So, this is what twenty-six looks like.

I'm celebrating on my own tonight. Got a haircut. Indulging in another piece of my chocolate cake. Watching one of my favorite movies (When Harry Met Sally). And making myself a pair of earrings. Not bad, not bad at all. 

Today when people were asking me what I was going to do for my birthday I told them that I went out last night to Malley's for ice cream sundaes. Malley's is a local place, mostly known for their chocolates, but a few of their locations have ice cream. I love Malley's. Not just because they have the BEST hot fudge, or because they give you free pretzels to enjoy with your ice cream (salty+sweet!), but because of the atmosphere. You can ride on a carousel while eating...it goes extremely slow. And then there are the animal heads. 


Birthday treats.

Tomorrow is my birthday and so far I've been celebrating by eating delicious treats. My mom surprised me with an awesome chocolate mousse cake from Presti's. My favorite! This was the cake that Andrew and I chose to have at our wedding, although in the end we decided to get a variety so non-chocolate lovers could enjoy dessert as well. Tonight I'm celebrating with some of our friends and going out for ice cream at Malley's. They have the best hot fudge around! I'm easy to please. 


Birds over the innerbelt.

I've been thinking about spring already. It's too soon for that. 


To do. What to do.

The photo above basically describes my weekend. Buried in cats and projects. In a good way.

Andrew had Sunday off so we started to tackle a project we've been talking about for a while. We're giving a makeover to this terribly ugly little bench we found in our basement. I was a little skeptical of if we could actually pull off the look we were going for, but now that we've started it I'm 100% sure it's going to be awesome. Some of our inspiration can be found here and here

My hair is getting to be awkward and challenging and I'm debating cutting it all off again. I think I idealize long hair.


A pick me up.

I've been sick since Monday night. Surviving on a diet of soup and ginger ale (which I'm really getting tired of). Today I was feeling well enough to go back to work, but still not 100% and definitely not excited to be out in 15 degree weather. But then "Sea Legs" by The Shins started playing and things got a little better. I love that song. It was a nice pick me up.
I drew this poster a few years ago for a concert to win free tickets to a Shins show. I didn't win, and I've still never seen them live, but I do like my poster. 


Swedish design, glass and plants. Or, an early birthday.

This weekend my family and I had an early birthday celebration for my dad and I. We trekked to Pittsburgh and our first stop was Ikea for a little shopping. After that we went to the Phipps Conservatory where a lot of picture taking took place. It was really nice to be able to walk around in a lively "outdoor" type environment and not be bundled up from the cold. Not to mention smelling all the plants and dirt. I like that a lot. It was also pretty cool to see some of Dale Chihuly's glass work incorporated into the exhibits there. I'm really glad we got to do that, it was a great way to celebrate. 

I love Bonsai trees.
Photography runs in the family. 

Coffee. Mmm.


Sketchbook Project - The send off.

I put all the final touches on my Sketchbook Project tonight so I can send it off tomorrow. It's first stop will be the Brooklyn Art Library this February. I'm definitely a little sad to be sending it away. Like all of my sketchbooks, it's basically a journal of that time in my life. I may not necessarily spell out everything that's going on in my life, but I remember the emotions and story behind almost everything I draw. Almost like flipping through a photo album, or hearing that song that triggers all of the memories you've had hidden away. I snapped a few pictures of it before I put it in the mail. I will post a link to it in it's entirety once it is digitized. I had a lot of fun with this project. Even if it meant that my own personal sketchbook suffered greatly. I think it may just be time to start fresh. It is that time of year after all. 

"...Once you lose something you'll never find it again...it's lost at the bottom..."

I would like to think that my future house will never be so cluttered with stuff. But there's something fantastic and cozy about the home of Albert and Gillian Maysles that I found on The Selby.

I've been a fan of the Maysles brothers and their work since first seeing Grey Gardens several years ago. The way in which they captured those women was incredible and I like that there are images and memories of the film in Albert's house. I rented the remake (if you can call it that, you can't exactly "remake" a documentary) a couple of days ago and will probably watch it tonight. I'm not expecting to like it much, but I felt that I needed to see it. 


"Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays."

(Hint: it's me.)

This has been my first Monday at work since Christmas and it has kicked my butt. I mean, you think you have a project under control, and then Monday comes along and messes it all up. Thanks Monday, you win. 

Anyways, I only have a few pages of my sketchbook project to finish up before I mail it out this week. I'd really like to go see the whole show when it's on tour, but we've made no plans. My whole book will be digitized after it is sent in, so I will share it in it's entirety then. In the meantime, here's another page. 


Handmade gifts.

I made a lot of handmade items to give as gifts this Christmas. Almost everyone in my family received a crochet rag rug that I made from thrifted sheets and fabrics. Since they've all been given out at this point, I decided to share some photos of them here. Bowie seemed to think they were for him. 


A cozy backdrop.

I worked on another photo shoot for a Taylor Swift card this morning. I was really excited to include this thrifted granny square afghan that my aunt gave me for Christmas. It has the most amazing colors in it. 

In other news, I'm kicking myself for not playing the numbers from Lost in the Mega Millions last night. I don't normally play the lottery aside from a scratch off every now and then for fun, but everyone was getting so hyped up about it that the thought definitely crossed my mind. Unfortunately, I was too eager to get home from work that I didn't stop to get one. We could have been $150 richer today. 


Movie: Tenure.

I'm not quite sure how this movie slipped under my radar, but last night it was suggested to me by iTunes and I was pretty excited to rent it. It has a lot of things in it that make a good movie for me: at least one of the Wilson brothers, Jens Lekman in the soundtrack, a great old bright yellow Volvo wagon, and a sasquatch. But in all seriousness, it's a fantastic comedy. It's a quirky story that's a little dark without being depressing and the cinematography is very lovely. I definitely recommend it. 


Top 10 of 2010.

Having a LastFM account makes it pretty easy to review my past year in music. Here's a list of the top 10 artists that I listened to in 2010:

1. The Octopus Project. I first discovered this band a couple of years ago while vacationing in Silicon Valley, California. Andrew was in training at Apple so I walked myself to the nearest bookstore and wasted away a few hours. I almost didn't buy their album, but I am so glad I did. I will always think of the redwood forests when listening to this band. I had the chance to see them several times since then including once (or maybe twice?) this year. They are phenomenal live, especially with that theremin. 

2. Local Natives. This band was suggested to me by iTunes and I basically bought their album after previewing just one song. An instant favorite. We saw them play two shows early this year. One small acoustic set at Music Saves and then another regular show the same night at the Beachland Ballroom. Really wonderful. I'm looking forward to what they may be coming up with next. 

3. Ben Folds. One of the first albums I ever bought with my own money was Whatever and Ever Amen by Ben Folds Five. I haven't stopped listening to him since. This year he came out with Lonely Avenue with Nicky Hornby who happens to be an author that I really enjoy. Nick wrote the lyrics and Ben wrote the music. It's like it was meant to be.

4. The Acorn. I was a fan of this band's previous work, but when they came out with No Ghost this year I just could not stop listening. It was really great for driving in the spring with the windows down.

5. Volcano Choir. When Justin Vernon's Bon Iver was getting super popular a year or two ago I felt like an outcast when I wasn't getting into it as much as everyone else. Pretty music, yes, but I didn't love it and everyone was talking about it. Then I happened upon Volcano Choir and I guess I caught the Justin Vernon bug.

6. Adem. It was a complete mistake that I ever saw Adem live and probably the best mistake I ever made. I showed up to a dirty projectors concert 2 hours early after reading the calendar wrong and caught Adem and Juana Molina instead. Both were amazing live and I left with music from both of them. One of my best friends and I devoured his music that winter and now it's the first thing I want to listen to when it starts to get cold out.

7. Vampire Weekend. This is another one of those bands that just became an instant love for me. I still can't stop listening to their first album and this year they came out with Contra. I would love to see them live again sometime.

8. The Swell Season. Andrew and I really loved the Once soundtrack so when I found the Swell Season's album at The Exchange I was super excited. Perfect music for the fall.

9. Janelle Monae. This girl has the gift of dance and music and I love both. I listened to this album twice while I was stuck in the snowpocalypse for 4 1/2 hours. It just makes you wanna dance.

10. Grizzly Bear. I guess I'm a little late with this one, but lately I'm really into Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest. Better late than never I suppose.

And there you have it. If you're curious, here's last year's top 10.


Twenty eleven.

Last night we celebrated the new year with some of our favorite foods, mimosas, and some episodes of The Muppet Show on VHS that I found a few weeks ago while thrifting. Just after watching the ball drop on TV we heard some noises outside and walked out into the front yard to see fireworks being set off nearby. It was quite a nice night. 

Last year I made a few goals for myself, most of which I completed, or am close to finishing (like our quilt). I figured it couldn't hurt to write out a few more this year:

- Complete at least ten new pieces for my charity art show in September. 
- Be more observant of what we are spending and saving so we can hopefully buy a house when our lease is up this summer. 
- Participate in Pedal to the Point with a goal of at least 30 miles. 
- Share the awesomeness of Twin Peaks with Andrew. 
- Shoot more photographs with my medium format.