My sister also bought me a set of kitty mugs during her visit to Japan. :) I made some French vanilla coffee tonight just to use one. My husband saw it sitting on the counter all cute and cozy, and he demanded that he be able to use one as well. So, he took his latte and poured a quarter of it into the kitty mug (it's pretty petite, which is the perfect size for me).
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas; I know, I sure did! However, as I have gotten older, Christmas time has changed so much. For one, I have to deal with two family gatherings, one with my husband's family and the other with mine. Although that means double the presents and double the fun, there are some downfalls to going to two Christmas gatherings: eating too much and becoming so exhausted! I'm still recuperating. :) Also, Christmas has changed in the most delightful way because I enjoy giving more than receiving. It's just so much more exciting to show my love to others.
Don't get me wrong, I still love getting presents, especially when I know the person spent time and thought into getting certain gifts for me; it makes me feel super special! Here are just a couple of the presents that got me totally giggling:
Nodding Doll from my sister, who spoils me terribly cause the next one is also from her! She also got me a couple other great things that I'll share with you another day. :)
I'm really into carving stamps. As Flora!!!! :-) mentioned in one of her comments, the process of carving stamps is painful to the eyes, but I still somehow enjoy it. The crazy part is that I make a lot of mistakes! Here are my rejects for your enjoyment:
and some more...
Is this it? Nope. There are more of them, rejects that is, but they're already in the trash. :)
Here are the ones I kinda like, though they need some cleaning up.
1. I'm finally on break! I don't have school for an entire month!!!
2. I am still very much in love with the Power Puff girls. :) I just went on a shopping spree at the Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse. I got myself a book with 31 Power Puff Postcards. The rest, books and toys, are Christmas gifts. Do you see those lemurs??? They cost me a buck each! :)
3. I just started to carve stamps. Here are my favorite designs so far:
I need more practice though. The worst part is when I'm nearly done with a stamp and I accidentally swipe off an eye. It's happened more than once. So now I have a pile of one-eyed stamps.
4. I am Vietnamese, but I was born in Texas, and now I live in California. Here is a piece I did for my mom and dad's Vietnamese organization for children (the boy reminds me of my little brother when he was younger):
I designed another card. I wonder if it reflects any deeper, constrained feelings of bitterness I'm currently experiencing. Wait, yes. I have one more painfully agonizing week of school left. I sketched the design while I was trying to study. Go figure. I'm titling it "Eat This".
I know it's slightly violent, but it makes me laugh. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is about Jesus and His wonderful gift of salvation; this is just a silly card I'm going share with some friends and it's definitely something to lighten my spirits during this trying week. :)
I have always tried to make wooden dolls, being inspired by Japanese Kokeshi Dolls, but I could never get the face just right. Well, below are the wooden heads, which I am happy to say that I like...finally!
And, I even added some yarn hair to one, experimenting with texture.
Now, if I can only create the RIGHT body, I can start making some ornaments!
---- I just got home. Surprisingly, it's a rainy day here in southern California. It rarely rains here. My husband and I thought it was a delightful change from the constant sunny weather we normally get. :)
Anyway, as I drove in the parking lot, I discovered one of my favorite stuffies ever drowning in a wet, dirty, and very, very, very sad puddle. I think a couple cars ran him over, as well. He must have popped out of my car. He was the only decoration I have in my car, and I can't believe I didn't notice his absence.
I once had the cutest crush baby sea turtle from my sister, but he also escaped. Hm...I guess that means: no more cute things in my car! Anyway, I thought I would get one last picture of him before he goes in the trash...I mean stuffy heaven. :)
Happy Doodle Land tagged me! By the way, check out her blog because she has some major cuteness going on there. Also, I wanted to share something she sent me a month or so ago. It's a lovely card, which I just had to frame! Thank you, again, Flora!!!
Here are five random facts about me:
1. I have a Sizzix machine, which I begged my sister, Budding Cook to buy for me a couple years ago. I convinced her that she could use it for her wedding (she did; she made this really cute confetti with a butterfly die and glued various black/white pictures of her and her husband in the centers. She sprinkled them all over the tables at the reception. Very cute). :) I also have a couple tag-a-longs, meaning I have two (why? I don't know. They were on sale. Enough said. :)). Despite the fact that I have purchased many dies for these machines, I have not used them. Yikes! I really just don't know how to incorporate them in my art. :(
2. I like the Princess Diaries series. :) It's a little embarrassing because I'm 27, but M. Cabot is such a good writer. When I read the first novel, I was disappointed because it contained some inappropriate topics and I would not recommend anyone under 16 reading it (the first one that is). But the second and third ones were much cleaner. :) I heard that there are 10 in the series, so I am looking forward to reading them.
3. I used to collect The Tick comic books. They remain one of my most prized possessions to this day. Egad.
4. I have to clean out my craft area and organize again because I have just been stuffing things into the drawers lately due to the fact that I've been so busy. Yesterday, I opened up the drawers and cabinets and it's crazy. I have a lot of craft stuff. YIKES!
I started my Thanksgiving break today, although it really, technically, officially begins after I finish and submit two projects that are due this weekend. :( Nevertheless, I had a wonderful day today (except when I was thinking about my projects). I spent it cleaning, shopping*, reading, and oh yes, developing my Christmas 2007 card. :)
Here is the first rendition:
I'm going to try to add some patterned paper and maybe some other embellishments like glitter and ribbon. Also, I want to add a 3-D Christmas box for the finale. :)
*Joann's Fabric and Craft store has a sale on its remnant fabric. 75% off the current price of the fabric!
I have a couple of projects for school yet to do and a midterm to study for, but after all that madness, I get an entire week off for Thanksgiving! Seven glorious days!!! Oh, the plans that are churning in my little head...
I think I might spend a day or two of my break making Christmas gifts. I've always wanted to make a little something for my friends and family, but I have never had time. Maybe this year will be the year. :) Also, my husband has been really trying to motivate me to create handmade Christmas cards, instead of buying the generic ones. We'll see how that goes...:)
Well, I have ready got to study. Really...really...really...:( Here's my tea doodle with some subtle coloring effects:
Today is officially Popcorn day; well at least in my book. :) For over two years, I have been deprived of this snack and many others because of my braces. However, earlier today, I got them removed!!!!!!!
I've already stuffed my mouth with gum (I can't wait to try the Trident Watermelon flavored gum) and cracker jacks. My orthodontist gave me a Congratulations Pack with a whole bunch of stuff we couldn't have while wearing braces. :)
But tonight, I'm going to get a movie and make a big o' bowl of POPCORN! I think besides gum, Popcorn was the snack I missed the most. :) So, happy Popcorn Day to you all!
UPDATE: My husband's first reaction to seeing me without braces was...
Husband: "You look different. You look older." Me: "How old?!?" Husband: "You look 18 instead of 12" Me: "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" Husband: "Good."
I love buying remnant fabrics, especially because most of my projects are pretty small. But I really like the fact that some stores reduce the price further if the fabric happens to be on sale! :) It's quite a delightful feeling to get something cheaper than you expect, unless we're talking about paychecks and rebates and love.
So, I go crazy at the remnant bin when there's a big sale at the store. However, (probably because I was too greedy and not paying attention) I got some brown patterned fleece that was actually a lot more than I expected. So I had to make something extra special with it! :) I was going to return it because it was pretty much regular priced, but I got so...so...so busy. Thank goodness because I now have a new friend. :)
I used to get really upset with my husband because he would get a Starbuck's drink everyday (he still does). I didn't understand why he couldn't just make something at home, instead of spending what is equivalent to a shirt on clearance. Seriously. But I've come to realize that there's just something so comforting about getting that morning drink; it's really a nice break; it's really a good motivation to get out of the house; it's really just something nice...Yum.
So, as of late, I've been getting myself a milk tea from the cafe everyday. It's so lovely. Expensive, but wonderful.
By the way, I just registered for next semester. Here's my schedule:
Data Security and Encryption Computer System Architecture Software Maintenance Software Project Management
Fun,huh? :( The crazy part is that most of the classes are my electives. I willingly chose three of the four classes that I'll be taking. :( Starbuck's here I come!!!
I was sitting in class this afternoon, occupying myself with writing how many more minutes I have until class is over and then slashing them out when the time has passed. Even though my class is an hour and 15 minutes long, I normally start my countdown 45 minutes till; it seems more hopeful that way.
Anyway, as I was crossing out the minutes, and thinking to myself that I only had 15 minutes more to go, the fire alarm went off like mad. Then this recorded announcer voice came on telling us we had to evacuate the building and to take all our belongings with us! At first, I was totally startled, then I was totally happy because it was like I was getting to 0 minutes for free, and then I was totally scared because he said, after all, it was an emergency.
It turns out, it was just a practice drill. I didn't know they did those in college, but I guess, in case of a real emergency, which is realistic in so many tragic ways, it's a good thing to practice.
Well, here is a little bunny boy I drew.
By the way, I just bought an ice cream maker! I've always wanted one, and now I have one. It was only 7.50, which makes it more exciting! Yay!
Friday is my last day at work. I have to resign from my position as instructional assistant at a special education preschool because the hours conflict with my school schedule. I'm pretty bummed about it because I love the kids tremendously.
Anyway, I really want to give something to my co-workers because they all have been so, so, so nice. There are just too many aides, teachers and staff members to make them all something special; if I could, I would make them all a stuffy but I can't, so a card will have to do. Here is the card I'm trying to design. :)
I begin this entry with a little doodle I did during class today. It's titled "Hanging in There," which pretty much sums up how I feel at the present moment. As you can see, there's an expression of contentment on my character's face. She's struggling; she's being forced into a situation; nevertheless, she is maintaining a smile. I'm trying to have a more positive outlook on life...trying really, really, really hard. :)
The Photoshop version:
Now for a little recap of what happened to me tonight...
I needed some floss, so my husband dropped me off at Walgreen's, while he finished up his coldstone icecream (By the way, do not get blueberries as a topping. YUCK) :). I didn't carry my purse in; I just jammed my American Express in my back pocket. It has my picture on the back.
Here is a summary of the conversation the clerk, who was late teens to early 20's, and I had at the register; I kid you not.
Clerk: Debit or credit? Me: Credit. Clerk: Can I see an ID. Me: It's on the back. Clerk: (looks at it, looks at me, looks at it again) It's kinda faded. Me: Do you really want me to go get my ID? It's in the car. Clerk: Uh...I'll ring you up and then you can go get it and bring your ID in afterward. How old are you, anyway? Me: Um (trying to figure out the pinpad device) Uh.Guess? (I'm trying to buy time) Clerk: 12? 13?
Long pause (I seriously cannot remember how old I am, and I pause awkwardly, as I finish working with the pinpad)
I bought a ton of sharpies at Target a couple of weeks ago (they were on clearance :)). So, I've been using them when I take notes in class. I kinda get high on the smell, but oh well, my classmates think my notes look very nice. :) Plus, making my notes look sharp keeps me awake, what can I say?
Anyway, in my opinion, sharpies are just as good as prismacolor markers. Well, I know artists, real artists, use prismacolor markers to blend and do amazing things, but I have no idea how to do that. So, I think sharpies will be my new medium for now.
Here's a little guy that adorned one of my math assignments.
I've been so busy with school; it's exasperating. I just took a test today, and it left me totally drained and dissatisfied. I studied hard, and if I get a C, I'll be pretty content. Though a B or A would be much better, of course.
On a happier note, though I haven't had time to craft, I have been developing a new character. It's a cupcake Head guy. :) I drew him everywhere... on my notes, on my folders, on my husband's dusty car, and finally on my white board (*sigh* all on boring, practical things). :)
Remember the big shopping spree I had? Well, one purchase I made was through aeropostale.com. I bought 2 cardigans (really, really cute ones), 1 jean jacket (that actually fit me...I went to the store and tried it on), a t-shirt, a sweatshirt (with a monkey on it, for goodness sake!), a polo for my husband, and a purse.
Well, I had it sent to my PO Box...and...I never received a notice. I never received anything. Finally, I went this morning to ask about the package. The postman said that it was already delivered, meaning to say, that someone had picked up the package. That someone was not me.
I called the company and they said they were going to file a carrier claim. In the end, I think I'll get reimbursed. However, why does it make me so terribly mad that someone took my package knowing full well that it didn't belong to them? The package had MY name on it. It had MY address on it! And now there's someone sporting MY cute cardigans and jacket...as if they had won the lottery or deserved it...
My husband bought me a laptop for our anniversary. :) He stayed up most of the night installing programs on it. When I woke up this morning, he was very excited to give me a tour of my new computer. While giving me a demonstration of photoshop, he created this:
I thought it was pretty funny, and I might use the idea of the mushroomswamps for all my many mess-ups. hah.
Thanks to everyone that wished me a wonderful anniversary. We really didn't go out to eat, so hopefully we'll go out tonight. I want to go to Bobby McGee's. Have you heard of it? I'm not sure if it's a chain or not. Anyway, all the waiters dress up in various costumes and sing and dance and it's really funny. The food is excellent. And, I have a coupon...which is probably why I want to go. :)
I'm addicted to caffeine. I have to have a cup of coffee or tea everyday or else I get a nasty headache. :( But in regards to a caffeine addiction, John Tesh said it's okay to have one, so it must be okay. :) It's not very cheap though, so I'm thinking about cutting back...but it's such a nice little reward each day! sigh.
Today is my anniversary. :) Here is the card I made for my husband. Remember, the AC is still not working in my house, so I couldn't use all the crafty...expensive...piling up stuff I have at home to create a spectacular card. Instead, in order to stay alive and breathing, I had to make this card at the air-conditioned starbucks with a pack of colored pencils I had in my bookbag.
Anyway, about my hair...no one even noticed, which is probably because I keep tying it back. I can't help it. I will post pictures though...when it looks somewhat decent.
As for my shames:
I'm a shop-a-holic, especially this week. I guess, I keep justifying my wild spending with the fact that it was my birthday and it's now my anniversary. It's like one week for a massive shopping spree!!!
Let's see, just recently, I bought:
1. Two pairs of shoes from shoes.com (a pair of converse and some sanuk sidewalk surfer...I think I might return the sanuks though because they don't fit quite nicely)
2. A mess of stuff from aeropostale.com (cardigans and a jean jacket)
3. From Mervyns -stuff for my husband, sunglasses, and bermuda shorts. They got me with the spend 50 dollars and get a 10 dollar rewards card. How could I pass that one up???
4. From Macy's- Estee Lauder perfume, crocs, and m.a.c make-up
I got A AC, but it's not the kind that will keep me cool; it's the kind that will keep me relieved. I got an A in Software Engineering, an A in Compilers, and last but not least, I got a C in Calculus. It's not exactly what I hoped for, but hey, at least I passed, and I only have one more math class to go! YAH!!!
Well, thanks to all who wished me well on my project. :) Perhaps the little California Bear did his job! :) Thanks for all the birthday wishes as well. I had a great one. :) (Tomorrow I change my hairstyle. :) If it looks good, I'll post pictures, if not, let's just say we never had this conversation.)
Tomorrow is my birthday and I received these lovely flowers as an early gift. :)
Look who snuck into my bundle of birthday flowers for a wee little nap!!! Yep, it's a California Bear! He's made out of polymer clay and acrylic paint. I made him tonight...in my hot, hot house. Phew. However, there's one benefit to not having a working AC: the paint dries super fast! :)
As for my seven shames,
I discovered my first two white hairs today, and I'm dreadfully depressed over it. My mom started to grey before she turned 30, so I think I inherited her hair. :( Anyway, I'm definitely going to start dying it! I change my hairdo this Friday. I was, in part, inspired by Holiday in the Sun. She wrote an excellent blog on the reasons why we should change our hairstyle. :)
I made the assumption that I would be catching up on my sewing, crafting, and creativity after summer school was done; however, my energy has been totally zapped because of 1. I returned back to work and even worst, 2. the air-conditioning is not working!!!!!!!! ARGH. I have been trying to avoid my house, which means I end up avoiding my craftroom, which means I don't get to make anything fun.
Well, I was desperate...so, I lugged my sewing machine into the kitchen the other day, and blasted the fan in my direction, in order to make four little purple puffs. There's a fifth one, but I didn't want to rethread the bobbin, because it was so stinkin' hot.
This weekend, my husband and I plan to get someone to fix the air-conditioning, but then I start school on Monday...so...I don't know if I'll ever finish the fifth one. :)
By the way, I did tell my professor that I made the adventure bear (embarrassingly enough). See, I had this terrible thought, quite suddenly after I gave it to him, that perchance, maybe, could it be that I didn't remove all the sewing pins!?! It really plagued me. What if one was still stick in the bear and he tried to hug it and got a horrible surprise??? I would so get an F! So, I e-mailed him explaining the situation like the stupid goon I am. He was really nice about it though.
This is #1 of my Seven Shames. The other six will come later (I have to sort through a VERY long list to pick out the best ones). I was tagged by The Happy Hippie , who put a spin on the Seven Random Facts tag game. I like her rendition of it. :)
I have a final tomorrow, but I just had to make my professor a California Adventure Bear in the flesh (kinda).
UPDATE: I said goodbye to my little bear friend. It was hard. My professor really seemed to like it though even though I didn't have the courage to tell him I made it myself. Anyway, let's see if it gets me an A! hah.
Our group would totally get sued by Disneyland, I know. But the name just seemed so fitting for our airline because it specifically targets people who like to hike, ski, and do recreational sports within California! Here is a glimpse of the design on our main page.
After I finished designing it, I realized how much I have been inspired by just zhm . I just love how she incorporates her cute little characters into real life settings! CHECK HER WORK OUT!!!