Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday is for fun things.

Hello everyone. How was your Thanksgiving? If you don't celebrate it, then how was your Thursday? Anyone go out for any crazy Black Friday shopping deals? I ended up shopping Friday afternoon, but it was leisurely and enjoyable, thank goodness!

Today I'm bringing you a camera-phone glimpse into the fun encounters I've had over the past week and a half. I downloaded a new camera application too, it's called Pixlr-o-matic (it's also available as a desktop application!) and I've been taking more snapshots than usual in order to try it out.

Time for fun things!

::: Roses in front of the yard happily drinking up the rain that LA received last week

::: Snazzy close-up of the wreath that I made (pictures later in the post!)

::: A new paper cutter! I made sure to break it in right away

::: The front of a birthday card that I made for one of our roommates

::: The inside of the card! I was so proud of myself

::: Editing photos last week while enjoying some amazing hot cocoa <3

 ::: My lovely mother making some slam-dunk delicious mashed potatoes

::: Holiday banner that I made for the kitchen

::: Experimenting with Pixlr-o-matic on the front doors

::: I had never made a wreath before!

::: I finished another Monster and this is a sneak peek

::: A cute and silly photo of Andrew playing Mario chess with me (he won)

People that have Android devices: what are your favorite camera applications? I use Little Photo almost exclusively, but Pixlr-o-matic may push into the lead! For various specific actions I use Camera360 (tilt/shift feature!), FxCamera (fisheye and Polaroid are my favorites) and MagicHour (you can make your own filters. I enjoy this one enough that I ended up getting the pay version). I recently downloaded LabelPlus, which is responsible for the banners and silly heart icons on that photo of Andrew. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts!

I hope everyone has had as nice a week as I have!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under the Sea - la la la

How many of you are in love with aquariums? Personally I am a huge fan. I used to visit the Seattle Aquarium multiple times a year. The exhibits never really change, but I enjoy it just the same. My favorite parts are the octopus, cuttle fish, sea dragons, jelly fish and otters. How come aquariums never have any squids? So disappointing. I've come to develop a fierce loyalty to the aquarium in Seattle, so going to new ones makes me wonder if they'll stack up. I don't even know how the Seattle one stacks up to the others in the US, I just know that I love it.

When visiting the aquarium in San Francisco with my mom November of last year, I was mightily impressed by their sea nettle exhibit. I stood in front of it for at least ten minutes just watching them float around, and I took some great pictures too. A cursory search of my archives shows that I apparently never posted photos from the aquarium. How did that happen?!

::: One of the many large and beautiful sea nettles at the San Francisco aquarium

On Friday Andrew and I went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. You can rest assured that no one will be missing out on our experience, because this post will be pretty much all photos! We had a super amazing time and spent a whopping four hours there! The place was crazy crowded because of multiple elementary school field trips; I was nearly mown down by more than a few children.

The exhibits did not disappoint. The building was huge and had mini viewing tanks on the way to the actual exhibit areas! One viewing tank was three stories high! So impressive! We took our time exploring all there was to see, even back tracking and visiting some fishies multiple times. There were a lot of surprises too, including the most adorable white arctic fox and some absolutely terrifying bird encounters. We spent time with a boat load of sharks and I befriended a sea turtle.

Please enjoy these photos and join me in appreciating the wonder of the ocean world!

::: Super tall viewing tank

::: Beautiful clown fishies and adorable sea horses

 ::: Elegant jellyfish and the most beautiful crab I've ever seen

::: Leafy sea dragons are one of my most favorites things/creatures EVER

::: Prowling fish and an eel hugging a lobster

 ::: Beady eyed pipefish-type creature

::: A Lorikeet. There was an area full of them and they were scaring the crap out of me

::: The majestic sea turtle <3

::: Beautiful and impressive sea star

::: I love that rays always look happy

::: Lone fish and the most adorable garden eel

::: Teeny tiny shrimp!

::: White Arctic fox; this little guy stole my heart

The few non-aquatic creatures that were present have me seriously jonesing for a trip to the zoo. Maybe sometime soon Andrew and I will go to the San Diego one? That would be so great!

Overall  I give this aquarium a very high ranking! They only had one octopus and it was hiding big time. That was a let down, but it's also very common. My biggest complaint is their lack of cuttle fish. What gives?! Perhaps I'll write them a letter ;)

What's your favorite aquatic creature? :D


Thursday, November 17, 2011

At this point it's not too early.

I am ready for the full holiday swing! Some people may be displeased at those of us who simply cannot wait until after Thanksgiving to get festive, and to them I say just be glad I waited until after Halloween! There's something so wonderful about the holiday season that I am always anxious for it to begin. I love the twinkling lights, brightly colored decorations, Christmas songs and festively colored candy. I can't get enough of it! This year I don't really have any of those things. All of my decorations are actually my mom's, so with this move to California I have a big fat zero number of Christmas items! A devastating discovery, to be sure.

Fortunately, Andrew is all about making things and has supplied me with an extensive number of craft items. We are all set to deck our halls to the nines this year, we just have to get started. I've found a number of ideas via Pinterest (let me know if you'd like an invite to the site!), and my fingers are itching. Andrew has been on vacation, so our time has largely been wrapped up in Skyrim and loafing. But today I decided I was ready to dive in. Today, I made a wreath!

We visited some friends last week and they had made the cutest holiday swag for their door. I felt all riled up and decided I had to make a wreath. I really like them and I've never made one before. A few years ago my mom started buying them when we'd go get our tree, and I enjoyed that. They make the house look so gosh darn pleasant.

So in the spirit of the season, and my excitement at crafting, I present this non-scheduled entry!

::: Supplies all laid out! Empty wreath, bells and colored berry things. Also, a decent peek at my work space! Colored thread, utensil bucket and a photo of my sister and me!

::: Appreciating the simple things, like a fake wreath free of bugs and sexy elves behind me

::: Preparing the berry things for plucking and cutting

::: All finished with the red ones, time for the silver!

::: My "these wires are tough to cut!" face

::: Waiting for our beastly hot glue gun to heat up

 ::: Playing with the bow ribbon, wishing I had a cat that would do it for me

::: Legolas wanted to wear the bow, and how could I deny that sweet face?

::: Adding the bow, the finishing touch!

::: Is the glue dry yet?

::: He makes an excellent wreath holder. I may just place him on the front porch

I hope you enjoyed this spontaneous entry! I was so excited to share the photos (and finished product!) with everyone that I simply couldn't wait until next Tuesday. Plus, it looks as though Andrew and I will have a busy weekend so I'm thinking I'll have enough other things to share next week. How wonderful!  

I went ahead and tried some new things for this entry. I've been browsing around some new blogs lately and I am filled to bursting with inspiration. I'd really like my blog to be more fun, and if possible funny, but I am frequently afraid of coming across as badly goofy. If I go for intentionally goofy then I can't really mess up, can I? What do you all think? Do you like the new things? Are the new things even obvious to anyone other than me? But most importantly, have you started holiday decorating yet?!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun things all around me.

Compared to the previous two weeks of fun, excitement and friends, this last week has been quite mellow. Andrew is between shows now and thus has some vacation time. We've been catching up on leisure sleep, late night crafting and lots of video games. Betwixt these thrilling activities I've managed to take phone snapshots of some of the things around me. I'm feeling so serene about the images I have to share today, I hope you enjoy them!

The other night Andrew and I went out with some friends to the Paramount theatre. Paramount as in Paramount Studios. It was awesome! His friends had some tickets to a movie and they invited us along. We arrived a little early, so we used the opportunity to explore the outside area a bit and enjoy the scenery. There was a water fountain in front of the main entrance to the studio, and across from that a courtyard filled with willow-esque trees. An employee was stringing holiday lights from all of the trees, and it looked just wonderful! The photo of Andrew and me was taken with the flash on my phone and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Technology is so superb.

::: In front of the fountain :]
::: Enjoyable scenery!

In some immediate new and exciting news, I sold a print on Etsy a few days ago! You can view the print in question here. The woman who purchased it said so many kind things to me about the photo; I was all aflutter and glowing as I read her messages. She has been to Ireland herself, but says that her photos weren't able to capture the essence like mine did. Talk about a compliment! I feel all giddy again just thinking about it.

The print arrived yesterday and I'll be shipping it out to her today. I was excited to see the photo in a large, hard copy form (she purchased a 16x24 print, the largest that anyone has ordered before) and wow, I was not disappointed at all. The photo is one of my favorites from my trip last year and I've never had it printed before. It has such beautiful accuracy. I'm so happy with it. I showed it to Andrew and he was also very impressed. We are now considering buying one for ourselves! hehe

::: Not the best shot of it. Mostly I'm attempting to demonstrate how large it is compared to my hand. Also, that blue streak on the left side isn't supposed to be there, that's just glare.

I've been spending a lot more time in the garage at my work bench. I don't know what the changing point was, but it's starting to feel like my space now. Andrew bought some new storage bins for me and now the space is cleaner, more organized and much more accessible. We set up some of my shelves along one of the walls and now there are surfaces for some of my favorite nick nacks. It's easy to smile out there. I should take some pictures for next week! 

Andrew hung a bunch of my posters on the wall in front of my work bench and there's still a large blank spot directly in front of where I sit. I have some framed photos of my friends and sister that I'd love to put up there. It'll make it even cozier and happier. Also, in a surprising moment, I discovered that I had a small test photo of our erstwhile cat, Unjuy, from the large print I gave to my mom two Christmases ago. It was a sad moment, seeing as he disappeared in July and my family and I miss him terribly, but I am also happy to have a copy of the photo for myself. It is now framed and ready for hanging among the photos of my family and friends.

::: He'll always be watching me work now :')

The following photos don't have any sort of specific reason or home, but they all make me happy. So now it's time for a list of things that bring joy to me!

::: This Christmas craft that I made. The frame was only $3!

::: This fabulous spool holder that Andrew built for me. The thread is so pretty all laid out!

::: These in-progress Christmas stars made from cardboard, paper mache and spray paint <3

::: This fun and cute doodle of Jacki, James and me courtesy of Jacki!

::: This spooky and Halloween appropriate snapshot of my sister's cat Loki

::: This super cute Totoro hand towel from Japan, sent to me from my friend Eve!

It's nice to have so many things to share with everyone, even if they're little or silly!

Today's last tidbit is something very fancy! Andrew finally has the meat and potatoes of his video setup purchased, and he's very thrilled about it! It has certainly brought the video and photography capabilities of our household to the next level. He has a lot of exciting things in store and brewing around in his head. It'll be super awesome when some of his projects are complete! For now though, the camera stands ever ready. 

::: If I could explain everything that's in this picture, then I would

It lives in a little harness type thing which doesn't make the camera difficult to get to, per say, but it now takes a little finagling to access. I suppose it is more difficult to get to than when it was only in the camera bag, this is true. I'm sure I'll get used to removing it and replacing it though. For now, I'm OK with my all camera phone photos because they're accurate snapshots of my life!

Hope everyone is having a nice Tuesday. Does anyone have any little things that are making them happy lately? I'd love to hear about them! :)


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