Monday, June 30, 2008

Back from VT

The HappyDog, Alex and I had a great time in Burlington, VT this weekend! (Thanks Sarah and Paddy for being wonderful hosts!). The car ride proved quite uneventful. HappyDog was interested for the first few hours, using her sniffer to desipher just what kinds of farms we were driving by on Rte. 22 through NY and into VT. She settled down for a nap about a half-hour from our destination. She didn't whine at all. Not even once.
It ended up raining most of the time we were there, but we were brave and took HappyDog to the dog park by the lake and did lots of walking under umbrellas. Despite a few doggy-related incidents, she was well-behaved. She even let us go into the gallery where Paddy had some art up, which was great to see and is super wonderful. She even helped him with his next piece:Paddy made us some tasty pizza and we got a little sleepy drinking some fresh Magic Hat (locally brewed!). Watched some Flight of the Conchords, though. Affirmative.
Yesterday we enjoyed the morning haze out on some rocky ledges on Lake Champlain. It was a pretty little place, and HappyDog enjoyed it too, though was a little unsure of the waves crashing (or more like lapping) at the edge. She did venture into the lake on a little sandy beach, though.

We spent the afternoon walking up and down Church St., doing a little shopping and saw a bit more art in a gallery there. I got to go into Scribbles, which is the local paper store and much like what I envisioned my very own paper store to be. I controlled myself and mostly got ideas and didn't buy too much. They have so many great cards there -- my favorite is the brand Uncooked. Hah! We also enjoyed some tasty Indian food. yum. It turned into a beautiful day, and the sun came out just in time for our trip home. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The crafty blog is off to Burlington, VT this morning for some culture and Vermont summeryness. I'm taking the HappyDog for her first long(ish- 4 hours) car ride. We'll see how she does with that. I anticipate some whining but generally settling down after an hour or so. She often seems to be saying "are we there yet?" even on 20 minute drives. She doesn't get car sick or anything, thank goodness. There look to be some nice dog parks and even a dog beach there, though, so she should have plenty to do. Should be a fun time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mid-week inspiration

I made this little collage as a sort of inspiration board for myself, to remind me of the aesthetic of some of my favorite designers. ever.
clockwise from top left: Herman Yu; Lotta Jansdotter; Andy Goldsworthy; Amy Butler; Ryan McGinness; Tord Boontje.

So what do we think the overarching themes are here?
Is it the color palette and organic shapes? Inspiration from nature? Probably so. Have we seen that in my work? I'd say yes ma'am, I do think so. :)

New Photos for sale

I have a couple of new photos for sale in my etsy shop. Hope you likey.
I think they'd make a nice series, maybe in a kitchen . They are listed as 5x7 prints, but I'd be happy to print them larger, even poster size for you. Veggies, veggies everywhere!Ok, I'm finally off to plant my beet, bean, and pea seeds. Better late than never, right?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Inspiration: Imogen Cunningham

"Imogen Cunningham is renowned as one of the greatest American women photographers. In 1901, having sent away $15 for her first camera, she commenced what would become the longest photographic career in the history of the medium.
Cunningham soon turned her attention to the native plant forms in her back garden. The results were staggering—an amazing body of work comprised of bold, contemporary forms. These works are characterized by a visual precision that is not scientific, but which presents the lines and textures of her subjects articulated by natural light and their own gestures. Her refreshing yet formal and sensitive floral images from the 1920s ultimately became her most acclaimed work.
Cunningham also had an intuitive command of portraiture, but her real artistic legacy was secured though her inclusion in the Group f/64 show in San Francisco in 1932. With a small group of photographers which included Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, she pioneered the renewal of photography on the West Coast."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Happy Day

A big Hooray for same-sex couples in CA (and everywhere!)!! Joey and Ariel (who's wedding ceremony you may remember I was just in, in May) were one of the media-darling couples yesterday, as they were near the front of the line to make their vows legal in San Francisco City Hall yesterday, June 17, 2008 -- interviewed on the local news, as well as making it to Reuters, NY Times, and more.

Quote from NY Times:
"Joseph Barham and Ariel Owens in front of San Francisco City Hall after their wedding ceremony. Unlike the frenzy of 2004, many of Tuesday's ceremonies had a sense of calm and permanence for gay newlyweds."
Hells yes! Love you guys! (p.s. love the suits!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'll get off the Goat thing one of these days...promise!

They are getting more used to us and more brave every day, and I've been able to get a few good shots of the Goaties, as well as our hard working herding dog. She hasn't quite figured out that she is allowed to herd them, and certainly doesn't know where to bring them if she was to herd them, but she is ready. And very very interested in their every move.
doesn't she look professional?

Lulu Bell

And then, I got to garden. It was a good week/weekend. Oh and happy belated Father's Day to all you dad's out there! :)

Great-Grampa Piccini's Peonies. Say that five times fast.

Mick enjoys my "Dr. Seuss garden" (and a bumble bee); big puffs of purple Allium.

(above)The very beginnings of my veggie garden. I have to have faith that it will fill in, right? All herbs out front (from left: Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Basil and Cilantro), as well as onions, tomatoes and kale so far. I still need to plant lettuce and maybe pea, bean and beet seeds?

We've had some crazy weather around here lately, too, and I caught this shot that I think shows the foreboding "severe thunderstorms" from last night. Happy was none too happy about that -- she is a little scared of thunder it seems. But the plants didn't mind the break from the hot sun, and we were spared the golf ball-sized hail here in South Lee.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I love summer!

my peonies (from my great-grandfather!) are about to pop into splendid fuchsia summeryness, and the goaties are emerging from their little shed, to explore their habitat more thouroughly.

I am sure I'll be able to get a much closer shot soon, but they are still a little wary of me. Especially because there's usually a dog or two following me each time I head down to say hello. They have been eating some of the grass in their pen and playing a little bit, as well as making a LOT of noise. Who knew old goats had so much to say? They were quiet and pretty still for the first few days, and I'm sure it had as much to do with the 90-100 degree heat as the new surroundings. They are appearing to feel much more comfortable now, though, and we are all getting used to one another. I have been contemplating some goat-themed craftiness, what do you think? Some Lulu Bell stationery? :)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Voyage Part 3: Seattle/Tacoma, En Fin

So then it was on to the very beautiful wedding of Eric and Michele right on Lake Washington in Kirkland, which is east of Seattle, so we got to see a wonderful sunset, which served to dramatically back-light the ceremony. I was asked to videotape the bride walking down the aisle and anything else I could get (one of seven cameras, I believe -- can't wait to see that video production!) so I didn't get any photos of the service itself. It was lovely, though. And did I mention how great it was to see some of my favorite people in the world? It was great! Great, I tell you! The next pic is mine, but most of these pics are from Susan, I hope she doesn't mind! Thanks, Suz! :)

we clean up ok, right?

Jess, Suz and Erin. Jess sang a beautiful song during the ceremony!

Lisa as a lovely bridesmaid

Susan and Nik

Johnnie, Ben and me

Jeff, double-fisting it, cuz that's how he rolls.

Both the bride and groom are actors, so the tables were named after plays and each setting had a playbill with bios of all the people at your table -- brilliant! We were at "Into the Woods." (John Rindo's legacy lives on!)

That tiny person in the center of the photo is Eric, the groom. Isn't he tiny? :)

Josh, directing Ben and his speech.

Tiny Ben giving a speech that didn't make us cry. I was a little disappointed, I wanted to see those boys cry!

Michele and Eric cutting their tasty cake.

It was a great party -- thanks Eric and Michele! And Suz, Nik, Ben, Josh, Jeff, Jess, Erin, Josh, Lisa, Noah and everyone else for a great time, let's do it again soon!

After the dust settled from the big party, we were off in our zippy rental car to downtown Seattle to meet Lacey at the Gordon Biersh Brewery for lunch. (warning to the hungry, the rest of this post is mostly focused on food!) The brunch was tempting, but John got the crab cakes (we were in seattle after all) and Lacey and I ended up sharing goat cheese ravioli, which was super yummy! Then we strolled around Seattle a bit and took in the sights and sounds of crazy-busy (it was Sunday, what were we thinking?) Pikes Place Market:

We spent the night and the next day in Tacoma, where I went to college. I wasn't sure I'd remember how to get around, but Lacey happens to still live in the neighborhood where I lived for two years, so I found my way pretty easily. I hadn't been to town in about 3 years, but it still seemed like home. Very comforting. Things have changed a lot, though, and there are condos popping up seemingly everywhere!

Lacey works downtown at the Broadway Center, so we met her for lunch Monday at India Mahal, which was fantastic as ever, and walked around a bit, checking in at one of my favorite Tacoma stores, Watermark. I might have bought some cards, but I promise they're mostly for inspiration purposes. :)

We also sampled the bounty of the location formerly known as Queen Anne Thriftway, but more savvy youngsters now know it as "Metropolitan Market" (yes, that is what the sign says, but I don't think even if I lived there I'd ever call it that). The one thing I wanted to do in Tacoma was to eat the Queen Anne Marionberry Pie, and I did, and it was as amazing as ever. Seriously. If you are ever in Seattle or Tacoma, find some Marionberry Pie! Or Marionberry anything, for that matter...You can't get that around here. (A subtle flavor that is faintly raspberry meets strawberry. yum!)

We also made it to Rock Pasta and sampled their delicious pizzas and posed for some last west coast photos.
Lacey and Matt

we are tired. but very happy. we miss our dog.

An 11:20PM flight got us into Boston around 7:30AM. Vanessa was kind enough to pick us up and take us to Diesel Cafe in Davis Square for some breakfast before she had to head off to work, and we made it home by about 2 or 3 (I might have been looped on Ambien from the plane ride, so I'm not sure). But I am sure we were happy to be home and our dog was happy to see us. So Happy. :)

Voyage Part 2: Portland

After a very short 8AM flight from SF with friends Sam and Jeremy, we arrived in Portland and my brother Tom met us at the airport and whisked us away to his amazingly cute neighborhood in southeast Portland, where he lives with a lady couple, a small dog and a damn fluffy cat.

We also got to see another friend from our area here in MA, who introduced us to two small squirrels he had saved from his cats' grasp and was nursing back to health -- so cute!
He and his girlfriend also made us a great dinner -- thanks Ellie and John!

We spent the next few days exploring the city and getting to know Tom's neighborhood and his local cafes, video store, food co-op and maybe a few bars/brewpubs. What a great city! I can't believe I never spent any time there while living about 2 hours away for 4 years. I have no good excuse, but that I just didn't know how great it was. You can ride a bike anywhere since it's supremely flat (especially for a relatively costal West-Coast city, I assumed they were all the hilliest!), and there are great shops and restaurants everywhere, everyone has a great garden, and everyone we met was super friendly and welcoming. Not to mention socially/politically progressive, which doesn't hurt. ;>

Below are some shots of Tom's neighborhood and apartment and scenes from around the city, as well as our trip to the Rose Garden with Sam and Jeremy. More pics are on my flikr page.

And then, we rented a car and jetted off for Seattle and other Washington destinations -- a fun, somewhat quick drive later, we were there!