Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding happy...

Well, I worked an overnight last night with my assistant manager, and man oh man did we get a lot done.  That said, it brought back vivid memories of the time I spent at Kohls, always working, never sleeping (or really having a life, for that matter).  I would routinely get off work there at 2 or 3am and have to be back in at 6am...40 minutes away from my apartment.  Or I'd work an overnight, go home long enough to take a shower, turn around and go back for another 14 hour shift.  The thing that reminded me most of my younger days, when I didn't know when to say when:  I woke up after my 17 minute nap before returning to work this morning, stiff, sore, and just generally miserable.  As I thought back on it, I remember waking up that way nearly every day I worked at Kohls.  I felt like I was 90 years old.  I remember worrying that something was seriously wrong with me back then...cuz a 21 year old isn't supposed to feel that way (at least not without a whole lot of  As it turned out, it was just the result of battering my body and not taking care of myself for months on end.  As soon as I got back to a semi-reasonable schedule with a little work-life balance and some semblance of a proper amount of sleep, I bounced right back (with a little additional help from The Walking Company, for which I would gladly do a commercial if I were asked).  It seemed like a miracle at the time...I had spent almost two years like that, and had finally concluded that was just the way things were going to be.  That I was going to just have to live with being miserable and overextended.

Well, years have gone by, and I certainly don't push it to the extent that I used to.  I know better than THAT.  But, I do still have a tendency to overdo it on a semi-regular basis.  Last night was a perfect example...lifting stuff I should've probably gotten help with, among other things...I'm sure there's the writer of a pamphlet about proper lifting techniques somewhere out there who would grimace if there were video footage of everything I moved last night.  Luckily, I found myself another small miracle several months ago...a fantastic massage therapist (who will certainly have something to say about the current condiiton of my back when I go again on Wednesday).  

Now, don't get me wrong, I've always been all for a good massage.  I go on vacation, and someone says: "Let's go skiing," and I hear "Get cold.  Fall down.  Break leg."  Not-so-much...if I want to injure myself, I can manage that on my own, at home or at work.  I'm an INDOOR kinda gal.  Vacation is for sleeping in, eating well, and relaxing..often with a massage, from whatever spa happens to be nearby...or not so nearby, as the case may be.  Anyway, I'd had a lot of massages, and they'd always been nice, but until April or so, I hadn't ever had one that made a lasting impression.  One that actually made me feel better for a few weeks, instead of just relaxed for a few hours.  This girl fixed what I thought was permanent tissue damage from falling down some cement stairs seven or eight years ago (clumsy, not drunk).  It was ridiculous...I didn't even know it was possible to fix something like that.  And for that, I will continue to be a fiercely loiyal customer.

Anyway, I think what I'm getting at with all of this, is that the older I get, the more I realize that it's important to invest in my health...and in my quality of life.  And okay, yeah...massages cost money...quality shoes cost money...but if it means I don't have to wake up thinking I've aged 60 years overnight, it's totally worth it.    And yeah, if I have to take a job that pays a little less...if maybe I have to move somewhere that I don't know anyone and start over, decide where to cut costs and figure it out all by my lonesome...but I'm happy, and I don't come home angry or go to work's totally worth it.  So I'm finding my happy my cute apartment, with my silly dogs, working at a job I love, in an area that suits me, and getting nice shoes and massages.  To each his own though...find your own happy :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The perfect stamp's triumphant return...

Well, I finally got to bust out my perfect Christmas stamp that I bought last week...yay!  So the card turned out a little non-traditional, but I think really cute.  I wish I had a sentiment stamp for it, but alas...all at mom's house still...but I think the "Santa Baby" is kinda cute anyway.

The card: 

A close up...only to show that I did, INDEED use glitter, which I NEVER do:

And a close up of the written sentiment:

I guess after this, I should get back to my holiday gifts...*sigh.*  That's all for tonight :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My little escape artist...

Well, Lucy managed to slip her harness again this weekend.  I keep getting different harnesses that fasten in different places, and tightening them more, but nothing seems to matter.  I swear she has no bones or something...she just slips right out.  She didn't even tug this last time...I just looked down and she was gone.  *sigh*  The last time, she came right back when I called, but this time, I guess she smelled something exciting, cuz off she went like a little bolt of lightning running for the end of the block.  Now, mind you, this is in the pitch black in a neighborhood I'm not particularly familiar with, outside my friend's house in DeKalb.  So I'm running through yards after her, probably screeching her name (at the time, it seemed like I was speaking at a normal volume, but now that I think back on people stepping out on their porches to see what the commotion was, I'm guessing maybe I wasn't).  So, she finally got spooked when a car came by and came back to me, but not before I managed to pull my calf muscle pretty bad.  It was wonderful.  lol.  Sooooo...back to PetSmart yesterday, and Lucy got some little t-shirts to wear under her harness so I could tighten it some more without it rubbing.  What a spoiled little brat, eh?  :)  But really...who could stay mad at this face?

So she got her new t-shirts...I think they're pretty appropriate:

And last but not least, gotta share a pic of Lucy and best friends :)

Aren't they cute when they aren't running away and causing injuries?  :)  I think so too!  And that's all for tonight :)  More crafting's been a little nuts lately!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A complete lack of self-restraint...

Okay, so I have a weakness for stamps...and paper...and purses...and watches...and sometimes shoes.  I find that once I start saying "yes" to myself, it just keeps getting easier.  Which is why I have already purchased more Christmas stamps this year than I would need to make cards for the next three years.  Whoops.  But honestly, how could I pass this ONE MORE up?  It's too cute...I couldn' is mine now :)  It's perfect!

I'm a sucker.  And I'll be making Christmas cards till the day I die...apparently :)  lol.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Playing dress up...

Let's be honest here...there's not always time to make everything start to finish, right?  Sometimes, shortcuts must be taken.  Particularly when lack of time AND lack of budget is looming overhead.  So, I never feel bad if I create a card dressed up with some ribbon and bling...maybe add a sentiment or envelope stamp.  (Honestly, I don't really feel bad just buying a card from a store and handing it out as-is either, but...that wouldn't make for much of a post, now would it?)

Sooooo...I found some packs of cards to use as favors, and while they're cute, there's still a certain blandness about them.  So here's my solution:

- Studio G cupcake cards
- Studio G cupcake stamp
- VersaMagic Inks
- Cateye Inks
- American Crafts Ribbon
- Mark Richards Gems




Nothing spectacular, but just cute enough :)  Then I'll tie them up in packs with some more cute ribbon, and we're all good to go!  That's all for now :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Something from nothing...

Well, I looked and looked and looked for a centerpiece for the baby shower I'm hosting in a few weeks.  As it turns out, it's pretty much impossible to find one that is both reasonably priced and not totally cheesy.  So, after a bazillion internet searches on ideas, I decided to make one myself.  So, behold...the diaper cake:

Supplies used:
- 76 diapers
- Approximately 150 rubberbands
- American Crafts Ribbon
- BoBunny flower embellishment
- Supertape
- Vase
- Baby bottle
- Cake stand
- Florals (half off at Michael's)

Total cost:  Approx. $ it doubles as a practical gift, since mom-to-be can keep the diapers

- I put a couple of diapers in the bottom of the vase and then put a baby bottle on top of that so that it was tall enough to be a base for three tiers.
- If you rubberband everything together securely, and use the supertape strategically, you really only need to wind up with tape being on three diapers so that all the rest are intact.
- If you wanted to make one, you may need more or less depending on tiers, etc.

Pile of supplies (doesn't look like much, does it?):
Building the base (shown tiers around the bottle added for top tier):

Adding the outer layers (wound up having to add a large serving plate underneath, cuz my cake stand wasn't big enough):

Adding decorations to personalize it:

Adding flowers to finish it off:

Not too bad :)  I'm actually liking it a lot.  That's all for now...possibly working on favors later!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why hello there..

Why hello dear, neglected blog...I swear I will be getting back to you shortly.  This week has been crazy and bizarre, and there has been absolutely no time for crafting OR ranting :(  Until next time!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Internal calendar...

Working in retail totally messes up your internal calendar.  All your holidays start at least three months early, because people need to have time to shop.  We're practically in full-on Christmas mode already.  The Christmas tree at the store goes up on Halloween for pete's sake!  By mid-late November we'll be on to Valentine's Day.  It's easy to pop into a store when you don't work retail and think "Wow, Christmas stuff is out already???" and then walk back out and forget all about it.  When you're living it every day, it gets confusing.  I'm currently feeling like it's practically Thanksgiving, practically time to put up my tree, and like I might be behind on shopping already.  It doesn't help any when you're a crafter too, because making things takes time...which means it's the first week of September, and I'm working on Christmas cards and handmade gifts.  I love my job, but there's parts of it that are weird and definitely contribute to my OCD and anxiety about to do lists, timelines, and deadlines.  Meh...s'all good.  Anyway, my mom is making her own Christmas cards this year, and wanted me to make her a template to go from...below are the two I came up with (mostly the same in different orientations), and she can just swap out the ribbon and stamps to make them different if she wants to.  They turned out cute...suuuuuper simple, which is good. 

The Christmas Mouse:  Impression Obsession stamps, krafts cards (value pack with envelopes from Hobby!), adhesive ribbon (also from Hobby Lobby), and watercolor pencils

And I HAD to use the little mittens on the inside corner, cuz they're just cute :)

Reindeer Games:  Inkadinkadoo Stamps, kraft cards & envelopes, adhesive ribbon from Hobby Lobby, and watercolor pencils (the brown ink is a little too light, and she's using a different one for the final product, but since it was just a template anyway, no need to be re-doing hard as that was for 

And the back of the's a really old Hero Arts stamp, I think.

And that's all for tonight :)  Have a great rest of the holiday weekend!

Hanging on to pretty...

So I know a number of people who have become parents in the last few years, and the general concensus is that pretty much everything that can change does change.  And obviously, I had already considered time, responsibilities, money, and all that.  What I continue to forget about is that your beautiful, perfect house will probably no longer be either of those things, or at least not on a consistent basis.  So one of my best friends is pregnant right now, and has still not fully conceded that this will happen.  Now, believe me when I say, her house is BEAUTIFUL.  Very simple and classic, white walls, light-colored carpet, white couch...yeah...every parent's worst nightmare, right?  So she's currently registering for gifts, and making sure that she registers for things that match the house and everything.  lol :)  I think it's adorable that she's trying so hard, and I'm all for indulging that possibiliity, but it will be interesting to see what happens when baby is here and toys are everywhere and tiny handprints are on every surface.  I'm sure she'll adapt, but it'll be a quite a change (much like I'm sure I'll manage to adapt to maybe not hating being outside or doing halloween activities whenever I have kids).  But for now, I took a fabric swatch from the nursery so I could make sure the wall decor piece I was making would match.  I used an MCS 8x8 shadowbox, Creative Imaginations Breathless paper, Bazzill cardstock, 7 Gypsies dangling gems, American Crafts Ribbon, and Basic Grey Rub-ons.  (There's close-ups of the gems and the rub-ons since they don't show up great in the far away picture...they're very noticeable in person though).  Here's to hanging on to pretty for as long as possible...!

That's all for now!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Retail therapy...

Okay, so I've been a little remiss in my blog posts as they relate to crafting for the last few posts.  However, I've been extremely busy wrapping up projects with deadlines.  Happily, they've been completed as of 10 minutes ago and will be mailed off tomorrow afternoon!  I did take a small break this afternoon to go get a haircut, do a little shopping, and visit a friend.  All three much needed, since I was a) about to hack my hair off myself, b) missing my friend, and c) needing a little relax and unwind time with just me and my debit card.  lol :) 

I remember once in college, my friend Jay attempted to stop me from going to buy a CD at Target when I had a really atrocious day, saying that it "won't make you feel any better."  I think my eyes may have blazed with fire and smoke may have come out of my ears, because he sensed almost immediately that his conclusion may have been incorrect and stepped out of my way.  Seriously though, it makes me feel better, even if I don't buy anything.  Just to go meander through all the things that are shiny and new and exciting...ahhh...lovely.

I did find one little treasure today when I was at Pier 1.  I'll always have a place in my heart for Pier 1, because it was my first retail job, and it created the obsessive compulsive merchandising maniac that I've become.  Plus, it led to some great friendships AND some great karaoke.  Anyway, here's the buy of the day...very reasonably priced at only $14.95.  It just makes me smile, and it will probably be hanging in my livingroom tomorrow!  :)

That's all for tonight.  Off to the W.B. for a couple of days, so I may or may not have time to post.  We'll see :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just a nursery rhyme...

Okay, I'm not going to go very far into this (because the information I now know, I wish I didn't...ignorance truly is bliss), but I must vent my frustration on this whole bedbugs situation. 

Where the hell have these things been my whole life?  Why had I never heard of them before six months ago besides in a stupid nursery rhyme when I was little?  If this truly is just an ill-timed convergence of laws cracking down on pesticides, lack of public awareness, and an increase in travel all over the world, I'd like to say two things:

1) Just get over yourself with the toxic chemicals already.  They exist for a reason.  Can we just freaking use them already before (more) people start losing their sanity over this?  Please?

2) Where were/are the public service announcements?  Why on EARTH would it be important for a celebrity to be doing a public service announcement about giving your wife or girlfriend a PAP SMEAR for Christmas (for which, you would certainly be attacked if you actually followed said gift-giving advice), and nobody is mentioning blood-sucking, hitchhiking critters that live in your bed?!?

Blech.  Seriously, blech.  Anyway, I suppose I'm done with my rant.  Now, off to bed to hope that by some miracle of miracles, the excessive information I have on this topic dissipates overnight.  Blech.