Monday, October 24, 2016

Little Angel

Sometimes God sends a child to brighten your crummy day.  That is what happened to me last Thursday.

He was an energetic 4 year old and just what I needed to clear the clouds from over my head.

Thank you, Noah, for unknowingly being a little God-sent angel.

Monday, October 10, 2016

On Behalf of Delron

Sitting on a bed watching tv.
Changing my shirt.
Wearing cologne.
Buying shoes.
Taking a shower.
Changing the tv channel.
Having clean clothes.

Being looked at and treated like a person.

He listed all these things to me as we sat on the curb outside 7-Eleven on Colonial Drive that Monday night.  I asked him how long he's been homeless - he said, "it's been a minute."  His shoes were cheap flip flops worn nearly through.  He spoke of his family and how his ex-wife sold the house when he was in jail and now he has nowhere to go.  His voice broke when he mentioned his children and I could see him deflating.  A father with a son in need and no means to help him.

He said, "I don't talk about how hard being homeless is because it hurts so much.  And sometimes I think about suicide but I tell myself I gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I can't give up."  I agreed.

Between escaping tears he told me he couldn't remember the last time anyone sat and talked to him like an everyday person. He spoke of the judgemental looks he gets regularly and how he doesn't want to beg but he has no other option.  He told me about the church folk that are quick to throw out an "I'll pray for you" but slow to even give food. 

I don't know how long we sat... how long he talked... how long I listened, but it was needed.  Since then, I've passed that 7-Eleven numerous times and looked for him each time but haven't seen him again.  I hope he's still putting one foot in front of the other.  I hope he is still talking to God and knowing that no matter how small we feel, He is the God Who Sees Us.  I hope he finds a way out of his current situation.  I hope he holds on to hope.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just a Little Life Update

I promise I want to write on here lol!  I've just been absolutely terrible at executing the blogging plans I've been writing.  I mean, I plan out what posts I want to do for a few weeks and what photos I'll need for them, and then I just don't follow through. -___-  I'm ashamed of myself... especially after my recent declaration to be a better blogger.

Anywho, I decided that instead of writing one of my many planned post ideas today, I would do a little life update.  What have I been up in the last month or so?  August and thus far into September have been quite busy for me.  I've been getting more hours at the studio which means I've had to get up and ride to work with Lamar so I would have the car.  I have been doing SO MUCH DRIVING!  Literal hours every day I have to work and it's very taxing.  But hey, do it for the money right?  I am going to be the happiest person ever when we get a second car, but I'm thankful for the one we have because it has been the champ, carting me back and forth from Apopka to Clermont to Orlando and back again (even though it's a total gas guzzler).  So yeah, lots of car time has been going on, which means I've had lots of time to listen to knitting podcasts and dream of new projects. 

Let's see, what else can I tell you about the last month and a half...
- I've gone to knit night at Sip & Knit twice!
- Filmed and posted my first crafting video podcast or craftcast as I've dubbed it. (click -here- to go watch it)
- Finished my first knitted garment (a teeny baby sweater *.*)
- Discovered a new yarn shop in Clermont... just a lovely explosion of artsy yarny goodness!
- Purchased and received some beautiful yarns
- Survived singing in our small (and I mean tiny) young adult "choir"... does a group of 6 or 7 count as a choir??  Anyway, staying in that alto lane is quite the struggle.
- Expanded my garden to include collard greens and they are growing really well!  I should've planted greens a long time ago! They are just boosting my garden-ego like none other!

So yeah, that's my recent history in a nutshell.  Early mornings, late nights, driving, working, yarn... adulting.  Hopefully, I can get myself back into the swing of posting regular content up here.  If you are still following and reading this blog, what kind of posts would you like me to do?  What topic would you like me to write about or projects you'd like to see?  Please let me know!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bible Journaling Part 1

Since one of my 30 in 30 goals is to finish reading the whole Bible (ps. not gonna make it lol), I've ventured into the wonderful world of Bible journaling and Illustrated Faith. Yay!

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Outside Cover. (Materials used: acrylic paint, 4x6 project life journaling card, dollar tree letter stickers)
At first I wanted to get an actual "journaling Bible" with the wide margin and fancy thick paper, but they carry quite a hefty price tag at $50.  Needless to say, that is way out of my budget for a new hobby/craft.  Instead, I went to my local goodwill and bought a paperback English Standard Version Bible for 99 cents ^.^

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Inside Cover. (Materials used: watercolor pencils, watercolor paint, black precision pen)
As you can see, I created a cover for the front and water-colored a bit on the opening page.  That first 'entry' was the hardest.  I mean, as a child, I was taught NeVeR to write in the Bible unless you were highlighting scriptures.  So the idea of drawing in the Bible was a complete departure from anything I've ever done.

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Genesis 1:31 (Materials used: gel matte medium, gelatos, acrylic paint, gold paint pen, black precision pen)
Now because I got a regular Bible, the pages are quite thin.  This problem let me to pick up a few mixed media supplies.  I purchased a bottle of gel matte medium from Michaels and that is perfect for coating the pages and preparing the for painting or whatever kind of media I decide to put on them.

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Genesis 9:11-17 (Materials used:gel matte medium,acrylic paint, gold and silver paint pens, yellow marker)
I also got a pack of gelatos pigment sticks, a container texture paste and stencils, watercolor pencils, and various kinds of paints to use in my entries. 

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Exodus 3:13-14 (Materials used:gel matte medium, gelatos, sharpie)
I've enjoyed using acrylic and watercolor paints on the different pages, depending on what "feel" I'm going for.  For instance, acrylic paints will cover the print on the pages completely while watercolors or gelatos stay transparent. 

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Exodus 20:1-17 (Materials used: watercolor pencil, silver paint pen, black precision pen)
I will say, I'm not very good at using the watercolor pencils yet.  I'm having a hard time getting them to blend properly.  But no worries! There are plenty other scriptures to practice on and be inspired by.

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Joshua 1:9 (Materials used: watercolor paint, sharpie, white acrylic paint, gold paint pen, washi tape)
My dream, when it comes to my Bible Journal, is to fill it up and keep it on our coffee table next to the family Bible Lamar and I got as a wedding gift.  That way whenever friends and family come to visit, they can see and explore it.  I think that will be awesome!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Great Gifty Friends!

I was beautifully blessed with some fun gifts from friends this past weekend ^.^

My friend Tiff gave me a couple samples of tea (Wild Chaild and Sweet Tangerine).  I drank the tangerine one already and it was delicious!!!  I will def be buying a box of that asap!  She also gave me a cutting from her mint plant.  All the excitement is mine!!! I'm going to plant the cutting and brew tea from the leaves ^.^  I keep envisioning myself drinking nice cups of tea from my huge mint bush while sitting on the front porch during a nice summer rain shower.  That sounds like a wonderful Sabbath afternoon...

tea time, yogi tea, gifts, good friends

The other gift came from my friend, Erica.  She found a bag of fabric while cleaning out her garage and gave me the whole thing! o.O  What what!!!  Talk about an awesome crafty gift ^.^  There were quite a few large pieces that I can use for bag making and also some that will be really nice for garments.  I'm so excited to dig into this new stash soon!

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Crafty, gardeny, tea loving friends are the BEST!!! lol :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Finally I'm Finished: Bag Lady

Since kicking the door down to the knitting world, I have fallen down another rabbit hole...

The Wonderful Beautiful Practical World of Project Bags!!!

No more ziplock bags for me ^.^

A project back is a zippered, draw string, or other type of bag specifically to keep a crochet/knit project in.  Kinda makes sense huh?  Anywho, I first decided to make one to house my California travel project.  So I dug through my fabric stash and found a couple prints to use.

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For the pattern, I just googled instruction for making a zippered bag.  It came out pretty good for a first go :)  And now I'm completely smitten with the idea of keeping my things in project bags.

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Now, of course, I wanted to make more for new projects, and because these little bags were in my mind - I was bitten by the fabric stashing bug.  I started gathering fat quarter cuts and bits from Joann's remnant basket and jumped right into the sewing.  This time I used Nicole of Hue Loco's Holiday Bag pattern.  The pattern was written very well and the accompanying tutorial video helped with any questions I ran into.

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A couple days after starting my second project bag, I had 4 new bags made!  I love how they came out and I've been putting them to work regularly ^.^  I do want to make a couple more in a larger size for projects bigger than socks.  I've put together some preliminary fabric combos and hopefully I'll get to work on those in the coming weeks.  Well... after I buy a zipper foot for my sewing machine because I've been struggling along without one so far.

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Getting back into sewing has definitely rekindled my love for the craft.  I've been daydreaming of all the new clothes I could make with a bigger work space.  (I'm currently sewing on the corner of the dining room table.)

So yeah!! Happy crafting to me! ^.^

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lamar and Caleisha do California

During the first week of July, Lamar and I went to California for our friend Sheree's wedding.  We arrived the morning of the first and stayed until the 7th.  Our flight out was scheduled for 7:40 am and I was sooo stressed that something was going to go wrong all the way until we were in our seats on the plane, lol. ^.^  I discovered that travel is def an anxiety trigger, and that sucks because I love traveling!

This was truly the trip of Snapchat for me lol!  I used the heck out of that app and between the photos and video, I had more than 400 files ^.^ and they are still not organized... sigh...

After we arrived in LA, we went to In-n-Out Burger and I ordered cheese fries... which came to me with a cheese slice on top. >.< #fail  We stayed in a hotel out in Whittier which turned out to be WAY too far from everything we wanted to do lol (we'll do better with hotel choice next time we go anywhere).

Breakfast for day two was at Heavenly Pancake somewhere in San Fernando. The food was great & I bought a mug ^.^ After eating we spent hours running around looking for a pair of nude flats for Sheree's wedding.  I'd asked her if her service was going to be long and she told me to expect an hour and a half... heels were not going to work!  Later that afternoon we went to Sheree and Justin's rehearsal dinner which was really nice.

Wedding Day!  Sheree and Justin got married on July 3rd.  It was quite a nice outdoor service, although all the bridesmaids were in direct sun lol.  We were saved by Lamar when he brought us fans.  I love that guy!  He and I spent cocktail hour and reception running around making sure things were going smoothly.  At one point, Sheree's dad pulled me aside to thank us for all our hard work *.*  Lamar and I kept saying to each other that we should start a wedding day of coordination company.

The 4th of July was spent with family!  We started the day with brunch at a little diner called Mimo's Cafe and it was delicious.  Then we went to my Uncle Choppy's house for BBQ and fun!

July 5th was our "do everything we want in LA" day.  We went to the Griffith Observatory to see the Hollywood sign, but to be completely honest, I was WAY more excited about the Observatory itself.  I think I actually lost my breath a couple times lol.  

After the Observatory, we went down to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  We took lots of photos, bought souvenirs, I got trapped in an awkward conversation with Sonic the Hedgehog, and we saw the skinniest Superman ever to walk the planet!

We ended the day in the best way possible (in my opinion)... with a trip to Da Poetry Lounge!  Shihan (one of my favorite poets from college) was taking money at the door and I almost squealed.  Literally.  Lamar wasn't even phased lol!  He shared a photo on snapchat with the caption "wife geeking out because Shihan took our money to get in Da Poetry Lounge."  I'm so glad he understands lol!!  The open mic was pretty awesome and reeeeally made me want to get back into writing.  I know it'll come back around.

We spent the 6th at Knott's Berry Farms.  We rode almost all of the roller coasters and played an underwater laser gun game.  Lamar absolutely WHOOPED me!  In my defense, I was looking at the target for the wrong gun... come to think of it, that is a horrible defense lol!  Anyway, we had a great time.

One thing that I wanted to do no matter what, was see a west coast sunset.  So after leaving Knott's Berry Farms, we navigated to the nearest beach which was aptly named, Sunset Beach.  We got there in time to set up our cameras for photos and a nice time-lapse of the sunset (video at the end of this post).

IT. WAS. SO. FLIPPING. COLD!!! What's up with thaaat?  Well, despite the frigid temp, it was a beautiful sunset.

Our last day in California was July 7th and we stuffed that day full of activities too :)  We left the hotel in the morning and went to Downtown LA.  Lamar planned the whole day's activities.  We would start at the Last Bookstore, then go to the LA Museum of the Holocaust, and finish up with a trip to Venice Beach before heading to the airport.

The Last Bookstore was uh-MAZE-ing!!! And the fact that Gathered yarn shop upstairs made it even better!  I didn't buy any yarn, although I kinda wish I had in hindsight.  Oh well.  The LA Museum of the Holocaust was so heavy.  I kept thinking, while walking through the exhibits, "who made you god?"  ...sigh...

Lunch was served at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.  Lamar got Obama's Special and loved it!  I got side orders of mac & cheese and cornbread.  I was not prepared for the thickness of the cornbread... I need to get that recipe because that cornbread... THAT cornbread... THAT CORNBREAD!!! ::falls out in the floor::  Was delicious.

Venice Beach was fun. We saw some street performers and a couple guys who should just stop lifting weights... I mean y'all win.  Just stop now lol.  And, I was prepared for the beach breeze with a hoodie!  We stayed at the beach for a touch too long and ended up having to rush to the airport.

We made it onto our plane and settled in for a 3 hour overnight flight to Ohio, a 3 hour layover, and then a short flight back to Orlando.  Lamar slept through the whole thing.  I, on the other hand, couldn't probably because of a combo of trip anxiety and turbulence.  At one point, I looked out the window to see the sun rising and I was soo confused at what time it was.  Jet lag is real lol!

We got home the morning of the 8th and it felt so good to be back.  Our week in California was so packed full of activities that I felt (and still feel) like I need another vacation to recover ^.^  So yeah!  Cali was great.  We got lots of souvenirs.  I'm so glad that Lamar and I were able to have that experience together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

June and July 2016: Month in Review

The last couple months have been quite eventful! I planned to keep up with blogging, but for whatever reason, I failed totally!  Anyway, now because of my slacker self, I'm here doing a double month in review.  Let me tell you... going back and filling in all the activities of two months was not fun!  It's a really good thing that I'm pretty consistent with posting on social media or I'd be at a loss.  So here we go! Time traveling back through June & July!!!


6/15: Lamar and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a fun day at Wet & Wild!  Wow... 2 years ^.^

6/24: Installation day for my historical downtown photo series at the North Orange Public Library!  It was so amazing to see my work all framed and displayed in public.


6/26: Got serious about this knitting thing with two new full sets of bamboo knitting needles.  I can knit all the things now lol!

7/1: Lamar and I flew to California for our friend Sheree's wedding.  It was my first time flying cross country (technically 2nd but the first time I was like 3).  Five hour is a long time to be on a plane.  It was a little unnerving, but looking at the map and following the flight path was cool.

7/3:  Sheree and Justin got married :) Click -HERE- to see some shots from their awesome photographers.

7/4-7:  Lamar and Caleisha do California!  We did all the touristy thing, spent time with my family, and made lots of memories.  It was great.

7/10: Two days after getting home from Cali, we were back on the road to Miami for Lamar's god-brother's wedding.  And turned out one of my cousins was a friend of the groom, so I got to see him too.  That was pretty cool... until he pulled me on to the dance floor during the reception -___-  I am not a dancer!  It was easily the most awkward thing I've done in a reeeeeally long time lol. (Of course Lamar got it on video ::covers face in embarrassment::)

7/11: We went to Lamar's god-parents' house and I picked my first mango from a tree ^.^ It was very good.  After leaving there, we went to Ft. Lauderdale beach.

7/16: My cousin Courtney and her husband Marcus, came down to participate in a Friday night young adult vespers program and a Saturday night fashion show.  I'm so proud of them creating their GPOV brand.

7/18: HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAMAR!!! Love You!!

Throughout the Month(s)
-Knitting Knitting Knitting!  I have absolutely fallen in love with knitting.  It's been awesome to learn new things, especially things I assumed were going to be super hard.

My June goals totally fell right off my mental table and I didn't set any July goals.  Ugh... Slacker!!

August Goals
1. Start applying for all the jobs
2. Set a budget - get that money right!
3. Finish knitting mom's socks
4. Film a craft vlog/podcast
5. Do 2 things from 30in30
6. Participate in the Summer School Make-a-long #ssmal16

Ok! I'm getting back on this blogging horse! I've planned out almost a whole month of posts and barring any unforeseen craziness, I'll be sticking to it.  I can't wait to get back to it!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Yarn Crafter Mini Haul

Recently, I did a little bit of yarny online and in-store shopping! Yay!  Normally I don't do much online shopping because I enjoy the instant gratification of taking my new toys home right away.  But back when I was knitting my first hat a friend on instagram suggested I order some bamboo needles from amazon.  So I did :)

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I purchased a set of 16 inch and 40 inch circular needles from amazon for less than $15 Huzzah!  Now I have no excuse not to try new and challenging projects. So far, I've started one new project with these needles and the tips were a little splintery, but that was fixed by buffing them with a nail file.

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While I was waiting for the needles to come in, I decided to pick up some new sock yarn.  I purchased all three skeins from Joann's.  I can't make up my mind on which colorway I'm most excited about.  I just wish I could knit faster ^.^

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