Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's that time of year again!

Yes, folks, another year has gone by and it will soon be October – also known as Down Syndrome Awareness Month! I was also reminded by my friend Michelle over at Big Blueberry Eyes that the 31 for 21 blog challenge will be beginning again as of October 1. As always, the challenge arrived at the perfect time for me because I’ve been neglecting my blog, Runnin’ Down a Dream, for awhile and definitely need a good reason to be writing regularly, both on the blog and in general, again!

This will be my third year participating in the 31 for 21 blog challenge, and I am positively thrilled!

I do hope you will be joining me on my journey.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day Trip to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

This past week was a very busy one for me. I worked like crazy, thanks to a few new shifts added to my schedule at one library job, plus my regular hours at both. But after working on Monday and Wednesday nights, plus all day on Tuesday, I took Thursday off as a vacation day! I was invited out by a friend of mine, and since it's a "use it or lose it" policy, I took the chance while I still had it - plus I knew I still had work on Friday and Saturday, too!

So on Thursday morning we drove down to Point Pleasant Beach for the day, and it was great. The water was a little rough and there were no lifeguards, and it was windy enough that we took the umbrella down for fear it would keep falling over. But other than that, I had a great time! Both the air and the water were the perfect temperature, so we spent a couple of hours on the beach, wading in the ocean, and looking for stones and shells - I even found a few pieces of sea glass, which was a surprise.I also took plenty of pictures, of course!


The waves were a little rough, but the water was the perfect temperature!

Seagulls kept coming over begging for food, but I refused to share my Cheez-its LOL

Keeping watch
After being on the beach for awhile, we went for lunch. I had the best Taylor ham & cheese sandwich at the Boardwalk Bar & Grill, because, you know, it's a Jersey thing! After we'd eaten, we walked the boardwalk, checking out the gift shops (which all had awesome stuff but their prices left a lot to be desired i.m.o.) and trying our hand at a few of the claw machines in the arcades. There was Frozen goodies all over the place, but after trying for a stuffed Olaf a couple of times and getting nowhere, I almost gave up - until I turned around and saw Minions behind me. I paid $1 for 3 rounds, and won Stuart on the very first try. He may not be Olaf, but he's still totally cute. :)

Stuart, the Minion I won in the claw machine in one of the arcades!
 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Goodies

Bought the bottom 3 bracelets today. My collection is growing!
$.90 ea. @ Secret Studio Store (Ridgewood, NJ) 


 
Also bought this purple journal
$5.95 @ Barnes & Noble (Paramus, NJ)

 
...and while I didn't buy this FANTASTIC 2015 Doctor Who calendar, I did put it on my Christmas list! :)
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Whovian Heaven in a Box

Thank you kindly LiveJournal user jpgr at Diary of a Procrastinator for giving me Whovian heaven in a box this past weekend! You have made my day, my week, my month, my year...

WHAT GREETED ME WHEN I OPENED THE BOX

WHAT ELSE WAS INSIDE!!!
If you're a Whovian like me, click here for a full list of her inventory. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Craft Obsessions #2: Finger Knitting

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've become somewhat obsessed with two new types of crafting (to me, anyway). The first was making business card holders out of old paperback books. The second is finger knitting.

I got the idea for learning how to finger knit from reading a children's book. Yes, a children's book. I've always enjoyed reading kids' books and series, and now that I work in two libraries, I read them even more so I can keep up with what the kids enjoy and have something to talk about with them! One of my favorite kids' series is the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. In the newest book that just came out recently, called Judy Moody, Mood Alien, Judy takes up finger knitting to help her cope with the stress - yes, stress - of trying to keep herself in a good mood for one whole week. Judy's finger knitting gets so out of hand that it snakes all through her house! Since I just started doing this, and literally knit my very first piece of finger knitting late last night, mine ended up being the size of a bracelet.

Here is the video tutorial that I found:


I chose thinner, rainbow colored yarn on sale at Michael's. I liked the idea of rainbow colored yarn to make things more fun and because Judy uses all kinds of colors in the book.


This was my end result. It's actually a little bit big for me (I have tiny wrists).


Finger knitting is really very "easy peasy, lemon squeezy" (as Judy Moody would say); all I really need to refresh on is how to cast off at the very end. But this is something that people of all ages can do! And finger knit bracelets and even scarves can make really great gifts. Get some yarn and try your hand at finger knitting today! :)



New Craft Obsessions #1: Making Business Card Holders Out of Old Paperback Books

First off, I want to apologize profusely for once again neglecting this blog. I'll be honest - blogging hasn't been the priority it once was for me; I find that I am reaching more often for my journal more than anything if I feel the need to write nowadays. But I am pretty confident that I won't stop blogging anytime soon, and I still have my trusty co-author here at Runnin' Down a Dream, so rest assured that this blog is nowhere near dead yet.

Moving on...

I've gone full throttle obsessed into two types of crafting. The first one is making business card holders (which can really hold anything flat, from bits of paper and Post-It Notes to photos as well as business cards). Here's the backstory:

A week or so ago, a patron returned a book to the library that, when it was handed to me to check in, just screamed to me "I NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT!" It is called Playing with Books by Jason Thompson.

Get Playing with Books on Amazon by clicking here.
This book intrigued me because within its pages are all kinds of craft ideas - from quick and simple to somewhat more difficult and time-consuming - that re-purpose and "upcycle" used books. After looking through the book a few times, I decided that since I don't know how to sew, don't have a sewing machine, and certainly don't trust myself around knives or any kinds of tools, I would try my hand at the simplest of projects: Making a business card holder.

Note: I now have three of them in my room. I daresay I am addicted. :)

copyright 2010 by Jason Thompson
Copyright 2010 by Jason Thompson
Yes, this is what your business card holder will look like when you're done. :)

Copyright 2010 by Jason Thompson

Here are the steps, which are easy peasy lemon squeezy (sorry, the Judy Moody reference was just too good to resist):

1. Choose an old paperback book that you're willing to part with. I recommend a book with 100 pages or less, because anything larger will make your fingers and wrist hurt from all that folding - and I speak from experience, because the first book *I* chose was over 300 pages, and I after a few minutes of folding pages I decided to split the book in half to save my arm from cramping. So be warned. :)


2. Take the front and back covers off. They should be able to be taken off easily, without any fancy tools (i.e. Xacto knives).


3.Beginning with the first page, fold each page in half toward the center of the book. Rest assured that they don't have to be perfectly folded; they can be a little crooked and your project will still come out looking awesome!


Note: Before I even started folding pages, I chose to reinforce the binding by covering it with clear packing tape. You don't have to do this, but it does give the bare binding a little extra strength.

When all is said and done, your book should look like this:



As I said, the book I chose as my first try at this project had over 300 pages, so I ended up splitting the book in half. So now I have one business card / note holder on top of my filing cabinet to hold notes:


(I used a blur filter on this photo because I've got personal things written on the notes)

...and another for my dresser to hold special photo cards from my friends:


Do you have some old paperback books lying around that are just going to get thrown away? Why not try your hand at making a business card holder and re-purpose those books into something useful!