Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday, No Thanks.

I didn't participate in the madness that is "Black Friday." I never have and I probably never will. This year instead of all that craziness, I went Geocaching! It wasn't raining on Friday, but it had the night before. Things were very wet....


Slippery....

Black Friday Geocaching

...And Muddy.

...So even though these pictures suck, I'm glad I brought along my crappy point and shoot and not my dSLR!

We were in the middle of nowhere as usual:


We found 11 caches in the shape of an 11. The one there on the side was a mystery cache that you could find after completing the other caches. The series was placed on 11/11/11 ;-)

11

They were all fairly easy caches - there aren't many hiding places in these parts. The mystery cache was large enough for travel bugs, so I got to leave the ones I picked up in Florida.

Black Friday Geocaching Black Friday Geocaching
After the 11, we headed to the nearby town, and snatched up a couple more. I ended up with 16 finds and two DNFs.

Much better than standing in line and battling the crowds! What did you do Black Friday? Did you shop or do something else?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble Gobble

In addition to the pilgrim hat shirt, I also made a turkey shirt...

Gobble Gobble!

I love this one. You can find the easy Template/pattern/instructions here. The only change I made was using 9 feathers instead of 11.

Gobble Gobble!

My turkey's butt is a bit lopsided... it gives it character though, don't you think? I'm not to great at curves with the sewing machine - so don't look too closely (made you look!). I used batik fabrics for the feathers. They're my favorite, my mom made me a whole quilt out of them! Actually the two bottom/side feathers and the middle yellowish one are from the scraps. The other batiks were from some fat quarters from Hancock's. ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

El Tour de Tucson

Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving the Tour de Tucson takes place here in and around Tucson. 9,000 bicyclists ride their bikes around town for fundraising purposes. All skill levels participate and they had the choice of doing a 111, 85, 60 or 42 mile ride. The 111mile ride runs through our neighborhood, and for the first time in the few years I've been here, I went out to catch a glimpse.

I really wanted to see the leaders of the race, so we walked out to where they would be passing by, put up our lawn chairs and waited. After about 30 minutes or so they cam zooming by. The guy in the blue, Eric Marcotte, ended up winning the race for the second time in a row.
Front Runners

We hung around for a while and watched other groups of people go by, and the occasional lone rider. I'd hate to be out riding alone. It think it'd be a lot easier to keep pace and motivation within a pack of other riders...

El Tour de Tucson

El Tour De Tucson

Three and four hours later we were still seeing people ride by while we were out and about for luch and running other errands. The more "serious" riders in the front had police escorts and could pass through the intersections with ease. Even though there were police officers directing traffic, the later riders had to stop at the intersections when instructed.

 
It was neat to go out and see some of the riders f the Tour de Tucson. I'll probably have to go out an see them every year now! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Cannot Tell a Lie

I got to do something interesting today. Even though I had no reason to be, I was super nervous.


Don't worry, I passed! :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mailboxes

I don't do much Postcrossing these days, but when I see a neat mailbox I like to take a picture. There were a lot of cute/different mailboxes on Sanibel Island in FL and around the FL beach communities in general. These were the only two we stopped to take pictures of and I thought I'd share...

Mailbox

Mailbox

If you could have a decorated mailbox, what would it look like?? I think I'd pick a swan. There is a swan mailbox we drive by on the way to our grandparents house that I love!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Handmade!

A little guy I know is turning ONE! Of course I had to make him some handmade gifts... I found this cute fox pattern on InnerHooker's shop on Etsy. It is my first completed crochet project.

Hat Complete!

I think the one ear got knocked a little crooked before taking this shot.... As you can see I gave him my lens cap to hold. It gave me that one extra second to take the shot before he ripped the hat off and charged the camera!

I also made a couple of shirts. I'm getting pretty good at making these things really quickly.

One

Since Thanksgiving is coming up I decided to make one Thanksgiving themed- It's a pilgrim hat!

Pilgrim Hat

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Love the Smell Of...

My Mom cooked up a fresh batch of applesauce this afternoon and the wonderful aroma it got me thinking about smells. There are so many smells out there to enjoy. Some remind us of holidays, certain places, certain people, and just memories in general. Some don't remind us of anything and just plain ol' smell good

Apple Sauce in the Making Apple Sauce in the Making


I though it'd be interesting to post some of my favorite smells (wow I'm really running out of blog topics here) and to find out in the comments what some of your favorite smells are (that's your cue)...
  • I loveeee the smell of those horrible cinnamon scented pine cones that are around all the craft stores this time of year. I don't care how overpowering it get. Smells good!
  • FRESH CUT GRASS. My goodness, do I really miss the smell of fresh cut grass. We don't get much of it here in the desert!
  • Gasoline. I don't know. Don't ask. I just like the smell for some reason. I know I'm not alone either.
  •  Snow on its way. I swear, it smells different when there is snow on the way. I don't know how to explain it - but I love it. Okay, I just googled it. Gasses or something get crystallized into the snow so I'm not crazy.
  • Fresh Popcorn and bacon, but not together and only when the smells are fresh - not lingering later.
That's all I can think of at the moment. I'd love to hear what smells agree with your sniffer. And while you're on the subject of ones you like... which ones do you hate (besides the ones we can all agree on like poo, trasha and anything rotting)?. I know some people love it, but I hate the smell right after it rains! And seafood, any seafood smells - blech!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#Geocaching in Florida

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While I was in Florida I had to do some geocaching. One more state to add to my list (13 so far)! The lighthouse above was a virtual I found on Sanibel Island.

Right below the lighthouse there was a little sign explaining how the lighthouse came to be:

IMG_7411

...And right next to the sign - was a benchmark!

Score! Two for one. Actually, make that three for one. The lighthouse was a benchmark too! There was also a cache nearby, but I missed it because I didn't know which one was the virtual and which one was the traditional cache on my gps! Doh. What I wouldn't give for an upgraded unit...

So in all I got 1 virtual, 1 earthcache, 2 benchmarks, and 5 traditional caches.

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Not too bad. I would have liked to gone after some caches that in involved hiking, but it was either too mosquito infested, too wet (we got some good rains while we were there), too humid, or too expensive (the state park was 8 bucks and there was only one cache).... The motivation wasn't really there to get any more, but I'm sure I'll be back ;-)

Profile for ErikaJean

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stuff.

I am trying to post every day this month for NaBloPoMo, and I find myself with nothing to say and only an hour left in the day! Today was my first day to sleep in this week and I only made it to 9am! My schedule has changed recently- I have to be at work at 6:15am. Early! I'm such a night owl, it feels weird to start getting tired around 11pm.

Changing subjects a little bit... this is my latest project. I have the cap part done and I'm struggling with the ear flaps, so I'm sure the ears will be challenging too... I need to have it done by Wednesday - It's a gift!

... And that's all for today folks!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full Sail

IMG_7205

My sister works at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida and while I was visiting her I got a tour of the campus. Full Sail focuses audio, film, photography, design, computer animation, business, and other fields... so the campus was quite different compared to your typical college campus.

One major difference, the sets. You can't stop in here for a bite to eat - It's fake!

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These businesses look more fake, but still pretty cool! There were a lot more areas like this, but it was hard to get good shots at night with no tripod.

IMG_7246


This ATM, hasn't worked for... a while. Hahaha.

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I also got to glance in on some recording studios and control rooms. Pretty cool stuff. The halls in the music areas were lined with records of notable recording artists. Projects that graduates had worked on I believe.

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It's not everyday you walk past a sound stage on your way to class!

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There was one thing common at every University. Out door space! It was a nice place where you can sit out and eat your lunch or something. Only here, you can watch the big screen showing works by other students. You can also see more sets in the very middle of the picture below.

IMG_7233


And lastly, here is my sis in her storage closet turned office, hehe. She shares it with a few other people. I guess they don't know if the location is permanent or temporary, so there is no need to make it more office like and less storage like ;-P

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

6 Mile Cypress Sough


I really wanted to see an alligator in the wild while I was in Florida. We decided out best shot would be at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. The price was right too. Only $1/hr for parking, up to 5 hours... We only stayed 1hr. You can't beat that price for 3 people!

We arrived early afternoon and for the most part, had the place to ourselves. For those that don't know, a slough (pronounced "slew") is basically a swap. This one has a depth of 2 to 3 feet of water and is  comparable to a wide, shallow stream.

There were two lake/small pond areas with a whole lot of swamp in between. The first (bigger) pond /lake, is where we spotted the alligators. In the middle of the pond there were two floating decks where the alligators could climb up and sun themselves. We saw one big gator out there, and decided to get a better look and a different viewing deck. We followed the boardwalk and heard some major rustling around in the bushes, off to the side with no rail. I was definitely thinking it was a monster alligator, but it just turned out to be a bunch of hogs. Luckily they had their faces in the dirt and didn't even glance up at us once as we passed by.

6 Mile Cypress Sough

We finally made our way to the other look-out spot, which didn't give us any better of view. He was too far away. Binoculars would have been nice to have!


...It was okay though, because we turned around and saw baby alligators right near the walk way! All we had to do was look down and they were right there.

6 Mile Cypress Sough

We walked to the smaller pond area, but didn't see any more gators. Very pretty scenery though. It was a great little park! They had a nice visitor center as well.

6 Mile Cypress Sough

I'd definitely recommend this little park if you are nearby! There is also an Earth Cache there. Due to time time and lack of motivation(oh my goodness was it humid) I didn't go after it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Latest Craft Project


For the second part of my trip to Florida I met up with my friend, Tiffany, in the Ft. Myers area. We were able to stay at her parents house while we were both visiting. It was a lot cozier than staying in a hotel and a money saver, as we were able to eat a lot of our meals at the house. I wanted so send some sort of "thank you" to her parents for letting us stay at the house.... So I decided on making some hand towels. 

Tiffany helped me pick out the pattern and I got to work on the towels as soon as I got back to Arizona. They only took me a few days to stitch up and were rather easy. I think these would be a great handmade Christmas gift for anyone looking to make some! All you need are some old fashioned flour sack towels, an iron on pattern, some embroidery floss, a hoop and a needle! I used the stem stich on these towels.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

 
This video ended up being a little on the long side, but still fun to make. Happy Birthday Tiffany! Hope you have a good one!

More stop motion videos by Erika Jean.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tea Tree Oil

No one likes to talk about their itchy scalp... but I'm going to suck it up and do it anyway, becuase I've found my cure! My head has been pretty itchy on and off since I moved to dryyyy Arizona in 2008. Ive been using Head & Shoulders and when it gets real bad I resort to the expensive T/Gel by Neutrogena.

I few weeks ago, things got itchy and red again in the scalp area. Gross I know. I hate talking about it! Anyway, as one does, I went online to find some cures... It turns out, Tea Tree Oil does the trick.

For my first application I put the Tea Tree Oil onto my scalp and let it sit a while before washing it out. Now, I just mix three drops into my shampoo every time I wash my hair. It has been working wonders! Apparently there is shampoo with the oil already in it, but I haven't priced any yet. As far as the bottle of 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil cost around $10. It's worth the money though because it has many uses.

People use tea tree oil for the following conditions:
  • Acne
  • Athlete's foot
  • Dandruff
  • Vaginitis
  • Thrush
  • Periodontal disease
  • As an antiseptic
  • Boils
  • Lice
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Yeast infection 
  • Source  
If you decide to try out Tea Tree Oil for anything  do some research on how and when it should and should not be used!!!


Great stuff!! What is your favorite home remedy???




Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review

ErikaJean gave to:
Best Friends Forever

by


Book Description:
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."

My thoughts: Meh. While this was a good read, it wasn't anything special. I felt like it was extremely predictable and rather uneventful. I was longing for more of a thriller/mystery chic-lit book and it wasn't anything near that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hunting

Have you ever been hunting for shark teeth? I didn't even know you could.. until I visited Venice, Florida. Don't worry I wasn't out in the water wrestling sharks with a pair of pliers... apparently sharks loose their teeth quite often - another thing I didn't know!
Sharks of all species continually shed their teeth and grow new ones. They have 40 or more teeth in each jaw. Behind the functional rows or teeth are seven other rows of teeth developing into mature dentures to replace teeth as they are shed or lost. In ten years, an average Tiger shark can produce as many as 24,000 teeth. (source)
To hunt for for shark teeth... it is best to be in a location that happens to have a ton of them. We were in Venice, Florida near Caspersen Beach.

Venice Beach, FL

One of these shark teeth finding tools will help too. Go for the smaller one if you buy one at a local souvenir shop, they are much easier on the back! This one cost around $10.

Hunting for Shark Teeth

The best place to look for the teeth is right past where the water meets the dry sand. Somewhere between ankle and knee deep.

Hunting....

Basically, all you do is take your tool/sifter/strainer thing and scoop up some shell/sand mixture at the bottom. Swish it through the water a couple of times to get rid of the sand and small bits of sand. Then you look through what is left and hope you find a shark tooth!

Hunting for Shark Teeth

We found a nice little collection!

Hunting for Shark Teeth

Have you ever found anything interesting on the beach before?