Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 2011 Revisited

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wasn't totally sure how I'd do the end of the month posts, but I know I like knowing if people have accomplished their goals, so if it's bolded, then I did. If not, I probably have excuses lined up.

What I expected:
  • A full weekend with Casey for Independence day. He's taking Tuesday off so we can stay out late.
  • A family reunion on the 9th to celebrate my aunt and uncle's anniversary.
  • The last full month of summer vacation before my second year of college.
  • The last Harry Potter movie, which I will no doubt see at midnight.

What I hoped to accomplish:
  • Finish reading the whole Harry Potter series before the movie comes out. (I'm running behind!)
  • Inch closer to my 100 sales goal for 2011 (just 15 more!)
  • Take a mini-vacation out of town.
  • Spend more time outside.
  • "Spring" clean my room, get rid of junk I don't use and clothes I don't wear.

Okay, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time outside... It reached 100 degrees here in the midwest and we all died. People were baking cookies in their car windows on the news. Those are the sorts of things Hoosiers do with their lives.

I think I did pretty well considering. I've made 94 sales since 2011 started. I'm totally flabbergasted. My goal for the whole year was 100...and it's only the end of July. I still have Christmas season. Totally floored.

PLUS: I definitely moved out of my parents' house. So weird. But I'm in an apartment with Casey and loving it. That's definitely a notable July occurrence. AND today Casey shaved his beard... It's 100% weird. I've seen him without a beard one other time and it was just odd. I'll definitely post befores and afters. We're going to a family cookout later today so I'll be sure to bring my camera.

Anyway, I'll have a fresh August 2011 post tomorrow. A brand spanking list of goals and expectations. I also have an exciting new product to share with you guys. So excited about how this one turned out, but I think I need to space my posts a little more. I get too gung-ho and post too many things in a day. So expect an "Introducing..." post soon as well as Square Bear updates. I've been turning those out and I'm really liking how they look.

I hope everyone else had a successful yet relaxing July and is as excited for August as I am. (Not for the heat or school, but because it means we're closer to fall, which I love.)

Happy end of July, everyone!

Friday, July 29, 2011

What I've Been Working On

Friday, July 29, 2011
I turned into my kindergarden self again this week. I've always been a very organized individual and I usually had something like this in my room, keeping track of homework or (I'm not lying) inventory of my belongings. I've always been a list-maker, as I've said before. But this week I felt like I was missing motivation to work on things, and lists always boost my motivation. I made myself a swatch book of sorts. Right now I only have a tab for "Square Bears", but I'm planning on adding tabs for new products that I plan on working on soon.

I made these four guys this week (plus the Pee Wee cases) and have a bunch more in the works. I'm thinking of having a bunch of these and entering a Batesville Indiana craft show in December. While iPod cases aren't popular among grandmas, toys for their grandchildren are. I'm also going to make a lot of Valentine's bears, because I think there are some girls out there who wouldn't mind a cute handmade bear rather than the same old store bought one.

I've also been busting my butt to get the apartment looking good enough for an apartment tour post. Hopefully it'll be ready next week.

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Friday Five (Vol. 10)

This week is for nostalgia and video games. I'm old enough to be able to look back and smile to myself at how "simple" the video games I used to play are. But they were seriously awesome- then and now. So here are five video games I remember most vividly and miss.

1. Super Mario World 1&2: I never really got a chance to actually play this. I was babysat by someone who had this and I'd watch my older brother and his friend play it for hours. They'd never let me play because I sucked and never got passed the second level. I can remember all the sounds and how cool it was that you could go backwards. Every time I see old systems I have a really hard time saying no.

2. The joint Mario and Duck Hunt cartridge: This was the first system and game my family had. This brings back so many memories of Saturdays at my old house in Huntington. My favorite Mario level was the second one. I loved the music. These games I actually played. And though I was in the single digits of age, I was pretty damned good. I loved this version of Mario so much that I bought the re-make for DS and still have and play it.
3. The Duck Hunt gun: I remember how it feels and sounds to shoot this. Looking back this was a pretty white trash game to play, but I was too young to realize. I still remember untangling the cord for this guy. I found this image via Etsy.
4. Captain Crunch's Crunchlings: SOMEONE TELL ME HOW I REMEMBER THIS. We got these computer games in Captain Crunch cereal boxes. My brother and I played these like crazy. You got this little "Crunchling" which you got to design (which meant choose the color of it's skin and hair) and as you played games with it, it grew. Oh god... I can't believe I found an image of this game. We played this on a truly old IBM computer. Now I'm thinking of all these other computer games we played. This should have been a Friday Fifteen.
5. Crash Bandicoot: Playstation. So. Old. While this is the most recent game on the list, it still feels like so long ago my brother and I played this. I remember the TNT boxes and ...yeah, it was awhile ago. I remember the music. I always remember the music. We also had Crash Bandicoot racing, which I sucked at. I've never been good at racing games because I get so anxious.
I seriously want to go buy an NES now. And I didn't even mention Pokemon or Zelda. Good god. Expect more nostalgic Friday Fives.

What video games did you play when you were little?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nails of the Moment Vol. 9

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
OPI - Ate Berries in the Canaries (2 coats)
In real life the color looks a little darker and it definitely makes me feel like Amelie. Example:

Definitely want to eat my fingers sometimes. Which is normal.

NEXT TIME NOT SO EDIBLE COLORS. Should I paint them Orly's Wandering Vine or Essie's Steel-ing the Scene? No one likes green foods unless they're vegetarian, in which case they're only pretending. And eating steel-colored foods probably isn't good for your digestive system.

My DO.t Issue 2 Magazine Feature!

I'm so excited to share this with you guys. This is my first ever feature in a magazine! I've been a reader and submitter to Designers of Tumblr's blog for a long time now, and when they asked me if I wanted to be in their second zine, of course I obliged. That's an understatement. If I used the word "stoked", I would have been "stoked", but as I do not, I was ecstatic.

My bear (pictured above) was on the first page! One of the first things readers will see is my Cormac teddy bear. The amazing people at DO.t designed the title page with my name on it. I absolutely love it.

Of course reading my own writing is just torturous, but I'm absolutely in love with this magazine. The other designers in it are amazing and I'm so honored to be featured alongside them.

I'm also the last thing readers will see! My zipper cases adorn the back cover.

If you're interested in DO.t Issues 1 and 2, you can find them here.

What more can I say than "this is such a honor"?

I'm blushin'.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not so Pee-Wee News

Monday, July 25, 2011
I was trawling IMDB late one night and found this page: click! An excitement ran through me that hasn't been there since the whole Arrested Development movie rumors. Hopefully THIS ONE pans out. However, the page is the most unpromising (there's no squiggly red line under that word, I swear) thing I've ever seen.


I sold my last bow tie case a few days ago, so I made two newbies today. Changed the bow a bit, so that now it's 3D and I think it looks loads cooler.

I also found a great spot in the apartment for my picture-taking. I think these two came out fairly well, and we all know I'm a sickeningly obsessed perfectionist so I'm probably going to spend a chunk of tomorrow re-taking all the Etsy pictures so everything's uniform.

[[Each day this week I'm devoting myself to a certain room or section of the apartment to power clean and organize. So when that's all done I'm going to devote a post to an apartment tour. On Emily's suggestion I might even do an in-depth work area post too. I love seeing other peoples' workspaces, so I might as well.]]

Anyone else a Pee-Wee fan?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Five (Vol. 9)

Friday, July 22, 2011
This week's five (as promised) are happy things. To be more specific: my guilty pleasures this past week. I took a little leave from sewing and crocheting to pack my life away and ...literally do nothing a lot of the time. I live in Indiana where there has been a giant heatwave. Today hit 100 degrees in Fort Wayne, which was the first time since July 30, 1999 (I actually watched local news today). So the first Five is necessary.

Disclaimer: none of the following images are mine. They were all found on Tumblr or We Heart It, which are renowned websites for hidden or "lost" credits.

1. Icees: My family has always loved them. Since I got a car and stopped having my mom cart me around, I forgot about them. My mom'd always take us to get them after a long bout of errand running. Recently I starting craving them and maybe had 784 this week. Namely the Coke ones.

2. Hell's Kitchen: I finally watched this show on Hulu last winter. It never appealed to me, but after watching the eighth season, got obsessed. The holy Hulu got rights to the first 5 or so seasons, so I've been having crazy marathons. My newly realized dream in life is to have Gordon Ramsey call me a donkey. I seriously smile every time he says "donkey". And that's hard to do considering I'm terrified of donkeys. And that it's an insult.
3. Donuts: I can go years and years and lifetimes without thinking about or craving donuts, but put them in front of me...and I'll accept. I hung out with four close friends this week and Michelle reeeeeally wanted donuts, so we hit a Dunkin' Donuts and got a dozen to split...and I must say, they just taste good.
4. Pretty pictures: Considering I haven't been doing too many productive activities, I've spent a lot of time aimlessly wandering the internet. One night I spent WAY too long on, like a girl and found so many pretty things to look at. This image stuck out.
5. TETRIS: I bought it on my DS and have been playing non-stop. I even beat my record!
If I don't update for a few days, don't be surprised. Saturday is going to be full of moving and unpacking (we aren't using a truck... just my mom's van). Then I'm sure organizing and cleaning will extend to Sunday. If nothing else I'll repaint my nails or something and post my NOTM. I'm planning a bunch of new stuff for Etsy and the blog, so stick around!

What were your guilty pleasures this week?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nails of the Moment Vol. 7

Thursday, July 21, 2011
OPI - Planks a Lot (3 coats) This one's from the new Pirates of the Caribbean collection. Definitely my new favorite purple color.

Next time: OPI's Ate Berries in the Canaries or Essie's Mint Candy Apple? (I absolutely hate the name Mint Candy Apple...because it just really doesn't make any sense. No one puts mint with apple...and if they did it certainly wouldn't look like that.) Anyway.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Introducing... Vol. 4

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Last weekend while I was watching TV with Casey I decided my DSi XL needed a new case (by new I mean A CASE...I'd never made one for it). I didn't want to use the same old pattern, so I started something new. And thus, the new slimmer iPod case was born. The case on the left is the overweight "before". The case on the right is the new one, but the pattern presents a problem. It makes it much more difficult to sew felt images on the front. So I got the idea to make a little pin for the front. While I'm not a huge fan of how this Slytherin one turned out, I'm going to keep trying until it looks right.

Here's another example of how the new case looks next to the older version.

I whipped up myself a pink one because my old case was getting pretty grimy.

I've got a lot of plans for more cases and will add a few to the shop in time.

And since almost all of the Square Bears were sold (even though they trickled out slowly), I think I'll make more. I chose some color combinations last night and am excited to recreate them, so expect some new ones!

Other than that, I've been really busy with packing and shopping for the apartment. The official move date is Saturday July 23rd, so I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Today's dreary weather isn't helping much (for the pictures above or otherwise).

Tell me what you think of the new design! I'd love to hear others' thoughts!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nails of the Moment Vol. 6

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Essie - California Coral (3 coats)

Now for next time: I'm going to be MOVING!!! Should I wear OPI's Skull and Glossbones (left) or Planks a Lot (right)? Everyone knows that picking the right nail color has next to nothing to do with your moving experience. So help make my pointless decision.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Five (Vol. 8)

Friday, July 15, 2011
This week I thought a lot about my favorite movies, or movies that have impacted me. The post contains spoilers for the following movies: Blue Valentine, Steel Magnolias, Babel, Mystic River and Philadelphia. All movies I feel everyone should have already seen. MOST ESPECIALLY Philadelphia which never fails to make me absolutely bawl. I cried while finding images for and writing this post.

Every time I see a good movie I think about which particular scenes won me over. I thought I'd take a bit of a different route for this post, and share my favorite powerful/sad scenes.

5. The wedding clips at the end of Blue Valentine: I only just watched this with Casey a week or so ago, but we both gave it a 10/10 on our blog. I started crying as soon as they started the wedding montage. I watched a couple slowly fall apart for two hours and then they showed them at their happiest and I lost it. Falling out of love is such a terrifying concept and this movie absolutely broke my heart. I love both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling...and that's all I have to say about that. I'm literally wiping tears. Wow, I'm emotionally stable.

4. The funeral in Steel Magnolias: While Steel Magnolias is by no means anywhere near my top 50 movie list, Sally Field has a place in my heart. I watched this movie while painting my nails some night a year ago and was taken by surprise when I cried. I wasn't expecting anything from this. But Sally Field saying "I just want to hit somebody until they feel as bad as I do" at her daughter's funeral ruined me. For anyone who steered clear of this movie because it looks...just awful, know there's at least one amazing performance.
3. Ahmed's death in Babel: Just looking at the picture of Ahmed's dad crying is enough to make me want to cry. Watching Ahmed and Yussef's relationship and then watching him get shot is really powerful. I remember the first time I saw this movie. The music that plays when the soliders bring Ahmed's body from the mountain is so beautiful and haunting. As you'll read in my #1 spot, music has a lot to do with my favorite scenes. This whole movie impacted me in so many ways, but the Morocco story hit me the hardest.
I absolutely hate watching kids' relationships with their siblings and then having one taken from them. That's always a sure-fire way to get me emotional during a movie.

2. Sean Penn in Mystic River: I'm not totally sure what it is about this image that sticks to my brain so strongly. Whenever I think of really good movies, I think of Sean Penn walking down the middle of the street, arms outstretched. I won't go into detail about something I know nothing about. I just love it. And god, the ending of this movie.
1. Philadelphia: I couldn't pick just one scene. I barely narrowed it to two. This is by far one of my favorite movies, if not my favorite. And one, I feel, that is severely underrated. This was the first movie to make tears absolutely pour down my face. One summer before high school I set out to watch all the VHS tapes (I swear I'm only 20) in our house. I unsuspectingly put this in while eating lunch one afternoon and left the room an utter mess. The soundtrack and acting in this movie is perfect. The top image that comes to mind is Tom Hanks' character, Andrew listening to Maria Callas' La Mamma Morta. He tells Denzel Washington's character, Joe what she's singing about and sways with his IV bag. The passion and pain in his face...

Then, oh god, the ending. A song you could play at any time that would be sure to get me a little hazy eyed is Neil Young's Philadelphia. And at Andrew's funeral, when everyone's watching home videos of Andrew as a kid, the song plays. And at this point, I'm gone. I'm blubbering. Literally blubbering.

Now that I made myself cry for about an hour in all, I think I'll try to pick myself up. I'm sorry for the not-so-happy post, but I feel like there's such beauty in all these scenes as well as sadness. They all leave me with conflicted feelings. I promise next Friday will be a much happier post. But until then, let me know what scenes from movies are guaranteed to make you cry. And if any one of you mentions the Notebook, I'm going to go ahead and be dead. Because...just...stop it.

Happy weekend!
I'm off to Indiana Beach tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get some pictures and some bright red skin!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goals Amongst Bedlam

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
As mentioned in my Chaos and a Cold post, I'm buried in disorder. I have a lot of deadlines coming up and (of course) find myself not wanting to move at all. A goal I made back in January was to have all 7 Harry Potter books read by July 14th (TOMORROW). I am about a quarter of the way through the last and have little desire to sit and read, much less the time to do so. So what do I do? Make a blog post.

I did, however get a chance to make a few more Pirate pencil cases for the shop. My last one sold out quickly, so I figured I'd make more. Click here, if you're interested.

On top of all that I find myself hating my camera. The pictures I'm taking are lacking and I can't quite tell if it's a user error or the camera. I've gone through a fair amount of cameras since I was 16, but thought the Nikon would be one I had for awhile. I got it for my 18th and it's 2 years old now. Maybe I'm just not being patient.

Enough rant. My goals for today and tomorrow are as follows: finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sew a make-up bag, pack three bins (as previously mentioned, I'm moving in a few weeks), and plan out the Indiana Beach trip for Saturday.

I'll have a brand new Friday Five post on FRIDAY. I'm pretty excited about this one. I already have it written.

For now I envy Mowgli's ability to lay in the window and sun herself without feeling like she's wasting time or has better, more worthwhile things to do.

Hoping everyone else isn't quite as plagued with lists and duties as I am.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nails of the Moment Vol. 5

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Orly - Halley's Comet (2 coats) It was a draw on here, so I asked Tumblr and this was the clear winner. I love this color. I'm gonna feel like a mermaid when I go swimming.

This weekend I might be going to Indiana Beach which is a janky, pardon me saying, "white trash" kind of amusement park in ...........Indiana. Casey and I got free tickets from my mom so (fingers crossed) Saturday is the day. I haven't been on a roller coaster in a million years. BUT ANYWAY. I want to wear a bright color, so I narrowed it down to Essie's California Coral and OPI's Color so Hot it Berns. Which do you prefer?

I'm off to cut patterns, retake some Etsy pictures and get. stuff. done.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chaos and a Cold

Monday, July 11, 2011
I've been busy with planning so far this week. Some things are going to be changing/starting in my life that require a lot of extra attention. For one thing, I've been picking out and organizing my schedule of classes and dealing with the money aspect of all that. Along with the upcoming school semester, I'm going to be moving out of my parents' house within the next month. This is both incredibly exciting and quite the daunting task.

On top of everything else, I'm waking up each morning feeling a bit sicker than the previous night. Today I've spent all my time reading the final (yes, I finally made it the final book!) Harry Potter book (I have 4 days to get this one read). I've also started re-watching the movies. I'm watching the first as I type. I plan on getting through at least the first three tonight as I blow my nose and pretend I'm not feeling lousy.

But I've also been keeping a list of things to make once I feel up to it. The list includes more of the pirate pencil cases, the first prototype for my cosmetic cases, and possibly some tote bags!

I hope the summer sicks haven't attacked anyone else, and I hope to be organized and productive soon!

Anyone else going to the midnight showing of the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nails of the Moment Vol. 4

Friday, July 8, 2011
China Glaze - Flip Flop Fantasy (1,043,230 coats) The color is INSANELY neon and the picture does it no justice, but it's matte and takes over a million coats, offs.

As a little addition to the NOTM posts, I'm going to let my readers pick my next color. I hate picking between two colors and know I like to tell people what to do, so I'm leaving my nail fate to you guys.
Should I wear Orly's Space Cadet (left) or Orly's Halley's Comet (right)?

Friday Five (Vol. 7)

1. The DO.t issue 2 is out!! I was so honored to be in this one. I have an amazing spread among awesome designers and am definitely purchasing the hardcopy issue. Click here to see the pdf or buy the print version. This is my first ever interview/feature in a magazine and I'm dead about it.

2. Baking: I made four different batches of desserts last night. The one below is a three-ingredient peanut butter cookie. I was skeptical about them. Maybe I'll do my first baking post on them. The three ingredients were peanut butter (duh), egg, and sugar. It was bizarre and they came out a little odd...but how could those ingredients not taste okay?
3. My new "metal coverers": For those of you who don't know me personally, I have the most tempera-mental (that's spelled right...I thought it was "tempermental" but apparently that's not a word) skin. I can't wear necklaces or most rings, bracelets, or earrings. I even get rashes from my desk chair. The metal attacked my thighs. So I crocheted these sea foam green tubes to put on the bars. They're a little loosey-goosey so I might remake them when I have the time, but for now they serve their purpose!
4. The Pirate Pencil Case: I listed this guy last night and when I woke up, it had been purchased! I love that. So I guess I'll need to make some more pirate pencil cases. I'm going to cut patterns today.
5. Swimmin' Pips: My dogs (both part spaniels) are petrified of water. I get very bitter when I see spaniels swimming in lakes and being real live dogs. My dogs can't even be outside when the sprinklers are on. You can imagine what a fun time it is to bathe them. Well a few days ago my little brother came to my room and said "you'll want to see this". And when I went in the backyard my mom had Mowgli in our 5 foot deep pool...swimming. I got a video which is half hilarious and half terrifying, but it was so funny watching them doggy-paddle to the side. And I got this shot of Mowgli in mid-shake.
Those are 5 things I've been working on/loving this week. It was a very productive and rewarding week for me and I'm excited for the weekend. I've got a little family reunion to go to and hope I get good pictures.

I hope everyones' weekends are amazing. Tell me what your favorite things this week were!