Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's a Big Day

Because I've been working on our etsy shop!!!! Yeah! Since I'm done for the summer semester and now have all of my grades turned in, I have a month to pay some much needed attention to our goods! We've been very bad about NOT using our etsy shop but we are going to do our darnest to give it a good whirl! Any tips? Has it been beneficial for you?

I've only added three items for now, but will add LOTS more in the near future! Check it out and tell me what you think!

And lookie! I even added a widget to the right of the screen! You'd think I won the lottery, how excited I am with all of this business ;)

Take care!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

Man, what a wonderful weekend I had! We had our first weekend home in over a month so what did we decide to do??? Have a party! Yeah! We had some really awesome friends of ours in town from Chicago for the night so we thought it would be fun to spiff the place up, make some munchies, have some toddies and invite the world over! Too much fun, really ;)

One of the great things about having a party is cleaning! And I am not being sarcastic. The mister and I are big into having a clean and organized home and the casa DEF needed a good cleaning since we've been living out of bags forever! One of the biggest tasks, the jewelry area. It's not very often that this beast gets cleaned and organized! Thought I'd take pictures for proof that it can be done!

A couple of things in this picture I'd love to talk about for a moment. The hemp name I made in college for a project and have always loved it! I can't believe it's still around because that was near 10 years ago! Crazy!! Then you've got the two dollar bill which a lady paid us with once at a show. It's the only two dollar bill we've ever received for payment so we display it! :) Finally, see that bright yellow doodad hanging there? That's loomwork I did when I was in elementary school! I found it the other day and was SO excited to come across it! My looms are somewhere in storage at my folks and I am determined to find them!!!

And now to the party....
Purty April! (and my butt ;)
Yeah Chicago import!!!! I love her!!! This little lady lived with April and I in college for a year in the dorms! She was there when it all began :) She's one of my favorites and I love getting to hang with her! (this was a really strangely posed picture by a friend of ours....I think those were uncomfortable laughs :)

Yup, this pretty much sums up how I felt on Sunday after the party! Woot Woot!

More old college friends! They make my heart happy :)

The pups even got into the action! It was a party for everyone! Look at how rowdy they got ;)

And then Sunday I made breakfast for everyone at like 1 pm ;) Nothing like sleeping in and having a late breakfast in part of what you wore the night before! Ha! Twas a good night!

So thank you so much, avid readers, who were a part of the impromptu festivities! Without you, it wouldn't have been as fun as it was! My hats off to YOU!

Friday, July 24, 2009

No Krafts Here

I'm stepping away from crafty blogging today because I want to talk about my other obsession, teaching!

Yesterday I finished teaching my summer course which was a Speaking and Listening class for English as a Second Language. I've been teaching now for about three years but had yet to teach a beginning beginning class until now. What an experience! This class housed at least six different native languages and 18 students which is quite large for an ESL class! The ages ranged from 17 to mid fifties.

These students came in knowing NOTHING. For a fast talker like myself, slowing my speech down was quite a challenge and making sure all of the students were comprehending what I was saying was a nonstop task but one that I loved! I have a theory about teaching adults - if you make a fool of yourself and have fun, your students will better remember what the crazy teacher once did or said and will take that with them better than a boring teacher who just read this and that. I figure if you have fun, they will have fun. And lord knows, I have LOTS of fun in my classes! I act the fool and act out words, draw horrible stick figures on the board and sing funny songs, all in hopes that something about that will stick with them. It seems like it works too. And it seems like they really enjoy class. It is so so so rewarding.

There's my rave, now here's my rant.

Sometimes I get so frustrated with people. I see my students working so hard to make it here while sending money back home, taking care of their children and spouses, working night jobs, taking the bus to class and so on. Their motivation is inspiring. Then I will get comments such as this, "Why are you teaching those foreigners English? They're just going to take our jobs." or "Aren't they all illegal? Why are you helping them?" I fight the urge to unleash on these people. I try to be as calm and collected with my responses while defending those that inspire me so. I try not to be rude. Catch me on a bad day though and I'm sorry ;) I just get so fed up with people complaining about immigrants not learning the language here and blah blah blah. And then these same people complain when opportunities are offered to them to learn the language! I guess those people will just never be happy.

I've been in the situation my students are in. To be in a country where you don't fully understand nor speak the native language. To look different than the majority. To feel completely out of place somewhere that is not truly your home. I commend anyone who takes those risks and follows a dream, puts themselves in a situation that is uncomfortable, who inspires others to try. So I thank my students and I thank those in our community who support ANYONE to learn and to make a better life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

With Heavy Eyes

With heavy eyes, I write about our trip to Vegas! I believe all of these pictures are wildly out of order so please, pardon my laziness to put them in the correct order :)

We left Friday morning and arrived mid afternoon to our hotel, the Luxor. We had had some toddies and a massive dinner so we decided to take a little nap...that ended at 6am! We slept away our first night in Vegas! Oops! But it turned out great because we got all day Sunday to putz around the town before it got too hot and too crowded. In case you don't know, the Luxor is the pyramid shaped hotel, has slanted rooms and Egyptian themed everything. To be funny (and annoying ;) I kept referring to our hotel as China. I even made a song and everything :) I'm a joy to travel with :)

This is a REALLY creepy picture my mister caught of me at the Tears for Fears concert we attended. It really freaks me out but it is pretty cool!

A view of the show. The concert was held in Henderson at the Green Valley Ranch Resort just outside of Vegas. The stage was set up right next to the pool so you could do some wading while listening to a little TFF goodies!

The mister caught me singing and dancing :) It was a wonderful night.

I believe this was like at 7 in the morning when we were trekking along the strip. It's an action shot of us walking.

My widdle sister is part of the crew for TFF this tour, which is why we got such awesome perks for the show. I hadn't seen her since Christmas, I think, so it was awesome to get to hang out with her for a bit!

Here's us and one half of the original TFF, Curt. His two little girls were at this show as well as the drummer's daughter. I thought it would be fun to make the three girls some necklaces which I totally forgot to take pictures of! Duh! On one of the last songs, Shout, they had all of the little kids up on stage to sing with them and I noticed a couple of them wearing their new necklaces. So cute!
Everyone in the band is super nice and it was awesome to see them all again!

How cute is this!?! My mister and my sister! :)
Taking a little break from singing and dancing. I bought that dress in one of the casinos, believe it or not. You can wrap it literally 100 different ways to make it a shirt, a dress or a skirt. It's SOOOOOO cool :) I heart it big time.
The concert venue before the sun set. Perfect weather, perfect venue, perfect show!

Only fair that the mister got a freaky picture of me that I get one of him. How weird is this one?!
Couldn't refuse the urge to throw out a couple of bucks to have my picture taken with Elvis :)

Look! An actual proper picture of us!

We FINALLY got back last night to stumble upon a beautiful Oklahoma sunset :) I was on the phone with my sister to let her know what a great time we had and that we had made it home safely! So again, thanks, Af! It was very memorable and a blast and a half!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Woody was a Goody

Woody '09 is done! And it was a GREAT time. Perhaps one of my favorite years so far! We had LOTS of friends out there with us and even though it was ridiculously hot, we had waaaaaay too much fun!

My hottest sellers this year were my Michael Jackson switchplates. I HAD to make some for my homage to the man who shaped my musical taste. Here's a pic I snapped in the middle of making them.


If you recall, my mister is from Okemah, therefore, my inlaws are all situated there! We spent a lot of time with my father in law who is pretty much the greatest man ever! Here's a shot of their new baby calf who thinks he's a dog. :)

I mentioned before that Okemah has the most beautiful sunsets and here's proof of that!

In celebration of our fourth anny of meeting each other, the mister and I sat down with one of our neighbors for a caricature! Neither of us had either done one before so it was a fun little experience :)

Since sales ended late into the night, we ended up staying up way too late each night. It was well worth it though :) Lots of laughs were had in the middle of the night! Mornings were a little rough though with the scorching temps and little sleep. The mister caught a bit of the misery in me with this shot ;) I will say though, the temps in the evening were PERFECT. We had a wonderful breeze all weekend that actually made it a bit chilly sleeping, believe it or not!

Here's the booth! We were situated in between The Purple People (if you've never heard of them or ran into them, check it out...interesting...) and Tie Dyes of Tulsa (we bought the mister some tighty dydies from them ;)

A good friend of mine caught this shot of another friend shopping. I thought it was a cute one AND what a great plugging of the biz ;)

And finally, myself and the Schmapes working! Again I'll say it, it was an absolutely wonderful weekend with lots of old, missed friends! I'm already ready for next year!


Our July is FAR from over! This weekend, the mister and I are flying out to Vegas to meet up with my little sis and her mister! They are on the crew for Tears for Fears and they will be playing a show in Vegas on Saturday which we're going to! I can't wait to hang out with my sis, take a fun trip with the mister, see a good show and to just get away for fun!!! I'll update about the trip once we've returned. I swear, this month is just a blur! The beast is going to forget what we look like! ;) OH! and we found a home for the pup!!!! Yeah!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WOODY!

There are SO many reasons why I love the Woody Guthrie Festival. First things first, it's where I met my mister :) Neither of us were in the market for love and really, we were both pretty jaded! It was one of those cliche moments where when we first met, we just knew. I don't think we missed a day of communication after that first day we met. We didn't even live in the same city but six months later we did! It's always special to go back and reminisce about that meeting. It's fun that a festival is the anniversary of our meeting! This will be our fourth year! Weird!

Enough about us though, how about more festival info!?! The festival officially starts this evening and ends on Sunday and it's FREE! The big nights are, of course, Friday and Saturday. It's held in Okemah, OK which is the birthplace of Woody and my mister :) It's a mere hour away from Tulsa and the same from OKC so it's easy to just make it a day trip! It's equally as easy to set up camp and stay the weekend too! ;)

Okemah has the most beautiful sunsets! The town also offers a lake, a really cool mainstreet, Grape Ranch Winery, a kiddy festival in the town park, music galore ALL DAY LONG and wonderful people who make you feel right at home!

I usually spend at least one full day at the Winery because it's just too great to not! It sits on the North Canadian River and offers wine (duh!), beer, Frozen Rose wine slushes (mmmmm), bocce ball, LOTS of music and beautiful grape fields you can stroll through! You can also camp there in a gorgeous grove of trees right on the river. That place is truly a treat.

In the evenings, they have music in the Pastures of Plenty (taken from a Woody song, of course) and this is where families, young and old, come to share in the beautiful music and feel at home. I will be honest, this type of music isn't typically the type that I put in my car and listen to alone BUT out there, I can't imagine anything else. It is so peaceful and warm that it makes you feel good all over :)
I'm heading that way tomorrow after teaching is done and I CAN'T WAIT! I can't wait to see old friends from afar, to feel at peace, to celebrate the anny of meeting, to see my inlaws, to share new creations, to take a small vacay, and to just feel good :)
If you come, I promise you won't be dissapointed :) Come and rejuvenate out there with me!

The Fourth

This past weekend two DEAR old friends of mine joined myself, the mister, the beast and my folks at their cabin for the annual 4th of July celebration. It was SUCH a great time to catch up, eat great food, swim, explore, see poisonous snakes (!), and laugh until it hurt!


The beast did his part by looking so handsome everywhere he went and kept those unruly small dogs in line :)
The beast ALSO won the doggie costume contest!!! I was SO proud and couldn't stop smiling! We dressed him in drag as a Hawiian beach bum :) He kept those sunglasses on FOREVAH! He's such a trooper :)


Since my pops had the little fireworks accident last year, he has stepped down from that job and took up gate security this year! This is him looking all tough and Golden Drilleresque. I seriously used to think that that statue was my dad when I was little!

After a chilly swim in the creek...

Of course for my family, apparently we can't get through a Fourth celebration without a little accident! We took a turn a bit too fast in the golf cart and tipped it! My import scraped up her back and elbow while my mister skinned his elbow and got his foot stuck under the cart. After a trip to Urgent Care, we found that the foot isn't broken but is badly bruised. He's hobbling around but is doing well! So now I'm babysitting him AND the puppy that STILL NEEDS A HOME!! Hint, hint ;)

No worries though, despite the injuries, we still had a great time! Dancing by all and more laughs!

On one of our exploring trips we found the water tower which the beast checked out for us. Isn't this a cool picture?! I shall leave it as a parting shot :)

Stay tuned for another post today about the Woody Guthrie Festival!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Lil Bit of This, A Lil Bit of That

I feel like I have so much to tell you but honestly, I can't remember it all nor know where to start! I'll do my darnedest though and will throw in some bauble pics for you in between it all :)

As you know from my last post we acquired a temporary puppy which has taken up a lot of my blogging evenings. We are trying with all of our might to find him a good home but are letting him hang out with the beast until that home is found. He's a squatty little half beagle half basset creature and is full of personality. Some of the things he does just crack me up! I think he'd be great in a home with young kids who can match his energy and can all grow up together :) If you know anyone who might be in the market for a pup named Freeman, let them know we've got the pup for them!

In gardening news, we have SOOOOOOO much fresh produce!!! Fresh lettuce every night, tomatoes in this and that, squash prepared a million different ways, jalapenos in everything you can think of and so much more! We have a good friend who is SUPER talented in the kitchen who proposed a food trade with us - we trade produce from the garden and she brings us something yummy! I think we won in regards to who got the better end of the deal as she made us lemon cheesecake bars!!! I took pictures before we gobbled them all up but of course they are still on my camera. ;) I'm not going to lie, lemon typically isn't my favorite but I put all of my faith into 'the lucky one' and my taste buds were wonderfully rewarded!!! Her and some other equally culinarily (is that a word?!?) talented ladies have a REALLY enjoyable food website found here. If you click the header at the top of her page, it will take you to the other ladies involved in Pretty Girls Use Knives. It is really worth some perusing!!

My folks returned from their Ireland excursion last week so I was able to take a few days off work and spend some time with an old friend and her little girls at Big Splash! With 100+ degree weather, Big Splash is like a little taste of heaven...if you can tune out the other couple hundred people there ;)
Also got to spend time with my old roommate who recently moved back to Tulsey Town last month! Lots of little reunions have been happening around these parts! One more reason to love summer :)
If you remember, last weekend was the OK Green Fest show at the Riverparks Amphitheater. The forecast for Saturday was predicting SUPER toasty weather so April and I did our best to plan for a warm show. We loaded up an ice chest with some beverages and rags to soak in ice water, some misting fans and the canopy for a little shade and went for it full steam ahead! We were SO lucky to get there early and set up under practically the only tree out there and to have an awesome breeze all day long! Unfortunately, the high temps deterred people from coming to the festival so attendance was mighty low and sales were few and far between. We did meet some really awesome people though and had a great time laughing with each other as always!!!

I am super excited because tomorrow one my favorite people is flying in from D.C. to hang with me for the holiday this weekend! This particular friend somehow has survived an around the world trip with me and still likes me! Ha! I'm working on a custom piece for her that I'll post more about later :)
This fourth of July marks the one year anniversary of a scary accident my dad had with some large scale fireworks.
Long story short:
It was the fifth year or so that my dad had set off a fairly large fireworks show for their cabin community. Very skilled in fireworks and very very safe, as always, we trusted him fully when working with the explosives. Unfortunately, last year for reasons unknown, he had a large box of fountain type fireworks go off in his face and into his mouth. Following the accident, he spent three days in a drug-induced coma in the burn unit at a local hospital to make sure his throat and lungs were not affected by the explosion. I don't know that I've ever been so happy than the day he woke up! Lungs and throat were fine but mouth, lips and face had some burns that took some time to heal.
Moral of the story:
Even though fireworks are beautiful, they are incredibly dangerous and all should exercise extreme caution when playing with them! Even the smaller ones can do some serious damage!
Ok, I'll quit being a mom now ;) I DO wish you all a wonderful and fun-filled holiday!!!

And FINALLY, mark your calendars for the Woody Guthrie Festival!!! This festival is in Okemah, OK (Woody's hometown, the hometown of my mister AND where we first met!) and is July 10 -13th. This is most definitely a family friendly event and one you will never forget! The entire town has something going on everywhere; music on mainstreet, open mic, Grape Ranch Winery on the North Canadian River, a kiddy festival, Okemah lake, a local pool, lots of good food, music every way you look, camp grounds, pickin' fields, the rolling hills of Oklahoma and me :) Sold you yet??? OH! And it's only an hour away from Tulsa! Score! I'll post more on this fun weekend as time draws nearer.

Again, I wish you a wonderful holiday weekend! Ta Ta!