Friday, October 31, 2008

Today is such a good day. First off, it FEELS like fall - and boy howdy do I love fall. Secondly - I stayed awake until 1:30am so I could go running in the park with my boyfriend and the dog, and we completed week 4 of the Couch to 5k program, which meant we did our longest run yet. It hurt, and I felt so good afterwards. I love running in the park that late at night/early in the morning. Frequently there are sprinklers on, so everything smells wet and good - it's a largeish park in the middle of a city, with a nature center in the middle of it and some open land where they maybe one day might build a senior center, and a few little hills with horse trails behind the equestrian center on the other side of the disc golf course. Every night we go running, we get followed by 3 coyotes. The first time we discovered them, we were up in the hills running on little dirt paths with mustard growing all around us, and the smallest of the 3 coyotes followed us for about 30 minutes before engaging Rommel (the dog.) Our dog is a huge german shephard - as big as the largest of the 3 coyotes. He's also a big sweet pushover, and doesn't really fight back with anything. He played with this coyote for a long time while we watched, then a second one came to play. A third (the largest) skulked around, and then made some aggressive motions, so we took the dog and kept running. They coyotes followed us back to our car but didn't engage.

Every night since then when we go running, they've come out to greet us - except the last couple of times there have only been 2 and they have been more and more aggressive. Adam runs holding a large stick now, if he finds one, and it sure adds to my exercise adrenaline to be followed by those animals. Last night we knew they were around, but they snuck up from behind and one of them rushed Rommel from really close - Adam yelled and ran at the coyotes, and Rommel ran away from the coyote (actually, he probably was running away from Adam's angry yell) and ran into me and knocked me over. (He's a *really* big dog!)

It was towards the end of our run, so we went back up through the sandy part and up the hill to the jeep, and didn't see the coyotes up close again that night. Adam's dad is a coyote expert (if you google Louis Dedeaux, you will find a documentary called Coyoteland. That's him) so we were talking about all of this - Adam's final consesus was that if he had another dog with Rommel, he'd let them fight just to see what happens. As it is, it's not worth the vet bill. Yeesh.

So anyways, I got home around 2:30am, took a shower, and then couldn't sleep. So I am here at work on very few hours of sleep, but feeling surprisingly perky. Although all of the colors are just a leeeetle too bright, I am happy, I feel good, I am about to go to the gym with my boyfriend and then I am going to the YA halloween carnival, then take my test, then go downtown with Becky for dinner then go to my dad's! Let halloween commence!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

etsy bloggers team carnival for November

This etsy carnival post the topic is Veteran's Day - I am either to post about my favorite Veteran, or what I am going to do with my day off!

Sadly, sadly, sadly, that day is not a holiday at my place o' employment. Know what I'll be doing that day? I'll have a meeting with one of the interns I supervise, and probably go to karate that night. I'll be getting more and more excited about Thanksgiving, and my birthday (which is the day AFTER Thanksgiving) and... in all other respects it will be a normal Tuesday.

Speaking of Veterans - the only one I know also happens to be one of my favorite people in the world, and luckily, I get to be related to him too. My Uncle Timmy - married my Tia Julie when I was....12 or so, and who I thought hated me for the first year - is one of the greatest people I know. I thought he didn't like me because he has that habit of teasing you INSTANTLY as soon as you meet him. Now I understand that it's all from loooove, but man, back then, I wasn't so sure. Now I tease back.

Politically he is incredibly different from where I stand - he'll be the only person in our family voting the way he votes on Nov. 4, that's for sure. But in my life, he's the person who makes me stop and realize that people who believe different things than I do also have valid opinions. (I tend to think I'm the rightest righteous person of all time, can you tell?) I've never really stopped to talk to him about his experiences in the armed forces, but this blog topic sure has inspired me to do just that. Maybe in a few weeks I will do a follow up post, and talk more about the specifics of my uncle tim's experience.

on a slightly different topic, I do get a day off tomorrow (well, half a day off) due to the fact that I am working on Sunday. Tomorrow also happens to be Halloween - and I have NOTHING planned! My cousin still works at the daycare I used to work at, so I think I will go visit them - it's hard for me to visit since I work during the hours they are open, but I miss the kids and would love to see them all dressed up. I also have my first test in my online abnormal psychology class, so I am going to make sure I am prepped for that, annnddd maybe I will go hang out with my dad and have some low-key halloween handing out candy to the 5 kids who show up at my parent's door.

Saturday, Adam and I will be getting up early to go to the APPLE ORCHARDS! I am so excited. This is where my family and I used to go in the fall when we were younger. Its up near Oak Glen, and it's sort of like wine tasting, except it's in orchards not vineyards, and you can get out and hike around in all the fall leaves and go eat different types of apples and press your own cider and pick chestnuts... when Adam and I first became friends, I wanted to go there with him, but he said no, on the grounds that it was too much like a date. So now, since we've been In A Relationship for two years, we are finally going!!

I live in Huntington Beach - land of the large sunglasses, the day spa and the 24 hour fitness. We've got ocean - but not past 10pm - and we've got...yeah, we've got ocean - but we don't have much in the way of green. We don't have that air that hits you when you get up high, the cold that gets in your lungs, the smell of greeeeen. I miss green. I want trees. I cannot wait to go to the apple orchards.

marina's wedding invitation

My very best friend in the whole wide world, whom I met at a homeschooling conference in Sacramento in August, 1998 is getting married.

She refuses to do anything by the book.

Among the things she is doing for herself, rather than have someone else do them, is make her invitations. That's probably the most traditional thing she's doing at this wedding - sending invitations.

Anyways, I am trying to help her create a background, so here it is.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

cold fingers!

Oh my I need to make myself some fingerless gloves. It's about 85 degrees outside, but in my office, it's FREEEZING.

I finished attaching the handle to JW's custom bag - it's spiffy. Made me realize how much I really love the look of BIG bags. I'll do the lining this week and get some wrapping paper to package it and the scarves up for R.

Another coworker bought a frame from me yesterday - also need to wrap that up with Christmas paper for him. I know I keep saying this, but I really need to take better photos of the frames!

Also - if anyone out there has any old art history textbooks, I'd love them! I need the pictures.

Tonight I want to start on making my personal christmas cards. I was making the list of people-to-send-to and I realized I have many more than I thought, so I should start NOW.

My garden is sort of hit and miss. The tomatoes and strawberries look excellent, and some of the cabbage seems to be alright. One or two planters of the romaine lettuce are growing growing growing, but everything else seems a little frail. I am so bummed. I had really hoped to have a ton of squash and stuff. Maybe it needs time. Maybe it needs...fertilizer of some sort? Is that cheating? I should do some research.

However, not now! Now I leave from work, go home, make sure my house hasn't exploded (Adam exchanged dryers today), work on xmas cards, go to karate, go out to eat with karate, come home, read psychology textbook, run, sleep. sleep. sleep. lather. rinse. repeat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

for PETRA - halloween prep

This is the walkway where people will park and walk to the building. We are looking towards the parking lot, away from where we will have the party. I'd love this area to be decorated also - I have a ton of orange/black streamers and cobwebs.

The walkway curves.........

and leads into this open area. This is where I think we will have space to do the cakewalk. Although it is brick, I don't want to use chalk or anything (we are in a business complex) - but tape with numbers would be okay. Make sure there is lots of room between them - some folks will have walkers/wheel chairs, and make the numbers fairly large for folks with vision issues. We will need to light this area - if you could bring whatever extension cords you have, that would help.

This is the grass area next to where the cake walk can be. (see that little corner next to the tree trunk?) I thought this would be ideal for a graveyard or for that giant ghost becky was talking about. This is right next to the door of the big room.

This will be the main entrance. I think we should probably have the sign-in table outside, because it will be awfully crowded with food/music/people inside. I have a sign-in sheet for the sign in table, and can provide name tags if you want (you guys decide if you think that's needed or not) - I also have some halloween stamps we can put on them. I have a form called a Progress Note, that some of our clients will need to intial, I will provide a sign-in sheet in addition to that. We will probably want some decorations/table cloth for that table also - plus chairs for whoever is sitting there. :)

Okay - we are now looking from the inside out through the doors we just went through. On the left is part of the "kitchen" counter. There is one of the 2 big coolers we can use. We also have two giant drink-coolers.

This is the kitchen area - as you can see under the table in the back, I have about 10 huge bags of chips (potato and tortilla) - the counters might want some table cloth/decorations, and there is also a fridge/freezer on the right. There is nothing separating the kitchen from the big room except those tables you see right there.

On the right is the kitchen area and entrance to the room. I am standing about 2/3 of the way back to give you an idea of the length of the room. Down at the end you can see from this photo, you can see a big white screen - that will be taken down, and there is a big screen tv behind it which I have hooked the karaoke machine up to. I have about 10 karaoke cds, becky has about 10 more, and it'd be neat if everyone brought more - but please make sure they are labeled. If I have extra karaoke cds at the end of the night, I am keeping them!! :)

This is another photo of almost the same shot, just going to the left a little. See the chairs? See the tables? The tables are actually really heavy, so when you guys first get here friday we'll do the moving and figuring out where we want them. It'd be nice, if the weather is good and we have enough light, to put them outside for people to sit and eat and talk at - just to give more space. Also - note the streamers? Those are just leftover from a smaller halloween party that was held here yesterday. We can take them down, leave them there, add to them, whatever.

This is the back of the room. Note the windows. So that's pretty much it. Almost exactly behind where I was standing to take this photo is a small hallway with the bathrooms, and another doorway leading out to the parking lot and another entrance. I'd like us to block that off somehow so people don't go in/out of there at the beginning - just so our sign in table is more effective.
Other random things I am thinking of - I have forms for people to vote on their top three favorite halloween costumes, I have halloween stamps and stamp pads if we want to do something with those, I have about 7 cardboard tombstones that need RIP painted, but they're here, I have some plastic bones, two plastic pumpkin buckets...
We officially have 67 clients and 19 staff signed up. I gaurantee you that more will appear than we expect - let's make sure to get their names down even if they are not on the list. I will have a cash box also - there will be people paying 15 or 18 dollars at the door. I will give the sign in folks a list of who they need to collect from also.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or ideas. I am so excited about this - and I am sorry I didn't think about doing this photo thing sooner! is my work email, and my work # is 714-549-3464 ex. 239

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My plan today -
sweep, first and foremost
laundry in washer
sprinkle cleanser in the shower
do dishes
eat an apple with some cheese cut up
scrub shower
take shower
put on running clothes, leave house
(by 11am)

leave house, head for farmer's market! buy fruit
go to beach, do week 3 of couch to 5k
go to Michael's
buy yarn for JW's bag
take car to charity car wash #1
take car to fundraising car wash #2

get home, eat things (like fruit!)
laundry in dryer
balance checkbook
make spaghetti
fold laundry
work on JW's bag or braided rug

etc. etc. I should get crackalackin if I am really going to do all of this.

The romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries are thriving. Some of the cabbage looks good too. There is one little sprout of something I forgot to label, the artichokes are dyyyying, and I don't remember what anything else is. Come on garden, you can make it!

Yesterday, Adam and I went to 2nd street and met up with pretty much every member of my extended family and then some at Rubios, walked around for a while, then went to see the movie W at the marketplace. I didn't laugh as much as the other people in the audience did. At one point, a man in the back yelled "This great American experience is almost over!!! Vote for Obama!" and everyone clapped. I think Bush's legacy will be having both a tv show and a movie come out DURING his presidency which mock him mercilessly. well that's free speech for ya.

In any case, time to get moving!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today is one of those days where I really wish I was just at my parent's house, hanging out with my little sisters, watching The Office and crocheting. Instead I am at work, wishing that my lunch could last a litttttle longer.

In more content news, a friend of mine came over last night to learn how to knit a beanie, so she knitted and I crocheted, and fun was had by all. I even had time to do some cleaning up, and made a giant taco salald - in between watching Project Runway and Top Design.

I am still head over heels for these granny square bags - in fact, I got one more custom order, so I need to get yarn for that.

OOOH I don't know if I mentioned a very, very cool gift that someone gave me - a coworker that I turned onto etsy ( - go there!) is a photographer, and I was complaining about my lack of photographic skills... so the next day, guess what he brings me?

My very own lightbox! Yay! I am so excited to use this. I took a few photos with it, and I am so impressed by how much more professional the photos look. This picture is one of the ones I took with the lightbox - how cool is that?? I'll tell ya - freaking cool!
Alright. Lunch is over. Can't wait til five. Delivering one of my sold etsy orders after work, and then karate and hopefully some crocheting in there somewhere!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October Featured Etsy Blogger!

This is my very first post about a featured etsy blogger, so first let me tell you exactly what that is!

Once a month, the etsy bloggers team chooses someone to be their featured blogger. They get to bask in the warm rays of appreciation and blog articles for an entire month - the rest of us each post an entry about them, their blog, and their etsy shop. I love this idea - love supporting other etsians this way!

So without any further ado... here is October's Featured Etsian Blogger! baby friendly beads! Jewelry, necklaces,bracelets - for nursing mama's!

I love this idea. I am not a mother yet - but I have held my fair share of grasping-pinching-flailing babies...I have a love of dangling earrings and also have a nose ring, which can be problematic. I have witnessed first hand the importance of baby-friendly jewelry!

Bfbeads jewelry is not only functional but really beautiful as well. One of my favorite aspects of it is reading the titles of the pieces - you can tell that there is a lot of thought put behind each piece.
So three cheers for baby friendliness!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am incredibly tired tonight - just from a sheer lack of sleep. A coworker bought 2 scarves from me, which is amazing, wonderful, superb, yay! I also did the crochet portion of a new granny square bag. I have two others that I have to attach handles to and sew linings for. I'd really love to get to a fabric store and buy some zippers to try to make little coin purse wallet things.

I downloaded the etsy sellers spreadsheet, but it's not quite working for me. They have awfully elaborate excel formulas and I'm afraid to alter anything in case it affects something else. I might go old fashioned, and do it by hand. My aunt has one of my favorite family heirlooms - I want to say it was my great grandfather's - it's a giant ledger from his grocery store...and this tiny, fragile pencil spiderweb script for thousands of pages reads "eggs...mrs matherson... 25 cents. bread...mrs johans...15 cents.." etc. It's amazing. One day my great great grandkid is going to open up my archaic excel spreadsheet... hardeeharhar.

tomorrow I will delve deeply into the etsybloggers team site and figure out what I need to do to get more involved! I am having a hard time keeping track. I am like this at work lately, too. There are things I just think "okay, tomorrow" and put them off each day. No more ostriching! I am gonna do it!

But right now - I am going to fold some laundry, then get to bed!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

etsy bloggers carnival post

What do I do to reeeeelllaaaxxxxxxxxx....

I had to think about this for a while. I never think of myself as either particularly stressed or relaxed. Neither one of those words is frequently in my vocabulary. But, yes, I guess there are times when my shoulders ease up, my neck is less tight, and I might even actually let a sigh of relief issue forth. There's one moment in particular I can think of that it happens every single time I do it --

the moment after I have pulled on my swim cap, adjusted my goggles, sit down at the edge of the pool, and slip in. There's a chill of yuck for a second, then I push off, and that first 25 of my warmup is always, always, always pure relaxed bliss. For some reason, the first 25 and the last 25 of my workout are effortless. I watch my hands and fingers in the water, and just sort of...marvel at this crazy thing the human body, and how it can get me from one end of the pool to the other.

Swimming. That's what I do to relax. In the ocean, in the pool - any sort of water. I love it.

I also spend an inordinate amount of time just staring at yarn. :P That's kind of hypnotizing and relaxing as well. heehee. (That's where the photo comes in...can't you just stare?)

I sing a lot - sing loudly and without embarrassment. Something about that is relaxing as well - just kind of emptying myself of everything except my throat.

It's funny to talk about relaxing right now, though - because I am a little anxious. The wind was kicking up today and it was wonderful. All I wanted to do was be out in it- except I also wanted to curl up warm inside away from it. Except for one little walk and a trip downtown for lunch, the latter won. So tonight I am not so interested in relaxing. I'd rather be up and doing something - except I need to go to sleep early tonight. So I am going to try to purposefully relax...maybe put on different music and curl up with crocheting. ja. go team!

I got a lot done on mygranny square bags this weekend - finished emily's, finished amber's - took pictures and posted them. I am really happy with them! I also listed a few new ones, and did the liners for a few more.

The photo is emily's bag... originally supposed to be small plastic handles, we decided on longer canvas ones so it could be an over-the-shoulder bag. I was a little skeptical about how such a large bag would work, but I think it turned out superbly.

The blue bag has been listed on etsy - it wasn't a custom order.

It's been getting colder and colder and colder this week - we actually turned the heater on tonight. I have been thinking about knitting or crocheting some personal items (fingerless gloves!!!) but here it is, 8pm on Sunday night, and I am busy all week.

I am proud of the photos I took today. I managed to get outside while it was daylight which definitely adds a lot. Nothing beats natural lighting, eh?

Okie dokie. That's all for now. I am going to go make progress on something - I crocheted a few flowers for a new bag, so I think I will go work on that!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

no time!!!

(This picture - taken on the June 2008 Cruise to Alaska with A2A)

Ack! I am so running out of time every day to do even the little updates on items I want to do. I haven't listed anything on etsy in a week, which is just driving me CRAZY.

Tonight won't be any better - I have karate, schoolwork, and some other work I need to do. Yarrgh. Tomorrow, though - I get off work early and will be heading to Joanne's to see if they have a bigger handle to use for Emily's large pink bag. Then I can finish that, and finish the lining on Amber's - plus do the lining on the cool orangish bag I did a while back, and voila, I'll have things to list again! I also need to finish the handles on two bags that are already crocheted - and then I can add lining to them and put them up. I just need one good weekend of sewing linings and I'll be ready to do some listing!

I want to do the granny squares I am doing, but make them little and put zippers in and make them into coin purses.

No time! No time!

My garden is faring all right - some of the cabbages seem like they are getting smaller and smaller, and the artichoke looks awfully wilted, but I am hoping that they will carry through. I still have about 16 plants that are sitting in the containers from the store because I ran out of soil. Tonight I'll go get more too.

I finally took some time to do some personal mending last night - I can finally wear my favorite pants again (fixed a seam) and fixed a button for my fella. I love doing that. It would really stink to feel like I couldn't sew on a button or fix a tear or something.

I remember having that thought process in Alaska - no one where we were would have called a plumber, or an electrician, if something went wrong. Nope - they figure it out, trial and error, put it together with random pieces and duct tape, and ask their friends. It's very liberating, realizing you can fix those things with your own two hands.

A friend of mine from work actually created their own etsy page!!! YAY Michael Thantrong! Everyone go to ISO100 and take a look at his amazing photos!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

yay gardening

The reason my post about gardening is going on my etsy blog, is because it's something I am creating with my own two hands -and it gives me the same self-sufficient feeling that making something utilitarian into an art form does.

There's my justification. Here's my post!

So yesterday I went to Home Depot and purcashed a gajillion plants for "winter" gardening (although the temperature here was 98 degrees today..). I don't have anything in the way of a real garden space in my backyard, so instead what I do is plant everything in pots, and cluster them in one corner of the backyard, so it kind of *looks* like a garden. My wonderful, amazing, handy boyfriend actually made me a white picket fence to put around my garden area so the dog won't pee on them. ;oP

During the summer I had tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, strawberries, thyme, basil, cilantro and chives. The jalapenos grew like crazy - I have never had success like I had with those peppers. My cucumbers didn't do as well - one plant died right off the bat, and the other produced about 4 or 5 fruits. My tomatoes produced so much that I could not eat them all. We were having some serious fly issues, though, and I think the flies were doing something funny to the tomatoes, so I was always a little iffy about them. I let the cilantro go to seed accidently, and then kind of...neglected.. my poor garden. Anyways, I uprooted the dead plants, revitalized the ones I could salvage, and then bought.......

more strawberries
3 artichoke plants
6 red cabbages
12 romaine lettuce
6 red lettuce
1 acorn squash
1 butternut squash
1 crookneck squash
1 zucchini
6 cauliflower
1 strawberry

also - seeds for snap peas, bok choy, and spinach

I want carrots, too. I would do potatoes but those big giant prehistoric bugs that go along with them freak me out!

Anyways, I am super excited about my garden. I can't wait to take my crocheting out and sit amongst my leafy greens. :) (there, full circle, back to etsy..)

Friday, October 3, 2008

delivered the black granny square bag with red flower today. I was really proud of the lining I sewed for it. It was classssy. Today I also sold the Raphael pencil holder! yay. I really like the items I have made from famous paintings, but they are not showcased well in my shop. At some point I would like to retake photos of the picture frames where they are up on a bookshelf, or somewhere looking like picture frames.

quick post for me tonight. I have a lot of crocheting to do. I have the pink granny square bag to work on - I am going to make it a "granny rectangle" bag instead, because the person who ordered it said they want it that now I get to make up the pattern for that, which will be fun. Then I get to try to recreate it for the other side. ;)

Also for the purple granny square bag, I need to sew the lining. I think I am going to do a light yellow lining, I just need to sew it!


plus, the weather here is getting collllder, finally - I hear it is going to rain this weekend. EXCITED.

oh, I keep forgetting - the person who bought the red flower bag, suggested I make little coin purses out of small granny squares, and put a zipper in it. She said if I start making those she'd buy one. Also, a coworker wants me to make a dog sweater. Plus, I have the three christmas gift orders from RB. Gotta get crackalackin.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hi everyone,

I am participating in a poetry contest through etsy, and would love your support! Go read the poems and vote!