Archive for the 'daily' Category

Oct 29 2014

A doggie love story

Published by under amy's head,daily,dog

First of all, to all 2 of you reading this, don’t freak out that I actually wrote and posted something. I am as SHOCKED as you are! I should really do better.. maybe this will be the start to a new era of blogging.

Just don’t hold your breath.

So… we got a dog. She is the sweetest, most adorable, nearly perfectly well behaved doggie ever.

Now, I am not a dog person. I am a cat person. I love a kitty who will come sit on my lap and snuggle away, and then generally take care of themselves the rest of the time. Cats are for the low maintenance household. Dogs on the other hand… well, they take a bit more work.

My husband James though, now he’s a dog person at heart. Sure he loves our cats Ender and Valentine just fine, but deep down, he has really wanted a dog. And since we moved to Colorado from Virginia, to a house that has a fenced in back yard….. well, the hints have been dropped.

However, *I* am the one who is at home all day, *I* would be the one that would have to watch after her, take her out, and generally deal with her for the majority of the time. So.. it was kind of me that had to sign off on it. I wasn’t eager to.

But all summer long, every time I saw a dog… my heart melted a little inside. “DOGGIE ALERT!” I would say to Jocelyn, if she was with me, and she would join me in looking at/going over to/gushing over/petting/loving up said dog.

Then one day, after Saturday brunch at our favorite weekend brunch place, I said to James (KNOWING IN MY HEART WHAT THIS ACTUALLY MEANT…) “Why don’t we go over to the county shelter and look at the dogs?”

He looked at me, and had that look in his eye. That look that Charlie Brown must have gotten in HIS eye every time Lucy asked him to kick the football before she yanked it away from him. That look that said he REALLY wanted something but wasn’t sure he was actually going to get it.

“Are you sure?” he said.

“I’m sure.” I said — totally lying. I WAS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SURE!! I KNEW what it meant. I KNEW that if we went there, we would get a dog. I was not sure. But I wanted a dog, and if we could find the right dog…

Well we went. So many dogs! When we got to her kennel, I knew she was something special. First off, she was standing right up against the door, and made nary a peep. The din of noise from all the other dogs was too much for my 12 year old son — he has always been noise sensitive — he left to go hang out with the kitties. We made a note of the kennel and then arranged to meet her outside. After that meeting, we agreed she was the one for us. We went up front and adopted her — but couldn’t bring her home until after she had been spayed, later on in the week.

We spent the days discussing what to name her, and preparing for her arrival. While James really would have liked a Star Wars name (Sabine and Ahsoka were the top favorites in that arena) we settled on Katara — who is the water bending friend to Aang in the children’s cartoon “Avatar – The Last Airbender” (NOT the movie Avatar with blue people, and NOT the live action movie version of the cartoon, called “The Last Airbender”, which was horrible, sorry, Shamalamadingdong. The cartoon is awesome, and the perfect show to watch as a family — good for kids, and still great for adults as well. It’s funny and charming and has a great world and storyline, go put it on your Netflix queue!) We have a history of naming our pets after Sci-Fi/Fantasy characters, and we weren’t about to break the trend now (Ender and Valentine are from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, a book I highly recommend you go and read right now (it’s way better than the movie)).

(Wow, I really went all out with parenthesis in that last paragraph.)

Katara came home, and she’s been with us for 3 weeks now. That first week was kind of amazing for me, the non-dog-person. I felt like there should be a movie montage of the two of us falling in love — her running in slow mo through the grass toward me carring her rope toy, me with open arms waiting to greet her. Katara eagerly looking back at me at the end of her leash, me smiling at her and talking softly. Katara flopped down on our living room floor while the family watches the latest episode of Top Gear. All with the perfect soundtrack. “Dream Weaver” maybe? I’ll have to think on it.

“I LOVE HER!” I declared with astonishment and passion to my mom on breaking the news of our newest arrival. She laughed, “Of course you do!”

It’s been 3 weeks now, and the first blush of new love and excitement is past now — I still love her, but am no longer SURPRISED by how overpowering my love for her is, LOL! What I don’t love however, is the absolutely stinkiest farts this dog has been ripping. Maybe it’s the bits of peanut butter or spray cheese I add to her Kongs that then turns into the most foul, fetid smell that has ever been introduced to this planet’s atmosphere, but whatever it is, I wish I knew so I could stop giving it to her.

I feel like I did when I had a newborn breastfed baby. A baby who is breastfed has the most non-smelly baby poos ever. They smell vaguely unpleasant, I mean, it’s not like it’s appetizing or anything, but a breastfed baby diaper has a very mild, almost sweet smelling odor to it, so that you start to believe your beautiful wonder child is the first in the world to actually process food through their digestive system without actually making anything that stinks. “Of course they would, they are the most WONDERFUL BABY IN THE UNIVERSE, why wouldn’t they sweet smelling poop??” you think to yourself.

But when you feed the that same sweet baby some cereal or baby food for the first time and suddenly those diapers are filled with actual adult smelling shit, it’s a bit of a shock to one’s system. “I thought my baby’s poop just naturally didn’t stink!” one would think. Of course, one would be very very wrong.

It’s this same shock and surprise I’m experiencing now when I’m talking to my husband and an audible toot sounds, and I look at him. “Was that you?” I ask. Always full of surprises, this marriage. “No,” he answers. We both crack up as we look at Katara’s sweet doggy face. “IT WAS THE DOG?!!” we chortle — laughing until the smell hits us, and then we run for the gas masks.

So that’s the news from the Panders household — Our new sweet puppy, 6 month old Katara is a happy addition to our family, smelly farts and all.

Our new family member Katara! She 5 months and sweet as honey. #puppy #nofilter

I feel like a new mom!

-Amy

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Feb 04 2014

3xR & THAW weeks 2-4

Well! Here it is February! And I still need to post each weeks piece for 3xR & THAW2014 challenges!

So here we go– just going to bust these guys out.

This cute little guy was a sample piece I stamped when experimenting for a piece in silver. I liked it so much I kept it for a long while. I enameled the back, and then the front with a lovely transparent enamel that makes the copper surface shimmery and golden. I still love this cute little guy — I am not generally a “cute” type of person, but looking at this piece just makes me happy.

3xR week 2 & THAW2014-2

On to week 3! This guy also makes me happy. I am not happy with the execution — this is the first time I’ve tried to set a faceted stone in a flush setting — and as you can see, it leaves much to be desired. However, I still love this little guy. The rustic stamping goes with the “rustic” stone setting, and I look forward to perfecting this technique.

Week 3: 3xR & THAW2014

And finally, week 4! I have kind of a thing about poppies. In Virginia, there was one week in May where the exit from I-66 was awash with poppies. It was the highlight of my commute — every May I would start to wonder.. “where are the poppies? Did I miss them somehow? Did they get mown over last year and they’re not coming back?” and have a serious panic sad moment — and then a week later, there they would be, in glorious wild bloom. I miss the field of poppies – little dots of brilliant red against the green grass, right next to the roaring (or more likely, stop and go) traffic of folks traveling into DC from the burbs. Every May, right around Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday.. I think of the lovely field of wild poppies gently nodding right off of the Nutley street exit.

Ahem. Where was I? Right! The enamel tile I made late last year using a sgraffito method of enameling. First a fired base of black enamel. Then I mixed up some liquid white, painted it down on top of the black and then sifted the green on top. I used a pick to scratch through the wet enamel to reveal the black underneath. I also scratched through where the red flowers would be, and then fired. Finally, I added the red enamel for the poppies, and touched up the stems with some enamel crayon. It was a joy to do and I hope to do more.

The tile was sitting in my enamel sample box — so I fished it out and added some scrap chain, dotted with lovely lemon citrine nuggets.

Week 4:

And there we go — a full month of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling — a Thing A Week! In February — we’ll see if I can’t blog weekly instead of a big post with everything in it!

Amy

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Jan 29 2014

Reminiscing.. and gushing about Frozen

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

Look! It’s Tuesday and I’m writing again! I also managed to put up a new banner. The old one said “Summer 2013 — seeing as how it’s January of 2014…. a little overdue!

After I posted yesterday, I got caught up in looking through my old blog posts. I am so happy I have so much about my children when they were little. Some of the stories I remember, and have been come family legend (this video for example… Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!! Is there a ploblem?! Oh my goodness that video KILLS ME.) Other stories have fallen behind lost to memory — except when I spend a half hour reading through my archives! This one (specifically, the barbie doll head story) got retold at the dinner table last night.

It has been a great month so far in 2014. Last Thanksgiving, we went to Utah to my sisters to have Thanksgiving with a lot of family on my side, as we usually do. At some point during our visit, we went and saw the movie Frozen. I was kind of on the fence about seeing it – actually, more on the ‘nah, i’ll see it later” side of the fence. But I went, saw the movie, and was COMPLETELY blown away with how awesome it was (and is!).

I pick my daughter Jocelyn up every day from school along with two other girls we carpool with. And every day in January, we have a ritual on our way home from school. We crank up “Let it Go”, grab our imaginary microphones, and belt it out as we drive home. Sometimes I need to circle the block until it’s finished! I haven’t been this much in love with a Disney movie since Beauty and the Beast. When I saw in the theater with the opening scene to Beauty and the Beast, I felt transported. I felt like I was sitting watching musical theater. It was so beautifully done, the music so lovely – I was in heaven!

Yup, Frozen has topped them all. I may or may not cry in at least 5 different places in the movie.

Here’s the song “Let it Go”, sung by Idina Mendel.

I ran across this parady version which totally cracks me up. It is an alto’s lament that Disney songs are always so HIGH. It’s hilarious, but I also think it’s funny because “Let it Go” is one of the LOWEST Disney songs every! The highest it gets is an E — it think it’s even an E flat — which really, is NOT that high! Still, hilarious parady.

WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE! Don’t let your children wander over and watch it with you! Ahem. Like someone might do. Not me. No, it definitely wasn’t me. Why, did my kids tell you? Dammit, I told them not to tell anyone I let them see this.

There is a Frozen Sing A Long movie that is supposed to be released this weekend. I will be there!

I’m off to cut some jump rings this morning, and hopefully get to some enameling later today. My ideas for an entire enamel collection is growing — including the basket hoops up there in my new site banner. Aren’t they the CUTEST?

Off to work.. Happy Wednesday!

-amy pats herself on the back for writing. TWO TIMES in one week!

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Mar 04 2013

A look at one of my New Years resolutions

Published by under amy's head,daily,jewelry

This January, as everyone is wont to do, I looked at my life and made some squishy resolutions — squishy because I knew I was not likely to keep them! More like, goals to head towards.

When we moved to Colorado, I left my full time web designer job, with the goals of making a good solid go of this jewelry stuff full time. Be successful enough to contribute to our family’s finances, and be here in our home so our kids aren’t in daycare.

A year and a half later, it seems like those goals really are happening! I don’t seem to need to go looking for web design work, so that’s a plus! Starry eyed visions of me at home getting all the laundry done with dinner on the table at 5:30 every night have kind of gone by the wayside.. but overall, this home business of mine is working out nicely for our family.
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Aug 26 2012

weekend wrap up 8/26/2012

Published by under amy's head,daily

Ahhh… the weekend comes to a close, and we all tuck in to bed for the week ahead.

This week will be week 2 of school for the kids. Last week was pretty soft I think.. not really any homework, getting back into the school groove, learning the classroom.. We’ll see how this next week goes. Hope the homework battles don’t start yet!

Saturday was pretty fun – we went to Mile High Comics in Denver, which we thought was only open to the public every few months or so, but after we arrived, we found that they are open 7/days a week now! Still it was fun, and it was HUGE. We all got a comic.. and someone *coughjamescough* got more than one. Wondergirl for Jocelyn, Wonder Woman for me, Star Wars for Ethan, and a ton of Batman for James. It was a pretty cool place, lots of toys, TONS of comic books, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

We’ll be back. Oh yes, we’ll be back.

James took the kids to the airshow at a local airport. I dropped them off and picked them back up, and caught the tail end of some thrilling fly-bys by I think a stealth bomber (if Ethan was here he would immediately correct me). I picked up the crew tired, hot and sweaty, but mostly happy. Ethan complained that it was awful, but honestly, he says that about everything. If we didn’t drag him out of the house now and then, he’d stay in his room 24/7 building legos and listening to Harry Potter until he starved!

I’ve been keeping busy coiling up a huge amount of coils to cut into jump rings Monday morning, and working on my supplies website. I have been unhappy with my shopping cart platform I was using, and have been working on getting both sites moved to a new location. My jewelry website was done and moved over about a month ago, and I am happy to report that I have made the switch over for my supplies shop this weekend. Yay! I’ll be spending this week checking things over and adding in anything I’ve forgotten.

The downside to the new platform — anyone who previously had an account (on either site) will have to reset their password in order to log in, and there is no order history available. I think the change was a good one — the system I was using before had some quirks that were just a bit too quirky for me, and the admin panel is much more user friendly. It will save me and I hope my customers a lot of time in the long run!

If you’d like to check out my new sites, feel free:

http://www.rainestudios.com
http://www.rainestudios-supplies.com

Last week I went to the gym Tuesday & Friday, to my favorite class — water circuit (basically a circuit class, but in the pool!) This week, I need to do better — I’m shooting for Mon-Wed-Fri or maybe Tues-Wed-Fri. The days I went last week I felt AWESOME. When work starts to pile up it’s hard to make myself go — even though that is when I need to go the most, to relieve the stress!

A few parting kid quotes:

“Mom, don’t worry. I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.”

….

“…. Most of the time.”

— Ethan, age 10.

OK, just one kid quote. Later!
-Amy

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Sep 15 2011

Bad Pedicure

Published by under amy's head,daily

So, we have tile in our kitchen, and I like to walk around barefoot. I blame these two facts for the massive callouses that have been growing ON THE SIDES OF MY BIG TOES. I always have calloused feet but on my TOES?? I didn’t want to spend the money for a pedicure, but after one night of bad insomnia where I spent hours just gently rubbing my toes together and feeling the hard skin — I decided it was pedicure time.

First off, they took a cheese grater to my feet.

A CHEESE GRATER.

I know the place I used to go to in VA used some sort of tool with a blade, which is pretty similar — but I swear, I am mentally traumatized now. I may never be able to grate cheese again.

Next, she kind of buffed the sides of my toes, but the hard callouses are still there — mostly because…

They painted my toes before doing any moisturizing! So they couldn’t moisturize my toes, because they were drying from the polish on them!

Anyway, it’s good to get this off my chest. Never going to that place again!

1st world problems, I know!

-amy

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Aug 31 2011

No Kissing ALLOWED! SIBLING COOTIES!!

Published by under amy's head,daily,photos

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May 02 2011

Awesome Jocelyn stories

Our house is now on the market (YAAAAAAAAAY!) which means that now at the drop of a hat, we must scurry around cleaning up and then vacate the premises so strangers can tromp through (not a booo, because the more strangers tromping through, the more likely it is someone will want to BUY!)

So we’ve spent a good bit of time in the car, out doing things, away from the house this weekend.

Cute the FIRST:

I was working in my studio, which is (now) in a smaller room off the big room in our basement. The big room has tall Ikea furniture holding many bins which hold toys. I could hear Jocelyn as she hummed and sang away as she pulled toys out – a Barbie head whose hair she could brush, some Strawberry Shortcake dolls and assorted furniture, a variety of very small stuffed animals. She hummed and played and then skipped off upstairs without cleaning up, so when I emerged from the studio and saw the toys on the floor, I called her down, saying, “Jocelyn, come clean up your toys!”
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Apr 13 2011

Pretzel boy

In case you haven’t heard, we’re moving to Colorado this summer.

Which means we need to sell this house. Which means we need to get it ready, just like the little piggy, for market.

So the last two weekends have been avoiding the house like crazy while workman paint it from head to toe, and then install carpet from head to toe.

Have I ever told you how awesome new carpet is? Ours was AWFUL. And so the new carpet is doubly sweet! It’s sooo beautiful!

Also? Big empty rooms with newly laid carpet is perfect for fiddling around on the floor.

Ethan likes to just settle into a certain position that makes me cock my head to the side and say, “Whaaa?? HOW?!”
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Apr 01 2011

The 7 year old has holes in her ears

Published by under daily,kids

We did a lot of stuff in March. And we’re still doing a lot of stuff in April, like getting ready to put our house on the market. So image only posts seem very appealing to me right now! I may throw more words at you later. When I have time to breathe.

Jocelyn decided to get her ears pierced about a week after her birthday. She was very nervous, but she did great! She choose Hello Kitty studs to pierce her ears with. Of course. :)

jocelyn ears pierced

jocelyn ears pierced

jocelyn ears pierced

jocelyn ears pierced

jocelyn ears pierced

All these photos were taken on my android phone (HTC Incredible) and run through the Vignette app for fancy retro awesome-sauce.

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