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.

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Included in the Caribbean box were clay flowers, turquoise hemp, copper fish beads, silver fish clasps, blue shell disks, bronze mermaid pendants, blue and green plastic beads, wooden Cheerio beads, colorful flat fish beads, gold shell beads, silver seahorse beads, a white shell pendant, and wooden dolphin beads. While I wasn't too into this box [shown to the right], there were many pieces I really enjoyed [pictured below]. I think I may spray paint the wooden beads, because I'm really not into natural wood, and who doesn't love sparkly gold or chrome? =)  

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I squealed over the mermaids when I pulled them out of the magic silky black bead bag the items come in.



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My favorite part of this box, however, was the little note from Isobel. Attached to it was a replacement for my lovely filigree piece from the Vintage Tea Party box. Mine was stamped improperly and had a lot of sharp edges and missing areas. Since getting that original box, I've gotten really obsessed with finding filigree and incorporating it into pieces, so I was super excited to get this!
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My finished piece used purple pearls from the Vintage Tea Party box, the copper fish [the challenge piece], and a mermaid. I'm not entirely pleased with how it turned out--it was my first time using pearls and I had hoped for a fuller piece [see my inspiration here]. I've been making jewelry a lot lately, plus pinning a million ideas, and checking out beading books from the library. So, I made some earrings tonight. This was inspired by two pieces--one was a copper fish and turquoise hemp bracelet from Happy Hour Projects and the other was a pair of bead and hemp earrings.
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I suppose it's time for bed now, but I'll probably have to play some 2048 before I fall asleep. Tomorrow I'll download 20 more templates--again--to find something I like. The current one is not working for me--I love the layout, but the header looks like... a template. Have I mentioned I miss Xanga? It was so user friendly and I actually learned to use some HTML! Till next time.

Blogging the depths of the abyss,
[a]

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.
I decided to spice my terrarium up a bit, because the original project was:

  1. Soak air plant.
  2. Put stones in ceramic vessel.
  3. Arrange moss.
  4. Place plant.
  5. Look! A plant!

Too boring for me. I'm not into that 50 shades of white/beige all over the walls and decor sort of person. I love color and fun. So this is what I did:

  1. Soak the air plant for 10 mins.
  2. Sand the ceramic vessel [that name makes me giggle].
  3. Spray paint some of the rocks gold [this took a long time and many many coats to get all the sides].
  4. Tape up the ceramic vessel. I found some cute whale stickers, so I put one on the front for a nice variation from the triangles.
  5. Spray paint gold and remove the tape.
  6. Oops... make sure you press the tape down firmly and wait long enough to peel the tape off! I got a little excited and ripped some of the undried paint off with the tape. Later, I used some sand paper and a scraper to get most of the drips off. Then I wiped clean and sprayed the clear coat.
  7. Pour in the a mix of the gold and white rocks [I realized I really didn't need to paint so many rocks because you can't really see them later].
  8. Arrange the moss [there were two bags, and I only needed part of one].


...and 9. Tada! Enjoy fancy new planter with an airplant that needs a little water soak every few days.
The corner of my desk looks quite nice now.
I loved this project so much I signed up for their Mystery DIY Subscription Box. But, I was not as impressed with it so I canceled right away. Maybe I'll post about that later! Time for homework and maybe some more crafting...

Blogging the depths of the abyss,
[a]


PS: I even reused the Darby Smart box that my project came in! My monitor is large but sat too low, so I gave it some height.


March 1, 2015

Blueberry Cove Bead Box #3: Vintage Tea Party Review

Hello! I haven't posted in a while, despite my having composed posts in my head on several commutes home from work. At first I was a little disparaged that I hadn't physically typed anything up. But, the book I've been listening to, The Upside of Irrationality, had a good point--most blogs are written for and read by the writer and are seldom read by anyone else. Which, to me, means that it doesn't matter when I write because I'm writing for myself. =)

February wasn't too terribly busy--I started my second semester of grad school, and was only able to take one class as I had taken my other three required classes last semester and have to have all four finished to start in on the real classes. Taking one course is way less stressful! I now have time to make jewelry. Which is great because I have been spending excessive amounts of money on beads!

My newest bead source also happens to be a subscription box. I'm not even sure how I came across it earlier in February, but I am glad I did! Blueberry Cove Beads is a new monthly bead subscription box that sends out beads [loose and strung], findings, and pendants for $22 a month + $5 S&H. The box ships from Nova Scotia, Canada and I got my first one within a week. They also recently opened up the first [Woodland] and second [Art Deco] boxes for purchase for $30 [$25 + $5 S&H], and I had to get the Art Deco box.

The subscription box that arrived was a thin rectangular book-shaped piece containing a black silky bag with the Blueberry Cove logo etched on a wooden tag. I was very impressed by the presentation, and the info card [which I forgot to photograph] of several ladies sitting down to a tea party.


February's theme was Vintage Tea Party. I felt like there was this never-ending supply of items as I pulled each plastic wrapped parcel out of the bag. This month's box included:

  • 2 bronze necklace chains
  • Antique bronze flat pins
  • Three little cakes
  • 3 triangle and one bow-tie shaped filigree pieces
  • A tiny blue and yellow teapot set
  • 6 antique bronze teapots
  • 2 antique silver spoons 
  • An antique bronze clock
  • 8 floral printed beads
  • 2 strands of pearls, violet and white
  • A collection of mini bronze spoons'
  • 4 light pink rose beads
  • A collection of little loop screws

I was very impressed by the curation! Most of these items I could see using right away, such as all the dishes and the flat pins. Though I'm not crazy about round pearls [I prefer the lumpy, freshwater variety] I still found some ideas to use them. The mini cakes aren't my style, so I think I'll give them to my nieces to use with their Lego sets. Finally, the lovely pink roses are more like a button, and I am not really sure how to use them because of the way the hole goes through the back. It seems like perhaps a topper for a ring or setting them into something might work.

Most exciting were the four filigree pieces. Three are triangular, and one shaped like a bow tie [though that one is incredibly thin and has several sharp points where it looks like the piece wasn't full formed]. I'd never used filigree before, but I had seen it in beading shops. Before getting this box I even asked a shop owner what people do with the delicate filigree pieces. Her response was that people painted them. I'm new to jewelry making, but that didn't sound right--the pieces looked strange and she didn't seem to do anything with them after. If you Google painted filigree, those actually look really cool--hers were more unique with random bits of paint all over the pieces.

I searched the internet more after getting this box, as use of a filigree piece was the challenge for the box, and finally came across a website dedicated to filigree entitled, Filigree Beading. After spending some time on the site looking at how the author incorporated layers of filigree pieces, I was inspired!
This piece was a lot of fun to make! I used a chain and one triangular filigree piece from Box #3, the black cubes from Box #2 [which sell for $1 each at Fusion Beads!!], pink stone and dark yellow stone beads from Michael's and Ben Franklin. I am honestly impressed by how this turned out! I have made a few other necklaces, and they all hang strangely, but this one looks nice enough to sell or give away.

I am looking forward to the March Blueberry Cove subscription box! Until I get it, I will be using more items from my boxes, as well as the plethora of other beads I have purchased lately [I had a Peyote beading class at Fusion Beads in Seattle yesterday, so now I've got a lot more fire polished beads]. Let's hope my zealous bead buying spree can wind down for a while!

Blogging the depths of the abyss,
[a]

February 16, 2015

It's Not For Me, It's For My Cat...

I think cats might be a sort of hipster [feline hipster = felipstene?]. They know they're smarter than you, they like things until you like it, and then they're bored.

For instance, my cat was sleeping in a small bin on a pile of fabric that was supposed to turn into a pillowcase. However, once I took that fabric [clean it] and replaced it with other fabric, then set the bin out for her, she refused to sleep in the bin and would instead sleep next to it.

Of course, I love my cat and want to buy her pretty things but she's generally more interested in everything else that she shouldn't be touching [knocking everything small off the dresser, putting her face into cups, sleeping on the dining room table, sneaking into my roomie's bed when he leaves his door open, and playing with pens, trash, trashcans, bits of paper, etc.]. Perhaps some day when I have a more disposable income I shall spend it on something fantastic like this felted cat bat cave from AgnesFelts on Etsy.

Lime Green Cat Bat Cave on Etsy
Blogging the depths of the abyss, 
[a]

January 30, 2015

My Shopping Addiction...

Welcome! I just spent five minutes revamping my blog--which is a miracle for me. I won't go into again, but I wrote a class post lamenting the loss of Xanga, which allowed users so much freedom to edit their sites that I was immediately spoiled and haven't been blog-satisfied since.

Over the past week I've been crafting up a small storm! [see next post for what I made] In addition, I checked out some bead stitching books from the library for inspiration and lessons, received several packages in the mail, and of course did more shopping.

I'm a little addicted to shopping. But, after reading the first couple of chapters in Delivered from Distraction, I decided I'd rather be addicted to shopping than alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Though, I do have a drink a few nights a week and I sometimes buy scratch cards, thankfully I am not addicted. Back to the shopping... I'd like to show you some of the neat things.

  • These bronze elephant clasps finally arrived from China, and I am super excited about putting them on my bracelets and necklaces as a fun little element. But they're stubborn to open and close, so, I will have to do a wee bit of sanding to make them suitable for others! I plan to eventually start selling some of the items I make. The last items I made were feather fascinators, and they just sat on Etsy month after month accruing fees and dust. I have more hope for my bracelets! [pictured later]
  • While I do love Birchbox's website, customer service, and the variety of products they sell, I always felt a little disappointed by what I got in my box. Many months I would get hair products like dry shampoo [I can't comb my curls] or foil packets, perfumes from Harvey Prince [which I haven't liked yet], or another primer/lotion for my face that I added to the pile to swap with my sister. I ended up canceling after my January box, and after reviewing my products I had $10 to spend. Most of their items are pretty spendy, and for some reason their site just overwhelms me with products so I was super happy to find a body butter for $15, of which I paid $5. The site did not provide any description of the scents, but I liked the container and found the Camille Beckman website with descriptions. Amazingly, the No. 25 is a smell I approve of! [have I mentioned I am picky?] The smell is faint and lovely--sort of a baby powder, fruity... oh just read what the site says
  • One of my shopping addictions is all the fault of Liz from My Subscription Addiction =) When I started working in an office this past summer, I mentioned subscription boxes to my male coworker who also has anxiety and ADHD in addition to his gambling/shopping problem. He immediately signed up for three boxes and hated all of them. I have to say, after subscribing to the MSA newsletter for six months, guy boxes and food boxes aren't great.
    Anyway, it has become my morning work ritual to get straight to work open up my MSA email and see what sort of neat boxes there are. Food, baby, clothing, exercise, pay-to-keep, and more makeup/sample boxes are of least interest to me. Conveniently, those also tend to be the more expensive boxes. This week I found [and subscribed to] the following boxes: 
    • Little Lace Box--a lifestyle, home, product box. Not lingerie, as I had originally thought. It's $39.99, but there are several blogs that provide a coupon code for $10 off your first box. I am super excited for this one! January was The Dining Car [Downton Abbey themed], and I was pretty impressed by the contents of the box for the price. 
    • Darby Smart Mystery DIY Kit--this box is $19/month. While some of the boxes look a little lame [the crocheted cotton ball scarf in particular], I was pretty impressed with the variety of kits the site sells as one-offs. I signed up for the monthly kit anyway, because why not? I also purchased some agate stones, but sadly I didn't realize they weren't pre-drilled so now I'll have to do something other than make a necklace. The other item I purchased was a DIY Terrarium Kit, which I'll post soon with other items I've made this week. 
    • Blueberry Cove Beads--I think I am most excited about this box. Because I just got into jewelry making, and have been going into a bead-buying frenzy, I thought this would be a nice way to just get a box of curated beads and products every month. This box is $22 with $5 S&H, and ships from Nova Scotia. So far there have only been two boxes, and I was their 100th subscriber [yay!]. The boxes were Woodland Themed and Art Deco. Both of which I wish I had gotten! Hopefully she decides to sell old boxes, if there is product leftover, because I love both. I look forward to the challenges and inspiration this box will feed to my creativity.  
    • Wantable--actually, I've had a subscription to Wantable for several months and I LOVE them! My box arrived this week so I'll post a picture of it soon. I just love their customer service, their Instagram pictures, the variety of items, and the ability to take the styling quizzes each month and change what sort of box or items you want to receive. While I don't always love the contents of my box, returns are free and then you can decide if you want to buy another box that month or wait till the next month. I usually do jewelry or intimates, though I did try makeup once and while I was impressed [and actually ended up winning their Photo Fridays contest] I already have a lot of makeup that I don't wear. 
That's all for now. I am supposed to be reading my ADHD book before I meet with my counselor tomorrow. I've had like two months to read five chapters, and not surprisingly I just cracked the cover yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I love to read, I just don't like non-fiction. Let me leave you with a bit that I was surprised to see people with ADHD commonly struggle with [I thought I just sucked at making and keeping friends]. It's been on my mind all day, and something I've struggled the most with my entire life. I've also provided a quote that my mom used to say about me:
  • "Disadvantageous characteristics: ... Difficulty in reading social cues, which can lead to difficulty in making and keeping friends." [Hallowell, p 7] 
  • "Hillie has friends; Aundie has books." [my mom talking about my sister and me--she didn't have anything to ground me from]
Blogging the depths of the abyss, 
[a]