31 December 2010

New Years eve cleansing

This tree reminds me of a ballet dancer in a back bend. It also reminds me to be flexible in life. 

I'm a big believer in getting rid of that which doesn't serve you anymore. Whether it's a physical object like clothes or unread books, or something intangible like an outgrown relationship or a friendship that is draining, it's good to release these things. I have a regular rundown of things to do on New Years eve before the ball comes down:
  • vacuum and mop the floors
  • empty trash bins
  • clean out drains in bathtubs and sinks (in order not to cause further harm to the planet, I use a natural combination of 1 cup baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, then boiling water to make sure it has all dissolved and the drain is open and working.)
  • clean closets of any clothes/shoes/hats/scarves/gloves/socks/handbags that are no longer being used, and haven't been in some time. donate to homeless shelter or other such organization.
  • clean out fridge of unused food items; if possible, put in compost. clean out cupboards of any unused food items; if possible, donate items to food bank (non perishable types)
  • clean out files of old items, shred those that need it, organize other papers for next years income taxes
  • wash all clothes in laundry basket
  • light sage smudge stick to clear out the house
  • light white candles
  • open windows to let in fresh air (depending upon where you live, you may not be able to do this part. I'm lucky enough to live someplace where I can.)

New Years eve sparks all kinds of ideas and new resolutions in everyone. I haven't put together my list yet, but I'm working on it. (we're all a work in progress, right?) 

how about you? have you thought of any resolutions? things to get rid of, or change? ways to start over and anew? I think this year will be a big one of change. Not as challenging and traumatic as last year, but still, it will have some of that too. I'm actually looking forward to it. Bring it on 2011!

28 December 2010

frost on the leaves

yes, there was actually frost on the leaves this morning. here's proof. doesn't happen often here. 

making jewelry at Christmas time

Christmastime jewelry making fun
I took my beads and other jewelry making supplies over to the fam's on Christmas day. I knew the kids would be there and we would have time to make stuff. The kids love to make stuff, not to mention the adults. Even the boy likes to make stuff. I'm watching my niece here make yet another bracelet for someone. She only made one thing for herself, and made a bunch of other things for others, which I thought was very nice for a 14 y/o. 

No, she did NOT have any of the blue martini, although I did nap later in the day. Hell, it's a holiday and my day off, why not? I was "keepin' it real, like a happy meal" baby! (tee shirt present from my most excellent sister for Christmas.) 

27 December 2010

chrysoprase and pink

I never dreamed that this would be a good color combination, but it turned out pretty good. I pleasantly surprised myself! 
I like the pink beads, but I don't have much to go with it, and I have this chrysoprase wire from Softflexcompany, so I threw it together on my desk to see what would happen. I have a bunch of these pretty butterfly beads in different colors, and I happened to have some that matched the chrysoprase! yay! I made an eyeglass chain out of this. What's nice about the colored wire is that I can leave it exposed on part of the chain and it looks pretty. I think hiding the working wire can be challenging and it's nice not to worry about it with colored wire. It lends itself to being part of the project, something different, and a nice addition. 

finished product, not so good picture
I'll post a better picture later, but I was so excited at how the chain came out, I had to try one on my desk. 

22 December 2010

holiday break

I have off a week around Christmas. It's the first time I have had off a full week around the holiday in years and I am enjoying it. It is nice to sleep in, and get some stuff done, and visit with family and friends. Thankfully the weather has cooperated and it is not freezing right now. It is cool, but sunny. I can take the cold, as long as there is sun, which begs the question of where I would live up north so that there is sun during the winter? I am still looking. 

When I say 'get some stuff done' I mean those small, tedious, annoying projects around the house that need to be done, and have needed to be done for months now, but I never got around to it. Like repaint my bathroom. It's a small bath (shower, no tub), but one that has needed painted for 2 years a long time now. It hasn't been done for many reasons, which I won't bore you with, but it needs done. So that is one thing to do. At one point, I thought the yellow we were going to put in the bedroom might have looked good in there, since it's a small room, but I decided NOT. BTW, we went with this green for the bedroom. Much nicer, easier to fall asleep in a room like this instead of trying to sleep in sunlight. 

 I also need to clean out and get ready for the new year! New years are always so exciting for me. Full of such hope and promise, and I have 365 days to make it true. One thing I have already definitely decided is to be brave. Very brave. Even more brave than I am, or think I am, now. 

I think you should too. 

20 December 2010

shop local, independent

So far for this holiday season, I have shopped at Drunken Monkey coffee bar, Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Raphsodic cooperative company, Barnies coffee and tea, Winter Park soap company, and the Audubon Park community market which features lots of local artists. If you haven't done so already, shop your locals this holiday season. They help make the community go 'round. They'll love you for it!

19 December 2010

Grandma Party Bazaar tonight!

Grandma Party Bazaar is happening again tonight people! Starting at sunset at Stardust video and coffee you'll find all kinds of homemade, handmade goodness. (That's one of the requirements you know.) I am hoping the weather will be a little more cooperative and not be freezing for the event.  This should be fun for all. 

at stardust video and coffee
1842 e. winter park rd.

17 December 2010

quote o' the day

I'm going to do that this weekend. I hope you do too...in moderation of course. Don't hurt yourself. 

16 December 2010

jingle 'n mingle

Jingle n Mingle Flyer

a local organization is hosting a jingle 'n mingle tomorrow night. I can go right after work! yay! and get a picture with Santa! yay! These guys are relatively new, but so cool. We bought 3 rain barrels from them recently to add to our collection. We still need more gutters to catch the rain, but I digress. I'm looking forward to checking out the local artists and vendors. I love checking out local goods, meeting new people, eating, drinking, and I am real excited about the stilt walker! awesome! I want that job! I wonder if he'd be willing to let me try out the legs for awhile. I'll bet I'd be good at that. I wonder where I can get a pair?

14 December 2010

cold cold cold

We woke up to 28 degrees this morning and it's only supposed to be a high of 50 @ 400p today. Needless to say I have my heat on and have had it on for about 2 weeks now. This is highly unusual for it to be so cold so early in the season. We usually don't get this cold until January. I'm not complaining really, even though it sounds like it, I am just surprised, and honestly, we aren't prepared for it here. I am so tired of the heat and humidity that this cold is a nice change. 

Our famous Lake Eola has its trees decorated for Christmas. Lake Eola is so pretty. 

12 December 2010

party pictures

We all had a good time yesterday. I set out the table with lots of beads, wire, tools, even some magnifying glasses. There were 6 of us wild women at the table yesterday. 

I was hoping I'd have enough supplies so that there was enough of a selection to choose from, so it covered all tastes and styles. 

One of Nate's sisters brought this FAB - O plate of chocolate covered goodies! I think there would have been more, had she not eaten one, then made one to bring, then eaten one, then made one to bring. Nevertheless, I understand the eating one part. I'd do the same thing myself. The chocolate covered peaches were SO GOOD! We noshed on those, then she left with an empty dish. thanks girl!

We talked, and ate, and drank some wine, and ate some more, and had some more wine, played with the beads a little bit, then drank some more, and talked, and talked some more. We talked about everything; well, mostly our men, and former men, and kids, and how we've dealt with all that stuff, and how we're dealing with stuff now. I was so happy to bring them all together to share like that. It was such a great feeling. None of the women, except for Nate's sisters, really knew each other very well, or at all before the party, but we all talked like we knew each other forever. It was funny, it was cathartic, it was inspiring, and I just wish I had more wine! We went through 3 bottles as it was. I kept trying to pawn off the vodka on the girls, but none of them would have it. Not sure why. Maybe next time I need to make sure I have OJ or cranberry juice, that might sell it a little better.   

So before the evening ended, we did end up making a few things, like the bracelet in the foreground. Nate's niece and nephew love making the jewelry, so they both took 2 things home. (not the greatest picture. I took this after the sun went down and there wasn't enough natural light. I need an OTT lite. Those things rock!)

We turned it into a clothing swap as well. Not sure if I mentioned that. THAT was a LOT of fun! I got a most excellent maxi dress for summer along with another summer dress, as light sweater for work, a long sleeved tee, a really cool looking light weight tee with a peace sign on it, and the best of all was a dark blue scarf with peace signs all over it! Thanks to my most excellent yoga teacher friend for bringing it and thinking of me!

Now, I'm not a good cook, but I can make food. It is quick, easy, and good for you. I don't make pretty food. I believe that food, like a car, should be functional, not pretty. I don't care if it's pretty, I want it to feed me and nourish me, I don't care what it looks like. Needless to say, that since I have that mentality, I don't entertain much, because people look at my food, and look at someone else's, and always eat someone else's, because it's pretty. Nevertheless, I made lentil soup.

see? not pretty, but good for you.

and I am SO happy because people ate it! yay! and a friend took some home too! double yay! If you want to try it, here's the recipe:

Easy Lentil Soup

2 c. dry lentils (any old kind of lentil will do)
2 q. chicken or vegetable broth (I use vegetable broth, since I'm trying to be all vegetarian and all)
1 onion, diced (don't know how to dice, I just cut 'em in small pieces)
1/4 c. tomato paste (I didn't have paste, so I cut 2 large tomatoes and put 'em in. no one knew the difference)
2 cloves garlic, minced (don't know how to mince either; cut 'em small)
1 t. cumin  (what is cumin exactly? besides a spice?)

In a large saucepan, combine lentils, broth, onion, tomato paste, garlic and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are soft, 30 - 45 min. Serve with a squeeze of lemon. (lemon? really? I just eat it plain.)

so that, dear readers, is my foray into entertaining and hosting my first jewelry/spa/clothing swap party. I think it went very well. I was happy, Nate was happy for me, and we all had a good time.

I hope you are happy too.

10 December 2010

08 December 2010

jewelry/spa party this weekend

So I decided to have some friends over this saturday for a jewelry making/spa party. I, of course, will be supplying the jewelry making supplies and help, and my friend Beth will be the spa lady. She has a side business of doing facials and the like, and I thought this would be a good venue to do so. We are also combining this party with a clothes swap. We all have stuff we don't want or wear, right? I know I do and I'd like to share it with friends. Sharing is caring. 

I've been looking through my supplies and I think the only thing I'm missing is some lobster claws. I'll need to hit the stores for that, and who doesn't like shopping for jewelry supplies!

more of a mess

a partially cleaned up mess. I hope all goes well. It should be a fun time. I'll let you know how it goes and I'll be sure to post pics of what all the girls made. It's inspiring to work around other people when you get stuck in a rut. They can come up with some neat ideas. If all goes well, I may do this more often. 

enjoy your week! stay warm!

04 December 2010

cooler days

It's been cold here. Well, cold for us. We woke up to 40-something degrees here this past week a couple days in a row. We had to bring some of the plants into the shed for cover otherwise we would have lost them. Most of my outside plants are cold hardy, but we aren't used to several days in a row of cold weather. 
Since it's been cooler, I've had the opportunity to wear long pants. I know that doesn't sound like such a big deal to most people, but considering how hot it is here most of the time, I wear shorts or skirts. Not so much now. I had to dig for the long pants too and think of where I put them, it's been so long. I've also had the opportunity to wear scarves. I love scarves. They are comfy, and warm, and fashionable, and there are so many styles, and types, and colors. There are big soft chunky ones like this:

pretty, fancy, dainty, colorful ones like this:

from Periay

even some camo colored ones:

I like the camo. It can go with lots of stuff. It looks soft and fluffy too. And Studio Waterstone has not one but  TWO, count 'em TWO, tutorials on how to make a scarf. Cool. 

Enjoy your weather, where ever you are.

02 December 2010

Where Women Create ~ 12 days of Christmas

Where Women Create is having a FAB - O giveaway for the first 12 days of December. They will feature 3 fabulous artists on their blog each day with their holiday traditions, as well as giving away a FAB - O prize from each one! Yes ma'am! 3 prizes in one day! You can tweet about this giveaway, post a badge to your blog (like I did, just below my profile pic), and leave a comment on the blog too. Check out their blog for all the juicy details. 

28 November 2010

polishing kits for sale

Hey kids! I went through my polishing kits and it seems like I didn't use that many, so I thought I'd try to sell them. These are pre-owned (as they say now. It's so un-market friendly to say 'used' anymore, but I digress...), but I didn't put any of the 'pre-owned' ones in there, meaning these are all new pieces in the box, nothing used was put back. There are 2 mandrels per box, so you don't have to buy mandrels for the polishing wheels. 

whole box

inside of box

whole box

inside of box

Thanks for looking. Feel free to pass along this info to anyone you think may be interested. It will really help a girl out. For more info, you can check out the listing here

pretty pictures

So I decided to take my photography skills outside today, as it is soooooo beautiful today, and snap some new pics of the earrings I finished up this week.

My front yard is xeriscaped, so I took to hanging these on a large lantana limb, just to see what it looked like. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I snapped others from the lantana limb too...

I am off to outside yoga! yay! such a nice way to end a relaxing weekend!

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made lasagna for thanksgiving this year as it is easy and I thought we'd have more people over. Nevertheless, it came down to me, my beloved, and our friend Chris. That's fine, we had a good time and I am thankful that we got to spend time together. I'm thankful that we have hammocks to nap in after a pasta feast, and that the weather has cooperated and been so beautiful that we can nap outside without rain, or heat, or humidity, or even swarms of mosquitoes. 

I'm thankful for my kitten girls who keep the yard rodent free and bring such joy to our lives.

I'm thankful for my 3-legged kitten boy who comes home to us every morning after terrorizing the other neighborhood critters.

I'm thankful that my big old dog is still here with us, being pitiful and sweet and loving and protecting us. 

I could go on and on and on, you know, but I'll close here by saying "take a nap!"

22 November 2010

tools of the trade

I like tools. Love tools actually. For a girl, I am a tool fiend. I guess I really shouldn't say that as girls can be tool fiends too, just like guys, but it can be something that is out of the ordinary.

But I digress...

So in working on my FAB - o new swarovski earrings over the weekend, I realize that there are some plier marks on the silver which really takes away from the beauty of the earring, wouldn't you say? So I take to sanding said tool marks off. I use above tool, as it is soft enough work with and rough enough to take off said marks without destroying silver or putting a hole through it. But the problem, is, even after cleaning, it doesn't leave a decent shine. Not like it out of the box, of course, but more like a dull shine. 

I'll need to find something else. There is always another way. 

I'm go through my 2 boxes of polishing wheels to see which ones I really like and work best. Whatever doesn't work for me I'll either give away or try to sell, if there is enough to make it worthwhile to sell. I'll post this weekend and let you know. I hope they can find good homes somewhere!

21 November 2010

whatcha makin' now?

Here's an up close and personal shot of the blue and green earrings I was working on earlier this week. These are hanging from my overhead light and I am happily amazed that this shot turned out so well. It gives a bright color to the green, I really like it. 

Some forest and champagne colored swarovskis for this pair. It's not really dark enough to call it emerald, so I call it forest. I like the outdoors anyway, so we'll run with it. So to speak...

Here's amber and forest swarovskis. You can see them in the background of the above photo. I'm taking these tight shots like Lori talked about so you don't see the rest of the mess on my workbench. 

I actually rained here today. We haven't had rain in over a month, so it was really nice to get rain. Just a sprinkle really, but who cares? It was (free) water from the sky to help my plants grow! I say go for it! And since it was raining, I did NOT have sufficient light to take decent pictures of the finished products. (I also had to clean them to look pretty for the pictures, but let's go with the former excuse, shall we?) 

So, how about you? whatcha makin' now?

19 November 2010

quote o' the day

I had never heard of Uta Hagen before this, and after reading her bio, I'd have to say her whole life was extraordinary. Maybe I'll be like her when I grow up. 

18 November 2010

head pins, swarovskis, and earrings

I made these head pins for some earrings recently. They're about 3in/7cm long. They are easy to make and cheaper than buying head pins. Just buy 20 gauge silver wire, set the ends on fire (FIRE! FIRE! recollections of Beavis and Buthead come to mind...), actually, you melt the ends until you get the right pin size for you, then move on to the next wire. 

sometimes they get a little dented, which happens when working with soft wire. Just take your rawhide mallet and smooth out the dents.

(smoothing out the wire to come...) I have some beautiful Swarovski crystals that I strung on the wire. I have a blouse I'm wearing to work that matches the ones in the foreground. I need to find some blue and green to match the ones in the background.

There is not enough natural light this morning to take a picture of the finished product, so I'll post that later. Needless to say, they look FAB - U - LOUS!

Hope you look beautiful today too!