Monday, December 31, 2012

goodbye 2012

and the sun sets on 2012...and this is my 2012th post. i don't have anything profound to say. no big resolutions. no big revelations. no big reflections. i've read some good books this year. i've made some good food. i've had some great conversions and laughed a lot. i've done some things i previously didn't dare to do and i should undoubtedly have dared more (or believed more). i took photos every day, but i didn't really progress anywhere in my photography. i loved some cats. i spent time with horses. here at the end of the year, i went on a buffy the vampire slayer marathon (more about that soon).  in short, 2012 was another year. full of ups and downs and in betweens. i learned. i grew. i wasted some time and i used some time wisely.

perhaps a declaration is in order (tho' i'm still unwilling to call it a resolution)...i intend to believe more in 2013. and do more of following husband's example and just working on through at those moments when believing wears thin.

happy new year, one and all. may you eat good food and spend it with people who make you both think and laugh. that's what i plan to do.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

husband's sawmill - the big project of 2012

december 21, 2012 

december 30, 3012

december 30, 2012 

husband built doors for his sawmill in recent days - he had two weeks off here at christmas (he starts a new job january 2) and thus lots of daylight hours. the door on the left isn't quite finished, but i imagine it won't be long. what a lot he's done...this was but a hole in the ground back in august and now it's a whole, nearly weather-proof building with a functioning band saw inside. husband is very proud of it and i'm also proud of him. i could really take a lesson from him in deciding what i want and going after it. that's the lesson i want to take into 2013.

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two new pinterest boards: caffeinated. vision walls (more about that soon). 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

deciding to be happy

pretty happy things inspired by pinterest

yesterday at the end of my blog post, i linked to an article about how it pays to be happy. and how you can simply decide to be happy, you just have to keep at it for 21 days (they say that's what it takes to make something a habit, tho' don't ask me who they are). i think what keeps going through my head is the line about: if you're positive, your brain is 31 percent more productive than it is in a negative state. honestly, i need all the productivity i can get, so i'm thinking it's worth a try to be positive and happy. 

last night, we had some car trouble that totally turned our plans upside down - we thought we'd be spending our evening in a nice restaurant in another country, eating and laughing with friends after laying in 3-4 months' supply of nutella and gin at a well-stocked german grocery store. when we got to the parking lot of the grocery store, our car began acting up (electrical problems), so we decided to high-tail it back to denmark, where our falck membership was valid and we could call a tow truck if necessary. (i ran in for nutella and gin before we departed, don't worry.) 

we called our friends to cancel and decided instead to go to their place (which was in denmark), where we ended up having an impromptu dinner and playing a great board game called ticket to ride (which i promptly ordered from amazon during the game) and laughing and having a great time anyway. we left around midnight and the car seemed ok. but along the highway, it came to a stop and we had to call falck after all. 

during the wait for the tow truck, we were beside the dark highway and cars sped past us. one truck actually honked as if we were in the way. and i found myself getting absolutely furious about the danish mentality of "we gave at the office, you're on your own." yes, it was dark, yes it was rainy and yes, help was on its way, but still, it would have been nice if someone had demonstrated courtesy and a shred of caring about others and stopped to ask if we needed help. i complained on facebook and my friends started piping in with commiserations and offers of help (from seattle!) and ideas (involving flashing my chest) for getting someone to stop. and it made me laugh and i felt a whole lot better. so i guess i feel i had proof that deciding to think it was funny instead of being furious actually worked. happiness won. (even if it was with a bit of help from my friends.)

i think i'm going to give it a whirl as an experiment over the next few weeks, following some of the advice from the article:

~ write down three new things you are grateful for each day
~ spend two minutes a day, writing all the details about a positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours
~ exercise or do something you enjoy for at least ten minutes a day
~ write one quick email, first thing in the morning, thanking or praising someone who's in your social support network

i know, it all sounds a bit new agey, but isn't it worth a try?

Friday, December 28, 2012

it's a balancing act

christmas. it's a balancing act, isn't it? meeting (or not) the expectations all around - for gifts, for visits, lengths of visits, the quality of the wine, the food, even the procedure around how the gifts are opened. what's strange is that we have all these expectations without really knowing or articulating them beforehand, yet we definitely know when they are disappointed.

we went to møn for christmas, to a house we've visited many times over the years. it's where i first experienced the danish way of entertaining - hours of good food, glasses of quality wine, some more food, a bit of snaps, maybe a game of cards, certainly a lot of laughter. so i think i was expecting that. instead, there was frozen bread, mackerel in tins, boxed wine, television on while the presents were opened, chain-smoking hosts in ill health and repeated, munchausen-tinged stories. a bit of a disappointment, really even if i didn't know what i had expected.

it left me feeling a bit sorrowful...for the passage of time, for how life moves on when special people are gone and it doesn't necessarily move on for the better. for how many utterly ordinary people there are out there in comparison to the numbers of special, unique people. and how they produce ordinary children themselves and how ordinariness is thus carried on and on. and people seemingly do not notice.

sorrowful to see someone going downhill after a hard-lived life of too much drink and too many cigarettes. and how it affects the health and the brain. stories repeated and exaggerated and inappropriate. a woven tapestry of truth, lies, imaginings and memories tinged with self-delusion and regret, peppered with a feeling of bitterness over growing irrelevance.

sorrowful (and a little bit relieved) that it was likely a first and last christmas ever for that particular constellation of people.

life is short. we have to choose things that give us joy and happiness rather than sorrow and disappointment. it pays to be happy. and you can choose it for yourself.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012: a year in 36 pictures

pinky the pony. 44 swans on the lake and memse the norwegian trotter. it was cold, but the light was already returning.

more wintry weather. ice skating on the lake. cold, clear, sunny days. february had an extra day and this year, we didn't mind.

pony rides, jump shots, unseasonably springy weather and homemade goodies.

bunnies, signs of spring, nettle gnocchi. and the light, oh, the light. in these northern latitudes, we are so grateful for its return.

my daily drive - i love this road. and the rapeseed flowers were amazing, lining my path ahead. frankie was a special kitten already then and we knew we couldn't part with him.

an idyllic house on a winding country road, frankie growing up and fleamarket finds. june was a bit cloudy, but not bad nonetheless.

a photo "class" for children at my local library. riding camp. and a fabulous bloggy visit in a hot, humid minnesota.

struggles to bring home a little minnesota kitten named molly. baby chicks galore. and glorious summer light.

experiments in homemade tonic (it was a win), a smiling tween (we're learning to cherish that sight) and frankie growing up fast.

the pear tree went a little nuts - so i canned pears and made pear-ginger jam. i discovered anne brodersen's amazing work. and we entered (and didn't win) a cake contest.

a return to creativity that was mostly dorment (except in the kitchen) in 2012 with felted stones. and more cats - frankie's mom produced some little stripey siblings and he turned into a truly handsome grown-up cat himself, with a coat like a mink.

sparkly boots sparkling in the snow. blue skies and frost. a visit to a favorite place.

what were the highlights of your 2012?

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wowed by this photography - such beautiful natural light. and he's danish!
looking through the photos under living took my breath away.
i must learn to make photos like this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

my happy place

still processing the whole christmas experience (and not really done cooking yet), so in the meantime, some shots of one of my favorite places in the world - møn's klint. when we got to the bottom of all those steps and onto that stone beach, my molecules hummed in perfect alignment. more soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

so this is christmas...

the best gift so far? loads of notes for future blog posts. there's something about trauma that inspires like nothing else. let's just say that thomas vinterberg's festen is quite demure and underplayed in comparison to the reality. more soon...

and merry christmas one and all! hug your families! enjoy them for all their eccentricities.

Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas angst

christmas angst. every year, i declare i won't have it and every year, i have it. of course, it's deserved to an extent - i still have a pile of presents for my parents sitting here on the sideboard, not sent. ditto my sister. i tell myself it makes it more exciting to get unexpected presents in january. or february. but i hope i won't wait that long. what is it with me and procrastination?

i found out this afternoon that we were expected already today at the more local family christmas to-do. i never knew that (husband made the arrangements and obviously didn't adequately communicate them). but because of cold weather and bunnies and kitties and chickens that need their water thawed twice a day, we had never planned to go already today - it's just too long to leave all the animals home alone. but i have to admit that now i'm very worried that they're thinking we're horrible not to be there. which may sound like i'm a little paranoid and over-reacting, but we are talking here about a person who didn't speak to us for a couple of years because of a misunderstanding over a handful of smoked shrimp, so you never know.

but we're as ready as we're going to be. presents and goodies are packed, as well as good humor. let's hope that's enough. and if not, it's only one day. but i do just once wish for a christmas free of anxiety.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

a white christmas?

it snowed heavily all day today. and the wind was blowing. it was a real blizzard. but it's stopped now and it's warming up fast. they say by midnight it'll be 6°C, so it will soon be gone and christmas probably won't be so white after all. but for today, it was.

it made it a perfect day to stay inside, do the last baking and making of christmas treats and sewing up the last gifts. we even pulled ourselves together and put up the tree. all while watching season 1 of buffy the vampire slayer on netflix. even tho' life in high school on top of a hellmouth isn't really all that christmasy, there is something deep and existential about it. i love it.

all of the preparations are done and my turkey is tucked into its brine - we'll head off tomorrow morning to spend christmas eve with family (they think christmas eve is actual christmas here and open all their gifts and eat all the food one day early). we're taking a few gifts along, but not all of them, as we'll come home already for actual christmas (hmm, maybe that early celebration isn't so bad after all). i hope we have time to take a trip down to møn's klint - that strikes me as the ideal thing to do on christmas.

speaking of existential, i give you henri the cat's worst nöel:

merry christmas, one and all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

showing up to creativity

sewing, drinking tea, battling a sore throat and a head that's filling up with snot and sewing. sewing is meditative for me and i love to listen to TED talks while i sew. they cause thoughts to go off in all directions.

i really loved this one from elizabeth gilbert on the pressures and fears of the creative process - do watch it if you have time:

i think sometimes that's the problem with my own creativity - i'm not very consistent about it. i don't just show up every day and keep plugging away at it. i come at it in fits and starts. i am also increasingly aware that creativity is not a solitary process - i'm actually at my most creative in conversation and in the presence of others. and what's actually weird is that i thought i had to be alone to be creative. i vow to spend more time in the presence of other creative people in 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

winter solstice: the darkest day of the year

i don't know about you, but if this is indeed the last day of existence as we know it, it surely is taking its time. i'll admit we're taking it quite stille og roligt as they say in danish. in fact, i'd say we're downright making plans for the future. husband signed a contract for a new job today - it starts january 2. it's the kind of job that comes with a car, which is new for us and a little bit exciting. he doesn't know yet what kind of car he'll get, he's still letting it all sink in, i think. i'm voting audi, but i suppose he'll get a reliable toyota of some kind.

a cleaning/decorating/rearranging frenzy is building inside me, but first i have some sewing to finish for christmas. a couple of lovely, warm snuggle quilts for the big girls and maybe a fun bag or two if i get really ambitious. but what it means is that i think that the world will be here tomorrow to rearrange and that it will still be cold and people will need to snuggle up under a blanket.

we cut down a tree a week ago (it had to go anyway), but we still haven't brought it in and decorated it. i think we might not, actually, as horrible as that sounds. we're going to møn for christmas (one of our favorite places in denmark) and we won't be home anyway, so it feels a little bit like it doesn't matter. i think this old, rather uninspiring house stands in my way at times. in a way that makes me slightly depressed. tho' i'm trying to keep that at bay here in the christmas season. hmm, maybe a cheerful, warm tree, with twinkling lights would have helped...

speaking of christmas, i am perhaps feeling slightly humbug about it. sabin has done nothing but complain about her daily christmas calendar. there were a lot of tubes of paint in it, but i thought it was a fun way to give her art supplies. apparently, it was too boring. and it makes me feel bad that i'm raising a spoiled brat who can't even be grateful. i suppose it's my own fault, but it does rather depress me nonetheless. how can i wrest her from the grip of a consumer society? all we hear on the news is that we need to start "using" again, which means spend money on stuff. but really, we have all the stuff we need.  i declared that i didn't want anything for christmas and if people insisted, it should be something from a second-hand shop or flea market. i sincerely hope they listened.

maybe those mayans knew what they were doing, setting the end on the solstice - it is the darkest day of the year after all. it can only grow lighter from here.

* * *

worst words of 2012.

i think she missed out noms and FTW and that she insufficiently blamed pinterest for curate.

here's just an excerpt: "Epic. Adjective. Unless you're describing The Iliad or The Odyssey (and in a high school or college English class), choose anew, friends. Don't make me say this again in 2013."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

no boring lamps

you know how i love me a good lamp, so it's actually quite surprising that a.) i haven't shown you our fabulous triplex lamp before this (it arrived clear back in august) and b.) that our house is otherwise so rubbishly-lit. it's no wonder i just needed new and much stronger reading glasses (to the tune of way more kroner than i care to admit or type). but it is not the fault of the triplex lamp. you may know a bit about it, since bloggy friend ulrika and her husband have revived this swedish classic and are producing them once again today.  ours is one of the first batch (no. 11) and we're thrilled to bits to have it.

come to think of it, i might not have shared it before because all i've taken are rubbish photos of it that do not, by any means, do it justice. i suggest you head over to the triplex website to see some proper pictures of it.

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flannery o'kafka has an awesome feel. 

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ithkuil : the search for a more perfect (rational?) language.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

no. 2000

back in 2004 when i started this blog, i had just been unexpectedly fired from my job in microsoft (it was proven to be an unlawful firing - turns out you can't get top marks on all your evaluations and be fired for no reason). but the funny thing about it was that i didn't feel sad, i felt set free. it seems that radical change will do that to you. i soon found a new job that took me around the world and back (for 150 days of 2006 and 180 days of 2007) and lost myself a little bit again. and i also didn't blog again until late 2007. i was a little surprised to find the blog here waiting for me (i had called it moments of perfect clarity from the beginning), but waiting it was. in the meantime, blogger had been bought by google, but that seemed ok, so i dusted it off and started writing for the sake of my sanity once again. and it seems that hasn't really let up since. i've been through highs and lows, moves and travels, i've shared dreams and sadness and happiness and i've asked a lot of questions and pondered the hell out of a lot of things. somewhere along the way, i learned how to take proper photos (most of the time). in the beginning, i used capital letters, but that fell away already by the 6th post, sort of instinctively.

this space has been a source of comfort, excitement, friendship, laughter and tears. i've made a lot of great friends and some of them i've even met in real life. this is where i keep my memories and where i work things out. it's been the center of my sanity in earnest for four years and 2000 posts. thank you for reading along, i really do appreciate it. 

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looking for collaboration? look no further than here.
i'm in love with their tiny stories books.
thank you andi, for pointing me to them!

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loved this piece about the economist on the nytimes blogs.
especially the bit about adorable british spellings.
found my way to this one from that one. it's good too.

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what is up with the russians?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

growing up with guns

i really do hate to use one of my last posts leading to number 2000 on the connecticut shooting, but i find i have a bit more to say, so use it i shall. tho' i do think that what jenna said about it is so well put that there's not really more to say.

i got a mail from a friend about the way that he, like many of us americans, was raised around guns.  and i have to admit that i was too. we had a really lovely rather bauhaus-style pistol in the buffet drawer and a number of shotguns standing down at the bottom of the basement stairs. i remember peeking in the drawer at the pistol to scare myself or show it conspiratorially to some friend, but never actually daring to touch it. it wasn't loaded anyway and i don't recall any bullets in the buffet drawer, so i imagine it was quite harmless. and i also imagine it's still there, tho' i didn't check when i was home last summer.

i loved (and still do) the story about it - my mother had inherited it from her aunt, who had been married to a banker in sgt. bluff, iowa. back in the 50s, someone had tried to kidnap her - it was such a wild story that it was written up in a one of those 50s detective magazines, mostly because as i recall, aunt mimi was feisty enough to escape from the kidnappers. but afterwards, her husband bought the pistol to protect her, in case it happened again. and we ended up with it in our buffet drawer. i think my dad tried to sell it to someone at one point, but it came back shortly afterwards, so that didn't really stick.

i also remember as a kid going with my mom to trap shooting competitions - she was pretty good and could compete with the best of the men. i always thought that was pretty cool. and a little bit as my sister often says, "mom is such a boy." i spent a lot of time reloading her ammunition with the reloader we had in the back room - a little dose of gunpowder, some bb's, a cap and a crimp (probably not in that order). i quite enjoyed that as a child.

pheasant hunting is a big thing in the area where i grew up, so hunting was a normal thing to me. many a meal was spent spitting out shot bb's from bites of meat. i never tried shooting pheasants myself, but i remember both of my parents doing so (that was in the days before they were all pen-raised with little sunglasses on). my folks weren't deer hunters that i can recall - dad always said something about how it would really only be sporting when the deer had guns too, but we did occasionally get deer meat from someone else. even today, i'm by no means against hunting (we have a friend who we allow to hunt on our lake - and we thoroughly enjoyed some ducks not long ago), i just don't do it myself.

i remember some raffle or other where dad won a gun, which only added to the 3-4 already at the bottom of the basement stairs, but i don't recall those guns being used that much after mom stopped trap-shooting. sometimes against the odd rabbit that was eating the apple trees or a nasty opossom or skunk that came around. i know i never had any desire to either mess with the guns or use them or even learn about them. they were just there, a fact of life. and i had no interest in them at all.

in the second grade, i was given a bb gun for christmas. we still lived in town at that point and i was told that it was meant to be used to shoot the dog next door, who was a really annoying barker. i probably did plunk him a couple of times (he was really annoying), but mostly, i think we shot at cans with that bb gun. and it certainly couldn't have killed anything, at least not with my shooting skills.

last summer, while we were back home, my cousin took sabin and her cousins out shooting at cans and jars. sabin thought it was fun. and i think it's a fine activity as long as there is adult supervision and proper instruction, which there was.

the fact is that most americans grow up around guns. they're a fact of life, they're in people's homes. we also all know someone who had an accident with one...a kid in the grade ahead of me shot off his toe (it must have been where he kept his brain, because he never amounted to anything after that) and one of my sister's classmates accidentally shot his little brother in the eye and wrecked his vision (but fortunately, didn't kill him).

but none of the guns in our home were assault weapons or semi-automatics. there needs to be more rules surrounding the possession of such guns - because it's just unnecessary to have them. you don't hunt with such guns, there would be nothing left to eat. it seems ironic that there are more rules surrounding obtaining a driver's license than a gun permit and more paperwork for registering a car than a gun.

and completely absurd that there is more support of keeping deadly guns in the hands of people than in ensuring that they have proper health insurance. a skewed set of priorities.

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on a less serious note, how much do i love this?
read the follow-up post as well.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

the view from a safe distance

i am really at a loss for words about the events in connecticut. i feel a little bit about it like i did about 9/11 - i didn't know anyone involved, so it didn't really affect me directly, but yet, i feel somehow personally wounded by it anyway. so senseless. so violent. so incomprehensible. and i suppose we'll never know what possessed that young man to do it. and writing it off to madness somehow negates it, so i hesitate to even think that.

but i think the most disappointing thing has been the idiocy of the gun-happy people - some of whom are sadly, close to my own family. an inflammatory conversation on facebook has me fuming. how on earth can someone who is a teacher herself defend guns and make the most absurd arguments (aren't teachers taught basic rhetoric) in the hours immediately following the events? the timing of the ridiculous arguments, while the details were still fuzzy, chilled me to the bone. interesting that the person in question never dares in person to broach such subjects, but chooses the passive aggressive forum that is facebook to do so. but that's no doubt the stuff of a different post.

the fact is that this introverted, socially-awkward kid did what he did because legally-obtained guns were at hand in his home (why on earth an elementary school teacher had need for multiple semi-automatic weapons is another mystery). if he'd had to go out and try to obtain them illegally, he wouldn't have known where to begin. this happened because he had access to guns.

i feel for all those families, devastated right before christmas. but if anything good can come of it (and it seems an awful lot like there's nothing good in it at all), we can hope that something will be done with the gun laws in the US. there are entirely too many stories like this one, whether on a campus, in a school or in a movie theatre. apparently americans are not to be trusted with guns. and this is surely not what they meant with the second amendment.

on expatriation and culture and landing in the mid-atlantic

some of the projects we have in the pipeline have me thinking about how shaped by culture, one's own and the one in which one finds oneself, we are. defined. how it locks us in boxes and leaves us feeling superior (or inferior) because of it. and how mind-numbingly LIMITING that all is...on both sides.

i stumbled across a blog written by an american who made the move to sweden. it's on, a cool site that the swedish institute runs in english - all about living in sweden (wish denmark would have had such a thing back when the internet was in its infancy and i moved here). it got me thinking about all those things that i thought were so alien when i first moved to denmark. some of them still puzzle me, but i've actually gotten used to a lot in the 14-ish years i've been here.

~ i remember my first time in a grocery store, scrambling as i realized there was no one there to pack my groceries and not only did i have to do it myself, i had to PAY for the bag to put it in!

~ when i arrived in denmark in the late 90s, mobile phones were still rather a luxury item in the us - mostly doctors and other important people had them, people with their own cars. i remember being shocked to see people on the bus talking on their mobile phone. if you could afford a phone, what on earth were you doing on public transportation? (i had a lot to learn, both about public transportation and about mobile phones.)

~ the sight of a man in a suit, riding a bicycle and smoking a cigarette. in my mind, a bicycle was for exercise, not necessary transport, and who would smoke or wear a suit while exercising?

~ people treating cemeteries as parks, laying out in their bra and underwear in the first rays of spring sunshine on a towel with their bike leaned up against h.c. andersen's grave, catching some rays and drinking a beer.

~ public nudity. this one was technically in sweden, but as the ferry pulled into landskrona, there was a row of colorful little houses along the waterfront and a bunch of naked swedes were jumping in and out of the water from the doorways of the little bathing houses.

~ no one ever holding a door open for you if you were coming along behind them. it got so bad, i thought that they were actually waiting to strategically drop it in my face for the most profound rudeness effect. later, i realized that many danes, if they didn't meet you when they went to kindergarten with you, actually lack the ability to see you at all. it's kind of a like you're wearing an invisibility cloak.  this is one of those things i never get used to, it still surprises me and sometimes even hurts my feelings - i just can't help it.

~ signs with the word "fart" on them. in an elevator: i fart. along the roadside: fart kontrol. i thought the danes were obsessed with flatulence and i thought they were pretty darn organized to think they could control it. but it turned out to mean motion or speed - so the elevator was in motion when the i fart sign was lit. and the fart kontrol was a friendly warning that a cop (or just an unmanned van or camera) with radar was just ahead, so you'd better stop driving like a maniac.

* * *

speaking of expats in denmark, i made a new blog friend!

* * *

and speaking of denmark.
film is a powerful medium.

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you have to see what kit lane made of the lila hairball we gave her.
utterly fabulous.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

assorted arbness and some links to good stuff


i bought a 2013 calendar today. i haven't actually had a paper, real calendar in several years, but i found i wanted one. the electronic version i carry in my phone just isn't the same. maybe i was just feeling old school, but whatever it is, it feels right to start penciling (and i am using pencil) onto the smooth paper. what about you - do you have a real, paper calendar or just an electronic one?

* * *

normally i think mindfulness is a load of fluffy crap, but some of the advice in this post spoke to me.
and i always make my bed.
in fact, i start making it even before i get out of it.

* * *

literature makes you weird. and amen to that.
anything that makes us think outside of our accustomed modes of thought is most welcome.

* * *

interesting piece on etsy on npr (and also on wired). i have my doubts as to how well they actually "investigate" those sellers selling chinese crap. and we know they don't do anything about copycats. and don't even get me started on what they allow as "vintage." and the former CEO's quote about "curating his entire life with handmade" made me throw up a little bit in my mouth. i basically have trouble reconciling the hipster idealism with the actual practice on the site - empty plastic child's paint sets sold as "vintage" and rustic furniture churned out in a factory in indonesia. i'm not convinced that etsy is the answer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


yet again, the interwebs are abuzz with what is seen as an auspicious date - 12.12.12. we won't actually see another of these in my lifetime, as there won't be a 13.13.13 or a 14.14.14 - that makes me wonder whether i've used them wisely. if a line of numbers can mean something, did i make the right wishes or do the right actions on those significant dates? or does it matter more to take the right steps every day? (one could hope so.)

but, on the off chance that it might mean something to think about and write down the things i'd like to manifest in my life here and now while the numbers are aligned, i'm going to do so today. some of it in my art journal and a little bit here. because sometimes you're just not ready to speak all of your wishes out loud. but a couple of them won't hurt, if writing is indeed the new praying.

i'm very hopeful about my business in the year ahead. it's been slow and a bit up and down this year, but we've learned a lot and have many projects buzzing on the horizon. i want to see those to fruition and be open to where they take me.

my dad will turn 80 next year and we (husband and sabin and me) want to be there for his 80th birthday. i want us to go for his birthday and stay until new year's (that's pretty much most of december). we want to travel a bit in the US while we're there - go skiing and visit friends (and sights) in the desert southwest. i'm going to work hard to be able to afford that trip - both financially and the time off it will take.

maybe these things are really just a question of setting a goal and working towards it. what do you think? will you make any wishes today?

* * *

a bit of bitterness on the rise of eBooks. frankly, i think we need to just get over it with this, see it as the democratization of the writing profession (what gets published is no longer determined by a closed group of elite publishers), and get writing.

* * *

it seems russians (and probably a lot of others) are still struggling to understand americans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ideas can make you sleepy

have you ever had a really good day? one intensely filled with good energy and ideas starting to take shape? and did that day leave you feeling really, really tired? well, that's what happened to me today. i think my brain is telling me to shut down so it can process. more tomorrow, when it's 12/12/12 - one of those days that must be magical.

* * *

did you know columbus didn't think the world was flat?
i wonder what else the history books lied to us about.

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ideas for developing ideas. what would be more awesome than that?

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danish design? yes, please.

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fashion as craft? it's about time.

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the y board: yarn porn (of course).

Monday, December 10, 2012

w is for winter wonderland

winter came this weekend in earnest and we loved every minute of it. we baked cookies and husband helped decorate them. we made snow forts and had a snowball fight. we went for a walk in the winter sunshine. life was good. life is good.

this winter doesn't seem as desperately dark and depressing as other winters have. maybe we've had more days of sunshine or perhaps i'm just finally used to it. whatever it is, i'm holding onto it tightly. life is good.

the w boards on pinterest: want. web design. wire & sticks (this is a good one). wise words. wooden bits. words (this is word-related art, not books). work-related. workspaces. woven.

Friday, December 07, 2012

happy birthday, dad!

a big happy birthday to my dad!
he's a bit older today than he was in this photo (circa 1977).

this was back in the era when he proposed that the fence post should be the state tree of south dakota.
sadly, it didn't pass.

i also recall a bet paid in pennies on that very desk on the floor of the house.
it was some mound of pennies.

happy birthday, dad.

* * *

is food a narrative medium?
here's another opinion on the subject.

* * *

wine talk - it's so pretentious, but there's also something to it - thinking deeply about pleasure.

* * *

i have long wished that i was alive and in my prime in 1913.
(who knows, maybe i was?)
here's just another confirmation that it was The Year.
at least where art and culture were concerned.
i wonder if 2013 has the same potential?
somehow i doubt it.

* * *

so many people in the world with such amazing stories.
like bryan saunders, who has drawn 8700 self-portraits - some while on various drugs.
i wasn't sure whether to be in awe or horrified.

* * *
the v board on pinterest: of course it's vikings.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

boot sparkle bokeh

sorry for the long and convoluted (read: boring) entry earlier...this is where i work through stuff and try to understand it and sometimes it means you all have to suffer. but i do apologize. and i am aware it was heavy and boring (hence the links to the fun boring bits). i'll try to lay off that for awhile, tho' i can't guarantee, because there are a lot of things these days that i don't entirely understand. but i hope these bokeh-filled shots of sabin's fabulous uggs in the snow and sparkling sunshine from this afternoon might help you forget.

* * *

speaking of UGGS, there's an awful lot of ads for fakes on my facebook.
and i think that's pretty uncool of facebook.
but here's a hint: if the site wants you to pay to some random chinese guy via western union, you should interpret that as a BIG RED FLASHING LIGHT.
just don't do it.

* * *

i'm reading the second installment of ken follet's century trilogy.
and i'm hooked.
he's good at creating characters and the history feels right.

* * *

check out the first installment in lisa's fabulous stone project.
(hint: it's one of the stones i brought her last summer).

* * *

you know i love maps, but a literary map? swoon.

* * *

the u boards on pinterest: utterly fabulous. upcycling.