Monday, April 28, 2008

Want to know what makes me sad?

Imagine you're enjoying a nice saturday morning reading the newspaper. You turn to the second page and see. . .

Yep, that's right. Narwhals are totally endangered and facing extinction now because of climate change. I had a suspicion about this and now it's confirmed. The whole article is here in case you're curious.

I have been a little extra sensitive lately, but seeing this threw me for an emotional curve and it made me SO sad. I ended up crying on and off for hours after I read it. I just love narwhals so much, and for me, it represents so much more than just the endangerment of my most beloved weird arctic marine mammal. What's happening in our world? It's frightening.

Anyway, once again I am seriously considering starting up a Narwhal Appreciation society, proceeds going to a Save the Whales or Save the Arctic organization. Honestly, polar bears shouldn't get all the press! Narwhals are way more magical and interesting than a big jerk of a bear.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

mail art and a meme

this is a piece of mail art I made for robyn. our trade was my first experience with this kind of mail art, and it was really fun!

and. Here's a meme I've seen in a few places around the blog world lately, I thought I'd share my answers. . .

What was I doing 5 years ago?
2003. . . hmmm. Kind of an awkward time of my life. I was living in chicago in a weird neighborhood, still not used to not being in college anymore, not loving my job at all. i had great friends, though I don't think we were the best influences on each other at that time. Overall, probably your run of the mill 23 year old malaise. On the upside, i saw a ton of great live music that year and bought a lot of shoes. So, there you go.

Five things on my to-do list today (or things I did today):
1. Get work done so I don't have to stay late at work.
2. Return a purse I bought from anthropologie. but this probably won't happen today.
3. Cook dinner.
4. Go out and look at my garden even though there's only three little sprouts so far.
5. Watch LOST. yay!

Five snacks i love:
1. triscuits and cheese.
2. hummus and pita
3. chips and salsa.
4. fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream.
5. dark chocolate.
apparently I love combinations of things.

Five things i would do if i were a billionaire:
1. pay off our house and buy a vacation home somewhere nice in the midwest.
2. pay off my parents house, buy my brother a new house
3. give money to our church and my dad's church
4. Buys lots of goats and cows for heifer international.
5. Ginormous blowout of a European vacation with all my friends and family! italy, paris, london, ireland, copenhagen, croatia, germany, etc. etc. Seriously, you're all invited, all expenses paid. :)

Five bad habits I have:
1. Never answering my cell phone.
2. Spending waaay too much time on the internet.
3. Keeping a super messy car all the time.
4. This is probably TMI, but it's my worst habit right now. . scratching my itchy excema hands. :(
5. Not keeping in touch very well with my old college friends and extended family.

Five places i have lived:
a selection of the many, from smallest to largest :)
1. Wentworth, South Dakota
2. Marshfield, Missouri
3. Ames, Iowa
4. Rome, Italy
5. Chicago

Five jobs i've had:
1. Camp Counselor.
2. "Bingo the Dog" at a pumpkin farm.
3. College Residence Hall Tour Guide.
4. Screen printer at a sporting goods factory.
5. Graphic Designer for lower-grade textbooks.
This list could go on. . . i've done a lot of weird jobs in my life.

well, that was fun. now i'm off to do all the things on the to do list for the day. :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


my mom and I at "cloud gate" (aka, the bean) millenium park, Chicago.

okay, how many other good things could have happened this weekend?
1. friday night i fell asleep on the couch at 9 PM. yes, that's a good thing.
2. my mom came to visit. and she brought dari barn ice cream. .. with crunch coat (a hometown favorite). dude, best thing ever, in the universe.
3. we went to millenium park saturday afternoon and just sat there forever watching people. i really love millenium park, I truly do, and am really happy that some of my tax dollars as a city dweller funded it's billion dollar-ness.
3a. we had such a nice day walking around downtown, walking along the lakefront, drinking warm drinks at the cosi on michigan avenue with all the art kids, taking the metra through all the western suburbs, etc. etc.
4. today I did the crossword on the patio, then fell into some kind of dreamy sun coma/ half sleep. SUNSHINE. it is back, and like I said, I honestly feel like I'm in a whole new world. it's glorious.
4a. also this afternoon I made some collages with the windows open. is there anything nicer than a good music mix mingled with the birdsongs from the backyard? it's kind of the ultimate nice sunday afternoon sound.
5. tonight mike and I rode our bikes over to a friends house, sat on a patio, drank beers, and petted dogs. let's think about all the good things in that sentence. there's a lot.

Honestly though, it's so strange to live in this new universe of warmth. I feel like this was one of the worst winters I've ever lived through and now it's totally bizarre to get used to non-winter anymore. I'm sure I sound like some kind of weirdo talking about this, but I'm guessing if you live above the mason-dixon line you'll probably understand. SPRINGTIME. Yes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"but now I'm gold"

portrait of a backyard, friday at 5:30 cst.

This morning was one of those sucky mornings when everything is frustrating, wrong, headachey. Which was a shame since it's kinda lovely outside. The first days of spring here feels like moving to a new continent. . . the t-shirt continent. Can I get a YAY for t shirt weather?

Anyway, here is a chronological list of the things that improved my day:
1. giant bottle of san pellegrino
2. carefully crafted on-the-go playlist on repeat for a few hours
3. a little bit of fresh air
4. closing my eyes and just dropping out of the cubicle world for a bit
5. mashed potatoes for lunch
6. finding awesome snacks in the break room and totally freaking out over how good cream cheese+marionberry jam is on crackers. Yes!

All these things were totally a formula for greatness. I feel ten times better than I did a few hours ago. BOOM! What a way to start the weekend. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

lettuce and bloomsdale spinach germinating as we speak

tiny signs of life in our yard. and a stack of books that sums up where my thoughts reside these days.

"the art of french vegetable gardening" is dreamy and full of gorgeous garden photos. it makes me kind of swoon-y and gives me romantic notions about my own little "potager" (fancy french word for vegetable garden).

growing my own vegetables has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done and I highly, highly recommend it for everyone. even if you only have a little patio you can grow container tomatoes and herbs or even super fancy stuff like dwarf eggplants. seriously, go for it!! okay, that's the end of my little gardening PSA. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

just born this way

Lately I have been looking back through my years and seeing that so much of me really hasn't changed, even since I was a little kid. I mean, here I am at 27, still writing, drawing, dreaming, making little art projects. The same kinds of things I did when I was in elementary school. Looking through an old diary, I found an old list of goals I made when I was a senior in college. it's interesting to see which I've accomplished, which are still relevant. Really only one of the goals is no longer relevant, and the ones I haven't accomplished I'd still like to.

1. Get a radio show.
Yes! One of the best experiences of my college years.

2. Run a 10k.
Sadly no.

3. Design a typeface
Two actually! Here's a shamless plug: one of which you can purchase if you so chose. :)

4. Fall in love.
Of course! Yay for Mike.

5. Buy more purple t-shirts.
What a random one. . . I actually don't think I own any purple t-shirts.

6. Bake more.
I've been highly successful on this one. Just made some bacon muffins yesterday. Mmm. . . bacon muffins.

7. See Caedmon's Call, REM, The Rentals, and Sigur Ros in concert.
Funny. . . none of these. I did see countless other bands while living in chicago, so I think this is mostly a success.

8. Become more knowledgable about wine.
Yes. Here's some photographic evidence: visiting the Gloria Ferrer winery on our honeymoon, intently studying some kind of brochure.

9. Paint a triptych.
Hmm. . . haven't done this but maybe I'll revive this goal.

11. Host a fondue party.
Best party of my life. . . I should do this again sometime.

12. Write a hit play.
Ha ha, this one is a bit tongue in cheek. Who knows though, maybe someday.

13. Learn more about classic rock.

14. Get a cool job.
Yes again! Finally.

15. Start writing more faithfully in my journal.
Another one I should probably revive.

It's nice to see that I've actually made strides forward. Sometimes it's hard to see changes because I've evolved so slowly. I'm starting to compile a new list, too. I think this will be a "things to do before 30" and more of a big dreaming list. Coming soon. . .

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

five things

five things!

1. some new art journal pages. :)

2. this past weekend was one of the best we've had so far this year. absolutely perfect weather. and this morning when I woke up the grass had all magically turned green. it kind of feels like the wizard of oz when everything turns technicolor. and after all the yard work and being outside this weekend, I feel like pinocchio when he turned from a wooden puppet into a real boy. thank you springtime, i am a real girl again.

3. if you are at all interested in the work of emily martin of the black apple, do yourself a favor and download the podcast/interview with her at craftsanity. it's an hour and a half long but it just flies by, she is so charming and informative. it made me respect and admire her even more than I already do. highly, highly recommended.

4. i have been stuck in a lunch rut for about two months now and I couldn't stand the thought of another spinach salad or tuna sandwich. thank goodness for smitten kitchen. I made this bulgur salad with chickpeas and red peppers and it is sooo good, I was in nigella mode after work, eating it straight from the bowl standing in front of the frig. In general, I don't cook a lot of fancy or new things, but I always want to, and this was a great way to do it. now have a week's worth of lunches I can actually look forward to.

5. finally. there was a little talk of this in the comments of my last post, but I think it's definitely time for a mix cd swap. I made a boo-yah playlist and I'm willing to trade . . .email me (katielicht at if you're down. YAY.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

color palettes

1. In good (although limited) company..., 2. boxes, 3. solo ante la inmensidad, 4. green ones are hard to find, 5. Picnic party in the garden., 6. red rain, 7. Rothay Park Robin X, 8. Orange mood, 9. red rain, 10. math books.

a mosaic from my flickr faves.

my color palette is an area of my artwork I'm trying to develop lately. I go to the same old favorites over and over, or rely on pretty basic combinations (red and light blue, orange and green, overall monochromatics, etc.) So, I delved into my flickr favorites to find palettes I found interesting that I generally don't or haven't used in art or collages yet. I figure, if I'm drawn to this image at least part of it has to be the palette, right? one thing I'm definitely seeing is a lot of orangey tones. . . .other than that it's all just super pretty and appealing to me.

I think I learned this trick at some point in college, to look at photographic imagery to find palettes for artwork. Not like it's groundbreaking or anything, but it's a nice reminder to always look for new inspirations.

I have been working late this week and I come home late and pretty tired. I'm full of ideas but not a lot of motivation. So, a glass of wine, looking through flickr pretties and listening to the
new andrew bird ep and she & him is a nice way to wind down the day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

animals I love

a few shots from our trip to the farm/petting zoo this weekend. i love this place. it's free and little and you can kind of just stop in whenever you get a farm animal craving.

what's that you say? other people DON'T get farm animal cravings? oh well, maybe it's just me.

some friendly goats

my favorite llama, I call him Speckles.

and of course, a more domesticated favorite animal of mine, even though she is kind of a monstery beast. puppy Ditka!

this one really shows her in all her weirdo geriatric pug glory. man, I love our dog so much.

and one more thing. . .

this made me cry big fat tears. I know this elephant has probably been trained in some way, but i still find it incredibly moving. gives you a different opinion of all the non-human mammals out there.