Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday, New Years Eve style

Today is the last day of 2009. It's also my last day at my current job. I'm full of bittersweet feelings today. 2009 and this place both treated me pretty well, but I am boldly moving forward towards a better year and position. This is what I'm thankful for on the precipice of this new adventure called 2010:

1. Memories. I'm not a live-in-the-past kind of gal, but memories are still invaluable to me. They remind of us of what we've done, who we've known, and who we've become. They are little treasures.

2. Hopes. Despite my recent grumpiness, I'm an optimist overall. I know that things can always get better. It helps me look forward to new experiences. I like to start the New Year with my eyes, arms and heart wide open.

3. Experiences. Good or bad, I thrive on experiences. I love to try new things. Whether they bless me or burn me (quite literally sometimes -- I guess lampworking isn't for me), experiences expand the limits of what we can do, what we believe in, where we've been, etc. Just as "the unexamined life is not worth living," I think a life empty of risks is only half-full (see: still an optimist). I know 2010 will bring a whole new array of experiences.

I'm wishing a joyous New Year to you all! I hope it's a celebration that prepares you for a beautiful 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crafty Vegan Food Adventures #3

After a long, snowy, not-so-healthy weekend, I was dedicated to getting the week off to a good start. Here's what I ate yesterday.

I started the day with my breakfast of choice for the past couple of weeks: whole wheat bread with peanut butter (please excuse the missing bites!). I also had a mug of Moroccan mint green tea at work.


I had a morning snack of a banana -- a little yellow-brown for my taste, but still good.

For lunch, I wanted a huge salad, so I headed to Jason's Deli. The result:


It was so good! What you behold is several kinds of lettuce, yellow and red bell pepper, broccoli, baby carrots, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, red onion, a little bit of bean salad, hummus (upper left corner), cherry tomatoes (which I didn't eat, but I tried), and sunflower seeds topped with Italian dressing. I also had one of the organic flatbread crackers and four apple slices. So, so good! Artichokes are officially my new favorite salad topping.

For an afternoon "snack," I made some French press coffee. Here it is right after I plunged it. (Not the sexiest term, eh?) And yes, I did make that hot pad specifically for my French press.

Dinner was a bowl of chili made using Glue and Glitter's recipe and some TLC crackers.

We upped the spices, as always, and it was quite tasty. I think we'll add even more beans and tomatoes next time 'cause that's how we are. It was such fun to use my slow cooker again. I really need to make more stuff with that little baby. It's so convenient, and boy the apartment smelled good.

After dinner, we watched the American Masters documentary on Louisa May Alcott. It was so good! For dessert, I sliced up some pineapple and had some Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. I totally neglected to take a picture, but I think you can imagine it.

It was a good eating day, and I feel back on track. Tonight we're making baked potatoes and crossing our fingers that the snow doesn't fall too heavily again tonight.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A very snowy holiday

I had planned to share photos of all the handmade gifts I made this year. Unfortunately, a blizzard (yes, a blizzard in Oklahoma!) majorly altered our Christmas plans, so I haven't finished distributing everything yet. The sleet and hail started in early on the Eve, and by 4:00, a blanket of snow began to cover the city. We had planned to see my mom's half of the family for a while that afternoon but quickly rethought our plans. Mom and her amazing guilt trip brought us across town for a brief, hour-long visit, which, given my crankiness about the holidays in general, was probably perfect. Since my grandmother hosts but is badly in need of a hip replacement, my mom, uncle, taller half and myself did all the cooking. Between all of us, we had a delicious, stress-free spread of -- believe it or not -- totally vegetarian fare. It was perfect.

The snow continued to fall and fall. The official count is 5.8 inches in Tulsa, but there were drifts several feet high. Our part of the state actually got the least of it, too. I'm always the last person to be excited about the fluffy white stuff, but I have to admit that this was one of the best holidays I've ever had. We were stuck inside -- just the two of us -- from about 3:00 on the 24th until Sunday. We did venture out to walk the dog, but our cars stayed firmly in place. (As if we had another choice. Oh, the joys of apartment life.) I'll do a better rundown of some of my loot in another post, but I did want to share a couple of cell phone shots. First is our now-traditional Christmas breakfast:

Yep, that is a plate full of homemade (by me!) buttermilk biscuits and vegetarian white gravy (crafted by my beloved). The meal was decidedly un-vegan, but I'm back on the bandwagon today. We had coffee and fruit on the side. I wish this picture was representative of all the biscuits-and-gravy consumption but, well, there may have been seconds. And we may have barely put a dent into the fruit. Oh well. Next up is some snowy aftermath downtown:
It cracked me up that the plows moved the snow into a giant pile into the middle of Denver, a busy downtown street. I bet it won't be there for long. The work week is once again upon us.

I hope you all had a safe, warm, happy holiday. I also want to show some love to Hollyrocks, who is getting hitched today. Yay! I'm so happy for the newlyweds-to-be. Send them your good thoughts, and let's hope Eureka Springs welcomes them with open arms. :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

A gift for you

We got a blizzard in Oklahoma last night, which shortened some Christmas Eve plans and cancelled everything today. Here in Tulsa, we have six inches of snow on the ground. That's insane for this area! I'm not a fan personally, but the creature in my life who hates it the most is my tiny dog. I took this video this morning of her attempting to go get through show piles nearly as tall as her. I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Questionnaire

In yet another attempt to get into the spirit, I'm filling out this questionnaire I just read on She So Crafty. Feel free to fill it out, too!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I cannot stand egg nog, so hot chocolate. Also, hot chocolate contains chocolate. What's not to love? I like mine with cinnamon.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I'm 25 and no longer believe in Santa Claus. I don't think I'll tell my children there is a Santa either.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
My two-foot tree has its own multicolored lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I never have, but it could be fun. I don't really need an excuse to kiss my taller half. ;)
5. When do you put your decorations up?
Whenever I experience a moment of grinchlessness. I believe I put the tree out on Monday.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Generally it's mashed potatoes. However, we're starting a new Christmas morning tradition of vegetarian biscuits and gravy. He loves my homemade biscuits and has perfected the meatless gravy.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Hmm . . . I'm trying to remember. I had a lot of good holidays as a child. Oh, I know. There was a Minnie Mouse doll that laughed I really wanted when I was 6 or 7. My parents couldn't find one anywhere, so I guess they had one of the stores put it on order. On Christmas morning, I got some other toys plus a letter from "Santa" written on my typewriter that said I would get Minnie later on. I thought that was the coolest thing.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think one of my mean older cousins must have told me. I was 7. That should probably embarrass me.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
That was our family tradition when I was a kid, but my taller half and I no longer do.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
I remove it from its box and plug it in.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I am vehemently anti-snow. I don't like being cold and damp.
12. Can you ice skate?
Decently. I haven't been since I was a kid, though. I really want to try again.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I remember my mom giving me the complete works of Shakespeare when I was 11 or 12 and feeling super grown up. I don't really have one specific favorite gift, though.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Um, getting through them without exploding.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Used to be pumpkin pie. I guess it still is.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I'm looking forward to making new ones.
17. What tops your tree?
Most people's trees. Oh wait, you mean a tree topper? Nothing at the moment.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving. Even though it stresses me out, I love making gifts for people.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
"Patrick Swayze Christmas."
20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
I like them but can live without them.
21. Favorite Christmas Show?
Little Women (the one from 1994). It's not really a Christmas movie, but it's close enough, and it's AWESOME.
22. Saddest Christmas Song?
I guess I don't know any. I have had "Where Are You, Christmas?" from the Grinch movie in my head for days. That's pretty sad.

Today is my last day this week. Then I just have four more next week before my time at this job is over. Crazy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last-Minute Shopping Party


Tonight is the Tulsa Craft Mafia's Last-Minute Shopping Party at Fresh Roast! All our merchandise is 10%. Plus, you can enjoy great coffee and free baked goods while you shop for those last few gifts. Come out and join us!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm Brigid, and I'm Funky

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm experiencing the blues. You all gave me some wonderful advice on how to cheer up. Thank you so much! One thing I decided to do was reclassify myself: I'm in a funk, so I'm no longer cranky, I'm funky. That at least made me smile. I also did two more things to help lift my spirits.

1. I tried once again to brown my hair:

Getting closer. I may actually be my natural color again one of these days.

2. I tried doing something creative. Holly, my favorite bride-to-be, posted a fun-looking tutorial last week on making polymer clay candle holders. I had some left over from her fun lollipop workshop on December 5, so I decided to do a couple of my own. Of course, I had very few of the necessary supplies (i.e. the clay and the candle holders), so I had to improvise. I ended up combining her tutorial with the class we had taken. Here's the result:

They're not perfect, but I love them. See the sweet little candy cane?

I'm going to buy some seasonal candles to put in them.

Today is my final Friday lunch with the man I love. It's been our tradition for almost two years to have lunch together every Friday. Since the next two are holidays and my new job is in another part of town, today the tradition ends. I'm a little sad but also looking forward to savoring the experience. Then this weekend we have Christmas with his side of the family. I also have a wedding shower and a friend party. I shall not lack for distractions.

I hope you have a great weekend planned!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

As I mentioned in my last post about my winter blues, I'm a very lucky gal despite my funk. I wanted to make sure to acknowledge that with a Thankful Thursday post. Here's my three:

1. Job security. Actually, I just signed on to start a new job. My last day here is two weeks from today, then I get a week off, and then I start my new position. The pay is a little better, and I think it'll be a good fit.

2. Health. I get allergies and migraines, but I've had no serious illnesses or injuries in my life. It's as much luck as it is hard work.

3. Things to look forward to. I know sometime in January, I'll start feeling better just because the holidays are over. When that happens, I'll have a new job, crafting, fun classes, time with friends, vacations, and so much more to keep my occupied. As much as I hate the cold, the first part of the year is one of my favorites. It just teems with possibilities -- and the chance to relax. :)

So there are my three, as begrudgingly as I produced them. I hope you have a reason to be thankful today. (Also, please feel free to go back to my last post to give me more ways to cheer myself up.)

Edited to add this picture to fully demonstrate how whiny I am these days (or at least how I would look if I were this whiny...IN SPACE):


Winter blues

I try to keep my boo-hooing out of this blog to focus on crafting and cooking and all those fun things. However, I'm suffering from a bad case of the winter blues this year, and right now, that's the only thing on my mind. Something about the cold snap and the holidays turns my smile upside-down for a month or so. My creativity dries up, my motivation wanes, and all I want to do is watch bad TV while curled up on the couch. I'm pretty good at handling my own stress, but the blues are always a challenge for me. I spend much of the year upbeat. Dealing with the downs is something I'm still figuring out.

I'm incredibly lucky, so being blah makes me feel guilty on top of everything. So, I am appealing to my blog readers to lend me a hand. How do you cheer yourself out of a funk? I'm willing to try almost anything (within reason, of course), so let me have it. I'll post about anything I try.

Thanks, my lovely readers!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deluxe recap

Hey everyone! I meant to post this Deluxe recap yesterday, but I was under the weather again. I think it was just another allergy attack, but man were my taller half and I out of commission this weekend. The poor guy has been sick for over a week now, too. Bummer.

Anyway, Deluxe was fun, if not a big financial success for me. I always enjoy seeing my lovely fellow crafters (three cheers for being back to back with the delightful Sweetheartville once again), doing a little shopping and passing out some business cards. I shared space with Tara of Mason Designs (her new and awesome venture). We went for colorful and happy but not overtly Christmas-y. Is my Grinch showing?

The whole booth:

Here's our brightly colored table designed to lure in the shoppers. Did it work? Eh, a little.

Here's the table in the middle, which underwent several transformations after this photo was taken.

And the long table with most of our stuff. Doesn't our jewelry go well together?

Oh! And the best part of all. Briana of Sheez Krafty came by to say hello. Her keen eye caught sight of this little visitor shopping for Wizard of Oz rings:

Little ladybug, you are welcome any time.

Even though the shows are over, I'm keeping busy. Between two custom orders, two sales overnight and a bunch more family gifts to make, I better get back to it. Stay well (and warm), everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

And the scrub winner is . . .

I used random.org to determine the winner of my giveaway. There were 14 comments, and the winning number is . . .


Holly, number 5! I'll be in touch to give you your lavender and rosewood scrub. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Grama's Christmas Present

I've been having a crafty winter so far. Between shows and commissions and holiday presents, I've had a lot to do. I am almost done with a gorgeous piece that I can't wait to share -- only I have to, since it's a gift. I'll show it off soon, though.

In the meantime, I completed a hat and scarf set for my grandmother's Christmas gift. I feel safe putting them up here since they're for my grandmother who doesn't even touch a computer. I based them on a pair of patterns from Crochet Today's holiday edition but modified them for my preferences. Here's the scarf (photo taken a couple of weeks ago):

As you can see, I added a slot to pull one end of the scarf through. I thought it would be practical for my gardening grandmother. Check out the hat:


And here they both are together:

I am madly in love with this yarn from Loops! It's Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton yarn (all organic) in Caribbean and Lemonade. I may have to make myself a scarf from it next.

I need to assemble a few final things tonight for Deluxe tomorrow. If you're in the OKC area, don't forget to come shop!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deluxe on Saturday

My final craft show of the year is this Saturday. The lovely Tara and I will be sharing space at Deluxe in Oklahoma City on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will be packed with tons of amazing artists. You don't want to miss it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

All Souls Recap

I admit that I woke up a bit cranky on Sunday morning before my craft show. I had gone to set up the day before to discover that my space was half the size of the previous two years. That was annoying, but was really irritated me was that some people had full-size tables while the rest of us did not. And we hadn't been informed in advance. That wasn't cool. Then the start was slow, which didn't help my mood. Luckily, things picked up, and I remembered why it's one of my favorite shows of the year: sales are pretty good, the time commitment is teeny (9 until 1ish), the booth fee is minimal (10% of sales), and the company is great. However, because of my crankiness, I didn't take my camera, so I snapped this horribly blurry shot of my table with my cell phone:
Sorry about that, folks. Anyway, despite the constraints, I thought everything looked nice. I actually sold out of my new lavender scrub -- amazing! I will be making plenty more this week before Deluxe, which approaches quickly, as in this Saturday. Yikes! I have some more work to do.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Giveaway!

In celebration of my new scrub fragrance, I've decided to hold a little giveaway here on the studio blog. The winner gets a 4 oz. jar of one of my scrubs -- your choice which scent. The four available fragrances are Caffe Vanilla (coffee grounds and vanilla extract), Orange Spice (sugar scrub with orange, cinnamon and clove), Rosemary Peppermint (salt with, well, rosemary and peppermint) and the all-new eand Rosewood (sugar with, yep, lavender and rosewood). All are made with natural oils, spices and wonderfully moisturizing safflower oil.

There's the new scent on the block, in all its pure-white-as-the-driven-snow glory.

Here's how to win:
1. Leave me a comment telling me which scrub makes you want to draw a hot bath and light a candle. Make sure to leave an email address or some way for me to contact you.
2. Tweet about the giveaway and comment here with the link.
3. Write a blog post about my contest and leave me a comment with the link.

Yep, that's three ways to win. The contest begins today and runs until Friday, December 11 at 4:00 p.m. Oklahoma time. Good luck!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New scrub!

I want to thank everyone who voted in my poll about scrub fragrances. It was a close call between two of the categories, but relaxing/calming won out. So last night, I got to work creating my newest fragrance. I was going to be all sensible and wait until tomorrow to announce it with a giveaway, but, well, I'm too excited! The newest scent in the line-up is Lavender and Rosewood. The two essential oils complement each other wonderfully. They are soothing and
lightly earthy, perfect accompaniments to a relaxing bath. I mixed them into a sugar-and-safflower-oil concoction. I can't wait to debut them this weekend!

As for the giveaway, it will have to wait until tomorrow since I didn't manage to photograph anything last night. Make sure to drop by this blog Friday to get in on the fun!

All Souls Arts & Crafts Fair

This Sunday, I will be set up once again at the Arts & Crafts Fair at All Souls Unitarian Church. I look forward to this show for a couple of reasons. First, all the vendors are members of the church, and all are extremely talented. For some reason, the denomination attracts creative, artistic folks. There will be great pottery, knitted items, kids stuff, and a whole lot more. The fun can be had between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

It's also a very nostalgic show for me because it was the first one I ever did back in 2007. That means this year's will mark the beginning of my third year on the circuit. So fun! Here's a not-so-great photo from that first outing:

Wow! You learn so much for the first show. My booth set-up has come a long way. I'm looking forward to a new display piece I have to offer this time. I'll share photos soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crafty Vegan Food Adventures #2

These are the tasty vegan treats I ate yesterday.

I often start my morning with a delicious bowl of oatmeal, enhanced by pecans, maple syrup and lots of cinnamon.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit to photographing today's breakfast. I forgot to take the picture yesterday, but it was identical.) Oatmeal is filling, warming and healthy first thing in the morning. Yum!

I often go out for lunch, so I decided to hit up Big Al's. It's one of my favorite places. The food is healthy and easy to veganize. I opted for the avocado sandwich, minus the cheese. (It also had lettuce, tomato, sunflower seeds and onions.)
And I got a delicious pineapple-strawberry smoothie to go with it.

I had to eat a little later than usual because of an all-encompassing morning project, so I didn't end up needing a snack. For dinner, I roasted up fingerling potatoes, a pound of asparagus and two portobello mushroom caps. All had garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I added rosemary to the potatoes and mushrooms and balsamic vinegar to the latter only. Check out this mouth-watering plate:
If you've never roasted veggies before, all I did was preheat the oven to 425˚, clean and chop the veggies, drizzle olive oil in a 9x13" baking dish, move the veggies around to cover them with oil, and top with tasty things. Twenty minutes later, I had dinner. I now have the rest of the asparagus and another mushroom for tonight's dinner. There are no potatoes left because I ate the first half of them Monday night.
While preparing dinner, I had one piece of Endangered Species chocolate (the dark chocolate with orange flavor). I had another piece after dinner. I ate these too quickly to photograph, but here's a picture I stole off Photobucket:
Around 9:30, I needed one final snack, so I had two clementines, arranged as artistically as I can because I thought it would make a nice picture.

They were sweet, juicy and delicious -- a perfect dessert. I may be a little obsessed with them at the moment.
So there's where my calories went yesterday. After a long weekend of dairy, processed foods and sodium, my body has been craving veggies and fruits. I am really looking forward to tonight's leftovers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wish List

Every year, I update my Amazon wish list before my birthday and Christmas in hopes I will receive something I actually want (as in, not a set from Bath & Body Works or a gift card to Walmart). This works occasionally. Of course, most of the things I really and truly want aren't on there, but I find it difficult to get folks to use my Etsy favorites. I'm always curious what items other lovers of all things handmade are tempted to buy, so I thought I'd do my part by showing you a few things on my list.

First off is this pouch by CutOutAndCollect featuring a unicorn on a purple background:

I definitely need this awesome, Alice-inspired ring by pocketfullofpoesy:


I've been eyeing this totally non-vegetarian-friendly apron by snappyshop since, like, forever:

And last is an iPod case with a bunny on it (of course) by stitchkitsch:


What's on your wish list?

About Me

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Tulsa, OK, United States
Hello! Welcome to my blog, which I run in conjunction with my Etsy shop, greyeyedesigns.etsy.com. Here, I'll track things I'm working on, do reviews and interviews, and offer advice and information. Thanks for stopping by!

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