Thursday, September 29, 2005

from the makers of "Jesus Hates Your S.U.V."

Now that my husband's birthday has come and gone I can share a website that makes some great t-shirts. Do you remember when Billy went nuts looking for his "Ski Iraq" t-shirt in Six Feet Under? My husband laughed hysterically over the thought of a t-shirt that read, "Ski Iraq". So I got him one. Check out the Dangerous Breed website HERE.
These are a few of my favorite "axis of evil vacation destinations":

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

you learn something new everyday - this time i actually did!

I am so giddy over some new tricks I just learned. I made this wonderful little animated banner! Hee hee hee! Some other folks over in livejournal were doing these, so I did a google search and found a great tutorial for making one using Adobe ImageReady. The tutorial is by Layout Galaxy and can be found HERE. I just can't get over myself. I know it's NUTHIN to all you real web designers out there, but to me this is right up there along with sliced bread and TIVO. Oh boy...what can I do next with this new found toy? A little animated cartoon? Maybe I'll just go outside and snap pictures of the clouds passing overhead so I can create an animation of the clouds passing overhead. No, I don't have all this free time for things like that. Shoot, I shouldn't of wasted time creating this one here...but, procrastination is the name of my game. Why actually get all those things on my to-do list done when there are so many other fun things to do? But it's time to face the music. Time to clean this house from the mess little Mr. Munchkin made while I had my nose in the laptop. Time to clean the car, water the grass to clear up that big brown spot in time for Mr. Munchkin's birthday party (TWO in November!) and time to get some real work done (you know, the work that I actually get paid for, the work that brings in some money). So, animated banners will have to wait. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

self-portrait tuesday

~ Joining the Self-Portrait Tuesday bandwagon ~

muddling over what i need to do today. enjoying a cup of coffee. woke to a nip in the air prompting me to put on my robe - first time i've worn it in months.

Monday, September 26, 2005

New York is Rome itself


Already the last week of September. I always see October as the start of Fall. Can't believe it's going to be Fall. (technically, it already is!)


We're heading out to New York mid-October. Hurray! Some of the things on my to-do list that we didn't quite fit in last year: walk across the Brookly Bridge, take the Staten Island Ferry, go to Little Italy & China Town, top of the Empire State Building, spend some good quality time in the Park, take my bugaboo to FAO Schwartz (it was closed last year) and eat more signature NY Black & White cookies (last year I only discovered how delicious those are on my last day there). Those are all pretty touristy things, I do understand. But last year I pretty much spent 4 days walking the entire (well, not the ENTIRE) city. So this trip I want to try to do some of those cheesy things - like the Empire State Building. We'll be staying right smack dab in Times Square, again, care of my husband's employer - whoopee! When he travels for work, it doesn't make sense for me NOT to go. With hotel accommodations paid for, why not?


Last year my son was just under a year old. While my husband was working, I'd take the baby out into the city and he'd instantly fall asleep. I like to think that the whirl of the city was like a lullaby to him. He'd sleep and I'd walk. One day we walked all the way from Times Square clear to the tip of Manhattan. And it wasn't a straight line sort of walk. We meandered along the way. We took the subway back though. I think I would have died had we tried to walk back. My husband and I just loved that city. It was the first time for both of us. He's since been back - but this will be only my second time back. I'm just like my son. I could easily find a bus bench somewhere and fall asleep to the sounds of the city. If we didn't have so many connections here (family that we don't want to tear our son away from) I think we could be very very happy in New York. It's everything you could possibly need plus a whole bunch of stuff you wouldn't ever think to ask for. I will always fondly remember us having dinner with a friend, who also happened to be in town, at Chez Josephine - a restaurant run by Josephine Baker's son. I think we were the only group NOT heading out to the theater after - so when the restaurant cleared, Jean-Claude moved us out of the corner to a wonderful center table and proceeded to wine and dine us with such hospitality and warmth. He even took our son over to the piano and let him bang on the keys for a while. Not sure if I even want to go back there for fear of trampling over this already wonderful memory with one that couldn't possibly be as good. I just don't think that meal could be topped! It was the pure essence of New York!


"If I'd lived in Roman times, I'd have lived in Rome. Where else? Today America is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself"

- John Lennon

Sunday, September 25, 2005

for all you road trippers

Just finished up my next batch of artist trading zines for the atz_club. The theme for this month was "Road Trip". This time I was given the fortunate task of picking the theme. And I've seen a few comments here and there that indicate it wasn't an easy topic for everyone to deal with. So, for that I feel bad. At least I won't have to pick the theme for awhile now! I feel so uncool. Anyway - I had fun with the topic. Included are excerpts from On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. There's a list of the top 10 road trip munchies. And then there's the collection of road trip snapshots. Stuff I see from the road. Stuff that doesn't necessarily make any sense but reminds you that you are far from home. For the covers I made what I hope reads as an abstraction of a road in felt. It will be interesting to see what everyone else has done with this topic. I hope people had fun with it even though it didn't exactly cause the stir I had hoped it would.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

more architecture folks

Because that is just the mood I am in at the moment, I thought I'd share a picture of another architectural wonder from our travels a few years back.
This is Ronchamp:

It was one of those buildings I studied in school but never imagined I'd find myself standing before. And when we found ourselves on a highway in France I thought - we're too close NOT to go - so we pulled off the main road in search of this Le Corbusier creation. And, it came to be that we weren't actually all that close. It's a very small town, Ronchamp, and even once in town we had a hard time finding it. But after buying some marvelous cheese from a little shop and asking for directions, we found ourselves before Notre Dame du Haut (or, as it is simply referred to, Ronchamp).
A massive molding of concrete, this church, built in 1955, was incredible to see firsthand. I'll never forget it. It started pouring rain while we were there - we ate our bread and cheese in the shelter of the car. Having only studied it from books and slides, I imagined it to be much smaller than it actually was. Funny, because the city of New York actually seemed much smaller than the grand scale I had made it in my mind before visiting. Paris - larger than I imagined. Seattle - smaller. Berlin - larger. Just goes to show you how powerful seeing something in person can be.
Anyway - those are just my thoughts for the day.

Friday, September 23, 2005

experience music

Here's a collage of the Experience Music Project [EMP] in Seattle. Frank Gehry's rock-n-roll version of the Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles) and the Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain). We thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the music memorabilia. I particularly enjoyed things like an essay written in school by Tupac, lyrics jotted down by Amy Ray & Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and a wall of music where you could hear "Blowing in the Wind" in a number of different languages and music styles. While my husband thoroughly absorbed himself in the Bob Dylan exhibit, I chased our son around the place and studied the curved I-beams and structure responsible for generating this fantastic facade. I'm sure the structure must be disguised at the Disney Concert Hall and Guggenheim, so seeing it all exposed here at the EMP was a real treat.


I got my new Readymade magazine yesterday. This is really the only magazine I read cover to cover these days. Rolling Stone - I look at the pictures and maybe read a couple album reviews. Sunset - I dog-ear the pages with recipes I might want to try and study the articles relating to garden and/or house design. Dwell - Look at the nifty houses and maybe read an article about an architect whose name sounds familiar to me. But Readymade is always jam packed full of ideas and cool articles and groovy projects. In fact, one regular column called "MacGuyver" calls upon readers to send in their unique designs for projects using common everyday items. One month it was wood pallets. Another month it was cassette tapes. Last month they asked readers to construct something from wine bottle corks. Sound familiar? Ha ha. Anyway, the issue I just got yesterday shows the winning project - a floor mat made of 4,500 corks strung together with wire. This thing is amazing! Now that I've used up nearly all my corks for my last Sampler contribution, I'll need to start saving up again to make a mat of my own. There was also an article about a gal in San Francisco(Yosh Han) who runs her own perfume company, mixing her own perfumes. She created one for hersef which she named after her alter ego, Ginger Ciao. She wears it whenever she needs the vibrant and go-getting Ginger to come out. I like that. Maybe I could use an alter ego. Someone who takes risks and lives like an artist who don't look back. Someone I turn to to break me out of my shell when I'm feeling shy in a room full of interesting people. Hmmmm. Astrid? Leilani? Yoko? Ha ha. I'll have to work on that.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

rambling this morning

Ah Man! I'm hooked on "Lost". Got all caught up watching the re-runs all summer...and now after last night...I'm hooked. But I WILL NOT spend valuable time talking about television - something I am not proud to admit takes up enough of my valuable time as it is.

Here's a picture of a little something I worked on while we were on the road during our trip to the Pacific Northwest. It's a little patch made of wool felt and some fabric scraps. I made a few of these and felt like I was painting with fabric. I hope to sew up some bags that I will sew these patches onto. Simple bags - maybe canvas? - so the little "painting" isn't obscurred.

I've had SO MUCH catching up to do since we've been back. At least the bags are unpacked now and everything is more or less back in its place. "A place for everything and everything in its place!" (ha ha ha...yeah, right) Had a lot of work to catch up on. Still working out all the kinks on my computer that relate to working from home. I am happy to say, though, that I am now all set up for sending drawings to the print shop. Man, these days who needs to go to the office? It was, what, like 2 years ago that we had to print out drawings in our own offices and physically walk them down the street to the printer to have copies made? Now the drawings just magically dance across the wires and find their way into the printer's plotters. But I have to admit that I miss the smell of good old fashioned blue prints. I know I know - the chemicals were awful for the environment and your hands smelled like a photo lab after handling them too long - but come on, I'm not alone here am I? Who else remembers sniffing that freshly xeoroxed pop quiz handed out hot off the presses? (isn't there even a scene in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"...on another note - how far has Sean Penn gone from his checkered Vans wearing days?)

And even though I promised myself I would not discuss television - I must add this...I've got "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" on my TIVO waiting to be watched. I'm anxious to see just what these gals and gents that were selected are all about. You see, I myself submitted a video application and was conVINCed that I would get a call from the good-thing-girl herself. Alas, I did not. The only thing I can figure is that there is a Dawn and a Donna on the show, so maybe it was just a mix-up. The meant to select me, Dawn from Vista, but somehow ended up with the other Dawn/Donna. That's gotta be what happened. Oh well - their loss!

And now, I must go try and catch up on my to-do list. Will I ever win the laundry war?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

there's no place like home

Back home! It was a fun trip up north...but it is ALWAYS nice to be cooking in my own kitchen, bathing in my own tub and sleeping in my own bed. Although I could do without the unpacking. I hate unpacking. Slowly working my way through all the piles that have developed. I'm finding myself unpacking bags - but not really unpacking them - just taking everything out and arranging them into little piles. So now I've got to actualy put away the contents of all those little piles. Fun! I worked on a few projects while away. I'll have to photograph those to share. And I want to put together a few more photo collages to share. It's a long drive from Southern California to Washington state. Did a lot of brainstorming and planning and thinking while staring out at the road ahead. I always do that on long drives. Come up with these grand schemes - most of which never see the light of day. But I may just have to see some of them through this time around. Number one on the list = diet. back on. Oh wait, did I mention that this starts on Monday? You can't start a diet on a Sunday! Diet back on Monday.