Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moving away from blogger

Well, it's been a fun run here on blogger, but I've decided to move my url to a tumblr blog.

I will still restrict this blog to "personal" posts, but I like the format of tumblr a lot more... plus, blogger stats no longer help me, as my site seems to be overrun with links from spamming eastern European websites.

So, in a few days, will be pointing to

I will try to make it so comments can be added by non-tumblr folks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Donation

I've pretty much decided to donate all of my books (that aren't regularly used) to the local library.

I recently signed up for a membership at my local library, and have realized that I haven't picked up any of the books I've already read in many months - so why let them collect dust around my house?

I realize that to a lot of my friends this is blasphemy.  They are all very attached to their books and can't imagine life without them.  I received the same static when I got rid of all of my DVD's (albeit, I've been obtaining a small collection since - thanks to MovieStop's insanely low prices).

Here are my reasons for going "paperless":

  1. Time limits: If I check out a book, I have about 3 weeks to read it.  That's it.  For me, this is helpful because it forces me to actually make the time, and if the book is so boring that I don't make the time, it wasn't worth it.
  2. Do Gooderness: No, that isn't a word, but I don't care.  I feel good about donating the books I have, as I like to believe that I have awesome taste, which needs to be inflicted upon the rest of society.  Some of the books I will be donating will include The Art of Seduction, Eldest on hardback, The Life & Letters of Tofu Roshi, and Good Omens.
  3. E-books:  When college starts I plan on getting some sort of e-reader (suggestions would be helpful, I'd like to avoid the Ipad if possible).  So the need for books in general will go away.  Sure, I'd still rather read an actual book, but again, that's what the library is for.
  4. Space: The shelf my books currently inhabit would be perfect for displaying certain objects that I can't bring myself to donate/toss (e.g. - The hourglass I inherited from my Grandmother, my MVP trophy from work).  The lower shelves could be used for kitten play areas (not that they aren't already...)
  5. Embarrassment: Owning no books means that while I can tell people (as I often do) "Oh my god! You need to read this!" I cannot in turn bring it to work, hand it to them, and then be struck by disappointment when it just sits on their desk for months on end, unopened, not taken home, and definitely not read.  Only to leave me feeling stupid and embarrassed, and taking it back while they're absent one day.  Not that any of that has ever happened before...
  6. Financial: I won't be tempted to buy books, because I make a point of not owning them.
I think the days of judging someone based on how many books they have is over.  It is a ridiculous statement to begin with.  We have libraries, e-readers, and the entire internet - books are no longer a necessity, and owning or not owning a certain amount does not - and should not - define you.

Just as my choice to become minimalist does not define me - but it makes me a better person.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why am I getting so many visits from Ukraine?

Looking at my stats on blogger I've gotten tons of visits over the last week or two from the Ukraine, from several different .ru sites.

Can anyone shed some light on this phenomena? At this rate they'll overcome my visits from the US and UK combined!  Should I start learning Russian?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Minimalist Bandwagon, Kittens, and Laundry

For a while now I seem to have slowly fallen off of the Minimalist bandwagon.

I was so gung ho at the beginning of the year, but then life happened and I just lost track.

My apartment isn't exactly a mess, but it's not as orderly as it was... and I really seem to have accumulated a lot of things that don't have homes.

Part of this misstep is the fact I adopted two kittens - Eleven & Riversong.  They're wonderful and adorable and act like their namesakes from Doctor Who:

However, being cats, they're rather messy.  They either haven't completely grasped the litter box concept yet, or if they don't get their way, they go to the bathroom behind a sofa.  I try to remind myself that animals don't feel the need for vengeance, and they're not doing it to be mean, but sometimes it's hard to believe otherwise.  I am currently trying to find a better system or location for their litter box, because it seems as if my bathroom floor is always covered in bits of litter.

I have taken a step in tackling my problems with laundry.  After the epic closet clean out earlier this year, I have managed to keep from accumulating a ridiculous amount of new clothes.  However, I am still absolutely terrible at keeping up with laundry, since I do not own a washer & dryer.  I had been going to my parents every other weekend and using their equipment, but between the drive & cost of water/electricity for them, it was becoming a rather cumbersome task... and then I found Marietta Coin Laundry.  They are less than 4 miles from my apartment, and have a "Wash & Fold" service.  On average I have about 20lbs of laundry every two weeks.  I took everything to them last Sunday around noon, and for less than $15 everything was washed, dried, and ready for me by 3pm.  It was fantastic!  While it may cost more in the long run in actual dollars, the time and annoyance it saves me is completely worth it.  The only down side is that they do not take credit/debit, but I should be carrying cash on me more often anyways, as it forces me to pay more attention to my budget.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time to start planning for DragonCon

As we all know, Dragon*Con is right around the corner! (EEEK!)  Here are some of my plans!

The Dalek Costume
Sure, it's only June, but I have a lot of work to do on the Dalek costume.

Last year's costume:

Dalek Costume Changes:

  • Reattach / Re-secure bumpers that have popped off when I was moving to the new apartment
  • Turn bottom half into a skirt
  • Purchase a corset top in either black, blue, or both
  • Buy a pair of Heelys (maybe)
  • Lose weight (the most important part, lol)

The Kaylee Costume
My other costume, for days I feel like being a bit more relaxed, is Kaylee from Firefly.  I threw together a costume for an event a couple weeks ago, and while it's ok, I'd like to re-do it for D*con.  Here's a pic:

Changes for the Kaylee costume:
  • Buy a new jumper - in green or brown.
  • Use jumper to work on cars :D
  • Remove patches from current jumper, add to new one
  • Get a better matching shirt, preferably one a bit more breathable (this one was sweltering, and it's not gonna be much cooler out by September in Georgia).

A few other details.
Depending on savings, I will be staying with my buddy Jeffrey in Atlanta this year.  He only lives a couple blocks from the con, and this is the view from his apartment:
So yeah, it's win-win.  There is still a possibility I'll be staying with a couple friends in the Marriott, but we'll see.  It really all depends on everyone's cash flow, and I still haven't bought my actual tickets for the con.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Savannah/Tybee Island Trip - Day 1

Mom and I arrived in Savannah this afternoon at about 2:30pm.  We found out we could not, in fact, check in to our hotel until after 4pm, so we went to visit Tybee Island.

The beach was packed, and we weren't really dressed for it, so we went shopping at some of the kitschy places further inland.  I ended up buying a fair trade coin purse made from coconuts in Bali.  It was only $4, and the cuteness is amazing.

A highly rated place was called "The Crab Shack".  It's a tourist trap, they have alligators (very small ones), an exotic bird building, and their main reason for existing: a restaurant.

Well... after being seated, we made the horrible assumption that someone would be by in a timely manner for our drink orders.  5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed.  I tried to flag down a waitress to no avail.  A group of 4 sat down behind us and were immediately served... so finally, we left.  Informed the servers and they just looked at us, mouths gaping open, saying nothing.  It was very bizarre.  I think that may have just been how they looked.  A permanent "duuuuuuuuuuuuh" face.

The next place we found - called Bubba's something or other - wasn't quite as bad.  We did eventually get food.  However, the running away from us whenever we tried to get assistance was still prevalent.

Oh well, it will not affect the rest of my vacation!  Tomorrow Mama and I are going shopping in Savannah, followed by Kayaking in the afternoon. Super super excited.  I've never been Kayaking.  Looking for good photo ops.  Tomorrow's review will include pictures :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More walking sticks

Added 4 more of my uncles walking sticks to Etsy (click the photo to go to the listing page):

Monday, March 7, 2011

Record Bowl Awesomeness Tutorial

A while ago I learned how to make record bowls from a tutorial online.  A few weeks ago I decided to take it to a new level using paint, and eventually, modpodge'd some magazine clippings.

Heres how I did it, in full Technicolor details


Phase I - Painting

It may seem counterintuitive, but you want to paint the bowls BEFORE you melt them.  Painting after is a huge pain, and actually, your oven will help the paint become a bit more durable.  I used spray paint for all painting involved.

Create a good work environment (or an average one, as pictured)

I suggest you put a basecoat of white or black before you start (depending on the effect your going for - which will be described later.

For this record I did my next coat in red, while the white coat was still damp:

Using the paintbrush and the end of the paintbrush, make a few designs.

If you're happy with it, go ahead and take a break, allow a few hours for your record to dry.  If you'd like to continue, thats ok too.  I added a coat of faux hammered metallic spraypaint to mine, and continued with some designs:

Allow ample time for your record to dry.  Preferrably indoors where it's not too cold or too damp (otherwise you'll be waiting a week for it to be dry enough to melt)  These took about two days to fully dry.  

When dry enough I painted the back of each a solid color.  For these records this will be the inside.  You can add layers as you did on the otherside if you choose.  I mostly went with solid because I didn't feel like waiting on the dry time for anything more complicated

Phase 2 - Melting
You need some sort of small bowl that is oven proof so you can see the record droop.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Time will vary depending on the thickness of the record.  If you're going to do this, insure you can see into your oven (you'll have to clean the window, I know, it sucks), and watch for the "droop"

Now, the process of taking it out (it shouldn't be too hot to touch) must be quick.  I used a casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray to mold my records from:

You'll have a few seconds to pull on the sides and mold it a bit more to your liking, but it will set pretty quickly.  The good thing is you can remelt if absolutely necessary, but in my experience it gets more and more difficult to mold after every remelt.
So now you have a nice bowl:

Yay!  You could stop here if you like, but why?  We have more awesomeness to perform

Phase III - Mod Podge!

First, find an image you like from a magazine.  You can use other media, but I've found the texture and retention of ink that magazines have works best.  First coat the entire bowl in mod podge.  It will take a while to dry the first time, but it makes for a more smooth look overall when you decide to add your clipping.
I chose this little guy for this bowl:
My bowl was dry, so I added a little more mod podge for him to stick to, stuck him down, and painted over him with the same stuff.

I added one to the other bowl as well, but as you can see towards the center, it had a bit of an accident:

To wrap up I suggest a few more coats of Mod Podge.  I'm considering varnishing them with polyurethane to finish them off, and plug the hole.

Here are my fabulous glamor pics:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Etsy Store

I started an etsy store for the various crafts my family members create.  Mostly my Mom, uncle Pete, and me.  The first item I put up is one of my uncle Pete's walking sticks (defense from the Notorious Honey Badger)

I'll be adding my record bowls later, along with a tutorial here :-)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I decided to take control of my life...

In the immortal words of Bridget Jones:

And so I made a major decision. I had to make sure that next year... I wouldn't end up shit-faced and listening to sad FM... easy-listening for the over-thirties. I decided to take control of my life... and start a diary... to tell the truth about Bridget Jones... the whole truth.

While I'm not over thirty, it is indeed drawing near.  In a couple months I will turn 28, and officially, will be in my "late twenties".  If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have said that by now I'd have my life together.  Probably be married with a couple of kids, and an amazing career doing... something (even then I wasn't sure of what).  Also, I would (obviously) be very thin and beautiful and incredibly happy all the time.

Well, none of that was in the cards.  I have a job I like, but it's not a career, and I don't feel that I am of the right type of intelligence to really learn, much less love, programming.  I am starting college this fall at Kennesaw State University, so thats a start.

I, unfortunately, can't handle Smokey as a pet.  He is a sweet dog, but his energy is just too much, and I'm not home enough for him to get the exercise and playtime he needs.  If I could afford another dog to entertain him, it would be a completely different situation - however, I can't right now - mentally or financially.
Luckily, the friend I adopted from's Dad would like to have him as a pet, so it's all working out fantastically.

My finances are a complete mess.  Number one issue is that I have to get my car maintained soon so I get the best gas mileage possible... especially with gas here in Georgia hitting over $3.25 a gallon.  My gasoline costs often fly past $200 a month... and I only have a commute of 12 miles, 24 miles a day total.  I also go out to lunch w/the rest of my team way to often.  I think getting these two things fixed will put me miles ahead financially within two months.
The plus side: I've started working with my mom on weekends to make some extra $$.

Now the big one.  Weight.  I got on the scale today... I have officially crawled back up to 190lbs.  Christ on crutches... something's gotta give.  I have an appointment with a nearby gym tomorrow.  I won a free startup cost, and it's only $10 a month.  I'm sure it's not a very advanced gym, but I don't require much - just decent weight equipment and a good elliptical.  While I keep telling myself I could run outside like a normal creature of earth, I have become aware of the fact I live in Georgia... and while the weather now is absolutely gorgeous - it will creep up to 90F before ya know it... at which point it will be unbearable to do any kind of outside exercise.

So my plan, to stay on track with this whole exercise thing, is to post here my weekly updates.  Here are my current, terrifying, facts:

Weight: 190 lbs
Bust: 42" (38dd)
Waist: 38" (size 14)
Hips: 42"

My goals:
Weight: 135 lbs
Bust: 38" (or 36dd)
Waist: 26" (or size 6)
Hips: 38"

I know that I have a lot of friends who would like to tell me that my goals are ridiculous, and believe I would look anorexic at the size specified.  The fact is I'm over weight - as are most of the people I know.  We've all fooled ourselves into believing that a larger size is acceptable, when in reality the "healthy" waist size for a woman is no larger than 30".  A healthy weight for a woman my height is no more than 150lbs.  And, while it's nice to use it as an excuse, I'm not that big boned.  These are doable goals, and I intend on meeting them.

Lookout world!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A taste of whats to come

My current project is perfecting my record bowl and spray paint skills.  When these powers combine, EPIC AWESOME CRAFTINESS IS CREATED.

I finally got one completed that I'm satisfied with.  Pics below.  Tutorial to come later this week!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Forgiveness, even if you don't love me anymore"

All of the greatest religious leaders, across cultures, have preached the practice of forgiveness and tolerance in some form or fashion.  In my personal life lately I've felt a lot of anger growing inside.  Contrary to popular belief, I'm a very tolerant person.  More so in my relationships.  I've been told (in both a good and bad ways) that I put up with more than most women.  In this recent situation, it brought on my own undoing.  Left me feeling shattered and empty, and as time has gone by, angry.  Not even the asshole who sold me my car left me feeling this taken advantage of.

He is supposed to get his stuff from my apartment tomorrow.  I had written a very strongly worded letter telling him exactly how I feel and what I think, however, I think I will remove it from the box... because I don't have the energy for this anymore.

I am no longer that same angsty girl from 5 to 10 years ago.  Holding grudges and being angry depletes my energy.  Just getting myself wrapped up in news about North Africa drains me.  There is such a lack of tolerance in this world, because all of the space for tolerance is filled with hatred.

..and I REFUSE to contribute to that hatred and lack of understanding.

So, ex boyfriends of my life.  I forgive you.  All of you.  We may never be friends, we may never see each other, but if we do... well, I think Ms. Palmer Mrs. Gaiman sums it up nicely.

We'll raise high the white flags and bow heads and shake hands

Declaring the land we're on un-American 
We'll call it even.

Monday, February 21, 2011

And now... pictures of puppies!

What better day to start your Monday than new photos of my dogs?  Awww.


Eddie & Smokey



Eddie & Smokey

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slight living room make over

Ok, so it's not a makeover so much as a repainting of furniture and reorganization.  My new puppy, Smokey, has his own chair, and the general layout is much more friendly towards guests. :-)

I got rid of an extra un-needed shelf, along with my television.  It's cut down on clutter a lot.  I'm very happy with the results!



I don't think the after pics do it much justice, as they were taken with a phone camera, and the before pics were taken with a SLR... hopefully I'll have higher quality pictures to post later :-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lonely Hearts Club Band

Usually I wouldn't post about this, but it feels like the more I post and chat about it, the better I feel. I got, for the first time in my life, dumped. It feels weird. On the plus side I can really throw myself into my art and interior design projects, so the blog shall thrive. Yay for all you.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My favorite Ukulele songs

I may have mentioned that recently (my christmas present to me) I bought a ukulele.

It's only the most awesome thing I've ever bought, ever, ever.

So for other people who are interested, here are some of my favorite tabs.  (no Beatles on here only because the beginners book I got with it is all Beatles songs)

I've played around with a few others, but those are by far my favorites.  I'm no where near good enough to play in front of anyone, but it's coming along.

Between my new puppy (pictures and a post about him to come), and my ukulele, mental health is becoming very manageable.  By the end of the year, I may actually get off my meds.  Wouldn't that be awesome? :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sh*t I'm getting rid of

This week I was broke (nothing new there...) so I decided to put some stuff on Craigslist.  Huge gigantic failure for the most part, but I have managed to get rid of a few things.  Here's the run down of items I'm trying to sell/get out of my house:

- My TV
- a red rug from some country that has camels
- a little ornate table from my foyer
- an extra coffee pot/maker
- several German Magic the Gathering cards, along with a few english ones
- a Dragon Ball Z CCG deck
- a red vinyl dress (small)
- an off white corset (small)
- a green & black leather medieval corset/vest (medium)
- PS2 guitar for Rock Band or Guitar Hero

I hadn't really considered taking these things to Goodwill because at the time I was going through my belongings, I felt I might either use these things again, or a friend would want them.  After a week I realized this was a stupid mindset.

Some people have given me grief over the decision to get rid of my TV.  It's not a "nice" tv.  It's a few years old, CRT, and only 20".  I have a monitor of the same dimensions, but flat, and I can watch DVD's via my computer.  I don't have cable, and 90% of what I watch is on Netflix.

I no longer have a playstation of any type, so the guitar is useless to me, and I think the rest of the items are understandable things to get rid of.

Unfortunately I've only been able to offload the TV, rug, and - if the person I'm talking to now actually goes through with it - the little foyer table.  Everything else is still there.  I really don't want to give the magic cards away to Goodwill, as I am sure some of them are worth a bit (it's like six decks worth of cards).  Sorting things out for Ebay seems like a pain, but I'm afraid that's what I'll have to do.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Embracing Ideals

Well, my apartment didn't end up exactly how I described in an earlier post, but that's mostly due to money restrictions.  On the other hand, I love how it has ended up.  I took a large amount of things to the local Goodwill last weekend, and have managed to make my entire apartment free of clutter.  Every item has it's place - finally.

My mother gave me a large cushy chair that perfectly matches a large cushy chair my friend Liz gave me.  I have a fireplace that I've yet to use (have to get a metal grate to hold the wood).

Since I have no washer & dryer right 
now, the laundry closet is currently being used as a costume closet.

I have a few other pictures, but they're nothing to write home about.  For Christmas my mother got me lots of cooking loot (a crock-pot, mini crockpot/fondue thing, microwave, coffee pot), and my boyfriend bought me a mini deep fryer.  I racked up pretty good!

So, that being said, one of my new years resolutions is to start cooking more.  Due to living situations and personal experiences I had forgotten how much I enjoy cooking over the last two or three years.
I started last Friday with a couple recipes from, my favorite recipe site.  I made rib-eye steak and roasted red potatoes.  The steak turned out absolutely phenomenal, the potatoes, not so much.  They never really seemed to cook all the way through.  I am assuming I did something wrong, as all of the reviews say they were delicious and perfect.  Oh well.  If nothing else, I learned how to mince garlic.  Right now I'm jonesing for a good knife set - all I have to work with is a block of four serrated knives from Ikea.

Next week (I'll always be cooking something awesome every two weeks, as payday allows me to go major grocery shopping) I'll be attempting Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon (although I may follow this highly rated recipe instead).  My ex and a friend of his made it about a year ago, and it was amazingly delicious.  I can't wait to learn and add it to my skillset. :-)

In an unconscious attempt to further my attempts at a more minimalist lifestyle (obviously I have issues letting go of costumes...) I have quit wearing makeup for a few days.  There is something liberating about it.  People don't cringe at the look of my face or shy away from me like I thought they would.  It doesn't seem to be a big deal at all.  That's not to say I will never wear make up again, but I may make it something for special occasions, and begin taking care to clean it off before I go to bed on the days/nights I do wear it.  More than anything it feels amazing to be able to rub my eyes after staring at a computer screen all day and not look like a raccoon, or feel as though my eyelashes are jammed together.  The skin on my face even seems to be more hydrated, smooth, and less shiny by the end of the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Cherry Tree Project

When I moved into my apartment, I wanted to do something I hadn't been able to do in the past several places I've lived:  Paint something different.  So I borrowed a projector and hooked it up to my lappy.  Found a pic on a stock website and went to tracing it in pencil on the wall:

After tracing I went on to painting in with high gloss white.  Had I been more patient (and had more money for paint) I would have painted the wall a flat white first, to make the effect a bit more subtle.  But in the long run, I think it still looks great against the "apartment color" wall. :-)

Let me know if these pics don't work, I hotlinked from facebook so there's no telling.  I'll add more "professional" pics later - these came off my Droid X.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clothes cutdown

Ok, I had some extra time (got home earlier than I thought I would tonight) so I went ahead and separated out my clothing.  I realized 10 tops and 10 bottoms was a little drastic.  I wear a lot of hats in life, and I need outfits for various occasions, despite having a somewhat relaxed work environment.

So, I cut it down to 20 of each, which still left me with a gigantic Sterilite bin overflowing with clothing for goodwill.  It feels good.  I can't wait to go drop it off tomorrow.  I'd like to keep my awesome bins, so I will probably put everything in garbage bags to take to the goodwill center.
Besides, I will most likely have to sacrifice at least one bin for all the knick-knacks and whatnot I'll be removing from my life.

Oddly, none of the clothe choices were hard.  Most of the ones I'm getting rid of were things I hated wearing.  I'd wear them as a last resort if laundry wasn't done.  Now, I will have to do laundry, or be smelly or naked, or both.  And that's not good for anyone :)

The Great Cleansing of 2011

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am fascinated by minimalism.  I began reading more about it again on  Friday, and realized I have gone way off path from my original goal since I moved into my apartment (which is fabulous, btw).

While I know my goals of decorating wont be achieved for quite a while, I think it's time to take stock and get rid of some stuff, starting tomorrow.

Obviously, there are somethings with too much sentimental value for me to let go of: the hiking stick my favorite uncle made me, the bronze & glass hourglass I inherited from my grand mother, and a tea set my grandfather brought back from when he was stationed over seas many decades ago, and the set of ruins my brother in law gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  I am pretty sure I will not let any of those things go any time soon.

I think my goal for tomorrow will be simple: narrow my wardrobe down.  10 tops, 10 bottoms.  Any panties or socks that are falling apart get thrown out.  Hopefully this process will keep me from having to buy new socks, because as of now, I can only find about 3 matching pairs on any given laundry day.  I have a surplus of clothes I loathe, don't fit (both ways), or I just never wear.  Just this act will clean out my one messy disorganized room which is literally covered in clothes and other laundry right now.

I learned while doing my tree project (tutorial to come) that projectors are freaking awesome.  I plan to eventually get rid of my television all together once I can afford a decent projector.  I have the perfect space to project onto, a large blank white area above my fireplace.  So there is a perfect reason to get rid of my extra monitor, television, and television stand.  3 largeish items gone.

I have a lot of knick-knack type things around that hold no sentimental value whatsoever.  Some of them are art projects that I swear I'm going to get back around to, and never do.  They're just clutter.  As of tomorrow, GONE.

Next are the stuffed animals.  I only have a couple that I anthropomorphize too much, and will have a hard time with.  One is a pig that I've had forever, and the other is the Swedish Chef.  I have a series of dinosaurs with small bodies and big heads that an ex-boyfriend bought me.  I have finally decided they can go.  It's hard to accept they're just stuffing and material and plastic.

At some point I need to purchase a smaller external hard drive.  The one I have is only 500gig, but it's old.  And large.  Gigantically large.  I need something that easily fits in a coat pocket.  That's for a future day though.

Well, that's all for now.  We shall see if I go through with this cleansing tomorrow!