Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nightmares Can Be Strange Things...

My original image that kind of looks
the way I think nightmares feel...
Everyone has nightmares. Whether it's the one where all your teeth are falling out, or you're at school for the big exam you didn't study for and you just happen to be naked, we all are familiar with waking up in a state of dread only to be relieved that no, this isn't something you actually have to worry about at that moment.

For years, I had school nightmares. I would remember that I had signed up for a class that I then promptly forgot about until the final exam, only to realize that I had absolutely no idea where the class was being held. I also had a recurring dream that I would suddenly appear at school either completely naked or in my underwear, with only a pillow to conceal myself.

Lately, though, I seem to be having a new type of nightmare. Instead of being based around school disasters, these focus on something much more distressing for me - moving. I will find myself in a fairly luxurious apartment that I absolutely love. It often is the same apartment, one Ive never been to in real life, but I recognize the floor plan once I wake up.

In this apartment are the things my family and I have acquired over the 1-2 years we lived there, and we find ourselves faced with the prospect of boxing it all up to move. But wait, you say, I thought this was supposed to be a nightmare?

Oh, my friend, trust me... it is SUCH a nightmare. See, we aren't just boxing up our things. We have to move because some sort of drama has occurred- someone has lost a job, or become disabled (things we have gone through in reality), and for whatever reason, we have left everything until the absolute last minute possible to leave. We have a matter of hours to get everything we own out of the apartment and clean it up to get the deposit back, and it just is not going to be possible.

It gets worse from there, as then family comes to help, but instead yell at us for being unprepared, and the landlord comes with police to evict us... my child (who is an adult in reality, but always a small child in these dreams) cries as everything familiar is being boxed up and taken away, and I stand helpless, watching everything Ive worked for basically falling apart.

Then I wake up, and let me tell you this- my life is nowhere near perfect, but the relief I feel when I realize I don't actually have to move right now? That is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Brains are weird. What sort of nightmares do you find yourself dealing with? Have you found anything that seems to trigger them? Leave me a comment, I would really like to know I'm not the only one having weird dreams like these!

My brain is a strange place to be trapped sometimes.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Halloween costume fun!

(I apologize- if you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen these photos already. If you have, then read along- maybe the story will make up for having seen the photos?)

I love Halloween. You may know this by now, but if you don't, it's my favorite holiday. So even though I haven't dressed up for the holiday in at least a decade, I still wander through Halloween stores and departments many times throughout the season. This brings me to today's post.

As we wandered the Halloween department of a local big box store, my husband and I were enjoying pointing out silly costumes, coming up with ideas for the various bits you can find. I'm halfway planning to make some hair padding from some of the costume wigs once they go on sale after Halloween, but that's a different post entirely! Suddenly, my husband stopped, picked up a costume, and held it out to me with a curious look on his face.

"Honey, do you see anything... odd... about this costume?"

I looked closely, and was overwhelmed by the cuteness of the baby in the photo. I couldn't see past how adorable the whole thing was. "Umm, cute baby?"

He shook his head. "Nope... look more closely."

I looked and looked... and nothing stood out to me. There were sweet googly eyes under a puff of sweet pink curly hair. Soft felt teeth framed the baby's face. A pink bow tie matched the giant yellow feet of the monster and the yellow horns on the monster's head. The effect was almost unbearably cute, and I couldn't get past that.

Finally, he gave up and pointed out what had made him stop and stare in confusion. When I saw it, I had to take a close-up picture, because I knew this was going on the blog.

 That's right: this costume is apparently part of the Noah's Ark collection. Did you miss the part of the story where pink fuzzy monsters were hanging out on the ark with the rest of the animals? I know I did, but hey, I was never the most diligent of students. Maybe I missed out on some of it... and judging by the other costumes we've found in the days following? I missed a LOT.

I don't even know what else to say, other than I've taken to carrying my tablet with me because I keep finding more and more amusing costumes in this line!

That's right- the ark held dragons, too!
Oh look- it's a BOY's monster costume, since boys can't wear PINK, and girls obviously can't wear blue!
Don't look now, it's the terrifying PUMPKIN monster. Because you know, pumpkins...
... so the ark had SHARKS on it? Why couldn't they just swim? Oh, whatever... my brain hurts now.
Yea. So that happened. I don't know who's coming up with the ideas for these costumes, but I think they need a new theme. But now you know the rest of the story, so that's good... right?

Halloween is my favorite holiday!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rubber Stamping Adventures!

Hidey ho, campers! How are you enjoying the summer so far? Thankfully, it's been a very mild summer this year, so I've been able to spend less time lying in a puddle in front of the air conditioner! The question, then, is what have I been doing with all that extra time?

As some of you know, I've got this driven need to learn things. Asked what my goal in life is, I'll often reply that my goal is to learn everything. EVERYTHING. Yes, I know I'll fail, but just think how much fun I'll have learning in the meantime!

The latest thing I've been learning recently is how to carve my own rubber stamps. See, it all started with business cards...

I've designed my own business cards in the past, and I've been very happy with them. The problem is that they go so quickly. I made a ton of cards a couple of years ago to tide me over until I could get some proper cards printed up, but I kept running into the same issues- business cards can be expensive, and I don't know that I always want the same, single image on my cards. Then there's the question of what can I do when I run out of cards and need some in a hurry?

Some of my first stamps. Robot! :D
So, my kind of strange creative mind hit on rubber stamping. I thought about having a stamp created with all my information on it, but then I found how much a single business-card-sized stamp could cost. (Think $25-40!) Because of this, I started thinking about carving my own stamps. It's something I've been interested in for years, but have never really had the time or opportunity to do.

A quick google search found a Speedball carving set for significantly less than $40. While waiting for that to reach me, I hit my local Dollar Tree and grabbed a bunch of erasers and a couple of things I thought I might be able to make a stamp pad with. Because I'm so fond of bright color, I knew I didn't want a single-color stamped image. So, I grabbed a children's watercolor paint set and some felt to see what I could come up with.

The result? Well, my first stamps were a smashing success, but they were pretty small. My husband brought home some larger erasers a few days later, and I carved the middle stamp in the above image. I've carved over 20 stamps now, and have only cut myself twice, so I figure that's a good thing, right?

Then came the stamp pad. Let's see if I can simplify what I did- I got a medicine organizer with 7 separate compartments, put the watercolors (green, blue, purple, red, and orange) into different compartments with some water to liquify them, then poured them onto the felt and let them dry. To use the stamp pad, I spray it with a light mist of water 5-10 minutes before I plan to use it, then again right before, and oddly enough it works!

I also decided I wanted something beautiful for the back of my cards, so I set out to make something... colorful and me-like. It's amazing what you can create with a set of Crayola watercolors...

Once it was dry, I doodled over it in white, adding paisleys and hearts, fun phrases and spirals. I wanted something that looked like pieces of a whole once it was cut up. I wanted something that felt special, as if I were giving a piece of art to everyone who gets one of my cards.

The result? Crazy fun business cards in gradient colors that make me SO happy... I've had to hand-write the blog address, mainly because I don't carve that well yet. Still, I'm happy with the result so far.

Stamped business cards version 1.

Stamped business cards version 2.
I've also carved some flowers, some leaves, as well as a few other things. Then I wondered what I could do with them, so I started experimenting. And yes, I'm frugal, so I've been painting on old envelopes. I'm weird that way. :D

Not bad for children's watercolors and some eraser stamps, eh? So what do you think of all these? And what do you think I should carve next?

Leave me a comment telling me what you think. I need the feedback, what can I say?

Til next time...

I'm still alive, isn't that fun?
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pink Ivy- Stamping with Milani

I got the chance to do a really fun manicure recently, and I loved it so much I kept it for a full week! It was hard to photograph, but I think I got a pretty decent representation of it. You'll have to let me know what you think, and if you'd wear this!

Since summer is here, I was feeling the urge for some bright colors. I also wanted to dig into some of my older polishes, so without much hesitation I pulled out Wicked Style from the China Glaze Electropop collection. I know, I wish I had multiple backups of these polishes, they're definite staples in my collection!

Then, to add a bit of whimsy and to use one of my semi-new stamping plates, I stamped a pretty floral pattern from the Pueen plate #33 using White Milani polish. This worked beautifully, as you can tell! And of course, since I'm me, I had to add a bit of sparkle to things. A single coat of Essence Colour and Go in Space Queen finished things off beautifully!

All in all, this was a fun, bright manicure that made me smile lots. There's something about having my nails done that just makes my day seem a bit brighter!

What colors are you finding yourself drawn to this summer? Are you feeling hot in pastels, or are neons singing your name? Leave me a comment and let me know what you're loving this summer!

Some polishes were provided by the brands for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, June 2, 2014

SpringFling VoxBox!

It's that time again- the great folks at Influenster have put together another great box jam packed with goodies for me to evaluate! While some of the past boxes have been somewhat less exciting for me, this one was almost perfect!

When I saw the box, I got excited. See, I have this weakness for cute packaging, and this box did not fail. The Influenster box this time was a pale spring green, and it got me excited before I even opened it! I know, it's sad, but I can't help it. Cute stuff makes me happy!

Once I got it open, I was even more excited! Except for the tampons, this could have been picked for me specifically. Kiss nails? Yes please! Lip balm? Sure! Mascara? Definitely! Lotion? Don't mind if I do!!

I don't do menstrual products because I had a hysterectomy years ago, so I really can't do that good a review of the tampons. I can say they're scented, and they smell... well, strong? Unpleasant? I don't think I'd want to use these even if I did need them, but I'm picky about that sort of thing. As always, your mileage may vary, and you might absolutely love these.

Moving right along, let me tell you about the Softlips Cube! Now, I don't know why they call it 5 in 1 lip care, but I DO know that this is fabulous! It's lightly scented and flavored, which is nice because I don't like things that are heavily scented or flavored. I got the blueberry pomegranate kind, which worried me a bit. I don't usually like blueberry things, but this is actually really nice.

It's also WONDERFUL on my lips. It isn't overly greasy, and it's made my lips super soft. It does seem to either wear off or be absorbed a bit faster than my usual lip balm, but that's not a problem for me. I'm kind of iffy on the way it's packaged- it's very similar to the EOS balms, except it's in a clear cube. The ball shape is odd, but it's also nice- I can apply it to both lips with a single swipe. And getting back to the "I'm a sucker for cute packaging" bit, I love the actual package. This little clear cube is just so pretty! Add in the pretty card it's packaged on and I'm totally sold. This balm is an all-around winner in my books.

How gorgeous is this?? I know, I'm a sucker for a pretty package.

In keeping with the moisturizing theme, let's look at the Nivea Skin Firming Hydration body lotion. Again, I'm really picky about smell, and many harsh-smelling body lotions can trigger a migraine headache in me, or aggravate my asthma. If a product makes me sick, I clearly won't be using it, and unfortunately many skin products have really strong scents.

This lotion does not, thankfully. It does smell wonderful, but it's a light clean scent that I find really pleasant. It's also very soothing, and absorbs into the skin very nicely. I'm not so sure about the "skin firming" claim, but I tend to think that most of the claims of this sort are purely marketing with no real effect.

That doesn't stop me from loving this lotion, and it has now earned a place in my purse. My skin has become very dry in recent years, so I'm absolutely loving this! Another plus- my husband likes this scent, which makes me willing to use it more often!
I have yet to test the remaining products. I can share my initial impressions, though. First, let me address the Labor Day air freshener. I don't know how you are, but I don't tend to get excited over air fresheners, and I honestly have zero interest in this peach pie air freshener. It comes back to the artificial scents issue for me. I don't get the logic behind this sort of marketing, really. But that's me...

I'm really looking forward to using the Rimmel Scandaleyes. I like mascara, since my eyes are deep-set and tend to sort of disappear into my round face. Anything that makes them more visible is a plus!

Finally, I'm really looking forward to wearing the Kiss Everlasting French nails. For whatever reason, I don't seem to be able to really give myself a decent french manicure. I can do all sorts of things, but not that! I'll be trying these using temporary adhesives, and I'll gladly share my results soon.

So keep an eye on this space, and hopefully I'll have some more experiences with these products soon!

SpringFlingVoxBox  was provided by Influenster for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Art/Craft Therapy for Pain Management, AKA What I've Been Doing for the Last Month

I had the best of intentions. I was going to post fun photos of the things I'd been making. Funny how life stepped in and slapped me around a bit! Ok, I'm exaggerating quite a bit, but the last six weeks or so have been really, REALLY unpleasant thanks to changes in the medication I take for fibromyalgia.

Let's start out with the flowers. See, I have this bizarre need to make things, especially pretty things. For whatever reason, I had an epiphany in the middle of the WalMart scrapbooking section. I found the cutest little flower punch in their $2 bins, and realized I could make cute cute mini flowers, then emboss them with my dotting tools.

This is a closeup shot of my flowers.
They're all about dime-sized. Cute, eh?

Of course, once I had them punched, I realized I could use my gel pens and hand sanitizer trick to add some shading and dimension to them. I did, and would up with quite a few really pretty flowers.

What will I do with these? I have no idea... I figured maybe I'll throw them on eBay or Etsy or something. I'm sure someone could come up with cute uses for these!

This isn't all of them... one of the little guys ran away when I was
photoing the group. Oh, and one found a home before I could
get any photos of him. Weenie.

I've also been having a lot of fun making stuffed animals. Would you believe all of these are hand-sewn? They are... and I think that's one reason they help distract me from my pain. I get so focused on each stitch that the pain signals just don't seem to be as noticeable.

I'm not sure which of them is my favorite. I like the big purple guy in the back. He's made of flannel baby blanket with felt details, and he's super snuggly. I also love the stripey guy on his left... I spent almost as much time on that heart detail as I did stitching his body, arms, and legs!

This girlie isn't finished, obviously. I was experimenting with making hair for stuffies that would be a bit more flexible, and less tedious than hand-tying each strand of hair. I've done that before, and it gets old QUICK.

I also had fun shading her lips. I started out with a basic hot pink felt, then used Sharpie markers to add shadows, and a Liquid Paper correction pen to add some highlights. It's kind of awkward looking, but I like it.

Oh, and her head is sitting on a coffee container. I'm going to make a body for her eventually, I just haven't gotten to it yet. What can I say, I get distracted easily!

Moving on to what might be my favorite stuffie dude?

This guy was a total experiment, but I like how he came out. Adding the pink details at his horns was an attempt to cover up a sloppy join, but instead it looks like a design element instead. I like that!

The heart detail on his chest is made from 3 layers of felt, decoratively stitched and lightly stuffed so that it's three dimensional. He's definitely a huggable stuffie!

Then there are the adipose babies. These guys are based on a Doctor Who monster, and they happen to have been on one of my favorite episodes! These two are made of white flannel, so they're super soft and snuggleable. What can I say, I like things I can hug!

I'm not so sure about the one on the right... I used safety eyes on him, and while they're cute, their placement is just a bit off to me. Still, they're handmade, so they don't have to all be perfect... right? :D

Let's not forget my socktopuses. I can't even begin to explain how happy these little guys make me. Then again, the octopus is one of my favorite animals! They're so bizarre, and so fascinating! In my mind, the guy on the left is a boy socktopus, and the one on the right is a girl. They're not dating, though... they're just good friends.

What, you don't give your stuffies background stories?

Finally, a couple of shots of me! My husband and I went to the updated Red Stick festival last week, and I had to share these with you. We started out getting lunch at McDonald's, and after we ate, we had to play with what was left of our food. I would love to introduce you to our french fry guy- isn't he cute?

And yes, I carry a bunch of sizes of googly eyes with me everywhere I go. I also carry a glue stick, and up until recently I carried a pair of scissors with me. I never know when I'm going to get the urge to make something, you know?

While we were there, I was feeling very frustrated with my fibro. It sucks when there are things I want to do but can't because my pain level makes it almost impossible.

So, I pulled out my gel pens and did some lettering. I don't know why it helps, but it does...

Most of the time when I'm drawing on napkins I'm leaving a happy note for the people who work wherever we happen to be. That day, though, I was seriously overwhelmed by pain. Still, it made me laugh, as did this photo!

Once at the festival, we found a dalek! How many of you could have found a dalek and not taken a photo with it??

I have to admit, no one even batted an eye when I did this. It was loads of fun... I'm hoping the festival gets bigger and bigger. I really miss it.

Finally, I'll leave you with this close-up shot of my cutie-patootie. I don't know why this photo makes me smile, but it really does. Hopefully it makes you smile too!

Sometimes the simplest things can be healing.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Sailor Moon/Frozen Mashup!

I see a lot of cute stuff. What can I say, I look for things that will make me happy. But when I saw this video I giggled lots, and realize I had to share it with you guys. This little girl is amazing... I can't wait to see what she's gonna sound like when she grows up!

EDIT: Yea, I'm derpy, I copied the wrong video information. It's fixed now.

Some things are too good not to share!!
See my disclosure statement for more information.