July 9, 2015

McBoyfriend's First Roadtrip

The 4th of July was not terribly exciting, though the week preceding it was. My sister and her boyfriend flew up from California the last Friday in June, and Saturday morning we drove with my boyfriend from near Seattle, Washington to just west of Yellowstone National Park. None of us had ever been to Yellowstone, and the boyfriends had never been on a roadtrip. My own boyfriend had never been east of Las Vegas, though he's been all over Eastern Europe.
Somewhere off I-90 in Montana.
The first night, we stayed in this awesome resort hotel in Montana that had a hot springs pool. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offered a nice room, four pools--two indoor, two outdoor, each with a 90 degree and 100 degree pool. It was almost too hot at night, and definitely would not have been refreshing during the summer heat of the day. Which was unfortunate, because we all really wanted to go down their enormous slide. I personally don't recommend the food or drinks there--my "blended strawberry margarita" was more of a blended strawberry flavored milky icee that did not seem to be margarita-esque at all.

Sunday, we continued on to Yellowstone. It was quite the drive, and we ended up getting stuck in a queue of cars waiting for a herd of buffalo to decide if they wanted to cross the road. We were all pretty impressed with the park, and I think my favorite areas were the sulfur pits.
Yellowstone sulfur pits and a lone bison.
The trip across I-90 to South Dakota to see my parents went well, despite the enormous suicidal deer in Bighorn National Park Sunday night, and the torrential rain and hail that we followed from Sundance, WY into the Black Hills. Our week was very very busy--McBoyfriend pointed out that it wasn't very relaxing because we always had things to do. BUT the things we had to do included grilling and swimming at a friend's house, floating around Pactola Lake on a pontoon boat [boyfriend received a nice sunburn], playing Deadwood's first night of roulette, and seeing the sites.
Floating around the very flooded Pactola Lake.

The view of a creepy door from our Deadwood, SD hotel room.
Visiting the Homestake Mine in Lead, SD.
Mt Rushmore with my mom and McBoyfriend. Lower right is the creepiest mannequin, found in the Crazy Horse museum.
It was nice going home to see my parents, and I am glad they're finally getting loads of rain, despite the drought on the West Coast. While we did not get to see everything on our list [don't worry, we made it to Taco John's twice], we had a great time and McBoyfriend already wants to go back again.

Blogging the depths of the abyss,
[a]

Blueberry Cove Beads: April and May Boxes

I realized I wrote this back in May, and still had not posted it. Me thinks my laziness chrysalis needs to crack off soon, leaving me an energetic butterfly.

I am listening to "The Bells" by Lowell, and it sounded like they said "where'd the heat go?" So, I thought I'd share it. Not that we need more heat... it was apparently 97 in Seattle over the 4th weekend!

On to the beads! I combined my April and May Blueberry Cove Beads box reviews, because I still haven't made anything with my April box. The theme was from an abstract painting, and while I did start several projects, I have only just completed a wrap bracelet using the Superduo beads.

April, Box 5: Abstract Colour [list of contents from site]

  • One string of 8mm round grey glass beads with black detail (approx 65 beads)
  • 10 blue grey teardrop glass beads, 13mm
  • 1 oval white shell pendant, 36mm
  • One strand of 4mm white round glass beads (approx 84 beads)
  • 5 copper tone butterfly charms, 21mm
  • 2 round disc white porcelain beads, 21mm
  • 6 porcelain glazed white/grey ‘pumpkin’ beads, 13mm
  • One string of natural gemstone 23mm oval beads, red line jasper (approx 16 beads)
  • One string of natural gemstone 8mm round beads, red wood lace stone (approx 50 beads)
  • 3 packs of approx 10g of Japanese seed beads – grey, frosted white and periwinkle blue
  • 1 pack (approx 5g) of Superduo beads
April Blueberry Cove Beads Box
I liked the theme of this box! It was curated around a color theme, and I quite liked the original abstract painting the inspiration came from. Superduo beads were something I was seeing a lot, but had not yet used, so it has been fun experimenting with them [though it looks like I forgot to photograph them]. Seed beads in a variety of colors are always something I can use more of. Especially since I would like to start making some bead embroidered necklaces! While I was unsure of the periwinkle seed beads at first, once I put them into a bracelet with other colors, I enjoyed the effect.


May, Box 6: The Crystal Cave [list of contents from site]
  • Aluminium Wire, 20 guage [10m]
  • Strand of Sky Blue Faceted Round Glass Beads, 40 [8mm]
  • Strand of Fluorite Gemstone Chip Beads
  • Round Electroplated Glass Crystal Beads. 4 [18mm]
  • Strand of Dark Purple Faceted Rondelle Crystal Beads, 100 [6mm]
  • Agate Slice Pendant, drilled 
  • Gray Druzy Crystal Pendant, drilled
  • Burgundy Bicone Crystals, 30 [4mm]
  • Beige Bicone Crystals, 30 [4mm]
  • Faceted Champagne Drop Crystal Pendant [28 mm]
  • Small Crystals, 2

The May box, as one Tweeter put it, made me "squeeee" with delight when I opened it! I love rocks, stones, and sparkles. Last time I was at my parents' home I cleaned out a small collection of rocks I had collected since childhood, and of course about a month ago I brought home a small pile from a beach. I can't help it!

Looking over the rest of the contents, I was really excited to experiment with the wire in this box! I see wire wrapped items all the time on Pinterest, and while I'm not really interested in doing the crazy intricate stuff, simple wire wrapping is fine. This guage of aluminum wire is a little too thin to do some of the ideas I'd tried, so I am not sure what to use it for now.

Overall, I loved this whole box, but I just wasn't wild about the chips because they're dull and scratched. I am guessing they're glass or plastic, but at any rate I've started a box of craft supplies for my nieces, and there are several strands of beads in there for them to create with!

My asymmetrical necklace made with the champagne tear drop stone, and wrapped with aluminum wire.
Blogging the depths of the abyss,
[a]

May 11, 2015

Awesome Pack: Big Kids April Box

I read the My Subscription Addiction newsletter every day--it's my morning ritual. There are several boxes that I've found out about and tried because of the site. McBoyfriend took a look at MSA and said there were no subscriptions on here for him, and I had to agree! He's an electrician who does yardwork, doesn't cook, is picky about his tools, prefers hoodies and t-shirts, and paints and plays miniature tabletop games. Finally, a box appeared that sounded perfect, and there was a lot of customization available. We both love board games, so  I was super excited to sign him up for the big kids box from Awesome Pack!

To McBoyfriend, I get a box every single day. Not really, but when Awesome Pack arrived with his name on it, he didn't even bother looking at it, and just threw it in the house and went off to do yardwork. It was really hard to keep this a secret, but when it arrived my cat was going nuts on the box, and he stood there and filmed it for a while, not even realizing it was his box. I got home and asked why it was on the floor unopened, so we opened it together. When he pulled everything out I realized Bella was going nuts because there were two cat toys for her =)

April 15, 2015

What I Won and What I Made

A bit late, but I was waiting to post this until I was happy with a piece, and even though I'm still on the fence I thought I would post anyway. My next Blueberry Cove Beads box should be coming this week hopefully!

Last month I found out I won the Blueberry Cove Bead box challenge! I got the March box for free, which was pretty exciting.

20000epiphanies.blogspot.com

March 2, 2015

Darby Smart: Stone Pebble Terrarium Review

In January, I got back into my crafty pants, and started Pinning several cool ideas. I also perused My Subscription Addiction for cool crafty/DIY boxes. Darby Smart's site looked interesting, so I signed up [apparently with three different email addresses on three different days, because I apparently kept forgetting I'd signed up!]. The item I was most drawn to was the Stone Pebble Terrarium [$24 and currently sold out; you might not be able to see it anyway because you have to join the site to see anything].

Once this box came, I immediately got to work and set up my supply table. I did not like the boring white of the planter, so I purchased gold spray paint and a glossy clear coat.
Included in the box: Ceramic Vessel, Airplant, Stonewhite Gravel, Reindeer Moss.
My supplies: Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen, Thin Masking Tape, Sandpaper, Towel, Gold and Clear Coat Spray Paints.