Friday, January 29, 2010

blog #380 >> New Website Finished!

I'm so happy (and relieved) to have my portfolio site (predominantly) finished. Except for the illustration page, my resumé and a few tweaks to the text, it's done! And when I'm ready to publish the illustration page, it will go much more quickly since I've already coded the design page once. Now I can sit back and work on my print portfolio, which is currently spread out across my living room floor, or I can wash the stack of dishes that have accumulated in the kitchen. That's just one more thing crossed off my New Year's resolutions.
Click here to visit it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

blog #379 >> Salt Crystals & Crystal Cave

Last time I was at the store, I accidentally bought sea salt instead of regular table salt. Not that there's anything wrong with sea salt, I have a course grained finishing sea salt that I love. However, sea salt isn't fortified with any iodine, which is one of those rare nutrients our bodies need. Now I'm not quite sure what to do with all this extra sea salt, and the only thing I could think to make with it, were salt crystals. When I was a little girl, I LOVED to make salt crystals. I must have made them at least once a week. They're kinda like Magic Rocks, but not as colorful or as tall. Also, salt crystals are very easy to make, and unlike Magic Rocks, completely non-toxic.

To make your salt crystals stir three tablespoons of salt into a cup of warm water. (Make sure your water is warm enough to dissolve the salt.) Stir for a few minutes, until the salt has completely disappeared. Next pour your salt water solution into a shallow pan. (Preferably, this is a pan you no longer need, since the salt crystals are hard to clean off. ) Set your pan in a warm spot, and wait for all the water to evaporate. The warmer the spot the faster your crystals will grow. (When I was young I'd set the pan underneath our wood stove, which brought quick results. I'd have salt crystals overnight. But this time I set them up in front of the heater, which took about four days for the crystals to finish growing.) You can also make sugar and alum crystals this same way, but if your sugar water spills while your waiting for your water to evaporate, it will make a sticky mess. For best results, I recommend the salt crystals.

My favorite book growing up and...

...the original instructions found inside.

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And the deadly but beautiful crystal cave found in the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico… 1000+ feet below the surface. Found at Neatorama.

Found also at National Geographic:

As well as, The Daily Mail, my favorite news site:


Sunday, January 24, 2010

blog #378 >> Lobster Bread!

Here it is! My giant lobster shaped loaf of bread!

I suppose everyone has moments of temporary insanity, and my last moment ended up with me purchasing this delicious giant freshly-baked loaf of bread shaped like a lobster... or a giant pill bug, or a hissing cockroach or whatever you imagine it to be. It was my birthday gift to myself, and I'm ashamed to say, I probably spent entirely too much on it. I'm usually so careful about spending money, especially on food. I clip coupons, and base my meals on what's on sale at Winco. But somehow I ended up spending nearly a quarter of my food budget on a single loaf of bread. I guess I just need to consider it my birthday cake... Yeah, it's like buying myself a really nice birthday cake.

Whenever I go to Best Baguette on 82nd and Powell, I always "ooh" and "ah" at their shelf of artisan shaped breads. They have fish shaped loafs, and monkey shaped loafs, clown shaped loafs, and crab shaped loafs, turtle shaped loafs, and even an angry Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shaped loaf, but the one that I have always admired most, was the lobster loaf. It is a giant loaf of bread artfully shaped to represent a giant sea dwelling crustacean. But really who needs a giant loaf of lobster bread? No one. With French bread being about a dollar at Safeway, I simply never took the time to even ask about them.

Well, I usually like to do something unusual, possibly something I've never done before on my birthday, and let's face it, I'm getting old and running out of ideas... But then I thought of it, the lobster loaf! It will be a perfect birthday treat, and I've never eaten a giant loaf of bread shaped like a lobster before.

So off I went to pick one up. I marched up to the counter, pointed to the bread and said, "I'd like a lobster loaf please." The lady behind the counter look at me as if I were a lobster... In a very confused voice she explained that those were "display only." Well, that would explain the considerable amount of dust on them, but it didn't really dawn on my that they wouldn't just have baskets of lobster loafs made up in the back. I got the impression they had never actually sold a lobster shaped loaf of bread before. But she was very nice and she did let me special order one. Only I think I confused her even more by saying I didn't need it by an certain time, whenever it was ready would be fine. And after figuring out a price, which I think they made up, I headed on my way quite pleased with the prospect of a lobster loaf of my very own in a couple of days.

When I got home I realized it my have been a momentary lapse of my better judgment to spend that much on a loaf of bread. However, I suppose it's the out of the ordinary things we remember most in life. And my lobster loaf is certainly an extraordinary loaf of bread.

I think they were just as excited to have me pick up my lobster loaf of bread as I was to pick it up. It seemed everyone who worked there was up front looking, smiling and pointing at "the girl who bought the lobster loaf." You could see the look of pride in their faces as they showed my their freshly-baked artisan bread shaped like a giant lobster. It took at least six of them to box it up and everyone wanted a hand in it. They even threw in a couple of mini-loafs for me.

And now here I am, with my tasty, delicious loaf of bread toasted with some spinach dip for lunch, even though I was very sad to slice it up.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

blog #377 >> Yet another year older

26 years ago as of today... I was born.

And now I'm going to go eat a slice of birthday pie and start my day.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

blog #376 >> New Books

It's a new year, and what better way to celebrate than with new books!
Plus, it's my birthday, so obviously, I need birthday books.

Here are a few of the books I picked up at the book store in Estacada.

I was so excited when I found this one. I actually gasped as I grabbed it off the shelf, not that anyone else would have wanted it, but I was very happy to find it. I'm hoping this will pick up about the place the second vol. of The Last Lion drops off.

And it has an amazing book plate.

This is another great find from the Estacada book store. And I think it might be one of the most fascinating books I've ever read, although, I'm not sure how accurate any of it is. Ever since I've started reading it, I've been completely obsessing over people's handwriting. I'll look at the graffiti on the wall and think, "Wow, that person is really vain, with high goals that they're not very enthusiastic about."

And here's a copy of Rootabaga Stories I got for my birthday, it has some darling stories in it including...

The accordion playing potato faced blind man.

And it came complete with a reminder to wash your hands before reading.

And of course the best book of all My Bookhouse, In the Nursery, and I almost didn't get it! For some reason this one is MUCH harder to find that the rest of the set. Then I finally found one that wasn't outrageously priced on ebay, but unfortunately I hate Ebay. I'm not very good at it and I always feel like I'm driving the price up higher than I would if I knew what I was doing. But I did win it, just by a hair. And it was well worth the effort. It might be their best one, which probably explains why they're so rare.

So, in a few years I'm thinking my house might look like this:

or perhaps like this:

The well of books, and The Wall of Knowledge found here.


Friday, January 15, 2010

blog #375 >> More stuff and randomness

Sorry... I've not been a very consistent blogger lately. I've just too many other thing to do right now. Here's some more random things I've been meaning to post.

These are a few things I picked up at Mike's, with my sister Amy. She got to go for the first time and see all the treasures he has hidden up in Estacada.

I got all these potholders for $2! I just wish they didn't absolutely reek! I'm going to clean them this weekend.

Here's the owl wall pocket I got up there.

And Mike's receipt. I had never noticed the warning on it before:
- REMEMBER - We must always put things right back where we found them at MIKE'S!

• • • • • • • • • •

And here is one of the strangest foods I've ever eaten! Rambutan! Actually, it was pretty good. It tastes just like a grape.
Although, I don't remember where I read this... I once heard that for every new food you try you get to live one day longer. I think I've earned at least an extra month thanks to Fubonn. It's fun to try new foods, even... ESPECIALLY when it's kinda scary. One of these days I really want to try their shark fin soup.

• • • • • • • • • •

Here's the new skirt I sewed. I love the fabric I found for it, and I even made it a matching pettiecoat.

• • • • • • • • • •

I also LOVE these shoes I found online at anthropology, however I don't think I'm willing to pay $80 for them. I also need another pair of shoes like I need a hole in my head.

• • • • • • • • • •

And here's another blog I've been absolutely enthralled with lately. It's The Sew Weekly! She is going to have the cutest wardrobe when she's done. And I love seeing which vintage pattern she sews each week. If I could get something sewed up once a month, I'd be happy.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

blog #374 >> Things I found online

A collection of random things I've found online...
that I've been too lazy to post.

As previously explained, the library is a great way to save money on books, unless you forget to return them, in which case they will cost you money again. But now you can always know when to return your library book with this handy overdue library book calendar. Just write the name of the book and the date to return it on the calendar and then, all you need to do, is actually remember to return it... or renew it. Buy it here from Aunt June on Etsy.

As previously seen on "This amazing accordion playing kid," the Ukraine has a remarkable amount of talent.
Kseniya Simonova - Sand Animation (Україна має талант / Ukraine's Got Talent.)

Oh, Rhett and Link! How many hours have I wasted away watching you on YouTube? Entirely too many. See also, "shamefully enough" Men Who Can't Pee... so funny... and um... part 2.

For the love of fish! This postcard makes no sense, and therefore I think it is hilarious! Found here at Agence Eureka.

I found these most humorous, probably since I'm in the middle of Vol. 2 of my Churchill biography. I've found myself quoting Churchill unconsciously lately. Found here at The Art of Manliness.

Perhaps this is why I like Verne better than Wells, I prefer blueprints to social metaphors. Found here at Hark! A Vagrant.

A few of the absolutely stunning rock and mineral paintings by Carly Waito. This makes me want to start up my starry night journal again.

"Oh hush, I'm listening to my iPod!"
Found at Tralalér.

Alright, that should be enough for now.