Archive for June, 2010

Ephemera on the web

Okay, okay, so this post is supposed to be about my fabulous weekend.  Well, that will have to wait another night.  It is too late and I’m too tired to do the whole thing justice.  So instead, I offer up another of my very favorite things: the lovely and delicious blog, BibliOdyssey.


This blog is all about the strange and wonderful bits of ephemera that have survived centuries (or sometimes just a decade or two) and collected together in a wonderful haphazard way.  This is the curio cabinet of illustration and painting.  The site boasts everything from Indian folk art to 15th century medicinal plant illustrations to caricatures from the late 1800s.  I want to continue describing the awesomeness of this site in a meaningful way, but I think a better way to do that is to just give you some more examples.  And after that, the best thing for YOU to do, dear reader, is to just pop over to the site and spend a while getting lost in the archives.  The stuff is fabulous and much of it is copyright free (though not all of it, so check carefully before you go using stuff willy nilly).

Seriously, with variety like that, what are you waiting for?  Go check it out!



We just got back this evening from an amazing weekend camping adventure and I promise I’ll share much more about that tomorrow.  But for now, you’ll have to settle for this.

Tonight is all about a girl named Sarah and a sad and lonely Goblin King:


Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is one of my all time most favorite movies.  I’m a huge fan of all things Muppet (well, really all things Jim Henson – a whole lot of the magic died with him), but Labyrinth captured my heart early and will always have a special place there.  I saw it for the first time when I was in fourth grade.  Our teacher threw us all an end of the year party at her house and put it on just to keep us quiet by the end of the afternoon when she was done with us.  I was utterly transported.  But I’d more or less forgotten it until my theater friends in high school pulled it out after we’d spent the day lurking around a cemetery and taking dramatic black & white photographs of ourselves.  It was perfect for the mood and I was shocked I’d ever let it slip my mind.  After that, we were, shall we say mildly obsessed with the movie.  Well, with David Bowie really.  Because come on, so much of that movie is all about showing off his, eh-hem, talents to their best advantage.  I had one friend who would always turn it off right in the middle of the fever dream sequence where Sarah eats the peach and is transported into this sexy dancing dream world where she and Bowie are clearly about to have a thing.  She always pretended that was where the movie ended.  I could see her point.  Still, I liked the full arc of the story, even if it didn’t end the way everyone thought it should.

Now, I’m not SO in love with it that I can’t see its flaws.  However, I am attached to it enough to be quite happy to gloss over them all and watch it again and again and again.  So when a friend of mine sent me this review of the movie, I was a bit nervous.  Because, hey, no one really enjoys watching their favorite things be skewered to brutally.  But this particular review is so well done, it was worth it.  So, my hat is off to you, Nostalgia Chick.  You made me laugh at one of my favorite things in a very good way.

Update: Well, crap. I can’t seem to get the video to embed.  Just go HERE. I PROMISE it is worth it.  Trust me, take the time and watch it all.

House knit

Just a little bit of awesome today as we are off on an adventure in about 10 minutes.

This video just boggled my mind the first time I saw it.  I love knitting and it took me quite a while to realize how exactly they pulled this off.

Brilliant. Just Brilliant. The “making of” is worth watching as well.

Happy Amniverserseeawscrewit

So I wanted to write a post today about my sweetie.  You see, four years ago today, on top of a bitty little mountain in Maine, I was married to the love of my life.  And I was planning to write something mushy and sweet about the challenges we’ve overcome and how amazing he is as a partner and how glad I am to have him in my life.

But then I saw this:

happy amniv

And I knew it was time to make sure everyone has heard about Cake Wrecks.

What is a Cake Wreck you ask?  Jen, the author of the site, has this to say on the subject:

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate – you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it’s simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I’m not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

By some fabulous twist of fate, this is the cake that was posted today.  How awesome is that?  Even better is the lead in that Jen wrote to capture the mood of the wreckerator:

“Happy Ami…




“Happy Anmev…Urg! No.



“Wait. I got it:

“Happy Amniverserseeawscrewit.”

Hence the title of this post.  Because as much as I want to write about my love, I’d rather be spending this time with him.

I love you sweetness.  Happy 4 years of “This sucks a whole lot less than I thought it was going to.”

With Child Midwifery

Before anyone freaks out, no, I’m not pregnant.  The title of this post refers to something really cool that a friend of mine is up to.  One of my oldest and dearest friends, Laura Donnelly, has finally put up a website about her amazing midwifery practice, With Child Midwifery.  She has also started blogging as well!  So far, she has posted not only about midwifery and home birth, but health care and common sense and trying to keep your family safe in our chemically saturated world.  She is insightful and concise, with a marvelous facility for condensing longer academic papers into a paragraph or two of useful information.  I can’t wait to see what she posts next!

Laura is truly one of the most wonderful people I know.  And I’m not just saying that because I’ve known her since I was 4.  This is us in 1983:

Jess and Laura 1983

(We were 5 and yes, I’m the one asleep on her shoulder)

For those doing the math, that is 28 years of friendship. This picture was taken on the way back from a trip to the Boston Children’s Museum. It was a long ride, we’d had a fun day, and I was pooped. Seriously, how many five year olds do you know who would put up with letting someone sleep on them AT ALL let alone in a bumpy car? That is life long friend material right there.

My family moved away from MA in 1988.  But somehow over all that time and distance, Laura and I managed to keep in touch.  And in 2005, by a marvelous twist of fate, we landed in the same part of mid coast Maine.  Our paths recrossed and it was just like no time had passed at all.  Well, except now there was less biting, bickering and hair pulling.  But only slightly less.  Between 2005 and 2008, Laura’s two kids became three and my boyfriend became my husband.  I really can’t express what an amazing joy it was to have her just up the road. Her love and support was (and continues to be) invaluable.

Sadly, our roads have diverged once more.  She and her family moved back to MA and my family moved just a bit further south in ME.  But our friendship has endured distance before and will do so again.  And hopefully one day, I will have need of her services.

I can do anything

I just love this kid.

The power of positive thinking is an amazing thing. Imagine what an excellent adult she is going to make if she can hold on to this kind of enthusiasm.

1000 Idols

Today I’m going to share a project that a friend of mine is working on.  She is a super talented painter and illustrator and just generally an awesome person.  Her name is Kori and she is working on something she calls  The 1000 Idols Project.

From her artist statement:

The 1000 Idols project is my endeavor to create 1000 four by six inch watercolor paintings of idolized figures in order to examine the nature of the revered image. To idolize is to respect, praise or worship– one idolizes the Virgin Mary in one sense of the word, and Michael Jordan in another. We are obsessed with other people, real or imaginary, holy or secular, and so we collect images of them- musicians, gods, athletes, saints, family, even fictional characters. But why do we collect images of others, and what purpose does this reverence serve?

I wanted to show off a few of my favorites, but it is so hard to choose!  Turns out, they are all my favorites.  So here are a few that I just picked today for whatever reason. Cause they are ALL awesome.

0007 Miyazaki

0018 Aretha Franklin

0013 Bob Ross

Every once in a while an artist stumbles on exactly the thing they are supposed to be doing.  And Kori has done just that.  I’ve been lucky enough to peek ahead and I’m thrilled by some of the next images she has painted.  But I promised no spoilers, so you’ll just have to keep watching her site to see who/what comes next!