Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY Necklace: Spiffying up hardware with ombre

When people can walk into a hardware store, gather supplies, and transform them into something awesome and *PRETTY* I am in awe. This necklace is my attempt at doing something so magical.

WHAT YOU NEED: Clay (I used Premo), oven, pliers, washers, link rings, long i-pins, jumbo needle, chain, clasp (optional)

STEP 1 - Roll yo beads! I decided to embrace the whole ombre trend and made mine in a gradient from yellow to red. As you can see, I used three colors of clay but really, you could get away with just two.

STEP 2 - Skewer yo beads! To make a hole in the beads I slid them down a jumbo upholstery needle. Remember to push gently. My first attempt left one of my beads a bit like a pancake.
STEP 3 - Bake your clay as directed. Yeah, I couldn't handle saying 'yo' one more time.

STEP 4 - Slide a bead on an i-pin. Snip off any excess with the pliers but be sure to leave enough to make a loop. There needs to be a loop on both ends if you are going to dangle anything off the bottom. 
STEP 5 - Using a link ring, attach a washer to the bottom loop of each bead.
STEP 6 - Using a link ring, attach each bead to the chain.
** I made my necklace quite long so I didn't use a clasp but if yours is shorter, use your pliers and link rings to secure it to the chain.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let's make a statement

Truthfully, I'm battling the winter blahs right now. Shouldn't it be March already with spring seeping in? I don't know about your weather, but here in Indiana it keeps swinging from brutal cold to (comparatively) warm and drizzly. Both are keeping me inside. I figured maybe I'm not the only one who could use a hefty dose of pretty.

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8

Saturday, January 26, 2013

This & That

Today's list of activites includes a quick stop at the post office, updating my Etsy shop, conquering hw I've been dreading, and most excitingly - hanging out with my mom! I'm really hoping we hit up a thrift store :D
The state of the kitchen should probably be addressed but that is such a kill joy.
Is it just me or does it seem like Saturdays are always busier than normal week days?
Regardless, happy weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

self inflicted frustration

I made this little image for my desktop. To remind me not to be an idiot. 

Anyone who blogs knows that as fun as it is, it takes some serious effort. At least, if you are creating your own content it does. It also takes some serious brain power to generate [interesting] post topics. So why on the days that those topic ideas are flowing do I not write them down?
Or why do I write them on a teensy little scrappet of paper that is indiscernible in my pocket doomed to be balled into a tiny grey blob when it goes through the wash.

Prime example - the other day was all sun-shiny and I distinctly remember thinking "hey, that would be a cool post!" at least twice. Did I write it down? No. Like a fool, I did not. Now, despite lots of pacing around the apartment and squinting at craft supply piles I cannot drum those ideas up again.
People! I have piles of cute notebooks. Why do I let this happen? Maybe I should try on of those voice-to-notes apps. Have you had any luck with one of those?

On a totally different note - I just started watching Call the Midwife. Really, really like that show but it leaves me wondering: how have so many women survived birth? What a grizzly process.
It also makes me want to station a camera in front of Keith so I can share his terrified expressions with you. So, so classic. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dog Face Man --> Disturbed Girl

Hubs posted this spectacle on my facebook wall and as creepy as I find this picture I can't seem to pry my eyes away. I go to my profile just to look at this.
So weird.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Tunes: Electric President


Two facts:
! - I have always admired people who were able to take a self portrait of themselves every day for a year.
! - My mind was blown the first time I saw a self portrait that was not of someone's head. I had no idea that was allowed. haha

This is my version of a daily self portrait. Well, almost daily. I'm posting this endeavor on the blog because I know it will keep me accountable but even still, I'm giving myself a 2 day allowance.

Ummm... sorry about the crummy phone pictures. I'll try to do better ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

unexpected juxtaposition

Originally, the plan was to do a Details post but I decided to do something different.

I love the contrast. The freezing, dull earth behind the spicy sequins.
Thinking that this is the first in a little photography series...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I made a jellyfish!

 Because of my last post, I wanted to show you a finished piece of fiber art I stitched together! It's a sweet little jellyfish that's made mostly from scrap bits. Mostly. The tentacles are actually an antique bit. I'm not sure whether to call it lace or ribbon, but either way it was passed to me from my great grandma and I'm 95% sure that she made it.

At first I felt a bit guilty for snipping up that lace ribbon (let's call it both, shall we?) but then something occurred to me: if my great-grand daughter even has and cherishes something of mine I will be thrilled. If she wants to use something I made in a project she is making I would be over the moon because that's about the coolest thing ever. So, I smiled and snipped and stitched.

I really, really enjoyed making this little jelly. It's always so satisfying to make things but the added element of using a bunch of scrappy, trash bound bits to make something interesting was incredibly fulfilling. My fingers are itching to make another piece.

Now, a tonnage of pictures...

The pictures don't give any hint to size, so if you were wondering, he measures about 6.5 inches from crown to tentacle tips, which is about the size of an adult hand.

**PS - if anyone knows the official name for the lace ribbon do tell!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

worth noting

A bit of interesting eye candy.

In an effort to put my fabrics and scraps to good use I've been dabbling around in a bit of fiber art. I haven't made anything worth sharing yet but hopefully soon!

Now for a bit of news about the other side of my brain - I wrote a (teensy-tiny) javascript program!! It is just a homework assignment and it's certainly not fancy but still, it is such a massive accomplishment for me. Anything heavier than html/css and the whole time I'm coding i can practically feel my brain creaking and groaning. (Sometimes those creaks spill out of my eyes in the form of wet frustration.)  But anyways, it is done and the crazy happy dance has been performed and I am feeling soooo satisfied and accomplished.

Oh, did I mention that the particular assignment I'm referring to isn't due for 2 weeks!
 Please, someone, award me a gold star.

So, umm, does anyone else find themselves [occasionally] in tears over a homework assignment or is this something I should find a therapist for?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

She's so cool: A tiny tour

My sister let me take a few snaps of her apartment. It's pretty snazzy, yeah!?
I can't decide which I like better: the magazine wall or the vintage newspaper / graffiti wall.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How To - The Care and Keeping of Curly Hair: Products

Alright chick-a-dees! This post is for all my curly girls! But before we get too far, let me start by saying, while I am NOT a professional stylist, I have been living with my hair for quite awhile (duh) and do consider myself an expert at managing it. While I am always up for trying new products, I have found what works for me and would like to share this info in the hope that it might help someone who is battling with their curls.
So, now that you know to take everything with a grain of salt, let's move on.

After years, literally, of buying and trying dozens (if not hundreds) of products this is my entire line of hair care products.

1) SHAMPOO - I discovered MillCreek Botanicals shampoos at the health food store a couple years ago and love, love, love them. This stuff is free from parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate but is still able to remove product (mousse, hairspray) and leave my hair feeling clean. I use the Biotin shampoo the most and recommend it to everyone but because of the colder, drier weather I've just switched to the Jojoba shampoo which is supposed to be a bit more moisturizing. If you were wondering, I wash my hair about every other day.

2) CONDITIONER - conditioner can be a bit tricky, in my opinion. Because curly hair is naturally drier and courser it needs a hefty bit of conditioner however, the trick is finding one that's thick enough for YOUR particular curls but won't weigh it down. I have had excellent, excellent results with Organix conditioners. Currently, I'm using the Moroccan Argan Oil conditioner. Let me say that like shampoo, I tend to switch conditioners depending on the season and how my hair is reacting to the weather. I've also used Organix Awapuhi Ginger conditioner, and Organix Coconut Milk conditioner.

3) COCOA BUTTER CREME - this is undoubtedly the most unorthodox product I use on my hair. It is indeed a body butter BUT it is also an awesome, luxurious leave-in deep conditioner / frizz fighter. Here is how I use it - after towel drying my wet hair, I part it into 2 sections (right and left side). I then get a generous blob of Queen Helene's Cocoa butter on my finger, rub it between my palms, and then smooth it over the bottom half of my hair, really focusing on the tips. I use a blob for each side. (I suppose that you really don't have to section your hair into 2 parts but it helps ensure that it is evenly covered.)
** I would also like to note that my hair is quite long - nearly to the bottom of my rib cage when it is pulled straight. If you have shorter hair or hair that isn't quite as curly, you probably don't want to put quite so much cocoa butter in your hair.

That is what a fingerful of cocoa butter looks like on a spoon.

MOUSSE - Chick-a-dees, in case you don't already know this, let me tell you: Not all mousse is created equal. Let me also tell you that Suave Professionals Volumizing Mousse is AWESOME. It is also cheap. (Can we get a round of applause for Suave?) I have been using this stuff since they introduced their Professionals Line and love it. They also have a cream mousse created for curls but I found that it is actually too heavy for my hair. It left it laying flat and looking greasy however, if you have really dry curls you might want to check it out.

HAIRSPRAY - I don't use much hairspray, usually only when I have flyaways, but I recommend  Suave's Touchable Finish.  This is another awesome and cheap product from Suave's Professionals line and it definitely lives up to its name. 

There you have it deary, those are the products I use in my hair. Hopefully this is clear and understandable and that it answers some of the questions I've been getting. Also I really hope this helps someone who is trying to wrangle their curls. I definitely know how frustrating and overwhelming it can feel. Ack! Feel free to ask if I need to 'splain something better :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goodness and Badness

 Don't stare at this too long.
Original pic via PredictaMike 
Goodness! - Erica from Live. Love. Random. was ever so sweet as to nominate me for a little blog award. Literally. Only tiny blogs get this awesomeness. (Praise me!) Perhaps you've heard of the Liebster Award? It's definitely been around a few times but just for fun and since I've been seeing some new people pop up around here (HELLO new friends!) I thought I'd work my way through the list of 11s.
Soooo, here goes... 

11 random bits about me
1, If not for Keith, I would not own a tv. My parentals did/do not have cable so I grew up doing other things for entertainment.
2, On the flip side, I'm pretty sure I have an internet addiction. I blame blogging.
3, The older I get (since I'm sooo old) the more I wonder if I should have gone into orthodontics. I see bad teeth and I want to FIX those gnarlies.  
4, Tomatoes are still disgusting. I try one every few months just to see if my tongue has changed. It hasn't.
5, I've been contemplating getting a pet. Something small and intelligent; like a rat.
6, I do not think that the above semi colon was used correctly but I like the way it looks.
7, I would like the world to know that just because a person is tall does NOT mean they love sports.
8, I did however LOVE cheerleading. I mean, come on, it's organized frolicking. So. Much. Fun.
9, My normal bedtime is 2am.
10,  Lately I've been on the prowl for Pyrex. I will show you why before long.
11, Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that God is not upset when I ask questions and that he is big enough to answer.

11 Questions from Erica:
1. What is your favorite vacation spot & why?
I do not have a favorite spot, but I prefer to be where the majority of people are not.
2. In what era would you love to live in & why?
I would continue to live in this era but I do wish things looked a bit more mid-century.
3. You have three wishes...go! (only unlimited wishing.)
Ack! How does one choose?
4. If you could change your home to be "you" and money wasn't an option, what would you change?
I would buy a house. As much as I love this apartment it's not a lifetime lodging. I can't even paint my walls!
5. What is your favorite home cooked meal & why?
Pulled pork. Because it's delish
6. If you could be a magical creature, what would you be?
An octopus. They contort and change colors so that makes them at least semi-magical, right?
7. Purple monkeys eat rotten coconuts, in rainbow tutus because.....
Wait, the coconut is in the tutu or the monkey?
8. You have 24 hours to live, who are you with and what are your plans?
My hubby and I would probably sit at my parentals.
9. What is your favorite cupcake flavor?
Cake is disgusting in every form but cheese.
10. What is your favorite birthday memory?
When Keith took me on an all-day birthday outing towards the end of which he proposed :D
11. Where would you love to live when your retired & why?
I don't age so this question is not applicable.

Badness! - I am a terrible person and am not going to nominate a gaggle of people and pass the award along because, well, this thing has gone around a million times.
I am also not going to forward the text message that prevents the killer from knocking on my door in the next 23 minutes. I tell you this so that if there is a sudden disappearance from my blog you know who to blame. ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Life in Daily (morbid alert)

1, Salvaged letters perched in the kitchen window sill
2, Out and about
3, Pair 3 of Minnitonka mocs. Love them all.
4, Poor little pudgy squirrel that was flopped across our path. I wish I could have closed his eyes.