Sunday, January 15, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Checking In

Hello, everyone! Just checking in with an update/reminder on the January craft-along. I'm making dog beds out of secondhand end tables. I have them primed and painted black.

I had planned to finish them this weekend, but instead I have spent the last 36 hours enduring the worst headache in recent memory.  I desperately hope to be better by tomorrow because I have a lot happening at work this week.

Luckily, we're only halfway through January, so I still have plenty of time to finish. I will post the completed project on the 31st.

How's it going with you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Random Little Story

A funny thing happened to me today...

At work, I opened the company's online registration form to copy the link for a customer. I noticed that the form now contained a random word captcha, and it said CAUCASIAN.

Out of curiosity, I refreshed the page and got a new word: UNDERVALUED.

Another refresh and I got NONCONFORMIST'S.

I was getting words that seemed to be selected just for me. Some colleagues joked that I was being targeted and asked if I had angered the IT guys.

My reply was, "If the next one says BATS, I'm marching downstairs." (to the IT department).

I refreshed and got BLATZ.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Painting Injury

Yesterday I began working on my Craft Along with GIY project. I am making dog beds out of end tables. The first step was to apply a coat of primer.

Just as I was finishing the second table, sharp pain shot through my lower back. I could barely stand up.

I had hurt my back painting.

Wow. I am in such poor shape, I hurt my back sitting on the floor painting.

I once read an article by a man who stated that a person's life expectancy is directly correlated to how easily he/she can rise up from sitting on the floor.

If that's true, I think I have about two weeks to live.

Seriously... I am horribly unfit. This incident motivates me even more to improve my diet and exercise. I have decided on a plan of action to help me overcome the obstacles (aka excuses).

My hurdles/excuses for exercise are I dislike gyms and I hate being outside in the sun. To overcome those, I will work out at home. As a starting point, I have purchased an exercise bike.

My hurdle for diet is I hate to cook. For me, cooking is far more trouble than it's worth, and the result is terrible no matter how hard I try. So I end up eating frozen pizza and fast food. In an effort to improve my diet, I'm going to try a meal delivery service.

Hopefully, I can discipline myself to stick to the plan. I never again want to be in this absurd situation of having to nurse a painting injury.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Glasses

I recently ordered new glasses from Zenni Optical. It might seem odd to buy glasses without trying them on, but the Zenni site allows you to upload a photo of yourself and virtually try on glasses that way.

It also has a selection of faces available, and conveniently, one of them resembles me - dark hair with bangs - enough that I didn't upload my photo. I already had a good idea of what styles work for me anyway, as I've been wearing glasses for many years.

My main challenge is finding frames that aren't too wide for my narrow face. I determined the width of my existing glasses and used that to choose frames.

One frame is a black metal half-rim with decorative temples.
Zenni frame 690821
I'd never had half-rim glasses before, but I think I like them.

They're pretty simple from the front, but have a nice decorative design on the sides.

The other frame is a black metal full-rim with an interesting shape.
Zenni frame 595021
In general, I like them, though I wish the lenses were just a bit taller.

Zenni's selection of styles is extensive, and even better, easy to search based on color and size. However, I was initially pretty skeptical because their prices are so low. Their frames are generally less than $30, which includes the lenses. Frames at retail optical shops are easily $200+.

But after receiving my glasses, I have nothing but the highest praise. My order arrived quickly, and the lenses are precisely correct.

This is not a sponsored post. I'm just sharing my experience. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Craft Along with GIY

I'd like to try something new here on GIY - a craft-along. Each month, I will work on a craft project with a particular theme, and I will invite all of you to craft along with me. At the end of the month, I will post my completed project, and you can share links to your project.

For January, the project theme will be Pets. You can interpret this broadly:
  • knit a sweater for your dog
  • build a window platform for your cat
  • paint a name plaque for your hamster cage
  • make decorations for your fish aquarium
  • sew a bed for your pet
  • decorate a box for your pet toys

You can participate even if you don't have a pet of your own.
  • make pet-themed jewelry
  • paint a pet portrait for friend or family
  • draw a pet cartoon

Or any other project that fits the Pets theme. Creativity is encouraged! :)

I will be making dog beds out of a pair of end tables I found at a thrift store.

Anyone interested in joining me in this craft along?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cold Water and Smiling Biscuits

Since buying my house in 2009, I've replaced or updated... well, just about everything. The one remaining "vintage" element is the water heater. Installed in 1995, it's far beyond its expected lifespan of 7-10 years. I should have replaced it ages ago, but it was working fine, and other projects always took priority, and I kept putting it off...

And today I am paying the penalty for that procrastination. I'm without hot water until I can get a new heater installed (hopefully tomorrow).

It could be MUCH worse. Water heaters sometimes fail in spectacular fashion, spilling their contents all at once. I could have ended up with 40 gallons of hot water in my basement. Thankfully, my heater's demise was quiet, with only a little water leaking out the top and bottom.

On an absolutely unrelated topic...

My dogs love a particular type of biscuit called Buddy Biscuits. They are shaped like a smiling, waving person (sort of a reverse animal cookie, I guess).

They break pretty easily, so as I get to the bottom of the canister, what's left is a collection of heads, arms, and legs. But despite their unfortunate circumstances, the Buddies are still smiling. XD This always amuses me.

A More Disciplined 2017

This year, I want to make some substantial changes to myself and my lifestyle. Many of them involve being more disciplined. Disciplined?! My freedom-loving Aquarian self instantly recoils in distaste. I can't bear the thought of inflicting a bunch of restraints on myself, and self-imposed responsibilities are heavy burdens for me.

You might look at my tidy, organized house and conclude that I am already a very disciplined person. (Or even ask if anyone lives here.) But the sight is misleading. I'm not organized because I have disciplined myself to be organized. I am organized because it's my nature. It doesn't require any effort; it's just how I function.

What requires immense effort is taking proper care of myself - exercising, eating healthy, looking after my mental health. That's where I need to be more disciplined. Let's hope I can do it.

I have a few changes in mind for this blog as well. Nothing major, just some new ideas I would like to try.  I've been focusing on home improvement the last several months. I'd like to have better variety, with more posts on crafts, sewing, and maybe even fashion. I want to ensure the content is relevant. Not all of my readers have a fixer upper house, but they all wear clothes at least some of the time. That's my assumption, anyway. ;)