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Sunday, July 20

Easy Summer Craft: Gold Painted Seashells


To me, summer = beach, beach = seashells. I have quite a collection - Panama City, North Myrtle Beach, Cannon Beach, several beaches in California and a beach in Mexico are represented.

Most of them have sat in my craft drawer or a jar on the bathroom counter, just waiting to a creative way to be displayed. Thank you, Pinterest.

In my summer bucket list post, I mentioned painting seashells. This is such an easy craft, it doesn't really need a tutorial, but since I put my own spin on the Pinterest versions, and the shells turned out so well, I really just wanted an excuse to post pictures.

So here you are: 


You will need: 

  • Seashells
  • Metallic craft paint
  • Paint brushes


Originally, I planned to use silver and gold, but I loved the gold look so much that I used it on all of my shells.

There's a few ways you can approach the actual painting:

  • On some shells, I painted a very thin coat that blended into the texture of the shell, almost looking like it was just a part of the shell originally. 
  • On others, I covered the entire shell, front and back. 
  • Then to get fancy and put my own spin on it, I did some "dipped" shells, and various striped shells. Those are my favorite, because the natural beauty of the shell shines through.


So once your shells are painted, what do you do with them?

Show off, naturally. Some of the smaller ones I display in a glass jar on the bathroom counter. I use the big ones to organize my make up drawer - they're lovely containers for hair ties, small eye shadow compacts, lipsticks, etc.

But for my favorite ones, with these frames from Ikea, a couple book pages, and some hot glue, I made these shadow boxes.




They're hanging in the bathroom now, and I love having a bit of the beach with me here in valley heat, to remind me that escape is only six hours away...

Also, now I'm officially bitten by the Midas bug. I'm scouring my apartment for anything ordinary that's just crying out for some gold paint. Mugs, picture frames, stapler, various decor items... this could get out of hand. I'll let you know.

Monday, July 14

My Summer Bucket List

 

  1. Go to California. At the time I made this list, I was in the car, on the way to California. Check. Subpoints: 
    1. Disneyland - check! Just when you think it can't get more magical, you discover Tom Sawyer's Island.
    2. Angel's Game - check!
    3. Beach! - Can't ever have too much beach time. Except when you get sunburnt, and it's super windy. It was still fun. 
  2. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I took care of this one at the beach and on the drive home. Check.
  3. Curate my summer wardrobe and personal style. To this end, I finally signed up for Stitch Fix. My first fix was a disappointment to be honest. I just kept a necklace. But I left more specific notes, so I have hopes that the second one will be better.
  4. Learn a new hairstyle. I've been in a rut - bun, or straightened. Once in awhile I pull it into a pony-tail to mix it up. While in LA, I shopped in the Fashion District and bought a curling wand for $20. I burned myself on the first curl, but it's been all uphill since. Check.
  5. Paint Seashells. I pinned this last summer, and I finally did it! I love the way they turned out.
  6. Catch up on my magazines. I have a giant stack of Real Simples, InStyles, and Better Homes and Gardens on the coffee table I haven't had time for. 
  7. Try a new drink. So many options, but also while in California, I had a peach southern sweet tea with peach schnapps, and other goodness. Check. 
  8. Watch 500 Days of Summer. A movie with Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordan Levitt? How have I not seen this? 
  9. Have a bonfire. I was in a beachy mood when I made this list. But I realized that it will still be in the upper 90's at night here in the valley, so this might not be such a good idea.
  10. Go swimming once a week. So far, so good. Planning to swim again this weekend. 
Reading at the beach
Santee Alley in the Fashion District

Of the 10 things on my list, I've already done all but four, and I don't think I even want to do the bonfire anymore. I think I need to aim higher - I still have over a month left of summer! 

I'm at a loss - it's hard when it's 120 degrees outside. Any ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, July 11

Nicknames and Being My True Self


For the first time ever, I have a nickname other than abbreviations of my name, like Em or Emi. My co-workers gave it to me. It's Bossy Sauce. 

It's completely ridiculous. Here's how it happened: One of my female co-workers was telling about the Sheryl Sandburg initiative #banbossy, intended to empower girls by not calling them "bossy," but instead "strong-willed," "leaders," etc. I pulled the website up on my computer, and at the same time, one of the IT guys remotely connected to it to fix an issue I'd been having. The #banbossy campaign had the opposite effect for me - because of it, people started calling me bossy. And "sauce," well, I have no idea. You'd have to ask Kyle.

But the nickname has stuck. It stuck, because it fit. 

I feel like my job requires me to do impossible things on a regular basis. Not exactly "impossible," but beyond my skill set and comfort level. In order to do what needs to be done, I've adopted a sort of confident persona. I don't like taking charge, but things have to get done. Bossy Sauce makes things happen.

In May, we visited family in Iowa for a week, and while there, I realized how much I'd changed. I felt a tension between wanting to act and think like my high school self, quiet, being a wallflower in conversations, and in general, blending in. But I knew that wasn't who I was any more. Or was I? 

Was the confident version of myself just a cover up, or was it always there, deep down?

Why is it that I can stand up for myself at work, but not in other contexts?

I really thought I finally knew myself well. And then I changed.

And that's why I want to blog. Since I have a full time job, the pressure to grow a following and gain sponsors is off, and I can just blog for myself again. 

It's just difficult, when you have a full time job, that lately has required working 70ish hours a week. 

Even though my work involves lots of writing, I need to blog here still. Because this is where my true voice is. Blogging here feels like being my true self.

It feels good to be back.