what this is.


this is the face of a daddy:

lovingly watching this boy:

doing the kind of stuff:

that he does best:

brother + nephew = ♥.


bring on the merriment.


i always look forward to the holidays, but this year, i'm super-cited. my family is abandoning the never-before-broken tradition of a south FL christmas at my parents' house and we're movin' on up to have a north central florida christmas. we've procured a townhouse for the week in gainesville so we can be close to my brother and my nephew for a whole (dang diddly) week. woo!!

this is muy bueno. traditions are great and all, but sometimes you need to grab the tree by the trunk and shake out the dead leaves. or something. forgive, i'm terrible with metaphors.

in great anticipation of the holidays, i've got some very important plans over the next several days. here's a list:

1. get hair did.
2. pick up camera (all shiny and pretty from a thorough cleaning).
3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - viewing on the big screen at the AFI!!!
4. maybe hanging out with ketan who will be in town for some friendly lawyerly gathering?
5. SNOW. apparently it's a historical storm . .

6. get on the road for this drive:

7. do lots of silly stuff with duney. like this:

happy holidays!


from an ordinary light comes extraordinary lighting.


last night was my final night in the aforementioned Hotel Hellhole. while this fact alone merits its own praise, that will not be the topic of this blurb. while i sat at my little table working on my computer last night, i turned on the light above me and glanced up. it's as ordinary as lights come for a hotel: it's design and construction are both cheap; the bulb is fluorescent; it gets the job done, but isn't winning any awards. looking at it, i noticed it has one of those circular bulbs that remarkably resembles a ring light or beauty dish. "hmm," says i. "i wonder . . "

i grabbed the only camera i had (*ahem* iPhone), turned the light directly on my face, and snapped one picture. voila.

huh. well-lit subject, and the lighting seems somewhat diffused. nice catch-lights in the eyes (though not the perfect circle that a ring light/flash would afford), and the background is automatically blacked out. not bad for a cheap fluorescent light and a cell phone camera, eh?


accomplishment: i sewed in my first zipper.


this is huge, people.

well, for me it's huge. it might not shatter anyone else's earth.

i know my mom understands. she called me saturday evening and in my post-accomplishment glow, i gushed over my crafty nature and can-do attitude. she then told me the tale of HER zipper experience in her home economics class in 7th grade. it took her all 9 weeks to get the zipper in.

mom: "i said to my teacher, 'mrs. so-and-so, will you
please just put it in for me?', and she said, 'diane, i just don't think you're ever gonna get this.'"

conclusions: 1) mom is still the cutest ever. 2) mom is proud.

nobody even showed me how! i read about it in a couple of sewing books that i have and looked up videos on youtube. it didn't really make sense though. like most everything else i've learned, i had to deconstruct something that already exists. so i grabbed one of my favorite skirts and just studied it. and it made sense. and i sewed it up.

in order to aid my sewing efforts, i recently bought myself a PGMPro dress form. the same kind they use on project runway! well, except mine doesn't have that little extra bottom cagey looking piece. but who needs it? this is my new friend.

she even has some junk in the trunk (not as much as i do, but i won't split hairs). i've named her Billie, after my Grandma Billie. she was undoubtedly my biggest and earliest influence when it came to anything creative, artistic, and crafty. i loved going into the second bedroom in her house and rummaging through the
dresser drawers . . there was construction paper, tracing paper, crayons, markers, chalk, thread, fabric, netting (she used to make fish nets for catching tropical fish at the beach), glitter, buttons, tons of wrapping paper she carefully salvaged from gifts she received . . everything great. even the smell of those drawers was wonderful. one day i'll share her sketch book with you. it's pretty amazing.
grandma + me

mmm. i miss her.

so . . i invoked Grandma's spirt, busted out the dress form, and sewed up a skirt (with a side zipper, in case you forgot) and it turned out kind of cute and i'm looking forward to wearing it. my only regret is that i didn't spring for the "invisible" zipper. but i bought this one kind of for practice. i'll know better next time. and i still need one of those little hook thingies for the top of the waistband. details.

i may or may not have continued some other sewing projects as well. but they shall remain nameless for now . . at least until after christmas. wee!


winter wonderland.


with the promise of snow falling up and down the east coast on saturday, i thought, "what better time to break out the christmas decorations?"

i was somewhat deflated when i pulled out the one bin (count it - ONE. i had to get rid of a few other bins before we moved to DC. sigh.) dedicated to christmas decorations and started pulling stuff out. i felt like there was hardly anything in there. sad face.

since we don't really have room for a christmas tree, i modifed the halloween tree by adding white lights and hanging some decorations on it. it isn't pretty . . but i guess it's a bit whimsical? it's decidedly not photogenic, so the description will have to do.

the only other decorations i kept are all snowflakes. which is ok by me. i really like snowflakes, both real and manufactured. i made a couple of simple garlands by twisting together some red and white furry yarn and hanging the snowflakes around. and then we had some giant cardboard snowflakes that were once target store decorations that jesse procured for us. i think they are my favorite.

i can't wait for the day that i can have a tree again. is it weird that when i apartment/house hunt, i take that into consideration? "oh, and there's where we can put the christmas tree!" mind you, i've only had one christmas tree in the past 5 years. hmm.

time to get on the road.