11.03.2014

Care to help me out a bit?



You may, or may not, have noticed that I updated my bio up there on the right side of the screen to reference another blog I call "Confused Cushie". 'Cushie' is a slang term for a person who has Cushing's Disease or Syndrome and, when I started the blog I was 'confused' about whether or not I might have it, I've since been officially diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. Blah! Sucksbummer. Cushing's Disease is most commonly caused by a small tumor on you pituitary gland in the South Pole region of your brain. It's a condition where your body is under a hormonal stress state almost constantly and leads to muscular and bone degradation, severe fatigue, problems sleeping, irritation and extreme emotions, and pretty much a load of crap that makes life suck a lot until you die from heart disease or diabetes complications or get seizures and broken bones and other terrible stuff that Cushing's put you on the path to. It's, essentially, not a ton of fun. I'm very fortunate to have caught my symptoms and gotten a diagnosis before I've progressed to a point of no return and I've been cleared for surgery at any time. I'd really like to get that surgery in order to avoid the aforementioned stuff that blows, as I would very much like to not die.

Unfortunately, I'm already scraping the barrel to try to afford medications and supplements that I can't actually afford and know that, due to the condition being rare, few neurosurgeons have a lot of experience doing pituitary surgery so it appears I may have additional costs for traveling out of state to find a great surgeon on top of all of the expected hospital costs. And that hasn't even gotten into the many months of post-surgery recovery and hormone replacement adventure. Even with insurance, which I don't currently have, but hope to have soon, it's still going to be pretty mind boggling! I know that many people have been touched by some kind of serious disease or condition in their lives, whether personally or through someone they love, so I'm sure lots of people have the misfortune to understand the kind of pressure and stress that comes from knowing you need treatment but wondering how to pay for it. Sometimes I feel almost as stressed out about how I'm supposed to afford treatment as I am that I need treatment at all! It's hard to wrap your mind around really being ill, despite frequently feeling like crap. It's not at all as hard to picture bills though. That part is really easy to wrap my mind around. : )



The Cushing's Awareness Ribbon, made floral style!

I've decided to put everything in my shop on sale in hopes of drumming up a bit more business. I'm hoping to create some new things I've had working in the back of my mind for a while as well that are not floral designs, but still have a rad vibe. If there's a chance I can make some money with my art while saving person who desires said art at a great price, why, I think that could make two people very happy. That/'s what they call a win/win right there, I think!

Over the next couple days I'm going to be restoring expired listings to my Etsy store and over the next couple months I hope to upload new designs and new objects. I'd love if people could remember me whenever they feel that itch for a special treasure or next time they're doing gift shopping. I'd also love if people were willing to spread the word about my shop to someone they think might appreciate it. : )



Click here if you'd like to go to my Etsy!

Thanks so much for checking out my post and for anyone who's willing or able to support my fundraising efforts or to spread the word to someone they think might be interested. I'd love your help to help me help myself. It's a really big help!

Wishing you all well, 
Meander

7.02.2014

Laptop repair!

Just an update here real quick-- A couple weeks ago my laptop had an issue with the charge port and I needed to send it in for repair. However, I also had a last minute (very massive) change in our moving plans for the cross-country move my family and I were scheduled to take... oh... a few days ago. Ehem. That put off sending in my laptop and now I'm here! It's been weeks since my last post. I have some new projects I'd like to put up... A cute negative space pillow I'm halfway through as well as a pride headband I made for the Seattle Pride Parade (which I also had to miss because of these plans :\ but hey, I still made the headband and I'll still share it!)

Without my laptop, I can't really access the pictures from my proper camera so I'll have to wait the five to twenty-five business days for the repair (sob!!! ;....;) and then I'll be back and blogging! (as well as so excited to have my laptop back that I'll snuggle it and never let it go!


Anyway, hope everyone is having a good summer!

--Meander

5.23.2014

Clover Crown (aka: a fun headband)

If anyone's familiar with my art stuff, they'll know that I tend toward the freeform swirlies. Not like I have a problem with symmetrical stuff really, but I just tend to like stuff that goes wild.





This tends to be more my style. I really like it, but it is sort of fancy. My hair is growing out right now and I can't really do much with it so I wanted to try to make something that still had the same natural and intricate look, but was more casual and modern. 


... Disclaimer: As usual, my photo color temperatures are all over the damn chart because I don't know how to light a shoot to save my life. So I hope you can enjoy the content for what it is and forgive all the variation. : \




In my opinion. one of the best ways to make a more casual headband is with a symmetrical shape and not so many flowers. In this case I made clovers. I love clovers and you don't really see people decorate with clovers often enough.




If you try to make this, you're probably not going to find already made clovers, but you can use wire-stemmed leaves. They're sometimes called "corsage leaves". Most of the ones you find at the normal craft store are made of a nylon-polyester kind of faux silk. You can use those (I used some fabric leaves in this leftover from old stock before I went natural-materials-only in my business.) But if you can find mulberry paper leaves, they're most likely totally ecological. I get mine from a fairly paid, family-run business in Thailand. There are some mulberry paper companies in Thailand that even help employ women or people who have come from terrible employment conditions or brothels as an alternative form of employment. So just look into the company you're ordering from and find out what their story is and shop with a conscience!







Not sure what shape to do? You can lay an actual clover leaf down and cut around it.









You will probably want to have lots of clovers if you want to make it as full as I made mine, but you don't want them to look all the same. Covers have some natural variations. Usually a single patch will be all the same breed and mostly only vary in size... but I took a little liberty here with some shapes and shades cause I think it looks awesome..er.... awesomer.



Here's some ideas!




ARG! SO PRETTY!! ;.....;


Now for the actual headband!





Once you've got your pile of clovers made, it's pretty self-explanatory. You just twist them onto your headband wherever you like them. My headband is made out of the brown paper covered floral stem wire. You can find some really cool wires covered in things like natural bark that'd look fantastic, but this kind of light brown stemming you should be able to find at a craft store. I found the little mushrooms in an end cap at a Michael's craft store along with their miniature dollhouse things. I should get more. If I run out I think I might crai. They're trés trés cute!


 There we are! It's all done!

I've seen some people make some flower crowns online but uhhhh.... Mushrooms on mine so... I win.


I think that the colors in this photo are probably closest to what it looks like in real life. My other photos were all jacked up and I had to drop the saturation a lot. (I swear, I need a lesson in camera-ing or something. I really do try!)


I think that even if this kind of symmetrical wire style is not my normal vibe, I think I was able to put my own style into it and I like the way it turned out. I wore it out today with my yellow bunny shoes.

Overall it wasn't -too- much work to cut out these leaves. I don't really want to make them all again just for fun XD but I might make more if I were making one to sell. I think some hair clips or something in this style might also be a good way of getting the look but without all the endless cutting. : )


Anywho... enjoy!







Aren't I fanceh! n...n!

3.19.2014

Flora and Cooper's Candy Land Birthday! (part 2)



Flora and Cooper!
My cousin and I both had kids within a month of one another. We decided to throw a party together for the kids and Cooper really wanted a Candy Land birthday. The idea sounded pretty good, so Sara and I (with some input here and there from helpful family members) chipped in together to create a pretty freaking cute candy party. My cousin is super crafty too so we knew we wanted to try to do some really killer stuff.










Sara made the candy topiaries! I tried to help but she's a stickler for a perfect topiary and I kinda blew at it. Hers look way better. Ehem. They also weighed about a zillion pounds! We found some cute ideas online for giant candies which were balloons wrapped in cello paper. We used this idea to make giant lollypops and even garlands of 'hard candies'. We had waist high lollypops in the yard too.

One thought:: Thank god for bulk candy bins. That's all I'm saying. 

Giant butterflies, cupcake domes, and apothecary jars were all Ross and other discount store finds. Believe it or not, it wasn't even that expensive to get everything like this together.



Party time!



Everyone was afraid to dig into the table for a while, but
Dot got everyone started by going in for the best cake there.

Smart lady!

I totally wish I had some of that bean dip right now! : \

I only wish I'd taken some pictures of the lasagna and enchilada cupcakes! You can see some enchilada ones in the background of this picture at least... They were super good. A party like this, where we knew there'd be a lot of sweets, savories seemed like an especially important idea so we did foods that could be decorated like cupcakes!


The lasagnas had ricotta tops that were dyed like frosting and chopped with sour cream and a tomato just like the enchiladas.

Mmmmm, veggies.













The Activity!

Candy houses!

We used inexpensive pine birdhouses and made a ton of polymer clay
candies and sweets and the kids got to glue them on.




These are some pie slices I made! There was even a lattice top crust to it. The edges of the crust were crinkly cut and everything! Only after I put the splash of "cream" with the cherry and leaf on top I think the details were a little lost.


AHHHH! But look!! Is there anything cuter than the crazy handiwork of a child?

Love it.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!




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or hit up my party tag for other party themed posts.
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Flora and Cooper's Birthday (part 1 of 2)

I took SO many pictures getting ready for this party that even after getting selective with them, I still had so many pictures. I didn't even get all the processes for all the projects so this isn't much of a tutorial. Maybe just a "sharing our labor" post. : )


No words necessary.


So many rockin' cherry cake ice cream cone cupcakes!


Eeeeee n...n




My cousin, Sara, made the most badass castle and I glued candies on it.


We got the whole thing set up on a landscape of cotton candy and lollypops...
and then noticed the whole thing was deflating.

Yeah. We totally forgot that cotton candy would start to melt in the moisture of the air.
We had to come up with another plan. : \


Some Snacks

My candy land bean tip! : D


My mom and my auntie used cookie cutters to make cupcake lasagnas and cheese enchiladas!
So good. Seriously.


Cooper's Present


















Piratey!


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To the set up and the party...
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