Friday, December 26, 2008

Month in review: Decemb-rrrrrrrrr

In my part of the country we had an exceptionally cold and snowy Decemb-rrrrr. My city isn't used to any snow at all so when we get some, the whole place falls apart. Roads close, stores run out of milk and eggs, people don't leave their houses for days on end. Our local weather reporters go nutty, working people into a thick and delicate froth before such storms hit. I got stuck in a large one-stop shop on the eve of the snowstorm. I was trapped in line for nearly an hour behind a couple with 20 loaves of bread and 10 gallons of milk, "stocking up". People ate their dinner in line fresh out of their shopping carts, talked on their cell phones, and caught up (as I did) on all the tabloids and crazy cookie recipes in Woman's Day and Martha and everything in between.

I haven't been out of the house since, and that was about 10 days ago.
As I write this, I have about 12-14 inches of snow at my house a
nd that's a record breaker in these parts. Our roads are a mess, and we can't even get out of our driveway. I'm slowly feeling the effects of Cabin Fever set in, and it is not pretty.

On my plate
. Being trapped inside has its advantages, I suppose. I baked my little heart out the week before Christmas. I think I averaged one b
aked good per day. Just today (as I was baking scones) my measuring spoon scraped the bottom of my baking powder tin, which was new about 2 months ago.First up were the delicious Outrageous Chocolate Cookies from Everyday Food (pictured above)

Next were Almond Macaroons from the Martha Cookie Book.

Then I made Nordy Bars, my mom's recipe. These are a throwback to my teen years. Nordstrom department stores used to sell these (although I don't remember where since they didn't have espresso stands back in the day). But I'm wondering if they will ever bring them back? They are so freaking good. The kind of cookie that tastes better about a day after you bake them. They contain butterscotch chips, a stick of butter, chocolate chips, and marshmallows, just to give you an idea of their goey goodness. You can find the recipe here. My mom's version uses 1 3/4 C flour rather than the 1 1/2 listed here. Things that were baked this month that didn't get photographed? Oatmeal Cookies, New York Cheese Cake, Apple Pie, and a terrible batch of cornbread.

Font of the Month: I purchased Anisette by A.M. Cassandre. I love this font, it is so bold and has a lot of fun ligatures to play with. Plus, as a lover of anise (the spice), I just couldn't resist it based on its name. I'm hoping to use it in some upcoming poster projects.

On the Needles:
Still working on my Flair sweater. Knitting in the round is awesome, but I'm getting kinda bored, I have to admit. 100 plus stitches in stockinette stitch over and over and over paired with cabin fever is just not a good thing. Hopefully I'll finish the sweater before next fall. In the meantime, I've started (and dare I say nearly finished) a project for a dear friend of mine. I can't show it yet, but am feeling very satisfied with it so far.

In My Ears:
I'm so sad that Mixwit is going away. I just loved those little vintage tape graphics. Sad! So, I'm back to updating my playlist. Not a bad thing, just not as cute!

"Not Even Jail" is a fitting song for my housebound state this week. I like its dark, pop sound and these lyrics "Remember take hold of your time here / Give some meanings to the means / To your end". "Carry Me Ohio" is a song that reminds me of warm, lazy summer days that seem so long gone now. "Blue Eyes" is just a simple tune that you could sing to anyone you love, and they'd probably think you were pretty sweet. "Nite and Fog" is what it looks like outside my window most recently. I really like Jose Gonzales' acoustic guitar and voice, and this song is one of my faves.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shop Talk: Snow and Sales

Hi folks. It has been a wonderful and wild introduction to the world of Etsy these past few weeks. I had 4 sales over at Pixel & Post which was very exciting, and I'd like to thank all my dear friends and family who let me design their Holiday cards this year.

Sadly, many of my friends are still waiting to receive their cards due to a big ole snow storm that dumped record amounts of snow on my part of the world. Their holiday greetings are sitting somewhere in the city waiting to be delivered as soon as the roads clear up (there are currently people skiing, sledding and snowshoeing along our city streets). So, next year I'll have my holiday designs up earlier (maybe in the first part of November) so we can avoid any lateness due to weather problems.

The week before the snow storm hit, my family and I were housebound due to a really gross cold and flu virus. Then the snow hit, and we've been indoors going on 3 weeks now. Surprisingly Cabin Fever has not yet set in. But this has allowed me some time to regroup and consider what my next move will be for Pixel & Post. I'm feeling the need to really focus on getting my prices down while keeping quality high. It is going to be a bit of a challenge but I think it is important in times like these.

Stay tuned! And have a great Christmas Holiday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Months in Review: October & November

Last time I posted it was election night eve. The pure shock and happiness of that night kind of sent me into a few weeks of being speechless. In my suburban neighborhood the night ended with horns honking, distant 'whooo-hoos', fireworks, and me crying happy tears into a glass of merlot. I'll never forget it. I think I'm recovered now, still a little in shock, but ready to start posting again nevertheless. The last two months have been, well, guess what? Busy. I should really find other words to describe my life, lets see: swamped, up to my neck, busy as a bee? Yes, those sound much more interesting don't they? The great news is that all this busy as a bee-ness got my etsy site up and running (that's one of my cards, above). I'm super proud that I have some cards out in the world, it has been such a long road with so many detours that I'm just pleased as punch to finally be on my way. Here's a recap of the past two months in Flying Pencil land.

Greatest Free Find

Never, ever did I think I'd be singing the praises of the US Postal Service on my blog. I repeat: never. I'm generally, and probably unfairly annoyed with the USPS. Even though I have had a handful of pleasant experiences within many of the post offices in my town, I've had a mail-truck full of irritating ones. Like last time I was in, there was only one clerk open and I got stuck behind a grump wanting to look at ALL the stamp choices before buying theirs, and then complaining that all the choices are "too boring" and getting mad. But things are looking up for me and the USPS, because I found out that they will give you free boxes, and deliver them to your house. I found this little tidbit out while waiting in line behind Mrs. Grumpypants (thank you very much). I came home, went online, and ordered up some free shipping supplies for Pixel & Post. About a week later our very friendly postman delivered a stack for lovely priority mail boxes, and mail tubes to my door. Simple. Free. So cool! Now if mailing them could be as simple....

Flashback Moment
In November I had the chance to go 'teach/college-kid sit' for a silkscreen class at my art skool alma matter. You know that feeling you get if you ever have the chance to visit your grade school as an adult? I found out you get that same feeling when you visit the art studio you spent the majority of your 20's in. The smell of the ink, the creak of the studio door, the sound of one my favorite professors whistling as he walked down the hall, tea from the art school cafe where I used to work (and serve up espresso with complimentary dollups of attitude and sometimes a hand puppet). It all made me feel incredibly happy, completely nostalgic, and just a tad bit old. It was wonderful, and it made me want to make art again just for the heck of it.

In My Ears:
I'm going to break away from the playlist format for this post and tell you about my new time-waster: Mixwit. It is a free online service that allows you to make virtual 'mixed tapes' to email to friends or post to your blog. I think the interface is so darn cute, I just had to use it here and may continue. I love Sufijan Stevens. I wanted to post a newer track here, but this one will have to do "They Are Night Zombies! They Are Neighbors!" reminds me of my weird neighbors who had a zombie head on a stick poking out of their over groomed boxwood during the Halloween season, looming over their praying Madonna statue. Yikes. "The Cedar Room" by Doves starts out sounding like a weird electric train, but then rocks out. I love the sound. "Break Your Mama's Back" has a laid back synthesizer bit that is very danceable. "Revelry" by Sea Ray has been on my favorites list for some time now. And I think "Tendency" by Battle is probably one of the more rockin' songs I've heard in a long, long time. Crank it up!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Illustration Friday: Balloon

After a long absence, I'm back to participating in Illustration Friday! Things have just been too wild and wacky these past few months to get it together, but I'm back! This week's topic was 'balloon'. Hot air balloons seem so 70s to me. I remember them as decor in my friend's room, printed on flour tins in people's kitchens and as bathroom wall paper. As thought a little more about the 70s and the word balloon, that wacky 70s tune from the group 5th Dimension started playing in my head. "Up! Up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful ba-loooooooon! Ba-looooon!" Can't you just hear it?

I'm going to be using Illustration Friday as a tool to get some spontaneous art making ideas, so this little number is now available as a limited edition giclee print at my shop! Get yours here!

Yay for cards!

Hi friends! It's official. My cards are up and ready to sell. Just click on my Etsy to see more.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

The No Plan Plan

I've had a hard time coming up with a follow up to my inaugural post on my new blog. My purpose here is to offer up some inspiring thoughts on starting up your own craft business. I envisioned myself sharing with you parts of my well developed master plan. You know, a well plotted course with a simple step-by-step process leading up to getting one's work out in the world. Then it hit me today: I don't have a plan, on purpose.

In the past I've gotten stuck in the planning phase of my business ventures. Spreadsheets, reading books, researching supplies, all of these things have kept me form doing the work I really love and getting it out there. So this time I'm going with the "No-Plan" Plan.

I'm not discounting the importance of entering a business with some kind of plan, and I have done a bit of it this time around. But, being a mom to a busy toddler and having limited amounts of free time have forced me to be efficient with planning, and I think it is a really good thing.

I read this quote this week and it made so much sense to me:

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Months in Review: August & September

Hello, sad, neglected blog. Is anyone reading this anymore? I can only hope. I feel like I should rename this "Miss J's Busy-Blog". Because I'm just too busy to update it very often. So what did I do? I went started another blog. Uhm, yeah..when you can't 'keep up' with your original blog, what should you do? Start another one! Haha. Here's the deal...soon, I'll be launching my line of printed goods on Etsy, and I wanted a blog to document that process. The name of my little biz is Pixel & Post. You can find it over there to the right in my links. I'm not sure how I'm going to merge these two blogs, or if that is even what I want to do. But for now all my personal stuff will live here on the Flying Pencil and business stuff will live on Pixel & Post.

Off the needles

I finally finished this sweater for the adorable Mister E. E is the firstborn of our good friends. He's an absolutely gorgeous little guy, and looks like he is also going to be one tall drink of water (with a daddy over 6'5" it is really no surprise). He's only 8 weeks old and is already sporting 3 month size clothes. I started the sweater with hopes of giving it to E's momma at her baby shower (which was in June), but it didn't get done in time. My next goal was to have it done when he was born...and that didn't happen either. I was knitting furiously on a trip back from the coast (in the passenger seat) on the day he was born. Finally I finished it, and luckily it fits him still.

After one of my knitted creations for my little one got ruined when it got thrown in the dryer (by ME of all people), I decided to try knitting in acrylic that could be thrown in the washer and the dryer. I know......gasp, choke, horror of all horrors...acrylic yarn. But seriously, the stuff they make today is way nicer than that scratchy stuff your granny knit with. I used Vanna's Choice yarn Who knew Vanna was so into yarn? Anyhoo, I like this stuff. It is soft, washes up beautifully and comes in super neat colors. I'm even knitting a sweater for myself with it. I still love me some fancy yarns, but there is something to be said for knitting yourself an entire sweater for under 30 buckaroos. I used this free Knitting Pure and Simple Cardigan pattern and made a few modifications, like turned cuffs and the crochet button hole loops. I love this pattern, as is it knit from the top down. I also changed the pattern to knit the sleeves flat instead of in the round, and that worked fine. Yay for completed projects, and cute babies to wear them!

On my plate: Because I've been spending every spare moment prepping for the opening of Pixel & Post, things have been a little spare on the dinner table. We've been eating the same things over and over and over. Namely, Martha's Chicken and Dumplings and her Ginger Beef with Kale, chicken enchiladas and grilled burgers. We've been trying to make a lot of things that can be eaten as leftovers, which is great. My mom also gave me a copy of this book of casseroles circa 1958.

It has recipes for such culinary delights as "Yummy Balls" and "Green Beans, Patio Style". Maybe I'll try and make one soon.

In my less healthy moments I've been consuming the new Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, enjoying some mini Twix bars, and have been craving french fries way too often. I've also tired of my afternoon cup of tea, so instead I dug out my demitasse cups I brought home from Holland back in 92, and have been having a delicious shot of espresso with cream and a touch of sugar. I also love these cookies by Two by Two, these are from The Owl and the Pussycat box.

Laughing at:

I record Saturday Night Live each week. Sometime during the week I usually catch up on it, and in the last year I feel like there have been some funny moments, but I used to skip through skits a lot. But lately, I've been cracking up big time. The political stuff has been just hilarious. And this skit nearly had me weeping with laughter. I guess it comes from all those weekends at my grandparents when I was forced to watch Lawrence Welk in silence. There was a part of me that just wanted something like THIS to happen.

In my ears:

In the past few months I've been addicted to Pandora.
It has lead me to all sorts of new music and confirmed my love for certain artists. "Just One Thing" by My Morning Jacket is nice, and is how I think about my morning cuppa joe. "Words" by Doves has a sounds that reminds me of Stone Roses in a way. I love this song by Maps, a band I'd never taken much notice of before I started listening to Pandora. I know "Time to Pretend" has been played on a lot of prime time tv, but I still like it. My current favorite, favorite, favorite band is Helio Sequence. I haven't heard a thing by them I don't love.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Hello Internets!

Welcome to the blog of Pixel & Post.

For many, many years I've had the dream of designing and publishing my own line of greeting cards, and other printed lovelies. Finally, that dream is about to become reality. I'll be using this blog to document my path, roadblocks and hopefully successes with you.

Ten years ago when this dream took root in my noggin, I knew nothing about starting a business, how to get my work printed, or get my cards seen by anyone but my next door neighbor (which was great, don't get me wrong). I've actually started this business twice (yes twice) and both times, for different reasons, it never came to be. But instead of looking at those beginnings as failures, I really see now that they happened for a reason, and in the end I am armed with much more knowledge, and know this time it is going to happen.

I'm hoping that my blog might help someone out there just starting out on a creative path of their own to make the leap! I believe there is room for every one to share their creativity and the world would be a better place if more people did just that.

So, onward and upward! More soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Month in Review: June & July

Wow...It is hard to believe that June and July have come and gone. I feel like the ole blog is just hanging by a thread! This summer has been so busy. I miss blogging and am looking forward to more regular posts soon, but until then...

Off my hard drive

One project I completed in June was the season brochure for Book It Repertory Theatre in Seattle. I did this mural-like illustration of their five plays for the season, featuring pull quotes from the books. If you live in Seattle or plan on visiting please check out their offerings for the season! It looks like it is going to be a good one (from left to right : Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins, My Antonia by Willa Cather, Moby-Dick or The Whale by Herman Melville, The Beautiful Things Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu and Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

On my plate

Unlike last month, June was a month full of culinary delights. Giving two birthday parties, and hosting visitors from another country forced us to bust out of our take out rut, dust off the recipe box and get to work. In early June I made our kiddo some sugar free carrot cupcakes for her first birthday. The cupcakes are sort of a tradition among my friends, and the recipe has been passed around to quite a few babes who still hadn't sampled sugar by their first b-day. Our girl daintily ate a few bites and then spied the sugar laden, 5 pound slice of butter cream loveliness on my plate and got mad. And, of course I gave in and let her have a few bites which made her happier than Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins. For the international guests I made Martha's Key Lime bars, which were a big hit and relatively easy for a Martha recipe ( I ignored the part about juicing 23 key limes and just used lime juice from a bottle- oh the scandal)! I also whipped up the Everyday Food Apricot Stuffed Chicken, Jicama Citrus Salad, and a spinach dip recipe I found online. All were eaten so fast I didn't get any photos. I've also become addicted to a nightly scoop of Ciao Bella gelato. A deliciously bad habit I plan on continuing until the day I leave this earth. Seriously, you should try this stuff. Their Fresh Mint with Chocolate Chips makes me go week in the knees.

Mother of invention

If you know me well, (or maybe even not so well) you know I live somewhere in between Organization Avenue, and Clutter Street. My problem is piles (luckily not the kind that require medical attention). I tend to flit so quickly between activities that I leave a trail, like some kind of blissed out domestic slug around my house. By evening there are usually little bits of my day strewn or sometimes piled all over the house. And now with a running toddler to chase I have even less time to clean up my act (both literally and figuratively speaking). It has me worried. I mean, how am I going to get my kid to pick up after herself if I can't? That's some scary stuff! So this month I invented a game for myself. I call it the "Rommel Basket". Rommel means "Junk" in Dutch, and to me has a less negative, more cheerful feel to it than JUNK. It goes like this. I have a beautiful, large wire basket that a friend gave me as a gift. During the day I just throw everything in it that I don't have time to put away properly at that very moment. And then, at the end of the day I play "beat the clock" and try to get it all put away in less than 10 minutes. And you know what? It is working! I'm finding that I hesitate before throwing stuff in, and just take care of it right away. And other days when things are hectic at least all the clutter is contained. Anyhow, it is a simple idea that is really working for me. Maybe someday I'll use the idea with my kiddo.

Font of the month
One of my recent projects was in need of a scripty, handwritten typeface. I actually entertained the idea of hand lettering the type myself, but even I'm not loco enough to take that on at this point. I did a lot of research and finally found Panhandler by David Buck. I'm not usually a big fan of script fonts. I think they end up looking too regular and not spontaneous enough most of the time. But when I saw Panhandlers lower-case 'r' I fell ascender over descender (that's the typographical equivalent of head over heels).

From my camera

One of the highlights of my summer was finally seeing a bench I helped design in 3-D! It is living next to the Seattle Center fountain until the end of the summer. Fun!

In my ears

Here are a few songs that I added to my ipod in June and July. I really love the beginning of "I Will Possess Your Heart". Makes me want to play bass guitar for some reason. I'm pretty much gaga for anything by the Helio Sequence these days, "Hallelujah" is no exception. "SunShinin" pretty much perfectly decribes how summer is percieved here in Rainyville. I had to add "Caught in a Crosswalk", by Baskervilles..because I'm a type geek and any band that is named after a typeface has to be neat. I do think the song sounds a little more sans serif, though. And the sweet sound of 'Electric Love Letter", is just, well kinda sweet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Month in Review: May

Folks, it is busy times around here. I'm working on a completing a big design project, we've got a house remodel going, two very anticipated international guests coming at the end of the month, and two first birthday parties to plan and give. Yeah. We're busy. And as a result ye olde blog has suffered a bit. But, as busy as things are right now there are still creative goings on that are worth reporting here. So I give you the Month in Review for May instead of The Weeklies.

On my plate

I'm not gonna lie. When things get hectic, my cooking and baking adventures tend to come to a stop. The month of May found us eating lots of take out burritos, delivered pizza, breakfast for dinner, and scraps of rejected banana off the baby's highchair tray (sounds kinda gross, doesn't it?). We've been eating more than our fair share of packaged foods, too. After a stop to a local import grocer I've become addicted to having a few McVitie's digestive cookies with my afternoon Typhoo tea. Hopefully June will see us eating a bit healthier.

Lesson Learned
Cutting a squirmy baby's hair is hard, and my kid is destined to have crooked
bangs. I wish my haircut went as easy as the on in this sweet Howcast video.

Font of the Month

I'm totally digging Sympathique by Canada Type. It's only 22 bucks, and best of all, I think I have an upcoming project the this face will be perfect for! I love, love, love the curly ampersand.

In my bookmarks Ok, for all you typophiles out there, here is a fun quiz to test your font-know how. The Rather Difficult Font
Game. I'm not revealing my score.

Off the needles

Yes! I FINALLY finished a project. Since summer has yet to really start here in Mossytown (I am so OVER this weather I have no words for it anymore), the baby still has the need for a warm sweater. I had two skeins of inexpensive, soft, Red Heart yarn in my stash and thought, why not? In the past I've been partial to knitting with more expensive natural stuff. But after one such creation got thrown in the dryer and ruined by a very tired mama (that'd be me) I decided the knit something that could indeed be washed and dried without shrinking. I used this free pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple. All in all I'm happy with the results and it cost less than $10 to make.

From my camera

Here are two photos I'm pretty proud of from the past month. They are both inspired my my pal Andrea, a professional photographer who continually inspires me to look closer at things! I love her work so much. She's also been really helpful to me in explaining my new camera to me! Thanks Andrea!

In my ears

I love "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John. I know it has been around for a bit, but the whistling s so catchy! Any song with cool whistling is my friend. "Evil Urges" is also groovy, and will stick in your head as well. I love these lyrics " Honey it‘s rotten and they got us so scared/Thinking there’s some evil waiting under vain/ Whooo! I made a nasty decision/ To love whoever I want just-a whenever I can". Sweet! "Grounds For Divorce" kinda reminds me of The The from back in the day, mixed with Peter Gabriel..a strange but good combo. "Stronger" is just plain catchy and has been on my mind (Be warned..this is the explicit version..probably not for the kiddies) the month of May was challenging for me, so it was important to remember "N-n-now that that don't kill me can only make me stronger". Crank this one up, put on your shutter shades and do a silly dance. And finally, a little Flaming LIps love with "It's Summertime". I need to believe that it is!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

5 Minute Doodle: Little Treasures

The topic over at The Five Minute Doodle this week is "Little Treasures". It didn't take me long to decide what to doodle. There is a Robin nesting under our deck. Every day I tip toe quietly out there, get on my hands and knees and squish my face between the wooden slats of our deck's floor to check on the eggs. There are two, perfect little blue eggs in her nest. A few years back another Robin nested in the same place. One afternoon I heard a huge bird-ruckus. I flew to the window to see a Crow destroying the eggs on our driveway. It was heartbreaking. Worse yet, the sweet Robin sat there all day chirping a sad, mournful song. I get that it's all part of natural selection and all, but there is a part of me that wishes I could give this year's Robin a comfy Robin-condo with a nice, solid, locking door.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weeklies#5: Back Burner Burnout

Hi there. This month has been crazy and if anyone has visited here in the past few weeks, you've noticed my lack of posting. Sorry folks. I'm knee deep in project-ville, which is a good thing but I'm going non-stop. I hope to get back to regular posting again soon, and to get this blog off the back burner! Soon I can do a little show and tell, but until then it is nose to the grindstone time.

On my plate...
In the past few weeks, I made Bakers One Bowl Brownies. I love to bake, but when it comes to brownies somehow I always make them from a box mix. Back in 8th grade my dad and I decided to taste-test every brownie mix on the market. We did our 'research' over a few weekends, and were surprised that the Krusteze brand was the best. Anyhow, that's why I'm probably into to box mix brownies. I mean, why throw away all that painstaking, highly scientific research? But this recipe could change my mind. They were really good, and easy. I left out the nuts and added mini chocolate chips instead. Part of the recipe reads "Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs." The phrase "fudgy crumbs" has been stuck in my head ever since.

I also made the Martha Stewart Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. A.K.A the "cover cookie" from her new cookie book (thanks mom!). In true Martha style there were a few too many steps for my taste (chilling the dough twice for example). I also took some shortcuts like substituting mini chocolate chips for the hand chopped chocolate "cut into 1/4 inch chunks"( yeah whatever Martha) and powdered ginger for fresh. The cookies were tasty. I made a double batch, because after all that work you really should have more than 24 cookies to show for your efforts. This made for some very happy neighbors, and friends.

In my bookmarks...

My friend Gwen turned me on to these awesome print and assemble pinhole cameras. So cool!

In my ears...

I'm in love with these five songs. I heard the M83 song on the radio and my first impression was that it was some kind of awesome electronic movie score. Listening to it makes me want to run along the beach all Chariots of Fire style or something. The Bjork song, "Bachelorette" isn't new to me but I just love the melody and the words, and her voice. Bjork rocks, so dramatic! Iron and Wine blows me away. I could listen to them over and over. This song is no exception, there is something reminiscent of Crosby, Stills Nash and Young in this one. Love it. And yes, there's more electronic loveliness in "What Else is There?". Love the melody here too. If I were an aerobics instructor this would be my nifty "cool down" song. Feel the burn, ladies! "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses is a catchy, sweet song about loving someone though hard times. Love these lyrics: We're reeling through an endless fall / We are the ever-living ghost of what once was / But no one is ever gonna love you more than I do/ No one's gonna love you more than I do.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weeklies #4: Rainy Days and Mondays

Ok, people. The weather in my part of the world is playing some serious tricks on us this week. On the weekend we had record highs in my town. We are talking wearing tank tops at 7pm on your deck warm. It rocked. And today? Dreary, gray, soggy, cold, Mossytown once more. Seriously. I'm sure you've heard that they are going to try and control the weather during the Summer Olympics in China? Freaky, yes. But if they want to test that out, I'd invite theme over here to Rainytown in a heartbeat to blow some of these rain clouds far, far away.

Seen on the internet: This awesome Walking Bike. Click here to see a video of it in motion!

Lesson learned: Don't wear a black boucle sweater out to a cafe and feed your 10 month old a banana while holding her. Boucle and banana don't mix, y'all.

Here's 5 songs that have me tapping my toes this week. "Foux Du Fafa" is just so fun and funny, and in French. I love the part that goes "Camembert...Jacque Cousteau... baguette!". I don't speak French, but I understand that much at least. "We Used to be Friends" is catchy, and had me dancing about the house in kind of a cheerleader-y fashion. "When Water Comes to Life" has some crazy violin and strings in the beginning, so pretty! "Clover Over Dover" is just plain groovy, although I don't think I'd let anyone "push me over the white Cliffs of Dover". Although it rhymes, it still doesn't sound like a good idea. The cover of "Harvest Moon" by Cassandra Wilson is one I hadn't listened to in years, it is really pretty. Enjoy. (Player has been moved to most recent Weeklies installment).

Ok, and just in case you were needing a visual for the title of this post, a little Carpenter's love for you. Come on, you know you want it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Fearless

The prompt for this week's Sunday Scribblings is "Fearless". As I was reading other people's two cents on the topic I happened across a post by the Greenish Lady over in Ireland. She quoted a friend who once said to her "fear is in the future". Meaning that if you live in the present, there is really no fear. I remembered that my pal A had said nearly the same thing to me a few weeks ago.

All of a sudden it gelled for me.
Lately, I've been having this vision that inside of me lives a very powerful version of myself. A superhero if you will. I think of her as "Super-Me". She is unafraid to try new things, wears great shoes, eats chocolate for breakfast, has a wild sense of adventure, and is never tired (I said she was a superhero, right)? Anyhow, I really don't think this vision is unique to me. I think everyone has that same person inside themselves, some people just let theirs out to play a little more often.

I remembered an exercise I did a few years back when I did The Artist's Way (an awesome experience I'd highly recommend). It asks you to make a list of things you would do or try if you weren't afraid. Not necessarily horror-movie style afraid; but afraid of failure, success, or judgement from yourself or others. It is a really powerful way of thinking. What would you try if fear were removed from the equation?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Illustration Friday: Save

My hubby is a literal penny saver. He has a huge jar of pennies he's been adding to since he was little. One year, while he was away at college, his mom (a grade school teacher) dipped into his stash to have some coins to teach her kids a unit on counting money . When he returned home on break his mom mentioned casually that she'd taken some coins out of the jar. Hubby's face went pale. "How MANY pennies did you take?" he asked. "Oh, a handful", she replied. He went downstairs and came back with a long sheet of paper made of a patchwork of little pieces taped, glued and stapled together over the years. A tally. He'd been counting those pennies since he was a little kid! His mom felt terrible. He considered recounting them all, but it has seemed like too daunting of a task. Instead, he's stared a new jar at our house. And this time, no one's counting.