Monday, November 29, 2010

The Next Cool Thing

I stopped into the Christmas Tree Store this afternoon. I saw this tree. It looked very cool in the store. The trunk is a clear plastic tube. There is a rope light that runs inside it from top to bottom. You fill the tube with water and as the light changes colors, the water bubbles up from the bottom. It was so cool! It comes in white and in green.

I asked how much for the tree. The answer was $159. I thought that was too much, but you pay for innovation, right? Next year, it will be cheaper. Then I looked it up online tonight and it was $359. All of a sudden $159 looks good.

I think I could make one, hahahaha!
Normal Girl

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cookies for Niece 3

The Sequoia Niece 3 turned 18 this weekend. I know. How do you process that the kid was just toothless and is 18 this week? Now, Redwood Nephew 4 is the only non-adult we have left. By the way, Redwood Nephew 4 is now 6'5". How does that happen?

So, a couple weeks ago, my pals Amy and Amanda taught me how to make the fancy cookies with royal icing and decorations. I had fun and tried it on my own for the birthday this weekend. Niece 3 said, "You made those? I thought you bought them in Frankenmuth!" HA, success!

Things I learned about making royal icing cookies:
  • these cookies need a better name
  • they take a lot of time to make
  • if I give you one of these cookies, it means I value you, I love you, or I am bribing you
Looking forward to making Christmas cookies!
Normal Girl

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stick a Fork in it

This was my morning activity instead of Black Friday shopping....which I would rather clean all of your ovens than do. I went to the flea market and found some old forks and turned them onto photo easels. I think they might be part of the table decorations for a bridal shower I am working on. I was lucky to find some nice old silver forks with pretty patterns.

What are all of you doing for Black Friday?
Normal Girl

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Good Idea that Just Didn't Work

I walked by these poinsettias this afternoon and had to utter a reflexive "OH!" I am sorry the photo does not do them justice and I cannot describe the color. Electric blue? Neon blue? I for sure do not have a problem with non traditional colors for Christmas, I do own some lime green and turquoise poinsettias, but this was shocking.

If they are perfect for your own holiday decorating, head on over to Michaels. My guess is that nobody else has bought them yet.

I'll not have a blue Christmas,
Normal Girl

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Chia

I stopped into Rite Aid this afternoon and this caught my eye and made me laugh. At first look, Chia Abraham Lincoln and Chia George Washington felt disrespectful and Chia Lady Liberty is just wrong. But then I noticed Chia Obama. I am still laughing.

I am not exactly sure why I find it funny, but I do.

Do not buy me one for Christmas,
Normal Girl

Friday, November 19, 2010

That's Right Dolly!

Fresh from the kiln. Painters call these Dolly Parton hearts.

Funny, right?
Normal Girl

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Heart You

I worked on Valentine's Day projects today. Like that better then Christmas. I tried for two very different feeling bracelets to appeal to two different groups of people. Although, I like them both. Maybe I am in all groups of people when it comes to jewelry.

Imagine that,
Normal Girl

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seeking Parental Advice

The issue is hair. The girls on my dance team absolutely refuse to pull their hair out of their faces for rehearsal. I am not saying it has to be a ponytail, just the front part of the hair pulled back from the face.

That means they play with their hair, shoving it out of their faces approximately 45 times per minute. That makes for zero concentration on what they are trying to do while rehearsing. I have asked nicely. I have explained why and how it will help them. I have emailed reminders. I have even brought them headbands to wear. Finally, I offered bribes. Wouldn't you know? That did the trick.

Each week that their hair is pulled back, they get a prize from the "Yay, my hair is out of my face treat bag."

Now I have a different problem. Of course, they are complying for the wrong reason, and I am going to go broke bribing them.

Dear parents out there, how do I stop this with a good ending?

Normal Girl

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Check One Item Off My List

I have been wanting to learn how to make these cute cutout cookies where you float the royal icing over them. For my study break today, I spent 3 hours in the kitchen with Amy, Amanda, Anita, and Denise. They showed me the steps. They had the cookies all baked and most of them iced. But they saved some of each step for me.

Amanda is pretty artistic with the decorating bag, and she let me go for it. The plan was to make a pile of cookies for a wedding reception tomorrow. Lots of them have the initials of the bride and groom on them. The rest we just made cute.

Mixing up the icing. I was surprised at how easy it is, just meringue powder, water and powdered sugar. Who in the world made this sound so hard? It wasn't.

Here is one tray of mine. I had fun and am taking my coupons to Jo-Ann's and Michaels for supplies. Ready to try it on my own!

Maybe some pilgrim hats....
Normal Girl

P.S. Even with a 3 hour break, I still got 10 pages in today, woohoo!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Study Break

Reflecting my new love of button rings (thanks Helen!) and my four days spent in the offices of Blumenthal Lansing looking at 234098343 buttons that I wished were in my possession, this is what I did on my study break tonight. Beads, buttons and elastic cord. Pretty cute!

I have been writing most of the day. Ya, I know. I can hear your applause.

Back to work,
Normal Girl

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Door Closes

Martha is having a contest to win a vendor table at the annual Martha Stewart Christmas Craft Sale at their office in NYC. They are expecting 2500 shoppers. I entered my fiber wrapped bangles along with my spare tire bangles. I thought I might have a shot. They selected 8 crafters and their work, published the finalists on their blog, and the world gets to vote. The top 5 get in the craft sale. I am not a finalist. But among the finalists are these....
What do you do with these?

Hahahaha. Really?

What is the message for me in this?
1. Selling finished goods is not going to be where I excel.
2. Finish the thesis!!

Alright already!
Normal Girl

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Putting Stuff on Other Stuff

I went to a bridal shower today. Dawn is marrying Steve and they are adorable. I know Dawn from church where she and I have worked together on set design, spending hours cutting styrofoam and painting. She is an artist and very creative.

It hurts me to buy salt and pepper shakers for someone, so she was forced to have a homemade present. Handmade presents can either be rejected as junk or adored because the person making it puts a little of herself into it. When I make presents for a specific person, it gives me the opportunity to pray for that person as I work. What an honor to be able to do that.

So, Dawn and Steve received this cross today at the shower. Hope they like it and it always reminds them who is in charge in their marriage.

And, how sweet it was that ladies at the shower liked the cross and passed it all over the room to check it out. So, here is another example of something that comes easy to me, that impresses other people. It's just what I do....put stuff on other stuff. It is the second time this week that I have found that I might have something to share, and I am wondering how to turn this into a job that is also a ministry.

Shoot me ideas (that are more than just selling stuff) if you have them.

To Dawn and Steve... I hope your life together is way beyond your expectations!
Normal Girl

Friday, November 5, 2010

Presentation Week

This is my week of presentations. I have spent a lot of time preparing (aka not writing my thesis) and some time with two groups of women (aka not writing my thesis). If my Mother knew about this, she would warn me about my priorities. And rightly so! I did enjoy the time I spent with the Mom groups at church on my two presentations. Wednesday night, I gave a presentation on decorating on a small budget. I think the most exciting thing the young Moms found out about that night was decoupage. You know, for the most part, the generation behind me does not craft. Weird and shocking, but true.

Here is the piece I took to show how to decoupage. The picture is actually a magazine ad. For something. I don't know what. The ad did not work for the people who paid for it, but it worked great for me. I decoupaged black and white dot fabric to cover the canvas, then decoupaged the paper on top. Cute. Easy.

This morning I did a craft with another Mom group, to supplement a talk that Wonder Woman did on adoption. November is adoption month, in case you did not know. WW gave a very touching and informative talk, and I taught everyone to make button rings. They have little heart charms on them to remind us that we are all adopted into the family of God and that we are always in His heart.

I think the ladies enjoyed it. It was a quicky, they paid attention very well, and crafted nice rings.

Some are even planning to make more for Christmas presents.

Things I learned this week:
  • I need to move back in with my Mother so she can make me do my homework.
  • I made a vow this morning to say NO to everything presented to me until the thesis is finished. I actually said NO twice already today before noon. A record for me!
  • I think I have some skills that could be teachable and shareable. I never think about it that way. But, whenever I do these things, the women like it, ask me questions, and invite me to do it with their friends. All of the knowledge I have accumulated over my life is new to a non-crafting generation (two generations actually). Maybe there is a job for me in here someplace. I have to think about it. After thesis writing.
And so, I have one more presentation this week. Sunday morning I am speaking for a few minutes in front of the whole church. Yeah, I am not looking forward to that one. But, what good is a great mission trip experience if I do not share with everyone who will listen, what God did through us on the trip?

Someone please get over here and tie me to my computer!
Normal Girl