Past-Blasting Techno Music in the Morning!

  Well, that image is a little much…I don’t LOVE techno, but today I do!  I was rummaging through old boxes the other day and found a CD with some old but really good mixed music on it.  There’s lots of different styles – techno, house, rap, easy listening, metal, pop and rock and it’s all mixed together with a great beat!  I’m talking… Prince’s,”When Doves Cry” mixed up with a techno version of the theme song from Inspector Gadget, mixed with some “Sexual Healing,” a little twisting of the shirt around your head like a helicopter that also eventually leads up to some Creed!  It’s nuts, but really invigorating!  I popped it in this morning and am feeling totally pumped for my day!  Don’t you just love when you find old music that pumps you up?  I do!  Especially when there’s so much to get done in a day!  🙂 

  Update on house progress: All new windows got installed yesterday!!!  They look awesome!  I painted the oil tank – looks brand new, added some colorful annual flowers to the landscape, painted the hallway a fresh new white, Anthony cut new trim for some of the windows where it was needed, I epoxy painted the front porch in a beautiful tan tone with flecks of neutral colors – gorgeous compared to the torn up rusted red paint color that was there previously!  I cleaned out the whole garage and am done going through my old boxes and a gigantic trash heap that I created is getting hauled away today at 1:30.  Yay!  Tonight we are pressure washing the garage and will start painting the trim around the windows and doors inside.  Every day I pack a little more and that is all coming along nicely.  🙂  We heard back from one builder and are still waiting to hear back from another.  We really wanted to solidify a plan for our house by the end of May…hope they pull through soon!

  Soldering Supplies Update:  To add to my list…

Ring Mandrel with grooves and measures
Ring Mandrel without grooves, but with measures
Jeweler’s Saw
Saw Blades – a selection of various sizes 144 blades
Copper Tongs
Cross-Locking Fiber Grip Tweezers – one pair of straight and one pair with a bent nose
Third Hand
Bench Vise
File Set
Window Fan for ventilation
Torch with Hose and small tips- right now, I’m going to use what we used in class – MAPP gas
dowel rod for making jump rings
ball pien hammers
planishing/grooving hammer
rubber mallet

I’m looking forward to when we are done with all of this business of home improvements…I’ll be able to focus on my Etsy stuff again – which is getting ignored lately.  Yoi! 

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Soldering Supplies…My gathering begins.

For those of you who may not know, I took some soldering classes in January of this year and I’ve since wanted to set up my own workshop to solder silver pieces at home. 

After MUCH research, I have now started to purchase my supplies and I’m SOOOO excited! 

With our (hopefully) upcoming move, I have decided to collect my supplies and materials and will wait to set up shop until we’re in Pennsylvania.  That way, I can take my time collecting what I need, not spend my money all at once, and I won’t have to close AND pack up my shop.

What I have so far, isn’t much, but more is on the way in the mail.  🙂  I need ALL supplies to work with metal and to solder, so my list is longer than just soldering supplies.  In no particular order, this is what I’ve got thus far:
1. ball peen hammer
2. 4×4 steel bench block
3. silver solder – hard, medium, (easy is in the mail)
4. bench vise
5. bench pin with C-clamp
6. pickling acid
7. a bastard file
8. set of pliers
9. letters/numbers stamping set
10. sand paper in three different grades
11. 12×12 silquar soldering board (but it broke in transit, so it’s getting mailed back) 😦

Even though I’m not setting up shop yet, it’s so fun to gather what I need.  It will be great to know that, when I do set up shop, I will !

We’ve been working so hard lately, that we really needed a break.  So, last night, we got Chinese (yay!  no cooking!  And it had been ages since I ate unhealthy Chinese food – it was really good!) and we got a Redbox movie – National Treasure’s sequel, which we give two “thumbs up.”  Tonight it’s back to home improvements…we’re painting all of the doors.

Before I close, I’ll share a picture of what we envision for our Pa. home (minus the lamp post – haha)
and a quote for you to ponder…
“You never know what the future will bring – But you can determine what you will bring to the future.”
~Author Unknown

My first time…I’ve been TAGGED!

I know I’ve been away – a lot.  Sorry about that, but the house is coming along and we are in the home stretch toward putting it on the market!  In the meantime, something brought me back to my blog…I got tagged – FOR THE FIRST TIME!  There’s a first for everything, so here goes:  I have been tagged by ‘Bee’ of the lovely Etsy shop, BeeDazzles and the blog, Bee’s Buzzings

The rules of the game are as follows:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

Six things about me….

1. People are always surprised to hear of the many jobs I’ve held.  I started at a young age and always worked during college and every summer and also sometimes held more than one job at a time.  Since I started working for any kind of money, (in no particular order) I’ve been a baby sitter, a nanny, a cook’s assistant, a Pampered Chef Consultant, a Partylite Candles Consultant, a TCBY frozen yogurt employee and shift manager, a camp counselor, an entreprenurial youth programming assistant, a waitress, a bartender, a neurofeedback technician, a wedding and special event photographer, a special education teacher, a 2nd grade summer school teacher, a Math and Reading Skills teacher, a transportation assistant at Disney World, a drug and alcohol counselor, a Therapeutic Support Staff, a fundraising phone-a-thon participant, Assistant Director of Summer Therapeutic Activities Programming, Director of Therapeutic Activities Programming, Business Developer, and Independent Artist and Crafter…I might have even missed one!  hahah.  I’m a well-rounded individual!  
2. We have a LARGE family!  I am one of 36 grandchildren on my mother’s side (she was one of 11 children)
3. I’d love to be a motivational speaker.
4. I really enjoy flower gardening.
5. My ancestors once owned Baltimore’s Inner Harbor (too bad they didn’t keep it!)  🙂
6. I thank God for everything I am and have, and everything I ever will have or will become.

OK now who shall I tag?  

Jessica at http://jessicasharrah.blogspot.com/
Elisa at http://www.elisaannlindstrom.blogspot.com/
Lily at http://xue-originals.blogspot.com/
Wendren at http://thewren.wordpress.com/
PP at http://ppdesigns-ppdesigns.blogspot.com/
and lastly, I tag Sara at http://colorsnotyetinvented.blogspot.com/

Have fun!!  I look forward to all of your responses!   🙂  ~ Nicole

Life is What Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans…

Isn’t it so true?!  Anthony and I have had a plan that was well-laid out and were on our way to accomplishing all that we had planned.  We were planning to put our little house on the market next March, planning to build a home in Pennsylvania thereafter and were planning to relocate and build a family near my roots and relatives.  Well, one day recently, after arranging for replacement windows to be put in the entire house (a total of 17 windows), he suggested we sell sooner than planned and I agreed.

Soooooo, now the plan is to prepare our home so we can put it on the market THIS JUNE and we plan to relocate and build within the next 6 months (if possible and all goes well).  We’ve been watching our HGTV and DIY channels, made a list of home improvements and a list of supplies.  We went to The Home Depot and purchased all that we would need for our projects, and now we are working our little tails off fixing the place up for sale. 

Our house is a home that Anthony purchased last year, with the intention not to stay long.  He planned on staying a couple of years and then selling it.  It’s an old house, built in 1941, and it has a cute story.  The community in which we live was built when a local airport (Martin State Airport) was booming.  The employees of Martin State Airport were able to purchase the homes at about $5,000.00.  Many of the homes in the area, though some have changed over the years, are very similar in style and you can definitely see the old community bones.  We live just outside of Baltimore and are within a hop, skip, and a jump from most anything we might need.  Our little town is a blue-collar community and there are many families with children.  It was supposedly the first housing community ever built in the U.S. and I find it charming.

Knowing all of that now, if you follow my blog and wonder why I’ve not been posting regularly, that is why.  I thought I’d inform though, and take you on our little journey of fixing up the house.  So far, we have done some landscaping and undertook the task of replacing the lawn in the back yard…from seed.  I hope it takes, because it was in dire need, a lot of work was put into it and if it doesn’t grow, it’s going to be an eyesore!  We still have some minor cosmetic things to do outside, like painting doors and fixing up the front entry, but most of our tasks are inside tasks.  Our house is about 1100 square feet.  We have a Living Room, Kitchen/Dining area, a sun room, a laundry room, three bedrooms and one bath.  I’d tell you our to-do list, but I think I’ll save it for another day. 

In the meantime, we are just about finished with the sunroom.  We painted and put down new flooring.  Now, I just have to clean up the door and after the windows are put in, it’s good to go!  Our next project to focus on is the bathroom.  We are not gutting it, but we are replacing the sink/cabinet, the hardware, lighting, accessories and are painting.  We don’t have much time, so I’m sure you’ll be getting lots of updates as we move along.  Today, I’m cleaning up the sunroom door and I’m starting to remove the bathroom glass door.  I suppose I should share some pics with you…I’ll do so either later today or tomorrow.  Until then, there will be a house for sale SOON…and we’ve got a lot to do until that time!!

Just a Tid-Bit

A tiny interesting thing about me… shortly after moving to Baltimore, I fell in love…

with breakdancing.  haha…betcha you didn’t think I was going to say that.  I did.  I found the most wonderful group of people and fell in love with the community, the culture and the dance.  I worked at it for a while, but I couldn’t take the late nights.  I still love dancing around on my wood floors or when I’m out and about with my IPOD, but with my knee being messed up these days, I can’t over do it.  Sad, but true.  I thought I’d share a video with you that I LOVE…it’s a bunch of clips of a movie/documentary on breakdancing called, “Planet B-Boy.”  Truly amazing talent!  Check it out!

Hand-Made for MOM

I remember when I was little, how excited my mother would get over my home made gifts.  She always said that they meant more to her.  I imagine that many mothers feel the same way, and I don’t think that changes as we grow older.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share some ideas with my crafty readers, who might just decide to make their own Mother’s Day gifts.  And if you are reading this and are not crafty…well, I’ve provided some great gift ideas for you as well – all hand made items from Etsy sellers.  Hope you find some inspiration!

HGTV has a great selection of hand made gift ideas, with how-to videos and printable instructions.  The list includes Photo Transfer Pillows, Beaded Wind Chimes, Souvenir Lamp Shade, Mom’s Memory Book, Heirloom Candles, To Mom With Love Bracelet, Mother’s Day Brunch, Fun and Funky Tote Bag, Quick and Easy Flower Arrangements, and a Breakfast in Bed Tray.

Don’t like those ideas? Paint a picture!  Water color paints are easy and forgiving.  If you’re not sure how to get started, here’s a helpful beginner’s guide. 

 Write a poem.  When I was younger – probably 18 or 19, I wrote my mom this LONG poem that recalled memories of all the times I thought of her as a mother in my life…moments when she comforted me, laughed with me, scolded me, disciplined me, loved me, and as I grew older, how she also became a friend to me.  I think it is one of my most favorite gifts that I ever gave her because I put so much time and thought into it.

Let’s let our moms know how special they are.  Show much we appreciate, love and are grateful to them for the nine months of gestation they endured, their guidance and support, their laughter and joy, their tolerance for the possible agony and gray hairs that we gave them,  and all of the years that have followed.  Think about it…if you were or are a mother, what would you want your child to feel toward you?  Turn those feelings into something tangible.

And for those of you, NOT interested in making a home-made gift?  Let someone else do it for you!  Check out Etsy’s Gift Guides and the one specifically geared toward Mothers Day.  🙂  Hope you find something you like!  (Pssst…my Felicitous Green Earrings are in the Everyday $15.00 and under guide on page 8, I’m certain they’d make a mom pretty happy!)