The thoughts, feelings, and projects of an expanding solitary.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Tunes

Christmas songs can be really joyful, fun, and awesome...and really annoying.

The Faves
One of my favorite Christmas songs is Baby It's Cold Outside sung by Dean Martin (and some random woman). It's an awesome song even if it does sound a little date rapey ("Say, what's in this drink?!") On the other hand, this song can be extremely annoying if done incorrectly. (and by that I mean sung by anyone other than Dino)

I love Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney. I'm typically into more traditional kinds of Christmas songs but this one just makes me feel so happy. It also really reminds me of my dad for some reason. It just makes me want to hop around like a little kid!

Pretty much anything by Mannheim Steamroller is amazing, though my favorite is "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". It is pretty much the ultimate Christmas song for me. When I hear it, it completely gets me in the Christmas mood right away.

Another Christmas song that really sets the mood for me is Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel. So, technically not a Christmas song, but Advent songs totally count. (And while on the topic of Advent songs, anyone remember the Advent candle song? "We light the advent candle one...")

Other great Christmas songs: Pat a Pan by Bing Crosby, Christmas Dinner Country Style by Bing, many things by The Trans Siberian Orchestra,

The Worst
A song that I absolutely abhor is We Need A Little Christmas sung by... anyone. This song weeds its way into my brain and never leaves. It's like an annoying children's song that gets stuck in your head and no matter how much you try to get it unstuck "When the Saints go Marching In" never freaking leaves. It's too sickly saccharine! 

Of course there are the other annoying Christmas songs: I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, Go tell it on the mountain, all I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth, I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, etc

What are some of your favorite or hated holiday songs?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Creations

     Like most women who surf Pinterest I have been wanting to make "sharpie mugs." I did a little research and found out that it doesn't really work the way they say it does: put on your design with a sharpie, bake it in the oven, and voila you have a dishwasher and hand wash safe mug of your creation. However, most report that even hand washing will remove your design. 
     What I've found is that oil based paint pens work best for durability of your design, but the dishwasher safe aspect is still up in the air. So I went ahead and bought some oil paint pens and some cheap travel mugs and made up some for my friends for xmas gifts.

How did I do it: I either drafted the designs I wanted in pencil first or cut out the shapes I wanted and traced around them with the paint. For the letters I taped letters to the mugs and went to town with the dots all over so that when I removed the letter there was a nice white outline of them. Then put them in a cool oven, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, turn off the oven and leave them in until cool.

Another update soon to follow with the embroidery project I am working on

xoxo Veronica

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November Creations and Coming to Terms with Failure

November is nearing its end and it's time for an update of my creations. Things went a little differently than planned (thus is life, right?) and I ended up working on different projects than I had earlier stated. The projects that I have worked on this month have been gifts for Xmas and not so much things for myself. I am working on an embriodery project (pics to come soon). I painted a watercolor for my friend (my first time working with watercolor!) and I think it actually turned out pretty good (pics to come soon). There were a few places early on that I made some minor mistakes but I'm learning not to let those little imperfections in my work bother me.

Speaking of not letting imperfections bother me... The other project that I have been working on is sewing an Xmas dress for myself. I measured out the pattern and sized it to myself but I made an error somewhere along the line in the measurements and when I assembled the pieces I discovered that the dress was too small. The dress has a lace overlay and lining and I already cut all of the pieces to the wrong size. Talk about driving myself crazy. Despite my mistakes I have been trying to be optimistic and take out the seams and make modifications, etc but I have found it difficult to continue. It seems like at every step of the way I find something else in it that I need to modify because of my original mistake. I'm at the point where I'm not even sure if I am going to continue with it or just throw the whole thing out. 

This is something that I have difficulty with in many of my projects. I always want my projects to turn out perfect the first time every time. It is something I am trying to work on: to be more comfortable with "failure" and to just get back on the horse. Also, to realize that just because I made a mistake, that doesn't mean the creation is ruined. In short, I am trying to be less critical of myself. I need to start realizing that I have the ability to modify or to even start over if I don't like something and there is nothing wrong with that! Afterall, even some famous artists have painted and re-painted the same subject, why should I expect to be perfect the first time? Art, like anything else, takes practice and I need to allow myself to make those beautiful messes!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Travel and Creations

     I finally have completed my degree and am working with a company where I travel from job assignment to assignment, usually each lasting ~3months. Now that I am getting settled and I have time to work on projects for myself I have a set a goal of completing at least 2 projects per month. These can be in any medium - sewing, painting, drawing, clay, etc. I want to have "documentation" of these creations so that I can see all of the things that I have accomplished, as this is hard for me to realize sometimes. I often think that I am being lazy because I can't see all the work that I do. In the few months since finishing my board exam I feel like I have not accomplished anything but looking around and listening to people talk I realize that I was actually very busy. I helped create 8 costumes for my brother's beautiful wedding and made Viking banners for decorations. That's a lot of sewing for 3 months! Below are some "teaser" photos posted by their photographer Pink Light Images.


I am putting forward a few options for my November 2014 project goals:
1) Upcycle one of my cardigans by putting lace pockets on it
2) Make my Xmas dress with the pattern I bought this month
3) Upcycle a men's dress shirt into a women's tunic
4) Create Xmas presents for friends & family

I will post more pics of the banners and wedding costumes as I get them and I will post pictures of my finished monthly projects as I finish them!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Starting a Betta Sorority

So my first project of the new year is actually getting my Betta tank set up. I have all my equipment now and all I need is to finish resealing my 50 gallon tank and buy more Bettas. At this stage I am still removing the old nasty silicone seams. I have been and will be using the method explained in this wonderful video: . SO helpful!
My next step after the tank is ready to to buy more beautiful fishies! :) I have 2 already and I'm going to get at least 4 more. Then I'll quarantine them for a month (probably with this method: ) then they will be ready to be together, starting with the least aggressive.
I have read a lot about starting a Betta sorority but if anyone has any helpful tips or resources about starting Betta tanks or cycling fish tanks I would appreciate the input!
I'll also be updating as the process continues :)

October 2014 Update: I was unable to get a Betta sorority started. Turns out that's a lot of hard work and i have trouble enough keeping one Betta alive, much less a whole school of them.This isn't really a goal for me anymore at this point. I would rather spend my time on creating things than having another responsibility of something else to take care of.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Drinking games. The great college past time. Here's a list of my top favorites, not in any particular order:

1)Circle of Death (House Rules)
Aces) waterfall
Red) to the head (you drink)
Black) deal out (can split up the card among people)
8) pick a date (someone to drink whenever you drink)
9) It's rhyme time, bitches!
10) Rule master (all rules stack)
J) Thumb master
K) Categories
Q) Question master

(I'm also considering for house rules 4's - whores and 6 - dicks. lol)

And if you break the circle you have to drink the beer in the middle.

2) Drink.
A simple yet amazing game. Example: "SteveDrink." (yes one word lol) Then Steve drinks obediently. No questions asked, just blind obedience. That's how it goes.

This actually has yet to be played, as it was just recently created by my bestie, but I'm sure it will warm its way into our hearts and become a new favorite. So when you're drunk and slurring your words as soon as you notice the specific incident you yell "COHERENT!" and the entire room drinks and you are safe from taking a drink. However! If someone catches your slurring before you do they yell COHERENT! and exaggeratedly point at you and you must drink, thus probably making your slurring and your attention to your slurring worse.

Everyone stands in a circle with their lips covering their teeth. If you show your teeth throughout the game you must drink (i.e. no smiling or laughing). Here's the hard part: you go around the circle yelling PTERODACTYL! at each other, then when you want the direction of the circle to change (or want to make your friends drink) you make a sound that you think a pterodactyl might make (Note: It really doesn't matter what the sound is lol).

5) Beer Pong
No explanation needed (for most). We have a few house rules but they change sometimes

6) Never Have I Ever
A classic. Those who have, drink.

7) Asshole
I for the life of me cannot remember how to play this game, but I remember the last time that I played it I had a hell of a time. I also know that I went from Asshole to President in one round which was awesome... for some reason lol

8) Simon Says
You drink when you do something Simon didn't say. This gets really fun when you have three step directions like "Simon says touch your right elbow after you touch your nose but before you touch your left knee."

Possible 9) Buffalo Club
No drinking your drink from your right hand (can add the limits of before or after midnight)
I have yet to try out this game as well.


What are some of your favorite drinking games?

Monday, October 24, 2011

There's a Girl

There's a girl sitting a ways away from me at Starbucks. She is pencil sketching a picture of an African American woman in her notepad. She has been drawing for a quite sometime. I know this because her thigh has become gray with graphite dust. I envy her. I wish I still had time to sit at a coffee shop to people watch and draw. Instead I sit in a coffee shop and stare at lime green note cards covered in information about sensory receptors that I should really know by now. Sometimes I really miss my free time. It seems that even the free time I do have I partially spend worrying about what I'm not doing.
But this is my life now I suppose. Sometimes it's just hard to find joy and beauty in all the things that one has to do. I've found that changes of scenery can sometimes help. They can also be distracting though! All that being said, I did have a good night with some friends from school eating sushi! And you know what? I wasn't worried.