December 29, 2011

Last minute cat stocking.

earlier this summer, we welcomed a new member of the family- our cat Gordon. he was a stray alley cat who hustled his way into our hearts and has totally won us over with his crossed blue eyes, abnormally long fangs, and many diverse and varied vocalizations. he's a weirdo kitty but he's ours now and we adore him.

so like any obsessed pet parent, i wanted him to feel included in the Christmas festivities so i put "make Gordon a stocking" on my to-do list. however, the last 10 days before Christmas were a blur of house guests, parties, illness, and more house guests... and suddenly it was Christmas eve. luckily my mom and i are decent sewers, and we actually churned out this little number in about an hour.

the green fabric is felt, so i just free-handed the shape, cut out 2 of them and sewed them together. the buttons were all randoms from the button jar, and mom used the red & white scraps to create the top of the stocking and the loop. all materials were on hand so this project cost zero dollars!

December 18, 2011

sh*t girls say

0:24- me, all the time, about everything.

December 16, 2011

Sex World gingerbread house

couldn't help but smile at this one. for those of you outside of MN, Sex World is an infamous adult superstore in downtown Minneapolis, on a somewhat prominent street corner. my first summer here, i spent a lot of time downtown passing out fliers at clubs at like, 2-3am. Sex World somehow became my best landmark for getting around downtown. my friend Dave learned to give me directions that started with, "okay, from Sex World take a right on Washington..."

this was made by a local food blogger- more pics and her short article here. (i saw it here) and if you're curious to see the interior, well here ya go. #7.... whoa.

December 15, 2011

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage

i've had this book on hold for so long, i can't remember where i first read about it or who might have recommended it to me. it looked a wee bit boring, so it sat in my stack of library books for a while before i cracked it open. kind of regretting this now, because it's AMAZING and i couldn't put it down and now i owe $2.10 in late fees.

i've never been interested in politics, so i'm somewhat ignorant on most presidential history. i knew FDR was a big deal for his New Deal and WW2 and the polio and the unattractive wife who supposedly did a bunch of stuff too. the book touches on all those things but really focuses on FDR & Eleanor's marriage and its endurance despite so many factors seemingly waging against it. apparently since Eleanor's death, more and more details have been leaked about their unorthodox relationship, and it's become one of the most controversial and rumor-riddled marriages in modern history. i don't want to give away details but it was quite the surprising read for me- in the amount of tabloid worthy bits, and in the way they "adopted" people and cultivated a strange and diverse community around themselves. it looks ho-hum but it's a compelling, juicy page turner that somehow both tells the truth (inasmuch as we can know) and endears you to the couple. i highly recommend it.

my favorite photo from the book. Eleanor holding FDR's drink, and he with her knitting.

December 13, 2011

Agate windows

cathedral windows made out of agate slices, at Grossm√ľnster Cathedral in Zurich. seen here.

December 12, 2011

DIY advent "wreath"

it is apparently impossible to find an advent wreath that is not 100% fugly. advent calendar? sure. every home decor site is blowing up with 851 ways to count down the days to Christmas. i guess not many design bloggers follow a liturgical church calendar. so what's a mildly religious girl to do? make her own damn advent wreath, i guess.

for the past 2 years i've gotten by with purchasing a live wreath from Trader Joe's and nestling some tiny IKEA candle holders amidst the boughs. it's fine. it's also boring, and huge, meaning the entire dining room table is taken up with wreath display, which is difficult come Christmas day, when you want to light all your advent candles AND stuff your face with delicious holiday foods.

so this year i decided come hell or high water, i was going to have a real, permanent advent wreath- even if i've already missed the first 2 Sundays. both Google and Pinterest searches yielded nothing, so i was on my own... i was trying to think of a new way to connect the IKEA candle holders when i came up with this idea. i always try to think cheap & easy, and this project only cost $4.00. almost everything we had was leftover from some other project...

1. Matt cut a 12" x 12" square out of leftover wood from our bookshelf project.
2. he sanded it down and i drilled five 7/8" holes for the candles to slip through (sandpaper and drill bit also left over from bookshelf project)
3. i sanded down the edges of the holes and then painted it green with leftover paint from our exterior doors.
4. inspired by this "before & after" from design*sponge, i took a black Sharpie and drew the design on the painted wood.
5. these IKEA candles (leftover from our wedding) slipped in quite snugly and didn't need any extra reinforcement.
6. i did buy four 3" wide round felt pads and affixed them to the bottom. they protect the table and give the "wreath" that slightly floating effect.

and the best part is, if i don't like the color/design next year, i can just paint over it...

December 8, 2011

Hey girl.

there's this guy, Ryan Gosling? have you heard of him? he's been in a few movies, on a few magazine covers, breaking up some street fights... no big deal. anyway, i'm a fan. it was his role in Lars and the Real Girl that sold me. that and him bringing his dog George on Jimmy Fallon. oh and maybe the Dirty Dancing scene from Crazy Stupid Love. (what?)

so, i'm on board with the Ryan Gosling memes. i LOLed at Feminist Ryan Gosling and read through most of them. i watched the online video of Ryan Gosling reading Feminist Ryan Gosling.

but this. THIS.

be still my heart.

(thanks angie!)

December 7, 2011

Wait wait don't show me

i've mentioned this before, but sometimes i don't like to know what my voices look like.

it started with Harriet Wheeler from the Sundays, and more recently i preferred the mugs of
Jad and Robert to remain a mystery. after listening to a voice for a while, your mind naturally conjures up its own image of the voice's face, and seeing the real thing can be quite jarring. (like when i finally saw this and started clicking on bios.) even if your version is pretty close, there's something about it that still feels like a let down.

these days it's almost impossible not to know what someone looks like, being that 99.9999% of what we read or learn comes from the internet. (and i can't remember the last book i read that didn't have an author photo on the inside jacket) Radio is probably the last stronghold where disembodied voices can create a cozy home inside your head. (and podcasts too, i guess) Artist Gaelan Kelly decided to create sketches of all the voices he listens to... some of which are my voices too.

here are links to
Part 1 and Part 2. (i think i originally saw this post via Jad Abumrad's Twitter account) my favorites are Carl Kasell and Garrison Keillor...

December 6, 2011

Corey Arnold

Corey Arnold is a photographer and commercial fisherman, two passions that seem incongruous but make for some pretty amazing photographs. he spent the last 7 years working on a crabbing ship in Alaska (Deadliest Catch- style) and now he is traveling the world documenting the commercial fishing lifestyle. This photo is from his time in Alaska and is my favorite thing today (seen via design*sponge).

his website
is worth a look- especially the Bering Sea photos and the series "Human Animals."

December 4, 2011

hey baby jesus, you wanna do pilates?

most Saturdays we try to stay up for Weekend Update... this was our reward last night.

December 1, 2011

Intergalactic advent calendar

the In Focus feature today is a virtual advent calendar featuring photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. each day a new photo will be revealed, so be sure to save the page and check back each day. today's photo is so lovely, it's now my desktop background.

all Hubble photos are available for download in varying resolution sizes for screen use or printing- there are no copyright restrictions. i'd love a giant one hanging in my dining room...

PPS- does anyone else now have the Beastie Boys song stuck in their heads?