Last month’s Blythe Swap theme was carnival/circus/fair, and I got an AWESOME package from my swap partner Kristal.
Check out all these goodies!!
Stickers! Lollies! Cotton candy! A pull ring! Clothing! A stuffie!
Here’s Willow modeling this romper set with matching bow. It’s so cute! I love that the fabric combination absolutely reads circus/carnival, but it’s not too clowny.
Also, get a load of that handmade cotton candy! It’s so creative and such a neat idea!
In addition to the romper set, here we have a lovely dress, too! Kristal mentioned that her sewing machine wasn’t cooperating fully, but you cannot tell AT ALL. Everything is flawless!
And check out this little guy!
What a cutie! I love that he’s kind of a little bit spooky – totally my style!
Thanks, Kristal! You are a tremendous swap partner!
I’ve been parking in the furthest-away spot in the staff lot at work this year, trying to work a few extra steps steps into my increasingly sedentary days (middle managers have a lot of meetings). One day last week when I left work, this was the view from that spot:
Last week I was feeling very snowed in while at work (here’s the view from the Tween Scene windows), so I snapped this pic looking up through the branches of the tree in our Children’s Library.
That feels better, doesn’t it?
Friday morning it was lovely – sun shining, most of the snow melted, and a crisp feel in the air. When I went to work I noticed that part of the ice on the retention pond behind the library had melted, too, and there were ducks hanging out at the pond.
Some of them were hanging out on the ice, stretching their wings in the sun. Others were bobbing in the water, no doubt looking for treats that have been hidden under the ice for months. This picture really doesn’t do it justice.
One of the ways I’ve tried to economize recently is to do my own nails. I also saw it as an opportunity to learn something new, and so far I’ve been fairly pleased with the results. I also feel like having a manicure adds a level of polish (haha) to my style. I don’t wear make-up, so somehow having a manicure helps me feel like my look is more professional. Also it looks cool and keeps me attached to my punk rock self.
I got some great advice on products from the wonderful yarn-gifting E, and with practice I’ve gotten better at doing my right hand without making a huge mess.
So I thought I’d share what I do.
1. Wash your hands liberally throughout the process. Pretty much before every step until you start polishing.
2. Remove old polish with Zoya 3-in-1 remove+ and cotton squares.
3. Then I use a cuticle tool to clean up my cuticles. They tend to be big and take up a fair amount of nail real estate, so I like to make sure they’re all out of the way before I start polishing.
4. Apply one coat of Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat (base coat).
5. That’ll dry pretty quickly. Then apply two thin coats of nail polish. My preferred brand is Zoya. It comes in great colors and is free of icky things like toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. It also wears really well – better, in my experience, than OPI (though I do use OPI polishes sometimes since I already own some). Here I’ve chosen a lovely dark purple cream called Pinta.
6. When the second coat is dry, apply a coat of Poshe Super Fast-drying Topcoat. This is really cool stuff – it does dry to the touch extremely quickly, and it seems to do a really good job of protecting the mani from chipping. Warning: just because it’s dry to the touch doesn’t mean it’s un-mess-up-able. You can still screw up a nail if you put your hands in your pockets and root around, or whatever, but as long as you try not to put pressure on the nails you should be good. And after a little time has gone by you’re set.
7. Result! Pretty nails that are protected from the splitting I always have issues with (thanks, low thyroid!).
I’ve definitely not perfected the process, but it’s getting there. And my nails split a lot less when I have a manicure so it’s helpful as well as pretty.
Yesterday when we woke up, a huge amount of the snow was gone. The night before, I’d commented that I could see patches of green grass in the snow in the back yard, and on Friday morning, it was the opposite – a patch of snow on the grass.
Ugh, look at that grass! All the dead patches and, though it doesn’t stand out much in this photo, there is a metric buttload of dog doo on the grass. Ah well, much of the grass is actually white dutch clover (along with crab grass and other weeds), and we’ll continue to fill in the dead patches with clover seed in the spring. Hopefully things will dry out a little and we’ll be able to scoop some poop before the next snow.
There are more snowy patches in the front garden, but it’s still good to see that a lot of the snow is gone. I’m also delighted that the roof and gutters are entirely free of snow!
I even noticed some bulbs peeking up! And the one on the left here has apparently worked its way up from being in the soil where it belongs.
You can see that there are lots of leaves in the garden, and my hope is that they’re providing some insulation.
I am so antsy for it to be later so I can get out and actually DO something in the garden, yet I’m always complaining about time going by too quickly. Never satisfied!
Check this out!
The Oogie Boogie Sweater I made is one of Leviosa’s fifteen favorite pieces of clothing. I love the contrast between the green of the sweater and her shockingly pink hair. And isn’t that stick man funny?
In recognition of the ants I have in my pants for Doctor Who to start up again, presenting: the TARDIS.
Thanks to Ben Leto for CC licensing this photo.
The back yard and gardens are not looking like much these days, thanks mostly to the blanket of snow covering everything.
I didn’t notice that there was one strand of Purple Wintercreeper heading straight up until just recently. I assume it must have grown before it got so cold out and just escaped my attention until now.
I didn’t cut this Coreopsis back because I think it looks kind of neat.
I’ve planted cuttings of Purple Wintercreeper back by the ugly back fence the past few years, and it’s really finally taking. I’ll definitely continue this effort, as I’d like to see the entire fence covered in it.
I really like this plant. Isn’t that purple color pleasing? Plants that change color through the seasons are cool.
Here’s the back veg garden covered by snow. You can see the raised beds, just barely.
I can’t wait for it to be spring! I’d really like to be outside doing some sort of work in the yard.
So we were supposed to get a big blizzard last night into today, and while it didn’t end up being a really huge amount of snow, most of the schools and lots of other entities (like MPOW, the library) closed down. Lucky for us, K already had the day off so we had time to do the shoveling and snowblowing on our own timetable. I’d been kind of excited to not have to set the alarm clock, but as it ended up, we both woke up before it would even have gone off on a normal day. The curse of getting older.
For reference, here’s the front yard yesterday, the day before the storm:
And here’s today, after we cleared the snow:
Not a gigantic difference, eh? We got somewhere in the neighborhood of six inches, but there was quite a bit of wind so some areas ended up with more, some with less. Here’s the edge of the driveway, with my mitten for reference:
One of my favorite things about the snowy season (there aren’t many) is seeing bits of the garden poking up. Here’s some of the lavender that grows along the front path:
And some Cape Gooseberry that I never cleared away:
The sky was overcast all day but it was fairly bright out. It continued to snow lightly throughout the day but didn’t accumulate much more. I thought that the silver maple out front looked cool against the sky.