Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On the Move!

We're moving today! So I don't have much to report besides that. 
I really wish the Etsy seller Anamarko was still making and selling these awesome custom hand-painted miniature wooden houses. It would have been the perfect house-warming present for me to give Micky (and myself?) today. 

Now I guess he'll just have to settle for backaches and strained muscles. The gifts that keep on giving!

See you next week, friends! 

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Low Risk Exploration of Mt. Everest

Overall View
I found this a couple years ago and forgot about it until recently when I heard about the deaths of several Sherpas and climbers during an avalanche at Mount Everest.  Climbing any mountain is a risky endeavor, but Everest is an especially dangerous one and claims many lives, due to the fact that so many damn people attempt to make it to the summit every year.  I am not a climber, but if I did decide to risk my life in order to reach the top of one, it wouldn't be at a site that is essentially a tourist attraction constantly packed with long lines of people.  It's like the perfect British climbing experience...just wait in the queue and you will get your turn at glory.

It is a 3.8 Billion Pixel image of the entire mountain and base camp.  From this main image it actually doesn't look all that impressive, but zoom into the lower section and you can see the base camp. Hundreds and hundreds of tents that are tiny.

 You can also zoom in and follow the path up the mountain finding climbers as they ascend. It's very cool.

I circled the guy but see if you can find him yourself in the main photo.....not easy
Here is another link to something similar but if you are into a more urban setting to explore.

This is 111 Gigapixel though.  They are not playing.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Marriage

Marriage by Andrew Wyeth

I picked this painting to post this week before I knew its title and as it turns out this Wednesday happens to mark my 3rd wedding anniversary. The old couple looks so peaceful, lying next to each other tucked in bed. And also very stiff. Like almost TOO rest-in-peaceful, if you know what I mean. 
Things certainly took a turn for the morose there! 

Happy anniversary, honey! 

- Cathleen  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Wrap Up

So, Easter was all that I hoped for: a restful, joyful celebration with friends and family. Grace and I had our Easter outfit showdown and she CRUSHED me. It doesn't matter what I wear, I can't compete with that iconic skin.

After a delicious breakfast, our kids hunted for eggs and stuffed their faces with candy and generally had the time of their lives. 

Then we went to our next shindig which ended up lasting over eight hours and resulting with our children looking like this...

 ... and me driving my husband home. Good times.

Also, my Easter Egg adventure was SO MUCH FUN! They're not quite the works of art that I had hoped but I still think they're really pretty. Here are two shot of some of the better outcomes. (Okay, let's be honest, the ONLY good outcomes.)

And here's one cherry blossom shot so we can go out with slightly better photography... 

Yay for Easter! I hope yours was as wonderful as ours!

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Art from Anek

8.3 x 11.7" giclee reproduction print of original illustration 
$30 via anek on Etsy

It is now one week until we move into OUR NEW HOME and I am so excited I can barely stand it. We're in the thick of it, organizing and packing all of our belongings into brown cardboard boxes. I can't stop my mind from wandering into our future backyard, plotting where we'll plant the blueberry bushes we were already gifted (thanks, mom!). But mostly I am thrilled by the prospect of never having to move AGAIN. I know, I know --- nothing is forever. Who knows what might happen years down the line! But after relocating a fuzzily estimated 15 times in my life, I am SO ready to plant some permanent roots and put as many holes in my walls as I want, security deposits be damned!

Speaking of blueberries and hammering holes in the name of art, I love almost every single print in Anek's Etsy shop, but especially Ana Zaja Petrak's food illustrations. Any of these would make a great Mother's Day (or housewarming) gift if you are in the market.

11 x 15" giclee reproduction print of original illustration
$45 via anek on Etsy

11 x 15" giclee reproduction print of original illustration
$45 via anek on Etsy

Botanical Chart Herbs Poster
20 x 27" giclee reproduction print of original illustration
$85 via anek on Etsy

11 x 15" giclee reproduction print of original illustration

- Cathleen

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Short Film of the Month- Alive in Joburg

Here is my next installment of Short Film of the Month

This one is made by director, Neill Blomkamp, and was the short that inspired his feature length film, District 9.

District 9 is one of my top 5 favorite Sci-Fi movies.  It is a "realistic" vision of what our relationship could be with an alien species that comes to earth and tries to live among us.  Being from South Africa, Blomkamp, has good reason to imagine the human response to difference as one of fear and violence.
This short film is shot in the same documentary style as the movie and even has Sharlto Copley as the lead which makes both movies feel that much more real.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Snail Hand

Snail Hand by Robert Langham
platinum print, 1994

Robert Langham is a photographer from Tyler, Texas whose work is mostly comprised of stark East Texas and Western landscapes. This shot is by far my most favorite of his photos. Those snails. They get me every time. 

You can see more of Langham's work and process on his blog:

- Cathleen 

Friday, April 18, 2014


So, Sunday is Easter (my absolute favorite holiday of all time) and I've got a bunch to look forward to: a fashion face-off with Grace, brunch, egg hunts, spring-y cocktails, and dinner with more friends. 
But even before that, I've got egg decorating to anticipate tomorrow.

Until last year, I tortured myself with the interminable pain of egg dyeing. Which is hell if you have small impatient people. So last year we chucked that for watercoloring our eggs instead. So much better! Fun for everyone! No spilled dye! No children crying because their mother went ballistic!

This year, we're upping the ante and adding metallic Sharpies into the mix, i.e. 

Add caption

Is this a recipe for disaster? Quite possibly. But I'm going for it anyway.

Wish me luck, friends, and have the most wonderful Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In My Art Room - Clay Pancakes!

At my school I run an art school art program, which I look forward to every week. This week we made pancakes out of Crayola's air dry clay. Here are my student's results.... what do you think? I should mention that we didn't finish painting yet.

Mmmm... looks delicious! And these are great results! I love this project because even though my after school art-ers are ages 5-8 this project yields great results. Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Up To Lately

With The Big Move on our horizon, I haven't had too much leisure time to troll the internet for fun finds to blog about. SO I thought instead of sharing another cool Etsy shop with you guys, I'd just tell you about some of the things I've been up to lately.

Reading Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Ph.D. Lately Graham has been yelling a lot. And throwing his food. Also biting occasionally. It's getting pretty tiresome. I remembered a mom I nannied for long ago had me read (ok, skim) this before I started looking after her son. And I remember being amazed at how no-nonsense and effective it was, even though he was only 18 months old at the time. Have you guys ever read this before? Or know of anything like it that you could recommend?

Hitting up some neighborhood yard sales, where I found this awesome hexagonal child's table for a mere $10! There's going to be some serious coloring book action on this thing one day. As soon as Graham figures out crayons are for drawing, not gnawing.

Researching my dream kitchen. According to my Pinterest Kitchen board, I tend towards a colored lower cabinet and white upper cabinet set-up. White subway tile is also a total no-brainer in this department. And I definitely want a pull-out trash bin. Wow! The things that get me going these days.

Following the Eat Your Heart Out Diet. Full disclosure: I normally hate talking about weight (it's so boring as a conversation topic and too personal) and don't tend to go in for quick loss schemes. I've done my fair share of Weight Watching, sure, but the promise of high return in such a short span made me curious. It also seems like more of a jump start "cleanse" I guess, because of it's focus on healthy fruits and vegetables. And! You can eat as much as you want of whatever it says on the designated day. It also came highly recommended from my mother- and sister-in-laws, so I thought I'd give it a try. Today's my last day and this Miracle Soup! is not all that miraculous. I added red pepper flakes to make it a bit more appetizing, but overall cabbage soup is pretty blech. I do feel like I have more energy than usual and generally just good about all of the healthy things I'm putting into my body. I cannot wait to eat a peanut butter sandwich tomorrow, however.

- Cathleen

[Images via; ME; apartment]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Grapefruit

Grapefruit by Elizabeth Mayville
gouache on paper, 5 x 7" with 1" border

I don't like grapefruit, but I love this painting. 

You can see more of Elizabeth Mayville's work on her website
and additional work of various sizes for sale in her Etsy shop.

- Cathleen

Friday, April 11, 2014

In Process

I know it's a terrible picture- please don't judge.

 So, contrary to popular opinion, (i.e. my own ) I'm not always a total slacker who accomplishes nothing. Sometimes I overcompensate, take on way too many projects at once, and still accomplish nothing. How do I manage it, you ask? 
Friends, it's a gift.

Pictured above are just a few of my stopped-right-in-the-middle projects. But they're on my dining room table because I am finishing them today. TODAY.

One (the circles and ugly wire spiral) is a Martha Stewart ripoff- a solar system mobile. As you may remember, I've been wanting to do a mobile for a while and since we're studying the planets right now and Martha's mobile is redonk pretty, I'm combining the two! When I was reading Martha's instructions, I scoffed at the idea of buying "circle cutters" but after cutting 96 imperfect circles, my Type A OCD was flaring up BIG TIME. Now I can't look at them too closely or I start to twitch a teeny tiny bit.

The other (the stacks of accordion pleated tissue paper) are an another attempt to incorporate school learning crafts that don't end up on the floor or our "extra extra special drawings" drawer. We were studying a period of Chinese history soooo we decided to make paper lanterns! I only made it through one round of trying to get my children to fold straight lines evenly spaced apart before shooing them all out of the kitchen and vowing to finish it on my own.

So, maybe I'll do an update later today with our results like a real fancy blogger. Unless they all turn out hideous and then I won't. 

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So... What Are You Wearing for Easter?

Easter is seriously close dudes! So, here's my question... what are you wearing? We celebrate Easter with mass and then brunch with Alissa and her awesome brood and capping off the day with an egg hunt. Alissa brings her A-game when it comes to dressing. You can't tell from this blog but Alissa is seriously skinny, flat tummy and 4 kids! She also always looks neat as a pin. So I've got to compete. I just ordered this dress from Asos... thoughts?

Mirror Floral V Back

So readers... what are you going to wear? Post links in the comments as well as shoe suggestions for me and this dress. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Sink and Mirror

Sink and Mirror by Antonio López Garcia

oil on wood, 38.5 x 33 in, 1967

It's official. We are moving into our new home at the end of the month! So I have to apologize but I've pretty much only got house stuff on the brain right now. Last night I went down a Pinterest rabbit hole searching for a solution to the Great Frosted Sliding Shower Door debate. Micky thinks it's fine---and really, it is. We probably won't update it for a while since there are far more pressing matters like roofs and HVACs to fix. But I keep thinking about all of the gross gunk that inevitably gets trapped in the door track. And that gives me the skeeves. 

This oil painting by Spanish artist Antonio López Garcia turns the grime and the mundanity of his private space into a poignant self-portrait. I like the hexagonal white floor tile too. 

- Cathleen

[Image via by way of Museum of Fine Arts Boston]

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Short Film of the Month- Atticus Walker and the Monster in His Mind

Here is my next installment of Short Film of the Month

This 12 minute short is hilarious.  The absurdity of the Monster is perfect.  He is an indigent rude asshole and the relaxed sarcastic eyes make it that much funnier.  The guy who plays Atticus has a bit of a Jesse Eisenburg awkwardness to him without being as obnoxious.  
There is a simple but enlightening message about the power of getting over one's fears and anxieties but in the end it's a lighthearted flick which makes me laugh and hopefully makes you do the same.
Oddly, only after I watched this short did I notice that the cinematographer was a dude I went to high school with as well as drove to school for a couple years.  He is damn good at what he does

Monday, April 7, 2014

Craft Fair Find: Ash

This past weekend I spent a gorgeous Saturday afternoon trolling the aisles of the Rock & Shop Market in downtown Durham, NC with my friend Nicole. While I usually get super stoked about craft fairs and love seeing what people have been working on in their studios, I'm often struck by how it all sort of starts to look the same, show after show. Especially in the jewelry department. But this time I noticed one table that stood out among the hand-crafted crowd.

Ash is a jewelry line created by Ashlee Meadows and based in Raleigh, NC. Her work is mostly matte porcelain pendants and earrings, dipped in different pale glazes then dunked again into a gold overglaze. The results are pretty, delicate geometric pieces that have a nice weight and feel to them. You can see the full range of what she does on her website, and purchase work through her Etsy shop.

Hexagon Porcelain Earrings, $58 

Porcelain Bar Necklace, $65

Circle Porcelain Earrings, $58

Tiny Porcelain Hexagon Necklace, $54

- Cathleen

Friday, April 4, 2014

Having My Spring and Eating It Too

So, I'm taking a quick little hiatus from my project posting because I was super unproductive this week and didn't complete anything I want to share my current favorite spring salad. In case anyone is wondering, spring fever has taken a strong hold on me and I'm embracing everything spring-y right now. And in terms of food, that means asparagus!

I used to hate asparagus. Once when I was little, our mom made it for us and it was so disgusting that she promised that she would never make it again. And she kept her word- I don't think that I ate it again until after I got married. I'm not sure when I tried it again and I'm also a little fuzzy on when I became such an asparagus nut. But here I am, scarfing as much asparagus as possible during the spring and pining away for it during all the other seasons of the year.

So, last night I made an asparagus, bacon, almond, and arugula salad with sherry vinaigrette. (I know, more ingredients = more pretentious recipe title. It's ok, I'm leaning into it.) Anyway, I'm not one of these "Put Bacon On Everything!" people but the bacon was incredible. It made the salad delicious and the only thing lacking was some kind of fruit. (I like my salads to hit every flavor note possible.)

We've also had asparagus pesto, shaved asparagus pizza, asparagus in pasta, and just plain steamed. I'm still on the hunt for an asparagus flan recipe that I glimpsed somewhere a couple years that I've never been able to locate anywhere. If you find it for me, I'll make you a delightful asparagus salad....

Happy Fresh Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Crush

I'm a children's book nut. I love a good children's book and I often as an art teacher I weave in literature whenever possible. My current book obsession is The Dark by Lemony Snicket illustrations by Jon Klassen. I loved Klassen's This is Not My Hat and am somewhat new to Snicket. Anyway here are some pictures from the book.

The gorgeous cover. All illustrations were done in gauche. 

I am especially fond of the monochromatic color palette in the above image with the contrast of the bold dark. 

The all-consuming dark. 

Gorgeous image of a sunset. You can feel the coldness of the room while simultaneously feeling the warmth of the colors. 

The limited color palette with oodles of organized geometrics. 

My local bookstore Child's Play in Northwest D.C. had copies of this book signed by the author. I was able to snag one for myself and one for Catie. Yeah I'm a good friend.

I hope you check this book out and I hope even more that you love it as much as me.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Untitled

Untitled by Anna Oguienko

A beautiful drawing for a beautiful day. 

You can see more of Anna Oguienko's intricate pattern work on her website:

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Early Color Photography

Louis Ducos du Hauron
I am always in search of great photographs but I think my favorites are early color photographs, when the art was still in it's infancy.  It wasn't long after the invention of the photographic process that people started finding ways to make images look more real and since we don't see life in black and white, the color photograph was the way to do this. Many of the images throughout this post are not necessarily the first color photographs but capture life that we are used to viewing in only black and white.  The color brings life to the subjects and, in a way, helps you imagine yourself living in that time.  There are several in here by one of my favorite American photographers, Marion Post Wolcott.  In my opinion, she is up there with Hopper and Thomas Hart Benton as artists who truly captured the soul of America in their art.

Jack Delano

Jack Delano

Russell Lee

John Vachon

Marion Post Wolcott

Marion Post Wolcott

Jack Delano

Alfred Palmer

John Vachon

John Vachon

Hand Painted- Frederick Douglas

WWII color images are amazing


Early color image of flower market in Paris

The next four are very early and shot by Sergey Prokudin-Gorskii 

Shakelton Ant Arctic Expedition

Shakelton Ant Arctic Expedition

Shakelton Ant Arctic Expedition

Shakelton Ant Arctic Expedition

Hand colored- Churchill
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