Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My co-worker wanted to decorate a Sarah Palin pumpkin at work this year. Strangely enough, I happened to have some yarn that I'd just spun up in my office that looked suspiciously like Palin's hair with highlights. Makes me feel less like a complete nerd for always having yarn with me (correct, it's not just taken over my house, but it's been invading my office too!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and that gave me the idea to find some wonderful shops on Etsy that are donating a portion of their proceeds to the Susan G Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness, support and finding the cure. Here are some beautiful items that you can buy to help with this cause...scroll to the bottom of this post for a little extra incentive!

From Kays Krafts:Breast Cancer Awareness Memory Board - $24.99

20% of the proceeds to be donated.

From Wags Creations:Give Hope ....Coaster Set - $15.00

100% of the proceeds from this will be donated!

From Liebling Designs: Pretty In Pink Necklace - $25.00

10% of the proceeds to be donated.

From Coasters And Cards: Stamp Out Breast Cancer Card - PIF

This is a Pay It Foward (PIF) listing for $0.21. You will pay the $0.21 to get this card, which will be donated. Same goes for any other cards in the Pay It Forward section of this shop.

From Lonesome Road Studio:pow dominOh effect pin - $8.00

10% of the purchase price to be donated.

From Buster and Boo: The Pink Ribbon, a scrabble tile pendant - $6.50

50% of the purchase price from this item will be donated.

From Four Dog Day:Nancy's Rose of Inspiration Fundraising Card - $3.00

$1 from the sale of each card will be donated.

From Fervent Butterfly:Candy Flower - Red Flower on Water Fine Art Photo Print - $10.00

35% of the proceeds from this photo, and any other photo in the Pink For October section of this shop, will be donated. Also, 10% from any other categories.

From Bead Brat Originals:Think Pink Cotton Candy Pink and Sivertone Slider Bracelet - $28.00

30% of proceeds from the sale of any item in the Think Pink
section of this shop will be donated.

From Whats That Smell:
Pink Sugar Soy Tarts - $5.00

100% of the sale price to be donated

Seeing as this is a giving thing, let's get some sales going to assist with donations! Lanae Photography has graciously donated a 4"x6" copy of the print shown below as part of a contest. All you need to do is find a store on Etsy that is donating part of the proceeds from an i tem to Breast Cancer Awareness, and post a link to either the store or the item in the comments here. The only rule is that it can't be a store already shown here!! On November 1, a winner will be chosen and this print will be yours.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My first big home project!

One of the things I was super excited about moving into our new home was fixing the ridiculous window treatments that had been left in the house. Every single blind in the place is too long and the blind in our bathroom is an interesting shade of aquamarine that doesn't match anything we own! The first thing was to actually put up a curtain in the living room because it didn't have one. I dragged the husband along to Joann with me and he helped me pick out some gorgeous olive colored microfiber for our curtains and is even the one that found the perfect thread for it! I looked up some videos on how to do tab top curtains and I was ready to go.

It was a 3 day process because attempting to cut and sew a 90" length of fabric that's 54" wide and doesn't press (which is something I wish I'd thought of before going the microfiber route) takes a while. In the end though, I am extremely proud of what is my biggest project to date and one that we look at every day so I can only imagine how much it would have sucked if I'd royally screwed it up! Anyway, here's a picture for you which also shows our pretty new dining table and the centerpiece my mother-in-law gave us a while back that's never had the perfect place to be shown before.I have to love the fact that the sun is poking through in the middle of a hot So Cal October....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monkeying around

Seeing as the holidays are fast approaching, some of you may already be thinking about decorations and unique ornaments. This year, I have a really fun suggestion for you - why not adorn your tree with an Ornamonkey? I can tell that you're wondering what on earth an Ornamonkey is. Well, check it out!This little guy is a felt ornament made to resemble a real species of monkey, with a new species of monkey released each month. Each monkey is collectible and comes with a dated bio-blurb about the species and its conservation status. The felt is eco-spun felt that is 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Created by a real primatologist, this is a great opportunity to learn something about the monkey while having a wonderful conversation piece for your holiday gatherings!

To find out more about the Ornamonkeys, visit Recycled Ideas on Etsy where you can see more species that are available or join the Monkey Of The Month club (spaces will be available starting in November). Also, click on the "win a monkey" bug on this page to find out how you can win your own monkey. Now, that's not a phrase I use every day! =)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A tale of two customer service departments...and 5 desks!

In our attempts to finish buying the furniture for our new office, the husband and I decided to head on over to Target to look at some desks for his DJ equipment. Naturally, we found one we liked in a gorgeous expresso brown wood, plus picked up a desk for my sewing machine, and headed off home to get to work building it. What we didn't realize at the time was what a saga this was about to become.

Monday night...Desk #1 - Got it home and found there was a big chip in the top of it. Popped it back in the box to take back to Target.

Tuesday night...Desk #2 - Took the first desk back to Target, explained the problem. Left a few minutes later with a replacement. Husband gets the desk home, starts building it and comes up the stairs cussing up a storm to ask my opinion on why one of the pieces doesn't fit. Realized it was definitely drilled on the wrong side/upside down. Now, for those of you that have built your own furniture, you know that if the holes don't match up, there's no hope!

Wednesday morning - Called Target's guest services department. Very nice man tells me that he's going to call my local store and have them pull a replacement piece out of another box for me and that I should just go over there with the one that's messed up to exchange them.

Wednesday night...Desk #3 & #4 - Arrive at guest services in the store to pick up my furniture part. Very helpful associate pops off into the warehouse to go get me a "correct" one. Comes back with a desk box, opens it up and pulls out the piece...which is also drilled backwards. Tells me to stick around for a minute while he pulls the last one they have in stock (which of course means that I have to use that time to buy toothpaste, dishwasher soap and browse some jewelry...after all, I'm in a Target store!) The guy returns from the warehouse with the last desk in that color, opens it up and yes, you guessed it, it's drilled wrong!! Yeah, big ooops. Fortunately, they had the desk in another color, which I opted to take...on the condition that they opened it up and checked that the piece was drilled the right way around (which it was). Thinking all was well, I'm then told that I actually have to go home and get the half-constructed parts because they need those to give me the exchange. Grrrr! Stupid stoned factory dude putting holes in the wrong side.

This morning...Desk #5 - Shoved all the half built pieces into my car and made the security guard help me carry the desk into the store at 8am this morning when they opened. Desk #5 had my name written on it in Sharpie and was waiting for me. It's sitting in the back of my car now just waiting to be built tonight. I guess time will tell if we've closed that particular chapter of desk buying!

At the same time, I did use this as an opportunity to build my karma points by calling Target, and the furniture manufacturer, to let them know that there was a manufacturing problem with the desk and both customer service people were so incredibly grateful that I brought it up. So, if you see a desk recall notice in Target, think of me. =)

As much as I love that store, 4 times in 36 hours seems like it might be pushing it a little bit don't you agree?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A new fascination

Yesterday was a first, as my husband was actually telling me to get off my butt and go to Joann. The plan was to get supplies to make another window treatment for one of the downstairs windows. Of course, he should have known that I was going to come back with more than just the fabric for the window and a curtain rod.

Given that Joann was having their Columbus Day sale, all their red tag fabrics were 50% off, and they were having a $0.99 sale on Simplicity patterns. This of course was entirely too much to resist and I had a lot of fun rummaging around for some great deals (which isn't hard when you can buy super cute fabrics for under $2/yard). It was especially gratifying to be told on the receipt that my savings for the day were $46!!

During my search, I discovered that I have really developed a love for brocade fabrics. The history of these fabrics is just as rich as the look of the fabric itself. They have been used as an indication of status and to signify ceremonial events. Perhaps it is my Chinese heritage, or the huge Indian culture where I grew up in England, that makes me love the style of fabric. Either way, I am very drawn to them and came home yesterday with three different styles of brocade fabric - a red and gold, a turquoise and gold, and a baby blue (I forgot to take a picture but the picture here is really similar to what I purchased). I have a couple of tops planned, although these are the kinds of fabrics were I get nervous using them in case I mess it up!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A little Project Runway talk

As the most recent season of Project Runway nears the end, I do have a little to say about last night's episode. Firstly, as much as I was sad that Jerrell got a little too whacky with his wedding dress creation last night, it's really nice to see three strong females doing their thing for fashion week.

As much as Kenley drives me nuts, you can't say the girl doesn't have a style...even if parts of it appear to have been "inspired" by another designer (see the design by Alexander McQueen below left, by Kenley below right). One thing that bugs me, apart from her whining, is that she can't seem to get out of her niche. That being said, I think she'll do really well within her niche.
Korto has a great personality; very down to earth and I think that reflects in her designs. While I do think she missed the mark a little with her wedding dress last night, I have enjoyed her previous creations. The dress shown to the left is one that I like, despite being someone who's not much for crazy prints. I thought her bridesmaid dress was nowhere near as bad as the judges made it out to be, although given where they are in the competition I think they wanted her to find a happy medium between the over and under whelming that they kept talking about.

Finally, Leanne is my favorite to win right now. Apart from anything, she has an Etsy store!! She has such a classy style that is well structured, yet flows beautifully (see the dress inset right) and I really enjoy her humble nature - the absolute every day kinda girl. I'm really excited to see her final collection because the hints we got in the show last night looked really interesting and so well designed. The wedding and bridesmaid dresses were beautiful and I would be happy to wear either.

Of course, waiting another week will be torture to find out who made it, but it'll be an exciting finale this year for sure!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We have a winner!

I am happy to announce the winner of the contest I have been running this week to win the set of notecards (shown in my post below)!

The winner is The Giving Tree on Etsy. I was really happy to check out her shop and see that she is donating proceeds from her October sales to charity on account of it being Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Thank you to my co-worker, Karen, for picking a name out of the hat.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

100th post and a contest!

I noticed the other day that I was coming up on my 100th post here on my blog and it seems like a good time to have a little contest to share with you as a thank you for visiting my blog.

So, here's what I have for you. Post a comment here telling me what photographic images you love to see on notecards. Next Wednesday, (October 8) I will pull a name out of the hat for someone to win this set of floral notecards, featuring my photography! The photos are mounted on blank notecard stock so that you can write your own message inside, and can easily be pulled off and framed too. Each card comes with a matching envelope.

Please don't forget to leave your name and a method of contact so that I can let you know if you won. =)