Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twin Peaks Art Show at Guapo Tomorrow, 10-29-10

Our friend Sean Christensen put together a new art show to hang at Guapo called "Ghostwood Forest - a Twin Peaks Themed Art Show." It was such a great idea for a show that I worked extra hard on it. Sean invited all the artists but he and I wrote the press release together. I usually don't even bother doing a press release for our shows but this was such a commercial idea I decided to put in the extra effort. And it really paid off! We got listed in last Friday's A&E in the Oregonian and then that listing was reprinted in this week's Oregonian This Week--the free version of the paper they deliver to everyone's house. Best of all, the listing is on the FRONT PAGE. Here's the on-line version of the listing.

I also spent several days repairing the Guapo art wall in time for the show--I had to patch around 60 holes, then sand, paint, and repaint. It's going to look extra nice though. So far, I've seen pieces by Aron Steinke, Chris Cilla, and Cameron Stewart and they're all fantastic.

Here's the poster Sean made, featuring art by him and Amy Kuttab, and below is the press release we wrote.

SUBJECT: Ghostwood Forest: a Twin Peaks themed Art Show
WHERE: Guapo Comics & Coffee 6350 SE Foster Rd, Portland OR
WHEN: Friday, October 29th. Opening reception at 7pm. There will be a screen projection of the feature length Twin Peaks Pilot Episode at 9pm.

October--that magic month of costumes and candy, uneasy walks, and late night fear is upon us. The oncoming cold and colorful fall leaves blowing through the air evoke thoughts of death and rebirth, of the layers of the world, and the secrets behind everything, how the world has many disguises as do the people in it. The spreading darkness and growing damp is part of the soul of the Northwest. Nothing better evokes this sense of thrilling mystery, eerie magic, and melancholy abandon than that great, iconic TV show of the Pacific Northwest, David Lynch and Mark Frost's Twin Peaks; Agent Dale Cooper and his need for a "damn fine cup o' coffee," sultry Audrey Horne, the Log Lady, and a murdered homecoming queen. It's a TV series that exudes all of the colors, smells, mythos and wondrous alien forests of our little corner of the world.

Guapo Comics has gathered together some of the Northwest's best and brightest cartoonists and artists to celebrate Twin Peaks and its intensity, fear, joy, and humor in an art show.

The Ghostwood Forest show features new pieces by Sean Christenson, Chris Cilla, Jason Fischer, Julia Gfrorer, John Isaacson, Amy Kuttab, Aron Nels Steinke, Emily Nilsson, Daria Tessler, Dylan Williams, and many more amazing artists. Ghostwood Forest debuts Friday, October 29th at 7pm. Free themed snacks and drinks will be available. At 9pm, the feature length Twin Peaks Pilot Episode will be screened.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken Finds

Our three chickens usually have the run of the back yard and they love digging around for bugs and worms. It's what they do all day really. Since we've had them, it's been kind of nuts seeing how much broken glass and random trash we have buried in our yard. One neighbor actually said our neighborhood used to be a landfill way back when--maybe that's the problem.

Sometimes the chicken's find really rad things like this Dick Tracy badge:

Sometimes the finds aren't so appealing. Last week they dug up a dirty old syringe in one of the flower beds! Thankfully, it was clearly old and not the recent refuse of some neighborhood drug addict. Still disgusting.


Fun Yeti concert

Our friend John Isaacson posted a Feedback of the Fun Yeti concert we went to:

I'm so glad Fun Yeti has started playing again. It really was a fun night.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Update No. 4: Zola Jesus!

I got into the band Zola Jesus because its leader, Nika Roza is in Former Ghosts. My friend Nick and I saw her at the Holocene when she came to town 7-25-10 and I have been dying to mention this amazing concert experience.

I bought the excellent new Zola Jesus Stridulum EP some weeks before the show and so felt fairly prepared.

Zola Jesus makes beautiful, dark, gothy, synth pop. According to her various internet bios, Nika studied opera as a teen, and I think it really shows. I've seen numerous great singers but seldom have had the chance to see someone just belt it on stage.

Luckily, they played all six of the songs I new, plus three amazing others. The band consisted of just Nika and her bandmate, who manned the programming and keyboards. Despite the skeleton crew, Nika had such great stage presence she filled the room, despite her tiny stature.

The concert was very short but Nick and I had no regrets. The music and performance was so emotional we still felt moved afterwards. (***SPOILER ALERT***) She closed her set with the last song on Stridulum "Manifest Destiny." All evening it seemed like Nika had some pent up energy she was dying to release. During this last track she stomped around stage. She kicked a chair over. She grabbed a beer bottle and climbed down into the audience, pushing them away with her body. Finally on the last note of the song she slammed the bottle down on the stage, shattering it to a "million" pieces. In a sense it was a basic sort of stunt, but in the context of the night it felt like an awesome emotional release.

For some reason I was compelled to draw this cartoon after the show:

Anyhow, I was thrilled to learn that Zola Jesus are coming back to town. They'll be playing the Holocene again on September 24th and this time they're bringing a full band. I can't wait to see the show!

Incidentally, I have since bought the 2009 Zola Jesus LP The Spoils and it's also quite good. It's a lot less accessible than their recent material however, making it sometimes better and sometimes worse. They have a new EP coming out October 12:

Here's a video.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awesome weekend

This Labor Day weekend was so busy for us, but for once it wasn't stressful. The weekend started out with a bang. Friday was Allie's and my 5th year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going with our friends Graham and Tracy to see Pavement play live at the Edgefield!! We've been fans of Pavement since before their break-up but were never able to see them live--thankfully they've reuinited for one last tour. The show was totally awesome. They opened it with "Gold Soundz," voted by Pitchfork that same day as best song of the 90s. Then it was "Shady Lane," then "Silent Kit," then classic to classic. An amazing night. Here's some video of the night taken by wessenbk and posted to youtube:

We exchanged presents after the show--Allie got me an awesome beer making kit, and my very own copy of my new favorite game Dominion, a strategy based card game my friends and I have been addicted to. Then I stayed up until 1:15 am playing this new Nintendo DS Korg Synthesizer "game" I got.

Saturday we went to the wedding of our awesome friends Theo and Heather. It was another great night with delicious food and good friends. Theo in particular looked completely blissed out by the experience.

Sunday I went to the penultimate Portland Beavers (AAA baseball) game with friends Gariet and Orly. They beat the Las Vegas 51s 6-2, coming off of two terrible losses. The three of us met up with Allie and she made us all a delicious meal of banana pancakes.

Monday we went to another baseball game, the last Beavers game ever. It felt like an historic day and the Beavers did great, winning 6-5 in a dramatic game. We stayed late to run the bases.

Here's the Anniversary card drawing I made for Allie, I actually altered the t-shirt I'm wearing after making this scan, but it's basically the same.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zine Symposium 2010

This last weekend was the annual Portland Zine Symposium and Allie and I tabled there with Guapo for the fourth year in a row. Our experience really began days earlier when we busted our butts finishing zines for the event, as well as reprinting some of our old zines. We also spent a lot of time with good friends Gariet and Orly, helping Orly finish her zine. Friday night we four stayed up until 4am Saturday morning finishing Allie and Orly's zines. It was epic. We started day one of the symposium on only three and a half hours of sleep.

Luckily, the excitement of seeing all our Portland cartoonist and zinester friends and trading our new zines for their new zines, really kept us going. I felt tired but happy all day. Allie had two, and I had four zines for sale. This was only our second year selling our zines. Having more selection really helped sales which in turn made me happy about my zines. Last year I debuted Song Zine #1 and Macky Zine. SZ#1 didn't sell at all and Macky sold less than 10 copies. I felt disappointed. This year, I had 4 and a half different zines. Macky Zine still only sold three copies, but I felt great because my combined sales were 24 zines! SZ#1 had sold zero copies after a year on the Guapo shelves. Song Zine #2 had sold zero copies since hitting the Guapo shelves in February of this year. At the symposium I sold 5 Song Zines! Long story short is that we felt very successful and happy to get our stuff out into the world. Guapo made a satisfying amount of money and we made $104 off of our personal zines.

Here's a picture of Allie and me at our table, taken by zinester and scooterist Karen G.:

Allie's latest zine is She's So Unusual #2 and is about Joan Crawford. My latest zine is called Pet Cemetery: You Were Loved and has 17 obituaries/profiles of all the dead pets I've owned. I made a cheap black and white version of the zine for $2.00 and an expensive color version for $6.00. I wanted to print all the copies in color but couldn't afford the printing cost. Our sales were helped by the fact that the amazing Multnomah County Library bought 6 copies each of our two new zines as well as 6 more of Allie's She's So Unusual #1 (about Cyndi Lauper). They bought Gariet's awesome diary comic Don't Stop Me Now #1 and Orly's hilarious autobio zine Backstage Past #1, so look for all of those soon.

The Symposium ended Sunday and afterwards we went to Backspace for the closing part, where we saw Fun Yeti kick out the jams (band members are friends Gariet, Orly, Jesse, and Shea).

It was such a fun weekend, I can't wait for next year. The event inspired me to get it together and pump out more zines, especially the Beach Boys series I've been struggling with for the last couple years.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update No. 3: We had an art show!

I'm going to be doing these "Update" posts so I can mention the various things that were going on, keeping us super busy. I hope to simultaneously do more current posts.

So, on July 31st we had an employee art show at Guapo. We had the idea because so many of our volunteers are cartoonists or have an artisitic background. Allie and I participated as well.

Allie did three portraits of girls which were a combination of collage, painting and sculpture. She also did a beautiful decorated mirror--its border consisted of 30 or so inch by inch paintings of cats. I told her to charge $50 bucks for it (which is more than most of the pieces, although still really cheap for an art piece) and it sold in a week!

It was the only piece that sold although many were for display only. We busted our butts the entire last week of July getting our pieces ready for the show. I myself finished 5 pet portraits/obituaries which I decided would be the basis for my next zine, all about the pets I've loved and lost in my life.

Here are a few of the pieces:

For the opening night party, we had snacks and drinks and lots of friends and family were there. Even my parents made it. The art show itself looked great. One of our baristas did a great job performing a short set on her accordion.

I felt really happy and as I looked around the room I couldn't help but be blown away at the entire scene--all these random, great people coming together because of Guapo and all the hard work we've put into the store. It made me feel proud.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Biking and buying

Yesterday we did our first real bike trip and it was so much fun. We first rode to Hawthorne and 34th to get Allie a free b-day ice cream. Delicious! Then we went to our friends Jesse and Andrice's house. I mapped the whole journey on yahoo and found out we rode 8.59 miles round trip. Not exactly epic, but for us that's a lot. It wasn't really that bad. We were carrying a lot of stuff which was kind of a drag, but I think it'll be a breeze after a couple more times.

When I was at Hawthorne I stopped at Jackpot to spend a little of my bonus money. I bought the brand new Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album as well as the recent Admiral Radley album featuring Jason Lytle from the awesome band Grandaddy. Unfortunately we got home so late, I wasn't able to give them a listen.

This weekend I also bought Gorillaz' G-Sides, Xiu Xiu's Air Force (upgraded from a CD-R--it sounds so much better), and Gorillaz' Plastic Beach album. I raided the awesome dollar section at CD/Game Exchange: I bought Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full which is actually really good and, fulfilling my 90s nostalgia, Filter's Short Bus (now I can get rid of my tape) and Nine Inch Nails' With Teeth. I feel so lucky getting to buy all this music! Back in the days before we opened the store I bought a few CDs a week. It's nice to recapture that feeling, if only for a moment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Update No. 2: Good Times at the Day Job

My work week had an amazing and one of a kind end to it last week. After a couple of years of intense work, my firm closed a huge bankruptcy deal. They say this was probably the most complicated case in Oregon legal history. Everyong was feeling to happy about the big accomplishment that the firm asctually scheduled a nice party from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday.

Early Friday we found out about the 135 million dollar payout coming our way. Then the firm announced all staff would get a bonus with our next paycheck! In the 7 years I've worked at the firm, this has never happened. The party was lots of fun and I pigged out on appetizers and free beer. Some speeches were made and my department was specifically thanked. I'm just a small cog in a big machine at my firm and it's not often that I feel so appreciated as I did that week. They gave out factoids on the case: over a million copies were made! Myself and my department must have done at least half of those.

Here I am at the party. I've blanked out my co-workers faces out of respect for their privacy. The guy in the foreground is actually our managing partner. I'm getting myself some sushi and totally oblivious to the picture being taken. THis photo really amuses me because it looks like i'm crashing the shot.

The party was at a building across the way from ours at a penthouse bar. Here's the view of my building (the glass one). My firm is on the top three floors.

I was buzzing from all the beer and good times when I took the bus home at 5pm. A drunk old dude on the bus tried to tell me about his Indian girlfriend. He asked me if I liked beer and when I said, 'Yes,' he offered me his unopened bottle of 40oz of Steel Reserve--how nice! I did have to decline though.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update No. 1: No More Driving

Owning a business means our personal finances have a real ebb and flow to them. In other words: if the store is doing well, we're doing well. If it's doing poorly, we're doing poorly. Things are actually going really well for us right now; the store itself is at a mini peak. About a month ago, as we weathered our latest valley, Allie and I sat down for a big conversation about our life, our finances, and our stress. We came to several decisions, the most immediate of which is to STOP driving.

We own two cars. A couple years ago we moved one of them to storage insurance and stopped driving it. I buy myself a subsidized monthly bus pass through my office job and use the pass Monday through Friday to get to work (parking downtown is TOO expensive for driving). Our store is only 15 blocks from our house. While we often drove to get there--walking, biking, or bussing the distance is supremely easy.

We put our other car on storage insurance starting August 1st and haven't driven since. Our decision to stop driving wasn't based purely on economics (although we will be saving over $100 a month). Allie and I have also been interested in living a healthier, more fit lifestyle. Not having the option to drive FORCES us to walk and bike more, even when it's not convenient. I'm also thrilled about polluting that much less in our lives and not giving our money to gas and oil companies.

The benifit is threefold. I consider it a dramatic lifestyle change and so far, it's been going great. I definitely want to sell one of our cars this year and if the experiment goes really well, maybe we'll get rid of the other.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chain and the Gang, yes!

Last night we braved certain tiredness to go out and see Ian Svenonious' Chain and The Gang perform at Holocene. It was our first show together all year (outside of Conan). As expected, Ian and co. put on a great show.

As soon as we arrived at the club we passed Ian as we entered. He was dress in a navy suit and tie, his dyed-dark hair coiffed high on his head. He gave us a polite hello.

We ran into friends Todd, Austin, and Dave which was a pleasant surprise. For the last few weeks I've been trying to get friends interested in coming to the show and was only met with blank stares or at best half-remembered memories of the Make-Up.

I hit the merch table to find the new Chain and the Gang 7" "(I've Got) Privilege"/"Detroit Music." Thank god Allie convinced me to buy it sooner than later in the night, because when I made my purchase the merch lady let me know I got the last one (the 7" was listed as being an edition of 500).

We sat in the drinking area for the first opening band and made our way into the concert area for Turbo Fruit. T.F. were pretty enjoyable and even Ian was out on the floor checking them out.

Around 11:30 Chain in the Gang came out to play. Ian had changed out of his dark suit into an all white mod suit (I love this fact!). His bassist and keyboardist/guitarist were wearing black and white striped prison-inspired shirts. They started the night with "Cemetery Map" and rocked the house from there. I was even inspired to dance along, especially to jams like "Reparations," "Trash Talk," and "I See Progress." They played a fair amount of new material which gives me high hopes of seeing a new album sometime this year.

Ian had the audience singing along, doing call and response, and dancing together to the "Progress" dance. He jumped, writhed, and squealed like an old soul performer. They ended the show with a meandering, but still inspiring, take on the hilarious tale of paranoia, consipracy, and revelation; "Deathbed Confession."

"'I faked the moon landing, I saved Hitler’s brain,
it's in Argentina, but it controls the USA,
I fixed the Pope’s election, I did the October Surprise,
I was the French Connection, I’ve got Ray Charles’ eyes.'
This is what he said, he said:
'It’s my time I’ve got to go, let this be a lesson, this is my deathbed confession."

My friend Bak took this photo on his phone:

Before the show, we decided to eat dinner at The Maiden which is just 3 blocks from Holocene. Allie had a Groupon for the restaurant which we'd been meaning to use. We were kind of tripped out when we arrived and saw a sign announcing that it was their LAST day of business. How lucky that we made it just in time. It's too bad the place has closed because the food was uniformly good. We ordered fish tacos, calamari, corn fritters with poblano sauce, a Spanish cheese plate, and drinks.

After the concert we made it home and in bed by 1:00am.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

We're still alive

It's been over two months since our last post. I figured I'd do a quick entry before the flame that is this blog is completely extinguished.

Since our last post, we had our annual Stumptown Comics Fest kick off party and reading. A week later we had Free Comic Book Day--our two biggest store events of the year back to back.

We almost finished our taxes.

We've got three chickens now. For a while they liked to nest in the bag of bedding:

We got rid of the bag after they kept knocking it over. They're so cute. Unlike our parakeet, they're very social and like to get pets. Their favorite thing to do is help me garden. They dig through all the dirt I turn up, looking for delicious bugs. They sleep in a coop at night but otherwise have the run of the backyard during the day. I'm going to build them a pen sometime soon. Their names are Ruby, Feather, and Ziggy. Now that it's relatively warm, they give us two to three eggs a day.

We're redoing our garage and kitchen--organizing, putting in shelves, getting rid of stuff. It's a ton of work. We'll be having a garage sale soon.

I failed the March zine challenge because I was too busy working on inventory and prepping for the Stumptown party and show. I redid the challenge for May and failed again. I'm reorganizing my goals and letting off the pressure a little. My main goal now is to just get my next zine done by the Zine Symposium in August. I also need to reprint the Macky zine and Allie's Cindy Lauper zine by then.

Allie's still making soap like crazy. My recent favorite is "Money" scented:

We saw the opening night performance of Conan O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television" tour in Eugene. It was a blast and the musical guest was Spoon, a band I love and have always wanted to see live. They played one of their best songs, "I Summon You."

We saw the new Michel Gondry movie The Thorn in the Heart, a documentary about his Aunt Suzette. He was there for the showing and a Q&A followed. It was amazing to to see and hear a filmmaker I really admire in person. The movie was good too.

Tonight we're going to the opening night reception for the new R. Crumb exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. We scored free tickets since we own a comic book store.

This weekend we're going to a barbecue and will get to see family and, most excitingly of all, little Gabriella our niece.

Maybe we'll post again soon?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Former Ghosts Show

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get out of the house more and go to more shows, plays and performances. I think we're succeeding.

Last week I went by myself to see Xiu Xiu. I skipped them the last two times they came because I had no one to go with. This year I've vowed not to back out of so much stuff because I'm tired or can't get anyone to go with me. I went to the show and had a great time. I ran into a Guapo customer and we hung out. One of the opening bands was tUnEyArDs. She put on an amazing show with drums, ukelele, and tape loops (not pre-recorded). I was an instant fan and bought the album on itunes (yeah I'd rather have the CD or record but I had an itunes gift card I needed to use).

Last night I went to see Former Ghosts for the third time. They were playing at Rotture again. I convinced my friends Jesse and Andrice to go with me. I downed two Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys and actually was dancing like crazy during the show. It was another fabulous performance although Freddy Ruppert had to perform again solo. I would kill to see the band play with ALL THREE members. He played 7 jams, including one new track and my favorite non album track "New Orleans" ("It's all my fault...I fell in love in the first place!!....{sob}")

Here I am after the show, modelling the t-shirt I bought:

I was so wired after the show I didn't fall asleep until 3am! Last time I saw Former Ghosts (in November?) I brought my friend John Isaacson. He made an awesome comic about the night:

John does a whole series of strips about the concerts he goes to. Check out his great stuff here.

We don't have any more rock shows on the immediate horizon, but we will be going to THREE comedy shows and a play. I've always been a huge comedy fan but have (almost) never seen live-stand-up. This year I've decided to remedy that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weekend in Washington

This last weekend Allie and I drove up to Bremerton Washington to the Navy base where we visited her brother Eric and his family. It was a nice trip and best of all WE GOT TO MEET OUR LITTLE NIECE!

She's just over one month old and her name is Gabriella.

Look how cute she is:

It was great to spend time with Eric, Lisa, and their baby. They promised they'd swing by this weekend when they come back from their Eugene trip.

Here I am holding her:

Eric said we were "having a moment." I've never held a baby that small. I'm so excited to be an Uncle!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spell check is a weird uncle. Spell check is drunk in the living room and is trying to pay attention but is missing half of what you say.

I just finished copy-editing my crappy novel. It was pretty tedious. There were some amusing errors I noticed though. These are the type of things spell check won't catch, which is why I spent a month going over the book.

1. Ted came up to Jed III and looked him up and dad,
2. Einstein discovered the theory of relatively
3. It was filled to the brim with cans of soda, bottles of war.
4. ...holding his dog's head in his head.
5. She heard her grandma cleaning her throat.
6. Benji's dad was silence.
7. It wasn't in his nature to get up. [Should have said 'give up']
8. ...he walked down the hall in his jean jacket, with his slick back hair.

Then there was the instance I accidentally let spell check replace "for gawdsakes" with "for handshakes."

Anyhow, you will not be seeing this book coming to a store near you. I mainly just wanted to make it coherent before I moved on to the next project. I have a little more work to do on the thing before I call it done, but I'm almost there. I'm not unhappy the book stinks; Nanowrimo was a great, fun exercise and I never expected much from the results.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brothers of the Head

Allie and I just watched this FAKE documentary about a fictional band led my a pair of conjoined twins. The movie is Brothers of the Head and the band is The Bang Bang. The movie was very good--it was a very convincing and authentic feeling (fake) documentary. What really blew me away was the soundtrack and the performances by the twins (played by Harry and Luke Treadaway, real identical--but not conjoined--twins). The twins really did play and sing on all the music and even wrote one of the songs.

I've been obsessed with the music and ordered the CD from Amazon; it finally arrived today. The music feels very authentic--great rock that sounds like a mix of British Mod/Psych music and early punk.

Here's a scene from the movie where the twins are recording a demo of the song "Doola and Dawla."

Here's a music video of the (fictionally) iconic Bang Bang song "Two Way Romeo" from which the band got its name. It features various scenes from the movie.

If you've seen the movie, the soundtrack features all nine studio songs from the Bang Bang's one and only album, three live songs and three demos featured in the movie, an alternate version of "Two Way Romeo," and two other songs by fictional bands from the movie. It's an amazing album that stands on its own from the movie. Too bad the Bang Bang wasn't a real band...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catching Up

Man...this year is really flying by. I regret that we haven't done more blog entries. I wanted to do a quick update. I turned 30 last month which was a big milestone. I partied all month, culminating with our Year 3030 party on January 30th. We had about 18 people over and everything was space/future themed. Allie made me a rocket-shaped cake out of melted Milky Way candy bars...We had a punch bowl full of Midori which we called Soylent Green Punch. I dressed as an android and Allie made a glow stick skirt which was powered by her sparkly silver "solar panel" top.
Around Christmas of 2008 I set myself the goal of truly using every present I asked for and received. You see I have a problem of over collecting things like books and movies. I realized it was ridiculous that I would ask for presents and a year later I still hadn't watched them or read them. So now, if I ask for it, I have one year to watch it or read it. This X-mas season I got a TON of books which will keep me very busy.

So far I have read the following gifts:
Kick Me by Paul Feig
Endless Summer Quarterly Winter 2009 issue (this is a Beach Boys fan zine)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I still have left to read:
Belle & Sebastian by Paul Whitelaw
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Endless Summer Quarterly (the coming three issues)
Guided By Voices: A Brief History by James Greer
I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
No One Belong Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July
Superstud by Paul Feig
Who the Hell's in It: Conversations with Hollywood's Legendary Actors by Peter Bogdanovich
Wonderboys by Michael Chabon

This is gonna keep me real busy reading all of these. To make matters worse, I am committing February to finishing copy editing my crappy novel, finishing our taxes, and doing research on the Beach Boys (for a March project).

We're also looking forward to the birth of our first niece, Gabriella, who will be coming February 25th. I'm so excited to be an Uncle! We're going up to Washington that weekend to see her and celebrate with her parents Eric and Lisa.

More stuff has been going on, but I'm going to save that for a different post.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

365 in 2010 Day 4- Chocolate Peppermint Soap

This batch of soap was created after I bought a bum batch of peppermint tea bags. The bags weren't stapled closed and when I put them in my cup the leaves got all up in my hot water. So as they say, "when life gives you peppermint tea, make peppermint soap." So I did. I added a little dutch cocoa fragrance oil and the whole thing smells like a Andes Mint.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

365 in 2010 Swallow Earrings DAY 1

Swallow Earrings DAY 1
Originally uploaded by alliemaries
For New Years this year I made the resolution to just make a little something every day. I'll still do my bigger projects that involve more time in addition to this, but it feels nice to just do a little project a day. This was the first I did. It is a pair of earrings that have been taking up space in my brain for a little bit. It feels good to make them and have that space free again in my brain. I'm also listing the items I make in my quick projects in my Etsy (because another part of my resolution is to get rid of some of my overflowing craft supply.) You can find these earrings listed here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a New Year

It's a new year and I wanted to offer a little recap of our holidays.

We had a great Christmas, going down to Eugene to visit both of our parents as well as three of my aunts and a cousin who came up from California.

New Year's Eve, we went to our friends' house and partied until 4:00am! The whole weekend was nice as well, because we spent a lot of time seeing the awesome of out- of-towners Vanessa & Trevor.

Despite sleeping in until 330pm New Year's Day, we were determined to make the most of the day and the weekend and get going on our New Year's Resolutions. Allie and I both set resolutions which are more like homework schedules. Her single resolution is a doozy--make something every day. So far she has been surpassing this goal.

I set myself nine resolutions and have so far made good progress on many of them. The most immediate resolution is to finish the second issue of "Song Zine" by the end of January. I am already halfway done!

I've also resolved to do more home improvement and maintenance. Friday, January 1, I stuffed all the floor vents from our decommissioned heating system with insulation to better weatherize the house. Saturday, I fixed the leak in our tub's hot water faucet. It was easy, but a big deal for me. I have very little experience with plumbing and was waiting for my parents to fix the thing. After two months and a new year full of new resolve, I could wait no longer. I also put in a new light switch plate and fixed this cable plate which had been hanging loose from the wall for the last four years. Sunday, I put door sweeps on the front and back door of the garage to help weatherize. All this stuff is pretty basic, but it's the kind of stuff I'll put off for years. Now my goal is to just knock it out.

As a matter of virtual housecleaning, I'd like to follow up on two promises I made on this blog. The first is that I would post photos of the zines Allie and I made. Here are the four zines I made in 2008, including the "2009 Year in Review Zine" I finished in mid-December:

I can't post a copy of Allie's zine because I have temporarily lost our last and only copy. To offer a new promise, I will take and post a pic as soon as I find the zine!

Here's an inside shot of the "Macky Zine":

and here's an inside shot of the "2009 Zine" showcasing the super cheesy HOT font I used for my Hot List.

I also promised we'd offer more info on Allie's craft goings-on. To be honest, I wanted her to post about it herself. Since she hasn't, I'll mention that she has opened up her own Etsy shop. You can find photos of her crafts and see them for sale here. She's been making cards, jewelry, and soap. The soap is especially exciting and is something she only recently learned to make. Here's a photo of one of my favorites:
It's Gingerbread Latte made with real coffee grounds!

I'd also like to mention that our beloved and oft-mentioned cat Macky passed away this year. He died August 20th. We always intended to post an extended eulogy for him but never got around to it. We adopted Macky when he was six and spent seven years of our lives with him.

Here we are respectively enjoying his company in times long passed:

Happy New Year!