To Open or Not To Open

Skotte often goes to gaming conventions. Over the course of a few days, he might play something like thirty games, some of which the world has never seen before.  It’s very exciting stuff!

After one convention, I received the cutest gift from him – a tiny Doctor Who!

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I had to talk myself out of wanting one of every character the company makes!  They are so cute!

No, I will be content and deliriously happy with my one tiny Doctor.

Tiny Doctor resides on my desk, amongst other fun characters. There’s the fiddle playing gnome, Hello, Kitty! on a keychain connected to my WoW authenticator, a mini Wegmans truck (Wegmans is our totally awesome local grocery chain), and my Autumn Bear from some good friends.

There is something missing though…!!! I have Sandman figures which I received for Christmas one year from Skotte.  They are all sitting in their original packaging, because that makes them more valuable for the future.  But are they really serving me in this capacity?

I go back and forth on this issue.  Obviously, once opened, you can’t really turn back time to un-open them.  (Although, maybe my tiny Doctor could help now!) The Endless and their Dreaming counterparts sit patiently in the meantime, wrapped in plastic.

There was a Judge John Hodgman court case about this.  (Listen here.)  A woman wanted to open her Scully figure, while her husband wanted to keep his Mulder and her Scully in their packaging to retain the value.  I won’t tell you how Judge Hodgman ruled, but it’s a rousing case, and worth listening to!

So I ask:  What would you do?

Why I Do What I Love – Happy Valentine’s Day!

In the Spice Rack is a labor of love for me. On this day of celebrating LOVE, I want to share with you the WHY.

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I’ve mentioned briefly that my life has not gone at all the way I planned. As I entered college, I had a definitive plan – get my 4-year degree, then a Masters and possibly a doctorate. Write music, play and sing all over the world. Teach. I never planned on getting “rich,” but music was my passion. I lived and breathed music and I was pretty good at it.

I did not anticipate a lengthy list of things that would stand in my way. My teacher left my university and I never really connected with a mentor after that. I experienced a horrible time with depression. A diagnosis of fibromyalgia came when I was around 20. School and life circumstances left me burnt out, sad, lonely, and broken. I had many surgeries, culminating in a partial hysterectomy at age 25. I made myself small inside, because I didn’t think I deserved my dreams.

However…

Today I look at these obstacles as rare gifts.

The gifts give me the opportunity to think outside of the box, and to use my creativity as a tool.

It is not easy for me to do things differently from people around me. I compare myself to others, and ask myself, “Wouldn’t it be easier to go get a regular job?” It would offer stability and structure. But, I would not be happy with this choice long term. I would be building someone else’s dream.

I am doing this because it is my life’s work. I want to inspire you to do the same. I want to live an extraordinary life. I want to share my dream with you.

My Dream

I view life like a spice rack.

You can start off with the same basic ingredients, but how your mixture will taste depends on the herbs, spices, and flavorings you put into it. Your mixture will be different from your neighbor. You might add more or less orange flavoring, with pecan sprinkles on top and a dash of cinnamon.

I have a lot of friends who also make jewelry, but we all do it differently. Even if we all made the same items, they would be put together differently! We each speak to different people’s hearts. There is room for everyone!

I want to help people reach their own unique dreams.

I want to simultaneously fulfill my dreams.

What sorts of things fill up my Life Spice Rack?

  • Music is still a big important part of my life! – listening to and sharing music that I love!
  • Connecting with people in my community – Part of this for me is being involved at my church, Downtown United Presbyterian Church
  • Writing poetry
  • Creating crafts and jewelry
  • Playing board games, video games, and role playing games
  • Learning about the world and different cultures
  • Eating organic food in the right combinations and amounts
  • Learning what exercises my body can do, and trying to push my boundaries when I can!
  • Using personal care products and cleaning products that are safe for my body – I am extremely sensitive to chemicals.
  • Writing stories that give lessons and entertain
  • Writing music!
  • Playing the violin and singing
  • Helping and caring for others

Soon, I am going to announce my next step and I want you to come along with me!

Stay tuned!

And have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Love, Cori!

Recycling Old Crayons into New Heart Shaped Crayons!

I have been reading for years on blogs and Pinterest about people who recycled crayons into new crayons in fun shapes. I wanted to try it for myself! Here are my results!crayon hearts 1How I did it:

Most of the steps should be done by grown-ups. I will note which parts are kid-friendly!

1. First, I purchased or found at home a mold that would work. I tried two different molds.

Here is an Amazon Affiliate link to the one I purchased and the one I preferred: Wilton 2105-2588 Bite Sized 20-Cavity Heart Dessert Shell Pan

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This pan has a non-stick coating which actually works great for this project! And the heart indentation is fabulous, too!

I also tried a silicon heart shaped ice cube tray from IKEA – the hearts were quite cute, but not as pretty as the Wilton-pan ones! I also pretty much ruined the silicon tray, as you can see.

ikea heart

2. Find crayons! I reused crayons from my childhood.

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3. Remove the paper from the crayon. You could have older kids do this with their nails, but I don’t recommend it, unless you want to give your kids a very time consuming project and potential paper cuts.

I used an X-Acto Knife to cut the paper off, as if I was peeling a carrot. (In this same way, you could also slice shavings off the crayons to put into the molds.) This part is definitely for grown-ups if using a knife!

4. Next, I broke the crayons into pieces. I went with larger pieces – break the crayon into half, and then each new piece into half. This can be hard, depending on the crayon and size, so use the knife if needed. You could cut them into smaller sizes if you desire, or use crayon shavings. I used big chunks because it was less time consuming.

5. The Kid Part! Sort your crayon pieces into your mold.

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I put mine into 2-3 color combinations – reds and oranges, oranges and browns, yellow and greens, blue and greens, blue green and yellow, purples and reds… you get the idea! FYI – I made a few with rainbow colors and they ended up looking like a mushy brown mess.

You want to fill them loosely to the top for a nice thick crayon.

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6. Silver, Gold, Bronze, Fluorescent, and White crayons make excellent accents. Put these on the very bottom of the mold to utilize them the best!

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7. Put your tray into a pre-heated oven set to 250 degrees F. Melt for 10-12 minutes. You may need to adjust the time depending on your oven and the crayons you use, but mine were completely melted within 12 minutes.

8. Let your new crayons cool completely.

9. Turn your mold over onto a flat surface. Crayons should slide out easily. I only had to give a gentle tap a couple of times.

10. Enjoy your new crayons!

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Ways you can enjoy your new crayons

  • Use the wide surface to make pattern rubbings.
  • Give them as party favors!
  • Lines aren’t always meant to be followed – color outside of the lines with your wild new crayons!
  • I used them as marketing! Since crayons were a commodity I had on hand, I paired a new crayon with a Valentine’s Day printable and a business card. Voila, marketing!

DSC_2165DSC_2166Love, Cori!

P.S. I have some of these for sale in my shop right here!

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30 Day Push Goals!

Fly free!

A friend of mine invited me to join Chalene Johnson’s 30-Day Challenge.

I have been feeling unmotivated and lacking real focus. Doing things 30 days at a time appeals to me, so I said a resounding Yes!

We are now on day five, but you can join in any time. It is free, and will totally “PUSH” your boundaries.

I am already making new friends and getting refocused on my priorities.

Love, Cori!