Saturday, October 31, 2009

Not Quite the Way I Planned the Weekend

My oatmeal and I had a sad face this morning. Last night, I took my sister to the Apple store to buy her a MacBook. Her first very own computer, laptop and Mac. After we purchased it using the money my aunt had left her when she passed on, we went to the Ann Taylor store where they had a great sale and I picked up a few tops, and a sweater for Tina at Macys. We stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to pick up a bite to eat and returned home. We were totally shocked when we opened the car door and saw no packages. While we were in the market for about 10 minutes (during which time an opened Odwalla drink I picked up spilled all down the front of my top - the clerk gave me a fragranced wipe which then gave me a headache, but I digress...), someone had stolen the packages.

The police officer told me to contact Apple so they could flag the serial number as stolen. Apple told me they do not do that. Visa told me that neither card I used had buyer protection (the banks don't want to pay for it). My car insurance company told me I am not covered for theft. Perhaps my homeowner insurance may cover it, but I'm not counting on it. It just feels so violating and especially when I discovered that my full name and email address were on the receipts. I try to be careful; I have a security freeze on my credit files since my personal data was on two files stolen from my former mortgage company and a former employer just a few years ago. But, after getting over the initial shock, I realize I must keep this in perspective.

I am grateful for all I have in my life and these were just material goods that can be replaced. Granted, it's not inexpensive, but it does no good to dwell on it. I am so lucky for all that I do have and nobody was hurt. And so my day goes on...

I really feel like having a cookie right now so I think I'll go bake some from the freezer. Cookies = happy, right? And I need to finish up those shabby bella ornaments now. Oh, and I had a surprise phone call (on the beloved iPhone) this morning from my Silver Bella roomie which was so great. After emailing back and forth for all these months, we finally had a live conversation and I can't wait to spend time with her in Omaha. Miss Gracie still loves me and wants me to play mousie pole with her. My dad called to say hello and I love you. Life is good, right?

And so it goes. Just living life and taking it one day at a time. Looking for the rainbow, a butterfly landing nearby, the sun coming through the clouds. Keeping my chin up. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Got Milk? Make A Mask, Win $250!

Here it is, just days away from Halloween. And guess what? If you live in California, there's still time to enter the Halloween mask contest (the deadline has been extended to Monday)! Simply make a Halloween mask from a milk carton or jug, and send a digital photo with instructions to be entered. There will be three winners and each one gets a $250 gift card to a grocery store! Hey, who can't use that today?

You can see more about my masks here and here. Just go to for full details. If you don't live in sunny California, but have some crafty friends here, be sure to tell them about this!

Above mask made with recycled milk carton.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Bits

  1. By now, I am now certifiably addicted to my iPhone.
  2. Two weeks from tomorrow, I leave for Silver Bella and I am so not ready!
  3. Two weeks and one day from tomorrow, Miss Gracie will be one sad kitty for a few days.
  4. I spend way too much time on the computer.
  5. Right now, I should be hot glueing something.
  6. I really like the iPhone; oh, did I mention that already?
  7. Too much pasta is not a good thing (trust me on this one).
  8. I've been a bit busy to visit all my favorite blogs of late, but I think about you every day.
  9. Putting on something sparkley each morning makes me feel good (it's just that girlie thing about me).
  10. I really do like pink. As my coworker said today, "I could come in wearing a pink sheet and you'd love it". Yes, and ask where I might buy one, too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Heart the iPhone

I finally decided to join the modern age and give in to technology. Granted, I've always been a PC girl but I've resisted in other ways. After mulling this over for some time and talking with several people who have one, I made the decision to just do it.

And, am I glad I did. I love this thing. Let me say that again: I love this thing. I've been playing with it all weekend. I purchased it at our local Apple store with the oh-so-young sales staff. I thought it funny when one gal who worked there told me she wasn't very good with technology as she tried in vain to figure out how to get to the iTunes account set up.

Well, I shouldn't talk. The Apple store has all kinds of informational workshops so I went back on Saturday for the iPhone one. I had to laugh at myself because Apple products are known for being so intuitive and here I was at this workshop. As it turned out, I was the only person so I got some one-on-one help in being shown all the different features. Actually, it was really helpful because once I got home, I was more comfortable with it and it all came naturally in setting up each feature. And hey, how about those apps?! I love my camera zoom app.

I can't wait to take video of Nipper eating strawberries, but that will have to wait until Spring. Another thing I really like is the ability to check and send email anywhere, anytime. Or, how about being out and about and needing information about your destination (shops, restaurants, etc.). Best purchase I've made in a long time!

The other thing I did this weekend was almost finishing the shabby bella ornaments. Of course, Miss Gracie was there every step of the way.

Who else loves pink ribbon? Why, Miss Gracie of course!

Do you think she considers it a toy or a possible food source?

I had to keep right on her, lest she begin to chew or otherwise make off with the goods.

And yet, she kept going back for more!

Miss Gracie had her fun and I just need to glue on one final piece. I decided to wait on that as I burned two finger tips with the hot glue gun on Saturday. Oh, that hurt!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy It's the Weekend

Last weekend, the lovely Carolyn of Little Bear Studio passed on the Kreativ Blogger award. Thank you for including me in your list, Carolyn! In taking this on, you are supposed to write seven things about yourself. So here are seven random items about me:
  1. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am an open book, totally transparent. I wish that were not true, but it is.
  2. I love to read - anything. I know more about what's in your food because I read every label on every package (and have done that every since I learned to read!). I tend to read books about hobbies or life (for example, I have three photography books on my nightstand along with a huge stack of magazines). Thanks to my sister's numerous magazine subscriptions (along with my own), I read a lot of those too. Aside from all the Stampington publications (Somerset Life, Somerset Home, Artful Blogging, etc.), I also read Victoria, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Real Simple, Food Network, Entertainment Weekly, Consumer Reports and several more.
  3. I have a container garden mostly in my front garden. I have a thing about touching bugs in the soil so I use packaged soil to avoid finding bugs in the dirt.
  4. My desk at work is messier than I'd like. Somehow, no matter how many times I organize all my papers, by the end of the day it's back to a huge pile all over my desk. Hence, constant reorganization!
  5. I have naturally straight hair but all my life I've wanted curly hair. My second grade photo shows me with a little pixie cut and goofy pin curls because I apparently insisted to my mother that I must have curls. Now that my hair is long, you'll never see me with straight hair as I curl it every day and have for years. I'm sure if I was born with curly hair I would have only wanted straight hair all these years.
  6. Exercise is just not fun. Yes, I do feel good after I do it, but honestly, I'd really rather be doing something else. So hard to keep motivated...
  7. I used to be an active member of Toastmasters International. Years ago, I had a huge fear of public speaking, but completely turned that around by participating in this club. In fact, I grew to really enjoy it and received a number of awards in local competitions. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to speak better.
So there you have it... a little bit about me. Now, I'm going back to finish up swap #4 today (shabby bella ornaments) for Silver Bella. Miss Gracie already tried to make a run for it with ribbon and tinsel in her mouth but I stopped her in her tracks. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Miss Gracie is the definition of sweetness. Even when she is getting into mischief.

She is one crafty kitty. I just can't keep her away from all my embellishments.

I can, however, keep these things out of her mouth. One curious kitty, she is.

The Sweet Light.

I've noticed that many mornings and evenings of late, there is the most beautiful, sweet light during the golden hours (the first and last hours of sunlight each day). These photos were taken the other morning as the sun was about to come up. I'm always hoping my neighbors do not see me pointing my camera out the window as it might appear that I am photographing right into their windows!

Some days the sky is pink and blue, and other days it is golden orange.

In the evening, my bedroom takes on a wonderful glow as the light comes through the drapes. Always lovely.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Books of Inspiration

I love browsing in book stores and can spend hours there. Recently, I was at Border's books on University Avenue in Palo Alto and found my way to the home decorating section. These three books wound up going home with me.

I adore Cath Kidston's vintage style and knew I'd find a use for her journal book. The Emotional House is about how decoration and design can impact your life. And the last book is just chock full of vintage items and decorating tips.

Even though this has pages for notes about different parts of your house, I'm thinking of repurposing it for another use. Really, it's just because I love the pages so much.

Look how fun the inside of this journal book is... so colorful and happy.

Flowers, stripes, bright cheery colors... I must think about what exactly I want to use it for.

It even has pockets to put notes, fabric swatches and other things in.

The back of the book is vintage pretty, too.

I'm excited to read this book although I've not yet found the time. I really believe that color, placement and style can have an affect upon how you feel in your home. Several years ago, I painted much of my house from yucky putty white to cheery yellow. It has made all the difference in how I feel.

Lastly, Vintage vaVoom contains oodles of items that are collectible or just wonderful to have in a space. Lots of ideas in here too. Now, to find the time to read these books. I might have to give up my new issue of Cat Fancy magazine and begin one of these.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Second-Hand Fun

Last week, I received an email about a second-hand sale benefiting a local charitable organization. They advertised high-end clothing, jewelry and accessories, so of course I was all over that. While I didn't find any clothes, I did find some other fun items. That pink purse had "Sharon" written all over it!

I also found some new, blingy jewelry. I would not wear these (I don't have pierced ears and they are too long) but I thought how fab they would be for some creative project.

And so I bought two pair, similar but yet different.

Luckily, I did find something I could wear such as these two bracelets. I love bracelets with elastic bands in them and these were nice and sparkly.

This pair of older rhinestone earrings will clip right on some ribbon adorning a package perhaps. Wouldn't that be perfect?

And this pair would make an interesting necklace or decoration. All in all, I was quite pleased with my finds. While I usually eat my lunch working at my desk, going on this treasure hunt was just so much better and a nice way to end the week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silver Bella Inspiration

Whew... after having a creative block the last few weeks, I finally came up with a design for the Silver Bella Shabby Bella Ornament Swap. The theme colors for this swap are pink, aqua, silver, white and cream. I chose to go with the pink, silver and cream because, well, I guess I can't get enough pink!

I spent hours yesterday searching for ideas. I have no idea where this one came except that I chose a shape that I really love. Once I had that, I then started pulling other items together until I had just the ones I wanted for this ornament.

After trying a crepe paper rosette, I decided what it really needed was a satin ribbon rosette. So off I went on another trip to Joann's fabric and craft store to purchase more ribbon. I must have miles of ribbon at home but not the one that I needed.

Thanks to my friend Sharen, I have this really cool metal adhesive paper that she had run through her Cuttlebug to imprint some beautiful designs. I punched out these pieces to use on the rosettes.

You have to know the bling is coming... so I have some crystals and...

German glass glitter (natch!) to adorn the edges. I'm probably halfway done with these but most of the work is already complete, thankfully. We are making 12 of these ornaments. Each one will be wrapped individually for each participant. My next challenge will be coming up with a pretty package.

And now, it's just three and a half weeks until Silver Bella! Still so much to do and it's hard to believe it is almost here. I'm looking forward to meeting my sweet roommate Kana of Kana Creates, whom I've been corresponding with for several months (and my non-roommate Jodie of Everything Vintage who just cracks me up). We are going to have a fabulous, creative time with so many talented ladies. Now, off to finish my swaps!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More Flea Market Treasures

In my last flea market trip, I bought four ziplock bags of mismatched and broken jewelry. I finally opened them up this week to see what was inside. I was delighted to find this pansy on velvet band.

There were all kinds of different things in the bags. Beads, pins, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and goofy things too (whatever it was, it looked like a bicycle chain!).

I pulled out some of my favorite pieces that have potential.

There were big pieces and little pieces. I'll need to spread it all out again to see what other treasures might be found.

I'll be bringing some of these items in my embellishment box to Silver Bella. Who knows where I might be able to use them during my classes.

Some of the necklaces are still wearable (by me or my mannequin).

The beaded gold collar was an interesting find - it just needs to be sewn back together in one spot.

Lots of pearls were included, some blingy pins and little religious artifacts.

All in all, I am pleased with the tiny treasures buried deep inside these plastic bags. Each one is a mini treasure hunt for possibilities.