Friday, December 17, 2010

Did they really think I would REST?!

I was sent home early from work today. Perpetual coughing and a voice that's threatening to completely give out at any moment is, apparently, a good enough reason to go home from work. My boss told me to "rest and recoup" so I would be healthy to work all weekend. Though I cannot bear to waste an entire day resting, I'm compromising by drinking tons of water (about 3 Liters thus far), take a multivitamin and some echinacea, and taking a nap for some recuperation, but I also went to the Milwaukee Public Museum (and saw the Mummies Around the World exhibit which totally ROCKED), did some journaling, and am now putting up a post that I've been meaning to do for a couple days to feel productive (and watching Celebrity Rehab because of my morbid curiosity).

A couple days ago I had a day off and had decided that I would spend it cleaning. My room was in a horrible state of chaos (as it is rather too often), and I needed to do something about it. The overwhelming state of my room meant that this was a task I was not looking forward to, so I thought I'd make it fun by photographing and blogging the process. I was not going to publicly post pictures of my enormous mess to document the progress, so I decided to take pictures of the entertaining things I found as I cleaned instead. I don't know if it's just creative types or if other people do this too, but I tend to keep the weirdest things and find them when I'm cleaning. I think I'm in the early stages of being a hoarder...
I found these sweet eyelashes at the Goodwill on State St in Madison (still in original packaging, of course). Also, they're sitting on my SWEET Samsonite vintage cosmetics case that I currently use for my art supplies (I hate those weird tool box things that 99% of the art students carry around at UWM). My mom picked up the set with this case and two suitcases at a rummage sale for like 10 bucks. Sweet!
I found giant bubble wrap. For an instant, I turned into a giddy schoolgirl at the prospect of popping these huge plastic bubbles, giggling with glee and grinning maniacally. However my fantasies were crushed when I realized that there were little channels between all the chambers, so I couldn't pop them. So sad.
The Madison Fire Department was giving these out during a parade on State St that happened to be going on the last time I was there. We (3 grown girls in their 20s) screamed loudly enough for them that the fireman handing them out passed up the little kid next to us and gave us his last three hats. We wore them the whole rest of the time we were walking State St and shopping. We knew exactly how awesome we were- we radiated the awesome.
Yes, I have an entire box of crap I don't know what to do with.... That's all I have to say about that...
The closet was the first thing to get totally cleaned up. I wish I had more room in my closet, but I guess I'll just have to use my space more efficiently- hence the cart of drawers that can be rolled in and out of my closet for storage.
Note in the bottom left corner, part of the SWEET drawing horse my friend, Lucas, made me. It's a thing of beauty. One of these days, I'll find an excuse to put a photo of the whole thing on here.

For once in my life, I have the majority of my art/craft supplies in one place (some that I don't use much are still in the basement and need to be gone through, but this is at least 60% of it). It still hasn't been totally organized, but it's on its way. Also, I totally want to replace this stupid cage thing with this from my Ikea wish list.. Anyway, now my room is vaguely clean, and the next step is painting (who wants to help?!). It's time for me to take a nap and maybe have some soup or something to make this stupid cough go away.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creative Time and Space

My work place and I have a very love/hate relationship. Mostly I love my job. I also greatly enjoy walking past art/craft books and taking note of interesting titles. However, Barnes and Noble is laid out in such a way that on my way to and from the break room, I walk past the art/craft section at least 8 times a day in an 8 1/2 hour shift. It is ridiculous to have a shopping/craft addict walk past her crack 8 times in one day without her buying some smack. Today my high involved purchasing this book. I justified it because the book has already been rather useful. My chronically disorganized state is something I have been fretting about for the majority of my life. This book has already helped me organize some of my thoughts (I even drew a diagram- which I would photograph and post for all of you if my camera batteries weren't dead- of all the things I have to organize as well as tools to help me do it) and Saturday is the day of organizing my things. I'm roping off the entire day before the Mustard Plug concert in Bay View to clean up and organize my shit. Fortunately, this is also the day before my mom's big holiday bash, so my room will actually be presentable for once. Yay!

Also, today I get to sign up for classes for Spring semester. I am going to go do that now....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Not so Scrooge This Year

So, a couple nights ago I joined this website. For people, like me, who love getting mail and don't feel they get enough of it, this website is AWESOME. There is a large list of current swaps that you can join. You pick one you like the sound of and send something off to a randomly chosen partner and then someone else sends you something too! I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of money on postage in the future. Anyway, I joined a snowflake swap. I was supposed to make 3 snowflakes and send them to someone in Alabama. So, I set up shop on my living room . About 2 minutes in, I started manically searching for Christmas music to listen to. The reason I had to search maniacally, instead of calming looking in a CD case, is because I generally hate holiday music of all kinds. I suppose I'm usually a bit of a scrooge. Anyway, I threw on the holiday music channel on the cable and made these:

I also made and sent a third one, but I didn't realize I didn't have a picture of it until the envelope was already all sealed. Anyway, this was my first swap, and my swap partner was the person running the swap, so I figured I would pull out all the stops and make a homemade envelope (something I've been wanting to do since seeing a nice pattern for them in the Big-ass Book of Crafts that my cousin, Katie, gave me for my birthday.

After many failed attempts and many pieces of paper and card-stock had to be recycled (though all the non-decorative paper I used was upcycled stuff anyway). But eventually I ended up with a cute envelope that still wasn't perfect, but I deemed it acceptable enough to send.
That's also the card I enclosed the snowflakes in (like I said, all stops were pulled!)
THEN I realized that it's possible that the reason this delightful lady started this swap was because she wanted to see some snow for the holidays and they don't get much of it in Alabama. While I believe that neato paper snowflakes are an acceptable (even preferable) alternative to real, live snow, I also thought maybe I could enclose a picture of OUR snow, so she could see what I see out my window every day. Yes, I realize now that at this point I was seriously overdoing this poor little swap and the person receiving my envelope was probably going to think I'm crazy, but I was having fun. So I ran outside with my NEW CAMERA and snapped this picture:
The I wrote a little note in the card (the angel on the front is made from a banana leaf by some poor people somewhere. My mom bought the cards from some sort of charity or fundraiser like 4 years ago), enclosed the snowflakes, slipped in the photo, and sealed up the envelope with my hand-dandy glue stick (this is the point that I realized I didn't take a picture of the third one and kicked myself), glued the address and return address on, affixed a stamp, and sent my homemade envelope of joy on its merry way. I then realized I'd spent approximately 4 hours making a giant mess on my living room floor and listening to Christmas music as well as being sweet-talked into helping my mom put up her Christmas tree tonight. Mistakes are made when I am crafting and, therefore, not thinking. Oh well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Insert Clever Title Here

Check out how awesomely clever my blog is! That title really makes me want to read this post. Whatever, I worked 8 and a half hours in a cafe today (and 6 days out of the week, though not all days were full 8 hours days). My butt is tired and looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, because I don't have to work until 4pm. Speaking of work, one of the regulars at the cafe apparently works for one of the places that produces Carmex. He brought in the following gift for one of us (me being the lucky winner because the other girl I was working with didn't want it). You know how in America, we all got excited about flavored Carmex and it was lame old cherry? The Asian Carmex market gets THIS:
Sorry about the glare and the lack of background. You got the general idea of the awesome-ness and I'm lazy today.
This shit is AWESOME SAUCE. I love it, and I'm hopelessly addicted. I've had it for less than a week, and I'm already beginning to worry how I will get more when it runs out. I fear for my life. This may be my most severe addiction yet.

Carmex and work aside, this week I have also started working on Christmas presents. I cannot believe that I waited this long. It's only 3 weeks until Christmas and I planned on making the majority of the presents I would give out this year. I have finished exactly one. However it is really cute (if I may say so myself- oh wait, it's my blog and I can say whatever I damn well please!). It's for someone who never reads my blog anyway, so I don't have to worry about the cat being out of the bag if I show it off before Christmas. The yarn is just a nice, soft acrylic that I got on Thanksgiving for insanely cheap at Michael's.
for Katie White (who doesn't read my blog)
 Less really was more on this project. Katie's not big on patterns or lots of embellishments on clothes and such, so I thought I'd go for something simple. The zigzag stitch added a little bit of interest so it wasn't too boring. My favorite part is the tassels at the peaks of the zigzags (done while watching Confessions of a Shopaholic). I whipped this one out in a day and a half, not too bad. I better get cracking on the rest! Bath salts, lip balm, sugar body scrub, and softening foot balm to come in future gift-making (and blog posts).

Finally, tonight I watched this documentary about a guy and his family (with a little girl still in diapers) go to extreme lengths to cause no environmental impact for a year. At first it seems like a bunch of crap (How can one survive without TV or toilet paper or refrigerators?), but they are actually rather successful by doing it in phases. The other initial problem I had with it before I started watching was the fear that this was just 1 sustainable year and they'd go back to their old ways and that would be the end of it, however he stresses (in about the middle or maybe even toward the end- stick with it if you watch it, he'll discuss all your issues) that it's about going to extreme measures to see what they are willing to keep for an extended time. Obviously they would want the fridge back (unfortunate milk incident with a hopeful-looking apparatus that failed them) at the end of the year, but there were a lot of things that the family intended to keep doing. The wife started off as a very typical American consumer and came out of the project with a very different world view. Check out the film on Netflix (or at least the link to his blog, some neat stuff in there.