Monday, November 30, 2009

pocket mirrors!

the blessed day has arrived. i got my pocket mirror machine + mirror parts in the mail and i am in LOVE. the possibilities are endless. one of my favorite ideas is buying thrifted children's books and cutting out cute paper clippings.

and yes, i did feel a tad wrong about cutting up a book...but i figure it's re-purposing and they're getting a new life...right? right. :)

here are some of my favorite mirrors with the book clippings:

Possum in a Tree

Three Plums

Scolding Mom (ha i love this one)

Four Owlets

Happy Racoon (i think this one's my favorite).

there's some with stamps and scraps of fabric, too - but i just love the ones with book clippings - each one is so unique!

and of course i had to have a cute little bag + tag to package them in. gotta protect those mirrors!

it's rediculous how much i love my new pocket mirrors and those little muslin bags.

all of these mirrors and more can be found in the jellabee shop!

Friday, November 27, 2009

pop songs can be good for the soul

i love my jenny lewis and my arcade fire but sometimes i just like the POP. ya know, the kind of music you sing really loud to in your car on the way home from work when you've had a hard day and you just want to yell. (i may or may not have yelled along to my chemical romance's "it's not okay" one or two times on the way home from my old work where i was a secretary in a financial advisor's office...)

they're also the kind of songs you dance to alone in your house - i find that beyonce's "single ladies" is an excellent song to dance like an idiot to in front of your baby while they're in their high chair.

and although they're not in the mainstream pop arena, sometimes "that's not my name" by the ting tings is the best choice for dancing like a crazy person in front of your tiny helpless audience.

my latest pop addiction is lady gaga. i just spent the last couple days looking up pretty much all of her youtube videos. it's so sad, i know. she's just a pop singer but i LOVE her craziness: the makeup, the costumes, the performances. and i know she's definitely not some people's cup of tea and she's not my favorite singer, but you can just tell she knows EXACTLY what she's doing. dancing + crazy costumes + multiple catchy hooks per song + hype + rumors + crazy videos...there's definitely a formula to becoming a famous pop star and she's got it down pat. and i don't think she'll have a britney-esque breakdown from the fame and the pressure because she's not growing up in the biz and she won't go through the awkward wholesome to scandelous transition - she's already there. and i think she feeds off the fame and media and she'll just get more crazy and more fantastic.

i love her entertainment value, or her showmanship, or whatever you call it when she's performing. bascially, i just love it anytime when singers aren't boring. and, i really do think she's talented. she was a songwriter for the pussycat dolls and other pop people before she wrote songs for herself. she's a classically trained piano player and i think she's got a pretty good voice, pretty sassy.

anyways, i appreciate the fluff music because it's kind of escapist...but i wouldn't go so far as to say i like miley cyrus. that's just going too far.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

dial's soothing white tea hand soap

i realize this is a bit rediculous and totally random. BUT - this hand soap is awesome. i really like foaming hand soaps because they rinse off your hands quickly and don't leave residue, and i used to buy them from bath and body works. then they started selling foaming hand soaps at walmart and this scent by dial smells rediculously good. and i like the clear bottle + the clear soap inside, just nice and simplistic.

the scent is called soothing white tea and smells clean and fresh, kind of coconut + vanilla + rain + fresh cut grass + awesomeness. i don't know, it's hard to describe. and if i continue to describe it or talk about this hand soap anymore, i'm going to sound like a crazy person - and a commerical for dial hand soap.

anyways, it's only about $2 and i love it when i find something i like better that's cheaper than the more expensive brand. yay!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

movie: stranger than fiction

this is one of my top 5 movies. the acting is SUPERB and the whole story is so funny and sad and romantic at the same time.

if you're not familiar, harold crick (will ferrell) is an IRS auditor who suddenly one morning hears a female british voice (emma thompson) narrating his life. i think this is will farrell's straightest performance ever, and even though i pee my pants laughing every time he plays one of his stupid/arrogant/angry characters, i really really loved him in this movie. (he even got nominated for a golden globe).

he's a solitary person but he doesn't mind it. he just goes through the motions, kind of detached but not depressed. hearing this voice definitely shakes him up and changes how he would normally react to people around him. most prominently, the love interest, ana pascal (maggie gyllenhaal).

i just find myself smiling during the entire movie as the story unfolds and bizarre things keep happening - not in a slap-stick way, it's not that kind of movie. it's contemplative and sweet but funny and entertaining, too. and the music rocks, i bought the soundtrack. (favorite track: "whole wide world" by wreckless eric. download it NOW.)

and the story is compelling, but the characters are the shining points for me. each one is so important in how they relate to harold because he used to live his life independent of them, and suddenly they become very important to him.

dustin hoffman as the literature professor harold goes to for help and emma thompson as the narrator are awesome, of course. i think they were perfectly cast. queen latifah as emma thompson's assistant was kinda blah for me but an interesting choice.

my favorite scenes are with ana and harold. i have always loved maggie gyllenhaal from the first time i saw her in a movie because she is always just so REAL. even when she's stuck in crap movies like "mona lisa smile" she still makes you believe her character, and you like her even if she's flawed. and in this movie she's just totally confident, unselfconscious and unrepentant but also sweet and caring. she also makes me want to own a bakery and live in her apartment.

anyways, it's kind of one of those carpe diem movies but not in a sappy way. most importantly, it's an awakening for harold crick. he used to go through life unchanging but change is what ultimately makes him happier.

wow, that kinda sounds like i just wrote an essay for this movie and that last paragraph was my "conclusion." how funny. i just can't break those english major habits, i guess.

wow, i kinda wanna watch it right now...see! i even convinced myself! ha.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

house idea: dinner table chairs

one day when we get a bigger house that warrants a bigger table with multiple chairs, i would love to work on this idea. it would take some time to gather all the chairs i liked from like craig's list or thrift stores but it would totally be worth it and, i think, really fun every time i scored a new chair.

while i do love the picture above with the different colored chairs, i was also thinking maybe all different styles of wood chairs, then all painted white + re-upholstered with the same fabric. that way, they look like a set but each chair is carved differently. in the pic below, it looks like 2 sets of chairs, but i would want every chair to be different. because that's how i roll.

either way, i could start with the first pic and later convert to all wooden/painted chairs. then i could put the cute metal/non-wood chairs around a small circle table in the breakfast nook that i'll have one day, too...the possibilities are endless! ha.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

new headbands!

i just added some new headbands to the jellabee shop yesterday! it's about time, i'd kinda been neglecting that shop while i was focusing on jellabee jr for a while.

i think this one's my favorite. i just love the combo of that purple ribbon and green leaves.

all of these are listed in the jellabee shop with more details, pictures and prices.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

crafty coupons

who doesn't love saving money?! in this down economy...haha just kidding, i hate that phrase.

if you're a crafter you're probably already aware of where to get these coupons but i certainly appreciate them, so i'd thought i'd share.


go HERE to sign up for their emails AND mailing list where you'll get at least one coupon a week through your email or regular mail (look for the email sign up box). more often than not, they'll send out multiple coupons. AND you can use both the regular mail and email coupons TOGETHER at the store. awesome.

joanne's definitely has the best deals on fabric and that store is crazy with discounts. and it's nice to know that there is always at least one coupon available anytime you want to go. and of course, with email you can just print out as many as you want and maybe take your husband with you and make him wait 5 people behind you in the check-out line with half of your purchases so it looks like you're not together so you can get more discounts...some may say this is dishonest, but i say it's thrifty. my husband says it's embarrasing, but he does appreciate the money saved. so there.

hobby lobby

hobby lobby is a bit more stingy with their coupons. you get one a week via email but half the time it's a very specific coupon for like 40% off spray paint or something like that. every other week you get a normal 40% off any item in the store coupon. go HERE to sign up for their one weekly coupon or go HERE to just print it off their website. and i've never seen a regular mail mailing list for hobby lobby, i don't think they have one.

i like hobby lobby for their clearance section and scrapbooking paper. their decor stuff is pretty annoying because they stack it really precariously in the middle of the aisle and i feel like i'm going to go knock over some glass rooster or something(and it smells like potpourri) but they put wire ribbon, fabric remnants and paper stacks on sale alot.


i don't believe there's a regular mail mailing list for michael's either, but every time i get a stack of grocery store coupons in the mail there always seems to be a michael's 40% off coupon tucked in there. (why do they all have 40% off coupons? is that like a craft store rule?) so next time, don't automatically throw all that waste of paper away! go HERE to sign up for weekly email coupons from michael's. it won't always be a 40% off coupon each week, sometimes they're only 20% off, but at least they have multiples coupons sometimes. (cough cough hobby lobby).

the dollar bins at michael's rock. i get my best stamps and ribbon there so hunt for the dollar section next time you're there. and you get an additional coupon on your receipt after you make a purchase. then you can come back again and make another purchase and recieve yet another coupon. it's a vicious cycle.

anyways, those are my crafty coupon secrets. happy money saving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sharon shinn is my favorite.

*sorry, this is a long post. but if you're looking for a new series of books to read, this series is one of my favorites.

as a former english major, i am constantly atoning for 4 years spent reading literature that i was forced to read by college professors. i still read the ol' work of literature now and then (most recently, pride and prejudice) but i think there's a part of everyone that enjoys the fluff. for me reading is an escape and i'd rather read fiction that anything else. or us weekly (which i realize is mostly fiction...). i feel like i should be improving my brain by reading great works of literature but for pete's sake sometimes i just want to read some meaningless highly entertaining FLUFF!

have you heard of a little book called twilight?

haha just kidding. while i do love the twilight series (just like all the other 20-something moms like myself), my favorite fiction writer is sharon shinn. you know those books you can read a million times and never get sick of? your comfort shelf books? her books have been on my comfort shelf since i read my first novel of hers, "archangel." yep, the word "angel" is in there and yes, it is about angels. but i promise you, it is nothing like you'd expect. she is an exquisite fantasy writer and blends the realms of fantasy and science fiction effortlessly. now don't get me wrong, whenever i hear the words "fantasy" and "science fiction" being applied to a book, i think of faeries and aliens - BLECH. but i would say the fantasy/science fiction ratio in her series is 90%/10%. she constructs this completely believeable world that is almost exactly like our own...except there's angels.

i don't think the premise is too confusing. it's in the future and a sect of people have left earth because of violence and nuking ourselves to oblivion (there's no writing about earth, it's all on the current planet) and they find a new world that is similar to earth's atmosphere, except it had super violent weather patterns making it almost uninhabitable. they needed to use their technology to control the weather but wanted the future generations to forget all connections with any kind of technology. why? because they want to live peacefully with zero technology because that's what destroyed their former planet.

now this is where it gets interesting. to make it possible for future generations to control the violent weather while at the same time cutting off all knowledge of technology, scientists grafted giant wings onto the backs of some men and women (and altered their genetic makeup so that they could produce more angel offspring in the future). these angels would be responsible for controlling the weather by flying into the sky and singing "prayers" to "jovah" that would abate a storm or ask for rain, thereby making it possible to live on their new planet. by withholding their knowledge of technology, the original settlers would ensure that the future generations would think that the angels were "praying" to a "god" - although it is actually genetically altered men and women singing aural cues to give orders to the ginormous spaceship orbitting in the sky above them all. and they had to give them wings because the spaceship can't hear "prayers" from the planet's surface, they have to be sung as physically close to the spaceship as possible.

sound confusing? each combination of notes in a song an angel sings is like a code asking the spaceship, or who they think is jovah, for a certain request. over time, people viewed the angels as religious leaders rather than just convenient weather controllers.

oh, and also, if the majority of the people did not get together every year on the same exact day and sing the gloria to assure the "god" that they're living in harmony, the spaceship will "smite" them all with lightning bolts and everyone dies. hence, harmony is essential. although, technically, just because some songs are sung every year on the same day doesn't mean a spaceship cares whether or not someone is unhappy or someone dies, etc. but the people of samaria don't know that...

anyways, that's just the set-up. the first book takes place hundreds of years after all that has taken place and the religiously centered technology deprived society is already in full swing.

and of course, there's romance - something that makes any story worth reading to me. not the kinky romance novel kind - just good ol' fashioned love stories.

she also explores societal issues: slavery, social cast, race, religion, commerce, politics, power, etc. she creates this completely believeable world that practially mirrors our own, and more importantly, she creates completely believeable characters. you genuinely care what happens to them, just like i care about what happens to jim and pam on the office because, yes, they are real people to me...ha.

i wholeheartedly love this series. and pretty much anything else she writes.

here are the titles, covers and a snyposis for each book in her samaria series:

(side note: i think the covers are made to grab people's attention and don't really convey the actual tone of the story)

book # 1: "archangel"
"Through science, faith, and the force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they perceived as perfect. Diverse peoples held together by respect for each other and the prospect of swift punishment if their laws were disobeyed. Fertile land that embraced a variety of climates and seasons. Angels to guard the mortals, and mystics to guard the forbidden knowledge. Jehovah to watch over them all... Generations later, the armed space cruiser Jehovah still looms over the planet Samaria, programmed to unleash its arsenal if peace is not sustained. But an age of corruption has come to the land, threatening that peace and placing the Samarians in grave danger. Their only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel. The oracles have chosen for this honor the angel named Gabriel, and further decreed that he must first wed a mortal woman named Rachel. It is his destiny and hers. And Gabriel is certain that she will greet the news of her betrothal with enthusiasm, and a devotion to duty equal to his own. Rachel, however, has other ideas..."

book # 2: "jovah's angel"
One hundred and fifty years have passed since the tenure of the Archangel Gabriel and his angelica Rachel, a time of peace and stability. But now, great storms are sweeping the lands, the deserts flood, and the skies rain down death and destruction. Then the proud and beautiful Archangel Delilah falls victim to the rage of wind, as she is torn from the sky, her wing broken. She can no longer soar in the heavens, guiding and guarding those below. She can no longer be first among the angels. Never before have the oracles had to choose a new Archangel while one still lived. And though Jovah's anger blows all about them, still they must consult him. His choice - the angel Alleluia, a solitary scholar of undistinguished lineage. Now the fate of the planet rests with the reluctant Archangel Alleluia, who believes in her duty and her god. And her fate in turn, may well depend on the mortal Caleb, a man who believes only in science - and himself.

book # 3: "the alleluia files"
Legend has it that the Alleluia Files contain the truth about the god of Samaria. Now, a child raised in captivity among the angels will journey the length and breadth of her world to seek the documents that will alter the face of Samaria forever...

*and then, just because she's awesome, shinn wrote TWO MORE books for this series:

book # 4: "angelica" takes place 200 years before book # 1, "archangel."
Two hundred years ago, the god Jovah created a legion of land-dwelling angels, led by an appointed Archangel. Now, Jovah has a new appointee: Archangel Gaaron. For his life-mate, his Angelica, Jovah has chosen a woman named Susannah. Slowly, an unspoken affection develops between the two. But there is a terrible threat besetting the land--and the true hearts of Archangel and Angelica may never be known.

book # 5: "angel seeker" takes place a few years after "archangel" ends, so it gets to revisit some of my favorite characters from book one.
Award-winning author Sharon Shinn returns to the fascinating world of Samaria in a richly romantic tale that begins where Archangel left off. In that time, the women who craved the attention of angels were known as angel-seekers, a term used with awe by some-and scorn by others.

Elizabeth was born to wealth, but circumstances forced her to live as a servant in her cousin's household. Determined to change her life, she travels to the town of Cedar Hills, hoping that an angel will take notice of her, and take her as his own.

Rebekah is a daughter of the Jansai tribe, raised to hate the angels. But when she finds an injured angel near her village, she defies her upbringing to care for him.

In time, these two women, whose paths will cross, will both find what they long for, in surprising-and dangerous-ways.

all right, i know this post has been a novel unto itself, but i promise you if you like twilight or romance or fantasy at all, then you will immediately buy all 5 of these books and enjoy some fluff-reading bliss.

(for an entire list of sharon shinn's books, go to her website here. after you read these books and fall in love with her writing, i would next read the twelve houses series.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

new covered button snap clips!

i found these scrapbooking accents at a craft store and got REALLY excited to go straight home and put them on some felt snap clippies. i really loved how they turned out!

combo A

combo B - love that lil' ladybug!

combo C

combo D - this pair is my favorite. i love the color palette and little paisley.

combo E

combo F

all of these are listed in the jellabee jr shop as "Pair of Covered Button Snap Clips / Combo A" (or B, C, D, E, or F) for $5.50 per pair. i love these clippies!

Friday, November 6, 2009

new holiday clippies!

you probably noticed them to the right already in the jellabee jr shop, but here's bigger pics of my new holiday felt clips. i had a good time making these. at first it felt like i had to because i had made halloween clips and with kiddie hair clips you kinda have to do holiday-themed ones...but i actually ended up really liking how these turned out.

i thought this candy cane was gonna be hard for some reason but it turned out to be one of the easier ones.
a couple of presents.

i like this one better.

holly berries! it took me forever to figure out where to put the leaves and then they ended up fitting snuggly in the gaps between the berries.

a very serious no-smile gingerbread man. i had to google this one, print it out, and then trace it onto the brown felt - all the ones i tried to sketch looked pretty weird and disproportionate. i love his bowtie!

poinsettia! simple - i love it.

white...poinsettia? i wanted to make another color version of the poinsettia so i just called this "snow flower" to make it holiday-ish. you're astounded by my cleverness, i know.

i love LOVE the "quilting" on the red part of this stocking.

and oh man, this snowman makes me happy. i think his smile looks perfect.

and last but not least, my favorite holiday clippies. i know - they aren't even any cool shape or anything but just love they're obviously christmas clips but that they're so simple at the same time.
*all the prices and more details are listed in the shop. just click on any of the pictures or the blue "jellabee jr" link to the upper right.

H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S !

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

movie: bright star

i LOVED this movie. it is what you'd suspect a period piece about the poet john keats to be: depressing, slow at times, moody, dreary palette, sad ending.

BUT, the acting was superb. just very real and subtle. and i loved the costumes. the main female character, fanny brawne, makes a living by sewing and is said to be a fashion-forward lady of her time. her character was so sweet and firmly believes that her stitching is important and worthy.

she was played by abbie cornish:

who you might have previously seen in "elizabeth: the golden age" as elizabeth's lady in waiting, beth:
(which was a fabulous movie as well.)

the actor, ben whishaw, who played john keats was very believable as well. i hadn't seen him in anything else but i looked him up on IMDB and he played a small part in 2004's "merchant of venice" with al pacino as shylock, which i actually have seen, and he played a small part in the bob dylan biopic "i'm not there" which i have not seen.

the movie outlines his struggles as a poet and he has no money and has to rely on his mentor, another poet, charles brown, played by paul schneider:

who you might've seen lately as this guy from nbc's "parks and recreation":

he was really spectacular as well, but i was kinda distracted by his fake prosthetic pot belly. it was like really low and kinda weird-looking.

anyways, brown is kind of a father figure to keats and wants him to focus on his poetry but keats is distracted by fanny brawne, who lives in his building. brown thinks of fanny as an annoyance, a female who wastes her time with fashion who gets in the way of their poetry writing. (which i think is ironic because today a seamstress,or a fashion designer, would make loads more money and be typically more respectable then a modern-day poet.) the whole movie they are fighting to be together even though keats can't propose to fanny because he has no money. and he can't earn more money unless he writes more poetry...which he's not inclined to do because he's in love with fanny. conundrum, perhaps?

the ending, of course, is tragic but the movie is very beautiful and best to watch when you can totally devote your time to the 2 hour running time and just become absorbed in the characters and the storyline. it reminded me a lot of the newer version of "pride and prejudice" with kiera knightly (one of my top 3 movies) but not quite as light-hearted.
(this is a pic of fanny and her little sister, who she has a love/annoyance relationship with - very real and cute.)

and lastly the more famous of the two main characters is the romantic poet, john keats, but i couldn't get enough of fanny brawne. and after all the movie is named "bright star" because keats writes a poem with the same name dedicated to fanny. she really is the star of the movie and you are overwhelmed by her emotions and reactions. she lives for his letters when he is away and becomes physically ill when he's not there. they're both artists in their own way, she with her sewing and he with his poetry, and they're obsessed with each other because they just click and get each other.

i'm not sure when it comes out on dvd but it still might be playing in some dollar theatres or somewhere like that. but i know hands down i'm gonna own this one.

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