Friday, February 5, 2016

awesome show this weekend!


NikCo will be there both days!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

bullet point bulletin


  • Despite the rumors that you may have heard, i am not laying comatose in a lab at a secret military installation immersed in a brain wave study to discover a renewable energy source that will have the power to save the Earth and mankind: boon to civilization that will inevitably be weaponized and show harmful side effects after 30-50 years. 
  • I could not tell you if i was involved in said completely hypothetical situation

  • My winter visit to Ohio was extra long and i got to spend lots of time with my mom, go shopping with my sister, meet my nephew's girlfriend over Christmas dinner (which i got to cook - yay to my mom having a better kitchen than me!) and visit Rea's farm. 

  • I did however learn that cows are quicker than you think.  When i pulled up in my car there was only one cow near the fence; by the time i got out of the car, there were four!  How did an 800 pound creature just appear like that?

  • The fabled studio redo is almost done, finally.    It has been a long time coming, but Rea and I set-up an 8 week challenge through December and January to get things organized, purged and rearranged in our respective houses with a scrapbooking retreat together as a reward at the end so I was really motivated.    I have seriously sorted and purged things, getting rid of supplies or pieces of half-done ideas that have been cluttering up my studio and my mind for far too long. There are 7-9 more boxes/bags to be sorted, but i have all of the new shelving and storage in place so it is only a matter of deciding what to keep and putting the other things into the correct space.

  • Tonight is the greatest night of the entire project: Labeling Night! Suzanne is coming over after work and we are going to label every box, bin, case, drawer and shelf in the studio, including relabeling anything already labeled so that all of the labels match.   MATCHING LABELS, PEOPLE! Clear, concise organization really makes my skirt fly up.

  • The newest addition to Nannie Niki's menagerie is an 11 week old terrier mix named Sasza (pronounced like Sasha) and she is a cutie-patootie, reminding me of my beloved Chang.

  • New Year's cards are done production and i am working on addressing and getting them in the mail. Watch your box.

  • Though winter is mostly a fallow festival season, don't forget the Annual Jewlery Show at Objects Found over Super Bowl weekend. More info about the event will be posted here and on the NikCo FB page, which you should go Like right now, in case you haven't already.

  • It has now been half of a year since my dad died and we have made it through the major holidays (except my and my brother's bbdays in May) without him for the first time. In no way i am through grieving, but i can feel some of the depression clouds parting.

  • I continue along with the 101 Goals in 1001 Days, doing very well on some and miserably on others. Once we return from our retreat at the end of the month i have plan in the works to invest time in a few of the languishing ones, including getting back to writing on a regular basis

Friday, January 1, 2016

fresh start

Today is my favorite non-holiday day of the year.
January 1st.
01/01/
1-1-
The beginning. The start. Fresh. New. Clean.
To the jaded naysayers who insist it is just a random day, artificial and meaningless, I say.
Well, DUH!
ALL dates are artificial, the concept of marking time, naming it, is a human construct and you could make the argument that all dates are meaningless - the Earth is gonna keep spinning whether we keep track of it or not.
We imbue days with meaning for ourselves.
I happily choose to consider today another chance to re-concentrate my efforts at self-improvement 

Technically, every morning is a new start, but it is easy to be so swept up in that day's events that I forget to be mindful of that. 
Plus, it is so very easy to be critical of yesterday's mistakes (or every mistake of your life, like the time I lied to my first grade teacher - yes, that still pops into my head every once in a while) that I forget to forgive my own frailties, my human-ness, to start over each day.
New Year's Day is an opportunity to truthfully evaluate where I am and where I want to be and then mindfully make a strategy of how to make that happen.

This year's resolution is to actively work on my 101 Goals in 1001 Days. 
What are yours?
Good luck on getting there, friends.
Work hard, but be gentle with yourself when things don't quite follow the plan.

     

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

when a bead is more than a bead

When i launched the ReWearables line in 2012 my main motivation was to have a creative outlet that rescued broken and discarded beads, gave them new life.
It wasn't a business yet; it was actually just an item on a ToDo list.
A lot (i mean A LOT) has changed in the past 3.75 years, but i continue to relish saving pretty things from being discarded.
However, yesterday i had an experience that brought into focus for me that the work i do to pay the bills can also be the work i do in an effort to positively impact the world around me.
Whenever someone gives me jewelry or items to use in my studio i offer to make a custom piece -or they can choose something from my stock- as payment.
Viva the barter system!
Kalisha offered me a basket full of  jewelry and she asked me to make a pair of bracelets for her mom's best friends.
Her mom, Stella, passed away last year; in fact, her one year angelversary is rapidly approaching and Kalisha wanted to share something special with these two women.
She supplied one of her mom's favorite necklaces and some pieces for me to use.
If you are looking at that badly lit picture and thinking,
Wow. That is a motley mish-mash of things,
then you are right where i was last Friday. They are nice pieces, but i could not get any sort of vision of how i was going to get them to work together in not one, but two bracelets.
Saturday i cut everything apart and sorted the beads and bobs so that i could get a fresh perspective. In doing so, i noticed that the focal necklace i was using had several pairs of beads, not singles, not groups, but pairs. Just like i was making a pair of bracelets.
A-HA! (that makes me think of the music group; here is one of my favorite a-ha songs)
The two bracelets would feature the same three beads in the center, one bead for each of the friends.

The round lavender beads were the only ones that color on the whole necklace, so they were Stella.
Similar in size and importance, but different in shape and color a pair of puple beads and a pair of pink ones became her two friends.


After a quick consult with Kalsiha i decided to make the bracelets matching, but different: one would be a sleek linear design and the other a chain of dangles. Some matching beads were included on both, but there were also different beads on each because i figured the three friends would have shared experiences, but the details of the each of the ladies' relationship with Stella would be unique.

The only thing i added (besides the hardware of course) was a tiny pair of angel wings as the matching dangle detail on both bracelets to symbolize that one of the friends had moved on, but was still a beautiful part of the remaining whole.



If you are wondering why the pictures are sub-par, it is because both pieces were completed to my satisfaction less than 2 hours before i was schedule to give them to Kalisha so i had to shoot them at my desk as it was rainy and grey yesterday.
She seemed to like them and i told her that i was going put their pictures on the NikCo FB page as an example of my custom work, but that i would wait a few days so that she would have a chance to present them to her mom's friends.
That was at 3:45pm.
At 5:20pm i received this text
If you'd like (to) share as early as tomorrow I was in here crying like a baby so we met up shortly after you left. Both ladies loved there (sic) gifts and said they felt my moms spirit with them "Stella is looking down on us" is what Liz said!
You just know that brought a tear to my eye.
Some days, especially lately as i meander through my own grief, i feel like how i spend my time has no real meaning, no impact on anyone around me (i am sure we all feel like that sometimes) so it was a welcome surprise to realize that i can use my creations to help people and touch their hearts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday 2015

IT IS CYBER MONDAY!

Time for online deals, people.

Everything in the NikCo Etsy store is 20% off when you use the code:
CyberMon15
But it is only good until midnight tonight.

Quirkees were updated, card sets were shuffled and new ReWearables were added.
Go. Enjoy. Spend.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Straight out of Camera

Do you ever see a picture and just know that it has to have been edited because there is NO WAY reality could look that amazing?
Happens all of the time.
Sometimes i feel like we are all so used to the hyper-reality offered to us digitally that it is easy to be jaded about everything we see:
Is that really real? 
That is so photoshopped?
What app/filter/setting did you use to get that effect?
But do you ever see something in reality that is so striking that you don't believe it is real, even though you are looking at it in real time with your own eyes?
This was the sky one day last week around 6:30am.
My jaw dropped when i walked outside.
Mostly still asleep (6:30 is a terrible time; i can't believe that i left for work then every day - BLECH) I thought i might be dreaming, but no, i wasn't.
It only lasted for five minutes, but WOW, what a breathtaking five minutes that was.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

the most Baltimore wedding card ever

I was asked to create a wedding card for two local sports fans:
Yes, it IS an oriole marrying a raven, wearing matching silver glitter accessories.

note: more pictures on the NikCo FB page 



image credits: oriole-Terry Sohl; raven-unknown; sentiments-Stampin' Up!




Saturday, October 17, 2015

i know i'm short, but THIS is ridiculous

Gleaming gold. Shiny Chrome.
First time seeing nephew's rig.
Goodness, that is tall.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Proof of Life

       Squeaky Monkey has been retired as the co-pilot of my car.
Though not elderly per se, he has reached the point in an inflatable's life where constant exposure to the sun and temperature changes has not only begun to change his color, but make him a bit more brittle. It would be terrible if one day i got in my car and found him all deflated and pathetic in his seat belt from popping, so inside he went.
He was not amused by the term retired and had declared himself Sargent at Arms for the living room. No, i have no idea what that even means, but he seems satisfied with that so who am i to question it.

      After driving alone for a while, a new co-pilot happened along.


His name is Cyrano.
Margaret H gave him to me.
He is very quiet, 
rides in the console,
 and loves snickerdoodles.


      Those specific snickerdoodles were bought at a cookie and brownie stand that two girls had set up on the corner in Suzanne's neighborhood and we all know that i can not resist enterprising children. The cookie were overpriced, but were some of the BEST snickerdoodles i have ever had, They must have been made in muffin pans instead of on a cookie sheet because the bottoms were rounded up and crunchy.

There is only one more weekend of pet-sitting and then the busy season is officially over.
Then starts festival season.
I have been getting a lot of new jewelry made and hope to have an Etsy update (or 2) in the next month.

      Another new crockpot recipe has been marked off of the list. Last Friday i adapted a traditional slowcooker  roast  recipe to make beefstew to celebrate the official beginning of autumn. Cassie and Mike joined me for dinner and we all agreed that it turned out really tasty, though the quinoa never fully cooked up.

The previous Friday Lydia and I went on mayhaps the greatest Friday Adventure ever.
 It involved glassblowing.
Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

what is HE doing HERE?






















You see it, right?
I'm not crazy, right?

Monday, August 31, 2015

snippets

With this crazy, swirly summer i have taken a few days to visit my mom in Ohio, which reminds me that i never posted a fun post that i teased months ago.
So let's re-tease this picture:

Hopefully i will actually get to that post before something else crazy happens.












Yesterday i had brunch with my mom and sister.
It was relaxed and wonderful
There are no pictures because there were mimosas instead.

I have seen my sister and brother both in the last two months and they both made me sausage and biscuits.
Their recipes were very different, but both were incredible.
I don't remember really having that for breakfast growing up so i find it funny that all three of  us love it.

Speaking of my brother, here is a picture of me at the shooting range we went to when i was visiting:
Why?
Why not.

I have updated the 101 List and added a day counter to the sidebar. 
We are 8 months into the 43 and i am mostly pleased with myself. 
There has been progress on 31 of the goals. Considering that i took the last few months off from, well, everything that is pretty good.
I think there is only one goal that i might not be able to make up in the remaining time: #64, give blood 16 times. 
The Red Cross has really strict rules about how often you can donate and my original goal was really ambitious.
To see the list you can click on the page below my header or click here.

Miss Miriam came over for dinner and i tried a new crockpot recipe, which helped 2 goals at once.
I made crockpot eggplant lasagna, adapted from here.
Next time i will add about 30 more minutes to the cooking time, but overall i would call dish a success. Plus it went really well with the watermelon daiquiris. 



This is the most cheerful pair of foo dogs i have ever seen.
I am not sure i would trust them to protect much.









Pikachu, i choose you! made of Peeps:




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Disaster. Decisions. Delicious.

When Amy and i got to our sushi place on Monday we were distraught to find it closed.
I mean, closed closed.  Like closed forever, no-furniture-inside closed.
DISTRAUGHT, people!
For a moment we both stood with our foreheads resting on the window, filled with melancholy and woe when she suddenly stood up straight and said, Well, there's always Honey Pig.

{blink-blink} {blank stare}

Haven't you ever been to Honey Pig? she continued upon seeing my dazed expression.
It's by Enchanted Forest. I'll drive.
      Just a few miles later we arrived at a wonderful Korean BBQ with K-Pop videos on multiple screens and a fire in the middle of the table where they cooked our yummy lunch.  I had pork belly and spicy buckwheat noodles which were fantastic -and spicy; when they say spicy, they  mean spicy- and immensely enjoyed having everything cooked right in front of us.
     It was lovely to have such a fun and different lunching experience after the shock of the no-more sushi buffet. There are 5 Honey Pig locations in Maryland and Virginia, plus one in Taiwan.
I will admit that overall fantastic, the location in Ellicott City, MD that i visited did have one small idiosyncrasy:
i am a rule-follower, but i really
wanted to open this door just to see what happened.
i mean it's not like there is such a thing as a load-bearing door.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Cryptid-Creations

*****picture added 8/12/15*****

         Over at Epbot, Jen posts cool art she comes across and last month one of the artists was Piper Thibodeau, a young Canadian who posts a speed painting every day on her blog, Cryptid-Creations.
She is only a week away from having posted 1000 days in a row, which inspires me to get back here. I have looked through all 992 paintings and i might be a little in love:




























where can i get a hamsterlope????
lightning is cloud farts...teehee



For the last week i have been enjoying the daily check for each new painting so i am going to add her to my blogroll in the sidebar in case you would like to be greeted by this each day:








Now if you will excuse me, i need to go get ready for a sushi date with Miss Amy.


UPDATE ADDED:
   Per Diane B.'s request in the comments, here is the caterpillar: