Category Archives: Life

Festivities, Gifts, and New Etsy Listings

Festivities

Travis and I hosted this year’s December festivities at our home for his family (my family lives in Chicago). We live in a small one-bedroom condo. It is the perfect size (well, almost perfect ;) for us but not the best size for a family gathering but we made it work!

We cleared our crafting area/table and put all of it temporarily in a corner of our bedroom. That gave us table space for desserts and snacks! I made flan and Nutella cookies, Travis’ mom, Janet, brought pumpkin cookies and a pumpkin pie, Tessa brought some of her mom’s cookies, and Travis’ aunt Carol brought some kale chips, wine, and pomegranate juice.

For dinner, we made a slow-cooked cilantro lime chicken and it was really good. Everyone loved it. Even the picky eaters. ;)

We also had a mixed salad and a green rice casserole that Janet made. Both were very good. There were a variety of drinks, too! I made champurrado which is a thick hot chocolate drink. Travis was in charge of the mixed drinks: eggnog martini (his aunt Carol really liked it); Janet and I had Margaritas; I also had a mojito and a wine/pomegranate liqueur mixed drink (the original recipe called for champagne); and Tessa had a watermelontini. Not sure what Travis’ dad or brother, Alan and Spencer, had.

We first watched the first Home Alone movie and Elf with Alan and Janet. Alan showed me how to play cribbage and then played a short round of it with Alan, Janet, and me and Travis. I think I got the gist of it. It seemed a little complicated at first with all the counting of the cards but it was fun, too. This brings up the total of card games I know to two!

With everything going on, I did not get to take any pictures but I will post the ones that Janet managed to get. :)

The very few pictures taken on the day by Janet Way:

Carol with a yummy eggnog martini!

Carol with a yummy eggnog martini! Travis likes filling drink to the brim. :) There's Spencer in the back, too. We're sorry Larry couldn't make it. Hope he's doing better!

Janet's pumpkin pie. Very yummy!

Janet's pumpkin pie. Very yummy!

My flan.

My flan.

I like how all of these pictures came out looking vintage-y and sepia-toned.

Gifts

Oh, and the gifts! I think everyone liked what they received. Janet handed me down her sewing machine! I had been wanting one for so long! And it reminds me of my mom’s old sewing machine she had a very long time ago when I was a kid. Nostalgia. Janet, you have a knack for knowing what I want/need/like! :D

She also gave me a few scarves. I can always use more scarves. It is a great way to dress up or change up your outfits! She also gave me a little set of bar soaps which I will use for when out-of-town friends visit us in April.

Carol gave us some neat stuff, too! Vintage Polaroid instant cameras (I LOVE cameras!) and vintage jewelry type stuff that were her grandmother’s.

For my first time ever hosting anything I think I did well. And cooking for people, that was kinda scary. :)

Vintage Miscellanea

Vintage Miscellanea. I already have an idea for the big vintage weaved button with a ring behind it.

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Sun600 LMS

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Sun600 LMS

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Supercolor 635CL

Vintage Polaroid Camera - Supercolor 635CL

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

This Week’s Etsy Listings

I try to post four to five new items once a day per weekday but since this past week has been so busy I only have the following three items:

Vintage Espresso Brown Fabric Covered Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring

Vintage Espresso Brown Fabric Covered Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring

Pearly and Black Plastic Button with Light Pink Glass Pearls Stretch Bracelet

Pearly and Black Plastic Button with Light Pink Glass Pearls Stretch Bracelet

Gray Knit Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring Base

Gray Knit Button on an Adjustable Silvertone Metal Ring Base

This week has been great. Ashes and Cheesecake came out to greet the family a few times during the festivities. Ashes was more shy and stayed in the bedroom longer but Cheesecake would come and go as usual. He loved all the petting and all the wrapping paper on the floor.

Looking forward to next week, next year, and beyond.

~T

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Busy, Busy, Busy… But In A Good Way!

Job Training

This week has already been a busy one and it is not even related to the holidays.

As I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I have found a new job! It is seasonal but that is totally okay with me. I had two days of training so far on Monday and Tuesday of this week from 9 am to 3:30 pm on both days. The first day felt a bit slow to progress and there was a lot of lecture time. Tuesday was better as we broke up into small teams and practiced scenarios to help us better serve clients/customers. The trainer was very knowledgeable and she has been at this company for 10-11 years. I think she did a great job of getting through all of the material.

I am excited and looking forward to starting at my new job as I have been on the job hunt for months! The office I was assigned to is close to me so I can walk there and back home.

In other news, I have made three more Etsy sales courtesy of a local gaming friend! It was very unexpected but, of course, I am very thankful and happy that my friend would find something he liked enough to purchase and give as presents. I hope the recipients enjoy them. :)

Usually, I start a blog post draft a few days before Wednesdays when I publish a new post so I am sorry for those who read my blog if this one is not as “rich” as my last few posts have been. Next week’s may be a bit better with pictures of holiday festivities. :)

I also have a few more jewelry pieces in progress that I am not quite sure how to finish off. I am sure the inspiration will come and I just need to be a little patient. And I am good at being patient which can sometimes be a curse.

This Week’s Etsy Listings

Large Vintage Turquoise Fabric Covered Button Ring

Large Vintage Turquoise Fabric Covered Button Ring

Vintage Light Gray Fabric Covered Button Ring

Vintage Light Gray Fabric Covered Button Ring

Braided Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Chain Bracelet

Braided Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Chain Bracelet

Floral Oval Pendant with a Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Chain

Floral Oval Pendant with a Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Chain (SOLD the same day listed! Yay!)

I absolutely LOVED this last piece. I had been eyeing the pendant at Hobby Lobby each time I went there but since it was a little more expensive I kept discouraging myself from buying it. I finally just bit the bullet, bought it, stored it for a few days and then I finally got an idea of how to use it in a piece. It is my most expensive listing to date but it was justified because of the pendant price and it took a little longer to put together than the simpler ribbon and chain bracelets. It was worth it!

The gray button ring and the braided bracelet are also some of my favorite pieces. For some reason I really like grays, almost any shade of gray. I was satisfied with how the pink braided bracelet came out, too. I had an idea for it and I was not sure if it would work but it did and I am glad. :)

Lastly, I am very happy with how most things in my life are turning around and getting better. My Etsy shop is starting to bloom, I am starting at a new job soon, and I am hoping that with this new job I will be more motivated to exercise more and take better care of myself in general. Staying home all the time is not good!

Thanks for reading!

~T

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Playing with Clay, Etsy Successes, and a New Job!

Playing with Clay

Last Friday, I decided to finally get my feet wet and try my hand at working with clay. I used some of the clay Travis bought some time ago, although, he also bought me this really nice set of metallic bake clay but I wanted to try the easier/cheaper stuff he had that only needs to be air dried.

I made a few different heart-shaped pieces, a round disc-like piece with my thumbprint, and a round hoop with a chain print. The clay pieces came out pretty nicely, my favorite being this heart-shaped piece:

 I poked a small hole at the top intersection of the shape so I can connect a jump ring and use it as a pendant. I need to finish painting it. I think it will be completely red. I am really liking the bright red I am using here. :)

Travis’ Eyeglass Holders Taking Over & First Etsy Sale

Since Tuesday (December 6th) when Travis made his first Etsy sale, Travis has been on an eyeglass making kick! He was so excited. :) Travis has been putting together more eyeglass holders after work and on his days off and they are starting to take over one of our condo windows and the wall next to it.

The more eyeglass holders Travis makes the prettier they are. I think he already has a great eye for design and he is not afraid of colors, he LOVES them. The crazier the better. ;)

This Week’s Etsy Listings

Vintage Pink Knit Button

Vintage Pink Knit Button

 

Sage Green Velveteen Ribbon & Chain Bracelet

Sage Green Velveteen Ribbon & Chain Bracelet

Large Vintage Navy Blue Fabric Button Ring

Large Vintage Navy Blue Fabric Button Ring

Lime Green and Iridescent Purple River Shell Beads Ring

Lime Green and Iridescent Purple River Shell Beads Ring

White and Purple River Shell Beads Ring

White and Purple River Shell Beads Ring

White and Iridescent Purple/Pink River Shell Beads Earrings

White and Iridescent Purple/Pink River Shell Beads Earrings

New Job!

Earlier today I received a call from H&R Block, I had a job interview with them last week, and I got the job! I’m really excited and looking forward to having a job once again. I will, of course, continue creating things because I love doing it and since this job is only seasonal, I will need something to fall back on once it the tax season is over.

So happy!

~T

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Crafty Addiction

Hobby Lobby Addiction

Since this craft store, Hobby Lobby, has opened in our area about a month or so ago Travis and I have been visiting the store and buying cool things we find. And we buy something EACH TIME WE GO! It is crazy but it has also been very fun. I have enjoyed all my trips there and most of the time I get things I actually need as opposed to things that I just like. It takes quite a bit of restraint. ;)

Hobby Lobby has lots of really cool stuff and we just cannot help ourselves sometimes when we visit. So far their prices have been more affordable than Jo-Ann or Michael’s (both of which are also very near us!).

And… Guess what? We just discovered yet another crafty store on Monday. This is a smaller store full of weird/cool things. They also have a “creation station” where you can go and use their space for a small fee to make whatever you want with whatever they have. The store is called Creation Station.

Here is their store blurb from their website:

Creation Station is an innovative crafts store and art studio located in Lynnwood, Wash. For the past 15 years, we have supplied surplus and recycled materials to teachers, students, artists, inventors, scientists, engineers and all those who love to create and dream.

And here is their cute business card:

front

back

Here are a few pictures I took while we were there (using my iPhone camera, some pictures may be blurry/dark):

Decor

Some handmade decor. There are tons of other "decorations" around the store, some used as samples to give you ideas for item uses.

Single cabinet doors.

Single cabinet doors. Great for painting and creating some other great artwork on.

Red Milk Caps

Red milk caps.

Empty VHS Tape Boxes

Empty VHS tape boxes.

Cardboard Tabs

Cardboard tabs with a few strung together as ornaments.

Flattened Milk Cartons

Flattened new, unused milk cartons.

Empty Bottles, Lids, etc.

Empty bottles, lids, etc.

Tiles

Tiles

We will be sure to go back and support this small business. I bought a small roll of leather, a package of wire, and a fabric sampler book thingy with some cool fabrics I hope to be using.

Supporting Local Artists

On Saturday, Travis’ mom (Janet), invited me to tag along with her to a local artists “Annual Holiday Show and Bargain Extravaganza” which she held in her home that also serves as her studio/factory. The artist is Mary-Melinda Wellsandt and she keeps a blog here: http://marymelindasworld.blogspot.com/ Beautiful home, by the way.

I also found her Facebook page and Flickr photo stream. Very stalkery of me, I know, but these pages are out there for the public to see! ;)

She creates beautiful glass pieces such as vases, tumblers, candle holders, and wine and martini glasses. I bought two martini glasses at $20 each (seen in a picture at the end of this post on the left). They had a nice, subtle green hue to them with a pretty design.

While at Mary-Melinda’s place she had flyers for other friends’ “Holiday Bazaar & Social” who live nearby and was also holding this little event at their home, Dee and Matt. Matt owns a store on Queen Anne called Four Winds Artful Living and he would be having some of the items from his store for sale at this home event at a 10% discount. Among some of the items there were cashmere scarves and hats, pashmina shawls, leather handbags, candles and soaps, jewelry, handmade paper journals, pretty Thai silk coin purses, and t-shirts. I bought a little sage green coin purse because it was about all I could afford at that point. It is really pretty with roses sewn on and I had been looking for a coin purse anyway!

Matt and Dee have a beautiful home and it is right at the end of their street overlooking Lake Washington! Take a look at the great view they get to wake up to:

View of Lake Washington

View of Lake Washington. Their house is on the right edge of the picture.

More Lake Washington views

More Lake Washington views. I panned a little more to the left.

Front Entrance

Matt and Dee's front entrance to their home.

Pond

They also have this cute little pond with actual fish! I did not get any fish in the picture, however. :(

Afterwards, Janet and I walked around in the Columbia City neighborhood, near where the Farmer’s Market she works at. We went into a gallery and looked around. We saw some neat things and even some of Mary-Melinda’s pieces. There were some button rings(!!!) and bracelets on display, too! They were really pretty and gave me some ideas to work with. We visited a small store of one of Janet’s long-time customers but she was not there. There were some really cool pieces in the shop, too. For a light lunch/dinner we stopped in at a small but nice pizza place (I do not remember the name!) and had a “pizzete”, a small 8″ personal pizza which we shared, and I had a raspberry lemonade. It was all very yummy!

Later that night, Travis, Janet, Alan (Travis’ dad), and I went to Cinebarre to watch the new Muppets movie. It was better than I thought it was going to be and it was very funny and entertaining. Janet also gave me a tin box full of beautiful/cool vintage rings (50’s/60’s) that were Travis’ grandmother’s! I had always dreamed of being handed-down something from a grandparent but I never met or knew any of my grandparents except my mom’s dad who lives in Florida, but we do not really keep in touch as he does not speak Spanish/English very well.

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of the buttons I received:

Tin With Vintage Buttons

Tin With Vintage Buttons!

Vintage Buttons

A few of the vintage buttons I plan to use. More leather braided buttons, too!

New Etsy Listings

A cute pink satin ribbon and goldtone aluminum metal chain bracelet. :)

Bracelet: Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Metal Chain Bracelet

Pink Satin Ribbon and Goldtone Metal Chain Bracelet

A retro looking ring made from a vintage brown leather braided button.

Vintage Brown Leather Braided Button Ring

Vintage Brown Leather Braided Button Ring

Another vintage button ring this time in navy blue and it is a fabric ring with a goldtone metallic ring as the base for the button. The ring part is still a silvertone ring.

Vintage Navy Blue Fabric and Goldtone Button

Vintage Navy Blue Fabric and Goldtone Button Ring

Vintage button ring in black fabric with a goldtone ring as the base of the button.

Vintage Black Fabric and Goldtone Button Ring

Vintage Black Fabric and Goldtone Button Ring

And lastly, one more vintage button ring, similar to the previous one except this one is a little bigger.

Large Vintage Black Fabric and Goldtone Button Ring

Large Vintage Black Fabric and Goldtone Button Ring

Again, thank you for reading! My posts continue to grow and get longer but since I am really only posting once a week I think it is ok. What do you think?

~T

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Etsy, Manicure, Thanksgiving Dinner, and Friday Adventures…

New on Etsy

I created and listed pet necklaces. That is right. Necklaces for your small pets! I do not even know if they will ever sell but they were a lot of fun to make. Take a look at them here and let me know what you think. The necklaces are so cute, I really like them.

Pet Necklace: Filigree Sphere Pendant on Glittery Red Chenille Stem

Necklace for Pet, Cat, or Small Dog: Filigree Style Sphere Pendant with Silvertone Findings on a Glittery Red Chenille Stem (Pipecleaner)

For my fellow gamers, I also listed three keychains that I made out of City of Heroes game cards that I bought from HeroCon in 2009. I cut a bit of the side and bottoms of each to make them smaller and a little more focused on each of the characters. There is a Desdemona, Maelstrom, and Statesman keychain. I had an extra Desdemona one I put on my own set of keys. I love it! :)

Keychain: Upcycled City of Heroes Game Card Featuring Desdemona

Keychain: Upcycled City of Heroes Game Card Featuring Desdemona

Manicure

Last Wednesday I painted my nails inspired by …love Maegan’s nude and glitter manicure. I used a clear base coat of Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails, two coats of Sally Hansen’s Nude Now, L.A. Colors Nail Art Lacquer silver glitter nail polish, and a final coat of the same clear nail polish that I used as the base. Maegan used a gold glitter nail polish with larger sized glitter but I didn’t have any and I still really liked how my manicure came out. On Monday of this week, however, there was a sale at Fred Meyer on a set of seven L.A. Colors Color Craze (Limited Edition Series Glitter Brights) nail polishes for $6.99 which included a gold glitter one similar to the one Maegan used! Yay! I can not wait to use it!

Nude Glitter Manicure Polishes

Nude and Glitter Manicure Polishes

Nude and Glitter Manicure

Nude and Glitter Manicure

Nude and Glitter Manicure

Nude and Glitter Manicure

I love the subtleness of the glitter on the nude nail polish. I do not usually get crazy looking manicures so this one was right up my alley. Maegan also previously used the same technique with a dark purple color and the same gold glitter polish which also looks great. Unfortunately, I do not own a dark purple polish but I am thinking I need to buy one. ;)

Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner at Travis’ aunt Carol’s place in Freeland, WA. It is on Whidbey Island North of us. The drive there is fun because at some point we have to ride the ferry onto the island. Carol’s house is really cool. Her and her husband, Larry, built the house themselves! Carol is a sculptor, painter, and teaches art. Check out some of her work showcased on her website.

There are very cool items in her home like a small lamp near the fireplace that is made from a salt rock. It has a nice amber glow. There is so much I cannot even remember it all now. Oops.

Pictured below are Carol’s dog, Rosie, and the cat, Frida. They were both very well behaved pets. There’s the salt rock lamp!

Rosie on her bed in front of the fireplace.

Rosie on her bed in front of the fireplace.

Frida on her bed in front of the fireplace.

Frida on her bed in front of the fireplace. She's about 16 years old!

Friday Adventures

On Friday Travis and I went to STORABLES (a store with all kinds of organizational units like drawers, hooks, etc.) so I could drop off a job application. We bought a clear cookbook holder and a white broom and mop holder.

I had been searching forever for a cookbook or book holder. Now I can type up all the recipes I have collected!

The broom/mop holder was also needed. We have two brooms, a couple of mops(?), and a little dust pan in one of the kitchen closets where we also store large boxes of beer from Costco and there are two bags of dry cat food. The cat food bags are pretty big, too, making it impossible for everything to fit nicely in there.

After STORABLES we were on our way to Hobby Lobby, a newly favorite store of ours, when the car in front of us stopped suddenly. We were far enough behind that we did not hit the car in front of us but the car behind us did. We pulled into the parking lot we were next to. The other driver was a young girl. They exchanged information and then we were on our way again. The damage on the rear bumper was not terrible but it is definitely noticeable.

Finally Home

Travis’ dad was waiting for us at home because he wanted another magnetic eyeglass holder for himself. Travis had made and given one each to his mom, dad, and aunt on Thursday and they all loved them! His dad, Alan, gave his to one of Carol’s guests so she could show it to people she knew to get the word out that Travis made them and steer a little business his way. :)

So Alan came for more and also to grab some of Travis’ business cards to give out. I had to improvise and print a few labels with Travis’ Etsy shop URL and stick them on the back. I will be creating a new design for him in the next few days.

Travis' current business card, front side.

Travis' current business card, front side.

Travis' current business card, back side with Etsy URL label.

Travis' current business card, back side with Etsy URL label.

All the information on his cards are current, so feel free to contact him and visit his shop if you are interested in buying a unique, handmade eyeglass holder or a cool creature sculpture. :)

Sorry for the extremely long post. I hope it was not boring! This has been a crazy up-and-down week. We survived, I think that is all that matters for now.

Thanks for reading!

~T

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