Sunday, December 27, 2009

Longest Bead Strand

Yesterday I went to Shipwreck Beads and volunteered to help them break the Guinness World Record for the longest strand of beads. My sister told me about this event and invited me to come. Many volunteers showed up to the event, and we went to work stringing plastic pony beads. There were film crews and a radio station recording the event, and many important people in the city of Lacey were there officiating, such as the Mayor and chief of police.

The record to break was 1439.9 feet, it was set in Maryland, Oct. 30th. (Thank you Nicole for the research!) Shipwreck's goal was to reach a half mile. The record was broken at 3469 feet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

First OB Appointment

Today was the first OB visit. Usual tests were done, but I don't know what exactly. I know I peed in a cup and had 3 vials of blood drawn. The doctor was very tired and thus, unfortunately, very unprofessional. I felt that all my questions were treated with frustration or unwillingness to answer. He even laughed at one of my questions. Despite that, we did have some happy moments. First, the nurse attempted to find the heartbeat but said that it may not be heard this early. We did hear the heartbeat immediately. It was loud and strong! Hearing it made me so excited that I started to laugh a little, which made it hard for the nurse to keep the thing positioned on my tummy. We also got a better look at the baby on the ultrasound! The heartbeat was seen and even the umbilical cord was quivering.Baby is facing downward in the ultrasound pic, with the head on the right. Huge noggin! You can see the leg and foot bent at its pointy little bottom. The long object pointing down in the middle is the umbilical cord.

We also learned that the initial due date is off by a week. The new due date is June 7th. The doctor kept asking if I was sure on the date of my last menstrual cycle, which was kind of annoying. I was 100% positive with this info because it correlated with my birthday. Regardless, baby is healthy so far, and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween at the E.R.

I hope everyone had a nice Halloween! I ended up with a scare and had Bobby take me to the emergency room. I had started bleeding and became worried. At the E.R. I was examined to make sure my cervix was ok - it was. And I had blood drawn to check my pregnancy hormones. If the hormones were low then there was a danger of miscarriage, but mine were where they should be. And, I had an ultrasound done. It is only about an inch long so was hard to make anything out, but we did see the heartbeat and were assured that baby was ok.It is the mass on the left side of the dark spot. Tomorrow is the first visit to the obstetrician.
I'm kind of bummed about Halloween since I have so much candy. Bobby's mom bought a ton of candy yesterday morning and told us not to buy any, but she didn't know that we had gotten our candy a week ago. Who buys candy on Halloween. By then all the good stuff is sold.. But anyways, we have way more candy than needed and planned to give out huge handfuls, but we didn't get home until 9:30 and all the kids were going home. Now I've got a year's supply. Free candy anyone?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bead bracelets

Recent finished projects. I think it's been forever since I beaded something that wasn't pink-themed.
This was fun to make. Its a beaded rope using 2 sizes of seed beads, causing it to spiral, and flowers and leaves mixed in.

Peacock color beads. This one is from the Feb/March 2005 issue of Beadwork.
Pictures don't show very well. My husband and I have discussed getting a good camera now that we have a baby on the way. I've been making due with my crumby cell phone, so a new camera will be nice. I don't think I've ever used a nice camera..


Big news - I'm going to have a baby! I'm excited!
I've known for a while, but I wanted to delay announcing it to all. I'm now in my 9th week, start of month 3, and will have my first check up next week. Occasionally I'd like to post what I'm feeling/going through.

I first found out on September 27th via home test. I repeated the test on the 28th to make sure I wasn't getting my hopes up. People have told me that I am lucky that the majority of my pregnancy will take place during winter, since pregnant women tend to feel very hot. Doctors have guessed my due date will be around May 31st. That is right at the beginning of summer, and I don't know how I'll do toting a baby/diaper bag/carrier car seat/etc. around with me during the peak of summer. All the more reason to convince my husband to finally buy me an air conditioner for the house! just kidding.

So, let me talk about some of the fun stuff that has happened so far - symptoms!! yay!
First: morning sickness - while I did feel especially nauseous, I didn't actually vomit. I'm glad to say that I haven't vomited very much in my 27 years of life. I was also very dizzy for the first 2 months. At the start of month 3, I haven't had either symptom. When I first suspected I was pregnant (when my cycle was late, around the 23rd of Sept.) I decided to stop all my medications cold turkey. I was taking medication for depression and anxiety, and both cause dizzy/nausea when starting or stopping, so I don't know how much of my symptoms I could contribute to pregnancy versus medicine withdrawals.

Digestive issues/stoppage/etc. Within the first few weeks I was sooo bloated that I looked 4 months pregnant already. They say that no one is gassy like a pregnant woman.. it's true. Constipation also goes hand-in-hand with pregnancy, unfortunately. For the first month and a half, heartburn was also a big opponent. Before, I was taking Prilosec OTC, but it isn't safe to take anymore. The heartburn has cooled down for the most part. Rolaids Chews and chewable fiber tablets are my friends.

Food cravings! Weeks ago, I had a turkey sandwich from the store, but it was so dry, so I put mustard and dill relish on it. I loved the dill relish so much that after I ate the hoagie sandwich, I sat down with a spoon and the jar of dill pickle relish. It was so satisfying. I also feel like I'd rather have plain vanilla ice cream over my other favorite flavors. Especially vanilla soft serve. For my husband's birthday we ate at a Chinese restaurant, and it was good until I had to smell the leftovers in the fridge. Ever time the fridge door opened, I was running away gagging.

Breasts. Yes, I'll talk about my boobies... (ugh) The pain..! It hurts so much! I've never wanted so much to just cut them off. Up until now I have never, ever been sensitive there, in a good or bad way. Now I find myself smacking them against random furniture, or even rubbing on my shirt is enough to send me crying. Almost every morning, my cat Matrix likes to cuddle with me by laying on my tummy (his favorite spot, now that I'm expecting) and when he gets the urge to rub against my face his paws put all of his weight on my nipple. It seems he's not bothered by my screaming out in pain. Recently he found himself flying off the bed.

Other symptoms. Excess saliva - apparently drooling is a symptom of pregnancy. I don't know if I drool when I sleep, but during the day I find that I have more spit than normal.
Sensitive to smell - I smell things so much stronger now. Last night I fried some chicken, and even after cleaning up, I couldn't sleep because I could smell oil and it was making me gag.
Itching - this keeps me up most nights. A mix of hormones and winter are probably to blame. Anti-itch cream don't work. Last night the itching caused me to break into tears of frustration. I think this is the worst thing I'm going through right now..

I also have to pee all the time. And I feel exhausted all the time. I've never been so glad to be jobless. I read that the first and last trimester are the worst, and I've just started the last month of the first trimester. I'm counting down to better days soon.

Right now, baby is about 1 inch long. I've gained 6 lbs so far. I'm not fazed by that since my weight has always fluctuated a lot. I gain and lose so fast, and I've already had stretch marks from weight loss/gain before I even became pregnant. I'm looking forward to becoming round like a hippo! My first doctor's appointment will be Nov. 2nd, five more days! I'll have a battery of tests done. My family is pretty excited, and I'll be getting many phone calls asking how things went.

In other news, my husband and I just celebrated 7 years of marriage! The 26th was our anniversary, we celebrated with very full tummies after eating at a Japanese steakhouse.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Artist Trading Cards

Recently I was at the craft store buying embroidery floss, and near the checkout was some discarded merchandise. Among them was a pack of canvas paper blank "trading cards". It is for creating your own miniature art pieces to trade with others, called Artist Trading Cards. I had never heard of it before, but it's a neat idea. I bought a pack and have been painting them with kimono patterns. These cards are available for trade if interested, but I don't know how well the "trading market" is doing (??)...

Kimono series, card 1 - "Shibori"
July '09A simple design, made to look like Japanese tie-dye dots called shibori.

Kimono series, card 2 - "Blooms"
July '09
This one uses color pencil and sharpie to draw sakura cherry blossoms.

Kimono series, card 3 - "Sakura"
June '09
Another sakura, on a gradient background.

Kimono series, card 4 - "Low Tide"
September '09
I liked the idea of this one. The background is a soft silver, and with the gold flowers the shine is bright (not seen in the scan, sorry) but unfortunately my pencil made deep indents in the darker gray "waves" so it shows up as scars when viewed at an angle.

Kimono series, card 5 - "Tsunami"
Again, I wish the shine could be seen. I used a purple background and then topped it with the same silver paint. The effect is so glittery. The green lines in the "waves" is also topped with the silvery sheen.

So, those are my first attempts. I hope to get better at fine details. I have the hardest time finding decent fine-tip paint brushes. I'd love any advice people have on how to keep the paint brush tip nice and pointy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beading, again

Can you tell I'm trying to make up for lost time? Multi-post day, yay!

Another bead project. This bracelet is made of seed beads and lucite flowers.

The charm of this one is that it looks different depending on the angle. The clasp is the big flower, as a toggle-type closure, utilizing a magnetic clasp.


After the emotional blow of getting fired, my sister took me out shopping at her workplace. She works at a bead store, Shipwreck Beads. I had an extremely good time. I indulged in an espresso - something I hadn't had since becoming jobless, and I splurged on beads. Up until that day I was stuck at home crying non-stop, I didn't think I'd 180 emotionally in one day. That shopping day kick-started my dormant creativity and gave me something to be excited about again.
I've made several items since then, but recently I've been on a creative downward slope.. I figured I should post some things, and maybe my creative juices will get going again.
So, here is a bracelet I've made. I used a pattern in a bead magazine, I don't remember which..

It's made of seed beads, the flowers woven in a 3D shape. It's cute and girly, but the clasp is cheap quality and difficult to open and close.

Long time no see

So, adding to my blogs has taken a backseat recently. Last July I was fired from my job, during a difficult time in which I was already fighting depression and anxiety. The blow was really tough on me, and added a lot to my emotional pains. I regret to say that for the longest time I have been curled up in a ball, hiding in bed, avoiding the world. I'm still recovering, but better than I was. Things are getting better now. Wish me luck in a speedy recovery.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cupcake Coin Purse - Tutorial!

I made this coin purse some time ago, and I took pictures as I worked, just in case I decided to do a tutorial. I think it's about time I got to work on that! I hope I remember all the steps.. Feel free to use your imagination and create your own designs!

Lining material - I used pink cotton, 2 pieces cut larger than desired size
Zipper - I used an invisa-zip, 3-4 inches
Cupcake base material - I used camel-color felt
Cupcake frosting material - I used pink felt
Multi-color seed beads
2 Brown seed beads and 2 brown bugle beads
Red fabric - just a small scrap
2 inches of small lace
Sewing thread, pink and tan

Draw on a piece of paper the basic shape you want the coin purse to be. Cut it out and use this as your template (not shown). Trace your template onto the lining material (both pieces). Make marks where you would like the ends of the zipper to stop.

Trim the fabric around the crown of the cupcake, leaving 1/4" - 1/2". Attach the zipper to one piece of the lining at a time. Follow the instructions on the zipper package, or make it up as you go, like i did.

Here is what the reverse side of the lining and zipper should look like.
Trim the excess fabric around the outside of the cupcake and sew the two pieces together, up to the ends of the zipper.

Cut out your felt pieces to the same shape and size of your paper template - except for the cupcake base, it should go higher so that you can layer it underneath the frosting. Cut out 2 frostings and 4 bases.
Take 2 of the base pieces and layer them, then using tan thread, sew vertical lines. This will make one thick piece. Repeat with the other 2 base pieces.
Sew colorful seed beads on the frosting pieces to make sprinkles.

For the cherry on top, make a "whipped cream" out of lace. Hand-sew loosely along the inside end of the lace and then pull the thread gently to make it gather into a circle. Secure the thread ends.
Make the cherry out of a small scrap of red fabric. Add a little ball of stuffing, or a cotton ball, and gather the ends of the fabric in the back securely, trimming off excess. For the cherry stem, thread a brown bugle bead, followed by a brown seed bead, another bugle beed, and another seed bead - then double back through the bugle beads and center seed bead - sew it through the top of the cherry and pull it through to the back and pull slightly to create a slight indent near the stem of the cherry. Sew the cherry and whipped cream lace to one piece of the frosting felt.

Sew the cupcake base pieces to the lining using a blanket stitch. Sew the three at the same time. Futuregirl's blog has a very good tutorial on doing a blanket stitch. Use small, inconspicuous stitches in matching tan thread. Sew only the sides and bottom.The next steps are pictured! Sorry! Blanket stitch the frosting pieces to the lining, starting st the zipper. Leave and area open and add a thin layer of stuffing. Blanket stitch it closed where the frosting meets the base, but only sew through the felt layers, not the cotton lining.

Inside view of the pouch. It's puffy and cute, I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Needlepoint update

Just wanted to post an update on the needlepoint I'm working on. I'd say it's about 1/4 done now. This passes the time well when I'm stuck at home.
Matrix keeps me company while I work on it. We sit in front of the TV on the couch together.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I've started my first needlepoint this last weekend. I decided to start this after I finished the cross-stitch (see previous post). Here is the progress so far.
I doesn't look like much yet! I'm learning some tricks though, and it passes the time.
The previous cross-stitch - I went on a hunt yesterday to find a cheap frame & mat at thrift stores, but no luck. I can't seem to find one that fits. I really don't want to spend tons of money, so I'll keep looking. I think I tried 8 thrift stores so far, kind of discouraging!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My House

Last Sunday my in-laws came to my house for dinner. My husband's aunt Mary is visiting from New Jersey, and we wanted to have her over to see our house for the first time. It's only the second time the in-laws have seen the house as well. Normally the house is a huge mess! We live like slobs mostly, so having it this clean is a rare. Only the living areas are clean, the storage rooms (2 spare bedrooms), garage, and man-cave (den) are still a mess. Anyway, I took pictures, so let me show you around!
Here is a picture of the outside of the house. Please excuse the weeds in the driveway. I recently read on the internet that you can sprinkle table salt on weeds that grow in cracks and they'll shrivel up and die. I did this and the weeds grew twice as big as before in one week! I'm guessing this home remedy is false. I also read that vinegar works too. I'll try this, maybe. You can see how unruly the rose bushes are! I forgot to trim them this year.

The entrance way. It's a split level house. The downstairs goes to the man-cave. The garage is accessed down there too, and there is a full bathroom. The bathroom down there is used for Matrix's litterbox, and my husband's friends when they come over and play games in the man-cave. You can see Matrix at the top of the stairs here. He's thinking, "whoa, the door is open!"
Shoes aren't worn in the house. Normally they pile up here. It's a tripping hazard, but I haven't found a shoe caddy that fits in this tiny space. I hate the ugly brown carpet in the house. When we first moved in, it was flea-infested from the previous owner.
Here is the kitchen. It's tiny.

The dining room. Normally the table is used as a catch-all for whatever. It's nice to finally be able to see the surface of the table! Matrix eats in the corner here. This is also where I display a kimono. I switch it out occasionally. Also is a picture of me, some fake bonsai that I made, and other display stuff.

Here's a close-up of the picture displayed with the kimono.

Outside is the new BBQ. It was a nightmare putting together! We put it together the day before the in-laws came over to visit, and we found out we didn't get the screws or instructions. Bobby had to go to Lowes to get replacement parts. We were also told that it included the propane, but it wasn't so, so we had to buy that as well.

Here is the living room. The TV is new. (^_^)v We never use the fireplace. The tiger plushies were won from carnival games. Matrix was frightened of the large tiger, it was so cute! Now it's Matrix's punching bag.

The main hallway leads to the bedrooms. Behind the couch is my doll case. The bonsai on top was also made by me, as well as the camelias hanging on the wall in the center of the picture.

Sorry for the shine from the glass. Bobby got this case for me. These are all my Japanese Barbie dolls. I have most of the good ones so far. The top 2 are New Year's Barbies. The bottom two are geisha Barbies that I made myself.

The rest of the Barbies. The very bottom one is a vintage Barbie, wearing the first true Barbie kimono. Rare and expensive, found for cheap and good condition! I'm such a nerd...

The bedroom. I love the bed spread. I got it at Walmart (lol!). Matrix's bed is on top of the dresser.

One of many sword sets. This is the newest set Bobby won at a tournament. I'd love to display them all, but Matrix loves to chew on things. How pretty my house would be if Matrix didn't chew on things...

The windows in the living room and bedroom are very deep. I can sit on them very comfortably. Matrix loves to sit here and watch the world.

Company Picnic

Last Saturday was my company's picnic. Every Summer the picnic is held at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA. This year's picnic was BBQ ribs and chicken.
The weather was really mild, and seemed to be on the verge of raining. We were lucky and it did not rain.

There were games set up for the children, as well as a playground on the picnic site. A co-worker had brought a homemade game for the adults. I don't know what it was called, but it involved tossing large metal washers into holes, kind of similar to horseshoes. We played this game for hours!

Piñatas were set up for the kids. Sticks were not used, since it is dangerous for a work function. The piñatas were busted open taking turns pulling a string from the bottom. Picking the correct string broke open the bottom and poured out the candy. I had never seen this kind of piñata.
SpongeBob and Transformers.

The wonderful thing about Point Defiance Park is the location next to the ocean and the zoo. The picnic site was right behind the lion holding area, so roars could be heard. The ocean is accessed from a rustic staircase. The beach was rather cold, but there were plenty of hiking trails!

It was a fun weekend!