Sunday, December 30, 2007
My husband has always been involved with one band or another (or two or three) for the past couple of decades, playing the guitar and bass. Crash Smash Explode was one such band. Every once in awhile he does a Google search to see if any one has uploaded any photos that were taken during past out of town tours. Tonight we found this review on Interpunk.com and I thought it was pretty cool. Mike says- "who knew we were so relevant?" Ha! Can 'The Winds' (his new project) live up to it?
"Crash Smash Explode/Secret Life Of Machines - Split
Crash Smash Explode/Secret Life Of Machines
Bifocal Media 7
Released on September 18, 2001
CRASH SMASH EXPLODE delivers a whirling, dense, masterpiece of sonic devastation. They somehow manage to stay catchy while playing some of the most eclectic, neurotic, andchallenging rock music in the underground today. This split LP is a stunning follow up to their SOLD OUT 7" on Amendment Records. Crash Smash have also appeared on the WHISTLE OF THE MISSILE video and the KAMPAI compilation; both available on Bifocal Media. More recently crash smash appeared on the highly successful TROUBLEMAN MIX TAPE compilation making this limited split LP a highly sought after recording. SECRET LIFE OF MACHINES steps to bat with a crushing wall of sonic manipulation. Combining the moody melancholy of early 80s bands such as BAUHAUS with the complexity and angst of mid 90s bands like UNIVERSAL ORDER OF ARMAGEDDON. Huge tribal drumming, dissonant keyboards, complex noodly guitar, pained screaming vocals, and jazzy bass lines. This release follows an overwhelming response to their appearance on the WHISTLE OF THE MISSILE video and the KAMPAI compilation."
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Finally, it really feels like Christmas around here. The photos above are a bit murky, but you get the idea. I was a bit worried about how we would do our tree this year; what with a curious toddler bounding around ready to touch and taste everything in his path. We selected a shorter tree than usual, and sat it upon a pedestal. Henry hasn't chewed on any mini lightbulbs... yet.
Tonight I spruced up our porch with some garlands, a living wreath, and a living swag above the door. The parts that are "living" include pine, acuba, and other various evergreen foliage with nandina berries and fruit. I constructed them using Oasis, or florist's foam, which provides a constant source of water for the plants while keeping them tightly arranged. I'll include a daylight photo of them this week, and maybe provide a little tutorial. It is so easy, and less expensive than buying these things readymade from your local nursery.
Mike's mom had her annual holiday party at her restaurant this weekend. Every year her waitresses beg me to make some fudge, so I was up to my arms in chocolate for the past couple of days. Many batches later, I can already feel the expansion of my ass. What, I had to do a little taste test to make sure it was suitable for giving away. The recipe is so unbelievably simple, and so outrageously good. And fudge is just so sweet and rich, when giving it as a gift, a little goes such a long way. And really, I get requests for this stuff every year!
Foolproof Fudge-y Goodness
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (you can do a variation of semisweet with milk chocolate, peanut butter, dark chocolate, or butterscotch chips)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated- it won't work)
1/2 cups walnuts coarsely chopped (or not, if you don't like nuts)
1 1/2 tsps. PURE vanilla extract (don't even reach for the imitation stuff)
1/4 cup butter (unsalted sweet cream)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (what, I warned you about the expanding ass part... but hey, just run a bit harder and farther in the beginning of the new year)
Once you've made a few batches you can experiment with add-ins such as peanut butter, or miniature marshmallows for a rocky-road type fudge.
Melt all together in a medium saucepan over low heat, constantly stirring. No candy thermometer needed. You will know the desired consistency is achieved when you start humming theme songs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original, not the remake). Pour mixture into a wax paper-lined pan (8X9). Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. Enjoy!! Even the tiniest bite will satisfy the largest chocolate craving. I swear.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I am still plugging away at trying to create a handmade Christmas for all of my favoritos. Some fabric I ordered from repropdepot just arrived, and I have to say, I am in love with these patterns. I have been working on some little porcelain pretties, but I'm really not sure how these are going to turn out. College ceramics was a looongggg time ago. Nonetheless, it has been a whole lot of fun re-exploring that medium. There is nothing like that sense of "flow" I get from kneading, sculpting, designing with that earthy goodness. I suppose it is the same great feeling I get while painting, collaging, etc. I've been needing more flow in my life...
I have been slowly creating my little Christmas vignettes around the house. I'll leave you with a picture of a little tree I put together for my beloved blown glass ornaments and crystal icicles. It is so easy to do- find some attractive branches in the yard, anchor in an urn using river rocks, and voila. I'll post some pictures of our big tree and my mantle later.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Do you know what I hate?? Thieves. People who steal. Dishonest bastards. My mom had her purse stolen tonight in a parking lot. Her phone, wallet, i.d.s, credit cards, camera (with all the pictures of her recent retirement trip), pictures of my son, loads of cash, and other things, were all taken by some despicable stranger. It just makes me so mad my blood feels like it is going to boil. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. hmph. The only thing that gives me solace is that what goes around eventually comes around...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We spent the long Thanksgiving weekend baking, feasting, and having fun in great piles of crunchy, fallen leaves. On Friday night Mike and I scored a great deal on some oysters. We bundled up like eskimos and roasted them in the backyard- there is nothing like enjoying oysters and beer outdoors on a cold autumn evening. Later that evening we enjoyed the company of our friend's over at Cassie and Bobby's; and sat around their backyard fire pit.
This Christmas I am attempting to make most of my gifts by hand- crazy, considering how hard it is to be in the presence of a fourteen month old while using such things as paint, glue and scissors; but I'm gonna try. We'll see how it goes. And some of you may see how it went, once Christmas morning rolls around, that is.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Oh cold, wet November... you have actually arrived. I am relieved this week is finally nearing its end. The kiddo and the mister have been dreadfully sick all week- Henry came down with his first cold ever. That's right- he managed to go fourteen months malady-free. This week I finally put that aspirator (of which, inexplicably, we have about ten) to good use. Somehow I've emerged from this den of sick unscathed- So Far. Check back in with me by Sunday. We'll see.
Until then, I leave you with a picture of Henry's first original piece of artwork (that sounds odd. as if we have unoriginal art works by him laying about). Anyhow- it was done on the old magna doodle. His hands are too tiny to grip the little stylus, so he used a bigger, chunkier magnet. I'm so proud!! I see a bit of Miro there, perhaps.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
whew! This was a big weekend for my floral design business. Two weddings in one day- I worked so hard, my hands (literally) got bloody (I swear that I didn't bleed on the flowers though). I am going to miss working with the awesome bride with the awesome taste... hopefully there will be more soon. Anyone need flowers? We were in such a rush that we didn't even get proper photos. Hopefully the wedding photogs got some good shots. Included above are the amazing orchids we had flown in from Thailand; a reception table (the bride worked for a stint in east Africa at an organization that teaches various trades to tribal women and provides education. Each of those little bags (favors) was sewn and signed by the women; the money from the bags goes directly to the center and to their families); bridesmaid bouquets (callas, orchids, tulips, and freesia); posies (in lieu of regular corsages for the mothers and other important women, the bride wanted little individual handtied bouquets); an altar arrangement with giant cymbidium orchids, protea foliage, bells of ireland, and makara orchids; and a lovely pomander ball for the flower girl completely covered in roses (she had matching roses for her hair).
Thursday, November 08, 2007
sunset over the James
more beer, please.
Every year Nic's parents have an oyster roast in the fall. They live on the most beautiful property, far away from hideous strip malls and the busy intersections of suburban sprawl. Their house sits back from a slight cliff over-looking the beautiful James River. Each time I am invited, I never want to leave. I dream of waking up in the morning and enjoying that spectacular view. Of lazing around on the river's shore, painting in plein air with nothing to disturb me, or boating around for an afternoon... This was Henry's first visit, and he had a great time chasing the dogs around, drinking beer, and slurping down perfectly, just barely roasted oysters doused with hot sauce. Actually, Henry didn't do those last couple of things. But Mike and I sure enjoyed them. We chased around some dogs, too.
I cannot believe it has been so long since my last post; although the past month has been so busy, it has seemed like four months rolled into one. The organization of floral jobs, two birthday dinners, a huge surprise retirement party for my mom, and being the constant companion to an amazing little thirteen month old has left little time to for much else- except we did manage to squeeze in some major entertainment. Blonde Redhead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Cat Power at the Norva (the latter being my favorite show of all time at the norva- Chan Marshall did not disappoint!), not to mention David Sedaris at Chrysler Hall, Nic's Halloween party, the Welch's annual oyster roast, and a neighborhood wine gathering. I have been yearning for cooler weather, and it came just in time last week for Henry's first hayride and trip to the pumpkin patch. That little guy is literally growing before our eyes- I can judge this because in order to avoid hardcover avalanches, my books have been moving up a shelf a week.... he is growing... a shelf a week! Henry has arrived in the throes of a really fun age. I am just in love with this little person, and his wildly developing personality. He is sensitive, gentle and kind; a budding comedian with a strong-willed drive for independence. He loves to run around outside- the other day he was sitting on the floor trying to put his socks and shoes on. This is an indication he is ready to go outside. now. He also loves to sit in my lap for long stretches with his favorite blanket and have me read to him book after book. He points at the pictures- "that" he says, meaning "what's that?". That, is one happy me. I am thankful every day for "that".
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Henry is very taken by the skateboard these days- he gets very excited when he sees the kids in the neighborhood whizzing past our house on their boards; and he loves to go to the skate park to watch his dad. I suppose this is just something in his blood, no?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Here is a picture of a bouquet my mom and I just put together for a bride's wedding portrait. She is getting married in November, and we are so looking forward to this job because of her excellent taste in flowers. She has pretty much given us carte blanche in designing her reception. It will consist of almost one hundred glass square and rectangular vases scattered about with both single blooms and multiples- all surrounded by hundreds of tealights. It is going to be modern, gorgeous, intimate. The bouquet pictured above includes several bunches of ranunculus, about ten tulips, macarana spray roses, freesia, and exquisite (and rare, as we have discovered) fiddlehead ferns. The fiddleheads are such odd specimens- slick brown shoots that curl at the ends into a perfect spiral. These had to be flown in from Hawaii, and were available only in a very limited quantity.
I am quite excited about the momentum our business is gaining. How great it would be to continue working at something that I love so much and am so passionate about. Go Posy!
Last Thursday marked four years of marriage for Michael and I. Those years have flown by so quickly- probably because they have been so terrific. My husband is my favorite person in the world, and I look forward to at least 60 more years... Here is a grainy snapshot taken of us just as our dear friend Bobby announced us as Mr. and Mrs. at our wedding reception.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Henry's "birthday week" came and went with much fanfare, cake, and many, many helium balloons. He got some really beautiful things, including lots of wooden toys and a gorgeous handmade quilt sewn by his aunt and godmother. As I've been reflecting on the past year, it feels almost like I turned "1" too; my first year as a mommy. Wonderful, tiring, sometimes stressful, sometimes lonely. It was hard to leave my job behind (and my selfishness). Since I spent the last year devoted entirely to Henry (for the most part- I devoted a great part to Mike, but I am forever devoted to him), I have resolved to spend a little more time on me. I have stacks of collages to finish off, and countless other projects waiting to be brought to fruition. I said this blog wasn't a "mommy blog", but it sort of became that way. These pages will still naturally contain a lot of Henry, but hopefully now more of other stuff, too. Cheers, friends!! And happy 30th to old t-bird, too.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tonight, after cleaning the house for some guests I'm expecting tomorrow (I do clean the house usually, just not when expecting guests... but especially when expecting guests- my secret is out); I finished framing some photos and wrapped up Henry's gifts for his first birthday. Suddenly I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment and happiness... I thought: "I did this, I really did it!" On the eve of the eve of the one year anniversary since my labor began (and lasted for days), I can enjoy the fruits of my labor -and be as thankful as one could ever be.
Friday, September 07, 2007
A very dear friend of my family's passed away unexpectedly this week- a man whom my parents, brother, and I have been very close to for the past twenty-eight years. I have been feeling very melancholy over this for the past couple of days. Tomorrow afternoon we will attend his funeral, and then a couple of hours later I will be attending the wedding of some friends that I sort of "set-up" a while back. A day of sadness, a day of joy. You will be missed dearly, Mr. Frey.