Monday, December 31, 2012

Library Day- Tiny Party Food and The Art Of Forgotten Things

For today's cook book, we have Tiny Party Food.
Tiny Food Party!: Bite-Size Recipes for Miniature Meals
In summary: ADORABLE!

Potato salad bites 

Tiny chicken taquitos 

Mini Philly cheesesteak sandwiches 

Itty bitty eggs benedict

Honestly, I wasn't hugely impressed with the dessert section. Maybe I'm just used to seeing cute little desserts, so it really wasn't that much of a novelty. But everything else looks perfect for craft night, including several fabulous cocktails! I'd definitely buy this book.

Now for a craft book, we have The Art Of Forgotten Things: creating jewelry from objects with a past.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I'd never be able to pull off any of these projects, for one thing. I mean, I'm sure I could replicate what is there, but I don't think I have the creativity to make them my own, know what I mean? Like I just couldn't think of anything clever enough to substitute what they're using in the book. 
It is a really beautiful book, though. I'd like to own a copy so that I can take my time with it. I think these kinds of projects are more like artwork that would take you days or weeks to complete because you've got these ideas marinating and you want to gather the perfect materials and be able to switch them around and think about it for a while before you make anything permanent. I think I'd like to try that, because I love making things up as I go along. So I'd definitely buy this book. (I know, I say that about all of them!)

I'd love to see how I can incorporate little embroidered bits and a lot more textile materials into these projectws! Very inspiring.

Friday, December 28, 2012

On Being Bipolar

Being bipolar means living in 4D. Really more like 10D. It means seeing, hearing, and feeling in a dimension and on a level that mere words cannot express. An alternate language, another way separate from words would be needed to label and categorize the colors I see between the shades you do. 
Being medicated means living in black and white. It means the reduction, and therefore the absence of, sensations. Everything is empty, open, clean. Too clean. Too quiet. I need my cluttered mind. I need to dig through my treasured collection of images, textures, and ideas until I find the piece that fits. I need that chaos.
Being bipolar means living in the most colorful, vivid, and beautifully varied junk shop you can't possibly even imagine. Being medicated means living in a minimalist Ikea showroom. A quiet, simple, sterile version of home. A house not really lived in. Everything in its own place, a nice and neat categorization of all the pieces of my life. All put away where I can't hear, feel, experience them all at the same time. I need to live the same way I make art- I need everything scattered around me, co-mingling, coming together and apart, getting lost and found again. I need that movement, that constant buzzing activity. 
Being bipolar also means running until you puke because the emotional pain of anything sad is so excruciating that you have to physically move in the most destructive way your tortured brain can think of just to be able to cope. But isn't that a small price to pay for being myself? For being allowed to live in my own beautiful secret world? I can't even satisfactorily get across the idea of what you're trying to take away from me. You've never experienced it, so how can you know what it means to live without it?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Library Day- Our Best Bites and Inspired To Knit

First up, a food book- Savoring The Seasons with Our Best Bites
Savoring the Seasons With Our Best Bites
 Like the title indicates, this book is organized into food for each season. I really wasn't that impressed with the Spring and Summer seasons, I'm not sure though if it's because I'm in the mood for cold weather comfort food, or if those recipes really were just meh. Here are my favorites:

Butternut squash pasta with pumpkin sauce

Baked oatmeal- "Like a warm soft oatmeal cookie doused in warm milk..."

Glass Block Gelatin

Mint chip brownie ice cream squares
Overall, I probably wouldn't buy this to keep at home. I do love that all the recipes had nice photos though. I'm not sure why, but I'm a big baby about recipe photos- no pic, no cook!

Next- Inspired to Knit: Creating Exquisite Handknits

This book is absolutely gorgeous. I'd definitely like to have a copy to keep, but the only problem is that I don't think I could pull off these fancy knits!

Ahhhh so beautiful!! The details are incredible. And I browsed the finished projects from Ravelry users, and they all seemed to have turned out perfectly. So you know they must be really well designed and well written! This definitely inspires me to improve my knitting and move beyond dishcloths :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy #11

#11: SNOW!!!!

It snowed here last night! Well, it dusted anyway. And it's really windy, so if I sit by the window and don't look directly out of it, I kind of get the effect of falling snow. sigh. I really wish it would snow like three feet. This isn't worth taking a picture of, but here's a snowflake I made at SnowDays. If you've never played with this website, well! Just clear your schedule for the next few hours because it is FUN!

You can even send your snowflake to someone as a greeting card, and you can see what kind of snowflakes everyone else is making. If you like making paper snowflakes, you can click on them to see how they were made. My family and I made a ton of them last week and hung them with string from the living room ceiling, so they kind of float around when the heater is blowing. Carly is OBSESSED with making snowflakes now, and she's not too bad for a 5-year-old I think. It's neat to see how everyone's snowflake is recognizable, kind of like handwriting. Carly's are so cute!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy #10

#10: The Sound of Music
Or really, watching the Sound of Music when nobody is at home so that I can sing along at the top of my lungs and shout ERMG THERS ERS MAH FRAVRIT PERT  during every. single. scene. And playing the part of every single character out loud, OBVIOUSLY. My favorite to do is the baroness... "Oh Max, you rahlly ahre a beast!" *elegant giggling*

Sound of Music!

Christopher Plummer was my very first crush! (He can summon me with a whistle anytime, know what I mean? *wink*wink*) And even though it makes me happy, I usually bawl through most of it, especially when there's nothing to bawl about. I once asked why that is and a friend replied, "because it's a beautiful dream..."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy #9

#9: Iron and Wine. This song is amaaaazing

Monday, December 17, 2012

Library Day- Extra Yarn and Mod Modge Rocks

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

This is the cutest and most creative childrens book! I love the illustrations.

A knitted sweater for a truck. Awwww!

"This looks like an ordinary box full of ordinary yarn... But it turns out it isn't."
The story is so cute, too. Definitely one we'd like to own!

Then for a craft book:
Mod Podge Rocks by Amy Anderson

Interesting. Unique. Creative. Buuuut maybe not entirely for me. Here are some of my favorite projects from the book:

Decoupaged boots. I can get behind that. I just don't think mine would turn out that pretty! The work seems extremely tedious.

I think this would be cute for my grandma. She'd love to have Carly's little drawings or photos of her on a bracelet. And I've seen these blank bracelets at the craft store too, so it wouldn't be hard to pull off.

LOVE this idea. I happen to be sitting on this same Ikea stool right now. In fact I want about three more of these for all over the house. They make perfect steps to my super tall bed, they're nice for sitting at a low desk because you can put your feet comfortable on the lower step, and Carly likes to sit in it backwards as her own little art table.

I just don't know about this one, what do you think? I love those chairs, and I love the pattern they used. I just don't know that I could bring myself to spread goop all over one of these beauties if I ever did get my hands on one!

LOVE this idea, especially since I just acquired three of them. Might give this a try!
Let me know if you've done any projects from this book! I'd love to see them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorites Friday

These are Air Plant Curiosities from EarthSeaWarrior:

Baby is Buggin - Creepy Cute Air Plant Head Garden - Vintage Sun Babe Doll with LIVE Mustache Pacifier
Air Plant Garden on Porcelain Doll Head
10% SALE - Antique German Doll Tin Rust Air Plant Shoulder Garden

Creepy? Maybe. Cute? Most definitely!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Great French Revolution Obsession

What the what? I know right. I don't get it either. I read Les Mis over the summer, and ever since I've been obsessed with The French Revolution. I think the problem is that I didn't understand a lot of what I was reading, especially about the politics and the battles and all that, so I'm trying to get as much information as I can. Every time I start Les Mis over, I understand a tiny bit more than I did the time before, but I still feel pretty bewildered most of the time! Doesn't stop it from being the best story EVUR though, obviously.

It helped that I already knew a little about the whole subject though because I read Desiree when I was like in third grade or something. I think it was the busty lady on the cover that attracted my curiosity haha! Anyway it's a mostly fictitious story about the real Napoleon and Desiree, and it's still one of my favorite books ever. The 1954 movie is kitschy cute, but Marlon Brando makes teh best evur Napoleon. I think this movie should be redone, although it's already pretty adorable. You can watch it on Amazon for $3. I do it all the time. I should just buy it and save on the rental but I'm always like... But this is viewing #546, surely I'll be sick of it after this! But no. Jean Simmons is just precious.
Anyway, I've always been a bit fascinated by Napoleon. I think he was bipolar, seriously. The grandiosity plummeting into major depression? Back and forth, up and down. It makes sense. OR he was just a psychopath hehe. hmm.
So check out the movie if you're in the mood for that kind of cute but disturbingly tragic kind of thing (what the what?) and let me know if you have any good book recommendations! And if you've never gotten around to reading Les Mis, try downloading the audiobook from LibriVox. (You can get any public domain book there for free, and most of their readers are pretty good.)