Just a quick question!

2.29.2012

MMMM. Tastes like despair.
Just a quick question for you Blogger People. And a couple random hipstamatic pics cause I haven't done that in awhile.

Have you had people tell you recently that they've been unable to comment on your blog? I've had several people tell me that in the last couple weeks. A disturbing trend, because I need comments to validate my existence and prevent myself from eating my feelings and dyeing my hair black in a fit of emo despondence.

Okay not really. I happen to like black hair. But yeah... Comments? Problems anyone? I have word verification turned off (which by the way, you really don't need it on! I've had literally only one spam comment slip through; Blogger filters them really well) and moderation turned off. Don't know why people are having trouble commenting.

I need some ice cream.

I call this one "Don't Go In There Jamie, It's Trespassing and it Looks Dangerous and Possibly Filled With Black Mold"

Golly he's sexy. This was on our 5 year anniversary, at a coffee shop in Asheville.

Do Something Awesome! *how to get added and Rules*

2.28.2012



*** (update 5/3/2014) ATTENTION LOVELIES! We have a great set of contributors to the board now, so rather than overload with quantity over quality, I'm starting a wait list for new contributors! Please comment here or on one of MY pinterest pins (here!, that's easiest for me to add you!) and when a spot opens I'll add you. Please be patient and feel free to remind me if a few weeks pass and you don't hear from me. :) LOVE YOU ALL, THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE BOARD SO AWESOME!!!!!***


 Do Something Awesome! is off and running! But now there are a few housekeeping things that need to be done in order to keep the board AWESOME.

First, I've had several emails from people who just want to follow the board but not be added as contributors. So, the new way to get added is to comment on this post. Just following the board will no longer get you added as a contributor! You can follow the board and still get the awesome content, but I have to add you as a contributor if you want to participate in the community. I will also be starting a waiting list so that the contributor list doesn't get too huge, and winnowing the contributors to those people who regularly bring in quality content. But not yet. Right now it's still open, so:

  • If you want to be added, comment here with your Pinterest name and I will add you as a contributor. Please also follow this blog and note in your comment if you're a follower (either here, through rss, Bloglovin', or Facebook). Not totally required, but it's nice, and when the waiting list starts up, I'll give priority to Scissors & Steam members.

If you find yourself deleted, it was probably not me who did it. Comment here that you were deleted, and I'll add you back. No big deal. :)

Now for the party pooping Rules. I didn't want to impose a bunch of rules on people, but I think I have to so that the board can keep dishing out quality, original content! Otherwise it'll just turn into a big jumbled mess like the main DIY/Craft board is. So:

  • Please don't delete or add people to the board. Leave that for me and designated board moderators. I have a master list of contributors so I can periodically check it to make sure it's all up to speed.
  • Please add quality craft-related pins, preferably of your own projects or ideas. This is your chance to show off! If it's not yours, then please at least include in the description how you would go about making it if it's not a direct link to a tutorial or pattern. Inspiring is great, but useful is awesome!
  • Sellers: You are welcome to join in, but please pin only one of your handcrafted products per day. I love Etsy/Indie sellers, and you should be proud of your work and get a chance to show off! But I don't want the board to get inundated with advertising. (also note that most of the followers are DIYers, so if you don't want people trying to figure out how you did something, don't pin it!)

That's it for now. Sorry for the rules, but they're meant to help this board stay awesome! This way we can have quality, focused content that we can really use. 

So follow Do Something Awesome! You can follow all my boards too, if you're super awesome!

Thanks everyone! I LOVE how enthusiastic everyone is about this!!! SO exciting! :)


Comment below with your Pinterest name to be added as a contributor:

Really?

2.27.2012

Image Borrowed from here
Sooooo......

You guys jumped into the shiny new Do Something Awesome pinboard like kids jumping into a ball pit made entirely of ice cream and happiness. Really. I added like 300 people in the last day and a half. The board has nearly 500 followers now and I get new requests faster than I can add them.

But apparently someone out there does not share your enthusiasm. I came home today and logged into Pinterest to find most of the contributors deleted. Some person asked me to add them and I did, and that person then went in and manually deleted most of the followers. 

The thing is that once you're added as a contributor, you can add people too. That's part of what makes it cool! You can invite your friends to the party. But that also means you can delete people. Fortunately, contributors can't delete the whole board or the followers.

Seems like kind of a petty and juvenile thing to do. I don't know who did it, but I'm talking to Pinterest now, so we can find out who it was I hope. Frankly it doesn't really even make me mad, it's just sad for all the people that got added and now find themselves mysteriously deleted.

Anyway, if you got deleted I have no way of knowing who you are short of some elaborate cross-checking scheme. Just comment here or on the original post and I will re-add you. I've re-added a bunch of you already. Sorry minions. Someone out there took her ball and went home, lol.

You can follow the board here. If you follow it I'll add you as a contributor. It's pretty bad-ass. Villians be damned :)

HEY!!! Do Something Awesome! ~craft community Pinterest board~ UPDATED!

2.25.2012


UPDATE: Check THIS POST for the new rules and to find out how to get added! This post is now outdated! Check out the FAQs for the board here :)


So I made this PHENOMENAL Pinterest discovery today that totally altered my experience with the world on the most basic level. COMMUNITY PINBOARDS. 

Okay so they've been around awhile but I never really came across any, till yesterday I found one full of hot men. Well, that got my attention. And then I got to thinking, why not start one for all of us crafty types? I'm sure there are others out there, but I couldn't find them.

It's called "Do Something Awesome" and you can pin pretty much whatever you want as long as it's craft oriented! Your projects, craft inspiration, recipes, cool or funny crap that you have to share immediately with everyone because it just made you spit your mojito all over your shiny new laptop. No I didn't do that. 

Okay maybe I did. Just please don't post anything absurdly offensive. 

Anyway, here's how it works. Go to the pinboard and follow it and, if you're awesome, (and you are, right?) you can follow all my boards. But you don't have to. Then I follow you back and I can add you as a contributor. UPDATE: Go here to find out how to be added! Pinterest requires me to follow you in order to add you. Super easy.

Then you'll get a confirmation email, and then "Do Something Awesome" shows up in your list of pinboards when you go to pin something. I'm so excited! It already has 220 340 505 697 followers, so check the rules and jump in!

I will be adding a bunch of people who I already follow, so if you get a confirmation for the board, congrats! You're one of the Super Minions! Or something.

In summary: 
  1. Go to the "Do Something Awesome" board and follow it, OR go to my Pinterest page and follow me.
  2. I follow you back. 
  3. Get your confirmation email. You don't have to do anything with it.
  4. Start pinning to the board, and adding your own followers to it.
If you already follow me and you don't get a confirmation from me, leave your Pinterest address in the comments below and I will add you!

Are you excited? I AM!!! Don't forget to follow the blog here too, for more awesome stuff and to make sure you get all the news and updates!

***UPDATE***

WOW, I am blown away!!!! I have added over 140 people in the 24 hours since I launched this board, and more followers are rolling in practically by the minute!!!! What an amazing response, thank you so much everyone for wanting to get involved in this cool new community! I'm adding people as fast as I can, but if you think I missed you, leave a comment on this post with your pinterest address and I'll add you Go here to be added :)

***UPDATE AGAIN!***

So apparently the rapid response was too much for Pinterest to handle! It glitched last night and deleted about 200 of you. If you were deleted, comment here with your pinterest address and I will re-add you! ARRGGGHHH So frustrating! But it's okay people, we'll work it out :)


***UPDATE YET AGAIN***

I've made some basic changes to how the board works, so go to this post to find out how to be added and what the new rules are. The board is working great and everyone is SUPER excited about it, so jump on in!








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Taking a Timeout Thursday! Show and Tell! Stick A Pin In It! Tip Me Tuesday!

Print Yourself Some Pretties

2.23.2012

Join the new crafty community Pinterest board "Do Something Awesome!"


I find doodling to be very soothing, especially patterns and shapes. Call them kaleidoscopes, mandalas, or just random doodles. Personally I like mandala, because that reflects the meditative space my mind goes into when I start drawing geometric shapes, whether on paper or digitally. We could all use a few minutes of mental calmness, I think. Read more about mandalas here.



These pretties are printable, so open them up in their own window and they'll print full size in landscape on regular 8.5x11" paper. Color them in, modify them, incorporate them into your own work; as long as it's for personal use, feel free to help yourself. And I'd love to see what you do with them, so link up your art in the comments!



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I'm Lovin' It! Frugal Friday! Friday Favorites! Flaunt it Friday! Refresh Your Nest! Tip Me Tuesday!

Want To Swap Interviews?

2.22.2012



Want to swap interviews?

There are so many of you out there with awesome blogs who I'd love to ask deeply personal and borderline inappropriate questions! Just kidding. I'll be nice and proper, I promise.

Unless you want inappropriate. In that case I'm so not kidding.

So I was thinking... why not do an interview swap? I'll ask you some questions and you can ask me some. I'll host your answers here on Scissors & Steam so my readers can meet you, and vice versa.

Sound like fun? Drop me a note at scissorsandsteam {at} gmail {dot} com!

I Heart Campers

2.21.2012

Pinterest
I love camping. I love waking up in the morning, brewing coffee over a campfire, wandering through woods and fields, and staring at the stars at night, so much brighter than they are in the city. The whole sky lights up like fairy lights strung from planet to planet. And throw in a comfy camper? More awesome than cupcakes stuffed with fairies.

Actually that would kind of not be awesome. Forget I said that. I don't want to eat a fairy. Even if it is wrapped in sugary goodness.

Okay maybe.

MOVING ON.

Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky remodeled her Brave motorhome, and I love the interior so much I want to make out with it. It was actually her fantastic site and pics that originally got me on the camper kick. You can see the pin here

I love the little aluminum pull-alongs! I just want a small camper like this one... Nothing huge. I don't need to drag around a giant shiny penis. Umm. Cause they're just too big. Crap there's no way for me to delicately get out of that metaphor. Sorry. Pin here.


A camper tea house! Why yes, I WOULD like some chamomile with my adorable camper! Pin here.


Cause I'm so hooked on these things, I made a new Pinterest board: Camper Love. Check it out! Don't forget to follow the blog here too or on Facebook, cause when I actually get my camper I'm going to go completely bonkers and you'll want to be around for that craziness.

Seriously. BONKERS.





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Lovely Gloomy Day

2.20.2012

The weather here has been really weird: hot, then rainy, then gloomy, then all three at once. We finally had a semi-nice day on Saturday, so we piled all the canines in the truck and drove out to the lakes near our house for a hike. It was gloomy and rained a bit towards the end, but it was lovely and just cold enough to be comfortable.

Tiny Winter blooms:
Since we didn't get much rain this year, the lakes were all really low and had a deep basin of mud. The dogs decided that was the best thing ever. EVER.


Ever notice how some guys have glorious hair that girls would just kill for? Travis has that kind of hair. It's this luscious, curly, Irish red that I am intensely jealous of and want for my very own. Also, his eyes are the same exact color as his hair. I have never, ever seen someone with red-orange eyes before. My my, this man is gorgeous.

I bought these Minnetonka moccasins a couple weeks ago and I am in love with them.  They are amazingly comfortable, and cute too. When I was a kid my Mom always had several pairs of moccasins, usually with beaded thunderbirds and patterns on them, so these kind of give me a sense of my childhood.

Watson looking like a lion in the grass.



Travis spotted this dragonfly sitting in the middle of the road. I thought he was dead, but I got down close to look, and he walked right up into my hands!

Are you a nature-type person? What kind of outdoorsy stuff do you do?


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The Paper Mama Photo Challenge!

If I Give Myself a Trophy, Does That Count?

2.17.2012

So I know I have been a total slacker asshole about replying to comments and posting in a regular and predictable manner. My excuses this time are that first I had the flu and was feeling like scooping out my lungs and sinuses with a spoon (cause it's dull you twit!) and then flinging them at the bioterrorist who infected me with his/her plague, and then the man's back launched a mutiny against the rest of his body so he had to go visit my least favorite place on the planet, the hospital (now there's a horror sound effect but I couldn't figure out how to type it, so you'll just have to take my word for it!), and now I have to baby him because I'm awesome like that.


Also, that last sentence was perfect because it simultaneously won me two prizes: first, a spot on the terrorist watch list, and second, a grammar-innovator prize for longest sentence ever with excessive use of parentheses, italics, and exclamation points. I swear I'm not making this up. I have trophies and everything.

I actually do have stuff going for you guys. I have two tutorials I'm working on, and this awesome project with clay. This is part one of making clay beads out of Premo Sculpey... These colors are: fluorescent yellow, turquoise, and ecru. I also was going to use transluscent, but apparently transluscent just means "muddy white" once it's burned cooked in the oven.

I also tried that no-heat-curl thing I keep seeing everywhere, where you put a stretchy headband on and then twist your hair around it. It worked great, and was super easy! Sorry for the crappy pics; I took them on the spur of the moment with my webcam, and my office is really dark. It's painted celestial blue, which besides being a beautiful color, also absorbs all light within a 100 yard radius of my house.And don't ask why I'm making a stupid face. I just do that.












You may notice the new follower thingy for Linky Followers. That's for those of you planning for a possible GFC apocalypse. So if you're wondering if I really have awesome grammar trophies or if I'm gonna end up on some kind of no-fly list due to this post, then you can follow me with that or with GFC or with Bloglovin' or by rss to find out. You can also stalk me on Pinterest and Twitter.

I don't really have a trophy.

But I am on a no-fly list. That exists entirely in my head and the only way for me to get through my mentally-imposed security is to take a lot of sedatives. Last time I flew I wandered around Sea-Tac fucked up on xanax & rum for an hour before my friend found me. Apparently I also threw up in his car. I believe I said "Don't worry, it's mostly water."

I apologize to anyone who made it through that paragraph, and also to Josh's car. He bought a new one after that.


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Skip to My Lou!
Tip Me Tuesday!

Help a Dog, Win a Book!

2.10.2012

Check out this little book! It's TINY. I made it just like a big book, but miniature! It's made from high-quality Mohawk paper, has pink ribbons, the rigid boards are covered in a pretty star paper, and the binding is coptic stitched with pink bookbinding thread! Coptic stitch is great because it allows the book to open completely flat. This book could be used as a tiny sketch book, scrapbook, or you could even hook a chain through it and wear it as a necklace!

I've had several people ask me for tutorials on how to make these books, and don't worry, one is definitely coming. I'm actually thinking of doing a little video tutorial, since these are kind of complicated. What do you think? You guys want a video tutorial?? Well, in the meantime, I'm gonna give this awesome little book away to one lucky reader!!!

Okay, honestly I had not planned on doing another giveaway for like a month. But, tell me something... Is this dog sweet or what???


I mean come on. She's playing with yarn. THIS DOG IS ONE OF US. Is she attempting to crochet with her soft little muzzle and her pink doggie tongue? Probably. Because she's awesome.

So what's going on you wonder? That cutie lamenting her lack of opposable thumbs is Pogo. Rescued from an abusive situation and retrained as a service/therapy dog, she's now the sweet companion of a disabled Navy veteran.

Pogo tore her ACL and now she can't walk. And since Pogo can't walk, that means she can't help her veteran. Most days her pain is so severe that she can't even eat. She needs a very expensive surgery, which her family cannot afford. 
"Pogo and I are inseperable. Where she is, I am , and vice versa...She is my world, and I can't even remember how I lived without her. She is such a lover, and though a little timid at first due to abuse issues, she warms up and once you have her trust you cannot lose it. She will guard and protect you, and I have even had people tell me that even when I nap, she stands guard to make sure I'm safe." (Read Pogo's story here)
Pogo's problem really struck home for me for two reasons. One, I love animals and can't stand the thought of one suffering. Two, I was medically discharged from the military myself, due to injuries sustained in a training accident. Thankfully my disability is nowhere near as severe as Mandi's, but I did see first hand the difficulties --emotional, practical, spiritual--that many service members dealt with in the disability process.


So here's the deal. Donate to help Pogo. Any amount will help! Even if you can only do a dollar, please help. Pogo is suffering and her veteran is suffering, and every little bit will help them. Donate, leave a comment here saying you donated (not how much, just that you did!), and you'll be entered to win this awesome little book. If you can't donate, share this giveaway and leave a comment here, and you'll be entered. The giveaway will go for two weeks, and a winner will be chosen randomly.




Giveaway Winner & Fat Eggs

2.08.2012


First off, congratulations to Jennifer of Finding My Way in Texas for winning the giveaway! She was chosen through the very scientific process of the man frantically scrolling up and down with his eyes closed and picking blindly. I wish I had something for everyone cause you all were so awesome to enter, but there'll be another giveaway soon! So stick around and you'll get another chance. :) And Jennifer, I will email you shortly.

In other news, I apparently forgot to take my smart pills again. Now, I do generally consider myself an intelligent person, but have you ever noticed that sometimes smart people can be just plain dumb, absent-minded, and totally lacking in common sense? Yeah. I've noticed. Usually AFTER everyone is looking at me with very concerned and/or confused expressions.

Fortunately this morning no one was around to witness my latest streak of specialness. So of course, I have to tell the internet because instead of just pretending it didn't happen I'd much rather make all of you look at me with those concerned/confused expressions. Apparently self-deprecation is vital to my morning.

It's really not that big of a deal. You know how you get so dependent on the internet that any time you have a question about anything, whether it's how to do fractions (2 nights ago), if that's a tornado coming (yesterday), or if that cough is due to the flu or the plague (every day in the last week) you just grab the nearest wifi-equipped device and ask the internet? Well, this morning I looked up how to boil an egg.

How to boil an egg. Really. THE DIRECTIONS ARE IN THE NAME JAMIE. Good god. Jacquie or someone else who knows me IRL is going to chime in and graciously remind me of all the times I've burned water.

This is what Google gave me when I searched "stupid eggs." I apologize.            source
Now, I've truly come a long way when it comes to cooking. I couldn't cook hardly at all 4 years ago. Then I went vegan (temporarily) and discovered I had to learn how to cook. And I did. I became fairly proficient and now I can generally make a good meal without the kitchen looking like some six-armed destroyer goddess wanted to make spaghetti using nothing but the souls of jilted men and tomatoes.

But I went to the fridge this morning, looked in, saw eggs, thought "Hmm. Egg salad!" shortly followed by "How do I make egg salad?" followed by "How the fuck do I boil an egg?" Grabbed a computer, started searching and then the smart part of my brain struggled out from under the bossy loud stupid parts and yelled "WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU JAMIE."

And truth be told I still haven't boiled an egg because I was so overwhelmed with the emergency of telling absolutely everyone in the world that I had to post this right this second.

Also I just realized that the title of this post could be misconstrued and there's probably lots of disappointed people reading this. It was a reference to the Google picture.

Not to boy parts.

I apologize.


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Refresh Your Nest! Tatertots & Jello!
Tip Me Tuesday!

The Giveaway Is Now Closed!

2.07.2012


Just a quick note to let you all know that the giveaway is closed! Thanks so much to everyone who entered!!! I'll do the drawing tonight and announce the winner tomorrow :)

Civil Censorship.

Warning to my regular readers: This post is not funny or happy. It's a response to an unfortunate situation that I felt compelled to step into, as a matter of principle.

I had originally written this post in a fit of anger in response to the malicious and horrific harassment a fellow blogger and artist experienced as a result of two pieces of art she published on her blog, I Rock So What. The images were Native American themed, and it turns out that some in the Native American community found them offensive. After having a bit of time to reflect, I reconsidered my stance and rewrote this post.

My anger was not directed at the offended parties; rather, it was specifically due to their method of attack. Instead of calmly explaining why these images were offensive, and thus educating people who might not understand, they lashed out with threats of violence and harassed this young artist and her sponsors until she was forced to take her art down.

What purpose does that serve? Responding to ignorance with hate and censorship does nothing to educate. I'm not trying to say that her art is "right" or "wrong." My opinion is that it's her art; and she has a right to create in any way she chooses, especially on her own blog. I often see art that offends me in some way. But, art isn't reality; it's a creative vision, a dream of a person. If we try to censor all of our expressions in an effort to not offend anyone, then nothing will ever get created. Her artwork was not mean-spirited and it wasn't meant to be offensive. However, the same rights that should allow her to post her drawings on her blog also allow her detractors to compare her art to Nazi Germany.

Does this art offend you? If it does, I invite you to write a coherent, thoughtful response. I will post it here, with the pictures, which I am including here in the interest of free expression. This is what the artist herself has to say on the matter: Being Strong Armed.

The only way to progress is to create with wisdom.

This Giveaway Is Not For Guns

2.06.2012


Today's the last day to join the giveaway! Check out the original post, then follow, share, and comment to join in!

This book is handmade by me, so it's awesome. It's a blank journal of artist-quality paper, with blue endpapers, rigid boards hand-covered in super cute birdie fabric, with a little metal label holder on the cover. Oh and it has a pretty bird ribbon bookmark. And I have to tell you about the stitches, cause they are special. I bound it using a coptic stitch, which is perfect for artists, because it allows the book to open (and generally stay) completely flat. This is a quality book, about 4" by 6" (small enough to drop in your bag!), and 172 pages.




In other news, Scissors & Steam is getting a whole new look. Natalie of Fifth of August Designs is gonna give S&S a much needed makeover. I'm so excited to see what she comes up with!

I'm also working on a new tutorial for you, that will involve clay and a scalpel. Yay! Something else to cut myself with! I now have a scar on my hand from that glass that broke last month (you probably heard me whining about it if you follow me on twitter) that is shaped like a smile. Or a frown, depending on which way you're looking at it. Yesterday I was holding it up to my face going "HAPPY!" "sad" "HAPPY!" "sad". It's like those mustache tattoos people get on their fingers, except awesome. It's also right on my first knuckle, so I'm gonna tell people I got it in a bar brawl when I was running guns in Istanbul.

Join the giveaway. It's for that handmade-by-me book in the picture. Not for guns. I lost those in Marrakesh at a poker game with two French dwarfs and a circus bear.

I'm really bad at poker.


Hoo-Ratio's Adventure Begins!!!

2.03.2012


Oh my gosh!!! I have the best news ever! I heard from Hoo-Ratio's new family this morning!!!!

Quick recap: I hooked up Hoo-Ratio the little owl while on vacation in the mountains of NC in early January, and I left him behind with a little note for someone to find and take home. Read the original post here!

It's been a few weeks so I had started to give up hope that I was going to hear from whoever found him, but it turns out that a nice couple from Durham took him, and brought him home to these gorgeous girls. Even better, the 7 year-old is taking him to school with her to pass along, so hopefully he will get to go on another trip! He is off on his adventure!!!



Let me tell you people... I am so sick right now with the flu, and when I got their email this morning I was absolutely beside myself. I was so excited and thrilled that Hoo-Ratio could spread some happiness that I completely forgot about how crappy I feel and jumped up and down and hugged the nearest dog, cause no one else was home to share my glee! I called the man at work and croakily told him about it, cause I was just bursting with the news!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Girls, for so generously passing him along! I'm sure you wanted to keep him (I know I did!) but now he gets to go somewhere new, meet new people, and make more people happy! And that all starts with you! :) :) :)

I really hope that we hear more about Hoo-Ratio's travels. How awesome would it be if we got updates from new families sometimes?!? I also hope this inspires some of you to try this too. Make a little craft and leave it somewhere for someone to find, along with a little note. You can post about it on Scissors & Steam's facebook page, so we can all hear about it!


"Happiness is like jam. You can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself."~ Anonymous



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