Archive for 2010

Aug 27 2010

The Summer of Harry Potter

My kids are pretty good readers, in that they enjoy sitting down and reading, you know, when they have to. Or when Mommy hid the Legos and Barbies. OK, I don’t do that — those legos are very small and difficult to pick up, you know, and when I pick up Barbie, I am overpowered by the need to style her hair.

So no, seriously, they do enjoy books and have always enjoyed books. Jocelyn has taken to reading in a scary way this past kindergarten year, and many the time James and I have looked at each other with eyes wide and said, “Did she really just read ‘Transcendentalism?'” I know you’re not supposed to compare your children, but dude! She is *way* better at reading at this age than Ethan was at this age!

Reading has been a little trickier for Ethan, mostly because he prefers to look at the first letter of a word and then take a while guess if he doesn’t know it, rather than, you know, that pesky sounding it out and all. This however, hasn’t dampened his love of reading at all, and this past 2nd grade year when the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie came out and the craze swept the elementary school, he read through all three books within, and I swear I’m not making this up, 15 minutes.* There just may have been a few words in there that he took wild stabs at, and when asked, he has no idea of the names of the characters — this is due, I’m sure, to just not having heard them said out loud.** Don’t worry. He can tell you word for word the fart joke told by said character.
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Aug 19 2010


Published by under amy's head,crafty,jewelry,photos

I have been going a little nutty over bangle bracelets. I can’t tell you how satisfying and fun it is to make a whole slew of them! About a month ago I had a hankering for a nice thick bangle, one with some real weight to it and today I’ve finally listed my Thick Bangle in copper, brass and sterling silver!

I also managed to photograph and list my (normal thickness) brass bangles, which have been sitting patiently on my photography table waiting for their turn in the spotlight, so you can also check those out.


Why yes, I’m so glad you asked!

I’m very excited to annouce that Julie who writes Inspired Shares approached me with praise and gushing for my shop, and asked about doing a giveaway for my thick brass bangle and I, drunk with flattery, gleefully agreed! Visit her blog to see how you can enter to win! I love the items and sites she has featured in the past – the Supermarket Sarah post especially – Love that bathroom!

I’ll have some more jewelry news in a few weeks, in time for fall. Summer has flown by!

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Aug 08 2010

BrickFair 2010

We’ve always been big fans of legos in this house, so after attending the last 2 years as the “public”, we decided to do the whole registration, as exhibitors, for this year’s BrickFair 2010. It has been awesome!

This year, they moved from the Tyson’s Sheraton, to the Chantilly Expo Center, a move I thought was a little dubious, as which would you prefer to hang out in? A lovely hotel, or a concrete warehouse? However, it was always totally jam packed at the Sheraton during public hours, so the expo center was definitely the best move.

Public hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4. the public pays $10, enters, looks at all the awesome displays, watches a few Brick Films, builds their own at the Stay and Play, maybe take the little ones for a bounce on the moon bounce, watches the Mindstorms competition, maybe a little Bingo for Lego prizes. All very awesome.

So what do you get if you go the full registration route? Well, first, you pay about $50, instead of $10, and there are no discounted registrations. If you are over 6, you register, and if you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult, who must also register.

But oh the awesomeness you get as a full registrant!!

First of all, you don’t just walk through and look at everyone’s creations. You get to bring your own MOC — “My Own Creation”. Ethan registered his “Pokeball Factory” and a very awesomesauce “Missile Launcher”. Next year, we’ll have to see about ALL of us bringing MOCs!

Here are some of the seminars: Historic Architechture, Teaching Math with The Brick, Landscaping, Lights! Camera! Lego!, Arduino Processor, Bloggers’ Roundtable, and more.

You get to participate in The Running of the Bulls, which is a Lego Store sale – after the store closes, they reopen and sell damaged boxes (barely noticeable damage!) to Brickees for a significant discount. SIGNIFICANT!

There are lots of awesome games – Bingo (the registrants only bingo has the big lego prizes, unlike the mini bingo that the public is allowed to play), Minotaurus Tournament, Combo Build, Speed Build, & Dirty Buildster. After 9pm on Saturday night, they kick out any kids and have BYOB time, with a LEGO Hold’em Tournament, Dirter Brickster, and of course, the Drunk Speed-Build.

There is a charity auction, and a yard sale — where folks put out the stuff they want to unload, and the lego market is open! I saw some vintage legos, still in the box, from the 70s. It was incredible!! there is also opening and closing ceremonies, and awards given for the best MOCs from each category — which registrants get to vote for, and enter, of course!

James went to the Running of the Bulls while I went home with the kids, and the next night, he went home with the kids and I stayed to play Hold’em. (I totally won, came heads up with another guy who lives not even a mile from me, that it turns out I’d met at some other poker events in the area.) James and the kids should have stayed long, because Ethan would have rocked the house with the Dirty buildster (each entrant is given a cup of assorted legos and makes the best creation they can). I was walking around oohing and ahhing as the Dirty Buildsters were creating, when I got tapped to be the co-judge! It was very tough, as they were all so awesome, but the other judge and I didn’t pull each other’s hair too much to decide on the winners.

It has been just incredibly awesome. My only sadness is I keep thinking, “Next year, we need to do that.” or “Next year, we’re definitely doing THIS!” But alas, next year, we will not be in the DC metro area anymore — we’ll be moving to Denver next summer. Maybe we’ll come back for a vacation for BrickFair 2011 — We’ll definitely be making plans for some of the other lego festivals going on around the country (sadly, none in Denver).

If you like Legos, and want to feel what’s it’s like to dock with the Mother Ship and meet more of “your kind of people” — I can’t recommend registering as a full exhibitor at the BrickFair any more — it is just awesome – awesome folks, awesome MOCS, awesome fun.

I will post some pictures this week of some of the awesome MOCs on display!


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Jun 15 2010


Published by under crafty,kids,likes & irks

My lovely girl is always, ALWAYS, writing, jotting, drawing, coloring. She is our little arteeest!

Here is a fairy tale by Jocelyn that I found on the art table in the last week:

rapunzel 1

The Princess

Rapunzel 2
Once upon a time, there was a princess LOCKED IN A TOWER! Cause a witch locked her in it!

Rapunzel 3
A prince came and rescued the princess!

Rapunzel 4
And they lived happily ever after.

Yes, we need to work on the stereotypical damsel in distress and how there’s no stopping damsels from rescuing THEMSELVES, but still, pretty cute.

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Apr 30 2010

I’ve been SURGERIED!

Published by under amy's head

Yesterday I got up quite early, drove myself to fairfax, and had surgery on my foot.

It was done at my podiatrist’s office, so, very much outpatient, and I was also very much conscious. I took a valium the night before surgery, another when I arrived at the office, and a final one halfway through the prep. The staff seemed to think that I would likely sleep through the procedure, but that doesn’t appear to be my body’s modis operandis – Yes, when I am anxious in the face of possible pain, I like to talk! Incessantly! And to somewhat comic relief, I think! Always the entertainer, that’s me! I kept comparing the effects of the valium by how many drinks it would have taken to bring about the same affects! Blabber blabber, that was me, and I kept it up right through the surgery. The doctor realized that this was my way of not focusing on what he was doing, and started asking me questions on whatever I was talking about, and I informed him that I knew what he was up to! But that’s ok, as it was fine with me.

The worst part was the at the very beginning, when he gave the local anesthetic, and it felt like the injection filled the entire area to about the size of a grapefruit. I couldn’t see though, so that’s probably an exageration. I can’t remember exactly all he said he did, but here’s what I think was done in there – the issues have all been at my 2nd toe joint, and the bones in that joint have slowly squared off, instead of being nice and round like bones are supposed to be when they meet, so he rounded off the bones (which I totally felt, it had a nails on a chalkboard sort of feeling, or actually, like when your dentist scrapes plaque from your teeth. Except he was FILING DOWN MY BONES!) so they would move in the joint better. Not only did the bones need rounded off, but they were also trying to fuse together, or “bridge” which even I sense would be a Bad Thing. I also had a tendon (or was it a ligament?) that needed repair, and a tear in one of the plates that needed stitching.

Overall, it didn’t take long, and I was very comfortable through the entire thing. I blabbered on and on about everything in the world, while the doctor asked leading questions to get me to continue — “I’m on to you, bub!” I think I let out a few times, but I did manage to get him to talk some, about his daughter who’s heading off to college, and life in general.

After it was all over, James arrived (he had to get the kids off to school) in time to hear the post op orders, and then we headed home. The doctor and his staff seemed to think I would sleep most of the day, but I was chipper and wide awake – I think most of the effects of the valium wore off about an hour after I got home, but it took the local longer.

I took my first vicodin around 11 or 12, thinking that it would be better to have it kick in BEFORE I started to feel any pain, and I braced myself for that loopy giddy feeling I remember from percocet after both of my c-sections, but really didn’t feel much of that. By 3, I was feeling a dull ache in my foot and if I dared move, it snarled and roared at me at a much higher pain level, so I called the office and talked to the doctor. James made an emergency run to pick up the prescription and then to target, and brought home some percocet, which I’m happy to say, did the trick quite nicely.

Today has been fairly uneventful, except for a small bout of naseau this morning right when I woke up — apparently, my body needs food WITH the percocet, or I get queasy. James dutifully brought me some bread and butter, and after nomming on that, I felt much better.

It’s been a nice 2 days though – I had ordered some plastic storage boxes to use for jump rings that arrived yesterday, so I was happy as a pig in mud labeling, dumping, checking, relabeling again, and I am so tickled with my new jump ring storage system. That pencil box with zip lock baggies was getting HEAVY and CROWDED, so this was a timely change.

I made some jewelry, played on my new laptop, dozed, watched tv, and dozed some more. I even managed to work for a few hours these past 2 days! Tomorrow will be some more of the same – Ethan and Jocelyn both have games to play, and then the school is having a fun fair they are very excited about, so I’ll be at home blissfully alone to do my own thing. I may have some visitors, as we have some friends in town with TWIN BABIES! I know that feeling of being at someone else’s not-baby-proofed-enough house though, and I won’t really be able to get up and run after babies-making-their-bid-for-FREEDOM! Hopefully they’ll love to be held, and their parents won’t be too alarmed at the massive Nerf Gun arsenal Ethan is currently maintaining on the coffee table.

So that’s the story of surgery! After dealing with a bum foot for about a year now, it will be nice to finally be back to normal *knock on wood*.

-amy waves hi to her foot doc, in case he actually came looking for that domain she mentioned during surgery

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Apr 28 2010

Heart-My-Shop Mother’s Day SALE!

Published by under amy's head

From now until Mother’s day (midnight EST 5/9/2010), I’m offering free shipping anywhere from my Etsy shop. Buy something for mom, or hey, a little something for yourself! In addition to the free shipping, if you “heart” my shop — as in, make my etsy shop one of your “favorites”, I’ll refund 15% of your purchase price!

SMALL PRINT: 15% off jewelry only, no tools, kits or supplies. I’ll check and see if the etsy name you bought under has my shop as a favorite, and then refund the 15% back to your paypal account. In order to get the 15% off, I have to be able to see it (sorry, “secret admirer” doesn’t count).
Free shipping is for every order except for pliers – they have to be sent flat rate priority.

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Apr 27 2010

Prius, Jewelry, and Surgery

Published by under amy's head,jewelry

I recently both crashed my 4Runner, and purchased a Prius. It was needing the time to detailing these events on the blog that has kept me from updating for so long, but no more! You get the short version, so that I can just blog already!

After the first 3 weeks of desperately gliding and pulsing and watching the energy/MPG screen compulsively to try to get my MPG over 50, I’ve settled down into driving fairly normally (at about 45MPG), smugly smiling and shaking my head at the people who BOLT like they’re at a starting line at a light only for me to catch up to them in 10 yards at the next light (NOTE: I WAS TOTALLY THAT GUY WHO BOLTED), and finally, crusing in the HOV lane with giddy delight every day, thanks to the hybrid laws in VA. (NOTE: OH PLEASE RENEW THIS LAW NEXT YEAR TOO KTHANKXBYE)

I sometimes think about my beloved 4Runner, in the scrap yard, airbags deployed, lonely and abandoned. She was a damn fine truck, and I still miss her. She was 10 years old, but we were planning on keeping her until she couldn’t run anymore, which probably could have been another 10 years.

Jewelry Stuff

I have been amassing tools and supplies, but haven’t gotten quite down to the MAKING of all my grandiose visions yet. I bought myself a Big Girl Torch – like the one I use in class, instead of the little creme brule butane one I managed with at home. And have used it exactly once! Some of my ideas have come to fruition though, namely, my eyeball ring, pink moonglow ring, and several samples for classes which I’ll be teaching in the summer — like this dragonscale pendant, and these interupted byzantine earrings. Shiny!

Also purchased: a alphanumeric stamping set and I have been desperately wanting to stamp “ZOMGWTFBBQ” on something. Also: “PWNED” Any other ideas, I’ll take em! Stay tuned!

After a year of moaning and complaining, I am going to have surgery on my foot this Thursday. The irony? My foot feels AWESOME this week, like nothing’s wrong with it. Wish me luck!

After almost two years, James and I are going to get new Google Droid Incredible phones. I am sure I will be very excited for about 3 months and then settle down and do nothing but play Sudoku and deposit checks online with the USAA app (which is pretty much all I do with my iPhone now!)

-amy is going to try to get back into this here journaling stuff

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Apr 01 2010

To Jocelyn on her 6th birthday

Published by under amy's head

My beloved Jocelina,

Oh my goodness, you have grown so fast. You are six years old now, and so capable and smart!

You have been breezing through kindergarten with excitement. Daddy and I have watched as you discovered the world of words and jumped right in. “Discovered” is really not the right word, because you discovered it long ago, but you have really blossomed. You have always been creative and artistic, the art table being one of your pastimes – When you were 3 or 4 I let you have tape, as that was the easiest way to keep you from glueing your creations to my walls. There have always been little Jocelyn creations taped up right at Jocelyn level throughout the house. Now there are notes or titles on them as well. My absolute favorite was when you took a chair from the kitchen table and dragged up to the landing between the main floor and the upstairs, facing downward, and carefully spread my red scarf on each step leading up to it, like a red carpet. Then at the bottom, you pasted this sign:

“You may come up now, she is here.”

You explained to my delight, that the chair is where the queen sits, and when the sign is up, that is when people may go up and see her. And then you promptly went and sat yourself in the throne, as it were.

Your joy and exuberance show in every dancing step you take. I apologize for constantly asking you if you have to go to the potty, because your constant dancing – even when you’re seated – make me think you’re doing the peepee dance. I gently remind you, that many times I was right, you did need to go, but when you returned, you danced and wiggled and swayed.

Ever since you were a baby and I stupidly took you to get a haircut where they must have thought you were a boy — I’ve been growing your hair out. You started your 6th year of life at your 5th birthday with lovely long hair already, and it got even longer as the year progressed. However, this presented a few challenges – the first being your hatred of having your hair brushed. And since we always bathe you at night during the week, you always have plenty of tangles the morning after which didn’t make hair brushing time any better.

And we’ve definitely gone back and forth on the length of your hair from time to time. I remember when you decided you wanted SHORT bangs and insisted that I cut them off RIGHT at the scalp. Confused, I finally realized that it wasn’t that you wanted short bangs, it was that you wanted NO bangs at all, and thought cutting them that short would do the trick. We worked on growing your bangs out after that, and they were about down to your chin when you convinced me that you wanted short hair.

Remembering the flip flops before, I gave you plenty of time to change your mind, but you really were adamant – you were ready for short hair, and you insisted that you even wanted to cut your bangs! I think it was the fact that all that hair was really getting in your way at school. I almost cried when we finally did get it cut, but I must admit, you look just cute as a button. We even got it cut again, a bit shorter a month later.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and candy, you are a strong willed girl, and rightly so! That strong will and determination I’m sure is responsible for you being the little night owl that you are – this month you’ve taken to coming downstairs a good hour after your bedtime — which is better than the times you come down 10 minutes after bedtime (complaining that you can’t sleep – Come now, honey, you barely gave it a shot). And when Daddy and I at times exert our will over you, (You must try at least one bite if you want any dessert, it’s time for shower, it’s time to get dressed, markers are NOT FOR WALLS) you have no qualms about letting us know that you are not happy either.

But it’s been a fantastic year, and I marvel at how you’ve grown. My pudgey rolly polly baby is SO tall and thin! I can’t quite see the woman that you will become in your face, but I do know she will be strong, beautiful, exuberant and full of life.


note: I’ve been writing this for 3 weeks now and just want to POST already, but I’ll be adding photos in very soon)

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Apr 01 2010

New Banner!

Published by under amy's head

This banner is taken from a note Jocelyn wrote to James, that she really did write all by herself!

“I love you and I did this all by myself. I love you so much, I can just eat you up. From Jocelyn.”

Love love love it.

You can see all my banners here.

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Feb 17 2010

Olympic Fever Baby!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

I thought about writing about all this snow, but I’m so sick of the subject, I am not even going to think about it! I will just say that my kids have now been out of school since Thursday, Feb 4th. THE FOURTH. IT IS NOW THE SEVENTEENTH.


School is on tomorrow, but on a 2 hour delayed start all the rest of this week. It absolutely boggles the mind. Along with the fact that Target is/has been selling SWIMSUITS since January 1st.

I HAD TO ORDER SNOW SHOVELS OVER THE INTERNET. So many chain stores missed the opportunity to make a killing by getting more winter stuff in stock, but no. They insist on putting out spring fertilizer instead. Thank god for local hardware stores (I love my True Value!)

Anyway, on to happier subjects!

I really enjoy the Olympics, but it seems like I just never get to sit down and watch them the last 2-4 years. They make me somewhat nostalgic, because I remember watching as a kid, seeing Mary Lou Retton get that 10 — what a ride! And also, my husband James and I first met 1996, and he came down to Atlanta where I was living at the time the summer of the 1996 Olympics. I remember it as such a heady time of new twitterpated love, my first experience truly away from home as an adult, and to top it all off, Olympic fever in the city — it was an exciting time!

So I was determined to get some Olympics in and when Ethan asked, upon arriving at home this evening, if he and Jocelyn coudl watch some TV, I immediately replied, “YES!” with such vehemence, that he instantly knew something was up! I flipped on some Tivoed figure skating/skiing, and let it run as I got some dinner ready.

The Olympics are pretty exciting on their own, but seeing through my kids eyes made it even more awesome!

here’s pretty much how it went all night:
from them:

(I was right there, by the way!)

Jocelyn was especially taken with the figure skating, as I knew she would be. She instantly starting dancing around the room and talking about how SHE could be in the Olympics when SHE was grown up. I tried to tell her that some of these athletes started training and practicing at HER age, and she instantly took it up.

“Mom! I’m going to do it! I’ll practice every day after school, see? Like this!” (Jump. Soar. Run. Twist. All in my living room.)

“Mom, I am going to need a dress like that when I’m grown up. Can you sew me one? How about Grandma? Can she sew me one? Look mom, the skirt only comes down to here. Are you sure we could find one when I’m big?”

Ethan wasn’t planning and plotting his Olympic wins, but he was still extremely impressed. He hasn’t been tainted by male machismo and thought the figure skating was just as impressive as Jocelyn did, and the vice versa – Jocelyn thought the mogal ski runs & jumps was spectacular as well.

At one point, at their outbursts and gasps at these seemingly death defying feats, I replied with a mild, “Yes, I know, it’s neat, isn’t it.”

Ethan instantly corrected me: “MOM. IT IS NOT NEAT. IT IS…. A W E S O M E !!!!”

I’m glad I’m not the only one in this house not to have Olympic fever!

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