Monday, January 28, 2013

on nerdcrafts

At least that's what I like to call them.

Some people get all up in arms over the term 'nerd', but I don't feel like it's a terrible label to have nor do I think I can accurately label these crafts in a manner without using any so-called derogatory terms (geek, nerd, etc.) in a way that give's this category what it is due. I could label them just 'Crafts,' but I feel like they deserve to be categorized because of their niche group that they appeal to.

Before I post pictures I want to go over the fairly simple process of creating them.

Anyone who knows me or has seen the majority of my other wood-crafts knows that I rarely, if never, but any premade cutouts from Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or any other craft centric stores. They are ridiculously expensive and, generally, I can't get some of the shapes I'm looking for. So to save myself money in the long run, and for my own sanity, I buy sheets of plywood from Home Depot. Luckily I have a truck with a fairly large bed so I can fit it.

After, I use a jigsaw to cut out most of my shapes. If they are too intricate, I'll run to my handy-dandy scroll saw. I know this sounds scary, but it's really not! Jigsaws are both fairly inexpensive and easy to use. It just takes some practice!

After I have my shapes cut out, I use a palm sander to smooth out the edges and surfaces.

And finally, I paint them! I'm still working on getting better at this. I've never been one to be super artsy, so what I recreate is no where close to being perfect.

See? It's fairly easy. It just takes some practice to work out the kinks in using the jigsaw.

Now, onto the pictures! These are all that I could scrounge up for now, I'll probably edit to add more later on.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

on peptalks (thanks Kid President!)

Everyone need to watch this video. Everyone. That means you.

I know we've all felt like we don't belong in this world, aren't special enough to deserve the love and attention that we get, or are discouraged when everything going on around you isn't going your way. If you haven't, then consider yourself incredibly lucky.

Real-talk time. I've spent a large portion at my adolescence and not-so-long adulthood feeling this way for a myriad of reason. I often feel undeserving of compliments towards my personality, of my accomplishments and, most often, of my friends. I was embarrassed about my interests and really felt like I had to mold myself into this girl who had similar interests to those around me. I was living a life where I kept who I was in a small box, and climbed into the skin of someone I wasn't... all just so that I felt like I was normal. I've recently come to this crazy conclusion. Do you want to know what it is? It's not ground breaking, nor is it new, but normal is boring.

And as Kid President says so eloquently, "Life isn't a cereal either.... well it is a cereal.. And if Life is a game, then aren't we on the same team?"

I used to get teased, may it be joking or not, for liking what I like. It was so disheartening as a young teenager (and even as an adult) for people to be so judgmental about what I'm interested in. This caused me to, in turn, be just as judgmental about the things others did that I felt didn't fit the norm I felt I needed to conform to... and if I had to conform to the norm, so did everyone else. And I was one of those judgmental girls I hated so much.

This adorable kid says that the road less traveled hurt. There were rocks, thorns and glass (NOT COOL ROBERT FROST!). But that he just wants to take the road that leads to awesome. I'm not gonna lie, that's the road I wanna go down to. So I've started posing this question to myself whenever I feel embarrassed about who I am and alternatively, when I feel like I don't understand other people's interests either (aka, turning into the big headed judgey monster we all are capable of being). I simply ask myself, "Who cares?" It's not philosophical because, let's face it, I'm in no way, shape, or form some kind of second coming of Sophocles or Plato (mostly because I would love for poets and bards to be apart of my Perfect Republic... I'm looking at you Plato).

But honestly, it doesn't need to be insightful. Who cares? Does it affect me adversely? If it does, that person is simply not a part of my life anymore. And you know what, by taking the time to either
A.) Accept the faults of people in my life
B.) Taking the time to remove the people whose faults I, for some reason, cannot accept
has really allowed me to take strides to make my life easier. I accept all of the people in my life regardless of what their interests/religion/race/sexual preferences/sexual prowess/political views/choice of body modification/favorite genre of game/drink of choice/WHATEVER are. Why? Because if I surrounded myself with people who were carbon copies of myself... I'd probably want to run and jump off of a cliff.

On the same turn, my one wish is that others can be just as accepting. I've seen too many of my own friends write off other people based on looks, whether it be weight, wardrobe or the way they carry themselves. So many potential friendships simply fizzle and die before they have the chance to come to fruition. Take a moment the next time you're about to write someone off and think about why this person isn't worth your time.

Now, this post is by no means to be holier than thou. I struggle with this just like others, but I am constantly making an effort to change too. I'm not perfect by any means, but the only way to change is to accept your own faults... and my close friends know I'll be the first person to call myself out.

This adorable little kiddo poses a simple question, "What will you do to make the world awesome?" I don't have an answer, but I feel like the first thing I need to do is better myself before I can think of the world... and I think that's the first step for everyone. He says that we "can make everyday better for each other, but if we're on the same team, we need to start acting like it." I think we can all benefit from this advice.

"If everybody is good, it gives the world a reason to dance." Well, let's get to dancing!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

on getting her stuff together

Last semester, after having the opportunity to volunteer at an elementary school, I realized where I see myself after I finish up with school... and that would be teaching.

Elementary sounded great at first and becoming a reading specialist sounded like a great idea, but I couldn't actually get into the College of Education here at Texas A&M so I was at sort of a loss.

After having the summer to talk with the influential people in my life (my family, of course), I decided that I would pursue an alternate and longer route of getting into education... Cue the start of the fall semester and being in a few english classes.

I have absolutely fallen in love with my Brit Lit class, partially because I love to read and learn about literature, but also because my professor is, to put it plainly, a badass. She's hilarious and makes the class enjoyable. During the second week of classes, I talked with her for a while after class and asked her a simple question, "When did you realize that you wanted to get your degree in English?"

She responded with how she was a junior in college (coincidence much?). She was pre-law and realized how she hated who she was in classes with and wasn't necessarily enjoying her classes. So she made the switch to something she loved and hasn't looked back since. She gave me the name of the department's best undergrad adviser and I made an appointment... within twenty minutes of our conversation.

So now I'm pursuing a BA in English, and am working towards qualifying for the Post-Baccalaureate program that readies me and admits me into Texas A&M's MEd program... subsequently certifying me to teach high school english. And, honestly, I couldn't be happier or more ecstatic. If how much I'm enjoying my english classes now is an indicator of how the rest of my undergrad is going to go, then I'm pumped.

Hopefully I'll be able to update more! I haven't really had the chance to craft much or finish started crafts. And now that I've gotten a part time job (YAY!) time may be more constricted. But I will try!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

on organization

Well, this is organization the crazy way, I guess. Which fits because I'm just a little crazy. Sometimes.

I know that some people who are in my life (Austin and my Mom) are skeptics at the idea of me being "organized". This probably has to do with the wreck that is my truck (to be fair, it is my mobile craft workshop) and my room (so what if I have a hard time keeping my clothes all neat and organized. I can't help that my closet isn't even close to big enough). But when it comes down to the little things I can be slightly crazy.

Let's take my planner for instance. I have a huge, bulky, albeit adorable fancy planner. When I'm in school it's filled to the brim with post-its and scribbles outlining every single thing that could possibly happen that week. I'll use my syllabi from my classes to input every reading, homework, quiz, test and temporary room change that is already assigned, and had color coated flags on the test days that peeked out the top of the planner itself. In TEFB 273 I had people comment on the organized chaos. And it sure helped. I'll edit to add a picture later on.

I've been on this kick of organizing my interests, also. I have these big binders that I use to organize printed ideas, projects, and patterns for crafting and then a smaller (but by no means small) binder that I keep things that I find that are teacher related that I don't want to lose.

Below are pictures from my craft binder. I use patterned scrapbooking paper for the dividers, front and back  covers, etc. I also just use transparent cover sheets to put each project in. This keeps long tutorials seperate from the one page long picture and just helps make browsing through it easier! And just print out the ideas that I want to do, tutorials on how to do them, and patterns that will help me get them done! I'll also be adding my bought clothing patterns into the binder so I can keep them all together. Or I may make an all new binder for them... I don't know yet. You can click the pictures to see larger images.

Link to this blog!
A link to this blog!

And I did the same thing for the dividers and the front cover of of my teacher binder. 


I should edit to add that the paper I bought is standard printer sized paper 8"x11". I bought sheets from Hobby Lobby AND Michael's since I have found that assortment of standard sized paper is a lot smaller than that of 12"x12" scrapbook paper. Joann's carries an assortment of paper and I'm sure you can find plenty at stores meant specifically for scrapbooking like Archivers! My paper all ran $0.49+. 

Both of these are works in progress and will be for a while! I have a feeling that I will never feel like they will be complete. I just wanted to share the idea with you! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

on learning how to sew!

I've never had the opportunity to actually learn how to sew using a sewing machine, but have always wanted to.

Luckily my sister in law Kim has been sewing for the last 30 years (and she's not much older than that!) and she sews very well I might add... She did all of the alterations on my prom dress which was a feat in itself. Not to mention that she sewed her own wedding dress when she was 18 years old. She got all the materials for about $150... and had it appraised at over $5,000. So, it's fairly safe to say that I have picked the right person to help me learn how to sew... and sew well!

I saw a lot of simple projects involving lace on Pinterest and decided it would be a great start! So, as always, I dove head first into learning something I know literally nothing about!

These are shorts in questions that were in need of a tune up.

With these, I wanted to cover the pockets and the holes in the front!

And I desperately wanted to make these longer. I'm not sure if you've noticed the lack of fabric in the crotch area.... And now that you have, I'm sure you can tell why I wanted to lengthen them. 

We'll start this little adventure with the blue jean shorts.
The first thing she had me do was pin the lace onto the pockets. I cut pieces of lace out that I thought would fit over the pocket, doubled over the edges I would sewing down (to keep the lace from fraying) and the pinned them down!

And then Kim showed me how to sew them down. This involved teaching me how the machine works... I'll save you all that!

I know the top corners look real wonky. The ends were a little hard to work with! I don't have any tips for that... but if someone does let me know! 

Next we covered the holes in the front. 

It was very simple! And the last thing I did was hem the ends of the shorts. These particular ones were long and I would fold them up. So I decided it was finally time to just permanently hem them! Notice the fancy schamncy stitching!

All done! Don't mind my beaky nose. 

Now... onto the second pair! We decided that the best way to lengthen the shorts a little was by adding ruffles! You can never really go wrong with ruffles....

So the first thing she had me to do was to cut the fabric so the finished edge (basically the edge that is the end of the fabric bolt) is on one end! Then she had be sew the strip together, then sew a single thread across the top so we could pull it tight thus creating ruffles!

The hardest part was pinning the ruffled strip into the pants itself. Kim showed me how to pull it tight enough to fit the leg of the shorts and then pin it in. Once we got past that, I just sewed it into the shorts! It took longer than the first project, but was a lot less complicated. For fun, and to tie the white of the ruffles together, we added some lace to the inside of the pockets. 

For those of you who skipped to the end, here are my artsy fartsy instagram photos.

on running

Alright, I figure I should put this out there (even though it should be no surprise) buuuuut I am absolutely no expert on running. Or working out. Or dieting. Or just being healthy in general.

My favorite foods are potatoes and cheese. I cannot eat a single serving of anything to save my life. I may be 5'0" but I can really put food away... and I can do it often!

But six weeks ago I started a program. That helped me learn how to run. I definitely never thought I would say that. I was that kid in Jr. High who would walk 90% of the mile we were supposed to run.
Fast forward to yesterday and I ran for twenty minutes straight. TWENTY MINUTES. I ran 1.75 miles. Without stopping. Now... I'm sure if you've known me long enough you probably think I'm lying. Not to mention I am as surprised as you are that I actually survived. 

I guess what I was trying to get at is that this week marks week 6 of 8 of the Couch to 5K program Austin and I are running together. I definitely recommend it for anyone, even people who have never run (unless it was for their lives) and have ever considering running to be your exercise multiple times a week. 

I've already lost five pounds and am trimming up! Not to mention my little belly pooch is shrinking week by week and I can see improvement even in my tiny frame. Here is the main website for the program itself! As for how I monitor it daily, I just have the free C25K free app and it works great! I would check it out and maybe give it a go. :)

Now, I'm sure everyone is clamoring for more craft posts (not really), but I can assure you they are on the way! I was MIA this last weekend and on a mini vacation with my roomies, and this week I'm expanding my crafitng skills to learning how to sew. I actually start my lessons tomorrow with someone I know who is amazing with needle and thread! So hopefully you'll be seeing some interesting posts on that little adventure!
Not to mention my hardwood floors should be installed soon! As in... my brother is showing me the ropes/helping me learn to install them myself!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

on small projects here and there!

This is going to be super long or very detailed, but I figured since I have a few things that I've been working on and I should at least post pictures of so you get an idea of what I've been working on!

I haven't been able to work on anything particularly huge since I've been house sitting for my brother for the last week, but I was able to get a few things done!

I picked up this pretty white frame at Hobby Lobby, aka "Heaven", a week or so ago. I painted it, but I'm not sure what I should put it in! If you have any ideas message me on facebook or on twitter (@theSQUEAKYduck) and let me know what you think I should do! It's relatively small. The picture frame itself will hold an 8 x 10 picture. :)

This is something that I saw on Pinterest. That's not a huge surprise considering I see most of my projects there! I got this huge (read: half as big as I am) picture frame at a garage sale for on $3.00! That's right... THREE DOLLARS. I took the liberty to just use some extra spray paint I had laying around to paint it green, add some twine that I also already had, and buy a package of cheap cloths pins from the dollar store and paint them blue! Now I have enough room to clip twelve 4 x 6 pictures in this massive frame! Not only can it hold tons of pictures, but it'll be easy to change them out! 

I'm sorry if the bookshelves look kind of proportional! during all of the disassembling, I lost eight of the little shelves holders so both are missing a shelf each! So please try to look past that :)

Okay... so this is exactly what it looks like. Just some refurbished old bookshelves! The small one I bought a few weeks ago at Good Will for $15.00! I painted it the same green as the trim. And the large bookshelf is one that I've had for many many years! It's painted the same blue as the fourth wall in my room. One thing to remind everyone of when they do this... since this is a prefinished faux wood make sure you use a primer before applying the colored paint! Right now the paint will simply scrape off if I mess with it too much... but since I'm too lazy and these are staying in my bedroom I guess I'll have to deal with it! 
I used wallpaper that I bought online that was on sale for the backing! Very easy to apply (I used adhesive spray!) and just made sure the pattern matched up as I went down the backing! 

I'm sorry that I'm not coming out with anything terribly exciting! I promise I'm working on a large project now that involves another filing cabinet or two! But I don't think it'll be done for a few weeks! 

I hope this has satiated everyone's appetite for a blog post... for now.