Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Listography


  • Joined a girl named Nancy in her crime-fighting adventures and almost finished the challenge.
  • I went back to school--style school-- and made lots of things
  • More snow than I've ever seen in my entire life, and I loved it!
  • Worked (a lot).
  • Indulged my senses.
  • Spent some quality time with the best family a girl could ask for. They make excellent co-conspirators.
  • Created memories with people who will put up with me (aka friends).
  • A whole year without (in-person) girl talk and silliness with this girl.
I've been blessed with a good year. Here's to 2011. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet Suzy


Evidently, this is the first doll* I ever owned. Considering I got her in 1976, she looks pretty good (don't mind the missing finger) for a gal her age. I don't remember much about her other than she was a favorite. Anyway, my mom and I attempted** to clean out a box of my old stuff while I was home, and it was decided that Suzy was coming home with me.

* A little internet research reveals that she's part of the Fisher Price "My Friend Doll" series. "Audrey" was on sale from 1974-1976. Ha! I scoff at given names and declared her "Suzy".
** Someone had a hard time letting some things go. Hint: it wasn't me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Honeysuckle 18-2120

I am such a sucker for Pantone's color of the year announcement. To be frank, I find it more exciting and relevant than the Oscar for Best Picture. A couple of weeks ago Pantone revealed honeysuckle as the color for 2011. 

I wouldn't balk at adding a little honeysuckle to my life :-)

**Sadly, all of these images came via Google images with the exception of the first image, which is from the official Pantone site.**

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Line in the sand

Let's talk about guns.

Grandma with a shotgun
photo by Geoffrey Fairchild

To be honest, I don't really know where I stand on the issue. Actually, the problem is that I keep leaping from one side to the other much like Frogger. I think the world would be a better place if no one owned a gun. Perhaps this is a bit cynical, but I just don't think that will realistically ever happen. So, if guns are going to exist, where does that leave me?

When you look up pacifist on the Web, Merriam-Webster tells you that describing yourself or something as pacifist means strongly and actively opposed to conflict and especially war. Wikipedia goes on more of a long-winded tear about the various forms of pacifism and the differing degrees to which people take it. I have always considered myself a pacifist in the sense that I detest violence and am opposed to war and other acts in that vein.

Snapshot: Woman with Shotgun
photo by robot_zombie_monkey

I do believe that, if a genocide is truly happening*, it is up to someone to step in. I also believe in self defense and taking care of my loved ones. Remember Christmas a couple of years ago? What about hunting? I think hunting for food is acceptable, while the killing of another creature for sport is a bit insane.

Why this conversation at this particular time? Because people frighten me, and I need to admit it. The evening news, the morning paper and any number of popular TV shows tell tales hour after hour of the horrific deeds we do to our fellow man. Because I shouldn't be afraid to go to my project site alone on a Sunday and run into two men just hanging out. I shouldn't worry on the evenings when my mom doesn't answer her cell right away that someone has broken into their house and is holding them hostage. I shouldn't have less than six degrees of separation from multiple women who have been raped.

So...sometimes I find myself thinking that one day I might want to own a shotgun, and this, too, scares me.

Carole Lombard: Armed and Dangerous
photo by Michael Donovan

I remember Kasey Wheeless ending his life with a gun in high school and another kid who lost his life when he and his friends were messing around with a gun they thought wasn't loaded. Fear isn't a reason to own a gun. No good can come when arming the paranoid (not that I'm paranoid).

Where do I stand? Maybe I should just stop watching TV and following the news. ;-)

What about you?

*We're not talking hidden weapons of mass destruction here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A decidedly hectic December

Highlights of the last couple of weeks. December was busy (as it should be) but not enough to stress me out. I took a chill pill early on this month, and it seems to have been the right dosage.

she works hard for her money
workity work

an even better master
a fun little diy to make a vintage View-Master more special

Ravena searching for her tree
helping Ravena pick out her Christmas tree

Steven at Merry...happy..
Steven + cupcakes at Scarlet's play, Merry, Happy...What?

our new pink tree
and enjoying the new pink Christmas tree at my mom's

Thursday, December 09, 2010

What doesn't belong?

Last night I spent an hour and a half in the Bass Pro Shop searching for waterproof boots or waders to encase my large feet. After struggling with more than my fair share of boots, I finally determined that it wasn't the size of my foot that was keeping me from finding something to keep my feet dry in the middle of a river but was instead my extremely high instep.

Photo by Luigi Anzivino

Not to be defeated, I marched over to the waders. As I combed through the display, pulling and stretching as necessary, I wondered if I could indeed pull them off. Before giving it too much more thought, the box was in my hand, and I was dodging holiday shoppers on my way to the fitting room.

wader - clay - mud - 22
Photo by Welliefreak

Well, boys and girls, it was not a pretty site. Do you remember that episode of Friends where Ross wears a pair of new leather pants on a date? That was me in the dressing room. I've never made sausage, but I reckon I now know what it's like to shove sausage into that casing. Clearly, neoprene is not for me.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas in Middleburg

little German tree

We spent Saturday at Christmas in Middleburg (Virginia). The citizens of Middleburg are very into horses and fox hunts. I* spotted the little tree above tucked into the corner of a Christmas shop and was excited to bring it home and add it to my Christmas vignette. The store itself was filled with innumerable Christmas treasures, most of which came from Germany. 

*Technically, Steven found it.

The list

In recent years, my mom has asked for a list of things I might want for Christmas, which is often so hard to do. There's a part of me that still loves the excitement of opening presents and seeing what someone picked out just for you. It's the little kid in me still hoping for my own version of the Red Ryder BB Gun. This little girl is at odds with the person who really wants everyone to embrace mindful spending and keep the focus of this holiday season on togetherness, family and the small joys.

Still...I put together my list of a few things, any of which would make me ecstatic.

Christmas 2010

Not pictured but also on my list of potentials were a fly-fishing rod from LL Bean, lots of tights, and Nancy Drew or graffiti books.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dirty Sexy Politics: The 30-second Review

My grandfather and I share a love of books. While our tastes may sometimes differ, it's a mutual love I like to encourage. My grandfather has always had an amazing library of books. They used to be the primary feature (at least in my childlike mind) of the large walk-in closet he shared with my grandma, and now bookshelves line the walls of his bedroom/living room. I remember sneaking into his closet when I was little so that I could sit on the floor and flip through the stacks and stacks of National Geographic magazines.

As I've stated before, trading political barbs tends to be one of our past-times. With that in mind, I told him he was allowed to get me one "Republican" book for my birthday, but it could only be Meghan McCain's campaign memoir, Dirty Sexy Politics. I respect John McCain, and despite our differing politics, think he* ran a pretty above board campaign. I also love a good behind-the-scenes campaign book that promises to give me a little bit of juicy gossip combined with my politics. Add to that the fact that Meghan McCain isn't afraid to be her own person and bend to the political will of her party, and I was sold (at least on reading the book).

Dirty Sexy Politics didn't disappoint. It's a quick and easy read that I devoured in a few hours. It's not the tell-all of a devout political insider. In fact, this was probably a saving grace for me. She largely steers clear of talking about specific political issues, and this helped keep my blood pressure in check. Instead, she focuses a lot on the process, the personal relationships and what it means to grow up and develop into a free-thinking individual. It doesn't hurt that I'm pretty sure she might have almost as much disdain for Sarah Palin as I do.

I knew from reading a few of her articles on Daily Beast and following her on Twitter that she isn't afraid to speak her mind. She has frequently spoken out on body image**, human rights and the Republican party's inability to truly change. You get all of that and a little more in the book. It's a pretty humanizing tale about trying to find your place in the world. I'd recommend it for just about you R or D.

*Just him. My anger at the tactics of other loonies (because let's face it...some of them really are insane) in the party will be saved for another day.
**Republican pundits began to refer to her as fat as a way to attack and hopefully silence her.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sometimes I want to shout from rooftops

Even though this little bugger didn't survive, I love my job. This week my heart just overflowed with fondness for it, and I needed to tell the world how thankful I am.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spirited away

I decided I wasn't going to put up my Christmas tree this year. My tiny apartment just feels extra full, and there's a part of me that just can't be bothered. The problem with this decision is that I love Christmas and decorating. After helping Steven put up his tree over a couple of holiday movies, I needed to do something.

I got kind of addicted to paper chain making after last year's holiday cabin adventure, so I grabbed some old magazines and started hacking away. Throw in some bubble lights and the beginning of my brush bottle forest, and you've got yourself a little cheer.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving, gang. I've been using the day after to do a little day dreaming.

Photo by Scarlet Rose

I dream. I dream of a cottage with a garden and sunlit studio. Gabled roofs and bay windows*.

There is also a piece of me buried not so deep that wants to acquire one of these beauties and traverse the country collecting and telling stories. Teaching and learning.

Sunset and Airstream
Photo by Rich Luhr

Inspired by listening to Don Davis speak and his current research** into the forgotten people of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. This is a man who understands culture and history and the importance of human relationships to the evolution of our landscape. Geeky and random, but I get excited by ideas like this.

Three Hills Street Freaks Show
Photo by James Tworow

Think I can convince my j-o-b to let me be their roving office for six months while I spread the gospel of river restoration? Hahaha. Yeah, me neither.

Photo by Volker Neumann

I've been completely devouring this blog (Delightfully Tacky), so it's only natural my wanderlust has been triggered :-)

*There’s also a nice smelling man in this scenario.
**I want to read one of his newer books, Washed Away? The Invisible Peoples of Louisiana’s Wetlands.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

With a little help from my friends

My mom drove me to my conference in Galveston last week. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of Texas, that's roughly an 8 hour drive (9 when you factor in stops).

From the sparse desert to the coastal estuary we roadtripped, and like any good journey, we needed some theme music. I went with a combination of old school and newer indie folk with a little Willie Nelson thrown in for good measure (because, seriously, what's better than driving through Texas with a little Willie). I thought I'd share our playlist below (though these versions may not match). Some hits, some misses but a good time all around.

As for the beach shots, don't be jealous. The two pictures I've posted are as close as I ever got to the beach.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Room with a view

This week has been difficult. Work. Stress. The positive? The view from my hotel room.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last train to Clarksville

Today was my last day in San Angelo (this trip), so we did a bit more roaming around the town. I've been wanting to see the newest exhibit at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller.

While the building is cool and a symbol of one of the better things about San Angelo, one of the things that keeps it from being truly outstanding is that the space is really only conducive to hosting one or two exhibits at a time. Flaws of weak exhibits glitter under the neon sign of failure, and even strong offerings by the museum can be a bit of a let down when they take all of 10 minutes to enjoy. Everyone likes a quickie every now and then, but sometimes you want something you can really sink your teeth into.

Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed the Herman Miller exhibit largely because I had no expectations. I was impressed with the effort they put into the graphic displays and telling the story. Was there much in the way of actual furniture? Not really. Most of what was on display can be found at some of the better thrift stores and antique malls around the country. Disconcerting that I've touched and sat in originals like the ones on display and yet was unable to even take a photo today.

The museum was also hosting an Indian festival today, so be browsed a couple of the tables there, and I took up their offer of a bindhi. I think I'm hooked. I want to wear one every day :-)

For lunch, we headed to Miss Hattie's for one of the burgers Texas Monthly dubbed one of the best in Texas. In addition to the tasty burger (I had the Triple XXX), I like the tawdry history of Miss Hattie's in that it was a bordello until 1946. The irony of passing under a White Ribbon Against Pornography banner just a couple of blocks away was not lost on me.

It was a nice way to spend my last day in San Angelo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

When geese attack

My day felt a little like this. And, yes, I really did get chased by a goose tonight. This fella here is my proof.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

June Cleaver

Pyrex. Oh those coveted bowls and dishes. They are sought, collected, displayed and cherished by people all around the country.

eight more reasons to love my thrifty meme
Photo by Tofutti Break

My own beady eyes have scanned shelves at thrift stores for the pretty colors and patterns, attracted to simple styling and sturdiness, and I know I'm not alone. I've generally got a pal by my side who is just as enamored and cradling a slew of stacked bowls in her arms.

Photo by Leigh Kelsey

I never really stopped to think about why, past the aesthetic appeal, owning Pyrex provided such satisfaction. However, as I began making dinner at my mom's house tonight, I found myself headed to that familiar shelf in the cabinet where she keeps her Pyrex casserole dishes. As I pulled it down, I realized that it's the connection to my past and the stories of growing up that drive me to inadvertently seek out that Pyrex casserole dish.

While just a piece of glass, the brand is also my grandmother teaching me how to make a lasagna...Thanksgivings around the kitchen table...watching my mom make crazy cakes (Better Than Sex cake, anyone?) for special occasions.

Pyrex Museum, Bremerton, WA
Photo by Curtis Cronn

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Come away with me

Louis Vuitton released these pretty darned creative video guides in an effort to promote the launch of their new city guides. I have a soft spot for quirky videos. The combination of their brevity, visual eye candy and delivery of off-beat facts totally lured me in. Now I just need to find the time and money for a few international jaunts this coming year. :-)

Louis Vuitton city guide Berlin from Doc News on Vimeo.

First seen on Honestly, WTF.

Monday, November 08, 2010

No country for old men

Note: I apologize for all the Texas posting, folks. I'm not obsessed. It's just so much easier to capture my memories and thoughts of the state while I'm knee-deep in the culture. I'm here 'til the 18th, so bear with me.

The West Texas landscape is unforgiving. Mile after mile of mesquite and cactus. Dry creek beds where, in more hospitable climates, you would see water flowing.

Back when I called Texas home, the drive was something to be endured. Highways became familiar and monotonous after traveling to Friday away games in the back of a yellow bus, weekend getaways and Sunday drives. However, time and distance provide a refreshed perspective. Stark transforms into beautiful. Flat suddenly feel expansive, providing breathing room for days.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I turned 35 today. Holy cow. For the first time in 12 years, I spent my birthday in Texas. My pictures.


more studios
We hit up Saturday at the Chicken Farm Art Center.

We ended up running into a parade on our way downtown. I tried to tell myself the celebration was for me.


modeling fur bag
Modeling a bag we decided would be better suited to life as a pet.

the Cactus Hotel
Wandering around downtown.

new bowl
A bowl my mom bought for me at the Chicken Farm.

vintage clip-on bow ties
Vintage bow ties I picked up. So excited to use these for future crafty endeavors.

birthday dinner

Italian Cream Birthday Cake
Cake :-)