Friday, October 31, 2008

He's Henry VIII, he is!

Soooo . . . Halloween in the workplace is a touchy subject for me. I used to work in an office where it was a BIG HORKING DEAL. Seriously. We'd all dress up, start the day with mimosas, and leave work at noon for an ALL NIGHT party at the kareoke bar across the street from the office. Mind you this was all COMPANY SANCTIONED. And, more importantly, company FUNDED! Ah, the joys of working at a record label . . . there were downsides too (earning a salary suspiciously close to the poverty line comes to mind), but you'll never catch me saying it wasn't fun!

My new job has LOTS of upsides, one of which, however, is NOT super drunken fun. Not that I mind . . . I'm quite happy here. Its just that getting all dressed up seems kinda . . . inappropriate? I did it one year: I dressed as Rainbow Brite in an entirely handmade, handsewn and self designed costume. Aside from feeling kinda like an ass, nobody knew who I was. Heh.

So, this year, the office is having a pumpkin decorating contest, which I was reluctant to enter because a) my efforts were not so appreciated last time (yes, I'm still pouty about it) and b) regardless of the great Rainbow Bright debacle, I'm known around here as being particuliarly creative and handy with a glue gun, so, PRESSURE!

At about 5pm last night though I had A MAJOR IDEA. And I couldn't help myself. Meet Henry VIII, The Pumkin King:



Here's my inspiration picture, for reference:



He was made using FOUR (count em!) hot glue sticks, leftover jewelry bits from vintage junk bags, fabric remnants, pillow stuffing and a sharpie.

I don't care if nobody knows who he is, I love him!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I may be the last

Has everyone been reading www.failblog.org but me?! I finally went and checked it out last night and WOAH! I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. Boy too. Especially that cow one.

Which is good. I needed a laugh. My allergies have been SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME latley and I'm almost at the end of my rope. I went to my allergist this morning and he suggested allergy shots which is all very well but those take over a year and SOME OF US would like to be pregnant sooner than that. I'm assuming you can't get injected with allergy medicine once a week while pregnant. And, MY GOD, I think you probably shouldn't be taking any Allegra or nasal sprays either. . . ZOMG AM GOING TO DIE!!!

Speaking of pregnancy, I was poking around online yesterday trying to find a non-teenager-ish belly ring for my piercing. You know, something that ISN'T festooned with butterflies and pink sparklies. Like, maybe a nice sterling bar would work. Maybe with a garnet or some other gemstone inset? While I was looking I stumbled upon maternity belly rings and, seriously ladies, don't go clicking that link if you're prone to fainting. Not to scar anyone's mental image bank but they're, um, several inches long and FLEXIBLE. Maybe its just me but I always figured I'd take the ring OUT while pregnant, not shove 4 inches of PVC through the hole.

But, anyways.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Full Disclosure

At one point during our Joshua Tree trip, I pulled a Motley Crue t shirt out of my bag and put it on. Boy said "You're going to wear . . .that?" and I said (direct quote) "Why not? This isn't some "ironic" hipster bullshit, I LIVED IT!".

And you might be thinking, "Gee, thats odd, for someone who isn't yet thirty. Cause wasn't Motley Crue popular back when Holly was all of 7 years old?"

And the answer would be, YES, THEY WERE:

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Cumberland



So, in the back of our minds, boy and I have been half-assedly (yep, its a word.)looking for an alternate hotel in London. We booked the County Hall Travel Inn months ago just to hold ourselves a room at a good rate (the earlier you book the better your rate, with that chain.) I've stayed at County Hall twice now and I've been very satisfied with it. Its basic though. No frills. And "cheap" for London (by which I mean I had a rate locked of 399 pounds for 3 nights. At today's exchange rate, thats $684. But the exchange rate is all over the place. It could just as easily translate to $800 or more. Seriously.) And since these three nights in London are technically the tail end of our HONEYMOON, I kinda had it in mind that if we could find a great rate elsewhere, we should take it.

Last night we were looking at a hotel my mom suggested and were thhiiiissss cllooooseee to booking when on a whim I decided to check Travelocity. I've booked through them before, but only for Vegas and Anaheim hotel rooms, never overseas. I scanned the first 2 pages of results for my dates . . . too expensive . . . kinda gnarly . . . and then, SHOCKED, I stumbled upon a rate of $250 a night (in dollars) at The Cumberland.

On my first trip to London we stayed at the Bryanston Court Hotel which was a sweet but very basic hotel right around the corner from The Cumberland. (It was 1989, those high tops were the PINNACLE of fashion!) I remember The Cumberland as that NICE hotel down the street. They had DOORMEN! We walked through there a bunch of times, ate and shopped there, but to STAY there?! I'd never even imagined I could!

The hotel has had an EXTENSIVE modern remodel since 1989 but the fantastic location is of course the same and its still a top quality hotel. Considering we were planning to stay in a hotel where the shampoo is on a dispenser in the wall, this is a serious upgrade. Which, exchange rate depending, may or may not cost us more than our original booking would have.

SQUEEE!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Winner!

I pulled up the Random Number Generator this morning to pick a contest winner and the lucky girl is . . . LAURA!! Laura's daughter also wins my own personal nod for "best costume idea" . . . she wants to be a SQUARE!!! So creative! Laura, if you read this please email me at hollymix (at) yahoo (dot) com with your shipping info, I'll also comment your blog to let you know you've won.

And now for a solicitation for suggestions. Other cities have Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall . . . in Los Angeles we have "Oh, perhaps I need a light cardigan!" followed by "Pollen so thick you can't see more than 10 feet in front of you", followed by "HOT AS THE SUN" followed by "Dry and on fire". Currently, we are in "Dry and on fire" which has a SLEW of grave issues and implications, none of which I'm going to go into here, other than to point out that my skin is so parched that I wake up with random peely patches every morning.

I need a moisturizer. I need several, actually. And they need to be spectacular.

I've found a body cream thats almost miraculously effective. And a face mask. And a face cream. And an exfoliant. I use The Body Shop's Vitamin E Face Mist over makeup which helps loads.

I'm really halfway there as far as finding effective products goes. What I do still need though is a good cleanser and a good serum for under my moisturizer (there is only so much any cream can be expected to do . . .I need extra!).

On the cleanser front I've tried Dove's Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser which somehow manages to make my skin MORE dry. Good old Noxema which works great for a week or so then starts to leave build up on my face. And The Body Shop's Vitamin E cleanser which doesn't really seem to "clean" anything. Help?

On the serum front, I've only tried The Body Shop's Vitamin E version , mostly because it was only $20 and the others are so damn expensive I'm afraid to invest! Do you have one you like? One in a normal-ish price range (say, under $40 or so)?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DID IT!!!

Sold my 500th item on Etsy this morning!!! The necklace pictured at left, one with a Dutch coin dated 1905 and freshwater pearls. YEA!!!

I'm going to try not to get all mushy here but I've got to say that MAN has Etsy been good to me. I opened my shop at the very end of February, 2007 thinking "maybe I'll make enough money to buy some fancy yarn!". In my wildest dreams never did I expect that my shop would be paying for my whole WEDDING, but it is! My day job, though I love it, isn't especially creative . . . Etsy gives me a fantastic outlet for all of my creative energy and ideas. My shop took off pretty quickly, so I've had to learn everything I know about small business, budgeting, taxes, accounting, customer service, shipping, logistics and inventory completely by fire. Its been a lot of work . . . don't forget, each of those 500 items sold was made BY HAND by me! Then packaged by me, and shipped by me, and accounted for by me. But I wouldn't trade the experience of the last 20 months for the world, and I'm hoping that someday soon I'll be celebrating my 1,000th sale!

Reminder, if you haven't, to enter my pay it forward contest below! I'll be picking a winner first thing Friday morning, you're free to enter the contest until midnight tonight!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not really a "nature" person

Boy and I got back late last night from our weekend in Pioneertown, during which I discovered several things:

1) I am a TOTAL FECKING NERD. We went on a short hike through Joshua Tree national park, most of which I spent wiping my nose on my sleeve, popping allergy medication, and trying to keep my glasses from sliding off my face. SEXY!

2) It is FECKING COLD in the desert. Boy and I were huddled in a corner shivering for much of the (FECKING OUTDOOR!) festival. SEE!

Seriously, I was NOT AMUSED by the cold. We left at around 6:30 after Goldrush played and I swear on my life we were HALF WAY HOME before I could fully feel my fingers again.

3) Fortunately, there is very little cold wise that can't be alleviated by Jameson and coffee.

Freezing cold and allergies aside, boy and I had a great time. It was nice to get AWAY, see a bunch of bands and hang out with friends. Also, was nice to eat total crap for three days and not feel guilty about it.







Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pay It Forward


About four months ago, when I was in the midst of moving, Swistle announced a round of Pay It Forward contests and I was DESPERATE to join in but just too busy. It occurred to me the other day though that Swistle still seems to be posting all kinds of updates on these contest thingamiggiers and I WANT IN ON THE FUN, so here it is:

I'm giving away a free pair of handmade sterling silver and freshwater pearl earrings like the pair pictured. The earrings are done with all sterling parts and wire, so they're perfect for sensitive ears. The pearls are dyed a pale dove grey and all 18 of them are individually wire wrapped to a base chain using sterling wire . . . the overall look is a bit like a bunch of grapes. They're a great seller in my Etsy shop, I've even sold a few pairs to brides!

This contest is open to anyone, regular reader or not. Just leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a name at random one week from today and announce the winner on Friday, October 17th. If you're at a loss for what to post as your comment, tell me what you or your little ones are dressing up as for Halloween!

Up this weekend: BOY AND I ARE GOING ON VACATION!!! We're driving up to Joshua Tree for a festival. Two nights in a hotel, lots of bands, perhaps some outlet shopping, sounds like a vacation to me!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A bizarre assortment of highs and lows

Tried my best to look after boy last night. Made him a vitamin drink which he barked that he didn't need. Made him soup which he ignored for an hour and let go cold. Went to bed early in hopes he'd do the same but no. So if he winds up with bird flu / ebola / whooping cough / etc. I'll feel entirely justified to skip around him shouting "NEENER NEENER!!!" for the duration of his illness. JUST SAYING.

I still plan to marry him though, as evidenced by the fact that I BOOKED AN OFFICIANT!!! Her name is Anne and she's a Humanist and we had a lovely talk this morning in which she reccomended a book about designing ceremonies. Its a bit of an unusual situation as she normally at least MEETS the people she's marrying before the wedding date but I ordered the book and I'm confident we'll be able to work things out over the phone and via email. We'll have to! She's in WALES!

On the Etsy front: I sold my first neckwarmer of the season! Am rapidly approaching 500 sales! Made so much jewelry over the last week or so that I more or less CAN'T make anything else for a while for fear of being EATEN ALIVE by beads and coins! Regardless, have just purchased a slew of new pearls, ancient Roman coins and French turn of the century coins! Also, more carnelian!

Who is watching project runway with me tonight? Whos your favorite? I'm leaning towards Jerell. LOVE Leanne's stuff as well but I have a feeling Jerell is going to pull off something spectacular for his final collection.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Flyby . . .

SO! FREAKING!! BUSY!!!

But I AM alive and I'm consumed by blog guilt so quickly, an update:

1) Mom is sick now and also boy whinging about feeling flu-ish. Full on viral assult seems inevitable.

2) Also on JURY DUTY call in this week, oh the joyus joy!

3) Going AWAY ON VACATION this weekend which could all get FARKED by illness and or jury duty.

4) DRESS FITTING!!! There was a wedding dress fitting on Saturday. Things were cut. A good time was had by all. Perhaps I could be persuaded to secretively link to photos.

5) ACK!!! TOO BUSY!!!! Gotta go, k, bye!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sick?!?!

My whole floor at work has been sick for a month, which more or less means I spend the majority of my waking hours in a cesspit. I've done everything in my power to prevent getting sick myself: I HAVE HAND SANITIZER ON MY DESK! (As in, "If you wish to speak to me, please disinfect yourself first. Thanks!"), I drink 2 or 3 Emergen-C packets A DAY!, I've been sleeping as much as possible, staying in most nights, and generally cowering under my desk every time anyone sneezes (OFTEN!).

Despite said best efforts, I've got a low grade sore throat. It popped up on Saturday and I thought "here we go!" but then by Sunday morning it was gone. I spent Sunday at the Huntington with my family (after which my dad fell sick for a few days . . . THE VIRUSES ARE ATTACKING FROM MULTIPLE ANGLES!!). The sore throat rebounded on Wednesday, just in time for boy and I to go see My Bloody Valentine. Despite SEVERAL beers and the most spectacularly loud show I've ever been to in my LIFE, I felt better on Thursday. So much for rest and virtuous consumption.

If I'm going to be sick . . .fine. It could even be fun. I'd bunker down with my duvet and a pot of soup and the Crusades DVDs I've yet to find time to watch. I'D ACTUALLY KINDA ENJOY IT. But this back and forth for a month BS is really killing me. I AM SO OVER IT!

In other health related news, I've been pronounced medically fit for babymaking! I felt sorta like a tool asking my doctor how to go about getting pregnant because GAWD shouldn't I KNOW?! And I do of course but having spent my life thus far trying NOT to get pregnant its a bizarre switch to contemplate. This is all just info to sit on for now, we won't be actually trying until after the wedding. But having been engaged for 10 months now (GAWD!) I know how fast time can go!

Have I called the officiant, you ask? Not really . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Didn't oxidize any sterling last night . . .


. . . but I did make this!!!

I've had a handful of ancient British tribal coins (yep, ANCIENT) in my collection for-EVER but since they're on the fragile side, not to mention small and ANCIENT I was afraid to attempt drilling them. I did try out a wire wrap technique at one point but this was before I discovered sterling wire, which is FAR nicer and also far sturdier than base metal wire.

It occured to me to give it another go last night, this time in sterling. I LOVE the results. What think you guys?