Thursday, June 30, 2005

back to the salt mines

Getting ready to go into the office. Yikes! It's been over a year and a half since I last rode down that elevator and walked out those doors before the birth of my son. Wonder if it will all just come back to me the second I walk into the lobby. I'm going to get my first assignment then come back home and work work work. I'm actually a little anxious about getting involved in some projects again. And, I've often found that I get more done when I have less time. So now that I'll be devoting 15+ hours a week to work, maybe I'll push myself to squeeze in more time for creative projects. I NEED that creative stuff. Even when I worked full time there's no way I would have survived unless I had some kind of creative outlet to look forward to on the evenings and weekends.
Made some little buzzing bog critters this morning. And I also found this cake slice necklace I made a couple months back. Tomorrow being my birthday and all (the big 3 2 !!!), I think I'll put this little bad boy on and start prancing around like the birthday girl I am!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

under the quack


Of all the wonderful creatures at the zoo - the giraffe, the elephant, the hippopatamus - I think the one that really made me smile was the duck. Yep folks, I said duck! I just couldn't stop laughing inside when I saw the underside of our feathered friends here in the hippo lagoon. And I had to keep the laughing inside because I am sure I was the only one who thought it was hilarious - so I'm sure no one would have understood why I was laughing so hard. This and the fact that I think if I had let the laughs out it would have exploded into one of those fits where the tears start pouring and you just can't stop. I swear - those crazy ducks just cracked me up. But the giraffe, the elephant and the hippo were pretty cool. But I shouldn't give the duck the entire spotlight. The entire zoo collectively was pretty fantastic. Even the plants and trees were amazing. (you know you're getting old when you find yourself spending just as much time admiring the orchids as you do the flamingos)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

buzzing bog critters

buzzing bog jewelry

Would you like one?

Necklaces are strung on 16" clear plastic beading elastic with glass "cat eye" beads. I use sterling silver toggle clasps (these are so much easier to put on!). And, of course, there's the "Buzzing Bog" character (you choose - giraffe, pig, rabbit, cat or elephant) that is a hand drawn and hand colored shrinky dink. I'm offering these for $6 + $2 shipping.
Also available are zipper pulls. These are $2 + $1 shipping.
I prefer paypal. If you'd like one, e-mail me
with your request and I'll send you a paypal bill.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

form vs. function


As I've mentioned before, I keep my eye out for tacky souveniers for my kitchen whenever we travel. This is some of the latest loot. I've got a few spoon holders york, texas, hawaii, washington dc...someday our grandkids are gonna fight over who has to take them (HAS to take them). Yes...tacky. But it makes me smile when I see them hanging next to the stove. AND they're functional. So there you go. I can always talk myself into something if I'm able to justify its functionality. That's the architect in me. Although, I'm just as much of a sucker for form over function as any other consumer out there. My worst habit yet is how quickly I give into eye-catching packaging. If the package has the right colors or a unique shape, I'll easily spend a dollar or two more over it's bland shelf neighbor. But I suppose you could chalk that up to the architect instinct as well. Afterall...Target saw something in Michael Graves. The Pritzker people didn't/haven't...but I'd venture to say the name Michael Graves is more of a household name than Thom Mayne...maybe even more recognized than Frank Lloyd Wright for that matter. It's all about marketability and Michael Graves makes really pretty buildings. Functional? Well, I guess that's for history to decide. My point is, I'm a sucker for it. I do have this can opener in my kitchen afterall. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it's sure groovy lookin!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

in the kitchen


Cooking Observations:
  • The sauce ALWAYS tastes better when you steal a few tastes directly from the stovetop before serving everyone.
  • Everything tastes better when you yourself aren't making it - same recipe, same ingredients, but when someone else prepares it, it just tastes BETTER!
  • Before I start cooking I may be starving...but the smells of cooking satiates the time we sit down to eat I'm often not that hungry.
  • The way to make guests mouths salivate upon entering the front door: cook anything with garlic and ginger in a little olive oil. [see recipe below] Those three things together make the most delicious aroma.
  • Cilantro appears to be the new basil. I HATE cilantro. So many recipes call for it these days and there's just no way I can use it! And I hate saying that because I know so many people absolutely love it. But even when I pass the cilantro in the produce section, I smell it and imagine the taste of it on my mouth and almost start to gag. Even when there is the tiniest speck of it from salsa on my chip, I'll re-dunk the chip to wash it away. I know, I'm weird.
  • I love reading recipes. Love it. I imagine what the combination of ingredients will taste like. I imagine the smell of the kitchen. I can practically hear the pan sizzle when I read a recipe.
  • What's the deal with artichoke? Was that thing really meant to be eaten?
  • Don't even try to keep splatters from the pages of that new fancy shmancy cook book you spent way too much money on. It's just not gonna work. Enjoy those splatters. Now when I flip through the pages I know exactly what I've tried and what recipes I still need to try. AND, the pages you use pretty regularly will open up all on their own without having to look it up in the index!
  • Toasted almonds rock. Add to a cookie recipe, a salad, a sundae, a veggie dish. Serve a bowl with cocktails. Toast them just to make the house smell great. Grind them up to coat chicken instead of using bread crumbs. Always keep almonds on hand.
  • The following is a SURE FIRE winner to serve as an appetizer (everyone is certain I must be putting crack in these things because no one can stop eating them when I make 'em). Everytime I make them, I make more and more and they still all go at warp speed. You seriously cannot make enough:

fried wontons

Add minced garlic (~6 cloves) and ginger (~2 T.) to a pan drizzled with olive oil. When you start to smell that heavenly smell, add one small chopped onion and cook till the onion is translucent. Add one package of pork sausage. Now you want to keep working this. As the meat cooks, keep breaking it up with a spatula so that you get a pan full of small pea-size pieces. And really cook it. Get it nice and brown. The kitchen will be smelling fantastic. Once the meat is cooked, add some chopped green onion (~1 cup) and some sesame oil (don't skip this...yes it's kind of pricy...but I think this is what makes these so irresistable...drizzle a couple teaspoons...that's all you need). Stir it around and turn heat to low. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce (~1/8 cup) , corn starch (~1 rounded T.) and sugar (~1 rounded T.). Once mixed through add this to the meat mixture. Stir until the liquid mixture thickens up (when it boils) and the meat begins to stick together. Turn off heat - remove meat mixture from hot pan and put into a bowl to cool. (be sure to taste the meat at this know...just to make sure it passes the taste test...wink wink) NOW...for the assembly: Set up your assembly line. You'll need a package of small pre-made wonton skin squares, a small cup of water, a small basting brush (or paint brush that is CLEAN), your meat mixture, a spoon and a cookie sheet. Spoon about a teaspoon of meat onto the center of the wonton square. Dip your brush into the water and run the brush around the edge of the wonton square. Fold the square over and pinch the edges making a sealed triangle. Place this on your cookie sheet and continue making the rest. Once you're done assembling, drop them into a pot of hot oil and cook each side until they're golden. Serve them with sweet and sour sauce. YUM!

[ everyone who's asked...that's the's really not that complicated!]

Monday, June 20, 2005

hello old friend


In between everything else today (and by "everything" I hardly mean anything that's very exciting) I played with my old pal...shrinky dinks! I seriously did not remember them being so cool. How silly is it of me to get so excited watching that thin piece of plastic shrivel up into a little ball and flatten out again with my drawing being reduced to this perfect little gem? Love it! Of course I had a couple little mis-haps. Didn't really work so well coloring with markers. My finger tips appear to be permanently dyed by the ink jet ink that didn't really stick. But, colored pencils worked great. And I ended up with this little guy. How cute would it be to make all my little critters into a charm bracelet?
Time to start dinner. Got back on track today (translation: diet back on). I'm STARVING!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

jealous much?



Reading about everyone's prep for the Renegade Craft Fair is making me so jealous!


If anything, I wish I could go. Maybe next year! It would be quite a haul for me...but maybe I should spend the entire year preparing for it and just go. Seems like such an incredible venue. Is there anything similar to it on the west coast?


Finally got the bags unpacked from the San Francisco trip. I hate unpacking! Why does it take so damn long? Looks like the sun is actually coming out today. My husband and I decided to go to a movie...and the sun comes out...go figure. I hope the June gloom is breaking. I always consider it a wonderful birthday gift when the cloud cover breaks on July 1st. That and the fact that my plumeria tree usually offers it's first blooms around the first of July. I've been hard at work streamlining my website prior to the August sampler coming out. I hope those that recieve things from me and have never heard of me take the chance to visit my site. And I want to make it easier for me to add things as I develop them. My goal this summer is to develop one new thing a week. Shouldn't be hard because I have tons of ideas swimming around in my head. I just need to buckle down and work them out.


♥ what i heart today ♥
♥ blue sky ♥ silk tree in bloom ♥ plant holders I just hung around my kitchen window ♥ peanut butter frozen yogurt ♥ waking up with baby's feet in my face ♥ the fact that i finally hung my paint rack so the little one can't "re-organize" it ♥

Friday, June 10, 2005


just a picture post today.
time to get the little one outside...can we say stir crazy?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

reflections + bioluminescence

packaging up some beach glass beads
The other night I gave myself about twice as much time as I needed to drive to the airport to pick up my husband. The little one was sleepy so I figured I take the long way so he could sleep in the car. I drove along the coast down to San Diego and it reminded me of the old days, after getting my driver's license, when my girlfriends would pile into the car and we'd just cruise. Maybe stop at Pizza Port - which we thought was so cool because they always played surf movies on the big screen. Shop at cool little places in one of the beach towns, buying flannel pants and Airwalk if we were cool surfer chicks. We even tried surfing at one time - going to an empty beach so we wouldn't embarass ourselves in front of any guys. My dad surfs (and has surfed since he was a kid) so he lent me a board, gave me a few tips and sent me on my merry way. I don't think I ever got off my knees though. I promised to wake up every morning and do push-ups to develop my upper body strength. But eventually we moved onto another obsession - well, my friends moved on and I sort of went in my own little loner direction.
They loved driving down to Tijuana to drink and dance. Guess I was too much of a good girl and, honestly, it just didn't appeal to me. Toward the end of senior year I mostly drove the coast by myself. It was great. The beach has always been this place of reflection and inner sole searching for me. Got in a fight with mom - go sit on the beach. Feeling a little lonely and depressed - walk the sea wall. Broke up with boyfriend - sit on the jetty. And even now, when I have extra time to kill (such as more time than I need to get to the airport), I drive the coast. Windows down so I can smell the bonfires, slow so I can see the surf and always listen to that sappy radio station playing mushy love songs...and this one is going out to Steve - Steve, Amanda wants you to know that she's thinking of you tonight and hopes things can work out so you can start your future together.
The other night was a very special treat because the surf was churning up whatever it is (and I'm sorry I can't remember, some kind of micro-organism?) that causes bioluminescence...this phenomenon that makes the surf glow an awesome blue-green (kind of like a glow stick). Imagine looking out to sea, into the pitch black, and suddenly a wave is lit up for you to see. Quite amazing. Wish I had my camera with me - but I sorta doubt it would have photographed well. Haven't been able to find any pictures on the web anywhere.
It's hard for me to imagine living anywhere without the beach. And, no, it's not like I spend the majority of my time there. In fact, on our recent trip to Hawaii this woman shouted out to my husband and I, "so where you guys from?" When we told her, she replied, "oh," with dissapointment, "you look as pale as me and I'm from Colorado." (nice) But I know the beach is there. It's very comforting for me. And now, with our son, we're starting to rediscover places we grew up going to but haven't been to in years. Although we fought moving back here, there is *something* to be said for living in the place you grew up in.
I don't know that we'll always live here. But for now it's nice.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

how in the world?!?

the bees have been busy

A group of bees decided to take up residence in one of our empty trashcans. Since my husband is allergic to bee stings (and my son may very well be too), I had to encourage them to build their home elsewhere. I carefully put the end of a hose into the trashcan, ran to the faucet (a safe distance away), turned on the water and ran inside. Once they had all gone I noticed that they left the beginnings of this honeycomb. Isn't it fantastic? They were probably only at it for a few hours and they were able to produce this piece of brilliance about the size of a slice of bread. It just baffles me. Each opening is perfectly constructed. Each angle of every hexagon is perfect. How in the world?!?!?

♥ what i heart today ♥

♥ nature ♥ cream soda ♥ the smell of barbecue in the air ♥ passion flower blooms ♥ cake batter ♥ the fact that i am finally organizing our cd collection ♥

Monday, June 06, 2005

good little shopper

I don't know why...

but I just thought it was so damn cute
when my son came home from the grocery store
with my husband
proudly wearing this.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

the sampler

I designed a coloring page that is now available from The Sampler!

For those who don't already know about it...
The Sampler is this great subscription service that collects samples of individual artists and sends out packages that contain everything from handmade soaps to miniature paintings to jewelery to hand sewn objects. In addition, they have fun stuff like coloring pages that you can download to color. It's a great way to find out about other artists and the wonderful things they produce. I will be contributing my first time this month (for the August subscription) - Yay! I've been wanting to do this for months and I finally just decided to bite the bullet. If I commit now, I'll do it. So there you have it. I'll be making beach glass beads (50!). So if you subscribe for August's mailing, you just might see a little something from me in there! And if you don't subscribe, well, just go on and download my coloring page for an afternoon of good old fashioned coloring fun.

Friday, June 03, 2005

mumbo jumbo and painted rock

Already Friday. (hope it doesn't piss some people off - me saying that - because for some I'm sure the week dragged on and they're saying...FINALLY Friday)
Being at home raising the little one has its ups and downs. First off, let me clarify, I am not in any way complaining. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be able to be at home with my son. And I love being at home. I just find that I lose time. A day will go by and I feel like I have nothing to account for it.
I suppose that's why I love these online journals. Gives me a way to say to myself...hey, look what I did today! And though I do WASTE a lot of time online (reading other journals and browsing through others' projects) I get a lot of inspiration and encouragement to be productive myself. It's hard to put my finger on it though - the little whatever it is that makes me feel like I'm not living up to my full potential.
I guess what I'm driving at is that now, my time is my own. Before, when I was working, my time wasn't my own so I sorta didn't really care where it went. It wasn't mine, so what did I care? But now it's mine. I am my own employer (to put it in a term that dumbs it down enough for me to make sense of it - but it's not like I'm running a business here). As the boss of my time, I don't like that I waste it on silly things. But GOD...who has the energy to just go go go all the time? So, I take some of that back. I DO deserve a break every now and then. Being a mom is a lot of hard work! now I backtrack. But you know what? Used to be that I'd spend my entire lunch hour sitting outside. (somewhere where no one I worked with was likely to walk by, see me sitting there alone and think to themselves that they owed it to me to come on over and join me because who likes to sit alone at lunch? well...I DO!) I'd sit outside and just write write write. Not that I'm a writer. Everything I wrote was personal - but it helped me work through stuff. Like this right here. I suddenly feel a lot better about myself. This is good. This is good. I need to resort to some of my old methods of release. I may be a mom now, but that doesn't mean I don't need some of the activites I enjoyed as a carefree youth. Anyway...I'm sure this is EXTREMELY boring to everyone just ignore me.
Anyway. Painting. On a rock. Up there.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

gurgle gurgle blub blub

My LAST post about rocks with holes in them!

Now, keep in mind, it isn't the easiest thing - photographing fish in a tank - but I wanted to share some of the larger rocks I found.
These are my koi fish (usually not tank fish...but my tank is huge and I *LOVE* koi fish).
And these are more rocks with holes in them.
What's in store for today? Yesterday I used a matte sealer on some of the flat rocks I collected and now that they're dry I think I'll try out painting on them. Since it's such a natural pallette to be painting on I thought I'd paint things like palm trees, shells or flowers. It looks good in my head...let's see how it actually turns out. As for the boring stuff - need to figure out why our water filtration system is leaking. Oh bother! I'm plain sick and tired of puddles under the sink! Hopefully it's nothing that a little ingenuity and a trip to the Home Depot can't fix.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

ball of confusion

I don’t know how it happened.

When I moved out of my parents’ house, everything fit in the back of my hatchback. Then, slowly, little by little, I acquired things. Okay. Not things. Let’s just be honest. I acquired junk. The last time I moved (and I would say “we”…but again, to be honest…all this junk is mine) it took the biggest moving van I’ve ever seen, my car, my husband’s truck, a friend’s truck and another friend’s minivan. Hmmm. How did this happen? I suppose it’s time to start sorting through the mess. I gotta say, most times I’m actually relieved when my son breaks something because then I don’t feel guilty throwing it away.

Someone once said:
“The only items in your house should be one of two things; functional or beautiful”
(Mies Van Der Rohe maybe? Some architect, I’m sure, because I recall hearing it from a professor while in architecture school)

God…I’ve got a LoOng way to go if I wanna follow that rule. I just hold onto things.

My dad has another great rule:
“Keep something for a year. If you don’t use it in that time, get rid of it”

I’ve been pretty good about following that one. But some things you just need more than a year to get around to. Like the pile of vintage fabric remnants from my Grandma’s house. I fear the moment when I’ll actually need something and I’ve thrown it out the day before. I also like to use things until they’re just dead, till they can’t run/stand/stay together no more. We still use the microwave oven I bought when I moved into the dorms at college. 15 years ago! (Jesus God…has it really been 15 years?!?) The other night the butterscotch sundae topping bubbled over and my husband said, “Let’s just buy a new microwave so we don’t have to clean this up.” And I’ll admit, it does take twice as long to pop a bag of popcorn. And I suppose it’s not right for things to come out frozen on one side and piping hot on the other. So I suppose it’s time. Why hold onto it?

Yes, it’s time for a clean out. The big pitch. Sift through the junk. Pile through the rubble. Of course when I drop off a carload of stuff at the Salvation Army I’m sure I won’t be able to resist going in and finding “treasures” to take the places of the ones I’ve just been relieved of.

And the band played on…

all sparkly


busy making beach glass beads