Tuesday, June 29

Found at the Beach Giveaway!

Woo! Over the course of the next week or so I'll be updating my etsy with a whole bunch of buttons and pendants made out of seashells I found at the beach last week. And because I love you so much, dearest readers, I've put together a sampler pack to give away!

Included are: a shell pendant, two shell buttons, one shell with an already-perfectly-formed hole in it (so it's like a pendant I didn't have to do any of the work for), and a pendant made out of a decaying penny I found.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post. It's as simple as that! I'll pick a random winner next Sunday (July 4), so it'll be a sort of Independence Day present. (For those of us that live in the States, that is!)

You can comment anything you like, but it'll count for two entries if your comment is a haiku. :)

Monday, June 28

Ozzie the Octopus

Is there anything about this that isn't amazing? An octopus in your bathtub that makes the water come out of his tentacles instead of the boring ol' spout! And as if this wasn't enough, you can make it color your bath water! Although taking a bath in colored water might be unsettling, come to think of it. I wonder if you could make it spit out bubble bath...

So I ran some errands today, first to the library and then to Walmart (where I fell in love with ozzie the octopus). I came home without it, though, but I did get NINE WHOLE BOOKS at the library! I hardly know what to do with myself. Four of them are graphic novels, though, which won't take me long to read. I've just finished The Color Purple (which was terrific) and I think I'm going to start the short of the graphic novels now - Unlikely by Jeffrey Brown. I should sew something, but I just can't drag myself away from my books!


Saturday, June 26

The Meatrix

I just finished watching The Matrix, number 25 on IMDB's top 250. This means I'm almost to the halfway point of my summer goal of watching the top 25! (Only half a movie left!)

In honor of this occasion, I'd like to share a video that my English teacher in twelfth grade showed the class, I guess when he was bored, because it doesn't have much to do with English.

So without further ado, The Meatrix:

Decisions, Decisions!

Dear Blog,

It's been a while. I barely recognize you. While I was off last week gallivanting in the ocean, I callously left you here to be ignored. Even if I had brought my laptop, I'd've hardly seen you - the wifi at this house was a lie. A temperamental, fickle temptress.

So I guess I'll just have to bring you up to speed.

I spent the past week with my family in a cottage in Nags Head. Highlights: my nine-month-old cousin, finally finishing the puzzle after working on it all week, and a bucket full of shells brought back from our daily walks down the beach.

I spent the week doing pretty much one of two things: being on the beach, and reading. Often at the same time. Consequently, I finished FIVE WHOLE BOOKS! Can you believe it? The whole summer I've managed to slog through one book, then in a week I knock out five! Here's what I read:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (this was mostly finished by the time I got to the beach)
God is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr
Push by Sapphire
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Love in the Time of Cholera, Push, and Remains of the Day were stellar. God is Dead was very good. Survivor was okay, not great. I enjoyed them all, though, and I'd recommend them all.

So now I have a decision to make - what next?

My options are Fool by Christopher Moore and The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I was supposed to read The Color Purple for my American Novel class last semester, but what with all the snow we never got to it. I'm sure it's going to be a terrific literary work. Fool was recommended to me by my dad, and I must admit, Christopher Moore isn't the greatest author on the planet. BUT it's based on King Lear, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

What do you think? Which one should I read?

And I'm going to the library on Monday, so give me suggestions on what I should check out as well, dearest readers! I'd be much obliged.

Wednesday, June 23

Things You Shouldn't Title a Children's Book

Three Little Warthogs
See Spot Be Put To Sleep
Carol Anne's Nervous Breakdown
How To Kill Your Mother
Curious George Dies
Mommy Just Doesn't Love You Anymore

List created by my family while playing The Game Of Things.

Ps. This is posted from my mom's iPod touch, so I apologize If anything is weird. I'm not used to this machine!

Friday, June 18

Vacation, All I ever wanted

I'm leaving in a few hours to go on vacation at the beach with my family.

I've decided that I'm not bringing my computer because if I do I won't experience my vacation as much, so it'll be a week without internet. (Oh, no!)

I'll be back next week, though, I promise.

Hugs and Kisses,

Thursday, June 17

Summer Goals

  1. Watch the first 25 movies on IMDB's top 250. I've been watching movies from the list randomly and crossing them off as I go, but this summer I'm going to make it my goal to have all of the top 25 crossed off. Shouldn't be too hard - I've already seen 11 of them. 
  2. Be able to cook five solid meals for when I have an apartment next year. This is me trying to set the most concrete goal possible so it has more of a chance of getting done. This has been on my to-do list for quite a while, so we'll see how far I actually get on it. 
  3. Have 25 listings in my etsy shop by the end of the summer. (And hopefully a sale or two, but I'm only making goals out of things I have absolute control over.)
  4. Read 20 books. So far I've read one: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I'm about halfway through Love in the Time of Cholera, though, and the books I have lined up after that are much shorter and easier to read.
  5. Get my driver's license. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I'm 19 years old and still don't have it, but I'm actually getting my butt around to getting it this summer. I don't know what was going on before that has changed now, but I REALLY want it, whereas in previous years I could care less. At the moment, I have about 15 of the required 60 hours and still have to do driver's ed. BUT I drove my mom and sister around running errands today!
Wish me luck, folks! Updates as I work on getting through these goals!

PS. Today I saw a DOG IN A BABY STROLLER!!!!! I tried to take a picture but it was too late. :(

Tuesday, June 15

The Bibliophile in her Native Habitat

My mom was my photographer today, and let's just say she took a little artistic license with the pictures. When I looked over at her and saw that she was holding the camera crooked she actually seemed surprised when I asked her to hold the camera straight.

The cardigan is from H&M and the shoes were a present from my grandmother, but what I'm most proud of is the dress. When I bought it from Goodwill, it was white, but I dyed it and some other clothes (a t-shirt and a pair of shorts) pink yesterday. Well, I really was just trying to give the faded shorts some new life, and the t-shirt was in my "to give away" pile, so I really didn't care about it, but I was very excited to see how the dress would turn out. And I must say, I'm very happy with the dusty pink color.

The dyeing process:

Note how the colors fade from the original violent fuschia to the pale pink of the last picture (which, the clothes still being wet, is darker than they eventually turned out). The shorts did darken up a bit, which is nice.

I spent today running errands with my mom. I came home from the library with three books and a movie: Remains of the Day, God is Dead, Push, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I decided to check the movie out after reading this post at The Clothes Horse. I was going to watch it tonight but I'm far too tired for a movie before bed so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

And I admit, I got a bit carried away with myself with the books. I'm going to take them all with me when I go to the Outer Banks with my family next week, but I have to finish Love in the Time of Cholera before I start any of them!

All-Time Top Five Songs About Death

1. Chemo Limo by Regina Spektor
2. In Case We Die - Architecture in Helsinki
3. No Children - The Mountain Goats
4. I Can't Decide - The Scissor Sisters
5. Angels Hung Around - Rilo Kiley

Inspired by the movie I watched last night, High Fidelity. I was looking for something to watch before bed, and my boyfriend suggested it - it's one of his favorite movies (and based on one of his favorite books).

Well, let me tell you: I was smitten. First of all, this guy compulsively makes lists. Just on the basis of that alone it's a match made in heaven! There's no one who enjoys a good list more than I do. In fact, the title list (death songs) is one of the lists in the movie.

And then there's the whole - obsessed with obscure music thing. I'm not so much into that, but my boyfriend is, a whole lot, so I could get into it.

And the whole - making yourself miserable, not happy with what you have, even though it's the best you could have - I've been there. Not so much anymore, thankfully, but I could relate.

But, yeah. The lists! Watching this movie made me inspired to revive and make more use of my listography account. Because lists just make me so happy.

And I love the part where Jack Black makes fun of John Cusack's sweater for being a "Cosby Sweater!" Too true, too true.

Sunday, June 13

Suitcase Project: Before

I got this nice old leather suitcase last summer at a yard sale. I fell in love with the shape and the fun, vintage feel of it. The only problem - the smell. This thing smells mustier than your great-grandpa's 50-year-old collection of crossword puzzles. Something had to be done.

So, after spending some time last summer trying to wash it and make it stink a little less, I failed and shoved it in the back of my closet to think about some other day.

That day, my friends, is today. I'm just about finished cleaning my room, and I pulled the suitcase out of my closet just to see what it's been up to this past year. Well, it still smells like old feet. But this time I'm determined to defeat the stank!

I just took it outside and determined that the lining fabric makes up most, if not all, of the smell, so I just ripped it all out and tossed some baking soda inside the shell to hopefully soak up the odors.
I plan on checking on it tomorrow and reevaluating the situation. Eventually, I plan on lining the inside with some fun fabric and maybe decoupaging the outside. The leather's very pretty, but it has some scratches and paint marks I'd like to cover up

I feel like my mouth was just assaulted.

Either Pop Rocks aren't as delicious as they used to be, or I'm too old to enjoy copious amounts of sugar exploding in my mouth.

The explosion was as fun as was remembered, but I now feel like I need to take an SOS pad to my mouth to remove the "Tropical Punch" flavor.

And btw, since when has tropical punch been blue?

Saturday, June 12


I've been involved in a swap on Craftster recently called Birds Birds Birds! I absolutely adore birdies of all kinds, so it was perfect for me! :D

I know next to nothing about my swap partner, other than the fact that she likes red and aqua and she has a baby girl with a bird-themed nursery. So, now that the swap is all wrapped up, I'll share everything!

I made a stuffed owl and a baby hat. The hat (sunhat! perfect for summer!) is made out of cute orange birdie fabric, so I sent some of that scrap fabric along with the package.

I'm very happy with the way everything turned out. I tried to make the owl baby-friendly by not using buttons or anything for eyes. There's nothing the baby could chew off and choke on! The hat was from a pattern from Sweet Booties by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader. I expected the brim to be wider, but eh, I think it's pretty good for not really knowing what I was doing.

From her, I got a stenciled t-shirt and a tissue cozy. I am definitely going to use the crap out of that tissue cozy! I've really been wanting one for a good while now. And it couldn't have come at a better time, since I'm currently in the throes of a vicious cold. (I woke myself up this morning at 6 with a coughing fit. No es bueno.) The only thing is that I might stitch a little bit on the sides of the openings so it doesn't gape open so much.

And the stencil on the shirt is an owl wearing headphones! How precious! I'm absolutely in love with it! Perhaps I'll wear it today to Matt's sister's graduation party. I was going to wear a dress but it's supposed to storm later so we'll see.

But I digress. The swap:

Oh, and I almost forgot the most exciting part! Apparently there's a mysterious extra gift that was late in arriving, so she'll send it along when she gets it. What could it beeeee?? I'm so excited! :D

My sister is flipping awesome.

My sister, who is thirteen years old, tuned a piano today. With nothing but a wrench and her ears.

I, who can hear that the note doesn't sound right but am helpless beyond that, am completely in awe of her musical talents. She just played the key, wrenched the knob around inside the piano a little bit, played it again, wrenched some more, etc.

Mind is blown.

Sorry about the less-than-steller photos. The lighting was weird in my living room, and I tried to play around with them to make them look less yellow, but I'm not sure how well it worked.

Friday, June 11

What I've Got To Work With: Scarves

Despite the fact that I have a cold, and have to pause every few minutes for a coughing fit, I decided that today would be a good day to work on cleaning my room! What began as an innocent straightening up turned into rearranging half my furniture, and I must say that I'm very pleased with what I've got going on so far. I'll post before and after shots once everything's spick and span.

So, as I cleaned today I took a good hard look at everything I own, trying to decide if it's worthy of being in my life or if it's time to move on. And I decided I'd take a look at some categories of my wardrobe. So today is scarves!

All of my scarves but the LOVE one I got together at a yard sale for fifty cents for all of them. Needless to say, I couldn't pass up such a bargain! My resolution from now on is to incorporate them into my outfits more.

I'm considering attempting to wear this one as a top tomorrow to a graduation party, but we'll have to see:

They're all very pretty and elegant-looking. By far the quirkiest is this one, which has pictures of trains all over it:

I'm rather at a loss for how I'd wear that one. I'm sure someone more fashionable than I could pull it off quite nicely, though.

Oh, and one more scarf came in the bundle that isn't in the group pictures, and that's because it resides permanently on my dad's cowboy-hat-that-I-stole/borrowed.

Wednesday, June 9

Heck Yes, Anthropologie!: Ruffles

Ruffles might just be my favorite thing. Hanging off the edge of a garment, sometimes just tacked on to some fabric at random, they might be an afterthought. But in my opinion, something beautiful can always be made beautiful-er by adding ruffles.

Ruffles add attitude, oomph, grace. A mob of ruffles, scrambling every which way. Stiff ruffles, lined up in a military procession One shy lonely ruffle, curling around and disappearing in itself. An adventurous ruffle, blazing a trail across a vast plain of cloth.

So you can imagine my excitement when on the Anthropologie home page, there's a button promising to let me "see the unexpected side of ruffles." As always, Anthropologie does not disappoint. Or, it disappoints only in only one way: Their beautiful clothes are way, WAY too expensive for the likes of myself. Sad face.

Tuesday, June 8

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Green Day Rockband?

Could it be?

It is!

While I could really care less, my sister is positively geeking out. She's already expressed all of her disappointments ("It's not accurate to playing the song on a real guitar!" and "They're not animated enough! They don't just stand there - they jump around the stage!"),  but I can tell, she is the most excited she's been in weeks. I'm somewhat afraid for the day in August she's going to see them in concert - I'll have to make sure I'm not at home when she gets back; I don't think I can withstand the hurricane forces of her obsession.

Aren't I attractive? Anyway, the Boyfriend and I went to see Get Him To The Greek today, instead of last night, as was previously planned. And let me tell you, it. was. hilarious. Russell Brand plays the same rockstar as in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with rip-roaring success!

My outfit today is nothing particularly thrilling. I love, love, LOVE these jean shorts, but unfortunately I've loved them too much, as they're no longer the nice dark wash they used to be. I'll pick up some RIT dye sometime this week and redye them. My favorite part of today's outfit is the earrings. They're made out of Mike's Hard Lemonade bottlecaps, and I got them for $1 from my school's art club.

Also, I took these pictures AFTER I went out-and-about for the day, so my hair is a bit disheveled. I apologize.

Monday, June 7

How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You

I found some sheet music of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (although I think what I found was the Rufus Wainwright version - the one on the Shrek soundtrack) and my sister has been learning it. It's so pleasant to be sitting in my room on the internet or whatever, and hear that lovely song coming up from downstairs. It's a very welcome change from her usual repertoire (Green Day, Green Day, and more Green Day!)

I was going to blog later tonight, but at the moment I'm waiting for my boyfriend to finish dinner with his family so we can go see Get Him To The Greek. So, my thoughts on the movie will have to wait until tomorrow, but I figured now was as good a time as any to share today's outfit.

I've been wanting to wear this jacket for a while, and since it's not too hot today I figured I'd go for it. Also, the movie theater is usually pretty chilly, so I always dress to keep warm. :)

Thinking about, almost everything in this outfit was free. The only thing I actually bought was the shirt. My grandmother gave me the shoes because they didn't have enough support for her feet, the jacket came from rehashclothes.com, and my necklace belonged to my great-grandmother before she died. And I made the skirt. The fabric is white with lots of lines of sheet music on it.

The top has a yoke with some embroidery on it that reminds me of the mexican shirts that are white with rainbow embroidery, except this is all the same color. I'm quite happy with this outfit!

Also, earlier today I had somewhat of an adventure into the world of 3D plush making. I made (or attempted to make) an elephant. Considering that I had no pattern and not much experience, I think he turned out pretty well. He's made out of an old sweater that got accidentally felted.

And the cat was being a giant lump as I was taking these pictures, as usual.

Update: We're going to see the movie tomorrow because if we go before noon it's only five dollars. So we're going to make a day of it. Which means I got all cute today for nothing! I haven't even been out of the house, except to drive around for a bit. And now I have to think of ANOTHER cute outfit tomorrow. This fashion thing is hard work!

I think I'll watch American Psycho tonight, maybe.

Sunday, June 6

Yesterday my sister bought home a piano from Goodwill.

I just have no idea how to play it. She's pretty good, though. (Especially considering the fact that she's thirteen!) It's nice to just sit here and listen to the music going on in the living room. 

Inspired by the lovely Annebeth (or, the Styling Dutchman), I wore a maxi dress yesterday! I have two and they are so gorgeous but I rarely ever wear them. They seem impractical and I never know what shoes to wear. Well, yesterday, Annebeth wore a maxi dress and it was so cute I just had to play copycat. With it, I wore some tan sandals (although you can't see them in the pictures) and a gold bracelet, both of which came from rehashclothes.com, which is one of my favorite websites in the world. Here are some pictures, although they are rather uninteresting and do not flatter me. I need to practice taking charming pictures.

Oh, and I wore it to a block party I went to with my boyfriend, and got several compliments! Hooray!

The boyfriend's sister graduated from high school yesterday, so I made her a correspondence kit as a present. It includes an address book, postcards, envelopes and labels, all handmade, of course! (Except the labels...)


AND! I got a bunch of business cards in the mail yesterday! Such an eventful day!