Archive | November 2014

Black Friday Woes: Diary of a Mad Crafter


First off, lets get this coupon out of the way 🙂 Here is a %15 off entire purchase of $40 or more from LuSimply with the code OLAF15. Coupon ends on December2, 2014 at 12am. Orders are ready and shipped in 3-5 days of confirmed payment.

So this past week was my first time doing Black Friday all three days…as in Thursday, Friday and the buttcrack of dawn on Saturday.

How did I manage all three days and still have some money left over? The hopes that my business will kick off this winter validated me paying for it. Let’s go through the steps how this happened.

On Thursday it was Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Turkey Memorial Day, etc. On my way back from family, I stopped by Michael’s craft store and bought some material. Then I went over to Hancock Fabrics, bought more fabric and thread for my sewing machine. Friday I went over to a small business called Sewing Machine out here near Colisuem Blvd. Bought my second sewing machine this week so that my sister could use it. Then we went to Joann’s and bought even more fabric, colored glue, etc for our hats and plushies for LuSimply. We eventually made our way to target and bought 2 DVDS that my younger sister LaVana wanted.


FROZEN OLAF Double Sided Hat Blue by LuSimply

Saturday had to been my craziest day ever. I went to bed around midnight that morning, on my sewing machine for several hours making Olaf hats. I woke up around 600 and couldn’t fall asleep. I laid there thinking for a bit. I’m not able to fall back to sleep. Joann’s is having a big sale on their fabrics. Up to 70% off printed and solid coloured fleece. I could go and stock up for my craft show coming up.


So I got up, freshened up, threw on some sweats, asked my sister if she wanted to come (she moaned NO and rolled over), and headed out the door. When I got to the store, there were crafters already there. Some were in their cars and others in line. Let me tell you, it’s winter here in Indiana. It’s cold. I already got my butt out here, but I am not waiting anywhere I can see my breath.

The store didn’t open until 700 and I reached roughly 5 minutes till. I instantly knew when the doors slid open. Car doors slammed, peaople sped walked to the entrance, carts flew down the aisles. It was like a car race. People were lined up in the front with their cart at the entrance, while the people behind mentally prepared their route to the fabric.

The doors opened and chaos…didn’t ensue surprisingly.

When I made my way over to the fabric, people were grabbing like crazy the bolts of fabric that lined along the aisle. SOme to the point that they were falling off their carts. I began to grab some that caught my interest and realized with great horror, I still have to get them cut. That was a long in itself. People were pulling numbers and waiting for their fabric to be cut.

To hell with that!!

As I weaved in and out of the crowd with my cart, debating if I hadn’t lost my mind already, I saw a small classroom in the back with a few people in it. Curious, I headed there wondering why they weren’t scourging around like everyone else and their grandma (literally). And to my little hearts content, there were precut fabric.


So I tossed by bolts onto the closest table and started grabbing fabric. They were 2 yards. More than enough for my projects. Once I collected my spoils I made my way out of the classroom, happy and content with my finds. I’m not planning on dying today by standing in that hellish line. Nope. Not this girl.

I was there for only an hour. But it seemed longer with the crowd, talking with other crafters and some coworkers I saw there.


SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL kawaii plushies by LuSimply


SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL kawaii plushies by LuSimply

I made it home by 800. I thought I would be tired by then but wasn’t. So I worked on a few more projects that have been on my mind including #minions and #sailorscouts.

Would I do this ever again?

If I can’t sleep, you can see me next year.


My Hands are Numb…Crochet Fever

This is more of a personal blog. As I type this up, I am sitting in my kitchen looking outside the window at a very vivid image from my imagination: snow. Indiana, you owe us a spring. You owe us a summer…heck, I think fall was not even a month. LaVana and I traveled for 2 weeks and we come back and all the leaves are gone. Oh well, I shall be leaving soon for my island home for more adventures with YME.

As you see on my main page, I’m all about conservation and crafting. Now that it is winter, my hats have been crafting non-stop making hats, scarves and blankets for my friends and their families.


It’s not easy but  I enjoy the look on my customer’s faces when they get their handmade gifts. They can see the details that go into each and every one of them. They realize that it takes time. I work during the day as a substitute assistant in the community schools. When I come home I get a snack and begin crocheting while eating.

Each hat is at least 3 hours. I have spent easily 6 hours on this last hat called Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony. #mylittlepony #twilghtsparkle #maybeneveragain



IMG_20141114_163022I’m growing still as a person and as a business owner. It’s amazing the ideas one can come up with when people want to know if you can custom make a particular item for them. The wheels in your head are turning and the nights are long. You know there are going to be several pieces to the project and each piece may need a particular color of yarn that you would have to go out and buy for this project.



Made a Spider from the game Don’t Starve for my sister 🙂

In the end, I love and enjoy every bit of it. I’m getting over a fever from these long nights and the rapid change in weather. Check out my LuSimply Etsy and Facebook page for more pictures and Christmas gifts.

Till next time!



Reaching Across All Sciences: A Personal View from A Socio-Anthropologist at #SCCSNY2014


LaVana on one of her many adventures. This one is in Arizona.

Hello everyone! This weeks’ article is from my lovely younger sister, LaVana. I wanted to show how the conference in NYC this past October was not only for those in the conservation area. LaVana is a well versed and culturally aware young woman. She holds a Masters in Madarin Chinese from Valparaiso University in Indiana and an undergrad in Cross-Cultural Communications and World Affairs. Her skills and expertise in studying cultures and social norms have taken her around the world through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe throughout her education.

She has lived in China for 6+ months and has studied the language for over 6 years. During those 6 months, she immersed herself in both the language and culture of the society she stayed. This summer, she taught an Introduction to Chinese Culture at IPFW, a university in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The purpose of this course was to stimulate interest in high school students to want to continue Chinese as a potential language in college. The course focused on Chinese history, radicals and grammar, social norms, and basic vocabulary and numbers. Her Bachelors is in Cross-Cultural Communications and World Affairs where she studies the mannerisms and cultural differences of societies and how to find a common ground. She was the first to do this major and made a small travel and safety guide of her experiences for her thesis.

LaVana (Left) and student (right) in Egypt.

So as you can see, she is not the average Masters student. She chose Chinese as an easier language than Spanish…SPANISH!! I am very proud of her and her accomplishments. Here is her viewpoint on the Student Conference for Conservation Science 2014.


This year I was lucky enough to participate in the 4th Annual Student Conference on Conservation Science held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York. The event itself lasted for three days, the first two filled with speakers and the last day with dotted with workshops and prizes. Various students and teachers with ranging degrees gathered to listen to students and professionals, network, and discuss about their future goals. Though my field of science deals more with cultural and social aspects, I found that I had more in common with the conference similar to any loving environmentalist.

The conference, to me, was more than just networking and listening to the latest projects on conservation. It focused heavily on guidance, passion and personal goals for those in the scientific community. Throughout the presentations, one including a public discussion with mentors on conservation such as Dr. Ayana Johnson, Dr. John Cigliano, Dr. Lekeliah (Kiki) Jenkins, and moderated by Dr. Eleanor J. Sterling, I picked up on many important underlining messages. Such messages focused on finding mentors, passion and career goals, important aspects that, I found reached even into my field of science. My sister, Luanettee’ Colebrooke, has a Master’s Degree in Environmental science and asked Dr. Kiki Jenkins and other professionals regarding personal and career topics. She was told that seeking guidance from individuals who share your passion is very important, as well as sticking to your beliefs and what you want to personally achieve. No matter what others say, there is a will and way to reach your dreams. There were other personal questions, yet I felt that this was a key element to everyone there pursuing a higher degree. Personally, it was very refreshing to see predominant female scientists attend the conference, aiming for their PhDs and with their PhDs.

I considered myself very grateful and blessed to have experienced this conference and meet such extraordinary people. I felt empowered, the motivation, goals and viewpoints of those who have been there and are currently going through attaining higher degrees and pursuing their research, successfully keep the flames of passion alive! It can be disheartening to have such a flame die out because that person thinks no one will support them or it cannot be attained. Yet people like Dr. Kiki are showing that anything is possible and knowing the ropes to go about it helps.

If possible, I would love to return next year and experience this event again. In fact, I encourage anyone interested, be it in the same scientific field or others like myself, to attend similar student focused conferences. It creates new friends, exchanging ideas and information, connect hearts, and rekindle personal flames. It can help to fuel your passion, which will one day surely change our world for the better. Till the next one.


Isn’t she grand?

Do you know anyone who would benefit from such an experience? Let me know in the comments section below and I will post more information in another post for future events at the American Museum of Natural History.

Empowering Women in the Sciences


Getting some breakfast with LaVana.

A few weeks ago, I was privileged and honoured to attend the American Natural History Museum 4th Annual Student Conference for Conservation Science in New York City. It was an event lead by several representatives of the museum  (Dr. Felicity Arengo, Kristin Douglas, Margaret Law, Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski, and Dr. Sterling: SCCS-NY Content and Logistics Coordination) and the attendance was outnumbered by my sistas to the males. In my estimate, it was easily a 3:1 ratio of women to men. I was literally saying “Girl Power!” throughout the event as I networked to young women because I was so proud to see that their interests are being encouraged.


I will ALWAYS encourage my little sister to be more than what the world thinks of her because she is a woman of colour. Hat from: LuSimply

Yes, I would consider myself as a feminist in the sense that I believe women should be socially, culturally, and economically treated as equals to males when doing the same amount of work based on their careers. That it is her choice when it comes to her body, mind and spirit. Most importantly, I am a firm believer in saying positive affirmations to all females regardless of their situations and backgrounds to create a spark of hope in their darkest times whether it is with work, relationships, or even their self esteem.

I say all of this to express one of my deepest desires: for more females to partake in the sciences without being judged by their sex. I wish this because I want to be able to talk to another young woman and tell her that she can and will become an excellent contribution to the overall science and math areas. It is still a developing norm  that more and more females are being recognized as highly and favorably as our male counterparts.  Throughout my journeys to and from The Bahamas, my father has used me as an example in several classes as a positive career model. Many girls in the classroom would tell me what they wish to do, and those that mentioned anything in the math or sciences were laughed at and teased. They are told by several of their peers, both male and female, that they cannot do it because they are girls. That only guys can do it.


Left to Right: Dr. Earl and Myself.

And yes, I do know that there are many well known women out there such as the wonderful Dr. Sylvia Earl, as seen in the photo above. I was able to meet with her personally after one of her talks during the 2nd Annual Bahamas Natural History Conference in March of 2014. Her speech was inspirational. It was interesting hearing her and how her passion continues to grow each and every day for the ocean and its conservation. Especially how The Bahamas has a very dear spot in her hearts. This marvelous woman is still diving and travelling all over the world. Another example is Dr. Diane Claridge and Charlotte Dunn of the Bahamas Marine Mammal research Organization. They are the few diamonds in the rough when I wish to see so much more diamonds.


Left to Right: Dr. Kiki Jenkins, Me, and Dr. Ayana Johnson.

At the ANHM, I had mentioned a few exceptional people that LaVana, my younger sister, and I had met including Dr. John Cigliano, Dr. Kiki Jenkins and Dr. Ayana Johnson. During the workshops that we had attended on the last day, the morning and afternoon sessions were both paneled by all females. Each one of these women were either PhD candidates or PhDs already. They each had something unique to offer to the workshops. The workshop my sister and I attended was called “What am I going to do with the Rest of my Life?! Careers in Conservation.”


Some of my notes taken during the “What am I going to do with the Rest of my Life […]” afternoon workshop.

Again, I highly enjoyed how blunt and honest these women were with us. They did not sugar coat anything and did not try to give us false hope. They answered my questions honestly and thoughtfully even though they dealt mainly with working in a ‘man’s world’ of science and how to combat it as they climbed the ladder. Rae Wynn-Grant and Alexandria Sutton are two very powerful women that the world needs to look out for. They spent a good chunk of their portion of the workshop talking to the group about their experiences and the influences that shape a PhD before they finalized at their respective institutions.

So if you are a girl or even a young woman who wants to pursue the sciences, GO AHEAD. There is only so much words can do to stop you. Once you are on your own and make the mental decision to live your life and live for yourself, you can do it!! There will be hard times. There will be trials. In the end, it will be worth it because you showed the world, and most importantly, yourself that you can do it!!


A magnet I found on my adventures at BMMRO this summer 🙂