I don't know what that title is all about. It seemed hard at the time to rhyme Etsy with anything relevant in my head.
The time has come for me to open my Etsy shop! In the future I'll have more than just downloadable files, however at this moment that is what the shop is going to focus on. I can easily create files without having to worry about the logistics of shipping, packaging, etc. The next step will be creating a page on my website that I can continuously add the vinyl designs that will be available for purchase.
I am naturally a mid-golden blonde. Obviously because this is the hair I've been born with, I don't want it. My goal the last few years has been silver. I am no hairdresser and do not profess to know anything for others about hair care, dyes, or otherwise. I only know what I've experimented with on my own hair. (And I don't care, because hair grows back!)
What I've found is that in order to maintain that beautiful silver, I need a good purple shampoo. On the color wheel, purple and yellow are complementary - therefore the purple will cancel out more of the yellow blonde tones. I've tested MANY purple shampoos and conditioners in my quest to find the perfect one. These are my results:
Overall, I have found that the darker the purple, the better it will be in getting my hair to a silver. Scruples and Shimmer Lights are the only two brands I've found to date that stay purple even after you apply them to your hair. Hopefully this has been informative enough that you don't waste your money on less effective products.
What can I say? It's been a wicked month. I decided to take a bit of a design hiatus and begin pursuing other passions that I seem to only have time for during the summer.
My garden went off like a shot! There's something about my soil that squash and pumpkins really seem to take to. The cucumbers, however, went down in flames (which is pretty disappointing because I really wanted to learn to can by starting with pickles.) I learned you can take roughly 5 million pounds of cherry tomatoes and roast them in the oven to make homemade marinara sauce. The recipes I found didn't lend themselves to canning, so instead I put them in the gigantic freezer in the garage. Dan was able to do a little wheeling and dealing with a hand-me-down tool we received that we would never use.
We've done a LOT of work on the laundry room. I actually have TWO pantries now. Count them: two. One. Two. Well, I actually had two before, but now they are located next to one another. Progress!
On a different note, I decided to become a foster for the local animal rescue. Because it was my summer vacation, I requested cases where animals (kitties specifically) either needed more care because I would be around to provide it, or ones that needed to decompress because we have a large, unused bedroom. For nearly the entire summer I heard nothing - they said cases like this come in spurts and it's not uncommon to see very few for a while. Two days before I was slated to return to work, I received a text from one of the head volunteers at about 10:30 PM. She said a woman was looking to give up 4 newborn (seriously, one day old newborn) kittens who hadn't eaten since they day they were born. She kept them outside in a tub. I found out later, they were kept outside exposed to the rain as well. I said of course I would take them! We met in the parking lot of a local grocery store. We did the pass off and I quickly got them home.
To say the kittens weren't in good health was an understatement. It was immediately brought to my attention that every single one had maggot eggs nested in their fur. Everyone in the house got to work quickly. Some to get the bedding and heating pad ready, some to get fresh wash clothes and towels, some to mix up the kitten formula and ready a bottle, and some (me) to wash and comb the maggots and eggs out bit by bit. One was bleeding from the bottom and had maggots swimming in her ears and coming out of two puncture wounds in her chest. She also had what looked like roundworms coming out of her anus. I kept in touch with my contact constantly. I updated her on each health issue, emphasizing that for at least one kitten, a visit to the emergency vet was mandatory. My contact hemmed and hawed, saying we needed to see if it was even possible for them to survive the night. They did.
We stayed up all night, feeding and cleaning them. The next morning I texted her again, emphasizing that at least one needed to see the emergency vet. With non-profits, apparently it's not as easy to get funding "RIGHT NOW!" You need permission from a board of people. Working her magic, she got everyone together to give the okay to bring the kitten to the emergency vet. The prognosis was grim. The staff didn't know what was wrong, but she was most certainly on her way out the door and in tremendous pain and discomfort. No animal or person deserves to live like that. I gave the okay to put her down. The tech asked if I wanted to be there when he did it. I said yes, and softly stroked her fur while he injected her belly for euthanization. It wasn't quick like I thought it would be. She continued to breathe slower and slower, her breath becoming more ragged. She finally let go. The tech came back into the room, took her body, and ushered me quickly out the door. Seemingly, there is less time to comfort the human left behind when other emergencies are happening in the back.
I left feeling devastated for that baby and cried in the parking lot. I needed to get it out before driving home so I didn't cause an accident. Once home, we checked the others. They were eating well, purring, warm, and all using the bathroom. Things seemed like they were going to be okay.
Through a series of back and forth, I let the volunteer know what happened as well as letting her know I would be going back to work. We needed to find another foster who would be home enough to feed them - every 2-3 hours. Through her connections, she found a woman who could take them that day. It sounded ideal until the woman texted me to say she and her daughter had to go to the hospital because her daughter was stung by a bee and was severely allergic. We waited...and waited....and waited. Between 10 and 11 PM, she let us know she couldn't accept them. Someone else had dropped off sick kittens on her porch. She gave me another lead, a young woman who operated a mini shelter in her own home. I called her to chat and see if she'd be a good match. She had animal/medical experience, had cared for neonates previously, and had the space to accept them. It's the best I could've hoped for. We drove over an hour away to meet her and give her the babies to care for.
I've texted her everyday since putting the babies under her care. Two more needed to be put down because of sickness. There's only one left and she's struggling to stay alive. She has a respiratory infection that is going to be tricky for her to survive. I've thought about them everyday - it makes me so sad knowing that their lives didn't have to begin, nor end, that way. But society has a long way to go when it comes to the respect for life.
Every year my close friends and I try to come up with great costume ideas from famous trios in entertainment to dress up as for Halloween.
A few years ago, we decided on The Nightmare Before Christmas. I thought it would be a cute idea that gave us a lot of freedom costume-wise. The only thing mandatory was having the masks because they were a key part of the characters. But wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find any being sold! (How retailers have passed by this golden opportunity I will NEVER know.)
So began my quest for teaching myself how to make the masks.
I started with a cheapo mask I found at my local Big Lots. I bought several packs of clay, 2 packs for each mask actually, and began to mold a template around each one.
The colors don't matter at this point because you're going to be covering them with plaster anyway. I molded large enough that it would fit an adult's face. These were children's masks after all because I couldn't find any normal adult sized ones for some strange reason.
After the clay part was complete, I slathered petroleum jelly over each one so the plaster wouldn't stick. I used the pre-done plaster rolls so I had a nice smooth finish. (I saw some tutorials say to use shop towels. Tried that, but the result was NOT smooth.)
Once the plaster was complete, dry, and smooth, I printed off a color reference photo for how I needed to complete them. This was after the first couple coats of paint and the beginning of shading the faces. At first I wasn't going to shade, but they looked so unbelievably flat that I needed to do something. Then after shading them...I discovered I hated that even more than being flat. I had to re-coat the faces with paint and start ALL over again. Very annoying, but worth it.
These were the completed masks. They weren't perfect, but I was very happy with them. We wore them, took some great pictures, and everyone got to keep a masks!
Is it just me or did they really miss the boat on this? Why is the handle not a tentacle? Hm? Get it together, people.
I've been working up the nerve to go back to school and "finish" my degree. (The quotations serve to point out I already have a degree, I want more of a degree.) It's really hard to make the choice to sign my debt-life away though when I'm already paying on loans from my other degree. I had to see a clear benefit financially to make that choice.
Well that choice has now presented itself. I can (supposedly) get much of my school covered by getting a degree in an area that's considered "great need" because not enough people are pursuing it.
I filled out my FAFSA - which really isn't that big of a deal since I've filled it out nearly every year for the last nine, you know, just in case. I also applied to Ferris. My big step will really be actually signing up for the classes.
I need to talk to my boss after spring break is over to go over the logistics and get his opinion on my decision and how I should proceed. Then I need to talk to a few coworkers who've already done what I'm about to do.
I'm nervous, borderline nervous-wreck. I want to better myself and my life without the burden of 5 million years of debt. Me and the rest of the nation, that is.
In this month of criminal negligence in Photoshop, we have a lovely example of what not to do with some curtains I found on a major retailer's site! They looked nice in one of the photos so I decided to see what it looked like in the "preview-on-the-wall" photo. Not a great decision on my part.
Oh my. Oh. No.
It's nearly spring. This means many things for our household:
• Chicken coup with chickens (I'm not sure why else you'd have a chicken coop if not chickens...)
• More house renovations and painting
• I stop hibernating and become motivationally rejuvenated
• Growing a garden for the first time (something I've wanted to do for FOREVER)
• Landscaping the front yard
• Begin working on a stone patio in the back
I cannot for the life of my comprehend why I continue living in a northern state when I obviously thrive in the climate of a mid to southern state.
• I've begun doing some design work for an airport and so far it's been pretty awesome. I'll need to update my designs section soon enough. Today I brought a King Air 200 in to Photoshop and laid four sets of graphics over it. The goal is getting the customer convinced that the VERY expensive paint job is worth the effort. Because I'm working toward becoming a freelancer, this is an excellent opportunity to flex my design muscles and get some new things into the ol' portfolio. Thus far I've completed a business card redesign, a presentation folder, 1 of 7 flyers, and the plane graphics.
• The laundry room will be getting a round of tile this weekend. THANK GOD.
• We decided all cat litter boxes belong in the deepest, most secluded area of the house: the basement. My sweet caramel sucker installed the cat door I purchased at the hardware store and now we have a wonderfully functional setup where I don't have to smell cat anus every time I walk into the house.
• I will be buying a 2008 Malibu that looks pretty boss. It only has 40,000 miles and a reasonable price. I went to the local credit union for a loan estimate. My credit rocks so I can get a 1.77% interest rate. YES. Nothing makes you feel more grownup that going to BANKS for LOANS and PAPERWORK and CARS. I'm adulting sufficiently.
• Some final, incredibly sad news as of yesterday. A friend of mine lost his life in the fight against ISIS. He chose to fight, he welcomed the risks, and in the end succumbed to them. I don't grieve publicly, nor do I particularly enjoy sharing that grief with others, so instead he's been rolling around in my mind since I heard the news. I've relived every memory and regret I have with him. My deepest hope is that he found peace.
Yes. I am FINALLY back to dancing. I went to dance class with a wonderful teacher for several years. When I moved I decided for the time being I couldn't attend class. I was having surgeries, I lived far away from her (which would hurt my low mileage lease), and there was a lot going on in my life - and hers truthfully. Now that I've purchased a house closer to her, we got back in to contact.
She's purchased a beautiful, HUGE home in the same city she was previously residing in that has a beautiful dance studio. I am so excited to finally be back with the ladies I love hanging with! We will be having class on Sundays from here on out. This past Sunday was my first day back in over a year and holy cow did it show. I am really out of practice. It's time to break out and crack open my dance DVDs to work my way back up.
In other "FINALLY" news, the laundry room is getting VERY close to completion. I feel like one of those tiny dogs that shakes when it gets excited. I'm so sick of driving to laundromats or my parents house to do the wash that I could scream.
This is a space separate of my house blog. Here is where you'll find a little bit of everything. I'll try to avoid vapid posts - but no promises.