I won’t say too much, but I’m pretty excited to be working on something that will be going up on a building.

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Even if it is a little bit offensive.  But it wasn’t my idea.

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Getting Ready for Spring

April 30, 2009

This week ended up being pretty productive.  Earlier this month I had purchased a 4×4 section of tin ceiling from Second Chance Inc. with the intentions of making a backsplash for the stove.  The back was very rusty and I put off taking care of that for the entire month.  Finally, the weather was inspiring enough to get it done.  Some elbow greased wire brushing and windy Rustoleum spray painting took care of it and the back was as good as new.  The front is now a pretty, light, and airy “Icy Mint.”

I’m still working out the installation for it but I’m thinking backing it with felt and hanging it with wire.

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I’ll put a picture after I hang it.

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Oh and here’s the dinner of the week:

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Lemon dill salmon, brown rice, and green beans almondine.

Marie Louise Craftiness

April 13, 2009

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A good kick in the ass to make me start my pelican, # 2 in the series.

I recently finished part one of a mini embroidery project.  I’m doing a small series of waterfowl inspired from Audubon’s illustrations.  Luckily I received my best reference as a Christmas present.

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First up is the Snowy Egret, or Ciconiiformes Ardeidae Egretta thula as I always say.

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I had also recently bought Embroidered Birds by Helen M. Stevens from Daedalus Books.  It truthfully was only a little helpful as far as techniques, but was still interesting to look at.

I started using a linen cotton needlepoint fabric.  I had a difficult transferring my design at first, but I think I’ve got it now.

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I started with the darkest shadows first and worked color range dark to light in order.

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It turned out pretty good I think.  Not the best lighting, but here it is:

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The feet were just as tedious as they were fun.

Also, after knocking my  table top fashioned out of a magazine off of the chair arms enough times, I got fed up and got smarter and made this:

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Next up is the Brown Pelican, you know, the Pelecaniformes Pelecanidae Pelecanus occidentalis.

Winter is really hard for me.  Aside from the obvious cold comes lethargy, apathy, hibernation, and hoarding.    Because of the newly planned trip to Montreal, I’ve been looking to perfect my wardrobe, and frankly it’s not going all that well.  I know what I want but can’t seem to find what I’m looking for.  Usually when I give up on fashion, I resort to recipes, DIY ideas, and especially home decorating.  I’ve found so many ideas for each room (as if they’re so separate) of my apartment that I’m so excited about.

The theme I guess I would be working towards is maybe a really old french biologist’s country home in the early 1900’s.  That may be a bit dreamy, but the basic idea is classic.

Washington Irving House (as highlighted in The House in Good Taste)

Washington Irving House (as highlighted in The House in Good Taste)

In my searches, I found my next reading endeavor: The House in Good Taste, by Elsie De Wolfe.  I’m not exactly sure how well known she is…I’ve never heard of her.  As far as I’ve read, it’s exactly the classic attitude of  decorating that I’ve been pushing for.  In my search for the perfect things to fit the apartment, I’ve learned that above all, it takes time and of course many many many many trips to so many thrift stores.

**Note:  Some things, however, are ok to splurge for.  Once I feel that I am deserving, I will treat myself to these beautiful tumblers from Anthropologie.

Fleur de lys yellow tumblers

Fleur de lys yellow tumblers

It’s funny, because I just got my tax return, but I think that I need to get something accomplished first in order to get them.**

It’s important for me to get out of this winter funk.  Rather than hoarding everything that I like in the moment, my attitude needs to change towards being simple and selective.

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“How can we develop taste?  Some of us, alas, can never develop it, because we can never let go of shams.  We must learn to recognize suitability, simplicity and proportion, and apply our knowledge to our needs.”

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“What is the main goal?
A house that is like the life that goes on with it,
a house that gives us beauty as we understand it –
and beauty of a nobler kind that we may grow to understand,
a house that looks refined.”

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~Elsie De Wolfe
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(I should probably go ahead and get some accessory pets while I’m at it.)

 

A very near and dear friend of mine celebrated her 24th birthday yesterday.  Here is our celebration, and what led up to it.

 

I found a really cool cake recipe on The Omnomicon blog, via Apartment Therapy

 

2 Cans of Soda, 2 Boxes white cake mix

2 Cans of Soda, 2 Boxes white cake mix

Divided up into 6 even bowls and added crazy amounts of color.  So bad for you, but it’s just this once, right?

 

Dropped colors into pretty color ordered blobs

Dropped colors into pretty color-ordered blobs

The blog recommended gel colors.  I guess they’re better.  

 

Bake and toothpick

Bake and toothpick

I feel the need at this point to assure you that I did not mess with the digital picture colors.  At all.  I had  speculated on the original blog’s pictures.  But I take it back.  The cake really is this bright and brilliant.

 

And cool.  It was a lovely day by the way.

And cool. It was a lovely day by the way.

 

Very lovely.

Very lovely.

We decided that for the icing we would go for a teal.  It turned out being pretty Tiffany blue.  I loved it.

 

Pretty enough to stick a diamond ring into.

Pretty enough to stick a diamond ring into.

 

And a B for Blaire!

And a B for Blaire!

 

It's not a birthday without balloons.

It's not a birthday without balloons.

We also made something very special for her.  And distasteful.  Mostly the latter.

 

Not just a paper mache penis.  But it's filled with candy.

Not just a paper mache penis. But it's filled with candy.

The get together was crazy.  The pinata was a hit.   

 

Literally a hit.  pffffff

Literally a hit. pffffff

And the cake looked fantastic.  Even when being ripped apart. 

 

Poor cake.

Poor cake.

Poor little cake.

Poor little cake.

 I haven’t baked in quite sometime, so I’m pretty proud and happy with the result.  I think I’ll bake special things much more often.  I could use some excuses to be a little more domestic from time to time.

Louisiana ’08

December 30, 2008

I recently got back from my annual trip to Louisiana to visit my family.  Overall it was pretty exciting.  

 

I bunched all of the pictures together, but most of them are from Prospect 1 in New Orleans.  

While there, I visited the NOMA and the CAC.

 

 I wasn’t able to get many  pictures from the Contemporary Arts Center than I did, but there were many really neat things there.  

* One really great one was Candice Breitz’s video installation, LEGEND (A portrait of Bob Marley).  Thirty Jamaicans individually sing their version of Legend to headphones.  It’s really cool.  This is the only video i could find of it.

 

* Jackie Sumell’s work, The House that Herman Built 

A sort of collaboration between artist and Angola prisoner (Herman Wallace) answering the question “What kind of house does a man who lives in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?”

Through a 4 year correspondence , Sumell was able to create multimedia examples of Herman’s dream house, including a fly-through CAD model (pictured above).

Here is the Times Picayune article on it.

 

There were a few other artists included that I don’t have documentation of, but they included: Julie Mehretu, Robin Rhode, Isaac Julien (who’s video installation starred and was entitled Baltimore), and Allora & Calzadilla.

 

If in the area, it’s worth it.  I wish I would’ve had more time to explore because I know it won’t be there the next time I visit.

Christmas time is here

December 8, 2008

It’s getting to be that time.  Shopping is a nightmare everywhere you go, no matter the time or day of the week.  Snow and ice are terrifying for those of us devoid of any sort of grace.  And then there’s the pressure of impressing the family that you see once or twice a year.  Argh!!!

But yet…….. this year is different.  I love Christmas no matter the headache.  This year I’m sending out a few Christmas cards, I’m decorating a little, and I’m getting my shopping done as soon as possible.  I really want to enjoy this season, because it will be special if you allow it to be.  I’m trying to start it out right.  

***First of all, it was my first time seeing the Mount Vernon monument lighting.  (I probably wouldn’t have gone if I couldn’t walk to it.)  Of course it drizzled for the first hour that we were waiting for fireworks, but it was pretty spectacular when it stopped and they started.  

Well it’s not at all easy to take pictures of fireworks.

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Here’s what the Baltimore Sun saw:

We noticed that the fireworks knocked out a good bit of the lights during the show.  That’s some intense fireworkin.

 

 

***I wrapped the two Christmas presents I have bought.  I’m sure you can guess they’re for my mother and father. I got my mom some pretty tan gloves, and my dad a book and an NPR map.  I would pretty much suggest it as a gift for anyone who travels across the country.  

You know, like a road map that show all of the NPR stations nationwide.

 

***I got mine from Red Tree in Hampden.  Which reminds me, I loooooove store Christmas.

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dscf0028Seriously, well done.

 

***So my decorating has been slim.  Our sad little fake Christmas tree lost life in the top half of it’s light string, so I made a yellow and white construction paper chain.  I think it kind of made it look a little sadder, unfortunately.  So I put the wrapped presents under them.  And that made it look sad too, cause we only have two wrapped presents.  Thank god for reversible wrapping paper.  

I also thought, “well we have a mantle, we ought to have some stockings.”  So I used some white scrap felt and the acrylic paint to make a couple of monogrammed stockings.  Ah well…

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We didn’t have hooks and managed to affix them carefully to a little ledge in the detail of the mantle.  I wonder if there’s an attractive, easy, sturdy way to keep those actually hanging from the top ledge.

***We went to the craft mart today at the Lyric and hopefully that will give me some more ideas for future gifts and decoration before Christmas.  What we were really looking for was a really nice 2009 calender, but didn’t find anything that quite fit our taste.  Til we do, we’ll be printing out ical calenders monthly.  (Cause I don’t currently have a large collection of paint chips)

 

***Anyway~I hope to continue to be inspired to make this month run smoothly and festively. I’m going to try to continue to be excited as well, because otherwise, it will be just another long and cold December.***

 

 

P.s.~ We bought these today and I love them:

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I’ll hang them when i have time, surely awake neighbors, and a really good level.

Treasure Find!

November 29, 2008

Rather than braving the malls or 4 am Kohl’s massacres on black Friday, Katie and I finished a few home projects and went to the Value Village.  There we discovered  a table we liked was not just a table, but a sewing machine cabinet.  For $15 it was worth the haul.  

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come inside..

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It works.  I’ve tested it and I think I have it pretty much all figured out.  But I haven’t had the chance yet to actually sit down and give it a shot.  Maybe later today or tomorrow.

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The thing about taking in new furniture into our apartment right now is that all of our furnishings must be as functional as possible.  So for now the table will have to be a table as well as a sewing machine. 

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A Sea Pink Month

September 5, 2008

I found a new use for the greedy amounts of paint chips we steal at every shopping trip.  I made a back-to-school calender for my old lady.

My favorite color swatch name is fashion plum (September 9th).