Getting Organized – Jewelry

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I’ve really been working to save space and get organized. One of the things that needed a little love was my assortment of jewelry. Because I like to be doing the absolute most at all times, I have a lot of big and/or long necklaces and a lot of dangle earrings. The necklaces kept getting tangled around each other and dangle earrings don’t even feel organized when they are free to roam. So I did what I do often – I got crafty.

Issue one: What can be done with all of these necklaces? For me, the best solution to this issue was to get some small 3M Command Hooks. I just put the hooks on the wall with enough room for varying necklace lengths and hung them up (I’m not concerned with them being symmetrical, but if you are take that ruler out and make it do what it do). I doubled up some of the necklaces on the hooks to save space.

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Issue two: What about all of these dangle earrings? This issue posed a a bit more of a challenge for me. I’ve seen people on Pinterest use window screens to hang their dangle earrings – but I wasn’t about that finding a Home Depot or Lowes life (or about that spending any more money life – those 3M hooks are not cheap!). I decided to use something I already had on hand – a wire organizer from Target. The organizer had everything I needed, it had holes and was small enough to hang on my wall under the necklaces. So here’s what I did.

  1. Decided to use this wire organizer
  2. Toiled for a while about how to hang the organizer from the wall. I tried the 3M hooks at first but even using 3 of them, they couldn’t hold the organizer.
  3. Eureka! I realized that I had a picture hanging kit and finally found out what those wires in it are good for!  I nailed a picture hanging hook into the wall and wrapped the wire around both sides of the organizer so that the organizer hung from the wire onto the hook.
  4. I hung the earrings on the earring organizer (so exciting that it is now repurposed and renamed).
  5. I celebrated another crafting win!

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This (was) Halloween – Part 2

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.45.27 AMFor me Halloween begins on the very first day of October. One of the very first things that I do is put up halloween decorations in my house. Since I’ve moved to Minneapolis I’ve been experiencing small apartment probs, but I’ve tried to make the most of it by getting crafty. To the right is the top of a bookshelf. Michaels had a lot of Halloween decor on sale in September so I procured some faux books that also are containers (probably best used for hiding your favorite candies from yourself). I also a gourd assortment thing that just looks like fall. It literally has everything that makes up fall and it was also on sale for like $7 so I got it. It will stay on the bookshelf for Thanksgiving – just like the rest of the Halloween decor. Lastly, I for a pinecone owl. It was too cute to pass up. The skull was already mine. It is a part of a skeleton set that I’ve had for years. The books under the owl are some of my favorite books. Written by John Stark Bellamy II, the books chronicle death and disaster in Cleveland, Ohio. With titles like The Maniac in the Bushes, They Died Crawling, and Cleveland’s Greatest Disasters! These books can really give you goosebumps.

I also decorated my apartment door. Once I saw that people were putting up fall themed wreathes, I decided to go for it with my zombie sign. What would Halloween be like without a zombie sign? Better yet, what would Halloween be like if I didn’t let my neighbors know how much I enjoy celebrating it? IMG_2796

After the decorating the waiting begins. There are so many days between October 1 and October 31, that the only thing one can do to fill the time and quell the suspense is watch Halloween movies over and over and over and over. Some of my favorites include Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie, The Corpse Bride, Halloween Town, and every Halloween special of all of my shows on TV. I also watch horror movies. This year I watched Children of the Corn for the first time in almost 20 years. It wasn’t scary at all – so that made me feel amazing.

Now, on to the best part of Halloween: The clothes and the costumes! 

There is one halloween accessory that is only acceptable at either a party or on the actual day of Halloween. What is that item? The coveted Halloween vest! I’ve been lucky enough to come up on two of them in my lifetime at the Goodwill. The vest is to the left. IMG_2541-1

COSTUME TIME!

I’ll be honest, I spend 364 days of the year plotting on my next Halloween costume. This year I really  wanted to be Garnet from Steven Universe, but the way that grad school has been set up since I got here I didn’t have the time or the funds to invest in making the costume. So I had to get crafty (no surprise, I know). After using the internet where anything is possible, I decided to be a cat lady. I didn’t want to go with the stay at home in a robe, rollers in hair cat lady, though. I wanted to be a fashionable cat lady. So here is how that happened.

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  1. I already had the cat sweater in my closet. I have a penchant for clothing items that look like they were made by a grandma. By grandma does not have to mean for grandma. Confidence makes the outfit.
  2. I got a few other clothing items from my closet: a pencil skirt, a camisole, some Betsey Johnson leopard pantyhose, and shoes.
  3. I got some stuffed cats from the dollar store. Getting stuffed cats for a dollar each makes this costume so clutch when your funds are low.
  4. I went to target and copped a few cans of Fancy Feast, some catnip mice, a dangly cat toy, a cat collar, and a plastic file folder.
  5. I put the costume together:
    1. I took apart a pair of dangly earrings that I don’t wear and used the hook part to make catnip mice earrings.
    2. I attached the stuffed cats onto my sweater using safety pins.
    3. I decided to make the plastic folder into a cat lady clutch – I put the random cat accessories into the clutch. Because cat collars are too small for human wear, I finagled off the bell and attached it to a stretchy headband.

And that is how I became a cat lady. I went to a Halloween party and won the extremely low-stakes costume contest. Pictures of the costume are below.
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Now the countdown to next Halloween begins…

This (was) Halloween

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Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. Literally everything about Halloween makes me happy: making/wearing costumes, pumpkin carving, eating candy, decorating things. I’ll share with you some of my favorite things from this Halloween:

Above you can see pumpkins other graduate students and I carved at a gathering with the director of graduate studies. My pumpkin is the one in the back with the sinister smile. The thing about carving pumpkins is that there really is no wrong way to carve a pumpkin (sort of*)

So in case you’ve never carved a pumpkin, here is the quick and dirty of it:

  1. procure pumpkin
  2. assuming that you are an adult get a knife (for some reason the really cheap ones that come in pumpkin carving kits work best)
  3. Cut off the top of the pumpkin (around the stem part) – do it at kind of an angle so the top doesn’t just fall in.
  4. Here’s the dirty part: dig out the guts of the pumpkin. In there are seeds and all the nasty fleshy parts. If you are into touching such strange and scary textures reach up in there and make it happen. If you’re like me and abhor the idea of reaching into an orange squishy cavern, use a big spoon! Now, some things you should know about this step:
    1. DO NOT EVER EAT THE INSIDE OF THE PUMPKIN. A carving pumpkin does not a pie pumpkin make. If you eat it or try to make a pie out of it you will be very sad. You can, however, roast the seeds in the oven if you’re about that life.
    2. The second part of this step is the most important. Do your best to scoop out all of the guts. Get that spoon up in there and take out as much of the stringy parts as possible. Failure to do so could result in a fire once you put the candle in. Unless you want to see the burning flames of [insert scary place], dig out the goop. Only you can help prevent pumpkin related house fires! 
  5. Get out your little knife and let your creativity take hold. There is literally no way to mess this up. Make a face, make an animal, make shapes. If you’re terrified of this step or suffer from perfectionism, there are stencils sold at most drugstores and craft stores that can soothe your nerves.
  6. Once you’re done with your ghoulish gourd, throw a tea-light candle in there and show the neighborhood what you’re working with!

Check out This (was) Halloween Part 2 for more Halloween fun!