Hello Again World!!

My life for the past 8 months or so has been, well, life. I set up this website in the hopes that it would give me some sort of accountability (to myself) to accomplish tasks that no one “needed” me to do. I wanted something to show for the times after the work day was over. While I was basking in the glory of “I never have to take my work home. I am no longer in a state where I should always be working on something for school.” (Which by the way is still what I tell people when they ask how post-grad life is / if I miss school.) I wanted to make sure I felt like I wasn’t wasting my life away in a pool of netflix and afternoon cat cuddles (though occasionally that doesn’t hurt!).

Anyway. I started off strong and life handed me a few battles. I succumbed to the couch life until I could get out of a bad living situation. I definitely recovered from my slump quite rapidly once the move happened, but after the initial great leaps and bounds back to feeling like my normal self, the last little bits are the hardest. I am an engineer and so of course this brings to mind something technical. I just realized I am following the 80-20 rule:

80% of the progress can be tackled with 20% of the work — but that last 20% of the progress requires 80% more work.

Anyway. I sat down to make some lemon balm cordial, which I’d been putting off for over a month for some reason (that 20% holds the motivation for my projects apparently); and suddenly remembered that I have a website! And that this would make the perfect post to get back into it! The reason for the lemon balm cordial project is an excess of lemon balm, and explained in the project post here.

I must say I’m quite proud of myself for this. Moving back into sharing what I’m working on implies that I will keep working on things! If my next post ends up being much too long from now, so be it, but I’ve at least made the first step. (Again… It kind of feels like I’m repeatedly making first steps to my goals… But at least they’re being made!)

Watson is here to cheer me on every step of the way.



Well actually he is just trying to make a mess and vying for attention while I precariously pour vodka from one bottle to another. But still. Hes literally by my side always. Photo for proof taken right after I typed that sentence. Note the computer screen glow. ūüėČ (and not the mess… baby steps!)


My sidekick and constant companion. Burmese are known to be quite needy for their owner’s attention; and I don’t mind it one bit.¬†

Anyway. Here’s to more posts, because here’s to¬†doing more worth sharing! Cheers!

Hanging Out

I’ve been really busy preparing for the holiday season (and being in the midst of it seems to involve a lot of work too!) so I haven’t had a whole lot of time for going out and finding inspiration, going to the fun fairs and festivals that never seem to end around here, or crafting – other than wine bottle lamp production that is. I saw something near the start of my “Etsy dream” that mentioned I would need to have a successful shop up and running before Thanksgiving if I had any hope of utilizing any part of the Christmas/holiday rush! I feel relatively confident about the state of my shop right now (which hasn’t changed much since Thanksgiving). And amazing news…. It worked! I had one sale from a friend buying a Christmas present for her aunt (still awesome, but less exciting) AND a sale to someone I have no connection to!!

Of course, because this is how things go, my customer (!!) wanted something a little bit different from what I usually do. She ordered a champagne style bottle (big, bulky, thick glass) and instead of wanting the bottle decoupaged or embellished at all, she wanted it to simply look like “a full bottle of Prosecco”. This threw¬†me off guard to begin with, especially because in order to drill the hole, I’d had to remove the label she liked so much. It is quite easy to get the label on looking nice after decoupaging, but to put it back on a flat bottle looking just as great as before you took it off? That’s a little trickier.

I succeeded in getting the bottle/label just the way I wanted it! Then I was thrown another challenge. “Can we make it hang?” she asks? Well. Um. Maybe is my first thought. I eventually came up with, what I believe is a very clever solution! If you’ve ever seen a bottle of sparkling wine before, you know there is a metal cage holding the cork on. Well. I happen to have kept a few of those cages (you know… for those ‘who knows when I’ll need this’ moments), which are actually called a muselet. I simply attached it to the top of the bottle, as shown, and provided a stylish (but I’m hoping strong!) black ribbon.


Hanging wine bottle light solution!!


The sealed package. Ready to be sent to a CUSTOMER!!!

Fairies and More

I’ve been slow moving lately, starting with the election last week. I voted early, on Monday, which took most of my evening. Then, along with the rest of the world it seems, had a hard time focusing on my normal life and to-dos for the remainder of the week. Ending the week with a nice bout of food poisoning putting me out of the count Saturday, I didn’t get as much done as planned, creatively. I am writing this blog post, not to highlight my reasons for delay, but to acknowledge them and move on. As well as to highlight my creative “wins”! I have finally pulled together many of the pieces I have been working on for my Etsy shop and gotten quite a few more listings up! Most of these are completed wine bottle lights, and some are “custom” listings ready for request. Check them out if you aren’t sure what I mean ūüėČ

I’ve also completed a project worth posting on my portfolio! That is where the fairies come in. For that story, and more pictures of the project, go ahead and¬†take a peek!¬†You know you’re curious!


MIA Artoberfest

So the Minneapolis Institute of Art (known to the locals simply as MIA) is one of the many really awesome “donation suggested but if you’re a broke college kid ok fine it can be free” attractions around the Twin Cities! (Another I frequent include the Como Zoo and Conservatory.) Sam and I became members at the beginning of the summer, not being 100% sure what that would get us. The most notable freebie we found to be free admission to the current exhibition(s) on every Third Thursday or other predetermined member days. We took full advantage of this, going to “Seeing Nature” a landscape exhibition on our last Third Thursday.

Now that I’ve introduced “Third Thursdays at MIA” I need to take the explanation one step further. Associated with these particular member days, in an effort to get the younger demographic like myself involved, are evening festivals! Usually sponsored and filled with music by The Current (Sam’s favorite local radio station that I’ll be sick if I have to talk about one more time). This time they brought The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band.

I’m not sure all of these festivals have themes, but this one was aptly named Artoberfest. This meant a combination of art and beer. My favorite things!! We started the evening off checking out the craft section while waiting for our tour. Hand embroidered beer coozies!


In progress shot of the MIA coaster craft.

We didn’t get very far (the above picture was taken much later) with a “drinking vessels tour through the ages,” which was led by an incredibly enthusiastic volunteer who got me beyond excited about some 4000 AD ceramics! This was followed by a trip through the Impressionists section of the museum where she conveniently left us. Impressionism is by far my favorite style of painting. Sam and I then ventured around to check out a few art pieces that apparently inspired beers. Local brewers brought said beers to the lobby of the museum, where after picking my favorite art piece, I promptly chose a completely different beer because said art had been inspiration for a beer I did NOT think I’d like.


He is the best at taking pictures… Featuring the plastic beer stein Sam won playing Hammerschlagen!


Now that’s a better picture! Featuring the plastic beer stein Sam won playing Hammerschlagen!

Beers in hand we went over to play some Hammerschlagen to try and win Sam a beer stein he’d had his eye on since we’d walked in. It was an extremely enjoyable game; my slow-and-steady-wins-the-race tactic almost gave me victory, but Sam pulled through and won it (beating out even the other couple we were playing with!). We took a quick photobooth picture and headed ¬†back to the craft section.

Sam has a thing for Halloween and grabbed an orange coozie to make a pumpkin out of. I grabbed my always favorite shade of green (see M logo for my site as well coozie below). I had been using the evening as a little bit of inspiration for my arting and decided to try and make the logo on my coozie! Because I’m stubborn and wouldn’t just pull up the website, I go the curls at the bottom of the M backwards… but I’m ok with it. It was a bit easier to embroider this way. All in all I’d call this a successful night out at MIA!


I tried to make the M logo of this website from memory. Got the curls backwards. Maybe I’ll just try to make an M logo with swirls going the other way to match it!


I tried to make the M logo of this website from memory. Got the curls backwards. Maybe I’ll just try to make an M logo with swirls going the other way to match it!


Finished product and myself at the end of MIA’s Artoberfest!

St. Paul Art Crawl

As the name suggests, today Sam (the boyfriend) and I went to the St. Paul Art Crawl. A lovely event where tons of artists’ galleries, workspaces and live/work in apartments are opened up to the public to try and get some exposure to their art! We had a busy weekend building up to this event, and even with constant pushing from Sam we only got to attend a few hours at the very end of the three day art extravaganza. (He was right… We should have gone WAY earlier…) Anyway. Near the start of our time there, we came across a whole¬†basement of “galleries” which were pretty much tiny rooms artists rented out to have somewhere that they don’t live to do their art in piece. Most notably we came across a room with the older artist herself just resting in her comfy chair. She had a lot of watercolors propped up on floating shelves mounted on the walls¬†(we didn’t take any pictures out of respect for her craft). I had at this point worked up the nerve to ask a real question of the artist:

“Do you draw the pen lines before or after you do the watercolors?” which I sheepishly followed up with “We’ve been arguing about this all day…” as though I needed a reason to be asking…

She responded with a great explanation about how it could be done either way and sometimes at both ends. She then said the question sounded like it came from experience (which I’ve definitely never thought of myself having ANY of) and I explained a short version of my story:

“Just graduated and finally have time to try and be creative… but not sure how to start…”

She then gave me some great instruction about trying watercolor as an on-the-go art form, showing me her small palette of watercolors (it had a ring on it!) and explaining how she uses a small towel to keep her brushes from fraying but, again keeping them easy to transport. She has no idea how much her little explanations helped me out!! I hope to be showing some new art projects soon. Probably with a little watercolor involved!

If I got you to read this entire BOOK, then you deserve an explanation for the picture that probably brought you here. Later on in our explorations we found a painting/stool set up with the words “you here”, “social media excuse!”, “#ShareArt”, or something along those lines at least. It allowed Sam and I to get these lovely photos!


Sam is amazingly photogenic when he tries not to be.


I should have worn better coordinating colors. If only I’d known!