Monday, October 31, 2011

New Shop Section! Plus my excellent costumes.

I am so SO happy to announce that I have FINALLY added a note card section to my shop. I've been wanting to do this since July so it's only taken me hmm let's see. 4 months?!? To get this done? But who's counting. Right? Obviously not me.

AND. I am working my little (big?) hiney off trying to get some holiday/winter themed cards/prints in the shop very soon. How soon? Dare I say... the end of the week?? Maybe now that I've publicly announced this deadline I may just pull it together enough to make it happen???


More question marks??????

Anyway. Since today is in fact Halloween, I thought I should make this post at least a little bit Halloween-y. Unfortunately I don't really have a costume this year. I will be teaching violin lessons for part of the night and then coming home to hopefully catch some of the trick or treaters. (Who the hubs will be joyfully handing out candy to. Because he loves doing that. And I love him. It's a big circle of love around here.)

So since I have no costume to show you, I decided to show you some costumes of Halloween past.

2010: I was a cat. The hubs was a trucker. A dirty one. And my friend Mel was a flapper gal.

My bff Emily was a pretty bird.

And this is my favorite pic ever.

2009: My sister and I went to see BEN FOLDS! at ORCHESTRA HALL! Playing with the MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA! On HALLOWEEN! It was AWESOME! I don't really know that we are dressed as anything other than Ben Folds enthusiasts though.

I think this next picture is from....2007? or 2008. I don't know. The hubs and I didn't have anything to wear for a Halloween party so I had us put on a bunch of random stuff from our closet. I was like, "Let's be idiots! It will be hilarious!!" And the hubs was like, "Wait, what are we being?" And I was like, "Idiots! so funny!!" I'm telling you I'm a very creative soul.

2006: Aww, we were just freshly engaged in this pic. (You can see that we are really in the habit of putting a lot of thought into our costumes.)

2004: I think I shared this picture (and the story behind it) before here. But it's just a good one so I didn't want to leave it out.

Alright, I'm off to do productive things. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crab Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle
Full doodle list at bottom of post

I like to watch crabs scurry across the sand. And I like their eyeballs.

I also like to eat their legs at Red Lobster.

I spent some time in Mozambique while I was in college, and one day I was sitting on this beach. And if you sat very still and didn't move, and no one walked near you, you would start to see little eyeballs pop out of the sand and look around. One by one. Eyeball by eyeball. Little buried crabs peaking out to see if the coast was clear.

Then your nose would itch, and you'd have to move. And all the little eyeballs would go back under the sand.

So you'd have to sit very still again to wait for more eyeballs. I liked it.

October Doodles: RavenBlack BearEmperor PenguinRoadrunner, Dalmatian, Crab
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, and September's here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Granola Bars



Granola bars.


To be exact.

As a keeper of a few different part time jobs, I at times have to eat on the fly. You know, a little snack to hold me over until a late dinner.

Granola bars are of course the easy option. Throw one in your bag and you have a fairly substantial miniature meal. 

But after awhile, don't you just get sick of all the granola bars in the store? No matter which ones you try...after awhile they're just....blah.

Enter homemade granola bars. Chewy. Substantial. Delicious. The recipe is from the absolutely fabulous Smitten Kitchen, and the wonderful thing is that you can make as many variations as you want with your very own delicious preferences.

PS. I apologize for the not so good of photos. I had such good plans to take them during daylight hours. And somehow it just. didn't. happen.

Here's my take on Smitten's recipe:

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

1 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 to 3 cups nuts/dried fruit/chocolate chips/ WHATEVER CHUNK YOU WANT. (For the bars pictured I used a combination of white chocolate chips, dried pomegranate seeds and dried cranberries, and slivered almonds)
1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (I prefer almond butter)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (Optional. I just love me some almond extract.)
6 tblspn melted butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tblspn honey
1 tblspn water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 x 8 pan with greased parchment paper with extended edges (if you are wondering if this is an important is. I found that out the last time I was out of parchment paper). Stir together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk vanilla, butter, corn syrup, honey and water. Toss wet ingredients with dry ingredients and also add the nut butter. Mix until mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in pan, press firmly to mold to pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until brown around the edges and slightly on top. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack. Use serrated knife to cut into squares. If they are crumbly, cool in fridge for 30 minutes. Store in airtight container or individually wrapped plastic. 

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pisica's Difficult Day.

Do you ever have projects that take way longer than you expect them to?

Wait, aren't all projects like that?

Way more trial and error than intended?

Then all of a sudden the day is practically gone?

And you wish you had more to show for yourself and your long hours of trial and error?

Pisica had a day like that today.

Oh and I guess I did too.

Sigh. Mumble. Grumble.

Ok. Now that I have THAT out of my system. I bid you adieu. As I have more projects with the good intentions of getting done quickly awaiting me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dalmatian Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

What a tedious puppy. So many little black spots to draw. Thinking fondly of the Disney animators who had to draw 101 miniature versions of this guy many many times. 

I learned something new today. It's not dalmatiOn. It's dalmatiAn. Thank you spell check.

I also learned that if you chop up some white onion it takes several hours for your eyeballs to stop burning.

October Doodles: RavenBlack BearEmperor Penguin, Roadrunner
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, and September's here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some little tidbits.

I just got back from a weekend retreat with the hubs, but I wanted to quick pop in and link up with Deanna at Delirious Rhapsody for her "Sunday Confessional" (inspired by Sara's "100 Truths"). Because I think it's super fun. 

So here we go.

1.) We have only one plant that lives inside our house. I only water it when it's drooping horribly and almost dead. But somehow I've managed to keep it alive for over a year now.

2.) When I was little I used to eat all the breading off of my chicken mcnuggets first, and then I would eat the naked chicken lump. I was gross. I did the same thing with Butterfingers. It was messy. 

3.) I frequently eat 18 pizza rolls in one sitting.

4.) Sometimes it randomly feels cold in the back of my throat. Like I've been sucking on a menthol cough drop...but I HAVEN'T.   *cue twilight zone music*

5.) I hate brushing my teeth. It's just so annoying. But since I do like having clean teeth and I dislike graveyard breath, I brush them frequently.

6.) Sometimes the hubs and I pass Gepetto (our cat) back and forth on her side across our kitchen tile. Like shuffleboard. We think she likes it.

7.) I sniff the milk in the milk carton every single time I use it. Even if it's a brand new carton. You just never know when you could get a mouth full of sour milk and then spew it all over your kitchen.

8.) I have a very large head. People try and tell me that I don't but THEY DON'T KNOW. Here's some proof for you:

Look at that forehead! You could build a city there!! This is why bangs are my friends.

Got some stuff weighing on your mind? Maybe you should link up too. Sometimes you just have to get these things out, you know?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Roadrunner Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

This guy got tired and decided to walk for awhile.

Instead of run.

Good news! I planted my clearance Menards plants. On Saturday. With my bff. She even brought her baby. She even WORE her baby. While helping me plant clearance plants. She's nice.

Let's face it, if she hadn't offered to come over and help when she heard me complaining about how I should really be planting them soon but didn't waaaant tooooo whine whine complain mumble grumble, they would still be sitting in their pots over by the garage.

Bff's are the best. Don't ya think? I mean, obviously. They are.

October Doodles: RavenBlack Bear, Emperor Penguin
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, and September's here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New York City - Woody lives there.

East Coast Recap - Day 2

On Sunday of my east coast adventure, we decided to make the three hour trek into New York City from Rhode Island. We climbed into Bethany's dad's car early that morning, stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for iced pumpkin spice lattes (well that's what I got) and were on our merry way.

(Oh. And very importantly, we wore wonderful, glorious Chacos instead of turtle boots.)

Once we arrived our first matter of business was to eat a picnic lunch in Central Park. It was lots-o-fun and I took about a zillion pictures of this guy.

"Oh look! I'm in Central Park! And look! A bird! In Central Park! I will take about a zillion pictures of it! Best idea I've ever had!"

We ate across from a small boat pond. Or something along those lines.

After our lovely lunch we headed into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was fantastic. It's so huge we didn't see nearly all of it, and spent most of our time in the European Painting section. My favorites have always been Impressionism and Post-Impressionism - I do love me some Degas, Manet, and Lautrec. 

Here are some pics of the inside of the museum. Which was awesome.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the OUTSIDE of the museum, because my camera ran out of batteries. (Due to taking a ZILLION pictures of a bird that we have the SAME kind of in Minnesota. Brilliant.)

After the museum we haggled with a bunch of street sellers. (Well they tried to haggle and I ran away crying because I'm too scared to haggle.) (Just kidding I didn't run away crying but I WAS slightly intimidated by the situation.) (But even through my fear I DID end up buying some cool prints for uber cheap.)

We decided to take a taxi down to Macy's, and then make our way back to our car on foot. We explored 5th Avenue, Times Square, Bryant Lake Park, avoided more haggling, and found a yummy little cafe. Somewhere in there I remembered that I had the hubs' ipod and could take pictures on THAT. So here are some ipod pics.

Bryant Lake Park

Times Square


AAHH! Woody attacks!!!!

Turns out he was just going in for a hug. I obliged.

We left the great city around midnight and got back to Bethany's place at 3am. And woke up at 7am for our NEXT adventure. Which I will tell you about another day.

With only one day I know we didn't see anywhere close to all there is to see. But it was a fabulous time and now when someone mentions New York City I can be like, "Oh ya. I've totally been there."

If you missed day one, you can find it here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Emperor Penguin Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

This guy is a little hoity toity.

The hubs and I sometimes like to say "hoity toity" over and over in funny accents. I'm not quite sure what type of accent it would be, but it IS funny.

I do realize that I have already drawn a penguin for the Daily Animal Doodles back in August. You can find it here.

And I DID realize after drawing this guy that I maybe should have drawn a different animal instead of another penguin. But I guess I just like penguins and I guess since this is a hoity toity emperor penguin instead of...whatever kind I drew before, everything is ok. 

In other news I had a dream last night that it was Christmas Eve and I had forgotten to get presents for anyone. And I thought Target might still be open and I would have just enough time to run over there to grab whatever they had available before all the festivities started but it was taking me SO LONG to get dressed. I was getting dressed at a turtle's pace, and then kept changing outfits. It was very frustrating. And stressful.

Just stressful enough that I will start planning Christmas presents extra early this year? Perhaps.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. 

October Doodles: Raven, Black Bear
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, and September's here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple Orchard

I went to an apple orchard yesterday in Stillwater with a couple of my great gal pals, Sheena and Emily. The weather was absolutely perfect and we did all the classic fall orchard stuff.

We wandered between the rows of apple trees.

Saw some apples.

Sampled some wine.

Posed in front of a haystack.

Looked at a goat.

And listened to a yodeler, which I unfortunately did not get a picture of.

I didn't buy any apples. Which I guess is weird, to not buy apples from an apple orchard. But I'm just not much of an apple-eating person, I guess? Which is probably weird. They give me stomach aches, which is probably even more weird. You can just call me Weirdy McWeirderson.

Fresh apples, I mean. I think I should make that clear. I DO like apple desserts, which I'm assuming don't hurt my tummy because the apples are cooked. I also like apple cider donuts. Which I DID buy. And I do confess that they are already gone. Not because the hubs and I are any type of donut eating fiends, but because we really desperately need to go grocery shopping and there wasn't much else to eat BESIDES apple cider donuts. 

Today I did find a roll of Pillsbury grand biscuits to make for lunch though. You know, the kinds with the flaky layers and stuff.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Boston and black boots that were comfy at first.

East Coast Recap - Day 1

I mentioned here that I had a little adventure to the East Coast last weekend with a couple of friends. We flew into Providence, Rhode Island late on Friday night and arrived back in Minneapolis late on Monday night. While the hubs stayed at home ever so wonderfully putting up drywall in our basement, I got to go traipsing around in New England. Here is a little recap of our day on Saturday, during which we explored Boston and Providence.

Our first stop was Harvard. I felt really intelligent for stepping foot in such a place, and tried to act like a nonchalant student. Except for the picture taking.

Which probably blew my cover.

I even took like ten pictures of these birds bathing in a fountain thing. (Which I think was my favorite part of Harvard, actually.)

(Or maybe my favorite part of Harvard was the book store. It could be that.)

After Harvard we found our way over to this place called The Garment District. It was a costume shop slash used clothing store. 

If you wanted to buy some used clothing all you had to do was walk through the piles, sit down somewhere and start digging. 

Since thrifting is really one of my passions in life I had a pretty nice time and found a couple sweaters - one from H&M and one from JCrew. And since it was pay by the pound I ended up forking over less than $2 total for both. Sa-weeeet.

After the clothing piles (and after kicking myself because I left my hand sanitizer in my OTHER purse) we headed over to the USS Constitution and looked at history stuff.

It was pretty cool, but at this point we were all lamenting our choice to wear cute boots instead of sensible walking shoes. Because we were walking A LOT. And I was wearing my turtle boots. Meaning that they are super cute but unfortunately they smell like a turtle tank. And apparently they only remain comfortable for a few hours of walking. If you plan on walking around ALL DAY then you should not wear turtle boots. Or this will happen.

Thats a giant blister on the BOTTOM of my heel. How does that even happen?? Only in turtle boots I guess. Yes they were painful but I kept on going. We were on vacation after all! In Boston! I couldn't just give up!

Here's me in my turtle boots in front of a cool bridge with my arms out like "hey, cool, look at me and my cute boots that are totally killing me right now."

Later that night after my first taste of sushi (well I think it might have been my second taste of sushi but I don't quite remember) we went to WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island. It was very cool. It's basically these torches that are lit in the water once and month and there's music and food and glow in the dark necklaces and the whole city gathers together for some WaterFire fun.

I was so glad I got to participate, and I decided that I really like Providence. Perhaps even better than Boston. But shhh don't tell the Boston people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little Red Barbara

Want to know something interesting about me?

I used to have a special little car. A special little RED car.

Her name was Little Red Barbara. But I often called her Little Red for short.

I bought her with my very own money my senior year of college - a 97' Plymouth Neon. Oh how proud I was. She was the simplest of models - no AC, manual windows, a stick shift.

And oh how I loved her. Because, you know. 

She was mine.

We had many adventures together. A year after I bought her I married the hubs, and he eventually started driving her more often than I did because of his longer commute (Little Red had great gas mileage.)

At first I protested. That's my car! I should get to drive her the MOST! 

But as time went on, I started secretly being glad that I didn't have to drive her because of all her growing...problems.

Like when her heater went out. And when she constantly overheated in the summer time. And when her shocks got broken or something and every time we hit the slightest ant mound she banged metal against metal and shook our heads around enough to give us brain damage.

And of course she had no AC, and the windows didn't roll down anymore and the driver's side door stopped opening so you had to climb out the passenger side.

Yes, this past spring we came to the conclusion that Little Red had to be replaced by something a bit more reliable. After we got a new car, the hubs put her up on Craigslist not really expecting anything to happen.

He had five replies within a half hour and he ended up selling her that morning after I went to work.

Turns out she really was a gem!

But. She was gone when I got home and I never got to say goodbye to my Little Red Barbara.

Goodbye Little Red! I'm sorry that I ever doubted you and I hope you are still driving around the freeways at great speeds while making that strange whistling sound coming from your hood that nobody could figure out. 

Yes I did really just write a fairly long post about my old car. Sometimes these things just happen.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Black Bear Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

I drew this leeetle creature today.

When I say leeeetle I really mean big and black and fluffy and gruffy.

And I'm back from my leeeetle trip this weekend.

When I say leeetle I mean flying out to the leeeetle state of Rhode Island with a couple of girls from my small group to stay with her family and explore the wonders of not only the leeeetlest state of the country, but also make treks to Boston and to New York City.

All in one leeeetle weekend. And by that I mean three day weekend.

I'll be sharing pictures and posts about the trip in the next week or so here, but here are some leeeetle hints.

Metro stations.

My first taste of sushi.

Discovering that I don't like sushi.

The ocean.

Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Blue '71 Chevy Cadillac Convertible.

Crab cakes. I mean, clam cakes? I mean, crab cakes? Both? Neither? What?

Nickel size blisters on the bottoms of my feet.


Running into Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard. (Except the Mark Zuckerberg part isn't true but the Harvard part is true.)

Now I'm off to do a leeeetle bit of cleaning. Ok bye!

October Doodles: Raven

Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, and September's here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Goodbye for the weekend

I forgot to mention...I'm traveling to th east coast for the weekend! I'll update more when I get back and I don't have to painstakingly type each word on the hubs' ipod.

Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall thoughts.

Fall is here in Minnesota, and even though you can't tell by the Indian Summer we are having, you can tell by the beautiful changing leaves! I nanny a couple of days a week and took a few pictures of the neighborhood.

I feel like I'm having a bit of a writer's block right now. A brain fart, if you will. But I was talking to my very smart friend Drew the other night and we discussed something along the lines of...writer's block doesn't really exist. Just write. That's the point of a blog.

So. Here are my fall thoughts. With the new season here I am reminded of the many tasks around my home that need to be taken care of before winter comes. 

You know, things like planting the clearance plants we got from Menard's in our empty garden. Or replacing the screens on our windows so that we can open them without being eaten in our sleep by horrid box elder bugs. (Because they EAT you! IT'S TRUE.) Or spray painting these file cabinets that I wanted to spray paint. Or raking, because even though the trees in our yard consist of mostly half dead pine trees, the neighbors' lush and healthy trees shed all over our yard. I'm not complaining (it makes our yard look better by association), I'm just saying.

Or deep cleaning our bathtub.

Not that our bathtub HAS to be cleaned before winter comes but man, I have been meaning to do that for awhile now.

When I left my job about a month and a half ago, I had such great plans to not only work on my personal artwork, my graphic design work, teach violin lessons, and nanny two days a week, but also to deep clean a part of my house every day, cook delicious meals for my husband, practice my violin an hour a day, and be really good about making time for devos.

You know. Some type of domestic goddess.

Right now I'm at about the level of a domestic booger. And my excuse has been "I don't have time. I have a magazine to format. I'm making new pieces. I'm working on getting cards in my Etsy shop. And I need to work on letting people know that my shop exists in the large world of interwebs!!"

BUT. I was talking to my friend Mel the other night. She knows me well. We used to live together. And as we were talking I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. It's not that I don't HAVE time. It's that I don't MAKE time.

Oh garsh.

So. Here is my fall resolution - get better at making time for things. Leaving my work alone for a bit so I can take care of my house and my hubs. You know, time management, I guess it boils down to. 

Hmm. I do believe I have posted about my problems with time management before.

Well. I guess for having writer's block, I sure wrote a bunch of stuff. Happy fall everybody!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!