Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meanwhile, in the countryside

This public art by Niklaus Ruegg is awesome, I wish I had seen it two Halloweens ago.

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Survive Black Friday

Put two very furry dogs in a car:


(one might wear the other as a hat)

Take them on a pretty hike:




If one dog gets tired, give her a lift:

That's my little brother, Kief

Observe some fall foliage:


(bougainvillea totally counts)

"Detox" from turkey day with an epic smoothie:


Take pictures of yourselves at magic hour *without* a camera shadow on your face:

(whoops!)

(much better.)

Admire your handsome husband:


Pose interestingly:


 Finally, cuddle with Loki on your brother's couch 'cause he's not allowed on the couch at home.


Success!

Bicycle Animation

People do neat things.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Signs of Life

When we lived in Iowa we had a sweet old house with an enormous yard that looked, sometimes, like this:

Dreamy!

In the late spring I would plant a fantastic vegetable garden: 


and by the summer our dinners would often look like this:

90% home grown. Just look at those purple potatoes!

It was the tendency Iowa has of looking like this that was a major motivation to get back to sunny California just as soon as grad school was over:

I still get cold/sad just looking at this.

Hilariously, now that we're in this magical climate where one can garden year round, we're living in a yard-less apartment.

All we have is a sunny shared back patio that I'm still too shy to use, and a bunch of windows...

But lookie here, the windows are working!

(parsley, basil, lavender, strawberry)

Just check out this sweet strawberry baby:


Observe my little lemons:



One of these days I'm gonna stake a claim to the patio, where, when I peek out timidly through the curtain I can see that my neighbors are growing tomatoes, kumquats and a ton of flowers. But until then, I'm happy with my little window champions. One day soon we're gonna have dinner based entirely on strawberries and lemons and it will taste so. good.

I love this place.






Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Creepy things that happen when you sleep

Um.

So this is supposed to be very dreamy-swoony but A) if I woke up and there were strings all around me and over me I would have a serious panic attack, and B) the blood-colored spider web of words at the end looks more like a death threat than some romantic marriage proposal.

But maybe that's just me?


Also? The concept is called Love injections? Really?

(found via The Hairpin)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's hard to take pictures of a fireplace

We recently experienced our first cold and rainy evening in our new place.


Loki didn't like it. He prefers snow.

I didn't like it much either, as I have a sort of hyperactive version of SAD that flares up with any perceivable dip in sunshine levels, and leaves my entire household tiptoeing carefully around the couch where I lie, wrapped in blankets, loudly despairing.

BUT!

Our new apartment came with a fireplace, and it is a truth universally acknowledged that a roaring, crackling fire can thaw the mood of even the most determined seasonal depressive. So we gave it a go.

I was so excited by the prospect that I even got up off the couch to go get my camera. "This will look so great on my blog!" I thought. "Is there anything more charming than a cozy, firelit home on a rainy evening? Think of the pageviews!"

But then:




Readers, it is HARD to take pictures of a fireplace! At least for me and my little Digital Elph it is. 

What's the secret? Tripods? Fancier cameras? Photoshop? I am ashamed!

But documentation notwithstanding, we did have a lovely, warm evening curled up by the fire. And as we have since realized that it is in fact the only source of heating in our drafty old living room, we're actually going to be curling up in front of a great many more of them this Los Angeles winter. 

And every night that we do, I'll be sure and break out the flip-phone and snap a picture for you to warm yourselves to.




Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Neighbors are Potentially Awesome

We've only lived in this apartment for a short while, and haven't spent much time getting to know the ladies who live next door, but for Halloween, on the steps that we share, they set up this little display: 



So well executed, don't you think? The terrible monster pumpkin and his chewed-up victims, the looks on their scared pumpkin faces? Are they artists or something? I'm impressed. 


We should really bring them some cookies or something soon...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Studies Show!

I am addicted to reading Barking up the Wrong Tree, the blog by Eric Barker devoted to distilling interesting results of various **studies.**

Did you know how many random studies are just constantly being performed? Did you realize that taken together they will tell you everything you'd ever want to know about anything ever?

And it's all from SCIENCE, so you have to believe it.

I know almost everything now, like:

How to drink coffee. (small doses, often)

How to be happier (show gratitude!)

How much the Irish really drink (all or nothing)

Whether it's better to aim high or to aim low (shoot for the stars)

Whether daydreaming helps anything  (nope!)

Be warned, it's a total rabbit hole. And he updates many times a day because these people just can't stop studying things.

And Now For a Video of My Dog Brushing His Teeth

Music by of Montreal

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ombre Hair Dye Lampshade DIY

If you're anything like me, the rapid approach of your thirtieth birthday will lead you down to the beauty supply store, where you will attempt to reclaim your lost punk youth by dying a hot pink streak in your boring old hair. This should stave off any pending crises for the time being, but it will also leave you with a nearly-full tub of hot pink hair dye left over.

And if you're anything like me, you hate the idea of wasting a nearly-full tub of hot pink hair dye!

(or two of them)
So what do you do?

Well, you know that boring white Ikea lampshade that you got cause it was like, four dollars and good enough to put next to your bed on your hand-me-down bedside table cause no one ever sees that part of your house anyway?

That's the one.

Wouldn't your life be so much brighter if it was a beautiful hot pink ombre instead?

Oh yes it would!
I thought so. 

This project is so easy and quick. And since you are using things you already own, it costs nothing and you get to feel really pleased with yourself. (Of course if for some reason you don't have a nearly-full tub of hot pink hair dye lying around, you could always use plain old Rit Dye from the grocery store, and the process would be the same, and I wouldn't judge you one bit.)

Either way, let's begin.

1) First, grab a basin, some rags and a lot of newspaper:

You can wear gloves, or you can be hardcore. The choice is yours.

2) Fill the tub with about two inches of warm water, then dunk the shade, turning it all around to wet the fabric thoroughly.

3) Scoop out a dollop of dye (I used a hair tinting brush for this, but you could just as easily use a spoon) and stir it into the water. Mix well for a couple of minutes to dissolve any lumps.

 

4) Test to see if you've got the color you want by dipping a strip of cotton fabric into your dye bath. Add either more dye or more water to adjust your color.


5) Now the fun part! Place your lampshade carefully into your dye bath and watch the pink water start to wick up into the damp fabric. Oooooh magic!


6) Let the shade hang out for a second in the dye bath, then take it out and put it on your massive stack of newspaper to let the dye set for a few minutes.

Don't worry, it will even out in the next step.
7) While the dye is setting, dump out some of your hyper-concentrated bath and add some plain water until the tub is about five inches full. Now immerse your shade in that deeper, lighter bath. This is the secret to making everything all ombre-lovely.


8) Finally, take that baby out of its bathwater and let dry.

yay!

You're done! Now just slap it on its base and plug it in, you pink-haired whiz!


Look what you made.

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