Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pesto madness

While I was explaining to Zander's mom how sick I am of coming home from work and making yet another salad, (because it's quick and easy) she suggested having a few easy foods that I hadn't really thought of on hand. Pasta, pesto and shrimp would make a delicious dinner. Like practically everyone I know, I love pesto. It's good on anything, and it's good even when you're just licking it off your finger. I've made it myself plenty of times, and thought this time I'd try and buy a 'light' version. As far as I can tell, you cannot buy lite-pesto. So I made some. It's darn good. Spread some on your sandwich and see what you think.

1 cup of fresh basil
1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
garlic (I got a bit zealous and used 5 cloves! I'll reduce that to 3 next time)
a dash of tobasco, just because
salt to taste, but it's already a little salty from the cottage cheese

Throw it all in the Cuisinart and you're done.

Christmas Break

Jeez, I haven't updated this site in a while, and I still feel like I've got nothing but kinda boring stuff to talk about. Things here are good. Wow, having a little bit of time off has been FANTASTIC. We've been eating too much, seeing a couple of movies, spending time with our families and friends, making big messes in the house, and pretty much everything that has nothing to do with work. I love it. I've also been inspired to spend a little extra time at the gym with my new little ipod shuffle from Zander. I sound like a commercial, but it really is the size of a matchbook, holds 300 songs, and is so easy to use. I need tricks to get myself to do things that I'm normally lazy about, and this trick is working. Thank goodness, because seriously, by behind is on the large size these days.

Today I'm hoping to get a little sewing done. I just bought some gray cordoroy overalls for 5 bucks and now I'm hoping to turn them into a jumper. I've done this before, but this time it'll be a shorter version. As an overalls lover, I'm perfectly aware that they are not in fashion, but I wear 'em all the same. I've heard there is a scene in Mean Girls that I need to see that will make me stop wearing them. I doubt it.

Tomorrow afternoon we're taking a little trip up to Two Harbors for a New Year get-away. I don't know if there'll be any snow, but no dress-up clothes required and dang that makes me happy. Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This sign has made a surprisingly big difference in my teaching career. While it wouldn't have been appropriate to hold it in the faces of the offending elementary students, it works quite nicely for that purpose in a high school setting. Now if only I could find one that says, "Throw clay and your grubby little fingers get chopped off. P.S. I don't care if you think it's funny".

Speaking of school, here's our shiny new raku kiln. Before I actually tried this process, I thought it was only for the renaissance festival folks, and that I'd either need to be into men wearing tights or braiding baby's breath into my hair. Not so. It's fun, pretty, and all about the anticipation. Oh, and you get to be outside. I'd like to document our day, so bear with me. First, put your raku in the kiln. Heat it up to 1800 degrees and heat up the next batch on the top of the kiln.

Next, open up the kiln and notice how boring the glazes look at this point.

The fun really begins when you throw these hot pots into a trash can full of leaves and newspaper. The change in temperature makes the glaze crack a little bit, and then the cracks get filled with smoke.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Well, even just a week later, things are feeling better around here. All the kindness that came our way was very-much-needed medicine. Thank you.

This weekend is a busy one. I'd really like to venture out and start some Christmas shopping, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. My co-worker (the ceramics teacher) recently bought a raku kiln and we're trying it out/firing stuff all day Saturday. I'm interested, but feeling over-worked right now, and the thought of going in on the weekend practically gives me hives. Especially when I really like to lay around reading books and drink coffee in my robe all weekend long.

I just finished Julie and Julia, and yes, I was drawn to it because of its elegant title. However, I finished it and LOVED it because the Julie in the book was so quirky, and smart and funny. She's also some-what impatient, which I can relate to whole-heartedly. All that reading about cooking got me to thinking about cooking something at home that is slightly more challenging than bagged salad mix and english muffin pizza.

Wouldn't this be a fun pan to bake with? The entire lasagna/brownie pan could have crispy edges! Link

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dear friends,

We recently gave you some news that we were going to have a little one this summer. We are sorry to say that this past Wednesday we lost our baby. At 13 weeks we believed we were out of the woods, and began to tell family and friends, but unfortunately luck was not on our side.

Julie is doing well after the procedure yesterday, and we are both feeling better than we were. The doctors are doing some tests to see how we should proceed from this point, and I'm sure they will find something that will help us. We are very lucky to have our health, each other, family, and friends, and we thank all of you for having been so kind and supportive and excited for us.

Zander and Julie

Zander sent this out to a few of you last week. Last night when I was trying (unsuccessfully) to sleep, I was thinking about how this terrible grief feels so many different ways. In the very middle of the night I thought I was pretty profound when it felt very much like a dip cone. Crackly on the outside, but soft and melty on the inside. One wrong step and what appears to be neatly tidy and delicious falls completely apart on your lap in a messy and inedible pile of mush. That's so me. I work really hard to smile and make it look like it's kind of alright, but I might also be fighting eye contact because I'm afraid that when that connection happens I'll just lose it. I'll get snot on your sweater or something. And really, I'm so thankful that we've got so much love around us that is more than happy to have to just wash that off a little later. For now, we're sad and vulnerable and raw. We are getting through it though. It seems impossible, but I already feel better than I did last week, and I trust that next week will be better than right now. I'm already looking forward to some happy day very soon where I'm camera*-ready, and wanting to get home and write all about it.

*I'm saving up for a fancy camera. When I was in high school, I'd blow all of my babysitting money right away. On hairspray and curling irons. When I was a little older, I was so broke, that there was no saving to be had- I was always scrounging for change under the seat of my car so I could buy a little bit of gas at a time. Now that I'm alright for gas, and don't need much curling or spraying, I'm ready to save up. In fact, I just got a $160 check from the consignment shop for a bunch of name-brand crap I bought at Saver's.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Have you gone to see Sweet Land yet? No, throughout its entirety there aren't any helicopters or zombies to be found. You won't miss them. Just pure sweetness is what you'll find, probably why they named it the way they did. Filmed in Minnesota. Go. The main character described her life as "all kinds of happiness". That resonates with me. The kinds of happiness that make you jump on the bed, the kinds that make you snort-laugh, the kinds that makes you worry, the kinds that make you weep, the kinds that make you work harder, the kinds that make you love harder, the kinds that make you a better person. Anyway, thanks for being a part of my happiness. Have a great thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

1week of art works

Wow... I love this.
Ah, blissfully sleeping in until after 7... I just love it. Today I don't need to go in to work until NOON! Then I've got parent-teacher conferences until 8ish. I've got about thirty parents scheduled to stop in. It's funny, I used to dread these conferences because I felt like a big, awkward twelve year old around the grown-up parents. I'd get a bit tongue-twisted and my palms would even get a little sweaty. I no longer get sweaty, just tired out by the end of the night. The good news is that there are always some crazies in the mix, which makes for good stories later on the couch.

Yesterday, mid-morning, there was a tiny little knock on my classroom door. Interesting because that door usually gets slammed into, or practically ripped off its hinges. Anyway, it was a super favorite student of mine that graduated when we were in Japan, then got married, moved to Montana and had a baby. All before her 20th birthday. Normally I enjoy my students, new and old, but this girl has always inspired me. She makes and sells baby shoes, AND told me all about how to do it and where to buy the little scraps of leather. She sews her own clothes and just took the train across the country to get to Minnesota for a visit. Jeez, I've been so lazy lately! I'm not really making anything, and I'm certainly not traveling. On regular days, I work really hard at school, maybe get a few groceries to make an easy dinner, take a little nap, then settle into a good book or watch a DVD, and get to bed early. Lame, I know! So today, between now and noon, I'm going down to my little studio and breaking out the mosaics. My little sister is going to get a skull and cross-bones mosaic for Christmas, no matter what it takes!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Birthday sweet Hubby. You are exactly what I never knew I wanted, but have all along. Thank you in advance for not killing me. Re: Posting this picture.

I've got a solid colored canvas-like couch and chair that could really benefit from a little running stitch. I've been thinking about it ever since I saw it at Design Sponge in August.

I love the mis-matchedness of this! (Via Lena) Sometimes I can get a little matchy-matchy. I might need to start my non-matching fabric finding mission this weekend.
This quote of the day (which really, for me should be a line to live by) comes from my Lego loving, football playing, student II Joe. "Whoa dude, whoa."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Right around 7:15 this morning, I broke up a fight between three girls throwing punches at another girl. I heard a slam against my door and then a string of profanities, which lead me to believe that I might be needed out in the hallway. Quickly, I put myself in the middle of the catfight, and screeched for them all to "STAND DOWN!" "YOU, YOU, AND YOU... KNOCK IT OFF!" It took a while for them to do so, but eventually I got them, bloody faced and panting, down to the office. My heart was pretty much racing all day, just ready for another go-round with that 'ol flight or fight reflex. I'm hoping to see the security tape. I can't even imagine how funny I must have looked. It truly makes me giggle just thinking about it.

Speaking of giggling, what do you think about our Halloween decoration this year? After finding Santa in our trashcan the day we moved into our place, we've really used the heck out of him.

Last night was the annual pumpkin carving over in Powderhorn, and this is what Zander and I came up with. His is the fancy Daruma and mine is the some-what-wonky-one with the eyes too close together.
And if you get a chance, head on over to the new Big Time Attic and wish Zander a happy #33! If you are sensitive to the scary-freaky-demented, stay away from Tim's last post. Nightmares, here I come. Jeesh.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's my "prep hour" at school right now and I'm thoroughly distracted. I should be cutting sheets of watercolor paper and finding stuff for our next lesson. I should be tidying and grading and doing very teacherly things. I simply can't. I've got tomorrow and Friday off, and I say yee-haw to a four day weekend. Unfortunately I'm not feeling super yee-haw. Why is it that it's so easy for me to see promise and wonder in all the people around me, but then shrink and worry and doubt my own future? Why does it sometimes feel impossible to be excited about right now because I'm worrying about what's next? I hate that trait and if I could choose between losing that and losing 15 pounds, I'd live happily in tight jeans forever. Superhero always seems to have some words of wisdom for me. Who is Osho anyway? Jeez, I'd really love to take a world religion class. Unfortunately my world religion class taught us the difference between the catholics and the protestants. It also covered which of the two will most definitely spend all eternity in hell. Don't worry, I won't give away the surprise ending.
On a lighter topic, Battle Star Galactica is the new crack. You want to know what's worse that admitting this addiction? Admitting that it's currently being shown on the Sci-Fi channel. Lame and nerdy! Good thing we're still watching it on Netflix.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just picked up some Halloween candy on sale at Target today. I opened the bag before I put the cart away in the parking lot. Not a good sign.

Monday, October 09, 2006

In an effort to keep our extra bedroom an actual bedroom, instead of the junk pile heaven it so easily becomes, I'm turning a big attic closet into an office. On Sunday I headed over to IKEA to pick up a few things to help me stay organized. It was packed with loud people with their carts filled with oh so much stuff and of course, their loud children. Blech.

I bought this little honey. Think of all the stamps, paper clips and rubber bands it will hold! Then think about the three hours, 88 mini nails and 16 screws that it takes to put it together. I bought two of them. Don't do it people. You'll curse and cry after smashing your thumb again and then pull out most of your hair.

Then, right after I felt so accomplished for finally getting it together, I see how cute it looks when someone else puts it together.
While I think it'd be lovely to make mine all cute, I'm hoping one of those little fairies come and take care of it for me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Some random stuff:
1) We sold a foosball table on craigslist this weekend. I was sad to get rid of it, but we just don't use it, and it's been disassembled in our upstairs attic for about 2 months... Anyway, the guy who bought it runs a house for ex-felons re-entering society. He said a couple of the guys will come and pick it up tonight. I hate to be paranoid, tacky and inappropriate, but does anyone have a tazor that we can borrow just for tonight?
2) Got my hair cut last night. My stylist (and sweet friend that I miss) moved to New York and so I've been searching for someone new. I won a certificate to the Hair Police last week, so that made for an easy decision. The good news is that it's right above the best shoe store EVER. Oh gosh, Heavenly Soles, why do you vex me so? Taunting me with your cute little Campers. Aimee gave me a good cut, but whisked me out of her chair with my hair still dripping wet. Not that I was looking for anything special, except maybe not looking like I just got pushed into the swimming pool.
3) Speaking of the salon, my eyebrows are out of control. (Please God, don't let Zander read this. I wan't him to always believe in the magic force that keeps my face perfectly hair free) Anyway, I look like a werewolf. I know some of you have never needed to tweeze, but I on the other hand learned long ago that a good tweezerman is my friend. I need some shaping help. I tend to let them go or sculpt them into the thinnest little line that also looks like crap on me. Anyone know someone good and local?
4) Tuesdays are always a fiesta here at the Irondale salad bar. Score for me and my fiesty little banana peppers. Not that I can really taste the food in my prescribed 20 minute lunch break.
5) I'm going to an acupuncturist today. I'm admitting it. I've been trying to exhaust every possible solution to my lovely fertility issues. This is a consultation visit. If I like having needles stuck into my eyeballs (they do that right?) I'll be referring to her from now on as My Very Own Witch Doctor.
6) Not much craftiness going on lately. It must be the changing seasons, but I'm sleepy. I've been falling asleep before nine for the last few weeks.
7) I wish I could share more specifics on funny things that happen here at school. There are some real jewels lately. However. the students still read this here blog. I'm wondering if this entry will bore them sufficiently, so they will just move on?
8) Belly Dance class starts again this Saturday. We had a break for the last few weeks, and I'm really excited to get started again. It's the beginning of the session. If any of you are interested in trying it out, just let me know. It is high on fun, and oh so low on intimidating.
9) I just picked up the cutest little polyester shirt on the Value Village Halloween rack. It was cheap but really smelled like BO. Knowing that Tide always does the trick, and that I've got a new Vanilla Lavendar fabric softener, I picked it up without hesitation. I've washed it twice now and still can't wear it. Still smells. One more washing and if it does not shape up, I'm donating it right back to the Village.
10) Hope your weeks are going well everyone, and that your Tuesday is filled with something even more exciting than fiesta salad bar...

Friday, September 29, 2006

I know lots of people that can't go to sleep when they're stressed about something. Not me, man. I am and have always been, a good sleeper. I really need less than five minutes and I'm out for the night. Instead, my worrying starts the minute the alarm goes off. This morning I stayed in bed 20 minutes later than I should have. 20 late minutes that made me not wash my hair for the 4th freaking day in a row. 20 minutes that made me drive like a crazy woman to get to work in time to park in the non-student parking lot that always fills up. 20 minutes spent in bed stressing about things I can't change. 20 minutes kind of frozen-like, knowing that if my leg is touching my sweet hubby's, then everything is all right, but otherwise I'm screwed. It wears off, and the rest of the day finds me to be pretty optimistic, happy, and a tad sarcastic. So why in the morning? Anyway, I found this great poster on one of the many websites that I check (and now I can't remember which one) and I think I need to get it tattooed on my face as a constant calming reminder.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

First to whine a little... Today I've got a sore throat and eyes that hurt if I don't just look straight ahead. Bleh. Tonight is going to be really low-key.

I've been thinking about my stash of boiled wool sweaters and what needs to be done with them. I like the idea of lined winter hats and was so excited to find this tutorial. I'm imagining some exposed edges and cute embroidery.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm on my break right now, multi-tasking. Eating lunch, writing emails, grading papers, ordering Sharpie markers... Of course, trying to get it all done before the kids come back in. It amazes me how frozen I was just one short year ago over leaving the elementary and coming here to the high school. Never did I imagine that I would love it this much. These young people feel so strongly. They're angry and ecstatic. They're funny and intense. Today a student brought me a stack of CDs that she really thinks I need to rip onto the computer here. She worried that all of my music sounds a little like Sheryl Crow. She's probably right. So here I am, getting stuff done to an intereresting mix of Jason Mraz, John Mayer, RENT, and Bob Marley. Not even a little bit like Sheryl now.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Well friends, after a year of putting $##,### into improving our humble little home, the city of Minneapolis has cited us. "Repair or replace the fascia at east side of garage by November 20, 2006"... Or pay a big fat fine and legal action. I'm wondering if they cited the crack house behind us on Lyndale? I'm also wondering what the heck fascia is. City Pages had an interesting article about it a while ago. Yes, crime is a big ugly problem that we can't forget about for even on second over here. We've cried alongside parents that've lost their children to violence here. But somehow and somewhere, someone dreamt up a plan for curb-appeal to be our north Minneapolis genie-friend. And our genie does not like unrepaired fascia or buckets for that matter. I call BULLSHIT, and I know I'm not calling it alone. Right now a some-what-angry complainer is what I am. I'd like to get involved, get more angry, and help bring change. Don't know where to start. Bleh.

Zander is at 24 hour comic day right now. Last year I seem to remember two sorta tipsy girls tumbling in to the 24 hour scene, and disturbing the hard working people doing the drawrings. I think Drivas might have even gotten mooned, if I remember correctly???

Monday, September 18, 2006

Need Inspiration?

Go here! Way to go Rebecca!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More monkeys!

I love these!

From Craftster
Also on Craftster
Well, it's Sunday night and the weekend just FLEW by! Friday night we met up with my sister Sara and her husband. She works for the Good Earth and gets a pretty good discount at Chino Latino, so we met up there. I haven't been there in ages, and man-oh-man it tasted good. Their mango shrimp gets me every time. Oh, and naturally so do the Bloody Marys. I was up for a night of relaxing after all the hype of Homecoming at school earlier in the day. Our seniors used their mad art skillz, and whipped up a few t-shirts the night before. I was a bit flabbergasted when I realized that "Homecoming on your face," was not just bad grammar... It was a dirty little pun! The students were amazed that none of their teachers would let them wear their shirts as they were, so about 50 of them marched grudgingly down to my art room to alter them a bit. It was a pretty funny sight to see. I mean, it was very serious business. Ahem. Saturday night we headed over to the Gnome's place for a little bit of basement chilling. So nice to hang out with you guys! Today we've been doing a ton of laundry and I took a super long nap upstairs with the windows open. I love this crisp air!

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm home for just a second before I head back to school for "back to school night". Just the parents come to this one and I'm a smidge less than excited. Not that I don't just love to meet 'n' greet, I'm just ready for a little down time. Zander's parents were in town this weekend, and geez, they kept us hopping. In a good way. We had a great time at Jeanne's show, going out to eat, watching Shawn of the Dead on the deck, shopping, and of course, getting a few house projects done. After this weekend, our around the house to-do list has shrunken by about a mile.

Now that this little gal has been sent off to her new home, I can show my newest monkey.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First day of School!

Today just the 9th graders came to school. This is so they can be humiliated about not knowing how to buy their hot lunch without the older students rubbing it in. I think it's such a great idea. This semester I'll be teaching 2 painting classes, 2 Art I classes, and an Art II class. I'm pretty excited, mostly for the painting classes. I'm also thinking about introducing some screen printing to my Art II classes, mostly because I think it's so cool and want to learn how to do it myself.

Yesterday we hit a couple of the 1/2 price thrift sales. This jokerman vase makes me so happy.

I also picked up this cool chicken bowl. It's not in perfect shape, but I just love the design.

As a perfect end to a really perfect day, last night Zander and I drank a bottle of wine and burned stuff. Who knew that'd be so much fun? After tearing down the grossest basement shower ever, we were left with some crappy lumber that was just begging to be burned. I'm learning that this Cannon family is filled with pyromaniacs, and as of last night we've done our part in keeping up the family's reputation. Apparently, Zander's grandfather used to burn all of their trash in the living room fireplace: plastic milk jugs, chicken carcasses and all!

This is my latest crafty project. I call this one the double placemat.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is what happens when I feed little Joey at my house. Now, if this was a full sized picture, you'd see that those carrots are not just on his face, but between his toes, in my hair, and all over both of our outfits. OK, he was wearing an outfit and I was wearing grubby old sweat pants, but you get the point. Isn't he the sweetest? Right now, he's sleeping on our couch, tucked in with a bunch of pillows so he doesn't fall off. I'm trying to type quietly. He was a tough bugger to get to sleep.

I'm savoring my last few days of freedom around here. As are a couple others that I know. There are so many things I'd like to do before next Monday.
I'd love to head out to the Minnesota Arboretum and wander around. This year their theme in The Secret Garden. Have any of you seen the movie? I remember very little about it, except that one of my friends suckered me into sneaking into after seeing some other movie, and we got caught. I was so humiliated. My cheeks still burn when I think back to it. Anyway, I'd also really like to go see the Calder Exhibit at the Art Institute, and the Diane Arbus show at the Walker. Oh yeah, then there are about a million and a half people I'd like to spend time with before time is ultra limited. Did I mention that this Friday is our 5th anniversary? Any ideas for a Friday/Saturday get-away?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm crabby this morning. Today I've got another appointment with Dr. Clomid. No, that's not really his name, but that's what we talk about, so that's what I call him in my mind. I guess it's a bit of a dangerous thing in terms of appropriateness, because one of these days it's just going to pop right out of my mouth, and I'll be embarrassed. ...On the topic of Clomid, I'm going on a little mini rant. I know it is difficult to always know what to say to a woman friend about miscarriage. I get it. I feel weird a lot of the time, too. If you feel that uncomfortable, save that woman who is already going through enough, and don't say a fricking word. Especially if what is going to come out of your mouth is advice about what your woman friend might have done wrong in the first place, or advice about getting it right this time. You see, your advice will be the last thing she thinks about at night and the first thing she thinks about when she wakes up to in the morning. That sucks. And, it will almost certainly guarantee that it will make her even more irritable than the Clomid already is. I know that lots of you are reading this right now thinking, was it me that caused this, am I to blame? And the answer is probably not. Mostly what I hear from you is love and patience and hope, especially when my own hope is a smidge down in the dumps. Thank you for that, and thanks for loving me even when I'm crabby.

This, on the other hand, cracks me up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

I'm SO not a movie critic. Jeez, I see movies for the pure entertainment of it. Rarely do I want more from a movie, because a movie is just not a big deal. Really I just love a night out of the house to hold popcorn greasy hands with Zander and snuggle in a freezing cold movie theater. That all aside, go see Little Miss Sunshine. Go see it as soon as you can. I laughed outloud a lot, I covered my eyes because I was so embarrassed for the characters, I cried a little bit, and I left with a warm glow.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Campbell DeNormandie Mahoney

Adorable little baby Mahoney was born early this morning! Zander's sister (Becca, of course) is doing great and so is Campbell. Doesn't she look precious? I can't wait to spend time with her in October. Today I've been sewing little "welcome to our world" gifts for her. I'll post pictures of my projects as soon as it won't ruin the surprise.

I made this stuffed Boo out of all reused and thrifted stuff. The wool on the front came from a pair of pinstriped pants that I always thought I'd wear, but don't. The eyes are from a set of napkins I picked up at an estate sale. I made this for my nephew Joey because now that he notices that Boo is a cat, he's decided that he LOVES him. He loves him so much that he just buries his face is Boo's side and giggles. If you've been to our house, you know how much of an affection hog Boo is, so it all works out just right. I might just have to make another Boo for us too.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pigs in Space

It's official, I'm back to school on August 28th. While it'll be difficult to give up all this wonderfully juicy freedom I've got right now, this lunch-box is definitely getting me in the spirit. I'm hoping it'll even make packing a lunch at 6:30 am seem like wacky fun.

In other news, today I had a little bit of time down in my studio. I did another t-shirt applique project that I'll post pictures of tomorrow. I also altered a vintage dress that I picked up for a quarter at an estate sale. It's pretty cute, except that it'll require ironing after each washing. I've been known to let something sit in my closet FOREVER just because I hate ironing. Tonight we're watching Who Wants to be a Superhero with some friends that are nice enough to share their cable with us on Thursday nights. I'm so surprised to love this show as much as I do, but honestly, it's so much fun.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Some women in the Crafter's Conspiracy pointed me to Etsy. If you're not familiar, don't feel bad because I certainly wasn't, it's a selling service for people that what to sell their hand-made stuff on line. Jeez, I've been wanting to do this for a while now, and Etsy just seems like a really easy way to start. Here's my store front. For now, I don't want to sell stuff here because it feels like my friends and family might think I'd be expecting them to buy something from me. Ick. That feels weird. Weird and untrue. Ick. Anyway, as you can probably tell from my Domokun posting, I'm into embellishing recycled t-shirts right now. This is my first of a new Frida series. I might put a few of the last series up on Etsy as well.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dork Out

Yes, this is the dorkiest picture ever. In my defense, it is difficult to set the self timer, run over to a random spot that'll hopefully not cut off my head, and look poised too. Anyway, I finished this dress this afternoon and I like it. The pattern was on sale for 99 cents and the fabric came from a box of assorted vintage fabric that my mom gave me a while ago. I think she got it at an estate sale. I do want to acknowledge that my sewing room sessions are bordering on obsessive lately and that it is a little silly to spend two whole days sewing a dress that I could buy at an end of summer sale. It's just that I'm having fun and it feels like playing. I wish a had a cooler hobby like race car driving or karate. What am I going to do when school starts and I have zilch time to play, and I have to wear real clothes and sometimes even makeup?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Powderhorn Greatest Hits

Well folks, the Powderhorn Art Fair keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. It is, by far, my favorite out of the three big ones of this weekend. I love that it wraps around the lake and I love that not everything is super expensive and/or it doesn't all look like craft time at the senior center. I didn't buy a thing, but I wish I would have gotten a little wood block print I saw toward the end. My two favorite vendors were Amy Arnold and Marlys Kunkel. Amy makes hats and dolls sculptures out of recycled sweaters and her work definitely looks folksy to me. I'm not really motivated to start up any projects involving boiling sweaters right now, but come February, I'll be all over it.

Unfortunately, Marlys Kunkel doesn't have a website, but you probably get the gist of what her work is like. The lyrics to Beatles songs wrap around the pottery. I bought several pieces last year, and I love 'em because they're so interactive. I found myself sitting on the floor at home turning one of the vases around and around and singing "Let it Be".

And here's a let's hope it's the Clomid update... Losing my marbles... Earlier in the week, I did an entire load of laundry only to find nothing in the washer. Duh. Today, before I left for the day, I accidentally left the fridge partially open. The thermostat inside the refrigerator said 104 degrees. I'm guessing the milk definitely went bad. Super Duh.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Today started with belly dance class, which I LOVE. In fact, I love it so much that I really want to sit in the back and take lots of notes and maybe run a video camera so I can remember exactly what to practice for the next week. Right now we're working on undulations, which make me feel ridiculous because they're so hard, but I'm getting there. I was going to say that undulations are kind of like walking and chewing gum at the same time, but that's a stupid example because everyone can do that. Not everyone can isolate two different muscle groups and move them at the same time, in different directions. After that we went to the Loring Art Fair, which was kind of like Snoresville. I saw a seven foot tall metal flower for my garden, but it was $70 and geez, that feels pretty steep. I'm sure when you look at the materials and time spent that it's a reasonable price. But seriously, at this point in life I want at least 10 things for $70! Go ahead and click your tongues saying, "cheap, cheap, cheap is what she is", I can take it. Speaking of cheap, I HATE spending $15 on a light lunch and iced tea. That's Joe's Garage for you though. After that we headed into St. Paul to check out Lula's new fall stuff. The woman who runs it, let's call her Lula, is a genius. If I pick out one thing I want to try on, by all means-she'll let me, but then brings about ten more things that she knows will look a hundred times better on me. She's almost always right. Tonight is all about sewing, and Franzia, and missing Zander who's in Chicago for another convention.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Domokun is one of my favorite little characters from Japan. He's really just a mascot for NHK, the television company, but I think he's pretty charming. My students in Japan found my love for Domokun absolutely bizarre. Even more so than my breasts, which were also quite fascinating. Still are. Anyway, when I asked them what he is supposed to be I got a variety of strange answers like: cute monster, angry poop, crazy monkey with no tail, ferocious animal, and bad teddy. Yesterday I was looking on eBay for some Domokun merchandise that I don't have yet. I have magnets, buttons, tablets, dolls, pens, and one lame t-shirt. The t-shirts they have for sale are kind of lame and expensive, so I thought I'd make my own. I already know what a few of you lawyer types out there are thinking. Copyright, eh?

I promise, I won't sell them. I won't even try to call what I'm doing a type of parody, which could possibly bail me out. Nevertheless, I made two. One for me, and one on a light purple t-shirt that's pretty medium in size. Yours for the taking. Just be the first to say you want it in the comments.

And... Thanks for all the sweet comments and emails about yesterday's entry. I agonized all day about just deleting the damn thing. I'm so glad I didn't. Thank you sweet friends. I feel very loved.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's been a while. I've lost a bit of my blogging fervor lately, and I think it's because my brain is on overload. I've been thinking about all the things I'd like to accomplish before going back to school. Some creative stuff and some non-creative stuff. Stuff like trying to figure out where the water in our basement is coming from and unpacking our pack-rat tendencies. This might be a news flash, but we keep way too much crap. Every bit of plastic that enters this house does not ever leave. It lives in a cupboard that is so crammed full of more delightful plastic that it barely closes. I'm throwing it all out. Ok, I'm not that tough. I'll recycle. But plastic is only one small example in a very small house overflowing with junk. (Insert casual flowing transition here) However, this is all a kind of a smoke-screen for what's really going on. We are trying to have babies. We're having a difficult time. After four miscarriages, the Dr. feels that I have a difficult time staying pregnant. I say DUH. He says that Clomid helps people get pregnant. I say the problem isn't getting pregnant. He says it can also help people stay pregnant. I hope he's right. He also says this drug allows them to do all kinds of tests that they normally can't do. I just started taking the medication, and I keep waiting for hormones to strike and release the evil beast that I don't really keep hidden all that well anyway. So far, so good. I'm a bit jittery, and I've got a (not so) "beauty mark" on my cheek, but really, I feel good. I know that this is kind of a public forum for such a private issue. I have conflicting feelings about sharing, but I'm through keeping this as my very scary secret. I talked about all of this with a sweet friend recently. It felt oh so vulnerable, but her reaction was like medicine. There was nothing flippant in her reply, not even one "poor Julie", just listening and giving us the gonna-make-great-parents-someday-seal-of-approval. Now, I'm going to go down to the basement to make stuff. I'll update tomorrow with something a bit lighter. Unless the Clomid REALLY kicks in...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Let's Blame it on the Red Bull

Alright, it's late and I am seriously a go-to-bed-at-10pm-girl. It's the Diet Red Bull. It's got me jazzed. If I could do cartwheels, I'd be knocking over furniture right now. Instead, I'm researching a few girl friends that I knew way back in Junior High. I just sent them emails. I haven't talked to them in about 19 years. This is about as irresponsible as drunk booty dialing. I need to call Zander, maybe he can help stop this insanity.

Grumbling Specs

In May I bought a pair of prescription sunglasses at Target. I've gotten glasses from them before. They're cute, fairly inexpensive and therefore a bit on the trendy side. Perfect. They were having a great sale, and I'm lazy about putting my contacts in, so I went for it. When I ordered the glasses, and when I picked them up, the manager was so talkative that at one point I faked a headache just to get away from her yapping... None of which was about my glasses and the almost $200 I'd just dropped. In fact, when I pointed out that the lenses were coming out of the frame a little bit, she just told me that's how all prescription glasses are, and continued on with her kitchen-remodeling woes. I've given these glasses my best possible efforts, but really, I hate them because they were expensive (to me) and not perfect. I took them back today. I didn't have my receipt. She was snippy and passive-aggressive. I told her that "someone" in the shop told me that's how prescription sunglasses are supposed to be. She told me everyone else that works there is incompetent. I was too embarrassed to tell her that she was the one who told me that. Anyway, she claimed that there was no possible way for me to get a refund. I ever so sweetly asked her to print out the record of my order, so that I could show it to the store manager, and see what they could do. That's when she cracked. "Oh forget it, I'll print your damn receipt". She printed out my receipt and then stood (unnecessarily) with me in line at guest services where I'd actually get my money back. She did a lot of mumbling, hmmping, and shaking her head... Just to be sure that I knew that she was not happy with me. Not happy with me at all. I got my $200 back. She did get under my skin though. I totally feel like the bad guy for not wanting to wear defective sunglasses. Not too bad though, because sometime this week I'm taking my hard earned moolah somewhere else. Oh, and I spent $50 on random crap at Target that I really don't need... Like the Diet Red Bull I'm trying for the first time right now.

This year we decided to go halfsies with Mike and Emily on a farm share. They've raved about it forever, so we thought we'd give it a try. Some revelations: A) Scapes taste just like garlic but with the convenience of a something like green onion. No peeling, just chopping. B) Beets taste so good when they're done up on the grill. Peel back the charred mess, add a little olive oil and salt. Oh, and if you eat them with your fingers, they turn you the most impressive shade of pinky-red. C) Unfortunately, chard tastes and feels disgusting in my mouth. I hate it. Blech.

This week, among lots of other goodies, we got a bunch of lemon basil. This morning I whipped up some pesto, but because of the lemony taste, altered how I usually make it. Here's my new favorite "recipe".

Spinach and Lemon Basil Pesto

2 handfuls of walnuts
a hunk of parmesan cheese
a cup or so of basil leaves
a thawed and drained pkg of spinach
a little sea salt
a little balsamic vinegar
fresh garlic

Because I hadn't made breakfast before I made the pesto, I had it on toast and it tasted pretty good.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

After a morning playing with Baby E, eating cereal, playing with measuring spoons, lots of rolling over, almost continually standing up with a little help, going for a walk, and going in the swing, Joey is now asleep.

Now, I'm typing as fast as I can and trying to figure out what I want to wear to see Wicked tonight. I wish that going to a play was really dressy... Unfortunately, I'll have to save this little number for chaperoning the prom next year. I got it at Anthropologie for SO seriously cheap because its a bit weird and its missing a belt.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lucky Stars

Among the many, many things I thank my lucky stars for... Zander shaving off the monstrosity is one of them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Deck Decorating

Here's step one of the whole deck decorating process. Last summer I picked up a set of dishes that had mini little quilt patterns all over them. Too sickly sweet to eat off of, but wonderful to smash. I had a little bit of trouble sticking the pieces onto something 3D. Everytime I look at the pot now I think of all the not-so-pleasantries that came out of my mouth while I was making it. The urn underneath the pot came from the hardware store across the street from Psycho Suzies. That place is the best. It's like a new hybrid made with the quirkiness of AxMan and the usefulness of Hardware Hank. And of course it's cheap... It's like heaven.

This picture is of me right after I decided to take a break from the heat. Ooh la, la. Yes, that's dirt and sweat and maybe a little compost with manure on my face. Lovely. Oh, and I'm sun burned, too. I honestly cannot believe how hot it's been outside this week. It's fine when standing completely still if you've found a breeze. Otherwise, it's hot as hell.
Unfortunately, I've not been calmly sitting in the cool breeze lately. I've been working on a new garden around (you guessed it) the deck. Last year I dug up and tore out our lawn with a shovel where I wanted to put a new garden. It sucked. It sucked really bad, in fact. This year someone (who does not want to be named) told me the trick to creating new garden spaces. I think it's brilliant, and since this is my space, I'm including all of the steps. Just to bore you.
First I edged the space with rocks. I used a garden hose to sort of mark off how it would look first.

Then, I filled it all in with old City Pages. I got all of the pages really wet. That kept them from blowing around AND it kept me cool. I also think this might help the newspaper break down later when it's supposed to feed the soil.

Next, I threw a bunch of dirt over the whole area and started planning where stuff will go.

Alright, I'm still on a cooling off break. I might go see what kind of trash Dr. Phill is talking to today.

Monday, July 10, 2006


If you've seen me lately, you'll know that our new deck is definitely one of my favorite conversation pieces. Lame, eh? I know it's lame to get so excited about something so superficial, but I can't help it. It's like we just got a new room for our house and NOW I GET TO DECORATE IT. And that, my friends, is such an exciting drug of choice. Tonight when it was too dark to take pictures, I put together some cute planters for the stairway. It's going to be a bit of a struggle for me to not fill the stairs up with plants, and go ahead and leave it open for dumb old things like walking into the house. Some people would say that I'm turning into my mother. Next, I'm going to plant all the way along the front and side of the deck to hide the footings. I'm hoping that Linder's still has some hydrangea left. Oh, and I'm also hoping to find some sort of vine to grow across the arbor. It seems like so many of the vines I'm seeing are for shaded areas. We have zero shade, so that's a bit of a challenge. I also don't want something that's going to crap out little flowers everywhere.

Here's another tribute to Frida. Zander's mom (who should have her own website that I could link to right here) recently gave me this awesome t-shirt. It's pretty boxy on me, so I took in the seams on both sides. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the sleeves. I like that they're still a few inches above my elbow, but they stick out too much. Any suggestions? The coordinating polyester number is from one of my favorite thrift scores. 2 yards of fabric for really cheap and then an extra 25% off because I bought it on a Tuesday sale. JACK POT. I used Simplicity 5505 to make some of it into an A-line skirt. (The view that's hem is straight across) It's one of those skirts that really doesn't need a pattern, because there's really only a front and a back to it, but it sure made sizing it a lot easier.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Great Necklaces over at Snapcrafty!

I love this necklace. I've been eye-balling all the cute stuff over at Snapcrafty for a while now. You can even buy the cute little trinkets to make your own.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Boom Island

Last night we piled friends and food into a Subaru and headed down to Boom Island. We, I mean I, ate way too much junk and drank a little too much Lemon Limone. There was a toddler that kept coming over to our table for a handfull of cheeze-its, there was bass pumping out of the pavillions, there was the quirky washer-throw game with it's ever evolving rule system, and seriously, you can't beat fireworks on the 4th. (Unless they're right outside your door at 4 am) What a great night guys!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Painting Sucks

So, you're wondering what I'm doing with my glamorous summer vacation? Wondering why my roots are Behr Honeydew instead of grayish-brown? That's what happens when you're painting the bathroom on the hottest day of the year and you're sweating so much your hands are slippery and you drop your diet coke into the full paint tray. Then, you've got to fish it out of there because it's leaking and you bang your head on the wall you just painted.

The shower curtains are two sheer pieces of fabric I picked up at Savers for $1.99, finished the edges, and added grommets to. It was an easy project except that I have an extremely difficult time accurately measuring and squaring large pieces of fabric. Anyone have a trick for it?

Many of you've seen this one already, but I'm still not finished, and I think working on it a little bit tonight might help my bathroom-painting-inspired-bitchiness.