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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

KC-10 Tanker 1680 x 1050 Widescreen Wallpaper

Here's Pieter again. Here's another photo from the Leeuwarden airshow. This beauty was doing a low speed pass at 5 meters above the ground over the whole landingstrip. I had to put my lens back to 50mm to take a picture of the hole plane.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Six weird things

So Liesl over at Disdressed tagged me (meaning I'm supposed to list six weird things about myself) two weeks ago, and I'm finally doing it! Peer pressure. :) Okay. Let's see.

1. This weekend I had duck tongues for dinner. In Chinatown. We have lots of fabulous Chinese friends, and they've introduced us to all kinds of delicacies over the years. Along with periodic duck tongue samplings, I've had intestines, lung, blood cakes, fish balls, and uterus?!? Thanks, guys. Did I forget anything?

2. I don't own a cell phone. Never had one. Is that weird? My coworkers think I'm Amish.
[Update: It became necessary to get one. Bummer.

3. I love to peel sunburn, off myself or anyone who will let me.

4. I bought a fireplace video to play on my TV since we don't have a real fireplace. I like it a lot. I think it's funny. I like to play it for people, but they don't think it's as funny as I do.

5. I have size 11 feet. It takes a lot of courage to admit this to The General Public, because I've been ashamed of it my whole life. Or at least since my feet have been 11s. I'm hoping this public declaration will somehow free me from the secret shame of walking into shoe stores, working up my courage to ask if they have anything in an 11, and seeing the clerk's eyes widen and immediately drop to my feet, followed by a stuttered, "Um, n-no. Sorry." Or else they manage to pull out one pair of grandma shoes from the back. Thankfully people's feet must be getting bigger, since it's getting slightly easier to find them. But they're still never as cute as the NORMAL shoes.

6. For the past month, I've had Weird Al Yankovic's song parody, "Trapped in the Drive Thru," stuck in my head, thanks to some friends. You know who you are.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Stayin' alive...

...I hope! I love this plant, a gift from Jim and Jill, and this pot that Alex gave me for Christmas from Sprout Home. I hope I don't kill it. The plant, I mean, not the pot. Pretty sure the pot is safe.

[Update: Yup. Killed it. Plant is now deceased.]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sick of winter

The Christmas stuff is stashed away, and it was looking bleak around here. Spring seems soooo far away. Had to haul the summer poppies out of storage to make myself feel better. I think it's working. Next project: happy curtains for the kitchen.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tea time

Here's an idea to dress up your Valentine tea party or mail to a tea-drinking friend. Carefully take apart a paper tea bag wrapper. Trace around the edges on some pretty paper. (You may need to add a fold-in glue tab to each side of the front of the envelope; most tea bag wrappers are sealed without tabs.) Glue or double-stick tape it together. Pull the tag off the end of the string. Sandwich the string between two cut-out heart shapes and glue together. Tuck the tea bag back into its new envelope and seal with a sticker, tape, or glue.

That one went by the wayside

Adios, header.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I got bored

I felt like changing things a little. Do you like the new header up there more or less than the old one? Hmm. I'm not satisfied. Will make another one.

Delightful mail

Yesterday this lovely card arrived from my friend Valerie, who found it in Japan. It's embossed and has gold metalic ink. Thanks, Val! Your letter made my day. No. My month.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I heart hearts

Well, actually I don't like heart-shaped things very much, 11 months out of the year. But in February, it's a different story. Here's the result of a recent card-making production line with friends. (Paper from Paper Source.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Photo and illustration sources

These sites might be helpful for folks in need of digital art.

The New York Public Library Digital Gallery contains a wealth of historical art and illustration. Most images are public domain, but the Library does charge a usage fee to license an image for commercial use. A great source of inspiration for patterns and antique designs.

iStockphoto, recently purchased by Getty Images, is an inexpensive source of royalty free stock photography and illustration. Prices range from $1-$15 (as opposed to $400 for a royalty-free image on Getty's site). Let's hope they stay this cheap.

I haven't used these before, but they're worth looking into: Fotolia, Big Stock Photo, and StockXPert.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Odd little square head monkey

So I found a template on Flickr via Papercraft World for some paper animals, and had to try it. Here's my orange monkey. He looks cute in the photo, but in reality, his head won't stay on. (I was too lazy to dig out the good glue. Easily fixed.) And I couldn't figure out what some little dashed lines on the template were for. But he makes me smile. Try one. Get the template here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More tutorials from around the web

Need more project ideas? Check these out:

Cute strawberry pincushions from Martha Stewart
A draft stopper to block cold air coming in under doors from Not Martha
Merwing's yardstick shelf idea
Scalloped hem skirt from Disdressed
Reupholstered mouse pad, compliments of Twelve22
Pink Mohair's ten minute lampshade
Fabric postcards from Kathie Briggs
J Caroline Creative memo board

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Purple painting

I'm giving this one to some people I like. I think it will look right at home in their house. But yikes! Does anyone else get scared when giving your art as gifts? What if they hate it, and keep it in a closet, only to whisk it out and guiltily hang it up just before I come over every time? Or what if they get sick of it on their wall, but feel obligated to keep it forever? I'll make sure to tell them to dispose of it whenever they don't want it anymore.

Drawing on ceramic?

I drew this vine pattern on a ceramic tray awhile ago, but wasn't happy with the pen I used (one of those Porcelaine markers that you can bake in the oven to set). While it definitely was dishwasher safe afterwards, the pen was so liquid and transparent that it left blobby pools of wet ink on the surface instead of solid, opaque lines. Does anyone know of a better pen to use (or maybe different colors are more opaque because pigment opacity varies?)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

More framed fabric

Here's more fabric I framed awhile ago for our guest bedroom. It's from Japan, too, from Megumi's mom's secret stash. Does anyone know any online shops or stores in Chicago that offer unique fabric with graphic prints (that I haven't listed already at the left)? I'm always hunting...

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Retro fun

We spent last week in Arizona with friends. Our visit included a trip to The Shady Dell in Bisbee, an old copper mining town near the Mexican border. At The Shady Dell, guests stay in 1950's aluminum campers, each decked out with different vintage fabrics, appliances, and games. We LOVED it! We got a kick out of making Spirograph art, playing records, percolating some coffee, and watching Creature From the Black Lagoon. (Also check out the pix of the paint-by-number art and the siamese cat lamp with eerie glowing eyes.) Next time you're near Bisbee, you have to stay at the Dell!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Baby stuff to make

Some people near and dear to me are pregnant right now, which has inspired me to look for baby project tutorials:
Fleece hats from Martha Stewart (maybe for some bigger babies)
Booties from Heather Bailey
More booties from Martha
Still more booties from Star Dust Shoes
Ribbon pillows for a kid's room from JCaroline Creative
Onesies decorated using freezer paper stencils from Unwind
Baby kimonos from Martha
Appliqued bibs from JoAnn
Plush bunnies from Wee Wonderfuls
Night lights from Martha

Monday, January 1, 2007

Nursery decor

These will be a gift for my brother and sister-in-law, who are having a baby any second. The fun stick-figure houses and stylized tree fabric came from Megumi. She found it somewhere in Tokyo in a dollar bin, and it's so cute I decided to frame it.
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