Creative Exploration for 2015

I was asked a question recently, was there anything I would like to creatively explore in 2015? At the time I honestly didn’t think there was, but the question triggered me to start thinking about it. I started talking to a few people online about it too, and several of them were prepared with a list and others, like me, were not sure if they had any ideas. After sifting through their comments and ideas and looking through some of my own Pinterest boards and notes I have gathered over time, I came up with a little list of things that I would like to share with you.

Some of these things I know how to do, or have instructions for. Others I don’t have a clue about yet. If you have any knowledge or instruction you could share with me, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know you can help. It’s always nice to get a little help from your friends.

Creative exploration for 2015

A. Art journaling with beads, fabric, ribbon, tissue paper, texture, collage. I’ve never really done a lot of this type of journaling. It felt more like scrapbooking to me, and I’m not into that too much. But so many people seem to enjoy it, that I decided this will be the year I give it a try.

B. Collage period. I love that. I have used collage already over the years making dream boards and fun stuff. The picture below is of a collage I made on a painting canvas a few years ago.

C. Book Binding – I love the ideas people have on Pinterest, especially for making their own books. I will be exploring that later this year.

D. Make a clutch from book – this is another idea I found on Pinterest by seekatesew. I have most of the supplies for this and plan on doing it soon.

E. Sewing on paper with old sewing machine needles. This was an idea I got from one of the women in the conversation. She likes to sew on paper, which I have only done once when I made a card for Boyfriend. She saves her used needles so she doesn’t dull any new ones doing it. It was very different to sew on paper for me.  I hope to do some more soon.

F. Small hand stitched fabric pieces maybe 3×5 or 4×6. Over at hens teeth, the artist does some beautiful small stitched things that I love. I have some old pieces of embroidery that are tattered that I think would work quite well for something like this.

Beautiful brooch from hens teeth

G. Sewing classes on Craftsy I’ve signed up for. I have bought a couple, and signed up for some free ones too. They are for areas of sewing that I’m not that strong in, like working on zippers. 😀

H. 100 Mandalas Project. This was intriguing and appealing to me, but I haven’t really gotten into it yet. You can find more information here.

I. Make videos of projects I do to share on YouTube. I really have no idea how to do this. If any of you could help me out with info, or share your own experience of how you do this, I would really appreciate it.

J. Work with broken glass or tile more. I made this collage a few months ago, and it was very interesting to work with the glass pieces. I had always been afraid of it before, didn’t want to cut myself lol. But the glue we used for this is also the same kind of glue I will use in the book clutch project, so when I purchased it for that project I knew I wanted to do more broken glass pieces too.

K. Learn how to make my own PDF patterns. This is another thing that I don’t know how to do, or really even where to start. I have found a few ideas on Pinterest, but the info is confusing and everybody seems to use different programs to do it with. I don’t want to buy a program until I know if it’s really a good choice for what I want to do. If you can help me out, again, thanks!

L. FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project (click here to learn more about it)
Lisa Sonora has been sharing journal prompts each day in January. I haven’t been able to use all of the prompts yet, but am gathering them and using them as I can and have time. I figure I can use them all year if I want to. :) It’s fun to have fresh ideas to help me write.

Do you have any ideas for creative exploration for this year? Are you like me and make ambitious lists that you may or may not be able to finish? Lol. I would love to know what you are working on and planning. Maybe we can help encourage each other to work on some of these projects. <3 Talk to you soon! Angela

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I’ve Lost a Pound a Week!

I still have several more pounds to go, but I am so excited about how well I am doing on this Transform30 program.

The picture above is a visual of how much my tummy has gone down already, 43.5 to 39.5 inches, that’s 4 inches lost!

Hips, 46 inches down to 43, 3 inches lost!

Neck, 15.5 down to 15, 1/2 inch lost!

Altogether I have dropped from a size 18 down to a size 14 already, with only 10.6 pounds lost. Isn’t that incredible? The way this program works is it is detoxing my system, and helping me lose the inches even with only 10 pounds lost. The detox effect has been very easy on me too, except for a little flatulence and a headache during the first week. You can read the details about that here.

Over the holidays I did not strictly stick to the program either. I did have several days where I just ate what I wanted. I was more conscious of what I was eating than I had been before I started the diet, but I still ate things I wanted. I did have 2 very nauseous days because of this, so I decided I liked feeling good enough not to be too crazy while enjoying Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday. I was truly surprised that I continued to lose the one pound a week even with these splurge days.

I am also using 2 other things to help me track my activity and my food and calories: Striiv Play Pedometer and My Fitness Pal. With the Striiv Pedometer I am tracking how much walking I am doing every day. It also sinks up to My Fitness Pal on my android phone. A lot of people use My Fitness Pal to track their food consumption. You add your meals, drinks and snacks to your daily list and it tells you how many calories you are consuming each day. When you set up the app on your phone, it asks questions about your current weight, your goal weight and how active you are in your lifestyle.  Then you get a calorie total that is your daily goal. It helps me be more aware of what I am eating. I can also use it to keep track of my weight and my measurements for my waist, hips and neck. So it has been a very helpful little tool to use.

Can you tell I am happy and excited about this? Lol. I have lots of information I can share with you if you decide to give this program a try. There are a ton of recipes for smoothies made with the Complete shake powder, as well as lots of menu and snack ideas to use during your transformation. So if you do decide to sign up for it, contact me here or on my Facebook page and I can help you begin your personal transformation too.

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NCIS Rules!

I had so much fun putting together the list for Gibbs Rules the other day, I decided to share some other unofficial rules from the other NCIS teammates. For those not familiar with the series, Tony is the unofficial 2nd in command. Abby is the fabulous gothy geeky forensic specialist. Kate was the new agent for the first 2 years of the series that is no longer with us. McGee is the McGeek, the computer guru, the guy that does most of the geek speak. Ducky is the head Medical Examiner, ME. Gibbs is the head honcho you met in the last post.

This post does not have all the details of which episode each one came from because, well, they aren’t as official as the first set is. 😀

Tony’s Rules:

Rule #1: Never sit on the sidelines when your people need you.

Rule #2: If a sexually attractive female is involved in the case ALWAYS hit on her.

Rule #3: Never underestimate your opponent.

Rule #4: Always seek out a movie analogy.

Rule #5: Take every opportunity to do a Tommy Lee Jones speech from The Fugitive.

Rule #6: When doing Tommy Lee Jones impressions, get the accent right.

Rule #7: Always defuse a situation with humor rather than resorting to authoritarianism.

Rule #8: Always make sure your work is done but make it look like you are just lazing around.

Rule #9: If said work is not yet done, come back in the middle of the night to complete it.

Rule #10: Do not go undercover posing as the boyfriend of anyone.

Rule #11: Do not fall in love while undercover.

Rule #12: Be very careful whom you tongue-kiss: it might be a man in disguise.

Rule #13: Never pick on a probie when he is down.

Rule #14: Maintain the morale of the rest of the team, especially when you have sufficient experience to be very worried about Gibbs.

Rule #15: Develop a first name working relationship with the Director, but defer to Gibbs. Always.

Unknown Rule #: Never date/marry a woman that can eat more than you.

Abby’s Rules:

Rule #1: Remember my birthday.

Rule #2: Treat the team as family: desertion not permitted.

Rule #3: Scientists do not rely on luck.

Rule #4: Gibbs’ gut is allowed to be lucky because he is not a scientist.

Rule #5: Don’t forget to defrag your computer.

Rule #6: Trust the evidence.

Rule #7: Trust Gibbs.

Rule #8: Dress codes are for other people.

Rule #9a: Always keep a spare. (Caff-Pow)

Rule #9b: Be kind to your equipment.

Rule #10: Be happy.

Kate’s Rule:

Rule #1: Never ask a woman her age if you want to live.

Next I have several unlisted rules that we have heard more than once as part of the series. They have also been used in pivotal plot points on occasion. They are sometimes right to the point, and other times just funny. Enjoy!

Gibbs to Abby: We don’t believe in coincidence.
Abby: But we do believe in bad luck.
Gibbs (to McGee, Abby and other techy type people): Don’t speak geekspeak, speak English.
Gibbs to Tony: Always anticipate
Gibbs: If a computer doesn’t work, slap it on the side and hit it on the top.
Gibbs: Always acknowledge good work by other members of the team (although he doesn’t do it often, when he does it’s better than gold to everyone).
Gibbs to Tony: When in the interrogation room, stop recording  the interview if it flows into irrelevant personal matters (don’t ask/don’t tell rules for gay Marines, revelations of unrequited love).
Gibbs to Tony to explain to Kate: When your cell phone breaks, have DiNozzo “fix” it (DiNozzo unwraps a new one from a supply he keeps in his desk drawer. Gibbs is not good with electronics. Not good at all.)
Gibbs to Tony: Always ask Ducky for permission to touch the body: it belongs to the ME. Ducky has been known to get touchy if anyone spoils his crime scene. He reportedly threw somebody down a hill for said offense.
Tony to Kate: When involved in a shootout, don’t kill the hostage and avoid shooting off their ear.
Gibbs: When hacking the CIA, give McGee a get out of jail free pass.
Tony: When breaking others’ rules, do not get caught.
Tony to McGee: If you want to gain access to a secure area to investigate, carry a cup of coffee and some paperwork and act like you belong.

According to Einstein: “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” Maybe the guys over at NCIS know this quote. 😉 NCIS is a fun series. I hope it lasts for several more seasons, then there will be lots more of the unofficial rules for me to share with you. :) I’m off to learn more rules! Angela

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Gibbs Rules – A Code To Live By

I am a HUGE fan of NCIS on CBS. I have watched it from the beginning, all 120 years of it. :) No, seriously, all in all this is the 12th season for the show. I have some fun information from it to share with you today. Agent Gibbs has a set of rules he not only works by, but lives by. His deceased wife Shannon is apparently responsible for most of the list. When they met she stated that everyone needs a code they can live by.  Every rule exists for a reason. Gibbs lives by them, the rest of his team are suppose to as well.

If you’ve never watched the show, give it a try! It has a lot of humor in it, some thought provoking episodes as well as a mystery to solve.  Check out this link for a list of the quirky characters, they all are top raters for me but I especially love Abby Sciuto, the forensic specialist. Ducky is great, Tony is fun and smart, McGee is the McGeek of the group, and you can’t forget Gibbs. Check them all out when you can. In the meantime, learn the rules!

*Three years ago I shared a post about these rules, and today I am sharing this updated and better version for you. Also I have some new information I found about the duplicate rules, so look for the asterisk near the bottom for that!

Gibbs rules:

Rule #1: Never let suspects sit together. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *

Rule #1: Never screw over your partner. This rule supersedes all other rules. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 14 – “Blowback.”*

Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *

Rule #3: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 1 – “Yankee White.” *

Rule #3: Never be unreachable. (again, for whatever reason there are two number 3’s…) First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 13 – “Deception.” *

Rule #4: The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person – if you must. There is no third best. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 14 – “Blowback.”

Rule # 5: You don’t waste good. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 22 – “Baltimore.”

Rule #6: Never apologize – it’s a sign of weakness. (but Gibbs also said that its ok to say you’re sorry to a friend.) First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 12 – “Flesh and Blood.”

However Gibbs has made at least six exceptions to Rule #6:
1. His apology to Kate for being late to her funeral.
2. His apology to McGee for not backing him up when he was interrogated (and arrested) by the DC Metro Police.
3. His apology to Franks because of his amnesia.
4. His apology to Ducky following his return from Mexico.
5. His apology to Joann for not being able to protect Shannon and Kelly.
6. His apology to Abby in the Season 7 Finale, Rule Fifty-One for frightening her and not being able to tell her what she wants to hear.
Also, Gibbs tells Ducky when Ducky feels the need to apologize to Gibbs that an apology isn’t a sign of weakness if it’s between friends.

Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 23 – “Reveille.”

Rule #8: Never take anything for granted. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 10 – “Probie,” although Gibbs also quotes it as being “Never assume” during the Season 9, Episode 21, “Rekindled.”

Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 13 – “One Shot, One Kill.”

Abby’s rule #9, “Always keep a spare” (Said while pulling a spare Caf-Pow from her fridge.)

Rule #10: Never get personally involved on a case. It’s the rule Gibbs says he’s always had the most trouble with. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Obsession.”

Rule #11: When the job is done, walk away. Season 6, Episode 24 – “Semper Fidelis.”

Rule #12: Never date a coworker. First mentioned in Season 1, Episode 15 – “Enigma.”

Rule #13: Never, ever involve a lawyer. Tony says this is the umbrella rule for all 7 lawyer rules. First mentioned in Season 6, Episode 7 – “Collateral Damage.”

Rule #14: Bend the line, don’t break it. First mentioned in Season 11, Episode 4 – “Anonymous Was a Woman.”

Rule #15: Always work as a team. First mentioned in Season 5, Episode 5 – “Leap of Faith.”

Rule #16: If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 24 – “Pyramid.” This was also season 8’s finale.

Rule #18: It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 4 – “Silver War.”

Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation. First mentioned in Season 4, Episode 10 – “Smoked.”

Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s (or Angela’s) coffee if you want to live. First mentioned in Season 2, Episode 9 – “Forced Entry.”

Rule #27: Two ways to follow: first way – they never notice you, second way – they only notice you. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 15 – “Jack Knife” and remembered in  “Rule Fifty-One.”

Rule # 35: Always watch the watchers. First mentioned in Season 8, Episode 22 – “Baltimore.”

Rule #36: If it feels like you’re being played, you probably are.First mentioned in Season 9, Episode 1 – “Nature of the Beast.”

Rule #38: Your case, your lead. First mentioned in Season 6, Episode 16 – “Bounce,” placing Tony in temporary charge of the team and in the season 10, episode 3 – “Phoenix” with Ducky as the leader.

Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence, but we do believe in bad luck. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Obsession.”

According to Abby, the 40’s are used for emergency only!

Rule #40: If you think someone is out to get you, they are. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 21 – “Rule Fifty-One.”

Rule #42: To get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. (I know this is a rule, but I cannot remember or find which episode it is in. When I figure it out, I will update 😉 )

Rule #42: Never accept an apology from somebody who just sucker-punched you. First mentioned in Season 9, Episode 16 – “Psych Out.”

Rule #44: First things first, hide the women and children. This rule number was mentioned in “Patriot Down,” (from Season 7, Episode23) but was not stated until “Rule Fifty-One.”

Rule #45: “Left a mess I’ve got to clean up” – I’m not exactly sure on the actual rule, but that’s what Gibbs said. First mentioned in Season 3, Episode 24 as “Never leave behind loose ends,” then Gibbs makes the former statement in Season 7, Episode 24 – “Rule Fifty-One.”

Rule #51: Sometimes you are wrong. First mentioned in Season 7, Episode 24 – “Rule Fifty-One.” Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in this episode, as this was when Gibbs created it.

*So why are there two No. 1s, and two No. 3s? Since I first noticed this ‘glitch’ I wondered if they were continuity errors, or, giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, if Gibbs’ list was simply meant to be malleable. It’s turns out to be more of the latter. Executive Producer Shane Brennan revealed that the duplication was actually intentional in his  surprising explanation for the minor puzzle regarding the rules:

“Gibbs lives his life by a set of rules that took root from the first day he met Shannon. Over time, Gibbs added to the rules. When he joined NIS, Mike Franks told him he didn’t need dozens of different rules to be an agent… just three ‘golden rules.’ And this is why we have double ups on rules #1 and #3. Three of them are Gibbs’ rules; three of them are Mike Franks’ rules. We are still to reveal the double-up on rule #2. And it’s up to the fans to guess which of the rules were Mike Franks’ three golden rules and which were Gibbs’.”

I’m assuming the other duplicates are also because there is a blending of Gibbs and Shannon’s or someone else’s rules.

For those of you not familiar with the show, Gibbs has been known to offer a slap or two to the back of the head of his team, mainly as a consequence for not following the rules, or not doing your job right. Unless you are Tony. Tony has a bad habit of being a flirt, and not taking the matter at hand very seriously in the first few years of the show. Per Gibbs: A slap to the face is an insult. A slap to the back of the head is a wake up call. So Tony, get ready to wake up! There’s a few Gibb’s smacks coming your way! For a clip of these moments watch this Hit the Head montage. I also found an expanded version on YouTube to share below.

Boyfriend, reminding me of the rules: “Rule #44: First things first, hide the women and children. Now, sweetie, where am I going to hide you?”

My reply: “Rule #51, Sometimes you are wrong. You would be wrong to try and hide me.” :)

Hope you enjoy this as much as I have! Have a wonderful day! Angela

PS: I wrote an additional post about unofficial NCIS rules, you can find it here. 😀 Enjoy!

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Putting Heart to Pen