Friday, November 29, 2013

Finally I'm Finished #4: Black Friday = Done-zo!

So this has been one of the LONGEST work weeks yet!  My eyes, shoulders, arms, thighs, knees, and feet are so tired it's ridiculous. But I'm thankful for this job I enjoy and a good work environment despite the craziness :)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, by the way ^.^  I spent mine with Lamar and his family.  He cooked and I baked a pound cake.  Then family came over and we ate while watching random recorded TV shows.  It was a good evening.  Kiva sat quietly begging the whole time and Toot stayed under the bed.
This was Kiva's begging pose. 
Anywho, this week I've been doing more crocheting.  I've found that doing something quiet and focused like crochet during my lunch and after I get off helps me counteract the loud extroverted persona I have to have in the studio. That being said, I finished two "elf" hats.  One is red/white and the other is green/white.  I wore the red one to work today and it was pretty cool.  I felt super fancy. :)
The green hat looks just like this one.
Welp, that's all for tonight.  Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankfulness: Whoa! Christmas in Walmart

Just a little Instagram video for ya!


I'm thankful to have made it all the way through 2013 to the beginning of another "Christmas season"... even though it's not yet Thanksgiving. :)  I hope this little video makes you smile ^.^

*EDIT* I guess mozilla doesnt like allowing instagram videos to post. BOO!  If you want, it's up on my feed. My IG name is @nadiratani :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Cherry Red

'Ello there :)

I feel like it's been a while since I posted... Woo... it's been exactly a week o.O  My bad.  So here we are back at WIP Wednesday. I finished the top-down ribbed hat from last week, but as it turns out, I like the bottom-up version better. *shrug*  Things you don't find out til you try.

Anywho, I'm on to the next project.  Since this past Monday was veteran's day, lots of stores had special sales and coupons out. So I stopped by Michaels and Joann's for a few crafty bits.  I have recently started using the Vanna's choice worsted weight yarn and I love the cushiness of it.  What I do not love is the price.  It normally runs about $4 per ball.. which I cannot abide and neither can my wallet...  lucky me I recently thrifted a couple new balls to add to my stash.  But anyway, Michaels had them on sale for $2.29 and on top of that I had a 25% off total purchase coupon. I picked up 2 red and 2 yellow and with the 25% off it was pretty much buy 3 get 1 free :) I'll take it.  Then I went over to Joann's armed with 3 60% off coupons and got 3 balls of bulky weight yarn. Stash upgraded.

The first yarn I cracked into was the red Vanna's Choice.  I wanted to make a bow detailed ear warmer... (I'm in this ear warmer making phase evidently... *shrug*) So that is my current WIP. I finished the pieces for the bow detail today, but I decided it was scaled too large.  And like the grand blogger I am, I've forgotten to take pictures... >insert epic eyeroll here< 

Please forgive the shatty camera phone snapshot, but I wanted to show the scale issue.
That little band in the back is the beginning of the headband part, so you can see the gross scale difference between the bow.  Yeah... That bow is getting frogged asap...  I am loving the yarn tho. Glad I snagged it ^.^

Good night!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Depression and Creation

If you read any of my last few posts, you'd know that I've been frittering about on the lower end of my emotional spectrum.  No fun.  Luckily it hasn't been a solid block of cloudy depression, but rather partially cloudy where I can still see the blue sky between.  Color me counting my blessings.

Anywho, I had a thought today about my brain and depression.  The first time I was seriously down logic became so clear.  I mean, I could look at a sudoku puzzle, regardless of difficulty, and the numbers would fall into place.  It was so odd that I remember my friends thinking I'd come up with some way of cheating the game.  It was the one thing that always made sense at a time where I had to remind myself what color the sky was and make sure the ribbon hiding the burns on my wrist was tied tightly.

Recently, my mind has been processing creatively much faster.  It's almost like the longer I stay down, the clearer designs become and the more I make.  For instance, I've been wanting to make a top-down ribbed hat where the ribbing actually starts in the crown of the hat.  The problem with that was, I couldn't figure out the mechanics or the count to make sure the ribs were evenly spaced.  That was until today.  The solution came like eyesignt upon waking. You know, foggy at first but then perfectly clear...

So I was thinking about the apparent link between depression and creation.  I don't know what the deal is with depression and clarity or selective clarity, but I am grateful that even when I feel crumbly and trampled emotionally, the melancholy still has a silver lining.  Does anyone else feel this way or find that depression can give way to awesome creations? Why is that? Can the creation be separated from the depression? Or are we artists really fated to juggle two...  Let me know what you think if you like.

Progress shot I shared on instagram <@nadiratani>
Anywho, you can't really see the ribbing because of the variegated yarn, but once I get it finished I'm going to recreate it with a solid color so you can fully experience the amazing-ness. :)


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wedding Spot: DIY Save the Date Magnets

Hey there :) 

Happy Sunday! I hope you all enjoyed the time change.  I def woke up in a panic at what I thought was 9 o'clock this morning. Not.Pleasant.  Anywho, onward!

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to have various  DIY touches in our wedding.  One of the "easiest" places to do a lil DIYing is with the save the dates.  A couple of months ago, Lamar and I had engagement pictures done at JCP that I spent hours pre-planning the session, picking outfits, doing hair, and making props.  I'm glad to say that I'm super happy with how they turned out.  I knew I wanted to use some of the photos as our save the dates and Lamar suggested we make them into magnets.  (He so smaaht!) Then the search for the least expensive way to make that idea a reality began.

I browsed many a 'create your own magnet' website, but was routinely let down by prices over $100.  So I sadly scrapped the idea of having them printed as magnets & started fleshing out how to print them as regular photos and somehow make them magnets myself.

First thought: Magnetic tape on the back... too cheap looking...
Second thought: Adhesive magnetic paper... WAY too expensive...
Third thought: Magnetic printer paper and rubber cement... Jackpot!

So with my idea having an actual plan, I looked for coupons for printing the 4x6s and found one for $0.10 each at Walgreens & purchased a small pack of magnetic paper from Staples. 

It took a little research to figure out how t do a permanent pond with rubber cement, but once I got it down,  I whipped up magnets using all the paper I had.  Seeing how awesomely the test magnets came out gave me confidence to go ahead & get the bulk amount of magnetic paper.  I told Lamar about my magnetic paper search and he was able to find cheap rolls of magnetic paper sheet.  o.O Why I couldn't find it? I'll never know.  So in the coming weeks there will be lots of rubber cementing and cutting at my house! 

I am really glad I decided to go the DIY route rather than choosing a ready-made design from a website.  I think they will make my family and friends smile since they all know I'm rather crafty :)  In total, all supplies considered, our save the date magnets cost us less than $0.60 each.  Pretty cool right!  It's very gratifying to be able to say "I made that!"

Our two designs :)
Anywho, have a good night.  I'm gonna go pass out as my body feels like its past 11pm. 

(I'll post the actual DIY steps later on this week.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finally I'm Finished #3: Making Ear Warmers

"I don’t make things because I need them. I can buy hats and socks and things to fill my frames. I need the making, and I end up with things." ~ Amanda of On the Craft

This quote pretty much sums up my recent craftings.  I've made 4 ear warmers this week... well technically 5 but I frogged and reworked one.  It's so calming to sit with my hook and yarn. Just wrapping and pulling and feeling the fiber move through my hands.

I use to hate frogging out things, but I don't mind so much anymore. Especially if I'm not working from a pattern.  It's almost like starting with a general idea and letting the yarn fill in the details.  So with that said, on to some pictures.

Basket weave turban style ear warmer
Offset single rib turban style ear warmer
T-shirt yarn turban style headband
Brick stitch turban style ear warmer
All four finished bands
Close up of textures

Gee... I'm seeing a color pattern here...  The brick stitch is the most cozy one. I think it'll be the only one recreated for my shop.  I think it was the chunky yarn that works for me.  The t-shirt yarn band was a fail.  It looks cute, but provides no actual warmth and the t-shirt bits come off in your hair.  No fun.  The other two are nice, but not warm enough to really call proper 'ear warmers'.  They'd be better suited as fashion over function accessories.  Good to know.

I hope your week went well. I'm feeling a lot better than yesterday.  Today was a quiet stay at home day listening to pandora.  I got a couple messages from loving friends/family via blog comment, facebook, & text messages and I really appreciate them.

Have a good weekend!

Thankfulness: This Day is Done

Today I wanted to do a few specific things that I knew I shouldn't do like sedate myself with benadryl, burn my wrist, close my eyes while driving.  It's just kinda been one of those days, you know?  One of the kind where you want to get back in bed, close your eyes, roll around a couple times, and then get out... on the right side of bed.  But you can't because real life doesn't work that way.  And the reality of this day is, I was down.  Down days come and down days go, but you just gotta muscle thru them.

I think the worst part of today and my recent downswing has been that I've put so much guilt on myself.  Saying things like,
"Oh Caleisha, you don't have a right to feel down or sad because nothing has happened to you.  You have close friends who have lost family members in the last week. What have you lost? Nothing. You haven't even lost a ball of yarn. You have a job. You enjoy your job. You have a loving fiance. You have a loving family. You have your health.
You don't have the right to feel down and depressed."  
This is my self talk in my head.  And that's not good. That's just like someone telling you, "Oh you're having a down day? You're feeling depressed? Just stop feeling depressed.  There are worse things in the world."

That doesn't really help. That's not constructive. I know there are worse things in the world, but right now in my head, I can't help but feel this way.  If there was some switch I could flip and feel better, I totally would.  Being down SUCKS... I don't want to wallow in it. I'm not choosing to feel this way.  It's just out of my control and that's how my life is sometimes.

I think that what makes depression hard is that everyone doesn't understand it.  I mean, you can say to somebody I'm crying because I stubbed my toe and they understand that pain.  Or I'm sad because I miss my family.  People get that.  But with depression or depressed feelings there's not necessarily a reason.

I just am... and people don't understand 'I just am.' 

People want to know what happened or why you're sad.  It's like they want to be able to concretly place you on a graph of emotions and reactions so they can understand the headspace you're in.  But 'I just am' doesn't plot well on this coordinate plane of existence... it really doesnt...

So I end up just lying for the most part... "I'm fine." But I know, and the person I'm talking to knows that I'm not, but I'm going to continue doing my job even if I feel like drugging myself or hiding in the bathroom and crying.  Being a grown up doesn't really leave room for many breakdowns. 

It's just been a rough day.  But at the end of this day, I'm thankful that I have a boss that sympathizes with my ups and downs.  I'm thankful that I got thru the day with no panic attacks or serious anxiety issues.  I'm thankful that my last 2 appointments of the day didn't show up.  I'm thankful the day is over.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better. If not and it's another day like today, I'll do my best to get through it.



While I was typing this, Lamar was sleeping on the sofa next to me.  He left the tv on the Arsenio show and the preachers from the Preachers of LA reality show were on.  They had a preach off and were to do 30 second sermons titled 'Life is Not a Reality Show.'  I stopped to listen and Deitrick Haddon spoke about life being reality but not a show.  Whatever things we are going through, God is powerful enough to carry us through.  He quoted Ephesians 3:20-21 and I cried.
Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen
I'm asking God to give me peace through this downswing.  He is able to exceedingly abundantly above that.  Thank you God for carrying me through.