Idea Brewing…

It’s been so long since I wrote here. Not really sure I want to document every half baked “creative” thought (really had very few in the past few years tbh but a lot has happened and changed – won’t get into it) but I am hoping to commit to this idea better, therefore in the hopes of cementing whatever is brewing in this noggin of mine – I am writing it down! Maybe by this act, I will manifest it by actually making it!

I finally got the copy of Gamemaker Studio Pro that I was gifted last year to function properly. I don’t know what happened last year but my computer or I just wasn’t having it. I gave up before even starting because the setup of the IDE (simply installing it) proved too difficult. Anyway, I decided I would put my nice laptop to good use and try my hand at this again. It works! I tried a couple tutorials, understand a little more and feel less intimidated. I think I can push forward with this…I just need a reason to.

I think I just thought of it. It will combine my lazy obsession with dream recall and turn it into a creative goldmine for the game that I am forming in my head. I am actually kind of interested. At this point, I actually think it touches on enough of my amateurish enthusiasm of various things, that I might actually make all those miscellaneous skills work together towards something! Like my semi-interest in creating visual images (eg. photography, sketching), a bit of programming, maybe some music and sound effects, maybe some ads integrating too.

It’s looking hopeful and exciting! 😋

… it’s been some time since I wanted to make anything for myself.

Review of JewelMint Spring’s Secret Mystery Box (2013)

Long Time No Post!  What brought me back?  I just received the JewelMint Spring Secret Mystery Box.

I signed up for JewelMint’s emails in the winter when I first heard of subscription fashion, jewelry, beauty stores (yes I am very very late on this). I’ve been browsing their selection from their daily emails.  A lot of stuff seemed interesting but I usually never buy jewelry.  At $29.99+ a piece for costume jewelry of questionable quality, I just didn’t want to commit to buying anything.

But then one day last week, they had a promotion for the Spring’s Secret Mystery box at the reduced price of $24.99 + shipping.  Of course I was hooked in! I knew this was probably going to be a clearout the stock kind of thing but whatever.  This is what the box description promised:

Your box is GUARANTEED to include:

  • At least 2 pieces ($60 value)
  • At least 1 NEW piece from the 2013 collection!
  • A physical Surprise Gift
  • A mystery promo code for use on your next JewelMint purchase (up to $100 value)Your box may also include:
  • Up to 20 pieces ($600 value)
  • A chance to name a 2013 JewelMint piece!

Okay.  I knew only the 1st two bullet points could be true. Yes there would probably be a surprise…but it’s probably garbage and I was also highly skeptical of the $60 value.  Well, REAL value anyways.  But I figured if I lucked out and got 2-3 pieces of clearance jewelry, that’s about $12 a piece after shipping.  Whatever, worth a gamble to try it, right?

When I came home tonight, I found my surprise sitting on the kitchen counter. Hurrah!

It arrived in a cute black bubble wrap envelope branded JewelMint. Inside was a ribboned black box, about 4x5x1 inch. I appreciate the external presentation.

It arrived in a cute black bubble wrap envelope branded JewelMint. Inside was a ribboned black box, about 4x5x1 inch. I appreciate the external presentation.

Inside the lid was a nice little welcome message.

Inside the lid was a nice little welcome message.

Then I lifted the black foamy thing that protects the jewelry from rattling during shipping and saw a first glimpse of my pieces.

Then I lifted the black foamy thing that protects the jewelry from rattling during shipping and saw a first glimpse of my pieces.

I got a Basket Weave Bangle. It's got a nice, solid feel. Not necessarily something I would choose for myself but it is bold and versatile.

I got a Basket Weave Bangle. It’s got a nice, solid feel. Not necessarily something I would choose for myself but it is bold and versatile.

However, I was very disappointed that it didn't quite sit on my wrist well because it is defective. One of the elastics has missed a loop on the inside. Easily fixable though so it's not too bad.

However, I was very disappointed that it didn’t quite sit on my wrist well because it is defective. One of the elastics has missed a loop on the inside. Easily fixable though so it’s not too bad.

I don't know what these are supposed to be, my physical surprise gift? Actually I looked it up online, I think they are Glamour Ties without the glamour. I guess I could go to Michael's to grab some charms for it.

I don’t know what these are supposed to be, my physical surprise gift? Actually I looked it up online, I think they are Glamour Ties without the glamour. I guess I could go to Michael’s to grab some charms for it.

Then finally the last and only piece that is in perfect condition. I can't find it on their site anymore but I do remember seeing it this year so the 2013 collection promise has been fulfilled.

Then finally the last and only piece that is in perfect condition. I can’t find it on their site anymore but I do remember seeing it this year so the 2013 collection promise has been fulfilled.

Overall, am I happy with my purchase? Am I happy with what JewelMint offers?

Well, I’m not unhappy. The Spring Secret Mystery Box delivered in several ways.  Here’s how:

  • It got me excited while anticipating the receipt of a surprise in the mail – Surprise, check. Mystery, check.
  • The quality of the goods is decent for the price I was willing to pay for costume jewelry – Buying stuff at a deal, check. ($24.99+ shipping vs. $29.99+ shipping normally)
  • I received TWO 2013 pieces – Expectations met, check. (Even though one was slightly defective but at least it’s easily fixable and I don’t have to try and ship it back, hear that they won’t take it for any refunds/exchanges, etc.)
  • Relatively fast shipping, check.  (It took about a week in all from warehouse to my kitchen counter. It’s just a little slow for my taste because Amazon has pretty much set the standard for me. Two days and I received a coffee maker once upon a time!)
  • Appeal to the lazy, check. (I didn’t have to get off my ass or go off my regularly routine to fab myself up just a little. I’m willing to pay whatever I did for that convenience.)

All in all, when I look at all of those points, I’d say my “not unhappy” status has shifted more over to the “somewhat content”.

The major reason keeping me down is that JewelMint now says I have a credit because I am now an Preferred Member. I’ve already missed the 1st-5th day of the month window to skip my purchase for this month, which I didn’t realize because a Preferred Member will be charged on the 6th of each month and given a credit unless I skip (damn the fine print!). So now I either have to pay full price for an item this month/next or I’ll have to battle it out with customer service to cancel my membership. The dread of all that inconvenience is seriously keeping my satisfactory feelings for JewelMint from blossoming into something more in line with what they probably hope for in a review. To conclude, I give the purchase and service a 6 out of 10, with the reservation to lower or increase that rating after the cancellation kerfuffle. It’ll depend on how their customer service department performs.

There you have it folks: a comprehensive review of JewelMint from a first time subscription shopping customer. I’ll be sure to update this post after I cancel the membership. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and found it useful!

Bonus point: It got me blogging about something less dark than my other blogs.

New Beginnings

Alright, this news is about a month late but I am now a married woman! We got hitched on October 1, 2011. The celebrations went better than planned I would say, not a single complaint from anyone. There was only minor family drama and now we are back to our regular ol’ lives and we couldn’t be happier. Though the day-to-day grind is starting to get to us again, we are living harmoniously and have even begun some preliminary discussions and plans for baby-making.

On a crafting note, I never did end up hand punching enough confetti to scatter on the tables. When the big day got closer and closer I just kind of gave up. Everything I initially dreamed up were extras so it was super easy to prioritize. I did however, hand make 24 pew bows which I will try to flip on Kijiji. I certainly have no more use for them.

The capelets were a big hit with everyone. It turned out to be one of the first super cool, crazy windy but crisp fall days so they actually did not keep us as warm as needed. Many of us in the wedding party got sick afterwards. They looked awesome in pictures though.

I am still pondering what to do with my dress. I know I should get it cleaned right away but should I spend another $300+ to clean it? Do I want to keep it or just sell it?
I do loove it…if I didn’t want to keep it, why did I buy it for $850?

There’s still wedding wrap up like thank you cards, photo scrapbook, etc. But I’d much rather laze about on the weekends to enoy quality time with the hubby or actually do some thorough house work for once. Plus Christmas season is approaching fast and it would be great to get a head start on shopping.

A few things I’ve learned about myself while planning everything:

  • I did not freak out or get cold feet at all even though I half expected to.
  • When push comes to shove, I really did not care about the details – it was all for show.
  • Trampling about in the woods in a white dress and white heels is fun even though I kept sinking slightly into mud.
  • Good times pass by very quickly and it was definitely a good decision to hire a photographer.
  • Finally, it turns out that when good photos of me are taken, I’m a little vain. 🙂

I am in the process of knitting a tea cosy for my Maid of Honor and her fiance. I’m hoping to go to a paint your own ceramics place to find a suitable teapot, paint it with a few heart-felt words and silly doodles only we would understand. Maybe it could have some “heirloom” value. 🙂 Gotta do it send it out before Christmas though.

No Ordinary Capelet!

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I gotta say I am exTREMEly happy with the way this turned out. Sorry for the bad pictures and the mess in our bedroom. I took them with the good webcam but it’s too bright so I lowered the blinds…and somehow the pictures still became pixel-y as shit. Whatever, my week’s knitting goal and experiment is DONE! I just threw on the only grey dress I have.  This is a much lighter shade than the Charcoal Grey for my bridemaids’ dresses but this mix of yarn looks awesome with grey.  I am making something almost identical for myself in White and Ginger.

I have not “smooth” out the fur yet but it looked so good I wanted to take pictures right away.  Best way to get a better fur effect is probably to spritz with water while wearing the piece.  Then run the palm of the hand along the fur in the direction you want it to lie.

Materials Used:
5x balls Lion Brand Yarn Fun Fur Solids – White
(used about 1/3 of the 5th ball)
6x balls Lion Brand Yarn Fun Fur Prints – Sandstone
(used up about 1/6 or less of the 6th ball)

Pattern: Knit Classy Capelet

Easy Capelets

Start of Capelet

Start of Capelet

Finally something I can post here! After a long hiatus in knitting (No I never finished the shawl for grandma…it’ll probably end up being mine when it is done. Granny is getting on in years…) I finally cast on a little something hopefully for my upcoming wedding in October.

My mom and my Maid of Honor had talked about cover-ups or shawls for the bridesmaids. Since Canadian Octobers could be either cool or warm, we figured something knitted would give us some good coverage for both cases. We actually started talking about this two to three months ago but I did not like the patterns my mom picked. Actually there were some that were quite nice but she has not done any lace, cables or even proper increase/decrease patterns in a long time. To be honest, I felt bad and also uncomfortable asking her to take on 4 different and difficult patterns. So I said I would go in search of simpler constructions. Of course, things got in the way and I procrastinated / gave up on many aspects of planning only to pick them up again in a rush. So here we are…

I’ve never been too hot about FunFur before but my MOH pointed me to some simple faux fur pieces that looked very close to what some Funfur pieces looked like so I told her I’d give it a try. Therefore this is a bit of an experiment.

My comments so far? It’s certainly easy enough to knit but the fur effect is inconsistent. It drapes like a light rabbit fur and sometimes looks like a furry animal when all bunched up but it also has a messy, dirty and disheveled appearance, minus the luxe and sheen of real fur. It could be the colors I selected which is one strand White and one strand Sandstone Print. The Sandstone is not my first choice. I originally wanted to go for a White with Cafe mix but silly me forgot that we are still in the peak of summertime. Of course Michaels would not have a full lineup of FunFur. I think I was lucky to get what I did.

Anyways, my MOH was thinking more of a mink color (?), which she described as more greyish-brown because everyone has long heather grey Henkaa convertible dressesHenkaa convertible dresses. I will have my wedding dress in ivory-cream and a burnt orange long Henkaa. I figure my capelet should stand out and be more ivory/white while theirs are more white-ish/grey. If you look at the current Sandstone/white mix, there’s actually specs of greygreen, grey, ochre as well. I think if I can get the fur to behave this could actually be quite nice with the heather grey. I mean I am into dark-gothy things but I don’t want to be accompanied by angels of death. Well…unless that’s the look I was going for but already decided on an orangey harvesty theme.

Anyways, hoping to finish this by the end of this long Civic Holiday weekend. Perhaps I can tame the fur by spritzing it with water and then come it gently with a short comb. I’m hoping that if the fur is more uniform then the faux fur affect will be better. And if not faux fux, at least achieve a shaggy throw look. I mean, even shaggy throws are not that messy.

I am also brainstorming something simple for table and hall decorations. Posts on those will come soon. So stay tuned!

FurFur Close-up

FurFur Close-up

Spring is in the air!

The moment I step foot outside the office building, the sun’s warmth paired with the cool breeze of spring evenings greet me. The birds are chirping and the trees are budding wiith two-day old leaves.

As pleasant as my senses tell me these surroundings are, there are also other tell tale signs that spring is finally here:

    The number of begging homeless have more than doubled at the subway stations. You can’t help but notice these ones. They are vocal!
    The smell of rotting something wafts from random places I pass by.
    Then there are my eyeballs, throbbing in my eye sockets, about to pop my contacts out because one particular vein on the surface of the eye is not inflamed so that it always feels like my contact is scraping over it when I blink.

Ah spring. Why do I always assume that I welcome you?