Friday, June 27, 2008


I have now added quite a bit to our collection of baby stuff. There is so much stuff to get, and we can't leave it all until later. If we end up adopting from a hospital referral (which is where the hospital calls our agency and says someone with no previous contact with the agency just gave birth and wants to place the baby, and the agency matches us with that baby), I really don't want to make a last minute run to the Wal-marts for diapers and bottles and such. Since we don't want any baby showers, we're planning on buying most things ourselves. If that ends up not being the case, it will be a bonus.

People. I'm tired of gender neutral. I don't LIKE yellow, and for some reason, green seems to be somewhat limited. Earlier in the week I had a dream that we adopted a 6-day old baby girl. She was beautiful. We named her Madelyn (don't ask me where that name came from, because I have NO idea) and I cried and cried and cried out of happiness. Then I freaked because I had no idea what to do with her. *giggle* I've never had a dream about adopting before that, so it was sweet. But since then, I can't get my mind off of pink and purple. And instead, I'm stuck in a vortex of yellow. *gag*

When I tell people that we're going to try cloth diapering, the responses are always either very positive or looks of pity, like we've gone insane. To be honest, I think I have gone insane. Two years ago, this germaphobe would have laughed at you if you would have told me that I would be spending a small fortune on things that will catch poo and then be washed out only to catch more poo. And more. And more again. Cloth diapers are for those weird crunchy granola vegetarian tree-hugger people. Oh wait. I guess I am one. (Minus the tree hugging. Trees are cool I guess, but sorry, I don't hug them. I just don't.) How else can you explain the glass bottles and the strange new obsession with re-usable poo catchers? These things are not normal, people. They're just not normal. And yet, here I am, the proud new owner of a nice little collection of said re-usable poo catchers.

On the baby stuff front, so far we have accumulated...

10 chinese pre-folds
8 glass bottles
5 3-6mo onesies
4 one size pocket cloth dipes
3 newborn onesies
3 diaper covers
2 contour diapers
2 diaper snappi dealies
2 orthodontic pacifiers (made in England, not China, thankyouverymuch)
1 healthy baby pack thing (with thermometer, nail clippers, medicine feeder, and a nose booger sucker)
1 pack of flushable diaper liners (cause I'm not THAT crunchy)
1 crib, sans mattress
1 swaddler blanket

and a partridge in a pear tree.

Bring on the poo.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ear Bling

See? Now you thought I was going to blog about earrings, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU!? Well, I fooled you.

This ear bling came from my doctor. She plunged three little stud thingies into each of my ears as part of an acupuncture treatment last Tuesday. Totally bizarre (and painful). They're just temporary and fall out on their own. Two came out in the first 48 hrs. The remaining four were still there yesterday when I went for another treatment (and my last treatment at least until September because she's taking two months off before she moves to a new location). She replaced the two that came out, and stuck the usual 13 needles in me. Every night before bed, I have to touch the end of the little plunger (which has a magnet) to the little stud thingies to "reactivate" them.

I wish I could say that the acupuncture is really helping me, but so far it's not. *sigh* It does take longer, I'm told, but I'll probably have to start from scratch in September if I try it again.

Anyway, in case you want to see these freaky things, here is my new ear bling. If only they were copper or sterling. Then they'd match my real ear bling.

(Please ignore my zits, not-so-lovely profile, and larger-than-life ears. But feel free to stare at my messy red hair. Thank you.)

(Click to enlarge.)

By the way, do any of you know how difficult it is to take a photo of your own EAR with a huge camera?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hey! That's Handmade! - "CopperLeafStudios"

Hello, fellow handmade stuff lovers! It has been way too long since I have featured an artist on Song of My Soul. Waaaay too long. I fully intended to pick it up after a little holiday break, but life sort of got in the way and I let the ball drop. Well, here I am starting it again, hoping that I will be a little more faithful with it this time. *grin*

So today, I'm introducing a very awesome artist to you: Chris Zielski of Copper Leaf Studios. Bloggy buds, her work is fantastic. I thought I could do cool things with metal, but Chris truly has me beat. I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like her art before. It's gorgeous, y'all.

Ok, I'll shut up now and show you a little. *grin*

Each of these three are made with 4" squares of metal. I personally think they're little bits of heaven.

Can you even believe how beautiful they are? So earthy. So vibrant. So organic. Stunning! And people, they're made from metal! You all know how much I love metal. I only wish I could turn it into something this gorgeous. Don't tell my husband, but as soon as I find the perfect spot in my home, I will own my own Copper Leaf Studio piece. Or 3. Or 5. *grin*

Chris has a nice variety of items to choose from and she also does custom work. To see more of her pieces, please visit her at CopperLeafStudios on Etsy. You can also see more of her lovelies featured in her Trunkt portfolio.

Thanks, Chris, for letting me share your work with my friends. Best of luck to you!

Monday, June 23, 2008


... what big cukes you have!

This is what happens when you're gardening and you miss one.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

*Flutter, flutter* II

I'm sure some of you remember the butterfly necklace I entered into a contest early this year. I love butterflies. There's just something special about them. Maybe it's that they start life so ugly and end it so fantastically beautiful. Whatever it is, they always catch my eye.

The little guy I entered into the contest was very very much out of my box. I don't really do resin work. I just decided to give it a go because I had to work within a color palate and thought it would be an interesting way to get the bold colors needed. If you haven't noticed, I'm more of a minimalist metal maven, myself... with maybe a mite of multicolor morsels mixed in once in a blue moon. (Sorry. That was bad. Even I want to slap myself.)

So, enter little butterfly guy II. He's hand cut from solid copper with a sterling silver accent on a sterling silver chain. He's more my style. In fact, I sort of love him. I want to keep him and hold him and hug him and stare at him until the cows come home (and I don't have any cows, so this could take a while). But, I can't hold a flutterbye captive. He needs to flutter and flitter and fly. He also needs some little flutterbye earring buddies, which will arrive shortly.

Hopefully he and his little friends will all flutter and flitter and fly away to a new home really soon.
*grin* Until then... enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yay or nay?

Yes, yes. I know that the proper term is "yae or nay", but I'm wavering between "nay" and "YAY!" with this new pendant I've been working on.

I've found myself strangely obsessed with dandelions lately. Not in my yard, of course, but artsy representations of them. I've seen some cool dandelion jewelry and other art on Etsy (including this super fabulous wall art that I've been arguing with myself over whether or not I.NEED.IT. for the past couple of weeks), and even though I try to not be a bandwagon-jumper, I had to this time. I thought about doing something in metal, but that's already been done. Sooo, I thought I'd try it on some polymer clay.

This is a whimsy representation of a dandelion, so not what you might be expecting. I just can't figure out if I like it or not. I may try it again but with the colors reversed.

Soo what do you think? Is it a yay!? Or is it a nay?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It's hard to believe that a year and a half after I wrote this, I can finally get through it without bawling. I'm trying to figure out if this will make it into the adoption scrapbook we'll be making to show birth parents. A big part of me thinks it belongs there and our local agency director agrees. I guess we'll see.

Such a long road we've been down... so much journey still up ahead.

Pieces of Me

You're but a picture in my mind, just a song on my lips
A prayer towards heaven, all my lonely cries
Everything I've never known but have always missed

Pieces of me, you're never around
We play hide and seek but you're never found
Riding on the tails of hope and faith
So hard to hang on; so hard to be free
So hard to believe... missing pieces of me

Face of an angel not in sight, yet forever in my eyes
The beat of my heart, rhythm not yet played
Every reason I am torn, can you tell me why?

Pieces of me, you're never around
We play hide and seek but you're never found
Riding on the tails of hope and faith
So hard to hang on; so hard to be free
So hard to believe... missing pieces of me

So close I can almost hear your voice
So near, your sweet breath upon my cheek
But still so far, just out of reach
Tell me will you come to me? When will you come to me?

Pieces of me, you're never around
We play hide and seek but you're never found
Riding on the tails of hope and faith
So hard to hang on; so hard to be free
So hard to believe... missing pieces of me

© Crystal M.H. 2007

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

My husband bought me the most expensive birthday gift I've ever received... a car! Of course, we have been planning on replacing my old one for a while, and it's really just a coincidence that we bought it the day after my birthday, but I'm calling it my birthday gift anyway. It sort of makes it more fun, you know?

This is what I was driving:

This is my new ride:

Maaaajor improvement, no?! It's a 2002 Mazda Tribute. A little baby SUV. Now, I never ever ever thought I'd ever own an SUV. I'm not a fan of the SUVs. But, we really wanted something bigger for our (hopefully soon to be) growing family, and also something that is more comfy for my very tall husband with a very bad back. We considered several options, and this thing gets pretty much the same mileage as the sedans we were looking at, but it has the plus side of being more roomy.

And it can tow things. What? I don't know... but I'm sure I'll find something.

And it has a 6-CD changer thingy. I'm more of a radio-in-the-car type person, myself. I mean, half of my friends are DJs (including hubby dear, though he gave it up for a bit and hasn't yet returned). But it has a cool gadget, and that's just, well, cool. We looked at some vehicle that had OnStar. Didn't buy it. That's ok, I don't normally get lost going to Lowes.

It's definitely a huge change. I've never driven anything but tiny cars, so I'm having to almost totally re-learn how to drive.
This little Mazda has all that "zoom zoom" that the commercials brag about. It's a peppy little thing. It was taken care of really well by its one previous owner who put low mileage on it.

Happy birthday, dear meeeeee... happy birthday to me!

Now I just need to learn to park it. Until then, I'd advise you to stay away from The Targets. The Wal-marts are safe. We don't go there. But if you park at The Targets? You better beware.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sometimes I feel like a nut...

... and sometimes I just feel like an idiot.

Today was Father's Day, and of course being the good little daughter that I have always been (STOP LAUGHING) I braved the outdoors (with my husband) (in my new car - more on that later) to buy my daddy a gift.

My dad likes fishing and he likes reading. I'm sure there are other things he enjoys, but these seem to be two of his favorite things, because he has expressed extreme gratitude at the bookstore and fishing store gift cards we have given him in the past. I'm sure he's figured out by now that this is probably what he will be getting forever. Or at least until he is no longer able to fish and read. I'm sure he's thrilled about this (the gift card thing, not the not being able to fish and read anymore thing... as if you needed that particular clarification). I'm sure he's reading this now saying, "Yes!" and doing the Still A Cool Dad Even Though I'm Old arm thing that always accompanies an enthusiastic "Yes!". You know the one. Don't make me show you.

He got a bookstore card for his recent birthday, so it was the fishing store's turn. We drove out to the store, purchased the card (and a cute little microfiber lens cleaning cloth for my glasses because I have one that I love and I want a second one for my purse) and left, heading to Home Depot - hehehe! - (sorry, if you're not Dustin you won't get that, and that's ok... just walk to the nearest corner, curl up into a ball and scream "WHY!???!" for a while and you'll feel all better. I promise.) to get a scraper thing to remove the massive quantities of glue on my floor (again, more on that later), some knee pads, and a box cutter.

We went to a couple more places to get the rest of his gift (framed close-ups of his grand-fur-kids... yes, we are a weird family) and a card. And chocolate. Because we almost never leave the house without buying chocolate. People only love me when I have chocolate in my house. And I sort of have the bad habit of eating it all myself (and yet somehow, I still don't gain weight - though I DO have two root canals... go figure...).

We came home and I started to straighten up. I broke the vacuum cleaner vacuuming up nails and concrete bits and large amounts of dust (one more time... more on that later). Dustin fixed it. He's awesome (just ask him - he'll tell you so). Knowing my parents were due to come over for dinner in 20 minutes, I decided it was high time to prepare dad's gift.

I framed the photos. I signed the card. I would have put the gift card into the greeting card, only it was nowhere to be found. When we came inside, I put all the bags on the kitchen table. Fishing store bag was not there. I checked high and low. Not in the car. Not in the trash. Not in the big trashcan outside inside the nasty kitchen trash bag I just thew out. Not ANYwhere.

I panicked (I mean, 'spensive gift card, you know?) then called the fishing store to ask them if maybe we left it there on the counter. It was not there, but since I had been given the receipt separately and stuck it in my purse, they were able to retrieve the info for the card and cancel it in case it was lost and/or stolen. They activated a new one for us and had it waiting in their safe, ready for us to pick up at anytime. Nice fishing store. I'll shop there again. (Dad: "Yes!")

By this time, my parents arrived and I gave what was left of the gift to my dad. Unwrapped. Because not only did I lose his main gift, I also forgot to buy a bag to put it in.

Food was ordered. Dad and Dustin left to go pick it up (and the gift card). Less than 5 minutes after they left, Dustin called me.

The gift card was in the glove box.

Oh well. At least the close-ups of the grand-fur-kids were a hit.

Almond Joy, anyone?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

So am I really that popular?

I was reading a thread on a forum the other night about "unpopular opinions". It was one of those fun rant threads, where people post their unpopular opinions like "Clay Aiken is creepy".

After reading through several pages, it dawned on me that if all these things are unpopular (minus the Clay Aiken one because, let's face it, dude is a little creepy) then I must be really popular.

Let's see... um...

*I don't hate children.
*I refuse to sit on a public toilet seat.
*I believe in God (and am therefore brainwashed).
*I'm not a McCain fan (but I'm not an Obama fan either, so I guess that makes me Not Quite a Cheerleader but Not Quite a Band Geek Either).
*I'm cool with homeschooling if done right.
*I like tea.
*I like cable and my big tv.
*I am a dog person.
*I rarely shop at Wal-mart.
*I don't think it's creepy that Brangelina have biological children as well as adopt children (though I'm not a fan of them - Brangelina, I mean. I'm cool with adopted children. Obviously.).

These things put me on the A-List apparently.

Me? Popular? Who knew?

I'm guessing I'm not totally on top though, because here are my unpopular opinions.

*I think Crocs are hideous and people should be ashamed to wear them in public.
*I find reality tv both ridiculous and frightfully boring.
*I think our society as a whole is both under-educated and over-medicated (and the two go hand in hand).
*Oprah freaks me the heck out. Her "spirituality" and the way women seem to flip over her truly frightens me.
*The Sabbath is not nor will ever be on Sunday, and our modern day church is way too watered down and so far from what it should be that I fail to see the point to much of it.
*Gwen Stefani sucks.
*I don't "get" vintage.
*I will not spank my children (but don't worry... you won't find us misbehaving at The Wal-marts!).
*Beer is nasty.

Wait. Who's popular? I'm not so sure it's me after all. *giggle*

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

I was born on one, and now I'm turning 28 on one.

Good thing I'm not superstitious!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can't Wait

With a huge grin on his face he happily exclaims, "I can't wait!" when talking about the Adopted Child To Be.
You realize that the years of pain and torture and seemingly endless roller coaster of emotions will be worth it when you see him hold it all in his hands for the very first time.

Even if he doesn't cry.
But you know he will, if only in his soul.

That moment won't erase the forever pain, for pain is ever present when a part of your heart is not.
But it will dress a wound.

Time will stand still.
Dreams will no longer be a thing of sleep.

A man will grow up to be a dad.
And like that man, I just can't wait.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Day at a Belle's Bench

Ever wonder what a day at the bench is like? I thought you might, so I documented a little bit of a normal afternoon of jewelry making. I had to make several discs of copper and sterling for a few projects. Enjoy!

Don the proper safety equipment.

Find disc cutter and insert sheet metal.

Whack the thing with a brass hammer several times, and wonder about the people who claim they punch their discs with one blow.

Repeat several times, then sit back and admire your hard work.

Hammer discs.

Flip hammer and hammer some more for cool old weathered type look.

Keep hammering until all discs are done.
Take nap because your arm is now ready to fall off.

Wake up and admire your work.

Gather doming equipment.

Start to dome discs.

Get ticked off because you forgot to punch holes first.
Get hole punching thingamabop and punch holes.

Get ticked off again because you forgot a couple discs.
Grab disc cutter again and punch more discs.
Grab doming block again and finish doming discs.
Try to sit back and admire your hard work, but have a hard time because you're still annoyed.

File where needed.

Do some sanding.

Prepare soldering station.

Cut little solder bits.

Dip stuff in flux.

Melt solder onto posts.

Solder posts to discs.

Sit back and admire your hard work.

Put freshly soldered stuff into make-shift pickle pot full of all natural non-toxic acid-like stuff.
Call mom and remind her to bring you the crockpot she promised soon.

Have a cold and frosty Canadian beer (root beer, that is) while your stuff takes a pickle bath.

Read the wise quote on the underside of the lid and laugh as only a redhead can.
Silly Canadian root beer.

Rinse off pickle and throw stuff into tumbler along with all their buddies made earlier.

Cover with tumbler stuff and tumble for several hours.

Make good use of your time waiting and go outside to smell the roses.
Or the dogs, if you don't have any roses.

Don't forget their close-ups. Dogs need close-ups, you know.

Check out your baby squash.

And your first baby tomato (which now unfortunately has a caterpillar hole. *grrrrrr*)

Don't forget to feed your man. They get kind of hungry about this time.
After several hours have passed, pull stuff out of tumbler.

Do lots more sanding.

Go through all these different grits and make the stuff look like a mirror.

Decide you want it to have a satin finish instead, so go back to grit #1.

All done! Sit back and admire your hand work... and pray it sells so you can do it all again tomorrow.