Thursday, December 30, 2010

This to That

Check out this website. This to That is a great site that helps you figure out what glue or adhesive you should use to attach this to that. So worth bookmarking. Just thought I'd share :)


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cutest Thing

This is the cutest thing. And it is way too cold today, so he's in a hat. Makes me want a baby to cuddle with!


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Papers of Peter Callesen

Today I really wanted to feature paper cut artist Peter Callesen. I have seen a lot of amazing art in my time, but this is unlike anything I've ever seen. All of his works are made from a single piece of white paper, folded and glued to make the most amazing papercraft sculptures. You have to see them all to believe it! Check it out here.

paper hummingbirdskeleton hand

Breathtaking, aren't they? I am so jealous!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

"What He Thought" by Heather McHugh

I think this might be my favorite poem of all time. It was introduced to me by my high school poetry teacher and I loved it so much I read it at least once a month now. I stumbled upon it again last week and I thought I'd share. Enjoy! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!


by Heather McHugh

We were supposed to do a job in Italy
and, full of our feeling for
ourselves (our sense of being
Poets from America) we went
from Rome to Fano, met
the Mayor, mulled a couple
matters over. “What does mean this ‘flat drink?’ someone asked.
What is “cheap date?” (Nothing we said lessened
this one’s mystery). Among Italian writers we
could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,
the brazen and the glib. And there was one
administrator (The Conservative), in suit
of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide
with measured pace and uninflected tone
narrated sights and histories
the hired van hauled us past.
Of all he was most politic–
and least poetic– so
it seemed. Our last
few days in Rome
I found a book of poems this
unprepossessing one had written: it was there
in the pensione room (a room he’d recommended)
where it must have been abandoned by
the German visitor (was there a bus of them?) to whom
he had inscribed and dated it a month before. I couldn’t
read Italian either, so I put the book
back in the wardrobe’s dark. We last Americans
were due to leave
tomorrow. For our parting evening then
our host chose something in a family restaurant,
and there we sat and chatted, sat and chewed, till,
sensible it was our last big chance to be Poetic, make
our mark, one of us asked
“What’s poetry?
Is it the fruits and vegetables
and marketplace at Campo dei Fiori
or the statue there?” Because I was
the glib one, I identified the answer
instantly, I didn’t have to think– “The truth
is both, it’s both!” I blurted out. But that
was easy. That was easiest
to say. What followed taught me something
about difficulty,
for our underestimated host spoke out
all of a sudden, with a rising passion, and he said: The statue represents
Giordano Bruno, brought
to be burned in the public square
because of his offence against authority, which was to say
the Church. His crime was his belief
the universe does not revolve around
the human being: God is no
fixed point or central government
but rather is poured in waves, through
all things: all things
move. “If God is not the soul itself,
he is the soul OF THE SOUL of the world.” Such was
his heresy. The day they brought him forth to die
they feared he might incite the crowd (the man
was famous for his eloquence). And so his captors
placed upon his face
an iron mask
in which he could not speak.
That is how they burned him.
That is how he died,
without a word,
in front of everyone. And poetry–
(we’d all put down our forks by now, to listen to
the man in gray; he went on softly)– poetry
is what he thought, but did not say.

“What He Thought” is the first poem in Heather McHugh’s collection of new and selected poems Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968 – 1993, published by Wesleyan/UPNE, 1994. Book Orders: 1-800-421-1561.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 In-Style Finds at the Thrift Store

Since I've been home I've hit the ultimate thrifting jackpot, and that is saying something in a small town in Iowa. So far I've aquired many wonderful finds including a great long green toggle close sweater, two vintage purses, about 5 skinny belts, two pairs of shoes, two vintage suitcases, a makeup bag, a velvet brown blazer, a thermal long sleeve shirt, and 3 awesome skirts, all for about $30. So here is a brief guide for

1. Skinny belts - they've been in style before, and thrift store belts are a great way to try out this new style without spending a lot of money.

2. Scarves - especially warm ones. If you don't spend much money you can have one for every outfit.

3. Bags and Purses - I've always had great luck with bags because there are lots of different styles available, most for less than $5.

4. Jewelry - Sometimes you have to take it apart to make it really worthwhile, but a lot of the beads or components are good quality, making it well worth investing a little DIY time.

5. Coats - Being warm is always in style, especially when you're from up north like me. I've found great peacoats and trench coats at my local Goodwill and other thrift stores.

Happy Thrifting!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Vocation Prayer

This prayer was passed on to me by a friend and it was originally written by Thomas Merton. As graduate school decisions approach I have been reading this almost everyday. If you're trying to figure out your life you might want to too. ;)


My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I rediscovered FreeRice today, which is a website that allows you to answer various vocabulary, math, geography, and other questions to earn rice that is delivered by FreeRice to hungry people all over the world. This is a wonderful site that can help sharpen some sluggish winter brains and help people at the same time! Please check it out :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This I Believe

I think this is good exercise for everyone to do every once and awhile. I made a list over a year ago and I decided to revisit it again recently to see what I was thinking about a year ago and see what has changed. Here's what I came up with.

I believe in God.
I believe that all women are beautiful, whether they believe it or not.
I believe that poetry has a way of lighting up the corners of our soul that we think are the loneliest.
I believe that no one is a lost cause.
I believe that God can use all things for good.
I believe that God loves all people unconditionally.
I believe that it is possible to be in love for a lifetime.
I believe that men and women have equal, but different, purposes.
I believe that music is it’s own language that transcends all barriers.
I believe that when we start making children statistics they get left behind.
I believe that some people are harder to love than others, but all people deserve to be loved.
I believe that it is always best to try on clothes before buying them.
I believe that aging is a beautiful thing and that people shouldn’t have to hide it.
I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and the sins of the whole world.
I believe that we cannot know how strong we are until we have been tested to the breaking point.
I believe that there are no obstacles that love cannot transcend.
I believe in angels.
I believe that God has a sense of humor.
I believe that people should never try to get rid of laugh lines, because they are the mark of all the things that make us happiest.
I believe that trust is one of the most precious gifts to give and recieve.
I believe that a little chocolate gives in happiness what it takes away in health.

See the rest of the list after the jump.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Free Shipping Day!

In case you haven't heard, today is free shipping day across the web! Check out this site to find out what discounts are available at what stores.

Exciting right?

And I also got my wisdom teeth out this morning. Your sympathy would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Elegant Vintage brown pearl necklace

I am a very inexperienced photographer, but the pictures I took of this piece are some of my favorite. There is nothing quite as satisfying as FINALLY getting the lighting, focus, and piece placement right after hours of trying! I shoot most of my pictures in a very improvised studio that consists mostly of a super bright desk lamp, a box lid, various sheets of extra large scrapbooking paper in lots of lovely colors. Not exactly high tech.

This is a long faux pearl necklace that I reconstructed from vintage beads. When I graduated from school a very nice old woman that my mom works with gave me a gold mine of vintage pieces that I sorted into the "good-as-is," "good-with-some-reconstruction," and "utterly-hideous" piles customary when I get vintage pieces. The necklace made with these beads fell into the "good-with-some-reconstruction" pile and so an hour or so later, minus a handful of tarnished and chipped beads and spacers, this lovely little beauty was born.

It is probably the longest necklace I have ever made and it is a full 22 inches long. It graduates and the largest bead is squarely in the center. It has great drape and all the beads have a lovely sheen. It is the best of Victorian meeting modern style that any woman can pull off. Hope you like it as much as I do!


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Fifteen Podcasts That Keep Me Company

This time of year I start hibernating in my basement workshop, making jewelry like my life depends on it, and usually just avoiding human contact in general. I do, however, have my trusty podcasts to keep me company. Here are my favorite 15. Check them out on iTunes, subscribe, or check out their websites.

1. The Classic Tales Podcast: This podcast offers great classic short stories by many wonderful authors. The guy who reads them is really a wonderful voice actor and the overall quality of this is impeccable.

2. This American Life: A great show from NPR that shares stories on a theme each week. Their archives will keep you aurally busy for hours.

3. Best of YouTube: This great podcast helps you skip all the pointless YouTube searching and skip straight to the good stuff (most of the time).

4. Our Miss Brooks Podcast: I'm a sucker for old radio shows and Our Miss Brooks is one of the best I've found. Miss Brooks is a high school English teacher who is constantly at odds with her principal, Mr. Conklin, and trying to get the bashful biology teacher, Mr. Boyton, to notice her. The innocent humor is refreshing and family friendly.

5. The Great Gildersleeve Replay: In the same vein as Our Miss Brooks, this family comedy from the 1940s features Uncle Gildersleeve and his niece and nephew. Some of the earliest situation comedy, and it's still funny.

6. The Moth Podcast: Not all of the Moth stories are family friendly, but, for a mature audience, I have found them all very entertaining and inspiring. The storytellers are good at what they do, that's for sure.

See the rest of the list after the jump.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Everyone Should Make Their Own Beautiful Things

This is my list of the reasons that everyone should try their hand at some kind of art, be it painting, sculpture, sewing, knitting, crocheting, writing, singing, dancing, or anything else.

10. IT'S FUN!

9. Things you make are inevitably much cuter than things a machine made.

8. It forces you to go outside your comfort zone. If you only make what you know how to make you're not going to grow.

7. Creativity is very important in many aspects of life. Creating art and other beautiful things is a great way to exercise your creative muscles.

6. It is WAY cheaper than buying expensive commercial items.

5. It's a great way to relax, de-stress, and take some you time. Art is calming and rejuvenating.

4. They make the BEST gifts! No commercially, mass produced item could ever say "I care" like something you've spent some time and creativity on.

3. What a great way to be green! Reuse, re-vision, and remake old and worn out things in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

2. It allows you to express your emotions. Feeling angry? Let it out in your work! Now you've really found a way to positively channel feelings both good and bad.

1. You may see beauty where no one else does. Show the world what is beautiful to you!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Photo Highlights of the Alps

It's mostly grey and brown here in Iowa, although we did get a dusting of snow here yesterday. This cold without snow has me thinking fondly back on my recent stay in Austria and my afternoon spent in the Alps. Here are the highlights.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Disney Mean Girls Trailer

Get Excited and Make Things!

I have now returned from the wonders of Europe to the wonders of winter in Iowa. Therefore I must find ways to otherwise occupy myself. And therefore this is my new motto. Can't wait to share the results with you!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Keep Us from Pettiness

Keep Us From Pettiness

Keep us, O God, from pettiness;
let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with faultfinding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretenses and meet each other, face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.  Teach us to put in action our better impulses-straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize
it is the little things of life that create difficulties;
that in the big things of life we are as one.
Oh, Lord, let us not forget to be kind.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

And that's it. Exit day. My flight takes me back to the States today. Pray that it goes well! See you Stateside.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All the Tutorials I'm Planning to Try this Christmas Break

I am hanging out in the airport daydreaming about all the thing I want to make when I get home again. I've been going through my bookmarks from this last semester and picking out the cream of the crop to test myself! These are the things I want to try this Christmas break:

Felt Bows
World's Easiest Skirt
Felt Gift Boxes
The Shirt Skirt
Lace Stenciled Frames
Photography Light Diffuser
Simple Screen Printing
Ruffled Holiday Dress
Mini Crepe Paper Roses
Pantyhose Petals
Cute Fridge Magnets
Origami Photography Studio
Reusable Lunch Bag
Vintage Earrings
Doily Racerback Tank Top
Confetti Crayons
Pom Pom Flowers
T-Shirt Weaving

I'm also full of my own ideas... So be watching for some tutorials of my own! I'm going to be a busy busy girl. Can't wait to start!



It has been a wonderful, challenging, sometimes maddening three months away from the States.
  1. Water
  2. Elevators
  3. Public Bathrooms
  4. Internet in English
  5. Lemonade
  6. A Closet
  7. High heels
  8. My family
  9. Seeing new movies in theaters
  10. Ice
  11. English small talk
  12. Libraries
  13. Target
  14. Fried foods
  15. My watercolors
  16. Strawberries
  17. Renting movies
  18. My beads
  19. Bacon
  20. Making smoothies
  21. Reading packaging
  22. Making phone calls
  23. Personal vehicles
  24. Mass and Confession in English
  25. My books
  26. Frosting
  27. My pillow top mattress
  28. Pancakes
  29. My guitar
  30. Texting
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