Saturday, June 30

Bright Side Of Summer

Just for today, at least.

I'm not done with it yet, but I shall finish it some time tomorrow. I found yarn goodies to make... I'm not sure what I was looking for in the first place. Can't wait to share!

While we worry about the fires in Colorado and the rain in Florida, we feel some of the pain of the states that are hitting into and above one hundred degrees this week. Still crossing our fingers for the monsoon season to unofficially start. We've had storms tease us over the last few days- seeing lightning in Mexico, virga in the sky, and storms getting caught up in the mountains and breaking apart before reaching us. On the bright side, clouds make for comforting sunsets.


I've tried to keep looking on the bright side of summer, so I decided it was time to change up the polish on my nails. Decided on something outside of my comfort zone and put on a neon pink (Essie's Short Shorts from their 2008 Summer Neon collection). The pictures do not do it justice, it really is pink, it didn't come out perfect by any means, and I added a glittery statement nail too.

Doing the claw hand for a close-up view is really weird. In feeling and in look. Trying to keep upbeat and busy, it's nearly a full-time job. Hope your summer has been treating you well thus far! <3

Friday, June 29

It's Greenery!

Kitty has been jonesing for new grass to munch on for the past few days because he is spoiled and knows how to push every button we have.

Unfortunately, he still doesn't believe me when I say that I cannot make grass grow any faster, no matter how cute he is, and how much I love him.

Just before the Skype date with the SO's relatives yesterday, I poured diluted coffee water into the strawberries and the pet grass I've been working on. It's supposed to deter little flying bugs like gnats from settling into the moist soil. Well, while checking on everything outside later on in the evening, we discovered that little black ants have swarmed the grass pot. UGH!

I did what I could to get rid of them then but left it sitting in a tray of water overnight in a different spot outside. Today, it looked clear enough for me to bring in for him. He's been very pouty since he caught me with it last night and then I left it outside. Total torture.

While I did a quick update on the plants that we've tried to save from critters by bringing them inside to recover, I also caught kitty being his adorable and ecstatic self. It's right after he discovered this new batch. Even though he also saw me prep the next batch last night too. Tough love, right? Lol. Cats really do have staff. Having a cat is a humbling experience for sure.


Thursday, June 28

Meet The Folks

Wanted to report that the Skype date with the relatives went well. At least, I hope so. Ugh, that's the insecurity talking. There's no obvious reason to suspect it was anything but otherwise.

From past trips, FMIL has told her family stories about us/ me and they seem to be okay with me. At least, enough to seek me out on Facebook and become friends with me.

The SO made the point that they at least greatly appreciated the fact that they often received updates about how everyone was doing down here through me because I'm by far the most active with social media. I guess that's an okay start... and they did make a remark about that during the call.

We didn't get to see any of the grandkids and about... half of the adults who were hanging out in the pool with said children, but we got to chat with grandma! I would hope so, since the point of the call was to be able to see as many of us as possible on her birthday.

You guys, she is adorable. And a firecracker, lol.

I loved how we were able to chat with her for a bit and then while we were chatting with others, you could see her walking around back and forth in the background. It was pretty comical in an unintentional and sweet way.

Looks like I'm still nervous thinking about the whole matter, but at least it shows that I still care about how his family views me. In my defense, I think I have done a very good job at keeping my crazy nervous energy contained this time around. I didn't freak out prior, I only cleaned up some (after helping clean all this past week), and I didn't break down crying after. Those are huge accomplishments for me!

Sigh. Tomorrow, I'll probably do what the SO predicted: Ask FMIL about what they thought of the call and me. Just for reassurance. >_<

Wednesday, June 27

Whoa, There!

FMIL is off and on her way, so we're up and about earlier than normal. Still plenty of cleaning and other various chores to do but I am not a morning person by any means. Luckily, the auto-pilot setting in my brain is often better than the regular one.

While tying up some loose ends after getting home, I spotted a big lizard on the window screen. The SO poked at it a little bit through the screen and it did not give a flying fig. I went out back to take a picture and it looks pretty cool! Not sure what it is just yet, but that's the next project, lol.

... And I got it! XD About 15 minutes later and I've identified it as a Southwestern Fence Lizard, a type of spiny lizard, it seems. A male too. :P

It's always kind of fun trying to identify critters in our own backyard. Forever learning things living out here in the desert.

Tuesday, June 26


Loosely related title, ftw!

Helping FMIL get ready for her trip tomorrow. She always feels the need to prep the house as if no one is going to be here, even though there always will be, lol.

I guess I'm more anxious about it than I realize just because I'm a nervous person like that. Therefore, I have cleaned all sorts of things that I normally don't. It's... been interesting and colorful to say the least.

Other than that, I'm getting down and dirty with scrapbooking the summer vacation from last year for my folks. I haven't let a project like this sit that long before, thank goodness I have plenty of notes I've prepared to help me remember the details in the meantime.

Was waiting for more pictures to arrive from parts of the summer that I wasn't there for but they wanted to include in the book, but it doesn't seem like I will be so... saving pictures from my cousins' FB profiles it is!

It's funny what teens take pictures of when they're trying to be cool and artistic. Not the best in terms of subject matter one would want to archive. Been there, done that, have the ratty-old-well-loved t-shirt. Now, I make sure I do both! XP

It's almost representative of the things that many teens take for granted, the everyday details and the people that they see and text with so often. In time, they'll be super grateful of the good group shots they took and realize why family portraits even on vacations are useful memorabilia.

I think even my brother and my cousin started to realize this while I was starting to review the details of the trip with them and try to pick out pictures to use. Some of the stuff they took was cool and all, but in terms of helping anyone else remember what was actually going on at the time... not so much.

Well, back to some sort of work!

Monday, June 25


Pretty sure that I've mentioned how bad I am at sitting down and staying still when I finally try to do some work. This is the case today while tackling a family scrapbook.

FMIL is packing for her trip and cleaning out her closet. Then, we both were distracted by searching through a bunch of free patterns for knitting and crocheting that we've collect during our trips to the big box craft stores. Okay, at least we were looking for knitted afghan patterns for her to bring along.

However, that lead to be researching better ways to organize loose patterns (which we are always calling recipes, XD). Now, I want to do that and organize the craft room again. Well, it's really a spare bedroom that I started compiling FMIL's growing collection of crafting supplies in a central location. That collection is probably about 95% my fault because I'm a super good shopping enabler. Trufax.

I was hoping to compile a video using clips I took of my various plants and then doing a voice-over. Well, that's not going to happen anytime soon because my video converter and movie-making programs are a pain. Man, an iMac or similar Apple product would make managing the media in my life so much easier. Sigh. Maybe one day.

Moral of that short story is: Back to one-take vlogs it is. :D

For some other reason,  I'm also playing demos of Plants vs. Zombies a lot lately too. I don't know what's going on with my life right now. Or this post. It's been... as befuddling as my state of mind has been. Let's just blame the summer heat. Mmk? :P

Sunday, June 24


Well, sorta.

I love the quote: "Video games don't make us violent- Lag does."

We haven't had too much of that here lately after our provider sent us around in circles before realizing there was an unexpected outage in our area. Our service has been pretty poor for the past several weeks. We even went as far as to pick up a new modem on their recommendation, then realized that it wasn't the issue, and we returned the hardware. Of course.

Not much else to report because I've just cleaned around the house today and then played some video games because the heat and increasing humidity make it so one does not want to do much moving. I was watering and tending to the sad garden in the late afternoon in the shade and was still breaking a sweat. Sigh.

I have recently happened upon a song that's about a year old and I'm in love with! I found a cover through YouTubers that I also only recently discovered: Jayesslee.

Great right? Here's the original song by Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield.

They also covered it with fellow French-Canadian artist, Marie-Mai.

Then, they also covered in with Chinese artist, Kelly Cha.

While writing this post, I discovered that they also collaborated with KOTAK, an Indonesian band.

Wow, do they get around. XD It's really interesting to see the differences between the attitudes and videos. Possibly giving a hint as to what different pop audiences around the world care about more. I love the song, it touches upon a nerve for me, and I'm ever grateful to be where I'm at today.

Saturday, June 23

The Family

In a few days, FMIL will be out of town for her mother's birthday.

She and her sisters were hoping for all of the boys to gather together and have a Skype date with the whole gang over there for the occassion. Which is a fantastic idea.

So, after I came home from helping our friend organize her house again, I went about prepping FMIL's computer for the occassion. That and general technological maintenance. It's all set to go now, so I sat back and thought about what was actually going to happen.

I'm going to virtually meet the extended family. Most of them live in the same area and many of them are getting together to celebrate the matriarch of the family. I really hope to save up and meet them all in person some day, especially since it seems that I have a high chance of becoming related to them somehow. You know, down the road. Lol.

I'm friends with some of them on Facebook, we've sent messages back and forth and shared pictures. We've both heard stories about each other, sent Christmas cards to one another, and etc. Yet, I'm getting a little nervous about this milestone of sorts.

Of course, the SO thinks I'm being pretty silly. Especially because I've already interacted with many of his family members on the aforementioned occasions. He's also the type that really doesn't give a flying fig what others think of him. Idk, I'm still nervous because I still feel that it's an important situation.

If we can pull this off, the video call will be insanity anyways. They will have a house-full of aunts, uncles, cousins, their spouses, and the kids.

I think I'm the most excited/ nervous about chatting with his grandmother. A few years ago, she and some of her grandkids assembled an amazing memoir of her life. I've read through it and have referenced it while hearing stories.

I've also done my research/ homework like I do with anything that piques my interest. Sigh. It's probably not that big of a deal for everyone else but me because I'm such an anxious person. I'm sure it will all be fine. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? Uh, not much. :P

Being a couple can be really awkward and weird sometimes, LOL. Oh well.

Friday, June 22

The Stuff Of Nightmares

There I go again, giving myself nightmares.

The SO spotted a huge bug outside tonight and called me out back to bring the flashlight so we could get a better look at it.

Then, we were stuck outside for five minutes because it was unhappy with life and we didn't want to let it inside the house.

Fun times were had by all, lol.

It was at least two inches in length and was flying into the wall and light, while landing to clean its antennae. Just seemed terribly perturbed with everything. It'd dive in our direction and we'd dive away. The SO managed to get inside and grab my camera because I really wanted a picture to show you guys! XD It was hard to get good pictures, let alone back in without getting in its way but it was kind of too cool to squish.

I used the pictures to try to identify what type of bug it was ( is fantastic, btw) and I'm a bit stumped because I found three that were very similar. Here are the pictures.

The potential identifications are Great Black Wasp (or here), a Blue Mud Wasp, but most likely a Steel-Blue Cricket Hunter. Other pictures I saw that were in our region identified the bug as the last type, but the size doesn't seem quite right at all.

One of the biggest differences between the possibilities are what it eats (crickets or flowers) but yeah, I'm not about to install a GPS and stalk this thing. We're a little confused about the size ranges listed on the sites because ours definitely was bigger than one inch.

Well, I mistakenly thought it was some sort of beetle because I thought I had seen a shell on it before looking closely at the pictures. So, I started searching for beetles as they uploaded and have seen way too many close-ups of interesting creepy-crawlies to not get the heebie-jeebies. Just thought I'd share a little bit of my corner of terror with you. XD

Thursday, June 21

At It Again

Helped a friend organize some of her clutter today. Huzzah! I don't know why I find it kind of fun, but I do. Wish I was a bit more of a help but there was an extensive sorting system I was not familiar with, so I did the best I could.

In other news, I finished another scarf. Bright summery color. I tried to follow the pattern more directly this time.

Oof, this heat. At least it didn't get up to 109, as they predicted. Only about 105-106. >_<

Wednesday, June 20

The Girls

It's still pretty hot out there and the heat doesn't help much with motivation. FMIL and I did go visit "the girls."

I have kitty-nieces. Lol. I've mentioned them before and we've been helping cat-sit by giving our kitty's sister her weekly fluids injection. Yeah, I'm not the favorite aunt by any means. Though, they are incredibly affectionate girls as they've gotten older. And the little girl (she's six years old too because she's our baby boy's litter mate) is insanely patient and understanding of the torture we put her through. Takes it like a champ. Here's a sneak peek at the girls. Yes, I take pictures of other people's cats too. :P

My kitty-niece. She looks so much like our kitty sometimes and yet so different!
 Her sister, so my... step-niece kitty? Lol. We brushed the bejeezus out of her today.
The girls are not photogenic, but I could not stop them from trying to nuzzle and cuddle with me. XD

Tuesday, June 19

Almost Mathematical

It started off as a fun idea. Then, it quickly became a mission and a matter of pride.

At one point, I was functioning at some high level of frustration and panic. I don't know, I'm such a neurotic creature.

After hours of hunting down a pretty pattern that I could actually pull off, I finally found this: Moebius Cowl pattern. I really need to make a donation to this cause if only just because I have enjoyed it so much.

It's loosely based on the concept of the Möbius strip. It's like an infinity symbol and has only one edge and one surface. Similar to the infinity scarf but with a twist, literally.


This is the one that I completed yesterday and gave to FMIL today. It's fun to wear a few different ways, such as a draped scarf , doubled around as a neck warmer, and as a quick cowl.

I had modified the pattern a little bit, mostly because I was so worn out from searching for a pattern that worked for me but was more than just a solid strip. It has just enough texture to it that it still looks really pretty while it's bunched up. 

This was made in the new yarn, Pagoda, that I showed you in my little haul from the other day. I'm currently working on another one in Watermelon and following the pattern more strictly. It's such a fun accessory that is still okay in the summer (in my opinion) because of the fun and bright hues.

It uses up nearly an entire skein of yarn. I'm also making it almost twice as long as the pattern calls for because I don't want it up against my neck. Most of the people we know are either in the desert or the swamp anyways, so it's more for fun.

Still trying to bury my feelings. Sigh.

Monday, June 18

Crucial Difference

There hasn't been many serious posts here in several months. What's a personal blog without substance? I suppose I have been doing what I do best, piling on projects in a sad attempt to bury my thoughts of more important things.

Have even procrastinated with completing this blog post because I knew I wanted to write about my revelations today.

Finally came to the realization (or rather, the open admission to myself) that a crucial difference between youth and adulthood is:


It seems morose, but that's not my intention. Even though you wouldn't know it when I explain how the notion hit me.

One of the thing I've been doing lately while trying to keep busy, was to watch an endless stream of YouTube music videos by various independent artists. Every now and then, I peeked at the top comments but they are typically cringe or eye roll-worthy, but some of them made me think of what was the crucial factor that was missing from some of the performances.

The orchestration and arrangements would be great, background visuals were beautiful, the songs were well-written, and the voices would be great but something would just not rub me (and other viewers) the right way. Then it hit me, it's the younger singers or those that seemed to have lived really sheltered or at least pretty happy lives until starting to become YouTube famous vocalists.

Not that I wish it upon them, but it seems that they have barely begun to suffer for their work. When they sing gut-wrenching songs with the lightest spirits and the biggest smile on their faces, we are left uncomfortable by the emotional schism. Yes, there are many ways to interpret all types of art, but sometimes there isn't because it was created in such a pragmatic manner. Sometimes messages are not symbolic or coded because it's good to have that type of honesty in our lives.

Life teaches many lessons and most of them involve pain.

The pain of childbirth or the pain of waiting for the adoption papers to go through.

The pain of losing a friend or the pain of being too far away from a loved one.

The pain of being cooped up in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV or the pain of burying one of the greatest influences of your life.

While we do our best to appreciate, love, and learn while the getting is good, nothing seems to drive the point home more poignantly than the pain felt when it was almost lost. That rawness and vulnerability often shows in having passion. It's like gasoline to the fire that was already burning bright even when it simmered as an ember.

Many great painters suffered as starving artists, many of the great composers were tortured, many great leaders endured heart-breaking losses in battle, and many musicians pour out amazing albums after suffering a break up.

I tried to think of examples of people who didn't endure great deals of pain and still succeeded and I'm still struggling to think of any. Artists who seemed flighty and carefree were the ones that buried their pain in alcohol and other drugs until they were stuck in an altered state. Even the most patient and saintly people of our day may not have suffered either own, but they carry the burden of others' pain.

It's not just experience the pain though, it's what you do in the aftermath that shows one's character.

"Fall down seven times, get up eight." - Chinese proverb.

When you can endure the pain and turn around the make something better for yourself and the world around you- that's one of the biggest accomplishments and tasks of adulthood. I don't doubt that these young artists haven't worked their butts off to get where they are right now, but when I see them sing sad love songs, you can tell that they just haven't experience that painful part of life yet.

Guess there are a few more things I need to mull over before attacking life again.

Sunday, June 17

Stocked Up On Wishes

I realized that I hadn't shared any of the cards from almost two weeks ago when FMIL and I sat ourselves down to make cards:

 I was inspired by a picture in the SU! catalog and wanted to try out the layout with some scraps.
Wanted to use the new In Colors ('12-'14) with a watercolor technique.
 From the frames, left to right: Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals, Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, & Summer Starfruit.
 We spilled some glitter glue and had to use it up, so I slathered some on each cupcake I had stamped.
 That's about 18 birthday cards added to the stash. Yay!

Saturday, June 16

Summer Colors

Yarn was on sale today and getting it was... interesting and long. Tons of other stuff was on sale today too but FMIL and I were very good! Well, mostly.

The big craft stores are having major sales now in preparation for all of the winter holiday goodies that come pouring in from designing  developers in August. Oh yes, I have learned this trend/ plan. That's fine with me because I love stocking up on bright jewel-toned summer colors because they are my favorite hues!

Fast-forward, I finally got to pick up a few shades that I've been eye-balling for at least two months now! Well, they're new to me, lol. I cannot wait to make some cute critters with these fun shades. One skein goes a long way when you're just planning on amigurumi dolls.

 Delicious colors!
Berry Blue, Pagoda, Persimmon, and Watermelon.

I took a break from my crazy-squares-for-the-baby-afghan making and tried to make slipper socks that looked like Mary Janes. I haven't sewn on the buttons, each one looks completely different from the other, but I like how my first pair turned out! 

 Side view.
 Top view.
Front view.
Testing (stretching) them out.

Not bad for an experiment, aye? Here's the free crochet pattern for the Mary-Jane slippers. I hope to figure out how to modify the pattern to make them a little bigger. I could probably use chunkier yarn too. So cute!

Friday, June 15

It's Hot

I keep trying to avoid looking at the 10-day forecast because it's been 101-103 degrees for the past few days. Within the week, 109 is predicted for next Thursday and I don't want to be in town at that time, lol. Or this part of the state. 

I realize there hasn't been a garden vlog in a little while and just because I get to see how sad the garden is, you haven't been able to share in the "excitement".

And here is the picture of the Serrano peppers that I mentioned. I hope they can manage for a few weeks indoors. 


I keep saying it, but it really has been a rough year in the garden for these poor plants!

Thursday, June 14

Quizzical Love

I've seen it mentioned in a few articles and YouTube vlogs from a few people that I follow: The 5 Love Languages. Finally remembered to do the assessments and read some of the descriptions. That and I like taking personality-related quizzes.

I took the assessments for singles, for wives, and for apologies. There are five categories for each. It gives a bit of insight into what type of actions from others means the most to you. This goes along with the idea of if you know which languages expresses love to you the most, then you can use that information to better your relationships with loved ones by being more mindful.

In the initial assessment (for singles) it emphasized not just romantic relationships, but friendships and family-relations as well. It's okay to get high scores in two categories, but one tends to win out by just a little and be your primary love language. I had this happen the most with these results. It reasoned that I value "quality time" the most.

Having someone's undivided attention shows how much they really care for me. This makes a lot of sense with how many distractions we have in our modern lives. We all know that I'm easily distracted and often multitasking, so to get my absolute undivided attention and focus should mean a lot. I'll ignore my phone, not doodle notes, and be wholeheartedly engaged with people that I love when they need it the most so it makes a lot of sense that I would highly value that in return.

The next quiz that I took was in reference to my apology language. This one was pretty interesting in that it proposed various scenarios in which you were wronged and various type of things someone could say to you in their apology. It reaffirmed how resentful and disbelieving of a person I am once I've been wronged. I don't forget and I eventually forgive- to an extent. However, I accept many flaws in people and love/ believe in them anyways. Maybe that's what balances things out so I'm not a complete bitter old hag? Lol.

The highest scoring language I got here was the "expressing regret". It reasoned that just getting am meaningful "I'm sorry" as soon as possible would do the most for me because it meant that they immediately realized and addressed the emotional hurt they caused me. This category scored twice as much as the next highest type and the rest was much smaller. You can read more about the different types on the site.

The final assessment I took was the love languages for wives. Although we're not married, I feel that after being in a committed relationship for more than four years should have been addressed. It used the same categories of languages as the one for singles but the questions refers to very couple-oriented situations and referred to things that one's husband would do.

My results for this assessment were pretty interesting. Many high scores and many ties, but they chose one to be my primary language anyways. The one that they picked as my primary was "words of affirmation" which is just being told "I love you" randomly means the world to me. It's one of those instances when I don't want to fall into a habit where that's taken for granted. So, just saying those words every now and then bring me great comfort.

I'm not sure if my scores were skewed because of my relationship. I had a feeling, after reading my results but even as I read more and more of the questions, that I really appreciated certain gestures from the SO because we know each other so well. Meaning, there are tons of things that he does that I really appreciate because I know he only does them because of how much he loves me.

That leads me into wanting him to take the quiz too. Wish me luck with that! Lol. There are about 20-30 questions per quiz.

Wednesday, June 13


Had a bit of a rough night so today hasn't necessarily been very exciting.

FMIL and I went to help with cat care while my "SIL" is on a road trip. We came to give one of the kitties her subcutaneous fluids and it didn't go as smoothly as usual. :( Poor baby girl.

I keep fixation on projects when I start to panic about more important life business, but I know if I don't do something towards said minor endeavors, I won't be able to do anything else. If I get a good idea as I'm falling asleep, I have to get up and write it down or make a memo to research it in the morning or I'll be unable to sleep for hours.

I hope to get that nervous energy out on these fixations in the next day or so, then focus on what I need. Not that I'm looking forward to that or anything.... >_>

Still working on the holiday cards. I think I may have narrowed down the layout concept so I could calculate what supplies I need to stock up on. I think I finally got to a point today where I can let it go for a few weeks.

While restlessly pacing around the house this evening, I felt the need to do something different with my hands. Odd phrasing, I know. :P I decided to pick up an afghan I've been trying to crochet but put down for a while because it was pretty difficult. After a lot of time practicing crocheting now, I decided to give it a go again and see if this time is any easier. It feels pretty good so far.

Oh! I forgot that FMIL and I went to do a bit of clothes shopping yesterday. Haven't done that in ages here. We also went out to lunch at a new (for me) place and that was pretty cool too. It's nice to get out of the house. Especially for someone who emotionally eats and can enjoy a little bit of retail therapy. XD

Tuesday, June 12

A Wonderful Time Of Year?

It's that time of year where I lose a bit of my mind and start adamantly planning this year's Christmas cards.

Yeah, it's barely June- I'm not quite sure what gets into me.

Maybe it's because craft companies are rolling out tiny previews of their holiday collections and/or July seems to be the month were complete new lines are launched in the crafting world.

It seems that our only hope of getting something really fun or cool done in time is to start at least three months earlier. One month at the very latest and that's involving many late stressful nights. That our we're six months to six years behind on all the projects we want to do. LOL.

Well, the holidays are a stressful time for most of us (even without the crafting) and the more we can get done during the usually less busy summer/ early fall months, the better.

My cards are usually done by August, I finalize addresses during September, I plan on thinking of heartfelt messages in October, I panic about not thinking of enough things to write and throw together something in November, and I scramble to make sure everything is mailed out in the first week and a half of December. Perfect. XD

I've tried really hard to do birthday cards and have realized that I'm terrible at it. Especially since we're not exactly comfortable with putting too much in our actual mailbox. That means we have to take a trip to a mailing center that it's not exactly convenient anymore now that the Target down the street has groceries. Way too many details. Oh man, my sanity is just melting out of my ears.

The new Stampin' Up! catalog went live on the first of this month and there's this color combination I saw in one of their samples that I fell in love with. Thanks to being a demonstrator, I was able to access their resources and find out exactly which products they used and I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out how a project was made just by looking at it, but it's all good.

I hesitated to put in an order for the supplies because I've started a tradition of getting a new stamp set for my biggest annual paper-crafting project but hadn't fallen head over heels yet.

Then today's mail came in.

I got my monthly magazine newsletter from them (it's chock-full of amazing projects, tips, and previews) and they decided to send us the new Holiday Catalog early this year! Bigger and better than ever, I am so excited. There are so many really great tools and sets in it. I am totally pleased with how it turned out.

Fell in love with about three stamp sets, reigned myself back with practicality, and decided on the best set for our cards. I cannot wait to order it in July! Maybe I'll wait until August.

This is where I usually start the process, by picking the stamp set and color scheme at about the same time. Usually the former inspires the latter. That or there's some special product that I fall in love with and I plan the entire card around that one little detail. It's like having a favorite pair of earrings or sneakers you adore and planning the rest of your outfit around it.

I think I'm trying to convince the "theys" of the world that I'm not a complete weirdo, LOL. I love being a weirdsie. It's a lot of fun. :P

I just went through and made a rough list of how many and who we want to send cards to. It's back way up to what it was about two years ago. That's about 70 cards, so that's going to really take some planning.

The only thing that I have left to do (and this part I think I dread the most in terms of planning) is to figure out the layout. Last time I did that too early before I had all of the products in front of me and my master plan ended up having to change almost completely. Sigh, I had such good momentum going to, but remembering that means maybe I should hit pause for now.

There's extra excitement for this year's cards because during this last trip to Florida and visiting with many friends, I heard tons of appreciation and love for my past cards. It's actually the first time I've been thanked for them other than right after they were given (when it's more of an afterthought). I really realized how much my efforts mean to my loved ones and it added much needed fuel to that fire.

I wonder if anyone else gets this way about some tradition or this enthusiastic about planning a project...

Monday, June 11

Virtual Scraps

I'm not sure what this restlessness stems from, but I've somehow managed to put energy towards jumping on that infamous to-do list of mine.

It may be a slightly different manifestation of those feelings that I wrote about a few days ago, but let's not question it too much. :P

Starting working again on the various digital scrapbooks I have put on the back burner.

It's becoming increasingly frustrating dealing with and trying to make up for my laptop's shortcomings. At one point, a desktop/ new laptop was on top of my list to save for... and then life happened. Lol. It's just the way it goes and that's just not in the cards for now.

I have programs and my still fairly new graphics tablet that should make this worlds easier, except my laptop physically can't run half of this stuff. Just like the integrated video card can't run the Diablo 3 demo, let alone the game, and how trying to play the Sims 3 is like playing a weird slideshow with no mouse pointer. Sigh.

So I still can't edit the pictures the way I'd like and they really need help, lol. Yes, there are back ways but that's at least twenty extra steps per photo and that's not streamline at all. I really hope that one day I can just slap a half decent layout together. Maybe then I'll catch up. Of course, that totally won't happen if I've started a family by then. XD

I don't think I know where I was going to go with this. It started when I picked up a few new digital scrapbooking supplies. Very cute, bright, and summer-y. Click on those words to have a peek of the collection I shopped from. I have been so good with sticking with my collection lately but these were perfect for my recent Florida pictures and 50% off and... well, I should stop trying to justify it to myself. Lol, what's done is done.

Sunday, June 10

Add 10CC's

Well, today has not been a terribly productive day.

While we worry about wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado along with the torrential downpour in the Florida panhandle and as we roll our eyes at the smear campaign ads on the telly (it should be done on Tuesday!), we've watched quite a bit of Jacques and Julia to lighten the mood.

I've also tackled beating Mario Party 9 on Solo mode so that's been... animated, lol. I become needlessly passionate while playing even the simplest of video games.

It's been pretty hot lately and while we usually have evap cooler wars, a stalemate has been reached for the past two days and it has stayed on most of the time. The garden looks pretty rundown from the heat and there's only so much we can do. :(

I thought I might get some work done once night time hit and the entire house cooled down (being hot and sweaty while jumping around working on stuff makes me grumpy), I caught an new video in my subscription box on YouTube and all of that motivation went down the drain.

It's this channel called RRcherrypie and they make miniature foods from Japanese toy kits with powders by adding water. Some of the stuff is edible while others are not but for some reason, it's all fascinating- right down to the tools! I love miniatures for whatever reason and here are some really cool videos:

Saturday, June 9

Earring Storage Solution

The kitty cat and I have been in quite a restless mood today. We both keep getting up and wandering around the house aimlessly. Almost as if we're seeking something.

Anyways, I did it again! XD

I found a super easy and cheap storage solution for my earrings today. I wanted something flat that I could hang on a wall because of what little space I have in the room I'm staying in. How can I beat $0.60 and a removable hook that I already had?!

It's a clear sheet of plastic canvas that is typically used for cross stitching at our local craft store. It's 10.5 x 13.5 inches and I can cram as many earrings as I'll ever own on it! The hook is removable once I pull on the sticky tab it's attached to.

I am so excited to have this hanging in my closet. While it doesn't win any beauty contests, I'm grateful have these pieces readily available for such little effort.

I'm still debating how I want to organize it. I have posts and studs near the top and more commonly used pieces near the edges, but I'm super tempted to organize by color since that always makes me happy. Makes me want to keep collecting more.

All but one pair of these earrings are costume pieces, many of them were ordered from Etsy, and the majority of them are also from my mom's collection. She has a bunch and always tells me to take whatever I want whenever I visit.

I even get to display pairs that I don't really wear for whatever reason but were gifts from friends that mean a lot to me and the ones that I love but are missing their match.

Did a little more card-making today, but barely.  I also wanted to share the resources that we've been using in out card-making though. We've used Stampin' Queen's Sketch Challenge blog for simple layouts, the weekly ColourQ challenges for color inspiration, and Pals Paper Arts for both. I love how they used home decor and fashion for inspiration for color combinations. Plus, people who participate in these challenges often post their projects and that leads to finding more creative blogs to follow and even more inspiration. A vicious cycle indeed, lol.

Re-organized the batch by color and it makes me even happier now.

Friday, June 8

Stamp of Approval

Well, I did it!

FMIL and I strapped ourselves in for some card-making and stamping this afternoon after running around the house (for way too long) grabbing the majority of our stamping and papercrafting supplies. We buried the dining table and the surrounding area.

We looked up blogs with various color and layout challenges for inspiration and set off experimenting with new stamp sets we had yet had time to get into. In the end, I made a set of 16 birthday cards using new "In Colors" from Stampin' Up! that just became available on June 1st and FMIL made two sets of three cards. She tried all sorts of new things and I was very proud. The workspace is pretty um... well-utilized right now and we're planning on picking it up again tomorrow.

 Even our messes are pretty!
The new hues are growing on me.

We also set the wolf spider "free" today. It had plenty of time and ways to get out of the bucket, so we theorized that it was quite cool and a good spot to grab bugs attracted by the moisture. Who knows, but just in case we were wrong and it was a bit trapped, we tipped over the bucket by the fence. It did not want to leave the security of those four white walls without tons of cautious coaxing. Wow, do they camouflage well into the desert landscape.

Can you spot the wolf spider?
 There it is!

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