Monday, December 22, 2008

Three Days of Snow - A Retrospective

I was beginning to think snow was a permanent condition. Here is how I whiled away the past three days. The good and the bad...

The Good
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Wrapping presents and Christmas music
  • The Illuminations tour
  • Hot chocolate
  • Naps
  • My hoody and sweatpants
  • The holiday spirit
  • Resisting the urge to save our parking spot with folding chairs
  • Working from home on Friday
  • Winning Yahtzee

The Bad
  • Cabin fever
  • Digging the car out (twice)
  • Not being able to get the Patriots game on TV
  • Snow, wind and cold
  • Cabin fever
  • Not being able to do laundry
  • Regretting not saving our parking spot with folding chairs
  • Did I mention cabin fever?
  • Losing Yahtzee

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Somerville Illuminated

The Illuminations tour was illuminating. I went through parts of Somerville I have never seen even after 2 and a half years here. The tour also shed some light into human behavior since we were squished onto a packed trolley and half of our fellow travelers were actually lit up themselves. I do appreciate the festive, were-in-this-together banter now and then, but the commentary wore me out a little.

Tour guide: "We are about to pass the tallest decorated tree in Somerville."
Upon passing said tree, passenger: "I agree."

I guess one can agree with a statement of fact if they want, but since it is a fact, it is kind of unnecessary. Imagine this kind of running commentary for 45 minutes.

Anyway, the lights were amazing, elaborate and had a touch of madness about them. Think holiday themed, circus-fever dreams. I highly recommend either going on a tour sometime, or doing a self guided tour using one the the maps the Somerville Arts Council provides. Taking photos from a moving trolley with foggy windows was a challenge, but here are a few pictures I took last night:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Setting the Holiday Mood

So the answer to my question is yes. There will be snow adding to the spirit of the holiday season on tonight's Illuminations Tour. Very nice.

Seeing as I am one of the many "non-essential" state workers, the governor told me to stay home yesterday. I went in anyway for a few hours but then got home before the snow and worked from my cozy abode the rest of the day. Yes we had snow. Yes, I am glad most people weren't trying to commute home in it. But no, it was not the blizzard of '78.

It is getting me in to the spirit of things. Finally.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Find - Giving Thanks

It might be too late to order presents for the holidays, but it is the perfect time to order some thank you cards in anticipation of all the holiday booty. These are a few of my favorites:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All Lit Up

We got our tickets for the Illuminations Tour! When we got our tickets at the Blue Cloud Gallery on Thursday they were almost sold out. This popular holiday tour is offered by the Somerville Arts Council. I am very excited, this is the first year I have been able to go. I will bring my camera and share the glory with you all next weekend.

I wonder if there will be any snow to set the mood? So excited!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Free Handmade Goodies!

Check out the great giveaway that oh, hello friend is offering. I was very excited to participate by offering up my lace stationary set as part of a prize. There are 4 great packages being offered so make sure you enter for a chance to win.

There are a bunch of really great Etsy sellers involved like TheArdentSparrow, jessicajane, craftyfolk, Space Dog Studios, and too many more to name. See all the participating sellers here. Have fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Faired Well

I just survived a busy weekend with a little over 12 hours spent at a two day craft fair at the Somerville Museum. It went really well. I met a bunch of nice people, the space was lovely, and I sold some cards. I had learned a few things from my last craft fair and went to this one a bit more prepared. I brought a cushion to sit on and knitting to keep me busy.

I was not thrilled with my table set up, it was a bit uninspired. I need a bit more space and a better way to organize/display my cards. But it did the job. It was nice to make a little money for the holidays. I am thinking about getting genealogy software for myself (not really in the holiday spirit, I know).

Its kind of geeky, but after a trip to the New England Historic Genealogical Society last year, I became a member an have periodically been digging around in my family history. Have I mentioned that I am the great (say it 27 times) granddaughter of King Edward the I of England? If you have spent any time with me you have probably heard that a number of times. My husband hears it every time I want to be pampered or want something done for me...

Anyway, I think I will do this fair again next year if they'll have me even though I will be sore for a few days from sitting on my keister for so long.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I am resurfacing from a weekend away filled with Tofurkey, stuffing and other delights, as well as a busy week of not unpacking, my last drawing class and my last basketball game of the season. Tomorrow is day 1 of the craft fair and my husband's birthday. Pancakes in the AM, craft fair, and then off to bowl and dine with friends. Then Sunday is day 2 of the craft fair.

As the holiday season approaches, I really enjoyed Poppytalk's list of 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade. Check it out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sweet Thanksgiving Greeting

We got this adorable Thanksgiving greeting from my husband's mom! Handmade of course. Very cute and very clever!

I have craft night tomorrow and then my husband and I will leave for PA on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving there with family. We are both very excited for a long holiday weekend. If I fall of the radar for a while, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Craft Fair Postcard

Arpitha sent me an email that the postcards advertising the holiday craft fair are ready. I am very excited, I have never been on a postcard before. You can see the front and back on her blog.

I have a lot less prep to do for the fair this time around, which is nice. And I will be inside, which is even nicer!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tipetty Tap Tipetty Tap

I felt inspired the other night and made a treasury. I was able to get a spot yesterday. Check it out before it comes down on Tuesday morning.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holiday Mission Accomplished

I finally finished all of my holiday cards. They are all posted in my Etsy shop as well.

Crafty Update

The Somerville Museum updated their website for the craft fair. If you watch long enough you will see one of my cards.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Other Lawless

You may have noticed a new addition to the sidebar on the left dedicated to my husband's published poetry. I decided this is as good a place as any for me to glow about my talented husband and share his work. As his poems get published I will link to them here. This also makes the blog a one-stop shop for friends and family to keep up with us.

Right now we are waiting for some of his accepted poems to appear in Drunken Boat, Memorious, Blood Orange Review, H_NGM_N, and the Cortland Review. Keep checking back, I will post them once they are up. Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Almost Defeated by Snowflakes

After burning 2 screens and trying two inks I give up on the bird holiday card design. I could not get what I wanted out of the colors or the snowflake background so I went back to the drawing board. I switched the background and foreground and also switched from pool blue to the bluebell blue. This is the new and improved and hopefully more printable version:

Of course, it couldn't just be a matter of changing the design and merrily continuing on my way. This cards has been strewn with obstacles. My printer ran out of ink. Instead of 1 trip to Staples (to photocopy the design so it would be the necessary carbon based image my Gocco craves), it meant 2. It took one trip to Staples to by ink, and then home to print the background, then back to Staples to copy the print out, then home to finally print.

Not so fast. Because I had a light, poor exposure on my screen last time, I opted for a darker design copy to burn my screen this time. But I over compensated and the carbon was so heavy that the paper stuck to the screen blocking the holes. I inked it anyway, hoping I had gotten off all the paper (using tweezers and a steady hand), but there were big blobs of paper messing up my snowflakes. Uhg. Aside from that I loved the new design and color.

I was about to burn the 4th screen but decided to heavily clean the screen with my giant tub of Gojo. Lo and behold, saturating the screen with Gojo and lightly scraping the screen lifted off the last bits of paper and now I have a usable screen!

Now I am just waiting for the clean screen to dry before finally printing these cards. Sigh. It will feel good. Nine out of 10 times the stars align and printing is a breeze. This is that 10% of the time that my Gocco is in a foul mood. But I will prevail and you will see some finished cards soon enough.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Fairey in Union Square

I just found out that the new mural in Union Square was done by artist Shepard Fairey, who did the vote poster, the Obama Hope poster, and is well know for his Obey Giant stickers. The mural is on Somerville Ave, on the side of Grand. Here is an interesting interview with Shepard in SuperTouch. I love the small Fairey sticker(s?) on the emergency box nearby. The piece is a great addition to the area. He is going to have a show at the ICA, which I want to check out when it opens.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Etsy Treasuries

I have some cards in a treasury called yellow and grey put together by katedowding who makes really great sock monsters. It comes down on Tuesday afternoon.

I also just found some of my holiday cards in another treasury called Winter Ice, put together by poshpretties who makes fun hair accessories for kids. This treasury will be up until late Tuesday night.

Check them out while they're up!

Today I Gocco

Really, today I will finally finish my holiday cards. I am determined. I other crafting news, I found out that my application to be in the Somerville Museum Holiday Sale was accepted. Craft fair take 2. This one is indoors (yay!) and is actually for 2 days. It is much, much smaller than the stART on the Street and is held in at the same time as a few other happenings in the Ville. This one does not require much prep since I did so much prep last time.

I will bring a book and welcome any visitors who happen to be in the neighborhood. I am not making my husband sit with me all day, even though he is so great that if I asked he probably would. My not asking him to come is his birthday gift since the first day of the craft fair is on his birthday. Last year I was in Baltimore on his birthday, and this year I will be at a craft fair all day. Next year I will do better.

One last news item, I gave a pack of cards to a fellow crafty blogger, ohhellofriend, to use in her holiday giveaway. When they go up and she starts promoting the giveaway I will let you know. OK, I am off to Gocco land...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

Honestly, I woke up today with You're a Grand Old Flag stuck in my head. I fell asleep smiling last night. I feel so proud, hopeful and relieved. What I really love is that the first and only thing that a whole generation of children will know is life under an African American president. It is not a "what if?" or "when?" anymore, it is a reality.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stalled Out...

Last weekend I worked on my holiday cards (not the weekend that just slipped away with no real crafting, but the one before). I printed 2 out of 3, but had trouble with the third. It’s the bird card. I was planning on printing a pool blue background on a white card with the snowflakes being the white paper showing through. I know that the Gocco is not the best at printing large swaths of solid color, but I was looking forward to the distressed look.

Something wasn’t working for me though. The pool is too much and too heavy. It is also a thick, mixed ink and came out too distressed, and almost faux finished. And one corner had poor exposure. So after printing these two, I called it quits to sort out my next step. And a week and a half later, that is where I still am.

I think I might expose another screen (yikes, not when they are such a precious commodity!), and use the metallic blue ink right out of the tube since it is a little more fluid, smoother and a cooler color. There is an upcoming holiday, which I might turn into a 4 day weekend since it falls on a Tuesday this year. So let’s hope I get back in gear then and can finish these up!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Red Lentil Sunday

I didn't quite get as much done this weekend as I would have liked, but I did make an important discovery. I have been craving the red lentil soup with lime that Lorena turned me on to (and which is in the amazing vegetarian cookbook she also gave me). As I cruised around the insanely busy Stop and Shop with everything I needed in my cart except the lentils, I remembered that split red lentils aren't easy to find in regular grocery stores.

Not that finding Indian specialty stores in Somerville is a challenge, it's just that all the ones I know about are in Union Square and, since I hadn't eaten for 3 hours and had already spent over an hour running errands, I did not want to deal with the traffic and parking situation in the square.

I had essentially given up hope and was on my way home thinking I might get lentils tomorrow. But my street is full of little shops, and while they are almost all Brazilian, Italian, or bakeries, I decided to try one on my way up the hill. And that is when I made my big discovery. A small Indian grocery store 3 blocks from my apartment! Seriously, how long have I lived here and never noticed?

I got a giant bag of red lentils and some fun frozen Tandoori breads. They had a ton of spices - so I plan on evaluating my spice supply at home and then restocking. Needless to say I am very excited and love Somerville that much more. Where else can you find a martial arts studio, a Brazilian bakery, an Italian sub shop, and Sir Hare's Salon, and an Indian grocer living in such close quarters?

I made the soup for dinner and it was exactly what I needed. Yum.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Great Card...

...handmade by one of the family. Thanks P - we love it!

Friday Find - Full Moon Halloween Card

I know it might be to late to buy a Halloween card, but it is not too late for me to celebrate Halloween by sharing this wonderful art card from sushipot's Etsy shop. Fortunately there is plenty of time to buy any number of sushipot's great holiday cards like her Season's Greetings card.

Happy Halloween! Watch out for things that go bump in the night and crazy kitties in costume...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Holiday Cards on Parade

I spent part of yesterday and most of today working on my holiday card designs. I think I finally have them figured out. Tomorrow I will start printing and then I will try and get them up in my Etsy shop as soon as possible since the time to buy and send holiday cards is limited. Today I also realized there are a couple cards I never posted to my shop! I am a bit behind I guess. It has been super-crazy-nuts this fall.

These are the 3 designs I will be printing. I decided to do all flat cards this time around instead of folded, but 2 of the 3 are the bigger A6 size instead of the A2 size I usually print in.

I am still hooked on the bird silhouette with a pattered background as you can see. I think this is my last variation of this card. This is the smaller A2 sized one out of the 3.

I loved these brocade/swirly designs and thought they would be good snowflake/holiday starbursts.

You can't go wrong with a pine tree and pinecones. This is the most Christmassy of the three but I think it is a different enough perspective that it doesn’t scream out Christmas tree. This is also the most “manly” of the three. I have had a couple of male customers on Etsy, but mostly women.

I will try to post some photos of the printing process. Oh, and tomorrow I will be making some carrot cake cupcakes for Monday’s craft night. I’ll let you know how that goes if I am not in a cream cheese frosting stupor by the end of the day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Find - Terrarium

This little applejuice bottle terrarium is amazing. It looks like such a tranquil, self-contained, cozy little word. Maybe if McCain and Palin win I can find a giant terrarium to live in with all my friends and family and we can declare it a sovereign nation.

This mini world in a bottle is from TheOakLeaves's shop on Etsy. It is the perfect little gift. And the perfect little escape...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"What Day Is It?" Find - Summer Weeds

I've missed quite a few Friday Finds of late. I have lost track of time I guess. So today I give you my "what day is it?" find.

I absolutely love these tea towels from Skinny laMinx! This Summer Weeds design comes in smoke blue and burnt butter. Some day I want my kitchen to be in these colors, they are gorgeous together.

Skinny laMinx is located in Cape Town, South Africa and her shop is filled with really beautiful items. I also love her LAVA bag - in Petrol, her Borrowed Spoons tea towel in stainless steel, and her Specimens table napkin in yellow.

Be sure to check out her shop and her blog!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This is the full extent of my seasonal decorating. I love gourds - these were home grown in PA. Thanks P!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to the Fuller

Over the weekend I went back to the Fuller Craft Museum with my husband and his parents to see the rest of the exhibitions. I knew my mother-in-law would appreciate the Xenobia Bailey exhibit and the teapot exhibit as well. My husband and father-in-law weren't as excited about the prospect as we were, but both came away pleasantly surprised and I even heard the phrase "crochet is cool" uttered by one of them.

These are a few of my favorite teapots from the exhibit, Fantasy Teapots from the Arthur Goldberg Collection. Unfortunately I did not write down the artists' names...

More Xenobia Bailey...

We all fell in love with Gina Kamentsky's exhibit Mechanical Confections. All of her creations had such life and character. Not to mention they were all perfectly named. Below are Radio Man, Chicken is the Life of You, and another whose name I cannot remember. Other favorites were Bollywood Math Problem, Say “W” and Cat Toy Dispenser. Check out her website for video and photos.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Taking It All In

I have not gotten back to my poor abandoned Gocco. Aside from my drawing class and craft night last week (where I picked up a knitting project I started las Christmas) I have mostly just bouncing around and absorbing rather than creating.

My husband's parents were here this weekend and it was great. We went up to York and the day could not have been more picture perfect.