Archive for January, 2012

I knew I loved Kristen Bell

January 31, 2012

G and I discovered Veronica Mars late in the game–two years ago, actually. But once we did, we devoured that series and both fell head over heels in love with Kristen Bell.  But then she betrayed us with this. And it was over. (Yes, it was way worse than all those other forgive-ably bad movies. And Party Down did not make up for it.)

I hear she’s in a new tv show, but I just can’t be burned again. (Well, that and we don’t have cable.)

But then I saw this today:

(A bit much? Maybe. But after seeing this I can relate.) You gotta love a girl who would show an up-the-nose video of herself on a syndicated talk show. Kristen, it’s on.

Video Monday: Maurice Sendak

January 30, 2012

Video Mondays

Have you seen this interview from the Colbert Report?  (Part one here.)

[edit: oops that clip got taken down. You can watch it here on hulu.]

Maurice Sendak is hilarious, as expected.  I love his whole sassy, frank attitude. He’s awesome.

And sort of random, but go with it: Did you ever read “How Does It Feel To Be Old?” by Norma Farber, and illustrated by my favorite, Trina Schart Hyman? Written in prose, an old woman tells her granddaughter the benefits and tribulations of being old.  I read it a lot growing up and one of my favorite parts was about not caring what other people thought of her. How she was old and so could pretty much say anything, about whatever, to anybody. (I’m pretty sure the illustration is of her yelling at a grocery store clerk about the price of bananas. If I can find it I’ll post here. It’s amazing.) Anyways, those interviews reminded me so much of that book.

I just ordered it, but maybe I’ll ask my mom if she still has it. I’m so curious to read it as an adult.

Snow Day

January 24, 2012

Snow Day

We got our first real snow all winter the other night.

Snow Day

I took some photos on our morning walk and romp in the dog park.

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow Day

What a happy girl.

Snow Day

Other members of our household enjoy snow days a whole other way:

Snow Day

Snow Day

Etta James 1938-2012

January 20, 2012

I was so sad to hear this morning that Etta James passed away due to complications from leukemia at the age of 73.  She will be missed.

Etta James

etta james

Etta James

Etta James

“Protect IP/ SOPA” Breaks the Internet

January 18, 2012

Sign the petition here.

The ‘Buy Nothing New’ project

January 17, 2012


Buy Nothing New

In lieu of G’s shifting work status we’ve decided to tamp down on our finances at least until the end of February. And after having dinner with some inspirational friends, and then having some similar conversations with other friends about consumerism in general, I’m motivated to make this “official.” So let’s call it the “Buy Nothing New” project! (Alternatively, G suggested, “No Thrills; Just Bills and Pills.” ha.)

This means

  • buying nothing but essentials–ie food, prescriptions and bills, and cutting the rest out.
  • giving experiences, over goods, for gifts.
  • sadly no delicious meals out, but yay for delicious meals in!
  • planning ahead and making our own snacks for road trips.
  • making special yummy treats, (eg. cookies,) but not buying them.
  • when necessary buying used, or local as much as possible.
  • movie nights at home.
  • going shopping inside our apartment and getting crafty with what we’ve already got.
  • taking advantage of our public library.
  • doing some junk drawer/clothing/general clutter editing around the house.

A friend was telling me recently about how almost everything she reads online is about buying something. Pretty, stylish, somethings. But still–acquiring more things. I didn’t realize, until she mentioned it, how similar my online reading was as well. Which, as a visual person who is genuinely interested in what others are making and excited about, is natural. But I’ve realized that underneath the creative swell, is a push to buy the next cool whatever. So I’m hoping this project will free me from that a bit. Maybe it will enable me to look at things and appreciate them, but let go of actually owning them.

Clearly many of these steps will take some planning ahead. Often we pay extra for convenience, rather than real necessity– ie road trip snacks, etc. But I think we can handle a bit of extra thinking for a month and a half.  I assume an added benefit will be cutting down on our trash output– convenient things are often short-lived purchases that also always seem to be packaged intensely, don’t they? (More on “no trash living” here.)

We’ll let you know how it goes! And feel free to join us, if you’re feeling so inclined.

Video Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr

January 16, 2012

Video Mondays

On March 28, 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press. 

One week after leading his historic five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, King said that the demonstration was necessary not just to help push the Voting Rights Bill through, but to draw attention to the humiliating conditions in Alabama such as police brutality and racially-motivated murder.

Video from NBC.

Cooking without a recipe

January 12, 2012

Tamara Adler

Do you use a recipe when you cook? It seems there are two types of cooks: those who wing it and those who adhere religiously to recipes. I like to wing it. (And it almost always works.) (The one exception is baking. I {mostly} stick to recipes then.)

I know it’s annoying to some of my friends when they ask for the recipe to whatever and I answer um…do this and this, then add a little bit of this until it tastes good. (Or like last week, when I had friends over, and I kept trying to add stuff that wasn’t in the recipe. Oops.)

I love to cook. Which is great because I love to eat. We make 85% (more?) of our meals from “scratch” at home. Cooking is fun and mostly stress free, probably for several reasons, but one, that I hadn’t considered until recently, is that I rarely use a recipe.

I spotted a write up on Tamara Adler’s cookbook, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, on the NY Times “Well” blog. The article is entitled, A Recipe for Simplifying Life: Ditch All the Recipes and I thought Yes! That’s it.  Not following a recipe to the letter is so key to easy, every day, cooking. (Well, for me anyways.)

Has anyone read her book? There’s a crazy waiting list for it at our library, so I think I’ll just order it.  Among other things, she advises roasting and preparing all your veggies right after you buy them. Then you have food ready that’s easy to combine for yummy meals:

This is my 2nd week working this way, and so far it’s really great. I love the idea of preparing everything in one big batch ahead of time. We’ve eaten a TON of veggies.

(And did you spot how pretty her fridge looked? gah! That’s something to shoot for…)

In related news for all you Providence locals, check out the lovely grocery store Fertile Underground! They now have regular hours and are constantly adding yummy things to their stock.


All images credit Tamara Adler’s site

Video Monday: Murmuration

January 9, 2012

Video Mondays

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Murmuration: n. a flock of starlings.

You’ve probably seen this already, but if not… You’re in for a treat.  I spotted it again the other day and couldn’t resist.

(It’s kinda sad, but when I first saw this I flatly decided it was fake, sure it was clever CG. Nope.)

Illustration News

January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Some children’s illustration news I thought people might be interested in!

-Have you gotten your copy of the December Zero2illo Zine yet? It’s all about children’s illustrators and I’m in it! They kindly picked my site for a review and I’m so grateful. 2012 is the year my site will get a proper overhaul and it’s invaluable to get some outside perspective on what’s working and what needs changing. Thank you so much you guys!

-I just signed up for illustration consulting with…Holli Conger!! I’m so excited!! Last year, I was complaining to G (and friends) about missing a “boss”. Which, I know, sounds insane, but it can be exhausting to juggle so many roles. Sometimes you wish for someone to provide some guidance and nudges to keep you on the right track. Perhaps not a “boss”, but a mentor. Anyways, thank you Universe! I’ve been a huge fan and reader of her blog for years. So I’m really looking forward to working my tail off with her!

-Did I ever mention that I found a local children’s writer and illustrator crit group? (Again, thank you Universe.) We’ve had a couple sessions and it’s pretty great. If you’re in the Providence area, we’re looking to add serious kid lit writers and artists.  Please get in touch if you’re interested.

-Heads up: Registration for The New England SCBWI conference in April is coming up! Register here on January 23rd. I’ve never been to this one, but I hear it’s been fabulous in the past.

-Are you doing the Kidlitart #PBDummy Challenge this year? It’s a 25-week-long online group challenge to create and submit a picture book dummy. It starts January 9, 2012 and ends July 1, 2012. After reading the  inspiring post post by Greg Matusic –who I met in person at the Falling Leaves conference– I decided to jump in!

And whaddya think of that little dinosaur guy up there? I’m working on a story for him…

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