Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pretty jacket

I want the wardrobe fairy to bring me this jacket:

Its from Anne Taylor Loft and only $64. It would be a nice addition to my pathetic work wardrobe.

Checking in

I have lots of crafty stuff finished with pictures taken even! But I don't want to post them before Jamie gets them. I love surprises.

In between craftin, I've been doing more reading and movie watching.

I just watched Gates of Heaven - a documentary about pet cemeteries in the 70's. It was not as cool as I thought it would be. The one interesting thing though is how unguarded the people were in front of the cameras. A story on the same subject today would be completely different.

I read Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country. It was mostly anti-Bush ranting which I can enjoy. I also love what he had to say about librarians:

And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.

I heart librarians.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More Reviews & One Lone Book

I promise I've been crafting, but I'm sending out a swap on Monday and I want to make sure I don't ruin the surprise. So no craft posts until mid week.

However, my vacation has provided me with some time to read and watch movies. Here's my thoughts.

The Night Listener - meh. Very not worth my time as much as I love Toni Collette.

Casino Royale - the new Bond is so very hot. I shall be catching many more Bond flicks if he sticks around. I like that his face is a bit homely. The smokin hot persona and bod is enough - I generally prefer men who aren't too pretty. And the action scenes are seriously cool.

The Science of Sleep - I couldn't even finish it. And usually I love weirdo films.

Tideland - One of my new faves. Jeliza Rose and her creepy doll head friends are impossible to resist. Plus Jeff Daniels! And monster sharks! Loved it to pieces. The actress who plays the main character is insanely good.

First They Killed my Father - I am no longer allowed to complain about anything for at least a month if not forever. I'm amazed by this book. Amazed by what peple can do to other people but also amazed by what people can live through and not be completely messed up for life. Highly recommended read.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nothing like a sharp-dressed man

I've been reading The Sartorialist for a long time. But I feel my need to proclaim my love for his site often. He captures amazing fashion on the street and doesn't overlook the men, young and old, out there doing their part to look so put together. If you're one of the few people unaware of this cool site, check it out pronto.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tower of Pain

Someone I adore at the moment - Marlena de Blasi. I seriously have to buy her books. Read this from A Thousand Days in Venice:

In those solitary evenings by my fire I found finely spun threads, a pattern, my own story. I opened up the kind of memory that feels like a wistful hankering for something lost or for something that never was. I think most of us have it, this potentially destructive habit of mental record keeping that builds, distorts, then breaks up and spreads into the farthest flung territories of reason and consciousness. What we do is accumulate the pain, collect it like cranberry glass. We display it, stack it up into a pile. Then we stack it up into a mountain so we can climb onto it, waiting for, demanding sympathy, salvation. "Hey, do you see this? Do you know how big my pain is?" We look across at other people's piles and measure them, shouting, "My pain is bigger than your pain." It's all somehow like the medieval penchant for tower building. Each family demonstarted its power with the height of its own personal tower. One more layer of stone, one more layer of pain, each one a measure of power."

New toy

Found via One Good Bumblebee. Make your own here.

More reviews and a small rant

What have I been up to? Lots of reading and a lot of crafting. Right now, I'll fill you in on the reading.

Possession was really hard to get into at first (this was my second time attempting to read it). However, somewhere about halfway through the story really grabbed me and made it hard to put down. I must admit that I didn't read a lot of the poetry throughout the book, but I really enjoyed the gradual unfolding the the authors' lives. And Christabel's short fairy tale about the three sisters was written so beautifully! It reminded me of how much I love fairy tales and I forsee borrowing some fairy tale-ish lore from the library soon.

Then I read this:

I picked up Mossflower to see if it would be a good series to send a book hungry niece. It's officially the second in the series, but its also described as the prequel to Redwall so I read it first. It was great! And there's a whole ton of this series so I'll have plenty to send to her. We both read A Series of Unfortunate Events - which was excellent although now sadly finito. I still need to pick up book 13 though cause somehow I didn't get to read that one before we sent it out to her. This series is darling! Full of lots of action and adventure with all the characters being mice, weasels, moles, squirrels, otters and other woodland folk. Even though it was shelved in the children's section, I think it is still fun and challenging enough for a thirteen year old who loves fantasy-ish books (especially with figuring out the mole-speak).

She's hooked on Harry Potter too and The Edge Chronicles. We sent out His Dark Materials, but at the moment she couldn't really get into it. I hope she'll pick it up again one day cause that's my absolute favorite children's series. If you have any other suggestions, please send them my way.

I also got to watch a documentary last night that I thought was guaranteed to make me sob - Shelter Dogs. I did get terribly choked up a few times but managed to hold back the tears.

It was a very honest look at the work of a dog shelter in New York. They dealt with the issues of adoption and euthanasia. I volunteered at a local shelter for about a year a while back. The experience has firmly committed me to believing that so-called no-kill shelters are just passing along problems to the county shelters. They are only able to call themselves no-kill because they refuse to take in the sick, the old, and the aggressive dogs. By taking only the most adoptable dogs, they waive their responsibilities to much of the animal population. And then they feel free to point fingers and talk badly about the city-funded shelters.

The shelter I volunteered at was considered low-kill. They worked hard with lots of animals that could be made adoptable but they didn't cage dogs forever just to keep them alive when there was almost no possibility of adoption. Quality of life was always a consideration. I'd love to work with a shelter again, but have been a little burnt by my last experience. The work and the dogs were great; quite a few of the people who volunteered there seemed to have a lot of emotional issues that didn't make working with them the most pleasant thing in the world. I've wondered if that sort of volunteer opportunity attracts people who prefer dealing with animals rather than people. Maybe I was just unlucky in the first shelter volunteer experience.

Anyway I try to do my part by encouraging friends and coworkers to consider adoption before buying a dog from a pet shop, local breeder, or neighbor who never gets around to spaying their dog. It drives me a bit nuts to hear people claim that they need a papered dog - when the mutts can snuggle on your couch and love you just as well as a dog with papers. Ack - I should probably stop ranting. Anyway Shelter Dogs was very good and highly recommended.

Here's a pic of my own pound puppy (who I'm completely smitten with):

I'll do a craft update later today. Its tricky at the moment since I doing my first ever swap and I don't want to ruin any surprises. But I'm sure I have a few things I can show.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Felted Girl Gone Wild

I finally finished my very first real needle felted creation. I obviously need more practice. I had visions of a group of tough-luck plucky women. The first is this lady (I think I called her Lorraine after Patty Griffin's song Sweet Lorraine):

I love her hair and her googly eyes. Her body is pretty meh - especially the whole arm and hand areas.

I think I need more supplies because all my roving was donated. While I like a lot of the colors (some of which is sparkly), I'd like to be able to work with bright colors of my own choosing. So maybe I need to venture to the yarn shop and buy lots of plain white roving and then learn how to dye it myself.

There are some super cute things being done with needle felting out there. I just need to keep playing with it and get better at it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


Okay, I'm not showing the finished finished projects (for reasons explained below), but here's the canvases I've been working on. I'm pretty pleased with them.

Here's a work in progress. I like the bright colors and the shapes (these are very similiar to my doodles when I'm bored).The more complete one refuses to load so maybe I'll try to post it again tomorrow. They're no where near as ornate or as cleanly done as the ones that inspired me, but I'm having fun doing them. They'll look cute in my hallway.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Wall Art

First a disclaimer - I had nothing to do with this one. All credit goes to the amazing Mr. Char. A while back he put up some CD case wall art a la ReadyMade. The landscape picture he used was cool, but there were some errors in putting it in and it wasn't very colorful. This week he swapped out the landscape for another one of his pictures, a closeup of some sunflower petals.

And yes, it is huge and colorful. Its perfect for our living room. A room that is gonna look even better thanks to a tip from Marissa! She told me that the birdcage curtains we both adore were on sale. Now I have two panels of this loveliness wafting its way to me.

If you want them for yourself, look here.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Too Cool!

Originally uploaded by bacondog.

This looks to be a paper mache creature. Found on flickr (of course). You have to check out the whole photo stream. All the creations are so colorful and fun, and there's some really neat feltwork as well.

My last paper mache project was a jellyfish that never came out like I thought it should. This might inspire me to try something else.

Lately I've been playing with shrinkydink (a word I just love to chant). Nothing great so far (I'll still share pictures - after all this is supposed to record my failures too, right?).

I'm also painting, but I'm reluctant to share pictures of this project. My reluctance comes from the fact that the idea is totally ripped off from a fabulous etsy artist. The painting isn't a copy - the idea is. I want to buy one of her wonderful pieces, but at the moment its not in the budget (although I'm making strong birthday hintings). So how awful is it that I'm trying to do one of my own? I obviously am not gonna ever sell anything like this - they just looked like so much fun to do that I had to try it. So I'm doing one and having fun with it, but still feeling guilty and unoriginal (and appreciating just how talented she is). As I said, I'm gonna buy me a real one sometime this year, but I still am doubting that I should even post the one I'm doing for right now - just do to the lack of originality issue. Anyway, here's her etsy shop. Go buy something and make me feel better.