Either boyishly girly or girlishly boy-y

So last night I had to pull out the LAVA (for those that are unfamiliar, LAVA is pumice-containing soap made by WD-40 that seems to be most often found in garages) to clean my hands, which I’d thoroughly dirtied.  While making new lipstick blends.

(Great tip from Carmindy, of What Not to Wear fame:  if you have little stublets of great lipstick colors that you don’t want to throw away, you can use a day-by-day pill keeper to put them into, making your own custom palette.)


A bit I’m proud of…

My family are photographers (verb agreement seems odd there, but…).  Both my Grandpa and my Dad (dtnorman) were (/are) amazing with a camera and I’ve always hoped that one day I’d be able to shoot at the level they did (/do).

It was, therefore, incredibly thrilling to me to be able to shoot an event, CrownBeat, with my Dad, as an actual “accomplice” team member.

CrownBeat is one of the major competitions of the the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps Competition — incredibly intense 14-18 year olds marching around in complex patterns while playing instruments (needless to say, as someone who has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, this is pretty amazing to me).

I have to say I’m actually proud of my pictures.  Here’s a few in particular I liked — mostly unretouched at this point, and watermarked, of course (click to embiggen)

(The whole shebang are at Dad’s Quality Impressions Photography site, here.

Are you behind on your holiday shopping?

If so, I can help!

The Holiday Shoppe (note again the extra ‘e’ — still makes it special  ;-) will be at Cary Academy again this year, and they’ve been kind enough to invite me back!  I am fervently hoping that I’ll manage to get through this one without busting my knee (or any other part of me, for that matter.  Knock on laminate.)

(If you’d like to know more)

Well there you go…

I’d been stressing recently about not having said much for a while, and then I was stressing about the stupidness of stressing while trying to remember why I was doing this (not out of any need to “journal” in the commonly used sense, but because sometimes I have things that are worth saying), when finally this morning it occurred to me that I hadn’t been journaling because I haven’t had that rare combo of grandly excited and three free seconds to breathe.

What’s been going on of late

Slightly overwhelmed at the moment.

Anyone know anything about shooting “still lifes” (still lives?) and want to help me with a photo shoot?  I have a super-wonderful idea for a Christmas card design, but it’s going to require some photography techniques that I’ve never tried before.

Basically I need to take a miniature model of a scene and make it look HUGE.  I have a macro lens (and that is seeming like the right answer from a gut perspective), but I’m not sure.  Any ideas?

I also need to start crafting in earnest (SERIOUS CRAFTING!!!!  ;-)  for the show this year.  Like last year, I’ll be doing the Holiday Shoppe (again, the extra “e” makes it classs-ay) at Cary Academy.  I’ll have jewelry, polarfleece hats, knitted and polarfleece scarves, bags and a wide assortment of “etcetera.”

I’m considering selling some of my photography, though I have reservations about whether any of them are the sort of thing that people would actually pay money for.  I was considering making notecards (which, because they’re useful, at least gives the photography a purpose…less pressure than hanging on the wall).  Good idea?

Finally, I *have* to get a better system for putting my crafts online.  Right now I’m manually adding them to HTML tables, which, as you can imagine, is making updating so onerous that I don’t do it very often.  I need to have a wee db, into which I can add simple info like product name, image, description, price and then have it display in a web page (preferably with little “buy” buttons).  This is completely beyond my skillset though… anyone want to trade jewelry (or hats or scarves or…) for db/web geekery? (Think Christmas gifts!!  ;-)

Did I mention Tift Merritt was great?

I’m sooooo far behind in blogging (well, in everything, actually). I think I will blame it on getting ready for the annual pilgrimage to Europe sur moto.  This year it’s Germany (it always starts there, ’cause that’s where the bike lives), Belgium (the frites and the chocolats are calling me, yea verily), then to Luxembourg City, which is in Luxembourg the country, though as I understand it there’s not much difference between the two.  We leave next Friday, the 24th — I can’t wait.

Or I could blame it on being too social.  But that would pretty much be a lie, as there’s no such beast for me.  Two weekends ago was the Tift Merritt show at the NC Art Museum that I alluded to in the title.  We had 15(?) people, who were all friends of mine or friends-of-my-friend-Caroline (or, for that matter, friends of both of ours).  We all brought pot-lucky foods, and I busted out the big guns on the cooking scene, making a Cook’s Country recipe for pasta with bacon and ricotta (and other bits) that Heather had recommended; coleslaw (hailed by two different people as the best coleslaw they’d ever put in their mouth! — the trick is using a little rice wine vinegar along with the regular vinegar…it adds a lovely ‘kick’); and two apple pies.(1).

The apple pies were not particularly portable (a fact I’d thought of when I was considering recipe choices, but conveniently forgot when I was making the actual dessert selection), and posed, therefore, posed an engineering challenge.  We rose to the challenge by constructing a rather clever, if I do say so myself, Pie Box, consisting of a square cardboard box whose dimension along one side was a wee bit longer than the diameter of the pie, into which we placed four Pie Struts, made of cardboard folded into little prism shapes and taped.  These fit quite tidily into the corners of the Pie Box, allowing us to support a “second floor” (made of several layers of cardboard, set cross-grain, cut to the appropriate size and taped together) to hold the other pie.  Sadly, due to space constraints with unpacking the food, no one else got to see our clever Pie Box, so this memorial will have to suffice.

Last week I managed to have dinner with my friend Jacintha (followed by ice cream at Coldstone —mmmmm), (which was *really* cool, as we don’t manage to get together nearly enough and this “rescued” a spoiled plans night for each of us!), and my brother, Drew, who was in the state (and who I was seeing) for the first time in two and half years.  That was great, and probably worth an entry unto itself (apparently his fiance, Jo, has somehow got me tagged as the “stylish jeans girl”?!), but that’s not going to happen if this is ever to get posted.

The real blame (for the lack of blogginess… you’d lost track, hadn’t you?  That’s ok, I don’t blame you.  I’d nearly lost track myself), though, I think, belongs to my most recent craft obsession:  the sewing of a yukata.  I’ve wanted to do this for years, but was finally spurred into action due to a constellation of factors including:

  • finally getting the fabric (when I was in New York)
  • discovering that I had a kimono pattern already (whilst looking through my pattern stack with Heather for an apron pattern), which is basically a more formal yukata
  • just enough free time to think this was a good idea

Pictures (and a proper recounting of the battle, from which I emerged scarred, but victorious) to come (really), but on a day I’m not quite as frazzlepated as I am right now.  Amongst the lessons I learned is the fact that fabric does, in fact, come in non-standard widths, and just because the back of the pattern envelope has directions for 45″ wide and 60″ wide fabric, and you know your fabric is wider than 45″, that *doesn’t* mean that it’s 60″.  Nope.  Not at all.  I took the shortage of material as an opportunity to investigate contrast trim, which, in the end, looks quite nice, I think.

Also to come “Stupid Way to Injure Yourself, #113” …

(1) You get something from every experience, I believe.  This *amazing* apple pie recipe is what I got from one of my significant ex-others.

ALSO: last chance to vote in the great spectacles debate!  Voting closes 9:30am EST Wed.!

The great glasses debate

Quick backstory: having had lasik many, many moons ago, my eyes are pretty darn good.  That being said, the computer-all-day thing stresses them out and sometimes by the end of the day I’m 20/25 in my left eye and 20/30 in my right.

Normally that’s so trivial that it’s not worth correcting, except that my vision plan through work has a glasses benefit and the optometrist I saw today (eye checkup, no panic) had some frames that were 50% off, thereby putting them 100% within the allotted benefit amount.

So, basically, free glasses in case my eyes are tired and wonky, so it seems silly not to get them.

There are two pairs in contention (and all other variables are equal, as price is identical.  Free.).  There is a hair up and hair down photo for each — please, please note, no makeup and no hair fussing was done today, it being mostly a work-from-home day.  The shirt isn’t all that flattering either, but I’m desperate for additional opinions.


(old photos have gone missing)