Tuesday, November 27, 2007

belated thanks

thankful list. 11/26/07.

as with most other things in my life, i'm less than punctual on this one.

I was going to make this a numbered list but it's hard. really there isn't a lot for me NOT to be thankful about lately: wonderful husband, nice house, great family, good friends, continually amusing co-workers, hilariously sweet dog. i feel really lucky.

other than that, the four day break is tops on my list of thankful. it was so nice to do the cozy homebody thing for a few days. made some christmas gifts and decorations (I'm finding hand embroidery really satisfying/relaxing right now). watched lots of movies; Elf, Chocolat, Don't Look Back (an old favorite). The fire was on most of the time. drank a lot of hot cocoa. made pumpkin cheesecake and three kinds of soup. GOOD all around.

all the best to you at the beginning of the holiday season. i really hope it's a bright and cheery one for us all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

weekend recap

max's apple tart, originally uploaded by oltremare.

as much as I love to bake, and love baking for other people, i very rarely have enough foresight to actually do it. this weekend I got ambitious and went for it, yay! so this is the little apple tart/galette I made for my friend max and his girlfriend. the recipe is from alice waters, via smitten kitchen.

it was a great weekend overall and I spent a TON of time in the kitchen. saturday I made chicken stock from scratch, which was pretty easy, totally rewarding, and made the house smell great. I went a little overboard, which is good since I'm freezing a lot to use later, but when it came time to find a place to store it. . . well, saturday night our frig was pretty much full of stock. i made the tart on saturday afternoon, too. then sunday morning was apple crisp, and chicken vegetable soup.

So domestic, but what else are you going to do on a chilly weekend? I mean, besides watch America's Next Top Model marathons on VH1 for hours on end.

anyway, visiting Max was great since I don't think we'd seen each other in like three years. Old friendships are the best though. I know it's cliche, but I honestly feel like no time had past.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

holiday season inspiration

holiday season inspiration, originally uploaded by oltremare.

usually I'm not the kind of person that starts thinking about christmas in november, but this year is different for some reason. I'm really excited to decorate the house and make gifts and be festive.

I LOVE flickr favorites because it gives me a way to map a general visual style. for this christmas I'm thinking: homemade, natural, sparkly, somewhat vintage, icy blues and cherry reds. these photos give my ideas some substance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

art + time

i don't know why it took me 27 years to figure certain things out. maybe that shouldn't surprise me as much as it does. but. music and art and literature have been incredibly meaningful to me lately and I've been feeling a little baffled by it. like, where did this all come from?

last night I watched a documentary I'd recorded on PBS (side note, i have turned into the kind of person that records documentaries on PBS) about art in the twenty first century. it was later in the evening and I've been going to bed so early these days so I was a little zonked. i was drifting off to sleep to the voice of Jenny Holzer talking about horses and her hope for her art to be "lovely and exacting." that dreamy feeling put my mind on this track.

the novel about grace changed the way I think about nature and the world, all the glorious/mundane ways the world works. infinite jest, well, that's enough for another post, but it sparked so much in me. i think about the Ghent Altarpiece almost every sunday when i go to communion. even music makes more sense. after owning blonde on blonde for half a dozen years i think I'm finally starting to "get" it.

ghent altarpiece: adoration of the lamb, jan van eyck + others

so again . . why would it be that NOW, of all times, when I'm not taking classes and learning and seeing new things all the time, that I would finally get hit over the head by all this?

last night i had a little mini revelation about it. right now there is not really a lot to ponder in my life. i make coffee, go to work, make my logos and text changes, come home, read, cook, watch tv. It's stable, comfortable, unchanging. So of course now, when my mind isn't filled up with looking for a new job or boyfriend or neighborhood to live in, there's plenty of room to really let things soak in. It's a nice feeling, especially because I know I will not be young and childless and have plentiful free time forever. I'm enjoying it and feeling really happy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

+ / -

November 1. It is finally appropriate seasonal weather outside, chilly in a real, winter coat kind of way. It's nice, but not really. Today I am cold, grouchy, bored at work, and I have one of the most depressing songs ever stuck in my head. (he stopped loving her today, george jones.)

I'm trying to look on the bright side though:
+ project runway starts in two weeks! once again, meaning and order will return to my life and my weeks will rotate around wednesday evenings at 9 PM.

+ my mom is coming to visit this weekend.

+ have I ever talked about how igoogle is the greatest thing of all time? I know I say a lot of things are the greatest thing of all time, but this one might really take it. everytime i open my browser i'm presented with my gmail inbox, my calendar, the weather, an image of the Biblical Art of the Day, and a Wikipedia search box. This is everything I ever needed and more.

+ also, late this afternoon, I did my little parlour trick for my co-workers: drawing things on command in illustrator. I made this snowmen and then we dressed him up. "do an elvis!" "a ninja!" etc. Here's the carnage from my illustrator pasteboard


a nice bright spot in my day