Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Fun!

Good evening all!

I have had a great week so far and have some pleasant news on my end. 

  • I just found out I was chosen for the next Influenster VoxBox for review! For anyone that doesn't know what this is, it's a completely free site that you fill out surveys, post reviews and share information to up your chances at receiving a 'VoxBox'. These boxes are sent for review and they choose participants based off of activity as well as if you are in the target demographic for a select product. There are lots of badges to earn to increase your odds of getting a voxbox, this will be my third box. I am told it's the Carefree box, yes like the feminine hygiene Carefree. I've also received a Hershey's Kisses VoxBox in the past and a Summer VoxBox!
I fit back into it again! Yay!
  •  I FIT INTO ONE OF MY FAVORITE DRESSES AGAIN! Ahem...Got a little excited there...But yes! I am finally back in one of my pre-pregnancy dresses once again! I suppose it's true, nine months to put the weight on, nine months to take the weight off. I never noticed how vain I was about my own appearance until I couldn't fit into certain clothes anymore.This was all done with the success of using my Fitbit regularly, a handy little step, activity and calorie counter. I have been walking almost every day, using the elliptical a couple times a week and making sure I eat healthy. I don't restrict myself completely, Saturday's are free days and I can still eat some treats during the week but I make sure to stick with the proper portion sizes!
  • My fiance should be home tomorrow! -happy dance-
  • I got a few great ideas for new products to create for my shop. Now it's just a matter of making all these ideas a reality!
Today I am linking up with The Sparky Little Wife, she posts great reviews of subscription boxes! Go look at her lovely blog, you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Hi everyone!

I decided to link up to Ramblings of a Suburban Mom with her 'Thursday Thoughts' and other weekly entries! What a great way to get me really motivated to update my blog entries.

So, my thoughts for today go as follows:

An example of the items in the large Sanrio character goodie bag.

  • My package from Kawaii Surprises Japan arrived in the USA as of yesterday, I am so excited! I got the large and small Sanrio Character Goods Goodie Bags and Apple Surprise Goodie Bag. I LOVE apple flavored candy, apple rings are my favorite and they are sooo hard to come by for me. Expect a review of this 'box' as soon as it's delivered!
  • I almost ordered from a different box, the Kawaii Box, which is more popular. But I'm glad I didn't, just a few days later a friend of mine posted on her Facebook that they stole her image off of her tumblr and posted it without her permission. She is Lolita, and had a super cute photo of her and some friends in their coordinates and Kawaii Box took the image, didn't give any credit towards any of the girls, and posted it with their advertising. I just double checked this morning and they have since removed the image, but I still find that shady. She is not in any way affiliated with them, and has never purchased anything from them either, so why would they use her image to advertise? Hmmm, shady shady.
  • Wiggles has started this thing for the past two days where she doesn't want to sleep, like...will lay in her crib and play or talk with random cries for 45 minutes before falling asleep for bedtime or even naptime. Is this normal?
  • I'm in dire need of a header at the very least, and I have an idea about how I want to do it. Downside? I can't find my camera battery charger! I know it's gotta be in this house somewhere, probably my studio...But if it's in my studio, wish me luck on finding it again! I have this interesting knack at losing things in there amongst the piles...

So, what are your thoughts for today? Anything interesting or good happen for you this week? Let me know!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Renovation - A New Start!

Good evening everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, I know I did. I was able to spend some time with family, playing board games and scored some awesome deals on things I've been wanting. Super cute shirts, accessories and found a great deal on a subscription box that I have had my eye on for while now!

Now, I know it has been ages since I've last updated this blog. So here's the thing, I am giving this blog a complete makeover. No longer will this be known as 'Sketchbook Moments', you are now welcomed into Xyroca's Cavern! This is because I will now be updating my blog regularly with entries and videos about all sorts of things, including my own creations that will soon be available for sale. What kind of items will be in store? My creations revolve primarily around fantasy and mythical creatures, with a specific focus on dragons. There will be sculptures, jewelry, and all sorts of other goodies that I can think of. Custom pieces will also be available for grabs, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Xyroca's Cavern will focus on much more than just my creations, this will now be the home of my thoughts, obsessions, reviews, trials, and so much more. This will be a look into my mind, a peek into my domain and a glimpse at my world like no one has ever seen before. You are welcome to pull up a chair and make yourself cozy as I welcome you here, and let it be known that I appreciate each and every visitor that passes by!

This means that my site will be roughly under construction as I figure out a new layout that I enjoy, add my logo/header and such, and already have several videos planned out! I will be reviewing two art products this week that I have been wanting to use for-EVER and finally got around to using them. Soon I should also be receiving the first of my boxes to review! You'll just have to wait and see which boxes they will end up being. ;)

Have a good night everyone, and see you tomorrow! <3

Friday, June 22, 2012

Salon Effects

Now I'm sure all of you ladies have heard of or seen Sally Hansen's Salon Effects, yes? I've always wanted to try them, they have such pretty patterns and look like they would work out great! But, they are pretty expensive, and I didn't want to spend ten bucks on something that I wasn't even sure was going to work. Now to all my bargain hunters out there, I'm sure you know where to find the great clearance deals in Target? I love checking those hidden little endcaps full of items on clearance, usually perfectly good and nothing wrong with them! For those that don't know what I'm talking about, try this the next time you shop at Target. Go to the endcaps of aisles that are furthest from the 'main' path of the store. Usually you can find a clearance shelf full of great deals!

I managed to find the Salon Effects for less than three dollars on one of those endcaps! All of them were the same pattern, I believe it's called 'checker out'. It wasn't my top choice of patterns, but I bought it because it was a great way to see if these things actually work before shelling out ten bucks for one.

And they do! It took some getting used to when it came to applying them. It comes with 16 strips of polish, a cuticle stick and a file with different textures for different uses. The instructions are really simple and easy to follow, it's actually keeping my hand steady that was the hardest thing!

It's been almost two days and they are holding up pretty well. I didn't have a regular top coat nail polish, but I did have 'hard as nails' nail strengthener. I applied one of coat that, and it seemed to kinda...melt the polish strip in a way, like it re-activated the polish almost before drying and I believe it helped it form to my nail. I've come to love them, and now I'm really excited to get the other patterns!

Have you ever used the Salon Effects? Which one and how did it work for you?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Handmade 'Smash' Book / Art Journal

Has anyone seen the Smash books lately? I just saw them for the first time in a Target, and was fascinated and so inspired by them. If you haven't seen them, check out the video below to get an idea of what it is! As much as I really wanted to buy the Smash book, I fought the temptation because I had literally just made my own art journal about a week before hand. I was inspired from tons of pictures on Pinterest, but since seeing the Smash brand, I've become even more inspired! I ended up buying one of the Smash sticks, it's a hot pink ink pen on one end, with a glue stick on the other! This is perfect for on the go, and comes in different colors.

Anyways, I made my own Art Journal / "Smash" book not too long ago. It's about time I showed the step by step process of it!

First, I took a simple old spiral sketchbook that had been sitting around my room. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of it at this stage. After that, I glued a couple pages to the cover and covered it with gesso. Then I took a ziploc bag and filled it with gesso, snipped off a corner and then squeezed the gesso onto the cover in a scale like pattern. I used cardboard to help shape some of the gesso.

It took overnight for the cover and gesso to dry. The important thing is that you shouldn't move it! Or else the gesso will slide around and turn into a mess. The gesso does crack, but I used some spackling medium to fill the cracks.

Once the gesso was completely dry, I gave it a coat of Mod Podge to make sure it wouldn't keep cracking. Then I watered down some acrylic paints and created layers of colors before coating it with brown. It turned out beautiful and took on the appearance of wood. (I was going for leather, but the wood look was pretty amazing too!)

It took several layers to fill in all the cracks of the gesso, but after the paint dried I dusted sections of the book with silver and gold dust. The silver went over the scaley portion of the book in the top right corner, I was aiming for the look of dragon scales. Then I covered the dusted parts with mod podge to seal them in.

Almost finished! Just time for some finishing touches. I added a few semi-precious stones and mardi-gras necklace using mod-podge. I also took a leather cord  and began to wrap it around each and every spiral.

The last thing I did was take some of the remaining leather cord, a piece of scrap gold metal and feathers and created a book mark. I absolutely loved the outcome!

It turned out gorgeous, and I love that it is completely 'me' and no one else has anything quite like it!

I hope to get some pictures of my first entries. My goal is to enter something into this every day, it's so much fun and calming that I don't think it will be a problem. I think it will actually help me during all the stress of moving and finding a job.

So tell me, have you made your own art/smash journal? Tell me about it! And if you're thinking about creating your own, my tip to you is to have FUN! Make it completely yours, and don't be afraid to expirement with it!