Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Updates:

1) Still have not called the officiant. WOE!

2) Really, REALLY need to clean out my t-shirt drawer. Perhaps will do tonight. Whilst not calling officiant.

3) Jewelry making binge continues . . . ten pieces last night. Bring on the holiday buyers! Otherwise, I'll likely end up being EATEN ALIVE by scads of earrings and necklaces.

4) Made an awesome dinner last night: 1/2 a package whole wheat spaghetti . . .quarter and seed a handful of cherry tomatoes, slice a handful of basil into ribbons, finely mince a shallot and sautee in olive oil just until transparent . . . add a glug or two more of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss pasta w/ veggies, shallot oil and a handful of parmesan.

5) Taking a 2 day Shred vacation. Having weird hip pain which I'm sure is repetitive motion related. Also seeing My Bloody Valentine tomorrow night (YEA!) so no time for working out (unless I wake up early, which . . . see "not calling officiant").

6) Going to attempt to oxidize some sterling tonight. Whilst not calling the officiant and/or cleaning out my t-shirt drawer.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Huntington and other fun

Had quite the weekend!!!

On Saturday I got through an EPIC cleaning out of my jewelry making supplies. When I first started making jewelry I had a box or two from Joann, like this one but a cheaper, $1.19 version. As my bead collection grew, my box collection also grew, which was all fine and dandy until I looked around one night and realized I had TWELVE BOXES. I defy anyone to find the correct jump ring, seed bead, or other item of impossibly small size when confronted with TWELVE boxes each having TWENTY compartments.

So I did a re-org and moved MANY of the beads that I don't use particularly often into small zip top bags. Anyone reading this now who is in possession of a growing bead collection, trust me, for all the fancy beading organizers you can buy in stores NOTHING is as convenient for working with a big collection as simple little zip top bags. They're portable, easy to sort through, and easy to fish beads out of. Use the small, jewelry style ones like these. Or just save up all the little bags from your Fire Mountain orders, like I do :)

I'm down to 6 boxes now (and one big one for wire and tools). Jewelry making after the re-org was SO MUCH more efficient, and more fun!

On Sunday, after all that bead cleaning (and what appeared to be the start of the flu but turned out to be nothing), I figured I deserved a break. I spent the day with boy, my parents and boy's dad and grandma at the Huntington Gardens. PHOTOS!





Thursday, September 25, 2008

OMFG, Getting MARRIED!!!

It just occured to me that I'm getting married on March 10th. This should come as no suprise to me, since I PICKED THE DATE. However, having gotten engaged in January, boy and I did a lot of planning right off the bat then more or less left the whole thing alone. I mean, within a day or two we had a date and a venue. We had that whole international insurance fiasco, but got everything squared away by March-ish. I bought my dress over 6 months ago so I have it hanging in my closet now. Our flights and hotel bookings, and those of our families, are all taken care of.

But, omfg, there is so much more to do.

I got on the case these last few days. #1, first and foremost, we NEED AN OFFICIANT. It'd be pretty lame to drag everyone to Wales then have nobody to marry us. I did start working on this a few months ago, I have the name and phone number of an officiant in North Wales. But with the time difference and all I've been putting off calling her. MUST!!! DO!!! SOON!!!

Yesterday I found a hotel near Hampton Court for boy's mom and siblings and got that reserved for them. I also started working on trying to set up a Hampton Court ghost slide show for everyone; given by one of our palace friends, Ian, who is HCP's resident ghost expert.

I called this morning and made an apointement with a tailor who was highly reccomended by a dear friend of mine (whose wedding dress fit like it was made for her). My mom and I called The Albion in East Molesy and confirmed that they can do a semi private party for us and our local friends the Saturday before the wedding.

Still to do: Buy train passes (although I've reserached what we'll need for boy and I and for boy's family), BUY RINGS, buy a UK voltage garment steamer for my dress . . . boy needs something to WEAR to the wedding but thats his problem. Then there are things that we really can't do until the last minute . . . like printing out train schedules for all of our trips and setting up a Fedex situation to get my dress home from Wales.

Its coming along though. Here's some link-y share-age!

3/5/09 - Fly to London
3/6/09 - Arrive in London, stay at Hampton Court, dinner at the Prince of Wales with My parents, Paul's mom and siblings
3/7/09 - Party for family and UK friends at The Albion
3/8/09 - Dinner for family at The Mitre followed (HOPE!) by a Hampton Court Ghost Presentation back at our apartment.
3/9/09 - Travel to Conwy, Check in to the Castle Hotel
3/10/09 - WEDDING DAY!!! Ceremony at Conwy Castle followed by dinner at Dawson's Restaurant
3/11/09 - Boy and I are taking everyone to Caernarfon Castle for the day
3/12/09- 3/16/09 - Boy and I are going to be in Edinburgh for our honeymoon, staying at the Bank Hotel and planning trips to Mary King's Close, The Witchery, The Scotch Whiskey Experience, and as many other silly touristy things as we can manage.
3/16/09- 3/18/09 - Boy and I will be in London staying at the kinda boring but excellently located County Hall Travel Inn.
3/19/09 - Fly home (boo!!!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Spot of Sewing


I had the bug on Sunday, so I thought I'd crank out a new work tote bag for myself. I carry a purse of course, but I've also got a BIG ASS BAG to bring to the office with my wedding binder, my mortgage info (oh, what was that? you thought we'd be done buying the condo by now? HA HA HA HA HA!), a stack of bills, some jewelry and camera memory cards, receipts, lunch, a bottle of water, etc. etc. ad nauseum. You get the picture.

I had a bag that I'd made ages ago but it was feeling a bit small. Also, I wanted a bag that was black and creepy (to match my soul, of course.)

I stopped by Joann and picked up some excellent Halloween spider print cotton and some sturdy black denim and made myself a corset tote. LOVE!

I realized halfway through making the bag that I should have made a MIXED TOILE tote instead, so I'll do that over this weekend perhaps. Never can have enough totes, I say.

On the 30 Day Shred Front . . .I'm plowing on through! Level 1 is starting to feel easy. I've gone up w/ my hand weights from 2 to 3 lbs. I don't want to go higher because my frame is really small (ring size is 4 1/2, remember) and I can get bulky easily, which would completely defeat the purpose. I don't want to move up though until my form on everything is 100% perfect, and the 30 seconds of pushups thing is giving me grief. I can do 10 seconds, then rest, then half-ass the rest. I'm working on it though! And, for the first time since I was a skater, I'm starting to get cuts back in my abs. :D Hooray!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thrifty Goodness!!!


Over the weekend I accidentally drove by the Salvation Army Thrift Store (drove straight past the hardware store that I meant to go to) and I saw a sign saying "50% off! Grand Opening!". It was NOT in fact the store's grand opening, its been there for months, so I thought the 50% off part might have been a bit dubious as well, but I was happily wrong!

I picked up a Glassbake olive daisies patterned split casserole dish (LOVE the split casseroles, and so easy to find! Maybe people think they aren't useful or something? I mean, yeah, probably NOT so useful to be able to make a casserole in 2 sections, but they're great as serving pieces.). I also found pretty much the coolest mug I'VE ever found at a thrift store (although its totally not as awesome as Refabulous' recent find).


There's a curious little scene going on in the mug, and I'm open to suggestions as to whats actually taking place. I've got 1) Gnomes sneaking up on a squirrel, 2) Squirrel getting manicure from creepy dancing carpenter or 3) Someone's bizarre 70's acid trip. What do you think?

Friday, September 19, 2008

One String of Carnelian, Hours of Fun!


I just got my latest supply order in from Fire Mountain Gems. It was a BIG one (90 something items). I've been having a hard time keeping my supply stash filled out lately . . . I've been making SO MUCH and selling lots too (yea!), but I've had some trouble translating that into ordering.

A few weeks ago I was placing a Fire Mountain order and I looked to see how I was doing on cardboard jewelry boxes for mailing. I decided I was all good . . . had enough for a month or so even. Then, by the time that order was shipped (two days later!) I'd run out of boxes completely and had to place ANOTHER order. And since I ALWAYS place orders of 50 items or more so I'll get the best discount possible, I had TWO boxes, each with over 50 jewelry making items, en route to me AT THE SAME TIME.

So I've been trying to over order lately . . .and trying to anticipate what I'll need and what I'll want in advance. This latest order included a few new things for me to try, the first of which I got into was a strand of Carnelian.

OMFG, SO PRETTY!!! How come I've never thought to use Carnelian before?! Its SO RED! And SHINY! I mixed it with brass and with pearls and even with a bit of closionne. MUCH FUN WAS HAD!

I'll be listing all these items in my Etsy shop over the next . . . few weeks? I've got a HUGE stash of finished items for listing right now . . .maybe 40 or so pieces? (told you, I've been on a making binge latley!).

And as for Fire Mountain . . . I think getting new supplies breeds NEEDING new supplies; I've got another order in the works. I'm up to 30 items (including MORE CARNELIAN!) but I'm going to try to hold out hitting that 'buy now' button until late next week. Unless, of course, I run out of something inane but TOTALLY CRUCIAL like, crimp beads or something.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shreddage

Thanks to the Thirty Day Shred, I spent most of the weekend hobbling around, entirely unable to walk without a) locking my knees or b) marching a bit like a toy solider. And don't even get me started on STAIRS.

I skipped the workout on Saturday, took a hot bath and some advil, ate a banana, and felt recovered enough to do the workout again on Sunday evening. Guess what? I CAN WALK TODAY! This is a good thing, as I had to go to work and all.

I think this means I'm getting stronger. I've got to admit though that I felt OVERWHELMINGLY guilty to have missed the workout on Saturday. I do think my muscles needed a little time to recover, and based on the fact that I did the workout last night yet I can still walk today, I think I did the right thing. But MAN, the guilt! I'm going to spend some time googling "muscle recovery" today just to keep myself from feeling like a total jerk.

In other news, I've discovered that a silver polishing cloth does AWESOME things to vintage coinage. Check out a few of my recent items. I've also been expanding my REALLY OLD STUFF line and sold my first Georgian period coin necklace over the weekend.

I also got the headband that I ordered on behalf of my mom from Domesticrazy and Beans' shop Moira and Alice. SO CUTE!!! These girls really know their stitching! Totally clean and neat work, the likes of which I could not do without hours of work and ripping out lots of bad stitches! They're going to get some holiday business out of me for sure, and should from you too :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

30 Day Shred

I've got to preface this post.

1) I'm a former athlete. From the age of about 11 up until I was 18 I was a competitive figure skater. When I quit skating I had a few triple jumps (albeit, very inconsistently) and I was competing at the Novice level (which sounds lame but is actually 2 levels from the top). A typical day for me when I was a senior in high school was: awake at 3:30 am, at the rink by 5, skate for two hours, drive self to school, school until 12:30, gym from 1-2, schoolwork at home until 4, skating again from 5-6:30, sometimes night classes at my local jr. college after that. So, what is that? Potentially 4-5 hours a day of flinging myself around ice rinks? I think that qualifys as "someone who could kick copious quantitites of ass". With toepicks.

2) As of late, I do not work out. By "not" I mean never.

As far as my fitness level goes . . . a surprising percentage of the muscle I built up while skating is still hanging around. My shoulders and back are rock hard. I still have quads and glutes (although not to the crazy proportions I used to). My endurance however is pretty much nil, having done basically no cardio for years on end. Unless walking counts and I'm sure it doesn't so yeah, nil.

When I started seeing all the hype about the Thirty Day Shred part of me thought "I could totally kick this workout's ass. With toepicks." and another part of me thought "Sure I could have, 10 years ago. But now I'm basically a sendantary, jewelry making slug."

What actually happened was squarely in the middle. I started on Level 1 (I don't have a death wish or anything) and the first half was HARD. Then something bizarre happened. Just at the point where I thought I REALLY might keel over, I started enjoying it. It was like my body spontaneously remembered how to do this shit . . . at the moment when I most needed it.

I'm sore today. My back is actually pretty uncomfortable when I breathe . . . which is disconcerting but in a very virtuous, good way.

I'm not trying to lose weight or anything. I actually weigh what it says on my drivers license for the first time EVER (yep, lied. admit it: you did too.) I do, however, have a strapless wedding gown to wear in 6 months and I'd like to not look flubbery in it. And YES you can be thin and still flubbery.

So I'm going to keep this up. Everynight and see if there are any results. Of course, I'll report back either way!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

-6

Boy and I are getting married in exactly 6 months!

This is a great crash course in the history of Conwy Castle.

This is the hotel where we'll be staying for three days surrounding the wedding. This is our room. (That bed is dated from 1570!)

We have flights, all hotel reservations, a photographer and my dress. We need rings, train passes, an offciant (!), boy's clothes, and luggage suitable for a 12lb wedding ensemble (just mine there). All in all, I'd say its coming along though. We're more than 1/2 way done. Which is good since we're more than half way there!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ITS FALL!!!

I FECKING LOVE FALL. I LOVE cold weather and gloom. I love the clothes. I love the excuse to wear lots of plaid. And HELLO! Fall's first holiday is one that revolves almost entirely around the EATING OF CANDY. You'd have to be a dipshit not to love that.

This fall I'm especially enamoured with this whole neo-goth trend. I've always sort of wanted to be a goth. For example. Goths will kick your ass at pretty much anything.

Anyways . . .

My first big purchase for Fall was a pair of black skinny J & Company Jeans . (I paid less than that for them!). Check out the back pocket design. Nice and gothic :)

I've always been a huge fan of black nail polish (I'm going to wear it to my wedding. I just can't stomach the thought of pale pink.) Sephora has a new line of nailpolishes by OPI with a few nice black alternatives like "Metro Chic" (third from the bottom, and sold out at that!). "I'm With Brad" has caught my eye as well.

Even Bath and Body Works (!) has gotten in on the action by releasing a new fragrance for fall: Black Amethyst. Boy and I picked up a candle in the scent over the weekend. Its nice. Sweet still, I mean, it IS Bath and Body Works. But not fruity and packaged in nice smoky black glass.

While we were out over the weekend boy and I also TRIED ON WEDDING RINGS! Fun!!! We tried to go back to the antique dealer who sold boy my engagement ring but the building had been damaged by a fire (!). They moved shop up the street to a storefront that also houses a vintatge couture and wedding dress shop. GENIUS idea! It was all I could do not to fondle the antique wedding dresses.

I tried on a few rings and I think boy and I agree that I should go with a 1920's era band with diamonds all the way around. The problem is, they can't size eternity bands and my fingers are freakishly small (my ring size is 4 1/2), so we might have some trouble finding the right ring in the right size. I tried on a few options that worked though and the shop gets new stock in every week, so I'm sure with a little time we'll find the right ring. Boy tried on a few antique rings and also a few titanium options at another store. Boy wants something simple, so his ring should be easy, but I was still startled by the number of choices. You'd think a men's ring would be super simple, but the titanium jeweler had LOTS of designs and options.

So yeah . . . gothic . . .wedding rings . . .how was your weeekend? :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh, god, the brownie making MUST STOP!

Swistle, I love you but DAMN woman, can you post a salad recipe or something to fix the brownie monster you've created?!!??! :)

I've made three batches of brownies . . . the mint ones below. Then another batch with an orange chocolate bar that was a little less successful (quite dry). Then a third batch with a raspberry chocolate bar that was QUITE nice and fudgey but not so raspberry.

I'm thinking that filled bars give a little extra moisture which translates into the fudginess that I like. The mint is more or less perfect, but I'd like to play with the orange a bit by adding orange essence or maybe some marmelade. Then the raspberry was perfect texture wise but not flavor wise. I'm thinking maybe cutting up some actual raspberries and mixing them in might adjust the flavor without throwing off the batter.

Which all, yeah, you know, means I'll be making more brownies.