Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
...no computer...no interwebs...no cellphone...
it will be heavenly
it will be *quiet* for sure!
(which at the moment sounds entirely heavenly to me!)
i realize that i pretty much owe everyone on earth an email.
and don't even get me started on how verrrrrrrrry embarrassingly lame i have been with regard to NOT having enough time for visiting or commenting on other people's blogs in the last several weeks!
but when i return next week, i will be a reformed character.
(HEY! why are you *laughing*?!)
(well then, i will definitely TRY HARDER, ok?!)
have a wonderful, fun, relaxing, beautiful, exciting, inspiring, amazing week!
(...and keep the interwebs warm for me...)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
...is a year old already?!!?
not to mention pictures from his party on sunday:
he enjoyed his presents...
and he DEFINITELY enjoyed his cake!
here he is, taking a victory lap
(with a little help from his mama!)
i don't think he minded being the center of attention amongst all his cousins, either!
here is my favorite picture of the birthday dude, taken towards the end of the party. he was climbing the pile of discarded boxes in an attempt to access a (forbidden) cupboard door located directly behind them. i love the look, which proves one doesn't need *speech* in order to communicate perfectly clearly!
"yeah...i know i'm busted...but you can't REALLY be mad at me...'cause i'm JUST TOO DARN CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
(he's right, you know!)
happy birthday, little man!
Monday, September 22, 2008
nevermind the mollusks
we have just had a lovely (if brief) excursion to the seaside, or as we say, here in new jersey, "down the shore"! (whether the beach one is assaying lies north, south, or in this case, due east, the expression holds!)
6. riding bikes on the boardwalk
7. eating fried clams (lauren only)
8. sunbathing (jeff only) (did i mention it was *cold*?! and quite windy?!?!? it was sunny, though, and my husband is a determined man: when he is set on subathing, by golly HE SHALL SUNBATHE!!!)
9. taking random artsy photos and then photoshopping the heck out of them on the ride home
all in all, not a bad way to celebrate 23 years of wedded bliss, eh?!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
prepare to die(cut)
(patterned paper: basic grey, mustard moon; diecuts & pearls: k&co; flowers: prima; eyelets: making memories; rub-on stitches: oriental trading co; other: buttons, colorbox inks, foam tape)
and now the second card i made, which i really DO love...although, i must confess, it has fewer...and less noticeable...diecuts. but it HAS some, so it counts!
(patterned paper: basic grey; rub-ons & chipboard frame (used as a template): fancy pants; cardstock diecuts, faux stitches & gems: k&co; flowers: prima; inks: colorbox; other: foam tape, white cardstock from staples)you may have noticed that my last few cards have been 6x6" squares...a rather odd shape and size for me. plus, i will tell you confidentially, my *NEXT FEW* cards are also 6x6" squares. i blame basic grey for this. having recently re-discovered my 6x6 sultry and blush paper pads i have been WORKIN' those babies like there is no tomorrow! what can i say? "pointless addiction" is my middle name! :)
*other possibilities i considered for this honor: "THIS'LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE(CUT)" and "CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE(CUT)" and of course, "LIVE AND LET DIE(CUT)" which very nearly won!
Friday, September 19, 2008
ahoy be the BIG DAY!
YAR!!!! so obviously the first thing to do whilst embarking upon our new pirately lives is to be a-drinkin' a bottle o'rum and a-hoistenin' up the mainsails!!! (unless we be drivin' obviously. or be havin' to go to work; just because we be pirates doesn't mean we be completely irresponsible !) (arrrr!)
after that, me scallywags, we should probably be a-takin' the official pirate personality assessment test to determine what sort...and more importantly what rank...of pirates we be, mateys! here be my results:
You are The Cap'n!
PROFILE: Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.
~The Iron Fist~
and a mighty fine name it is too, named after me mother, i were! yarrrrrrrr!
if any of ye scurvy dawgs be a-wonderin' "WHY we are doing this?!" welllllllllll i oughttaaaaaa make ye walk the plank!!! (but there be an excellent explanation here!) (arrr!)
and finally those of us who be a-havin' humorous pirate-based personal photos and/or anecdotes should be a-sharin' of them now:
yo ho ho--this be pirate riley!
and avast, landlubbers! here be pirate lindsay!
the photos above were taken in the summer of 2006* on a day in which the nieces in question were kind enough to take me out for happy meals. the particular happy meals we obtained accompanied one of the "pirates of the caribbean" films, which of course neither of these young ladies had seen, but they loved "the wiggles" (who have a pirate character) and they have older boy cousins, and thus had a general idea of the concept. so we donned our kerchiefs and enthusiastically said things like, "YAAAAAR!" and "YO HO HO!" and called each other landlubbers and generally exhibited as much hearty pirate mise-en-scene as very small girls & a middle-aged aunt can muster; then we commenced to eating our lunch and resumed normality. or so i thought. until about ten minutes later, when miss lindsay, unprompted, and still using the gravelly-est pirate voice you can imagine a not-quite-3-year-old assaying, asked her mother to,
"please pass the ketchup......'cause i'm a PIRATE!"
because a life of plunder and pillaging upon the high seas is no excuse for bad manners!
*i only know this b/c... flying in the face of a lifetime of "winging it" ...i am smart enough to DATE every single file & cd & envelope of photos. if you had asked me about the pics above, i'd have said, vaguely (& incorrectly) that they were from last year sometime...possibly spring?? see...you THINK you're gonna remember who did what, when, and where. you're wrong. label EVERYTHING! oh yeah...and when your friends have kids, and you write their birthdays on the calendar? write THE YEAR on there. and carry it forward to each successive year. b/c if you don't, i guarantee at some point you will write "happy fifth birthday" on the (infinitely more grown up, obviously) 6 year old's card, or ask an 8 year old how he is enjoying first grade. whereupon you will be met with the stare of polite but silent loathing from said child, whose pride you have mortally wounded for all time. it may not be mentioned again...but it'll never EVER be forgotten. trust me. TRUST ME. here endeth the first lesson. (oh yeah...and ummm...arrrrr!) :)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
YIKES! i forgot to post this project!
here's a page from an old betty crocker cookbook that's covered with cakes! (& before you ask, "hey lauren! what on earth is tanis s'posed to make out of a page covered with cakes?!" i will admit that i have NO IDEA...but hey!...it's a page that's covered with cakes!!!!! at the very least, it oughtta make her *smile*, right?! it TOTALLY makes *me* smile! (ok, and also...it makes me want some cake!) (sorry, tanis!)
and i guess that's about all i have to say about this project, except that it was very, VERY fun to make and i hope you have enjoyed seeing it!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I to the N to the ING (list)
i thought it might be nice to share a few things i am enjoying right now!
game over by cynthia harrod-eagles. this is the 6th or 7th (i think) of the clever bill slider police prodceurals, but unlike some series that get a bit stale after a while, i still love the characters and am completely drawn in by the tight plotting and humor; plus i am 50 pages from the end and have NO IDEA whodunnit--gotta love that, right?!
the colour of blood by declan hughes, a hard-boiled irish detective story centered on homemade porn, a kidnapping, (maybe) a present-day murder, (definitely) and a crime from the past which may or may not be more complicated than it seems. some mornings, i kind of almost wish my drive to work was a bit longer! (almost!)
young@heart, one of the quirkiest, most charming documentaries i've seen in quite some time, this tale of a rockin' senior chorus is totally absorbing and the music is utterly unique!
that the closer and burn notice are in the final week of their season. (though of course it's such a new & wonderful phenomenon to even HAVE fresh summer telly that i feel a bit bad whining about it!)
ali edwards' life artist. i liked her first two books, and no disrespect to the talented artists who contributed to them, but this one is ALL ali: her words, her art, her philosophy, her voice. there are great ideas (& great advice!) on every page; i had to give up my usual procedure of marking my favorite pages with postie notes...i was causing a paper shortage!
some projects for a special design team gallery for CAARDVARKS' next challenge, which starts saturday, september 20th! (can't wait to show you what i've made!)
my best "shiver me timbers" and "yo ho ho" and "avast, landlubbers!" in order to better enjoy international talk like a pirate day on friday! (i have missed it two years in a row.) (never again.) (arrrrrgh!)
my lucky stars that i pretty much wake up at the same time in the morning NO MATTER WHAT...because apparently...i forgot to turn on my alarm clock last night!!! (remind me of this when i whine about being up at 7am onna saturday, ok?!!) ♥
*in case you are wondering what this photo has to do with the rest of the post the answer is an emphatic, "NOT A THING!" it's just that when i had finished typing, all those words looked a bit lonely without a pic...but i couldn't find anything that i loved AND that matched inna hurry (this last bit being the vital point) and i had just run an "i can has cheezburger" photo yesterday...so i went with the biscuit boat. plus, let's face it, you don't get all that many opportunities to USE a biscuit boat picture in the ordinary course of papercrafts bloggin'...anyway...if you were lookin' for SENSIBLE you'd hardly keep showing up *HERE* now, would you??! :)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
LHJ & mama pose with an unidentified woman who is glad that her roots are being done on wednesday, and wonders if those tooth-whitening-strip-thingies really work?we tried out mom's new digital camera*, we had a wonderful lunch at iron hill brewery, we drove out to a local dairy farm for ice cream**, we had a tour of the majestic parental gardens, we watched a teeny, tiny, exceedingly handsome ruby-throated hummingbird fly about snacking on flower nectar and insects!!!
this is not OUR hummingbird, since we foolishly did not think to grab EITHER of the two excellent digicams sitting within arm's reach during said hijinks; this is a stuntbird, borrowed from birds-n-blooms' website for illustrative purposes
we caught up on all the family news, and we came home with a lifetime supply of freshly-picked acorn squashes the size of fireplace logs! in fact the only thing non-delightful about the entire day was the drive*** which got me to wondering, yet again:
it's ~2008~ already
where the heck is my
to that end, i am starting a petition that those lovely swiss boys stop messing about with their blackholes and get to work on something practical! by which, of course i mean a star-trek-style transportational device allowing us to *beam* back and forth to the in-laws' in safety and comfort without traversing I-95 in such an ungainly**** manner. c'mon lads! there's a lovely trophy in it for you!!!
*LHJ's dad is hilarious when it comes to technology: he occasionally asks us for advice/help in learning a new program or system or, in this case, how to upload pics from a digital camera. we oblige, and 10 minutes into the procedure it becomes apparent that not only does he understand the entire procedure perfectly well, he is actually *FAR* more expert than jeff & i put together! when taxed with such a suspicion he will say, with a smile, "well, i just wanted to make sure i was on the right track!" :)
**afterwards, we got to meet the cows--now THAT is fresh ice cream!!!
***two hours + each way; which is a bit long for those of us with back issues.
****and in my case downright WHINEY! (sorry, honey!)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
...but in the meantime, be sure to take a couple 'o muffins out of petty cash!!!
Friday, September 12, 2008
operation 36: COLLECTIONS
ps: you may notice our little friend the paper pieced deer making a second appearance in as many posts--i actually had this entire PA page planned (but not assembled) and the journaling written down when i found the pattern and made the card below...but then i thought, "well hey! there's a coincidence!" and decided to bring him back for a triumphant encore!!!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
"i LOVE this card!" she said, modestly
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
the doodle formula
(ek success circle punches in several sizes; 7 gypsies dotted circle stamp; prima paper bird; page from a vintage book; patterned paper scraps: basic grey, paper co, making memories, scenic route, plus bits from catalogs, maps & photos, rub-ons: scenic route, making memories, creative imaginations; zigwriter pen, colorbox ink)
*because one always stands in line at michaels'...for AT LEAST five minutes...even if there is no one else in the entire store! and it's not just my local michaels', either, it's every branch i have ever been to. *WHY* is that?! does anybody know??!? if you happen to be a michaels' representative, and you are reading this, please take note: those three aproned dynamos who are always busy sorting the foam shapes with such vigor in aisle 17 would be better employed AT THE CASH REGISTER, ok?!! thank you! ahem. sorry, i had a bit of a rant there. i hope i didn't embarrass you, michaels' representative. other than that you are doing a very nice job, honestly!
Monday, September 8, 2008
this is why i'm never gonna be a size 8 again!
Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (lauren's note: i dunno how to cross out...so i've italicized instead!) (ps: VGT has linked the more obscure items to wikipedia in case we'd like to read about them. ta v much, VGT!)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/uncategorised/the-omnivores-hundred/ linking to your results. (PS. The list has generated a lot of questions, so I’ve created an FAQ for it over here!)
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (however, i've had alligator, in new orleans!)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (DUDE!!!)
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (i've had LOTS of mango ones, though!)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (yuck. on both counts.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (why?! no, seriously. WHY would you eat this?!)
43. Phaal (see #26)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (bad idea. although, there is part of me, that kind of likes the *idea* of a fish we have killed to eat at least having a shot a killing us back. there's a weird sense of fairplay there, dontcha think?!)
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
64. Currywurst (i must FIND THIS...curry...and wurst...together?! oooh!)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (Q: do ya get bonus points for "all of the above"?! A: no, you get BONUS POUNDS!)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini (at the russian tea room, thank you very much!)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (if *I* killed it...and i was starving...and i had just seen the animal in question *BATHING*...and my tires were BRAND NEW...ok, nope....i still wouldn't eat it...sorry)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
89. Horse (not knowingly; however, i suspect we have ALL done, unbenownst!)
90. Criollo chocolate
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
ok, so i'm sorta chubby...but also, vaguely proud: i've tried 61 of the 100, which i think is pretty decent. and there are only 7 that i would absolutely REFUSE TO TRY, ever. if you decide to play, send me a link...i love to nosey other peoples' surveys, as well you know!
in the meantime, anybody wanna go grab some currywurst with me??!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
collage fodder: what i save, and how i save it
ok so, what do i save? this is totally subjective and varies from day to day, but i would say it all pretty much comes down to two categories: that which i absolutely LOVE...or...that for which i can immediately see a use.
all of the pics above just happened to be in my stash when i wanted to make a color-spectrum page for paper adventure. now saving the statue of liberty makes perfect sense, and the seahorses are very graphic and appealing, but *WHY* did i save a gigantic picture of corn-on-the-cob?? i have no idea. apparently, on that day, i thought it was cool. (or i was hungry!) on the other hand, IT GOT USED!
oscar mietelski and the cogs-n-gears (which, oddly enough, were from a skin-care ad!) were "impulse saves" from two different times that eventually wound up being used together; the cupcakes and the babies were things i knew instinctively would be good in a birthday context.
basically anything that makes me stop and say, "WOW!" i at least consider tearing it out. it's like buying supplies: every once in a while you see a product that seems utterly impractical, but you just fall under its spell. think about it--the times you've given in to that temptation, you've generally found a way to use the item, right? same thing here: if you love it, you'll either work it in somehow, or be inspired by the colors or pattern or...something...
for the card above and the one below, i came up with the plan for the card when i saw the illustration, and saved them on purpose; i stuck a postie note with the concept and a little sketch right on the page, so that i would remember my brilliant idea! (clippings that already have an idea attached go at the very front of my file, since they tend to be quicker cards to make.) the clownfish were from national geographic; the brain was on the cover of time magazine.
things i tend to "look out for" include: cakes, kids in party hats (for birthday cards); beautiful floral images (for all-occasion cards); bollywood or parisian or new york related stuff (for the place-themed collages i love to make). your list will be different, obviously. if you have a dad who is nuts about golf, or a mom who loves penguins, you might like to save a few golfers and flightless waterfowl, and see if you can think of ways to use them!
what magazines are good for this? potentially *ALL* of 'em !!! ok, that's not very helpful is it? lemme essplain: it's kind of a process i've developed over time. i never go buy magazines to cut up. however, i refuse to save & store the ones to which we subscribe. (the exception being my craft ones & jeff's cooking ones; if we'll use them again, they get to stay.) the rest, after we've read & enjoyed them, get thrown away. ...but... before i toss out 100 pages of glossy illustrated goodness, i have a little flick through, and anything that catches my eye i rip out. the rest gets tossed. (this is a great "dead-time" job--i'll often grab a couple on the way out of the house when jeff is driving.) national geographic has AMAZING photography & is printed on really nice thick paper...the AAA freebie we get every month often has great travel-based or car pictures...fashion mags pay art directors a fortune to generate arresting images...the companies that sell plants and seeds produce catalogs that contain nothing but page after page of glorious flower close-ups...and this lovely lady was on the cover of a fancy clothing catalog:
once you start looking, i think you'll see that there is good stuff all around, and lots of it is free for the taking! my mom almost always has a pile she's throwing away; garage sales are FULL of 50-cents-a-stack periodicals; the local library has a "free" area to swap paperbacks and donate magazines; our chiropractor is innundated on a monthly basis with AT LEAST 2 dozen titles and is usually quite pleased when i offer to take one off his hands!
how do you organize what you've clipped? i use 2-pocket school-style folders, divided into general categories from which i tend to save: travel, flowers, animals, food, and a one called "miscellaneous" that's bigger than all the rest (cause that's the kinda gal i am) !!! there's no need to get fancy, but as with most organizing, i suggest sorting "like with like" in a general way that makes sense to you, so that you can find something specific without having to sort through your entire collection!
i hardly ever cut things to size when i save them, i just roughly trim about an inch around the bits i want. (for one thing, the edges can tend to get a bit wrinkly from handling; for another i don't know if i'll want to trim it exactly, or leave an outline, or mount it first on sturdier paper so it can be "popped up" on foam tape!) another thing to consider when choosing what--and how much--to save, is: generally speaking, what do you intend to make with your goodies? because if you're planning to do inchies, it's not much use cutting out loads of giant two-page landscapes! on the other hand, an 8 by 10 framed collage is going to need at least one decent-sized focal point image. for cards, you have leeway, but if you always make A-2's you'll want to bear in mind how much you can actually fit in that space! (the mortice masks shown above are *ideal* for when you are planning to work at a specific size; you can immediately see how much of your image is going to fit!)
every so often, i grab a folder that's getting a bit thick and weed stuff out; again i am using my two original (very loose) standards, which i've only just realized are a paraphrase of william morris' famous dictum: "keep nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" apply that to your stash, too, and i don't think you can go very far wrong!
if anyone has a tip to share on this subject, or questions about anything i haven't covered, please feel free to leave them in the comments; if you've made something great using stuff cut from magazines, be sure to drop a link so we can come and admire it!
Friday, September 5, 2008
workin' for a living
(hambly tranparency; creative imaginations lace cardstock; notebook and ledger paper; vintage timecard & union card; autumn leaves & technique tuesday ruberstamps; mambi & jewelcraft gems; michaels epoxy stickers; making memories brads; prima tiny florals; other: zigwriter pen, colorbox inks, staples, masking tape, foam tape)
and now it's your turn! get to work on your own fantabulous creation, and post it to CAARDVARKS by midnight, september 18th for a chance at the goodies!