Image Attribution

(Owlet header image found via a Google Image search, and came from Etsy artist Bestiary Ink)

27 December 2011

paula greif ceramics

First thing's first: Happy Birthday to the most wonderful Tia in the world.

I stumbled upon this tumblr (or tumbl'd upon it, perhaps?) thanks to simple things, another lovely little blog. I was immediately drawn to Paula Greif's beautiful ceramic works, and just wish there were a "shop" or "buy" button right on there for those of us not in NY. Here's hoping...







20 December 2011

William Edmonds' Eskimo Kiss

I have been extraordinarily absent here, I know, and I apologize. I keep trying to encourage some creativity in myself each day/week lately, and am finding myself coming up short. It'll come back, I know, it's just... missing right now. That said, I saw this image today and fell in love with it for a whole bunch of reasons and had to share. I want a print of this. Maybe the mere act of re-posting will inspire some ideas of my own...

via Miss Moss:
(William Edmonds on Flickr)

05 December 2011

Again, Input?

So, I'm just going to call it on the photography challenge, and I'll walk around with my head hung in shame for the next week. Oh well. I'll try it again another time, when I have a more fancy-pants camera, I think.

Back to my solicitation of input, though. I have to turn in my assignment for the non-fiction lesson in my writing class by tonight, and I still haven't decided what to write about. Here's a short-list of "events" that popped into my head as moments that made an impact on me (full assignment can be viewed here)... can you help me narrow??

Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion
Obama Election Night
Katrina
Death of Michael Jackson
Columbine
2000 Presidential Election
Anti-Iraq War Protests in Washington, D.C. (2002-2003)
Red Sox 2004 World Series Victory
...

???

29 November 2011

Apology and Input

Clearly I have failed at the Photography Challenge. It's not my fault! I went back East to visit my family for Thanksgiving and I just was too busy being with family to photograph. And the days just slipped by and suddenly I was a week behind! I am going to try to get all the photos taken this week, but if not, it'll be the weekend, which will be past the 30 days of the challenge, but with working during the daylight hours (<shakes fist at Daylight Savings and the season>), it's hard to get any good photos taken right now! Excuses, excuses, I know. I apologize. I do like the challenge, though, and I would like to try to complete it. Don't hold my laziness against me this time.

In other news, I'm four weeks into my creative writing class. It's going well, and I'm enjoying it. Last week's lesson and assignment related to fiction -- which should have made the homework a breeze, right? Except I couldn't get inspired. The prompt just didn't do much for me. I threw something together I'm sure the instructor will poo-poo, but I'm over-inspired by this week's assignment, so hopefully that will make up for it. If I can only narrow my focus. (Always an issue here...)

This week's subject is non-fiction. And the assignment is just broad enough and specific enough to open up a hundred little doors of options. Here it is:

Think of a point in time when you were personally affected by a newsworthy event—historical, cultural, meteorological. For example: watching a disaster on TV, hearing a friend is going off to war, attending a Rolling Stones concert, standing in line with your kid at midnight to buy the latest Harry Potter book, riding out a tornado. (Since it’s been so widely written about, try to find something other than 9/11, but if that’s what’s calling to you, use it.)

Use an exact moment in time as your focal point. Take a mental photograph of that moment. Where are you? How do you look? What are you doing? Who are you with?


Now, write a very short memoir that brings that “photograph” to life. Show what is happening physically and also reveal what’s going on inside your mind. Stay focused on your selected moment, though you may include information that relates to before and after it. This will be written in the first person. If others are present, you’ll probably want to recreate some of the dialogue.


Try to capture this “photograph” in no more than 500 words. Remember, this is nothing more than a draft of a rough idea, something you may wish to pursue further, or not. 


My mind is already racing around trying to land on a really "good" moment. So, I'm curious. What would you write about? So many directions, right? How to narrow?!

In case you were wondering, by the way, my "hate" assignment from a few weeks ago was a success. I wrote about asparagus and it was the first assignment about which my instructor only had good things to say. Yay!

23 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 23

Sunflare.

(I didn't take this one today, though it is sunny, but it happened by accident one day when I was just enjoying the warmth from the sunlight seeping into the office, and I thought, I wonder if I could catch this sunlight in a photo? So I tried, and I did, and I liked it, so I saved it for today's post. A little self-indulgent, I know. But I was really enjoying the warm-up I was getting!)


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

Photo Challenge Day 22

Hands.


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

21 November 2011

Photo Challenge Days 19 & 21

Delayed posting again - not photographing. Also... failure #1 on this assignment. I am not having success with day 20 - "Bokeh." However, I intend to eventually succeed, so I'll save Day 20 for the day I actually get the photo right, or close to right. I also plan to do this before the 30-day challenge is over. In the meantime, here are Saturday's and today's posts...

Day 19: Something orange.


Day 21: Faceless self-portrait.

(stupid busted finger)


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

18 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 18

Your shoes.

I took them off for maximum posing enjoyment...

(Nine West Gianne - I got them at DSW, but they're not on the DSW site for some reason)


(they're new and I already wore them three times this week... {love them})


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

Photo Challenge Day 17

(yesterday's) Technology.

(not the best photo, but I did get to work on time...)


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

17 November 2011

Ideas?

So, I'm breaking the trend here with my all-Photo Challenge posts for the month because I'm stumped. I've been really enjoying my writing class through the Gotham Writers' Workshop. I've read three weeks' worth of lectures and submitted two assignments. This week's assignment, due before 11/22, is stumping me for some reason, and thus I am posting to see if anyone else can help jump-start my inspiration!

The lesson this week is on individuality... this includes specific topics like journaling, using your own life/experience as a prompt, and voice. The assignment, in summary: list five things you hate (really anything... "big" things like world leaders who lie, or more unique and minor things, like carpet). Pick the “hate” you find most interesting, and write a short piece presenting your “hate”—what it is, why you hate it. (If you would rather not write about a hate, write about something you love. Just change “hate” to “love” throughout the assignment.)

For some reason I just can't get started. I think it's that this is so broad I can't focus. If I try to think of things I hate, the first things that pop into my head are: people who don't say excuse me, and asparagus. These are BO-RING. I don't know what I would say about them beyond that I hate them. And I'm pretty sure I couldn't ramble for 500 words on why.

So. I seek your input to help me get my own gears turning. PLEASE. Please! Please post a comment with something (or things) you hate and would love to randomly rant about. I just need to hear (see?) some ideas to push my brain into gear.

Please?

You'll be rewarded in handsome virtual high-fives.

Photo Challenge Day 16

Yesterday's photo... Long exposure.


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

15 November 2011

Photo Challenge: Days 12, 13 & 14

Still having Internet issues at home, but I remembered to bring my cord with me today, so I can upload the photos from the last few days. I'll post today's a bit later. But here are the past three days' challenge photos:

Day 12: Sunset.


Day 13: Yourself with 13 things.


Day 14: Eyes.


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

14 November 2011

Photo Challenge Lapse Explanation

I didn't drop off the map on the Photography Challenge, I promise! I just had some Internet connectivity issues this weekend and wasn't able to upload anything. Then this morning I forgot my USB cord, so though I was planning to upload (sneakily) during the day today, I'll have to cross my fingers and hope our connection's resolved when I get home tonight so I can post the pics from this weekend and today.

Sorry!



11 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 11

Something blue.

Took a photo of this guy this summer and liked finding that he's still there, holding down the fort.



All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

10 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 10

Childhood memory.



I fell off the monkey bars and broke my wrist in two places when I was four. They're less intimidating at night (not to mention years later) and when nobody's at the playground so there's no performance pressure.

The swings, on the other hand, are sad and lonely looking at night. That's basically the opposite of all of my swinging memories...


All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

09 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 9

Someone you love. In this case TWO someones I love.


Irresistible.

All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

08 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 8

A bad habit.

Let's call no judgment on this one, and chalk it up to accountability. If I put this out there publicly, I'll have to do something about it. Occasionally, during the week, and if something good's on TV, I will neither pile the dishes into the dishwasher nor wash them. Then, the following morning, I'll add my breakfast dishes to the mix. Then I'll come home ready to make dinner and feel ashamed and grossed out, not to mention annoyed, because I have to wash the pans in order to use them again.


For the record, due to the photographic evidence, tonight, in SPITE of good (alright, decent) TV, I dishwasher-ed or washed all dishes used for cooking our delicious dinner. (please don't judge me!)



All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

07 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 7

Fruit.

(sliced mango + fresh squeezed lime juice + salt = delicious!)

All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

06 November 2011

04 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 4

Something green... (or some green things...) from my walk home...







All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

03 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 3

Clouds.

It was Gloomy with a capital G here today... and when there was (barely) light, it was nearly impossible to discern clouds in the sky at all... just a cloak of sad gray doom and gloom hanging over us all day. And then, on my way home, driving north on Lake Shore Drive, the sky was beautiful. So when I got home, I hopped out onto our balcony and tried to grab some cloud photo love before it was too dark to see at all...



Have a good night.

All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

02 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 2

What I wore today. This one's embarrassing. I forgot my camera today, so I could either wait until I got home from work (not the best option, since upon crossing the threshold into my home each day, I basically immediately transform into a sweatpants-clad slob), or use my iPhone camera, which is more challenging. Long story short, the only full-length mirror at my office is in the bathroom... so. Well, there it is. And here it is:

(so ashamed of photographing in the bathroom that I had to shield my face)

(okay, fine, now you know I'm in the bathroom... big deal!)


(and a better, though still slightly blurry, shot of the outfit)

Top: Old Navy chambray tuxedo top (last year)
Pants: Target (also old)
Mustard ruffle kitten heels: Target (old)
Belt: New! from Presence, a small store in the Andersonville neighborhood here in Chicago
(Hair: still kind of Richy Sambora-esque, alas)

It is what it is, I suppose. I'll try to use my real camera from now on. I'll also try not to take pictures in the ladies room.

All 30-Day Photography Challenge posts here.

01 November 2011

Photo Challenge Day 1

Self-portrait. I took a few... I think this one sums me up today: tired and distracted, but busy-busy.


Writing and Photographing

Two things. Today is the first day of my writing class with the Gotham Writer's Workshop! I'm excited and anxious and first-day-of-school giddy about getting started (even though it's online and no one will see my outfit or nerves!).

In light of this commencement, and in acknowledgement of the attention and dedication I want to give it, I've also decided to participate in this for the month:

(via)
I'm not a great photographer, or even a very good one, really. Sometimes I get lucky. But I really enjoy taking photographs, and I really love photography as both an outlet and an art. I've seen this little challenge summary on Pinterest here and there, and today it popped up on Metal and Mud, and I thought this feels like a good time to give it a shot and get my practice on. So, I think I may go mostly wordless in November, focusing my writing efforts on my class work, and simultaneously trying to capture a little bit of visual something each day for the month. I will keep updating my books/book photo project entries, and if something comes up, I'll give it some real estate, but for the most part, I'll try to stick to the photo challenge for posts, and see what comes of it.

We'll see what comes of it all!

31 October 2011

Photo Project

Does anyone remember this lil' project? Well, aside from my regular updates du nerd, and one other submission, there hasn't been much action. Until now! Yay, Emily! Wanna add your photo/book to the collection (you do, I know you do)? Send it to me (hellerms [at] gmail [dot] com). And now... here's Em, and what she's reading now!


27 October 2011

What I'm Reading Now: October 27, 2011

I actually started this one yesterday, but I forgot to post an update. Good thing my trusty new Goodreads widget (on the right-hand side of the ol' blog) is working!



So, I guess first I'll say that I did not mean to read three books with WWII references in a row. I don't have any sort of unhealthy fixation on that time period - it just happened. To that end, I also didn't mean to pick two WWI-related books (Unbroken and Sarah's Key) in a row for my online book club--that was totally accidental. But interesting (at least to me) is that all three books speak to aspects of WWII history about which I knew very little until reading these. Unbroken is about the Pacific war that took place between the U.S. and Japan, and specifically, the American POW experience in Japan. In my in-between book, The Pleasing Hour, which is not actually about WWII, the mother of one of the key supporting characters was shamed by her actions during the War, an experience that shaped both her own future and that of her daughters. That book takes place in France, mainly in Paris and in a small provincial town called Plaire. I am embarrassed to admit that my knowledge of French action during WWII is also limited. And now I'm reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, which also takes place in Paris. While I've only just begun reading, this story is already grabbing me by the throat in terms of its WWII content. It takes place in Paris in both July 1942 and in 2002. In July 1942 the French Police, on German orders, rounded up thousands of Jews in Paris, including somewhere close to 4000 children ages 2-12. They were held in a sports stadium before being taken by train to Auschwitz. The 1942 part of this book tells the fictional story of a little girl who was rounded up during this stain on France's historical record, the event called the Vel' d'Hiv'. The 2002 part is told from the perspective of an America journalist living in Paris who is assigned the task of writing about the Vel' d'Hiv' for its sixtieth commemoration. Something about these two threads will clearly overlap. Another story that handles a part of this many-fingered hand of history about which I know little or nothing. I'm intrigued and hooked, though already, just under 60 pages in, I'm very sad reading about it.

Have you read anything lately that you think would make a good discussion book? Our online book club (linked above) is scheduled through January, but I'm looking for titles to add to our monthly reading list for what will be our second year (!yay!). Suggestions are always welcomed!

25 October 2011

Chain Linked

So, I pinned this image from the BaubleBar blog about five weeks ago. I love the piled-up, chunky, chain-ey bracelets. It's been repinned nearly 40 times. I think other people like the piled-up, chunky, chain-ey bracelets, too.


This chain-link trend is taking off left and right. It's popping up in all forms of accessories, from bracelets to necklaces, from pricey to DIY. I love it. What about you? Do you like this look, or hate it? And if you like it, would you splurge on the goods, find a good knock-off version, or attempt to make your own?

Here are a few other linkey-like items along this trend line that I've pinned or pined over recently (and check out my Accessorizing board on Pinterest for other finds):

(via this blog)
(Via Nordstrom.com)
(via Piperlime)
(BaubleBar: 1, 2, 3 (and even more chain link love over at BB))
(Some Forever21 options: 1, 2, 3)

And how about some DIY tutorials:

(Necklace tutorial via Everybody, Everywear)
(Nut bracelet tutorial via Honestly... WTF)

24 October 2011

Voyeur

Spotted out the office window... Just two buddies enjoying some outside time on a beautiful day... I wonder what's down below there...


Just before they got up, I spied them resting out there - human was reading on that deck chair; pup was sleeping in the sunshine at her feet. Jealous.

Making Things

I know my posts have been a bit scattered lately, and inconsistent. My apologies. Feeling a bit all over the place and just trying to get my feet back to firmly set on the ground. To that end, I am committing to some creative productivity. I need to indulge my creative side, as well as my need to grasp onto some semblance of control and accomplishment. So, in addition to a chandelier makeover I've been imagining in my home, I'm also going to take on two small, and easily completable DIY creative jobs.

1. Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
I saw this on Pinterest recently and totally loved it, and therefore pinned it onto my "Do This" board. There's a great little shop of vintage homey goods and random salvaged bits nearby where we live. It's called Roost. One of their big ever-growing collections is original blue-glass Ball jars, so I decided I had to give this a try. I went over a couple weekends ago and scoured the collection for a good one with a top in good shape. If I succeed, it'll go in our second/guest/public bathroom and I'll go back and get another one and make one for the kitchen. Tutorial from Blissfully Content:


2. Earring-to-Necklace
Don't you hate when you lose one earring without realizing it? Just out and about during your day? Or one breaks and then who knows what to do with the other? This has happened to me too many times to count, and sadly, it's almost always a pair that carries some meaning that gets separated. Last week I was running out to grab a bite at lunch and saw this guy on the ground. I picked it up and tucked it away and I am thinking of getting a cool chain and making a necklace out of i. The front is interesting - not stunning at all, but interesting:


I actually like the back-side better, though:


So I'm thinking about doing something over the "front" to make it white all over, and then featuring the current "back" as the charm in my make-over piece. Hopefully whoever has this guy's partner isn't too sad over her missing bauble... I'll put it to good use, or at least try to.

Any creative projects on your agenda?