Costume Jewelry for Everyday Dress-Up

2/24/2014

The Gift of Glam

It's been a boring week and a half, being sick and all - just like everyone else. Luckily, I was well enough to head up north to visit with the ones I love for our family weekend. Our actual Canadian holiday 'Family Day' was Monday February 17th, a day I am thankful to have gotten paid for.

Since last weekend, I've just been on the mend. My appetite just came back yesterday - which is why I'm planning a fruit and belgian waffle breakfast made complete by maple syrup in my head.

Before I head off for breaky, it would be nice to share my current work in progress projects. With Saturday being the first day I felt well enough to design other peoples jewelry, I feel like I've got a lot on the go.

This first piece has me stumped, but not entirely in a bad way. Beginning from a gemstone a good friend had gotten what seems like many moons ago, this bracelet will be born. My problem lies in how to finish it off. The colour strands are perfect, light blue and grey. Originally there was brown too, but decided to take it out.

A gift for my Aunt, from a request for a worry stone bracelet. 

The next steps, since its January 1st inception, will obviously be to finish it off. I'm thinking chainmaille linkage with the strands weaving in and out. What is your creative input? 

This wowie of a piece is what Saturday brought the time about to design. This is what made me feel human again, as I realized how much creating plays a part of who I am. 

Aqua with the caramel of the cats eye, not bad. 

Although not complete, it makes my heart sing. In fact, I already have the equally amazing two strand bracelet and dangle earrings planned out in my head. 

This guys is something I've been playing with when my thoughts get slow. It's just a bunch of gemstone donuts on a string, really. Super simplistic, yet super cute. 

A little to boy scouty?? Lol I love it!

I'll do a button clasp style finish, with the loose bead at the end, which will create more of an interest and flow. 

This last piece is something I have yet to touch. Given to me by a friend at work, her thoughts are to recreate this piece she doesn't use, into bracelets that she will. 

Property of Sherry, that she'll soon be happy to own. 

Underneath the crocheted beads she dislikes, are the pretty acrylic blue beads she adores. I'll take this all apart and give it the gift of glam. 

Have a great day, hopefully doing what you love to do - or what you don't like for who you do love. Either one can produce some great results ;)

With all my heart, 
Shannon Lebert




2/03/2014

Your Happiest Place

Your home is probably your sanctuary. I know mine is. It's a private place, right? It's your place. 

Ever feel that no matter how cozy and completely comfortable, that your happiest place might never be ready for the world to see? I have felt that way. Usually when thinking of doing an office reveal. 

It's been a while in the making. I've thought of taking the photos regularly for the past two weeks… and yes, 2 years before that too. 

My recent reasonings were less with this blog, and more to do with my Etsy shop. Like wondering if browsers would question if I'm a creeper who makes stuff in the attic or not. 

To set a location to my creations - and a backdrop for my future tales - I decided to shoot some photos last night. 

Where the creative stuff happens.
These were quickly uploaded, and I was instantly relieved. Are the attic thoughts at rest? They better be. 
One chair for each of my personalities ;)
I think the most important things to note is that although this room is {my dream come true} it certainly didn't happen over night, and it didn't cost all that much money. 

Where I come from, cheap often adds character, 
and free is always fabulous. 

Organized chaos at it's finest.
Any grey fixtures were from our Ikea apartment in Toronto. The oak furniture was my Mother In Laws. After her passing, we kept a lot of it - just thinking someone might one day be in need. Why not put a dining room table in your craft room - if you've got a spare in the basement.

Use what you've got. Make what you don't. 
Buy what you'd like to use.

Economical craft storage is rampant up in here. 
A big whack of my storage solutions were bought from Staples on clearance. Eventually everything goes on sale. If you don't need it right away, try to wait it out. 

It's a great way to save some doh-rae-me. 

Where the work does {and sometimes doesn't} get done. 
Maybe not the tidiest workspace, but my concentration can usually be kept. Unless MTV is on. 

Roogie's (Mya) picture on the door. Such a sweetheart.
This chandelier was in the dining room when we bought our house. It had crystals hanging ALL over it. Naturally, I took them off to make jewelry ;) 

In case you are wondering, the walls are Surfer Blue and the flooring is Sunset Oak.

Thanks for coming over, and checking out my once underused spare room, turned {the happiest place). 

What's your favourite room? Link me to it!

With all my heart,
Shannon Lebert

1/15/2014

Spread the Love Around


After 2 years, Augmented Gem Jewelry (Etsy) is back up. Many of the pieces have been remastered into Sterling Silver attention getters. Surprise! 

Supplies have been ordered - and even reordered (LOTS of GEMSTONES) in anticipation of how big 2014 will become. 14 days ago AGJ became my top priority. 

The sky is the limit baby, and my dreams are big.  There are stars in my eyes, much like in 2010 when I dreamt up this fantasy. With no where to go but up, the fear of falling has surpassed. This is it.

Painted Purple. A dainty copper number, with purple accents.

You should live your dreams too. Tell me about them, and then go take a step in the right direction.

Coupon code 'THANKSLOVE' gets you FREE SHIPPING until 02-14-14! Consider it a gift. Happy Valentines Day, Lovers! 

Love the craft? Spread the word. Facebook and AugmentedGem.Etsy.com

With all my heart,
Shannon Lebert

7/10/2013

{Calling 611} Hello Rogers, This is a Cellphone Emergency!

Weirder, and yes, more serious things have happened, but it doesn't mean this situation is okey dokey. It certainly doesn't mean you have a pass to tell me it's 'impossible' that you messed up about said situation either.

I am rather beefed up about a cell phone privacy issue and possible cell phone charges with Rogers; Rather than go through all the anger again, I am going to post a cell screen shot from my Facebook rant.

Like it says, Rogers doesn't seem to think this is as crazy of a situation as I do. The lady told me that 'that's impossible' and someone will get back to me in a couple days. Blah blah blah, thanks for nothing right?

She was quick to change my My5 list to people I actually knew. If that was to hide the fact, I took a cell snapshot before and after the call. The difference between the shots - besides the digits? My new list says I can't change my fav's for a month.

Listen Rogers: I didn't change my My5 list, you did - twice now actually ;)

Anyways, I posted the same cell snapshot on Twitter last night from @AugmentedGem to @RogersHelps, and seems to have got some interest. *crosses fingers, to keep from giving the f.u finger*

Privacy concerns are huge nowadays. It's because of the technology age that we're in that most leaks occur. However, there was one privacy issue I read about stemming from a paper incident.

A lady sued the company for her husband linking her cell to their home services. When the new bundled bill came, he found out she was having an affair, and left her. Now this must be why I need to put my husband on the phone as verification,when I make our account changes ;)

Another concern I have is: where did my My5 list go?! Who has my contact list that they lost? I wouldn't doubt it that it's 'out there' somewhere. But no one will look into the matter, because 'that's impossible'.

I call bullshit.



5/13/2013

Smarter than a First Grader?

Tonight is {hopefully} Miss Mya Bojangles' grade two graduation from McCann Dog Training.

Mya, Grade 1 Graduation
Helle V Fisher Photography

We couldn't even walk her last November when we picked her up from her old family, and we still had quite the hard time walking her when she started at McCann this January. She's a changed dog, since we learnt how to correct her {but mostly our} bad behaviour.


Grade 1 was extremely helpful with taming our wild child. She did amazing.

Grade 1 Report Card
Flying colours, I'd say. 

Think Stef might have told her the answers?



For our grade 2 session, there have been two classes missed, out of eight. I am worrying that could affect her.  *crosses fingers*

Bright side: If it doesn't end glamoursly, at least I'll be doing what I truly want on Monday's, working on AGJ making masterpieces, baby.

Mya will be doing what she wants to too. Hanging out with her biggest fan, and bestest friend, her Papa.

s.l

12/09/2012

Aged and Engaged in 30

The time has passed and molded itself. Not sure of where the seasons begin and end.

It's been a year of change. None of it was anticipated. The things I wanted done left not, and the things I've never drempt have been.

An old job behind, with a new one in it's place. The new is now old again, bringing with it comfort. That feeling of belonging, knowing, and enjoying.

The idea that my job does not make me, only makes me stronger, is a great one. The hauling makes my body better, age not detectable. I am capable, with my body strong.

An old friend left, never to be replaced. A best friend. My Smoochie. The softest soul, sweetest in heart. I clung to her for forgiveness, but I had to let her go. She's a forgiver, that feline. Forever to be missed. Better in health, stronger in heaven.

A new friend before that, Miss Mya. Rottweiler with a past. Her family forgot to love, we however will not. She will be kept and loved, and remind us to better enjoy each other, to enjoy our time. A new stitching, binding us. Reminding us playfully.

Without Mya, the loss of Smoochie would be greater in time and heart. My friend has helped me along. Made my heart ache less. Hers is better too.

Things come apart, only to come back together, better. That has been the lesson of 29. There is no planning worth sticking to when the universe has another course mapped.

That dog you'd always wanted but would never have had, is something to be missed. She cannot be your running partner through life from someone else's home.

Restrictions don't allow growth. Limits are only limitations. Fears are followed for far too long. Life is short, so we shall live now.

Tommorrow is my birthday. I'll be 30. Smarter, stronger, healthier, and hella lot funnier.

As the years go on, the worries lessen. I become more of myself, and better myself, for myself.

I can only hope the same for you too.

3/21/2012

Step Into My Bedroom

Today you are coming over to my house.

I won't be taking you in the front door, up the stairs, and down the hall to get to my bedroom though, cause much of that has yet to be finished. You will instead be teleported there, to the first room we redid after move in day.

The first thing to catch your eye about the room will probably the colour. We just love it!

Scotish Isle Walls and Sunset Oak Flooring met with a Stark White Trim


Scottish Isle from Behr's product line will get you there if you'd like some of this green goodness for your house. One of my friends also used it in their kitchen and were very happy with the results.

We've had pretty much all of this furniture for a long long time, it was with us in our apartment. Mind you, our old bedroom was size large, and this one - well it's not :(

Just to give you an idea, in the apartment, we used to have our treadmill in the bedroom, along with all of these wardrobe cabinets and the rest of it. We had more than enough room within the bedroom. It was everywhere else that was the problem ;)


If not the colour you first noticed, it was probably that our bedroom pretty much looks like an Ikea showroom. I know, I know.


Start the car!! 

Our Ikea bedframe, bedside tables, duvet cover, lamp, candle stands, and wardrobes


Our bed frame, from Ikea, was the first thing Boo bought when he got the apartment in Toronto. Since we got together 2 years after that, he's actually been sleeping with her longer than he's been sleeping with me.

We've made a point of pooling money over the years and gifting each other large household purchases that we want/need for Christmas and other holidays. I recommend other couples to try and do the same.

The majority of our presents have been furniture or electronics. One of these were a little more beneficial then either of us could have ever imagined.


My wardrobe cabinet - maybe I'll show you inside one day


Our wardrobe cabinets in this amazing black/brown combination gave us the clothes storage and accessibility that was needed.

Back then, we shared the large two door unit, and also had our own unit attached on each side. The final unit was used for linens, as the linen closet was filled with everything we didn't have room for elsewhere.


One of Boo's cabinets, our mirror, closet, and an amazing Costco fan with remote


Since moving, Boo has two of the single units and our closet along his side of the room, and I have the large unit with one smaller wardrobe attached along mine.

Being a small room, we had no choice but to break them up like that.


Boo's other cabinet, and our sun soaked drapes that I've found a new love for


We've had these drapes for a while now. They were in our bedroom at the old place. The sun has faded them where the old window panes sat.

I thought about buying new ones when we moved, and put these up in the mean time. I have started to love the appearance they give when the lights are off. From the hallway it looks like a sunny day, even on the cloudiest - it's actually mood changing.

Those drapes aren't going anywhere.


Other notable mentions: Klip Klop and our distressed wicker chest


Klip Klop is our Team Boo mascot. Team motto is 'if the horse is a rockin' - don't come a knocking'.

What's in the tickle trunk you say? Why that would be my belts and bags. This chest was one of those items that were here before we were, and was a must keep item. It has character.

Lighting? Well, we went a little cheap, but I don't think it shows. Besides, who keeps the lights on anyways ;)


A steal at 10$ via Home Depot
20$ for great bedside lighting via Ikea










Some things we haven't changed? Our closet doors are original to the house, and I don't think this old register is a big deal.


The old register.


What just might be odd is the fact that 10 months later, we are still without a door knob.

Don't believe me? There's proof.


The one on the left takes you out into the hallway.
Going right will take you to the bathroom.


You can show yourself out.

s.l

A sneak peek at the next big reveal:


My Office, which was the next room to be redone



3/08/2012

Plumbing Kills Your Time, Money - and Sometimes Your Wife

PLEASE, please please, remind me to never do THAT again, will ya?

Yesterday was another day off, and I had big plans to spend it with a girlfriend I've known since what seems like the beginning of time. Thing is she had to cancel so I was left in a let-down-bummer-city type of situation with what felt like nothing to do.

Our plans just didn't seem as interesting if done solo.

Should I clean again? Really?! Laundry never gets any funner, but there's always some to be done around here. Absolutely always. Despite the time of day it is, which is expensive time for all the hydro payers out there, I decide to put a load in just to have something to do. Sadness.

I noted that a big clean was needed in the upstairs bathroom. The downstairs one too... but being in the condition that it is at the moment (gutted) I'd say putting it together beforehand takes priority.

So I decided just to get to it. I went up there, took everything off of the vanity, sprayed it down and got to going to town. This bathroom has always made me cringe.

Despite everything going on elsewhere with our house, ever since we bought it, I've been thinking about the changes I'd do in this bathroom. An aged purple tub, toilet, and sink - despite their matching colours - is no match indeed. That's what we call a bad bingo my friends.

While, scrubbing, I decide to take off the faucet taps in order to clean them and the sink a little bit extra. Just remove the lid, and unscrew the handle off - voila! As I am cleaning the taps and their handles, I find myself cringing again. There is build up and corrosion happening all over the place. Both at once. 

It's like the metal had just melted from all the years of being within this ugly room saying 'I surrender, just replace me already'. Which brought me to an interesting thought... I've got brand new taps sitting in a box in the basement, why not just replace them already?!

Wanting to properly think this through and not get into something I can't handle, I did what any self-respecting wannabe fixer would do, and called my Daddy. He's the Jack of all trades, who's really a Jim - remember him?

Is this a far out there idea? Not at all. Could I do it? Oh - I think so. So I really just have to unscrew the water lines to the tap and remove the plastic top hat looking wing nuts holding the tap to the sink? Yep, just make sure to turn the water supply off and drain the lines first.

There it was, Dad thought it was no biggie. Me as well.

I was feeling amazing with my progress until I got to the part of removing the taps from the sink. Those plastic top hats were stuck. Without being able to unscrew them, this project was at a standstill.

I call Dad again. Is there a secret to getting these things off? Oh I don't think so, they are probably just stuck from all the years of water, metal corrosion, and soap scum that tend to occur over the 30 years they have probably been in place.


That made sense to me. So I put my gloves back on and got to trying harder.

After many, many, failed attempts I felt defeated but confident that Boo would be able to take them off when he got home from work. Although my original idea was to have this all done before he got here, and say something like 'Look Hunny, I told you it would be an easy D.I.Y', I could settle for him helping me just a little.

Nope, they were stuck. He also had no luck. Remembering this tool I had seen online earlier, in all my researching efforts, that was actually made for aiding in the removal of those pesky things. I told Boo about it, and after some expelling of frustration, we were in the car and off to Home Depot.

Once back home I wanted to use the tool, thinking that I still wanted this to be my project, and if I could do it all solo, I sure wanted to continue with it.

Nope, neither I nor Boo could make either of those wing nuts budge - even with the tool.
Boo was so frustrated that he said 'removing the damn sink, and then once out, the wing nuts from the pipes would be easier.' He was beyond huffy and into mid removal when I said - well if we're taking the sink out to replace the taps, why not just replace the sink at the same time?!

Okkkay - now we are back at Home Depot buying a sink, that neither of us planned on at 8pm on a weeknight. All Boo is thinking about now is how he will be strangling me in my sleep if he doesn't get any soon. And 'That I better not pick out that eff'ing seashell one, cause he doesn't even like it for someone else's house let alone his own.'

Sink in Jeep, we ventured back.

Remove the old one - check. Not as easy as I thought, but then again, none of this really has been. Boo made sure to notify me over and over that it never is - and some of my ideas are often better off in my head. Right now I believe him. What the heck was I thinking when I thought this was a good idea?? I should have just ignored those taps and scrubbed the damn floor (which I'd also like to replace).

One sink out, one sink in. It's hooked up! Check for drips. None at all. Oh my, this might turn out okay after all.

So where the old one had clamps to secure the sink to vanity, this porcelain one has none. It weeble-wobbled when you touch it, but the weeble didn't fall down. Awesome.

We caulk it, hoping that doing so will keep it somewhat secure. Not really thinking it will work, but praying it will hold us over until we figure something else out, some other day.

I lifted the sink, he got under it and caulked the shit outta it. Test for drips again? Okay.

Not okay. Forget dripping - there was a downpour of water. In lifting the sink we must have broken a connection.

At that moment Boo was certifiable (again). He didn't ask for this - it's been a long day - why is he replacing a sink at 9pm on a work night?!! He's gotta be up a 5am - ffuckk this - we've got no water in here - two bathrooms down - I don't care!! Blah-blah-blah, he stormed off to the garage stomping his feet and slamming doors.

Shit. I sit down and start fiddling.

He comes back up sometime later, reeking like cigarettes. After I explain how to fix it, in my mind anyways, he says he wants back in the plumbers chair (drivers seat). He apologizes, and I do to. He reconnects the pipes, and we test the line. It's good, and we are both so very relieved.

Come this morning, we wake up early to have coffee together. We talk about the crazy of the night before, how much we love the new sink and tap combo - and I wonder if the caulking held? He tries to move the sink and it won't budge. It's awesome that the caulking actually worked so well.

Not so fast... Boo thinks it's slightly uneven - and wants to take it out tonight to reset it in place??!

Over my dead body.


s.l




2/16/2012

Lady Logic

My hope for January was a new start. Mainly a job. Actually, that was totally it. If nothing else came out of the first 31 days of the year, I was saying, please, just let it be some sort of employment.

I was hopeful it was to be one of the two jobs that I went for an interview with, but long before that, I was just hopeful for an interview - anywhere really.

So it's true, January brought me two interviews. And two job offers.

I am very happy with how things have turned out. I think I made the right decision.

Although the job I chose was not the one that was literally down the street and around the corner from our house, it is the job that I see myself being happy at long into the future.

For now it is a small job, but I can see it leading to more hours later on. You've got to start at the bottom to be able to properly appreciate the top right? There is much potential.

~

On other fronts, more recently, I have taken to some small diy projects, couponing, and finally introduced myself to Ebay. Call me a late bloomer, it's cool, cause I already know ;)

It was actually the couponing that got me interested in Ebay. Always have been spending savvy, not so much for saving, but more like saving (on x+y) to spend more elsewhere (z). That's lady logic for ya :D

Anyways, we've got ourselves a fair sized pantry for stockpiling, but without more of the coupons we'd use, the stockpile itself is limited. After all, who wants a full-priced pantry? Not me.

I've noticed that men tend to be a little funny when it comes to using coupons. In the beginning stages, they tend to let their egos get in the way. Once they start loading up their Jeep with all the free and 1/2 off groceries, they don't mind so much ;)

Only then does it become interesting, because now they can now spend their money elsewhere - like insulating their wannabe man-pit garage, and buying ceramic tile to finish the basement in.

They don't care that you are now addicted to Ebay, that four days in you have 9 purchases under your belt. And that you are now paying for little pieces of paper - that would otherwise be free. They are also hooked. Haha

So it's great that I took advantage of the downtime in my shortage of work hours this week and took to doing some little diys around here. It's always a great feeling to impress a man, and one surefire way of doing it is to cross something off of his todo list.

Removing the old dingy carpet from our boot room might not have been on his list per say- but I was going to put it on there eventually ;) Being the only room left to be done, bottom line is Boo knows I saved him some time so he can spend it doing what he really wants to be doing - planning out his garage.

Now that I have a job, spent some of that money on Ebay to save us more money on our couponing/pantry stockpile, and removed the carpet, we now will have a little money to purchase ceramic tiles for our basement - and a carpet-less place to lay them.

I know it's not by luck that I noticed Home Depots flyer this week.

I was treated with a gift card from my previous co-workers as one of my farewell gifts. I've been excited about all the possibilities of spending it, just waiting for the perfect purchase.

Each passing week I get antsy at the thought of that flyer coming with a special something that I can't pass-up. Two and a half months in, I think I found it!

Front page, staring right back at me was 13x13 ivory ceramic tiles for 63c per sq. ft. and the sale starts today. I think they will be a decent match for our much smaller ivoryish entry tiles, but we'll have to check them out for ourselves.

Last but not least, I also sanded down our stairs this week. I have some finishing touches to do, but nothing major. Just crossed another thing off Boo's to-do list - so if all works out he can now lay those tiles on his four days off. All the steps have led us here ;)

What's going on with your job changes, stockpiling, renovations, and honey do lists? Do you coupon - or can't be bothered? Got lady logic? Do tell.

s.l

1/24/2012

Job Hunting - The Chicken or The Egg?

I've been spending much of the passing weeks involved in the 'great Canadian job hunt'. I am out of experience, but as of recently - I mean yesterday - thankful to have the opportunity, and grateful for the experience this is actually giving me.

I am breaking out of the shell that being unemployed has put me into. The one that I let being unemployed put me into.

Never had I been one to classify people on their jobs. A job does not make you, but I do believe that what you do with that job can. 

A shit shoveler in my books is only a harder worker. It must be hard shovelling shit - but when you go home I bet you feel like the money you took with you is the money you earned. Not everybody can go home like that. 

I've had two interviews in the past two days.

One was great - and the other was better.

I would be happy with either job... but I could be happier with the other.

Now I don't want to put my chickens in one basket, cause I think it could be hard to get them in there, but if they get in on their own, who am I to pull them out??

Chickens scare me.

Interviews used to.

I will keep you updated.

s.l

12/24/2011

Laying My Head Where My Heart Is

Haven't been home in 6 months. Who does that?? I mean, who does that when they'd rather be no where else than with their family.

To those other people, I get it. But I can honestly say there's no where I would have rather been than at home, the one where my family lives - second to the home that we live.

Smoochie has been sick. Unable to eat properly with a nasty mouth ulcer. My sweet cat has been syringe fed and popping pills for the last little forever.

She's been my number one priority, but her sore is pretty much non-existent now. She no longer needs syringe feedings, hasn't for months actually, and has been weened off of her many prescriptions.

This is my time to step out and get on home.

It was my 29th birthday weekend two weeks ago. We planned to venture back, but the weather didn't cooperate.

Dread. I woke up that Saturday to a 2am text from my brother dearest saying to not even try the trip.

My.heart.sank.

Turns out they got 2 feet of snow in a couple hours and even he had been scared of ditching his car. That never happens, he's pretty much fearless - a trait I wouldn't mind trying out for a day.

Boo had just gotten his new ride from work two days prior - a 2011 Dodge Avenger in blackberry pearl, talk about a stylish car. It's standard AND automatic. I didn't even know they could do that, you?

This beautiful piece of machinery is an instant upgrade from his Dodge Caliber. Nothing wrong with a Caliber though, I loved that thing. Just that the two are just on a completely different scale. Completely.

So this Avenger, in all it's glory, doesn't have snow tires. It's sporting sports tires, which is fine for the car, and probably bad on us if it snows. I honestly don't know, as I don't know tires.

So, today's the day. We are in the car, it's packed, and we're on our way. I'll be home for Christmas!

Lucky us, there's no snow. Lucky us if there was, as we would have just borrowed a truck. Nothing will keep us.

Not even Boo having food poisoning. It's fresh, and not forgotten. He will probably never eat macaroni salad again.

But not even that will keep us.

I hope that tonight you also get the chance to lay your head where your heart is.

Merry Christmas Folks!

s.l

12/21/2011

Crazy-Going-Slowly-Am-I

What a crazy morning it's been.

Let me start at last Saturday's Christmas party. The story begins at a golf course in Kitchener for the dealership that Boo just started working at. He hardly knows anyone there, and the pair of us felt tres awkward.

Neither one the type to jump in and initiate conversation, both sufferers of bad name recall, and with no place to stand but the middle of the section we are currently feeling trapped within. Luckily there's the bar.

Five feet away. People began rounding up their gusto with a glass of whatever. It was beer for me - always in a bottle - and with no tonic for the gin he wanted, a tall boy for Boo. Some introductions began, and brief conversation struck. It wasn't soo bad.

Boo was doing great remembering the names he feared to have forgotten. I was glad to have opted for a pair of dress pants and flats instead of that amazing red dress and who-knows-what pair of heels, making the situation a tad more comfortable.

The owner approaches and it's settled. We will be eating dinner at his table with he and his beautiful wife. It was an honour to have been asked - really.

Boo, wanting to be kind to the ladies chooses a seat two away from the wife. His logic was that I take the seat beside, and the ladies now have someone to talk to. Nice in thought, fatal in function.

Boo is now directly across from the owner at a table set for eight, in which only 7 end up at. There was the owners who Boo's boss bought from, them, us, and a sales manager. Boo is sitting beside me - and an empty chair.

The night goes on, and as everyone is up dancing having a good ole time, we are worried about the long drive back to Hamilton and our own dinner party set for the next day. We decide to step out and go somewhere we both would rather be. Home.

Sunday takes an early start. With planning, preparing, cleaning and cooking - it also becomes a very full day. Dinner comes and goes. It took much longer to come than to go though. Ever notice how that happens?

Anyways, it was a great night spent with friends and family. The four loads of dishes I did on Monday (2 in dishwasher and 2 by hand) are a testament to how much we wanted them to fill their bellies with love. That's the secret to good cooking you know, make it with love.

So what else happened Monday you ask. Well, turns out that party we left early two nights prior had a draw for a flat screen t.v that we won - and a LCBO gift card. Merry, merry Christmas to me, and Boo - and me!

I, being the unemployed one, got the task of taking care of the old t.v and components to be removed from the t.v room and moved into the gym - the old gym t.v components being removed from in there - and the new t.v being set up in the newly emptied t.v room. Another full day.

Since we have only owned tube televisions before this, yes I know...dinosaurs - but dinosaurs that still work and didn't need to be replaced nonetheless - I needed to wait until the evening to have Boo assist with the heavy tube t.v moving part.

He helped me move, then in good ole husband fashion, falls asleep on the couch.

While he was sleeping, I took it upon myself to move our black retro pleather couch into the gym, rearranged more furniture and work-out equipment. I also relayed the foam fitness floor tiles, and did I mention anything about moving a frigen treadmill. Yes I did. Back and forth, back and forth.

The place looked good!

I went to bed sore, yet feeling accomplished. That was at 1am.

Come 6am I am awoken by Boo saying 'what the heck did she do!? - is she crazy?'

Umm, yep. Turns out that I am.

He says how much he likes it, and that I shouldn't have done all that by myself, but I am left feeling like he doesn't know of the amount of work that was involved while he slept, peacefully.

Craving that level of peace myself, I lay my head down and drift back to sleep. It was 6 in the morning after all - and many of my days this week started well before then. I just wanted sleep, so I did.

Half-an-hour later I am awoken again, and this time not so nicely.

There is a loud bang. I think something has broken.

Now there is yelling. Loud 'eff words'. He says the real thing folks, there's no censoring an angry Boo, no effing way.

I posed the question 'Are you okay?' from the couch I drifted asleep on, only to find out my husband had turned certifiable.

No, he was not okay. Someone had loosened the lid on his coffee cup.

Someone must have - because he remembers putting it on properly - right before it crashed to the floor in the entry all over the newly laid ceramic and two day old area rug, his freshly ironed suit a mess, and he was going to be late - and there it was - his cool was lost. A complete goner.

He yelled, he screamed, and he sulked. His morning went to shit and with it so did mine.

While he cleaned up, I went and picked out some new clothes. Would he even wear these ones together?? I ask. He says sure, whatever. He knows I am trying.

Things get better as we get cleaned up. He gets redressed.

Screw off I say, as he comes out telling me I ruined his new dress shirt - the sleeves are now much shorter than I remembered. lol He holds his arms out with a look of despair saying 'look'.

It's undeniable. He was acting like a kid, and now he looks like one too.

He leaves wearing his too short of a shirt. His ego is already crushed so he doesn't have the strength to care, but I do.

I give him a kiss and tell him to 'be a great day' because it's not what happens in our days that makes the story, it's how you handle it - and having someone there to pick up the pieces when they fall to the floor makes the puzzle a little easier to piece back together.

I love Boo for all his strength and for his weaknesses too.

This makes him human, and he makes me crazy.

s.l

11/14/2011

It's a Perfectly Good Hat

Pretty much ever since I've been of age, and of money, to be able to get my Dad real gifts  I've generally bought him clothes. I'd say he loves it... unlike the plumb bob I made him back in grade 9 tech class which I didn't even make plumb. lol

That can be one hella embarrassment when your Dad is a perfectionist, especially in his field of construction. Any other dad would have no idea, but mine really knows his stuff when it comes to the tools of any trade.

Meet Dad, his daughters, and his hat

What seems like many moons ago, I gifted Dad a camo do rag from Bass Pro Shop. He wore the shit out of that thing. The two, him and his hat, were inseparable.

What made it even sweeter for him was the fact that Mom hated it. Actually, we all loved that she hated it, and the hilarious stir that no hat ever before it managed to cause. Not even his fu@k hat which was trucker style, black with many different poorly worded sayings lettered in white.

I did not buy him that hat. I couldn't have afforded it on my allowance, and have never been a saver, not even back then. Some things never change ;)

I am sure you can imagine just fine the things the hat might have said. I can't remember them all, can't believe that I even remember that hat. Hmmm I wonder if he still has it? Probably like new, she might have had more control back then - but it's no good really, cause there's censorship now. lol

Anyways, that do rag was well past greased and worn, and then eventually it wore out.

Mom jumped for joy, and Dad wondered where he'd ever find another one.

Enter day saving daughter, about a year late. Dad's birthday is coming up. December 5th, five days before mine. Us kids have been pitching in lately for parents gifts, the more the merrier, and the further our hard earned monies will go.

On top of what ever we decide, I thought it would be nice for him if he got reunited with an old friend. Shopping Etsy this morning, I came across exactly what I wanted him to have. It's perfect.

My newest Etsy find from John's Crafts

So was the price.

Now if only I can find a camo t-shirt, cause he forgot his equally well worn one the beach. Yes - I am sure that if he would have went back, no one would have taken it.

It's probably still there.

s.l

11/08/2011

How Far They've Come: A Jewelry Update

You probably wouldn't remember, as it is wild enough that I do. Here are some of my work in progresses, that have progressed. Their fully finished selves are very nice to look at. 

Looking back, Chaos and Prosperity have improved quite a bit. Chaos with those dimensional earrings, and Prosperity with that cute charm, without the charms, bracelet. 

Chaos
Prosperity
Festive Flower

Festive Flower is where my pride lies. It took me a good year, but looking back at where it all started, this set can finally be called complete. Don't the bronze jump ring chains really pull it together? I love it!

What do you think about the middle to end, did I make the right choices? Anything you would have done differently, besides not taking so long??

10/14/2011

Light Up Our Lives: A Housing Update

Lighting plays a huge impact on the atmosphere of an area. The smaller the room, probably the more of an importance can be laid. You want a WOW factor, and if done properly lighting can do that for you. 

The rooms around here are pretty small. Not ginormous, as of course this is no mansion we are living in. It's no shack either though. A whole family could - and did - reside in this house quite comfortably with ample space for all. There's lots of room for two. 

Back when we were at our old apartment, long before we ever knew our lives would be changing so drastically, we spent a little money on fixing the place up. 

It did not matter that we did not own it, as other than plaster and paint, the other stuff we could take with us, if the day came upon us. We doubted it ever would, as we were way content living simple back then. 

Mexicana orange and hemp seed, I believe those were the colours we went with. They were so carefully picked out. We even went with Benjamin Moore paint, ooh that's a pricey one! 

When it came to lighting, we picked out a silver toned five bulbed chandelier for the dining room. It was a steal, at half-price or something like that, and we loved it!


A stylish choice in lighting
if I do say so myself

So did the in-laws. 

They were soo pleased with our choices!

Would we mind if they copied?

Of course not. Go ahead!

This is one of those things you looked back on much differently than you seen head on. We've been experiencing that a lot, the everything happens for a reason... the you may not understand at the time but... that kind of stuff.

Not that we whole heartily understand at this point, but you try to make the most of the puzzle with the pieces you have. 

So we went on with our lives. It was quite a while later that everything changed, and after many complications we bought my in-laws home.

That same home that had a matching chandelier to ours within the breakfast nook, right where my in-laws had decided to place it.

Ours went in the dining room. 

Dining room
with our apartment chandelier

Within the kitchen, there's another light. Another light similar in appearance. And yet again, an even bigger chandelier in our entrance way (not shown).

Breakfast Nook
with my in-laws chandelier

Kitchen lighting
similar in style

The light that we took down in order to put ours up, was also a chandelier. It is nothing remotely similar in appearance, and as my sister would say, was very gaudy - until she got her hands on it. 

It was covered in crystals. Hanging, dangling crystals - everywhere. They are now all in a plastic bag, awaiting a visit with the dishwasher (how I love that thing) and we will go from there with repurposing the chandelier.

AG Office lighting
minus the many crystals

 So tonight we finally got this pretty light installed in my office. Although you may not think so looking at this photo, cause honestly neither would I, the light is a great addition. 

It adds such charm to my spare bedroom turned office.

I know that it's been a long time coming, and update pictures for my office are way overdue. Like July overdue. Every time I turn around there's another great idea that pops into my head, and I do not want to do a premature showing. 

I want it to be phenomenal - just like all the other craft room reveals I've read about with great interest on other blogs.

I can't wait!

Pretty much everything in my office has been repurposed. Including our old spice racks we just hung for my promo materials. Besides paint, plaster, trim, and flooring - the bulk of this project has been free. I am cheap.

 Where I come from cheap often adds character, and free is always fabulous. 

s.l

Feb 2014: Here's that office update I promised ya :) 

9/19/2011

The Restraints of Comfort

I've never really been an outgoing gal.

Sure if in my comfort zone, in the comfort of friends I am raring for fun, and quite humorous. I would be considered the instigator of the crazy LOL silliness that will ensue - in those cases.

What's your comfort?
Without my comforts, I can be quite shy. I am definitely not one to try things solo and always find myself feeling awkward when it comes time for meeting strangers. Can you relate?

Wanting to better myself, the myself that I have become over the past 29 years, I have been slowly pushing my limits. Expanding my horizons. Focusing on my fitness.

Experiencing new things and living the life that I want to live.

These are all important parts to my individual growth.

The fact that I lived in Toronto for 8 years and hardly ever went anywhere besides work and back home is disturbing. I didn't know much of the city when I left. Only a little more than when I got there.

I was scared of going out and meeting people alone for fear of meeting the wrong people. Nervous of joining groups, or meeting up with someone I didn't completely know. While already knowing that I tend to be an attractive being for the wackos, I played it safe.

Last Monday I went to join up for beginner pilates classes.

Solo.

Although it didn't work out as planned, I went there with good intention. Seems their system was down and registering was not an option. I will try again today.

Lets hope those precious spots have not yet been filled up.

I know not a soul who will be there, and I will be going alone. I am looking forward.

Yay me!

What have you been doing to push yourself lately? Maybe there is something you've been thinking of, but just haven't taken the leap to push yourself into action. What is it?

s.l

9/10/2011

Just Floored: Housing Update

So here it is, in all it's pink glory.

Dinning Room


Keep in mind we have done nothing in here, 
with the exception of flooring and lighting. 

Note: The pink is not mine. 
I will not be keeping it.


The flooring is called Sunset Oak. We actually found it at Costco for a really great price.

 $36.99 I believe.

 It's very thick at 15.3mm, with padded back, and a 30 year warranty. Laminate flooring has come a long ways since the early days. 


I just love the hand-scrapped appearance.

Sunset Oak

So the plan is for the upstairs, minus kitchen and bath, to all be done in the same. 

With the dinning room, master bedroom, and my office freshly laid, that leaves the guest room, hallway, and living room yet to be re-floored. 

I'd call that a half-way mark.

Not knowing what will run out first, money or our local Costco's supply, (and while fearing both) we pick up a box or two every time we make it there.

~

Thing is that when we pick up our box or two, some poor soul(s) (random fellow customer(s)) are seen stuck with choosing from the choices. 

They are noticeably unsure of what style to go with, as we also were. It's a big decision after all. You wouldn't want to make the wrong one. 

~

On my iPhone there are some of my office pictures, featuring the floor, that I very kindly show them. Like this:

Sewing Nook:
Sunset Oak & Surfer Blue

Thing is that being so kind can have a drawback. Like the panic that hits you upon exiting to the parking lot seeing mass of customers loading your floor into their suv's. 

Oh geeesh. What have I done. 

Regardless, it is a great floor and I would not want to sway a person in the wrong direction. 

My money has run out, hopefully their skids of that flooring wont. 

s.l 

8/31/2011

The Smell Of Success

With the help of my boyfriend, I almost got sprayed this morning. Having spray beamed upon your car window apparently doesn't qualify as a 'man down'.

We left the house late today, around 6am. Half an hour passed the ideal leave time for our Toronto bound commute.

When you leave half an hour later, there seems to be a million plus 5 things that can and probably will go wrong.

Never did I think the payback would happen so soon, 30 seconds in, at the corner of my street.

We pulled up to the stop sign and Boo started freaking out. He was seeing a petite black and white dog boot it across the road ahead. 'Run little doggie. RUN.'

I do a double take and realize quite quickly this is no pup, but rather a skunk.

By the time Boo has this figured, he's already got my window rolled down.

'WATCH THIS' as he proceeds to bark pretty realistically.

Laughter erupts as Little Skunk starts prancing about, tail in the air.

Thankfully Boo was on the ball this morning, and managed to revoke his new jerky status. Almost as quickly as he seemed to roll it down, my window was back up.

Belly laughter could be heard. It was not mine.

I wanted to go home. Unsure if I smelt, and paranoid that I did.

Little Skunk has been target practicing. Boy was his aim spot on.
It is his reaction time that needs improvement.

I smell like Givenchy Intense Play.

It's my lucky day.

s.l

8/03/2011

What's Not Gonna Work

We moved to Stoney Creek with a plan. We would live here and work there, with there being Toronto.

Keeping our jobs was important to me. With all these changes coming about within our lives, I took comfort that the job I've went to early mornings for almost 6 years now would remain constant.

Yes. We planned to commute.

It wasn't a bad plan. There are two of us, and we are both going to the same general area, at same times, on the same days.

Although I don't drive, Boo is used to the commute. He made the Hamilton to Toronto, Toronto to Hamilton run for many years, before the time of 'us'.

Highway of dreams come true goes where??
With the addition of a new highway close-by our house, he has said the 45 minute, on a good day, commute wasn't nearly as bad as in previous years.

Awesome, right.

Recently there has been a change in plan. Boo has been offered a new job.

It's one step up the in management ladder at another dealership - which happens to be closer to home. The family he has been working for going on 20 years now has acquired another dealership and they are eager to have him on their other side.

This is great news for Boo if he accepts the position... And he most likely will.
However, I can't help but feel like this is bad news for me. I hate seeking new employment. I truly dislike the process.

On the brighter side, I am sure better things are to come. I know they are. It's just a matter of getting beyond the fact my life is changing more than I'd like it to.

For the moment, I am feeling stuck within time. I've been doing some half-assed soul searching. Trying to figure where exactly I'd like to work, part-time for now, as I will be keeping my current job as long as possible.

If you had to face a change in employment, where would you like to work?

I am thinking somewhere with discounts to make up for the change in income. Maybe more of a fun position, where creativity would be encouraged... honestly, I am thinking Michaels.

There are other ideas in the hat and I would like more. Do tell, where would you work?!

s.l

7/26/2011

Surfer Blue and Sunset Oak

It's been too long friends.

This was a great weekend for getting stuff done. Going into Saturday my office-to-be was looking fresh with new paint from top to bottom.

Surfer blue walls bouncing playfully off of the sunset oat flooring. White quarter round framing the walls making up a future escape, my own office.

In all it's Beauty: Surfer, Behr
image: myperfectcolor.com
The Shine of Sunset Oak




This room has been planned over and over. I carefully measured furniture pieces and their allocated space months ahead, marking each on the floor in my mind.

The budget was not much, as naturally money is tighter than I am used to. I didn't need to spend much regardless.

With a house full of furniture my full intentions were breathing life into the possibilities. Repurposing pieces long forgotten, they were all set aside for another time.

Now and then is a startling difference.

There are no photos, except for the snapshots within my mind.

My next post will likely be the showing off and telling of what I have come up with so far. Photos included.

There is still much work to do with organizing, but now that the ball is rolling, momentum is gaining - along with my excitement. It's a great space.

It will be enjoyed.

Are you redoing a room, maybe some furniture, or have a DIY on the go? It feels great to start a project, and seeing the transformation brings much satisfaction. Show it off. Tell me about it.

s.l