And what a hiatus.  Fall and winter have really slowed my creative juices, but I’m on a mission of willpower and discipline.  There’s only one way to get back to a blog after such a long time and that is to dive right in before distracted procrastination settles back into it’s spot.

A brief and simple recap of the highlights since this summer:

1. LADY GAGA SIGHTINGS

Lady Gaga spoke at the Equality March in D.C.  After she finished she exited right in front of us.  Pretty exciting.  Earlier that month we had gone to Richmond to see her.  Richmond was really surprising for me.  In a good way.

The best of Richmond was the Canal Cruise in a Willy Wonka-ish covered boat that went along the historic canal walk.

2. GREAT MARYLAND MOMENTS

Ok really this is just a gratuitous beautiful shot of the harbor that makes me miss warm weather terribly.

With breezy windows open, fall was a good time for fort building.  Inside the fort were scary movies, and a fake fire plugged into the wall.

One morning we got to Harper’s Ferry so early no one was there.  (Except ghosts)  By the water was freezing but it was absolutely beautiful.  I’m sure I spotted a bald eagle.

Katie wanted to start this Maryland list.  The Baltimore 100.  We didn’t get too far, they’re all accounted for on her page, though.  Here is when we had to try oyster’s from Nick’s in Cross Street Market.  Not being in the mood for raw oyster slurping we got oyster po boys instead.  Which is not a Maryland thing, but it definitely works for me.

Every year in November, Easton hosts the Waterfowl Festival.  A family member carves on the caliber of those shown and accompanied us.  The workmanship was brilliant and the details were absolutely insane.

3. FOOD ENDEAVORS

Tons of beef stew.  The second it got chilly there was beef stew.

Drunken nights having to feed friends resulted in inventive steak preparation.  The bloody mary marinated steak.  Brilliant kitchen collaboration if you ask me.  Marinate and flip for a couple of hours in pretty much anything you would put in your bloody mary. Plus garlic cloves.

Pound carefully on countertop with something hammer-like.  Like a hammer.

Slice and serve with cheap and filling side dish.  Simply delicious.

Cheese biscuits made on Superbowl Sunday.  So comforting I’m sure it’s what make them win.  They were accompanied by andouille sausage red beans and rice.  Victory!

And because all of my friends are my valentines, I made V-Day cupcakes, each in their own shade of pink.  It’s funny because pink is my least favorite color.  But it was so important that they all be different.  Like my special friends.

4. DOG!

Our friend found this little scrappy thing in East Baltimore.  A shaky little girl all matted and nervous.  Katie and I took her in and she is ours.  Her name is Little Edie.  Long ago, I’m sure Edie was a sophisticated spoiled house-pup, who was then forced to become street smart.  But she has a home now, with us.

It took the groomer 4 hours to give her a “fresh start.”  Poor thing had all of her hair cut off, so I made her a sophisticated little sweater to keep her warm.

Those killer eyes are what got her rescued.  And her outer space face.

She’s fitting in rather well.

5. BLIZZARD

We got a lot of snow.  And I can’t take it anymore.  can barely look at these pictures of all this stupid snow.

Stuck inside with nothing to do.

Almost nothing.

The trash/recycling hasn’t come in about 2 weeks.  Our stuff along with about 4 days worth of other people’s trash is really piling up.  

I killed a fly yesterday.  Can you imagine, a fly in February!  The point is no one in this city has gotten rid of trash in quite some time.  It’s outrageous.  It’s supposed to snow again today or tomorrow.  Only a few inches.  But if that’s not it for the season, my bags are packed.  I can’t take it.  I mean look at the length of this blog, I’ve gone absolutely insane.  Hoping more exciting things happen and signing off.  Welcome back, me.

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Junefest!!

June 12, 2009

I meant to post this earlier, but there are a lot of way cool things going this month in this charming little city.

Saturday and Sunday:

Honfest!

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Go here for events & such..

June 20th & 21st:

PRIDE!!  The one day it’s expected to be way over the top and outrageous.  If you aren’t, you need to lighten up.

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here’s that website (if you don’t have a gay friend who already knows all about it.)

I mean, probably the only city where you could wear the same pink feather boa 2 weekends in a row.

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Go crazy.  It’s that time of year again.

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.

Philly Phun

April 14, 2009

This weekend was packed full of good times, starting with the Beirut show at the Electric Factory.  It was a wonderful show.  They did a great job of mixing the old with the new and I was able to find really good youtube videos of the show.

Basically, it was all I expected and more, and had great company to share it with.

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The next day we made plans to go visit Terrain where my friend Adam had worked when it was first opened.  Terrain is basically a home/garden/design mecca.  Although I am budgeting, I made a couple of plant purchases, which is always exciting.  The prices there are expensive in my taste, but no more than I expected.  We shopped, ate at the cafe, then shopped some more.  Very relaxing and inspiring.  A great little day trip.

Starfish

Starfish

Hothouse

Hothouse

Hothouse Terrarium Box

Hothouse Terrarium Box

Hothouse Arch

Hothouse Arch

Really Really Expensive Orchids

Really Really Expensive Orchids

Gourd Bird Houses In Back

Gourd Bird Houses In Back

Home And Bath Stuff

Home And Bath Stuff

Soap Table

Soap Table

Brunch At Cafe

Brunch At Cafe

Brunch In A Greenhouse

Brunch In A Greenhouse

Silly I know, but I loved the bathroom design

Silly I know, but I loved the bathroom design

Purchases

Purchases

Buckled Up For the Ride Home

Buckled Up For the Ride Home

Got home and immediately put our plants in their places.

Herb Garden

Herb Garden

Window Garden

Window Garden

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.)

February 13, 2009

Katie and I have talked for a while about how badly we need a vacation.  Even if just for a weekend.  We’ve talked about many places.  Including Nashville, Massachusetts, etc.  Finally we’ve settled, and we’ve been so grown up to even make reservations.  Ok, I didn’t, Katie did.  But half of us is grown up.  We’re going to Montreal!

 

We got some help from a couple of friends who went there last spring break and had an amazing time.  They even made a hostel recommendation and that’s where we’ll be staying.  I’m so excited.  This will be our first “vacation” together, and I know it will be excellent.  

 

We couldn’t help ourselves, last night we bought travel books.

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Did I mention that it’s a really nice hostel.  

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I have to brush up on my french.  

Gosh.  I’m so excited.

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.

Home sweet home

November 19, 2008

Katie and I just finished moving all of our belongings into our new place.  The bedroom is so sparse and lame with just a mattress.  But it’s a nice blank canvas for us to work with.  The living room, though a work in progress, feels so nice and put together.  I think I would’ve gone absolutely insane if I had to come from work to a less than cozy situation.  

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It’s evening in these pictures so it’s impossible to understand the amount of sunlight that this room gets.  It’s amazing and it would be a shame for us not to get some plants.

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This is Katie’s collection of pictures.  I love them.  I hung them last night while she was in class so she’d feel like it was home.  I stuck up there an embroidery I’ve been avoiding finishing for some reason.

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It’s hard to see the adorable little desk that Blaire’s mom gave us.  It’s a lovely shade of green.  And the map of Peru fits so nicely above it and ties it together as a work space.  Makes me want to do some homework, but I don’t have any.

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We combined our collections.  Mine is animal skulls and hers is cameras.  I think they go quite well together.  Above is the Audubon print that I gave Katie for our 1 year anniversary.  It’s of blue jays eating eggs.

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The fireplace had a tacky faux marble sponge technique on the brick.  I could not take it anymore and I painted it black without asking.  I’m not sorry either.

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This is the bench that Blaire’s mom gave us.  It’s the same color as the desk and fits in really nicely.  It’s standing in for the sofa that goes with the chairs that my parents gave me.  I threw my first weaving ever on it, cause well, it matched.  It will probably go under the framed pictures for dining when the sofa is here.  Our kitchen is back there as well as the bedroom doorway.  Both are not ready for visitors.  The front entrance is pretty cute too.  I hung up some fleur-de-lis hooks for our keys which is the most necessary organization at the moment.