Friday, May 28, 2010

Are we there yet?

Two dog's life

I want to make this photo into a postcard set. These two dalmatians remind me of an old couple driving together. Don't ask me why; although, it may have something to do with their facial expressions.

This photo was taken right outside of Franklin, TN. I wish I could remember the name of the park, but when it comes to me I will link to it. We were taking a walk in this park after exploring downtown Nashville all day. As pm and I are walking to the trail head we see these two dogs. Well, allow for me to rephrase - we hear these two dogs. They were barking super loud; it was so loud, in fact, that you could hear them through the closed windows. I think they were making so much noise because their owner had decided to drive with them to the park only to leave them in the humid vehicle until he/she returned. Torture! [Side note: Why even own animals if this is how you are going to treat them. Dogs get excited about going for walks. Leaving them in the parking lot while you enjoy nature hardly seems fair. It'd be like going to an ice cream parlor and not ordering anything, but then having to watch everyone else enjoy it in front of you.]

This photo was snapped in a moment of silence. Once pm took out the camera and pointed it at them they stopped barking. They must have been curious as to what was going on, or wanted to be sure they made the perfect pose. (Which they did!). Once the shutter closed the barking continued.

Hope you enjoy this one. I also hope I was wrong about their owner and these two guys got their walk in too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

tropical banana bread

We can never eat bananas fast enough around here, yet we continue to buy them every time we go to the grocery store. Do I mind? Absolutely not! I love bananas, and I especially love baking with bananas. There are just too many good recipes.

Last week we had some pineapple left over from a mango/pineapple salsa we made. We thought about making a tropical beverage out of it, but we just aren't quite in the right season. So, instead, I made some banana pineapple bread. As you can see by the photo, I added chocolate chips. It was a little bit of an experiment, but the bread turned out great. It was a little too moist in the center, but it did cook all the way through. It may have made a better layer cake than bread, although good nonetheless.

I've got about 6 frozen bananas in the freezer right now and another 2-3 getting on the ripe end for eating. What should my next recipe be? Any good suggestions?

On a related note: Did you know that bananas risk extinction? Yeah, it's scary. Maybe that is why I want to enjoy as many of them as I can now before it's too late.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sidetracked & how to drink a beer.

How to drink your beer. Really?

I had every intention of writing something on here earlier today, but then I got sidetracked. That has been happening a lot lately. I make a "to-do" list and before I can even start it my day is booked. I guess I could be sitting around watching soaps and eating donuts, so it's not all bad. (Someday, even if it's not my style maybe I will do that :P). I just really want to finish everything on my list. Maybe tomorrow?

My plan was to post a recipe and tutorial for making Spanish tortilla today. Too bad we didn't have all the ingredients at home. (This is sad since the recipe is so basic. You'll see soon enough just how simple it is.)

As I am thinking about "to-do" lists, I got to thinking about the photo above. First off, New Belgium makes a darn good Mothership Wit. Perhaps the best part - it includes directions on how to drink the beverage. It's not just a pour, sip and enjoy. It is now a pour, swirl, pour, sip and enjoy. Is this too many steps for the thirsty? Well, it's worth it; so, just do it.

On another brewing note. I hate to confirm it, but I think it is officially too warm in our apartment to brew over the summer. That is unless we don't mind keeping a bath tub full of ice cubes through the fermentation process. Hmmm... tempting. We could always just shower at the gym, right? I am curious though - how "hot" is too hot? Obviously you run the risk of bacterias and other pesky "added flavor" components with the heat, but if you are diligent about running a clean ship does it matter? I'd love to know.

And that is all for my Wednesday ramble. Look for the recipe later this week. Cheers to beer instructables!

Monday, May 24, 2010

New collection.

It seems like it has been awhile since we posted photos of our creative endeavors. Don't be deceived - we still have been using our creative powers to make things; we just haven't been very good about sharing them.

I have been humming away at my sewing machine a lot lately. I've been making all sorts of envelopes (mostly black like in this past post). I've used various different thread colors and have also been experimenting with different sizes.

I am still undecided if I will actually try to sell any of these envelopes, since it takes me a good 20-25 minutes to make one. (That's if my sewing machine behaves!) Not sure I could price them in such a way that someone would actually want to buy one. Maybe they will pop up on our Etsy page soon, so stay tuned.

Anyway. I needed a solution to a problem I know many of us suffer from. Too many bags! I am always trying to use reusable bags when we go out shopping. I do this partly because we have more than enough plastic bags to use for the garbage for the rest of the year and I think it is a huge waste to always need a *new* bag. The area for "bag storage" under our sink was getting a little overwhelming. That is when I decided to make some envelopes out of brown paper bags.

These envelopes are surprisingly durable. I like how some of the bag graphics peak out of the top (like in the photo on the right from a Trader Joe's bag). I am working right now on a design to match for stationary. Once that is complete I will get more photos up.

This has been a good solution to an excess of bags. It's also been a fun recycling / up-cycling project. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box and sometimes you need to think outside of the bag.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Some of my best thinking comes from sitting in front of water. I enjoy listening to the movement of water - the waves crashing up against the shore, boats rocking back and forth in the water... It was nice to enjoy the lake this week.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the many natural (and man-made) disasters that are occurring simultaneously right now. We can't seem to listen to the news without hearing more about the BP oil spill and the effects it will have on the environment and fishing industries. While the photos certainly help paint the complete story of the repercussions ahead, it bothers me that some of the other natural disasters that have recently happened have stayed off the national airwaves.

Aside from the oil spill, there have been deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma and the severe flooding in Tennessee. I wonder why we haven't heard more about these events? Is it because there aren't as politically charged as the oil spill?

I recently came across this YouTube video of the floods in Nashville. It really caught my attention because (a) it brings up a very valid point: there is no violence or looting happening right now because of the flood and (b) it truly is newsworthy: people have lost their homes and there is a need for rebuilding and recovery efforts.

I often wonder if, to some extent, the natural disasters of the world are human induced. Oh well. I realize I could write a whole lot more on this topic, but instead I'll leave it how it is. It's just some food for thought for the weekend. Off to ponder some more...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Say "ahhh"

Say "ahhh"

Nope, we are not sick; we are just recovering. We are recovering from packed, in fact over-packed, schedules these last few months. Looking forward for the warm breeze and the chance to relax (perhaps with a homebrew) outside by the lake.

We took a leisurely walk down by the lake this evening. It was wonderful and so nice to see so many other people doing the same thing. I sometimes forget that we live in a big city after being surrounded by our very quaint neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle. It sure is nice to have a balance of both worlds. At some point this summer we are going to get some shots of the sunrise over the Chicago skyline.

Well, back to unwinding and relaxing.

+ I love the above photo from Festifools. I think I love it so much because I so often stick my tongue out in photos. This helps remind me how ridiculous it looks sometimes. It also makes me laugh. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

solace (does it = beer?)

It's a black and white kind of day. Not for any particular reason, it just is.


We've been a moving target for the past month. It almost seems like we haven't been around at all on weekends, and when we are we have to play catch up from not being around. Through it all we've managed to keep our shelves stocked with homebrews (to the tune of 200+ bottles).

We're getting nervous as the summer approaches, as our place may be too warm for brewing. We just have to wait and see. We got a Dunkelweizen kit at Northern Brewer this weekend, and are hoping to at least add that one to our collection.

Yesterday we went to the AHA Homebrew Rally at Lakefront Brewery. Not only was the beer good (as always!), but it was nice to meet other homebrewers. I was surprised by the diversity of homebrewers. Folks of all ages. So refreshing to see so many beer lovers. Perhaps the best part: Getting free wort (Riverwest Stein to be exact) from Lakefront. Woot, woot! We just paid off our membership for the year with that wort. We cannot wait to enjoy it.

All this talk about beer is making me thirsty. Cheers to the start of a new week!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Remember the days in grade school when we'd have "disaster" drills? I remember having fire drills frequently as well as tornado drills. I always found the drills where we had to stay inside and go to the lowest floor to be the most frightening. Nothing like cramming kids ages 4 - 11 in a small gymnasium and instructing them to put their head between their knees.

Needless to say, after seeing this fallout shelter on an evening stroll I thought of yesteryears.


I would imagine that kids still have to do drills, but I often wonder if they have to do drills for more than just natural disasters these days. It's amazing how much everything can change in just a couple of decades.

I can remember life without computers, cell phones, CDs and video games. And, to be honest, life was much simpler in those days. Kids played outside, got dirty and came home when mom yelled for dinner. Oh, the good old days. I wonder if young kids today actually believe a tornado drill to be the real thing? I always thought they were and would anxiously scan the room for my younger brother.

Oh well. Anyone have any good "drill" stories? :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the blues.

Memphis Blues

This photo has some real sentimental pull for me. First off, this was one of the few times I can remember not being afraid of what others were going to think of me when I took this shot. I got right up to the table and to the hostesses to get this shot. I felt like it was the "must take" shot for Beale Street on Memphis. I thought it was a very interesting way of reusing / up-cycling the neck of a guitar.

The real sentimental value in this photo though are the words. BLUES. I recently made a trip to the Twin Cities to visit family. While my grandfather has been gone for a little over a year, I always feel like I am waiting for him to sit down in his chair, pull out his atlas and start talking. He had all sorts of "grandpaisms," and I have to chuckle now when I find myself using some of his phrases. One of the many we were guaranteed to hear on any given visit was "You got the blues." He said it with such a sing-song manner, if you had the blues you couldn't help but to smile. Hence, when I saw this photo, I was reminded of him.

It's a great photo for the week because rainy, overcast weather seems to give so many of us the blues. It sure is amazing just how much a little sunshine can lighten the mood. I hope we will see some of that before the week's end.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Mishmash: A confused collection or mixture; hotchpotch

Double exposures are kind of my thing. Ever since I first laid hands on the Holga, I was absolutely enchanted with the possibility of exposing two images on the same negative. If I had to stick to one "body of work", well, double exposures would be it. Couple that with expired film and I've got myself a unique niche - don't you think?

CTA xpro

I really like how this particular photo turned out. On first blush it's hard to tell what it is and where it's from. Once to look closer and turn the image around from side to side it gets easier. (I promise!). Personally what I like best about this photo is that I do not remember turning the camera the other way for the second overlapping image. I *really like this effect though.

I am anxious to take the holga out again this summer during one of our (while still unplanned) camping trips. The holga is one of the most utilitarian cameras we own. It can withstand water, steam, overheating, spills, drops... you name it... and it still works wonders. I really want to go to the Sleepy Bear Dunes in Michigan. A place that was always on our "to-do" list when we lived there and just never got done. Can anyone else relate to the "to-do" list items that never happen. I am going to strive to start making them happen. Proud to say this blog is one of them, and I think we are doing pretty gosh darn well so far this year.

Anyway, I feel as though I need to apologize for the past week of posts. My mind, like the title of this post, has been mishmash lately. This photo seems to say better than words. I find my searching for answers when not all the pieces and details are yet in place.

On a side "Beer" note: We tried the Sam Adams new IPA - Latitute 48 - this weekend and it was good. I am anxious to brew again, but just haven't had the energy to bottle up our white tea ale. It will happen this week, because that is going to be a fabulous summer beer to drink around the campfire.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hot Stuff.

3.7 ml. Tabasco

Oh yeah. Hot stuff. This is a perfect picture to capture the essence of my week. In part because I burned myself while cooking (a delicious tuna steak with mango/pineapple salsa), and for other random miscellaneous reasons.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of Tabasco sauce. I will admit that it does help add an extra kick to some dishes, but I prefer Ann Arbor's Clancy's Fancy. It has a much more full taste. We're starting to realize it's good on just about anything. (Ok, not everything -- but a lot!).

This little bottle reminds me of my sisters. For a short while when they were younger they were obsessed with 'little things.' Maybe it was because smaller meant it was doll-size. Anyway, I remember running into little Tabasco bottles before, and very specifically remember their reactions. Oh to be young again and to get so much delight from simple little things.

This mini Tabasco sauce was a giveaway at an expo. To be exact, it was given away at the Louisiana booth of the BIO Convention. Very creative and perhaps one of the most "useful" trinkets pm came home with the other day. It's always refreshing to see some groups at fairs/expos really think outside of the box on giveaways. You only need so many pens, candies and paper pads.

We're hoping to do some mega organizing this weekend. We are in search for a new rug too. (I must admit: Finding a new rug will be my "adult" simple delight.) Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

cinco de mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo ya'll. My sincere apologies for not posting something sooner. Let's just say the last week has been a whirlwind. I've been in and out, and out of town. Good thing pm is picking up on the posts as well. :) I am not seeing a calm in the storm at all the rest of this week, but it's all good things.

In fact, it will always be good things. This is one thing I have come to realize as I have progressed on my life journey: It is more important to write about and remember the good times. I do not like looking back through my journals of my teenage angst years (P.S. I didn't really have any by the way, I just like how it sounds). I tended to only write about the times when I was stressed out or upset. Those are not the times I want to remember; this is why these journals have been discarded. I want to remember the good times. Those are the times I want to be able to share with friends and family. I am a true believer, just as Anne Frank said, "All people are good at heart." And, if that is the case -- let's remember it! Positive thinking. This blog is all about the positive, the good and the creative. I fully intend to keep it that way. (I will admit, there may be some slip-ups along the way. I will, however, do my best to remain upbeat. :))

Enough of that rant. It's Cinco de Mayo, and while my day was hardly a celebration complete with 'ritas, it was an exciting and very productive day. Now I have 'ritas and sitting on my parents' patio on the mind. I guess my archived photo of martini glasses and my favorite homegoods store (hint: it's where we got the killer deal on pillowcases) will have to do. Bottoms up!


Recipe for the best margaritas ever:
(I'd like to agree that those who have tried it out would concur.)

+ 1 can limeade mix (frozen)
+ 1 can beer (light, not specialty)
+ splash of orange juice
+ tequila (fill limeade can almost to the top)
+ ice

No need to put it in the blender. Serve it over lots of ice. I also recommend drinking plenty of water with this recipe. It's a strong one. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Union Station Crossprocessed

We've got quite a bit of film developed in the last week (some of which was sitting on our fridge for too long). We actually got some really cool stuff we'll be posting as soon as we scan the negatives. The following ones are from a roll of pictures taken about 1 year ago.

Union Station

I took these pictures during one of my many visits to Chicago , when I was still living in Ann Arbor and Megabus was my preferred (and most affordable) way of getting to interviews and networking events in the Windy City. I remember it was a really hot day and when I got out of my interview I was literally melting inside of my suit.

Union Station

Also I remember the lady in the black coat with the scarf around her head. I felt bad for her, but it is unfortunate I didn't got a closer shot because I think it could have been a very interesting picture. She looked like she was about to explode; she had way too much make up on and she was also sweating bullets, so all the make up was melting down in her face. Also, her extremities and especially her ankles were very swollen and her neck was nonexistent.

Union Station

These pictures are taken with one of our favorites cameras, the Holga, and expired Kodak E100 slide film crossprocessed in C-41 chemicals. Kodak E100 is my favorite slide film and I really like crossproccessing it, as I find that the pictures come out very saturated and contrasted, and with a really strong vignetting. The fisheyes are also taken with the Holga plus a cheap fisheye adapter.

Union Station