Tuesday, June 29, 2010

She sells sea shells by the...

Being from the midwest, vacations, and certainly those to the beach, didn't really exist for my family. So never in my growing up time, did I ever get the opportunity to hunt for sea shells.

I made up for that fact about two weeks ago when the hubs and I took a much needed and deserved mini vacation to Wilmington and Carolina Beach. We got a fantastic deal on flights (download Southwest Airlines' clearance website Ding! to see what I'm talking about) and just took advantage of our vacation time coinciding with our 1-year anniversary.

Anyway, everywhere I looked, I found sea shells, parts of sea shells and more sea shells. And of course, all I could see was potential crafties and gifts coming out of the natural beauties (word to the wise: don't get knocked down by the waves, like I did, while pulling the really good ones out of the surf before hitting land).

I packed them up for the airplane ride home, and then let them soak in a 50-50 bleach-water solution, killing any germs or bacteria, and scrubbing them with a toothbrush. While I'm no where near done with my lovely little stock (sanding and polishing for jewelry is next), I did manage a couple of neat crafts this weekend while hanging out with my visiting parents. I didn't even use a table for any of these — strictly a floor project.

Taking advantage of a Michael's gift card and a 15%off coupon, I bought several frames, one of which was this barnwood primitive frame (sorry for the sideways photo):

Which turned into this (flash worked nicely to cover up our faces!):

Using my best and most unusual shells, I created this shadow box. Instead of using the black velour backing of the box, I bought a 59 cent piece of heavy scrapbooking cardstock which matched the colors of my living room. Then I hot glued. The hot glue gun is my best friend in most of my projects, including these. (sorry for the sideways photo)

Stay tuned for sea shell jewelry!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

March was a long time ago...

Wow. Was it really March the last time I posted? Goodness. I'm a terrible blogger.

In my defense. March wasn't a good month for me — in my line of work, March is my absolute busiest month. And this particular March, most of my job was out of town, making me actually miss the lovely wedding of my best friend Jennifer while I was in California, of all places.

Anyway, no excuse really for April, May and most of June. My husband and I celebrated our 1-year anniversary, took a beach vacation and I turned 25.

Well, and we have been busy with this:


To this, After

And this

Yes, we caught the gardening bug. We planted our garden, rather, dug out our overgrown flowerbed behind our rental duplex, and planted some vegetables on Easter weekend. We've been busy with it every day since. We've fought broccoli worms, not knowing enough about the plants' growing seasons, and one gigantic, horendous no good dirty rotten tomato horned worm.

But, eating the fruits, er, vegetables of our labor has been so much fun. We've had cherry tomatoes for about three weeks now, and just picked our first red tomatoes, though they need to ripen another day before we slice into them.

Anyway, hope our patio helps inspire you all this summer. It's dramatically changed our lives. Before it got sweltering hot, we would plan how to maximize our time outside, grilling and just sitting. We bought two bird feeders and have now become avid birders. Which also means in addition to all our above worries, you can add squirrels to the list (although, the best deterrent I've found to be, while not perfect, is coating our shepherd's crooks with petroleum jelly — quite amusing to find Mr. Squirrel sliding down the pole like a fireman!).