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Creative Casey's Blog

Friday, December 30, 2016

Creative Gift Giving

I had purchased this aroma therapy wrap bracelet at the Charleston market back in April from LowCountryEclectic: and I loved it.  I wore it to work all of the time to help reduce my stress and probably looked pretty funny sniffing the bracelet from time to time when I was desperate for some calmness.

I got to thinking that this is something I could make and mail to my friends for Christmas. Many of them work in stressful environments and I thought they could benefit from this bracelet. I ordered all of the supplies; faux leather, clasps, findings, bottles and lavender on Amazon. Then I had the landscape artist at my place of work keep his eyes out for some good wood to recycle.  He ended up bringing me some awesome Crape Myrtle branches that dry and look wonderful.  My brother-in-law helped me to cut the little pieces of wood (since I like my fingers to much and didn't want any accidents). Then I pulled out the sander and drill to finish the wooden pieces and ready them for actual use.  Then end result was pretty awesome. Everyone seems to enjoying them.  Avg. supply cost was about $50 but it made at least 10 bracelets before I had to buy more faux leather and then I was able to make another 12 without needing anymore supplies.

Next I focused on creating a couple of napkin/mail holders.  I got this idea from my soul sister at Lipstick on a Pig in Newberry, SC: My sister and I both purchased these at her place earlier this year for $10!  I examined it and realized this would make another great gift at a low cost that I could make for someone.  I found an SC license plate at an antique place in June for about 3.50 and earlier this fall I found 2 long pieces of brand new plywood sitting next to the Complex dumpster. I hulled them up to my 4th floor apartment and stored them on my patio. I also asked my friend who lives in NM but is from Michigan and devoted to Michigan to send me her old plates.  I used the saw (myself this time) to cut 2 pieces of plywood down to the correct size to be the base. I stained them both and then used the end of an extra piece of plywood to put the license plate over and gently I worked on pounding the license plate down over the plywood to create the bend. I think using a soft mallet would have also worked.  Once the license plate was bent on drilled matching holes on the plate and plywood and followed up with using 2 screws to hold the plate and plywood together.  Fairly easily and a great look/talking piece.

2 halfs in 2 months

I don't no what possessed me but I signed up for and completed two half marathons in 5 weeks.  First up was the Rock n' Roll Savannah, GA half.  My goal was to complete it without running. I met a couple of fun ladies while waiting for the race to begin and I the spectators throughout the entire race were awesome. I have to say it was probably the most fun I've ever had doing a half.  My time was 2:09. Not to shabby but by far my best.  I didn't walk or stop and I had fun so I count this one as a success!

Next up was the Kiawah Island, SC half. I had been working on increasing my speed during the 3 weeks right after Savannah. Then I got hit with a bad cold about a week before the race and that took its toll on my body and mind.  It was also projected to be very cold during this race so I was less enthusiastic about this one.  Originally I wanted to decrease my overall time but due to everything just mentioned I went back to my goal of just surviving and not walking.  While Kiawah Island is a beautiful place to visit it was quite boring to run for 13.1 miles. Just lots of trees with some spectators hear and there. I didn't even really get to view the ocean. And yes it was freezing and difficult to breathe at the beginning.  I was lucky though and met my goal of not walking and ironically came in at the exact same time as the Savannah half at 2:09. 

This was my 4th half marathon that I completed. Hard to believe. If you would have asked me 3 years ago after my first half marathon I would have told you I wouldn't have run another but this year I ran 3!! And to make things more nutty I came back and signed up for some more long distance races for next year; the Daybreak 10 miler in Columbia, SC and the Diva Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach.

I also received an early Christmas present and was lucky enough to be given a Fitbit Charge 2. So excited to do my first workout/run with it!