Monday, January 28, 2008


Are you all watching The Complete Jane Austen on PBS? It almost makes January tolerable.
I just watched Northanger Abbey last night - it aired last week, but I'm a little behind. It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it. I've never read the book, but I have seen the 1986 version and I liked this one much better.
An added bonus is that the costumes are beautiful. I'm assuming this means that they're historically inaccurate, but I can live with that.
Watching Jane Austen always fills me with a need to give our home a name like the estates in her books - something romantic like Pemberley, Netherfield or Mansfield Park.
I wanted to go with something that speaks of the history of the land we're on and contemplated the family names associated with the earliest records of our property, but Walsh and Jones didn't give me too much to work with ( I was hoping the records would make something like Chateau Lafite Rothschild a sensible choice).
Maybe if I combined one of those names with some other attribute of the property?
We're on well under an acre of land, ruling out anything with "field", "wood" or "meadows"...... ok then, what about going with a spin on some of the flora and fauna we found here when we first moved in? The Feral Cathouse was quickly ruled out, as was anything involving raccoon carcasses. Plants then? Davis the magical gardener has turned it into a virtual jungle out there, but there weren't many plants when we first moved in - some peonies, an ugly mystery tree that's we've only been able to narrow down to the genus Prunus, and a quince.
All this pondering, and what name did I come up with for our "estate"?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our family home: Quincy Jones.

Yeah, I might need to work on that a little more.

Edited to add: comments are back - I missed you guys!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bookends and Blogs

After whining about a lack of thrifting adventures in our area last week, we decided to make a pilgrimage to more fertile flea-friendly fields. Our excursion was 160 miles round trip, but it made for a fun day by Maine-in-January standards.
I've only had time to get pictures of one of my finds so far, but I hope to take more shortly. In the meantime, I present you with these freakishly kitten-like deer bookends that I'm quite smitten with:

I also thought I'd promote two blogs that I've really been enjoying lately:
PhotobucketLittle Robot is working on a paper & wood theater that is boggling my mind with its greatness. She's showing the project from start to finish, and it's really interesting to see the process.
PhotobucketThe artwork at Art and Ghosts is really inspiring - lots of dreamy pop surrealism.

Friday, January 18, 2008

On Wombats

I ran across a reference to wombats the other day, and it occurred to me that I had no idea what one looked like. In fact, I may have thought that "wombat" was just a word used in children's books to reference any of a variety of goofy make-believe creatures.

After a bit of research, I learned that, while real, they do look like something belonging in a storybook. I've since taken to daydreaming about what it would be like to live in a place where you could go outside and see one moseying through your yard. Do you think Australians see pictures of raccoons and think about how cool it would be to see one in their yards? Or living in their attics, as we were once fortunate enough to experience?

If you check out the photo below, you're sure to notice one of the wombat's more prominent features - something I've taken to calling the "wombutt".
This term has already found it's way into Darling family vernacular, in sentences like, "Honey, do these jeans give me wombutt?"
Gentlemen, make no mistake, the only answer you should ever give to this question is, "No."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mini Maidens Make Me Merry

It's a bit challenging to find vintage treasures to bring home this time of year in Maine.
The flea markets have been closed since October, old standbys like Goodwill seem extra picked-over, and it'll be months before the next yard sale. That leaves the antique malls. We have several within a 40 mile radius, but they tend to be the pricier variety (I prefer the sort that use the term "antique" loosely - if they have videos and blocks of Velveeta mixed in with the LuRay and Haeger planters, then I'm more likely to come home with armloads of goodies...and, no, I don't buy the processed cheese products, vintage or otherwise).
Even when there's nothing we can afford, it can still be pretty fun to go the nicer antique malls. I just think of it like going to a museum to see things I haven't seen before.
Every once in a while I find something charming and affordable at the local antiqueries. I just recently got these little figures that I'm guessing are from the 1950s for just a couple dollars each. I have no idea what they were originally used for, but they look cute with the winter village. With their flowers and bluebirds, they hint that spring is just around the corner. Granted, that corner is miles away, and it involves crossing mountain passes and fording streams to get there, but once you do it'll just be a right hand turn into spring.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lenticular Loveliness

I haven't written about them for a while, but my obsession with lentographs continues.
Here are some of the ones I've gathered over the last year. You'll need to imagine their headache-inducing triple dimensionality since it doesn't really come through on a computer monitor

Here are the Three Little Pigs complete with banana peel pratfalls and many bad puns.

Here's Little Red Riding Hood in what is apparently a new twist on the story with Grandma bringing the Big Bad Wolf breakfast in bed. I like to pretend it's a new sitcom called My Two Grandmas that's rife with innuendo involving the ambiguous relationship between the two elderly "women" in Red's life.

This is a very Brady bear house. I love that each bear has their own tv:
"This show is too procedural!"
"This show has plot arcs that are far too long and involved!"
"Aahh - this show is just right!"

And, lastly, here's my lentograph wall. I have a bunch more to add, but I'm a bit behind on my framing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Family Heirloom

There's a running joke in our household that I am like Ernie and Davis is like Bert, so when I ran across this puzzle of Bert playing the accordion (Davis' favorite instrument) I had to get it.
But what's one to do with a puzzle when you're not puzzle people? Turn it into a mock family photograph. A few hours of photoshopping is a small price to pay for an "heirloom".
Meet Great Grandpa Bertier who was a troubadour back in the old country...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Changes Afoot

Despite what my dwindling post count might have led you to believe, I still really enjoy blogging. The problem is that I'm just not sure about the sort of blog I want this to be.
In my fantasies I'd like to have one like Posie or Soulemama, prolifically posted upon with beautiful pictures of amazing things I've made and done and writing that gives you a sense of who I am (or at least my better side). The reality is that kind of blogging takes an incredible amount of time and dedication - far more than I ever would have imagined back in my maybe-I-should-start-a-blog days. Making crafty stuff is a big enough time investment on its own, and then when you add the hours it can take to get a good photograph (well, that's how long it takes me to get one anyway) to the time it takes to write a post that says what you want it to say, it's absolutely mind boggling! I need to accept the fact that my blog is not going to be like their blogs, and embrace it for what it is.
But what is it?
There's so much stuff I'm excited about and want to share, but then I start questioning whether whatever it is is blogworthy. And the fewer posts I make, the more important it seems that those few posts should be really fabulous. As if anything I come up with is ever going to get my own this-is-freaking-fabulous stamp of approval (hey-we're all our own worst critics). And as the pressure builds, the post count continues to spiral downward.
So what's a gal who still wants to be a blogger to do? Well, obviously I need to shake things up, let go of some unreasonable expectations, and just start posting again without those crippling questions of blogworthiness. For the next few weeks I thought I'd turn off the comments section and try to post without thinking about how things will be received. I'll still have the internal critic, but she's a lot quieter when she thinks nobody is watching me.

swing by the archives to see more petulishness
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