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Year Re-Cap

Published December 18, 2015 by kurolace

Hi All,

2015 hasn’t exactly been the best year for my blog. I guess I’ve been a little preoccupied with other things in life. My grandma died at the beginning of the year, and we spent a good 6 months or so trying to get her house ready for sale. In June, I had a crushing disappointment when I tried out for a job in Japan. I say “tried out” because it was a grueling 8 hour interview process which was partly recorded. In the end I don’t think I was peppy enough for them. They didn’t really seem to care much about actual teaching experience/ability. After that I sort of decided to put finding a job abroad on hold for awhile, since I was pretty much broke (it was like $800 to go out to San Fran for the interview).

I did manage to get a job in August as a substitute teacher.  So, I’ve been pretty busy this fall wrangling 5-year-olds, getting slandered by an 8 year old, and trying to not get bitten by children with autism. The good thing is that I have a slightly improved income…although it’s still pretty much cr*p. Also, although I like teaching and some of the children, for the most part, being a sub hasn’t really made me want to be a full-out teacher. So, over the next two weeks (Christmas break), I’ll be back at the ol’ job search. *sigh*… I’m seriously getting too old for this! I’m even considering returning to Poland.

Lately I was applying my make-up, and realizing how old  I look. I don’t have any major wrinkles, but occasionally I see a few very fine lines on my forehead, and deep shadows under my eyes (genetic, not habitual). Some people still mistake me for being college-aged, but I am increasingly being asked if I have kids. I hate being asked if I have kids. I mean, I know a lot of my peers DO have kids (heck, my college roommate has 2, and one is already 5 years old), but I just don’t feel old or “adult” ish. So I have re-vowed to go off sugar (main cause of aging, if you didn’t know), and double up on the sunscreen… and once I’ve paid off my credit card debt ($1500 to go…), I’ll be investing in some dermatology stuff.

Anyways… I am not yet giving up on this blog! I still have things I’d like to post about, and I hope that the next few months will work out better.

Until then, stay creepy my strangelings!

 

 

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“Do you doubt that ghosts exist?”

Published October 29, 2013 by kurolace

empty-chair-next-to-bed

On Sunday I went hiking with two of my co-teachers in the “mountains” at the edge of our city. Our discussion lilted from topic to topic, mostly bitching about certain other teachers. I’m not sure how the topic came up exactly, but I mentioned to my two friends that in one of my recent classes, a student had responded to the “Do you doubt that ghosts exist?” question with a firm “No, I don’t doubt that ghosts exist.” I was a bit surprised because every other time students have always said that they don’t believe in ghosts. So I asked why she didn’t doubt. Unfortunately due to level of English and time restrictions, the most I could get from her was the explanation that she had had some person experiences that made her not doubt.

Mentioning that event launched the three of us teachers into a conversation regarding the existence of ghosts and our reasons for our beliefs. And I got two ghost stories out of it to share with you. 🙂

I’ll start you out with the less creepy of the two. Basically my friend’s grandmother died, but continued to reside in her home. My friend said that she had always felt her grandmother’s presence, but the ghost’s existence became obvious to her after two particular events. My friend was living in her grandmother’s house alone, and invited some friends over. She went into the bathroom, and noticed a towel on the floor. She didn’t think too much of it and went back to her room to get a few things for the shower. A minute later, she returned to the bathroom to find the towel perfectly hung up. She was sure no one else had been in the bathroom and questioned her friends who had been on a different story of the house. None of them had gone into the bathroom.

Then, on a different occasion she was alone in the house. While her grandmother was alive, she had been very strict about making my friend make her bed every morning. One of those “If you don’t make your bed, the rest of your day will be sloppy!” sort of things.  Well, since my friend was the only one living the house at the moment, she didn’t think that anyone would care if she didn’t make her bed one morning, and left her bed clothes in a mess on the bed and floor. She went down stairs to get some breakfast, and returned to her room about 20 minutes later, to discover a perfectly made bed.

The second story is a bit more creepy. I’ve been assured that the person who originally related the story was a no-nonsense sort of fellow, and shocked my two friends by telling them about his experiences in Asia. This fellow lived in a house in Thailand that was haunted by a very creepy poltergeist. While problems started small, they eventually escalated to the point that he had to move out. In the beginning, it was just strange sounds at night, like a person moving around down stairs. Gradually, the poltergeist started moving things around the kitchen, and even opening and closing the cabinets. The fellow who lived in the house is of the vaguely anal / OCD variety, so when a he discovered cupboards open in the morning, he was certain he had not left them that way. Things reached their peak, when one day he felt particularly uneasy, after finding things moved around during the day. That night, he went up into his room, and closed and locked the door. He slept uneasily during the night, and awoke in the morning to find that the chair from his desk (which was in a separate area of the room) had moved during the night. It was positioned next to and facing the bed. It was exactly as though someone had been watching him as he slept. Needless to say, that was the last night the he spent in that house.

Moved to Poland

Published October 2, 2013 by kurolace

Hello Sweet Strange-lings.

So I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from WordPress. Things were quite busy for me during the summer as I was taking an online class, an in-person art class, volunteering at the hospital, working part time, AND getting ready to go to Poland! Yes, I found out toward the end of June that I would be coming to Poland to do an English teaching internship. There was only about a month and a half to get everything in order, so things were quite frantic. We were also fostering kittens and doing other things at my house.

So I have been in Poland for about a month. Things here haven’t exactly gone as I had imagined they would, there’s plenty of chaos, bullying, and general BS in relation to this job. But I’m in a slightly more steady situation now after 1 month. I’m going to be here until at least Valentine’s Day, perhaps longer. I sort of want to stay on a year so that I can go to Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig in June! Although I would need to find someone to go with before then, cause I’m way too much of a scaredy cat on my own! But seriously, how cool would that be?

Well, hopefully I’ll be getting some pictures up soon of places and cool things (bought a few cool accessories here), and in the meantime I’ll be catching up reading others’ blogs!

Oh, and I would looove to hear from anyone in Poland, and also from anyone who may be going to WGT!

How-To: Make Satin Cord Necklaces for Pendants

Published April 27, 2013 by kurolace

Today I am going to show you why you don’t ever need to buy premade cord necklaces for you pendants! Seriously people, premade ones are a rip off, and if you are selling your item, they cut into your profit margin significantly! Making satin cord necklaces (or cotton cord or leather cord ones, for that matter), is really very easy and only takes a few ingredients!

From top to bottom: Rattail (nylon), Mousetail (Rayon), Bugtail (Rayon).

From top to bottom: Rattail (nylon), Mousetail (Rayon), Bugtail (Rayon).

Before getting into the tutorial, lets talk satin cord for a minute. This is my cord of choice. I typically prefer it over cotton and leather because it is much more flexible and therefore drapes better. Its even better than chain or ball chain in many cases, but of course this depends on the overall look you are going for.

There are two types of satin cord: Rayon and Nylon/Polyester. Rayon is a bit softer and the type that I prefer. You cannot heat seal rayon, because its mostly natural fiber, but you can use clear nail polish on the ends to keep it from fraying (Or glue, or that “no fray” stuff).  Nylon/Polyester cord has a slightly stiffer body, can be heat sealed, and is the type you’ll find at Hobby Lobby in the ribbon section.  Both Rayon and Nylon/Polyester Satin cord comes in a variety of colors, and in 3 sizes: Bugtail (1-1.4mm, also called “Petite #0”), Mousetail (1.5 -1.9mm, also called “Lightweight #1”), and Rattail (2mm also called “Heavyweight #2).

Check out The Satin Cord Store to buy either rayon or nylon satin cord by the yard, in 10 yard coils, or 70-yard rolls. You can also get it from Firemountain Gems – I believe theirs is nylon – in all three sized & many colors. Hobby Lobby only carries the heavyweight nylon satin cord, but its only $1.99 (or less if you go when its on sale), for 24ft (8 yards), and they have a decent variety of colors.

The rest of the supplies for this tutorial can be bought from your favorite jewelry supply store – In my case, Beadaholique, but Hobby Lobby or Michaels may also have what you need.

Okay… lets gather our materials, to make a satin cord necklace you will need:

I apologize... the lighting only gets worse from here.

I apologize… the lighting only gets worse from here.

 

  • Petite #0 / Bugtail Satin Cord (you can choose any length, of course – 18″ is usually the shortest length for this type of necklace)
  • Glue, nail polish or other sealing method
  • 2 Coil cord ends to fit cord (for Bugtail, you need 1.5mm)
  • 2 jump rings
  • 2″ Extender chain
  • Lobster clasp
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • E6000 or similar permanent glue with some working time (not superglue)

To start, cut the Bugtail cord to the length you desire. Remember 18″ is usually the shortest length for these pendant necklaces. I actually prefer 21″… Obviously you can choose the length you prefer. We will be adding a 2″ extended chain, so remember to add that in when calculating the total possible length of the finished necklace.

When putting the glue on the cord, and inserting into coil, try to avoid the end of the coil on the left side of this picture.

When putting the glue on the cord, and inserting into coil, try to avoid the end of the coil on the left side of this picture.

Seal the ends of the cord. Use glue or nail polish or “no fray” if you are using Rayon cord. Use a lighter, candle, or heat tool if you are using nylon cord. A light touch is best for this step, especially with the glue or nail polish – too much and it’ll wick into the cord and discolor it.

Apply a small amount of E6000 to one of the ends of the cord. The slip the cord into the coil end. Push it all the way in. Clean up any excess glue on the cord.

Do the same with the other end of the cord. Allow the ends to complete dry… I usually leave them for about an hour or so just for good measure.

See where the coil wire end has been clamped down?

See where the coil wire end has been clamped down?

Take your pliers and clamp down the end of the coil onto the cord. I try to avoid splitting

the cord, and I try to keep the cord centered in the coil…. but it doesn’t always come out perfectly. Don’t worry too much about that. Its only crazy nit picky people like me who notice!

Add jump rings, then extender chain and lobster clasp

Add jump rings, then extender chain and lobster clasp

Put a jump ring on each end. The add a lobster clasp to one end, and the extender chain to the other end.

Voila! You have a nice satin cord necklace for your pendant!  Make a whole bunch at one time, in a few colors, so that you have them on hand to add finished pendants to later!

In case your wondering, this cord is actually "lavender" you just can see it due to the glare.

In case your wondering, this cord is actually “lavender” you just can’t see it due to the glare.

 

How-to: Make Faux Chocolate Decoden Cabochons with Hot Glue

Published April 27, 2013 by kurolace

That’s right! Hot Glue isn’t just for fake sauces…. you can use it to make faux chocolate / candy cabochons for your decoden project! Its super easy and fast! And you only need a few supplies for it.

Glue sticks, molds, and glue gun

Glue sticks, molds, and glue gun

Here’s the list:

  • Opaque colored hot glue sticks (available at Hobby Lobby or on Etsy)
  • Glue gun (cool can be used, but medium/hot will give a better result – just make sure it doesn’t get hotter than the mold’s max temperature)
  • Silicon Rubber Mold (Made by you, or purchased – check out Etsy for a ton of sellers – remember simple shapes are best for this)
  • Sparkle / Glitter Nail Polish (optional)

You do need to make sure you are using a mold which can tolerate high temperatures. I think most silicon molds are good up to 400F. If it can be baked in the over, its probably okay.

There are two methods for doing this. The fastest way is to use the glue gun w/ glue stick to fill the mold. This works well with simple (smoother) shapes, especially if you are using a low temperature glue gun (the glue may start to cool before it can fill all the tiny details of a complicated mold).

I have yet to master the skill of holding the camera in one hand, and working with the other hand.

I have yet to master the skill of holding the camera in one hand, and working with the other hand.

The other way is to cut the glue stick into tiny pieces, fill the mold, and then place it in the oven. The Oven method can be used with more complicated shapes since the glue has more time to spread out. Set your oven to about 350F. Bake the mold with glue in it until the glue has completely melted and spread out in the mold.

Let the glue and mold cool completely, then pop the finished item out! If the glue overflowed anywhere, you can use a craft knife to trim it off.

I used a low temp glue gun, which is why there are so many imperfections. That's okay, because I can always cut them up and melt them via oven.

I used a low temp glue gun, which is why there are so many imperfections. That’s okay, because I can always cut them up and melt them via oven.

 

I had to change glue sticks half way through this, but otherwise it looks very much like a chocolate!

I had to change glue sticks half way through this, but otherwise it looks very much like a chocolate!

 

An optional step is to paint some glitter nail polish on the finished piece to add some sparkle.