Friday, June 26, 2015

To Infinity and Beyond

Funny Friday, June 2015

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by The Momisodes.

1. That's no moon...

2. Ummm... where's your oxygen!?

3. I thought Superman was the alien, not Captain America.

4. Look Ma! I can take a bath in this crater!

5. I didn't know Bigfoot wore boots...

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Flying Bigfoot Sighting!

My 13 year old has a habit of commenting on the status of my hair.  Just last week he was sporting a ratty blonde afro.

As a reward for achieving higher test scores than last year, Bigfoot attended a movie (during school hours – off campus) with a bunch of his peers.  He saw Tomorrowland and, before you ask, he gives it 5 stars.  He happened to mention his “girlfriend” was with him on the trip and I, as his mother, took full advantage of that information.
B: M was with me.
Me: Did she go to the same movie as you?
B: Yeah.
Me: Did you hold her haaaand?
B: No!
Me: Why not!?  Did you put your arrrrrm around her?
B: Nooo!
Me: Did you kiss her?
B:  God Mom!  No!
Me:  You know, I kissed a boy in 7th grade… (whispering) the way I kiss your daddy!
B:  Ew.  I’m leaving.
Mom = 1, Bigfoot = 0

It was the second game of the season (though it should have been the fourth):  the Reds vs the Yankees.  The wind is blowing like crazy and the clouds are covering up the sun, but we are playing ball.  We made a few mistakes in the first two innings to create a scoring gap: 0-4.  It seemed hopeless and the team is frustrated.
In the next inning we managed to rally, but so did they.  The score was now 4-5.
We have one chance left and manage to hold the Yankees scoreless in the top of the inning.  Now it was time to get down to business.  It’s the bottom of the final inning, we’re down by one, 2 outs, bases loaded, including a base hit by Bigfoot himself.
This kid A comes up to bat and knocks one out to left field, dropping it in no man’s land.  B, on second base, is the winning runner.
Reds win!  Reds win!  Reds win!

After scoring 7 uncontested runs in the top of the first inning, mercy rule states we move onto the next half inning.  Things started to fall apart from there.  The Marlins had hitters and we were unprepared for the onslaught.  Coming into the last inning, we were behind, but our offense tied it up.  Marlins had the last at bat and the pressure was on.
Our starter pitched 3 amazing innings, but it was time to switch.  Fate now rested in the hands of Little Sasquatch.  It was déjà vu, only now we were the ones with a game to lose.  A batter gets hit – he’s okay.  Next thing we know, the bases are loaded and a hitter is at the plate.  We need 3 strikes and no runs to keep the tie.  Full count… it all comes down to one pitch.

That awkward moment when your 10 year old gets your dirty jokes before your teenager.
Except this:
Little Sasquatch: It's my turn to do you!
Me: Dude.  Don't ever say that again.
LS: What?  Ugh.  Mom!

LS: I want to do myself!
Me: Okay.  You can do yourself as much as you want, but you can never do your sister.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frodo's Journey Bezel Bracelet {tutorial}

Welcome to the Travel edition of Blog With Friends!

I haven't been working with jewelry for very long, but I learn something new every time I go to create something.  And, in keeping with my track record, nothing went according to plan with this one.  However, I love the final result and will be sad to see it go if it sells.

In a way, I took the easy way out with one of the elements: the bezel bracelet.

If I continued with my need to (over)achieve my visions, I would have collected the bezels separately, found a way to attach them, and, if things had gone as planned, used clear glass cabochons to finish off the settings.  The Big Guy likes to joke that, instead of clocks or TVs, I'm going to collect jewelry to take apart and see how it works.  But like I mentioned - things didn't go as planned.

So this time, the bracelet came as is.  I made some minor adjustments, but they were unnecessary and if you find one intact like this, go ahead and leave it as is, as long as it fits.

I spent most of my life thinking the only metal and color worth wearing was silver.  Most of the jewelry I own is sterling silver or white gold.  Now that I'm making jewelry, I'm finding all these wonderful colors like this bracelet, which is copper-plated; I also like the brushed nickel look and an upcoming project will feature stainless steel!

When I bought the bracelet, it did not specify the size of the bezel circles, but luckily I have a caliper just perfect for measuring jewelry elements.  The circles are 10 mm in diameter, so my paper elements had to be as close as possible.

The circular images from the map I used were not 10 mm.  Luckily, copies don't cost very much and you can enlarge or, in this case, reduce the percentage until you get the size of image you want.  Kinko's loves me.  (not)  TBG and I just eyeballed it while at the store and got lucky - we were spot on.

Aren't they fabulous!?  After using the bezel to trace the first circle, I cut it out and used it as a guide for the rest.  As for the actual mapped plot points, I centered the area I wanted and drew the circle around it.

Use pencil - just in case you don't like where it's positioned!

Before you press your paper into the bezel, you will coat the bottom thoroughly with Mod Podge® glue using a small paintbrush, making sure to get into all the corners for a tight seal.  Place the paper in and coat over it with another layer of glue, minding the corners.  You don't want bubbles in the paper on the finished product.  Smooth out as best you can with the paintbrush or small rounded edge.

Allow each layer to dry at least 20 minutes before adding another.  I recommend at least 2 layers for best coverage.

Here's a tip: if using printed paper, don't start this step right off the printer.  I've heard the colors may run.  It might be printer paper altogether, so for best result, use copies, from a copier.

When all your bezels are papered and glued, allow to dry an hour or so, although this is not required. Mod Podge® dries fairly quickly, but better safe than starting over!

The next step is Dimensional Magic.  This product was new to me and I was not sure I was going to achieve the desired outcome with it, but I'm glad I bit the bullet, because it's super easy to use.

Don't just squeeze into the bezels!!  It has a tendency to create tiny bubbles and for a flawless finish, you don't want that.  Start the stream on a piece of paper and then maintain a steady stream while filling.  If, by chance, little bubbles form, you can pop them with the sharp tip of a pin or toothpick.

Below you'll see the image taken directly after filling the bezels the first time.  It is milky white, but it dries clear, so don't panic!

Looking at the above image, you might think it's nicely filled, creating a domed effect, as I did.  We'd both be wrong.  It sinks and creates a lustrous coating, which looks nice, but not what I had in mind.  Again, don't panic (like I did).  

First layer: let dry at least 3 hours as per instructions on bottle.  It's better to leave it overnight on a flat surface.

It sure is glossy though.  Shiny!

Luckily, after some frantic Internet research, I found I could add more layers.  Phew!  Since it dries clear, you can add as many layers as you need.  

I only needed 2 in order to achieve my goal.  I had planned on using clear glass cabochons - basically clear vase fillers.  But I couldn't find any at the craft store in a 10 mm round size.  Creating a domed effect with the Dimensional Magic was the next best thing!

It's not perfect, but I still love the final product.

Second layer: allow to dry overnight on a flat surface, just like the first layer, before handling.

I used the extra jump rings from taking the bracelet apart to add the clasp and make it symmetrical.

Done and done.  Due to drying times, this project is time consuming, but the amount of actual time working is less than 15 minutes.

In summary, the items you need are:

  • bezels, or pre-made bezel bracelet
    • chain, clasp, and jump rings if using singular bezels
  • scraps of paper or specific paper design elements
  • small paintbrush
  • Mod Podge® Gloss glue-sealer-finish
  • Mod Podge® Dimensional Magic

In the side by side below, I hoped to show you the contrasting images from the map I chose.  Most of the bezels have rendered images of specific plot points that were already circular.  For those that didn't, in strict regards to Frodo's Journey to Mount Doom, I found them on the map and created the circles.

I'll be honest.  I couldn't find an angle or light (with my limited knowledge of photography) that captures the epicness of this bracelet, especially for a Lord of the Rings fan.  I hope you are able to get the gist and I will work on my photo skills in the meantime!

This journey has come to an end, but another one is just beginning!  Onward and upward, precioussssses:

Karen has a tasty travel treat with her Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix.  Yum!

Melissa has tips for summer travel with some Road Trippin' Technology:

Stacy show us how to make these adorable Special Vacation Pajamas - Mandrin Style.  I want a set!!

Why not make these DIY Toiletry Bags from Eileen?  They can be his or hers. 

Lydia is sharing her Tips and Tricks to Traveling with Baby:
Travel on, precioussssses.  Travel on!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Getting in a Pickle

It's Friday, so ...  Blogging Challenge!  This week is Use Your Words, where participating bloggers pick 4 - 6 words or short phrases for someone else to use in a post.  The blogger must use each word/phrase at least once and each post will be unique, as each blogger gets their own set of words.  

Here's the twist: no one knows who got their words, until now.  Make sure you stop over and visit the other blogs featuring this challenge!

My words are: pickles, forethought, broom, this and that, scent, sleepy
Submitted by: Jenniy at Climaxed

These words required some serious forethought.  

I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the stockroom in a grocery store.  I've never worked on the grocery side of a retail business, but I have heard this and that about what goes on behind those swinging refrigerator doors.

One of the worst things I can imagine is hauling out a pallet of pickles to the floor for restocking and a single misstep later, you've got several thousand ounces of brine puddling on the floor around you.  

Imagine, if you will, the scent of such a catastrophe.  It's not going to come out any time soon.

And don't even bother with a broom.  You'd need an industrial-size wet-dry vac (or the entire stock of paper towels) for the liquid alone.

Thinking of all that work is making me sleepy, so go check out my friends!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Keep Calm and...

It's Friday and you know what that means!  Time for a blogging challenge: Secret Subject Swap. This week 16 bloggers braved the unknown by coming up with a secret subject for another blogger, while getting one in return.  No one knows who got what... until now!

At the end of this post, you will find links to the other participating bloggers.  Don't miss out on the fun. Visit them all and see what the fuss is about.  And you bloggers can always join us - just ask!

My Subject is: Do you look forward to the end of the school year and why?
Submitted by: Southern Belle Charm

First, a little perspective: as I write this, it is the weekend and we still have 4 days left in the school year.  The day this posts will be the first full day home for summer break.  

May the gods have mercy on my soul.

For the record, I love my children.  They bring so much light and life into our house and I wouldn't ask for anything less than the people they are and the people I know they will be.  However, children, by their very nature, are demanding.

They demand sustenance and copious amounts of sugar.
They demand rapt attention and approval.
They demand continuous entertainment.
They demand every ounce of patience.
They demand privacy while giving none.
They demand swift justice and unseen retribution.
They demand human sacrifices and praise.
They demand payment in blood, sweat, and tears.

Basically they are tiny tyrants, no matter their age and despite our overwhelming love for them, there is a limit to keeping the peace in the midst of chaos.  It is a limit three kids will happily test in the coming weeks and there is no guarantee everyone will survive.

In the immortal words of Robert Burns: 

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

You may better recognize this verse as:  "The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry", but I found the rest of the stanza equally important in making my point.  As I write this, I'm getting a preview into the events that await me once summer is in full swing: naught but grief and pain.

Most summers are not spent as they are portrayed in commercials and other Hollywood blather, especially for those of us living paycheck to paycheck.  We don't frolic on sandy beaches, splashing in the playful waves of the ocean or spend time camping out under the stars, roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories (though this would be awesome!).

My husband doesn't get time off.  I mean, he gets vacation days, but due to my medical issues, those days have long been spent and there are few left to make a difference.  Instead I will make do with free activities, short weekends, and negative account balances to get the wildlings out of the house and making memories. 

I will clutch perilously to my sanity by employing electronic babysitters without guilt, sleep with noise-cancelling headphones on, and take full advantage of their friends' invitations to sleep over.  I will attempt to abstain from refereeing Quesadilla and Little Sasquatch's constant battle over all the things and I may forget what Bigfoot's face looks like, though his voice will be present, heard only through the vents. 

Every so often I may send them all out to get a dose of Vitamin D and remember what the outside world looks  like.  Come to think of it, I should take my own advice.  After all, the sun is nature's Prozac.

I guess I haven't yet answered the question.  Do I look forward to the end of the school year?  

Hell no.  But once it's here, I do my best to: