Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pretty for Summer (A Faux Feather Hair Clip Tutorial)

About a year ago I really wanted some feather earrings...only feathers kind of weird me out (I mean, I think they are lovely and soft and all that goodness, but I also love birds. So, I think I definitely like feathers better when they are on birds....). Anyway, so I ended up making myself some faux feathers with different colored felt.

Then, a few months ago I decided I wanted a pretty feather hair clip...and instead of using real feathers, I made this:

I did not take pictures of the process, so I will try to simply explain how I made it....

First, I drew (freehand) the feather shapes I wanted onto the 4 different colors of felt (I had sort of sketched it our free hand before I made it to get an idea of what I wanted and how many colors I would need). Then, I cut out the shapes.

Next, I attached the small circles to each other with a drop of glue (optional), a quick stitch and a bead and a sequin. Then I set these aside.

Then, I sewed together the blue "drop" shaped piece to the green piece. I also added decorative stitches and beads.

After this, I glued the large brown piece to the underside of the top part of the "clamp"/alligator hair clip (see photo). Once that was dry, I stitched the blue and green piece (that are now sewn together) to the brown piece that is attached to the clip. Basically making a hair clip sandwich with my felt feathers.

Last, I glued the two small circles (that I'd made first) to the end of the clip, basically just to hide the metal of the clip.

The underside is a bit messy, but I don't mind that, plus no one sees it.

Once the glue was set It was ready to wear, fabulously!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Might as well be married to Baby Huey...

....that's what we heard our neighbor say to her friend and her husband as they stood talking loudly in the hallway right outside our hotel room. Of course, then we started laughing hysterically--and were a bit worried they'd heard us, especially when I looked at my husband and asked, "Who's Baby Huey?!" (Which made us laugh harder).

Anyway, our Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic City was awesome. We stayed at Bally's, which was nice but our room (and food/drink) was comped, so that made it better. Actually, the room had some issues (like the door that wouldn't close right from the outside without some jiggling) and had we paid for the room I would have been very disappointed. We were on the 40th floor in a corner room, so it was quite room. The second time we checked in (since after checking in the first time, we got to the room assigned to us and it was still dirty from the last guest. Ick) we requested an ocean view room which was also wonderful. Even the bathroom had huge windows and a great view.

(This was the actual view from our room,
I just put a "tilt-shift" on the photo--

and now everyone's a miniature. You can learn to do it too here.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Experience vs. Stuff

I loved this study proving what we already know: Investing in experiences makes you happier than buying a bunch of crap. More evidence here and here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

she works hard for the money

Yes, there are now ads on my blog. It was a tough decision, and I was proud that I have gone 2 years without them, but I've kinda realized that this is basically a part time job (one that I'll be the first to admit I've been slackin' on lately) so I might as well get paid for it, right? We'll see how long it lasts...

Friday, May 22, 2009


We are headed to Atlantic City this weekend. Woo!
More updates on the way...

Until then, have a great weekend, and take it light.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my 3rd art show:

Remember when I chucked it all and decided to go take some art classes and a few months later was in my first invitational art show...well, the other day was my 3rd art show ever! The "L Train" movie poster was in the show. How exciting! I used to get all nervous or modest and not tell people "I'm an artist," and while I'm still shy about my explorations in this territory, I'm definitely gaining self-confidence. Even more exciting is that this semester I had an art scholarship, for which I was recognized at this show.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Supplies on Etsy!

I really need to do some more craft-supply clean-outs, but I did manage to find a few things that I no longer need. And, I've listed my excess supplies--lots of charms, beads, and vintage goodies--on Etsy!

Buy Handmade

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The L Train "Soundtrack"

I decided to make a soundtrack for the faux movie I created for my Digital Media class movie poster. It's a (long and) interesting mix that you may want to listen to...or at least it gives you a better idea of what the "movie" is about (and what I'm kinda listening to):

-Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
-You Don't Know Me - Ben Folds & Regina Spektor
-Let's Get Out of this Country - Camera Obscura
-Landlocked Blues - Bright Eyes
-Keep Your Hands off Her - The Black Keys
-I'm Not for You - Good Old War
-I Feel it All - Feist
-Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
-Set You Free - The Black Keys
-Beast of Burden - The Rolling Stones
-Route - Son Volt
-This Must be the Place - Talking Heads
-Level - The Raconteurs
-Kids - MGMT
-Sultan - What Made Milwaukee Famous
-Under my Thumb - Social Distortion
-Re-Arrange Us - Mates of State
-Lighten Up - Beastie Boys
-Gone for Good - The Shins
-Talking Sh*t About a Pretty Sunset - Modest Mouse
-Tonight I'll be Staying Here...- Bob Dylan
-My Girls - Animal Collective
-Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
-What's a Girl to Do - Bat for Lashes
-In Love this Way - Descendants
-Heavy Things - Phish
-Heaven Right Here - Jeb Loy Nichols
-By the Morning Sun - STS9
-Train Under Water - Bright Eyes
-Cheap Wine - What Made Milwaukee Famous
-The Bleeding Heart Show - The New Pornographers
-Jenny was a Friend of Mine - The Killers
-The Lover - MMW
-If the Brakeman Turns my Way - Bright Eyes
-Going Back/Going Home - Butch Walker
-Youthless - Beck
-Tell Me that it isn't True - Bob Dylan
-She Said, She Said - The Black Keys
-Love, Love, Love - The Mountain Goats

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The L Train

In my Digital Media class--a primer of sorts for graphic design (we learn photoshop and illustrator) we had to design a movie poster. Not only did we have to design it, but we had to develop the movie--a title and plot--based on an assigned genre. My genre was drama and this is what I came up with: "L Train;" about two people who meet on the L train in Chicago, drama ensues, and here you have it (yeah, it's a little cheesy, but I'm still learning--and I'm not a screen writer):

Friday, May 15, 2009

this one time, on the national mall....

We had a few beers and learned some stuff about being DC's Green Apple Fest here are some pictures (better late than never, right?) of Chevy Chase, moe., and the Flaming Lips...

Photos by Phill Harris.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

please note:

all photos on this blog were taken my me or my husband (with a few exceptions) if you would like to use them or have higher resolution versions, just contact us! we like to share.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Still Here:

I wish I had a better excuse as to why I've been slacking in the blog department lately...but, alas, it is just school work and life keeping me away. I can feel life tugging at my wrist, begging me to come play--and I can only hold out a little while longer. The semester will be over in about a week and a half. Then, I will have stories to tell of my latest artistic endeavors and the art show that I am currently in (!!!). I also have a new craft tutorial and lots of pictures to share...all in due time, my friends. I'm currently planning the "Summer of Awesome" which involves lots fun and quite a number of short trips. More on all of that to come....until then, I will leave you with this:

We were reading Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Bhagavad Gita in my Yoga class. We all had to chose a passage we liked and memorize it, then recite it for the class while doing/holding yoga poses. This is mine:

Whatever a great man does,
ordinary people will do;
whatever standards he sets,
everyone else will follow.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dear American Airlines (#2)

To: American Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612

To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I have been flying with American Airlines (AA) for many years now. We have been quite loyal to AA and until recently we have enjoyed flying with your company. In April, I wrote a letter to AA about a flight we were on and the poor service we received. I have not yet received a reply or acknowledgment of this letter and already I am composing another letter to your company regarding a different flight; how disappointing.

A few weeks ago, husband and I took an American Airlines flight to Texas to attend the funeral of a family member. Upon our return we had one of the most unpleasant flying experiences on {a flight] between Austin, TX and Dallas, TX.. Due to bad storms in Dallas, our flight that was to depart at 4:25 pm did not leave Austin until about 11:00 pm. While waiting in the terminal for our flight to leave, it was obvious that American Airlines was unprepared and confused as to what to do.

Now, as a frequent traveler, I understand weather issues affecting airline travel. And, when traveling, safety is my main concern. However, I would have assumed that as weather varies daily, American Airlines would be better equipped to handle the congestion and confusion that comes along with weather cancellations. Even the flight attendants on board suggested to the passengers that they contact AA and as one put it, “they are not able to handle this type of situation.” Hearing that from one of your employees was not only surprising, but also sorely disappointing and frightening.

When we landed at DFW and I could use my cell phone I called AA’s 1-800 number and was on hold for 40 minutes. When we arrived at DFW, there was no gate agent waiting to help us nor were we automatically rebooked nor were we given a cot or some idea as to what we should do. We were simply abandoned in Dallas during a storm.

Meanwhile, I saw an AA agent and approached him about being rebooked, his curt reply was saying that I had to call the 800 number and he handed me a slip of paper with the number on it. I explained that I was on hold and he just shrugged and handed the paper to another passenger. Finally, while still on hold, I spotted an extremely long line of angry passengers slowly being helped by one employee—who even made an announcement on the public address system saying that he was alone and suggested people go find other lines. However, we couldn’t find other lines; it was 1:00 am and there were no AA employees in sight; so, I joined this line.

After about 40 minutes an agent answered the customer service number and we were able to be rebooked for the next day (on a flight that didn't leave until 3:00 pm). Despite the fact that people in this line were receiving hotel vouchers for the night, my husband and I were too exhausted and frustrated to continue waiting for AA’s poor customer service and lack of preparedness. Luckily, we were able to check in to the Hyatt hotel in the airport--though this was out of pocket since we did not wait with the other passengers to receive vouchers. I am also requesting to be reimbursed for this expense.

As I said in my previous letter to American Airlines, this type of service is completely unacceptable. It is hard to believe that an airline as large as yours would be so ill equipped to handle weather emergencies. The most frightening thing about it is that weather changes daily so you should be better prepared. What if the situation where something more unexpected, serious, or dangerous than just weather? I would truly fear for my safety as American Airlines appears to just abandon their customers.

Needless to say, I am still quite frustrated with your company. This situation should have been handled much more effectively. There should have been an agent waiting for displaced passengers, there should have been better plans. We should have automatically been rebooked and reimbursed rather than feeling completely neglected by AA. Once again, I am extremely upset with the apparent decline in American Airlines customer service.

As a frequent AA flier, I expect a much higher level of service from your company, and I am quite frustrated and disappointed. As we were traveling for a funeral, this situation created unnecessary stress and upset. Before we book another AA flight, I would like reassurance that you are addressing the service problems on your flights and would like to be sure that AA is prepared for many situations—including those related to weather.

I look forward to your response.