d.c. part 2

you can thank my sister for pressuring me into writing a blog post tonight. i've seriously spent the entire weekend, from friday night until about 2 hours ago working on a website for a client, and i'm so glad to have it finished! anyway, i had planned to sit trance-like in front of the TV filling my mind with garbage tonight, but thanks to a bossy sister, i'm sharing part two of our d.c. day trip from last week...

the very first place we visited was the museum of american history. clarence, my sister (her real name is lauren in case you haven't read my blog before) said that she'd be happy if the only thing she saw were the ruby slippers from the wizard of oz, so that's where we went first. the museum is huge, and since we all think alike, we sprint through the boring parts, only hitting the high spots, leaving plenty of time for other things! clarence and i laugh about my pop because he would easily spend two hours in one exhibit, seeming to forget there's a whole city out there waiting to be seen; we joke that he'd hate going with us because we handle museums like they're marathons! so anyway, my favorite exhibit (and one we did not sprint through) was the first lady's exhibit. in the two rooms were inauguration gowns, bling, and accessories from first the first ladies. we saw everything to martha washington's gown to michelle obama's jimmy choos! my personal favorite was mamie eisenhower's ensemble. it was GORGEOUS!

something you may not know about me - when i was younger, i was michael jackson's biggest fan. i had a black hat, glittery gloves, t-shirts, dolls (one with the thriller costume, and another with the billie jean outfit), and a sticker album of michael jackson thicker than an NYC phone book. if i was listening to music it was michael jackson, and if i needed to get somewhere, i didn't walk, i moonwalked. i even told people to call me michael. so imagine my surprise when i saw michael jackson's black hat! WOOOOO! i had to get my picture taken with it. and then there's clarence with her ruby slippers. and if you didn't know, judy garland had some big feet.

after looking at a few more exhibits, we made our way through the transportation section and made friends with the statues. chris showed mr. white how far phones had come, and told him that he would even be able to read this blog post from his phone; mr. white was impressed. i showed mr. white my butt, and again, he was impressed. mrs. white did something to make clarence mad, so what you see there is one of clarence's scoldings.

unfortunately, the museum of american history is the only museum we got to visit that day since all museums and monuments were closed after the earthquake. we still had fun walking around d.c., seeing things from the outside and sitting by/in a fountain to cool off. i guess if there's one good thing to come from the earthquake, it's the fact that we have to plan another day trip ASAP so we can do the things we weren't able to last tuesday! and lastly, i leave you with chris's monumental weiner picture. he was so proud.

that time i thought we'd die, but we survived the earthquake

as i'm sure many of you have heard via numerous media outlets, washington, d.c. got rocked by a 5.9 earthquake yesterday. crazy? you better believe it! on sunday, chris, my sister lauren (but i've always called her clarence, so you can, too), and i planned a last minute trip to d.c. for tuesday since clarence has this week off of work for vacation. so we got up before the sun, headed to d.c., and ended up with one crazy memory! i knew i'd do a lot of talking about the earthquake, plus i have a lot of pictures i want to share in general, so i'm doing the non-earthquake post tomorrow!

here we are, just three people in hats with no idea that an earthquake is less than an hour from happening! the earthquake story: we rode the metro into union station where they have a ton of places to eat lunch (because i love food, i'll share: clarence and i had greek, and chris had jamaican). a story up from the metro line, but still one story underground is where we ate. clarence and i just sat down with our haagen-dazs ice cream when we felt a slow, gentle rumble that we assumed was a train. then the rumbling got louder, the building started to sway, i saw the floor above us moving (in case you haven't been to union station, the floor we were on isn't completely closed from the ground floor; it's open in the center all the way to the top of the domed atrium), and large pieces of the ceiling from the atrium started to crumble and fall through the first floor onto and all around us. people we screaming, the stairwells and escalators were full, we had dust in our eyes from the crumbling ceiling, and all i could do was sit wide-eyed, looking at what was going on around me, terrified the building would crush and kill us. side note: i am NOT cool under pressure. chris pulled clarence and i up and screamed at us to get between the columns (can i just say how useful it is to have an architect husband?) because we'd get trampled on the steps or escalator. the earthquake didn't last long, but because no one knew for a few minutes what had happened, we also didn't know that 1. the building wasn't going to collapse, and 2. that it wasn't a terrorist attack. i have never trembled so much or felt so not-in-control of my body in my life.

i told chris after we got home last night that had i known the building wasn't going to cave in and kill us, i would have thought to take a video of the ceiling falling inside union station, as well as the evacuation and pandemonium on the streets. nearly all of the buildings in d.c. were being evacuated, so as you can imagine, the streets, sidewalks, parks, etc. were filled beyond capacity with people. we walked maybe a mile to this courtyard in the judiciary square area and watched a fireman inspect a section of an old building which housed a subway restaurant and apartments that had crumbled. by this time i'd calmed down... luckily.

unfortunately all monuments and museums were closed either for the rest of the day or indefinitely, so we did a lot of walking, a lot of talking, and some sight-seeing where we didn't need to go in a building. on our way to the white house we stopped and watched as this helicopter slowly circle around the washington monument looking for structural damage. this morning we discovered that damage was found and the monument is closed indefinitely. there was a couple on the news that said they were in the top of the monument (and if you've ever seen it, you know just how high up that is) during the earthquake, and that the structure swayed about a foot, and like us, they were hit with pieces of the crumbling building.

now, my west coast friends, hear me out... east coast buildings are not built to earthquake codes seeing as how the last large one in this area was a 4.8 and occurred in the nineteenth century, so you can't be sure they're not coming down on you. and then there's the scientific aspect... west coast earthquakes are very localized due to the plates and the movement, but here, because our earthquake is caused by an entire plate shifting under us, not just by a faultline, and our soil is so much more dense, an earthquake in virginia can be felt as far west a chicago, as far south as alabama, and as far north as canada. seriously, this was unnerving!

so that's my story about tuesday! how was your day? did you feel the earthquake?

from film with love.

i spent part of this morning scanning in pictures i recently had developed from a roll of black and white film. the roll of film was from my college days, so it was obviously very expired. i was excited to find it nonetheless, and even more curious about how the pictures would turn out given its age. i'm breaking the pictures into two groups so you don't get photo overload, so i'd say i was pleased with the results! i only wish i could have processed and printed them in the darkroom myself!

a while back, and i'm talking the end of last year or beginning of this year, i mentioned something about how i wanted to get a "brain goldfish." the fishie at the top was my brain goldfish named cadillac. sadly, he didn't live very long, and staying true to myself, i'm late showing you a picture of him. on to happier things, i think my favorite picture from the entire roll is the third one down of kona's profile. i remember my first semester of black and white photography, the professor said to go ahead and get the pet pictures out of the way so that we could focus on other things later. i love looking at pictures of architecture, candid pictures of people, landscapes, etc., but sometimes i have a hard time even thinking to take pictures of other things because flojo and kona are among the most important and cherished things in my life, and i'll never develop a roll of film that doesn't include them!

the one where i show some home decor and share a music-related opinion

i'm not quite sure where i'm going with this one, but i have a few things to share, so let's just mix it up like my grandma does with all the food on her plate (side note - my grandma was in a near fatal car accident when i was young, and since her teeth and some of her mouth isn't real, i used to figure that made it so she couldn't taste anything, therefor explaining why she mixed all her food together). first order of business, the sun conure. i was given this sun conure statue a few years ago, and recently i've been thinking about doing a little makeover. maybe a year or so ago in one of design sponge's sneak peeks, i spotted a large white parrot figuring similar to these, and i've wanted one ever since. being the cheap skate that i am, i wasn't willing to pay what some of them have been going for, so i decided to do the next best thing: spray paint!

before and after. i'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out, and i think i have gloss finish to thank for that. now the albino sun conure can become part of the albino flock in the den. and you can ask my soul sister, i'm all about the absence of color.

lastly, on the home decor front, i was talking to rosita earlier this week and i told her that as luck would have it, i was in possession of a large antique frame in which the kona painting fit perfectly. i told her that now he looks like a member of royalty being surrounded by this huge gesso frame, and she was curious as to what it looked like. so here you go, prince kona bear hair of virginia...

moving right along, this is the part about the music. i've said it before and i'll say it again, i think the best music EVER came out of the 70's. and one song in particular just never gets old; whenever i hear this song i sing like i'm ann wilson and air drum like i'm michael derosier. i will tell you though that i only do this while i'm driving alone, although my right leg starts twitching for a little bass drumming when i have passengers, but i've managed to hold it together thus far.

my brother and i have discussed music from the 70's before at length, and his theory is that musicians in the 60's over-rocked and over-drugged and took the 70's as a decade to just mellow out, which is reflected in the music, but i think musicians in the 70's still knew how to tear shit up! so random, right? it was just on my mind so i thought i'd share! what's your favorite music? and have you done any DIY around your house lately?

p.s. mister dinosaur toes is now on twitter.

i don't remember the last time i was so mad and upset all at once.

let me preface this by saying that if you follow me on twitter, i know you've already heard about it, and i do promise i'm not trying to stay hung up on this, but i'm still just so fuming mad i swear i could breathe fire if i tried.

i had planned today to show you pictures of the fun i had at my cousin emily's bachelorette party, but that won't can't happen. i'd also planned to eventually show you a before and after hair post i'd taken pictures of last week, but again, that can't happen. and as far as business goes, i have several new items i'd photographed and planned to list sometime this week, but once again, that. can't. happen.

after the girl's only half of the bachelorette party, the guys, girls, and other friends converged at a house empty and waiting for a fun night. there was a dj, there were drinks, and for my sister and i, there were dancing shoes! we had so much fun that i could have stayed until the sun came up had it not been for my heavy eyes. by about 2:30am, lauren (my sister), chris and i decided it was time to head home, just as soon as we gathered up the few things i had. the only problem was, my camera was missing. i knew exactly where i put it last, but hoping for the best, my cousin and i searched the house hoping against hope it had somehow been moved without my knowledge. it was nowhere to be found.

not only do i dislike talking about my feelings, i hate showing them if it means tears (unless of course it's with chris, then they run freely, and maybe even a little too much sometimes), but i was so shocked, irate, upset, so many things at once, that i couldn't help crying. who would do this? who has it in them to knowingly take something that doesn't belong to them? do they have a conscious? feel guilt? steal regularly?

i didn't sleep well that night because all i really wanted to do was cry, knowing that because of a legal battle involving almost a year of unpaid wages, and the attorney fees associated with said battle, it wasn't as simple as just upgrading to a shiny new camera - a side effect of what chris and i like to call "the poor kid syndrome." at first i was so upset about my camera being gone with a mystery thief, but then i started to think about all of the pictures i so desperately want that i'll never see again - pictures of our trip to d.c. for chris's birthday, pictures of my time with carla, pictures of emily's bachelorette party, pictures of jewelry, and videos. all gone.

i tried to make myself feel somewhat better by remembering that this is the camera that has been giving me trouble recently with not powering on, turning off when i'm in the middle of taking pictures, and often times, not focusing. but, whether this was a high dollar fully-functioning camera or a pice of junk, it was mine. MINE. it was the first thing i ever bought myself with my earnings from online sales, and i'm certain the camera thief doesn't understand just how proud i was or just how big my smile was when i went to buy it.

it was an impulse and opportune grab, i'm sure, and while i imagine this thief is not concerned with how they made me feel, they didn't only take from me a camera. they took memories, they took a bit of sentiment, and they took my obviously naive trusting nature in the inner good of people.

i know it may seem overly dramatic for me to be so upset about a 4-year-old point and shoot camera that only worked when it wanted, but i value and appreciate every single thing i own, because i know i earned it myself, and because i grew up knowing that things wouldn't come free.

i hate doing a blog post without a picture, but in this case, i think it's only fitting. i hope you had a great weekend, and i'll try to be in a better, less teary-eyed mood the next time we talk.

do you know rosita mustache?

i do, and she's awesome. rosita is an amazing painter and specializes in custom pet portraits for people like me who love their fur or feather babies more than most humans you'll meet. she has an etsy shop here and is probably dancing with a banana in her hair to an electric piano as we speak. she and i worked out a secret deal so that i'd be the recipient of this gorgeous painting of my kona, big black bear, bear hair, whatever you want to call him!

i know i'm always telling you about great artists, great shops, great stuff, but if you never visit another link i share and you love art and animals, you owe it to the human race to visit rosita's shop! can you tell i'm a fan? i totally am. chris doesn't know it yet, but in the next few days he'll be helping me hang a grouping of pictures in the den, and can you guess what will be front and center? my bear hair painting! i'll also be hanging a watercolor painting of flojo from littleowlarts, a screenprinted deer from allyson & jeremy taylor, this print from impossible moon, and this one from amanda michael harris. and one more thing about my rosita painting, look at how accurate it is!!!

from film with love.

last friday i took three rolls of film to be developed (but since two rolls were black and white, i have to wait a few more days before that's ready) and one was from my olympus pen ee half frame camera. even though i've had this camera for a little while now, i'm always most excited about pictures that come from it more so than other film cameras. the first one is actually three exposures, and i love the way it turned out, but i bet i couldn't do it again if i tried! i didn't realize just how long i'd had this particular roll of film in my camera, but the pictures of chris and i on the bikes (side note, i totally beat him at the "who can ride the longest with no hands" competition) is from the beginning of june, and the ones from d.c. are from a couple weeks ago when chris and i went for his birthday.

in the next to last picture with the blue and black blur, well, i'm not really sure what that is. i'm always worried that i'll accidentally get a picture of the inside of my bag, so there's a good chance that's a blur of my crack pipe you're looking at there. i kid, i kid! have you been using and film cameras or had any pictures developed lately? have a link to them?

our never-ending bounty

from about july through september, it would be absolutely impossible to go hungry around here. from squash, to zucchini, to corn, to a variety of different peppers, to watermelons, to okra... okay, you get the point, we grow a lot of stuff. in addition to a garden large enough to feed three families for a year, we also have bees. a few weeks ago chris and i spent about seven hours stealing honey from the bees, straining it to remove little pieces of the comb, and then pouring it in jars. in the end, we'd taken off about 130 pounds of honey which translates to several boxes of honey in two closets. and you wanna know a secret? i don't even like honey! it's still neat to know that the honey in our cabinet isn't from the grocery store!

last night chris and i took a walk to the garden to get some green bell peppers to use with dinner and also came home with a lot of tomatoes and a few ears of sweet corn. luckily, i do like what we pick from the garden, so i don't mind smelling like an armpit for that work. most all of the tomatoes are regular and round, but occasionally one will be kind of wonky, or even heart-shaped like this one!

although my summer has been fun, it's also been work. but at least it's yielded some pretty good rewards (with the exception of honey, of course). gardening aside, i've spent my morning sewing, and i'll spend my evening talking about mudbound! that's right, it's book club night again! i was a little nervous about mudbound as it's hillary jordan's first novel, and sometimes firsts aren't the best, but this book was great. i'll say though, if you're considering it, the accuracy with which she portrays racism in 1940's mississippi is kind of disturbaing and upsetting, but it's a part of history, and she does an amazing job of story-telling. have you read any good books lately?

deck my walls, bitte.

well, here's my problem... i spent about a half an hour on tuesday morning looking at interior design blogs, and of course i was left wanting to redo my entire house. it's a slippery slope; i look for inspirations, which is good, but then i get hooked and next thing i know an hour has passed and i have too many ideas that require way too much money! something i think can totally transform a room is a piece of art, and the best place to go, in my opinion, if you're looking for unique and amazing art is etsy. so i've been cyber stalking. big time. here are a few things i'd love to have, and of course i'm imagining a total room makeover based solely on the print or sculpture...

find these beauties here, from the top: sundaypunch, wyattellison, rosegolden, leahduncan, dkruegerbotanicart.

where do you go for art? is there something you can't get enough of, or plan an entire room around?

what i've been working on...

lately i've had a lot of new ideas, and when this happens, i don't question the sudden overload of inspiration everywhere i look, or the need to make more than sleep, i just go with it because this, as a craftsman (i was going to say artist since, technically, i do create, but i feel pretentious about using that term in regards to myself), is what i LIVE for! not only have i been inspired to make jewelry, but i've been thinking a lot about another project, only i can't tell you just yet, but i promise i will in time! so, here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy...

and a little note about each, from the top: woven vintage chains set in spent bullet casings, raw stone tube set in angle cut brass (i do not like using that giant saw, so sometimes i enlist chris for help!), i love ombre just as much as anyone else so i figured i'd ombre some chain to make earrings, raw stone set in a hammered brass wrap, citrine and porcupine quill earrings.

i've got so much more that i've been working on, but 1. i didn't want you to get picture overload, and 2. i always have a hard time looking at my pictures and knowing what will work when the afternoon sun is shining warm light through my window straight into my laptop. so that's what i've got for now! they'll be listed in my shop soon!

what have you been working on? where have you found inspiration lately?