Thursday, January 14, 2021

a haiku for you


writing a novel

I should not be dallying 

siren lure of books

Erica with a spell jar, late December 2020

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Fun Things You Can Do for 30 Dollars and Under

Fun Things You Can Do for 30 Dollars and Under

1.) Get a craft kit and/or other craft supplies.

Some stores, such as Five Below, offer craft kits for cheap! I have seen craft kits for macrame, finger knitting, and more. If you do not live near a store that offers craft kits and you would rather buy craft supplies in person, I recommend going to a store that sells what you need. For example, you could visit a local yarn store if you would like to learn to knit or crochet. To start knitting or crocheting, you need yarn (preferably a smooth, worsted weight yarn in a light color), needles or hooks in the right size for the yarn, a yarn needle and a sharp pair of scissors. You also need access to YouTube or another website for knitting and/or crochet tutorials. A guide book may be helpful, too, so check your local library to see if they have any. 

2.) Pamper yourself.

Bath supplies like bath bombs and bath salts are awesome for those of us who enjoy taking baths. If, however, you do not have a bath tub, you can still buy other fun goodies like face masks, shower gel, and conditioning masks for your hair. Some stores like Ulta will have a discounted section with products that are still perfectly good, but may have been discontinued by the company. You can also try discount stores like TJMaxx, Marshall's, and Five Below. If all else fails, try Amazon. You deserve good things that make you happy!

3.) Bake cookies, brownies, and more.

It is always nice to be able to bake some treats for yourself and your loved ones. Some baking supplies are more expensive than others. You will, of course, need some kitchen supplies like an 8" x 8" baking pan, a whisk, and such. You can buy these at stores like TJMaxx and Marshall's for cheaper than Bed Bath and Beyond. I enjoy baking brownies using a pre-made mix from, say, Betty Crocker, because I find it tastes just as delicious as made-from-scratch brownies and is much more convenient. However, I  make cookies, banana bread, muffins, and granola bars from scratch. I caution you against using more exotic ingredients, like almond extract or dried goji berries, before you first see if you enjoy baking in the first place. Do not forget that there are many free recipes online and your local library probably has some cook books with recipes.

4.) Invest in some art supplies.

As you know, I am an artist. I therefore already have a solid stash of art supplies. If you are looking to experiment with making art, I highly recommend you choose a medium (photography, watercolors, etc) that is appealing to you. Collage is a fun, interesting, and fairly cheap medium with which to start. To begin with collage art, I recommend that you go to Etsy and buy a few packs of collage papers (sometimes called ephemera packs). You will also need a glue stick and a substrate onto which you will collage. I recommend buying a pack of blank postcards and/or a small sketchbook. Buy what appeals to you! You can also ask your friends and family for their old magazines. 

5.) Purchase used books, CDs, and DVDs. 

Let yourself be entertained! There are many online and in-person stores where you can buy books, CDs, and DVDs. You will get the most bang for your buck if you buy these items used. Before the pandemic, I used to love to go to GoodWill (a thrift store) to buy books, CDs, and DVDs. Unfortunately, my GoodWill is not open during the pandemic. I still, however, shop for these items in the Sale Annex of my local Barnes & Noble. Besides the Sale Annex of Barnes & Noble, there are both in-person and online used bookstores. You can even buy books used via Amazon.

6.) Take an online class.

I love learning! There are many places online where you can enjoy free college-level classes on a variety of topics. My favorite place for these classes is Coursera. You can take non-academic classes on other websites, like Udemy and Skillshare. These classes are enriching and are usually no more than 20 dollars. Do not forget to Google to see if there are any coupons for the platform at which you are looking. For example, if I want to take a class on Skillshare, I would go to Google and enter "skillshare coupon". 

7.) Donate money.

Self-care is vital to your health and wellness and to the well-being of society in general. However, some people may find themselves with extra money. In lieu of buying something, how about giving 30 dollars to a mutual aid fund, a friend in need, or a local organization like an animal shelter? I recently gave ten dollars to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge (RBARI). I used to volunteer there extensively in high school and I now crochet cat bedding for them. I can vouch that RBARI will use your money carefully.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Holiday Cheer yarn bomb

I am happy to announce that I was able to participate in another yarn bombing project for Yarn Bombing Los Angeles. Their "Alone Together: a socially distant public art project" encourages yarn bombers to create public art installations while practicing social distancing. I was delighted to see that fellow yarn bombers have been able to flaunt their creations even during the pandemic. Here is the blurb I wrote for the Yarn Bombing Los Angeles website: "For this yarn bomb, I crocheted five tree ornaments. I installed them on a tree in my front yard, where passersby can see them. I hope my yarn bomb will bring a little bit of cheer in this otherwise rough year." What has brought you happiness lately?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

a gloomy October day

Today is the third day in a row of dark, rainy weather. This kind of weather makes my pain and fatigue worse. Thus, today has been a rough day. However, I was able to run some errands and make some postcards. Tonight, my dad and I will take the two newest chicks out of the nest box. Their parents have stopped feeding them. So, I will stay up tonight to feed them. I'm thinking I'll be able to make more mail art and crochet during the night tonight. Speaking of crochet, did you know I have an Etsy shop? The shop is called Green Owl Crochet. I also accept crochet commissions! In the comments below, please tell me your favorite way to spend a rainy day. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Happy September!

Ahoy! I hope you all are doing well. My dad's parrots recently had two chicks. One chick hatched on August 30th and the other on September 3rd. We feel blessed! I have been crocheting a lot lately and doing some writing. I was also able to have a painting session a little while ago. I sat at the Ridgewood Duck Pond the other day and wrote some letters and took some pictures using my Fujifilm Instax camera. How is your September going? What are some of your goals for fall?

painting on cardboard August 2020

still-life photography August 2020

our two newest chicks!

close-up of a cat bed I crocheted

writing letters are the park September 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Things They Carry

     A little while ago, it was trendy for people on YouTube to make a video about what they carry in their purse, bag, backpack, etc. I am not a YouTube vlogger (at least, not yet!). Nonetheless, I would like to share with you the things I carry in my purse and my backpack. 
     I always carry my purse when I leave the house. My purse is a large, brown, fake leather purse from Antik Kraft. I bought it a couple of weeks ago at TJ Maxx. It was on clearance for 22 USD. You have got to love a good bargain! The purse is high quality despite its low price. I use my purse to carry my wallet, my iPhone, my Kindle Fire tablet, and other essentials like lip balm and hand cream. My favorite feature about this purse is that it has both traditional purse handles and a shoulder strap.

     In addition to this purse, I often carry around a back pack. This back pack is a gray, floral back pack from Jansport. I bought this back pack at Marshall's a month or so ago. Marshall's is selling this line of back packs for 24.99 USD each. I normally would have waited until their back packs went on clearance. However, I love the floral print so much that I decided to buy the back pack at 24.99 USD. Jansport back packs come with a lifetime guarantee, which is great! The only feature I did not like about the back pack is it's lack of water bottle holder on the sides. I use the back pack to carry my less-essential, but still important, items. Right now, this back pack holds the following:

  • my journal
  • a library book called The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
  • the book No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
  • a pouch of pencils and pens
  • a pouch of some street art and creativity items, like blank index cards
  • a miniature desk set with staples, tape, etc
  • my inhaler
  • bug spray
  • a sun hat
  • a protein bar
  • my set of crochet hooks and other crochet accessories
  • my laptop

What do you carry around with you? Please leave me a comment below.

Friday, July 24, 2020

sweet dreams are made of these

     I have often had weird, vivid dreams that seem to last for a long time. I frequently write down my dreams in my journal. If my journal is not handy or if I am stuck in bed, I will write my dreams on any available paper or type it out on my smart phone. On occasion, I will have a short dream or a dream I consider insignificant. I rarely record the details of such dreams. However, my dreams are usually as odd and complex as the one I will share with you all later on in this post.
     One of my friends, Joshua, is doing a project involving dreams. They posted a Google form the other day. The Google form asks you to share details of the dream you had the night before, like the characters, the plot, etc. This is the dream I shared with Joshua. 

"I was at an amusement park. I went on a ride that went through a house of some sort. I then went on a ride that somehow took you through Japan. This ride led to me being in an airborne contraption. We were in the contraption for a long time. This woman (I got the feeling she was an employee of the amusement park) was attempting to sexually assault the other passengers, but I somehow was able to manage not being attacked by her. We finally landed. It was a relief. I was then in a fast food restaurant with my dad, Rachel Z (a former classmate of mine from high school), and two employees of the restaurant. There was a snow storm and we were trapped in the restaurant. The lights went off and one of the employees went to go get help while my dad slept. Rachel and I ate cherry cheesecake."

What kind of dreams do you have? Do you ever use your dreams as a starting point for art and/or writing projects? 

a haiku for you

Preoccupied writing a novel I should not be dallying  siren lure of books Erica with a spell jar, late December 2020