Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Joy of Food

Okay, yeah so I'm suppose to be on a diet.
And yeah, it is true...
the only thing I can control is the distance between by hand and my mouth. (gee thanks Doc)

But oh phooey, I am a sucker for a good meal.
What is even better? A good meal with great company!

Mom brought home Vietnamese food from BaLe. Yum!

Mmmmm Summer Rolls [shrimp & tofu]
I love the peanut sauce it comes with but it was also another perfect occasion to bust out my Pietro's dressing too!

The sandwiches were the bomb!
I love the crunchy freshness of the carrots, cucumbers, & daikon.
Vegetables never looked or tasted so good. Delish!

My lunch dates, Mom & Grandpa K.
See his tray? He likes his meals a certain way and it usually involves about five bowls, Ensure, and a cup of coffee. After almost 95 years, I guess you know what you like and stick with it.
I don't blame him, its always interesting to see what he's eating and if you are Rayli (his 4-yo buddy) ... sit next to him and pick out of all his bowls.

and later that night ...

Did I ever mention my "tween" wanting to be a pastry chef?
The upside: She likes to try new recipes.
The downside: The aren't usually good for my diet or my cholesterol
but they do make me happy ... verrrrrry happy :)

Aiyanna's cinnamon rolls waiting to rise.

Aiyanna's cinnamon rolls waiting to be devoured.

Hope your day is just as sweet as those rolls are up there!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mom & YouTube

My Mom discovering the joys of YouTube (thanks to her grandkids!)

fyi: here's the link they showed her

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Child Labor? Say What?

Thought it might be fun to show you my current stamping process ...

location: dining table & kitchen counter
(I should have took a picture of the unhappy husband ... what? hammering is not music to your ears? oh really?)

some handy tools: sharpie, 2 lb. "drilling" hammer, double stick tape
Jason also gifted me a metal-ish plank that was building infrastructure in its previous life (I think). It is the most awesome thing to stamp on ever. Goes to show you, tools can be created from all kinds of found objects!

A good heavy hammer is also a must. It makes the job a lot easier and it gives you a nice workout too! Can you imagine me with one nice super-toned arm? Ha!

Yes, I train them young.
This is my baby, Rayli, dapping away. Look Mom, I don't even have to look! I have to say her rates are cheap. I miss being a kid and thinking Skittles were currency. I once gave her $5 for helping me and she said, "I can't eat paper. I quit."

Action shot.
And look, no dress code required.
Show up to work in Dora Explorer pjs. You don't even have to comb your hair :) I'm such a super boss right?!

This is another employee of the month.
This is my Jazzy-Cakes, busy concentrating on the details.
I usually like to use Patina Gel to darken the stamped images but good ol' Sharpie can do the trick especially if you are short on time!

Time to polish away with a Sunshine cloth!
Go Jazzy Go!
She was thrilled since yellow is her favorite color ...
I must say, she is a gem to work with and she likes to get paid in Pokemon cards :)

Another must have ... a TUMBLER!
It's like a magic machine.
Dirty stuff goes in and shiny goodness comes out.
No extra work required and all I use is some Dawn dish washing liquid and maybe a few sprays of Quik-Brite. I've had this tumbler in my stash back when my kids wanted to tumble rocks.
If it ever dies, I'm gifting myself a Lortone tumbler.
I've heard they are the best of the best and they last a long time.

Making jewelry is fun ...
but making jewelry with your kiddos & people you love ... AWESOME!

For me, it isn't always about the finished piece, many times I find meaning and worth just through the process itself.
Hey, kind of like life right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gooooo Hawks!

Jydon is a mini-me version of my hubs.
Sports, video games, & girls.

For the past few years, James has volunteered to coach the kids' teams & its been a great bonding experience for the kids, giving them extra Daddy time.

We usually host the end-of-season party for Jydon's team at our house. This year, I thought it would be cute to make custom favors for the kids.

Here's a peep at the finished goody bag.
I forgot to pick up ribbon, so we had to use pink curling ribbon to tie the bags. We told the kids that we chose pink because it was Coach J's favorite color :)

I cropped the team pictures and added font using Photoshop. I picked up the photo key chains at Long's Drugs (on sale for a little over $1).

I stamped copper blanks and wire wrapped them to copper key chains. Doesn't the copper look just like lil' basketballs?
Considering I haven't stamped in over a year,
the project went smoothly except for the basketball stamp ...
what a headache but after some practice, I got a teensy bit better.

It's funny how you convince yourself,
"Hmmmm, this project will take a couple hours."
Ha! After the stamping, doming, sanding, polishing, tumbling,
and wire wrapping ... woooooo weeeeee.

At the same time, it also reminded me how fun stamping is!
Been a stampin' fool lately :)

The party was fun. James always knows how to throw a party ...
and get everyone soaked with water balloons.
(which is why I never have pics!)
I don't know who has more fun, the kids or the parents!

Football season, here we come!


Also wanted to share the lunch Aiyanna made me today.

a lemon pepper chicken, tofu, and Manoa lettuce salad
topped with bacon bits & Pietro's Sesame Miso dressing.

Pietro's ... affectionately referred to as the "crack of salad dressings."
Sesame Miso, Soy Sauce, and Ginger are my favorites ...
and I'm bummed I can't find them at the commissary!
If they aren't in your dressing aisle, look in the Asian section (made in Japan).

Also, decided to dress up the blog using a free background from shabbyblogs.com
Awesome & easy to use! Will play around more when I have some free time.

until next time,
be well blogworld.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cuff 'Um Dan-O

Finally got some creative juice flowing and
oooh, oooh, oooh it feels good
Another perk of working at a bead store ...
getting to clock out early and take a workshop!

(It's hard to call it work because I'm surrounded by friends & I ♥ what I do!)
*If you are going to get a job, I highly recommend doing something you enjoy :)

So here it goes ...
*My Skull Cuffcake*

Technique: Rolling mill
(think super sized pasta machine made for metal)
Material: Sterling Silver 18gauge Sheet

Shout out to Cupcake Jamie who bought me a skull punch!
She's awesome & my jewelry yoda.

Out of all jewelry mediums,
I have to say working with metal is one of my favorites.

1. I'm lazy and I like immediate gratification.
With wire, I don't have to worry about sewing in loose ends, crimping, or any other "finishing" techniques. Whew! I'm not saying metal=cakewalk but it sure beats having a tangled mess of thread (yes, speaking from experience here.)***

2. Metal can be forgiving.
Sand it, texture it, tumble it.
Magically turn those errors into design elements.

3. I love the look & feel of it.
For me, metal can be simple & sleek or it can be intricate & delicate.
It can be dressed up or dressed down.
Lately, I've been into layers of chain, multiple bangles, & lots of charms. Sounds fun? You betcha!

[Metal = sterling silver, fine silver, gold-filled, copper, brass, etc.]

I'm thinking, I may oxidize it and use a steel brush to give it a grungy/industrial look but we'll see. I'll post pics if I do.

Well, this project got me going again and I am ready to make more!!!

It made me feel like I could be creative again ... and not suck at it!
I was feeling pretty uncreative & suck-tastic lately
but this was a perfect pick-me-up.
A total "create without boundaries" type of project. Yay!

If you are interested, check it out here :)
I would love to see ya there!

*disclaimer: I still love needle & thread, crimping, and finishing ... Just not when I'm lazy or on days that start with the letters T or S.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Grandpa K in the house!

Note to self: breathe and enjoy every lil' bit of life
(and blog about it ... my poor neglected blog, I haven't forgotten you.)

Thrilled I was able to capture this moment ...
My hubs gave my 95-year old Grandpa a 'hawk and got him to throw up the deuces.
(I've never seen Granpda K so happy before!)

Just a reminder that even when you are feeling like crap ...
find a reason to smile.