Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No-Slip Slippers

Since I made the moccasins for my Mimi the other day, I decided to create a few more pairs for Christmas gifts.  This time I decided to add some flower embellishments instead of fringe and beads.

It was my first time creating crochet flowers and leaves, but I think they turned out quite well. :)

With these slippers I learned a few new things and went back to fix some things on the moccasins.  For one, I wanted to add an inner sole, so I bought some simple insoles and sewed them in.  It added a little extra cushioning, and made them look a little more professional.

I also decided to give the slippers a no-slip bottom for safety.  The last thing in the world I'd want is for my sweet little Mimi to be wearing these and slip and hurt herself, so I did some research online to find a good solution.  I read lots of suggestions and watched a few YouTube videos, and I ended up combining several things to create my own method.

I think what I did turned out well, so I decided to share it with you guys in case anyone wants to create no-slip or non-skid crochet or knit slippers.  

Lots of people online suggested a product called Plastidip.  It's original purpose was to make the handles of tools non-slip, but many people have begun to use it in the crafting world.  

However, no one gave a really successful step-by-step tutorial.  I watched one YouTube video in which the woman slopped the stuff on with a spatula and it looked like a big mess, but seemed functional in the end.  I thought it was worth a try, but I wanted to tweak her method a bit.

First I traced my foot on some foam board and cut it out.  When inserted into the slipper, it helped keep the surface stretched and flat so the surface was easy to coat.

Next, I made a template or stencil for the no-slip area on the bottom of the slippers out of cardstock paper.  I did a simple slender foot shape, but you could easily to hearts or dots or paw prints or anything else you could dream up as long as you have the patience to cut the shapes out.  

On a covered work space, I attached the stencils to the slipper bottoms with a few small circles of tape.  Then, I used an old paint brush (old or cheap paint brushes are essential because it will RUIN the brush)  to paint within the stencil.

I painted one coat, waited thirty minutes, and then painted another semi-thick coat.

Four hours later, the slippers were ready to use with their new no-slip bottoms.

Hope this helps someone to make some fabulous non-skid slippers. :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Moccasins for Mimi

I just finished another Christmas gift, and this one I can share with you.  I made some crochet moccasins for my sweet Mimi (my mom's mom).  Since she doesn't have a computer or the internet, I thought it would be okay to show you guys her gift before Christmas... so don't tell her! :)

Mimi isn't able to get outside very much, so my normal crochet hats and scarves wouldn't be a very good gift for her.  She does enjoy watching TV in her comfy chair, though, and she's usually wearing cozy socks or slippers while doing so.  With that in mind, I decided to branch out a little and try something different.  I decided to make some booties/slippers.

I hopped on over to my favorite crochet resource Ravelry.com, and I found a great pattern.  I wasn't sure when I decided to try it, but now I'm thinking it turned out quite well. After completing the crochet pattern, I thought it needed a little something extra, so I added the beads as a final touch.  Pretty soon, I might experiment some more and make myself a pair to lounge around in. 

What do you guys think?  A good present for a grandmother?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the Holiday Spirit

I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting more excited about Christmas by the minute.  I've almost finished my Christmas shopping, I'm gearing up to go home for a couple of weeks, and I've put up a few Christmas decorations here in Hawaii.  

I must admit that I get a little jealous of all my friends back home with houses they own and big beautiful Christmas trees.  In our little temporary home here in Hawaii, I can't have a big tree like I really want.  Mine is just a little three foot tree that sits on a table.  I try to make the most of it though... lots of glitter and lots of sparkle!

I also added a little color outside my house by putting some lights around my door.  It makes me smile every evening when I come home.  :)

What about you guys?  Do you have a big tree, a little tree, a live tree, a pink tree?  Lights on your house?  What decorations put you in the Christmas spirit?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Artwork!

Hello all!  I've been busy continuing to work on my Christmas gifts, and I've also finally completed a pet portrait that a friend asked me to do.  I thought I'd share it with you guys today. 

I felt so honored when I was asked to do this.  This special dog recently lost her battle with cancer, and my friend wanted to give her owners a portrait as a gift.  As soon as I received the photo to work from, I knew that Roxie had been a special dog.  Her eyes seemed to smile, and she looked so happy to have been splashing in the water at the beach.  

I hope her owners like it and will always be reminded of her sweet spirit.

What do you guys think?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hectic Holidays

I'm back. :)  I had to take a little break for a while.  

For the past week I've found myself super involved in making Christmas gifts for people, which left very few fun/interesting things for me to share.  I also found myself needing to take a break to enjoy my time with Kent while he had a week off for Thanksgiving.  

I'm still not quite finished with my gift making, but I'm much closer than I was, and I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving here.  It was just about as good as it could get without my family close by.  I cooked my family's traditional Thanksgiving spread all by myself.  It was my first time making my Mimi's famed dressing, and it turned out pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself. We also had baked macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, a congealed strawberry salad, green bean casserole, turkey, and deviled eggs. Needless to say, I was very busy in the kitchen for a few days.  

Despite the break, it seems to be that time of year where everything speeds up for me... hence my sporadic posting over the past couple of weeks.  Does that happen to you guys?  You try so hard to enjoy yourself, not get into the hustle and bustle, and get things done ahead of time, yet somehow you feel yourself getting stressed for no reason.  I'm not sure why it happens, but it does every year.  This year I'm trying to just go with the flow.  I want to finish my projects that are gifts, and not get myself too worried that I'm forgetting something.  The important thing to me is being with family.  That means more than anything.  

On that note, my mom called me the other day and wanted a picture from me and Kent for the family's yearly Christmas card.  Now I like taking photos, but I don't care as much for being in them... especially when I have to coordinate with Kent and his ever-changing repertoire of unknowingly ridiculous faces and stances.  Thankfully, his brother is still staying with us, so he was gracious enough to play photographer and take about a million 500 pictures for us.  

It took us a while...

But we finally got one that would work. :)

Hope you guys have a great week!  (And I hope you're not stressing about the holidays just yet.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Project! Jewelry Holder from an Old Drawer

I'm so excited to show you guys me newest project!

It's a jewelry holder made out of an old drawer.

I had some drawers left from a coffee table I found on the side of the road and tried to save.  The table had been the target of little kid crayon attacks, and it was to the extent that I couldn't sand it all off, I couldn't prime it to cover it-- even with Kilz, and no matter what I did the paint seeped through.  I gave it to Kent so he could take some of the wood or do whatever with it, but I took the drawers.

The inside was already painted from when I attempted to save the coffee table.

I went to Home Depot and spent $7 on enough trim to go around the drawer, and then I asked Kent to pretty please cut it so that it made a sort of frame around drawer. (I didn't get a photo as soon as he finished. I was too excited to start painting it.)

Once the trim was in place, I painted the frame and the sides of the drawer.

I wanted the back drop of the jewelry holder to match my room, so I went to the craft store and picked up a few pieces of matching scrapbook paper for about $2.

I already had Mod Podge and paint brushes, so I got to work creating the back drop. 

I'm not ashamed to say that my first attempt turned out pretty terrible.  The paper bubbled and just didn't look right, so I turned to YouTube for hints on how to do it better.

I found this tutorial, and when I followed her directions, it turned out perfectly.

This is what it looked like when I was in the process.

When the Mod Podge was completely dry, it was time to add hooks and wires where I would be hanging my jewelry.  I already had these things laying around, so it was no extra cost. 

I used small hook screws on the inside of the drawer, and I attached twisted wire across from one screw to another as a place to hang earrings.

When I finished with the inside, I decided to add a few larger hooks on the outside of the drawer so I could hang necklaces and bracelets.  

With everything painted, the backdrop finished, and the hooks in place, it was time to hang my jewelry.

I think it turned out quite well.  :)  I'm super happy that I can now see my jewelry and remember what I have.  What do you guys think?  Have any old drawers that you might repurpose now?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for the Small Things

I've not been writing much this week because I really didn't have a lot to say.  It seems that with the holidays drawing closer I've found myself in more of a homesick funk than usual.  I don't seem to want to do much of anything, and when that happens, I usually don't have much to share.  In an effort to remind myself of the good things around me and the things I'm thankful for, I've decided to name a few of the highlights of my week... however small they might be.

1.  I finally got a wonderful beach morning the other day.  It was raining at our house, but Kent didn't have to go into work until later, and his brother who is staying with us for a while didn't have to work either, so we ventured out to try to find a beach with sunshine.  When we found one, I sat by the water reading a total "fluff" book for several hours while the guys spear fished.  It was glorious.

2.  I've been experimenting with lots of fun, easy recipes in the past week, and I've had some success.  We've had lots of yummy foods... everything from Lone Star Enchiladas to Buffalo Sloppy Joe's to breakfast quiches.

3.  Kent was finally able to help me with a jewelry holder project that I've been planning for several weeks now.  It's suuuper close to being finished, so maybe I'll be able to share it tomorrow.

4.  I had a fabulous morning run yesterday.  It started raining on me halfway through, but it only made it all the more wonderful.  The sunshine was still peeking through the rain clouds, the warm Hawaii air was all around me, a nice breeze was blowing, and the cool raindrops were hitting my skin as I hit the pavement with my new favorite barefoot running shoes.  It was a very free feeling, and to top it off, I was blessed with an exquisite rainbow.  I only had my cell phone camera, so the photo doesn't do it justice.  It's just proof that it was there.

5.  This one might sound corny, but I don't think it ever hurts to be reminded of it.  My furry guys Murphy and Duke love me.  It never fails.  Even if I only run down to the mini-mart for 15 minutes to pick up an ingredient I forgot, they are as happy to see me as if I'd been gone a year.  It never gets old to me.

One more thing I'm thankful for today and every day is this country's veterans, those who currently serve, and their families.  Their sacrifices enable all the things I'm so thankful for in this wonderful life.

Hope everyone had a great week, and hopefully I'll have a cool project to share with you in the next couple of days. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Active and Accomplished

I don't know about you guys, but I had a busy weekend.  I almost feel like I need a weekend to get over my weekend. Ha!

It started Saturday morning with my favorite Spinning class.  The instructor is great, and I always feel like a million bucks in a dog-tired, worked-my-tail-off kind of way.  On the way home from class, I was anticipating a nice shower and a lazy afternoon of crocheting since the weather couldn't seem to make up its mind between mostly cloudy and rainy.  However, just before I pulled into my driveway, I got a call from Kent saying not to get too spiffed up because we were going on a hike.  

Even though I was a little pooped, I wasn't going to miss out on a new hike.  We went to a trail on the North Shore of the island that we hadn't done before-- the Kealia Trail.  (Truthfully, we haven't done nearly as many hikes as I would like... Sometimes the weather here just will not cooperate while Kent is around.  It barely cooperated for this hike... hence the cloudy looking phone pics.)

Kent, his brother Luke, my big fur baby Duke, and I all hit the trail and climbed the mountain,  It wasn't my very favorite hike, but it was fun, and it had some cool views.  Duke had a great time, and was completely tuckered out when we got home.  Poor little Murphy couldn't go with us since it was so rocky and had some steps that were taller than him.  He just took a nap at home and got super pumped to see us when we got back. :)

Duke wasn't the only one tuckered out when we got home.  I was too, so I made sure I got plenty of rest because Sunday was going to be a looooong day.

Yesterday I went to a nine hour class on the Air Force base here.  I learned a few new things and got refreshed on others, and now I can officially teach Spinning classes!!!!! I'm pretty excited.  It was my first step in moving towards a new "job."

                                                                                                         Source: darcyknoblich.com via Erin on Pinterest

I was soooo nervous before my class.  It's so silly (stupid social anxiety), but since I hadn't been in any kind of classroom in two years, I was a little scared.  With my introverted, pretty much type-A personality, I don't like to fail at anything, and the thought of not being prepared or not being good enough kills me.  Luckily, Kent and my mom gave me some "you've got this" speeches, and I got myself together and headed off.  When I got there, though, it was not bad at all.  I actually really enjoyed it (well, most of the 9 hours... I did crash a little around 4pm).  It also got me really motivated to continue my education in the fitness arena.  I don't think I could ask for more than that.  

All in all, my weekend was pretty active, and I feel pretty accomplished... gotta love that. :)  Did you guys have a good weekend?  Anything cool and exciting?  Did you get much accomplished on any front-- work, rest, learning, family time? 

Hope your Monday is off to a great start! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday Fun

Since my old computer took a fall and I was still waiting on my new one, I didn't get to share the details of my birthday.  Now that I finally have my new computer, though, I can give you a little run-down of this past weekend.

1.  I got a MacBook for my birthday!  (Granted, I was going to get one anyway since my old computer broke... but it was still something exciting for my birthday. )

2.  I got a new dress... and I love it.  I wore it for date night/birthday dinner on Saturday night.  We went out on the town in Honolulu and had a great dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. So much fun...

The new dress is made by Tori Richards, and it's a multi-way dress. :)

Here's some of the ways shown on her website.
Pretty cool, huh?

3.  On my actual birthday Kent made me my requested breakfast of eggs and toast.  He's a sweetheart sometimes.

4.  I also got to open some sweet gifts from my wonderful family.  New workout clothes and some moo-lah are certain to make any birthday great. 

5.  I got tons of sweet Facebook and bloggie birthday wishes, and I thank each and every one of you guys.  You rock!

I'm thinking 25 might be pretty tough to top.  :)  

On another note, I can't believe it's already Thursday!!!  This week has flown by for me, and I haven't done near as much as I had planned.  It seems like I've spent a lot of time catching up on errands, going to the grocery store, and cooking constantly.  Hopefully this weekend and next week will be productive ones.  Anyone else feel like this week was really fast?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Little Spooks

I wasn't able to get this post up on Halloween itself, or even yesterday, but I just had to show you guys my "boys" in their Halloween costumes.  I thought they looked pretty darn cute. 

My guys dressed up as Batman and Robin this year.
Don't let Murphy's face in this photo fool you.  He seemed to enjoy wearing his costume when all the trick-or-treaters came.

I bought Duke's Batman costume because it was only $8, and I wouldn't have been able to make it for less.  They didn't have a Robin costume, so I had to make one.

It was really easy, and really cheap-- probably less than $8.  I bought a red toddler t-shirt, one piece of green felt, and one half yard of yellow fabric from the $1 per yard section.  I cut the sleeves off the shirt and sewed on some green felt for the sleeves.  Then, I cut a circle of green felt, embroidered an "R" with some yellow yarn I already had, and sewed it on.  I finished the shirt by using my yellow yarn to add a few stitches down the chest.  Finally, I finished the outfit by creating a little cape with the yellow fabric.  Simple, but pretty cute. :)

They boys really enjoyed sitting outside and watching the trick-or-treaters with us.

Duke looked like he was guarding the candy.

And Murphy was the friendly face welcoming everyone...

All in all it was a great Halloween!

How was Halloween for you guys?  What were you?  Did you dress up your furry friends?  I'd love to hear about it!

P.S.  I finally got my computer in the mail and have it up and running.  I'm still in the learning stages of my new Mac, and I'm having to get used to all the differences that I'm not used to.  It's slowed down my blogging as I'm trying to get everything set up the way I like it, so bear with me. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

25 for 25

Today I turn the big 2-5.  

I'm a quarter of a century, and it feels kind of old.  But since there's not a whole lot I can do about it, I might as well enjoy it. :)

                                                                                                        Source: cilantropist.blogspot.com via Kari on Pinterest

I'm a little bummed because my new computer didn't arrive when it was supposed to on Saturday.  It's okay though.  I still had a great time going out to eat in Honolulu last night, and I got some sweet gifts from my family in the mail.  Even from thousands of miles away, my family knows how to make me feel special on my birthday.  When my new computer decides to show up, I'll share some birthday pictures with you guys.  Until then, here are 25 random facts in honor of my 25 years of life.

1.  I'm left handed... but sort of not.  I write left handed, cut right handed, play golf left handed, bat as a switch hitter, and throw right handed.  I'm a little mixed up, but it works for me.

2.  Old TV shows are my favorites, in particular I Love Lucy.  Since I was really little, I've loved Lucy, but I also adore any of the old classics-- Leave It To Beaver, Andy Griffith, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, Happy Days, Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Addams Family, etc.

3.  I'm kind of weird when it comes to eating M&M's.  I eat them in color order, starting with what I consider the ugliest... so it's brown, then orange, then red, then yellow, then blue, and then I end with green, which is my favorite.  Strange, I know...

4.  My favorite movie ever is The Notebook.  I know it's cliche for girls to say that, but I can't help it.  I love the love story, and the Alzheimer's story hits home because my PawPaw had it for 12 years.

5.  I really like Big Band music when I'm working on artwork.  I turn Pandora on to an Artie Shaw or Benny Goodman station, and I can paint away.

6.  I was lucky to grow up surrounded by tons of animals.  We didn't have them all at the same time, but at different points of my life we had fish, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, parakeets, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, goats, cows, a donkey, and horses.  I learned a lot about the circle of life, and I wouldn't trade any of those life lessons for anything in the world.

7.  When I was little I wanted to be a country music singer, and I constantly gave "concerts" on the fireplace hearth, the deck, or any platform I could find.  It's funny because I used to love being the center of attention, but now I'm super shy.

8.  When I was in the 4th grade, I wanted to be a professional golfer.  I even invented the "all-in one golf hat," which had a place for tees, markers, balls, and just about anything else you might use while playing.  I wonder why that never caught on?

9.  I've only broken one bone.  It was my middle finger, and I broke it in the 8th grade doing back handsprings on a basketball court.  It twisted so that every time I bent my finger, it would bend towards my ring finger and pinky.  I had to have surgery to fix it.

10.  My favorite color is green.  It just makes me happy.

11.  The only food I really don't like but wish I did is black olives.  I keep trying them over and over hoping that my taste buds have changed, but so far I've had no such luck.

12.  My first "car" was a red Power Wheels Jeep when I was about 3 years old.  When I turned 16, I got a red Jeep Cherokee to drive.  It's still the only car I've ever had, and it even made the trip to Hawaii with me.

13.  My middle name is Renee. (I guess it's not legally my middle name anymore, but in my mind it always will be.)

14.  Only once in my life (knock on wood) have I had to have stitches.  When I was really little I fell on a floor vent and sliced my knee open.  I don't remember much, but I remember having to sit still for a little while.

15.  Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing are tied for my second favorite movies ever.

16.  I'm a nerd at heart, and I'd rather play Scrabble than just about any other game. (This also makes me a BIG fan of Words With Friends on my iPhone!)

17.  If I could choose any magical power, it would be the ability to teleport.  Boy oh boy, would that ever come in handy right about now?  I'd love to be able to literally "pop in" to see my family whenever I like.

18.  I have a major sweet tooth.  Chocolate is probably the absolute best thing ever, and cheesecake is pretty amazing too.

19.  I have a real, honest-to-goodness phobia of needles.  Even now, the thought of getting a shot makes my muscles weak.  I tear up every time I go in for anything involving needles.  I always tell the nurses they can laugh if they want, but I'm going to tear up even though I know there's really nothing to it.  It's just one of those totally irrational fears.

20.  I'm kind of OCD about some things.  I can't stand clutter!  If I see too many things out of place I start getting claustrophobic.  It drives Kent crazy, and he knows when he better get his things picked up because I turn into a great big agitated ball of grumpiness when clutter takes over.

21.  I haven't had fast food-- aside from Chick-fil-A when visiting home-- since moving to Hawaii nearly two and a half years ago.

22.  My lucky number is 17.

23.  I secretly wish I was outgoing enough to sing karaoke.  I'm entirely too shy to ever do it, but I envy people who are brave enough to go through with it.

24.  I love country music from the 80s and 90s.  I grew up listening to it, and it's my favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I like pretty much all kinds of music (except screaming stuff), but country is my roots.

25.  My great great aunt is literally the oldest living person in the world.  Her name is Besse Cooper, and she is 114 years old.  Check her out here.  She's not able to get around like she used to, but her mind is still really sharp.  I think it's pretty amazing.

Hope you guys enjoyed my 25 really random facts. :)  Do we have anything strange in common?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How About Them Apples?

Okay, so I've been missing in action all this week.

And I can explain.

My computer broke on Tuesday.  Just as I was sitting down in my studio to work on a pet portrait using my computer to see the true colors in the images I was working on, my favorite computer ever-- my little pink Dell-- fell off the table and onto Murphy's little dog bed beneath.  (Yes, my little Murphy is so spoiled that he has his own bed in my studio... Luckily he wasn't in it when this happened.)  Well, since it didn't fall that far, I thought nothing would be wrong.

                                                                                                           Source: google.com via Stinkweed on Pinterest

Not the case...

When I tried to turn little pinky on, it said "no hard drive detected."

Oh no...  I just replaced the hard drive in this computer about 6 months ago when it died of old age.  

I took my poor little old computer to Best Buy so the Geek Squad could give me a diagnosis, and I was hoping against hope that it was just knocked out of place.  No such luck for me though.  It hit the floor juuuuuust right so that the hard drive shattered, broke, or whatever happens when they die.  Crap...

I came home to discuss it with Kent.  I didn't know whether I should dump more money into a 3 year old computer or just get a new one.  He said I should just get a new one.

Really, he just saw it as the perfect opportunity to convert me to a Mac.  Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Mac.  I used them in all my art classes in college, but I just never could get used to them because I had always had a PC.  (Let's face it... we all love what we're comfortable with.)  

Well, upon deciding that I needed a new computer, Kent-- because he's such an awesome husband-- got online and ordered me one right then.  Just after he placed the order, his computer ran out of battery.  That's because he left the cord at the hotel where he stayed during his last training trip.  Soooo... neither of us had a computer until his charger came or my computer came in the mail.  Needless to say, that didn't happen until today, and Kent's charger finally came.  

I felt bad not being able to check in, and I hope you guys didn't totally forget about me.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will be getting my new computer in the mail today (Yay for a really awesome, one-day-early birthday present!), so I can check in on it later once I figure out how to work the new contraption.  :)  

Anyone got any advice on seriously learning about Mac's?  I know the basics... well, enough to get by, but the darn things confuse me. (And yes, I've heard all about how "simple" they are and how "streamlined"... I just have a hard time relying on keyboard commands)  Any tips, tricks, or cool things I should know? 

Hope you guys have a great weekend! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday Blues

I don't know what was up with the weird day I had yesterday.

Do you guys ever have those really funky days where you just wake up and everything seems a little off?
That was yesterday for me.

It should have been a fantastic day.  Kent had just gotten back home Saturday night, so I had been stoked to spend all of Sunday doing lots of fun things.  However, it didn't happen quite that way.  

                                                                                                         Source: google.com via Nicole on Pinterest

Since Kent was so jet lagged, he woke up at 4:30am, and since he wakes up and turns on every light and loudly opens and closes every door when he gets up, I did too.  Plus, I woke up from a not so pleasant dream, that just made my day start off all wrong.  Has that ever happened to you guys?

The morning wasn't so bad, since I made a big breakfast, and we went to the farmer's market.  Getting my favorite jam-- Coconut-Pineapple-- definitely put a smile on my face.

On the way home we had a discussion about where we might be in the future.  Those discussions don't always end well because we don't always agree.  We get over it soon enough, but a little piece of it sticks in my head and drags me down.

For most of the afternoon, nothing really went the way I planned, so I just felt like I had wasted precious time... and who ever gets enough of that, right?

By supper time, I was just feeling a little down.  Despite the fact that I had yummy cheesy rice (don't judge), and fresh Mahi Mahi from the farmer's market on my plate, I couldn't help but see my mood reflected back at me.

Honest to goodness, this is how my food looked immediately after I scooped it on my plate.

As I sat down to eat, it started pouring down rain outside.  I seriously felt like I couldn't catch a break, and a big part of me still has no idea why I was so down.  I guess between the dream waking me up on the wrong side of the bed, the day feeling wasted, some difficult conversations, and some anxiety I've been having about some upcoming appointments I've got (nothing crazy... just regular doc and dentist stuff... but when you have a real, honest-to-goodness needle/medical phobia like I do, you start stressing weeks ahead of time), I guess it was just a little much.  

However, I'm bound and determined that today is going to be a much better day and that this week will be a happy and productive one.  They say you're as happy as you make your mind up to be, so I'm deciding that I'm going to be very happy this week.  After all, it's my birthday week.  I turn the big 2-5 next Sunday.... oh boy....

Do you guys ever have days like this?  What do you do to get out of the little funk they cause?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Nails!

It's been quite a while since I've done a nail art tutorial, so I thought with Halloween just around the corner, today would be a great time for one.

How about some Halloween nails?  :)

These are super easy (although you may need help for your "wrong hand")

All you'll need is a base/top coat, some orange nail polish, a black nail art pen, and white nail art pen.

Start by applying your base coat, and follow it by painting your nails orange.

Next, use the white nail art pen to create a little ghost on your thumb.  Do this by creating a little circle, add a body with a little tail, and add arms.

Outline the ghost with the black nail art pen, add eyes and a mouth, and add the word "BOO!" if you like.

Add a spider web on your ring finger.  Do this by drawing several intersecting straight lines. Then, starting at the center, connect the lines in a spiral with short, slightly curved lines.

Let the paint from the nail art pens dry completely.  Then, finish off with your top coat.

There!  Now you have festive Halloween nails!

Hope you like them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Glorious Gloomy Days

With all the pretty pictures of fall scenes and beautiful leaves I've been seeing on blogs and Facebook lately, I've been feeling pretty homesick.  As beautiful as Hawaii is, it's hard for this girl from the South to be so far from home and away from the changing seasons.  I was really missing the crisp air, the pretty colors, and wearing comfy, cozy sweaters.  To make all that worse, Kent got a chance to go to Charleston (one of my favorite places) this past weekend for a big family event since he was already doing some training in North Carolina.  I was beyond bummed, and I felt completely disconnected from my family and all the things I love back home.  It was one of those times when the isolation of this island felt very pronounced.  (Don't get me wrong... I was happy for him that he got to be there.)

However, I desperately needed at least a little taste of back home. 

Yesterday, the weather here must have gotten my message.  We had one of those rare, glorious, gloomy Hawaii days.  (Yes, I know that sounds totally ridiculous.  But can you imagine if you never had a lazy rainy day??)

I decided that the rain and gloom would be the perfect time to imagine that I was back home in weather that was slowly turning colder.  I cranked my air down, put on some comfy clothes, and decided to make "cool weather food."

Back home, my daddy always makes chili on cold, rainy days.  So what did I do?  I pulled out some ground beef, and got to work.  Before long, I had an incredible smelling pot of chili simmering on the stove all afternoon.

It was amazing.  I needed that little taste of home.  

I also decided to sip on some coffee with a little homemade Irish cream while the chili was cooking.  Warms the body and the soul...

Want to make your own Irish cream?  It's super easy.  Put 1 cup heavy cream, 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, 1- 1 2/3 cup Irish Whiskey, 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract into a blender.  Blend on high for 20-30 seconds, and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

It's amazing what familiar food, cool weather drinks, and a little lazy, gloomy lighting can do.  I may not be home, and I may not be able to make it to every family/friend event that I'd like, but these little "tastes of home" help hold me over.  

What about you guys?  Ever need those little things to make you feel closer to home?  What do you do on a nice lazy, rainy day?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Shop Talk

Just wanted to take a minute to remind you guys about the crochet hats and scarves in my shop right now.

With the colder weather and holidays approaching, these would be perfect for you or a special person in your life.  Not only would you be warm and cozy, but you would also be helping to save animals because 10% of each sale in my shop goes to an animal charity (Humane Society, SPCA, or a local animal shelter).  For a short time, you can also use the coupon code SAVEAPET for an extra 10% off your order.

I also do beanies for men!

If you don't see the exact color/pattern combination you're looking for, shoot me a message.  I'd love to make something just for you with custom colors or even custom yarn.  With advance orders, I can create your hat or scarf from high quality cashmere blends, alpaca, or wool. (I just need time for it to be ordered and shipped to me.)  Just contact me for pricing information. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Turn on the Faucet

I know I did a fairly random post yesterday, but I have to do another one today.  I watched a documentary last night (I know... I'm like an old person with all these documentaries lately), and it really opened my eyes about some things.

It's a film called "Tapped," and it's about bottled water.

I had heard a good bit of what the documentary told me.  Plastic bottles have chemicals that can cause cancer and other problems, some companies bottle tap water, and the bottles have very detrimental environmental effects.  However, this documentary showed images that I can't get out of my head.

So many un-recycled bottles make their way to our oceans.  Plastic doesn't break down like organic materials... it takes a very long time.  Plus, it washes up on our beaches.

Is this what you want future generations to play in when they visit the beach?  It's not what I want.

Those plastic pieces also are being ingested by marine animals and fish.  It's killing entire populations. 

Is this what you want to find when you eat your filet of fish?  It's not what I want.

It's not even just the environmental effects that are so crazy.  It's the fact that these companies producing bottled water take it from small towns like many of us grew up in.  Did you know that when Georgia was in a very serious drought several years ago (one in which lakes were at the lowest recorded levels) and everyone else was on severe water restrictions that the Coca-Cola bottling company was still pumping water out of local lakes and streams to bottle water--  many of which were sold back to people in Georgia?  How about them apples?

And the politics behind it all?  Oh, it's frustrating.  Politicians are pretty much working for the bottling companies that are bottling our free tap water and selling it back to us.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this?

Now that I've told you some of the juicy tidbits, I should tell you that there's much more.  I highly recommend  that you guys check this film out.  It will change your way of thinking, and you will want to turn on that tap more often.  

Here's the trailer so you can check it out.  The full length version can be found on Netflix, for sure, but I'm sure you can find it other places as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the Brain

Once again, I've found myself without a lot to say lately.  That is partly because the hubs was around for a few weeks, so the computer was at the bottom of my "fun list."  It's also because I've been doing some custom crochet projects and preparing for a few paintings.  All that doesn't add up to lots of excitement to share in a post.  

However, I have had a few random things on my mind lately, and those things are evidenced by things I've found on the ever addictive Pinterest in the recent hours days.

Crochet Stuff

I've been browsing Pinterest for inspiration for new crochet projects, and when I'm finished with the half a dozen custom projects going now, I desperately want to try something with some beautiful granny squares like these.  Isn't this lovely?


Source: None via Lindsay on Pinterest

Maybe it's some things I've seen on television lately, or maybe I've just been paying more attention to the many unhealthy and extremely overweight people I see all around, but I've been extremely motivated to exercise lately.  I've always loved to run, but sometimes I go through slumps. One of those was just a few months ago.  I'm out of it now, and my love of exercise and fitness is back in full force.  I've even signed up for a course being offered here so I can become a Spin instructor.  I can't wait!


I haven't been doing much random crafting lately, but I'm ready to jump back in with a few projects.  This photo is my inspiration for a project I'm dying to try.  I really need a cool jewelry holder/display for some of my earrings, and I've finally found what I want to use to create it. (Hint:  It's an old drawer.)  As soon as my carpenter (a.k.a. hubby) gets back, I'm going to try to make my vision a reality.


Source: etsy.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

This could probably speak for itself, but I'll give a brief explanation.  Lately, I have been noticing a lot of closed-mindedness, a lot of judgmental people, and many instances of people believing that because they warm a pew once a week that they are superior to everyone else.  All of these people seem to belong to the same club.  Now, I definitely believe in God, but I'm having a hard time with how some of his supposed followers are acting.  I can't seem to understand why everyone thinks their way of thinking is the only way of thinking simply because they are brought up that way.  Do people not understand that everyone is brought up in a belief system of some sort and that to them that belief is right because it's what they know?  That a book of any sort can be misconstrued and made to say what the interpreter wants?  I'm really not trying to start a religious debate because what I'm noticing has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with actions.  I just pray that one day people can all respect each other based on morals and ethics and not just beliefs or how beliefs are expressed (as long as those expressions do not harm anyone... think more group worship inside vs. worship with family on a mountain after a hike).  To further see what I'm saying, check out the documentary "Lord Save Us From Your Followers" on Netflix.  It raises so many valid points.

Well, in a nutshell that's what's been going on in my head lately.  Anyone else had similar things going on in their brain?  What has been on your mind this week?

P.S.  All of these images came from Pinterest.  For some reason the source links are wanting to hide behind the images... silly blogger.