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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Welcoming of the Easter Bunny Fiasco

Every Easter I think of the time when I was really little that I spent hours cutting out individual letters that said "Happy Easter Easter Bunny!" and then I taped them together in a banner. The first row said "Happy" taped beneath that was "Easter", then came "Easter" below that and the last row was "Bunny".  I worked so hard on this sign as I had recently learned all my letters. I had to have my mom help me spell all the words correctly.

Now, my parents thought I was going to hang this in my room or maybe put it on the dining room table. In their heads that made perfect sense. I mean, the Easter Bunny does roam around your house hiding plastic eggs with hints in them to where your Easter Basket could be found. And of course the first clue was in an egg sitting on the dining room table.

But no, little me wanted to make sure that the Easter Bunny so this as soon as he got to the house. So I put the banner on the floor right next to the door. Because as a small child I figured that the Easter Bunny had to come through the door since only Santa came down the chimney...right??? I did this right before going to bed. Now our house has a short hallway to the outside door, so my parents didn't see the banner there throughout the evening after I had gone to bed. So the next morning they woke up bright and early and said to the dogs, "Want to go outside?"...at the time we had golden retrievers...so you can imagine what large dogs scrambling to the door will do to construction paper taped together by scotch tape.

I'm sure my parents were a little bit worried about what my reaction would be to seeing this banner destroyed. I was very concerned about making the Easter Bunny feel welcomed in our home. (As a side note, this wasn't just for the Easter Bunny. I made sure Santa had cards for himself and to bring back to the Mrs. and that the reindeer had carrots, that if Santa wanted to take a bite of one too he could.)


So I woke up the next morning and ran to the dining room table to find my first egg with the first clue on how to find my Easter Basket. My mom came over to me and said, "Honey, I know you worked really hard on your sign for the Easter Bunny last night, but something happened to it." I immediately ran to the doorway and found the sign in shreds on the ground. I almost started to cry. Then my mom handed me a note, She said, "The Easter Bunny left this for you though!" She then proceeded to read me the note that explained how the Easter Bunny walked in the door and didn't see the sign because it was dark. He was so sad that his very big bunny feet (because in my head he was the size of those bunnies in the bunny costumes, not the size of a regular bunny) ripped up the sign, but he knew a lot of work went into it. He told me how he loved it and hoped I'd have the happiest of Easters.

"OH MY GOSH!" I thought I was the coolest kid in the entire world because the Easter Bunny left me a note. I was beyond excited, not even a little upset that the sign was messed up. My only regret now is I don't think I still have that note.

So long story short, I have some awesome parents who found very creative ways to make sure their little kids had great holidays and could keep on believing for a little bit longer. Happy Easter Weekend everyone!

Friday, February 14, 2014

To Be A Kid Again

Remember perler beads from when you were a kid? Those little beads you would put together in a pattern then your mom, dad, teacher, etc would iron it together and they'd melt?

That's the project that Terence did for my Valentine's Day gift. He made a few of my favorite things!


He made a Luigi, a Sulley, a Professor Layton and a minion. These are so cute! I will turn them into magnets and they'll definitely brighten up our fridge. I can't pick a favorite, I love them all!

We're really just big kids. I posted earlier my gift to him was a big stuffed animal.



A Very Digby Valentine's

I know it's been forever since I've posted anything! I guess I just went through a "I don't want to blog about this" phase. But I figured the perfect come back would be for Valentine's Day! Happy Hearts!

I know last year I blogged out my fiance's and my tradition of making each other Valentine presents each year. Last year I made him a basket for all his video game controllers.

The video game tradition continued into this year. Awhile ago, Terence and I downloaded a video game called Animal Crossing: New Leaf onto our 3DSes. Terence has played other console's versions of Animal Crossing way before we even met. His favorite character is a very cute little dog named Digby

Now, Animal Crossing figures/toys are much more common over in Japan. I was able to score him a little Isabelle figure (Digby's sister who runs the town hall) for Christmas.


But Digby is really, really hard to find. All I could find was a key chain.

So for Valentine's Day I knew I wanted to tackle a Digby. So I went to Walmart and got a bunch of felt squares, buttons and embroidery floss. I already had thread of various colors and stuffing. This gift cost me $6.50 total.

When I got home I got straight to work. My goal was to make a Digby that was the same size as the Isabelle I got him for Christmas. Umm...that was an epic failure. His head turned out OK, but his body just didn't come together. I almost cried. I was so disappointed in myself, because I thought this was going to be an awesome present...and I just didn't have the talent to pull it off.

Then I decided I would start over and change it up a bit. I first decided I would make a small pillow that was just Digby's head. As I started working I realized I could make a body that fit too. The more it started coming together the more excited I got. I'm actually really proud of this project.


Really, the only thing that bothers me at all is that the colors are a bit off. Digby is a darker dog in the game, however, I couldn't find the right colored felt for this project.

I do suggest if you've just started out with sewing and making toys...use felt! It's really easy to use, it's so easy to "hide" the stitches. If you've got a color thread that matches the color of the felt you can't see it unless you look really close. I mean, there was a reason Jim Henson made Kermit, Erinie and Bert out of felt.


After the initial disaster of the small Digby, this was a fairly easy project to do. It probably took me a total of somewhere between 3-5 hours. I did it in small spurts so I'm not sure exactly how long I took.

I love this little tradition we have because I love crafting and it always makes me excited to make gifts for those that I love. It's just more fun that way.

Terence is currently working on my gift! I'll share that next (and try not to take a 7 month break from the blog!)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life of a Shy Extrovert

 Note: This is not a post on crafting but I wanted to share.

Tonight I went to a Young Professionals networking type event in town. It was a chance for three local YPs to share their career and mentoring experience. Overall, it was a really cool experience getting to hear what career advice they had for everyone in the room. But it got me thinking, as all networking/social events do, about my extreme shyness. And my extroversion.

A shy extrovert? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?

I'm classified as an ENFJ (if you've never heard of Myers-Brigg here's a link to learn more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator). Now if you scroll through you'll see the whole Extrovert vs Introvert piece. When it isn't in test format nearly everyone classifies me as an introvert. But, the thing is, I get a lot of energy by interacting with people.

During the work day I am most productive when students are around my office and popping in for quick questions. If it is the summertime I have to go downstairs to the rest of my co-workers at least every hour and a half to get a boost of energy. There's rarely people on my hallway in the summer, the quiet is awful to me and music doesn't fix it. If I go talk with a co-worker for a few minutes I can typically go back to my office and be super productive for the next hour and a half.

I love hanging out with friends on the weekends and weekdays. While it's nice to relax and do nothing on the weekends, I'm usually only OK with that if my boyfriend is home. (He's not often gone on trips without me so it's usually not an issue.) But I try really hard to plan something with friends on weekends he is away. If I can't make plans, there's pretty much a 100% chance that I will at least go window shopping so I can be around others for a bit. I enjoy it.

But...as much as I enjoy it I am extremely, extremely shy. I really struggle with initiating a social conversation. If I'm at work and a student, parent, or staff member approaches me I have no problem having a conversation about the school, the program we work with, etc. If the conversation is almost "predetermined" and is focused on something like work or something that I'm viewed as an "expert" on, I'm fine.

When it comes to this whole "small talk" let's chat and become friends thing though? I cannot explain how much I struggle. Again, this is where the whole everyone thinks I'm an introvert comes from. At the event  tonight, I wanted so much to contribute to more of the conversation but the anxiety that came with actually speaking up definitely beat out the ability to speak up. I love hearing people's stories, but I'm awful at asking the questions to get those stories.

I get very uncomfortable in social situations where I don't know anyone. Actually, if those situations happen, as long as there are no overly negative conflicts, I tend to leave them...immediately.

My boyfriend can probably recall when I first moved to our current location he hadn't moved here yet. So I didn't know anyone. I went to a United Way Young Professionals social gathering by myself. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him trying to convince myself that I would be OK and calm down my anxieties. I stayed for an hour, to me it was awful. Because not only was I getting energy from being around people...I was getting anxious. It's not a fun feeling. I also spent the hour after the event crying because I felt like I made no positive connections and was so badly craving some sort of connection here.

Since being out of school (I went straight from high school to college to grad school) I have really realized how much of a shy extrovert I am. Actually, moving here made me realize that I was actually extroverted with just this almost painful sense of shyness. There are no longer those "situations" (aka class, clubs, etc) that allow friendships to form much more easily. There's not really an evident common interest any more (aka school). While I've found some awesome people in Greensboro, it's taken a lot of energy on my end. And I still struggle so much. I came home tonight and ended up falling asleep for a few hours, mainly because that shyness and extroversion conflict and really do cause exhaustion.

So chances are it will take me a long time to get really comfortable with you. Not because I'm introverted and interactions take energy, but because as much as I talk myself up, I have never been able to get past that shyness. I really do value my friendships and those people I get to be comfortable with because it takes so much for me to get there.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Twine and Frames

It's been awhile since I've done any blogging or crafting! Life got a bit hectic there! We've recently moved into a new, bigger apartment! With packing and moving and wrapping up the end of the year at work it just got busy. Today's post is just a very quick craft, but honestly it's one of my favorites.

With the new apartment, we each got our own closet. I was VERY excited by this because I'm kind of (read VERY MUCH SO) a neat freak. My boyfriend on the other hand is not at all. When I got to the new place I was trying to figure out how to organize everything in my own closet. Clothes were pretty basic, hanging or folded in assorted piles. My jewelry was what I was struggling with. In the last apartment I had a makeshift earring holder that I never really loved. It was cheap and plastic and broken. So I knew it wasn't coming to the new place.

I found an old frame that was empty and the glass broke in the move. I spent a few minutes disassembling the frame (removing the glass, taking off the tabs that held the back in, etc). If you do have a frame that you want to use that uses those little metal tabs to hold everything in, just bend them back and forth a few times and they'll pop right off.

Next I took twine and just tied string across the frame to form lines.

And tah-dah! It was done. It was really simple and for me free because I had the frame and the twine. If you have to pick those up though, you can get a cheap frame or an expensive one for however much you like and twine, which a big roll that has helped me with a bunch of projects cost $5.

I just hung up my earrings. I used the small command hooks for my necklaces. Again, this was a super simple, super effective project. I love how it looks.

The one above is close up picture so you can see the twine.

This one's a bit further away. The purses are hung with just a nail in the wall, I got the jewelry box forever ago from my mom, and the bucket with the nail polish was a dollar at the Dollar Store, I've had that forever too. I just threw my bracelets and sunglasses in a small basket that I got as part of some Secret Santa exchange forever ago too.

Most of the new place is put together with a few things here and there to work on. The rest of the bedroom will be put on hold while we wait for our new bed. It's organized now but we're not putting too much on the walls until we get the new bed.

Hope you enjoy! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easy & Cute Clutch!

It's been a bit since I've blogged here! Things have been busy on our end. We've done some trips/weekends away and then I came down with a bad cold...so crafting took a back seat to life for a bit. But I'm back!

My latest project is actually a second of something I made awhile back.  They're very simple clutch purses.

You need:

2 fat quarters ($1.00 a piece at Walmart)
Fusible interfacing (Ranges depending on what type you get)
A button or clasp
Thread
 Any additional decor you'd like to add




You first just measure the fat quarter to the size of clutch you want to make. A full fat quarter would make an over-sized clutch. I cut out two rectangles. I cut the interfacing to the same size and shape. Ironed a piece of interfacing onto each fat quarter. Then I sewed the fabric right sides facing each other. I left a small opening. Turned the piece out. Ironed it flat, sewed the opening close.

On one of the clutches I sewed ric-rac into the seam of the top of the clutch so that it just hardly sticks out.

One clutch I used a button and the button function on my sewing machine. On the other I used a small clutch. And sewed a bead on the outside.

And ta-dah!

Here's the first:

And the inside:





And the second:
And the inside (I will go back and clean up the threading that is visible.)

I love how easy and inexpensive this project is. You can go as simple or as elaborate as you want. And again, with this being so cheap, I can make as many as I want!





Saturday, March 2, 2013

Princessfied.

So I know I mentioned earlier that I was running a half marathon. The Disney Princess Half Marathon to be precise. Well...I did it! Sunday, February 24th my two friends from grad school (and about 25,997 other runners) took to the road.


We woke up at about 2:30 AM (it still makes me tired thinking about that...) and threw on our costumes and headed to the bus.


We got to the run site and had music to listen to and lots of other princesses and princes to look at for a few hours. We then walked towards our corral. (We were all in corral C). After count downs and entertainment it was finally our chance to start (around 5:40 something).


The race started off really well. The first 9 miles one of my friends and I stayed together...after we hit mile 9 though she was able to maintain our speed...and I had to slow down a bit.

Throughout the entire race there were water/powerade stops (Thank you Disney!). There were characters that if you chose to you could stop and take pictures with, I was concentrating on the "I want to actually finish this" piece so I didn't stop (except once in front of the castle). There was some entertainment with bands, a choir, and all sorts of things. The best part was running through magic kingdom.

First, the crowd was really into it...everyone was screaming and cheering for every single runner. And let me tell you...I placed 9,097...so there were a LOT of other runners in front of me. We got to loop around the park and ran through Cinderella's castle. It was awesome...and definitely gave me a boost at the point where I was getting a little tired.

I definitely struggled the last 4 miles of the race. My feet and legs started to cramp, my ankle started to tighten up. I had to walk a few times throughout those 4. The volunteers (who were awesome throughout the entire race) definitely helped with cheering runners on, providing water, biofreeze, and Gu. But those last 4 they seemed extra loud and extra encouraging...which is definitely what I needed. Though...they kept saying, "You're almost there." and it felt like that was a lie. Haha. But, when I finally turned that last corner and saw the finish line...that was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I was about to complete a half marathon. I was about to have just finished 13.1 miles. I definitely choked back some tears (which is extra difficult when you're running). 

I couldn't believe I finished...even when the volunteer handed me my medal, even after I had been sprinkled with fairy dust, even after I waited in line, not really knowing what it was for to get my picture taken. I just couldn't believe it. It goes to show you, if you think you can do something and you work for it...you can. I mean, I ran cross country in high school but normally couldn't finish/run all of those 3.2 mile races. And here I was, having just done a 1/2 marathon. I've been a diabetic since I was 16 months old, but here I was holding a medal saying I'd just completed a 1/2 marathon. Was it fast? No. It took me 2 hours 49 minutes and 19 seconds. The winner did it in about 1 hour 17 minutes. But I didn't even care. I'd just finished.

I really do want to thank my friends who were there with me. My friends and family who cheered me on from afar and all of those people cheering, whether it was friends/family of other runners, volunteers, Disney employees or the other runners. That's what I've loved about running, it doesn't matter how fast you are, it doesn't matter what your final time is...if you're trying, they're cheering you on. I love that. I absolutely love that about running. People appreciate your attempt, your effort. And it's everyone...crowds and fellow runners alike. That's amazing to me.

So, in this long detailed race story you're probably wondering...I thought this was a crafting blog? No fears! I did do a craft. Very, very simple. It's a shadow box for my race bib and medal. I figured since I got such a huge sense of accomplishment, I want to be able to display the medal for those days when I'm feeling a little down. And remember..."hey, you ran 13.1 miles...you've got this."

Michael's is typically having sales on their frames which is awesome. I got my shadow box for about $13. And here it is:

Again, nothing super fancy...but I love it. I may add some tulle or something from my tutu, change things up a bit (which is another reason why shadow boxes are awesome...very easy to make addition/changes), but for now it makes me so happy to catch this as I pass by it in my apartment.