17 March 2015

T-Minus 11: Procrastination

11 days until I'm done with grad school. That means procrastination is setting in. Big time.

Today's list features 11 things I'm doing so that I don't have to 'do' my thesis. In no particular order, I've been:
  • Writing this blog post.
  • Organizing all my Pinterest boards.
  • Balancing the checkbook.
  • Reading.
  • Checking Instagram. And Facebook. And Twitter. And Pinterest.
  • Researching camping spots.
  • Staring out my window.
  • Making lists ... of all sorts of things. What to cook this weekend. What to restock in the camper. What to do before vacation. What to do on vacation. What to do around the house this spring.
  • Making a list of my lists.
  • Staring out my window. (What? It's very interesting out there.)
  • Cleaning my office. Which mostly consists of straightening things.
 11 days to go ...

16 March 2015

The End of an Era in 12, 11, 10 ...

Oh, hello there! Yes, it's me. I'm still here!

I've been a little wrapped up in the last stretch of my master's degree, but the end is in sight. Oh, yes. Only 12 more days to go. 12.more.days.

So, in honor or that, and because I just can't find the strength to edit the first draft of the first section of the last section of my thesis, I decided to throw together a little list (list!) of the 12 things I'm going to do once I'm done with grad school.

In no particular order:
  • Finish the 4 books I have checked out from the library.
  • Finish the cross stitch I'm working on for the OHCrafters Hand Stitchin Swap. (It's coming along beautifully! I kinda sorta really wanna keep it for myself.)
  • Go on vacation. (Seriously. We leave the day after I turn in my last assignment.)
  • Celebrate. Preferably with a margarita. Or two. Definitely with a party of some sort. You're all invited.
  • Clean the house. It's feeling neglected. And, oddly, I love spring cleaning. I hate any-other-time-of-the-year cleaning, but I love spring cleaning.
  • Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight, baby. Oh, wait. That's a song. Ignore this one.
  • Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer straight through. From start to finish. 144 episodes of awesomeness.
  • Plan - and have - a craft date with Wendy and a four-wheeling date with Tiffany (I have so many layers. You don't even know.).
  • Start a quilt top. Just a little guy. For BB. I need some fabric first, though, so ...
  • Go fabric shopping.
  • Start running ... jogging ... fast walking? Something. I need to get off my rump.
  • Try some new recipes. Maybe something with mushrooms. Nom.
  • Build a clothesline. I want wind-blown sheets, damn it!
Now, to get through the next 12 days ...

03 February 2015

It's about Time (that I got Crafty!)

I cannot believe it's been almost 3 months since I last posted. Well, alright, I can. You know how it is.

I'm still working on the great New Year's Resolution of 2010, where I simplify and focus, but with an active 6-year-old, the end of grad school in sight, work drama, and 2 1/2 seasons of Nashville to catch up on by tomorrow, I haven't been doing so well. And this blog has suffered for it. Oddly enough, the answer was to sign up for an art class with my cousin.

It was exactly what I needed. Two-ish hours of good company, no distractions, Mod Podge - and something to post about. Heaven.

We took the mixed media house class at JBO's and I'm already itching to make something else. I might do another house - there are several things I'd do differently - or maybe something new. We'll see. In the meantime, this masterpiece has a place of honor in my living room, where it makes me smile every time I see it.

Have you ever created a mixed media piece? How much do you love Mod Podge? Let me know in the comments!

06 November 2014

CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong


Whether you want to admit it or not, we’ve all been there. We’ve all seen a cute little craft project on Pinterest or a crafter’s blog and thought, “I can do that!” – only to find out 4 frustrating hours later (not that I was counting) that no you cannot.

I used to hide these craftfails deep, deep, deeeep in my trashcan. Away from myself. Away from my husband. Away from my son, who for some reason still thinks I’m pretty awesome. I also hid them from my mind. That yarn-wrapped balloon ball thing? Never happened. That yarn-wrap wire ornament? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

But somewhere along the way, I stumbled across CraftFail.com. It was like the angels were singing to me. Or the craft fairies. Someone was definitely singing.

Now that I think about it, I think it was me. I don’t suck! I’m not alone. Those directions were for sh*t.

The woman behind CraftFail.com, Heather Mann, just released an awesome collection of some of the best (worst?) craftfails known to crafterkind. Now available at your local bookstore, CraftFail: When HandmadeGoes Horribly Wrong is definitely worth a read.

Besides the failed yarn balls, I related to several of the other projects in the book, and I’m sure you will, too. But what scared me the most was the projects in the book that I have pinned to do! Craftfails just waiting to happen! Do I even bother trying them now? Knowing me, probably not. No microwaved soap fluff. No hula hoop-woven rug.

After reading the intro to Heather’s book and asking her a few questions, I think she’d be very disappointed in me. After all, she becomes excited when she fails. No, really. It’s true.

“I used to avoid trying anything that I thought I might not do well,” Heather said. “Since starting CraftFail, not only have I been more likely to try crafts that I might botch horribly, but I’ve become excited whenever I fail, or event when I see other people fail. I’m not excited because of someone’s misfortune, but more because of the opportunity for growth and learning.”

Oh. That makes a lot of sense.

Heather says in her book that unrealistic expectations are a major contributing factor in craftfails. In addition, being unprepared, including missing or wrong supplies, can be to blame.

After reading CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong, I realized that, man, am I uptight. I’m supposed to be doing something I love, crafting, and instead I’m beating myself up because I’m not Martha Stewart. Heather said she got catharsis from sharing her failures, something I’m slowly starting to understand.

As I come to terms with the fact that craftfails are, sadly, a part of crafting, I take comfort in some advice Heather shared with me:

“Baby steps! You don’t have to be thrilled next time you fail, but give yourself a little bit more room to breathe. YOU aren’t a failure; you just made something that didn’t work. If it makes it easier, think of it as a prototype or a first draft.”

Good advice from the self-described “failure enthusiast”.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review; all opinions are my own.

24 October 2014

The Time has Come ... for Me to Watch Goonies

It's a widely known fact that I didn't watch a lot of "normal" movies growing up. No ET. No Harry and the Hendersons (that I remember). No The Christmas Story. With one TV in the house, we were often stuck watching what my dad was watching, which more often than not were war movies. And some action-adventure thrown in for good measure. Hamburger Hill. Platoon. Deliverance. Not exactly PG.

I didn't realize how odd this was until I got older and failed to recognize some pretty basic pop culture references. I don't have a favorite John Hughes movie, for example. And I don't know anything about ET, except that he likes Reese's Pieces.

Besides ET, I get picked on the most for not having seen Goonies and Stand By Me. Honestly, in my head, they are the same movie. They're both scary (right?). They both have a chubby kid, who I think is played by Jason Bateman. (Wait! Jerry O'Connell? One of them, I'm sure.)

I'm almost positive that most of Goonies takes place underground. (This I know from the Atari game we bought at a garage sale in 1987-ish.) And I think there's a train in Stand By Me. Maybe a big house on a hill in one or both of them? Someone does the truffle shuffle. I think it had something to do with mushrooms.

Oh, and the Coreys had to have been in them! (They were everywhere back then, including taped to my bedroom wall.)

I know I've gotten a lot, if not all, of the facts wrong, but tonight, I'll be halfway to normal. Tonight I'm going to watch Goonies. I know you'll all want to know what I thought. I might live Tweet my reactions. Yes, it's that big of deal.

What movies did you miss the first time around? What 80s movies do I need to watch? Is Goonies really going to be as good as everyone says? I guess I'll know tonight.