Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dizzy. Etsy. Day Off.

I wanted to thank everyone who after reading my last post offered me one of their old cell phones to use.  Unfortunately I can't use any of them due to the plan I am on, but I am so thankful for every person that offered.   I was definitely feeling the love. Thank you!

That pretty much sums up today.  Etsy=busy, dizzy=blech and day off=yay!

I have a few new things listed on Etsy.    I have a bunch of necklaces to make up this weekend. I was going to do it today but yesterday I had a migraine all day and then last night I had some pretty severe vertigo and I think I am just going to rest today.

 I don't know if you have ever has vertigo before but it is truly awful.  This is the second time in my life that I have had it.  It feels like the room is spinning.  Non-stop.  Like you are on an amusement ride but it keeps going and going and you can't get off of it.  Last night it got so bad it made me throw up (TMI, sorry). I spent a good portion of last night on the bathroom floor.  It is simply awful.  My doctor has no idea what is causing it.  Last time it coincided with a change in my hormone replacement therapy so it was decided that that was the cause.  This time it was preceded my a pretty bad migraine that lasted all day so I'm guessing the two were related.  I am feeling better today.  Did I mention it was awful?  Because it's pretty awful.  Blah.  I'm glad it's gone today.

On to my etsy creations.  I have been busy the last few weeks.

I made this Easter banner last weekend.  I was going for a vintage feel and I think I achieved that.

Here is the link for the Easter banner

I have been making these bracelets that I used to make for the kids at my daycare when I worked there.  They are made from stretchy cord and personalized with your child's name and a charm.  I have silver crosses, or ladybugs and dragonfly charms.  These are only $3.50 each and would be fun to put in an Easter basket.  These would also be cute to give out as Easter favors in plastic eggs to the kids in your child's class instead of candy.  If you order 5 or more I will give you a discount of $3.00 per bracelet plus shipping(which should run around $2.00 for U.S. shipping).  I can do any color combination you like.  These are just some girly examples.

The boy's bracelets are made with wood beads with either a cross charm or without.  I am working on getting some sports charms in for these as well.

I haven't listed these yet, so drop me an e-mail if you would like one.  scrapper.michelle(at)

 I made up this bracelet for a friend's daughter's baptism(her daughter is 7).  These would also make cute Easter basket stuffers, but these cost considerably more due to the silver beads and swarovski crystals. These can be made any size, from infant to young adult.   These bracelets are $10.00.

I had just enough of this Michael Miller China doll fabric left in my stash 
to make up these two picture frames.  The turquoise is my favorite. I love how bright and cheery it is. (Although they could be any color and still be stunning if they had my niece's picture in them  :)

These frames have sold(thanks Amy!).  I could easily make up a few more of these if I ordered more fabric, but I don't plan on it unless someone else requests it.  
I don't want to have too much stuff laying around the small space we live in.  But it anyone else was interested just drop me an e-mail and I can whip one up for you.

That's all for now. I have been busy crafting the last couple of weeks and now I'm ready for a break.  Well, not really because I have 8 necklaces to whip up, but no more new things coming for a little while.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cute Spring Project

When I first left my job of 17 years as a childcare activities director, people used to ask me all the time "Do you miss working with kids?"

For the first 2 years my answer was a resounding "Nope".

I was so burnt out by that time and had worked at the same place with some people who weren't the easiest to work with so when I left I walked out the door and never looked back.

It has only been in the last year or so that I find myself missing the kids.  Not enough to make me go back to that profession, but enough for me to think longingly about some of the things I used to do with them.

I miss reading stories to them. I love children's books.  I used to collect them. I have boxes and boxes of children's books sitting in storage that I will probably one day find the courage to donate somewhere.

I miss doing art with them. As the activities director it was my job to plan and execute all of the art activities.  We did art every day with about 50-60 kids so that's a lot of art projects!

I used to love sitting with a group of kids at the art table, coloring and gluing and chatting about their day.  Even kids that won't normally open up to you will start talking if their hands are engaged in something else and they don't have to look right at you when they are speaking.  It is one of my fondest memories of my time working there.

We did a pretty good mix of art and crafts.  While I felt it was important for them to be able to express their creativity with no rules or boundaries, I also found they loved to make things that resembled something(these were 5 and 6 year olds).  Plus their parents really loved some of the seasonal crafts that we made and I had to make them happy too. Easter was one of my favorite crafting seasons.

I love creating things myself (as you can see from my etsy shop), but I still scour the internet for children's crafts too.  I don't know why.  I don't have any kids to make them with, but I just love seeing what's out there.

Today I was surfing the crafting websites and I came across this:

How cute is this?  This is exactly the sort of thing I would have made with my kids, as a group project which we would have proudly displayed on the door to the daycare center when it was finished.  
So cute!

I found it here, along with step by step instructions on how to make it.

Anyone have a kid I can borrow so I can make this?    :)

If you do decide to make it, send me a pic so I can live vicariously through you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pity Party

I was all set to have a pity party today.

I have been extra tired the last week or so.  I have not been sleeping well.  My arm hurts from my Tetanus shot and I have just overall been feeling crappy.  My cell phone broke and I can't afford to get a new one right now. Joe not having a job is really putting a strain on our relationship.  We are barely making it paycheck to paycheck.  The list goes on.

Last night before I went to bed I was feeling very sad.  Sorry for myself.  Some tears were shed.  (Some of those were shed over my phone being broken.  I cried. Over a cell phone.  I really need to get over myself).

So this morning I woke up and was still feeling sad.  It's my day off so I didn't have to get up.

I was in bed in my pajamas with a cup of coffe and my computer.  Gizmo was there too.  Joe had to run an errand so I was all alone.

So I'm in bed, in my p.j.'s  all alone feeling sorry for myself.  Perfect setting for a pity party, right?

The conditions were just right.

Yet at the same time I was thinking about all the stuff going wrong in my life I was trying to remember all of the things I have to be thankful for too.

My car is old and falling apart.        

But every day on my way to work we pass this bus stop where a man in a suit with a brief case is waiting for the bus. I have a crappy car.  But I don't have to take the bus.

We live in a small space.  Sometimes I miss our old, larger apartment.

But this apartment is cozier and much easier to clean.

I wish my husband had a job.

But I love that we get to spend so much time together.

We got rid of our cable to save money.  I miss watching some of my shows.

But now that I spend less time watching t.v. I have been creating more, and reading more and just hanging out with Joe more.  What's not to like about that?

I hate that my sister lives so far away.  I miss my niece and nephew.

But my family is healthy. The fact that I only get to see them a few times a year makes the time we spend together that much better.

My cell phone broke.  I don't get to replace it with the phone I want.  I miss my IPhone.

But there are people in Japan who don't even have homes.
(I really am embarrassed about how upset I was about that damn phone).

I was reading some of my favorite blogs this morning and I came across this:

It was on this blog.  You should check it out.  It's a good read.  Especially on days when you feel like having a pity party.  (Its the Holstee Manifesto Poster, and you can check it out here:

And just like that, my pity party was over before it even started.

It's my day off.  I am going to make it a good one.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Labor of Love

My blog friend Jonni saw some of my Chinese Map necklaces on FB and ordered some for herself.  I did a lot of agonizing over the designing of them, since I couldn't find a very good graphic for Jinchang.

In the end they turned out really great and Jonni loved them so I did all of that freaking out for nothing.  Shocking, right?

The worst part is that Joe kept telling me to calm down and he was sure they were going to turn out fine, and I really needed to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies.  Blah, blah blah.  Whatever.

God I  hate it when he's right.     :)

Because I am very proud of how they turned out.

Anyway, here they are.

I love making these.  I love researching the cities.  I love printing out the pictures and adhering them to the glass pendants.  I love putting the names, or dates, or phrases on the backs.  Mostly I love thinking about the babies (and some big kids) that are now home with their families and where they came from and how much love was involved in the making of that family.

And now I'm all teary.  I just love making them.

When I'm making them I try hard not to think about the fact that I may always be making them for other people and not for myself.

More tears.

It's a process, this letting go.

Thank you Jonni, for ordering them.  I loved making them for you.

P.S.  My arm is still in so much pain from that Tetanus shot I got last week. Apparently you are supposed to rub your arm and move it as much as possible after you get it?  Who knew?  Well, like 20 of my FB friends knew, but they didn't tell me until after I asked why my arm was still hurting a week later.  Now I have a huge knot at the injection site and it hurts like hell and I have been having to put ice on it every night.   So in 10 years when I have to get another Tetanus shot I will try to remember that.  Or I'll just ask my FB friends.  They seem to be very knowledgable.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I saw a new primary care doctor today and I really like her.  She was kind and compassionate and she really listened when I talked.  Overall I am very pleased.

During the course of the visit we got to talking about healthy lifestyles and how important it is to eat right, exercise and manage stress.  I hung my head a little bit because I'm not doing any of those things.

I have really let my health go over the last 4 or 5 months.

When the doctor told me I needed to get at least 10,000 steps in per day I laughed out loud. When I worked with kids I got that in easily.  Most days I went over.   I have a very sedentary job now.  I sit at a desk all day.  This time last year I was walking every day, up to 5 miles a day. Then I hurt my back.  It has only just stopped hurting, after almost 7 months.  I have not gotten back on the exercise train.

I am extremely inactive.  I have not been exercising at all.  When I get home from work all I do is sit on the couch and watch t.v. or surf the internet. (We do go on our occasional bike rides but Joe's bike is on the fritz right now and I won't ride alone).

We have not been eating right.  When your budget is extremely limited it is so much easier to eat crap.  Why does food that has little nutritional value cost so much less than healthy, fresh food? I used to eat fruit every day.  Now I'm lucky to get in one or two pieces a week.  How awful is that?

To be perfectly honest the stress of the last year has been weighing me down, both literally and figuratively.  I am up 12 pounds in the last 10 months.  That is a little more than one pound per month!

Just typing that makes me want to cry.  I am far past that number that I had in my head that I swore I would never let myself go past.  This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life, aside from the 7 month course of Prednisone I was on 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with the kidney disease.  I gained 20 pounds then in that 7 months but lost it very quickly as soon as I went off of it.

I am so disgusted with myself. I hate looking in the mirror. I don't allow pictures to be taken of me, unless they are from the waist up or I am positioned behind someone else.  I am trying to squeeze into the pants I own, even though I know I should go a size up to be comfortable.

So when the doctor tells me I really need to get at least an hour a day of exercise in, I just smile and nod.
And come home and sit on the couch.

About now you are probably thinking "Well why don't you do something about it?"

That's a good question.

We have just been under so much stress.  It weighs heavily on my shoulders so that all I want to do by the time I get home is lay on the couch.  Which I do.  And then I feel bad about it.  And I beat myself up.  I tell myself I will do something about it tomorrow.

And then the next day all of those stressors are still there and I feel overwhelmed and want to come home and sit on the couch.

Repeat.  It's a vicious cycle.

I wish I could tell you that I am going to do something about it soon but I really can't.  What I need is some of this stress to resolve itself.  I honestly don't know how much longer I can take it.  I'm just so tired.

I can't seem to get motivated, no matter how much I want (or need to).


P.S. I had to get a Tetanus shot today too and while it didn't hurt at all when they administered it, my arm hurts like heck now.  Owww!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Insert Post Title Here

You know what I'm not good at?  Coming up with titles for my blog posts.  Thus the lame title of this one.  Hey, it's better than leaving it blank.

I have nothing exciting going on this week.   Last weekend was much more fun.

I have been making a few things for my Etsy shop, and working on a bunch of necklaces that were ordered.  I am going to finish them up tomorrow and get them in the mail by Monday, so if you are waiting for something, it's coming!

I have a lot of things laying around my house that I made and was saving for when we got  Sophie.  Lots of girly stuff.  Scrapbooks, magnets and other stuff.  I have decided I am going to try and get rid of some of it.  Some of it has been lying around here since before we started the adoption.  That's 6 years.  I know by wanting to get rid of these things it seems like I am giving up, and in a way I am.  Our paperwork is still in but my heart is starting to distance itself from it.  Joe's job situation hasn't changed.  We can't update our paperwork.  Every day that goes by is another day closer to having to pull out of the program.  Most days I am in complete denial about it, but other days it will hit me like a ton of bricks when I am sitting in my car or in the shower(the two places I allow myself to cry).  It's hard to let go of a dream you have had for almost 6 years.

So some of these things are going on Esty.  The first being this mini scrapbook.  It is 7 X 7 inches. It technically only has three pages, but each page is double sided, plus the front inside cover and the back, so it has 9 pages to place photos on.  I will personalize the front with the name of your choice. I am selling this for $15.00.  Here is the link:

I made this gift box with a scrapbook kit I had laying around.  I find that I use a lot of green and purple together.  Mostly because I like those colors, but I also realized those were the colors we used in Sophie's nursery, so that's probably why I am drawn to them so much.
  This is a 3 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch cardboard box decorated with acid free scrapbook paper.  It would make a cute box for the photo necklaces I make, or even a gift card.  A set of magnets would be cute in it too.  This is $5.00.  Here is the link:
Each corner has a different word on it. Believe, wonder, treasure, and discover.

I have only one of these available. I have decided not to sell them on Etsy, because I stole the design from someone else there and I don't feel right about selling something that isn't my design. This is $10.00.  E-mail me at chinaadopter(at)gmail(.com) if you would like it.  

**********This necklace has sold***********

I am quite happy with the way things have been going since I opened up my etsy shop.  If you look on there I actually only have 9 sales, but I have had many many more private sales that didn't go through the etsy site.  I'm just so happy people like some of the stuff I make.  Oh yeah, and the extra money isn't bad either.  :)  Sorry if it seems like I go on and on about it.  It is something that is taking up a lot of my free time lately and I'm not sure how many people I have who are my friends on FB but not here so I do a lot of cross posting.  Sorry if that is annoying!

Hmmmmm..........let's see, what else is going on in my boring life?

Oh yeah.  My car has been on the fritz.  We can't really afford a mechanic, and my FIL used to work on motorhomes, so my husband has been taking it every weekend to his Dad's to see if they can fix it.  Well because my FIL never worked on regular cars(let alone Fords), they have been doing  a lot of googling and simply trying one thing after another to see if that would fix it. Well it has been almost a month and no luck.  The car still runs, thankfully, but it was stalling a lot and idling very high at stop lights.  I was worried every single day and praying that it got me to work and back.  Well today they had a breakthrough and were able to fix the problem.  Finally.  Yay!  Now it is running fine again.  I am so grateful.

And now I have a bit of a rant.

I have a lot of doctors.  Primary Care, Nephrologist(kidney doctor), Urologist, plus a couple more.  What can I say.  When it comes to health related problems, I am high maintenance.  I wish that wasn't the case.

I have the utmost respect for doctors.  Most of my doctors are wonderful.  I have had a  few primary docs that weren't great but I simply found a new one that I liked and the problem was solved.

There is one type of doctor that I haven't had any luck with at all.  They are  psychiatrists.

From my experience, psychiatrists are idiots.  They are pompous. They are condescending. They are uncaring.  Their standard of care is deplorable.  I have yet to find one that I like(or that gives a rat's ass about me or my care).

I have gone through 6 psychiatrists in the last 2 and a half years.

Six. In the last 30 months.  They all sucked.  Every last one of them.

Maybe they are just overloaded with patients.  I get that.  I mean, they see a patient every 15 minutes.  

But you know what?  I work for an orthodontist and we see patients every 15 minutes too.  And yet I know every one of our patient's  names(and even their mom's names too) and if one of them has a major issue and calls to talk to us about it, we know what they are referring to.  If we don't know, we just look in their chart.  

Because you know what?  All of their history is right there in their chart.  

All you have to do is open it up and READ IT.  

This is something psychiatrists seem incapable(or unwilling) to do.  I actually had a doctor prescribe me a medication that was known to cause kidney problems.  

I said to the doctor "Are you sure I should take that?  It causes kidney problems and is not approved for people with kidney disease."  

Do you know what he said?  "Why?   Do you have kidney disease?"

{Smacks self in forehead}  

I had been seeing that particular doctor for over a year.

Needless to say I am no longer seeing him.  Problem is, I have been through 4 more since then.

I'm not asking for a lot. I just want a doctor who knows who I am after seeing them for a year, takes my concerns seriously and cares somewhat about my mental health.  Just a little bit.

P.S.  I know there are some of you thinking "Perhaps it is YOU that has the problem, and not the psychiatrists."  I can see why you might think that.  However, each of the 6 doctors I have seen over the last 30 months I have spoken with health professionals about and also know other people who have seen them and the consensus was the same.  They are simply not good doctors.

I have personally gone online and written a bad review on each of them.  If I can save even one person from having to endure the crappy care that I have received from these doctors then the time it took to do so  was worth it.

Rant over.

P.S. does anyone in the OC know of a good psychiatrist that will take a Blue Cross P.P.O.?  I'm getting desperate here.

Oh my, that was another long one.  I don't know what it is about the rambling posts lately.  Maybe I need to post more regularly.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Girl's Weekend

A childhood friend of ours was having a party this weekend so Lisa flew down to join in the festivities.

Rather than sleep on my couch, Lisa opted for a hotel room in Laguna Beach for the night which meant that I got to stay the night in Laguna Beach too.  Lucky Me!

We made it to the beach just in time to see this from our balcony:

It was stunning.

Chilling out at the hotel before dinner

Lisa booked a cute little hotel in Laguna Beach right off Pacific Coast Highway.  They had just renovated it and it had a cute little beach cottage feel.  Since I rarely get out, I took some pictures of the room.

It was a Jr. suite, so this was the living room/pull out couch where I slept.  I love the colors.

Small bedroom with a queen bed

It had the weirdest tub ever.  I got into it with my clothes on to see if I would fit and I could NOT get out.  Seriously.  I had to ask Joe to come and help me get out of it.  Needless to say I opted for a shower instead of a bath.

It had a small kitchen too but it had not one plate or utensil so I'm not sure how you were supposed to do any cooking.  I guess you had to bring your own stuff.

On our way to dinner we saw this:
I may have to start walking to work.

View from our balcony in the morning. It was such  beautiful day!

Our balcony

Cute beachy themed lobby
(please excuse all the pictures of the hotel.  As I mentioned earlier, I don't get out much  (:

Lisa's visit coincided with Laguna Beach's Patriot Day Parade.  This is apparently a huge deal.  We found ourselves a spot on the parade route and hunkered down to watch. It was downright hot and we both got a little sunburned.  I took roughly a thousand pictures of the parade but after I downloaded them I realized it was the kind of thing where you really had to be there to appreciate 
them so here are just a few

I'm a sucker for anyone who is in the military.  And for horses.

Girl Scouts dressed as cookie boxes.  Clever.

I'm also a sucker for guide dogs

Kristen's EvaJun was dancing with her dance studio.

We looked and looked but didn't see her. 
She is somewhere in there.
                                                        Old cars are cool.

The parade lasted much longer than we had anticipated so we left a bit early and 
headed off to find some lunch.
Lisa had the lobster fondue. Oh my word it was yummy.
I had the fish and chips.  Also yummy.

Right next door to the place we had lunch was this candle shop.

It was a really cool shop and you could make your own candles so Lisa and I decided to give it a try.  
It was so fun!

First you chose the colors wax you wanted.  We made a medium sized candle so we chose 3 colors each.

Then the really fun part. They had all these trinkets and charms that you picked out to put on top of your candle.  They had all sorts of charms and sea glass, shells and doo dads to choose from.  I think it took me a half an hour to pick out mine.  So many cute choices!

After you picked out your wax and your charms, they had you sit down at a table and they gave us little cutting boards and a putty knife and we cut our wax into little pieces.

After cutting up the wax we had to place our wax pieces in the candle mold.  You could put little bits of sea glass along the sides so they would show through when the candle was done.  Here's Lisa with her candle mold.

When the mold was filled with your wax pieces then you brought the candle up to the store keeper and she poured hot wax over the wax pieces.  The last step was to arrange the charms and shells and such on the top of the candle.  At this point she also added the fragrance of your choice. I chose white tea and Ginger.  It smelled so good.

These are all the things I picked out to put on top of my candle.

Here is the finished candle.  Isn't it pretty? I chose the large heart that says "gratitude" to remind me to be grateful for the things I have(even when I feel like I don't have a lot).  The angel says "wish" at the bottom.  I chose the small lotus flower just because I think Lotus flowers are pretty, and the sea glass and shells because we were at the beach.  The little heart represents my love for Joe.  That little tiny square rock kind of thing below the angel is some kind of mineral that is supposed to cleanse you of negativity.  I don't really buy into that sort of thing, but I'll take all the help I can get in that department so I stuck that in there too.

I forgot to take a picture of Lisa's finished candle.  Hers turned out very cute too.  They told us the candle would burn for 25 hours but it's too cute to burn and it smells good even when it's not burning so for now I am keeping it on my night stand.

After we made our candles we had to wait for them to harden so we walked around for  awhile and did some window shopping.  The weather was gorgeous.  It hit 80 degrees!

They have some cute little alleyways that are so quaint.  Love them.

Everyone was out enjoying the beautiful weather.

It was a perfect day.  

That night we headed to a slumber party at a friend's house with a bunch of childhood friends.  That's a whole other post.  

Let's just say a GREAT time was had by all. 

There may have even been some toilet papering going on, which is something I haven't done since I was 13 years old.  I'm not saying I was involved in that.  

I'm just saying it may have taken place at the party.   :0

That was the longest post ever.  I'm surprised if you made it all the way to the end of that!

It was a great weekend.