Happy birthday to me, for I am twenty-three!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
It's still a few days out from my birthday and I have already received tons of awesome gifts from Frank, including this wonderful craft table we've been eyeing at the thrift store. After whining about it after our recent trip, he surprised me after asking the owner if we could have it for half off. It's been there for a while, and we knew that they probably wanted to just get rid of it, so we got it for around $30. I didn't want to pay their asking price of $65, because that is what most of them go for brand-spanking-new.
I had one at Ringling, and when we spotted it months ago, I knew I had to have it. It is in nearly perfect condition, and fully adjustable (similar to this model). I set it at a slight angle, so I had to use glue dots for some of the bigger objects, like the pencil bins. I love how it is the perfect size for my tools and laptop, with tons of working space left over. (I had my paint tray (a paper plate) to my left on a foldable table so it wouldn't slide or tip over.) I may end up adding a bar at the base to keep pencils and such in place, but I like it without so far.
After setting it up a bit, I had the urge to paint. One of the things I recently snagged at our favorite thrift store was a pair of well-worn but blank canvases. Since I was nearly out of yellow and white, Frank was amazing and ran out for the paint just before the "big" Isaac storm rolled in.
I didn't really have a lot of direction going in, so I just started. I guess I was following a trend without even knowing it, since my best friend just recently had her hair blue and I've had an art obsession with antlers for some time (Frank even said something about it!).
I took a few breaks, but I am surprised by how quickly I got done with it. I love how instantly gratifying acrylic paint is. While I don't ever really feel "done" with any of my work, I handed it off happily to my best friend as a "thanks for believing in me".
It feels really good to paint again. I have a few more ideas, chiefly a pretty floral painting for my mother, whose birthday is in about 2 weeks.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Friday was the Etsy craft party, put on by Tampa Upcycle and a few amazing local Etsy ladies, who were dedicated to putting on a great event. I had noticed on the event page that there were over 300 invites, and having been to the Roosevelt 2.0 before, I was worried about all of the people actually showing up, since that would mean limited elbow room.
We waited a few minutes in the line to get in, but it was totally worth the wait. While my concerns ended up being valid, the event was that kind of "packed" that got you excited to push through the crowd. Lots of fun conversations were going on in the lower level, where food and treats were being served alongside the 25 hand-picked Etsy vendors and their customers.
I designed the framed signage!
On the upper level, a few more vendors sold their wares, but the main attractions were the hands-on tables, including a giant table of Michaels craft supplies generously donated by Etsy. Along with block printing, leather stamping, DIY jewelry, t-shirt scarves and seed bombs, there was a "photobooth" picture frame with cute, glittered props.
While I personally was not in a crafting mood (long day at the office), it was fun to see the interactions of the other Etsians and talk to some of the people I had only spoken to online. Everyone was very generous and happy to help, which is one of the chief reasons I love the Etsy community.
On top of all of the fun stuff to see, there was also a live band, which was a pleasant addition to all of the fun.
I ended up going with my best friend Kelly and her friend Paul, and after a quick tour of the place, we left for dinner (and a Drag Show) and came back to much less bustle. We were able to take our time, and after chatting for a while with the wonderful KC (owner of one of my favorite shops, and one of my design clients!), we hung out a bit upstairs before leaving for the club we had planned on visiting.
It was a super fun night, since after the event, we headed to The Castle for some super fun dancing time. We got lucky and were able to request about 10 different songs from the downstairs DJ, who was more than happy to oblige. It can be a hit or miss with the music but it is always better when the songs are more danceable.
I spent all day Saturday cleaning and organizing my house, and am now winding down for the night. We're potentially going to get hit with a whole lot of nasty weather due to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, so we're taking it easy in lieu of the storm. I'm still not sure whether we are going to work or not in the morning, so we're not taking any chances by going out.
I'm finishing up a painting that I am hoping to show tomorrow, and am trying to decide what I'm going to do with the free sketchbook I got at the Etsy party...
Saturday, August 25, 2012
A very happy 32nd birthday to the platonic love of my life, Kelly Wren.
Kelly is my best friend and today is her birthday! Scoot on over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!
As a special birthday treat, I would like to list some of the innumerable reasons why Kelly is awesome:
- She is super-duper smart
- She has an amazing fashion sense
- She is the best listener I have ever met
- She gives really cool advice and doesn't get mad at me if I don't take it even though I should
- She's an art history major, and that is super awesome
- She has pretty eyes
- She's one of the few people I know that can rock blue hair
- She can arm wrestle (which I just discovered)
- She's funny and silly
- I can be myself around her without worrying about being embarassed
- She puts up with my sometimes irrational moodiness
- She's a good driver
- She gives awesome hugs
- She gives the best gifts
- She's my best friend, whom I lovingly call Beastie (I'm the Bestie)
Really, the list goes on, but I won't write it all out or someone will certainly try to steal her away.
Happy Birthday, beastie! I love you!
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I'll spare you all the bitter details, but after a few years at a private art college and unsafe spending choices, I am having to pay out of pocket for the next 2.5 years of school to finish my Bachelor of Science degree in Web Development. I am excited to see where it will take me, but I know that I will need the help of grants and scholarships to make it happen. Over the past few months, I have been collecting resources and websites that are both legitimate and frequently update their scholarships. There are some that overlap, but each website has its own set of scholarships.
All scholarships are different, with some paying directly to you and some paying directly into your institution. Some are hard work, and some are literally just entering your name, but these are the best sites that I have found to help pay for school.
- CollegeAnswer.com (A Sallie Mae Site)
- Ed.gov (State Grants)
- StudentRate.com (Also includes lots of links for student discounts)
- StudentAid.Ed.Gov (National)
- BigFuture.Collegeboard.org (The College Board)
- GOOGLE! You will always have the best chances of winning if you apply for a scholarship that is major/interest-specific. This has to do with your career, ethnicity, religion, state, and beyond! Most of the specialty scholarships are not listed on these sites, but have private websites of their own. The only way you will find them is by searching!
The best way I have found to organize these is a giant calendar. I bought a giant wall calendar at Walmart for about $8 and I use red and black pens to write the name of the scholarship and the details, on or around the day that the scholarship is due. I try to make sure to apply to the scholarships before they're due, but at least I know when my cut off days are.
I have been fairly lucky with scholarships and grants, winning a $1,000 single-entry one in high school and then another through my current college for "leadership".
If you have any questions regarding scholarships or need help, please feel free to let me know. Good luck!
P.S. Have you ever won a scholarship?
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Over the past year or so I have gotten somewhat-serious into running. I've been trying to lose weight and I found that even though it is extremely difficult, I do enjoy it. I have quite a long way to go, but I really do enjoy getting out into the Florida heat and sweating.
When I first heard about Zombies, Run! via Kickstart, I was immediately intrigued and just had to back it. It was finally released this February, but I was putting it off for one reason or another. The past few weeks, I have been running with my sister as much as possible and I have been loving it. The game is very fun, not overwhelming, and does a good job of letting you run your own pace. In an effort to normalize our runs, my sister Taylor and I created a playlist that we sync, since the story plays in between your songs.
- Burn It Down by AWOLNATION
- The Hand That Feeds by Nine Inch Nails
- Time Is Running Out by Muse
- Midnight City by M83
- Nights Off by Siriusmo
- Brand New Colony by The Postal Service
- Fire With Fire by Scissor Sisters
- Sail by AWOLNATION
- Survivalism by Nine Inch Nails
- Shake It Out by Florence + The Machine
- Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine
- We Can Make The World Stop by The Glitch Mob
- Invisible Light by Scissor Sisters
P.S. Spotify users... Have you seen this CNET video on how to make awesome Spotify playlists? Check it out! You'll learn about search operators (similar to Google's) and how to customize your lists. See the video HERE.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Since I am still working on a proper "About Me" page, I figured I would share one of the favorite people in my life... my pug, Lilo!
Lilo is a little over a year old and was born in May of 2011. My boyfriend Frank found her for me last August and we adopted her as my early birthday present. Since then, it has been a really fun and somewhat exhausting adventure. Those of you who have pugs know what pugs are like, especially as puppies. Those who don't, well... just know that they're a bit stubborn but with a little work and a lot of patience, pugs are one of the best, most loyal, and tolerant dogs you'll ever own. If you don't mind all the hair, that is.
We named her Lilo after the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch. Some of her nicknames include: wee-wee, piggy, pig-pug, wiggles, wiggy, and a wide-array of one off names I call her from time to time.
Lilo loves chewing on things that she isn't supposed to, lying in pools of water, playing with my parents' Chesapeake Bay Retriever, getting towel dried (she thinks it's playing) and, of course, cuddling, especially when lots of pillows are involved.
She's game for almost anything, including getting dressed up, going to the doggy park, going to the beach to swim, going on car rides, hanging out at bars or lounging around the house.
My family has always owned pets, but she is the first dog I've ever owned on my own and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be come home to her all excited and basically peeing herself in happiness to see me. It makes me feel really loved that she goes nuts when she sees me and I would not give that up for anything.
We are still trying to work out the kinks of her going in the house and chewing on our stuff (and cat litter, eek!) but she is so worth it.
I'm super excited to take her to take her to Pug Rescue of Florida's PugsGiving event this year. My sister and I are still trying to think of ideas for her costume. So far, we're going for a stick of butter or a baked potato, since it wouldn't be too cumbersome. The stick of butter costume is funny to our family because last Thanksgiving she somehow managed to down the entire stick of butter we had next to the rolls... oddly enough, she was completely fine!
I do plan on adopting another pug in the future, but for now, Lilo's siblings include our three cats Remy, Gizmo and BK.
If you want to keep your eye on Lilo, track her Instagram tag, #lilothepug.