Wednesday, July 23, 2014

from one nest to another

Oh hello there!
I am a girl about town right now, enjoying everyone else's vacations.
air conditioning... sigh

You're going away?
I will miss you terribly.
Can i have your keys?

Monday, July 14, 2014

sleeping with 2 blondes

Max and Zoe greeting me at the door

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ummmmm... Go Ravens?

It was a wonderful studio weekend.
The weather was hot, but oddly un-humid so all the windows were thrown open.
Cards were made, jewelry was designed, pieces were inventoried and, of course, glitter was packaged.
Generally the process of getting my glittery present under control is going well, but there have been a few snafus, like the bag of extra chunky that ripped and sent a shower of teal all over the table and the bag of standard grade that i stepped on causing an eruption of green up my legs.
But the biggest problem so far has been the fine grade purple. A lovely color to be sure, but i didn't realize there was a crack in the container when i started to portion it out into crack bags.
A big crack.
A BIG crack.
Given the lovely weather i was working on the porch.
Good news: i was outside, so i didn't have to clean up the studio.
Bad news: i was outside, so this:
Well. That's... festive...
 I apologize in advance to everyone in the Greater Baltimore-Washington Metroplex who will most certainly find a speck of purple glitter in their water in about 5 years.

On the bright side,
at least it's purple, right?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

inexplicable aloha

I have done several yard sales to purge studio overstock culled during this huge studio revamp NikCo is currently undergoing.
[side note: anyone need glitter? anyone?]
Generally i have done an excellent job not looking at or purchasing other people's stuff.
Sure, i dropped 50 cents on a metal palm tree that i am going to refashion into a dragonfly and i bought a rubber stamp set that i have been eyeing for months and happened to find at 60% off, but that isn't really so much compared to how much stuff i have been able to off-load.
However, i did i have a moment of buyer frenzy at the SIA yard sale. You see, many of the members donated items to be sold, with all if the proceeds going directly to the club.
Margaret has been joking for months about a fabric Elvis she was bringing to sell. What is not funny about a fabric Elvis? It is exactly the kind of thing one would hope to find at a yard sale. Every time she mentioned it i envisioned a black velvet Elvis and was secretly excited to see it, but knew that it wouldn't be in the Niki price range (free to nearly free).
The SIA table ended up directly across the parking lot from me; after the first few hours of setting up and taking care of customers (would you like glitter with that?) i was able to take a little break and noticed Elvis propped up at the edge of their canopy.
Not a black velvet painting at all, he appeared to be a poster sized tapestry of the Aloha From Hawaii concert.
Oh, dear.
I have a real soft place in my heart for the Aloha From Hawaii concert.
It was the first satellite simulcasted concert, you know. Back in the early 70's that was a big deal.
We owned the double album. When i was in kindergarten it was only half-day. My mom would pick me up at lunch time and we'd listen to records while making lunch. Elvis was in heavy rotation in our living room, especially that record. We'd sing along while she let me stand on a chair to help stir the soup or watch the hotdogs boiling away. To this day it is my favorite Elvis album.
And there he was in all of his fabricky, spangled, leied, white jump-suited glory.
Since it was bigger than anticipated i was sure it was out of the Niki price range.
Time passed and i couldn't stop staring.
It is impossible to explain. I felt mesmerized, like i had been put under a spell.
One side of my brain was all business and practical:
Niki, snap out of it!
You don't have any poster sized space left anywhere in the apartment.
You can't afford it.
We are here to get rid of stuff and make money.
The other side was all:
Margaret came over at one point to look at all of the crafty goodness i was selling. Though she did not bite on any supplies, she was interested in some Quirkees. While conversing i casually asked about the price tag on Elvis so that i would stop thinking about it.
I have it marked $10, but would consider any offers, she replied.
She really liked a pair of owl earrings with water tourmaline that were $8 so i suggested an even trade - the owls for Elvis - and she agreed.
Elvis was mine and i didn't even have to pay for him!
I mean, yes, technically he cost me $8, but there was no real cash exchange as Margaret just gave the SIA table the money.
After she finished looking at all of the other tables, Margaret picked up Elvis and brought him over to me.
As she got closer he got bigger. And bigger. And bigger.
Holy Schnikes!
Elvis is not poster sized at all.
He is basically life sized.
Oh my gracious, where am i gonna put that? and Mine, mine, mine, mine! competed in my head.
Much like the birthday glitter, Elvis was equal parts delightful and terrifying.
But i have no buyer's remorse.
Oh no, i am happy as a clam, people.
I just need to find a place to put an Elvis that is almost bigger than me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

pain in my heart and palm

sigh... I can't even blame February this time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Guess where I am

You got it!
Sitting in my living room editing pictures i haven't blogged yet.
Just as fun as being on vacation!
no, not really 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

15 minutes could get me 15 pictures or more

I have State Farm insurance.
I have always have State Farm.
I am happy with State Farm.
I have no intention of ever switching from State Farm.
But would that stop me from gleefully having my picture taken with the Geiko Gecko?
I think we all know the answer to that...
Big, fun, green lizard.
Wants to save me some money.
Nope. Just the picture.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Howdy Partner!

Over the weekend i saw some folks at HonFest and it being HonFest and all, the topic of hair came up.
Vanessa said she's been missing my hair/jewelry posts. I hadn't actually given it any thought as working at home with short hair doesn't lend itself to interestingly accessorized hair.
As it is my Tuesday at the Flea, i actually spent more than 3 minutes on my hair (probably 5) and used a pin that i haven't worn. Here you go, Nessa - cross-rolled side pony with a pearl-head cowgirl:

Yes, i did indeed say pearl-head cowgirl.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

In Bocca Al Lupo, Carlotta!

Today is my friend Carlotta's birthday and last night a group of mutual friends gathered to celebrate her. Unfortunately (for me), it wasn't just a birthday party, but instead a farewell party. The lovely, hilarious, vivacious, curious, talented Carlotta is leaving for Europe to go on a vision quest. She might be back in the next 6 months to keep her resident alien status or she might find somewhere else where she wants to stay.
At dusk i photographed her in front of an amazing mosaic made by our hostess, Barbara. There were some nice portrait-type shots, but my favorite is one of her in mid-laugh. That is how i always think of her: laughing loudly or talking with great passion.

Safe travels my friend; seek joy.
Into the mouth of the wolf; may your wolf die. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good Luck, Felicia!

fTM Felicia is moving to New Mexico.
Yesterday we met at Meadows Custard in Columbia (btw, EXCELLENT custard) to hang out before she drives cross country next week. After a few hours she said that she wanted to try to find the playground of her youth in Cedar Lane Park. Neither one of us was sure exactly which entrance to the park led to the playground (as with all things in Columbia the park is as confusing as possible) or exactly where any of the entrances were, but such trivialities do not deter us.
Did we find it?
Of course.
There was a new playground there, as one would expect after 25 years and it is fantastic. We played for a while, then chilled at the picnic tables in a shady glade.  Felicia spotted a turtle statue that had been in the park when she was little. She agreed to a little photo shoot with it as this will be her last appearance on The Nikiverse for a hot minute. The last shot was my favorite; she was laughing so hard that she almost fell off and this is the moment where she recovered her balance.
Drive safe, have fun and ENJOY your new life!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

a hundred pounds of glitter

My boss Andrew walks into the store yesterday carrying a stack of floral wreaths.
We don't sell wreaths. This can not be good.
Remember my friend, James? he starts.
Oh no, oh no, oh no... James owns a design and decorating business and sometimes gives us his cast-offs to sell or use in the store.
You mean James of the horrible candle holders that i can't get rid of and are still taking up all the space in the back? says I.
Yes. Well long story short, he is leaving the country. I don't know why he's leaving, but i just bought about half of his showroom.
Did i mention that Andrew is not supposed to be buying anything right now as we rearrange the store?
Wait...  he interjects as my eyes roll almost into the back of my head. You can't be mad. Wait till you hear the screaming deal i got AND i bought you a present.
After some more discussion it was revealed that he did indeed get a really, really, really good deal and i was ready to hear about my pres-nent.
They are taking it apart and packing it now. I will go get it later.
What is it???? Give me a hint Andrew
What is you're favorite thing in the world? he asks.
Well, that could be a lot of things because i really like a lot of things.
Shiny, was the next hint.
That doesn't really narrow it down for me.
It will make you squeal.
Yep, that doesn't really help either.
GLITTER he triumphantly announced.
He had told me before that James had an entire glitter section that i would love, so when it was for sale yesterday Andrew bought it for me.
Oh My Squeeeeeeeeee!
Later that day he got a call and said, I am going to go pick up some more things from James, including your present. You just might kiss me when you see this.
I kept pricing the wreaths and floral -we are going to sell them at HonFest, June 14-15- and when he returned i rushed from the back with my hands out in the universal gesture for gimme, gimme, gimme.
Where's my glitter?
Outside. Bring your car keys.
My car keys... why?...
I'm not sure how we are going to get it into your car.
Have you ever received a present that was equal parts FAN-DAM-TASTIC and horrifying, my friends?
All of those long floral boxes are full of containers of glitter.

Of Glitter.
And sequins.
And spangles.
And seed beads.
And glitter.

After squinching and shoving and pushing to get all four boxes into my car and throwing Squeaky Monkey on top as there was no where else for him, Andrew turned to me and exclaimed Happy Birthday!
I had no reply. Speechless.

There is so much that when i got home i had to have my neighbor Chad help me unload the boxes as i couldn't lift them.
They are on the front porch as i have no clue where i am going to put 100 pounds of glitter.

Now might be a good time to mention that i am having another crafts yard sale on June 21st.
Free glitter with every purchase.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a girl and her cow

Sooooooper cute close-up!

Monday, June 2, 2014

surprisingly tasty

I mentioned that while i was in Ohio visiting Rea we made jelly because i had never canned anything before.
The violet jelly was beautiful and tasted good, but the dandelion jelly was INCREDIBLE!
How can anything made from a bitter weed be delicious?
Like the violets, you make an infusion from the flower petals that is the base of the jelly.
It tastes honey-er than honey; it has the bright sweetness, but not the aftertaste.
I was in charge of lidding the jars as i got to use the fun magnetic wand. To see the whole process and get the recipe for the BEST JELLY you have ever eaten, click on Rea's link.
One of cool surprises for me about making jelly was that while the jars cool and you wait for the blessed PING that indicates it has vacuum-sealed, watching the bubbles blubbing through the amber liquid was mesmerizing.
i just noticed that if you embiggen the video
 you can see my lovely BFF reflected in the upper left-hand corner 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lydia vs. USPS

I have often pointed out that i am a fan of the postal service. I really am.
My friend Lydia however, not so much.
They have a knack of screwing up her deliveries. Weird, but true.
Case in point- i received an email from her after having to cancel a Friday adventure due to feeling gackky that said: I hope you are feeling better and am checking that you received the manatee.
Umm... manatee?
I hadn't seen any manatee and as a marine science major who studied in FL, i would certainly know a manatee if i saw one.
She checked to make sure she had my address right, which she did, and then set about trying to find the missing manatee.
Meanwhile i was left wondering how she found a box large enough for a manatee - they are not tiny creatures, people.
According to USPS, the package had been delivered 3 weeks earlier.
Except that it wasn't.
Then, they found the package at the post office and claimed that they had left one of those peach colored You've Got A Package post cards.
Which they hadn't.
It is baffling to me because my letter carrier is really good.
  She would have just left the package in front of my apartment and if for some reason she couldn't -like it needs a signature- she always leaves the postcard.
All i can assume is that it was her day off.
Or that Lydia really is cursed when it comes to the mail.
Anyhoo, i was going to pick it up, but was too busy all the week so Lydia picked it up herself before we met for lunch. Look at this:

Clearly marked that it was delivered.

How could it possibly be marked delivered and yet still be at the post office at.the same time?
How could no one notice that discrepancy?
Someone really fell down on the job this time.

Before opening it while we waited at Grilled Cheese & Co (yummmmmmmmm) i wanted a picture of Lydia with this frustrating box, which we continued to refer to as the manatee despite it clearly not being a manatee.
I told her to either look sad about it getting lost, mad at USPS or simply bewildered by the whole think.

She tried, but could not hold any expression before bursting into laughter.
It is one of the things i love about her: Lydia is pleasant and prone to chuckling.

And then i finally got to solve the riddle of the manatee.
It is a loose tea infuser!
A manaTEA!
I love it, love it, love it! 

She included some loose black Chai tea so that i could use my new toy right away and yes, it makes an excellent brew.

Thanks Lydia!

And next time you need something shipped, let me do it for you.
USPS likes me.