Tuesday, December 11, 2007


We've got some amazingly kitsch christmas decorations this year. Over Thanksgiving Ron's mom gave him some family treasures. The ceramic reindeer were made by his grandmother and are just the craziest looking things I've ever seen. They provide good hiding spots for our cats under the tree. The ceramic light-up tree is my absolute favorite though. It was his great-grandmother's and instead of light bulbs has vintage marbles.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Studio Space

Thought that I'd post pictures of my new studio space. Originally Ron and I had been sharing the front room, but I realized that neither of us was actually spending time in there much. We're like Felix and Oscar - I'm really neat and he's not and I think that trying to work in a shared space was annoying both of us. I took the initiative and moved into what was our "music room" since it was too small for really much furniture and so we'd just been keeping our stereo and record player in there. It's a great space for working since it's got so much natural light and I can open the door to the porch. And it's just big enough for me to be comfortable and organized.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Stockings

Thought that I'd post pictures of the stockings that I made for Ron and I for this year. First time we'll be needing our own since we won't be at home with the family for Christmas morning, so I went ahead and made us each one. I'm pretty happy with how they came out except for the fact that Ron's is somehow much bigger than mine despite using the same pattern. I'm playing with the idea of making some to sell next year.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Abby Sanchez Now On Sale

Not the real Abby of course, but my soft felt plushie version. I spent yesterday evening reworking some of the details of my first pattern to make the face flatter and bigger. I think that this is really much better, but next time the eyes will go lower on the face. Still this first one is for sale on my etsy page. All proceeds from sales of the stuffed Abby will go right to Ashleigh to help pay for the bills resulting from Abby's recent surgeries. Please consider buying one!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Holidays from Team Awesome.

Maybe it was just late last night, but I was in tears laughing at this after Ron put it together. Check out our little family (aka "Team Awesome") doing a holiday dance.

Bucket O' Animals

To honor Ashleigh's request, I'm posting the current bucket o'animals that is sitting in my studio. I really need to post them up on etsy, but I've been a bit disorganized lately. Honestly though I think that they do make me pretty happy sitting there altogether. That said, if there's someone that you're interested in purchasing, please let me know.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lynette's BunBun

A couple of months ago I got a request from my friend Lynette for a bunny to bring to a baby shower. I finished him several weeks ago but only delivered him this week. Figured that I'd post a picture of the little guy just to show what I've been up to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Meow Mush

This is one reason why I like the cold weather.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

Sunday after the in-laws left we decided to put up a Christmas tree. A little early, but it was really fun. We had to try three stores to get the right kind of tree stand and ended up at Wal-Mart which I try my best to avoid. In any case, we made up for it by spending a little extra to buy a tree from the Lion's Club since they donate all proceeds to charity. Plus they let us take all the free extra greenery cuttings we wanted.

You can tell that we really amped up the childhood memories with this tree. Big colored lights, garland, big glass balls. We listened to Christmas carols, drank eggnog and at one point Ron had to run out for more garland. Definitely reminded me of growing up. It's pretty awesome to sit by it at night with all the lights off. Now if we can just make sure the cats don't play with it too much, it should be alright.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Abigail Sanchez Mock-up

This weekend I finished up a new sample pattern for another stuffed animal. This time I'm attempting to create a stuffed version of a particular dog. This girl is based off of our friend Abigail Sanchez who lives with Ashleigh (see A.S.S. link in Friends links). Since this is just the first attempt to really get a french bulldog down I can see some changes that I need to make. The head needs to be a little bit wider and the nose needs to be bigger. And the ears were sewn on unevenly. But otherwise I think that it's pretty close. If you can think of other upgrades, please let me know since I'm going to try to get another one done soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vandalism Tribute?

My friend Jen took this photo after noticing the "Fafa" spray painted on the sidewalk. The strange thing is that it's literally just feet away from where I used to live in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. Second house in the photo is where I lived for about 6 years. FaFa is painted right in front of the old entrance to the vacant lot that we used to cut through to shorten our walk to the subway. And it definitely wasn't there when I lived there 3.5 years ago. Not too many people still use my old nickname and most of them that do no longer live in Boston. Is there somebody who just couldn't bear to walk through my old 'hood without paying me a tribute?

Weekend Update

I have all sorts of things happening that I know I should be blogging about, but somehow every evening gets away from me and I don't write anything. Yesterday I took some pictures and will try to post them in the next couple of days. This weekend was a good balance of low-key and eventful.

Thursday night I checked out the art opening for our friends Ricky and Vessela who have work hanging at the Sentient Bean coffee shop. The work is focused on eastern orthodox iconography and is really beautiful. Friday night had my regularly scheduled date with Ashleigh including dinner and coffee. Saturday I worked at the Historical Society library and then spent a fantastic night at home by myself (it feels like ages since I've had a night in alone.) Sunday was a great day - up in the morning to go to the Mutation Craft Fair with the girls and then lunch together and some great conversation to keep me motivated about my own work. Dinner with friends who were down from Atlanta for the craft fair and then home to help Ron organize his studio and get ready for the in-laws visit for Thanksgiving later this week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

American Gods in Rock City

"Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?...And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn't room for both of them in the world. And that some kind of war is likely." (pg. 308) After three years of Ron insisting that I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, I finally picked it up. He was right about it - I didn't want to put it down once I started it.

Even stranger, the climax of the novel takes place at Rock City! So wierd that I just read this after going there and blogging about it a week ago. Gaiman describes it just right:

Rock City begins as an ornamental garden on a mountainside: its visitors walk a path that takes them through rocks, over rocks, between rocks. They throw corn into a deer enclosure, cross a hanging bridge and peer out through a quarter-a-throw binoculars at a view that promises them seven states on the rare sunny days when the air is perfectly clear. And from there, like a drop into some strange hell, the path takes the visitors, millions upon millions of them every year, down into caverns, where they stare at black-lit dolls arranged into nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale diaromas. When they leave, they leave bemused, uncertain of why they came, of what they have seen, of whether they had a good time or not. (pg. 380)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mr. Moustachio

Here's a photo of my fabulous fake moustache that I wore on our campus fall festival day for my role as carnival barker to lure students into our library booth. I got some wierd looks from some of the preppy kids and some street cred from the theater students. Kudos must be given to Ashleigh who gave me the moustache after she made it last year for a class project. It just makes me happy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh! So inspiring!

One of the joys of sitting at the reference desk is that when it is slow I treat myself to reading the new Art journals. I came across an article titled "House of the Hand-made" on the artist Nathalie Lete from Paris in the October 2007 volume of American Craft. Oh my Lord! This woman's work is so amazing - colorful, fun, ironic. Not only that but she can do everything. She's got paintings, handmade books, wool rugs, quilts, ceramics, dolls.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Rest

Yesterday I presented at the SEWHA Conference - Southeast World History Association. It my first time presenting the research from my history thesis and the first time that I've ever presented at a professional conference. It went as well as it could have other than that my mouth got really dry from nerves and I wasn't quite as articulate as I could've been. I had been dreading the Q&A session in case somebody asked me about theory or brought up work by a historian that I wasn't familiar with, but instead all of the questions were just about more of the content. I'm really happy that I was able to speak to it all confidently. Now I'll have to really start to consider submitting an article for a journal.

Today though is the only day that I have nothing planned for at least the next 20 days. I'm trying not to be depressed about it and just enjoy it. Ron and I are going to walk over to get a tea and sit around in the sun for a bit. Then I'm going to work on a project for work and then hopefully start to plan out a quilt project. Ashleigh challenged Nora, Dorothy and I to create a nine square quilt in the next 2-3 weeks. We're all pretty excited to have an assignment. And I'm feeling pretty inspired to come up with something that is just for fun and doesn't need to have a purpose. I'm going to try my hand at hand-quilting and hopefully come up with something a little more creative than I've done in the past.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Girl's Camping - Part 2: Rock City

Last Saturday, we took a day trip from the state park and our camping site to go to see Rock City. Little Ashley had been there before when she was 7 and remembered it being totally amazing and the rest of us were pretty psyched to see some cool rock formations and a good mountain view. The drive there was gorgeous but we feared for our lives at a couple of hairpin turns up the mountain.

I don't even know what to say about Rock City. It was totally amazing and totally bizarre. Definitely not what I expected. I suppose that I thought that it was a woodsy hiking trail like where we were camping with a lot of rock formations, but in reality it's this wierd, totally sanitized, theme park version of that...with a strange number of gnomes. It's probably the kitschiest place that I've been - possibly ever. I walked around in awe, stunned by the sounds of polka music piped through fake rock speakers sitting on top of real rocks. But by far the best part of the entire experience was heading into the Fairyland Cavern. You go underground and follow a dark trail leading past a number of vignettes on either side based on either fairy tales or totally random scenes of garden gnomes. Stranger still they are painted with neon paint and lit with black lights. But the dolls in the scenes are definitely not cute. In fact, they are downright creepy. I definitely saw a 4 year old little girl in front of us cry with fright and refuse to look at them.

I've included some pictures, but honestly they just can't do it justice. If you're ever within a drive of Chattanooga, TN make sure to check this place out and then drive away quickly and never go back.

Girl's Camping - Part 1: Cloudland Canyon

Last weekend we celebrated our first annual all-girl's camping trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwest Georgia. A long drive, but totally worth it to get up into the mountains and get some fresh air. We definitely got lucky with the weather since rain was forecasted, but next year I think we'll have to go later in October to actually to get to feel some brisk fall air and see the colors changing.

The park was really beautiful with some pretty amazing hiking. The tent sites were really pretty private and the facilities were really clean. With the exception of the gypsy family that camped across the trail from us and played recordings of chickens squawking and smoked in the bathroom, we were left totally undisturbed. Highlights of the weekend included the people who came with me, s'mores, knitting around the fire, and Mad Libs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Taken to Task

I've been held accountable for my poor blogging habits by Andrea. Fair enough. I can't even argue the point. I've been awful about it. Here's a quick synopsis of life for the past two months:

I visited Andrea in Tampa for a weekend. Work has gotten really busy because it's fall semester. I've been volunteering on archives projects at the historical society on Saturdays. Dorothy moved into Savannah. The cats had to go to the vet for check-ups. The car had a series of repairs. I'm preparing to deliver a paper at a conference next week. It was Ron's birthday. It was my birthday. I made a quilt. My mom and aunt came for a visit. And tomorrow I'm leaving for a camping trip!

I'd like to say that being busy is an excuse, but in reality they are all things that I could've blogged about. That said I've been tired! And now that I'm just getting older (fully into my 30s now) you know I just run out of steam sometimes.

I resolve to come back from this camping trip refreshed and with things to talk about and photos to post online.

p.s. Go see "Eastern Promises" because it's really really good and you get to see Viggo Mortenson naked and covered in tattoos.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Update : The Bet

I've had some great encouragement from folks about the weight-loss bet that Ron and I made, so I feel obligated to let you know that we've amended the bet and delayed the deadline to Christmas morning. The main reason for that was because assuming that one of us won, neither of us has the money to actually pay out for our birthdays in a month. Plus, in reality neither of us was going to make it - even though we have both been trying (just not as hard as we'd need to in order to win.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Savannah history

A few months ago, I did some contract work with the Georgia Historical Society to help finish up processing a photograph collection that they had a grant to make available. It was a huge undertaking and I was only a part of the end of the project, but I did have a good time cataloging the prints. Just got the word of the local write-up for the Robert Heriot Collection by the Connect.

I'm glad to see my friend Lynette highlighted in the article. And to know that the collection is now available for researchers. There are some really fantastic photographs of local architecture - both the typical historical downtown buildings as well as documenting some of the mid-century suburban developments and street views. The photos of the riverfront development are really great as are the grisly car accident scenes. Plus you can inundate yourself in wedding pictures from the 1950s-1980s. The variety of hairstyles and bridesmaid dresses alone are worth a look.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

And of course, Potter conclusion

I forgot to post about Harry Potter. After all of my excitement and expectations, we got the book on Saturday morning at about 1am after standing in line at Barnes and Noble. Let me just explain what we had to endure in order to get the book so early...we showed up around 10:30 with our friend Nora thinking that we'd get to walk around a little bit and check out the "party" before having to get in line. No luck, the lines were already formed and we were definitely nowhere near the front. And we were surrounded by teenagers on all fronts. In front of us, a couple that reminded us of that painful period of angst when you feel desperately deep and misunderstood. Occasionally popping pills from a prescription bottle that they handed around to each other and sprawling out on the floor, these kids definitely bought most of their outfits from Hot Topic and were attempting to relive Robert Smith's heyday.

Directly behind us were two people standing in line independent of any friends - one girl who shrank into the smallest corner possible and was almost unnoticeable and a boy who was incredibly disturbing. Lurking around, this guy was using a straw as a wand and was cursing people as they passed by. As if muttering "cursio" and "ava kedavra" under his breath while flicking the straw wasn't wierd enough for a 16 year-old, he was also detected reading "Mein Kampf". At a certain point, his aggravation levels were heightened so that he gave up cursing and resorted to miming a shot gun. Behind him, was a group of about 10 girls all giggling and shrieking periodically.

In the end, though, it was well worth that hell to get the book and start reading in book when we got home. Ron finished on Sunday at about 5am and I finished later that Sunday afternoon. The book met all of my expectations. It is by far the best of the series and pulled everything together really well. I teared up, I cheered and I couldn't put it down. Nough said.

8 weeks to go

So in April Ron and I made created a challenge for ourselves to lose 50lbs each by our birthdays in September. Whichever of us beats the challenge can name the birthday gift that the other person has to buy for them up to $400. The idea was that hopefully we'll both win and so just get to blow a lot of money on each other and feel happy. If just one of us wins, that would really suck because then one person gets a really fancy bday gift and the other gets something very small and inexpensive.

Needless to say, I realized yesterday that I only have 8 more weeks to go and still have 18lbs left to lose. That averages to 2.25lbs a week which is a lot. I'm a little nervous - especially because the gym is closed next week. I think that I'll probably have to work out every day to make this happen because god knows, I'm not going to stop eating.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pot-head Mania - ALERT SPOILERS!

Well, I've spent the past 5 weeks rereading books 1-6 of the Harry Potter series and now I'm feeling a bit bereft and unsure of what to head to next while I await the release of book 7 in just over two weeks. For years I was told by friends whose reading tastes I generally admire that I would like the series, but I held off reading them thinking that there was no way they could live up the hype. I got suckered into the stories because Ron listened to them on audiobook while working in the studio. Since then, I have to admit, that I'm a bit of a Potter-head.

Anyhow, after this past read-through I've adjusted my opinion of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm not quite as disappointed with that particular book as I was in the first reading with two exceptions...there was way too little description of Harry and Ginny's relationship and Dumbledore's funeral was lacking in pomp in my opinion. But I'm hoping that more will be divulged about both in the final book.

My predictions (which could be revised at any point until Book 7 is released):
1. Snape is truly bad and did maliciously kill Dumbledore.
2. Dumbledore is really dead, but will continue to have a presence through his portrait in the headmaster's office.
3. The two main characters that die will be Harry and Voldemort - they will kill each other after Harry has managed to destroy all of the remaining Horcruxes (or after he finds them already destroyed by the mysterious R.A.B.)
4. Harry and Ginny will get back together before the end.
5. Ron and Hermione will end up together.
6. Neville will become even more heroic and will have a larger role.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mutation Craft Fair to happen in November

Last week I got myself involved in planning the 2007 Mutation Craft Fair in Savannah. I'm excited as it will help keep me motivated in my own creative ventures but also because it means that there will be an opportunity for me to sell my wares and make some extra cash right before Christmas. I'm interested to see all of the work and planning that goes into making this happen. Luckily, we're working with Megan who has been involved in planning these fairs for the past 5 years here.

Dates will be November 17-18, but the location is still to be determined. Keep checking the Mutation website for updated information including the new vendor application forms.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Secondary Blog

Just in case people are interested in what I do in my day job, feel free to check out the blog of my alter-ego, Page Turner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Aren't these guys just darling? They are my third and fourth penguins that I've made. I initially got the request from my boss to make a penguin and when I brought it in to show him, he bought it on the spot for his granddaughter. Then I made my second one and before I could even list it on etsy, friends bought him for their nephew's birthday. And so here are the next ones up. I worked on them on Monday when I was at home on the couch sick.

Quick catch-up on life: Atlanta and back on Saturday for the Atl Tattoo Convention and Ikea; Sunday hit up a sale at Joanne's for more felt and then home feeling sick. Monday at home with a sore throat, but enjoying the fact that at least we have cable again. Thought that I was getting better but home again this afternoon with an even worse sore throat and wheezing. I'm hopeful that it's just a chest cold and not bronchitis. At least it's a lovely rainy day to be inside and on the couch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Now for Sale Online!

The stuffed animals are now up for sale on etsy.com.


Blue Bunny has already gone! In less than 14 hours since he was listed. I'm quite happy about that. The next challenge is going to be making sure that I'm consistently making new little guys to put online.

And I'm finally sending out three stuffed animals to my pal Lauren who requested them a couple of months ago. Since her twins are due in just weeks, I'm sneaking them in just in time! I'll put up pictures of them once she receives them just so that more samples are on view.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Finally worked out the kinks for a new pattern for some swallows. The plan is to figure out how to construct a mobile to hang them from. And then to sell the suckers.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sleeve is finally healed up.

After about 9 months, I finally got my half-sleeve finished a few weeks ago. It's all healed up nicely and I've got some good pictures to post up of it. For those interested, the initial design was drawn up by pal Jen O'Brien after I was inspired by one of her paintings and then adapted by tattooer Clay McKay at Anonymous Tattoo. Ron had the idea of adding in the key badge and skeleton key and I'm stoked on how they came out. Clay did a phenomenal job and I would recommend him highly to anyone. It definitely helps me feel less homesick for autumn in New England.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm trying to be better at remembering to post what I'm up to - even when it feels like I'm not up to all that much. Given my work schedule lately, there hasn't been much going on that's of any particular consequence. Still the past two weeks have included some crafting of new stuffed animals (photos to be posted at some point), a lucky find of a sale on felt at Joann's Fabrics, reading Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (high-quality historical fiction for our current favorite era), watching Stranger than Fiction and falling in love with both Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhall's characters, and finishing up my tattoo (again photo's forthcoming).

Had my tattoo appointment yesterday and while I'm totally ecstatic about how beautiful it came out in the end, I must admit to wondering why the heck I ever started in on this piece. Particularly at the point at which I was getting my elbow pit done, I thought that this was the dumbest endeavor I've taken yet. That said, once it's healed I'm sure I'll start thinking about the next one.

If you're anywhere near Boston this Saturday night, make sure that you go and see Ron's art opening. It's titled "In Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea" and is filled with fantastic spit-shaded watercolors that echo traditional themes. It's from 5-7pm at Bodega. You'll have to find your own way to Bodega since it's not advertised, but once there you'll be in for a major treat - both in artwork and in shopping. Plus spend money and you'll be supporting both my boyfriend and an old, dear friend who co-owns the store.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Finding time

Oh life has been so busy lately. It's hard to find time to get much of anything done. I've taken on a short-term contract with the historical society to finish up an archival processing project. It's actually a pretty fun project but it does mean having to give up my Saturdays for 3 months and working 6 days a week. I'm happy to keep my archival work current though. Additionally, I've developed a new hobby of the dreaded "diet and exercise". It's actually been a really positive experience, but oh my gosh, it takes up a surprising amount of time.

Anyhow, this is a pony that I made a couple of weeks ago for pal Andrea's very belated birthday gift. Now that she's received it, I can put it up for everyone else to see. The exciting news on the craft front is that I also recieved my first commission! My old friend Lauren is going to a baby shower and has requested an oliphant. I'll make a few samples so that she can choose who she likes best and then it also leaves me with several more samples to show or sell. I'll post as they are finished.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Film Review: Grindhouse

On Wednesday night I headed out with some friends to see an advanced screening of Grindhouse. There was little benefit to seeing an advanced screening since we got hassled by security people to put our cellphones with cameras in the car (what the hell they think my cell phone is going to capture is beyond me) and they had a security guy in the front watching people during the movie through night vision goggles to ensure that nobody was trying to record the movie. Nobody I was with got any free goodies to really make it worth it. I suppose we did get to see the movie for free which is pretty great.

Anyhow...for those that haven't heard, Grindhouse is a double-feature that echoes the campy, B movies made in the 1970s and shown at small, independent theaters (aka Grindhouses). Robert Rodriguez directs "Planet Terror" and Quentin Tarantino "Death Proof", and in addition several other directors provided faux trailers for the intermission. "Planet Terror" was fantastic. Totally ridiculous, loose plot about a virus that give people open soars and melting flesh and the craving to eat other people's brains and the small group of people that seem to be immune to it. Featuring Rose McGowan as a go-go dancer who dreams of being a stand-up comedian are dashed when zombies eat her leg but is redeemed when her boyfriend is able to attach a machine gun to her stump, the film is just outrageous enough to laugh through all the blood and guts.

Following it, however, is "Death Proof". Somehow the movie just falls short of really paying tribute to the exploitation genre. Kurt Russell is actually pretty great as the villain who kills girls with his death-proof stunt car, but the movie drags on for way too long. Tarantino spends too much time developing the characters of his victims, actually making me long for their death rather than rooting for them to live. I think that I would've liked it a lot better if the movie had ended just after his first killing spree but instead it just dragged on and on. That said, the ending car chase and final ending were fun.

In the middle were some absolutely hilarious trailers for movies which I kind of long to be made - "Machete" in particular was fantastic. "Thanksgiving" was a bit too disturbing with the final scenes crossing my line of distastfulness, but I can see that it at least falls within the genre that they were trying to celebrate.

All in all, a fun set to sit through. There's just something great about not expecting a movie to change your life and having it happily meet that expectation.

Spring has sprung...and I've been enjoying it rather than writing in my blog.

Alright so it's been ages since I posted anything on here. I do have an excuse other than shear laziness. We've had a series of house guests for the past four weeks. I was so busy enjoying their company that I just haven't focused on getting much else done. Lots has happened and probably too much to go on about on here. Highlights included visiting Scary Mary with my brother (possible future post?), trip to Jekyll Island with Dot, Lenny's busted lip and arm and my mom and I reinvigorating our porch with lots of new flowers and plants.

The photos were taken during a couple of day trips during Dorothy's visit. The first photo was taken at Bonaventure Cemetery and is of the gravesite next to the more famous site of Little Gracie. Ron and I seem to head out to Bonaventure somewhat regularly to go exploring - it's what Ron calls our "Goth Date". But a few weeks ago it was unbelievably pretty with the camellia and azalea blossoms out. The second photo is of the DuBignon colonial plantation house on Jekyll Island and the last one is of the Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. Dot and I headed down to Jekyll for a day to rent bikes and ride around the island. It's unbelievably pretty. At the turn of the 20th Century it was a private island used for the Jekyll Club - a group of millionaires who built a hotel and private homes and used it for getaways. Plus it's the perfect place to ride bikes because bike trails go around the whole island and there's very little car traffic anyhow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jon's visit

My brother came to visit last weekend and it was fantastic to have him here. I don't think that I've hung out with just him without other family around in at least 7 years maybe? Don't get me wrong - I love seeing him with his little fam or with the rest of our family, but it's pretty cool to be able to have two days just hanging out and catching up. Needless to say, he came prepared to get tattooed by Ron. (Mom - do not blame me for this!) Here they are at work and the final product - a traditional rose with the names of his three kids done on his chest over his heart. Awww.....

more felt animules.

Here are more little animals that I've made. My plan for the swallow is to make a few and string them up into a mobile, but I haven't gotten that far ahead yet. I think that I might just turn the rhino into a hippo instead and make his head more square. But Blue Bunny is my favorite by far.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Book Review: Summer Crossing

I've just finished a short novel by Truman Capote. I picked it up after cataloging it at work because the dust jacket noted that it was published posthumously and only just after being discovered in a pile of papers bought for the Capote collection at the New York Public Library. (Oh how I love archives!) The story behind the story goes like this - Capote had been living in Brooklyn and then in 1966 up and moved to Manhattan leaving instructions to the landlord to throw out all his belongings on the sidewalk for the trash. A house-sitter scooped up all the papers and notebooks left behind (including personal letters and high school writing samples) and later after his death a few years ago, the papers went up for sale at Sotheby's. At this point, it was discovered that there was an entire unpublished manuscript that Capote had written and set aside - this being Summer Crossing. Thus the trustee for Capote's estate decided to publish the novel.

The story itself is short but quite sweet. It's a bit rough around the edges, but likely this is because Capote never finished with it himself. Had he decided to go with it, this would have become his first published novel. Still, it's a light, fun read. I've never read any of his other works, but now I'm interested to check out Breakfast at Tiffany's at least.

The main character is Grady MacNeil, the daughter of social Manhattanites who have left New York to summer in Paris. Grady is 17 and left alone for the first time in her life. The reader will find her likeable, although apparently she's quite the outsider amongst her peers preferring to spend time by herself, with her one quirky male best friend, or more importantly for the story, with her first love - Clyde Manzer, a parking attendant at her garage who happens to be poor and Jewish. Over the course of the summer, their relationship stumbles along as each of them attempts to understand the other across the bridge of their class and cultural divides. The ending feels very unsubstantial and dissatisfying, but the novel is still a fun look into the culture of early 20th Century New York.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Book Review: The Audacity of Hope

I finally finished reading Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope. Could it be possible that there exists an honest politician? It's hard to come away from this book without believing that Obama is sincere in his belief that he is in office to serve his constituency rather than to make a career out of politics. The book covers the general overview of his political thoughts on the party system and political campaigning, faith and race and values within American society, our lack of a comprehensive foreign policy and the economy. What makes the book worth reading is Obama's candid personal experiences and how they have impacted his values and political approach.

The essence of Obama's approach to politics seems to be that we must, "...maintain in our sights the kind of America that we want while looking squarely at America as it is, to acknowledge the sins of our past and the challenges of the present without becoming trapped in cynicism and despair." (pg. 233) He is an unapologetic liberal and Democrat. However, he consistently draws on the positive contributions of people across party lines and focuses on how policies can and will affect the everyday person on the street. Throughout the chapters, Obama draws from personal experiences that depict the difficulties of maintaining personal contact with his constituency while understanding the larger political picture. In my favorite excerpt, he discusses the difficulties of maintaining his connection to the people as his rising career requires flying on private jets to court campaign donors and make appearances. One gets the feeling that he enjoys his job best when he can be sitting across the table from the average Joe citizen trying to get a sense of how government can serve him. Whether he can maintain that as he travels upwards through the political machine is the question?

He talks frequently about his experience of growing up in a multi-racial family and his Christian faith, but at the same time he is able to articulate these experiences in a way that does not alienate any potential audience (except those that are really intolerant).

It helped, for my enjoyment of the book, that I agree with the majority of his stances on issues. He has my support on issues of women's rights, supporting the drained middle-class, universal health care and early childcare, and anti-war sentiments, etc. I'm still not completely sure if he'll have my vote in the Democratic primaries, but it has raised my hopes that there are those in positions of power in this country with more than a jot of common sense, an ability to see beyond their own personal interests, and a belief that the success of the individual hinges on the success of the group.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

one reason to be happy to live in the south

Today's weather:
Boston = 7 degrees
Savannah = 68 degrees

Monday, March 5, 2007


I realize that I haven't added any entries to the blog in about two weeks. I've been working a lot trying to save up some comp time for pending visits from family and friends. Otherwise, I've made a few more felt animals and hope to post photos soon. I've sat comotose on the couch watching movies recuperating from work and have managed to see some friends. The biggest excitement (and how lame is this?) was watching Xanadu and knitting at my friend Cindy's house with a gaggle of girls. I haven't even done any reading in ages. I can't seem to finish any of the books that I start.

The big news isn't even mine. Ron has fully transitioned away from apprentice monkey to tattooing full-time. It's exciting for him, but also, I think, somewhat scary to have reached his goal. But I'll tell you - it's terribly exciting for me to walk into the shop and see him tattooing a client rather than sitting behind the front desk.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

my first ribbed hat

I caught a flick of Mr. Mustachio wearing the new beanie that I knit. Doesn't the hat compliment his dastardly scheming?

felt menagerie

I've finally gotten some pictures up of samples of some of the felt animals that I've been making. They're much tougher than they look - I swear.