Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New England: We Should Explore, Part One

So boyfriend and I are toying with the idea of moving somewhere other than New England to buy a house. Among other things, the cost to live here is just astronomical... especially because we want a house big enough for our projects and hobbies and eventually (God willing) some babies. Obviously I don't want to regret moving out of beautiful New England, what with it's Fall Foliage and beautiful Cape Cod Beaches and a multitude of other fabulous offerings without experiencing all that I want to before a move. Manfriend is going to put on his thinking cap as to what he would like to accomplish in the next couple years but I have definitely already started my list, and its a hefty one at that:

Climb Mount Monadnok as an Adult: I recall climbing this mountain in Southern NH with either Youth group kids or with school but I have never climbed it as an adult, with adult appreciation for the beauty of the view off a mountiantop if you can dig... Plus it has been a long time since I climbed a mountain... I think Bee Hive in Acadia circa 05? ... me thinks I might be out of shape for it but we shall see!

View from Monadnock

Yankee Candle Company- Hey I have never been there and I happen to LOVE their candles. I hear that around the holidays it's a really special kind of place with cool things to do and dining in the area. I could totally foresee manfriend and I taking a special day trip out to Western Mass, eating a good meal and coming home with some major candles.... FYI- Love me some candles... like I stockpile them... probably don't need anymore...won't stop me from buying more unfortunately...

Me and Manfriend's agreed upon Scent

Summer Weekend in Portland, ME: I have been to Maine a few times, mostly when I was a kid or in high school. I have vague memories of visiting Portland ME when I went to Theater Camp at USM (Yes, I went to theater camp) and we performed in a square in Portland for passers by. Unfortunately I don't remember anything much about Portland but hear that it's just lovely and on the water (which is a major plus) and that they have an International Cryptozoology Museum? What? Needless to say, I want to go.

Portland ME

Great Barrington Farmer's Market: Ummmm this Farmer's Market is one of the biggest in Massachusetts so obvi I would want to go there before we leave New England. This is also pretty much on the other side of the state so we might have to combo it into something else in that area... but nevertheless I want to see it... and buy local jams.... and buy veggies and seedlings... and fresh bread! Gah what's not to love?

MMMMM Fresh Produce

Newport RI:  Again, one of these things I haven't experience since I was a kid. I remember touring The Breakers with my grandmother. The tour guide was telling us about the origin of one of the fireplaces and noted that it was from the country of the most recently crowned Miss Universe and asked anyone if they knew who/where they were from. Obvi, I knew it was Namibia and I will never forget that for the remainder of my days on this earth... unfortunately that is about all I remember from Newport HA! Must return to make lasting memories...

The Breakers, Newport RI
Photo Source
These are just a few that we have started our list with (well I have started my list with).... I am sure that our "To Do List" destinations and activities will grow as we become more serious about moving, but for now this is a good start.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Makes Me a Rock Star?

Little Alouette did an awesome webinar last night on starting/improving/rocking your own personal Etsy business or even just "through other avenues" business... and since I am nowhere near starting any sort of business, I was actually a "clean palette" of sorts for the information that Amy was sharing.

The one thing that resonated with me was her posed question, "What makes you a rock star?" coupled with a comment about being ready for greatness.

I always have felt destined for greatness, as cheesy as that sounds. I have always considered myself to be pretty creative. I paint, I sew, I scrapbook, I consider myself to be one who experiments in culinary delights! What do I lack? DIRECTION. And Amy's webinar definitely helped me realize that I have some honing to do. Honing my skills, honing my ideas, honing my direction.

There were obvi some other great talking points in her webinar, and yes, I did committ those to memory, but I really need to start thinking about what makes me a rock star. There is no doubt in my mind that I am one, just how can I show the world that star power? Hmmmmm... I'm thinking......


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why these Guys Make Things Worthwile...

Man friend's co-worker gave us some fresh catnip that he and his wife grew in their garden.

Nipster for the kit
How sweet is that? I totally am surprised that manfriend would have even mentioned the kitten (who is actually 4 years old) to coworkers and that a male coworker was thoughtful enough to bring him a little baggie of it... like kitten drugs HA! (I hope their boss doesn't know about these dealings!)

Mom, there are birds in the house.

  Sigourney (kitten) had a BLAST! We had a terribly high kitten on our hands. She was ALL over the place. Meowing, hopping, jumping, kissing our feet (literally)... she was in her glory... and it was AWESOME. She even had her favorite delicacy during dinner... corn on the cob. By the by, that cat can't resist a good corn on the cob or some plain ol' Mac n Cheese... she is low maintenance and Mama likes.

Mmmmm, Corn, coo coo cachoo, Man.

 We must have laughed for a good half hour; we were partly responsible for her "high" because we couldn't resist getting her to whine/ meow at us... we also loved watching Henry (puppy) try to get in on the action. No dice, Henry. Catnips is for... cats, go figure. Don't feel bad for puppy though, he got a chicken flavored rawhide.
Thanks Mom!
 You know what? I had a crappo day at work... and I came home to loves, just pure loves. Manfriend, kitten and puppy... making things (even a bad day) worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Encouragement Beats the Heck Outta Discouragement

A dear friend of mine told me today, that a job that she really really wanted, didn't pan out. She is so frustrated with the search and the discouragement that comes with really believing in yourself but being let down by someone you don't even know. I just recently found a new job and was feeling the same exact way as her, during my search, so could totally comiserate.

In talking to her and trying to give her some positive reinforcement when she was obviously not feeling very positive, I decided that I should be doing this all the time. I should be positively reinforcing all the people that I love and care about... not just while they are feeling down. Positive words and actions can go a long way...

Tonight, I will...encourage some people I love... even if they are small gestures

- I will cook dinner for manfriend so that he can level up on a game that he hasn't gotten to play because he is an adult and acts like most of the time ;)... even though tonight was his night to cook.

- I will look on job sites and career listings for my downtrodden friend, to keep her hopes up... and send her some serious but also some totally ridiculous job listings.

- I will text my little sister a quote from Muppet Treasure Island... one of our family favorites.

- I will give puppy kisses and take him for that walk (first on the list actually)

- I will send an email to my grandmother to schedule breakfast at the "Shiny Diner" when I go to visit them next week.

-Say some real good prayers about encouraging others... 'cause sometimes it's sure tough.
-And I will read some of my crafting books that I got from the library... to encourage myself. Hugs!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Blueberries n' Smooches

Tonight we organized manfriend's comic books... yes it was enthralling. We also watched Street Fighter starring a Mister Jean Claude Van Dam. We had a bottle of Jewell Town Vineyard's South Hampton Red. WE JUST RELAXED in our nerdiness. It was divine. I suggest everyone does it sometimes... because we only live once and if we want to read comics on a Saturday night? Then so be it. My favorite comics, you ask? (and yes I have them) The Fables series and The Unwritten... LOVE!

And yes... I just felt like including blueberries... Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feeling a Little Inspired!

Summer has just started inspiring me...  as we reach the halfway point, go figure! Manfriend and I have really taken advantage of this summer but without feeling so overwhelmed with plans like we did last. Our trip to some vineyards in NH left me feeling the love of nature that I sometimes wonder if I have (could have possibly been the wine we tasted as well that made me feel the love) and also that I want/can contribute to the world we live in, in a positive manner.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Wish Bringing Home the Bacon was as Easy as Eating Bacon

Who doesn't want to earn money doing exactly what they love? My guess is that most people would love to bring home the bacon by eating the bacon (unless you're a vegetarian in which case sub out bacon for hmmmm tofurkey or somethin'). Manfriend wants to design and play video games but is currently working as a software engineer. I want to craft but am a project manager in construction. I'd wager a guess that manfriend is closer to his dream than I am.

Honing my ideas and skills down to something marketable and totally awesome has been harder than I thought. Actually, I haven't even really honed anything down. I have a million ideas and am still going in a million different directions. Today I took a lighter to a synthetic dress from the Goodwill and plan to weave yearn through the burn holes I made. What? What am I thinking sometimes? ( I still think that this idea may work but sometimes ideas don't translate to real life) I am exploring multiple creative avenues in search of something marketable... well I think I am changing my strategy. I am going to explore different creative avenues based ONLY on my pure enjoyment of said creative avenues. I am going to make myself happy even if it means sitting in a pile of vintage fabric cutting shapes out of it which I will then sew onto bandannas for dogs. (Hmmm that just came to me as I was typing but not a half bad idea)

Concentrating on making oneself happy can be a liberating thing, I'm feeling. Manfriend can call me a pyro but if melting synthetic fabrics and playing with yarn makes me happy today? Then hey, I'll be doing it. Unfortunately, I bought a new iron today and need to test 'er out... doing laundry. Tomorrow, yeah, tomorrow I'll be weaving my dream together with yarn and a smile... and Real Housewives of NJ.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Struggling with Failure

Today I have been struggling with my failures. Now don't get me wrong... I usually try to stay in the positive and keep pushing through the hard stuff but as I was making a bag today with some of my now world famous Canadian Smocking (juuuuuuuuust kidding) I just totally botched it! Like got my sewing machine all caught up and rushed a little type impatient Amanda botched it. Now it's not irrepairable but I am just so frustrated that I could pull my hair out! Booooooooooooo.

Now I know I should quit while I am still on the sane side of the block but part of me wants this done and done now. Manfriend is playing video games and although he occasionally looks up to say "Babe, you alright?" I just reply with a hrrumph and growl a little, letting him know that I love him but that he needs to leave me alone, HA! He tells me that I am going to make mistakes, that it happens and while I love his sweet moon pie eyes, I also want to tear them from his head, because they are looking at me... failing.

No worries, I left his eyes in their sockets but had to walk away from my project. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who has ever felt so wicked frustrated on a work of craft, that was meant to be a masterpiece... but I still can't help feeling alone struggling with this temporary failure.

Power down sewing machine... you have the rest of the night off!