Archive for the 'lists' Category

I’m Back, Baby!

It’s been silent over here on ye old blog for far too long.

Some time in February we had crazy winds which caused day long power outages all over the county. We only suffered from weird brown outs, where somethings turned off (like the oven and humidifier), somethings stayed on (like the TV), somethings dimmed (like the lights), and somethings just DIED FOREVER (like my computer). Honestly, I’d been complaining about my ancient computer (10+ years old) for quite a while, but Matt kept assuring me “It’s fine”. Well, it wasn’t, and I was quite annoyed. Note, I was annoyed and not hysterical because I had fortunately backed up my computer not too long beforehand. He tried to resurrect my computer with no luck. I looked around for a thrifty alternative; even the cheapest computer I could find has to be better than a 10+ year old monster, right? Fortunately, Matt’s mom heard about my plight and had been wanting to get a new computer and offered us her old one. Apparently, her old one is better than what I would have purchased brand new (faster and larger) and so now I’m back in business. High Five!

I feel like I have a mile long to-do list of things I wanted to get done on my computer. I have a list of new paper products that I want to make, I need to print more of my nephew’s stationery that I designed for him for Christmas, and I want to blog about a bobajillion things. I have recovered or redownloaded any of the design and photo editing programs I use. I’m in limbo with anything I want to scan because my scanner apparently is no longer supported on Window 10. womp, womp.

Winter 2015-16 chalkboard calendar

Anyway, Here I am, breaking the ice after a long time. I thought I would share my seasonal chalkboard calendar, as I need to erase it and start it all over for Spring. SPRING!

and while I’m here, let’s do a “Currently” post, so here it goes-

Right Now I’m…

AnticipatingMy best friend’s wedding next month. I’m nervous and stressed just thinking about it, and it’s not even my wedding.
Buying Food Should Taste Good, sweet potato tortilla chips (ok, I didn’t buy them, my sister did)
Creating  Oh, my gosh! I’m working on so many projects, it’s great! Most recently I’ve been inspired by the artwork of Xochi Solis, and playing around with a new line of envelopes for a potential stationery set. The envelopes aren’t like her work, but listening to the Art for Your Ears podcast with her, and looking at her work lit a fire, and the idea just popped into my head.
Eating HEALTHFULLY! I know one thing and that is eating unhealthily (overeating, processed, and take out foods) leaves with you even less energy to prepare meals and eat well, and I was caught in a bad downward spiral. This year my sister gifted me one of the best gifts ever – She paid for my mom, my sister and herself to do a 5 week run of Seattle Sutton. It is not cheap, folks. But now that we’ve been eating better and have learned quite a few lessons, we are taking our newfound energy and momentum and continuing with it. And I’m so happy, and so grateful. Thank you, thank you, Chris!
Feeling  Lighter, happier, more energetic and inspired! I always walk (fitbitting with 10k steps daily now for 2.5+ years) but lately, I’m incorporating more actual workouts and it feels great.
Listening Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts! I’ve been talking forever about sharing a post where I list my favorite podcasts, and I promise, Courtney, I haven’t forgotten.
Loving Walking. I was going to say “The warmer weather so I can go out walking” but in reality, this winter, I really never stopped going for walks outside. When I was young I would go and stay with my grandma and she went for walks every day. I remember feeling like it was a chore and her having to persuade me sometimes, but instead of it being this “workout” she made it more of a whole experience; getting fresh air, listening to and trying to spot birds, observing all parts of nature, collecting cool rocks and leaves, etc. Later, I always wished that someday I would do that as well, that I would go for daily walks, and now I am so happy to realize that vision is finally true!
Missing My scanner (see above, dead computer)
Procrastinating – This category is giving me serious guilt. I have a bunch of things I need to do and haven’t. The kind of guilt that stressed me out of deep sleep this morning. Did I take care of any of those things today? No, of course not #failure. OK, wait, before I’m too hard on myself, I have also been really productive and crossing lots of things off my to-do list.
Reading – Um, this is causing me guilt too! I have a pile of books on my bedside table, some overdue books even. Let’s not talk about the backlog of magazines I subscribe to and have been carrying around with me, but never reading. 
Seeing  The grass starting to turn green and grow. Normally this might be exciting to me, but the trees are all still absolutely naked and yet, I think we are going to have to mow soon. Gah!
Watching We are watching the last season of Community with our “movie group”, which originally aired on yahoo. We’ve watched all seasons up to this. SIX SEASONS AND A MOVIE, Whoop Whoop! Did you ever watch this show? If not, I highly recommend starting from the beginning. Also, we watched the Good Dinosaur the other day, meh.
Wanting – I recently started a wishlist on pinterest and I’m trying to remember to put things there, rather than just spending thoughtlessly, or forgetting what it was that I really wanted.

Other Right Now posts

Speed Round – Episode 21

Art for Your Ears

Every week I look forward to the weekend and a new episode of Art for Ears, the Jealous Curator’s podcast. Danielle Krysa has an amazing blog called The Jealous Curator (subtitled: Damn. I wish I thought of that), where she shares the artwork of artists that she is jealous of. How many other artists out there can relate? (Raising my hand) If you haven’t checked out the blog or her podcast, I highly recommend it. The idea behind the podcast is that Danielle interviews a different artist each week, so that the listeners get a little look into the lives of all kinds of artists. Each episode has a speed round section where she asks the artist quick questions that they should answer without thinking too long or too deeply about them. Each week I try to imagine how I would answer these same questions if I were being interviewed by Danielle, so I had the idea to start this series where I will share my own answers to each week’s speed round on this here blog.

This week’s episode was with artist Debra Broz. You can find the episode of Art For Your Ears here.

1. If I gave you a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The place that comes to mind immediately is Juneau, Alaska. I was fortunate enough to spend a week there during spring break my senior year of high school, and I always said I wanted to return with the possibility of living there for at least 2 years. I haven’t been back since but want to so badly.
2. Favorite movie from your teen years?
Say Anything, and as a bonus I’ll say that my all of my favorite movies from my teen years were shmoopy romances, so I’ll just share that my top 5 were probably Say Anything, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, Singles and (Debra Mentioned this one as her favorite as well) Reality Bites.
3. Ice Cream or Pizza
Pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream, but I’m more of a fruity or non-creamy dessert type person. It would have been a lot harder choice between pizza or Slurpee/Slushee/Hawaiian Ice.
4. Flavor?
Probably a Chicago style deep dish, gourmet veggie (which definitely means it needs to have artichokes) and plenty of CHEESE

And just a quick note: As soon as I heard about and then saw Debra’s work, I instantly wanted to see a collaboration of some sorts between her and artist Cassie Marie Edwards, who was also featured on the Jealous Curator. Cassie paints realistic portraits of figurines, while Debra is a ceramicist and restorer, that takes apart figurines and re-imagines them into new creatures. Maybe they could do a group show where Cassie paints the original figurines and then Debra re-imagines them. That would be so cool!

Read previous Speed Round posts here

Renegade 2015

Renegade craft chicago 2015

Last weekend was Renegade Chicago and as usual my sister and I went together. I think this was our 11th trip and this year I limited myself to $100. This meant I was already out of money halfway through the show, wah. You can imagine my anguish, sadness and regret when I found a $10 bill left hidden in my wallet later. I would have spent that in a heartbeat. Fortunately, my birthday was just a couple days later, so a couple things were bought as presents via my sister. Previous Renegade Craft Fair posts

9.19 Renegade overall small

I put my sister’s and my loot together for one picture and I really should have photographed them separately. We covered the ping pong table, and standing up on a chair, the ceiling wasn’t high enough to really get a picture and then I lost detail, being so far away. Lesson learned. I’ll start top left corner and move clockwise and spiral in.


Picture by Diane Sudyka

-Flora and Fauna of the Midwest print by artist Diane Sudyka, I loved all of her work

-Wrapping paper from La Familia Green. One paper is a pressed penny pattern and I collect pressed pennies, and the other is a cat pattern. They also had a food truck pattern that I was tempted by, but their deal was for 2 wrapping papers, so I just got the two. Backstory on this paper was that I bought it and they wrapped it up all nicely, handed it to me in a paper bag with handles, and apparently the tall rolls must have fallen out of my bag almost immediately. I went back to the booth hoping maybe someone had returned it to them, but they hadn’t, and the, they gave me 2 new ones, which was so kind that it made me tear up. I feel indebted to them for their generosity.

-Felt (yellow) Wild and Free pennant flag by The Diggingest Girl


Picture by Elingeling on instagram

-Migration Goods cat ornament (with tongue sticking out. My sister bought a little Nope bunny plaque and some barrettes for our niece. It was very nice to meet Eling after having followed her online for years, probably first through flickr back in the day.


Picture by Louise Dean

-Bison dishtowel by Louise Dean, which reminds me, I need to post about our recent trip to Nachusa grasslands and the Bison we saw there


Picture by Genevieve Santos

-Genevieve Santos bookmarks, sticker and buttons. I was excited by everything in this booth, especially after I discovered that I was familiar with her work. I recognized a card she was selling as one I had purchased on Paperwoven, when I was researching the site and if I’d like to try and sell my own cards there. Everything she does is beautiful and super cute! How could I not buy that sticker above with the girl drinking bubble tea?

-My sister bought a bunch of greeting cards from TheBoxBerry

-We both chipped in to buy these brilliant Pon pushpin paper clips, that I remembered from their kickstarter. They allow you to hang prints and things in boards and walls without damaging the artwork.

-My sister purchased this “All the Things” bag by Mouth and Trousers


Picture by Maelu

-My sister bought this infinity scarf from Maelu

-She also bought this Alternate Histories of the World book by Matthew Buchholz

-My sister bought the watercolor patterned zipper pouch from Louise Dean, the same artist who made the bison towel above.

Renegade 2015 photobooth

-I got my annual photobooth picture taken from magbooth. So glad my sister saw it because last year I missed it.

-I bought a stamp ring from Matters of Delight. I’ve been wanting a ring with a stamp on it for a long time. You see little kids toy stamp rings all the time, but I was wanting something a little more adult. But just a little bit, ya know ;) it says yay! and I love it!

-Another birthday gift was the Stay Home Club bag which I’ve been wanting for years and years. I think I first found out about them via Katie at Skunkboy and love everything they put out. Side note: because I am constantly fighting contradictions within myself, I said I need to buy the Oh Darling Let’s Be Adventurers Bag and sew them together into one bag.

-At Oh Hello Friend, I bought a bunch of little pill capsules with smiley faces and rolled up notepaper inside. I thought they would be perfect for putting in geocaches and sending to friends. I also bought a few gold letterpressed business cards with friendly greetings.


Picture by YAB

-I purchased some You Are Beautiful stickers AND an enamel pin that looks like their stickers.

-I made a free leather pouch at the Leather Arts, Inc. booth

-My sister bought a silk screened ship patch

-My sister bought an super adorable quilted turtle plush.

 

It was such a good day, beautiful weather, the people were all nice, I got such great treasures and found out about so many new, great makers. I could have easily spent twice as much! We were saying how some years the vendors will be a lot of repeats of very similar products, but this year there was a really great variety and lots of new booths that haven’t been there before.

Previous Renegade Craft Fair posts

100 Things About Me (Part II)

This is part II of 100 Things About Me. I’m breaking it down into smaller ingestable pieces. Read the complete 100 Things About Me in parts I, II, III, IV, and V

21. I have road tripped around Ireland with my sister, kissed the Blarney stone and climbed to the edge of the Cliffs of Moher to look down and see birds flying below me.

22. I have been on etsy since 2005 and opened up my shop in 2006.

23. I always wanted to open up a wrapped box from under the tree, Christmas morning, to find a little puppy inside.

24. I have set-lists, been backstage in the green room, and have been to after parties with Wilco.

25. I was taken to urgent care after being bitten by a blind and toothless, old dog when I was in middle school.

26. I don’t like bananas, but I don’t mind fake banana flavored candy.

27. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Art, not a Fine Art degree. Before graduating I was an undecided major, then an education major with Art emphasis, then an Art Education Major, then just an Art major.

28. For that I had to take 2 years of Italian language classes.

28. If I had a fine art degree it probably would have been in printmaking, photography, or metalwork/jewelry. I just counted 12 classes I took between those subjects.

29. I have 10,100 songs in my itunes library and if each track played once my library would play continuously for 26.5 days.

30. I would say97% of those songs are from CDs. I don’t believe in buying digital. Why pay almost the same amount of money and not get a hard back up as well as awesome artwork?

31. I’ve had a thing for stripes (particularly black and white stripes) probably since middle school. It makes me kind of sad now how popular B&W stripes are now. It used to be fairly difficult to find b&w striped items and everyone around me knows it was my thing. Now I don’t want people thinking I’m just being obnoxiously trendy.

32. I don’t like pop and rarely drink it. I can’t take the carbonation. It hurts to drink.

33. I have green eyes and I think that makes me special.

34. I have bought my current bicycle 4 times.

35. I collect gnomes.

My boots.
36. Here are my favorite boots. Click the image above to read more about them.

37. I have sent HUNDREDS of pieces of my original artwork though the mail.

38. I used to play the clarinet (for 4 years, from 5th grade through 8th).

39. The first page of all my sketchbooks start out the same way with the time of my birth printed small and central, and nothing else.

40. I’m worried that these lists of 100 Things sound like I’m bragging or a snob.

No. 16 from 2010 List – DONE!

So, it’s been years now since I created my first “yearly list“. I didn’t even create one this year because I felt like I needed to focus on crossing off all the things on my previous lists, rather than continue adding to them. This last weekend I did another thing that I can finally check off… #16 from 2010 – eat falafel.
5.8.12 falafel
You might say I live under a rock, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I had even heard of falafel. I think I’d read about it online and then like that it was popping up everywhere. It’s description was so foreign to me. I got this idea that it was a deep fried bready thing that I pictured to be like hush puppies, but that you ate it on a pita and it had some sort of white sauce on it. A bread item that you eat on more bread, hmmm, not sure about that? I found out it was a middle eastern food and had it in my mind that I wanted to eat it at a middle eastern restaurant in Chicago. That being said, any time I was in Chicago it was with other people and we had other plans, or I was afraid to ask about searching out some good falafel. I was also kind of building it up so that it had to be this big event – the FIRST TIME I HAD FALAFEL!

Fast forward to recent times. Right before Easter, Matt had a dream where he was eating a lot of vegetables. Normally he’s a MEAT-EATER, so when he woke up it got him thinking and he started doing some research about vegetarianism. He set himself a goal to see if he could go meat free for one month. (Insert My Big Fat Greek Wedding joke here). I am not a vegetarian, but this really has been wonderful. Suddenly he is being very open minded and trying (and enjoying) all sorts of things I couldn’t get him to try before (hummus, soy burgers, etc.) and together we are exploring all sorts of new meat alternatives (seitan, TVP, etc.). It’s been well over a month now and he’s still going strong. With all the new variety brought into his diet he hasn’t even missed real meat.

We’ve been eating out at this local pita place where we first discovered the glory of seitan (seriously, the good quality stuff, how is that not meat?). Then my friend Gail posted on facebook that she has become obsessed with this same pita place’s falafel. My friend Gail went to culinary school, has worked as a pastry chef, and has her own soup company. Her recommendation was all I needed.

We did a little research and decided to order a falafel pita with all sorts of veggies and tzatziki as well as tahini and voila, it was awesome! It was different than I expected, but in a good way. I didn’t really expect it to be like a meat substitute, but it really was. Instead of being bready, it was more like grains and legumes, but with the right seasoning and texture, it tasted much like veggie burgers do.

more and less

Despite the long, long (quite, quite long) list I posted earlier this week.

September is here

Drive in movie, Indiana Dunes, birthday and ice cream cake, BBQ for a friend, stir fry, home decor, chalkboard paint, and sidewalk chalk, fall leaves, Sandwich Fair, new couch, settling in, open house, thrifting, Jonamac and a big chair photograph, sweaters, mailart, meeting goals, Last Fling, Renegade, walking in Illinois Prairie, road trip to enjoy the fall scenery

Going to the Drive-In

A quick note, as it’s been weighing on my conscience that it’s halfway through the year and I haven’t posted about my yearly lists yet. I didn’t put together a list this year because I wanted to take time to finish the things on my previous lists. I’d rather work away at items that are important, rather pile on more obligations to the point that it is no longer enjoyable. That being said, earlier this week I was thrilled to cross off an item from last year’s to-do list. I went to the drive-in movies for the first time in my life. After driving past the Cascade Drive in (West Chicago) over 10 years ago now, I’ve known that was the drive-in I wanted to attend.

6.8 Drive In 8
Talking to people beforehand about the drive-in, I gathered that it was fun enough, but nothing amazing. I tried not to build myself up as much as one can, when they’ve been wishing to go to the Drive-In their entire life. Honestly, I’ve wanted to go for so long, but it had to be with just the right person, and for the right movie and at the right time of the season, etc. Matt and I have been together now for 10 years, so I think it was finally safe to say he was the right person, lol.
6.8 Drive In
Like I said, this item was on my to-do list from last year. I added myself to the Cascade Drive-In movie theatre email list and for over a year they’ve been sending me the movies they are playing each week. Last year, without fail, when a movie that I’d finally want to see came to the drive-in, it would turn out that I had already seen it in the regular theater weeks before. So this year, I told myself not to rush into the theaters to see everything and save it for the drive-in. When it came down to it, I finally said if I wait for the perfect day and the perfect movie, it will never happen so when I saw the new X Men movie was playing I thought it would be good enough.
6.8 Drive In 2

I think most drive-ins are usually double headers and this one was no different. Bridesmaids was the second movie, and although I wanted to see it, we ended up going on Wednesday, and we both had to work in the morning. We left it up to how we felt at the time to leave after the first movie or stay for the second feature. Also the movie theater was over an hour’s drive away from us.

6.8 Drive In 3

Keeping low expectations of the experience worked out because immediately driving in I knew it was going to be awesome and even better than imagined.  The lot was all gravel so you didn’t have to worry about mosquitos. They had the posts with speakers attached and before the movie began they were playing classic hits from the 50s. Both Matt and I really enjoyed that. The theater really made their best effort to make it like it had been back in the day. You could listen from your speaker on the post, put the speaker in your car or just tune to 88.5 on your radio and listen that way. We played the movie through our radio and had our windows open so we could hear from all the other speakers in the theater and it was almost like stereo coming from all directions.

6.8 Drive In 4

We got there about 20 minutes before the first show was supposed to begin (8:30 p.m.) and there were a few cars there before us. By the the time the movie began we heard an employee’s walkie-talkie announce that there were 110 vehicles and I saw more cars still pull in after that. So, they did decently for a midweek showing.  That day had been unusually hot, but by the evening it was so nice out. We were able to have the windows down and sunroof open and there was a cool breeze. If we go again I’ll try and remember to bring a blanket and pillows.

6.8 Drive In 5

They had a snack shop where you could buy all sorts of goodies, and they didn’t seem too expensive either. Popcorn for a dollar! Who’s heard of that at a movie in the last 50 years? But beforehand, heading to the movies Matt and I picked up some sandwiches to bring with us. It’s a perk you can’t enjoy at the regular movies. You can also bring your pets and lawn chairs. There were several groups laying in truck beds or SUVs to watch the movie. Before the movie began I even saw people that brought a baseball and mitts to play catch. They also had picnic tables in a grassy area and permanent BBQ grills for anyone to use.

6.8 Drive In 7

Probably because it wasn’t dark enough yet, the movie (or rather commercials) began about 20 minutes late. But once again to my enjoyment, they played all of these old classic commercials from long ago advertising things they carry in the snack shop. It filled in even more than in this picture above, but they kept all the cars in certain rows. I’m not sure, but I’d guess they could probably pack over a thousand cars in there. I can imagine how full it would be on a Friday or Saturday night.

6.8 Drive In 6

Here is a picture I snapped of the moon as it was getting darker. By the end of the movie the wind had REALLY picked up and  it had been so hot and dry the last few days that dust from the gravel started picking up. A couple times I got stuff in my eyes, and that’s not good for this contact lens wearing girl. X Men was good and it ended a bit after 11, even though Bridesmaids was supposed to start at 10:30. We were more than content with our experience, so we decided we were fine leaving early. Good thing too because a few minutes after we left the sky opened up and rained and poured the whole way home.

I had such a good time and I’m so glad that it was just Matt and I, but I’d definitely want to go again. I think it would be fun to get a group of people in multiple vehicles.  Also, I think they open up a full 2.5 hours before the movies begin so you really could make an evening of it with BBQing and everything.

Documenting the fall

In the last week Matt and I have been doing some rearranging. We moved our “living room” which was previously in the finished basement, up to the actual living room area. The office, which was previously in the “living room” is now in the finished basement. Matt’s brother and sister-in-law were so kind to give us their 61″ HDTV and there was no way we were carrying that down the stairs, so instead we just did a switch-a-roo. The reason they gave us their amazing HDTV was because they decided to upgrade to a 3D-HDTV! and it is amazing! I’ve never been too keen for 3D movies, but they had us watch a 3D Imax movie about the bottom of the ocean and it was the first time ever where I felt like things were actually coming out of the screen at me.

Then this weekend we carved pumpkins with our friends Tom and Nikki. It’s something we do every year.  I only have Matt and my pumpkins pictured here because the full group shot is on my other camera and I left that in my best friend’s car. My pumpkin is on the left. Usually I always carve the same pumpkin ever year, but this year I was inspired by this link from Martha Stewart via  The Dainty Squid.

Last week this painting arrived in the mail. It was actually a painting I made and sent out for a top secret project. I loved the finished product so much, and I was so afraid that it would end up getting lost or tossed and just unappreciated, so I was thrilled to have it back in my possession. It’s based on a collage that I shared earlier this year.

And lastly, today I made this Etsy treasury.

Please click on over and view it. I love all the pieces I featured and think they deserve some attention :)

Day Six – Mixed Media Page

A while ago I did a post where I listed a bunch of cool things that I had received recently and I completely forgot to mention this book. Today I finally broke it out and used it for my thing-a-day.

In December my sister and I went to the One-of-a-Kind show in Chicago where I purchased the above book. It’s a beautiful green leather covered, mini handbound/stitched book with an assortment of encyclopedia pages mixed with quality drawing papers. I’m in love with the book from GreenTrikePress. Check out her shop, seriously, her books are gorgeous and amazingly constructed. When my sister saw these books she said to me “here is a seller after your own heart”.  I was beyond thrilled because I had actually been working on making more books like this. I just love that the pages are filled with a variety of pages. I’ve decided to fill the pages with collage and mixed media work.

Here is the first page, that I did today.