Gilded trinket tray

I’ve been doing a lot of crafty stuff lately. 

On my long to do list is sharing them with you because frankly, they’re cool and original and they make me happy to make so they’ll increase my happy to share. So here’s one:

A few posts back I mentioned how I was painting on my front lawn and one of my oldest friends in the world whom I’d lost touch with randomly walked by. 

She invited me to her daughters upcoming bat mitzvah. When we met her daughter was wearing a t-shirt that said “sparkle is my favorite color”, so ya know, my people. 

I thought about what’s a good thing to give a 12 year old girl that she’ll really appreciate (besides cash) and decided that something sophisticated and unique and personalized would be what I’d want and since I basically have the same tastes as a 12 year old, I got to work. 

Since I don’t know her kid at all, I based my idea on the small bit of knowledge I did know about her, and that came from the design of the invitation:   

Shockingly enough, I already owned washi tape in similar colors and with a similar pattern to match her invitation. 

I also happened to have a lovely yet simple white ceramic candle/trinket tray, still wrapped from a gift I’d rec’d but didn’t really have a great spot for. 

Excellent. Let’s get started. 

First, I laid the wide washi tape around the four sides.  After that I laid the skinny washi tape about 1/4 in from the first washi tape. Sorta a layered look. 

 
Some technical notes: 

I made sure to leave a reasonable sized border of plate on the outside edge of the wide tape. This helped the the tape conform to the curves of the plate without having to work too hard. 

I created those mitred corners really easily. I laid the tape edge to edge in each direction and then just sliced through both layers from corner to corner. 

Here’s a pic of me doing it w the skinny tape:  

   

What was unexpectedly cool was how much the tape looked like it was part of the ceramic, especially the tape with the white background. 

Ok. After getting my washi frame in place I got to work on the name. 

At first I’d wanted to use Swarovski crystals to write it but I also knew I wanted to seal the whole thing for durability and sealer on top of swarovskis is a disaster. 

I was going through my “muchification drawer” (a real thing) looking for gold glitter paper. I was gonna print her name backwards, glue it to the back of the paper and then carefully exacto out the name and glue it in place. But, as luck would have it, while rifling through the muchification drawer I came upon the perfect solution: itty bitty little gold sequins with subtle pink accents.  

Because seriously, who doesn’t have that just hanging out at the bottom of a drawer somewhere, right?  

So, I got to work. 

I used a white pickup pencil because I had it within arms reach and i could rub it off. I free-handed her name in the same style font as it’s written on the invitation.  

 
Then I used jewelry epoxy to carefully glue the sequins in place.  

 
That thing was sparkleriffic, let me tell you! 

After the sequin glue dried I pulled out the elmers glue and a foam brush to reinforce and seal the washi tape to the plate.  

 Truthfully, I probably shoulda done that step before the sequins but I was impatient to start the sparkle. I just made sure not to get the glue on the sequins so it didn’t dull their shine. The glue goes on white but it dries clear. I also used a tweezer to pull up the edges of tape to glue underneath as the corners had started to pull away from the ceramic around the curves. You can sorta see it near the mitred corner in this pic:

  
When that was all good and dry I was ready for the last step- the most exciting step besides the glitterfication. The pour-on epoxy sealer! 

  
This stuff is the best thing ever- it makes everything it touches look like glass. It’s just brilliant and you can use it a bazzilion creative ways. 

Basically, it’s two liquid parts. You combine equal amounts of each and mix it up really well and then pour it on stuff and it’s like sealed under “glass” forever.  

 
  I used a sponge on the tape areas, I didn’t need or want it super thick there, just enough to seal it in place. This also let me control its placement along the perimeter of the plate without it dripping off in the wrong direction. I started w the perimeter so the epoxy would fall into the cavity of the plate. You can see it there in the top corner of the picture dripping onto the cavity. 

I was a bit nervous to use it because when it’s poured over crystals the crystals just lose ALL their muchness, so I thought the sequins might too. But they didn’t. So then I just poured the rest over the sequins.  

 
I spread and flattened it with the sponge. It was totally level and smooth, no sequins were protruding above the epoxy and the washi tape looks absolutely etched on there. 

As the epoxy dried it did roll down the edges into the plate but enough stayed put to act as a sealer and protector. The sequins look embedded in there. It’s really quite gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 

Here’s some more pics because they’re free. 

   
    
Reflecting the sunlight on the sequins and glass-coated finish. 

   The tape as etching up close. 

  

Why I’m wearing my maternity clothes again…

Yesterday I went into manhattan to meet, for the first time, an online friend who was instrumental in my Muchness journey. If you watched my speech last week, I mentioned her- the woman who let me know she had an event that she didn’t want to go to so she bought herself a sparkly headband and it made it just a little bit better. That was the day I thought to myself “Oh! You mean this sparkle thing works on other people also?” And my brain started whirling with the possibilities.

I was picking my outfit yesterday morning and felt drawn back to those early Muchness making days, and pulled this sequins shirt from my maternity clothes bin.

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It’s actually a plus size tank top from target that, when I first saw it in the store, I was intimidated by its loudness and thought it was beyond tacky.  (Of course, I never claimed not to appreciate a good dose of tacky with my muchness … on occasion.  And yes- I realize my perspective on “tacky” is highly subjective…) Anyway, it made me smile, So I bought it. To test my boundaries and push my comfort zones. Because that was the kinda mood I was in.  I was about 6 months pregnant with liat the first time I wore it. I felt a bit shy and loud but I wore it anyway. I stepped into the elevator in my dreary office building and a bunch of dreary office workers looked up at the sparkling pregnant disco queen (this was technically pre-Muchness)  that had just stepped on the elevator. One dude made a joke about how I should spin in circles and turn the elevator into a mini disco party and we all laughed and by the time the elevator hit the ground floor, the dreariness had lifted.
That was when I first understood  how it felt to know you had brightened someone’s day just by showing up in their world. When I knew that doing that could immeasurably brighten your own day.

I hope you all have an opportunity to brighten someone’s day just by showing up in it.

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This is me and my beautiful friend Dana yesterday in front of Freedom Tower in downtown manhattan.

What an amazing, gratitude filled day.

Wanna hear a story about a scumbag?

So, one thing has become abundantly clear… I should not be at that job. Seriously, I actually had a panic attack on monday and hid under my desk.

Yeah. I debated sharing that, because it’s clearly not very Muchy but if you follow along on my FB page you can see that I am trying to make the best of the situation and think positively (PS: I am positive I am not supposed to be there.)

So, I’m a girl who looks for signs. Ya know, signs, to tell me that I am where I’m supposed to be or doing what I’m supposed to do. You may not have known that about me because for a long time I stopped looking for signs- at least on the surface. Signs include an element of “God, let me know what I’m supposed to do” and  lot of me was heavily committed to “screw you god, I’m pissed.” but, well, in the end, the signs won out.

Here’s a signs story for you to chew on.

Once upon a land, in a time called “my 20’s” I lived in an apartment that had terrible plumbing issues. I’d find my Indian neighbors hair stuck to the bottom of my tub. I point out that he was Indian because they were the type of Indian with really long beards and reeeeeally long hair that was wrapped up on a turban. My hair was short. The hair in my tub, 3 feet long. Gross. Grody. Repulsive. Disgusting.

I demanded they fix the plumbing. They lied and said it was impossible. I stopped paying rent and three months later bailed on the apartment. They came after me for the rent. In court. But when I got to court, they dropped the case.

Two years later they refiled, because they had handed the paperwork over to a scumbag lawyers whose life revolves around squeezing people by their balls for 15 cents.

I went to court. Again. Settled the case and agreed to pay the back rent because I was getting married and just wanted the nightmare to go away. I paid the settlement over the next few months, but one month shy of completing the payments, my bank account was frozen. Frantic, I called the lawyers and they refused to call me back. Had to go BACK to court multiple times (I’m living in a different state at this point) only to find out that they had not provided me the correct address on where to mail the checks. But they DID have my money. The judge was PISSED at the scumbag lawyer because this was all just a big waste of everyone’s time. Meanwhile- it was the ABSOLUTE most stressful thing in my life. I had the lawyers number filed in my phone under the name “scumbag” because that is what he was.

By the time I got married, the entire thing was ancient history. I had the paperwork to prove it.

At this point, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this story after talking about my job…. you’ll see.

So, there I was, pregnant with the twins, on bed rest and under doctors orders to “avoid stress” because that could do serious damage to the delicate balance of placental tightropeing that we were in the middle of.

And then, It arrived.

A letter from scumbag lawyer, stating if I didn’t show up in another state on the date specified, my bank account would be frozen. I was like WTFYGDMFS?!?! (You can figure out my rant…. just get creative and imagine me as pissed off as I was.)

I called the Scumbag’s office and told the kid who answered the phone that I was on bed rest with high risk twins and could not get to court. I TOLD him this was settled and paid. He told me his boss, Mr. Scumbag, would call me back, and I should fax copies of the legal documents.

I faxed. I called. I called. I faxed. Day. After. Day. Stress. After. Stress. NO RESPONSE.

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Waiting to see if my bank account would freeze… or what would happen

No communication.

Stressed.

After the twins died I called the courthouse and they told me the action had been delayed.

Months later I had to go back to the court to deal with it.

I was six months pregnant with my rainbow, Liat.

I brought a friend, a lawyer who actually went with me to the cemetery the same day.

The Scumbag wasn’t there. He sent some mini scumbag in training.

Through a mess of tears, I told him, the judge and everyone within earshot that I held that cocksucking lawyer personally responsible for the death of my daughters. It was not the only factor that took them, but I believe , without a doubt, that the stress he inflicted upon me by failing to communicate properly (and according to legal guidelines) contributed to their death. The judge told me I had grounds to file a misconduct claim against him and potentially sue. His SIT (Scumbag in Training) told me that the paperwork had been filed because of a simple clerical error. ooops! They didn’t have a copy of the piece of paper I’d faxed him multiple time. Sorry!

Again, I just wanted to put the nightmare behind me so I could finish my pregnancy and focus on my precious new baby.

That was the end of the case.

I thought I had put this all behind me.

I carry a hatred in my heart for this man, and, god as my witness, there is no-one else that I can say that for on this planet. Well, Hitler. But besides him…. just that lawyer guy. His name – which is unusual and memorable- gives me anxiety, having seen it on those envelopes and court papers for so many years…. always carrying with it the stress, and now, compounded by my associations of him as partially responsible for the death of my two daughters.

So, last week, when I saw that name on an email from my new co-worker, my heart skipped a beat. And then another.

I asked him if she knew of this lawyer.

And alas, he is her brother.

Her brother.

Her brother.

My heart didn’t stop racing all day.

Why. Why did that scumbag lawyer’s sister have to be planted in the cubicle next to  mine?

At first, I tried to see it as a sign that I should forgive him. Find forgiveness in my heart and just send it through the air to him, releasing myself from it’s weight. That would be the muchy thing to do, right?

But the truth is, I can’t do that without him knowing and understanding what he did.

So I thought of writing a letter. But then I thought- “he’ll probably sue me.”

So then I thought – “hey! I can just tell his sister!” and that idea is still sitting with me, though what an awkward work relationship THAT will create, right? That being said, she already knows I dislike him

(Todays exchange:

her: My brother had 5 teeth pulled today.
Me: Ouch. was he in a lot of pain?
her: yes.
Me: Good.)

But then, as I found myself, earlier this week, cowering under my desk having a panic attack (for the record, that’s not something I generally have) I thought- MAYBE it’s just a sign that I am not supposed to be here.

Which, well, I already knew as soon as HR told me I wasn’t allowed to wear shorts to the office.

I don’t work so well with “not alloweds”.

…wondering if any of my coworkers have bothered to google me. Maybe I’m hoping they do and she can just read this whole drama and I will get it off my chest without ever having to address it.

In other news, I’ve been making it a point to be EXTRA muchy at this office. I think it actually annoys some of the people there, who would rather drown in their sourpuss grayness.

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I skip through those hallways like a dash of blinding light. Those who are not allergic to joy seem to appreciate it.

Next week, Neon.

The secret to seeing light over darkness

I know you know what it feels like to be angry. Really, really angry. It’s like a fire burning in your gut. You want to lash out and scream. Maybe hit something and inflict pain upon the source of your anger. Even the quieter anger has an undercurrent of that red hot fire. Like a cartoon version of anger, with steam blowing out your ears, or the evil witch with fire in her eyes…
Some people live with a fire of anger burning inside of them, lashing out because they’re burning up from the inside out.
But what happens when you dont want to live like that, and so the fire goes out, but the anger remains?
You’re left with ash.
I recently read a baby loss mom describe feeling as though her insides were filled with black ash and I thought “I know that feeling well.”
When Liat began to grow, from a tiny little bean, into the incredible baby I ultimately gave birth to, I was filled with ash.
The flames of anger had burned through my very soul until they had nothing left to devour.
I’m a very visual person and I remember lying in bed one night imagining this little ray of light, my tiny new fetus, glowing through the blackness of my insides.
In my mind this little ray of light had to push through the black and the soot fighting for her right to shine.
In a way, I started wearing the sequins to help her. I wore the sequins to connect me to her light. I wore them as a way to make up for the darkness inside me, as an apology to my new baby for being forced to grow surrounded by the darkness of my pain and grief.
When Liat was born, with her blond hair, pale skin, bright hazel eyes and easy smile, she honestly embodied light. Strangers would often, randomly refer to her as “Sunshine”- which was ironically, her sisters name, and remark on her warm, loving & happy energy.

As she’s gotten older, I continue to be amazed at the sweetness of her nature and wonder if she’d still be that way if I hadn’t found some light during my pregnancy.

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I was six months pregnant here. Only 9 months after the loss. I remember this day so well, I was somewhere between deep grief and an aching desire to feel happy. We had so many friends over for our annual vegan-fest (Annual in that it was the only one we’ve ever had. :) )  and I wore that shirt because Liat and I looked like a disco ball in it and it always made other people smile.

smilejoy

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We choose how we want our moments to feel. We choose our perspective and we choose how we show up the world.

What’s your choice?

5 ways to keep your Muchness During the Holidays

Ohhh, the holidays are upon us!! That exciting time when the energy is electrified with good cheer and happy people, where we spend carefree days and nights surrounded by our extended family, decorating the house while singing happy songs, eating yummy food, baking cookies and just enjoying the perfectness of it all! 

I know, right? Just writing that shit makes me feel a bit like barfing.

The holidays are hard. HARD.

Everybody with their oversized expectations, undersized budgets, chaos, drama, conflict, stress…

I was recently asked “How can a person keep their Muchness during the holidays?” and my first thought?

Don’t do what you don’t want to do. 

I know. Sounds impossible, right? We spend so much time trying to accommodate everyone else, how on earth are we supposed to not do what we don’t want to do?

Well, let me let you in on a secret. You don’t HAVE to do what you don’t want to do. Don’t want to travel four hours to spent an uptight dinner with your annoying relatives? Don’t. Will you be unpopular? Maybe, for a few minutes, but so what? You are the pilot of your own life and if you would rather have a quiet dinner at home with your buddies Lean and Cuisine, that is a perfectly valid decision.

But, since I live on planet earth and recognize that that is really hard for most people, I’m gonna give you 5 other ways to keep your Muchness at the Holidays.

1- Set your expectations low. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting things from people beyond the bare bones basics. The only one who walks around disappointed in the end is you. (PS- that doesn’t mean to give up all hope that the holidays can run smooth and beautiful, hopefully they can and your family members will all be in perfect form. Just don’t expect it.)

2- As My grandmother says “just because someone drives their crazy train into your station, doesn’t mean you have to purchase a ticket and hop on board.” Don’t get on anyone else’s crazy train. It is never worth it.

3- Expect your emotions to be a little off-kilter. In the baby loss community, it’s a well-known fact that the holidays bring with them shadow sadness. Even if everything is perfect (and maybe especially if they’re perfect) the feelings of missing those who aren’t there is especially acute. If you are aware that you might feel this way, it makes going with the flow a bit easier to handle. ***Note: this is not just about loss- it can be about sadness that the year has passed and maybe you didn’t accomplish all you set out to do… whatever the emotion that rests below the surface, just let it be what it want’s to be and accept it’s presence.

4- Create a tradition. DO NOT create a plan that is going to stress you out more. Do something small, meaningful, or significant to you in a way that only you know. If there is someone you miss, something that brings you sadness, take that exact thing and make it into something that puts a smile on your face and keeps you connected to that sadness, but gives you a reason to celebrate the love that is there.

5- Wear a Muchy festive sweater! Of course!! By the way, I’m totally serious. In the tradition of Fuit cake and well, ugly festive sweaters, go put one on! Wear it with a a big ol’ self-deprecating smile and take comfort in knowing that you are being proactive in giving other people a reason to smile. And those other people, the ones that roll their eyes and think mean things? Take comfort in knowing they just need a little Muchness in their lives!

OK, so, I’m no fool. I know the chances of you purchasing a holiday sweater are slim. So I’ve taken the liberty of compiling this  selection of Totally muchy and easily wearable tops. Scroll through- there’s stuff in all size ranges and all price points. I’d love to see pics of you wearing some happy, light reflecting Muchness this holiday!!

Tova’s Muchness Pic of the Day + Muchness Hunting!

This past weekend I went to a Bar Mitzvah and I wore some super Muchtastic Muchness:

Because I got a bunch of compliments and was told I looked like a breath of fresh air, (and because it’s fun for me :-)) I went looking online for similar Muchy looks to share with you!!

Check it out!

 

 

 

 

Love this- I think it’s so fun and forgiving.
DKNY Short Sleeve Sequin Shift Dress by DKNY – $276

 

 

 

 

SHOES!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, My Muchness Band!

 

 

Balance… Something I’ve been looking for a lot lately. (Especially on that chair. 😉 )

 

Muchness meets Photography- Day 5!!

Shoes aren’t supposed to scare me. I didn’t go into this store to fulfill todays challenge. I went in because I AWAYS go in. This store is across the street from my office and it’s where I buy almost all my shoes. Today, I went in because they received a whole bunch of fall merchandise and, despite my budget which means I’ll likely get NO new shoes this season (so sad ;-( ) I HAD to see what they were selling.

Behold:

Quilted and studded

“delicate” mini studs everywhere

Studs on the pumps and studs on the loafers

The shelf: Studs, studs, steel toes and studs

The craziest ones there.

These scared me for 2 reasons.

1- The aforementioned budget.

2- There was no color! And, as much as I like these shoes in theory – they are bold and loud and over-the-top – they are also, well, kinda angry looking. I don’t want to walk around in angry shoes. I want to walk around in shoes that make people smile and say “Oh! Those are so happy!” …which happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I WEAR THESE:

I’m gonna head on over to NastyGal now and drool a bit.

Then I’m gonna go to my basement (AKA: Muchness Command Center) and Muchify a certain pair of boots from last season….

…see… it DOES exist!