Tuesday, May 5, 2015

HI HI HI

HELLOOOOOOOO NIKIVERSE!
Oh my gosh, how much i have missed being here.
The last week has been all about NikCo: a card set update on Etsy, first show of the season, May/June class list.
Busy with work is ALWAYS good, but it doesn't leave much time for hanging out at the library to share completely random things,

like this tortoise yard art 
that for a moment, 
from a distance,
 i thought was real. 
Until i remembered i wasn't in the Galapagos. 





BTW, since i mentioned it, be sure to have a gander at the new card sets on Etsy here; they are an eclectic mish-mosh of useful, but interesting, much like me.
Happy May to you all! 
It is indeed my birthday month so every day is a reason to celebrate here in the Nikiverse.
Yesterday was Star Wars Day, today is Cinqo de Mayo and tomorrow is International No Diet Day. [no, i did not make that up] 
Enjoy every day of May, people.

And now for a random beauty break:
April tulips, with Great Gma Weber looking on






































One wee bad thing about May is that it marks the end of National Grilled Cheese Month.
We all know that i love grilled cheese.
And that i love the Grilled Cheese & Co.
At the end of last year i was able to introduce my friend Suzanne to the wonders of the GCC:
capturing her first bite; can i tell you how PLEASED Suzanne is that this is her first photo in The Nikiverse?
Her first experience was my go-to fave, the Blue Ox, while i tried the holiday special, The Gobbler:

mmmmmmmm... roasted turkey, gouda, apple butter, potato pancakes, and arugula on pumpernickle...
Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, except hold the arugula because yuck.




Speaking of specials, the most recent special at GCC was the Mac Daddy.
I will give you a moment to just behold its majesty.
Yes friends, that is a grilled cheese filled with mac-n-cheese and pot roast.
A MONI CHEESE GRILLED CHEESE, PEOPLE.
Words can not capture even a portion of its awesomeness.
Unfortunately, the Mac Daddy's time has passed, but we are at least back to one of my favorites, the Santorini.

Last week i walked into the living room to the sight of my salt shaker on the floor, balanced perfectly on its top.
When did it fall?
How did it land exactly on its top?
What is it even doing in the living room?
Most importantly, how am i gonna pick it up without salt pouring out all over the floor?
Not only is it bad luck to knock over salt, it is impossible to sweep up.
After much strategizing, i went with flipping it over as fast as possible with the hope that centrifugal force [yes, i know it isn't really a force so much as an effect of inertia, but force is the common word used, so...] would push the salt against the walls of the shaker.
Nope.
Nope, it sure didn't work that way. 
Yes, salt went flying everywhere in a lovely arc.
So much for strategy.

Finally, a popNikiquiz:
What is Niki's favorite string instrument?
Go ahead and call it out!


Did someone just say dobro?
Wow,  that is a wild-a** guess; though points for originality.
Most of you, of course, said the cello.
Enjoy some cello.





Saturday, April 25, 2015

bowing to the inevitable march of time

Well i finally had to give in and buy some magnifying readers.
Yes, i realize that i am over forty.
And yes, i realize they are only 1.25Xs.
And yes, i realize that i paid less than $5 for them.
But still... glasses.
sigh...
I don't need them all the time, but print that i can read at 11 am is crazy fuzzy at 11 pm so they are necessary.
I was at least able to get blingy ones.
Once i surrendered to the idea of not having perfect vision it was easy to also get 4Xs to use as magnifiers when i am doing really small bead or wire work. My dad had an old pair with bright red stems that make me feel like a judgy librarian since i have to wear them on the end of my nose or i get nauseous when i move my head.
Are those books overdue, young man?

Friday, April 10, 2015

even more random than normal

The first official class in NikCo Studio - Collage Creations - happened two weeks ago and was a success. I have posted a few pictures on the NikCo Facefook page, but here is a collage of some of the fun that was had:


Suzanne and I met for Ice Cream for Breakfast Day back on March 21st at Coldstone Creamery.
She had Coffee Lovers and i created my own mix of Oreo filling ice cream with caramel, Reese's cups and rainbow sprinkles. Yes, i did say my ice cream tasted just like Oreo cream.
It was ridiculously good.


On the same day we celebrated Dash's fifth birthday with a minion themed family party.
It was a really good time. though you might not know it by looking at the cake picture:

That kid hated having the birthday song sung to him.
I am not sure if it was the actual song, the attention or the off-key singing, but he held his ears through the whole song and while he blew out the candle.
These are the sorts of tales and pictures i am collecting for the rehearsal dinner at his wedding.





A few days ago i received some REALLY GOOD news and some REALLY BAD news a few hours apart.
Have you ever been so happy and so sad at the same time that it short-circuited your brain?
I retired to my heated bed, but couldn't fall asleep to nap.
Couldn't nap? 
That is serious because i am a champion napper.
 All i could do was lay curled under my fuzzy blanket, stare into space and wonder, What is the difference between a faun and a satyr?
 Mr Tumnus from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was half-goat/ half-man and called a faun; whereas, Grover from the Percy Jackson series is half-goat/ half-man and called a satyr.
What the what, people?
[And we won't even get into how faun and fawn are homophones so when i was little i kept expecting baby deers to show up and couldn't understood why they never did,]
All afternoon i racked my brain, trying to ferret out any little piece of forgotten mythology that would answer the question, to no avail. So today i looked it up.
MENTAL MORSEL: The interwebs cannot agree, but after reading waaaaaayyyyyy too many articles about both this is what i have gleaned:

  •  fauns are originally from Greek mythology, followers of Pan, forest-dwellers, have attributes of both goat and man and are generally depicted as fun-loving, joyful, music-playing scamps
  •  satyrs appear in both Greek and Roman mythology, followers of Dionysus or Bacchaus (Greek/Roman), have attributes of both goat and man as well as horse and are depicted as lustful, hard-partying hooligans 
  •  as has happened with all Greek and Roman mythology over the years, fauns and satyrs have been confused, combined and used interchangeably so that now many consider faun to be the Greek name and satyr to be the Roman name for the same creature

Phew...hope that cleared up the confusion.

Finally, i have finally updated my 101 List to reflect what i have done over the last month.

Monday, April 6, 2015

i would like my reward now, please

This may be the truest thing i have ever seen on the Internet.
found at theberry.com; no idea where it originated
I love lip balm.
Every kind of lip balm.
In my possession right now i have (and this is off of the top of my head): Carmex regular, squeezy Carmex, squeezy Blistex, Chapstick, Burt's Bees with tint, Nivea, Mellaluca, Mary Kay, Walgreen's brand and some generic thing from my car dealer.
They are in my room, the living room, the kitchen, my travel bag, my purse, my glove compartment and my pocket. Honestly, you should just never be too far from lip balm of some sort.
Plus, as the picture says - they just disappear.
I use lip balm every day and don't remember even once using an entire tube.
Ever.
UNTIL NOW
Duh duh duhhhhhhh:
Yes my friends, that is a completely used-up tube of lip balm.
I realize how crazy this is, but i was insanely proud of myself for actually using a full tube without losing it.

Side note:
Years ago, when i first started at my old job, i was partnered with Brian; that is, on the road with him every single day.
And every day when i put on lip balm i would ask him, Want some lip balm?
Why would i want to blow up my lips? he would reply, every day.
After five years, i still laughed ever single time.
In fact, i might have giggled just typing that.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

late-century anthropomorphized dehydrated fruit

There are some things from your childhood that just make you smile.
Passing a house recently, i was stopped dead in my tracks:
Are those hand-cut wood California Raisins?!?
Why yes, yes they are.
How have i not noticed them before; i have been past that house before.
Maybe there are new owners who just put them out?
Why would they have just put them out?
Have they been around since 1986? Cause if so, they are in good condition (except the guy all the way on the end who is missing his face).
Anytime i see a California Raisin, A Claymation Christmas Celebration comes to mind.
I remember watching it with my parents.
It was certainly different from the other Christmas offerings at the time; i think it might have even won an Emmy.
It had the best version of We Three Kings ever.
There were jazzy singing camels.
In sneakers.
How can that not make you smile?

You know, i think i might have a VHS of that special taped off the tv in 1987 in my closet.
Gotta go look...

woohoooooo, i heard it through the grapevine...

Monday, March 30, 2015

enormous disco snowman

How did they even build him that big without a skid-steer?
At night you could really see his branch arms busting the disco moves (especially if you jiggle the camera accidentally) .
Yes, he was so massive they put a floodlight on him


Mental Morsel: thanks to Rea for teaching me the word skid-steer yesterday. I had no idea that the wee Bobcats and Caterpillars you see at constructions sites had a name besides those little bulldozers.
I have always wanted to own one. You know, for all of those pesky digging and moving things chores around the house.

Friday, March 27, 2015

why doesn't this post have a title?

This morning i briefly woke up between dreams, barely opened my eyes and saw a sweet black kitty curled up just a few inches from my head sleeping that really deep sleep that only cats, ferrets and teen-aged boys seem to know.
Flooded with affection i rubbed my forehead on the top of its head and drifted back to sleep.
Except that it occurred to me that i don't own a cat.
Opened my eyes: sleeping black cat.
Closed my eyes really confused, Did i get a cat? Am i dreaming?
Opened my eyes and turned my head to a different angle: crumpley pillow in a dark flannel pillowcase.
A-ha.

Speaking of being in my bed, i love my bed.
I mean, i really love my bed: the cool iron headboard, the perfect mattress, my heated mattress pad, my pillow that i've slept with for 40 years, my fuzzy warm blankets.
Ahhhhhh... my bed.
Sometimes when it is time for my afternoon nap i don't even sleep. I just lie in my bed reveling in its awesomeness.
How much do i love my bed?
Rea sent me this video because in her words, As soon as i saw it, i thought of you and your bed.
[though i would like to point out that i generally don't go to bed with my cheek pouches full]
Bikke the Chip morning stretch

If you are wondering how i can possibly have the time to lollygag about in my bed, it is because i am self-employed. I am more creative at night so it makes sense for me to nap in the afternoon so that i can stay up.
Self- motivating is not my greatest strength so my BFF -who is also self-employed- and I talk once, twice, three times a lady... i mean once or twice a day to help each other map out goals, check progress, celebrate accomplishments and goad each other on.
A few mornings ago i was sitting at the dining  room table talking to her and realized that i was drinking yummy Earl Grey tea directly from the pot. The spout kept everything neat like a straw and i didn't have to wait to go get a cup.
I wonder if i have a caffeine problem...

 Spring means spring festivals for NikCo.
May 2nd and May 9th are already booked and i am deciding which Strawberry Festival i want to do.
Since a lot of festivals are harvest themed i have been looking for fruity beads for Quirkees and finally decided on these polymer ones:
Excited to sort them and start making earrings and bracelets, I got right to it after taking this picture and realized quickly that my idea of fruit and the maker's idea of fruit are a bit different.
There were the obvious ones, thank goodness.

Apple, pear, watermelon, strawberry and kiwi.
Orange, lemon, lime.
I am even okay with the pink apples and strawberries; even though they are not 100% realistic, it is obvious what they are and who doesn't love some pink?

Then there were these dotted ones that i had to stare at for a while before i decided that the top ones were longitudinal cross-sections of apple, and pear and the bottom ones are pomegranates, maybe.






And then there these random babies:
Obviously they are supposed to be citrus sections, but pink peel/pink flesh, lime peel/teal flesh, yellow peel/bright green flesh and dark bluey-green peel and flesh?
Where does this bead artist go shopping?
Finally there are the three beads that i cannot figure out for the life of me.
These are fruits, in theory.
Anybody got a guess?
Anyone?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

you'll have to register that shillelagh, ma'am

My dad lives in a gated community.
This is what i saw driving in today:
i love oldsters


Sunday, March 15, 2015

random brain bits

I love visiting Florida.
Living there? Not so much.
But a nice week in the sunshine is just what is needed to relax, clear one's mind and start to shake off those winter doldrums.
There are record high temperatures this week.
The AC broke, so that's a bit unfortunate.
Still, i don't have to shovel heat.

Two weeks ago i couldn't close zip-top bags.
I use them every day in the studio.
I have never had any issue before, but suddenly, no matter how many times i slid my fingers down the top ridge, it wouldn't seal.
I tried different sizes and brands, but i was stymied.
What the what, people?
Then just as suddenly, last Tuesday i could close all of the bags again.
Sometimes i think my house must have been built over toxic waste and the fumes are making me hallucinate large parts of my life. It would explain a lot.

Going by someone's house yesterday on my constitutional, i saw small decorative piles of rocks placed as yard art and said, Oh look -  Inukshuks! to the no one riding along with me.
Then i paused to think, Why in the world do i even know that word? Inuit sculpture isn't something i encounter in my every day life.
It was from an episode of due South.
Betcha haven't thought about that show in a hot minute.
Who says tv isn't educational?
Upon closer investigation they were less traditional Arctic tribal art and more tiny little adorable  rock people.
i want them in my yard
Mental Morsel: the plural of inukshuk is not inukshuks as i thought, but rather inuksuit, which i have no idea have to pronounce.

Recently i heard some less than good news of a medical nature (not about me).
For the next 36 hours or so i had the Time For Your Checkup song from Doc McStuffins stuck in my head. A 43-year old woman with no children should not have to endure It's okay if you giggle; this will only tickle a little for that long.
Great. Now it is stuck in my head again.

Bonus Mental Morsel: despite sounding like most of the noble gasses (neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) the coolant Freon is not really a single chemical, but the trade name of a bunch of different chloroflourocarbons used as refrigerants.
Generally, Freon is four times heavier than air.


I can't believe it took me the last 25 minutes searching the internet to find that this guy's name is Sir Scoopsalot.
You know i can't resist a costume character and this guy was in Hampden, hon, handing out coupons to The Charmery.

If you haven't been to The Charmery in Baltimore, you need to go now.
They make all the ice cream in-house from local milk, invent interesting flavors and try to capture the spirit of our charming, quirky city.
I highly recommend the salty caramel.
Every day is the right day for ice cream, even if it is only 30 degrees.
Or you can get hot chocolate with house-made marshmallow.

The fountain in the lake in front of my dad's house goes off at 11:47 pm or, as my dad informed me when i pointed it out, 10:47 pm before daylight saving's time.
Nice round number, yeah?
It gives me pause.

Recently -maybe the last two months-  i have been using "totes" instead of totally when speaking.
Hello 2010, what are you doing here?
I didn't use that term when it was popular.
Why in the world would i suddenly start now?
I didn't even realize i was doing it until i heard one of my charges -a kindergartner no less- use it in a sentence and realized she had to have picked it up from me.
Now i am hyper-aware of when it slips into conversation and am really annoyed with myself.
So to all of the people with whom i might have had a conversation of late, i am sorry about resurrecting this lame slang.
I think i need to go with the snapping-rubberband-around-the-wrist aversion therapy to stop myself.


And finally, to end this stream of consciousness, kittens:
Spring 2014 with Erin, Caleb, Cameron and Collin





Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WWoB goes to school

Hitting that snooze button a second time seemed like the right choice at 7 am.
To shower faster i skipped the conditioner on my hair, threw on workout pants and a sweater and was out the door at 7:28 to be at JP's at 7:30 to wake up Dash at 7:40.
Easy-peasy.
ummmmmm... are you wondering how i parked in front of that tree?
I didn't.
And that is not a tree.
It is a ginourmo tree limb laying ON my car.
Good news - only a few scratches that will easily wash or buff off.
Bad news - i had to lift that grody, soaking wet, very heavy dead thing off of my car and then move it into the front yard, around another tree so that i could pull my car out resulting in me being covered in mud.
By the time i got to JP's it was already time to get up the boy.
Got all of the morning routine done and left his house on time, but never got around to putting up my hair.
And that is why the Wild Woman of Borneo walked into the Otter's classroom this morning with muddy clothes, destroyed nails and half-wet, half-dry, frizzy, almost but not quite curly hair.
One can assume it was a sight.

Monday, March 9, 2015

i never want to take them off

I have never liked long pajama pants.
The bottoms ride up when you get in bed and twist all around your calves.
My legs get hot.
They bug me.
But for Christmas my sister bought me the fuzziest, softest, most wondrous pajamas that have ever existed.

Can you see the fuzzy?
And they are that fuzzy on the inside, too.
And polka dots.
POLKA DOTS!
Pink polka dots even.
I put them on and it felt like i was wrapped in a flock of fleecy sheep, without the bothersome wool rash or barnyard stank.
I don't think i took them off for 2 days.
As soon as they were laundered, i put them back on.
I freakin' LOVE these jammie pants.