Archive for the ‘ SMASHING ’ Category

Monday, July 14th, 2014

today I bring you REASONS I LOVE MY CAT:
(an excerpt from a much larger list)

• It looks like he’s wearing fluffy pants when he runs down the stairs and it’s adorable
• He is super soft and likes to (frequently) remind me of this fact by randomly shoving his head at various parts of my person
• During the summer he often melts into a puddle of complete cuteness on my bedroom floor:

SQUSHY SLEEPY FACE OF EPIC CUTENESS 2

I’ve found that the length my cat stretches out to on my wood floor is directly proportional to the temperature outside. It’s been pretty warm the past coupe of days. Yesterday was sweltering enough to cause my fat, fluffy spoothead to spread out on the floor all day long, shifting every few minutes to find a cooler spot. Naturally I started snapping photos and documenting.

Monday, July 14th, 2014 ea1701 2

Normal people take pictures of their kids, their family, their friends..But me? I constantly take and blog pictures of my cats. If I weren’t so distracted by the fuzzy feline cuteness I might worry about the fact that I’m already a crazy, single, cat-lady all before my twenty-fifth birthday, but, I mean, come on. HE’S SO CUTE.

 

Good (Sweet!) Stuff

My mum had thoughtfully bought me some of my favorite cookies (Lofthouse, pale pink-frosted sugar cookies – complete with spring-toned sprinkles) so naturally I decided to make a SMASH page devoted to ’em :)

Sweet Stuff SMASH page Karissa Cole 2014Sweet Stuff SMASH page Karissa Cole details

I carefully opened the package of oh-so-delightful cookies so I could save and smash the label. I stuck it in my Simple Style Orange SMASH journal. The theme of my book is it’s the simple things that make me happy. I’m a full-grown adult who doesn’t really have that much of a sweet tooth and isn’t really all that fond of the color pink, but there’s just something about this cookie that definitely makes me happy to break from my norm :)

Sweet Stuff SMASH page Karissa Cole 2014 4

Truth be told, when I started smashing this page I wasn’t entirely sure how it would end up. I was sort of just throwing things together, trying out some new techniques (like watercolor stamping and playing with Faber-Castell gelatos).  It all sort of just morphed and evolved into this page, which is, I guess, how it’s supposed to work! One of the new techniques I wanted to try was DIY embellishments, specifically, DIY paper flowers. A little while back I pinned the link to instructions on my Quite Smashing board on Pinterest. I tried it out with some pink doubled sided paper and a bright yellow brad here, and I really love the way it turned out.

Happy Friday everyone!

Note to Self

Play When You Can 1 Karissa Cole 2014

Just a bit of friendly advice to my future self.

My Week in Review

In hindsight I realize that deciding to make a full week’s worth of posts all in one was not my brightest idea ever..It’s not my dumbest idea, but it’d be on that list somewhere.

Alrighty. So, last week marked the first official day of my summer, as far as I’m concerned; Thursday, the 15th, was the last day of work for the spring semester @ school (for me anyway).  I have to say, I am ready to greet the summer (which I do realize doesn’t actually start ’til 6/21) with open arms. Tilting my face back toward the sun, enjoying the warm air, being surrounded by lush trees and greenery is something I have discovered I quite love. Of course, it would be easier for me to enjoy the warmth and the sun if, you know, it actually was warm and sunny. But the gloomy-ish weather isn’t getting me down (much). Besides, it certainly is warm. Topped near 80° today, I think.

Anyway. I had all last week off and I set out to enjoy it. I recently bought a new camera and I’ve been fussing around with it a bit. Eventually I’m sure I’ll cave and actually read the manual. But that day is far off. For now I’m content to just press buttons and see what happens. Which is pretty much what I did all during my week off, as you shall soon see.

Saturday, last weekend, turned into a pretty nice day outside. At first it was dark and overcast in the morning, but by 3:00 it was warm and sunny (yay!). I needed to take a break from the computer junk I was working with, so I went for a walk. Naturally I took my camera:

Saturday walk by Karissa Cole 2014

And, okay, I know this next pic is only a weed, BUT I THOUGHT IT LOOKED COOL:

Wicked weed Karissa Cole photos 2014

I did, though, get the chance to try photographing some legitimate flora. During the week, I was helping my mum do some work in her (rather expansive) garden. I’m really no gardener -I can tell you what color a flower is, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge and capability when it comes to plants- so I was just there to move the gigantic bags of red mulch for her, and sneak a few quick shots of the surrounding-calming- trees and whatnot afterwards.

Tree 1 by Karissa Cole 2014Outside Niceness Karissa Cole 2014

I think it was yesterday, the clouds just looked so awesome. I tried taking some photos of the sky, but, what can I say, I’m still so amateur:

Look Up by Karissa Cole 2014

I was looking straight up, so in the photo on the right you can see a bit of telephone wire and pine tree. Ooops.

At one point, when I was at my mum’s garden, she encountered a little frog (which, I quote “scared the bejeebers” out of her). She called me over so I could try taking a few photos. It’s not something I get to see everyday. He (or she, I don’t know how you tell…) was pretty cool! While lying on the ground trying to snap shots, I found myself really wishing I had read that new camera manual…:

Frog Karissa Cole 2014 ea1701

So all these shots were just taken at my folks’ house. I’m still really excited to go on a real trip of my own, to a small state park, where I can enjoy more of this kind of thing. I was at this park once before, when I was sixteen or so. There were so many flowers of all kinds of colors and variety, winding trees like something out of a fairy tale, frogs, hummingbirds, a large lake, trails…I hope it’s all still as great as I remember. I am so looking forward to being somewhere NEW, I can’t even tell  you.

Other exploits of mine last week include shopping, hanging with some friends, and other general un-artsy things that I’d prefer to write about. I did, though, get the opportunity to use my cat as a wonderful test subject for more photography. One warm evening I caught him like this on my bed:

I LOVE THIS CAT ea1701 2014

I tell you, this is one of the most irritating (nonhuman)  creatures that I have ever encountered. Just earlier today while I was working, apparently not paying enough attention to him, he jumped onto the back of my desk chair, and started playing with my hair. And by playing I mean whacking, attacking, and licking. He also, somehow, learned how to use those big mutant paws of his to tap me on the shoulder when he wants attention. He’ll stand on this back paws, reach up, and tap my arm until I pet him. He drives me mad sometimes, BUT HE’S JUST SO CUTE. Seriously, I love this cat. But I digress.

These photos of my baby man (yes, that is what I call my cat) actually printed out pretty nice so they went right in my photo journal. Which brings me to one of the other things I’ve been doing during my week off, besides playing with my camera: SMASHING. I mentioned before that I picked up papercrafting and journaling as a hobby about a year ago. It’s a nice tactile creative outlet. I did up three new pages in my book during last week.

This one is my favorite thus far:

Summer SMASH page

In a sunny mood, I went through all the photos I’ve got just sitting around in my memory box and decided to give this one here a better home. I took this flower shot last year right around now, actually. Thought it was a nice way to help kick off my own personal first week of summer.

SO. That’s where I’m at now. I feel a bit lopsided, mainly blogging silly photo posts. I haven’t done much drawing, crocheting, or digital art lately. But I can’t seem to help it. For the most part the weather’s just been too inviting to spend the day inside toiling on the computer or whatever. Hmm. Maybe I should take a sketchbook or some yarn with me next time I go for a walk…

Who knows what this upcoming summer has in store :)

My Today

I have to admit to being extremely groggy today, so blog-writing might not be the best idea. But I figure typing will at least keep me from falling asleep at my computer. It may turn out that I lack enough brain power to type anything that makes even the remotest amount of sense, but I’m really just too tired to care.

So yesterday was my last day of work for the spring semester. It’s really all a bit of a blur now. For a while there it felt like life was just dragging on so slowly, but, now I can’t believe we’re halfway through May. Funny how that works..

It being my last day for the term I wanted to take some photos of the grounds because, for some reason, in the three years I’ve been working at this school, it’s something I’ve never done. There were actually some quite pretty flowers (and even weeds IMO) growing neatly by the pond along the road. I parked my car out of the way and went walking about.

My Today Flowers May 2014 by Karissa Cole all rights reserved

It was really nice to take some pictures off my home lot, even if it was just at work. It made me pretty psyched for real trips I can take this summer. It’s been a long time, it feels, since I’ve gone anywhere just to explore, just to get out of my own lonely simple world.

Since yesterday was my last day of work (at least for a week, until the summer semester starts, but summer work hours are pretty short anyway) I say this means it was also the first day of my summer. A last day, first day. Which made for a pretty nice photo journal page. At least, I thought so.

My Today Photo Journal page May 2014

With any luck, by the end of the summer this notebook will be full of pages and places and words and wanderings. I don’t plan on going anywhere all that special. I just want to leave the confines of home, I want to expand my world to include some of the things outside these four walls I spend so much time behind. I’m not exactly a fearless traveler, so it’s unlikely I’ll be going too far away from the familiar. But I really think there is awesome to be found right down the street. All I have to do is look and I’ll find plenty of great new things I’ve spent years just walking past without giving a second thought.

At least, that’s my hope :)

 

Smashing

Last summer I picked up Smashing as a new hobby. I was going through a really hard time and it became kind of a crutch for me. Before I knew it I had purchased tons of scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies. I was a wee bit of a shopaholic to be honest. Heh heh. But I’ve put all my new toys to good use, though. I recently went on vacation and have been smashing my memories.

Vacation SMASH page
Seaworld SMASH page detail
New me SMASH page
Silly us SMASH page
My sister and me outside the aquarium at Seaworld (one of my favorite spots). I liked this candid shot :)
Home away from home SMASH page

I visited Seaworld so one of the pages I’ve done up here is a memorabilia page: postcards, tickets, tags, receipts, brochures, a park map; fun things to take out of the page pockets and look at.

One of the smaller pages I made up kind of speaks to my vanity I guess. I lost about 30% of my body weight in 2013 so naturally I look a lot different for this trip. Long story short I bought a new wardrobe, new glasses and got a new haircut and I thought it was something I might want to document so it all got smashed, too. On the new me page there’s a pocket behind the photo with tags receipts, and a pull out journaling card about it all.

Another of the pages I made is of me and my sister. One day someone caught a candid shot of the two of us outside the aquarium entrance that I liked quite a bit so made a page for that.

I also smashed a map of the area we stayed in, the place we stayed at, and some photos from a quiet night of goofing off. It’s fun. I think it’s a nice way to preserve and share things I want to remember.

On a sidenote: I’m quite possibly addicted to using brads.

Upside down

I’m going to be vague and ramble a wee bit, and then I’m going to talk about pretty dolphins. Alrighty? OK. Let’s go.

It’s kind of amazing, how little sleep a person can get and still function. I have to admit though, one more night of no REM sleep and I may just lose it. Although, some might argue I’ve lost it already . . .

Sitting here I was wondering how I should really start this post (useless prattle above notwithstanding). It’s been so long. I said to myself, “I don’t even know where to begin.” I’m sure I’m not the only one who talks to herself; I mean, we’ve all got some kind of internal dialogue going on. So I was staring into space trying to wade through my thoughts and ideas, asking myself where to start, when that little inside voice sprang up and said: “Just begin at the beginning, because if you begin at the end and end at the beginning it would be hard to get anything done just right.”  Usually the silent back and forth in my head is relegated to some kind of sarcastic commentary or a weighing of pros and cons for some sort of decision. But this time I seemed to have come up with some actually decent advice. So, I’ll try to follow it:

Basically, 2013 was my own personal year of hell. Don’t get me wrong. There were some highlights and I haven’t forgotten them. But for the most part those 12 months saw my descent into madness. Almost literally. My posts have been few and far between lately. My last entry was from December 10th, 2013. I almost can’t believe nearly two months have gone by since then. And since then a lot has happened, not all of it good. In December, on the 31st, the insanity and dread of my life seemed to peak. Since that day my life’s been even more upside down than ever before. But I’m told we’re on the right track to make my life better now. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this, but I couldn’t even being to explain why or what I mean. In fact, what exactly’s been going on with me isn’t all that important. I just wanted to explain that my actions of late are simply the result of a plot twist my story has apparently taken. That’s all. I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet, I haven’t stopped my endeavors. Life just ended up taking a turn I never planned on and navigating it has taken up all of my time. I haven’t been diagnosed with any kind of terminal physical ailment or anything (in fact, I am in fabulous shape..mostly). But sometimes, often, I would have preferred physical pain to what I was going through. Strange how life works. Things really do never seem to turn out like you expect. Reality sometimes jumps up seemingly out of nowhere, presenting itself suddenly and surprisingly, leaving you stunned for a while as you try to reconcile what you thought with what is. I still feel a bit like a deer caught in oncoming headlights when it comes to the recent unveiling of my own reality. But I’m wading through all the new things I’ve had thrust at me. Getting your bearings after having been turned completely upside is not all that easy.

In all this I’ve been a bit of a ghost. Floating around here and there, haunting some places but never staying around long enough for anyone to be completely sure they’ve seen me. I have to relearn how to do almost everything. I have to relearn how to be. . . me.

So. Here I am, upside down. Despite this it seems as though some tiny fraction of the creative person I used to be has clung on this whole time, and I have actually been getting a few things accomplished. (Here’s where the pretty dolphins come in.)

Admittedly I haven’t been doing too much. At least that how it feels. But I have been able to take a few photos recently. I always enjoy that. Only, there’s not too much to photograph around town here. Winter really kind of sucks. Thankfully I had a tiny break from this harsh season. It’s all kind of a blur now, but about two weeks ago I took off for a short vacation. Here at home the weather’s simply heinous: no sun, no warmth, the ground’s so dry, covered in dirty, depressing snow. So it was good to be able to visit a place with sunshine, blue skies, and green grass. I really miss the vibrancy of summer time. It was nice to get away, feel the warm sun, breath the fresh, warm air.

I’ve always had an affinity for jut about any kind of animal. There’s just something about them that touches me to my core I think. I can’t help but respect them and admire them. I got to see some pretty awesome animals while I was gone. I could have spent hours more watching and learning about them. Dolphins, cownose rays, beluga whales, manatees…they all amaze me. And there’s something uniquely calming about watching these creatures.

Dolphins photograph copyright 2014 Karissa Cole all rights reservedSet of 3 Photographs copyright Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reservedTurtle copyright 2014 Karissa Cole all rights reserved

It rained just once while I was away. I managed to  escape the downpour just in time, and then got to enjoy sights like this once the sun returned:

After the Rain by Karissa Cole 2014 all right reserved

I even got up close with some penguins one day during my trip- a definite first for me. How cool is that?

Penguins 1 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved Penguins photograph 2 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved Penguins photograph 3 by Karissa Cole 2014 all rights reserved

I’ve never really thought of penguins looking all that huggable until I took this last picture. Does not this penguin just look uber cute and squishy? Not that I’d ever squish a penguin of course…HE’S JUST SO CUTE.

I also learned the difference between king and emperor penguins. I’m not sure how I managed to get through twenty-three years of life not knowing the difference. Not that it comes up in everyday conversation all that frequently I guess. . .

King penguins are pretty copyright Karissa Cole 2014

King penguins are smaller than emperors (this I knew) but they also have a bit stronger orange coloring. I think they’re gorgeous.

Aside from a few vacation-related photographs, I dabbled a bit in making some celestial art again. I came up with these two pieces on the same day (and then promptly forgot about them when I encountered the wonder that is  room full of adorable penguins.)

Granting Wishes  by Karissa Cole 2014It Is Later by Karissa Cole 2014

They’re not much. I’ve plateaued a bit in that area. Temporarily of course. But still.

I’ve also (as of last summer, actually) taken up SMASHing as a hobby. I honestly can’t remember if I’ve really written about it around here before, but it’s just a nice little way to preserve some thoughts and things. Every now and then when I feel crafty I sit down and make up a page or two. I’ve designed my own book (I’m so darn DIY) that I should try to take a decent photo of sometimes as it’s actually pretty awesome. There are just a few pages in my me-book so far, but I’m in no rush. I’ve just started smashing things from my trip, which promises to be fun.

Smash Pages (1) by Karissa ColeSmash Pages (3) by Karissa ColeSmash Pages (2) by Karissa Cole

Let’s see, what else have I been up to…Oh, I got a really cute new haircut a couple of weeks ago. Of course this has nothing to do with art or design so moving on. . .

Okay, last, but not least, I’ve been working on a new yarn-related project. Squee. I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s a sneak peak:

sneak peak

I’ll hint you this: I fell in love with this awesome creature thanks to my out of town trip visiting some stunning aquatic creatures last month. Also, I’ve named this amigurumi “Spud.” I let you figure out what it might be. . . So, if you’re in the market for a cute new amigurumi pattern of mine keep an eye out for the next couple of posts around here.  If all goes well I’ll be sharing some new cuties. Granted, I have started work up again, new semester and all, so there goes the free time I had had. But, I guess that’s life. In spite of my upside down very topsy-turvy life I’m managing to trudge along doing things when I can. That’s all anyone can ask for I guess.

Okay. Ciao you awesome people.

PS. I have not proofread this post. This will undoubtedly come back to haunt me. I’m too tired to care.

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