"Spreading the Awkwardness"

I recently learned about a website with this address: awkwardfamilyphotos.com. It is just as awesome as it sounds. Here are some I particularly appreciated. 


(Just as a warning: if you go to the website, you have to watch out for occasional pictures that are awkward because they aren't wearing much clothing, there aren't very many like that, but now you've been warned).

Owls, ex-sailors, and the Wizard of Oz

I am taking five art classes right now. This semester we are learning how to use acrylics. Here is the first acrylic assignment:

This is the sketch for my next acrylic painting:

I'm in this character design class, which is ridiculously fun, and in it they give a character description and we have to come up with several drawings that capture that character. For this one we had to draw pictures of this retired, bald, sailor, Captain Wheedles.
Here he is grocery shopping and he has stumbled across a box of Captain Crunch and is reminscing about the days when he used to look that good.

Here he is filling up his kiddie-pool to play with his model boats

Here he is more of a pirate

And this one I especially loved doing. It is also for character design class:
The Scarecrow, Dorothy, and Toto

Pesto, chicken, white sauce, and asparagus

This is the third post THIS week in the middle of a busy semester. I've figured out how to write on this blog while simultaneously eating dinner or while stirring dinner with one hand as it cooks, it's a much needed break from drawing. Perhaps it's because I post on my blog during meals that this post is about food. 

Lately, the things I have cooked have completely FAILED. Like, totally flopped. I love to cook, I think it is so fun to discover yummy dinners and desserts, but it is not so fun when the dinners and desserts don't turn out so yummy. We were throwing batches of cookies into the trash because even my husband, who will eat almost anything, wouldn't eat them. And I made this homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner one night, from scratch. I slaved for hours over making the sauce and making the meatballs, I was so excited to try it because almost anything tastes good when made from scratch, right? Wrong. The spaghetti was edible but not anything close to being good. And we had guests over that night for dinner-- embaressing! I started wondering why I ever even liked cooking. What a waste of time it was! Then one night it was an hour before I needed to have dinner done, so I looked up some recipes from allrecipes.com, as usual, and found a recipe to make and expected it to follow the tradition of the dinners before, and have it completely fail. But holy cow, was I wrong.  This dinner was SO good! I was dancing and prancing around the house for joy both during and after dinner and for the 24 hours following dinner. I remembered why I like to cook again, because of yummy foods like this that you can make in your very own kitchen. So, in case anyone is looking for a particularly wonderful dinner, here are the recipes from that night's dinner.

So, for these you flatten some chicken breasts (basically whack them with the back of a frying pan with saran wrap on top and bottom of the chicken) and cover them in basil and mozzerella cheese and roll them up and bake them. Then you slice them up (as seen above) and put it on top of pasta and:

For this recipe I looked at the reviews of it and adjusted the recipe to what sounded good to me. 

And then, finally: Sauteed garlic asparagus

This recipe I actually made a few days after the dinner of wonderfulness. I am not a vegetable lover, I will do a lot to avoid eating vegetables, and when I do eat them I smother them in all sorts of things to hide the vegetable taste. But I loved this asparagus, how weird is that to like asparagus of all things? I ate half a bundle of sauteed asparagus by myself for lunch, it was so good! Again, I adjusted the recipe according to the reviews, I think the main change I made was that I cooked it with the lid of the pan off and I added parmesan. Yum!

A YouTube video that I like

Rebecca Flake sent THIS video to my family and I like it. When they are stuck at the intersection and yelling at each other, that is my favorite part.

Bucket List

I was in Krakow, Poland for a few days a couple of years ago (which, by the way, if I had to move outside of the United States I would move to Poland, it is seriously the most beautiful country) and all nine of us girls were staying in this hostel. It was about eleven at night and I had just changed into my pajamas after taking a shower. It was really warm in the hostel so I went outside where it was cooler and it was raining. The hostel was on this dark, narrow cobblestone road with narrow tall buildings on either side with small balconies, hung laundry and flower boxes full of red flowers on the windowsills, absolutely and completely European. I tip-toed down the cobblestone street in my bare feet and in my pajamas, in the dark and it was raining and it was glorious. I couldn’t help but think of Singin’ in the Rain, only my situation was even more idealistic than Gene Kelly’s. I love perfectly idealistic situations, and that was one of the most perfectly ideal moments of my entire life. So as I walked down that street I started thinking of things just like that exact situation that I wanted to do before I died, like a bucket list. The sorts of things you see in movies but hardly ever happen in real life.
The first thing I wrote on that list was to go ice skating on an outdoor ice skating rink. Where I grew up, the nearest ice skating rink was an hour and a half away and it was indoors, I had never even seen an outdoor skating rink except for in the movies, until Adam and I went to Chicago over Christmas break and went ice skating on a real outdoor ice skating rink!
It was SO cool to be skating around and be surrounded by sky scrapers and city lights.
How awesome is Chicago?

Here is some of the list. Some of them I have successfully crossed off and some, I’m not sure if they will ever happen (like number 3) and some of them I roll my eyes at (like number 7) but it’s fun to dream.
1. Go ice skating on an outdoor ice skating rink
2. Swing dance in a dance/dinner club with a live jazz band
3. Own a cute, colorful bakery and sell cookies, cakes, pastries, candies, and maybe sandwiches
6. Stay in a cottage covered in vines
7. Make breakfast for my family every Saturday morning
8. See West Side Story live on Broadway
9. Illustrate a children’s book and have it published
10. Watch all the Alfred Hitchcock films
11. Read all the Jane Austen books
14. Listen to a choir perform in an amazing cathedral
18. Walk in the rain in a big city (like Paris or New York)
20. Ride on the back of a moped
22. Have a live big band at my wedding (successfully accomplished, and oh how I loved that big band!)

My Future Home

I have this folder on my desktop called "My Future Home" and it is, just like it says, filled with pictures of ideas of things to do in my future home. I steal these pictures from other peoples blogs and a website called Apartment Therapy. I always think, "One day, I'll have a home of my own and the money and the time to decorate it, one day...." But this weekend I changed that.

I found that a common theme in a lot of the pictures of homes that I liked is a wall decked out in mismatched frames and mismatched pictures inside of the frames. I had a blank wall in my apartment that I wanted to cover, but I couldn't justify spending money on my decorating fancies, so I started looking around my apartment for frames and pictures to put into the frames.

And look at what I came up with!
I was about to start nailing randomly into the wall and hanging pictures up, but Adam stopped me in my tracks and carefully measured out everything, how high up the pictures should be, how far away from the bookcase, and it turned out much better than if I had done it.
Some of the random things I found in my apartment to hang up: an advertisement from Cupcake Chic (how cute is that cupcake postcard?), postcards I had in my journal, and watercolor paintings
A gorgeous card we got for our wedding from Laura Tait, and the label from a wrinkled Einstein Bagels bag. Adam thinks the Einstein Bagels bag thing is weird, but for some reason I love it! But I also like pictures of girls standing in corners holding birdcages, and that's not too normal either, so I think I like artwork that doesn't quite make sense.

I painted a few of the frames so that they would match the others. And hopefully I will find some more things around the apartment to add onto the mismatched frames wall.