Thursday, October 18, 2012

something new

wooden owl ring

wooden monster ring
wooden diamond ring
I am branching out with the help of my wonderful husband! 

My etsy shop has been open for almost two years now. So far it has been a wonderful experience and I have had a great time creating crocheted goodies for etsy browsers to stumble upon. But now it is time to expand!

I am very happy to introduce you to jennasaurus wooden rings! These would not be possible without my amazing husband and his super laser cutting skills. He really is responsible for making these happen. I kinda go through a crazy time of spouting out a ton of ideas for different designs we could try and he goes to his computer and comes up with these super cute things that are even better than images in my head. I am so lucky to have such a great partner in life.

Just look at what we can accomplish together!

Available now in sizes 5,6,7 and 8 with more on the way in the next couple days!

Check em out!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

mail of the snail

I miss getting good letters. Email, facebook, text messages... yes, they are effective and time efficient. I suppose there is a time and place for them, sure. But I used to get so excited for the mail to come.
I had a lovely group of friends scattered all over and was actually pretty good at keeping in touch. I had a wonderful selection of stationary and colorful envelopes. I had a record of which stationary had gone to which friend so they wouldn't always get the same stuff (crazy, right? I know). I had markers and pens in many shades and colors and would sometimes rotate through all of them in a single letter. 

Letters would always have a formula. You'd start with a "hello how are you". Move on to I've been doing well along with an update on life that week, month or whatever. Segue into some questions about whatever they said in their last letter and other inquiries into their life. And always end with a heart and a P.S. that instructed them to write back soon. 

Letters were something to be anticipated and something that you actually put some time and thought into. Sigh. Email, what have you done to us? Text message, what is your hurry that cause you to feel the need to drop every other letter. Facebook, how is it that "liking" something is now considered keeping in touch. I am super guilty of this. Absolutely. I have, however, been getting the itch to build up my stationary collection once more.
I'm ready to sit with a cup of tea and five or six markers spread out before me. I am ready to bless somebody's mailbox with something to be treasured and not just something that goes from the mailman's hand, to our hand and into the recycling (please recycle that garbage!). 

A gem from my sister.

So, If you feel like you could use something to look forward to let me know! Message me your address. You can email it to me at at gmail dot com. Or find me on facebook. And then watch your mailbox! But beware! There will be a P.S. followed by some instructions. <3

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

152 days

It is official. Blake and I have purchased tickets for the first leg of our travels. The destination is New Zealand. The date is Sunday, February 24, 2013. We will be leaving LAX on Sunday evening. We will have a 3.5 hour layover in Fiji and then will be landing in Auckland on Tuesday afternoon. We are doing a bit of time traveling and will completely skip Monday. Who likes Mondays anyway?

We celebrated the occasion with a bottle of wine from New Zealand and looked over our pages of notes on fun to be had. This includes the lovely map that has tons of little scribbles all over it that detail tips from the lovely German couple that couch surfed at our place not too long ago. They had all sorts of gems to share with us.

It is going to be challenging, but Blake and I are trying to plan our trip in a way that we see things that are important to us but allow for a ton of flexibility based on who we meet and what adventures present themselves to us. Oh boy! I can hardly wait. It may be a bit early for a paper chain (but the time will come!) but for now I have a countdown app on my phone. Today it informs me that we have 152 days. Woo!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

haikuesday: baseball

 ballparks fill quickly.
people, smells, colors and sound,
senses overload.

the wave works its way
round and round the stadium
distracting from game.

baseball game delight
ful. fireworks glow above.
root for the home team.

cups without drink sit,
cracker jacks and peanuts lay.
fans leave empty seats.

Monday, September 24, 2012

peep-toe problems

Hello. My name is Jenna and I'm a Vans-aholic.

I don't know what it is about Vans, but I just love them. So much, in fact, that I don't let the little problem I have with my big toe sticking up and prematurely destroying the canvas force me into retiring a pair before their time.

Most recently I got these lovelies. Okay, I got them about a year ago. Since then I have pretty much lived in them. If I was more clever this is where I'd insert some dramatic video of me and my shoes enjoying life in slow-motion to some cheese ball song.

Read about these lovelies here.
After several months of very regular use my big toes did its thing and worked its way to the surface. (Am I the only one with this crazy problem?) I guess that means it is time for a project! In the past when this happened to a pair of blue, slip-on vans I went a bit wild with embroidery. It was a long, somewhat painful process but I had never gotten so many comments and compliments on a pair of shoes before.

This time around I wanted something that would take a little less time but still take care of the toe-peeping problem. Don't get me wrong, I love a good pair of peep-toe shoes.... They just shouldn't involve laces.

I decided to try and use only things I had on hand. Luckily I am a bit of a collector when it comes to crafting and other supplies that could maybe come in handy some day (sorry, husband!). I first cut out pieces of green felt to go over the toe. I though a little diagonal action could add to the interest.

I then selected a fabric that I thought would look nice with the shoes and cut the fabric so that it could wrap around the felt. Fabric alone wouldn't last a week with my monster toe. 

I hand stitched (rather poorly) the fabric to the felt and then came the fun part (by "fun" I of course mean "part I wish I could trick somebody else into doing for me")

Sewing a patch on to a shoe is a tricky thing. The canvas is super thick and tricky to get a needle through. And on top of that, working at the toe also means a bit of hand, finger, wrist gymnastics. It is a little tight down there!

The finished product is worth the struggle! I decided to add the patch on just one shoe. I kinda love the asymmetrical-ness. Also, this means I only have to convince one patch to stay! Bonus!

Luckily, I secured the patch well. They have been fully functional and I have been living in them while working at Trader Joe's. You wouldn't believe how many people think they came with the patch! I take that as quite the compliment. Perhaps it is time for me to purchase a new pair of vans for everyday use. I know I want to, I just can't decide on what color to get next. Hmmm...

 You will have to excuse the filthiness of these guys... they are obviously loved and put to work often. I love the new-ish addition and the fact that they seem willing to give me another year service.

My amazing and lovely cousin, Lauren, over at Pearls, Poppies, Pinkies Up shared her thoughts and ideas on revamping a pair of Vans. You should absolutely check it out... So cute and darling... Just like her!!

In other news... Have you stopped by my Etsy shop lately? I have added about 30 items! Insanity! I am really hoping that it cools down soon so that Etsy browsers find my shop more often... turns out that in 100 degree weather people don't spend much time searching for cute scarves or crocheted headbands. Come on Fall! I am ready for you <3

the move

Moving is always hard. There’s lots to figure out. Boxes to gather, organize, fill and label. My suggestion, having just gone through the process, is to pick a time to move that is not butt hot. We somehow managed to pick the absolutely hottest part of the Summer to do the most of our work. Piles of things everywhere you look can be overwhelming in any type of weather. The heat just made it a little too much. Our wonderful apartment had never been so hot. It was really terrible. We did everything we could to cool the place down at night and then shut out the heat during the day. It just never got that cool at night. Misery. That is the word I would use to describe it.

I think we were pretty smart in our packing though. We had a good system. We had boxes that we packed and labeled and wrote “storage” clearly on. These were boxes that we would hide away when we made the move to San Diego. No need to get anything out of those boxes during our time in San Diego. Another set of boxes was clearly labeled as being stuff we wanted out in San Diego. Another collection of boxes and trash bags was for donations and the last category was garage sale.

Yes. We sold A TON of stuff. We had a two day garage sale (Friday and Saturday) our last weekend in town. We made (including a small bit of business on Craigslist) just over $1,000. Crazy, right? Who makes that kind of money at a garage sale? I guess that when you’re moving into a smaller place and also have dreams of traveling dancing through your mind you find the ability to part ways with items you had previously held onto with an iron grip despite the fact that they NEVER got any use.

Our garage sale was actually a lot of fun. I met a couple teachers of youngsters and chatted with them and ended up giving them a ton of stuff. I know how teaching goes. You make very little and the little you make you spend on stuff to enhance your program and create fun learning experiences. How could I not make them take everything they could possibly want?

Blake was able to bless some of our customers with his passion, too. We were selling a couple bike wheels and that led to many conversations about biking. A couple exchange students from Korea actually went back to their place and brought back a bike so Blake could help them fix a couple problems. While he was doing this a middle aged woman got excited and asked if he would help her with a bike problem, too. She returned the next day with her bike. I like having a husband so willing to use his knowledge to help others.

We unloaded a ton and donated everything that didn’t sell. Threw away a bunch. Put curb alerts on Craigslist. Boy is it freeing. We cut our possessions by at least a third and  put away a good portion of money towards our 2013 adventures. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Treats and a card our last day at TJs

Last day at TJs together... Blake made us match (ok, maybe it was me)

Moving day... Thank goodness for amazing friends! I can't believe how quickly we did that!
 On top of that, all of the blood (not really), sweat (so much sweat) and tears (yes, tears) that we put into packing and cleaning paid off. We got our entire deposit back! We lived in our apartment for about 4 years and didn’t mess it up! Woo hoo! So that $1200 along with our garage sale profits covered our tickets to New Zealand

After several trips back and forth (including a large U-Haul trailer) we got everything to San Diego and said our goodbyes to Long Beach, our first home together.

Our amazing kitchen. Farewell, I will miss all of those counters.

Loved this place.

Keys ready to turn in (I kept one! Shhh!)

We made it to San Diego and have pretty much unpacked and started settling in. Of course, the heat didn't end with the packing side of things. We made to La Mesa in time for record breaking temperatures... One day actually reached 106 degrees! What the heck. Oh well. We did it.
New home, sweet, home.

Now we can comfortably work and save for our travels! Thanks in-laws for letting us crash with you! You've got all sorts of postcards in your future!