Archive for July, 2010

Jelloware

I love this idea from the design team The Way We See The World – drinking “glasses” made of agar-agar (which is gelatin but from seaweed).

From the website:

Jelloware re-imagines the concept of drinking, and imparts a new experience in the way it feels, tastes, smells, moves, and is even disposed of. The cups are made entirely out of agar agar and cast in different flavors, such as lemon-basil, ginger-mint, or rosemary-beet, each specifically designed to compliment a corresponding drink.  Jelloware is meant to be thrown into the grass after it is used, as agar agar is a seaweed extract and actually nurtures the growth of plants.

[source]

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Buffy at 1000 Idols

I wrote a little guest spot for Kori over at The 1000 Idols Project on why I thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer was idol-worthy.

Here is Kori’s Buffy:

And here is what I had to say about her:

I first heard the name “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” from one of my best friends in 2001.  He was describing how it was one of his favorite shows and I was giving him endless crap for how stupid the show sounded.  Come on, “Buffy”? I would say. Really? It sounded too much like a Dumb Teen Show to even bother with. Which is when he duct taped me to a chair and played me the first episode from the first season on DVD.  Then he asked if I wanted to see the next one.  I think I made some kind of non-committal response like, “If I have to.”  By the third episode he’d gone to bed and I was glued to the TV. I couldn’t stop watching. It was amazing. While Buffy looks like the kind of girl who would be perfect, perky and popular, Buffy is in fact, really kick-ass and sort of an outsider.  According to her creater, Joss Whedon (who is often idolized himself, inspiring such lines as “In Joss We Trust,” for his brilliant writing/directing) the idea for Buffy came from taking the idea of the scared blond that gets killed in the first five minutes of every horror movie ever made and turning it completely on its head.  Far from getting killed, this blond is prepared to kick ass. She is tough, strong, confident and completely able to beat the crap out of anything lurking in the dark. She is, as it turns out, the hero of the piece.  The character was originally written for a 1992 movie of the same name with Kristie Swanson as the lead.  According to Wikipedia, the director, Fran Rubel Kuzui, saw it as a “pop culture comedy about what people think about vampires.” Whedon disagreed: “I had written this scary film about an empowered woman, and they turned it into a broad comedy. It was crushing.” The script was praised within the industry, but the movie was not.  Whedon got the chance to develop the idea into a TV series and in 1997, the pilot aired on the WB with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role. Finally he was able to realize his vision for Buffy the way he had originally intended.

What makes the show so powerful is that it is hard to define. One of my favorite descriptions of the show is that it is “The X-Files meets My So-Called Life.” It is about vampires and demons (or the monster-of-the-week), yes, but it is also about High School and insecurity and what it means to grow up. We get to watch Buffy dust vampires AND try to decide what to wear to prom. We watch her struggle to define herself and find the balance between all of her various responsibilities. She has super-human strength and abilities but clings to the things that make her “normal.” She is essentially struggling with what it is to be a woman, in the best, most fully realized way possible: powerful and vulnerable, strong and soft, a leader and willing to be part of the team.  The show also boasts a spectacular array of supporting characters (many of whom are also idol-worthy in their own right – Willow Rosenberg, the lesbian Wicca is another particular favorite of mine).  All of which adds up to a show that is so much bigger than it’s lead character.  But Buffy remains the heart (and strong right hook) of the show and for that, I find her completely idol-worthy.

[Check out Kori’s post here]

artist: Jen Stark

Today has been such a wonderful, awful, crazy, emotional day that for my post tonight, I just want to celebrate the beautiful.

I want to share the work of the artist Jen Stark.  She makes these amazing cut paper sculptures that are just mind blowing to me.

Jen Stark / Flash Spectrum / 12″ x 12″ / hand-cut paper / 2007


Jen Stark / On The Inside / 34″ x 23″ / varnished hand-cut paper / 2008


Jen Stark / Over and Out / 19″ x 19″ x 5″ / hand-cut paper / 2008

Jen Stark / Coriolis Effect / 12″ x 12″ / hand-cut paper / 2007


I wish I had something more profound to say than PRETTY, but at the moment, that is all I can muster.  I just love looking at her work.  I love the pattern, the precision, the apparent simplicity that belies a far more complex underlying structure.  Each piece represents a huge amount of work and all I can think when I look at them is COLOR PRETTY.  Better than HULK SMASH I suppose. I’m also a sucker for works in paper, so that doesn’t hurt either.

For a slightly more coherent take on her work, read this.

To see what she has been up to lately, check out this awesome looking show in Thailand that happened in April of this year:


Happy Birthday Sophie!

I had all sorts of other grand plans for the post for today but all of that has been subsumed by one little girl.  One BRAND SPANKING NEW little girl!  My dear friends finally had their first child this morning and for the life of me, I just can’t stop smiling.  It’s been a long stressful day for other various reasons but I’m still grinning like an idiot.  I feel a bit giddy – Sophie is here!  Sophie is here!  Life flowered in a really awesome way this morning. That little girl has no idea how lucky she is to be born into the family she got.  Or maybe she does – babies often seem to know a whole lot more than they let on at first, right when they are fresh from that other place.  The older they get, the more they forget, but for the first few weeks, you can still see that glimmer of another place in their eyes.  She has got two amazing parents and a whole community of people who can’t wait to meet her.  What a joy to be so very wanted.

ANYwho, I just wanted to take a moment to mark the day.  It is not often you get to celebrate such joy in a completely unadulterated way.

Happy Birthday Sophie.  Welcome to the World.  I hope you find more joy than sorrow, more peace than turmoil, more love than indifference and more beauty than cruelty.

All my love,

Your other Auntie Jess

Jewel + Karaoke = Awesome

I love this! I love when a person of celebrity status is also a good sport.  It just makes me happy.

The Mama Bear Incident

So, something happened yesterday that I’ve decided to call “The Mama Bear Incident.” To explain the incident, I need to mention a few things about our living situation. First, our current apartment is in a really busy part of town.  We share a parking lot with several local restaurants.  So far, they have all been very respectful of the fact that it isn’t just a business area, that there are people who live here too.  Sadly, not everyone in this area is that awesome.  A little more than a month ago, we had a Buddha statue stolen off our front step.  It wasn’t a small statue either.

Happy Buddha

Our Buddha, before he was stolen.

Who steals a Buddha?! Seriously, talk about instant bad karma.

I was crushed. It was the first time I’ve ever had something that I cared about stolen (I know, I’ve lived a charmed life).  Now, granted, it wasn’t a car or a bike or a laptop or a wallet or even a cellphone.  It was a plaster Buddha.  But it was mine damnit, and I trusted that it would be safe on my front step.

So I was already feeling slightly victimized.  Add to that the fact that the whole reason we are living here now is because we feared for our safety at our last apartment and made a quick move.  Our last neighbors were squabbling 20 somethings with a new baby and a tendency to have loud drunken parties and ride their snowmobile around the house at 2 AM (we were further out in the woods then).  But that wasn’t what made us move.  Oh, no.  We could cope with the yelling and the swearing and the calling the cops on each other. What did it was pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop at 1 AM that turned out to be gunfire.  And then pulling 8 bullet shells out of the driveway between our two cars on the way to work the next morning.  That was when we decided we’d had enough.

So that is the back drop to what happened next.  It is important to me that its understood this whole thing was rather out of character for me.  I’m quite rational usually.  I’d much rather have a calm discussion than a big fight.  In fact, I usually do my utmost to avoid confrontation.

Not yesterday.

Angry Faeries

Angry Faeries, my collaboration with emerging artist Hannah Wells (faerie on the right), 2007

About a month ago someone new started parking in the lot next to our house.  Now this is summer and most places hire extra help this time of year.  We’ve accepted this and didn’t really think too hard about it.  UNTIL.  Until this one particular truck started pulling in and out of the parking lot with the sub-woofer in his truck at FULL VOLUME.  I mean, window rattling, floor vibrating, ear drum damaging, cat scaring Full Volume.  You couldn’t even make out the music, just the THOOOM TH-THOOOM THOOM of pulsing bass noise.  And it wasn’t just in the middle of the day either. No, this particular truck was coming and going at odd early or super late hours and waking us up.  Again, every once in a while is okay.  I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I know I live in town and I know that is just life. But it was becoming EVERY DAY.  And I was really tired of it.

I’d considered leaving a note on the truck asking nicely for the owner to knock it off.  But the truck never seemed to be there when I was in a note leaving mood.  And when I’d see it pull out, it was already too late.  So yesterday I was talking to a friend on my front step when the bass started up.  “You hear that?” I asked my friend.  There was a pause in the thumping. “What?” she asked.  And then the bass started again: THOOOM TH-THOOOM, THOOOM TH-THOOOM.  She flinched and said, “Oh. That.”  The truck pulled up along side the house.  And then stopped, waiting to pull into traffic, thumping bass notes so loud I could SEE my windows rattle.

Something in me snapped.  I launched myself off my front step and ran up to the open window of the truck and started yelling.  “You need to turn that DOWN!  PEOPLE LIVE HERE.”  I went on like that for a full minute at full volume and ripped him up one side and down the other.  I really don’t know what came over me.  He just sat there the whole time, sort of smirking behind his sunglasses.  When I paused for breath his only response was “Alls you had to say was Please Stop.”  Well, fine then. PLEASE STOP.

He was right, of course.  I didn’t need to turn into a raging loon.  But his was the straw, as that old saying goes.  The owner of one of the restaurants caught the end of my little blow up, and, concerned for my safety, asked if everything was alright.  When I pointed out the truck and told him about the sub-woofer, he responded, “Trust me, that will NEVER happen again.”

When I finally walked back to where my friend was waiting, she looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Wow. I would not have had the guts to go running after a truck like that.”  Which is when the adrenalin started to wear off and I started shaking.  But just a little.

I’ve decided that what happened is that kid triggered my Mama Bear response.  My home and my family had been threatened enough in the past few months and I had finally had enough.  Did that kid’s actions warrant the response they got? No, not really. But once Mama Bear got loose, there was just no holding her back til she’d eviscerated something.  Or someone.  To be honest, I really didn’t know she was in there.  I guess that is a good thing to learn about yourself.  When it comes down to it, I will protect what is mine from whatever is threatening it.  Even if it is only a threat to my ear drums and sanity.

Still.  The big lesson today is that I need a better way to deal with my frustration.  I wish there was something like this around here!

Mother’s Day Dahlia

Okay, okay, so Mother’s Day has come and gone. Like, several months gone.  But I posted earlier about what I did for Father’s Day, so it only seemed fair to share what I did for my mother.

Mother's Day felt dahlia - front

I wish I could claim this was my idea, but it wasn’t! It came from Megan Reardon of not martha. She posted a lovely (and very detailed!) tutorial on how to make these over at Holidash. She used a thicker red felt for her tutorial, but I chose to go with a slightly thinner purple (mostly because it was what I had!).  This was fairly labor intensive but I just love how it came out.  I even did a little personalizing on the back:

Mother's Day felt dahlia - back

And here it is on the mom herself!

Mom with dahlia

I liked how it came out so much that I made another one for myself! I’ve put mine on a barrette so I can wear it in my hair. It is kinda big though – it’s more like a small hat than a barrette!