Embracing Change: A Love Story

This post has been brewing for a long time. It all started with a question quite a few months ago; I’ll get to that. I was going to write it yesterday but the day came and went. But here it comes.

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated 18 years of being “John and Chrissy.” 18 years as a couple. Our story began in 4th grade when we sat next to each other. I moved to a different community for middle school but then came back for high school. The rest is history. We started dating freshman year and have been “us” every since.

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Freshman Year, 1999

A few months ago I went to have a coffee date with a new friend. We were doing the usual “get to know each other” question and answer session. She asked me, referring to my husband and I being together so long, “Have you guys changed a lot?” My immediate response, with a laugh, “Pshhh, no!” I didn’t realize the impact of that question. I have thought of that question almost every day since then.

When I initially asked myself the question again, my reasoning for the NO answer was this: I am still the goof I was in high school. He’s still the muscle that can pick me up and swing me over his shoulder. We still listen to the same music. He still drives and I passenger. We are still together so of course we haven’t changed. But then I continued to ask myself the question over and over since then and I keep realizing, we are totally NOT the same people that we were when we first met, or got married, and we definitely aren’t the same couple after all these years.

The easiest change to see, we are now parents. And even that has changed in the 9 years since we had our daughter. But the other changes might not be as obvious, even to the people who know us best.

The first thing I think of is the way we eat. On our 1 year dating anniversary, John took me out to a super fancy seafood restaurant, not realizing I didn’t eat any sort of seafood. I filled up on bread and ordered a chicken meal. It took me a good 15 years to live that one down. “Remember the time I took you out for fish and you ordered the chicken?” When we were first married I don’t think I ever cooked a vegetable. We ate meat with rice or pasta. We ate out a lot. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago we decided to make changes in our diet. And it wasn’t until just last year that we really decided we were going to clean out our cabinets and start from scratch and start eating clean. Vegetables are now one of our favorite things to eat! And I LOVE seafood!! And I cook wayyyy more often than I ever did; we rarely eat out.

We grew up in southern California. I am not trying to say that there are only two types of people in SoCal, but for this blog there are two types of people; fancy people and hippies. Maybe instead of fancy I could call them lavish. In my opinion, lavish people want a perfect house, the perfect clothes, the perfect tan. Hippies are carefree, they differentiate between wants and needs, and they care more about other people than themselves. I would say we grew up being a healthy mix of those two. We lived in a pretty great neighborhood with all the things we wanted, could go to the beach to get our perfect tans, but were also pretty grounded with good heads on our shoulders and good morals.

When we were first married I think we wanted to be the lavish kids we thought we were. We bought all the things we wanted. We had a tv in each room. We HAD to have cable with HBO. When we could afford to, we spent money on new clothes and new things for the house because we wanted them. And when we had our daughter we wanted her to have all the latest and greatest gadgets because that would be the best for her. We aren’t those people anymore.

We’re the hippies now, 100%. We were slow and steady to make this change. Moving out to the country away from everyone was the first big step. Wanting to live off the land and not have to spend all our money on food when we could grow our own. We realized we wanted to spend more time with each other doing things outside rather than watching tv, so we kept extra tv’s in the moving boxes. We discontinued cable. We had very limited internet (this wasn’t a choice in the beginning but it was a blessing in disguise). We took away our daughter’s tablet (another thing that we didn’t realize was a blessing). We’re in the process of downsizing all of our stuff. We are heading in the minimalist direction, hoping to one day maybe be those weirdos who live in a tiny house with just a bed and a stove on a huge plot of land with chickens and a garden (I’m not kidding, it’s become our dream).

Growing up we weren’t raised religious. We had some church background but nothing that I would say was enough to form us into the people we are today. We still aren’t religious, like Bible religious, but we are both very spiritual. We are constantly learning and sharing ideas with each other that build on our spirituality. It’s something we have grown to share.

And then there’s our relationship. We have always loved each other, no question. And we’ve always been best friends; we GREW up together, how could we not be best friends? But when we were first married, and only 19, we still had growing up to do and things to experience. We did everything together but we still had those moments when we wanted to get away from each other. I was that annoying nagging wife at times. And he was the worker bee that I wanted more attention from. We fought over dumb things, like any new couple, we kept grudges, and would dwell on things we had no control over. Today, we not only love each other more, we LIKE each other more. There’s totally a difference. You can love someone but not enjoy being around them. We enjoy each other. We want to spend time together as much as possible. And we definitely don’t hold grudges. We agree on a lot but when we don’t, we figure it out without being assholes to each other. We laugh A LOT more, me especially when I think we’re fighting over something stupid. We work together. All while still maintaining our independence.

The point of all this is that the answer to the question, “Have you changed?” is most definitely a, “Hell yes, we’ve changed!” And the best part is, we’ve done it together. The second best part is, we are happy. Like, really happy. The happiest we’ve ever been. When talking about us and our lifestyle, hippie-ish, I always tell people that I think this was all in there deep down but it just took a while to really embrace it. Deep down we wanted all this but maybe just didn’t know how to make it happen. And all the roads we’ve taken together were all eventually going to lead us to this point. And now, this is the new starting point down our next road of adventure. Will a lot more change in another 18 years? Who knows. I would guess that we will just further embrace a lot of the things we are moving towards now. And the best part is, we’ll still be doing it together.

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April 13, 2017. 18 years

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My Daughter was an asshole…Then we Took Away her Tablet

Let me preface this by giving you a bit of insight into our life. We are currently living in Virginia, about 50 miles south of Richmond, in the country. We don’t have cable and we have limited internet (a data plan). We own a Wii, the first one, not the WiiU or anything new. We have an iPad, I have a first gen iPod that is still alive and kicking, and we have a laptop. We don’t go out and buy the newest and greatest electronics. We even do Netflix the old school way by getting DVDs in the mail. We read books, we use pen and paper, we spend time outdoors.

All that said, you can imagine that our 8 year old daughter might feel left out sometimes. She had never played Minecraft, she isn’t watching the newest Netflix shows, she doesn’t watch Cartoon Network or Disney Channel, and she isn’t quite up on the latest and greatest out there for kids her age. So last year when we were deciding on what her BIG present should be for Christmas, a tablet was the first thing we thought of.

Pre-tablet, I’d say our daughter was the most awesome little person ever. She had fun doing everything. She enjoyed everything. She wanted to spend time with us and go places and do things. She loved to read books and would even stay up late in bed reading books. She loved to write stories and do art projects. And we never fought. Sure, we had our struggles just like all parents and kids, but nothing that wasn’t quick and solved and over and done with. She was our unicorn child. You know, the ones you only read about but don’t really exist.

Christmas 2015 arrives and she gets her tablet. Its the best thing ever. She even got a couple Google Play gift cards to spend. Minecraft was downloaded along with other games and even a couple movies. We lost her that day. She went into her room and never came out.

But first, we did have rules. Since we are on a data plan, no wifi while at home. We could do wifi if we went to Starbucks or other places. She could do Minecraft but also had to do other things. No BUYING anything unless she had a gift card. And no tablet at night.

Things went well for a while. She followed all the rules. She would put the tablet away when we asked. She would still do all the other things she loved. Until she didn’t. I’ll admit that at first it didn’t bother us. Like all parents, it was a babysitter sometimes. And don’t lie, you use devices for the same reason. We all do. If my husband and I wanted to watch a movie uninterrupted, the tablet helped with that. Then, the hour of tablet time after homework turned into all evening. The 3 hour drive to DC was 3 hours on the tablet. Weekends were spent begging to go to Starbucks so she could watch a Youtube video or download a new game. She never wanted to do anything else. Read a book? Ha! I’d have to force her to read and that’s never fun. Color? Why color on paper when you could build something amazing on Minecraft? And the fighting…holy shit this girl liked to fight with us.

And it wasn’t just the fighting over tablet time. It was fighting over EVERYTHING!! And the attitude. I would joke with friends that I had a 16 year old 8 year old. She was turning into an asshole. And I had no problem telling her that. She had an attitude about something silly, asshole. She wanted to fight with me about eating dinner, asshole. Everything was a fight and she was an asshole about everything. She would huff and puff when we asked her to do normal stuff. She would talk back. Everything was a negotiation. “Fine! I’ll eat my broccoli if I can play the tablet.” We didn’t give into these negotiations of course; we did do that part right. She was rude to us and other people. My daughter was an asshole. I honestly didn’t realize what the problem was. I started to question my parenting. I thought I was doing everything wrong because my unicorn child was turning into the asshole kids I see at the grocery store yelling at their parents.

Why was this happening? It never clicked.

Fast forward to this summer. I flew her to San Diego to spend the entire almost 3 months with my parents. The perk? Unlimited wifi. That child would spend HOURS upon hours on Youtube watching Minecraft videos and crap. And my parents noticed the attitude. She wasn’t there but maybe 2 weeks when the shit hit the fan.

I woke up to $200 spent on Google Play. At first I thought I had been hacked because, “My daughter would never do that. She knows better. She follows the rules!” I had my dad do some recon work and found out it was her. I really couldn’t believe it. All her assholeness aside, I didn’t think she’d do something like this. That was the last day she had a tablet.

Within two days my mom called me and told me that the old daughter was back. She was back to doing Legos, reading books (she read about 20 books while in California), coloring, and being an awesome kid. She spent the rest of the summer living in a bathing suit, building an entire Lego city, traveling with my parents, doing art projects, and having a blast.

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Here she is writing a story on a medieval tablet. 

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Here she’s a goofball at In-n-Out. Even her goofballness was something that was missing during the tablet months. 

She’s been home almost a week now and my husband and I keep saying how we are so glad to have her back. But we don’t just mean physically. We are glad that we have the old daughter back. She’s back to being her old self. We were at an event the other day and rather than stand in a huge line SHE suggested we just walk over to the library so she could get more books. Instead of, “Can I go play my tablet now?” she says things like, “Wow, mom! I’ve read almost all the Junie B Jones books!” Instead of me finding her hiding in her closet playing the tablet, I find her in my craft room painting a canvas. (see below)

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The reason I decided to write all this down for other people is because I noticed something after talking to friends. Their kids are acting the same exact way. The kids that are usually awesome have attitudes like teenagers and act like shit heads when they never did before. I have told them about the change in our daughter and they all have said, “You know what? I notice a change when they are on their devices too much.” I am not saying that the key to ending attitudes is no electronics, but it’s a damn good start. Try it. We’re not exactly glad the $200 happened, but it made us decide to end the tablet for good and it’s worked out better than we ever expected. Just today my daughter asked when she was going to get the tablet back. I said, “HA! Never.” And then I continued, “Maybe when you’ve grown up a bit but still maybe never.” Without a hint of attitude my daughter said, “Oh. Okay.” And now we’re doing a craft.

Another reason I wanted to write it all down is to let you know that no parent is perfect. I really and truly doubted myself for the 7 months my daughter was an asshole. I really did not ever think it was the tablet. I thought I was doing a shitty job as a parent. And maybe giving an 8 year old so much freedom was a shitty idea on my part. But we learned. And that’s the basis of raising kids right? Do bad shit and learn from it and hope you didn’t screw them up too much.

Update: I left the laptop open and my daughter read the first part of my title. She asked, “Why am I an asshole?” I told her that she WAS and now she’s not. She asked why and so I asked her why she thought she was. She said, “Because of my tablet.” Smart kid this one.

The Mud Run and Then Some

It seems I always start blog posts out the same way…”I need to blog more.” But this time I am just going to forget that I suck at keeping up with these and get right to it.

Since my last post I have done a couple paintings that I would like to share first. The first one is Sea Filly, a seahorse from the HBO show, Rainbow Fish. She is my brother’s favorite character so I painted her on a canvas for his room.

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The next is one character some of you may be tired of seeing. I haven’t had enough of Frozen yet and neither had my daughter’s kindergarten teacher. She gave me an awesome gift (a replica Padres jersey) so I painted for her in return.

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I have a couple projects in the works right now. I am finally doing something with my day of the dead fabric I’ve been hoarding, lol. Every time I go to the fabric store I check to see if they have anything new even if I have never done anything with the fabric. So I am finally making a quilt. I have the whole squared top done and now I just have to put it all together with the batting and back. It’s coming along great; I just have to sit and finish it. I also have plans to make a quilt with some old Harley shirts my husband wants to save. I made some burp cloths last week and those are to go with a baby gift set I am making for an old friend who is about to become a daddy. His soon-to-be son’s room is going to be Monsters Inc theme and I just happened to find a couple different fabric options. Pretty awesome and soooo adorable!! So hopefully I’ll update with those sooner than all this.

Onto the Mud Run. Here‘s my recap of last years first if you want to read that first. Go ahead, I’ll wait. 😉
So this year was definitely harder. I run a ton more regularly than I did last year, but it was still tough. First off, they had a couple new obstacles or challenges. Dad and I ran together again and were off to an awesome start. 10312815_10152076529581176_2501760343150311849_n

We ran the first mile in just under 8 minutes. Then it happened. The first challenge. They had us do lunges for about 100 feet. And I didn’t half-ass those puppies either. But that was my mistake. I don’t do lunges normally so my legs were on fire the next 5 miles. So after that there is only one actual obstacle (the steeplechase) for the next 2ish miles. But those next 2 miles are an obstacle alone; hills. Nothing but uphill running. I heard someone say they call it the “Suicide Mile” or something really ominous like that. Well, I ran as much as could, walked some, but still made it the first 4 miles in about 44 minutes I think. Not terrible. Then the obstacles came. Tons of mud!! Fun of course, but remember those lunges? Oh yes, my legs sure did. Trudging through mud pits with sore thighs was no bueno. I slowed down a ton. Then we got to the slippery hill. Now this is not just a hill with mud and water coming down. This is a hill that is, no joke, straight up. Sprinklers are going and there are guys at the top with fire hoses. Saying it is slippery is an understatement. So of course the legs were giving out, so I told my dad I needed help. He grabbed my hand and pretty much pulled me up the hill while the guys at the top kept that fire hose pointed directly at me the ENTIRE time! Dad said, “No one left behind.” The guy responded with something like, “NO dry people allowed.” All I heard was, “I’m an asshole and I’m not going to stop spraying your daughter!” HAHA!! It’s all downhill running after that, maybe one or two more obstacles and then the home stretch. Here we are right before the last mud pit making a last effort to pass up those other runners.

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And then the mud pit. This year we literally had to swim through it.
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And then we had to do pushups. I did girly ones.
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We finished in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Last year we ran it in about 1 hour and 12 minutes. I had a mental goal to try to run it better than last year, but seriously, those lunges just set the tone for the entire race. But of course it was incredibly fun and I can’t wait for the next one.
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Actually, dad and I have both talked about trying a regular race, not one of these “fun” ones, to see our potential. But my dad can just shut his mouth because he ran the same race the next weekend and killed it of course. He finished it in 59 minutes, 33 seconds, 1st in his age group and 12th overall. You read that right, 12. Out of a couple thousand people. He’s a beast!

The best part of the Mud Run? Watching my daughter run the 1K Kids Run after we were done. She is so awesome!!
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This was right after she blew her daddy a kiss.

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She looked so confused! So proud of that girl!!

Commissioned Christmas

If you have been keeping up with my previous blogs you know that I hand made every gift I gave this Christmas (with the exception of one but it was for a 2 year old and he just wouldn’t have appreciated a handmade gift). I also had the pleasure of making some money this holiday by making things for my customers to give for Christmas.

First, my best customer, Sarah (you’ve seen her name before) asked me to make her friend some ornaments. Her friend loves Twilight and True Blood, so I made these.

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I wanted to make them as “store-bought” looking as possible, so I copied the images just like the titles. The True Blood one was pretty easy because it’s plain block lettering. I just added the dripping red for blood. Then I put the white satin ribbon inside to make the red really pop. For the Twilight one I didn’t want to just go in with the black paint in case I messed up, so I drew it with a marker first. This way I could wipe it off easily.

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Then I went over it with the black paint and added the red ribbon.

For both of the ornaments, I used the paint specifically made for glass. The only step I didn’t do was bake it in the oven, but these aren’t going to get wet and once the paint sits long enough it becomes permanent anyway.  I heard from Sarah and she said her friend loved the ornaments and even posted photos to her Instagram. I guess when your art is Instagram’d you’ve really made it!! LOL!

My aunt later commissioned me to make some jewelry as stocking stuffers. She bought some of the jewelry I had listed on my craft page and then asked me to make a few other things. The first was a bracelet with the bent wire in the shape of the word “Lucky.”

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On the back side of the bracelet where the clasp is there is a clover charm as embellishment. To match, a pair of earrings with green beads and clover charms.

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Now, I am pretty good at crafting and I do a little of everything in the crafting world. But, I cannot do everything. So sometimes I have to ask my mom for help. In the case of my girlfriend, Theresa, I really wanted something crocheted. One day while I was browsing (you guessed it) Pinterest, I saw a scarf and it was made out of skull shaped pieces. Sort of like granny squares but skulls. I knew I needed one of these scarves so I told asked my mom to make me one. She made me a rainbow colored one. It’s AMAZING! Theresa loves skulls (and could be moving somewhere cold in the near future) so I knew she needed one. One of her favorite colors is blue, closer to turquoise, so I sent my order to my mom.

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PERFECT!!! After Theresa opened her gift, she got really mad at me for being so thoughtful for my gift and not just buying her something at the store. She then spent a week trying to buy a gift “as good as” mine. I told her repeatedly that it was the thought that counts, but she wouldn’t have it. She ended up buying me two skull sweaters that are pretty much the cutest sweaters I own. I wish I could wear them everyday. She really did awesome!

 

Tomorrow (or possibly tonight), a post about a scrapbook-type memory book. Easy enough for anyone to make. You won’t want to miss it. Also, don’t forget that I have a small contest on my MUGSTACHE post.

Happy Friday!!

Mom and Dad’s Christmas

I can’t believe it, but I kept forgetting to take photos of my gifts. So I am going to show you a couple and then tell you about a couple.

First up…..

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You know I am into Day of the Dead, and my parents are into the sun and moon symbol, so how cool is it to merge the two! This was hand drawn with colored pencils and framed. I think my dad may burn this into wood in the future also. That would look so incredibly awesome.

A gift I made just for my dad was a camera strap cover because he just got a new camera. Of course that is something I didn’t take a photo of. But…I do have a couple listed on my Facebook page if you want to see. I sell them for only $10. They just velcro around your existing strap so you can change them whenever you want.

I made my mom a few rings…I think I sent her a LOVE one and then one with my dad’s name, FRED. If you haven’t seen my other rings, check them out here. The big gift I made for my mom was another Pinterest find. I actually pinned it a while ago and made one for myself, but never shared it with you guys or my mom because I didn’t want her to make one for herself. So here goes…

This is the original pin if you’d like to see it. It’s a calendar but with a scrapbook twist. The main idea is that you have a box with 366 pieces of paper in it, each with a day of the year…no days of the week and no years. Each paper just says, Jan 1, Jan 2…Dec 31. Each day, you write the year and something that happened on that day. You do this every year and you can look back to see what you did each day. The day I saw it, I made myself one. I had some cute rectangles of scrapbook paper but not enough and when I want to do a project really bad, I sort of stop at nothing to do it and get it done. So for mine, I used some of the cool paper but for the rest of the days, I cut up old manilla folders in rectangle shapes. So mine doesn’t look quite as cute as my moms.

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Here’s moms. I wrapped a shoebox in cute paper also.

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On special days, my bday (pictured), family bdays, anniversaries, I put photos and special paper.

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And here was day one. I had my mom open it to this day where I already got her started. If you can’t read it, it says “2012 I received this calendar as s gift from Chrissy.”

This was a super fun project. It was a little expensive (I don’t work so expensive for me may be different than what you expect) to make because those pre-cut, super cute scrapbook papers are a little pricey. About $8 per 100 sheets and I needed almost 400. But you figure, $30 for this and some elbow grease, or $12 for a calendar that you use for only one year and throw away. I choose this one, hands down.

The last project for my parents (and all the other grandparents and a few friends) was a hand print Christmas tree that my daughter painted. Again, don’t know why I didn’t have a photo of the finished project, but here is a work in progress one and you can get the jist of it. She did 6 green hand prints on a canvas to make the tree and then used other colors to make the decorations. Great gift because you can take it out every year to enjoy. And it’s fun for the kids to make and great to teach them that gifts don’t always have to be store-bought. It’s the thought that counts.

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Mugstaches!!

I am finally sitting down and writing some blogs about the Christmas presents I made this year. I only bought one gift this year! The rest were totally handmade. I feel so awesome about that. I am going to write a couple different posts with different items, read ’em all or pick and choose, but I hope you like my art and maybe you can try some next year…or buy from me. That is always an option too. 🙂

First up, Mustache mugs.

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This one is for my husbands bff, Aaron. This one was super special made because he is left handed so I had to make sure it was on the right side when he held the cup.

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And then this one for my husband. (Yes, he is wearing a snuggie, or actually this one is called a Forever Lazy. It was a bday present from his bff ^)

These were super fun mugs to make. Here’s what I did:

If you’ve read my other blog post “Pin Pin Pinterest” you have seen that I experimented with drawing and painting on glass. The idea I saw on Pinterest for that stated that you could use Sharpee pens and cook the glassware in the oven and it would be permanent. Well…. this is what I learned from both projects. When you use a Sharpee on clear glassware, (I used wine glasses) it stays. I rubbed the heck out of the drawing and it wouldn’t come off. The only thing I noticed was that the yellow color burned off. No biggie. Since I had been successful with the glasses, I figured it would work just as well on the white mugs. After all, the original pin showed using white mugs and white plates. Perfect.

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This is what happened. The black Sharpee did not stay. So, I simply repainted the mugs with my paint specifically designed for glass, cooked them in the oven, and voila. Perfect. (The photo above is another mug I made for my husband that I have to go back and paint.)

I made another mug for my father-in-law. I used Sharpee on this one but I used color Sharpees.

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Maybe it’s just something with the black, not sure. But once I cooked this one, I also rubbed the heck out of it and everything stayed put except the black. So I went back in with black paint and did like I did with the ‘stache mugs. Does anyone know what the symbol on this mug stands for? Maybe a free pair of earrings for the first person who gets it right!! 🙂 Just comment and guess.

But of course, there is something else you can’t forget with these……..hand wash only. No dishwasher. Hubster didn’t know that and this happened……

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At least I still have the outline. Maybe the Sharpee just needs to be cooked more than once. Ah well. Now I have something else to do.

Stay tuned for a few more posts about other gifts.
Happy New Year!!!

Feliz el Dia de los Muertos

Tonight is Halloween. While my family celebrates like most families, costumes and candy, there is a whole lot of history within this day as well as the next two days. Halloween is believed to be a night when the deceased cross over to our world and come back to visit their loved ones. While some cherish this moment and celebrate with food and festivities, some try to scare the spirits away.
Most people know about the scaring part. We carve pumpkins and set them outside our houses to ward off the spirits, thinking most of them are evil. We also dress up in costume as a way to mask ourselves so that the spirits cannot find us. But in some cultures, today is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to spend time with our lost loved ones? While today is the day the spirits come back, the next two days are the days to celebrate. Instead of mourning the death of a loved one, you can celebrate their life during two days known as the Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos. In the Yucatan, there is similar celebration called Hanal Pixan which translates to “the path to the soul through the essence of food.” What better way to celebrate? With food and loved ones. Some go to grave sites and commune with their loved ones, while others have great feasts in celebration of the lives of their loved ones.

As a person who is not very religious but rather embraces many different beliefs and cultures, I decided to celebrate the Day of the Dead in my own way. I am not making altars, visiting grave sites or making extravagant feasts, but I am going to share with you two people who had a tremendous impact on my life. It just so happens that these two people are not only going to be remembered for being my family, but for inspiring me and helping form me into me, Creative Chrissy.

 

The first person I am celebrating is Julius Caesar Tait, known to everyone as J.C. He was born in San Diego, Ca, July 5, 1936 and died April 28, 2008.

J.C. was not a blood relative, but was a part of my family ever since my mom was a young girl. I grew up knowing him as a “grandpa.” He was always with the family. Whenever we celebrated birthdays, holidays, or just had family over to hang out, he was always there. He was a jokester. One time he drank a beer, refilled it with water, put the cap back on and put it back in the fridge. A few days later my dad freaked out because he thought the beer company had made a mistake. It wasn’t until weeks (maybe even months later) J.C. told everyone about it. He was one of the most lively people I knew. He always smiled and was the life of the party.

J.C. was an amazing artist. But he only painted for himself. It was something he enjoyed immensely but he never sold any paintings or painted for anyone…except this one.

This is Berbage. He was my mom’s goldfish. J.C. painted this for my mom when she was younger and she still has it hanging in her room. It’s a one of a kind piece of art painted by a one of a kind man.

Besides painting, J.C. loved sports and fishing. He used to fish with my dad before I was born, and luckily I LOVE to fish so the tradition was passed down. All my most favorite fishing memories were spent with J.C. He taught me loads about fishing. He taught me how to tie a fisherman’s knot.  Now, how does that connect with craftiness? Let me tell you. I made something yesterday that involved fishing line and how do you think I finished the edge so the line wouldn’t come undone? A fisherman’s knot. 🙂 The one thing I will never forgot that he taught me about fishing, is how to make the night crawlers (earthworms) float. He always kept a syringe in his tackle box and would stick it in the worm and inflate the worm with air. Sounds horrible, but it always worked! He also taught me that you don’t always need the whole worm on the hook. But don’t worry about finding the scissors or pliers, just pinch it with your fingernails.

This is me, my dad, and J.C. fishing in Mammoth, Ca 2000-01 time frame.  I remember this like it was yesterday. Our limit of fish was 5 each. I caught my limit before my dad and J.C. caught just one.

J.C.’s Obituary

 

The other person I am celebrating is the woman that started the long line of creative ladies in my family. My great grandmother.

Reta Brown was born June 30, 1913 and died September 2008.

Pictured here with my great grandfather, Garold.

I was one of the luckiest young girls. While I was growing up, I was surrounded by my entire family. And I was fortunate enough to have my great grandparents still living. When I wasn’t at home with my parents or my grandma, I was spending time with my great grandparents. I would go to their mobile home park to swim, play pool in the pool hall, garden, pretend, and eat saltine crackers with peanut butter. Now that I am writing all of that, I no longer wonder where I get my green thumb. 🙂

Here I am playing in the orange tree in my great grandparents backyard.

My great grandma, like I said, was the ultimate crafter. She made everything. And I mean EV-ER-Y-THING!!! She made my Halloween costumes, she made quits, she made rugs…she even had a giant weaving loom in her craft room. She did it all. I truly believe that she is the reason I am as crafty as I am today. She passed a little bit of herself down to my grandma, who dabbles in a bit of everything herself, and a little down to my mom, who is just as crafty as me, and then down to me. I can only hope that my daughter gets a bit of the same crafty bug. She is already so creative and loves to do art projects… so far so good.

This is a quilt that I was able to keep after Reta passed away.

This sits on a table in my grandma’s room today. It’s a pot made from weaving pine needles together. Did I mention that Reta did EVERYTHING?

And last, a one of a kind photo. 5 generations. Taken in August 2008, pictured left to bottom right, My Mom, Reta, Grandma, Me, my Daughter. 5 generations of amazing ladies who made and are going to make a huge impact on the crafting world.

 

Happy Halloween and Happy Day of the Dead.

 

 

Trying so hard…

I have been trying everything to get more business and it sure is a tough market. I figured it would be so easy because people would want handmade items instead of buying them from stores. I guess I was wrong. I really thought selling on Etsy would be easier too.  Maybe it’s what I’m selling. Maybe people don’t want jewelry. I don’t know.

I signed up for Twitter again. The first time I was on there, I had it as a personal profile where I would update stuff from my boring life. I had the most random people following me and it freaked me out. So when I signed up this time, I was hoping that more random people would follow me because I made it only about my crafting stuff, nothing personal. I only have 11 followers and 3 are people I know.

Yesterday, I tried to get more people from Facebook to help me out. I guess having only 70 friends (because I did a mass delete recently) doesn’t help because I can only reach so many people. Again, I thought more people would help me out. I am surprised by the number of people who “support” me, but aren’t doing anything to help. I try to give incentives but they don’t seem to work.

I guess for now I am only going to make money selling to my family and close friends who don’t mind paying me to make them stuff. That isn’t my goal. I told them that I would give them free stuff if they would just get more people to buy stuff from me. It’s just a waiting game.

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