Well, we’re back from “The World” – that’s DisneyWorld to you lay people. Altogether, it was a really nice trip. The DVC Members Cruise was fun, but for some reason this time the food was lacking it’s usual luster. It’s not a really big issue though, as the family and I are not really big eaters. Why go on a cruise? Aren’t cruises all about the food? Some cruises might be — and I have no frame of reference — but Disney cruises are all about Castaway Cay. This has to be the cleanest most beautiful beach in all the world. And I mean it. Somehow the whole island just reeks of Disney. There is not so much as a leaf of seaweed on any of the beaches, the sand is perfectly contained to the beaches and doesn’t invade the “inland” spaces and walkways. Ok, so before this turns into a commercial…

This trip we tried a new hotel for the three nights after the cruise returned (sniff). We decided to give it a go finally, batten down the hatches and try out Shades of Green, the hotel reserved for military personnel. Now, I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and I went into this hotel expecting a dumpy brown building with boring brown rooms and the smell of 1980′s carpet. I was nicely surprised. The hotel itself was nicely designed, but overall lacked Disney’s theming. But hell, for the price we paid — cost is based on a person’s pay grade — it was clean, and spacious.

Every day on the trip, I kept thinking of things I wanted to write here. I had about 10 great ideas I’m sure, but honestly, I can’t remember any of them. Some day, I’ll learn that taking notes, is generally helpful, but until then, I will remain scatterbrained and spontaneous (ha!!).

I did decide I was going to revamp the site, and change this blog from strictly about my art, to one that is more about me. I have four blogs at the moment, and keeping up with all of them is, well, more than painful. In goes all my blogging about returning to Tang Soo Do, the depression I’ve been battling lately, all my stupid ailments that no one can figure out and my inherent non-geekiness. Although, some parts of the other blogs will have to be toned down as this one is much more public. :)

I also decided that starting today, I’m going to try (very hard!!) to take a picture of my daughter every day. I’d love to see the progression when it’s all done. Which leads me to the next thing, what is a good camera to buy? I want something compact and lightweight and pretty much point and shoot, I’m not into all that fancy-schmancy photo gear that plagues my husband’s camera.

Remember this painting? Well it’s been finished for a while, it’s even hanging in the hallway at home.

I love how the eyes turned out, and I love that it looks like Chris, but what the heck is that thing in the lower left corner? I mean, it’s not his neck, it’s like his face has been contorted into an odd shape. It’s not bugging me enough to take it down and redo it. :)

Here’s the newest attempt at painting. I’m going to hang it above the desk/sewing table in my sewing room. You know, the one I keep blabbing about, but never actually show you? Heh! Don’t look at the feet on this painting. Besides the fact that it’s not done, I was really struggling at getting color AND form right on the feet. It might just be that I need to paint on a huge scale. Part of my problem I’m sure, is that I like stiff stiff stiff brushes, and I only have one brush that is both tiny AND stiff.

Anyway, maybe I’ll show the finished product some time in the next half century. You know, the same way I’ve been promising pictures of the sewing room all clean and shiny.

In other news, Etsy is having a costume contest and I’m going to enter the kid’s Shego costume. Judging by the entries I’ve seen, we should have this one in the bag. But that’s me getting too overconfident. I’m actually pretty sure I’ll hear nothing. Chris has even made these great green glowy light things for her hands to emulate Shego’s magic powers.

I have no idea how we will top this next year… And I hope we don’t have to, because this costume was a major PITA. I mean, I basically had to cut the body suit pattern apart and put it back together with the correct colors in the right places. At one point, the kitchen table was covered in butcher paper copies of the pattern so that we could cut them out with seam allowances intact (This because I am essentially stupid and would forget to cut out seam allowances).

So other than painting, cleaning and making costumes, I’ve been sewing black cats. I have sewed something like 8 black cats in the last week. (And sold them all in my Etsy shop) If I had more black felt, I’d make more cats, but I don’t. Oh darn!

I’ve been working on cleaning out, and rearranging my sewing room for the last few weeks. I did a bunch of research, looked at other people’s ideas on flickr, (copied a few,) and started purging junk I will never use. I also managed to talk the husband into selling the daybed that took up way too much room in favor of an antique “murphy” bed that we found on craigslist. It’s really more of a hide-a-bed that folds into a cabinet, but it takes up a LOT less room. I even bought a new set of shelves. In total, I’ve spent about $75. The furniture cost me $25 (after the sale of our daybed), and I spent a fair bit at IKEA buying hangars and boxes, but so far I’m happy.

I even spent a whole evening folding fabric uniformly. I figure if it’s out where I can see it, I’ll be more likely to use it. And hey, I don’t have nearly as much as I thought! I guess it’s time to go shopping. Ok, not really. But I’m pretty happy seeing it all neat and tidy like.

I just wish I could bring myself to photograph it. Unfortunately, as I don’t feel it’s quite done, you get no action shots. Soon though, I promise.  I’m even painting a picture to hang over the sewing desk. I hope it comes out ok. And then I’m going to splurge on this really nice easel for my birthday (only 21 days to go – yikes!)

But in my search on flickr for the best craft room ideas, I came across this completely ludicrous photo. It was posted as sort of an ironic, “yeah whatever” photo, so I don’t feel bad in the slightest ripping it to shreds.

And so I present to you, Pottery Barn’s idea of a craft room.

Honestly, how inaccurate can you get? Most craft rooms are a messy little corner completely over stuffed with way too much junk that the crafter can never find, much less USE. In fact, from what I can tell from my research on creating a good studio, most craft areas are really spread throughout the house in places that are deemed unusable by other members of the family. Under beds, in the back of closets, etc.

So what kind of dreamland do you have to live in to envision a room with enough natural light to be the breakfast nook? Where your work surfaces are clean and shiny? Where are the ink stains and other miscellaneous crap that builds up on the flat surfaces? Who can keep rolls of wrapping paper in an open cubby like that without their 3 year old walking in a chewing on it? And then the dog comes in and knocks it all over and tramples on it.

The lamps are in such a place that any crafter worth her (his) salt would be bent over working hard and suddenly sit up to recieve a severe knock on the head from them. Oh and while we’re at that desk, don’t get me started on the stool. All I can think is I would need to alternately see my chiropractor and massuse every day to recover from sitting on it.

And now I’m just getting nit-picky, but are there any actual crafting supplies in that room? To me it looks like a really nice place to wrap presents and enjoy a cup of tea… but that’s it!

Ok, rant over. Time to go back to cleaning…

I’m not usually a huge fan of the Container Store’s wrapping paper. It’s overpriced, and what’s worse is they give you very little. But… I was there TRYING to find a box for a gift and figured I would just get the wrapping paper there, too, so I wouldn’t have to make another stop. So here I am standing in front of the typical white wedding paper wanting to vomit in pretty colors all over it. I hate all that sparkly, swirly, white and silver garbage, it’s just not me, and it’s definitely not the bride I was giving the gift to. But lo and behold just one display case over was this:

How perfect! It’s still those neutral bridal colors, but so much more modern. And I’m a huge sucker for chocolate brown anyway. I bought a pretty (though normal and plain) teal blue gift bow to put on it, and I gotta tell ya, it was perfect. I only wish I had taken a picture of the wrapped shower gift. I will take a picture of the wedding gift when it’s wrapped. (Sorry Sarah, no clues as to what your present is here…. Except, I’ll tell you that I bought it on Etsy)

Later, I’ll tell you all what I bought, and from whom. :)

I love love LOVE to play with tape measures. In fact, right now, I’m thinking I need one in my office at work to play with. This light fixture has me drooling and wanting to try and copy it.

The squeak as you tighten them up, pushing the center out to make a little round pyramid. Seeing how tall you can make that pyramid until the whole thing colapses due to unwinding. Ahhh… so fun.

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