Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wishing for Summer on a Rainy Day

Next Thursday, I'll be in my first art show of the year. It's First Thursday in Fayetteville, which is an outdoor art walk that's held downtown on the square.  I worked the First Thursday show last year and it was way fun.

Am I supposed to call it "working a show?"  Because that makes it sound a little whorish- like maybe there are dollar bills and poles involved.

So, I really need to figure out what I'm going to be taking to whore out to the fine citizens of NWA.  I also have a pile of unfinished pieces that I need to finish.

But I don't feel like doing any of it.

I just want to sit here under my fake sunshine lights, drink hot tea and listen to The Decemberists sing to me about summer.





Be happy,
Rachel

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Has the Sun Died?

I'm beginning to think that the sun is never going to shine here again.  

It's been overcast and rainy and blech for way too long.  I'm not sure when we last had sunshine, but it feels like it's been longer than a Baptist sermon.  I'm not a happy camper when I've gone for more than three days without sunshine. 

In fact, I feel exactly like this.  


Sad puppy is so utterly despondent.  

I looked at Accuweather to see if the clouds were ever going to go away.  I got excited because they are forecasting sunshine for Friday...then I realized that it's April Fool's Day.  Not funny, weather people!

  
But I may have discovered a trick that helps fool my body into thinking there's really sunshine outside.  You remember the lamps and Magic Bulbs Full of Awesome that I bought for my photography that I wrote about here


Well...I've discovered that by turning the lamps on and facing them towards me, I feel much better.  In fact, there's one that is in front of the window and I keep thinking that there's sun coming through the window.  


They're not the same as real sunshine, but they'll do until that bastard of a sun decides to come out again.  Please let it be soon.  


Be happy, 
Rachel  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Le French

I love all things French.  Well, almost all things French.  I can't bring myself to even try escargot and foie gras tastes more like it's made from goose poop rather than goose liver.

But for the most part, I love French things.  The French language is beautiful. Unfortunately for me, I can't seem to learn to speak it.  Every time I try, it just sounds like I have a lump of really dry foie gras stuck in my throat. 


On the fortunate side, I can sit and watch Amelie and be immersed in French.


I can also go check out these beautiful French things on Etsy:


Vintage Paris Souvenir Brooch by BeauPapier via Etsy


Handwritten French Letter by OhPardonMyFrench via Etsy

1950s Mon Jardin Dress by AdelaideHomesewn via Etsy


1870 French Railway Map by bananastrudel via Etsy


Antique French School Book by lapomme  via Etsy
Vintage French Postcard by FrenchPhotoBotique via Etsy

Go buy yourself some fancy French things!

Be happy,
Rachel

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Me Like Cookie...Cutters.

I have a slight obsession with...cookie cutters.

I have an old jar and canister filled with them that stay out on the counter top.  



And then a drawer that's so full I can't add anything else.  


The grand total is 149 cookie cutters. 

I know it may seem like some type of addiction, and in a way I guess it is.  Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm addicted to cookie cutters.    

But, there are a couple of reasons that I have so many of the darn things. 


1.  I can make 149 cookies of varying shapes and sizes.  

2.  I am on a mission to hold the world's record for the largest cookie cutter collection.  


IT'S A LOFTY GOAL!! 

I did a search and found out that Cecelia Thomas was featured in Women's Day for having over 300 cookie cutters.  Oh, Cecelia.  You're breakin' my heart.  
Cecelia's cookie cutter collection
However, when I searched the Guinness Book of World Record site, I couldn't find a world record for cookie cutters.

But, I want to make sure that Cecelia can't beat me.  So, I'm thinking that I need to have around 500 cookie cutters. 

500 Cookie Cutters. 
I'm not sure how I'm going to find that many cookie cutters that are within my "Cookie Cutter Domination" budget.  I find quite a few at thrift stores, but it would take me awhile to amass 351 more cutters.  And, what if I die in between now and then and don't get to see my dream come to fruition? 

Just so you know, I hate the word "fruition" and I have no idea why I used it just then. 

Anywho, I'm thinking that maybe I could start a cookie exchange.  For every one cookie cutter someone sends me, I'll send them 3 home-baked cookies.

Or maybe I'll just happen to find a bag of 351 cookie cutters for 2 dollars at the thrift store today.  




Be happy, 
Rachel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Behold the Power of Boobs!

You know how yesterday I told you that I've only lived here since December?  That means that I haven't ever raised the windows in the house.  Yesterday, it was finally warm enough to air out the house. 



I tried to open one of the windows and couldn't get the darn thing up.  I noticed two little levers at the top of the window, so I pushed them in and then tried to raise the window. 

But...there wasn't enough to grab a hold of at the top of the window, so I had to smash my boobs against the window while pushing in the levers and try to raise the window with my chest.  Who the hell designs windows like this?  I was successful with the first window, but the second one was giving me all kinds of trouble.  That's when I noticed the small latch at the bottom of the window.  The one that you just have to flip up while you're raising the window.  It's really quite easy.  

What did I learn from this?  

I'm an idiot.  

I can raise a window with my boobs. 

Be happy, 
Rachel

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What I Love About Eureka Springs in 500 Words or Less.

I live in the tourist town of Eureka Springs, AR.  I've only lived here since December so I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing tourist season.  I figured that I'd better write a few things that I love about the town before tourist season begins.  I'm sure once that happens I'll just be grumbling and cursing and being generally crabby.  


I love the architecture and all the old buildings.  The entire downtown area is on the Historic Register.   


Eureka on Southern Living's site

The old ice house

One of the great painted walls downtown.  

Looking out the old glass of The Auditorium
I love the hills and the windy roads - even when the person in front of me is driving like they've never seen a curve before.  


I love all of the springs. No one knows for sure how many there are, even though some may claim to know.  I don't think I'll volunteer to count them.  

Grotto Spring.
I love the old railroad depot that still runs dining cars during season.  I plan on spending a lot of time taking photos there now that the weather is warmer.  



And what I love most about Eureka Springs is this guy.  Even when I'm annoyed with him, there's still no one I'd rather have on my side.   




Be happy, 
Rachel

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It's St. Patrick's Day, which means here in a couple of hours I'll be putting on a pot of corned beef and cabbage.  I'll probably throw in a few potatoes, too.  

I might even wear a little green today.  However, I won't drink any green beer, nor will I eat any green eggs and ham.  I do not like them, Sam I am.  

But here are some green things I do like.  

Forest Cups by paulandkatestudio via Etsy

Vintage Green Wicker Picnic Basket by RichardandRuthie via Etsy

Reversible Baby Slippers by littletreekids via Etsy
Yoda, This Hat Is by MaryOriginals via Etsy

Vintage Lime Green Flower Earrings by redtruckdesigns via Etsy


KnappMonarch Oscillating Fan by TomLaurus via Etsy

Green Velvet Pillbox Hat by BingoBox via Etsy
Vintage St. Patrick's Day Postcard by WhimzyThyme via Etsy


The Wonders of Science in Modern Life by Hard Cover Vintage via Etsy

I hope all of you have a marvelous St. Patrick's Day. 

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

Be happy, 
Rachel

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You Are Electronically Invited

I like Facebook.  It keeps me connected to friends and family on a more regular basis than I would probably do otherwise.  It also helps me connect to people I have yet to meet - people like you.  But, there's a side to Facebook that I don't like.  It seems that Facebook is more and more becoming the choice of some people to make big announcements.  Like who was born, who died, who got married, who got divorced.  

Just recently one of my sisters sent out invitations to her wedding.  And by invitations I mean that she posted on family member's FB walls telling them when and where she was getting married.  

What happened to sitting down with a stack of invitations that you picked out after spending hours pouring over the huge book of them at the stationary store, and then painstakingly addressing each one of them?  BOTH ENVELOPES!
Wedding Invitation by Shine Invitations via Etsy

Am I the only one who appreciates the feel of a real paper invitation in my hand, written with real ink by a real hand? 

 Should I let go of the silly notion of buying or making your own invitations and mailing them out?  You can still be environmentally responsible about using actual paper.  Use recycled paper.  Request that the recipients recycle the invitation.  
Recycled Paper Invitation by Jennifer Raichman via Etsy
Am I just getting old?  Am I going to start calling anyone under 30 a whippersnapper?  I sincerely hope not because I don't even like the word "whippersnapper". 



Finally, if you're going to go the e-invite route, for the love of all things holy - can't you send a pretty invitation via email?  
Digital Wedding Invitation Set by Julie Hoog Designs via Etsy

That way I could print it out, touch it and pretend like it was mailed to me.  And then I could recycle it.  

Maybe I could make an origami whippersnapper.  

Be happy, 
Rachel 

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Secret to Better Indoor Photographs.

I recently discovered something that has improved my indoor photography roughly 1,243,946,322%.  That's a pretty big number, huh?  Seriously, I wish I would have found this a long time ago.  It would have saved me so much time.

What's my miracle find?  A light bulb.  I know it's not very glamorous, but it's amazing! It's the GE Energy Smart Daylight 6500K bulb.  I call it my Magic Bulb Full of Awesome. 


Here is a pic I took that was pre-Magic Bulb. 
1960s Vintage Full Slip

YUCK! My pics were so yellow and dingy looking that I had to spend lots of time editing them and that's no fun.  

And here is a post-Magic Bulb pic. 

Handmade Garden Journal

I know, right?  It's amazing.  

My setup is two of the Magic Bulbs in a couple of 7 dollar clamp on reflector lights.  


I bought a two-pack of the light bulbs at Wal-Mart for $7.44.  The clamp lights were $6.97.  So, for a grand total of $21.38, I saved a buttload of time and maybe even a tiny sliver of what remaining sanity I may have. 

I do set the Av setting on my camera a little higher than normal for some pics, but I still don't have to do any editing other than resizing which I can do in bulk.  

So, if you're frustrated with the way your indoor pics are turning out, and don't want to spend a lot of money on professional lighting, go and spend the 20 bucks on a couple of clamp lights and Magic Bulbs.  It will be well worth your time.  

You probably don't want to ask for a "Magic Bulb Full of Awesome" at the store, though.  There's no telling what you'd end up with. 

Be happy, 
Rachel 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tell Me a Story

A few years ago, I bought a stack of story cards that are dated 1925.  They were manufactured from The Harter School Supply Company in Cleveland.  A lot of cool vintage stuff seems to come from Cleveland. 

Anyway, I thought that I'd use them in my art.  Maybe make a triptych or something.  Years later, I haven't done a thing with them, but they are still pretty entertaining.  

At the top of the card are these directions:  Read this story carefully.  Write, in one sentence, what happened.  Draw what happened.  Write, in not more than five words, the subject of this story.  

Here is one of the stories.  If I had to write the subject in not more than five words it would be: This farmer is slightly touched.  

A farmer once went with his wife to town. They drove two horses in a spring wagon. Their children eight and ten years old stayed at home. The farmer's wife visited with a friend in town and the farmer did the shopping. About one o'clock the farmer started home. On the way he did not feel right. He felt as if he had forgotten something but he could not think what. 


When he arrived home the children shouted: "Where is Mother?"


Isn't that a heart-warming story?  Most of the stories are cute and bit dorky, and I happen to adore dorky.  

I've listed the cards in my Etsy shop.  Maybe you can find something cool to do with them.  


Be happy, 
Rachel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Painted Lady

One of my dream jobs has always been to be the person who gets to name paint colors.  How cool would it be if all you had to do was sit around all day thinking up names for colors?  And, really, most of the paint names they have are just plain goofy, so it's not like the job would be particularly difficult.  If you've ever paid attention to paint names, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Anywho...

I decided that since I probably won't ever realize my dream of being the paint chip naming chick, I'd just make up my own paint chips.

These are probably some you'll never see in the store, and shows why I'll probably never have this particular dream job.
I guess it's obvious that 1. I'm easily amused and 2. I ate paint chips as a child.

Be happy,
Rachel

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creatures from the Cave of Horrible Pale Things

It's flip flop season again.  YAY!  I'm absolutely thrilled that it's warm enough to have my toes free from their winter confines.  However, when I actually inspected my toes this morning, I realized that they aren't exactly flip flop worthy.  The winter has turned my toes into pathetic little creatures on the end of my feet that look like they're just emerging from their sunlight-deprived, monster cave.

I was all set to go get a pedicure and then I realized that with that 25 bucks, I could buy things I actually needed. Like bubble wrap and printer ink and toilet paper.  You can't wipe with a pedicure, you know.

So I decided that I'd just paint my toenails myself.

And if I look them without my glasses on, they look pretty good.  I took a blurry pic so you could see my toes through my un-spectacled eyes.  They look great, huh? An added bonus is that you can't see all the dirt on the rug, either.



I'm not sure there's a point to this blog post other than it's finally warm enough to wear FLIP FLOPS!

And that makes me happy.

Be happy,
Rachel