Goodbye NC, hellooooooo AZ!

14937568584_2b5a177068_oThings are finally calming down around here. Whew! We moved across the country (again), finally got a house, moved in, cleaned it (so glad THAT is finally over) and are just about all unpacked. It has been a long freaking month! The whole moving thing seemed like such an impossible task at times, especially on the drive here, but we made it :) (having done this twice already I’m not sure why this time was different, but I was definitely more stressed this time) The drive was very pretty at times tho, and I rocked out to oldies most of the way ;P

There was a small crisis at one of the hotels on the way over when one of our little darling fuzzballs, Gizmo, played Houdini and crawled into the wall through a small hole under the sink to hide under the shower, causing me to panic. She wouldn’t come out for anything; not sweet talking, food, snacks, or even wet cat food. Finally the manager went into the next room and banged on the bathtub wall in there, which scared her out. I wanted to simultaneously hug and strangle her. After that every hotel room was thoroughly inspected for even the smallest escapist opportunity.

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She has since adjusted well after her recapture, lol.

In between packing and moving, I got some knitting done. Check out my new cute pom pom hat:0143895fb9e356b6f51e6c4d68eb47347e2c273e73 018ad0154da4bbc76acf6244558f040df17cb967cd (ignore the packing mess, please)

I love this hat! It’s cute, it’s comfy, it was pretty fast to knit. The yarn is Malabrigo Yarns Rios, color Jupiter. And the pattern is Karen Borrel’s “I heart Pom Poms hat” found on Ravelry. Love it!

My craft room has been the last to get unpacked, and I can’t wait to get it all out of boxes and organized! There are a lot of cool challenges/daily art journal prompts going on right now, and coming up soon, like Dawn Sokol’s NaNoJouMo, and her online holiday art journaling workshop that starts Dec 2nd(free), there was inktober from Jake Parker (which I completely missed being internet-less almost all of October, but there are some awesome and inspiring things all over the internet that people have made in relation to it, so I am still checking it all out), NaNoWRiMo, The Documented Life project from Art to the 5th, which will be starting anew Jan 1st (so hopefully I will be able to keep up with it this time ;P ), just to name a few.  I also signed up for another Jane Davenport class, Frolicaholic, and I just bought Alena Hennessy’s new book “The Painting Workbook” which I can’t wait to get into! So I really need to get my art stuff out and accessible soon :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

 

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Around here

So much random stuff going on around here.

 First off, I finally finished the cake topper penguins I was working on for my best friends wedding (in May). And these ones actually look penguin-ish! It was a lot harder to get decent looking penguins than I thought it would be for some reason. The other two sets I made before this one turned out a bit scary :/ I finished these up to show the bride the day before we were leaving to go up to PA for the tough mudder and to visit. Cut it a bit close but I made it! The girl penguin still needs her veil and there will be a flower in her hair(?), but that should be the easy part.

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 The tough mudder went well, no injuries for our team, and I think they had a great time, despite how exhausted they were by the end. Those of us spectating were amazed at the comradery  shown by the participants, not just to their own team mates but to complete strangers as well. Some of the obstacles would have been impossible for just three people to complete alone, but there was always someone willing to  jump in and help, and I think that was half the appeal of the tough mudder.

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The obstacle “pyramid scheme” was my favorite, and a great example of all of the participants helping each other.

Also, the star wars movies are a total lie! Darth Vader and Chewy are homies, not enemies, see:

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Vader is a great guy, he was even at the top of the “Everest” obstacle helping people up! Hollywood gave him a bum wrap. :P

While we were up visiting, our dog Waffles got to make a new friend :D Meet Ruger! Adorable, playful, and always on the go! Hard to get a non-blurry picture of him because he doesn’t like to slow down, but he and Waffles had a great time. He’s about 10 months old, with feet he has yet to grow into, and an adorable puppy smile that you can’t help but return, even after he runs you over, lol.

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They got to have a couple of play dates while we were there, so they are totally BFF’s now. :P

We went up to a place called (among family, I have no idea what the actual name is) “freddie’s bridge”. It used to be an old iron bridge that had seen much better days before it started to collapse and was closed. I loved the old bridge! But it has recently been torn down and replaced by a new concrete bridge, which is good for the locals I’m sure, with the road being able to be reopened again, but it’s a boring humdrum bridge now. :( The creek that flows under it tho was still quite fun, although very very cold. I totally fell in.  Thankfully I didn’t have my new Nikon in hand when I took a dip :P

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I take comfort in not being the only one who fell in, Waffles also dunked herself :)

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Waffles was a very sad puppy when we left; this was her after she figured out we were heading home, and she didn’t change that position much the whole way home on the 11 hour drive :/

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Despite the look on his face, Nova was very happy to see us. He wouldn’t stop talking when we were trying to unpack and put everything away, he desperately needed his pets and attention :) After getting his pets in, he eventually stopped following us around and proceeded to observe from the couch while things were returned to their normal place. Gizmo wasn’t seen for a whole day after our return. On day 2 she emerged and demanded her share of pets as well, then went back to her important cat stuff:

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This little guy stopped by on our back porch for a visit. So cute!

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Finished my second handspun yarn :D There is still a lot I need practice with spinning my own yarn, like with this one I think I over spun it, but it is so much fun and even if it is a bit twisty, it’s still awesome because I made it myself!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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Corning Museum of Glass

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The fourth and final stop on our mini vacation to NY was the Corning Museum of Glass. It was amazing! It was visually interesting, there was history, and some science stuffs, so it was a fun and educational experience!

(I would like to warn you in advance of the amount of pictures in this post; I tried to keep it narrowed down to just my favorites, but there is still a TON! They have all been sized down to hopefully help speed the loading of things along. If you have ever been to the Corning Glass Museum, you know how hard it is to only share a few of the awesome things you saw :) )

I tried to get pictures of the plaques for each statue/sculpture/ect, but I know there were a few I missed because of tour groups and such. Not only to give the artists the credit they deserve, but I also wanted to make sure anyone who was interested can look up more info on anything that catches their eye, without too much trouble. (Just in case their interest turns them into an obsessive sleuth like it does me :) )

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We got to see a couple of live glass shows, which was so cool! They have small demos every hour or two, where you can see the process up close. Then they have actual shows, with rows of seats, a stage, microphones, ect. The big shows are glass blowing, versus the flamework the guy did in the demo. The big shows are awesome, and in depth, but you don’t get to  be as close to the action. In the demo we saw, the guy made a cute little glass penguin. :)

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Tadah!

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The tower of Pyrex dishes demonstrates the way different kiln temperatures affects the color of the glass. (I think. Apparently I either deleted or forgot to take a picture of the info for this,  but I’m pretty sure I remember this being about the different temps and the way they change the color of the glass. If you have any info on it, feel free to leave a message! )

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I think the cage cups were my favorite part of the “history of glass” area of the museum. I love the combination of glass and metal,  and the intricate carving of the designs. LOVE!IMG_2232 (600x450)IMG_2230 (600x450)   IMG_2233 (600x450) IMG_2235 (450x600) IMG_2244 (450x600)IMG_2245 (600x450)IMG_2242 (600x450) IMG_2243 (600x450)   IMG_2246 (450x600) IMG_2258 (450x600)IMG_2257 (450x600)  IMG_1257 (450x600)IMG_2259 (600x450) IMG_2263 (600x450)

This is a huge glass blank (200 inches) was made for the Palomar Observatory telescope, but part of the mold slipped during casting and it couldn’t be used. My dad thought I was really interested in the telescope lens, then laughed when I said I was taking the picture just because I liked the pattern. That’s how I roll :P

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It was such a fun time, and I learned a lot, which is always great! While we were there, they were expanding the museum by adding on another wing, so in the future there will be even more to see. Yay!

If you ever get the chance to check out the Corning NY area, I definitely recommend doing so. There is a lot of things to do and check out, and the Corning Glass Museum is awesome :) Make sure and give yourself at least a day to check out the Museum, there is so much to see and the live shows are amazing!

There are also shops and stores along the main street in Corning that are cool to check out too! Including a coffee shop, and an ice cream place (So delicious! And goes well with the coffee!). We wandered around the main street and stopped in to a few local glass artists’ studios/shops, which was so cool! There is so much you can do with glass, and it was awesome to see people’s creativity and imagination in their work. There might be 3 or 4 glass workers sharing the same studio, but each person is creating something different and unique from what the others are doing. I loved it!! It really made me wish I wasn’t so clumsy and accident prone, I would love to learn to work with glass!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for checking out all of the pictures! I hope you weren’t too bored :)

 

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The Rockwell Museum of Western Art

The next stop on our trip to NY was the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. We were going to go to the Rockwell and the Corning glass museum in one day, but we went to Watkins Glen first and didn’t have enough time to do both museums after that. The Corning Glass museum is BIG! And you need  at least half a day to see it all and check out some of the live glass blowing shows.

The Rockwell museum was awesome, and a great way to finish the day after all the walking and hiking at the gorge :) The artifacts, art, and sculptures were beautiful. Western culture and history has always interested me, and this museum did not disappoint!

IMG_1039 (450x600)View from the top floor.

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 I think my favorite part of the museum is the soapstone carvings! Although the pottery is a very close second. :)

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Next up is the Corning Glass Museum, a must see if you get a chance to visit Corning NY!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Watkins Glen Gorge

Part 2 of our NY trip was the Watkins Glen gorge. It was so beautiful! There were waterfalls all over, over 800 stone steps (my legs were NOT happy with me by the time we reached the top, but it was so worth it!), stone walls, tunnels, and multiple bridges. (My stone structure obsession continues! lol) The gorge trail winds under and around multiple waterfalls, so close to the waterfalls at times that you can reach out and touch the water! Which I didn’t, cause it was a bit chilly the day we went and I hate being cold :) At a couple of the waterfalls, the path took you behind the falls, making for some very cool pictures and even a few videos! Haven’t figured out if/how I can upload videos here yet, so that will take some looking into. Halfway through my camera battery died and I had to switch cameras, so some of the pictures have an orange date on them and some don’t.

This post has many, many pictures. Watkins Glen was so beautiful it was hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites :) I hope you enjoy!

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 If you ever get the chance to visit the finger lakes of NY, I definitely recommend checking out the Watkins Glen gorge! Bring extra camera batteries. And good walking shoes! And maybe someone willing to carry you back down…. :P

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Stone stairs, NY, and the Tough Mudder

NYC trip

Letchworth State Park’s Glen Iris Inn

There has been so much going on around here lately, it’s been hard to stay focused. I meant to post about our recent trip to NY (I did actually sit down and start to get the pictures resized and edited, which incidentally led to the previous post of accidentally deleting a large amount of photos), and I meant to post about getting a new camera that has video capabilities, woo hoo! (and then discovering how weird my voice sounds on video, blah!), and I meant to post about my hubby’s upcoming tough mudder and raising money for wounded warriors, but I haven’t managed to sit down and write about any of that.

UNTIL NOW! (Very dramatic, huh? lol)

The main reason is that we are getting ready to move. We’re not sure where to yet, which is both exciting and terrifying, and it hasn’t been all that conducive to creating. My hubby just finished up his active service contract with the Marine Corps, and we are now free to move where ever we want! I can’t wait, I love the opportunity to start from scratch and explore a new place! (also the excuse to get rid of stuff we haven’t used in forever is a plus.) For a while we were moving around a lot, 3 moves in as many years, and I was getting tired of the packing/unpacking that went along with that. But we have been in one place for about 4 years now, and I am excited about finding someplace new!! Especially when it will be somewhere of OUR choosing, yay! So job and house hunting has commenced :P

We were able to take some time to go visit family in PA recently, and in the middle of that we took a mini vacation with my Dad and step-mom up to NY. We visited 2 beautiful state parks (Letchworth and Watkin’s Glen), and checked out a couple of awesome museums (Corning glass and the Rockwell). Originally when I thought of NY, I thought that the whole state was just the city, lol. But it is not, and it has a lot of beautiful scenery, making for a really pretty drive. I took a ton of pictures (and so did my hubby, hurray for backup pictures!), so I thought I would break them up into different posts, to keep it from being a mile long :P

First up is Letchworth state park. It seemed to be the smaller of the two state parks, but part of the trail was closed due to some damage from all the rain the area had had recently, so it may not actually be much smaller than Watkins Glen. While the rain might have made a mess of part of the trail, it also made waterfalls really strong, which was cool.

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I am a bit obsessed with the stonework, especially the stairs and the bridges, that both of the parks had. I will admit, I took a LOT of pictures of stairs. But that’s normal right? I’m sure it’s totally normal :D

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Rainbow in the mists of the second waterfall.

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It was overcast that day, but we didn’t get rained on. All of this is from the mist off of the second waterfall! Made us quite soggy :P

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You can make out a stone bridge just to the left of center, but that was part of the trail area that was closed, so we didn’t get to go there.

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This was as close to the third and final waterfall as we got, but it was still a beautiful walk and we had a great time!

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More stairs. I wasn’t kidding about being obsessed. I didn’t post all of my stair pictures tho, so you should be happy :)

Important: My hubby is raising money for the ‘Wounded Warriors Project’ through the Tough Mudder. It is a 10-12 mile obstacle course, generally run by people who are a bit off  their rockers, (read: slightly crazy) but still lovable :P Besides regular(?) obstacles, there will be ice water, electric shock, possibly fire, and mud. Lots and lots of mud. My hubby, his mom, and his brother will be participating as team Minion. They even have matching shirts with minions on them :P I shall be spectator-ing, as I am in no need of freezing or being shocked electrically.

If you would like to support this worthy cause through this insane event, you can donate to my hubbys team here! All donations are greatly appreciated, and go directly to the ‘Wounded Warriors Project’ through Eventbrite. Thank You!!

You can find more info on the tough mudder here, and the wounded warrior project here.

 

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I’ve become lost, send pizza…

Have you ever gotten one of those promotions from CVS or someplace like that for 10 cent prints, and you think ” hey I haven’t printed any photos in a while, I should really do that!” And then you start sorting through pictures, trying to decide which ones you really love, and wondering why you have four of what seems to be the same shot of almost everything you’ve ever taken a picture of, and then you are deleting* some to save room, and reorganizing all your pictures, and before you know it, you’re lost in the world of  picture sorting and its been hours since you’ve surfaced and by the time you do reemerge from your computer the day is halfway gone, you haven’t eaten anything, and you’ve forgotten what started all the madness.

*You tell yourself to be ruthless, keep only the pictures you really love, and delete the rest. And at first you’re doing good; 35 pictures from the kid-you-used-to-babysits birthday party four years ago where you only knew like 3 people? You keep one or two good shots of the birthday kid, and the rest, BAM, gone! Easy peasy. But it gets harder. The dozen or so (or millions, depending on how much of an animal person you are. Personally my cats and dog are super photogenic, I can’t help that they are adorable and end up in front of my camera lens so much, lol) pictures you have of your pet doing something cute, you can’t decide which one is the best, because they’re all so cute, and you don’t want to delete one and regret it because you might never get the chance to retake it and what if the one you are going to delete is somehow the best out of the dozen (million) so you can’t possibly get rid of those, but you’ll come back to them. That’s it! You’ll save them for later, when you are more emotionally distant and the decision doesn’t make you feel as if you are getting rid of a family member, instead of just a picture. Those photos, man, they cling to you. Not like a crying kid screaming for candy, but like the sad, quiet kids you see on the commercials that ask for donations to feed starving children. The photos stare at you with big sad eyes saying “How can you delete me? What did I do? ” And you’re like “it’s just a picture, I can do this! Oh, but it’s so cute, I’ll save that  one. And that one. And…I’ll come back to these later….” and then when you think you’ve finally reached the end and have actually made a dent in all the chaos, you realize you still have 3657 photos of the 3987 you started with, and you bang your head on the desk.*

Then, you accidentally highlight a large majority of your photos when you meant to just click on one and hit delete before you realize what you’ve done, and suddenly your day is a lot more free than it was a few seconds beforehand….. (-_-)

-What did you do today?

-“I spent most of the morning and afternoon organizing and deleting photos.”

-How many do you have?

-“About 200″

-What took so long then?

-“I started out with almost 4000 and I accidentally deleted about 3500 four hours after I started.”

-Oh. That sucks.

-“Yes, yes it does”

 

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