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Random Saturday Ramblings: Goodbye Picnik and Hello fun.

Here I am at another Saturday.

It’s usually a work day for me as a receptionist but I got the day off by the skin of my teeth. Phew.

How are you planning to spend your Saturday?

I’m actually traveling to Lincoln, NE today, from here in Omaha, NE. It’s a 45 min. to 1 hour drive. I don’t mind it much.

Anyway, is anyone else sad to lose Picnik? I feel like I was just getting acquainted with it (after 2 years or so of trying to make my photos look professional even though I used by cell phone camera).

I found this other comparable, if not better, site called PicMonkey. Check it out. You won’t be mourning Picnik’s passing so bad.

Only thing I saw a problem with was that it doesn’t have the capability to make collages yet. So I downloaded Snapfish and made my collages on there and then uploaded the image to PicMonkey to edit.

I want to close this post with a song that’s been stuck in my head for a few weeks and if you’ve heard it you know why. It’s catchy!

Tuesday Newsday – Simplifying

Who isn’t trying to save money these days?

Some people try to drive less to use less gas. Others may try to cut back on eating out or other unnecessary spending.

I saw on Yahoo! that one family made a much more drastic change to save money. They built a “tiny house”, 178 square feet to be exact, and the family of four has been able to save a lot of money. This was crucial for them because they lost their restaurant business because of the recession.

What do you do to save money?

Make Something Monday: Silk Flowers

I found a tutorial on how to make pretty realistic flowers with a flame and synthetic silk fabric (plus a little glue or thread and some scissors).

Here’s the video tutorial!

Here’s my flowers 🙂 I’m pleased with how they turned out. I glued some beads in the center.

Sunday Vintage Swoon: My 1960s Mad Men Inspired Look

I have been slowly developing a love for vintage clothing.

When I was a tween and I went shopping with my mom for clothes I was always worried about things making me look “old”. I didn’t want to wear jeans that were too straight-legged (this was before skinny jeans were cool), they had to have a flare. I wouldn’t be caught dead in shoulder pads! So, my poor mom was leery of making clothing suggestions.

After high school I started watching a lot of BBC miniseries, period pieces like Wives and Daughters and North and South. I also watched a good amount of TCM, and ordered classics from Netflix. Then I started exploring vintage shops on Etsy and I started to imagine myself wearing 1960s dresses, and instead of feeling like it would age me, I felt it would make me look elegant and sophisticated.

A few weeks ago I discovered Mad Men, and loved the dresses. Sadly, though, when I watched the show, I wasn’t so impressed. I’m a more Pride and Prejudice kind of girl, I don’t like seeing so much cigarette smoking and sleeping around. Still, I’ll give them props for their costumes. I will keep looking at what the ladies are wearing for inspiration.

I bought a beautiful 1960s Leslie Fay butter yellow high waisted dress with a cowl neck from Etsy seller, a hippy heart. It was only $18!

When it arrived I was very pleased with the fit, but I realized it needed a tiny improvement. Maybe the vivacious Joan Holloway wouldn’t mind a front slit in her dress, but I felt a need to put some fabric in so I could feel comfortable wearing the dress to religious events.

I bought a new pair of black peep toed shoes from Famous Footwear and wore a matching black belt from an older dress I had.

For jewelry I wore some oval vintage black earrings with a floral detail and gold trim. I got those for 50 cents at the thrift store!

The outfit got a lot of compliments, so I feel pretty good about getting more vintage (I’ll be returning to a hippy heart) in the future! 🙂

Do you wear vintage? Share links to photos of your outfits!

Thursday Treats: My First Contest!

I have been wanting to have a contest for a while.

I created my welcome page on my Facebook Page last night and decided it was time to start a contest.

You can get a free print of this drawing (shrunk in this post-click to view full image)


The catch is you simply have to go to my facebook page, click add to favorites thus becoming a fan or VIP , as I like to say, and you will be added to a drawing. Everyone who likes the page between now and April 30th at midnight will be added to the drawing!!!

So please be a part of my first contest! Many more to come 🙂

1 Word Wednesdays : Paper People

Before you scroll down and get bombarded by images of my paper dolls – who I call “paper people”, this probably deserves some back story.

When I was really little my mom bought me a Belle (from “Beauty and the Beast”) paper doll – the kind with clothes that you could put on by folding the tabs behind her. Something happened to Belle and I sort of forgot about paper dolls for a while and was pretty content with Barbies and legos. Then when I was about 9 I think “Toy Story” and “The Borrowers” made me start thinking about how cool it would be to make miniature people and to write about their little lives and pretend that they are secretly living in my room without anyone else knowing but me. Silly maybe, but I became completely engrossed in creating paper people, making weird families and writing their family trees. Yes, I had a strange obsession with genealogy – which probably stemmed from my strange family tree.

I made paper people from the time I was 9 to 13. Then I stopped and placed all 300 or so in a shoe box under my bed.

I revived the paper people making about a year ago when I added them to my Etsy shop. So far I have sold a lot more than I expected, some even landing in a gallery!

So please take a look at my paper people. The ones with the metal brads I made recently, but there are also images of ones I made in the past.

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Last night, my parents, my friend, and I were all geared up to watch the documentary “The Business of Being Born”, something we’d been planning to see since February. (Read my post about that here). My finger was poised to hit the play button, when I happened to glance out of the screen door on our balcony to see a fire raging on the balcony of another apartment in a building across from ours.

I’m told that I often get the “deer in the headlights” look when I’m surprised by something, and I’m sure that’s how I looked then. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing a fire, right after my friend and I had been talking at length about a fire at her neighbor’s house a few weeks ago.

“It was the eeriest thing, Elise!” she said, wide-eyed.

The night of her neighbor’s fire, there had been another fire earlier that evening in the same house, but there was little damage. Again, late that night, another fire broke out and she heard screaming in the streets. Aside from the screaming it was strangely silent.

“The flames were just licking up the sides of the house,” she told me, doing an upward arm motion to imitate the flames. “It was amazing how something so destructive could be so silent.” Then there were explosions in the back of the house, cans burst because of the intense heat.

The house didn’t burn to the ground, but the city said it couldn’t be lived in any more. Plus it was suspected that it was arson that started the fire. My friend said 17 people lived in the lower half of that house and after the first fire the neighbors said that some of the people were in the street dancing and singing, “We have insurance! We have insurance!”

The thought of people burning the places they were renting because of wanting a rental insurance pay out made me nervous. We live on the 2nd floor of a 3 story apartment and I didn’t want any of my neighbors to start burning their apartments down.

So how ironic was it to see a fire breaking out just yards away from our apartment! I called 911 and my friend ran outside to move her car away from the fire.

Amazingly a group of young men and kids used buckets and the outdoor faucet to splash water on the 2nd story deck and they actually put out the fire before the firemen came!

It turned out cigarette butts were to blame, and the tenant in the apartment slept through the whole thing.

“We’re moving to a smoke-free apartment,” my mom said. There won’t be any arguments from me!

Have you ever had a fire? Please share your stories!

I didn't want to see anything like this happen!

Thursday Throwback: My Self-Portrait Bust

 Is it weird that I have a self-portrait bust sitting atop my dresser in my room?

Maybe. But I didn’t know where else to put it.

I made it, her, me – whatever you want to call it – as a senior project in my high school art class. It was sort of tradition there for the Art 7-8 students to make a bust of themselves – with life-size heads!

I already loved working with clay – since I’d been taking pottery for 4 years, but I was definitely a bigger challenge to make your own head than it was to make a teapot.

It took us half of the school year to create our heads. We had to work with the clay, let it dry in the attic (it was kind of eerie seeing all of our heads laying on cushions in the dark, dusty attic), spray paint and stain them, make the wooden base and stain that, and then finally it was finished!

I have to say, even though she’s not a perfect likeness, I was pretty attached to my head. My art teacher and pottery teacher both approached me about letting the school give me the purchase award – which meant that in exchange for some cold-hard cash and special recognition – my head would belong to the school, sitting on a library bookshelf for the rest of it’s days.

I said “No” repeatedly and didn’t budge.

What would you have done?

After spending a half a school year on this head, it was coming home with me! For a while she was on display next to my brother’s  strikingly realistic bust that he created 2 years before.

So that’s the story of me and my head – has anyone else done a similar project? Would you do it again? I think I would 🙂