My older brother and his wife are expecting a girl in November. To celebrate a baby I NEVER thought would exist (my brother used to be so grumpy! :)), I commissioned a lovely baby blankie from Etsy seller ballofyarn. She is a fabulous lady with a lovely and creative shop specializing in fashions for both kids and ladies alike. Karen you are the best! I can also say Karen has an enormous amount of patience for the likes of me who cannot make up my mind to save my life. For example: try to choose just ONE accent color, just one, and see how long it takes me to decide. Try 15 convos. And, then I will second guess that choice. The pictures here Karen took of the finished product after months of decision making. My sister-in-law better love it. And so better that baby. I really do hope it is a girl. Although, color shouldn't really matter, right?
I love this gorgeous afghan seen above with matching beanie!
I just wanted to quickly share the way this packaging turned out for my latest order. I layered some paper flower cutouts, glued on a rhinestone center and made a ribbon stem. Simple little embellishments to spice up an otherwise ordinary gold cardboard jewelry box. Topped off the package with a pretty delicate ribbon bow. Each package comes complete with a handmade thank you card with a personal message inside (as well as cutouts for my business card!). I like the results but I am still on the hunt for the most beautiful packaging. Flickr has some inspirations. I might play around with some other ideas. I have an ungodly assortment of old buttons and raffia which I really should put to use.
Well, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend everyone! Be safe. We are staying indoors as Tahoe traffic on a holiday weekend is suicide. We went hog-wild and rented a movie. So, we are all set.
A friend wrote me today to tell me she is leaving her husband due to some domestic violence issues. She wants to protect her children so she is moving away from him as soon as she can. I feel powerless to help her other than sending my her my love and offering emotional support during this difficult transition.
This news of domestic violence hits quite a nerve for me. I really want to finish a degree in Women's Studies as this type of violence disproportionately effects women worldwide. My family and I have faced this very same issue in our lives. I even lost a babysitter when I was a little girl when Darcy's ex killed her and stuffed her in the trunk of a car abandoned in an empty field. The murder left her young son orphaned. That may be a dramatic example, but a necessary visual which, I think, serves the point that violence directed toward women is serious. As serious as death. I am scared for my friend.
So, I brainstormed a way I could help my friend and ultimately help others facing leaving domestic violence situations. For now, I am making silk flower accessories to sell in my Etsy shop as a first step. One-hundred percent of the sales of these flowers will go directly to my friend and hopefully, upon further research, to a reputable agency helping women in need. This issue is near and dear to my heart. I hope that my contribution will be of some help. If anyone out in the web world has ideas for me, please let me know. At this point I only have my creativity and a stash of random craft supplies at my disposal.
Here is an example of what I think I will make. This particular flower is actually for sale at Olibella and not part of the charity. Others like the one pictured below will be in my shop shortly. Thanks for reading, I hope this issue hits home for you as well. Blessings!
My little family is off to thebeachthis afternoon. This outing will probably one of the last for the Summer as it seems, to me, to be getting colder and colder. But, I am a wimp so, we might go again. I will probably just sit in thesand and bury my toes while Travisswims to the farthest point he can go in the lake without being run over by a boat.
To celebrate this super Summer fun, I decided to make my beach inspired jewelry and hair accessories 25% off in my Shop. Any item tagged (themed) "beach" or "summer" or that just looks good enough to take swimming (you decide!) is fair game. Just add, "Take me to the Beach!" in the notes to seller and I will refund through Paypal 25% off your purchase. You could be sportingSummertimeall year long!
Have a Fabulous andSunny Weekend! Stay warm or cool. Whichever works for you. :)
I am not really getting much done these days. I can't pinpoint a specific reason except that I am just tired. Isabella has been waking up about four times a night for comfort I guess. Then around 4:30 a.m. she is up and ready to go. We keep talking about getting her on some sort of schedule. That will be the day.
I did manage to make a few pairs of earrings for my Etsy shop.
Cloud Watching - Freshwater Pearl and Kyanite Gemstone Earrings
Petals - Pink Lilac Chalcedony Earrings
Fuchsia Blooms - Purple Chalcedony and Hot Pink Wire Earrings
I started filling up my sketch book with more designs too. I have my best ideas in the bathtub. 'Course the hot steam sometimes blurs the ink. I hope to make my sketches into tangible pieces soon. Hopefully, I can get some adequate rest. Or, I might just turn into an actual zombie. That could get interesting.
The Father's Day before last I created a chai tea kit for Travis. I bought a bunch of bulk spices and packaged them up with two lovely chai cups from the Tao of Tea in Portland, Oregon. Anyway, it has taken till just now to actually use any of the ingredients to make some chai. I have secretly been using the whole nutmeg for a while, however. I love fresh nutmeg.
In my Chai Kit I included:
A Vanilla Bean
Whole Black Peppercorns
In addition to the above ingredients, I had on hand some allspice, one of those 4 pepper medley grinders and some fresh ginger.
I also used "sada chai" from the tao of tea. Strong black tea of any sort would work I imagine.
Basically, I approached this concoction willy-nilly. I used a tablespoon of anise, a star or two of star anise, part of the now dried-dead vanilla bean, a tablespoon of whole cloves plus some extra, you know, for good measure, a three second shave of the nutmeg, maybe longer if you like it spicy, a cinnamon stick, two slices of the crystallized ginger and three slices fresh ginger, another tablespoon of cardamom pods, a pinch of allspice, and a tablespoon of whole pepper corns. I also ground two rotations of the pepper mill in that mix. So, this part is experimental. You can adjust the amounts to your taste. I think next time I will add more nutmeg. You just want it spicy and fragrant.
Boil that mix in three cups of water for five minutes. Turn off heat and let steep for ten additional minutes. Next I added two or three tablespoons of the black tea curls. Here is where you can use tea bags or lose black tea. Just make a strong brew as you will be diluting this mixture with milk. I brought the spices and tea to a boil and reduced to a simmer for five minutes. I then strained the ingredients with a handy kitchen mesh screen Travis brought to our relationship. I love him for the strainer. Here is a picture of the strainer:
Return to pot and add two tablespoons of honey (more or less to your sweet desires) and stir. To the brew add two cups of milk. I prefer soy milk for some reason. Only in chai really. That is of course up to you. Heat to desired temperature and enjoy!
If you prefer iced chai just don't heat milk and add ice.
Olibella is a handmade hair clip and accessory boutique for girls of all ages. The shop is run by my friend, Agnieszka, and me. Though my role is more of a moral supportive one, I have been working steadfast on some new items in order to reap the rewards, I mean, pull my weight. Julylamoon will stay my main focus as jewelry is my passion, however. I just thought it would be fun to expand into the world of hair flair.
Right now we are in the beginning stages of setting up shop and listing items. Agnieszka spent the last two months busily making items for Olibella during a recent visit with her family in Poland. While she worked away, I busily sat in front of a pile of ribbons and rhinestones just daydreaming. Someday my daydreams will pay off big time. Just you wait. It is gonna be good.
Until then, please feel free to stop by and have a look at our, ahem, mostly her, okay all her creations. Many of the handmade felt embellishments are one of a kind and exclusive to Olibella. We would love to have you stop by even if just for a look.
p.s. To all my loyal followers, all two of you, get pumped for an upcoming blog giveaway! I had intended to have a giveaway sooner than now but, that would have required I blog more often than on a whim.
I have never felt healthier in my life than when I practiced a hundred days straight of Bikrim yoga. My good friend Ingrid introduced me to hot yoga about four years ago. It took about six months for the benefits to wear off when I had to quit due to schedule conflicts. I really should have reconsidered my priorities then. The benefits being that I had very little stress despite living with several roommates and taking engineering classes at Humboldt State. Oh, and I had a crazy, crazy boss. Yoga pulled me through. Eventually however, the pressure of being a good college student, working full time and trying to demand boundaries from my roommates took its toll.
Later, I went on a fabulous detox diet which included eating a ton of garlic! Yum! Funny, I just realized that the guy I was dating at the time never complained about the garlic but the guy before that totally resented the yoga class. Hot buff girl or stinky garlic girl, take your pick. Perhaps because he was a ocean fisherman that he cared little for smell? Ah well, that is a story for another time. The detox was almost as beneficial as the yoga. I had great skin and no heartburn the whole diet. And I slept really well. Oh, and I had an even crazier boss during the detox. Maybe I was symbolically ridding him from my system.
All this yoga detox thought came about from some recent horrid pictures taken on my Memorial Day wine fest with Portland friends posted by those same friends on my facebook page. Great, now everybody knows that I only post the really flattering pics of myself on my profile (did someone say photoshop?). Granted, it is unfair to judge yourself when the pictures were taken midday without make-up, little sleep and with a slight hangover. But, still! Even under those conditions one cannot hide the love handles spewing over the sides of her skirt. Sigh...
I have been to the gym, like, four whole times this year. So, I am, you know, making an effort to get healthy. Yeah. And, apparently, this thing called "cardio" actually contributes to weight loss. K, whatever. Maybe I could get off the computer for a few minutes a day and practice yoga with my baby. She has already demonstrated her desire to get started.
While working in food service, before my current position as mom (extraordinare), I often experienced similar ridiculous situations in which people tried to argue prices of food for sale. "Um, 45 cents for a donut? Outrage! You should be ashamed of yourself...", "I want the soda for free then!", and "Make that a heavy pour, your tip depends on it" etc. My usual response was to smile and/or use sarcasm. So, when I watched this youtube montage I laughed out loud because it really hits home with me.
I am not sure how people learned to be this way. I guess it works for them. I don't have the gall. Even as an exchange student in Thailand ten years ago, where the cultural norm is to haggle over goods, I just paid the extra couple of baht so as to not deal with the stress. Maybe I don't want people to think I am a cheapskate. Not to judge those who do ask for a discount. Just don't be a jerk about not getting your way. And don't make the lowly minimum wage employee feel like they ruined your whole life because they have no control over what the business charges. Please.
I listed some cowgirl earrings today and just for fun I looked up some cowboy lingo. I found some great cowboy sayings that I should probably heed. I suggest saying them in your best Old West accent. On to the cowboy wisdom:
Never miss a good chance to shut up.(serious note to self)
Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.
Don't corner something meaner than you.
You can never tell which way the pickle's goin' to squirt.(this one is oddly amusing to my dirty, dirty mind!)
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Don't worry about bitin' off more'n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.(hahaha!)
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse.(very good advice for me)
Never drink unless you're alone or with somebody.(okay, if I have to!)
Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's good to know what it was.
Don't judge people by their relatives. (please)
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.(hmm...but that is really no fun)
Don't squat with your spurs on. (lol!)
So, yeah. I had a good chuckle at all of these. Oh, and say you want something from my shop. Well, just mention this post and maybe your fave quote here (or at checkout) and I'll give you 25% off any item.
Ooooh, oooh, oooh! Look what I can do! I just posted a video to youtube. Yeah, it is of my child (surprise, surprise) but, I think I am pretty darn cool as a result. Stand in line to pat me on the back.
Well, I had a spectacular Mother's Day weekend! After stuffing myself on gourmet french toast for breakfast we spent the entire day just playing and having fun. The gorgeous bouquet of pink and white tulips were hand selected by my fourteen month old and her Dada. I was also surprised with a sweet pink teapot to add to my tea party collection. Sigh, I am loved!
We spent the next day at the beach. Isabella had a great time playing in the waves and sand. She is such an adventurous bug. We got a good start on our summer tans and took some time for a family photo shoot. Great weekend altogether.