Oops, I Messed Up

We've made it home and done some "around the house" prep for the storm. We probably won't have many problems, but who knows. I'm posting now because there's no telling of we'll lose power and internet and for how long.

Let me apologize for the problems with my site and picture posts from the last few days. Apparently, there were some complications posting from my iPhone when I didn't have much of a signal. More specifically - it continued to send the pictures OVER and OVER before recognizing that they were sent. As such, I had multiples posted on Flickr, and thus here, of the same few pictures. When trying to correct it, I only messed it up more. If you want to see the originals of the unviewable pictures, just go to my Flickr page (see the sidebar).

Please keep the areas who are about to be impacted by Gustav in your thoughts and prayers. May they all weather the storm well. I hope you do too!!

Gustav's Coming

Gustav's Coming
Originally uploaded by CraftyHope
Looks like Gustav is cutting it a little close. We're gonna have to
leave the Gulf Shores condo today to get the house done. I'm
disappointed but really feeling sorry for the people of the MS & LA
gulf coast. They're just getting over Katrina.

Life's Rough

Life's Rough
Originally uploaded by CraftyHope
Just got rid of a headache, time to start drinking again.

Just the Beginning

Just the Beginning
Originally uploaded by CraftyHope
We made it to the condo at last. LOML was waiting for a package and I thought it would never come. Now waiting for friends so we can go get our dinner and drink on.

Only Laboring a Little Over Gustav (FGF)

Ahhh, the long weekend is finally upon us. I am really looking forward to hanging out in Gulf Shores with LOML* and another couple (some of my 'Tree' Friends.) Of course, Tropical Storm/ Hurricane Gustav is apparently on his way into the Gulf. We're not going to let that ruin a perfectly good weekend. Plus, the condo has already been paid for and the cancellation date has long passed.

In preparation, I went out yesterday to get some Hurricane supplies (canned goods and water) so we'd have them when we get back home on Monday. I didn't want to risk not having them and then having to deal with the chaos of the stores if the storm does head this way. I'm not worried about the house. It only takes us a few minutes to board up the house because of these cool window clips we use. You just push the plywood into the windows and DONE!!

I'm also thinking about how we can handle bad weather at the beach and plan on packing the Wii and some craft supplies to keep us busy. (Well, the craft supplies are more for me.) However, with these two friends in tow; LOML* and I will NOT be bored. I'll have to try and leave work early again today so I can finish getting everything done. I want to head down there AS SOON as LOML* finishes working. I CAN'T WAIT!!

Of course, my biggest problem is figuring out what craft supplies to pack. Right now, my craft bag has embroidery stuff, shrink plastic and sharpies, a drawing pad, and watercolors. I'm really tempted to take some jewelry supplies. However, I've got SO MANY that it's hard to pare down for easy travel. I try to keep reminding myself that we'll have friends there and I won't need as many crafts because I'll be plenty entertained. Yet, they'll only be there with us Friday and Saturday nights because they have to work on Monday. Decisions, decisions. Gah!

Well, I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend and that you actually have the day off. If you don't, I feel for you and wanna share some "Feel Good Friday" goodness.I apologize for the lack of pictures today. I plan on taking quite a few this weekend and may pass them to you as they happen. We'll see. Have a great weekend. Stay dry, stay safe, think happy thoughts!!

*LOML= Love of My Life

Poll Results (sorta), Another Question, and WWWW

Thanks to all 7 of you who took my poll, I deeply appreciate it. With only 5 choices and one 'other' box, I had two people agree on a change and five others in opposite directions. Thanks guys! The poll is still open for a few days, if you have not taken it yet. I'm starting to get a general idea of what I may do and what you want to see here, so things MAY change next week. I do have one other BURNING question for you related to blog changes. Please take a minute to comment and let me know how you feel. OR if you don't want your comment out in the open, you can e-mail me or let me know in the comment not to make the comment public.
Here goes: Would you rather see one long semi-daily post like I have been doing or series of shorter posts (i.e. one post with personal info and one post with links, etc.)? It's something else I have been thinking about changing and, again, value the opinions of my devoted readers. Let me know!!

Since it IS Hump day, I guess I'll give ya' some links to check out for "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday."
  • Check out the Sleeveface group on flickr where people incorporate themselves into albums. Kinda neat.
  • The p-mate allows women to go potty standing up. This would be helpful for nasty bathrooms, camping trips, long lines at the ladies room, etc. I saw these in a magazine MANY years ago and have not heard mention of them since. I am considering getting some. SO Tempting!! (Via - bits and pieces)
  • Try this fun, little Chinese game to calculate your brain's age. It had me right on but I was also tired. I'll have to play it some more when I'm more alert.
  • Wanna feel old? (I know, not really) But, check out the mindset of the kids entering their freshman year of college. Get this - they were born in 1990!! GAHHHH!!
Again, help me out here. I'm only kinda writing this blog for my own benefit. I would like to offer what you enjoy too! Let me know what kinda posts you wanna see.

The Homework

The Homework
Originally uploaded by CraftyHope
Check out this mountain of homework my 8 year niece had tonight - 12 pages of reading, 3 worksheets, a chapter of social studies to read, two sets of vocab words, and 20 spelling words. We did homework for THREE hours. She's in the THIRD grade. It was unreal.

Shorty McShortPost (Bland and Blah)

Just a quick post to let you all know that I am still here. 'Cause I KNOW you've been worried and consumed with tragic thoughts of where I've been.
Nothing TOO tragic, just a bit going on right now. Nothing major. Let the panic or excitement subside, I've just been plain ole busy and tired.

I also got a new game for the Wii and biked 9 miles on Sunday. (Sooooo proud of myself) That would account for the tired. Anywho.... I hope all is well where you are and hope to get back to posting before the long weekend (yay!!) begins.

On a side note - I recently recalled that I was really excited about being able to post from my iPhone. So you may be seeing more of those sort of posts in the future. You have been warned!!

Tonight will be with the nieces. I gotta head on that way now.

Later Gators!!!

I've Been Productive, I Really Have; Plus It's Thrifty Thursday

Since I don't want to be the slacker that I have been the last few days, I'm trying to post early. While I haven't been as crafty as in previous weeks, I have been productive this week. (Hoping to get my craft on this evening) Not only did I get the house cleaned, but I've done the grocery shopping (for more than one meal - egad!) I usually run to the store on a fairly daily basis to get the supplies for whatever meal. I have been known to go to the store at least three times in one day. Fortunately, we do have an array of grocery stores fairly close to my house. So, I try to mix it up and shop at a different one each time, before the cashiers start to recognize me.
This week, LOML* and I also got to check out the new Bass Pro Shop in our area. It's HUUUUUGE!! They have so many taxidermied animals I started to cry at one point. I don't handle dead animals staring at me too well. We found our favorite sections of the store though. First, on the second floor there's the camping, canoing, kyacking, and bar-b-quing sections all grouped together. Secondly, they have a restaurant in there. LOML* didn't think he would be interested in the restaurant, but I wanted to at least look. It was the last thing we did. As soon as we saw the 1,300 gallon saltwater tank of tropical fish behind the bar and a Sweetwater beer tap, we were drawn inside for about an hour. The whole time, we mumbled to each other, "I can't believe we're in a Bass Pro Shop." It was a nice evening. I even bought a new water bottle.

The water bottle wasn't the cheapest one I've ever purchased, but is perfect for me. That's why I feel like a bit of a hypocrite posting this on "Thifty Thursday." I hope the thrifting gods forgive me.Oh, I NEED to share this - The writing of The Hobbit movie has begun!!

Take my poll!! You can add your own suggestions too!

*LOML=Love of My Life

Finally, Something Completed in the House Cleaning

In a spooky (from 'Poltergeist') Tangia voice: "This house is CLEAN!!" Well. . . mostly. I only did "paid work" for a little over an hour yesterday and then decided that I HAD to get my house cleaned. I worked on the laundry room, kitchen, dining room, and living room. Mind you, I have large laundry and living rooms. By the end of my rampage, I had a load that went to Goodwill and a serious allergy attack that only ceased with sleep.
But, boy do I feel better about my environment. Though I am really enjoying the feeling that comes with a clean living space; in the back of my head I hear, "but what about the bathrooms, what about your closet, what about the sun room." And dear God, If I can ever get my hands on LOML's office. For now, I'll rest and perhaps start on another room in a few days.

It's late and while it's still "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" I'm gonna share some of my most interesting finds from the web.
  • Now that school's starting back up all over the country, you (or your little one) may need to learn the president song, a little ditty to remember the order of the presidents.
  • Teaching English in Japan can be pretty hilarious.
  • I've recently gotten to be a big Facebook fan, though I've been a member for a while, so this facebook in reality video really cracks me up.
  • Those of you who are fans of Monty Python's Holy Grail like me, will like the talking black knight doll w/removable limbs. Too cool.
  • Something about this keyboard cleaning goop really interests me.
That's all for now, it's getting on toward bed time and I'm so content I think I need to go on to bed.

Don't forget to take my poll.

Weekend Review (and MMSM)

First off, go to the sidebar (to the right) and TAKE MY POLL.

I hope y'all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was pretty good. Partied with LOML* Friday night (we drank quite a bit at our fav. Mexican restaurant), went on a bus trip to a casino on Sat (won $78), and just lounged around on Sun until we went to a pool party for a 3-year-old. It was a nice weekend.
I even got a little crafting done and finished a polymer clay cane I had been working on. However, now that it's done; I can't remember what I wanted to do with it. Oh well, at least that's something else done out of the craft-to-do box. I also attached a pendant to a necklace. I'm not sure if I like that one or not; so it may come apart again later.

I was so proud of myself this morning. I woke up with my alarm (usually I wake up and reset it for later) and got some things accomplished. I showered, did some exercising, made some breakfast, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and started sorting through the mound of paper in the craft room. I got so caught up in the paperwork, I left the house about 15 minutes late. That's not such a big deal since I decided to work as I ate lunch at my desk.

I was hoping I'd be able to keep that productive energy all day. Yet, just as I got to work I started getting sleepy. Maybe it's just the office and I'll feel better back at home.
Maybe it's just that it's Monday, at least it's a "Made Me Smile Monday" at that.Here's a collection of some really fun staff that I have been dying to share with you:
  • dog dayz of summer
  • wrestler needs a folding chair, fans help him out
    http://view.break.com/539758 - Watch more free videos
  • This is actually crafty. Stuffed animal headphones. (found from craftgossip)
  • It's so tempting to press that red button.
  • WANTED - Kool aid man
I know there HAS to be SOMETHING in that above list that made you smile. Otherwise, I'm gonna worry about your sense of humor.

Lastly, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take my Poll (in sidebar)

Outside, In the Yard (FGF)

Oh! You should be so proud of me - Yesterday, I participated in the household chore I detest the most – Yard Work!!This is actually a crepe myrtle in my yard (really!)

I felt a little guilty as LOML* did some yard work on Wednesday evening while I went out with a friend. So I knocked off from work early yesterday to get some new yard gloves for him, and then we started the work. He worked in the back of the house and I in the front. LOML* probably got 30 sq ft or more (I’m bad with estimating but it was a sizable area) cleaned under my lovely, old oak tree, while I struggled with the 10ft X 4 ft weed bed in the front yard. It used to be a beautiful flower bed when we bought the house. However, this was until I realized how much I hate gardening. I never knew that the biggest problem with my flowerbed would be grass. I understood having weeds in my grass, but having grass as one of my weeds - Inconceivable!! Since I was competing with the afternoon sun on the west side of the house (with NO shade), I nearly passed out and thus quit after about an hour. Of course, I also did some laundry, cooked dinner, and cleaned the kitchen. So, I do not feel nearly as bad as I should, since LOML* worked in the back yard for two hours longer than me while I watched Project Runway on TiVo. Ah well, at least I tried.

At Last! At Last! At Last - It's "Feel Good Friday"So go, go do something outside. It's the weekend already!! Enjoy it.

Kids Say the Darndest (WWWW)

Just as I expected, the nieces were a riot last night. Here's just a sampling:
  • "Smitherman" said by a 5-year-old sounds a lot like the way the people at the Japanese restaurant spell it on our take-out - Medeman. (say it aloud, you'll see what I mean.)
  • Neither of the two of them could tell me their teachers' names. However, one was able to tell me EXACTLY the candy she got as a treat from the teacher after class, and the other could only remember that the teacher said "1-2-3 Look at me" to get their attention.
  • Lastly, while watching the Olympics they told me that they got to see some of the Olympics at after-school care. One said they saw 'water basketball' while the other reported it was 'water soccer'. I repeatedly said, "You mean water polo?" But, nope I'm apparently "Crazy Aunt Hope," because there is absolutely no such thing as Water Polo!!
For "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" I've got a few things to share:
  • Are you neurotic or have any neurotic tendencies? This site will let you share and compare those. I, personally, have waaaaaytoo many to list. We're not going there.
  • The idea of literary tattoos is compelling. I've always contemplated a tattoo and these (from books) really appeal to me. I love the written word. Of course, picking just one quote, just one book, just one author would be so VERY hard for me. Yet, definitely something to consider.
  • 30 coolest and creepeiest trees on earth.
  • Font Conference (a meeting of the fonts). I LOVE fonts and this just makes me happy Yet, all of them did not live up to the look of their font - more to the name of them. It 's still a neat little video.
  • The greatest game shows ( You need to know that I LOVE games shows.) This list is fairly concise. However, I have a problem with shows like survivor and the amazing race on there as there's no studio audience or anything. I especially have a problem with those being rated higher than shows like Family Feud, The Newlywed Game, and Let's Make a Deal. In any case, if you love game shows - it's worth look over.
Go on and do something wild.

Getting Started on the Rest of the House and TT (including some iPhone tips)

MAN!! I feel like I keep missing Mondays or something (wishful thinking maybe). I just have so much to do after a weekend that I can't seem to focus on a blog post.

I said I was going to start working on the rest of the house, and I DID get some tasks accomplished yesterday. Yay me! I decided to start in the kitchen and was able to clear off a few counters, organize under the sink, and clean out the myriad of Styrofoam boxes from the fridge. Instead of rewarding myself with crafting - I looked through some magazines and watched the Olympics WHILE finding a condo in Gulf Shores for Labor Day weekend. I did cheat and reward myself during lunch by going to a thrift store. I'll share that loot with you later.

It is "Techie Tuesday" So here's some of the geek interest I've found"Now for those iPhone addicts (like me)
  • Here are some new free apps for the iPhone.
  • As well, try these iPhone tricks. I'm so happy to have found this one. It includes how to do some things I was wondering how to do. . . like take screen shots.
I'm not so much the chatterbox today. I'm gonna help with my nieces tonight and today was their first day of school, soooooo I may have more to say tomorrow.

Remember to TAKE MY POLL (in the sidebar.)

More To Do and Done

Have I mentioned that ever since I started cleaning and organizing the craft room, the rest of the house has been completely neglected.
There are several reasons for this: 1- I was completely focused on getting that room in order, 2- since that is the cleanest room in the house, it's the room I want to spend my time in, and 3- since the room is actually clean, I'm ready to be creative and be in there knocking out all the cool stuff I can.
In any case, I realize what the rest of my house looks like and it's starting to get to me. So, this week I'm gonna try to focus on one room of the house each day. My reward (other than a clean room) will be spending some time crafting. I know it will take me longer than a week, but it'll be a start.
Yet, I couldn't bring myself to get started today. Instead, LOML* and I went to play at the beach. He did his thing
and I did mine

I also want to show y'all what I got accomplished from the craft-to do box this week. (Clicking on the mosaics below will take you to them on Flickr if you want a better description of these pieces.)
And what I made for myself (not in the box.)
Plus my finished artwork from the beach. This is a whole sheet of shrink plastic that was in the craft-to-do box. It still constitutes 'to-d0' since I need to decide what to do with it now. Jewelry of course, but how? I'll get to that later, so it's back in the box for that project.

I hope you had a GREAT weekend. I guess it's back to the grind tomorrow and a start on the house. I'm being a bit ambitious.

Coupon Profiling (and ThTh)

I've been a little lax about posting since I made the demand that you TAKE MY POLL (in sidebar at right.) I've just had a few busy evenings. First, with my nieces and then I had a Room Meeting for my Mardi Gras Society. Following the meeting, I got to hang out with two of my best friends, one of which just had a baby.
I have to tell you the funniest thing that happened last night. You know those coupons that the cash registers at grocery stores spew out based on what you bought? Well, before heading over to the baby-mama's house, we stopped for some wine. I'm not talking about a neat little bottle, I'm talking one of those BIG bottles of wine. However, it was just some Pinot Grigio, nothing harsh or odd and nothing else. Well, as we go to leave the lane, the cashier begins reeling in this foot-long string of coupons. He passes them to me. Walking toward the door, I examine the coupons to see what bells ring when you buy wine. I'm thinking flowers, frozen dinners, etc. NO! The boy had handed me coupons for cat food, vitamin water, and tampons!! SO, apparently people who buy large bottles of tasty white wine are hormonal, malnourished, cat-ladies.
We had a great chuckle over the coupon choices. But, you know what - if the cat food was another brand, I would probably USE ALL of the coupons. Sigh - I'm that sad and apparently that predictable.

Speaking of coupons, it is "Thrifty Thursday."
  • Make your own clock hands with this neat product.
  • Here are some more tips for cleaning, deodorizing, etc. I do want to mention that this is a fairly old site and not the most attractive, but full of all kinds of tips - it even has some background music. It's rather low, but if you don’t want to hear it, turn off your speakers.
  • Help Reduce -part of the 3 R's - some simple strategies.
  • Making neat, funny, and unusual design and functional elements from dollar store finds.
  • Michelle Stitzlein's recycled work is so neat. They are beautiful, recycled butterflies
That's all for now folks! Please remember to take my poll (on the sidebar) and let me know if there's anything else you want to see here.

I Crafted and then Made a Poll for You

Crap-ity, Crap! That's what I feel like right now. I started feeling icky yesterday, and it's still with me today. So, I'm at home 'resting.' Again, it's one of those all-in-my-head things. I'm tired, achy, dizzy, and nauseous. There's also some pain in the back of my head and neck. Hopefully, it's just sinuses and will go away soon as I've taken some sinus headache medicine.

Where can I start? I really got some crafting done over the weekend and felt quite proud of myself for getting some done from the craft-to-do box. See. . .These are some necklaces I finally got restrung. They needed it for different reasons.
These are two bracelets and a memory wire necklace that I started long ago and never finished. Here they are finished and looking pretty!
Lastly, these are some beads I had started making and left completely unfinished. With some paint and decorating, I think they're awesome. I even had time to turn some of them into a necklace (left).

I've been thinking quite a bit about the format of my blog. As I'm sure I've said before; this is the CRAFTY Hope blog and I feel that I may not include enough craftiness. As such, I may want to make some changes. I have several options of what I am thinking about doing and do want YOUR input. However, just because the vote goes a certain way does NOT mean that's how I will change. I just want some ideas basically. As such, I've created a poll (see sidebar to the right) of ways I may change the blog. Let me say that I use excel, delicious.com, and a feed reader to save sites and blog posts that I find interesting and may want to use or refer to. Most of these are craft blogs or pertain to creativity, but others are just some interesting links like I already post here. I want to start sharing these in some way and my blog seems the best option. Yet, I want your help to decide how or if I should do this. Take my poll, these are your options:
  • First option - include more craft links in another blog. I've signed up for another blog name, but have yet to do anything with it. I'm trying to decide. I could just make that my more 'crafty' blog.
  • Second, I could just post more craft stuff here. This would include all the other blogs and sites I find daily.
  • Third, I can decrease the other links I share on a semi-daily basis and save these for just one or two days a week. This option includes removing some of the 'themes' I currently use.
  • Forth, I can blog more about what goes on in my day-to-day life, more like a journal than I am now. This is mostly for those friends of mine who are visiting.
  • Lastly, I can make NO changes and just keep going
  • I can also make a combination of these changes.
Overall, I just want to know if you like the format I am using now and if you would be opposed to adding some more of the links that I actually save for myself, as this is my blog.

I have one more item for today - RANDOM ITEM!!
LOML* and I were watching 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" last night and recognized the Innkeeper at the Leaky Cauldron. We (HE) realized that it is Jim Tavare, one of the finalists on "Last Comic Standing." We thought that was pretty cool.

Anyway, TAKE MY POLL and give me some feedback. The poll will only be open through the month of August.

*LOML=Love of My Life

Bead Box 18 - Reveal

 Hey y'all! I'm popping in to share the completed jewelry pieces that came out of Bead Box 18 . I've actually already stocked an...