A shelf Re-Do, Step one – Cover books

I live on the other side of the world from my husband and family, and while I have friends here that I dearly love and a job that wipes me out every day…I am still left with too much time on my hands sometimes. And during those times I obsess over dumb things, because I live alone and no one stops me from being a little bit nutty.

One glorious Saturday it bothered me that the bookshelf I see from my bed did not have visual harmony, because that’s totally normal to worry about, right? My original plan was very simple (as they always start out), I’ll just pick up some brown paper bags from the grocery store and cover my books like I used to have to do in school. Yeah, it turns out I couldn’t figure out a tactful way to ask for 40 paper bags, and I live alone, so getting that many through the normal process of shopping would have taken for-ev-er. I’m a one, maybe two bags per trip shopper.

See! Nothing matches. Nothing! Gah!

So off to the local art store I go to look for pretty paper to cover my books with. Turns out pretty paper in Europe, not so cheap, but I do find brown wrapping paper (which I now know I could have gotten cheaper almost anywhere else – facepalm!) and a few sheets of nice patterned paper that I fell in love with and voilà, Plan B is born.

I then discovered that covering tons of books is a sloooooooowwwww process. But pretty easy, exactly as you remember it from when you were little. However, in case you have forgotten, here is a tutorial.

Ah, that’s better…things are starting to visually calm down

Still working through all of my bookshelves to cover all of my books, but already there is a vast improvement. As you can see from the picture below, I was not done with the insanity just yet – Oh no, this was only the beginning… More posts to follow.

Sneak Peek


Handmade Climbing Chalk Bag…Made just for ME!

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this.  This is the FIRST time anyone other than my mother has made something for me by hand.  AND I HEART IT!

My climbing buddy was offered a job in Alaska and she made this for me before leaving town. Say it with me…”Awwwww…” Now for the amazing part, this is TOTALLY handmade. She did all of the stitching by hand – no sewing machine was used.  Wow.

Seriously, it even has a tiny, lined pocket!

THANK YOU DAX!!!!!!    Best of luck in your job and travels!


One Badass Climber

I met a whole bunch of fellow newbies at Vertical Ventures in Tampa and we all tried our hands (and shoulders, and backs, and legs…you get the picture) at indoor rock climbing.  It was awesome!


I totally kicked the wall’s ass.  Booyah!

Oh, and by the way…HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!


Whale Watching on a Rainy Tuesday

A friend from high school came into town for a little while and asked what there was to do in Boston.  I listed of the normal touristy stuff and he became interested when I mentioned whale watching.  This is where several whale species come to feed during the summer.  I encourage anyone to take the tour.  It’s worth it to do this at least once in your life.

diving
I am terrible at taking good pictures of whales.  I didn’t manage to take good ones last time either.  I have lots of great, “this is the water just after they disappear shots,” but here is the best one I got.  This is a mother and few month old calf.
Ghost_Ship
Combine large sail boat festival with intense fog and instantly you’re hundreds of years in the past in a ghost story or Peter Pan.  These ships would just appear out of nowhere.  Awesome. Read the rest of this entry »


An Open Letter to the Drivers of Boston

My fellow Bean Town drivers,

Let me say first of all I empathize with your sleepiness. I too am tired at the butt-crack of the morning and dodging pedestrians darting out into traffic without a look or a care to catch a train running down the middle of the road is difficult. It is not your fault that the city planners were too lazy to plan a city and simply established permanent roads wherever the cow trails happened to be – absolutely cows have the best judgment about how we should reach our final destination, they are never known to wander about aimlessly. I do not begrudge you the confusion the situation brings when you cannot figure out where to turn as the train sneaks in and out, from the center of the road to the side and you must decide do I drive on the service roads or main lanes? Dear God, am I now going the wrong way down a one way street/service road!…all of this is all tricky indeed. So go ahead, slam on your brakes and vacillate in and out of traffic listlessly as you make up your mind. Lord knows I do too when I am on unfamiliar turf.  If I might make a suggestion, when you are new in an area you might watch the flight path of the herd and not shoot up the (temporarily) empty lane you find yourself in.  We are not weaving for our pleasure and we will save your wheel alignment if you follow us.  I (and the others I see each day) have a carefully mapped out series of lanes changes (and shifts within the lane) that I make every day designed to minimized (although by no means eliminate) the chances of my car falling into what I can only assume are portals to hell. You might call them potholes but I swear I once saw flames licking out around the edges of a particularly deep one, I’ll not be testing them.

Nope, I am, in general, well able to forgive the follies of my fellow drivers because we are all human.

That said. STOP BEING DOUCHE BAGS. When approaching an intersection a football field wide with waiting traffic and a train staring down at you do not presume to pull yourself into the intersection after the light has been green for some time KNOWING it will turn red with you stuck out there through the entire next side’s green light. (I am talking to EVERYONE who has ever entered Storrow Drive.)  When then stuck in the intersection and blocking all traffic have the good graces not to respond to resulting honks and/or fingers with a shrug and a “what can I do about it?” look and a geusture to the stalled traffic in front of you. It was just as unmoving before you put your dumb-ass self in the intersection and in our way. This makes everyone want to kill you for being a double moron. Either stoically keep your eyes glued forward or pretend that the oncoming traffic is in fact an emergency vehicle you must make way for and find a way to get your ass out of the intersection. You could do it if you tried, it just wouldn’t be pretty….you might have to *GASP* leave the line.

And Boston, red means stop. I know this can be confusing as the municipal vehicles do not seem to understand it. You might think because you have seen school buses loaded with children running red lights where other vehicles have already managed to stop not to mention the obligatory every-cop-car-out-there going right through them as if they don’t matter, however, this still does not give you permission to do so. In particular, if I have time to slow my car during a yellow light and come to a full stop at the resulting red you should not feel authorized to change lanes, pull around and continue traveling through the light.

And I know this is going to shock some of you, please sit down before reading, when you are driving down a four lane divided road and you find yourself needing to stop and either conduct business or release a passenger you must continue on until you a find parking space or a turn-off. If the street parking is full simply putting on your hazards does not give you legal permission to turn a normal driving lane into a second parking lane. On my last week in town I am going to drive through Boston in the Bat Tank (from the first Christian Bale Bat Man movie) in the right hand lane of all two lane roads in Boston and I am not changing lanes for any reason.

You have been warned Boston,

Nikki


Making Fabric Covered Notebooks and Car Ride Exorcisms

first three

I was going to do a step by step tutorial on these but then I only had one set of hands and, really, I think you guys are bright enough to figure it out.
I have been meaning to get around to this for a long time.  I have a boat load of spiral notebooks (ten years of continuous college for one or both members of the house will do that.) I HATE spiral notebooks. They must be the ugliest office/school supplies to ever grace the planet.  It pains me to write that last sentence as I have a love for all things sold at Staples and I will even horde notebooks despite their ugliness. However a little Mod Podge and a $1.25 fabric squares from JoAnn’s transforms these notebooks from something to be hidden to display worthy.

so much better

As long as you take your time with these they are really easy.  The only slightly tricky part is sizing the fabric to the spirals. But even that isn’t hard. Just measure the circumference of the spiral from cover to cover and that becomes the width of the spine, the height of the cover is the height of the spine. (For a five subject notebook it is usually 2×11 in.) Use your measurements to mark where the spine will be in the center of the fabric then cut and fold a flap down (glue into place) on both the top and bottom so that the fabric at the spine is the exact height of the spirals. (You will have at this point a rectangle of fabric with a notch taken out of the center at the top and bottom, this also helps you to make sure everything is centered as you begin gluing the fabric to the front and back covers.) The rest of the excess fabric will be folded over the inside edges of the cover and glued down but you can’t do that in the center spirals so you have to do it before you glue the notebook to the fabric.

Supplies: Pre-cut fabric squares, Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue, Spiral Notebooks, Cheap Paintbrush to spread glue, scissors

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If you are interested in how the desk was decorated check it out here.

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This has been a busy, busy week and we have a house guest coming tonight. Am I cleaning and getting ready for her as I should be, nope, I’m writing this.  But it’s OK…we should completely have time to find a place for her to sleep amid all of our crap after we get home from the midnight screening of StarTrek tonight, right? Sigh, I should go get cleaning.

But first I have to leave you with this parting story. We were driving and talking a lot these past few days and the topic of my learning Hebrew came up (I started yesterday, super interesting), this naturally lead to a discussion of religion in general and he asked if we still had a bible at the house.  We did at one point but I don’t think we do any more…I think at some point in out eleventy-billion moves it got tossed along with a whole bunch of other books that I didn’t feel like moving up and down stairs any longer. (I have had to do this on my own a few times, books are considered very carefully come moving day.) So any way, after mocking me for tossing out a bible and making it clear that was the last piece in my one way ticket to hell he busted out this gem of a conversation starter.

“So what will I use if I need to perform an exorcism on you?”

(Snort laughter!) “If we ever reach the point where you must expel the forces of darkness from me, please call an expert. Perhaps a priest, a priest who owns a bible…”

“I have an expert, I’ll Wiki it.”

“Do NOT wiki my exorcism!”

“Sure, I’ll wiki-cise you!”

“Oh dear God, you’re not going to exorcise the demon your going to open a larger portal to hell.”

“It’ll be your fault for throwing out the bible I needed.”

You see how it always comes back to me folks…


Stay tuned for giveaway details…

So I meant to do this today…but one simple sentence changed my whole weekend.  All I said was “Do you think we should move the bed in here?”  Who knew that would result in mass pandemonium for the rest of the weekend. (My bedroom is now my living room and my living room is now my bedroom and my dog is now neurotically preparing for the apocalypse…you would have to see our place to understand why all this occurred.)

ANYWAY, I told myself when I started this blog that when I made it to 10,000 hits I would do a giveaway as a thanks to the readers…well your guys raced right ahead of my schedule thanks to a few of my posts getting picked up by some of the larger sites.  I have some small things to finish before I am ready to send of my little Easter gifts so pictures and details will be coming later this week – assuming I can find my hot glue gun in the resulting carnage.  Nothing big or fancy, just a little thank you.

We are now so much happier with the state of the appartment, Loki’s fine (happiness is where his toy box resides) and I am so grateful that this many people have read my blog in half a year…thanks to everyone!  And like I said, check in couple days for the giveaway details.

buttons After this much moving of things, I discovered I was down to my last three buttons, so…I just ordered buttons for the first time in my life, all is right in the world.  (Before today I was simply saving them from old clothes and keeping the spare ones you received with new clothes…talk about lame.  That takes forever.  They will send them to you by the bagfull at Buttons Galore, Wahoo!)