For the last several weeks I have had one app open almost nonstop on my phone and/or computer: Songza! Goodbye Pandora, I have faithfully listened to you for at least 5 years, but your mixes don’t hold a candle to the concierge service on Songza. (Oh yeah.. and no ads!)
What I love the most about Songza is that you get to choose music by mood (or genre, or activity, or decade, or record store clerk!). And with stations with titles like: Lush Electronic Yoga, 3am Airport, Sadcore Hibernation, Ride Around Shining, & High Heel Power Walk how could I not be intrigued.
Some stations in heavy rotation these days are: Indie Roots Rock, Solo Jazz Guitar, In the Euro Hotel Lounge, Singer-Songwriter Christmas, & Shredding The Slopes (for demo in the studio!). I have already discovered new music that will become a permanent part of my collection. Go download it right now!
Wow, what a week. My dad is finally home and on the mend. I think the entire family could use a good long sleep now. Also, the hubs and I have been working hard every night at the studio (save last night though when we cut loose and partied with this guy). There have also been some adjustments to our work schedules as well and we’re going to have to find a new rhythm. Oh yeah… and the holidays are here. I really wish that I could just cuddle up under a blanket (it’s freezing here!) and catch up on blogs, magazines, and movies. But there is work to be done, parties to be planned, gifts to be purchased, and life to be lived. And I’m looking forward to every bit of it!
In the mean time though, here are a few things that have caught my eye over the last couple of weeks:
My next book purchase. I’m so excited to read it (thank you best-therapist-in-the-world).
Speaking of books, this one looks interesting too.
Even our government is lazy with passwords.
I can feel a little less guilty shopping with these 7 companies.
And I probably shouldn’t be supporting these 90 companies.
I will fully support art though.
I found this article very interesting about a young New Zealand artist being compared to Nirvana.
[original photo here]
It’s December 2 and I’m already behind! I unexpectedly went MIA from this space last week/weekend. We opted for something new this year. Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving feast, we headed over to Alabama for the annual Poarch Creek Indian Pow Wow. I’ve got a lot more to say (and show!) about that whole experience. Short of the long: I loved it!
Upon returning home Friday evening, we (read: the hubs) immediately headed over to the studio to get it prepped for paint. On Saturday we spent an unfortunate amount of time in that little box prepping, and prepping, and prepping… then painting, and repainting, and still more painting. It’s always something with remodels. This time, it was not only the four random bolts sticking up 2 inches out of my concrete floor, but that the paint (just the primer) kept sliding off the walls. It’s quite the site to see, paint literally not stick to the walls. We realized (not soon enough) that it was because of a lack of circulation. So a fourth trip to Target later, a fan is now circulating air and the walls are dry(ing). During our trials and tribulations we received a call that my Dad had to be taken to the hospital.
Needless to say Sunday was not spent in the studio, but rather sitting by his bedside in ICU catching up on some much needed magazine time and listening to machines beep while he tried to rest. He’s semi-stable now and we are just doing a lot of waiting. Waiting on tests. Waiting on doctors. Just waiting. Pretty coincidental since we began our “Advent” waiting the same day. This time of year is always so weird for me. What a paradox we walk in every day.
I hope to post lots more photos of the Pow Wow this week…but we’ll see how things go.
Life is definitely a series of setting priorities, and mine have kept me a bit scatterbrained lately. I hate making last minute decisions, but the weather dictated our actions this weekend. We purchased a new armoire several weeks ago but have not been able to make the 180 mile (round) trip to collect it. This weekend was our window of opportunity: my parents were free (this = a big ‘ol truck to use + free labor) and there was maybe going to be a break in the weather on Saturday. We spent the better part of the night on Friday working in my studio and although one would think that scraping walls and spackling would not be that messy, it can quickly get out of control…especially when you discover black (seemingly) toxic material on the floor that needs to be chipped away.
My plan was to have my crazy box painted (well, really just primed) before we head out of town for Turkey Day, but that is NOT happening. Mostly because the best part of the weekend was spent hanging out with friends for a LONG afternoon/evening visit on Sunday. There was delicious food, great conversation, cold air, a hot tub and there may or may not have been some pre-Thanksgiving holiday music! I can’t believe that I never took my phone out of my bag (to snap a photo). I’m so glad we lingered as it was totally worth not going back to the dirty box that is the studio. It’ll still be there next weekend! And I’m excited to make a little more progress.
These are my favorite appetizers for two reasons — they taste delicious and the presentation factor. I haven’t taken these to a party yet where someone did literally say “Wow” and inevitably someone wants the recipe. I would say they are the easiest to make since there is absolutely no cooking involved, but that’s not necessarily true. It’s only if you have a second pair of hands to hold “the package” while tying them together that this rings true. Doing them by yourself can prove to be a bit challenging if your chives are short and/or stiff. After making these little guys for 10 years now, I have found that the key to success here is a long, flexible chive. We were fortunate enough this last time to use some straight from our landlord’s garden (soft, strong, and flexible indeed).
Ingredients: The largest salami you can have sliced, Boursin Cheese (yum!), cherry tomatoes, & some sort of a chive/flexible green onion-esque thing-y.
Direction: Layer first three items then pick up sides and tie with a chive. Simple as that.
And a note — I always tell our fellow party-goers that you eat it like sushi; that is, you pop the whole thing in your mouth at one time!
A few weekends ago I had the privilege of shooting some family friends for their daughter’s annual birthday documentation and upcoming holiday card. They make it too easy! Seriously — of my first 10 frames I think 8 of them were ready to be hung on the wall. They give a whole new meaning to the phrase “point & shoot.”
And I can’t believe that little nugget is 4! See last year’s right here.
It was a weekend full of ideas for my studio space. We’ve gotten started on a little remodel (sanding walls and prepping for paint), but the real work is going to come into trying to get my installation ideas to come to fruition. We’ll see. I’ve got 6 weeks to get it in gear and get things ship shape. And it’ll be here before I know it.
The weekend started Thursday night with a visit to the Asia Society. They had an open-house-market-fair type thing. It was pretty spectacular watching a tiny lady on the floor weave the most beautiful textiles. On Friday, I worked around the house and actually baked something. It’s been 900 years since I’ve done that — and it was delicious. Then we went back to my aunt’s house to help with the move. She has to be out in just under two weeks so this is the final push! B got a call to go into work on Saturday, so our moving party got cut short. While he clicked away on a nearly 9,000 sq ft home, I caught up on some reading (and a little writing). And Sunday was actually restful for me and B whittled away at a few furniture projects he has going.
It looks like it’s another full week ahead and we’ll actually have chilly temps to accompany our second full week in November.
Over the weekend, I read an interesting article about the art direction/marketing for a genetic testing company. Instead of leaning towards the super-sci-fi ( a la Minority Report) they went with the “I’m your friendly neighbor and, oh yeah, science is fun” approach. As soon as I saw it, I felt like it was something that I could easily find on Target shelves. (I’m not sure if that’s a praise or a slam…)
Here is one of their commercials:
So, ethical questions aside, I’m not sure if I’m their target audience (35-45 female) but they did indeed sucker me in with friendly, clean, colorful graphics and that chunky sans serif font — so who all wants a DNA test for a stocking stuffer this year?!
What weekend?! That’s totally not true. I was fortunate enough to spend Friday cleaning and reading and relaxing before Saturday’s whirlwind wedding extravaganza. One of B’s colleagues was getting hitched and the weather could not have been more spectacular for them. But it was pretty much an all-day affair, ending with quite the reception. Say what you will about this “millenial generation”, but one thing is for sure — they know how to party! The wedding reception consisted of THREE food trucks on site and a rolling photobooth. I was glad to get the extra hour on Saturday evening for sure.
And Sunday was full of the usual activities and the weather was so nice that we took the top down on the jeep and rolled around town with our faces in the healing sun! I finally finished up the edits for a photoshoot I did a week ago Friday and now I’ve got a brochure I’m working on for another business. And I’m hoping that my studio space will be ready to move into this week. Fingers crossed…
Yeowzer — it was a FULL weekend! I headed back to my parents on Friday. I was doing a photo shoot for some long-time family friends and getting my hair cut and colored. I decided to take advantage of the extra hands and expertise whilst in town. My mom makes THE BEST gumbo and since I have never made it myself (shocking, I know) I wanted a lesson — and to use her massive pot. (And I wanted to stock up on easy dinners!) Who knew gumbo was such a labor of love? My mom still keeps saying… no, it’s really not that much work. Good grief. We have very difference definitions of what “not that much” work is. But our efforts were fruitful and not only did I go home with a double batch but my sister (who came to ‘supervise’) also went home with a few bowls too.
Well, all of that was just Friday. Saturday morning rolled around and since the weather is nice and I’m not longer commuting 90 miles on the highway, I thought I would take off the hard top of my jeep. (Crazy right; it’s like the seasons are reversed.) But seeing as how it’s been since 2009 since I’ve had the hard top off, it’s wasn’t exactly muscle memory. But three hours later, my dad and I had the hard top safely secured and covered for the winter and all parts of the soft-top in place — ready to be folded up on the next pretty day.
After that bit of unexpected physical exercise, I met my sister at a favorite antique shop and I think I found a new (antique) armoire. I need to measure it and make sure that I LOVE it before it comes home with me. I took a picture and I’m glad I did because she and I both liked it more the second day. But I guess if it’s meant to be, it’ll still be there when I can go back to get it.
Upon arriving back home, the hubs and I had to get ready for a dinner party and we made our favorite appetizers. (I’ll share those later this week.) We stayed much later than anticipated which made it a little tough to roll out of bed for our church-filled extravaganza of a day. And then after we endured a rainstorm that should have been named, we headed to Houston’s Antique Urban Market. There were lots of interesting things to see, but it was a bit like trying on clothes when you’re feeling fat. It just wasn’t happening. We inquired about a small end table, but after a much too-high price I felt like – *meh* — whatevs.
And finally we collapsed into our respective couches around 5pm yesterday. I began editing photos and the hubs — well, I’m not quite sure what he was working on. But we ate some gumbo and then watched The Walking Dead. The perfect way to end such a full weekend!
It was about as Fall as it gets in Southeast Texas this weekend. But that made for perfect weather for cleaning out a packed attic! But I managed to squeeze in a few antique shops and shockingly held off from purchasing that little gem of a typewritter. (Only because it was over-priced!)
After being away for the night, I came home Saturday evening to a little backyard magic. I have the best husband, really. We enjoyed grilling and eating outside under some twinkle lights. And
we the hubs also tried a dessert recipe in our saladmaster electric skillet and although I did not think it was as tasty as my peach cobbler — it sure went down easy.
On Sunday afternoon we decided to go for a little bike ride so I could put up more flyers for my writing studio, but alas, our efforts were thwarted as the new gears we just put on our (clearly old) bikes decided to quit. Luckily we were just a mile from home, so our bike ride turned into a nice walk.
I’ve got two writing workshops and a photoshoot coming up this week….and looking forward to it. I’m so grateful for my life!
I have been enjoying perusing the winners of this year’s MacArthur Fellows. Per their website, “The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted $625,000 fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” These individuals, from ages 32-60, are quite inspiring — writers, scientists, and artists of all types make up this years’ recipients. Go take a gander…
It was a lovely, peaceful weekend. It was the first one in a long time that we didn’t have any specific plans… just the two of us all weekend. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset walk/bike ride in the park one evening and were fortunate to see the most beautiful sunrise Sunday before some rain moved in. Everything in between was just perfect.
I hope to be back to regular blogging this week — it was a bit of an unexpected absence last week, but all is well. Just refueling my batteries.
We headed up to my Aunt’s house to help her pack and deal with moving out of a house you’ve been in for 30 years. We also enjoyed our first cool snap of the season and lounged with the windows open all evening. This is my kind of weather and makes me happy for the week to come. October, I’m glad you’re here!