Monday, December 29, 2008

stream of consciousamaness

where did that fun and annoying habit come from, anyway? the one that compels me to insert "ama" somewhere between syllables in a word.

anyway, i have nothing planned for this entry except to write some sentences in english that generally follow proper english (american english, that is ;P ) grammar.

christmas was fun, but weird: 1) no snow. in fact, 2) i was in california, not new york. it rained, at least. 3) i received three presents, but had sent/given none (yet!), and none of them were from my family.

b and i did a lot of planning over the long weekend, especially yesterday. today, especially this morning, was fraught with mad plannings- bridesmaids dresses, apartments for rent, registry research, photographer-contacting, and some other stuff. eegads.

i like reading other people's blogs. they're comforting, for some reason. which reminds me (for some reason) that i should post three pictures of bart- pre-haircut, mid-haircut (re: mullet!), and post-haircut. and i set a new personal record for the cut- less than an hour! :)

that's enough for now. tomorrow i'm going to go christmas shopping! i've already ordered three presents. they are all awesome. oh yeah, here's a picture of the christmas tree we got from trader joe's. count 'em- four ornaments! and a picture of buuuddy, of course :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


1. kitty! and like all good kitties, buuuddy likes to stretch out his arms while upside down so you can scratch his belly.

2. books for eleanor's grandkids (none of whom would have any reason to read this blog, so i think i'm safe in posting them). they were a lot of fun to make; i like the paper she chose for the covers. it was also fun to see pictures of her and her kids from the seventies and earlier.

the end!

Monday, December 22, 2008

1. things...2. stuff...


1. praise god for an abundance of work when i really needed and didn't at all expect it. i worked three days last week and every day the week before at the scripps college press, and will be able to work there more in january. (hopefully i'll be able to carpool by then- i had to take public transportation my last three days there, and though i love public transit, there aren't any good direct routes from pasadena to claremont, so the 30-minute car ride takes a whopping two hours by any combination of bus, metrolink, and light rail. blah.)

2. for my commissions, there was a) my landlady asked me to put together six small, very pretty photo books/albums for her grandchildren for christmas. the covers are made with chiyogami paper, and the pages are heavy tan arches coverweight paper. i will post pictures of them later- they should (and must) be finished today! b) two leather journals for the sons of some family friends. i used two of the leather books i had in my etsy shop, and wrote their respective initials (jab and lcb) on the title pages, with doodled embellisments. i think they turned out well! c) a larger version of the beady bags for a woman who contacted me through etsy. this project went pretty smoothly...after i'd tracked down more wool. i visited four thrift stores, some multiple times, to find a black sweater that was at least 60% wool. apparently, no one was donating black wool sweaters. i finally found a woman's black wool coat, and it worked very nicely.

3. holiday ornament swap- can't say i've been particularly impressed by the ornaments i've been getting, but it's always fun to get mail, and i guess i can't really expect everyone else in the swap to have spent 40+ hours finishing their ornaments...
here, finally, is a picture of all ten beady ornaments! (the one in the center hadn't been finished yet, but you get the idea.) mmmm...pretty...

4. invitations: sent! rsvp's* received so far: 3!

5. kitty! one of bart's housemates, alex, found an orange kitten after bible study about two weeks ago (i think). in his severely kitten-deprived state, he succumbed to the cuteness and brought it home. name: buuuddy ('hey buuuddy' and 'widdle buuuddy' are common variants). and he is nothing short of ridiculously adorable- more distracting and hilarious than television. unfortunately, one housemate is allergic, soooo...we'll see what happens.

6. it's been rainy! yay!

7. i have two christmas presents ready to be sent out. two. this is bad.**

8. time to go do something else. more pictures to be posted soon!

*sorry, bart. i had to put an apostrophe there. :)
**so bad that i had to break out the forbidden bold italic

Thursday, December 11, 2008


ok, ok, i know everyone is busy and so that's a terrible excuse to not be updating my blog, but the truth is...i'm really busy. 

1- i've been working in claremont all week, helping the typography students finish their semester's book. it's been a lot of fun to be back in there, and i love the repetetive tasks and working with my hands (and getting paid!). the students are fun, though it's hard to believe that they were freshmen and sophomores when i was a senior, if they were at claremont at all by that point. anyway, the book is about spices, and that's all i know because i haven't had a chance to actually look in it yet. all 110 or so copies are supposed to be finished by tomorrow but...ummm...not a chance (don't worry- that's how it almost always goes). luckily, that means more work for me :)

2- speaking of scripps- bart and i went out there two weekends ago to print our wedding invitations and the rsvp postcards, but after eight hours we'd (well, me, mainly) only managed to smash some type because we (that is, i) hadn't checked the number of sheets on the tympan, nor had i noticed or accounted for the 2-3 sheets of paper added on top of the tympan. then i added my own two sheets of paper to the roll when doing my test runs, and ....ouch. 

3- luckily, we were still allowed to go back and actually do the printing the following weekend. we started work at 10:30 am on saturday, and finished printing and cleaning up at 2:30 am sunday morning. but we managed to fit five print runs in there- and are extremely proud of the results. bart was amazing - i absolutely could not have done this without his help, sacrifice, and encouragement. i am a very lucky gal C:
i'm still in the process of trimming the invites...but supposedly they'll be sent out on monday, after i spend saturday addressing the envelopes. 

4- oh, and we still have to finish the map/hotel card, and get that printed (at kinkos) and cut. 

5- oh, and we still have to finish adding addresses to our giant file of guests.

6- things that are also still looming - the registry (we've compiled a list, but haven't registered anywhere), ...oh forget it. i don't even want to think about it ;P

7- i've also been working madly on commissions- three for this month, one due next month. yay commissions!

8- there's also this ornament swap thing that i signed up for- they (these ten beaded ornaments) were supposed to go out yesterday. oh well! they're going out tomorrow. hopefully the ones destined for iceland, japan, and the uk will still arrive in time. they look purty dang sweet, though, so even if they're late, hopefully they won't be too bummed. but i was kind of dumb because after i finished the beading part of the project, i took too long a break and didn't leave myself enough time for finishing off the ornaments with a black felt backing and silk cord loop, plus addressing the envelopes and writing a super short note for each. 

9- sorry for the dumb* post. happy friday!

*except for that part in #3- that wasn't dumb! :) hehehe

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


1- i have completed my ten ornaments for the holiday ornament swap! or rather, i should say, i have finished beading the ten shiny beadies that i am making for the swap. i still have to finish the edges and give them loops for hanging. but still- 90% of the work is done. done! hurrah! and with a week to go, too. i was going to post pictures, but my camera's connector cable is m.i.a. boo.

2- wuthering heights is sad. the chinese cinderella is sadder. eegads.

3- wedding planning! it's happening! and i got my ring resized. it's so comfortable and secure now that i almost don't even notice it (it was two sizes too big, so it felt like i was wearing something that wanted to escape), and it's super shiny again because they cleaned it, too. i'll spare you all the other weddingly details.

4- i have some (four, so far) small commissions for december! hooooray income! and i might be going to scripps to help finish the 'typography & the book arts' class finish their book (which is beautiful- bart and i got a sneak peek of it last weekend when we went to claremont for part one of our adventures in letterpress printing for the invitations).

5- tea, tea, i like tea. yum. the end.

Monday, November 24, 2008


1. there is a quote. it goes something like, "we are each but single strands, but oh what a tapestry we make"...and i cannot figure out who said it! if i want to use it, but can't find the source, can i use it anyway?

2. how can it be nearly noon? come to think of it, i am getting a little hungry...

Friday, November 21, 2008

1. i have just recently finished some small bags. they have pretty, shiny beady designs on one side and are made from a wool sweater i got from goodwill and felted (a simple magic trick- put a wool sweater in a hot wash and then dry it hot, too, and you get felt! it's very similar to sticking regular bread in the toaster and then magically getting toast in just a few minutes). i had to photograph myself (YUCK) in order to convey to potential buyers just how cool and hip they'd be if they bought one of them. luckily, my house's backyard is pretty and you can't see the inkstains on those jeans from the angles at which i took the pictures, so they turned out ok.

2. dance lessons have been awesome! slightly awkward, but awesome. did i mention that this was a birthday present from my fiance? yay bart! thanks again :)

3. i posted a while ago about a holiday ornament swap i'm a part of this year. i finally figured out what i'm going to make, and made the first one yesterday. it took four and a half hours. basically, i'm making the little beady medallions like the ones on those purses - exactly like those, actually. in fact, the beady things were originally marketed as ornaments, but no one wanted to buy them and i could in no way sell at a price that would fairly compensate me for my time. making the bags didn't take long, and people, i hope, will be more comfortable spending $40+ on something much more practical than just a hang-y thing. anyway, i'm going to repeat the same pattern that i used in the first ornament i made yesterday, so hopefully i can get faster and faster at making them.

4. one more thing about etsy- i had a sale yesterday! hooray, and thank you dear buyer! i think i'm going to make some more paperback journals with the kanji designs at some point soon. those are pretty unique.

5. happy friday!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

le so cute!!

elle est trop mignonne, non? and anyway, everything just sounds better in french.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

1. facebook is dangerously distracting. do you ever log on with some purpose in mind and then find yourself reading someone's wall only to snap back to reality and have no idea why you logged on in the first place?

2. running at 430pm > running before 430pm.

3. my room is like the inside of a volcano: hot, bright and red. except, actually, it's quite dim because i have the blinds closed to try to keep the sunlight that would pour in from saturating the dark carpet with heat.

4. just finished listening to "the stolen child", and for some reason i can't quite articulate, i feel it was a giant waste of time. now i'm listening to harry potter book 4! woohoo!

5. thanksgiving? in a week??! eegads. i mean, yay...but eegads.

6. times new roman. yes.

7. word wars = the king of kong = wordplay. if you can think about donkey kong and crossword puzzles while watching the first one (about scrabble (addicts)), you can save yourself a lot of time. three documentaries in one! ;)

8. the end. goodnight!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

and now for some content

1. venue- CHECK! yay! i feel so much lighter! (it may have something to do with the several hundred dollars i've been "relieved" of...)

2. e. fay jones (1921-2004)- a magnificent architect. he trained under frank lloyd wright, and so their styles are in many ways very similar. when i think of jones, though, i think of taller, somewhat more angular structures- wright, minus the sky-scrapers, tended to make sprawling or somewhat more squat buildings (or flatter rooves). that's just my impression, though. something funny that i just noticed is that i (and several of my readers) have friends who recently married - her last name was jones and his is wright. anyway, the church pictured in the wikipedia article on jones is one of my favorite of his creations (thorncrown chapel). i have a book where they show the interior of the church at night, all lit up. one of the pictures showed one of the walls, with the lights from the other wall reflecting at even intervals in the glass of the wall pictured, and the re-reflection of the lights on the wall pictured that were reflected to the opposite wall and re-reflected in the opposite one again. hard to describe. but it was really pretty, and talk about genius and astounding attention to detail. another funny-ish story: i hadn't heard of jones before finding a book of his work at barnes and noble or something, and i was slightly unsure for a while as to whether or not they were a he or a she, cos i mean, "fay" is pretty much a girls' name, but given the time period, i figured it was probably a guy. things were complicated when i found a picture of the architect with their spouse, who was nick-named "gus". not very helpful. so it turns out that the "e" stands for euine (U-wan, the welsh form of "john"), but that was too much trouble. his wife's actual name was mary elizabeth.

3. the end!

Monday, November 17, 2008

it's mondaaaaaaay

...and i have nothing more to contribute to the bloggering world at this moment beyond that fact.

Friday, November 14, 2008


1- no artist info today again, i'm afraid.

2- no cupcake baking, either.

3- it's supposed to be 95 today :-O

4- i have posted two new things in my etsy shop. the theme for the past few months has been blank books, which i love making, but i also like to draw and sew and make cards. i've heard multiple times in the forums on etsy that sellers should narrow their field and work on one type of product. i think i've written about this before. so anyway, i'm working on some sewn bags right now, and they would look kind of odd pictured there in my shop with the books and random cards and drawings, so i'm wondering if i should open three other shops (which i believe is allowed) so that each shop is more streamlined. and it would be nice to sort of work on creating an image for each shop. i dunno.

i made these from pre-existing books that i got from a library book sale and gutted. then i replaced the old pages with white pages and now they're journals/sketchbooks. yay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

oh, goodie. did i not hear anything about this until 30 minutes ago?
oy. the thought of an earthquake (especially this "big one") does not make me feel happy inside.

2. something pretty:

good news! it's for sale in my etsy shop C-;


1. rule number 1 for successful, stress-free wedding planning: do NOT, under any circumstances, read bridal magazines just before going to bed. it is a recipe for insomnia, or at the very least, weird and anxious dreams. not that i'm nervous about it or anything!

2. blah.

actually, replace that with 2. on the plus side, we have a date!! woohoo! today i get to call the church and reception sites about meeting with them one last time to go over the space again and ask after every possible detail (and fork over a deposit? :S ). and then i will have to make a few other phone calls and work on some various designs. wooooo...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

too funny to not post right this second...

ok, i might get in trouble for doing this (though why would i? i dunno- i'm just paranoid), but i found this picture on facebook in the albums of a distant friend of mine. it cracked me up. i had to share.

the caption is, "guess which one just got back from peru?" (hehehehesnickergigglesnicker). if you're like me, you start at the left side of the image, survey the numerous very white faces, start to wonder what the heck they're talking about....and then BAM! ahhh...classic.

speaking of ahhhh...i like times new roman way more than georgia or whatever the heck i've been using all this time.

what does trebuchet look like, again? hmmmm...not bad.

lucida grande? hmmm...

verdana? ooh. ick. well, maybe it's better than arial, which isn't so bad...i just...meh. i think it's bedtime.

the artist who made me want to become an artist:

presenting, harry clarke! i distinctly remember that in seventh (or maybe eighth?) grade i was looking through a book of andersen and perrault's fairy tales that had belonged to my paternal grandfather. it was illustrated by harry clarke, and his wonderful, relentlessly intricate and graceful drawings amazed me. i decided to sit down and make a drawing in the style of harry clarke- i drew a woman in a dress, and the skirt of the dress was filled with lots of intricate "doodles". it'd be cool to find that drawing again- it's probably somewhere in the dozens of sketch books i have from my youth back in new york.

so this blogpost (don't forget the russian accent!) may actually be somewhat informative because i know one or two things about clarke. he lived in the late 1800-early 1900s, was born and raised somewhere in ireland or the uk (i want to say ireland, but i'm not sure and i want to be stubborn and not lean on wikipedia for information on my favorite artist! :) ). he won several awards in school for his art, and trained as a stained-glass maker. i'm not sure how he got into illustrating, but he did the illustrations for several books of fairy tales and some edgar allen poe collections (for which his style is quite well suited). he also illustrated a translation of faust and some other things. he may, perhaps, be most closely compared to aubrey beardsley, who lived and worked at the same time, but you'll definitely see parallels between clarke's work and, say, nielsen (as well as a few others that i may blog about later).

quick note about beardsley- i may post about him, because his work is also really, really beautiful...but some of it isn't, so much. in fact, a lot of it is somewhat perverted and disturbing, so i must warn you that if you decide to go in search of beardsley works yourself, you may be unpleasantly surprised. i know some of you are thinking, "pshhh- how can someone who lived during that repressive victorian era in britain have created 'perverted' drawings?" to which i will reply that there is nothing new under the sun and i'm just warning you. but anyway, there's something about his "normal" illustrations that remind me of yellow cake and white frosting or candy- they are, for lack of a better word, "yummy" :)

back to clarke! here are a lot of images (like i could just pick two or three). these are from numerous sources (i photographed or scanned many of them myself from the actual books), so unfortunately i can't provide my resources, which i would like to do because it's bad form not to but i can't so oh well. i think the two color images are interesting- the one on the left is one of his stained-glass pieces (i think it may be king arthur and guinevere) and the one on the right is an illustration from andersen's fairy tales (i got it from the internet and don't know which fairy tale it's supposed to be). the image on the left is really striking in its coloring, but the one on the right is rather bland...this is how i find most of clarke's color illustrations to be, and it's kind of confusing because, as a stained-glass maker, you'd think he'd excel at using color. and he does, when he makes stained-glass windows...ah well.

toodle-oo. have a good wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

m. c. escher

m. c. escher (1898-1972)- the famed dutch artist known primarily for his "impossible structures". here are some favorite images that may be a little less well-known (please visit the official escher website, which is where i "stole" these images from). the one on the left is "prickly flower" and the one on the right is "three worlds".

...well, i've been sitting here for some time just staring at the screen, so i think i'm just going to go do some work now. cheers!

...ok wait. i'm doing this this year (finally!) and just got the list of people i'll be sending to and receiving from. soooooo exciting- they used a website to randomly assign people to a group of eleven (and with 434 people participating i'm not surprised!), and i think i may be one of the lucky ones to have a group with five non-US-ers. two from montreal, one from the uk, one from japan and one from iceland! fun! now i just have to figure out what i'm going to make and make ten of them before december 10. guess i'd really better get to work now.

bye now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

not procrastinating...hehehe

every once in a while i like to check google maps to see how much they're paying attention to my family's neck of the woods. hannawa falls, where they officially live, was not even recognized as a town in the US until a couple years ago. i am pleased to note that very little has changed since then. i dunno why, but that makes me proud :) maybe i just like the idea of keeping the north country hidden from the rest of the world because it is awesome ( most ways) and should stay the way it is: untouched. (the image below is at maximum zoomed-in-ness.)

marian bantjes makes everything better...

this is going to be an extremely crazy week- full of phone calls, meeting with people, and questions, questions, questions (wedding planning, of course). i would appreciate a brief prayer here and there when you think of it, because this will be very difficult for me.

anyway, go enjoy some of marian bantjes' extremely awesome work! (and if any of you can figure out how to pronounce her last name, please do tell!) she doesn't allow people to download ("borrow") images from her site, which i can respect, so i won't post any here. just scan through the projects page(s) and click on whatever looks interesting. they're all interesting, so you can't go wrong :) ...and i bet you can see why i think her work is way cool.

i ended up making banana cupcakes on friday. on saturday i frosted them with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, and they are good, but not my favorite. other people seem to be enjoying them, so that makes me happy, and i will be a good sport myself and "choke down" a few or several this week, too ;)

well, i'm too distracted by the other things i have to do today to focus on doing any more blogging, so toodleoo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

one, two, three-and-four, five-and-six

b and i are taking west-coast swing lessons! our first class was last night! it's fun!! ( i not supposed to announce this? hehehe ;) )

for today's artist, i have chosen amy myers. now, showing you images of her work in this blog will probably be worse than not showing you any at all, because in real-life, they are exquisite and irreproduceable, especially when shrunk down to 1/1000 their actual size on a monitor. so you have to promise to imagine these images as 7x9 foot drawings. just occurred to me that i do not know the titles to either of these pieces. that's pretty bad form. well, i know that the title of one of her pieces is "the opera inside the atom", and that'll give you a pretty good idea of the themes of her work. her dad was a physicist, and i think growing up with so much science everywhere made her want to become an artist instead ;) hehehe. actually, learning about all those physics things really inspired her work, so she imagines, for example, the beautiful intricate performances of all the little parts of an atom and these giant drawings/paintings are interpretations of that. in the same vein, her work explores things that are veeeery small by making them enormous, and then in other pieces about outer space she will (obviously) make elements very small. in many ways, her pieces look like they could either be interpretations of something at the atomic level and at the galactic level (is that even a word? mind if i use it anyway?). another thing i remember reading is that she likes to imagine all the elements of her pieces as having this symbiotic co-existence; all the pieces have their tasks to do, and all together they make a beautiful whole. i chose those two pieces to show because (if you click on them) you should be able to see the detail the best.

today is cupcake day, but i am still awaiting inspiration. orange cupcakes don't inspire me...for some reason it kind of grosses me out, actually. i'll have to go to albertson's anyway to get more baking cups, so maybe i'll find some amazing ingredient there. dang- for halloween i should've made something really scary, like lentil-carob cupcakes with kefir-cheese frosting, or alida's vegan avacado frosting. hehehe. too bad, i missed my chance!

have a good wheee!-kend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

yoshitaka amano

it's 7 a.m. and i'm already excited for artist time!

this artist/illustrator is perhaps best known (in the 'states) for his work on the final fantasy game series. so, at the lowest level of artistic quality you have the actual pixel-y characters on the screen, and then next the character art in the manual and generally wherever the characters are published online or in magazines, and then, at the pinacle (in my opinion) have yoshitaka amano's interpretations.

these are both images from ff9- airships (the prefered mode of travel) and vivi, a mysterious and somewhat troubled fella. i forget what he actually is, though i never finished the game so maybe i never even found out. anyway, his figure drawings/paintings are pretty cool, too. his style is veeeery elegant, and just as mysterious and imaginative. you can visit his website to see more (unfortunately, the section on final fantasy is currently under construction- i can show you the above images because i downloaded them long ago). so it seems that again we have an artist who does very intricate, colorful work and who has a mastery of that watery, bleed-y watercolor technique i enjoy so much :) don't worry, tomorrow will probably be different.

in other news, i have recently discovered about a dozen very decent, half-finished drawings in about five different sketchbooks. some of them i started five years ago, but i hope to finish them soon....or at least bring them up to 75% completeness, and then leave them for five more years ;)

i finished listening to (a very scratched copy of) "reading lolita in tehran" by nafisi. it was good! difficult, but good. i cannot imagine surviving, much less maintaining sanity, in a country like iran with its fickle, arbitrary laws and extreme punishments for the slightest deviance (and sometimes, for no wrongdoing whatsoever). the author was a literature prof, and talked mainly about the authors she taught, such as nabokov (lolita), fitzgerald, bronte, austen, and bellow. luckily, i've just recently read "the great gatsby" and "pride and prejudice", which she talks about at length. i don't mind not having read "lolita". maybe i'll try that one later, but for now i think it's still too intense for me.

now i've switched gears and am listening to "home", an autobiography of julie andrews' early years, read by the dear woman herself. i'm really curious about her life during her acting career- something about her just seems so clean and pure (i mean, she did play mary poppins and maria the singing nun, so maybe that's just her characters talking). so far i've learned that she was terrible at sports, sang for the queen when she was like, 10, and that andrews is her step-father's last name. she didn't exactly have an idyllic childhood (aside from dealing with wwII), but it wasn't so bad as some- such as that of jane fonda, whose biography i've also read (well, some of it). also, it seems to me that divorce and infidelity are nothing new to our society, at least, not among the circles of those who write biographies. i find this oddly comforting.

well, i've spent enough time blogging. time to get drawing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

eyvind earle

big changes coming up here in the u.s. of a! kind of exciting....hopefully. i am also generally pleased with the outcomes thus far of various california propositions- more bond measures than i'd hoped for are passing, which may not be so good, but anyway, enough about politics (sorry).
eyvind earle- not quite certain how i stumbled upon his work in the first place, but i love it. (sorry, i hate having giant chunks of pictures stuck in a body of text, but i don't think blogger has a lot of options when it comes to page layout.)

as you can see, he does beautiful, expansive landscapes as well as delicate and intricate close-up images. the use of color is amazing, and i love the way he stylizes nature. with the landscape, you can kind of see similarities to the cartoony style of animation in the mid-1900s, and this is valid, i think, because he did indeed do a bit of work for disney- "sleeping beauty" was one of his projects (this claim is, in fact, supported by what i just read in wikipedia). maybe that's why i like "sleeping beauty" so much...
tune in tomorrow to see a sampling of work by another artist i admire, part three in a spontaneous series of undetermined length which probably won't be very informative, but will give you a very good idea of the kind of art i would like to own/collect, in case you ever find yourself in need of buying me something awesome. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008


i also like these (among many others, but i will now practice some restraint and not show you all 1200 of my favorites....arrrrgh...*restrain!*):

i was going to go to bed now, but...

i remembered that i wanted to post these images by kay nielsen:

they are pretty! nielsen (i think that's the spelling) was an illustrator in the early 1900's. wikipedia just informed me that he was danish. i wish i could draw like that! love the flat, highly stylized um, style. reminds me of (aubrey) beardsley and (harry) clarke, but softer and more fluid. i also think the use of color is better than in a lot of clarke's work, and from what i've seen, nielsen's subjectmatter is considerably less bizarre than beardsley's (thank goodness). anyway! tomorrow i will show you a picture of how i wish i could paint. perhaps several examples, actually.
this is a pointless exercise, perhaps, but i am the dictator and you my captive audience :) now look at the pretty pictures, and be glad i have thus far resisted the temptation to share certain lolcats that i find amusing :)
ok. goodnight. big day tomorrow.........................


1- i want another cupcake!

2- i found a free bookshelf on the curb this weekend! it barely fit in bart's fit, but we managed it and carted it up to my house where it is now clean and doing a fabulous job of keeping my entire life organized :)

3- it is still cloudy!

4- i have been an emailing machine this morning! still have about a half dozen emails to write (a couple of them longish), plus two letters. i shall reward myself (because food should always be used as a reward!) with another cupcake after finishing the emails, and another after writing the letters, and then another after reading up on election stuff. and then i will be fat! (and almost out of cupcakes.)

5- writing blogposts is a wonderful way to procrastinate!

5.5- i like ending sentences with exclamation points!

6- i should clarify my views on halloween and why it is yuck. dressing up in costumes is fun, getting free candy is fun, seeing mass-marketed plastic things representing the tortured remains of human beings hanging from neighborhood trees is yuck. hands reaching up out of "graves" in front yards, also yuck. i just generally don't like horror, even festive horror. i dunno. i probably take it too seriously. nevermind.

7- there was something else i was going to mention, but i forget what it was. oh well! guess i should get back to stuff, then.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A glorious, cloudy (even slightly rainy) day!

1- Random remembrance: my only memory of ever watching Ms. Universe (kind of an odd title considering only Earth participates in it) is the end of one ceremony years ago where the three remaining contestants have to answer a random question. Misses America, Venezuela (I think), and some other country were left, and their question was something along the lines of, “If you had a day where you could do anything- absolutely anything- what would you do and why?” The answers absolutely astounded me, and that’s why I wanted to share them. ;) Miss Venezuela was first, and through her translator (poor old chap) she talked about how she would fly to different countries and spend time with children and go to hospitals and bring cheer and happiness to those who were suffering and that, since it would be a magic day, she would be able to go to all the countries and do this. Next was Miss…we’ll say Brazil, though I really can’t remember which country she represented. She also had a translator (poor chap), and responded to the question by saying that she would declare that all people go naked on this day, because we are all beautiful and shouldn’t be ashamed of our bodies. Yeah…Well, finally, Miss America had a go at it. She thought about it for a second before replying, “I would eat. I would just eat, and eat, and eat.”

Cut to commercial break, during which the poor judges had to decide which poor woman “deserved” the title of Miss Universe- would it be the somewhat delusional one? The one who wanted us all to get naked? Or the starved one? (see #5 for the answer!)

2- Eleanor is having some cronies over for hors d’oeuvres (stupid French word) and discussion of some book. They’re really cute, and you can always tell when she’s having friends over because they all drive white or beige cars (Eleanor included) :)

3- Walking is a community-building activity! I’ve had several short conversations with people in the neighborhood that begin with them saying, “I see you walking all the time!”

4- I don’t really want to do this, but maybe it’s a good idea. What I mean is, encouraging you folks to buy gifts for the holidays from artists on etsy (or just to buy hand-made in general). there are lots of very reasonably priced items for sale there, and besides, wouldn’t you rather support a human being and a community rather than a giant corporation (which, besides, is probably located in a foreign country)?
This brings me to another important issue: What does “reasonable” mean, in terms of pricing? It’s true that you can buy an “artsy” blank book from target for $15, while a seemingly similar item on etsy, one of my journals, for example, is around $30. Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret- the target journal is crap. If you want to give crap for Christmas, fine, then give quantity rather than quality. I, for one, will be doing my shopping on etsy, as much as I can!
Speaking of target, which I really do like, I have to say that it and other trendy places like it are similar in many ways to whole foods. Just as “industrial organic” is a contradiction in terms to many people who value the organic foods movement, so is “industrial indie/artsy” a glaring oxymoron to most artists (artists who aren’t punks, basically). Anything claiming to be unique and original can’t be mass-produced or mass-marketed.
I am going to end this tirade by repeating, buy from etsy! Thanks :)

5- and now let’s return to item 1: who do you think the winner of the Miss Universe pageant was? I am going to tell you now: it was Miss America…hooray?

6- next week’s cupamacake flavor may have been decided by a discussion last night in which we conversed on the flavor “yellow” and compared other flavors that are also colors. Yellow cake came up, of course, and it was agreed that yellow, though generally associated with lemon, was its own distinct flavor when it comes to cake and corn pops. So what about orange, then? Does it qualify as a color that is a flavor because it is the name of a fruit, or is it disqualified because it is the name of a fruit, and is therefore inseparable from that fruit’s flavor? Someone mentioned orange cake- how would you make it orangey tasting? Would it even taste good? Mmmm- maybe, I thought, with dark chocolate icing! Could be a fun challenge- use orange juice concentrate and orange peel, some spices to make it more like a spice/tea cake, crank out some chocolaty frosting to top them off…could be ok ;)

7- figgy cupamacakes: a success…I think. The cake is very muffiny- spongy and chewy. It’s good, but not super figgy. I made the honeyed cream cheese frosting, but it’s not suuuper honey-y. I guess that’s alright. I got some walnuts to put on top of the frosting, but I haven’t tried the whole ensemble yet because I need to add some figgy filling to the ‘cakes. Which means I need to go simmer/reduce some fig goo…sigh- so much work! ;)

8- this just in: yum. I made figgy filling, which maybe isn’t quite as figgy as I was hoping (but I don’t really know what I was going for), cut little holes in the cupcakes, filled with figgoo, iced, topped with walnuts :D see photos.

9- buy from etsy and have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

untitled #1

1- i've decided that i will make cupcakes tomorrow, though it was a close call because nothing, you know, inspired me flavor-wise. a foodie blog i like a lot (foodbeam), had a couple special cupcake posts with around a hundred photos of crazy and traditional types, but nothin' was jiving, ya know?? but then i remembered this amazing ingredient i have stored in the freezer in pulpy-goo form: figs. so it's going to be figgy cupamacakes, and i am currently open to ideas for frosting. i'm thinkin' honeyed cream cheese frosting (with local honey hooray!). since figs and honey are both kinda greekish, they "match". maybe i'll incorporate some walnuts in there somehow, too. MMMMM. that sounds dangerously delicious.

2- halloween = yuck. aside from cute little kids dressed up as princesses, firemen and boogers*, and free candy hooray, it is yuck. and nothing will convince me otherwise.

3- hmmmm...what is a third thing i can post about? it snowed piles in northern new york recently. it's kinda funny how opposite socal and nony (?) are. i remember yeeearning for a day above 15F in march one year in high school, and now i yeeeearn for a day below 80F in practically november. yep, kinda funny.

*yes, i do happen to know someone who dressed up as a booger for halloween. don't know if i can/should tell y'all who, though....

Monday, October 27, 2008

things and stuff!

1. cupamacake photos!

they were good, but i got totally showed up by another woman (pretty much a pro chef, i think) who made chocolate cupcakes with white sugar frosting and....hand-made dark chocolate butterflies. ye gods they were good! and i don't even like chocolate cake.

2. i think my camera has repented of its habit of taking lousy photos. i just got back from taking pictures of things i made for my etsy shop, and they don't look half bad. you'll have to check my etsy shop over these next several days to see them ;)

3. i met another homeless person, steven/stephen, who was camped out near whole foods this morning. i bought him some groceries (barely enough to get him through the day...sigh) and chatted with him for a while. that was hard for me, but God cares about the poor, and Jesus was the friend of society's outcasts, so my discomfort/shyness isn't an excuse. the homeless you meet who seem "with it" are more disconcerting than those who don't, and steve was one of the former. heh- we were next to vroman's (booksellers) and he asked me what my favorite books were, saying that his were the fountainhead, grapes of wrath, and two others, complete with mentioning their authors. i am embarrassed to say that i haven't read any of those. that made me think about how some people are simply lambasted by terrible circumstances and are then forced onto the streets. what in the world would make me feel like i'm somehow better than them, more "together" and more of a hard worker? steve had had jobs- he told me about one he'd had at a ski resort. i told him i was from upstate new york, and he responded (appropriately) that he'd heard it was beautiful there. there were some other things he mentioned that confused me, and he sort of mumbled and it was hard to understand him, but still, why is it that having conversations with the homeless is so shocking? maybe that's just a sign of my arrogance/obliviousness, but i think it also spears my conscience and makes me ache with the desire to really help them. maybe that's why it's so much easier to throw them an apologetic glance as you glide by, or just ignore them completely. the most awkward part of the conversation was the very end, when he told me "have a nice day." "...You, too?"

4. i promise to not gush about wedding planning, but i have to say that i am relieved to announce that the ball is finally starting to roll. hopefully, in the right direction. YAY. ok. ahem.

5. and now for something completely pointless: ohmygosh, you guys- the office! what is going on?!?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


i want to quit my job and become a foodie blogger. can i, please??

i just made apple cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting- a fairly original creation, from what i could (or couldn't) find on google. i've been wanting the make ("eat" also works well) cupcakes ever since they exploded into popularity a year and a half-ish ago. and i denied myself the desire to make them, much less buy them,....until today! actually, yesterday, when i decided that i would make them for becca's bridal shower on friday. the caramel-apple flavor combo has been bouncing aroun in my head since last week, and when the thought of cream cheese popped in there with the others....mmmmmmmmdrrrrooooll....

the wee cakes came out pretty darn well! they look great- a very tan color (owing to the sucanat and whole wheat flour), but smooth and not at all muffiny despite these rustic ingredients and decently-sized chunks of apple. i will use a culinary term that i don't understand and propose that they have a "very delicate crumb" (?). the cake is good by itself, and the frosting pairs nicely with it. unfortuantely, trader joe's light cream cheese doesn't blend well, so (horror of horrors, oh the shame and all that), the frosting is lumpy. also, it's hard to melt caramels. it didn't dawn on me until this second to use a sauce rather than the candy. oh well!

maybe i will post my recipe (because i can almost never submit to using someone else's recipe without changing it considerably) at some point, but for now i will just tell you two ingredients that are not in these cupcakes: oil and butter. so HA.

oh, and did i mention that these were merely a trial run? and that i plan to make another batch tomorrow? hmmmm...maybe i shouldn't mention it- i think i might prefer that the world believes i only made ONE batch of cupcakes ;)

mmmm...cupcakes. like the piece of fun-fetti cake that summer gave me earlier this week, i'm not sure i can remember the last time i had a cupcake. possibly not since my birthday a year ago when ellen (the woman i rented a room from) made me chocolate-orange cupcakes. no, i'm sure i've had one since then- over a year since my last cupcake? no way. that just sounds absurd.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eegads that green banner of mine is ugly.

I should change it!

Here are some other brief but brilliant observations (and one observation not quite so brief):

1) the theory is that my five-year-old wireless card is senile, which explains why it wasn't doing it's job consistently (or at all). so i am borrowing a cable from b(art) to connect to ye holy beloved internets through the modem (?). no more of that silly magic wireless fairy stuff.

2) in other news of things that are breaking, my shift key is working part-time now, which is half the reason that i've given up the use of capitalization for this post (other half of the reason: laziness).

3) i like making stuff, but how i do hate photographing it, writing endearing little blurbs, and posting the whole mess on etsy. speaking of which, i think i have some new stuff there; you should go check it out.

4) it's supposed to get back up into the 90's again this week?!!??! nooooooooooooooo...

5) pitas are on the menu for dinner tonight! yay!

6) i know of at least three little baby boys have been/will be (lord willing) born this month!! i want to buy
these for all of them (though it would be a little more fun if they'd been girls...sheesh). i know, i know, tiny shoes are hardly necessary for something that can't even roll, much less walk, but that's not the point!

7) with my internet newly restored, i can now go back to combing amazon song by agonizing song for more sweet klezmer techno!

8) books on cd from the library- some opinions from recent "readings": "the host" (by stephanie meyers) was neither well-written nor well-narrated. i don't particularly recommend it. "cloud atlas" (by david mitchell, i think) was strange and highly enjoyable. i really liked the style of writing. there were six narrators, and four of them did a marvelous job. i wasn't thrilled with the two women who narrated (this has been a trend, oddly enough- i think it's partly because when men imitate women's voices, it generally sounds ok, but when women imitate men's voices, it sounds silly. also, i just feel like the women try too hard and are too self-conscious.) the narrator of the sixth book (of "cloud atlas") was, in particular, superb- and i cannot imagine how difficult his task must've been. i mean, i don't think it would've been easy to speak convincingly as a native pidgin-english speaker on his hawaiian island in a post-apocolyptic age.

at some point i will blog about specific audiobooks i have enjoyed. so many books are (or can be imagined to be) much, much better than their tree-pulp counterparts, and i've learned that professional narrators (?) are often better at doing their job than the default narrating-voice i have in my head. without going into too much detail, this is absolutely the case with the lord of the rings series. soooooo much better when listened to rather than read.

ok- bis spaeter, mes amis.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Hi world! Long time no post. Gah. I’m sure I half-composed at least a dozen posts in my head over these past couple months, but you can’t publish blog entries from your brain yet, so what can ya do? I have so much news and stuff to write about it’s overwhelming, so for now I’ll just make a list and spare you all the boring details (but I’ll still try to include some of the interesting details!)

1) I am now engaged to the most awesome person in the world: Bart. I am incredibly blessed, not to mention excited about starting the planning of the rest of our lives together. C: I am trying so, so hard to not consume the six pints of Graeter’s ice cream in a span of two weeks (although that would take care of the problem of my ring being a size and a half too big…).

2) I have recently finished three fairly large-scale drawings. One of them measures three feet by five feet, and the other two are smaller but only a little less intense. I may have another large drawing on the table soon (praise God!!). Pictures soon to come, I hope (I seem to be continually promising this...).

3) I went home to upstate New York for about ten days at the end of August. It was fabulous. I picked blueberries in the woods, swam in the river, played with the inimitable Madi-dog, went for long walks…and listened to my brother’s new sound system in his almost-as-new black pickup truck. Our favorite pick was a Chemical Brothers song that features bass so heavily our ears were throbbing long after the song had ended. I was giggling with glee too much to care about long-term hearing loss. :)

4) Since I last posted, I’ve listened to Eragon; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; The Screwtape Letters; half of Three Cups of Tea; an abridged version of Julia Child’s biography; Harry Potter books 1 and 2; The Kite Runner; and a couple of tracks of Little Earthquakes (then quit because it was dumb); and P.G. Wodehouse’s Damsel in Distress. I loved that last one, and the Harry Potter books, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle…and The Screwtape Letters. The Kite Runner was sad. I’m listening to White Fang now, but mostly I’m just waiting for the person who has the third Harry Potter book to return it to the library. Also, I meant to continue on with talking about the Wodehouse book- it was hilarious. I like the Jeeves and Wooster tv show a decent amount, but I’ve realized with the actual books that you miss at least fifty percent of the humor (humour, rather), because of the way the author describes scenes and people that simply cannot be acted in front of a camera. I wish I could remember some examples…that’s the problem with audiobooks. You can’t go back and look up an especially awesome passage. Anyway, I told you I’d spare you the boring details…

5) I am really behind on emails. And letters. If I owe you an email or a letter…I’m sorry. I’m trying really hard to kick myself in the bum and get those written.

6) I am an eastern European Jewish girl trapped in an white Christian girl’s body. I totally dig klezmer and traditional eastern/middle-eastern European music. It cannot be explained. Maybe I should get one of those music player things to put in this blog so you can hear some of the things I’ve been groovin’ to lately. I actually downloaded some songs from Amazon (two fun things from Balkan Beat Box. One of them I like in particular, but as always, the problem with foreign music goes hand in hand with its benefit- I can’t understand the words. So even though I can’t be offended by the modern-day nonsense that plagues most secular music lyrics, I may also be unknowingly groovin’ to something totally sacrilege. Hmmm…)

7) I just forgot what 7 was supposed to be…oh! Meh. It is with dying hope and a growing sense of apathy that I announce to you all that there are many new thingies up for sale in my etsy shop. Poor etsy shop. Nobody loves you.

And with that I wish you all a happy Friday and excellent weekend! It’s almost October- wow. Maybe autumn will be able to wrench summer’s tyrannical grip from control of the seasons soon…I long for sweater weather!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Finally! An update! Unfortunately, this won't really be much of an update...mostly just wanted to let y'all know that my internet is broken and that's not very helpful when you're trying to post updates on your blog. In the meantime I have to steal and beg internet access (not really) and have just been trying to keep up with the essentials, like keeping in touch with clients.

Speaking of clients, I am currently working on a series of blank journals for someone who is neither a close friend, nor family, nor family friend. I think this is the first time someone I don't already know has approached me through etsy, or any other medium, to do some work for them. Now I'm a real artist :)

More posts soon, I hope (and pictures, too!!).

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Just wanted to update to say that the fire was extinguished Friday afternoon/early evening. There was a crew up there on Saturday cutting brush and checking things out, because any unextinguished sparks could have easily resulted in more conflagration, but the weather was cool and there wasn't much threat of that. This morning was (unseasonably) cool again, and even misty/drizzly; I'd say that there is no further threat this fire restarting. *Whew.*

Friday, July 18, 2008

Aaaand we're back!

Wow, folks. WOW. I could see the fire easily from across the street, and then when I went back out to watch in horror after writing the previous blogpost (remember the Russian accent when you think that word), it happened that the hills were suddenly covered with orange- and yellow-clad persons, armed with hoses! Yay! And the helicopters I'd been hearing so continually were actually dropping water, one after the other, over and over again. All that was left of the fire (which seemed so menacing before) was a few puffs of smoke and an occasional flare. I could have knelt down and wept for joy. Praise God- there is now hardly any smoke, and the fighters have moved on to cutting brush to prevent future flare-ups (there's a lot of leafy brush up there due to it not having burned in a few decades). We may not be completely out of the woods yet, but dang, we're close.

Fun fact: as the helicopters prepare to drop water from above, they let off this little beeping siren to warn the folks below.

I'll keep you posted as I learn/see more things.


A post! Sooner than you (or I) thought. Bad news, though. There's fire coming over the hills directly to the north of my house. It's close. Please pray. There haven't been evacuations yet, but so far all that seems to be happening is helicopters flying around assessing the situation. Slurry bombers will be soon, I hope! Yay more pink streaks.

This is kind of an interesting story- I was supposed to go to Claremont to work all day today, and then go from there almost directly to a wedding up north a ways. Then, due to sad circumstances involving an injured back (not mine), the trip to Claremont had to be cancelled, and then transportation things for this wedding started to crumble. About an hour ago, this fire started, and now I can be here with Eleanor (and Cinder the dog!) and help her pack stuff up if we need to head out.

I have to say it- I'm glad there are other houses between mine and the fire. Surely help will arrive in time to save them (and mine).

I'm working on something that may involve the following verse (haven't decided yet for sure), and I find it particularly pertinent right now:

Psalm 121:1 - I lift my eyes up to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.

Please hold...

Internets are broken-ish, and I'm busy. Sorry (if anyone is offended or upset, which I doubt) for the lack of posts lately.

Posts may or may not resume with any semblance of regularity in a week or two.

Also, I'll probably change the banner thing. Nobody likes it. I can just tell.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Well, I think the appearance is now mostly to my liking. I definitely like having a wider space for the blog text- it bugs me when blogs (my blog, at least) have these great big margins on either side so that the text only takes up about a third of the width of the screen. It just seems squashed to me. Anyway, the banner is a bit gritty looking, but I'll wait and see how much it bothers me in the next couple of days to decide whether or not to do something about it.

I found a couple of drawings the other day that I had started, and then lost momentum on, back in the fall. I had completely forgotten about them, and was happy to make their acquaintence again. Two are half-finished, and the third is something small that I just kind of doodled- the word "word". Typography is fun, and even more so when drawn by hand because you can custom-make each word so that the letters are in perfect harmony with each other. Well, that's the goal, but I can't boast about having ever achieved that myself. By the way, I'm listening to "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel" on cd, with a British guy narrating it, and consequently my thought-voice has a British accent. So as I think of what I'm typing, a British voice is narrating in my head. Oh, one more thing, while I'm speaking of voices in my head- if I listen to books on cd long enough in a day, I'll have that narrator's voice stuck in my head. Not actual words, but just the sound of the voice. It's kind of weird, like having random snippets of music stuck in your head...except it's someone's voice. Weird.

Anyway, I'm sure that some famous type designers would be horrified by my enjoyment of "custom-made" words, but others wouldn't. I don't know what the point of that last sentence was supposed to be.

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of July. Seriously- it boggles my mind.

Well, have a good day! Toodleoo* for now.

* This was the answer to one of the clues in the WSJ crossword this weekend. I was amused.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New book #2

Awwww...isn't it cute? This is the tiniest of the three books I made recently, measuring just 3.25 inches high and 2.75 inches wide. The limey-green headbands contrast nicely with the book cloth, and have a slight orangey-yellow iridescent quality to them as well.

Go, little book! Make me proud on Etsy! :)
Two other things- 1) I am going to change the appearance of this blog sooner hopefully rather than later- it's looking too cluttered and I don't like the brown design very much any more. It doesn't look good with all the pictures I post. 2) To make it easier for those of you who read this blog and don't want to have to switch back and forth between one person's two blogs, I am going to blog as I used to in this one, and then copy whatever artsy things I might write about here and paste it in the artsy blog. That way you'll be sure to not miss anything. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Time is weird. Days go fast, and then they go slow. Time goes fast when I'm doing certain things, and then nearly stops when I (try to) do others. I wish it would hurry up with this, and slow down with that. And it always does the exact opposite of what I want.

Well, that's enough of that. I have a new tiny book up for sale on etsy. Yaaaay tiny book!

In other artistic endeavors, I designed an afghan pattern for my landlady, who's going to use it to make a Christmas gift for her son :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A few random things

1) I don’t know why I think about these movies so often, but for some reason I find myself reflecting on the Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 films now and then, and though I really enjoyed them, there are a few things that really kind of shock me. Today I thought of another. So something that really struck me was the end of Ocean’s 12, where everyone is celebrating their victory in thieving by gambling and drinking together. It’s a scene of contentment, comfort, and genuine fun…inextricably linked with the booze and gambling, as well as the plot that drew them all together in the first place. Isn’t that kind of a weird message to send? I don’t think anyone who enjoyed the movie is going to immediately equate stealing, drinking, and gambling as equaling good and wholesome things, but still…odd message.

The other strange thing I just now realized was before that, before the viewer knows that everything is going to work out “ok” for the protagonists. I don’t want to give too much away, but in this one, as well as the others, there are some extreme perversions of justice going on. Policemen, detectives, and other figures who are supposed to be upholding the law are actually subverting it for Ocean and his buddies. In the film, this makes them “good guys”, but in real life, they’re undermining the justice system- engaging in criminal activity. Corruption in the justice system is wide-spread and serious, so I’m surprised that it’s indulged in these three fairly popular films.

2) Well, there was something designated for the 2 spot, but I don’t remember what it was. So I’ll go on to 3…

3) I encountered a great mystery yesterday morning. Walking back from the exercise room along 12th street (in Claremont), I had to stop and make way for ducks. A female duck and a half dozen or so ducklings (sooo…cuuuuuute….) had waddled casually up to the end of Columbia and were crossing from Scripps into Harvey Mudd. Where did they come from?? Where were they going??? It would make sense if there was any sort of water, aside from ornamental fountains, anywhere in Claremont, and how they had obviously set up a nest somewhere, remained undisturbed enough to hatch ducklings, find food, etc….I simply do not understand. It was an adorable little group. The mother duck ignored me completely and led her brood along the crosswalk as if they did this every day.

Ah! Now I remember!

2) I’m listening to an audio version of “Atonement”. The protagonist (or antagonist, depending on how you look at her), Briony, writes a play at the age of 13 entitled “The Trials of Arabella”. Now, Briony is a bit of Quixote- self-absorbed, histrionic, makes mountains out of molehills, is the star of her own little world. I wonder if it’s just coincidence that her protagonist (who is a reflection of herself) shares the name of another Arabella from “The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella” by Charlotte Lennox (informative
link). I had to read this obscure little novel (written in 1752) for an English class I took at Pomona. And I hated this novel, which of course is why I remember it so well. If it’s intentional, then I am impressed. If it isn’t, then it’s just a funny coincidence, I guess.

The end!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the Krispix blog

is now up and running. The first post may look pretty familiar...I basically copied and pasted most of the previous entry :) Visit

Monday, June 9, 2008

An actual art-related update

I finished two commissions recently! One is a very, very large drawing (one of the largest I’ve ever done), and the other is small. I used the same rapidograph for both (.35). You can find images of both projects in the gallery.

The larger drawing was for a friend who approached me to do a commission celebrating her friend’s graduation from his Masters program. She gave me his 50-page thesis, which I shrank down to about 25 pages (by removing all excess spacing) and proceeded to write out by hand. The recipient’s name, Rippi, appears in the white design at the center. The thesis was about outsourcing in India- the history, present state, and future well-being of this huge industry as it applies to the people and nation of India.

The smaller drawing was commissioned by a cousin of mine. He gave me the dimensions he wanted, and then told me to do pretty much whatever I wanted for the design and colors. I was considering orange for the central swathe, but didn’t feel daring enough to do it. I think the drawing has a kind of oriental feel, and the curve of the central swirly thing sort of reminded me of a tiger stripe. Again, I didn’t have the guts to risk it (I’d left that part for last), but I don’t regret doing the red at all.

I’m in the process of putting together a blog for art-related things only, the link to which I will be able to post on etsy without feeling like I’m revealing my whole life to complete strangers. This blog will be used to post things about the commissions and various projects I’m working on, (art) things that I like and am inspired by, and if I can force myself to do so, that’ll be about it. I’ll try keep up with this blog, for sure, and you are all invited to visit the new art-only blog once it’s set up.

I am thiiiiis close to finishing a super-cool little journal I made using my very own, hand-painted, home-made bookcloth. I think it looks awesome :) It was my first time making bookcloth, and I was nervous that the method I used would fail. What makes bookcloth bookcloth is this property where when you put glue on the “wrong” side (the side that’s glued to boards to make covers) of the fabric, the wetness of the glue doesn’t seep through the cloth. If you used plain old cotton, for example, the glue would soak straight through the cloth and be very very visible when it dried. When you get glue on bookcloth, it dries darker than the fabric and looks terrible. Even the smallest bit of it is visible. I made my bookcloth by fusing painted cotton to a piece of tissue paper, using iron-on fusing material. I found a tutorial online, but I forget where. Before painting and fusing the cloth to the tissue paper, I “drew” on it using washable white glue, let it dry, and then painted on the cloth with acrylic paints (a method my mother calls “cheater’s batik”). You let the paint dry, and then soak it in warm soapy water for a while, to get the glue to dissolve. Where the glue had been, you get white lines. This technique is great for things that will never/rarely be washed, because the acrylics will fade. Unfortunately, this method will not work very well when actual fabric paint is substituted for the acrylic, based on my attempts to do so. I’ll post pictures when this book is finished, so you can see the effect.

Gotta go. Have a good Monday.

Friday, June 6, 2008


mission accomplished.

happy friday, by the way. and i hope it's as beautiful outside wherever you are as it is here.

this post was not first written in ms word and then copied to blogger, hence the lack of proper capitalization. just wanted to let you know, in case you feared that some imposter had taken over my blog :) (although, as many of you know, my emails almost never contain proper capitalization, so to you i say that blogposts containing these foreign characteristics are, in fact, also written by me).



Our society is seriously going down the toilet. I'd elaborate, but elaborating would just feel like endorsing it. And I don't have any solutions, so I feel stuck. Well, I guess I can say that what frightens me aren't the blatant, in-your-face gags for attention that everyone kind of shudders at, even if we shudder a little less each time, but the things that are supposed to be innocent, the things that are "cheeky". Maybe what most people find "cheeky" and cute in an edgy kind of way, I just find utterly shocking and offensive.

It's tempting to go on and indulge in the torrent of things that sicken and discourage me and confuse me...but I don't think that would be helpful. So how do we confront a society that is on the verge of openly encouraging, in all aspects of life (including places that are supposed to be professional), images and/or attitudes of sex, crassness, rudeness, pride, and a few other characteristics that I can't think of right now? I'll send them emails. I'll do it right now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Definitely time for an update

First, I’m feeling much better, thank you. Most of whatever it was had passed by last Monday evening, when I felt well enough to voraciously wolf down two incredibly delicious burritos at dinner.

All last week I worked on a project that turned out extremely well, if I do say so myself :) I will post pictures on Friday, hopefully, when it will be “safe” to do so. I’ll also tell you all about the process, because a lot was involved to get it to its finished state.

My mum mailed me a bunch of cards I’d done a couple weeks ago and that she found hanging out at home in NY. On Saturday I photographed all of them in six or seven sets for selling them on etsy. I’ve read on the forums that it’s ideal to list once or twice a day, rather than all at once, because it keeps you at the top of the search lists and, therefore, people are more likely to see and click on your item. The default way of listing search results is by date listed, and since people list thousands and thousands of things every day, one’s products can quickly fall to page 358 in the search results. I also typed up some info for each set on Saturday, so that for the past couple of days, real quick in the morning and in the evening, I can fill out the forms for listing and get in one or two new items a day. It’s worked- I’ve gotten more views on those items, and a few more views in my shop in general (though the view counters are constantly resetting- arg), than I’d been getting before this week. Huzzah!

My cell phone has a mind of its own. I’ve always sort of suspected this, because I have a bad habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects (especially when they refuse to operate the way I want them to), but now it’s confirmed. How do I know? How can I be so sure? It’s this- my phone calls people without my knowing it. I think somehow I lean up against things while I’m working, with my phone in the front pocket of my jeans, and somehow the phone manages to unlock itself (it’s one of those Sony Ericsons that doesn’t flip open), go to the recent calls menu and hit redial. Once it even unlocked, went to the main menu, scrolled over to the address book, scrolled down in the address book, and called someone I haven’t talked to in years (Greg). I don’t know if that was even still his phone number…hopefully if he did answer (he never called back, but it did happen twice) he wasn’t too weirded out. My phone has also called Marli and Jordan. Annoying!

I just finished listening to “Anansi Boys” by Neil Gaiman on cd. It was pretty great. Clean and funny. The narrator was excellent- I think the book was better in audio format than it could have been in text. I keep meaning to do some reviews and write some thoughts on the other books I listened to- namely, “The Reluctant Mr. Darwin”, but I can’t seem to get there. Maybe that’s ok- a lot of it would be lamentations over the science vs. religion stuff. But I did get what I was looking for from that book: 1) Darwin was not a Christian, he was agnostic. 2) Mrs. Darwin was a Christian 3) a lot of scientists of that time, and now too, of course, had a totally distorted view of God. Ok, fine, I have to elaborate.
1) Darwin had been Christian/“religious”/Unitarian. The author actually kind of contradicted himself with this one, saying both that Darwin had been non-religious from the start, being of Unitarian background. He also stated that Darwin had been known at University for his Bible-quoting ways. Um? Well, at any rate, he became agnostic over the course of several decades, so slowly, claims the author, that the loss of his (supposed) love for God didn’t shock or worry him. That actually sounds incredibly shocking and scary to me…anyway, he came to disbelieve because of several things. First, he couldn’t get over why there was evil in the world and how a benevolent God could “allow” bad things to happen to “good” people. This stumbling block kind of confuses me, if the Bible-quoting Darwin is an accurate portrait of his early religious convictions. I mean, we deal with this issue in like, the first five chapters of the Bible. Second, why would a “busy” God spend his precious time creating, in this case, tiny variations in barnacles? Surely He has better things to do, right? Hmmm…as if creating makes God tired. As if God isn’t infinitely more creative and efficient than we can possibly imagine. What seemed so odd to me is that Darwin spent eight years of his life meticulously (obsessively?) studying a few varieties of barnacles. Eight years. Didn’t he have anything better to do with his time? Third- I forget if this was actually one of Darwin’s musings or just that of the author, he wonders how a good God could create something like a cat, which appears to torture and kill tiny helpless animals for fun. How could He create something so cruel? Again, we go back to the first few chapters of the Bible and discover that, when mankind sinned and fell, so did nature. I’m sure the time will come when the lion will lay down with the lamb instead of devouring it, when the child will put its hand in the viper’s nest and it will not strike, and when the mouse and cat will frolic and play in the meadow instead of the cat dismembering and eating all of the mouse but its ears. But for now, all these things are in enmity with one another.
2) Darwin’s wife was also his cousin. They loved each other very much, and Charles was able to share his doubts with her. It troubled her greatly, and she told him so, but to no avail. Other than this, though, I thought it was cool how devoted to each other they seemed.
3) The distorted view of God goes mainly back to the one or two things mentioned under “1)”. It suggests, unfortunately and also not surprisingly, that scientists who dismiss the idea of a creative God (not even just creationism) have never even tried to read the Bible. It’s true that the Bible is not a scientific text book, but I do think it can and should be taken as accurate. Even in the way it describes the formation of the world. I do think that God made, in the space of six days, all that we see. I do not necessarily believe that He created, one by one and at that time, every variety of finch and barnacle that Darwin studied. I think it would be within God’s wisdom and creativity, for Him to create all creatures with the ability to adapt. Otherwise, they wouldn’t really be very good creations. God also told all the living things to be fruitful and multiply, and so to help them do that, He put in them the ability to adapt to their environments, wherever they went. Maybe He also knew that these humans of His would start seriously messing up the planet, and that, along with natural worldwide climate changes, would necessitate all things having the ability to change.

Ok, I feel a tad awkward about writing this next part- but I really don’t think I should feel that way, and that’s part of the reason I’m going to go ahead and write it. (Hi, I’m Kristin and I’m over-analytical.) Bart and I went out for our third anniversary of dating (!) to this cool Brazilian place in Old Town. He gave me flowers when he picked me up :) Anyway, the food was pretty awesome, and it was a lot of fun guessing what different things were on the menu. We’re inspired now to try some Brazilian cooking. After dinner we walked around the uber-preppy streets, lined with shops meant for rich white people and, to keep you firmly grounded in reality, a few homeless people as well. One of them was selling some really, really cool drawings of his on a blanket next to where he sat. We browsed “Sur la Table”, which was jam-packed with all sorts of awesome, shiny cooking things, and then went next door to this artsy paper goods place. I can’t remember the name due to being distracted by the intense glow radiating from this shop, and the loud chorus of angelic singing emanating from all around me. Papersource, maybe? It had quite a selection of really, really pretty art paper with printed designs all over it. I don’t know exactly what this paper is called, but I should look it up online and try and buy some cheaper than the $6-15 per sheet that they cost in most stores. Or…I should just make my own. :)

After driving back to Bart’s house (hooray Jordan for letting us borrow his car!!), we watched Brian Regan’s “Standing Up” with Bart’s housemates. It. Was. Awesome. I don’t care how you get ahold of a copy of this performance, but you need to. And you need to do it now. It was brilliant.

Wow, this is getting long….time to go, then :)