Monday, December 22, 2008

and a merry christmas to the studio.

This is for Matt and Wade because they're the only ones working for the next couple of day. Play this guys. It will help you get through the day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the mckinney gingerbread house competition

I can't remember who did which one, but they were all awesome. And if it hadn't been for Brian Murray and Kevin Grealey judging, I don't think our Holiday House of Gore would have one. Check here for more photos.
Here's what we all started out with.

julia's poor house as some structural damage.

I particularly liked this one. Especially that twizler walkway.

this may be as much snow as NC will see.

the sweetest house of all.

the most delicious house.

this one came with props!

i would have voted for this one to win.

lovely icicles on this one.

clever shingles.

and finally, Melissa Blavos and I's Holiday House of Gore!

a teeny giggly taste of 3 am in the studio

(For your listening, not view, pleasure)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Have yourself a techy little Christmas.

Nigel’s Eco Store has filled up their shop with a bunch of cool looking eco friendly christmas tree decorations made of recycled CDs and circuit boards.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A lesson dear friends.

I'm a bargain shopper. There are not many things that I think are worth full price. But let me enlighten you on one of those things. A Christmas tree. If you like decorating for the holidays and having pretty lights twinkling from your window- do not skimp on your Christmas tree.
Thurston and I went to the Farmers Market in Raleigh this past weekend and it was cold and starting to rain, but I didn't want to purchase the first tree that has an agreeable price tag. (Agreeable price tag = $40 or less) So we're looking around and see this one long leaf pine that's about 7 feet tall. It stands out because there's only a few of these long needled trees and on closer inspection we see that the price tag says $35!!! Normally a $35 tree is about 5'5" or maybe 5'10" if you're lucky. A tall burly, but soft spoken gentlemen in a Santa hat walked over and asked if he could help us with anything so I asked why this particular tree what so inexpensive. "Shes crooket" And he tilts it so the trunk is flat on the ground. "oh" I say. I squint my eyes and stand back a couple of feet so the crookedness registers. I ask if it could be fixed by putting it in the tree stand at the opposite angle and the man says sure. By now I feel like I've already invested in this tree and will feel like I'm turning my back on lame puppy if I walk away so I bite my lip and ponder. This, I assume, inclines our chainsaw dawning Santa to lower the price to $30 so - we take it. I'm super excited because, 1. I feel like we have a different and rare tree 2. It's big and impressive. 3. We possibly saved a tree from a fate of mulch and 4. It was cheap.

Thurston hoists it up stairs and we adjust it in the tree stand until it's pretty much straight. This takes a while. It's just barely leaning forward, but that makes it seem all the more grand. I put the lights on and notice that the long needles do a great job of shielding the lights so the effect is a subtle inner twinkling. I make a face and decide it'll look brighter once there's ornaments on it to reflect the light. So I pour myself a glass of eggnog and Thurston and I start hanging the glass bulbs and copious "1st Christmas Together" ornaments we got last year. The thing with long needles is that you can't hang anything on the tips of the branches. The needles work like a slide at a water park so they have to be hung a little ways back. Out of sight basically. It's still pretty and smells so good... and the star isn't on yet and that always makes a difference.

Thurston goes into the other room to get the camera and I'm adjusting some of the ornaments with one hand and holding the star in the other. And like out of one of those America's funniest home videos, the tree slowly slowly starts to lean, then fall. I have enough time to yell "Thurston!" but it's too late. Tree down. Water from the stand gushing out. A cloud of those lovely long needles everywhere. And to top it all off, broken glass.
Now I'm not an overly sentimental person, but I knew this tree was out to get me but I just kept ignoring it, looking for the up side. Broken laid a big pretty bulb that I got from pier 1 last year, a glass bell that came in a 30 year old pack we got from the thrift store, and a mercury glass angel that came in a set as a wedding/Christmas gift from my mom. I even kept the note she wrote to us in the box with all the bubble wrap. I felt a swell in my eyes as I ran to get a towel to throw on the water while Thurston steadied the tree. How do you begin to clean up what is essentially needle and shattered emotion soup? I swept up the glass and needles and laid paper towels on damp floor and we started taking off the rest of the ornaments. What wasn't obvious was that all the ornaments that didn't fall off were balancing on the ends of those water slide needles. As we were trying to get the breakable ones off as fast as possible, gravity beat us to it. The slightest nudge and another one would drop.

I'd like to think I reserve my tears for when nothing else will do. A few broken ornaments wouldn't normally put me over the edge, but the regret of getting that stupid tree along with the complete helplessness of suicidal ornaments - well, that did it.

We cleaned as best we could and laid the tree back down. I'm not going to lie to you, it crossed my mind to shove it out the window and just start over with full priced center-foldesque new tree, but that's not me. I'm more likely to go through the trash to find something useless to rig to this other thing in order to make the thing I refuse to buy. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my fair share of over flowing target bags when I only went in to get batteries. But my heart tells my hands it can be fixed. So we do.
We find my little hack saw that I've used maybe a half of dozen times and Thurston saws off about a foot or more of the trunk. We balance it back into the stand and put a door mat under half of it to help keep it level. And to 100% ensure that it will not meet the floor again until January, I tied it to our windows and went to Target for one more strand of lights and one pity ornament. (and bag of peppermint paddies, some mouth wash, half and half, paper towels, cereal, ect...)

Maybe now because it's smaller and the light /ornament to tree ratio is grander, it looks so much better. The new lights helped a lot and the ornaments seemed to show through better. I don't have a tree skirt (yet) so we spread out holiday blankets under the tree and the cat has a new place to lay. Everyone's happy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Secret Sheep

For some time now there's been this paint chip in the stair well of my building. I always look forward to seeing it because it looks like little sheep. This secret sheep is located in the front stairwell and I usually use the back since it's closer to where I park. A couple of weeks ago I came home from work and was delighted to see that our doors and stairwells were getting a fresh coat of paint. No longer will our door be that chalkboard green and the walls be flaking and bubbling with decades of paint. It actually makes our place look pretty snazzy. But then I remembered the sheep... I hustled up the steps and crossed through to the other stairwell to check and see if they had painted both, but luckly they hadn’t. *Phew* I nearly missed my opportunity to document it. So before she’s long gone, please take note and enjoy, Secret Sheep.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We've Got To Get Rid Of It! #1

The Silent P.
seriously, this p is unnecessary. and unless you can give me proof that your parents were caesars, let's all just stop it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Having cake and eating it too.

I mean if you have cake, why wouldn't you eat it. Who thought that up? Makes no sense as far as what it suppose to mean.
So I'm using this blog platform to advocate for another blog that I contribute to. Sneaky little... A friend of mine, Michelle Smith, started an online boutique for North Carolina designers/artisans appropriately titled, indieNC. And now, she's started the indieNC blog. On this (other) blog I document what North Carolina is wearing. A warning, this will most certainly be bias to Raleigh since I'm not getting out much these days, but with the holidays coming you may get a slightly wider vierity as Thurston and I travel to Charlotte (him) and Elizabeth City (me). I'm warming up by asking people I know if I can photograph them for a "street style" blog, but once I run out of friends, then aquantences, I'll move on to nice looking strangers. Any one want to volunteer? We could do this long distance I'm sure. You just have to live in NC. And wear clothes.
Also Thurston is contributing a music blog, which he's very excited about and my friends Geoff and Regan are contributing through photography and home style. Basically we've got it all.
So anyways, check it out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Studio Peep Makes PRINT December issue

Bliss Alexander-Smith, that is.

Soak it up while it lasts.

Most of us are stuck inside during daylight hours at our respective jobs, but these past few weeks I've really enjoyed the commute to work with all the fall colors to take in. Especially now with the days getting dark so early it's the only time I see them. It makes the 30 or so minutes from Raleigh to Durham seem like driving through a Crayola box and I just want to open my eyes wider so I don't miss a single shade or tint. So just in case you've missed them:

Now, how can I appreciate while inside at my desk?

Welcome to my new desk top. Leave to a designer. Thanks Chris Glass.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh joy. Oh heartache.

Last week I learned of an “awwwe” inspiring, heart warming/breaking story. Thanks Philip for telling me this story. Thanks for brightening, then quickly ruining my day. Roy and Silo. *sniffile* I can get through this. I can. Roy and Silo are two male chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan and for six years the were inseparable. They entwine their necks, built a nest together, and showed no interest in female penguins. Homosexuality is hardly a rare occurrence in the animal kingdom. Mallards, dolphins, apes, elephants, giraffes, lions, sheep, and many others have been observed as displaying homosexual behavior. But Roy and Silo...oh Roy and Silo. They have a story.

“At one time, the two seemed so desperate to incubate an egg together that they put a rock in their nest and sat on it, keeping it warm in the folds of their abdomens, said their chief keeper, Rob Gramzay. Finally, he gave them a fertile egg that needed care to hatch. Things went perfectly. Roy and Silo sat on it for the typical 34 days until a chick, Tango, was born. For the next two and a half months they raised Tango, keeping her warm and feeding her food from their beaks until she could go out into the world on her own. Mr. Gramzay is full of praise for them.”
- The New York Times, February 7,2004

It even inspired a book! That’s right. Get that head tilt just so and soften those eyes.

Now – valiant reader, be strong. And continue on.

“[It] all ended when Scrappy, a single female newly arrived from SeaWorld in San Diego, caught Silo's eye.
Silo promptly moved in with Scrappy, building a new nest with her. Zookeepers were at a loss to explain Silo's sudden conversion.
‘Why does anyone bond? Why do people want to get married and divorced?’ said Dr. Dee Boersma, penguin expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. ‘Presumably, they've got their reasons.’
Silo and his hot-feathered home-wrecker have yet to produce an egg, but they've been busy trying.
On Thursday, Roy, all alone, sat disconsolately at the edge of the penguin area, staring at the wall.
- Fox News, September 16,2006

I have tissues here if you need any.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dear Diorama

Today was a good day because I posted a new header on the blog and changed the color palette. I hope I'll still like green at the end of the month. But if I don't, hey, its just one color. There are so many more to choose from. So, green, if it doesn't work out between us... if we don't make it, i want you to know that we had a good run. I want you to know that I tried. And hey, keep your chin up.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wana hang out this weekend?

Now it's time for a little shameless self promotion. Come to The Handmade Market this weekend in downtown Raleigh! I've been participating in this show for over 2 years and it's always a great time. Do a little early Christmas shopping while supporting local (and somewhat local) artisans. With fifty vendors, there's bound to something you can't live without!
Here's a little sneak preview of some of my stuff:

halloween costumes: a retrospective

Here are some costume highlights from Halloween 08!

You don't get to see scary and cute combine forces too often. And it could only be done by Rocky & Chelsie.

Who knew Phillip could be so delicate.

Here is my old coffee shop co-worker Liza being a very convincing Peter Pan.

The perfect Juno. Our friends Jerry (Paulie Bleaker) and Andrea (Juno McGuff), winners of our "best couple" category.

Seth, the lumber jack on strike. The other side of his sign said, "rainfalls not chainsaws". Love it.

Robot befriends Ugly Betty.
Thank you Lisa (who won for most original) and Sarahrice.

Here's my new desktop. Jonscott doing a remarkable Mr. Tumnus which tied for best all around costume.

Prospector Bob. This costume was difficult to explain to our Japanese foreign exchange friends that came.

This may not be as shocking if you don't know these people, but let me tell you, it was a thorough costume that came with about a pint of bronze foundation, shaved chests, thick accents, and a back story. They won for funniest, though I marked them down for scariest.

I'm a sucker for interspecies merriment. Matt , the winner of the "scariest" award, and Meagan, as a very cute panda,which by the way needed no explanation to our foreign exchange friends :)

My favorite Halloween party co-hosts (mentioned in my Halloween decoration post earlier this month) Megan as a cow girl and Steph as an iPod.

Here's Thurston and I as Mario and a spider (the full on version).

The classic pumpkin by Hiroko and Where's Waldo by May.

If you know Yo Gabba Gabba, this will need no explanation. But in case you're like me and have little exposure to kids shows, this will help. And now that I'm totally in the loop- this family costume is spot on, and the deserving winner (well, tied with Mr. Tumnus) for best costume.