Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Pintester Movement

So, we all have those pins on Pinterest that have been there forever and we have never tried them.  I have had this pin on Pinterest for quite a while.  It looks pretty easy but I just never did anything with it.  Then, I read about The Pintester Movement.

The Pintester is a blog I love to follow.  The blogger, Sonja Foust, is funny and she is very open about trying different pins (mostly with hilarious results).  I look forward to her posts each week.  So when she decided to round up other bloggers to try out those pins that had been sitting in their boards and post the results...I was in!


I had a trip planned this past, long weekend but I really wanted to participate.  I chose a pin that interested me and could be completed within a reasonable amount of time.  I also wanted to be able to try out a few different versions.

I started with the typical hand tracing.  I used marker for the black lines and the pink hand outline.  Then I went with crayons to color in the background lines.  I chose crayons mostly because my son received a large amount of crayons for Christmas and I can't resist a box of new crayons!  The hand turned out just ok.  My lines weren't that straight but the hand has the slight 3D effect I was wanting to achieve.

Then I wanted a different shape.  The original link I used for the instructions had a banana as one of the examples.  I looked around my house for some additional items and came up with a video game controller.  There are plenty of them in this house full of boys.  I'm not overly excited about this example but I did play around a little with the background lines to see if a pattern would still make the main object stand out.  I do like the patterned lines on this one.  Again, I used markers and crayons.

My final drawing was of my 7 year old son's right foot.  He giggled quite a bit as I traced the outline of his foot with a pencil.  My 9 year old son was concerned that my paper was going to stink.  It didn't.  The foot came out kind of weird and I went a little further with patterns.  It's a little busy but you get the picture (pun!).

So, that is one pin I can cross off of my list!  My kids were sucked into it and really want to try some different objects.  I also taught my nieces how to do it over the weekend.  It's a fun activity for kids.  I also remembered how nice it is just to color with crayons some times.  I watched old episodes of The Office as I colored.  

I can't wait to check out The Pintester Movement post on May 30.  She will be posting links to many other bloggers who tried different pins with various results.  I am very excited to be a part of the party!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Ship

In 2007, I opened my first Etsy shop with my friend.  I primarily sold jewelry at that time.  I also opened a Facebook account to promote my shop.  At the time, my friends and family were still on MySpace so the only "friends" I had on Facebook were other Etsy shop owners.  The interaction was minimal.

Gradually my friends and family migrated from MySpace to Facebook (sorry, Tom!).  My attention to my Etsy shop ebbed and flowed over the years and most of those initial "friends" were deleted as I used Facebook for more of a personal use.  However, there were a few of those initial Etsy shop friends who I found interesting and kept around to see what they created.

Over the years, I started interacting more often with two ladies from that Etsy bunch.  We would comment on photos, comment on each other's statuses, etc.  I bought some photos from one of them.  An online friendship began to develop.  From there, they introduced me to other friends they had online with similar interests.  

We started to have long message threads of conversations until one day, one of my brilliant friends created a private Facebook group for us to interact regularly and privately.  It is a very personal and sacred place for me so I will only refer to it as The Ship.  Initially we had a larger group of women but life happened, cattiness happened, and some of them jumped ship.  Then there were six of us aboard The Ship.  One of them is my sister who I brought aboard to grow closer to her as well.

Over the last couple of years, I have checked in with those five ladies every day.  We know intimate details of each other's lives.  We've helped each other through difficult life changes and problems.  We've shared a lot of laughs and had a lot of ridiculous conversations.  We are located all over the United States but geography does not dictate our level of closeness.

We've texted, talked on the phone, sent notes and packages to each other, and some have actually met in person.  I'm writing this today because one of my shipmates is in town visiting her father, who just happens to live in a neighboring town to me.  She and I are going to meet face to face for the first time this afternoon and I can't wait!  We all talk about one day finding a way to all get together in person.  It's tough with geographic distance and busy schedules but it will happen.  One day.

I write all of this because these ladies and this ship have helped me to grow in ways I would not have imagined.  They are all so very different from me yet somehow we have commonalities.  I have learned how to be more open about my feelings which has helped me with other relationships in life.  I have learned to look at life differently and to be more open to experiences and people.  When I am feeling out of sorts and can't figure it out, I just type a rambling, jumbled mess and my girls help me pinpoint what is bothering me.  They inspire me to be more creative.  They make me laugh.  A lot.  They've helped me to become a better friend to my oldest and dearest friends.  Their encouragement also helped give me the confidence to make a new friend in my town last year.  When I was completely dorky and excited about this new friendship, my shipmates joined in and encouraged me.  As a result, that new friend is one of my closest friends.

The Ship has been afloat for over two years now and I think it will exist in some shape for a long time.  While I believe that we may go through times where we don't chat as much, I know if I called out with a need, those five ladies would be there in a heartbeat.  

Those who know me in person would probably be surprised that I have developed these online friendships.  My husband was skeptical at first but he has grown to know these ladies through my stories and has even become Facebook friends with some of them too.  He has seen my growth as a result of these friendships.  I think he's somewhat excited (or at least curious) to meet one of my friends today too.  It's weird to refer to it as "meeting" her when I know so much about her already.

For all their faults, technology and the Internet have definitely provided me with an opportunity I would not have had without it.  An opportunity to develop strong friendships and to grow as a person.  The Ship is a big part of my life and I wouldn't change it for anything.  Thanks, ladies (you know who you are).  

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Goals - May Update

I wanted to post an update regarding my goals for 2013 - particularly my goal for growing vegetables this year.  I do not have a green thumb but I tried really hard.  However, the results were less than stellar.

I started lettuce, kale, tomato, and cucumber from seed.  I babied these plants like crazy and they shot up pretty quickly.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.

They grew and grew.  I was very pleased with what seemed like a green thumb emerging!

They got to be pretty decent sized seedlings (I don't have a photo of them at their biggest and brightest).  My husband and I were just about ready to build the raised bed and put them in the ground.  That's when things went downhill.  First some of the lettuce started to struggle and die.  Then the rest of the plants went pretty quickly.  I won't bore you with the details but my expert opinion on what may have happened to the plants:

They had too much water
They had too little water
They didn't have enough light
They had too much light
They hate me

That's basically the prognosis I came up with after some Internet searching. Plants are complicated beings and seem pretty smug when I can't figure them out.

I was pretty bummed and a little embarrassed at first.  However, then it dawned on me...that was the biggest success I've ever had with plants on my own.  I usually don't even get them to seedlings.  So while I won't be eating my own homegrown veggies this summer, I will be happy with the experience and the small amount of success I had in the beginning.  It's a start.  Maybe next year I'll get even further?  Luckily I had not invested much money so there was no issue there.

I am still going to consider it a goal that was completed.  I gave it a good try, learned some things, stressed a little too much, and there is a great Farmer's Market in town where I will continue to buy kale, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Goal completed (pretty much).

I did enjoy having the plants in my home office and I enjoyed the smell of earth each morning when I went to work.  So, I decided to add some other plants to my work area.  Plants that even I can't destroy too quickly (fingers crossed)... Succulents!

My iPOD does not take the same quality photos that my DSLR camera does - my apologies!

So, that's that.  I will try again but I need a year to work up the motivation again.

One last thing before I finish this post, yesterday was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.  I was too busy enjoying Mother's Day with my family so wasn't able to post.  Please help to spread awareness for this awful chronic illness.  I live with it and many other people do too.  I manage mine with a mix of traditional medicine and holistic approaches.  I have found ways to manage through the pain, fatigue, flu-like illness, and many, MANY other symptoms but I still have flare ups that just knock me out here and there.  I have learned a lot about myself living with this illness and I would love to see the day that we can wipe it out all together.  Thanks for reading!