Friday, February 25, 2011

Arts and Crafts and Coffee

Yesterday I was struck with a sincere and severe urge to be crafty.

Trouble is, though I have high aspirations for my craftiness, I'm not all that proficient in many crafting areas. I don't know how to knit, but I wish I did. I don't know how to crochet, but I wish I did. I've never scrap-booked, but I'd like to try. You get the idea—A lot of would if I could.

So as I was thinking about what in the world I could do to sooth my crafting itch, my eyes fell upon my massive stack of Starbucks cards. If you haven't noticed, I'm a Starbucks fanatic of sorts. So I keep every Starbucks card I get, and I have a bunch. I supposed you could say I'm collecting them, but I can't rightly say I know what I'm doing with my collection so much as letting them sit quietly in a chronological stack behind my iPod speakers dock to be occasionally thumbed through.
And this stack isn't even ALL of them.
Some I want to keep in pristine condition. You know, just in case? But others—some duplicates, and some that I just love so much I know I'll never want to sell/get rid of/whatever—I'm not so stuck on keeping perfect for some sort of collection.

And so that got me thinking, what could I do with these cards that would really let me enjoy them, show them off?



The last time my Mom came to visit me, she commented on how I don't have very many. (At my house, our fridge is affectionally littered with them, of all shapes and sizes.) And this was the perfect solution for both my crafting urge and my Starbucks cards dilemma.

This is the ultimate fun, cheap, and easy way to make magnets if you're like me and have a ton of Starbucks cards lying around. Though obviously you don't have to use Starbucks cards to make magnets. But, since I did, and since I had such a fun time doing it, I'm going to tell you exactly how I did it! You know, just in case reading this inspires you to embrace your crafty side in a similar manner.

First, I had to make a quick trip to Michael's. Any craft supply store will do, though, I'd imagine! As long as they sell some form of magnet. I hadn't realized I'd have so many options, but what I ended up leaving with was just a basic peel-and-stick rectangle of magnets. They came in one piece, but broke off easily into strips, which I then cut to fit the card.

I figured these would be pretty much impossible to mess up (I was right), but I still started off with a card I had multiples of. Nevertheless, it's one of my favorites. I cut one of the magnet strips in half, peeled the backing off, and stuck it on the back of the card.

Worked like a charm.
It's a first edition of sorts. ;)
I was so pleased with the result that I instantly made more. Since I was still in the process of figuring out the best way to put magnets on the back, I tried it a couple of different ways. For some, I used two smaller strips, vertical on each side of the card. For others, one long strip in the middle. For one, I just used a little strip. Aesthetically, it doesn't make much of a difference either way since this all goes on the back. The only difference is how much the magnet can hold. Menus, photos, shopping lists, etc. I think my favorite way is the two vertical strips.
All in all, I ended up making seven different Starbucks card magnets. I love them! They really brighten up my fridge—as you can see, it's black—and I'm excited that I've finally found a use for some of my favorite Starbucks cards.

Plus, if you run out of room on your own fridge, they would make great gifts! And I'm already planning on switching mine out. Some of them, anyway. I have several Christmas themed Starbucks cards—Guess when those are going up! They can be seasonal!

Anyway, these are the results of my creative urges (and my Starbucks mania). They were a ton of fun, and so easy I can't even explain it. And, would you believe it, while I was sifting through cards to use, I found an old favorite of mine from 2006—summer, I believe—that still had a balance on it! $1.49! Score!

This is the infamous card with a nearly six year old balance!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Eyes and the Storm

This is a piece I'm working on for my workshop. It is actually part of a bigger idea-in-progress. I posted another part of it a while back. I haven't figured out how the two parts will go together, as far as a timeline is concerned. Currently, I think this will end up coming before the other. If you're interested in reading the companion piece, you can find it here.


A cold wind kicked up across the lake. The clouds came in slowly, bearing the heavy burden of rain. The sunlight winked out, smothered by the smoky gray-black thunderhead.

The surface of the lake bucked and thrashed against the wind; the last remaining boats fluttered back to dock just as the first bullets of rain struck the tormented lake.

Cal watched from his perch on the window seat as the sky spilled out its sadness, cast a deceiving dusk-dark shadow over the midday sun. 

He felt a small but firm tug on the cuff of his pant leg and he rocked back on his heels to make room for his sister, who scampered up next to him and pressed both hands and nose to the chilled pane of glass. Her hot breath teased up a ghostly fog on the glass. With one precise little finger, she turned it into a frowning face.

“Rainin,” she said.

Cal nodded and hugged his knees to his chest, crossed his legs at the ankle. “Uh-huh.”

“Guess we can’t go swimming today, huh?” Cecelia turned her big blue eyes up at him, a glimmer of hope still hidden behind her mask of responsible acceptance.

“‘Fraid not,” Cal said, and the glimmer faded. “Maybe tomorrow, yeah?” He nudged Cecelia gently with his shoulder and let a small but encouraging smile play across his lips.

Cecelia perked up, though reluctantly. “Yeah, I guess. Maybe.”

Cal turned back to watch as sheets of rain cascaded down across the sky. He could see the small rowboat he built with his father teeter back and forth on the top of the water, straining against the dock line. A jagged spear of lightning fell from the sky, lit up the lake briefly, leaving an eerie stain behind Cal's eyelids. He counted the seconds, making it to three before the heavy groan of thunder came.

In truth, Cal was glad of the rain, of Cecelia not swimming. He still didn’t trust the water—not the water or the eyes it held.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Find me on Facebook!

I did it, guys. I caved. Now you can become a fan—er, "like"—my blog on Facebook!

So any of you Facebook users are more than welcome to catch up with me at my page there as well! I'd be more than happy for the conversation to continue. I like interacting with you guys in comments, but Blogger's comment form doesn't make it as easy as it could be.

I've added a widget on the side of my blog to make it super easy for you—just click "like"! That page will allow me to post links whenever I publish a new entry, share pictures, and chat with you guys more personally.

Thanks again for the comments, readership, and support, you guys. Y'all are the best! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Texas weather is notorious for being unpredictable. Snow in February? Why not!

We got a pretty decent snowfall when I visited home this weekend. I always love the snow. I attribute this to the fact that, though the South sees snow now and again during the winter, it doesn't often stick around long. Or sometimes it's more..."Texas snow"—that is, sleet.

My dog, Tucker, isn't quite sure what to think of the snow. To him it means cold, and it means something-weird-on-my-feet. I get quite a kick out of watching him tiptoe through it, doing his best to avoid keeping his feet in it too long, and taking the long way around big patches of it whenever possible.

Our other dog, Kelsi, doesn't seem to be phased by it. She has no problems walking in it or sitting in it, and she still makes her rounds on our property despite the cold white stuff.

The only real problem is the buildup of snow causing tree branches to break. And our driveway, which is basically just a paved hill. So when it gets icy, it's kind of unmanageable. (Though to that I say, what better excuse to stay indoors, watch movies, and drink hot chocolate?)

While Dad got out to try and clear off some driveway space, I busied myself taking pictures. Which of course I had to share with you guys.

So, here it is! My first Snow Day of 2011. Enjoy! I know I did.

Snowy clouds.
Pristine blanket of snow!
Kelsi makes her rounds.