Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My progress so far, and some new goals too.

I'm typically not great at setting goals for myself, but I am starting to think I should do so more often as I seem to actually be working towards them. Huh. Go figure. :-)

My first step towards meeting my goals this week was to once and for all, come up with a new blog and Etsy store name. I just really don't like the name now, so I have really been putting some thought into it. This is what I came up with: My Etsy store name will be Art~Escapes and then my blog will be Heart~Escapes. Thoughts?

I also needed to purchase a few things in order to get my Etsy store started. Specifically, I needed some mats for my photography. I took care of that today, and I also made a few new hair clips and pieces of jewelry, so I should be ready to start selling in no time! I just need to bring my light box in from the garage so I can take some nice pictures of everything. That will be my project for next week. I think I should be able to get my Etsy store up and running by mid-April.

As for my new goal, I am determined to start living a healthier life, and slim down a bit. I have been overweight for a good portion of my life, with a few times here and there where I was in great shape. I am at a time in my life where I just want to be healthier! I am also at a time in my life where I want to think about having kids... and that just wouldn't be healthy for me to do in my current physical condition. I want to be able to be a good example to my kids, and I know I need to start that now. Sooooo..... I am starting Weight Watchers this week. I'm not actually going to the meetings, because I really can't afford that. Instead, I am just keeping track in my own logs, weighing myself once a week, and staying accountable be posting my progress here and on my Facebook. Plus, I have some great people that I know will be checking in on me. Feel free to leave me a comment every now and then and help me stay on track!

I am thinking the key to meeting my goals is putting them out there for the whole world to see... what better motivation is that??

On another note, this year I am an Easter baby. That's right, my birthday is on Sunday. I am a whopping 26 years old! Goodness, how the time flies by... For my birthday, I am driving down to Sacramento for a concert, and then over to Carson City to see my best friend ever, Sarah. Sarah has a wonderful husband (Chris), and adorable little boy (David), and is expecting baby #2 in August... YAY! I love her and her little family, and I fully plan on taking many, many pictures of her precious son, and her little baby bump. I am leaving Sarah on Sunday to drive home so I can actually spend at least part of my birthday with my hubby. Seriously, I could not ask for a better birthday. :-)

Since I need to leave at 7 tomorrow morning, I should probably start packing and get some sleep. I will leave you this evening with three collages that I made for a Photoshop assignment. I love how they turned out, and I hope you do to. Feel free to leave some critiques if you know anything about Photoshop... I am still just learning!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Beginning of Something...


It has been almost a month since I last blogged... Feels like it was last night! Things have been a bit busy with moving and such, and I guess I just got distracted! I started this blog with the intent on posting regularly, and using it to help start my Etsy shop. Instead, it has become my lace of random posts when I think about it. Well, no more. I am ready to really commit to my blog, and to my art. I am ready to set some goals for myself, and really work towards them and see what happens. So here goes, here are my 3 goals for now... I am sure I will add to them more later!

Goal #1: Post on my blog once a week, preferably about something related to my art or Etsy shop.

Goal #2: Take pictures of the items I have already made and post them on Etsy.

Goal #3: Start making new items! Maybe one a day for now??

I also really need to settle on a blog and Etsy shop name once and for all. I haven't really been happy with my current name (HandmadeByAmber), and I want something different. I decided I won't sell anything on Etsy until I have come up with a name, because in order to change my shop name, I will have to completely make a new account. I don't want to do that if I already have feedback on sales. So I need to just figure it out already!! I have some ideas that I am throwing around, and I am hoping I can come to a final conclusion tomorrow. Then, I can start working towards my other goals!

Sounds like I have some work ahead of me! Okay, I am going to get started on that, and in the meantime, I will leave you with some new pictures. I have been really into using my old film camera lately, and I have been getting some great shots. Here are some of my favorites. I am looking forward to matting some of my pics soon and selling some of them on Etsy. :-)

Have a great night everyone!!

The newlyweds, at the beach in Bandon, OR

My nephew Colton, play at the beach.

Covered wagon, in Sunny Valley, OR

I love the depth of field on this picture!

Mt. Shasta, after the first big storm.

The elk across the river on our way to Bandon

Love this picture!

Colton was playing leapfrog over the dunes, I love that I captured this!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An update, and lots of pictures!

Hello friends. Be warned, this is a LONG post with lots of pictures!!

Well, the last few weeks have been crazy! Seems like life gets crazier and crazier ever day! Allow me to give you a recap of my last few weeks. I want to first give an update on my Grandma. After her surgery, they did find a bit of cancer out side of her uterus, so the changed her diagnosis from stage 2 to stage 3. They are going to treat her with both chemo and radiation in the coming months. Please be praying for her health. She still plans on being around for a long time to come!

In other news, we found a new place to live! A few weeks ago, we found a beautiful house about 15 minutes away from where we are currently. We were very excited about it, but then the For Rent sign was taken down, so we assumed it had be rented. We filled out an application anyways, just in case, and a few days later, the owner called and asked if we were still interested! We went up right away to put down a deposit to save it. The new place is really wonderful. It is much bigger, both inside and out. There will be plenty of room for our dogs to run and play, and also more than enough room to have friends and family over to visit more often! We move in on the 15th. Please feel free to come visit us anytime!!

Our New Home :-)

The big craziness over the past few weeks has been my Mom's wedding. It has been a crazy 6 months or so getting everything planned, but it was truly worth it. Their wedding was by far, the most beautiful and fun wedding I have ever been to! And my Mom, well she was just stunning. Everything really came together so well, and made for an amazing day.

The big day got of to a hectic start when the poor bride developed a bloody nose right before the ceremony! She was fine, and was taken good care of by her oldest son, Dustin. :-)

Before the ceremony, the Bride, with her Mom, two of her sisters and of course, Zachary.

Such a handsome little man!

The Kiss!!

The beautiful Bride, outside for some fresh air, and pictures.

All the Girls: Laura, Me, Mom, Misty & Christin.

The Birde & Groom cutting the cake.

After the reception, ready to head to their hotel in their decked out ride!

My dear Catie joined us up in Roseburg for about a week in order to help us with all the last minute details. And let me just say, that girl was a lifesaver! She did so many things, and she remembered all the little things that we would have forgotten. She made sure that everything ran smoothly. Without her, it may have been total chaos!


One of the best things about this wedding, was that we really put so much work into it ourselves. My Mom and I planned everything, and made almost everything ourselves. It was a lot of work, and A LOT of fun too. Here are some of the things that we created.

The Flowers. My Mom made all of the bouquets for the girls, and also the bouteniers for the guys. She also put together a floral arrangment for the guest book table. She does such a great job!

The cake. Well, of course I made the cake! Who else would make my Mom's wedding cake? :-) The cake turned out beautifully, despite a few hiccups. It was also pretty yummy, with three different cake flavors (chai, lemon, and coconut) all covered in cream cheese frosting. Mmmmmmm!

The Ring Bearer pillow and Flower Girl basket. I made these the day before the wedding, and burnt myself a few times in the process!! I think they turned out so cute! Much better than many that were in stores for $30+!

Mom's hair comb. Mom & I saw so many of these in the bridal shops, and they looked so pretty on, but they were SO expensive! Most ranged between $50-$100!! That was just a bit much for us, so I decided I would make one instead. I had never made anything like this before, but I think it turned out really well!!

Mom's jewelry for the wedding was actually originally made by a great friend of mine in Sacramento, Alicia. I gave her an idea of what Mom might like, and she just ran with it. When I showed it to Mom, she LOVED the design of the earrings and bracelet, but didn't like the necklace as much. What's funny is that the necklace was the one peice that I gave Alicia more instruction on. The earrings and bracelet she just came up with herself, and we all liked them so much bettter! I should have just let Alicia do whatever she wanted in the first place... silly me! So, I spent some time redesigning the necklace to match the earrings and bracelet. I ended up making a few more changes in the days before the wedding, to add a little more sparkle to the peices. Overall, they turned out so great!

In addition to those items, we also made the favors, centerpeices, decorations, and guest book ourselves. It was so nice to have everything so individual and personalized. We had a blast!

I think one of the greatest things that has happened as a result of Mom & Mark's wedding is that I have gained so much more family. Mark has 3 sons (Aaron, John & Paul), 1 daughter (Laura), 1 daughter in law (Christin), 1 soon to be son in law (Chris), and 2 granddaughters (Kaybee & Teagan). They are all so great, and I am truly blessed to now call them all my family. :-)

The day after the wedding, the Newlyweds called and asked if we all wanted to go to the beach for the day, adn spend some time together. Of course we said yes! We could never pass up a trip to the beach! We went to Bandon, Oregon for the day. We went to the beach first, to enjoy some fun in the sun. It was a gorgeous day outside! Then, we cruised through the town of Bandon for awhile, and got some food before we headed home.

The beautiful view

Aaron, Erik, & Zack playing in the waves.

Aaron, Paul & Zack, running on the beach. (Paul won)

My Momma & I. :-)

Paul (climbing the rocks) and Aaron

My Catie & I

My dear, sweet, Husband. I love him!

Misty... such a beautiful girl!

All in all, it has been a great past week or so. I feel relazed, rejuvinated, and ready to take on the world! Now, I just need to find a job! :-)