29 April 2009

Flickr Favorites 19

1. you brighten my day, 2. 5 years back

I miss you, dear blog and dear readers. I hope I'll be back with a longer post soon! It's been crazy here.

26 April 2009

Paper Heart

Yet another movie I want to see. But, I want to see anything with Michael Cera. When oh when is the Arrested Development movie coming out?!

Found via Design is Mine.

25 April 2009

And the winner is . . .

nfmgirl won the peacock pendant. Her favorite book when she was small was a collection of Aesop's Fables. I know it probably is not the exact one she is talking about, but the Arthur Rackham edition would be worth owning. He is one of my favorite illustrators.

Anyway, I will be in touch for an address! I hope the winner loves the pendant, and thanks to everyone else who entered! It was so much fun to read the responses--- I recalled many books I loved, and hope to discover some new favorites.

24 April 2009

Five Senses Friday

  • the first popsicle of the season
  • a burger hot off the grill
  • organic champagne mangoes from our CSA box
  • an albino peacock perched on a dark wooden post-- shockingly beautiful
  • blooms opening on the cacti in our backyard
  • baby llamas grazing
  • the buds on the trees turning to leaves, giving us a bit of shade on the patio
  • The first night sleeping with the window open, light blankets, and a fan running
  • the stickiness of geranium leaves
  • dirt between my fingers as I transplanted our herbs, peppers, and broccoli

  • Charcoal, lighter fluid, and lemon juice blending together

  • the cries of peacocks at the farm where I pick up our produce
  • the voice of an old friend on the phone, her babies babbling in the background
  • rediscovering old favorites in my iTunes library

Friday Finds: California Letterpress Print

Dutch Door Press is an amazing letterpress studio based out of San Francisco that is doing a 50-state print set called "Birds and Blooms." I'm enamored with California, above.

23 April 2009

Flickr Favorites 18

1. Fruit Slices, 2. Untitled

I missed doing this on Tuesday. I am looking forward to summer. It's been in the 80s here.

Giveaway Ends Saturday!

Whew. I don't know where the week went. I guess I've just been feeling a little under the weather these days.

I'll return with regular posts soon, but I just wanted to post a little reminder that the peacock pendant giveaway ends this Saturday, April 25. You can enter here.

19 April 2009

Graflex Vintage Camera

I am a complete sucker for tag sales and any sort of art/craft apparatus. So even though I do not have the faintest idea how to use it, I had to snap up this vintage camera on Saturday. It came in an amazing old case with the tripod, plates to expose the film, some expired but unexposed film, and a light meter.

The only thing I know is that it is a Graflex Speed Graphic model. It has all sorts of view finders, gears, and other bells and whistles but I'm not sure what any of them do yet. Do I need a black hood? A flash? No idea.

I did find a Graflex website and Flickr pool--- the results are so stunning! And apparently it's the same model that Weegee used. I'm hoping I can learn how to use this even though I'm still struggling with my Diana.

I'm going to continue doing more research, but if anyone has any information or advice, it would be much appreciated! It's sort of my fantasy to go camping out in rural New Mexico this summer and get all Ansel Adams on the landscape.

18 April 2009

Leaf Cuts

I started following Jenny Lee Fowler's photostream on Flickr after my first experiment with schrenschnitte. She is a super-talented paper cutter, and when I saw her new work with leaves I got all sorts of excited and asked if I could share them here. She was kind enough to oblige!

Jenny also has her own blog and offers custom silhouettes (leaves and paper) in her Etsy shop.

In other news, I picked up a 2" x 4" vintage camera at a tag sale today, along with plates, a light meter, tripod, and unexposed film for ten bucks. I have no idea how to use it, but it looks like fun. Once I take a photo, I'll post it here and beg for advice.

17 April 2009

Five Senses Friday

  • Asparagus and Leek Quiche (see here)
  • Dulce de leche ice cream.
  • The half and half I had to use up from making the quiche, in my coffee. I never have half and half in my coffee. It is divine.
  • The entire mountain range covered by rain clouds
  • The teeniest, tiniest little grey bird flying across our path during a walk. I'm still wondering what is was.
  • A profusion of intensely purple prickly pear along the sidewalk.
  • Someone's chicken ambling through the neighborhood.
  • Running my fingers through our terrier's wiry hair.
  • Cold toes. Spring is being fickle but I refuse to go back to shoes instead of sandals.
  • Apple blossoms.
  • Rain. Even if it is only a few drops, I can smell it here so intensely.
  • These crazy black birds (a grackle?) that make noises like car alarms.
  • Emiliana Torrini, Me and Armini
  • Allison Sattinger, Steady Heart

Friday Finds: Origami Dress

I used to be a person who would only wear black, beige, and denim. The longer I live in a desert, though, the more I long for big, bright color. I now understand why Mexican folk art has such an intense palette.

This impeecable dress from MQuin would be perfect for summer here.

15 April 2009

Asparagus and Leek Quiche

Two things: First, I know this blog is getting really "foodie" lately. I'm sorry if you're sick of reading about the new farmshare and my adventures in cooking. Truth be told, I'm so much more in a mood to cook than craft lately--- and I have the thighs to prove it. I think I have been feeling very burned out on "commercial crafting", and rather than force myself into something that I'm just not enjoying these days, it's more fun to be creative in a different (and tasty) vein.

Second, I don't have a recipe for pie crust, because I completely, utterly suck at making pie crust. The irony of this quiche is that I made the filling with organic vegetables and organic dairy products, and then I poured all of that deliciousness into a pre-made, partially hydrogenated shell. Terrible, I know. Sometimes I make a crustless version, but this new recipe seemed to need some pastry goodness. So I cheated and depleted it's nutritional value. So if readers have any pie crust tips, I would love to hear them!

Those two things out of the way, this recipe is awesome. I just came home from work and had another slice. It is from this month's issue of Everyday Food (which, by the way, recommends this crust recipe).

13 April 2009

Coconuts. Made By Nuts.

By request, Billy made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and coconut/jelly bean "nests" for Easter. He would also stressed that if I should broadcast this fact, my readers should know that he flexed A LOT during the process, straining the arms of his CBGB's T shirt. Oh, and he was listening to Primus. Just in case, you know, you were doubting his manhood or anything.

What is the What

I'm not sure how to be articulate in this post, so I'm just going to start by being up front: Everything I say about this book will sound like a cliche. It's powerful, heartbreaking, etc, etc. And now that we have that out of the way . . . Just read it.

I originally picked up What Is the What , by Dave Eggers, because it seemed like a good literary supplement to one of my favorite documentaries, Lost Boys of Sudan. It's a film I used to show when I taught high school, and it conveys both the tragedy of Sudan's children and America's (somewhat failed) efforts to help these boys as they grow into young men while refugees in a foreign land.

The film and book are certainly similar in terms of their subject matter, and though I had my doubts about Eggers in the first few pages, he slips effortlessly into the voice of the narrator, Valentino Achak Deng. What was not clear to me at first was the back story behind the book, which is just as interesting. It is in fact an autobiography, novelized by Eggers. Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from southern Sudan who resettled in the United States as a young man, met Eggers, asked for his assistance in writing his story, and the two worked on the book together for over three years. Additionally, Eggers agreed that all proceeds from the book would go to Deng, who established the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, a nonprofit that is currently building the one of the few secondary schools in southern Sudan.

The school is making concerted efforts to educate Sudanese children with a focus on reaching out to young girls, who often do not attend school and/or are pushed into early marriage. I could go on and on about this project, but you can read more about the book and project here and help fund the school here. The small donation I was able to make today will buy a bag of cement.

I know this post is a departure from my usual subject matter, and a journey into heavier subject matter at that, but I really hope that more people read this story. I don't think I can fully articulate the importance and human-ness of it on my own.

(In other news, I was--- hopefully temporarily--- laid off today. I'm hoping that reading books like the one above and trying to stay engaged in what's important to me will help me remain philosophical about it.)

12 April 2009

Wishing You a Happy Easter

Or whatever it is you may celebrate. This weird bunny and egg balancing-act is one of my favorite vintage postcards from my collection.

10 April 2009

Five Senses Friday

  • Grilled baby artichokes
  • Fresh asparagus and lemon pasta
  • Crusty whole-wheat pizza with sweet potatoes and onions
  • A hawk landing in a tree
  • Fields flooded by the Rio Grande
  • Hot air balloons in the cold morning air
  • A full moon outside our back door
  • Pink buds against a blue sky
  • Sunset reflecting on the mountains
  • The feel of water in the air (how I missed it!)
  • Warmth of sun on my hair and scalp when we sit on the patio
  • The first week of sleeping without a comforter
  • The scent of muddy water in the ditches
  • The aroma of strawberries when first sliced into
  • Lighter fluid, charcoal, and lemon juice
  • Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Wind rushing against the trees at three in the morning
  • doves cooing, doves cooing, doves cooing

I've also been thinking a lot about this book all week, and trying to formulate my thoughts into a post without seeming annoyingly earnest or trite. We'll see what happens.

Friday Finds: Boston Love Gocco Print

I was so excited to find/purchase this Boston Love Gocco print by Art Shark Designs, since Billy and I met and fell in love in that fair city. It features the duck pond at the Boston Public Garden and the Hancock tower in the background, and it makes me all sorts of sentimental.

She has cities from New York to San Francisco, each beautifully done.

08 April 2009

For Foodies

My posts have become more and more food-centric lately, so I thought I would share two sets of appropriately-themed kitchen magnets from the shop. Available here and here.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Grilled Baby Artichokes

I have mentioned our new farmshare subscription before, and I could go on and on about it in a variety of ways. One of the things I really like, though, is the fact that the seasonal selections mean that we are eating a greater variety of fruits and veggies beyond what we'd normally select at the supermarket. We're breaking out of some nutritional ruts and trying new things (other members of the household remain doubtful).

When I picked up the box yesterday, it contained six baby artichokes. I love artichokes, but I had never prepared them before and was a little intimidated. We grilled them using this recipe (it needed some salt and pepper in my book), and it was easy-peasy. I'm glad I only did three, because I want to try another method later in the week. We had them alongside sweet potato pizza on a whole-wheat crust (it sounds weird, but it's a staple recipe in our house and everyone who tries it loves it!)

Tonight I'm mulling over new things to do with kale and asparagus. Any suggestions?

06 April 2009

Cookout Recipes

This week we picked up our first farm share subscription chock full of organic veggies, and on Sunday we picked up a grill and had our first cookout to celebrate the (hopefully?) end of the crazy wind and dust storms we had all week.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures, but here are some recipes I tried and loved:

First I made this carrot salad, just without the fancy ribbons and the addition of some cumin and just a pinch of coriander. It was delish! The 101 Cookbooks website is definitely worth browsing, especially if you are into vegetarian and natural foods.

I also adapted this asparagus recipe but grilled whole asparagus stalks instead of sauteeing pieces. It worked really well!

The centerpiece of the meal was marinated portabellas we cooked on the grill in place of burgers. Those are worthy of a photo and a recipe, so I will save that for a future post.

Hope you are having a fabulous Monday!

04 April 2009

Peacock Pendant Giveaway

It's been awhile since I've had a blog giveaway, and since I also recently passed 750 sales in the Etsy shop, I thought I would celebrate with another little contest. This time I'll be giving away the peacock pendant above, made with a glass tile and vintage illustration.

All you have to do is post a comment below with a response to the following question: What children's book is near and dear to your heart?

I'll be taking comments until April 25th, and then I'll select a winner via the Random Number Generator. Please make sure that I have a way to contact you when you leave your comment!
And good luck!

03 April 2009

Five Senses Friday

I've decided to participate in Five Senses Friday after really enjoying Julia's posts on the theme.

So, here's my first post on my sensual "best of-s" of the week:

  • The first gin and tonics on our patio
  • Organic tangerines from our new farmshare subscription
  • Green tea while I read my favorite blogs after work
  • Tumbleweeds blowing across the highway
  • A slant of afternoon light across the sprouts in the garden
  • Two doves nuzzling on a telephone wire
  • Budding branches against a big blue sky
  • thin cotton for the quilt I am piecing by hand
  • my favorite spring T-shirt
  • sand between my toes when the wind blows through my sandals
  • The basil after it's watered (I love how disturbing it slightly releases its fragrance)
  • Geranium leaves
  • A (semi) freshly bathed, warm dog
  • Coffee in the morning
  • A blackbird cawing in a treetop
  • Billy playing his guitar
  • The dogs romping together in the backyard

Friday Finds: Ceramic Dog

This little fella by LucindaChips just had to make it into Friday Finds, since he reminds me of my own little fella, Chesney.

02 April 2009

More Diana Camera Pictures

Well, I was hoping that my Diana pictures from our trip to Taos would be really fabulous, but they're not. The batch was pretty overexposed, but I'm also not very happy with the local film processing. This is the second place I've tried that does not "get" the whole Diana thing. They crop photos oddly, and most annoying of all, they edit/don't print the entire roll because the pictures are overexposed and blurry. Um, Diana pictures are supposed to be overexposed and blurry. Why don't you let me take the pictures and I'll let you print them?

Sorry if this post is a bit of a rant. It's annoying to spend money on a service that businesses don't fully provide. One of the things I love about Diana photography is it's unpredictability, but if someone else is editing out the "bad" images I have no idea how other shots turned out! The images I did post here I had to scan, straighten, and re-crop myself (but other than that they are unretouched).

So I have a favor to ask of my readers . . . if you know of an online processing service where you can send your film and that will fully print the roll and send you everything, will you please post the link here? Because I think that is the probably the best option at this point.

You can see my earlier Diana rolls here and here.
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