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Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Secret to Happiness?

Don't ask me how, but somehow I ended up on Formspring, reading all the questions I've answered in years past, and found a question someone had sent me in July of 2010, asking, "What's the secret to happiness?"  Some people might say a million dollars, or finding something you're passionate about, or who knows what.  I had completely forgotton about this, but I answered, "The courage to never stop looking for it."  I still truly believe that.  Like the old saying goes, "The future belongs to those who believe in it."

Just some food for thought.  What do you think the secret to happiness is?   xx

P.S. Kudos if you noticed the blog change!  Although, it is hard to miss, since I changed almost everything... This one will be staying for a while.   I'm excited!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Delayed Spring Cleaning

I'm just going to get this out of the way and be totally upfront with you:  this is going to be a long post.  So if you've got choir rehearsal, a wedding reception, or jazz concert to go to right now, don't bother reading this.  At least, not right now.  How could I have you miss your best friend's reception, or the trumpet player you've waited all year to see?!

The reason this is going to be a bit long is because there are two parts to this story of mine.  Part 2 is being shared with you because Part 1 allowed me to discover it.  I know, that doesn't really make sense.  You'll see.

SO.  Here we go.  Next Monday, people will be coming down my street to pick up items being given away - clothes, small electronics, kitchen items, jewelry... you know.  So in preparation, my sister has been cleaning out her closet, and has filled a few (small) garbage bags.  Since I had nothing to do this afternoon after guarding, I pulled out a few shirts in my closet that I have known for years I would give away, once I actually decided to do it.  Andddd that turned into a good six hours of deep cleaning and organizing my closet, and dresser/desk/nightstand/floor.

I am kicking myself for not taking 'before' pictures.  So, so much.  My closet was a mess.  So much so that I am still staring in awe at this beautiful and organized space of mine.  Yes, those boxes all actually contain the shoes that they say they do.  And yes, I actually bothered to organize my remaining clothes into the type of item they are.  If you didn't catch that, from left to right: fall/winter clothes (out of sight), dresses, activewear, sweaters, t-shirts, and tank tops. Am I exhibiting my inner (ha, you see what I did there? Since personality is already 'inner'... yeah. I can tell.  You totally missed that.) type A personality?  Perhaps.  But who cares.  This is the best strategy I've used yet (the other was organizing my clothes by color, years ago), and it's so handy.  I like having them all grouped in sections, instead of fishing between hangers to find what I'm looking for.  So now I can be like, "It looks like it's going to be slightly overcast today, so let's grab a light t-shirt from this section, and a cardigan from that one."  Done!  Easy peasy.

Don't hate.  I know it's tempting.

Can you believe that all came out of my closet?  Except for the stack of jeans.  Those are from the dresser.  To try and illustrate the magnitude of that, I will tell you this: all that lovely empty space you see up there?  That wasn't there before. None of it.  In fact, to reach anything/put something away at the top of my closet, I had to jump.  And that's saying a lot, since I'm 5'10".

Okay, here's part 2.1:  while cleaning that hanging white cubby thing off to the right edge of the frame there (first photo), I found a bunch of my scarves (both ones I knit, and bought), and while I was trying to figure out where I could organize them nicely while they waited for winter, I realized I could block the brown wool scarf I was holding!  At the time that I'd knit it (a few years ago), I had no inkling of what blocking meant, and I certainly didn't have the materials to do it, whatever it was.  I've worn it the past few falls with one of my dressy-ish Forever 21 dresses, and I never really noticed how much potential it had to become a real classy scarf, not something that looked a bit crumpled.  So of course, I leaped up to pull my waiting blocking boards off my desk and ran to the kitchen to block it!  It looks amazing now, thanks for asking.  But you don't need to take my word for it, check out the pictures!  Of course, in these pictures it's still wet and pinned down, but you get the idea.

Alright, that's done.  Here's part 2.2:  when I was cleaning out aforementioned white-hanging-cubby thing,  I found like five things I knit years and years ago (age 14 I think?).  'Things' is about the most appropriate thing I can call them.  Once, I actually did consider them hats.  Not completely sure how.  They were just so damn laughable that I had to share them!  (I have just realized to my discomfort that I look like I have quite a large food baby going on right down below there.  I don't.  It's the lighting and weird shadows.  Positively.  Look at the other pictures if you don't believe me!  The lighting, I tell you.)

Okay.  Here's the kicker.  The green hat?  It's that baggy for a reason.  I had just been given a copy of Knit One, Felt Too for Christmas when I decided to try my hand at felting.  Enter this hat.  Haven't figured out why this is so funny?  You see, I hadn't understood that in order to felt something, you must use wool.  I laughed so hard at my stupidity today that it took me five minutes to explain to my mom what had happened to this hat.  Five minutes!  For those of you who are not knitting-savvy, here are the layman's terms:  this hat is made of acrylic yarn, and after it went through the wash, terrible, terrible things happened to it:  it became five times larger.  Such is the outcome when you try to felt something that isn't wool.
So you see, I wouldn't have been able to burn all those calories laughing at my hysterically comical attempts at knitting if I hadn't cleaned my closet.  That's what I meant about Part 1 allowing Part 2 to happen.  It makes sense... right?  ......Right?

All kidding aside, it's pretty incredible the difference in my knitting you can see between six+ years ago and now.  I'm impressed with myself, I'm not gonna lie.  (I guess all this Knitting for Confidence stuff is starting to pay off!)

Alright.  You have survived!  This is the end of my ridiculously long story.  If you're still reading, give yourself a pat on the back.  You deserve it for being such a trooper.  :)  Now, to reward you, here's a nice, soothing, pretty picture of the pool I guard at.   xx

currently listening to.... Home - Jack Johnson

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Knitting for Confidence #6: Deep Water

I haven't mentioned this project at all to you, so here is my surprise reveal!  I started this top on the 15th, and finished it up yesterday afternoon.  It only took four days to knit this - the rest of the time was spent waiting for more of this gray yarn to arrive in the mail..!  I ended up running out of it when it was about 3/4 done.  I swear, the mail always takes a billion years longer to get to you when you're waiting for something important!  And you must forgive my floral bikini that's peeking out from behind the lattice-work top; I took these pictures after I got home from lifeguarding.

This is definitely a project I'm going to do again in the future, only smaller!  I took in about three inches from the body of this shirt because it was so loose.  And it was smaller than the 'small' on the pattern to boot!  But I still love this shirt to death - the eyelets along the ribbing, the boatneck neckline... it's so adorable.  I also added in a tiny band of cream yarn between the two main colors, which wasn't part of the pattern, and I love how perfect that turned out too!

Anyhow, this is a Knitting for Confidence post because one of my New Year's resolutions was to knit five things I've never made before, so here's #3!  My others so far are colorwork gloves and a shawl.  & the name of this post is borrowed from the colorway of this blue yarn.  It's so lovely!  Have you tried any adventurous projects lately?   xx

currently listening to.... Now That You're Gone - Bebo Norman

Monday, June 25, 2012

World of Water

As promised, here are my Waterworld pictures from yesterday!  Unfortunately my iPhone is not waterproof, so I was relegated to take all these from the sidelines.  I really wish it were though, so I could have taken it on all the slides!  I saw the other night on Snapguide (an iPhone app) a how-to of making your iPhone waterproof!  I was exceptionally tempted to go buy the plastic sleeves needed to do it, but more than anything else I was worried about my phone getting banged up, so I refrained.  I'm really, really hoping I'll have enough money at the end of the summer from lifeguarding to buy a water-, freeze-, and shock-proof camera from Nikon.  It'd be so ideal to take to a water park!  Man.  As a photographer, I have dreamt of shooting underwater portraits for yearss.  As soon as I have it, I am so coming back here!

Also, you must forgive my extremely flat and lifeless hair.  It and chlorine are mortal enemies.  They never fare well together.  You'd think after spending 12 years in a pool, they'd be amicable!  I suppose it only looks awful because I'm sitting next to Kellie, whose hair looks amazing no matter what happens to it!  And if you were wondering, that handsome young chap below is Marty, whom I mentioned in yesterday's post.  I know, attractive, right?  ;)  I hope you're enjoying your Monday!  xx

P.S.  If you were wondering, yes, I did go off that slide!  It doesn't look too bad, but for a fraction of a second your stomach is in your mouth!  Free-fall is always a bit terrifying..!

currently listening to.... Anna Molly - Incubus

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Peephole Beret

I finally wrote up the pattern for this slouchy beret!  It's been sitting completed for a few weeks (maybe a month?), and I've been too lazy to model it or write the pattern..  :(  But now it's done!  You can find it here, and if you're not a knitter, not to worry!  This hat is for sale too.  :)

By the time you're reading this, I'll be in Waterworld, probably having a blast.  ;)  I haven't been there since I was ten or eleven, and I'm going with a bunch of people from my old swim team.  I was invited to come along since I was a vet on the team for a really long time; same with my oldest friend Marty, who I met through swimming (I guess also because his mom organized this event ;P).  So, be on the lookout for some pictures of the trip tomorrow!  xx

currently listening to.... DOA - Foo Fighters

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On My List: 5 DIYs This Summer

You may or may not know this about me, but underneath the hard and cynical exterior, I'm a DIY softie.  ;)  I've compiled this list as the five DIY projects I'm going to do this summer, no exceptions!  Maybe one exception.  But that's it.

5. //  Lyrics/quotes stenciled onto a pillowcase.

4. //  Melted crayon art - how awesome is this?!

3. //  Doily envelopes; how cute are these?

2. //  I would have never realized you could do this with an eraser!  I'm so excited to try this.

1. //  And the number one thing on my DIY list for this summer?  A fabric and thumbtack decorated corkboard!  I'm so jazzed to make this!

Do you have any fun and adventurous DIYs planned in the coming months?  Stay tuned for stories about mine!   xx

currently listening to.... Song 2 - Blur

Friday, June 22, 2012

Family Ties

I'm feeling sentinmental, so I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of my family from my sister's grad party last week.  :)  This was the first time in a long time that all of my mom's family was together (including the new great-grandkid!, Audrey), so I snapped a million pictures!  It's so easy to do that when they're so photogenic..  ;)

You may have also noticed the changes I made to my blog!  I was up late last night re-vamping my color scheme - summer deserves a lighter palette, don't you think??  I'm not sure if this is the final way I'm going to leave it (for now, at least!); I'm still thinking about tweaking small things here and there, but I think I'm happy with the new header and layout - what do you think?   xx

currently listening to.... Pardon Me - Incubus

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Infinite Spirals

With how busy it's been around here lately (my sister graduating, having her grad party, starting at my lifeguarding job...) I've totally forgotton to post about these cowls I finally put in my shop!  They're soft and cozy and marvelous.  :)  I'd been super lazy about modeling for them, and now I have a few hats that are waiting for pictures...  I'm the worst procrastinator ever!

Just to be fun, I included some Instagram (=megancooper13) pictures from my week!  Isn't my red and white get-up gorgeous?  ;)  And that lovely view of the oak tree and roses is what I have the pleasure of gazing at every night from my living room.  :) I'm thinking about going out to grab a burrito for dinner, and holing up in bed with a few movies and some knitting... I think that sounds pretty fab!  Enjoy your night.  xx

currently listening to.... Hello World - Lady Antebellum

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Graduate

My sister graduated from high school this past Friday!  Still kind of in disbelief, as it means I am now officially heading into old age...  ;)   This was the fifth (sixth, if you include my own) graduation I've been to, so I felt like an old vet!  What makes mine and my sister's graduation so special is that my dad presented both of us with our diplomas.  He's on the school district board (and president last year), and since one of the members is asked to present them each year at the high schools, my dad was able to do it for ours.  I was trying so hard to keep my tears off my face (couldn't ruin my makeup for the photographers!) when I walked across that stage two years ago!  I still can't believe how lucky I was to have him be the one to give me my high school diploma.  I mean, how often can one say that?!

Anyway, these are just some of my favorite pictures from the ceremony!  My sister is in the first three pictures below.  And you may recognize Elanor from Missing Lovebirds!  :)  We celebrated Father's Day tonight by going out to dinner at BJ's - I'm so full!  Did you do anything fun to celebrate?  xx

currently listening to.... Everything - Michael Bublé

Friday, June 15, 2012

A New Viewfinder

I hope you're familiar with the phrase "eating your words" because that's exactly what I'm doing right now. Remember two nights ago?  I said I was crazy for going to get this desk that would take up a gargantuan amount of space in my already filled room?  Yeah.  Well.  I'm kind of really, really happy that I did.  I would be lying to you (by omission) if I didn't say this: it looks amazing.  From now on, I am going to buy desks that are at least this length. For the rest of my life.  This is a workspace.  It's practically as long as I am tall!  (which is saying a lot, since I'm really tall)  I love it.

This is my new knitting/crafting studio (the only time crafting comes into play is if buttons are involved, or if I'm assembling a pretty package for  a customer :) ), and somehow the desk and hutch pieces turned out to be straight out of my imagination.  Like, this is almost exactly (spot on, if you didn't catch the word exactly) what I had envisioned my ideal workspace to look like.  Makes you wonder, some things must happen for a reason, no?  I mean, they were put on Craigslist for free in San Francisco, which is only 35 minutes away.  I'd always hypothetically thought that things happened for a reason, but this has firmly confirmed it.  I am probably going to spend all day in my chair here, soaking up my new awesome desk and how amazingly organized it is (my old desk was so much worse - I blame the fact that it was only 2/3 the size of this one!).  I hope your enjoy your day as much as I'm going to!   xx

currently listening to.... It Did - Brad Paisley