Wednesday, February 25, 2009

spring is almost here. i can feel it. oh chicago.

Monday, February 23, 2009

current top 5

I asked a few friends to tell me what their top five favorite blogs were at the moment. Maybe I'm just curious about what others are reading. Hope you are too!

Jessica likes: 

iCiNG by galadarling

Caitlin likes:

Jon Garda likes:

and my favorites (so hard to choose!):

The Kitchen Sink (thanks aaron)

What are your top 5?

Friday, February 20, 2009

third project

So I need to move on from scarves- but this was made upon specific request for Aaron for his birthday. And he looks pretty happy with it! Next: leg warmers!

hyperbolic crochet coral reef

Wow. This exhibit looks so amazing. It is coral form the Great Barrier Reef... in crochet! It is from the exhibit at Track16 in Santa Monica CA: 



"One of the acknowledged wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef stretches along the coast of Queensland Australia, in a riotous profusion of color and form unparalleled on our planet. But global warming and pollutants so threaten this fragile marvel that it may well be gone by the end of the century. In homage to the Great One, Christine and Margaret Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring have instigated a project to crochet a handmade reef, a woolly testimony that now engages thousands of women the world over..."

read more

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

listen: Matt Thompson

My good friend Matt was featured in a local paper recently, I thought I'd share. Sometimes his songs make me sad. Sometimes nostalgic. Normally this does not shy me away from music in the least bit, but when this is produced by someone you know and love it has a different significance. I must say his two most recent songs show that his time since graduation has not been spent in vain. I think they're his best yet. You can find them here ('Morning' and 'Holy Ground').

Anyways here is the article:

Elgin man seeks space for his music

Sufjan Stevens. M. Ward. Elliot Smith.

The musicians Matt Thompson lists as his favorites all are one-man bands. They're multi-instrumentalists who write and record their own songs.

So is Thompson.

The 23-year-old recently moved back to Elgin, his hometown, after graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, and he's looking for a space in the Watch City to perform in his jazzy baritone.

"I'm willing to play my songs if I can find the right venue for it," Thompson said. "I know there are lots of bars in town for rock bands. I'd have to play at, like, a coffee shop."

Meantime, he's posted six songs he's written on, the social networking site for friends, bands and other groups.

"I put them up on MySpace. I send them to friends. Sometimes I play them for whoever wants to listen," he said.

"Went To Your Hometown," featured on both Thompson's and The Courier-News' MySpace profiles, caught your Readers' Reporter's ear. The folksy guitar and melancholy vocals are reminiscent of Tom Waits or early albums by Sufjan Stevens, the wildly popular singer-songwriter responsible for two albums entirely about the state of Illinois.

The idea for that song, which begins with the line, "Went to your hometown and you weren't there," was simple -- he went to a friend's hometown, and his friend wasn't there, he said. From there, he crafted a story, then a song.

"I think with a lot of my songs, they've been inspired by things in life, but I take them somewhere else," he said.

The things that inspire the subjects of Thompson's songs are as varied as the artists who have influenced their sound.

"I listen to a lot of stuff," he said. "I take what comes to me. I don't know what I'd say my music sounds like."

He throws out the name of singer-songwriter (and the Him of pop duo She & Him with actress Zooey Deschanel) M. Ward, but "the only reason I would compare myself to him is he has more of a lower voice."

Thompson has had plenty of time to pick up that inspiration: He grew up listening to his dad's expansive record collection and started playing the saxophone in fourth grade. He moved on to the guitar, bass guitar and drums in high school; studied saxophone in college; started writing songs on piano; and now also plays the piano, flute and clarinet -- although "not very good" at the woodwinds, he added.

Now he's using his time to focus more on songwriting. He hopes to record those songs and put out his first album soon, and he's inspired by those one-man bands that have gone before.

"I think if I have the motivation and really do it, I could get something going like that," he said.

- Staff reporter Emily McFarlan, 29 January 2009

mens oxfords and bright red socks.

I would love some mens oxford shoes like the ones above from the  2008 JCrew Holiday catalog. Men's shoes don't really some in my size for the most part. Very cool though. I'll keep my eyes peeled. I'm also on the look out for bright red socks. I've noticed more men wearing bright socks to match their tie. I really want to adopt that too. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Andrew Bird... Noble Beast

Andrew Bird will always have a special place in my heart. I first started listening to him in high school with aaron and Jon when he was primarily playing in Chicago with the Bowl of Fire. I fell in love with their 2001 album The Swimming Hour

For some reason I never got into his first solo album The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Noble Beast on the other hand has been on repeat. Despite the fact I always want to call this album "Noble Feast," I really love it! Andrew Bird did not disappoint with his most recent album. If you don't have time to listen to the whole album (below), definitely listen to #1 or #9 right away. 

our trip

When my Dad passed away many of us remembered that he had always said he wanted his ashes sprinkled in the Strait of Bonifacio when he died. This was where we lived when he was stationed there when I was a kid. So this is what we are going to do. On June 13 Katie, my mom, Ellen, Aaron and I will depart to spend ten days in Sardinia. It will be so beautiful and I can see all those places I remember as a kid. I've booked a villa in a village called Porto Rafael (see images of villa below) and think it will be so magical.

Additionally, since Aaron and I are done with school, and since Katie is about to start school, the three of us have decided to extend our trip into a 6 week sojourn through Italy and France. It will be a lot of work and so expensive but I can't imagine a better way to spend the summer. I'll be posting more details about our trip as we plan, and when we are there I hope to have some great travel posts. But for now, since I just bought the tickets, I thought I'd share. 

Now I just need a job post-school/trip!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I want this swim suit for Italy and France

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Aaron loves to make brunch foods... well any food... so on Saturday we had a few people over for brunch. Oh how I love mimosas. Anyways, this is what he made (I was in charge of the fruit salad- good but not complicated). 

Tomato Feta Strata Food and Wine- so amazing and savory

Grape-Fruit Fennel Salad- a little too much fennel perhaps, but a great light compliment

and of course Ultimate Sticky Buns. For a girl who doesn't really like sticky buns, its pretty impressive that this was my favorite course!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

one evening

oh Feist you know I love you.

Lainey by James Winn, with thanks to Donald Roller Wilson

I realized recently that I never shared my favorite Christmas gift. Well, it was Aaron's gift, but I enjoyed it was much as he did... and it's of my Lainey.

Aaron's dad is an artist and has made his living as a realist painter (find his work here and here). He departed this year though and painted Lainey in a style modeled after the work of surrealist painter Donald Roller Wilson. The top painting is Wilson's Kathleen. Here is her 'story' from his site: 

"Kathleen... seeing an airborne symbol... held in place by the father who was watching from his room in the tower... knowing the air, once warmed, would provide loft to Kathleen's thoughts - notes sent in bottles found on shores... prayers sent in bubbles through the heavens... (they were all one and the same)... 

Being sent... containing well wishes for the mother of Donald who, after all, had placed that tooth under his pillow during the night... "
This is Jim's painting of Lainey. I need to come up with a story for her. (thanks jon for the pic!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

second project

Here is my second project. Just trying to learn another stitch- It went very fast!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

vintage travel posters

With the promise of a new apartment in August and a new start, I've been think a lot about how I might want my new place to look. I want modern but cozy, worldly but not esoteric, stylized but not contrived. So I might be sharing ideas I have from time to time more as a journal to remind myself later. 

I've been loving these vintage travel posters. They aren't exactly the expected art deco posters I've seen before, but more childlike. The bright bold colors would be lovely.