a little too over my head as far a beginner for felting went. This tutorial looked to be right up my alley ,and the perfect chance to make little package embellishments for the all the wrapping for the holidays.

After some searching on Etsy, I found 2 sellers to purchase small amounts of wool roving from to get started.
I purchased my white wool roving from 7 Yaks Designs and a crimson pink roving from Wind Rose Fiber Studio. I was able to pick up all of the supplies needed for a little bit of nothing.

The process was very easy and only took me about 15 minutes to make 3 candy canes. I think if you wanted to produce a ton of them, it would not take very long at all. I've included a few pics, although I admit, they aren't the greatest. I may try a felted heart outline for the upcoming Valentine's holiday using the same materials and technique and tie a ribbon to use as a valentine's ornament. Happy crafting!

Sock Monkey Sock Hop

I know that I may be in the minority, but I have never owned a sock monkey. I vaguely remember my great grandma having one at her house that I may have played with many moons ago. One of my coworkers had asked if I could make some "funky" sock monkeys for her 2 boys for Christmas. I found a great online tutorial at that was super informative and easy to follow. I figured I had to be able to do it when I started to read all the comments about kids and people who had no sewing experience whatsoever having great results with the instructions. I found the perfect socks at Target. Three pairs of knee high socks for $6.99. I chose the most traditional looking pair for my first attempt which I show here in this post. Sock monkey #2 is still being formulated in my secret lab. I think he will be much funkier than his older brother.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vintage Reindeer Display

A few weeks ago while doing my daily cruising at Etsy, I came across these fantastically altered vintage flocked reindeer (seen in 1st pic to right) from Magpie Ethel's shop. After inquiring if she planned on having anymore available, I happened upon two of the unadorned treasures at one of my local antique shops, Fairmont Avenue Antiques, in Fairmont, WV for a very meager $3.oo each! (seen in pic to left)
I quickly snatched them up and set off to beglittering their antlers and hooves. It was a very easy process using Martha Stewart's glitter and glue that I picked up at Wal*Mart for about $6 if I recall correctly. It was a very easy process that took only about 15 minutes to complete both reindeer. So next I had to decide how I was going to display my fabulous new "flamboyant" deer as my husband put it. Little did he know that there was much more to come! I ended up ordering a couple of adorable handmade pink bottlebrush trees from Magpie Ethel's shop as well. She graciously offered to make necklaces for my deer to make them as sassy as the ones she had done. I found the last piece of my vintage puzzle at another local antique shop, Sweet Memories, also in Fairmont, WV....a set of 5 pink glass ball ornaments. I took a strand of white lights and laid a blanket of glittery snow over it, at the advice of a good friend. Also you can see our ceramic lighted Christmas tree in the background that we purchased in Gatlinburg, TN last year at their giant craft show.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christmas is A-comin'!

I arrived home from work today to find that my lovely beer mug stocking had sold. I absolutely adored the idea of it, and loved the finished product even more. I held off on making multiples because who needs 10 beer mug stockings? Actually, who DOESN'T need 10 beer mug stockings? But I digress, the first one has finally sold. As soon as I finish up my first wholesale order for a shop in NY state, I will set off to make many more mugs of beer for your walls, or mantel, or wherever you may want a mug of icy cold deliciousness!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Craft Magazine's Blog Rocks!

I have to say that Craftzine is the rockingest website for crafty ideas out there! I actually found it via another great blog that I read, homemade by jill. If I go for a few days without checking it out, I am absolutely flooded by awesome pictures and tons of ideas that I would love to try, like this shaped book tutorial at Cheeky Magpie. There just aren't enough hours in the day to even look at all of the cool crafty things people are doing these days, let alone actually making them! Trick or treat was okay last night. We had about 45 kids come to the house. We actually have some candy left over, which is not what I was hoping for! Ramona was a good sport and wore her pig costume for a brief period. She was a hit with the kids and their parents. She did, however, look totally and utterly humiliated! Her second picture is the most perfect "stink eye" from a dog I've ever seen!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adult Halloween Parties = FUN!

The past three years have brought out much creativity and laughter amongst our group of friends in the form of the adult Halloween party. The locale changes every year so there are some fresh faces and a new perspective on the theme, but the core group remains the same. The year the Audia's hosted and used a 'Through the Decades' theme. Their living room was done in 70s style, the bathroom in 60s, the dining room (with tons of delicious treats!) in 80s with plenty of cool toys to admire and play with, and the kitchen in 50s. The guests had the choice of wearing clothes from a specific decade or dressing as a character or item that was able to be dated for a particular decade. Jeff and I took it one step further and dressed up as a decade! We went as 'The 80s'. We were getting ready to embark on a cruise, as you may be able to tell from the photos. Jeff's pants were only 2 sizes too small, and I couldn't decide if I was more Barbara Bush or Rose Nylund. What do you think? Well, we had a great time eating, playing games, and just being together!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Turning 30

On the 23rd of this month, I turned 30. I never imagined myself to be someone who would be bothered by age until I got closer to my first "non-fun" milestone birthday. Sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one...all of those are fun and exciting. What's fun about 30? I know that 30 isn't old by any stretch of the imagination, but it does mean that I am getting older. I did have a great day and celebrated in style eating at a local Italian joint with a group of friends and then hanging out at the house watching the Mountaineers beat Auburn (yea!) and eating cake. I got a new digital camera, which was much appreciated as our current one was limping along. On a hilarious note, I received a GT Xpress 101 cooker by Cathy Mitchell. If you haven't seen the infomercial, I highly recommend it. It will mesmerize you! It comes with a recipe book guessed it...101 recipes. And a nylon spatula to remove all of the culinary delights you create! I have informed all of our friends that the next dinner will be cooked exclusively on my GT Xpress 101.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween Craftiness

Granted it may be a little late to be thinking about making Halloween crafts, but I couldn't resist when I saw this because it's so simple. It also led me to another great blog at Skip to My Lou. These adorable pumpkin and ghost votive holders would take virtually no time at all and would be great projects to do with you kids too. They are made using baby food jars, Mod Podge, black construction paper, and crepe and tissue paper. How easy is that? If anyone tries these and wants to post pics, that would be fantastic. I can so picture these sitting along your walk or driveway to light the way for all the little ghouls and princesses coming for your treats on Halloween night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our house is a very, very, very fine house!

Fall always seems to fly by so quickly, probably because it is my favorite time of year. I always want to get the decorations out just a bit earlier than I should, but thankfully my husband keeps me somewhat in check with that and I return the favor when he pushes to get out Christmas decor before Thanksgiving rolls around. Shopping for Halloween candy is always fun. We just need to place it strategically or buy it at the last minute so that we don't eat most of it ourselves. We decided we didn't want to be a one of the houses that gave out crappy candy, so we get the good stuff....chocolate! We have averaged around 40-70 trick-or-treaters in the five Halloweens that we have lived in this neighborhood. I think that it's the perfect number. I hear stories of people elsewhere that get into the hundreds and have to turn off their light when they run out of candy. Last year we actually had some left that we had to get rid of! The highlight is definitely seeing what our next door neighbors are going to dress as to go along with their 6 year old son. We've had Dad as batman (secretly my favorite year) and another year as Scooby Doo in a full-on costume. I hear this year the son will be Harry Potter and Dad will either be Hagrid or Dumbledore, but whatever he chooses, I'm sure he will go all out in the costume department!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Official!

After having my Etsy shop open since April, I have finally moved into the real world and fashioned myself an actual business card! I have not really promoted much amongst my friends and family due to the fact that I didn't feel professional enough. Well, watch out baby because here I come. I also just recently had my first request for a large order based on merchandise I had listed in my shop. And I've sold a few items within the past month. Things are definitely looking up for me. When I started out, I decided it was just for fun and if it ever turned into anything more that would be fabulous. I'm still a long way off from it turning into anything more, but it's still an exciting prospect. It'd be nice to have enough income from my craftiness to cut back my hours at my day job by one day a week. That is my ultimate goal at this time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charlie Murphy!!!

Meet the newest addition to the family...Charlie Murphy! Charlie just had his first birthday and is a miniature dachshund that needed to find a good home where his owners had more time to pay attention to him. Although, I worry about our other dog, Ramona's, mental health at the ripe old age of 12, I'm hoping that she and Charlie can come to some sort of agreement. Charlie kisses on the mouth, unlike Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman' as seen in the picture. Charlie likes to shower me with kisses after a long hard day at work. Ramona and Charlie have actually both sat with me on the couch on 2 separate occasions now without growls or barks. Charlie's true last name from his previous owner was Murphy, and if you have ever watched Chappelle's show, you surely understand why we will continue to call him Charlie Murphy. Murphy will just be his middle name now. Ramona will be dressing this Halloween as a "puppy hog" in a pig costume, and Charlie will be going as a vampire if he fits into the costume. I'll be sure to post pics of that for all to enjoy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day at the Museum

Last Saturday, Jeff and I decided to do something new and different. While I have been to a variety of museums over the years having grown up so close to Washington D.C. and all of the Smithsonian museums, I had never been to any art museums. We made the trek up to Pittsburgh to go the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. We spent about 3 hours just wandering around and taking it all in. We got to see Monet's Waterlilies, which was huge. We saw some drawings by Picasso, a Gustav Klimt, and I found a new painting that I really by Signac shown above. I have always loved Georges Seurat and this reminded me a lot of his "Sunday Afternoon". It wasn't all intellectual though. We did goof off a little in the natural history side. I froze off my tatas in a fake igloo. And Jeff had to fend off a polar bear who thought I looked like a tasty 'lil Eskimo.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My New Monster Friends!

I've finished up some original designs for a couple of Halloween cuties this week for my Etsy shop. I'm really pleased with the way they turned I'd like to introduce to you Grace the Goofy Spider and Frankie the Frightful Bat. They've both had a rough start in life and are hoping to find their way to stardom. More Halloween is being I just have to get crackin'!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Candy Corn Crazy!!!

Once again I have started to be creative. I never really stopped, just took about a 6-week vacation from it. Now I have so many cool ideas, I can't keep up with myself! My 3 latest creations were all candy corn themed. Now here's the weird part...I hate candy corn! Love the look of it, hate the taste of it. But alas, I know that it is a well-loved Halloween tradition and that was enough to inspire me. I know that someone out there who is in love with candy corn will also love these adorable little creations!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

80s Nostalgia

For some reason, I have been terribly nostalgic lately. I'm not one for the overly sentimental, so I'm quite perplexed as to what is going on to make me feel this way. I have been searching for images of childhood cartoons and toys that I remember on the internet. I felt sad that I hadn't held onto more of these "collector's items". It's not that I have a desire to have them to sell for a profit. I think about wanting them to pass along to any future child or just for my own selfish comfort of knowing that there are around still. Maybe it has something to do with seeing my friend after 11 years. Maybe it's my birthday looming with the big 3-0 ahead. Maybe it's not having any children yet when I thought that surely I would have children at this point in my life. Who knows? I do know that if anyone has a white popple (with the yellow hair that looks like a furry boiled egg when it's all rolled up) that I'd love to talk to you about a lucrative deal.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Paper Bag Scrapbook Project

Back in May I blogged about working on my first paper bag scrapbook project. I finished it a few weeks back, but couldn't post the pics due to the fact that it was a gift for my sister's graduation. I almost forgot that I had given it to her, and that I can now share the pictures with everyone! I was really pleased with the results. I just hope she enjoys it and turns it into something even more special. You should be able to click on the pics if you need a closer view. All the papers used were from Cosmo Cricket's "Wanted" and "Love Notes" lines and the embellishments came from various sources.

On a totally separate note, I am so in love with Cold Play's new song Viva la Vida. Their album comes out on Tuesday, and I can't wait!

#1 This is the front cover of the book. The little metal tag says "explore." #2 Pages 1 and 2 #3 Pages 3 and 4 #4 Pages 5 and 6 #5 Pages 7 and 8 #6 Pages 9 and 10 #7 Pages 11 and 12 #8 Pages 13 and 14 #9 Back cover of book

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's A Bird, It's A Plane...No It's A Bird Mobile!

While searching for even more cool projects, I rediscovered this one that I had seen a few weeks back and forgotten about. I really want to make this Bird Mobile by Spool. It has a free pattern.