Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankfulness: Parable of the Pearl

I want to tell you a little story ^.^

In the Bible (Luke 15:8-10), Jesus tells a parable about a woman who has 10 coins and loses one.  She lights a candle and sweeps up the whole house to find it.  When she finally finds it, she calls all her friends to celebrate with her.  The story was to help us understand how God feels when one of us repents.

So this past Wednesday was a busy busy day at the studio.  I mean we were completely booked solid.  Needless to say I was exhausted by the time I got home.  I changed my clothes and started to reach for my computer for some therapeutic YouTube time only to come to a terrible realization.


Honestly, I think my heart stopped... or at least I stopped breathing and immediately started searching my room, bathroom, living room, walk way outside, parking lot, & car for the lost pearl.  But unlike the woman with the coin, all my searching still came up empty.  This, of course, led to me curled up in the bed sobbing to Lamar about the lost pearl.  Lamar, in his clear-headed way, told me to stop crying and check at work.

The next morning, I got up and went to the studio to continue the search.  When I got there, I looked all over the register area. No pearl.  The guest waiting area.  No pearl.  The sales areas.  No pearl.  :(  The last place it could be was the camera room and at the time I was looking there had been 3 sessions in and out of it, plus the custodians had vacuumed the night before.  (Hope dwindling)  I started looking around the camera room and blessings abound, THERE WAS MY PEARL! Right in the middle of the camera room. My pearl was sitting on the carpet waiting for me to pick it back up. 

After I came down from the emotional high of finding my lost pearl, all I kept thinking of were the parables Jesus told.  I kept picturing myself as the pearl and Jesus searching the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, walk way outside, parking lot, car, register area, waiting area, sales area, and camera room.  I pictured Him putting aside everything He was planning on doing, to look for me.

Thank You for that Christ object lesson, God.  Thank You for caring so much about me.  Thank You for making me Your pearl.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This is a What? #2: Spots Before My Eyes

It is currently 15 minutes to 1 in the morning and I am determined to publish this post.  This has not been the best of days, but thanks to my roommate and fiance I'm feeling a lot better.  (Thumbs up for friends!)

So on to this week's 'This is a What' pictures.  The subject is my polka dot piggy bank. 

My favorite shot this week is the 4th close up.  It's something about the orange dot that makes me smile... i dunno... I'm weird.  Anywho, I'm gonna go on to bed now.  I hope today was better to you than it was to me.  Here's to a better tomorrow.

If you'd like to do your own 'This is a What' post, here are the rules:
1. Find an object and take a picture of the whole thing
2. Take 4 more shots focusing on the details of the object.  Think extreme close up or interesting angle.
3. Show your work! 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Finally I'm Finished! #1: Introduction

Hi! I'm (as you can see over the last few posts) starting new weekly topics on here.  So with the updates, Fridays have been dubbed 'Finished Object Fridays'.  I really want to come up with something more clever, but alas it's been a long day and I'm fresh out of cleva.

Anywho, it's just as it sounds, me showing my recently finished projects.  Hopefully, having this topic will help me with my collection of UFO's (unfinished objects) and create stock for my etsy shop. 

So for this first installment of Finally I'm Finished!, I'm showing my first DIY apron ^.^  Yay!  Sheree (my roommate) asked me to make her an apron to wear in her classroom.  She found it super frustrating to run out of pockets for things at work.  Now of course I couldn't just buy a pattern or look one up online, I had to dream it up from doodle to finished piece.

I pulled out my trunk o' fabric and she picked out a few bits, but I ended up getting some other pieces from Joann's (some lace trim and owl print fabric).

I basically cut out a bunch of rectangles: one of the main teal fabric, one of the backing burgundy fabric, a smaller one of the owl print for the pockets and a few long thin ones for the waistband/ties.

This is all the big pieces laid out... Obviously I suck at progress shots, because the next pictures I took were the whole finished piece. *shrug*

The finished apron has 3 large pockets for her to put all her what-nots and her tablet.  And the lace gives her a cute little retro feel.

I told her after I finished, that when I got around to sewing on the owl fabric I was a bit terrified that it was going to be upside down o.O  Luckily, I got it right.

I think it turned out pretty good for a first time apron doodled on a sticky note pad.  The next time I think I'm going to make the corners rounded and go bigger on the lace.

Alrighty, that's it for this week.  My goal is to have a completed project to feature every Friday.  Since I'm not having Crafternoons anymore, this will have to be it.  Hope you have a great weekend!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This is a What #1

When I decided to recommit myself to regular blogging, one of my objectives was to do more photography.  Last year my blogger friend Shakti held a weekly photo link-up called 'Take Tuesday.'  Each week she and, fellow blogger, Nicole would give a theme or topic and we would go out and take pictures following it.  I really enjoyed it.  My favorite themes were Sunrise and Water. (click -here- for Shakti's Take Tuesday posts, -here- for Nicole's Take Tuesday posts, and -here- for mine)

I had lots of fun with that idea and even took to doing those photo-a-day prompts (check out @fatmumslim on instagram for some good ones). I loved how it got me in the habit of paying closer attention to my surroundings.  I was always looking for a good shot or something to fit into the day's requirement.

This brings me to the point of today's post, I'm going to start my own weekly photography doo-dad!  It shall be called "This is a what?" (like that kid's game! Who remembers that?!?)

This is a What? Rules:
1. Find an object and take a picture of the whole thing
2. Take 4 more shots focusing on the details of the object.  Think extreme close up or interesting angle.
3. Show your work! 

Here's my first entry... The Roald Dahl Collection (great author btw)

As you can see... I kinda fell in love with the pages. :)  I also noticed that as I was taking the pictures, I started feeling more relaxed.  This is definitely something that I'll benefit from weekly ^.^ Huzzah for stress killing activities!

I'm pretty sure doing this will be a good way to start looking at more details and seeing regular things more creatively.  Right now, I don't know if I'm going to come up with themes or prompts to go with this idea.  If you want to participate, take your pictures and leave your blog post link in the comments. :)  I'd love to see! 

Should I add themes?
Should I make this a link-up?
What do you think?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Not So Blue Monday #25- Little Reminders

Hi there! I hope your week is off to a good start :)

So... it was Christmas maybe 4 years ago, when one of my friends and I were bumming around being Walmart-rats, and you know how during the holidays, stores come out with all those pre-packaged stocking stuffer type gifts?  One of the gift displays were stainless steel bracelets with little messages engraved in them.  There were lots of messages for mothers and grandmothers, and in the back I found one with the Serenity Prayer on it :)  Here's the prayer if you're unfamiliar:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying each moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the path to peace;
Taking as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and
Supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

Anywho, I use to always recite the short version of it (the first 3 lines) whenever I got overwhelmed or down and even wrote a prayer of my own expanding it.  So when I found this little bracelet I had to get it.  And I rarely ever take it off.

I'm writing about it today because my supervisor told me that our district trainer was going to be in the studio.  Now, the problem with that is her presence was that during my first interaction with her, I ended up having a mild panic attack because of how intense she was.  So whenever she comes in, I immediately start getting more and more anxious.  That being said, you can imagine my feelings last night and this morning...  I mean who doesn't like a little anxiety with their toothpaste?? ::rolls eyes::  But the nice thing was while I was worriedly brushing my teeth, I glanced at my wrist and thought, "these moments, right here, are why I started wearing this bracelet..."  I took a breath and prayed the prayer.

As it turned out, I got through the whole morning shift with the trainer lady and had absolutely no anxiety.  Prayer works. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Gallivanting Files: Renninger's Market

Good morning!

This was the adventure Sheree and I went on yesterday. I had a Sunday off work (which never happens unless I've requested it weeks in advance) and we decided to go to one of the local flea markets. Renninger's Market is a few miles up the road in Mt. Dora and it promised to be booths and booths of awesomeness. ^.^

For whatever reason, we piddled around the house and didn't leave until nearly 2 pm and the market closes at 4... looking back, I wished we had gone earlier. *shrug* Anyway, we got there by around 2:30 and started exploring the rows and rows of antiques and lovely things.

We found a really nice lady who had vintage handkerchiefs (which I've been on the hunt for for a wedding idea). She was very friendly and helped me sort through her stock when I told her about the plan. Then she found a delicate white hanky with ladybugs embroidered on it, and it reminded her of her late husband. She told me that he use to call her his ladybug. I agreed with her when she said she shouldn't sell it. Then of course I got to thinking of how we should really appreciate our loved ones while they're with us.
I ended up purchasing these two hankies from her. Such pretty patterns...
The next stop we made was a jewelry booth. There was all kind of costume, vintage, and current jewelry there. Sheree got a strand of pearls and a set of clip-on pearl earrings. Now we just have to figure out how to clean off the years of green oxidization. (If you have tips, let us know!) She's so cute with her developing retro style. :) She also got a bracelet that has a bunch of school related charms on it.

While we browsed her stall I wasn't seeing anything that reached out for me. There was a ring with a green stone that matched my engagement ring, but that's not something I'd actually buy. But then burried on the rack of charm bracelets, I found one with clovers on it!!! ^.^ I had to buy it... I had to. I knew Lamar would think it was cute. (I was right!) We are so cheesy sometimes...
After stopping for a drink and a cool-down, Sheree and I went to find the Farmer's Market. One of the people directed us “up the hill" (which is in quotes because of how nonchalantly he said it.) I considered walking up the hill for like 10 seconds then decided I didn't want to die of a heat stroke. In the car we went.

We got “up the hill” only to discover that the hill was so stinkin monsterous that we didn't see that there were MORE BUILDINGS UP THERE! Whaaaaaat!?!?! We had only been exploring the 'antiques' building, but up there was a whole 'nother side for the 'flea market' building... Mind.Blown. But... everything was already closed when we got there.
Sad faces were had all around... :(
Now that we know how to get there and where everything is, we'll probably go back next Sunday with a better plan of action.
You can imagine how awesome this would be with stuff to buy.

On the way home, we stopped to check out a little thrift store and lo and behold- everything was 50% off! Huzzah! ^.^ I got some fabric, sewing patterns, and a dvd. Sheree got a George Foreman grill. All in all, I'd say this day was pretty successful...
...well putting aside the little flea market fail :)

I hope you had a good Sunday and spent it doing something you enjoy. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Crocheting in Florida

Happy hump-day ^.^

As you can see by the post title, I've decided to change "What's On My Hook Wednesday" to "W.I.P. (work in progress) Wednesday" so that it's not so narrowed to crochet things.  I want to be able to share whatever crafty things I'm working on without my OCD mind getting all twisted up in the post title or label. 

So all that being said, I have a crochet piece to share with you guys.  Since moving to Florida, I've been trying different hat patterns to find one that's slouchy and big enough to hold my hair, but doesn't retain a lot of heat.  I did one hat with a small cluster stitch, but it was too dense.  Then I looked at a stitch called the V-stitch and figured that it would give me a semi-lace looking hat.

After a couple frogged attempts at sizing and shaping the hat, I finally got it right!  I'm so stinkin' excited about this pattern because I can wear it outside or at work and not have a heat stroke! Huzzah!  I actually went out and bought 2 new balls of yarn to make it in other colors.  I went with a medium grey yarn when I was free styling the hat originally, and then I remade it with a forest green to test the pattern.  Both colors are dark enough for me to wear at work, so that's pretty cool.  The two new colors I bought are navy blue and burgundy Vanna's Choice.  I hope to finish the two new hats by the weekend.  That'll be cool :)  Now without further ado, here are my "Florida Hats" (with a better name soon to come ^.^)

You can see how airy, but still contained the hat is ^.^
I really like this dark green color.  I'm pretty sure it's a Vanna's Choice color.
I just LOVE the fit and comfort of these hats! So exciting ^.^
You can see in the pictures that the green yarn is a teensy bit thicker than the grey scrap yarn I used for the first one.  I think that I'm going to continue using the Vanna's Choice for these.  I like that the yarn has a bit of stretch, is soft, but still an easy care acrylic.

What do you think!?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not So Blue Monday #24: Photog-Supastar!!!

Hey y'all! (said in my good ol' southern accent)

Today was the lovely Labor Day "holiday"... & by "holiday" I mean, a day off for everyone but me.  Luckily, I work with fun people which made the day go pleasantly.   So for this NSB Monday post, I'm going to do a quick list cuz I'm a bit tuckered out :)  Here we go!
  • I got to work 10 minutes early today!  That means I got to ease into the shift instead of speed walking through the parking lot, into the store, & beelining to the studio.  I'm going to make a better effort to do this every day.  It really changes how I start the day mindset-wise.
  • Lamar & Sheree (my friend from college and new roommate) came to visit me at work today & we all went to lunch together ^.^
  • Sheree & I stopped in Bath & Body Works... I'm pretty sure I'll be buying candles soon >.<  Yummy yummy candles!!
  • Because the evening was super busy and it was just me & one other guy working, I ended up shooting four sessions back to back! Which is why I've dubbed myself a Photog-Supastar *thumbs up*  There was a family of 4, a SCREAMING 1 year old, an 18 month old, & a 14 month old.  Gladly, the 1 yr old was the only one who cried the whole time.
    • Lamar told me later that he enjoyed getting to watch me in the camera room.  I'm glad he's proud of the work I do.  He's so supportive *.*
  • I got to replace my work shoes.  Now that doesn't sound like a big deal, but here is a picture of my old shoes & their replacements... 
  • Yep... crazy right?!?
  •  Lastly, this Monday was not so blue because as I'm writing this, I'm relaxing at Lamar's with my dogs.  A great end to a pretty good day. ^.^  (look at me being all sappy)
I hope you had a fun holiday, maybe did some grilling, or visited a beach or something cool.  If you had to work, hopefully your customers/assignments were good ones.