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A Fixed Neklace

2 Apr

Hello, friends! Good news… the DIY fairy sent me all kinds of motivation this weekend. I not only did both of the projects I told you about, but a third one, too! Unfortunately, the spool is not quite finished yet, and the photo transfers that I did on the wood blocks are not hung.

But I know you all were waiting with bated breath for a post all about my weekend DIY adventures, so I’m going to share my other DIY ish with you! It’s a small one, but it still makes me happy.

There are three things you should know about me: 1. I like necklaces. I might not wear them very often, but I have a lot. 2. Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet. And 3. I like things in multiples of three. So now you know I’m weird.

But back to the necklaces. For my most recent birthday (yes, 7 months ago), a friend of mine, Kat, was super stealthy and deduced what my favorite Poe-m (ha, get it?) is. She then had a friend of hers make me a necklace of a miniature book with “The Raven” inscribed on the inside. The pendant, of sorts, also had a little tiny black bird dangling from beneath.

When she gave it to me she apologized and said she thought the chain was going to be longer, and for some reason, I waited until more than 6 months later to do something about it.

So, here’s what I started with:

the "ingredients"

the “ingredients”

– the original necklace
– a longer chain
– some pliers (not pictured)
– super glue (also not pictured, because I’m on top of things)

And here’s what I did:


handy dandy pliers

handy dandy pliers


It was a pretty simple process. I took the new chain and put it around my neck to figure out how long I wanted it to be. Then, I used the pliers to remove the book from the old chain, as well as the clasp. And then I put it all back together on the new chain! Also, not pictured, I had to glue the pages back into the book. They had somehow come unstuck so I … restuck them together, if you will.

And, voila! The finished (fixed) product:

a fixed necklace

a fixed necklace

Isn’t it pretty? I’m wearing it today with an adorable sleeveless shirt with lacy collars.

Sometime in the coming days, I’m going to hang up my new picture blocks, and Todd is going to add casters to my spool, and I’m going to bring it inside and add some books and funky knick-knacks to it. I can’t wait to show you all!


A goal without a plan is just a wish

29 Mar

Maybe that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry quote will give me the kick in the butt that I need this weekend to get some crafting done!

Because I have some big plans for this weekend. That spool that I posted about? I’m finally going to paint it. Todd is going to craft a middle shelf and add some dowels to make separate areas so it looks more like a bookshelf. I decided to just paint it black and add tons of colorful accessories, like a round cushion and colorful books. I’ve already started compiling some books that I plan to stash there, like the super cool, really old Nancy Drew books with the yellow spine. I found those beauties at a used book store for $0.50 a pop! Steal!

I also plan to try to do some picture transfers onto wood! I found a tutorial that looks pretty easy to follow (not to mention how snarky it is and I love snark) and I’m going to hunt down some pictures tonight. I found these really cool platters that had weirdo Victorian pictures on them of animals dressed in formal attire and I love them with my entire being. If anyone knows where I can find pictures like that to print, LET ME KNOW, because I want that in my house. Forever.

I’m hoping to at least get these two projects done, since we have Monday off from work.

What are you doing this weekend? Any big projects, or Easter plans? I can’t wait to get my craft on!

Catching Up

17 Sep

Friends! I have been away for quite awhile… Things got busy, and now things are not busy and all I want to do is sleep.

Let’s see, what have I done lately? I promised pictures from trips that I’ve been on and I’ve yet to upload some of them. So I’ll paint you a word picture!


We went to San Francisco a few weekends back with Todd’s parents. We actually stayed in a hostel on the Marin Headlands which is in Sausalito. The hostel itself was part of Fort Barry. We stayed two nights, but I wanted to experience different types of rooms. The first night, Todd and I had a private room in what used to be the captains’ quarters. The house was located a short walk from the main building and included 4 or 5 private rooms (all with bunk beds, some more than others), a common area, dining area, kitchen and a deck to look out at the beautiful headlands. The house also had two shared bathrooms, one of which had black mold in the shower… yikes!

The second night we stayed in a dorm-style room in the main house, which is, I’m told, a lot more like what we’d stay in if we were to travel around, say, Europe. All of the rooms were titled after parks and things of that sort. Our room was The Grand Canyon, likely because it could house up to 22 people! What I learned from sleeping there, is that you have to be a very patient, laid-back person. Todd’s bottom bunk-mate was a very high strung kind of person and complained any time he so much as moved a finger. If you’re going to stay in a room with 21 other people, you should probably put away your anger and just deal, right?

While staying in the hostel was a lot of fun, the main reason we went to the city was to do a walking tour. Todd’s parents got four tickets on groupon for Emporer Norton’s Fantastic Time Tour, or something of that sort. Emporer Norton was actually nationally recognized as the Emporer of California for over 20 years, until shortly after his death. The tour was supposed to be 2 hours long but since it was the second of the day, and the man running it was obviously long-winded, the tour ran for almost 5 hours. By the time it was over, we were cold and starving. We walked through China town and found outselves at Francis Ford Copola’s Italian restaurant, Cafe Zoetrope. It was very classic, with simple yet tasty pasta dishes, and of course, delicious wine.

Another fun part about the weekend is that we stumbled upon a flash mob! Apparently it was Michael Jackson’s birthday (what, you think I follow that kind of thing?) and so they danced to a few MJ songs and some LMFAO. We knew it was coming though… the energy changed in Union Square, so we were able to capture most of it on video or in pictures.

We ended the weekend was a greasy diner breakfast. The place was called Theresa and Johnny’s and I had a dish called Really Really French Toast. Instead of bread, the toast was made from, wait for it … croissants! It was so decadent and buttery, I couldn’t even finish it.

Overall, it was a great trip. I don’t think Todd has spent that much time with his parents in a long time. I love his parents, and they have welcomed me whole-heartedly into their family, so it’s great to get to spend time with them, since my parents are so far away.


The following weekend I got to see my bestfriend/soulmate/sister. There aren’t many stories from the weekend. We drove down on a Friday night and just spent the weekend catching up, cuddling and getting to know each other’s boyfriends. I love Calyn to pieces and I hate that I only get to see her once a year or even less frequently than that.


And, finally, the weekend after that was my 26th birthday! I’ll catch you all up on that in another post though, and try to get some pictures up as well!

It was a great summer with a lot of great trips, but I’m looking forward to boots, scarves and delicious hot beverages! What’s your favorite thing about fall?

On Vacation

15 Aug

I apologize for my lack of posts lately. The month of vacations is upon us! Let me share with you a list:

– August 10 – 13: went to Long Lake in the Tahoe National Forest to camp. I’ll share pictures of this momentarily.
– August 24 – 26: going to San Francisco to spend a weekend hanging out with Todd’s parents, traipsing about the city, and doing touristy things.
– August 31 – September 4: taking a road trip to Arizona to see my best friend, Calyn.
– September 8 – 9: celebrating my 26th birthday!

So, as you can see, I’m a busy lady.

Onto the camping stories! Todd and I went to the mountains with our friends David and Kat, and their chocolate lab, Moose. It was so wonderful to get away from work, technology, stress and all of that other garbage that comes along with being a responsible adult. We left Friday morning and got there early in the afternoon. The site we were camping at was actually a mile hike in and sat right on Long Lake. The weather was warm all weekend but the lake and breezes provided much cooling off. I only got minor sunburns and sustained a pretty good gash on my left thumb from a rather sharp knife. I am currently surviving, but the prognosis is not good.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was experiencing the meteor shower. We had no idea that it was this past weekend so it was a beautiful surprise. We sat back in our camp chairs and twisted our necks until our heads almost popped off. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to express in words how beautiful nature can be.

Instead, I’ll share pictures! They’re worth 1,000 words, right? So here are a few thousand “words.”

Our set-up

Our set-up

A wild Moose!

A wild Moose!

Devil's Peak and Long Lake

Devil’s Peak and Long Lake

A tree in Long Lake

A tree in Long Lake

Me and my guy on a hike towards the canyon

Me and my guy on a hike towards the canyon


My favorite picture from the weekend

My favorite picture from the weekend

Do you have any great vacations planned?

Big Fun: Rides, Cotton Candy and Brews

1 Aug

The California state fair has made its way into our lives and back out once again, ushering away feelings of frivolity and long-summer days. As of today, I’ve officially lived in California (again) for three years. And this is the third summer in a row that I’ve attended the state fair.

Every year around state-fair-time I get giddy with excitement and I feel like a child once again. I look forward to eating cotton candy, giant turkey legs, and deep-fried-anything-I-can-get-my-hands-on. I sweat more than most people think is possible, but that’s part of the fun. Who cares if it’s close to 100 degrees? There are expos to look at! And rides to go on! And delicacies to devour!

Every year I feel like it also gets more expensive. But there are benefits to being a state employee. The state fair comes discounted! For $45, we got four fair admissions, four ride tickets (one ride per ticket) and one parking pass. The savings came to more than 40%! Even without the savings, though, it is well worth it.

I always make sure I get as much out of the fair as I can. I don’t care how long I have to stay. I will do everything there that I want to do and try to see it all.

This year was also the first event that Todd and I have attended together, for the second time. I guess that means it has to be tradition, right?

We made our own photobooth instead of paying $5!

We made our own photobooth instead of paying $5!

I reviewed the events of the fair this year ’round and decided that we needed to do something more than just go and do the typical stuff; I wanted to go to a real event. The top contenders were an RV demolition derby and a Brew Fest. After some debate, the Brew Fest won out.

Saturday afternoon, we ate a very light lunch and made our way to the fair. We met up with some friends, saw some of the expositions (California Youth Art, Toytopia 2.0!, modern art and some others), and watched some dance groups perform.

Art, toys and performers.

Art, toys and performers.

After some meandering and discussion, Todd and I decided to part ways with our friends and ride some rides! We only rode two because we didn’t want to waste money on tickets for more rides. We were already sufficiently dizzied.

After the rides came nasty fair food! (Word from the wise: do the rides before eating fair food that will undoubtedly make you want to yack.) We indulged in deep fried artichoke hearts, a deep fried cinnamon role, a Merlino’s freeze and some much needed water. For awhile we just wandered about, saw some birds and took in all the sights (people-watching is a great pastime).

The Brew Fest started that evening at 5, but our friends didn’t show up until 6, so once they arrived, we entered the beer garden. We received some handy bracelets with ten little tabs that each brewer would tear off as we received our tasters.



There were way more than ten brewers there so we had to pick and choose. My two favorites were 21st Amendment’s watermelon beer, Hell or High Watermelon, and the Devil’s Canyon champagne beer (note: NOT the champage OF beers), Belle.

Let me tell you. If you want to get your drunk on, you should drink multiple 5oz glasses of well-crafted brews in less than 2 hours. What this then turns into is eating very large, very crispy turkey legs. And watching a cover band that I dubbed Not The Police (they were a Police cover band). The singer was an odd mix of Guy Fieri and Jack Black, but his voice was spot on.

Meat Eaters.

Meat Eaters.

After devouring my entire turkey leg, and Todd, a foot long corn dog, we decided to depart from the fairgrounds.

It was a long day. My feet were sore and my stomach full. But it was one of the best fair-days I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back next year.

Productivity at its finest

23 Jul

“Happy Monday!” Someone said that to me seriously this morning. I had to remember that I work in an office and cannot make sarcastic comments. I was as friendly as possible though… probably because I had had my coffee already.

I always hate to see a weekend end, but this weekend was an especially good one. Saturday was spent at The Old Sugar Mill. It has a few wineries in it (some of which actually do all of their growing, harvesting and fermenting on the grounds) and they were hosting a wine, cheese and bread faire. I’ve been excited about this event for the past month and it did not let down!

excited for wine, cheese and bread!

excited for wine, cheese and bread!

One of our favorite cheese-makers at a local farmer’s market had a table at the winery. I literally jumped for joy when I saw it. We got a package of their cow’s cheese with basil and garlic. It’s delicious with almost everything: apples, crackers, multigrain chips. YUM!

not the same cheese-maker but still delicious!

not the same cheese-maker but still delicious!

All of the wineries were doing free tastings since the event came with a ticket price. We also got free insulated tote bags and a free wine glass as well. There were a bunch of food vendors that were handing out samples throughout the day. Even a lot of gluten-free options, too!

pouring straight from the barrel!

pouring straight from the barrel!

Saturday night we made our way to a friend’s house. There’s a website called Houseparty that you sign up for and you get chosen for whichever events you sign up for. Some of them you’re more likely to get chosen for than others. The first one we went to was a Mad Men house party. They sent our friend and host a box of goodies that included: cocktail cups and napkins, a tee-shirt with a fake lipstick stain on it, swizzle sticks, and masks, among other things.

This weekend’s party was for the game Telestrations. It’s basically the game telephone that you played as a child meets pictionary. The box inculded the mascot, as a little bendy toy, a box of tissues because, “you’ll laugh so hard you cry!” (we did, actually), the game itself, some more masks and all of the necessities to play the game (dry erase boards, markers, dice, a timer).

Let me tell you how much fun this game was. Each person draws a card. The card has 6 words on it (or it might have a blank line which means make your own). One person rolls the die and that number denotes which word you use on the card. Each person then draws his or her word, and passes it over to the player to his or her right (or left, whichever you choose). That person must guess what the drawing is. Then it moves again, and the next person draws what the word says. I’ll write you a math equation:

Drinking + terrible drawing skills = hilarity.

You’re also timed on how long you get to draw. So you could have only half your drawing done and have to pass to the next person. Unless that person is psychic, it’s hard to get it right. But that makes it even more funny at the end when you go through all the drawings and guesses.

We played the game for about 3 hours and I made good use of the “laugh so hard you cry” tissues.

Sunday was a very different day, but still a good one. I had an unusual day to myself because Todd was hiking with a friend so that left me to do whatever I wanted. There was some stuff around the house that needed to get done and I did it all! I’ll even make you a list so you can see how much I did:

– put dishes from the drying rack away
– put dirty dishes in the dishwasher
– ran the dishwasher
– cleaned the stove
– cleaned and organized counters
– organized pantry
– moved in the previously-owned-and-re-painted wine rack
– put alcohol on said wine rack
– swept kitchen
– cleaned off and orgnized things on the dining room table
– set up payments for credit card bills
– cleaned off the coffee table
– fixed the cover on the couch
– vacuumed the living room
– cleaned out the fridge
– took out the trash
– took out the recycling
– made a box of “to the garage” stuff from under the sink and pantry
– did a load of towels (including washing, drying and folding)
– showered
– put away clothes that had been sitting for a week
– made a meal plan for the week
– went food shopping
– put away groceries
– watched about 15 episodes of HIMYM
– finished reading This Perfect Day by Ira Levin

Most of that (everything but the last two) were done before 4pm. I was a machine! Despite how much I got done and how active I was, I managed to not get tired enough to sleep until well after midnight. I blame finishing the book because I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ll do a review of it later on!

I tend to try to make the most out of weekends because during the weekdays, it’s hard to get a lot done at once because it’s always after work. And who wants to do a bunch of chores after work? Not me. Did you do anything exciting this weekend?