29 July 2011

I estimate that half the people reading this already have a blog. The other half of you are thinking about starting one. So, as you know (or will know), there are a lot of first time blogging occasions that you never forget...

The first time a stranger leaves a comment
The first time someone leaves a nasty comment
The first time a Big Kid Website mentions your blog
The first time you meet a reader in person
The first time someone emails you and says “Hey you, I have a blog too! Let’s talk about blogging stuff!” ...and for me, that person was Leslie.

We have been blog buddies ever since :)

Leslie is a creative spirit, active Mom, and one heck of a party planner! Round about a year ago, she challenged herself to plan twelve events in twelve months—her blog Pampers, Playdates and Parties is an account of those events, the planning, and everything else in between. Her Three Day Death by Chocolate Cake is a must-see, not to mention her Barnyard Doughnut Bites, an entirely MSG-Free 4th of July (harder than you think!), Ruffle Garlands...the list goes on!

Leslie is starting a series of posts interviewing some of her favorite followers about blogging and party planning– lucky me, I got to be her first :)

Thank you to Leslie for asking me to take part! Click here to read more.


28 July 2011

You guys, if you ever get into a Facebook discussion about making the Pippi Longstocking theme song your ringtone, make sure the person on the other end is an expert seamstress, because, if you are lucky, maybe one day she will send you a flamingo dressed as your favorite Swedish childhood folk hero, and then, if you play your cards right, you can get on your blog and boast about it, because, if there was ever something worth bragging about, a flamingo dressed as Pippi Longstocking is it.

Now, as if I needed to tell you, Pippi and flamingos are two of my favorite things (naturally) but when I opened the box this morning my head just about exploded. I mean seriously. LOOK AT THAT FACE.

I wish y’all could see Kelly’s work-–the stitching, the bloomers, the little handmade shoes, the apron, the two tone stockings....as someone who has read the Pippi L√•ngstrump series, oh, about a hundred times, I know nearly every detail Astrid Lindgren wrote about her clothing and Kelly nailed it right down to the pinafore pockets. It's amazing!

Seriously, her pigtails are wired and move around. MOVING PIGTAILS, I SAID. I’m going to be up all night fussing with those pigtails, I just know it. Lola is going to be so ticked.

And this isn’t just a lovely doo-dah, it’s a one of a kind work of art. The very idea that Kelly made it with me in mind makes my heart smile wider than you can imagine :)

Now, I should say, to be fair, this was part of a swap. I sent Kelly something too (more on that next week), but it wasn’t nearly as awesome as this and I am feeling mighty inferior at the moment. How was I to know she was going to send me something so cool!?!

Many, many thanks to Kelly for this beautiful creature who I will treasure forever and display prominently. I have a feeling she will be a conversation piece for many years to come.

PS: be sure to stop by Kelly's blog Zerbert, to see more of her amazing creations!

26 July 2011

President Obama was on the television last night talking about the crisis surrounding America's debt ceiling and how the whole country could very easily go to Hell in a hand-basket in the next two weeks.

Good times y'all.

But somewhere between his firm-yet-persuasive hand gestures, he made not one, but three separate references to Ronald Reagan, which is kind of weird, because, you know, as presidents go, they aren't exactly birds of a feather. I'm sure it was something that his handlers told him to say in effort to appeal to Middle America, and I think that's even more weird, because, you know, Middle America wanted him to stop talking so we could go back to watching The Bachelorette. 

I'm not sure why Ronald Regan is suddenly the apple of President Obama's eye, but I must confess a soft spot for him ever since someone told me the Reagans kept loaded candy dishes in nearly every room of their house at all times, including a famous bowl of jelly beans on his desk in the oval office. He said, You can tell a lot about a person’s character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful.

And while it would not be politically correct to say aloud, I’ll bet he could also tell a lot about a person by their choice color of beans. For the record, I’m the type to choose yellow or green or pale orange....cheerful and acidic. That’s me in a nutshell. But what about the person who chooses the purple beans? Or Heavens To Murgatroid, the black jelly beans? Would Ronald Reagan have entered into Iranian hostage negations with  the guy who plucked out the black jellybeans?

These are the things that keep me awake at night. 

20 July 2011

Oh Lydia, Oh Lydia

Anyone remember this post from last May about a fish sculpture in Takoma Park Maryland?

My friend Leah posted the photos of the most amazing bottle cap fish on Facebook a couple years ago and I got obsessed and wanted to make my own...blah blah blah...of course, surprise, I am still working on that project too.

But then, last week, through the wild and wonderful powers of the interwebs, the mysterious origin of the bottle cap fish was reviled when I received an email from Krista...
She is on my front lawn, her name is Lydia Capulet and she ran in the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture race in 2009 (snakehead). 
All photos courtesy of Krista Weiss Tretick

Turns out, Lydia is more than just a pretty face—she is mode of transportation!

Having never heard of the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race prior to Krista’s email, I was a little confused at first....is it a parade? A boat race? A tandem bicycle competition? An art show?....well, it’s all that and a bag of chips!

From the official website:
Kinetic Sculptures are amphibious, human powered works of art custom built for the race. Each May, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) hosts the East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship on the shore of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in central Maryland.  The eight-hour race covers 15 miles—mostly on pavement, but also including a trip into the Chesapeake Bay and through mud and sand.
Now, having read the rules (no seriously y’all, check out the official entry rules) I am all kinds of jealous. The very thought of people getting dressed up and teaming together to build, ride and race using living works of art has me all aflutter... Who thinks of these things? Where do I enter? If I build a giant, water tight sculpture of Lola, will anyone come to race her with me? What if we don’t have a kinetic race where I live? Maybe I can do my own in the bathtub? Yeah, that’s it, the bathtub!

All photos courtesy of Krista Weiss Tretick

Many thanks to Krista for sharing Lydia and introducing me to this amazing event!

13 July 2011

Nature's Bounty

Okay, so, bounty might not be the most appropriate word here. But let's be honest; is there anything more rewarding than biting into the first homegrown tomato of the summer?

I guess writing that letter paid off.

11 July 2011

Icicles and Wild Flowers

Something about hot weather always gets me dreaming of the cold days of December. I have been known to play Christmas music in July.

This is also the season for wild flowers, which I adore, but they never seem to look right when I try to arrange them with other flowers. They refuse to be tamed! I needed a vessel to hold them solo. A vase with multiple holes does the job, and I just love putting something so summery into something with a wintery look. Makes for good contrast...yin and yang....ice cream and pretzels...icicles and wild flowers :)

This project is super easy and requires very little time or talent. Traditional paper mache can get messy (not a bad thing in my book), but you could probably replace that step with a decent layer of tape. 

Send me pictures if you make one of your own!


05 July 2011

She Comes in Colors

For anyone who has ever felt old before their time, hush up and watch:
This lovely lady, Ilona Royce Smithkin, is the living embodiment of youth. Optimistic, open minded and living for every moment, she doesn't give a rip what anybody says or thinks about her appearance. She isn't wasting time accommodating some aesthetic expectation set down by me, or you, or Vogue magazine. She is beautiful. She is 90. She is what I want to be when I'm a grown up.

Oh crap.

I am a grown up.

When did that happen?
Many thanks to my pal Justin for introducing me to Ilona via my new favorite blog, Advanced Style, a blog devoted to people of a *certain age* who are living high on the hog with gobs of style. So inspiring! Love it. Love it. Love it.

03 July 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. Get out and enjoy some sunshine and hot dogs!

Somewhere between the smores and the fireworks, if you can, take a moment to read The Declaration of Independence. Preferably out loud and in front of munchkins. With gusto. Not only is it beautifully written, it's one heck of a story and pertains to a lot more than just one nation, one day of the year.

That Thomas Jefferson was one cool dude.

Happy Fourth!
Who wants some patriotic bottle flowers?

01 July 2011

Happy Birthday to Us

It's true. Lola has major coffee breath.

And yes, it’s also true: I'm proud to say that this this little blog was born one year ago today. Hooray!

According to wikipedia, today’s July 1st birthday is shared with Pamela Anderson, Princess Diana and Canada. Note, if you ever want to feel like an uncouth fat kid, find a way to group yourself in with world's most famous, beautiful, skinny blond chicks, and an entire nation of ridiculously nice people. 

At least my horoscope fairs better, You can experience bursts of creativity and energy that help you to further your goals. Healthy risk-taking is likely this year, as you are more able to spot an opportunity when you see one.

Sounds good. Lola and I are celebrating with fish fingers and The Liza Minelli of Cake. Who is in? 

And yes, I know what you are thinking: A cat with coffee breath AND fish fingers? Who can turn that down?

You're so right. I better scoot before folks start beating down the door. 

But before I go, in case I never said it, thank you...

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for writing in and sharing. I started this thing as a simple way to record some thoughts and projects before I lost my mind and ran out of brain space...I never imagined it would bring me joy and introduce me to such wonderful people. The last year has brought so many new names and faces into my life, well, I feel like I know some of you already. I hope you feel like you know me too. The way I see it, this isn’t the anniversary of my blog, it was just the beginning of our conversation. 

So happy birthday to us!

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