Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell Me a Story, Idgie.

If I weren't totally overwhelmed, utterly sick and undeniably in over my head (again), I would tell you about the fried green tomatoes I made tonight. I'd tell you about how the tomatoes had been hiding, perfect and green and smelling like the sun, in the back of the garden behind the eight (yes 8!) foot tomato plant. I would probably also post a photo of how perfect and round they were and then describe how I should probably write to Martha about them so she can put them either on tv or in glossy print. '

Here's hoping life comes back soon.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've been filling in for Captain Busy this week on the Busy Boat, so I haven't had time to update. I thought I'd stop by in a solitary moment of down time to let you know about a first period trend that will hopefully make your day just as it usually makes mine.

My first period class is made up of pretty much the worlds greatest humans. One of these humans is a freshman with an imagination and a flair for drama. He decided that he would do everything he could to design and construct a pair of pants...for his fingers. And he did it. He made them out of paper and whenever anyone starts to lose their cool, he brings out the finger pants and diffuses the situation. Man, I love those finger pants.

Here's hoping your day is full of happiness and well dressed fingers,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stay Fierce

Despite the precautions I've taken...the double shot neti pot sessions, the endless amounts of sleep I've been forcing my body to perform and the various witchy pills that I've taken that claim that I'll jump higher, run faster, lose weight, gain sleep, lose bags under my eyes, roll around in a wheely chair with great enthusiasm all the while fighting things as ferocious as H1N1 (I know, no longer a stylish virus, so very passe), I'm overcome with something that is rendering me a bit helpless. So, while I drag my body around behind me for the next few days, I'll continue to weigh the purchase of a very stylish neti pot in some kind of school district-created decision making framework. That's just how we do things, us robots. (And really, just because we shove it up our nose doesn't mean it shouldn't be stylish.) Am I right?

Are you in the market for a calico neti pot too?

To Mystery Viruses and the Children that Harbor Them,

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Sun Has Gone To Bed and So Must I....Goodbyyyyyyye

I'm wondering how my body is going to handle 190 days of teaching when I'm already feeling like I'm going to die of exhaustion. Like I even need a cute sleep mask like this one from Origami Revolt.

Sweet Dreams,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fashion Week GWHS Style

I'm putting the Fall 2011 shows up with the projector tomorrow in fashion class. I like to try and make the room feel like fashion week and I hand out little note pads so the kids feel like they're front row celebrities. I loved Jason Wu's collections almost as much as I loved the fact that he was inspired by brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. Seriously, who wouldn't be. I love her work with all of its color and life. You just want to live in it! Wu wu!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Local Legends

(Forgive me for the terrible photography) My family has a running joke about me and olives. Dan told them once that the reason he goes grocery shopping instead of me is because I'll spend $30 on olives. (To this day, I get a card from my grandmother on my birthday with some cash and a note that says" buy yourself some olives".) I'm not sure where he got his data, for I have never spent $30 on olives before, but he is right that they will always make their way into my grocery cart in all of their salty deliciousness. I'm afraid grocery store olive fare is small potatoes, however, when compared to that of Millville, NJ's reigning pickle kings. I picked up my $7 jar (yes, it was Zumba class or olives and I chose olives) of Duker T's cheese stuffed olives at the Collingswood Farmers Market this morning and I felt no guilt. After all, they're only available 6 months out of the year, so it is only wise to get 'em while they're hot. They're sortof what dreams are made of. I also picked up some of their famous pickled tomatoes just because I deserve it.
Don't worry, Danimal. I also got some produce, which included this one very alien sweet potato that, for all I know is trying to phone home, and a head of romaine the size of Pete (tragically, not pictured).

Man, I love this town,

Use The Good China

I got into an argument about the world with a friend recently. We were on one of our pilgrimages to Yama for sushi (best sushi in the state) and he was talking about how the world is filled with such misery. This terrible world. I had to jump in. We were all driving together and listening to music. There were trees all around and it was one of those summer nights that just tastes good. "I'm afraid you're wrong," I said. Call me naive if you want, but it's my belief that there are far more wonderful things in the world than there are bad things and I believe I've had the world experiences to know the difference. It's when we let the bad creep in that we get into trouble. It's easy to dwell on that kind of thing.

I remember a lot about 9/11. Mostly I remember my mom picking me up from the train, the first one out of New York, and as we drove home we looked at the cars in the lot and silently wondered how many of them belonged to people that would never return. I had never felt that feeling before and haven't felt it since. Such unbelievable sadness and confusion. How could this happen in our beautiful country?

But of course, when we least expect it, there is a silver lining. I don't know about you, but for me, 9/11 made me realize how much I need my family, how much my mother and my sister mean to me and how important it is to live like you really mean it. We almost lost my grandmother just days after, she died on the table and came back to life and is still marching today like she did in her majorette days. And when I went back to New York two weeks later, it was just as people will describe. Small town NYC. Where people smiled at one another, held the door for you and held hands when they gathered regularly to remember. Sounds sappy, but it's true. Bad stuff brings you together like nothing else can and, for me, helps me to sortof understand what The Big Cheese is doing up there when s/he allows such terrible things to happen. While I don't think anyone should have to die the same way those who died on 9/11 did, I still hold true to my beliefs. Terrible things kick us out of that place where we take things for granted. The bad sweetens the good.

Use The Good China,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ice Scream

We finally made coffee can ice cream after months of talking about it. Following this recipe, we spent about 15 minutes rolling the can around the floor. Whimsical. (The video wouldn't upload properly...so sad).


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Make Cookies Not War

Dear Terry Jones,

In lieu of burning religious books and being, well, creepy, might I suggest a better way to commemorate 9/11. Do what I did and bake some black and whites. I trust you understand the sentiment. I'll even give you the recipe. Burning the Q'uran? Lame. Handing out cookies? Fabulous and way more green. See? You're hipper already.

Peace and Love,

Kangaroos and Girl Scouts...always prepared

I wish someone had calculated the amount of time I spent traveling from drawing tables to my desk and back again last year. I had great calves by the time June rolled around. Even so, I felt it important to improve efficiency and the only way I know how to do anything is through fashion. I took apart my sister's old waitress apron to make a pattern.
Cleared some space off of ye olde craft table.
And used some Amy Butler (swoon) fabric to create a little kangaroo pouch. One pouch for scissors, one for pencils and one for hall passes. It makes me really "get" fanny packs. Sorta.


The Tomato Stands Alone

As if I needed another reminder that summer is over...our very last tomato "reddening" on the window sill all alone. Melancholic almost.


Feets of Strength

I failed to let myself recall what my profession does to your feet. After two days on the job, I'm already feeling it and I'm currently scouring the internet for a pair of (barf) sensible shoes. Even in pain, I can't help but harken back to the pair that I wanted so badly this summer. In fact, I'm still pondering the looks I could curate with a pair of these Bonnie platforms from 80%20. I think it's love.

Lots of Shoes,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sittin' In A Tree

It's the best feeling.

Print by Shana Murray

Steam Punk...hubba hubba

I just died over this watch from revolt70. (Please tell Santa). This falls in line with several steampunk moments that I've been having lately. Nerd. Alert.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear Old Golden Rule Days

My apple sweater is back in action after a summer off. I can barely keep my eyes open, but thought it necessary to take a moment to jot down a bit because today was full of so many unexpected moments.

First, the expected:
My alarm went off at 5am and I don't think I ever actually fell asleep, I experienced waves of nervousness that shot through my fingers throughout the morning, None of the computers worked and it was pure bedlam. I smiled through it, Not every student thought that I was as hilarious as I think I am. Lucky I was there to laugh at my jokes.

And the unexpected:
While we realize that we are not alone as teachers and think that we will have EACHOTHER to lean on throughout the day/week/month/year, we forget that sometimes the best support is made up of students who truly care about us. Old students came to visit throughout the day, some more than once, just to say hi. One burst into class and told everyone not to mess with me. My heart swelled. My whole being smiled.

Sometimes when we feel as if we're drowning, we reach up to find unexpected hands pulling us up. That's really something.

To the Unexpected, With Love,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Biggest DIY to date

We're getting ready to demo our kitchen and rebuild the kitchen of our dreams using the above as our inspiration. We're looking for ivory cabinetry, silver hammered tin backsplashes, turquoise walls and red accents (all of our pots, pans, and small appliances are fire engine red).
I'm thinking I'll finally get a chance to buy the famed Cole & Son "Woods" wallpaper that I've had my eye on for four years as an accent wall, while the rest of the walls will be a turquoise color. Photos to follow. This is all in the spirit of tearing down the bad stuff and rebuilding. Our theme of the year. Happy Labor Day!


The last hurray. Yeah, I said hurray.

I'm not going to lie. I'm sad that summer is ending, especially since this particular summer was nothing short of magical. I got really tan and lost 10 lbs! I saw parts of Maine that regular people don't get to see. I slept in. A lot. I made homemade ice cream in coffee cans (video will follow). I'm softening the blow today by making sun and strawflower bouquets from the flowers I grew from seed. I've been making these for friends and family in little juice glasses as they grow in, but I can't seem to keep pace with my two over zealous flower bushes.
These are miniature and starburst sunflowers. I would recommend growing these to lazy gardeners. I really just threw some seeds around and ignored them for most of the summer (watering twice to three times/week).
These straw flowers grew in the most beautiful colors. I have to admit, I thought they were weeds for most of the summer until they started to bud the second week of August. I'm saving the seeds from these and growing them EVERYWHERE next year. They're amazing.
You need to go and buy this issue. It's the kind of amazing that makes your hands shake and it'll get you so ready for the best day of the year. Plus, how awesome and beautiful is Martha on this cover. I mean, really.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Swoon Fest 2010

I think I need a pill whenever I see a new beautiful hair fascinator like the one from ban.do above. I can't even get a hold of myself. This model's hair is just perfect too. I really want to be her and have beautiful red hair too! (Until I harken back to the red hair incident of 1998 wherein a box of red hair dye truly got the best of me.)
I love the idea of wearing a huge one on my lapel and I'm totally obsessing over emerson made lately and wishing I could afford one. Maybe someday.
And of course, there's the mighty Vinny and Vernelle, made by the beautiful Jessie out of antique millinery flowers. She made all of the hair doodles for me and my bridesmaids! Love her.
Last but not least are the fabric corsages that my high school fashion students made this spring. They were obsessed with this project and I saw them wearing them all over school. Some students that I didn't even know came to see me for private lessons on the art of fabric flowers. Loved it!

Love you too!
Hearts and Unicorns,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Off the Hoop: Engagement Gift, Peanut Gallery

I just finished this embroidery project for my friend Lou and her fiance Dan. It's the story of the proposal that is soon to be a little pillow. This took forever, but I loved every second of it. All 7200 beautiful seconds.

Once I finish this peanut embroidery project I have some vintage hankies to do for some friends. After that, I plan on taking on a HUGE embroidery project inspired by the work of Joetta Maue. Thanks to everyone's favorite librarian for reminding me of this wonderful artist.

I swooned so hard I hurt my back.

You're Tops,

Avant Garden

Dan built a little raised bed garden for me this summer. It was beautiful and rustic just the way I like it. (By the by, has anyone noticed people using the word rustic a lot lately?) Anywho, there's nothing like some home grown vegetables---they taste like summer in the same way a gin and tonic tastes like christmas.
Beans, beans the musical fruit!
I had a boyfriend once that hated the fact that I ate peppers like apples. He's gone now, but I'm still wishing they would make a pepper perfume I love them so much.
A little heirloom tomato. Just for you.

Wish you were here, With Love,