Category Archives: Uncategorized

Yoga Butt

Tonight felt like a bit more of a thinking kind of night.

I did some yoga (breath work only – though I may have gotten a bit too relaxed. I think I fell asleep at the end). I’m checking out Yogaglo.com right now. I like the organization of their classes better than myyogaworks.com (you can browse by teacher, duration, style, and level and they also have some lectures as well). It even allows you to set goals to meet (# of classes or # of hours per week) and tracks them. You can even create a queue and schedule what day you want to take a class.

In addition to what I’ve already listed, they even have classes modified to accommodate your cycle (you are never supposed to do inversions during your period). I don’t know if most ladies take that into consideration or if they are just trying to get yoga butt.

Speaking of yoga butt, I didn’t even know that was a thing when I started doing yoga. My yoga experience has always involved old hippies. There were never super skinny Lululemon clad ladies practicing yoga, but here in SF they appear to be the only people who practice yoga.

Justin and I discussed the possibility of me taking antihistamines in addition to strict diet to get things under control (and allow me to eat MOAR DIFFERENT foods).  This conversation was held over a bowl of Pho. I had asked for no jalapenos but alas there were jalapenos in it. So far, so good. No reaction to the Pho or jalapenos. This could be huge because I could totally start eating fermented hot sauce again. It’s delicious and I have missed it terribly!

Obviously I don’t want to take benedryl every day again (I did that for years and still was a mess), so I started looking into natural antihistamines. I stumbled across the blend of Lavendar, Lemon and Peppermint, which is supposed to be a natural antihistamine/anti-inflammatory blend.

Well, I don’t have any gel caps currently, so I whipped up the LLP blend in a base of coconut oil. Topically, it is applied to the soles of the feet 2x a day. Even if this does nothing for my allergies, I will have soft, nice smelling feet!

I may try doing the the LLP blend internally using the gelatin capsules, but for now I am going to do the topical application.

I also started doing some rough sketches for another idea I have to add to my skull series.

try to do it silently and sans heels

I’ve still got some tweaking to do but this is promising 🙂

Instead of a tangle or working with M0rt, I decided to do some organizing. I went through stacks of paper and have organized them by color and print. Previously, I’d peruse a stack and have to pull pages out to see how I was going to combine them. Well, not any more (well, not entirely. There are still a few more that need to be organized but my wrist was starting to hurt).

Speaking of, I had a wicked case of the dropsies today and it freaked me out somewhat. Hopefully it’s just a one off kind of day.

I finally remembered what I wanted to talk about yesterday:Shoes. And screaming. We watched Olympus Has Fallen (which was really not as bad as I had expected) and there were so many ladies screaming. And having to run barefoot through shards of glass and smoldering debris because they had to ditch their high heels because they couldn’t run/escape in them.

My first thought was (not that I can say how I would act in some sort of shooting/bombing situation – though I can handle my shit in other emergency type situations) “why are you screaming? You are totally going to draw attention to your self.” The logical part of me thinks “be quiet. they will aim indiscriminately in your direction if you are making noise.”

But then I wonder how I would react to someone shooting at me. I know how I reacted when someone was shooting at someone outside in my neighborhood. I stayed down and didn’t move. I didn’t scream or start flailing about (or run out into the street from the house to see what was going on like some silly people). Hell, I didn’t want to move or make a sound. And I don’t think I did until a few hours later. (The one shooting I went to as an emergency responder doesn’t count. As much as the “victim” wanted us to believe the shooter was on the loose, it was pretty obviously his lady who was the shooter – nearly taking off his junk.)

As far as the shoe things goes, I think I will be able to flee should I need to. I dropped flip flops (terrible shoes for trying to flee) a while ago (and wouldn’t you know, my shins and calves are not all tight any more). I ditched high heels years ago (I still keep a pair for special occasions but in a city where you walk everywhere, I usually end up in flats). I’ve even ditched rigid soled flats for the most part (you need to get some Merrill Barefoot’s. Need them – after the initial break in period which was hell).

My shoes these days are minimal, functional and I could escape almost silently (I’ve sneaked up on more than a few people while wearing moccasins). That’s not to say that some how my overall clumsiness wouldn’t give my position away. I’m just covered in the shoe department.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is always be prepared. If real life is anything like the movies, you may need to flee at any time. But try to do it silently and sans heels.

The Mini Figs Have Landed

I did not get around to making my videos this weekend illustrating the issues with M0rt1m3r.

I spent some time in my garden. I made real cupcakes for my husband. I made a spice cake for myself (with eggs and that was NOT the best idea).

I broke down and bought LED light bulbs for the kitchen ceiling fan (and of course, the hardware store had 2 standard and 2 candelabra bulbs on the same rack – Get home and only 2 will work for our fixture.   BLAH). I have to say even having just the 2 is great (though we have only had 1 of 4 bulbs working for lord knows how long).

Put up some shelves yesterday:

And organized our Lego Minifigs today:

I also organized the bookcase. We finally have books on most of our bookcase instead of stuffs. 
I totally had something I wanted to write about earlier but for the life of me can’t remember what it was. 
For now, enjoy the assortment of mini figs. Items to note:Gnome, Spongebob (x2), Sandy Cheeks, The Flying Dutchman, some robots, skeletons, and a hippie. 

Golden……..

I threw in some silver AND gold tonight.

I can’t say I’m thrilled with the time change though. I don’t like walking home in the dark. Or walking the dog in the dark when I get home. Point being, I like it when it’s light out. The early darkness makes me feel like I should be in bed.

Made the awesome Puerto Rican Pulled Pork recipe that I found in a Costco Magazine of all places (I totally put it in my llama recipe journal). Speaking of Costco, I picked up meat there last week and have been good to go all week!  Yay me. I made a pork roast last Saturday and another today. Did some meals with ground beef (burgers and sauteed veggies with an avocado are my quick go to meal on school nights).

I accidentally over cooked my cauliflower yesterday (it was pretty brown, not quite blackened though) and it was delicious!

I’m settling into a better routine when it comes to cooking and working and making art. While I didn’t keep doing a tangle EVERY day after the initial 36 days, I come home and work on SOMETHING just about every day. And I don’t beat myself up if I want to go to bed early or read a book.

So I finally heard back from Craftwell yesterday and the conclusion they came up with is “you have your pressure settings too high” so it’s your fault your paper is snagging. My pressure was set at 4. My paper was a very heavyweight card stock. I’ve tried going lower than 4 and it barely even presses in to the paper and does not cut. So it looks like I will be preparing more videos outlining the outcome of EVERY pressure setting, starting at 1.

It’s pretty weak when a company makes excuses for their product. The eCraft should be able to cut 40 circles on a single page. It should also have some sort of speed control, be it on the machine itself or a speed control in the software. Everything shouldn’t be blamed on the user. I have photos of paper snagging back when I first got it and it was doing it even when I was attempting to cut 5*7 rounded rectangles (I definitely would NOT call that a complex cut!).

Insert something witty here……

I decided to change things up a bit today and add some gold into the mix.

Had class tonight and missed out on company bowling night. Booo. And for what? So I could sit in a lecture about how to use the computer and do research at the library.

I guess sometimes I forget that people aren’t necessarily willing to “figure it out” themselves (I forget this at work as well). Apparently curiosity is not natural and most people need step by step instruction for everything. Personally, I would rather just be let go with something and figure it out. The way someone tells me how to do something may not be the most efficient way.

I guess my desire to “figure it out” helps me in the workplace as well. I have to look at photos of products that I have never touched and answer some insane questions some of the time. I also have to figure out how to explain assembly instructions over the phone for products I’ve never seen. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it.

I’ve got to provide MMR vaccination records to SFSU. Really?! I can only assume I had the MMR vaccination in Placerville somewhere, so I will have to ask my mom.

I’m working on some ideas and will have some cool projects coming up. I’ll share them as I get them together.

Making things for fun….. and profit?

I’m continuing my Day of the Dead project. I have some great ideas and I am going to try a few new materials added into the mix.

One of which is wire. I’m using a Thing-a-Ma-JIG to do a bit of wire design. I really like the effect, but it is not going to work completely with the current layout (I only have copper wire on hand and it wasn’t really creating enough contrast to be visible.

But it allowed me to see how it would work and inspired me to try something different.

Up next PLA. We’ll see how that works out!

The paper stack I’m using for this project is ridiculously cute:

It’s 70% post consumer recycled material (which we here at LaserGnomes love) and features some cute animals (I’m not one for some of the super cutesy or way girly stuff that a lot of scrapbookers are using but I love a cute owl, bear or skunk). 
I’m also using cardboard scrap that I have laying about for these projects as well. I’m sure I have some great found objects I could add to the mix. 
My problem is finding a good source for shadowbox frames at the moment. I found some amazingly cute paper at Oriental Trading Post’s site, but no wholesale frames. The search continues. 
I still haven’t received a response from Craftwell regarding M0rt’s problems after sending video. I should run another test and use their preselected shapes from the SD card that came with it. I’ll try that this week and see if I have the same results. They’re always super responsive with canned answers but now that I challenged them with video, I haven’t heard a peep. 
We had dinner with Justin’s mom and Mark tonight at Lulu, which is fantastic. I think I really love the place because of their open flame rotisserie and pizza oven. It makes it so homey. And the food is delicious. Seriously. Had the prime rib and brussels sprouts. SO GOOD. 
My MIL gave me a book, I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers. 
It’s got some good advice about making things and making a profit as well as some good ideas for stimulating creativity and setting goals. 
When it comes down to it, is there anyone that doesn’t like to make things?  It doesn’t matter if it’s art, craft, food, etc., I think most people have the desire to “make” something, even if they don’t act on it. 

Photo time!

I worked on a photo project today (I bought 2 photo collage frames on super discount at Blick for like $11 each. They were clearance and the cashier still applied a 40% off coupon). Scissors and the xacto knife are hell on my arm. I wasn’t even using either for very long, but now I’m in pain. 

I was going through photos looking for stuff to print and place in the frames. Really though, I think I spent more time reading today. I went to the bookstore. God I miss bookstores. (and coffee houses. Not a flipping starbucks or peet’s. Actual coffee houses.)
I also had a moment of thinking to myself that I hate music. I never thought those thoughts would enter my mind, but between all of the noise coming from all sides of me at all times, I think I hate bass. I almost think the relentless beat that sounds the same for hours on end is what has driven me to listen to short, fast and loud punk songs again. 3 minutes tops. on to the next. (oh and probably Jess’s Joey Ramona Quimby costume on New Girl). When I listen to music while working it is largely bass free but then I’m faced with the constant ripping noise of packing tape. I’ve recorded audio because no one seems to realize how annoying that sound is. 
Here are some of the photos I’m going to use. (and a few that I’m not going to use – but I like them anyway. 

The very olden times. 2007

Tangle Time

I tangled today.

We had a costume contest at work. We were supposed to dress up based on our favorite collection. I was set to do retro kitchen (hence making cookies last night) but my dress no longer fits. So I changed things up to be inspired by the Designer’s Domain collection. I busted out my art apron (totally different than my cooking apron, which is super cute), some pens, paintbrushes, charcoal, paint and the like. I stuck a bunch of paintbrushes in my hair and put on my glasses.

I showed up for work being comfy and ready to make art. Oh and I brought cookies. Because I’m rad like that. The whole office was able to enjoy them, which was nice. I know a few people have dietary restrictions and don’t normally get to partake in treats. My cookies were grain free and vegan. Perhaps if you are lucky, I will eventually share the recipe.

I have to say we had some pretty good costumes for those of us who dressed up. Film Noir, Retro Reboot, Swiss Ski Chalet and even New England Clambake were represented.

One coworker dressed for Retro Reboot and pretty much clinched the title when she busted out her Nintendo Powerglove as her finishing accessory. There were a couple of people who had no clue what it was. Hopefully we can use it for company game night.

I didn’t spend anytime with M0rt tonight. Taking a step back and allowing my frustration to subside. When I sent my inital email to Craftwell, I got a prompt response the next day telling it it was likely user error causing my issues. Well, I sent off all three videos (ecraft issues, mtc test and mtc results) and haven’t heard anything back from Craftwell yet.

We’ll see what happens. That file should not be beyond the capabilities of M0rt. I had a similar issue when cutting our wedding invitations as well and those were 5×7 rounded rectangles. 2 to a sheet of paper. Are you going to tell me that project is too much for it to handle as well? I hope not.

It’s well beyond Amazon’s return window. Perhaps I should have gone with the Cameo, which was my original plan.

That being said. I still need a laser.

Blah blah blah so mad (at eCraft)

Okay, I’m still working on M0rt issues. While it seems that MTC is a bit more stable using Win7 64bit v 32bit, there are some issues with M0rt himself (or it could be eCraftshop Pro. In fact, give me a minute and I will check that.)

Okay, I’m back. There was still some slight snagging using MTC, but nothing to compared to the amount using eCraftshop Pro. While I can’t entirely confirm based upon 2 quick tests to create a video to show a CS rep that I’m NOT talking about paper getting caught in the rollers, it does seem there are some flaws in eCraftshop Pro.

The first thing I notice is that MTC slows the cuts WAY down. It also seems to prioritize cuts in a different manner and cuts closer to a row formation than jumping back and forth between front and back of paper. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how eCraftshop Pro prioritizes cuts. It doesn’t make a difference if you select the prioritize cuts check box or not.

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything awesome in a few days. Well, that is in part due to the issues I’m trying to resolve. You can’t do work if your shit isn’t straight.

 I don’t want to get all snippy with the CS person because that doesn’t really make things better. But to tell me that I have way too many objects in my file (40 circles with a line half way through) is ridiculous. If there are object limitations, please be honest with it. Don’t allow your software to work on anything over ___ number of cuts. I certainly wouldn’t have purchase it if that were the case and they were honest about it.

In fact, here’s the email I got:

“I can see why it snags. There are over 40 images on this one file!

The machine most likely will snag on already cut portions of the page when repositioning and moving the paper / trolly around, not when it is making the actual cut.

Realistically, there is no real solution to this other than to decrease the amount of circles your are cutting.

If you have multiple images already cut and they run across the trolly enough times, its gonna snag them. It’s simply physics.

I would recommend just putting your tab settings to the highest possible before starting the cut.

The tabs should help keep the already cut circles in place (for the most part) and help your cutting.

Or re-create the .svg so that the eCraft cuts in order from left to right, top to bottom. “

I was pretty specific that the snagging occurs when the blade enters the paper in my initial email. It snags the paper on the first cut. You can’t say that’s “physics”.

This would all be absolved if I had a laser. Then I would just risk burning the paper edges (which could be a really cool effect).

I did make cookies tonight. I was going to dress as Retro Kitchen for work tomorrow (we’re supposed to dress as our favorite collection), but I think I’m going as Artists Den instead.

Mustangs in Mexico

I’m still working through M0rt issues and had school tonight. I spent the time I would normally use for tangling or crafting emailing Craftwell customer service about M0rt.

M0rt shouldn’t need a new blade every 2-3 pieces of paper (which had ultimately been my solution for the problems I’ve been having).

Craftwell tried telling me it is likely my file. No, it not likely my file. I sent them the simplest part of the whole project (a circle with a line from center to one edge) to test. I have simplified much of the design I have been working with when I noticed that M0rt wasn’t going to be able to cut teeny, tiny circles. The skulls are not too small, or even that delicate.

We’ll see what they have to say.

Considering my observation about how differently MTC behaves on a 64 bit v 32 bit operating system, perhaps there is some sort of issue with eCraftshop Pro. Tomorrow night I will do some more testing using Lappy.

I came to a realization today. I miss helping people. In any capacity. I guess if I really try to sell it, I help people make educated decisions on furniture by providing them with detailed information. Or something to that effect.

My mother-in-law told my husband last night that the kids wanted to know if I was coming for Halloween in my witch costume. (I scared a few kids last year (: ) It did make me realize I miss helping people. Whether it’s kids learning or, hell, even working at human services, I feel better when I am helping others.

It really reinforced my plan to finish my Art Education degree and get my LCSW.

On another note, my Ancient Latin American Art and Architecture instructor (I’m not calling him ancient, the class is pre-colombian) finally gave a coherent lecture. We’re more than half way through the semester. Most of his lectures are some rambling about some dig he went on and a lot of him pronouncing Spanish words that are so accented, it’s hard to make sense of them.

Tonight he used the Ford Mustang as an illustration for stylistic seriation. It made sense. Though most of the class was very unfamiliar a 1964 1/2 Mustang, which was the jumping off point. As soon as we stopped talking about cars, it was right back to rambling.

I had some sort of profound thought I had wanted to share, but totally forgot it. What seemed profound at the time obviously wasn’t.