…4 days in Counting

Today was a busy day of getting ready for BeachFest, the craft fair I will be a part of on Saturday, down in Long Beach Island, NJ, one of my favorite places on earth. It could not get any better; crafting and the beach equals tons of excitement for me.
Check out the details of the craft fair here: http://www.necraftshows.com/NJJul2011/BeachHavenNJJul2
So, here is a checklist of what I was able to accomplish today:
  • Took down and chose Christmas decor from the attic
  • Painted my prices sign
  • Bought more ribbon and mesh bags for the mint
  • Painted 4 spoons
  • Painted 4 glasses
  • Painted 6 shovels
  • Put ribbon on the shovels and some spoons
See some pictures here:
I was a little tense toward the end of the night after about 5/6 hours of crafting but it is right up my alley in terms of how I like to dedicate me time! I am filled with some stress, nervousness, excitement and joy tonight. Check back here tomorrow for another update!

Craft Fair Countdown..5 days!

It is just five days away from my first craft fair. I have been painting, painting, painting whenever I get a free moment and now it is time for it all to begin to come together. I can not wait to set up my “Christmas in July” themed booth which will feature both my summer scapes and my snowy winter scenes.
Today, at a 4th of July BBQ I located a family friends’ tent that they are allowing
me to use..check!
I also started to create a board of all of my prices, the general outline is done and I will just add some design elements tomorrow. See it below:
And check out my stockpile of goods:
Tomorrows tasks include finishing up some more painting, searching through the attic for more Christmas/summer decor to go with my “Christmas in July” theme, as well as creating some signs and decorations of the booth. Check me out in these next few days to track my progress with me! Hope you enjoy!

Budgetting like a Child

Anyone out there old fashioned like me?
So you may say, “You aren’t old fashion, your writing a blog online, thats pretty new agey to me.” And yes, it is. I do indulge in e-mail, facebook, my new iPhone and other technologies but at the end of the day I’m a pen and paper kind of gal. I like my college notes to be handwritten (in Sharpie) and bound together in a binder as opposed to typed up in a computer file because by hand I am better able to express myself creatively.
Anyway, as a budding adult I am just beginning to learn the ways of managing a budget. As I previously mentioned I am spending my summer changing diapers, blowing bubbles and playing with dolls as a babysitter. Many think babysitting is not a sufficient way to make money. Although it may not be completely consistent, I am still up to my ears in work. And what do these jobs bring; some cash, a blessing from God in today’s economy. (I thank Him for the amount of work I am getting, He is very faithful!)
I was sick of putting all of my earned money in the bank and having it spent on knick-knacks, such as a pack of gum or a sharpie here or there, never knowing if I actually saved any money. I decided it was time for a budget. This way I could make sure I was saving cash while also allotting money to spend on clothes and crafts without feeling guilty. As one who can hardly turn her TV on, I found managing a budget on the computer would not satisfy my lifestyle.
So I reverted to the childhood methods of keeping jars. I began the process by selecting some old plastic lotion jars I had been storing in my basement and labelled them each and designated a percentage of each jobs earnings to each category.
Here’s what I came up with:
Saving- 10%
Spending (on eating out and activities) -20%
Charities- 10%
Clothes- %15
Crafts- 5%
And thus is sufficient for the life of a college student. All you adults are now gawking at my percentage of spending which I know will decrease when I need to support a family and am responsible for things like food. For now, this works and teaches me about the process of managing funds. Like I said, often I feel stifled in creativity because of technology, and being able to select jars, decorate them with sharpies and stickers allowed me to be who I am. Who cares if it seems childish? I am being me, child-like, quaint, and simple, but its the only person I know how to be.

Oh for a Child’s Joy!

A huge part of my life this summer; babysitting!

The perks: experience with children for my future job as a teacher, good money, and making my own hours (so I can enjoy visits to friends and to the Jersey Shore)
Amongst the diaper changes, crying toddlers, and never ending task of occupying the children, there is another highlight:
Discovering the silliness and simple joy of children.
These moments can often make for the best stories and I’ll share a few thus far this summer:
On Monday, I had my busiest job yet! At one point during the morning at my Spring Kids Camp, where moms drop off their preschool and toddler children at my house for playtime, I had five young children. I was bouncing from kid to kid trying to keep them all occupied and was finally satisfied to have each child happily playing, not crying and not getting into anything they were not supposed to. I had two children playing together with legos, one playing with trains, one admiring a bouncy horse, and one building with blocks. I was proud, I had successfully occupied my campers. Complete bliss!
Then, it ended, just as fast as it came. I was left to my own devices trying to keep a girl who missed her mom from whimpering, trying to stop the other children from throwing legos, and trying to convince another boy that if he saw the other children misbehaving he had to tell me, not boss them around.
Amidst the choas, however, there were some moments I could not help but stop and laugh and enjoy the ability children gain pleasure from the simplest things in life.
In one such moment, I went to check on one of my toddler girls to notice that she was busying herself with rubbing her lips back and forth across the glass door, getting slobber all over the window. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as I tried to occupy her with a real toy.
Just before I found this girl, I looked over to see one of the boys pointing at two shiny knobs to one of my basement closets.
“There are two of me,” he giggled looking over at me. he thought it was completely hysterical and I joined with him in laughter, admiring his simple joy. He got a huge kick out of his own reflection.
Two of the children I babysit were able to entertain themselves simply with a glass door and golden door knobs. I stumbled upon this quote that sums up the incredible ability of children appreciate the simple things in life:
A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.” ~Bill Vaughan

Friends and Newtown, PA

Hey all! I have not been around these parts for a while, instead many of these past ten days have been spent college friends and family. Last week was spent with my girls in and around the quaint, historic town of Newtown, PA. The girls and I stayed at our friend, Danielle’s house, and she acted as tour guide and party planner for our stay.

We spent the first morning together at Rice’s
Flea Market. The market had great
deals and a large selection of items. Three of us decided to adopt a few cactuses for our dorm rooms next year. (Visit the Rice’s website at :
/Contents/home.aspx )
In the afternoon, we had a picnic and took a walk through Tyler State Park. Then, in the evening we walked around Newtown with Danielle as our guide. Below is a picture of the oldest theatre in the U.S. that continues to show movies and plays!
It was a nice time spent together and we all agreed that even the simplest things, such as exploring a small town, are made into exciting adventures when accompanied by your friends!

Journalling! Journalling! Journalling!!

Finally finished my journal for my freshmen year of college after 10+ hours of adding pictures and creating collages over the past two days!! Can’t believe I went through a whole book so quickly! This year I have to have a separate summer journal. Phew, I’m tired but satisfied! Now to start my summer one (I have to add pictures from the last week of school) …I think that can happen tomorrow!

"These are a few of my favorite things"

Cupcake, n.: a smile with frosting on it

I have this “definition” of a cupcake hanging on a my collage wall in my room. Ever since I purchased “Hello, Cupcake” about two years ago, I’ve become cupcake obsessed. Even my college essay for the Common App was written using cupcakes as a metaphor for my journey as an up-and-coming teacher. “Hello, Cupcake” was most of the inspiration behind it. The book is filled with awesome cupcake decorating ideas. (if you are a cupcaker this is one you need to check out!) The designs are fairly simple and most come out looking very professional. And when they don’t, they end up looking sort of silly like my coy fish below. These designs come from “Hello, Cupcake’s sequal “What’s New Cupcake.” I got to spend yesterday evening catching up with a high school friend from my art classes and work on replicating these amazing cupcake designs. (My favorite are the roses to the left) Cupcakes never fail to put a smile on my face!
These coy did not quite impress me like the ones in the book, but were worth a try.
My friend created these flowers to the left. I made ones similar back in January for a college friend’s birthday! This has to be one of the best designs in the book!
Finally, we attempted to make the ones that looked like pies, they sort of turned out more like the coy, but you know what they say; nothing ventured nothing gained!
Today, I also had a fantastic encounter with A.C. Moore, but my encounters with craft stores are hardly ever less then fantastic. Today, I spent time scouring the shelves of stickers, it seemed that around every corner there were rows of them just tempting me to draw near.
Stickers are just one of those craft items I just can not get enough of! Who can? From childhood we are exposed to these sticky wonders and there are just so many different kinds. The trouble for me has always finding the perfect place to put them. You only get one shot to give them the best home. Personally, my biggest trouble was parting with them, so, often I just keep them on their glossy page, waiting for just the right moment to peel them off and place them in their new surroundings. The stickers I bought today will have just the right home, placed all over the pages of my journal, accenting the pictures, words and memories there.
Hope you, like a sticker, can accent your world today!