Sunday, August 31, 2008

Project Party

A few weeks ago, I jumped in on the Project Catwalk contest at SIStv (which follows Bravo's Project Runway). I figured that it would encourage me to de-stress by being crafty with paper & photos again, which it has. This week's submission (Week 7) required an 'innovative use of texture' (see above). The mesh is an avocado bag from the grocery store and the gray letters re velvety Thickers.

(Previous weeks: Week 1, Week 3 & 4). Below are submissions from Week 5 (using denim - my tirade against Vista) and Week 6.
Week 6 (use minimal products, create a big impact):One more (below), for the Category Stories' August challenge -- topic: "Sunshine"

Saturday, August 30, 2008


This year for my birthday, my parents sent me this awesome sewing machine. I've been planning to purchase one so that I could make us some heavy-duty winter curtains (so as to lower our very high winter gas bill). I also thought it might be nice to hem all of the pants that I have pinned up with safety pins and even play with stitching on scrapbook pages.

The gift couldn't have been more perfect. I'm learning to sew from the *very* beginning with the beloved instruction manual (where is the frickin on-button?). And I've had to teach myself how to thread the machine, since the last time I touched a machine was in 8th grade Home Ec.
Today, with the only fabric in the house (covered in vintage cars) and with the only thread-on-a-spool in the house (army green!), I sewed my first project--a pillow cover. The sewing site has an easy Envelope-back Pillow Cover instruction set and the entire thing came together in about 15 minutes! (I should mention that I didn't iron the seams as instructed & I cut the fabric by eye-balling it. Next time I'll be more precise). For the pillow insert, I swapped in one of our Ikea couch pillows that has a dingy cover.

Pillow, 8/29/08.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (8/24/08)
This recipe is easy to vary and gives a big pay off. Saute onions, garlic, peppers (we used small black (sweet) peppers from the farmer's market), and whatever else you want to throw in. Toss with cooked quinoa (follow the box). Add a touch of pasta sauce &/or olive oil for moisture. Add salt & pepper. Toss. I threw chopped parsley in at the end, for color.

I used poblano chili peppers, but you can use any pepper to stuff. Slice them down the side & scoop out the seeds, then load in the delish mix. I over-stuffed, so they exploded. Of course. But who cares! Roast these babies in a casserole dish or on a tray at 450F for 35 min. Add cheese (we used shredded white cheddar) for the last few minutes. Soooooo tasty. And fairly healthy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Winner of the b-day giveaway...

A few days ago, in celebration of this blog's 1-year birthday, I posted a giveaway, which has as its prize a 4-pack of dvds from our ridiculously extensive collection. Maybe its a little hobo, because they're dvds we decided we didn't need anymore (is that hobo?), but at least one might be a winner...
To be fair, I had Willow choose the winner of the drawing. I dumped the slips of paper (each with a name) onto her head and she tried to eat one of them. That person clearly wins. And the winner is....Jane, send me your current addy. I have a package for you...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birthday Action

Today I decided to get myself an early b-day present--a few photoshop actions. All I can say is: So. Much. Fun. See what 'ya think...these have been 'acid washed.'

Chris, in Anne & Ashley's new kitchen (8/5/08).

Grapes from the backyard (8/23/08).

me, at Joe's wedding (7/5/08)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday RedPepperFlakes (giveaway)

In honor of Red Pepper Flakes' Blogiversary (this site turns 1 year old today), I'm giving away a 4-pack of DVDs from our 'we-have-too-much-stuff-get-this-out-of-the-house' box. Drop me a line (or a comment) & I'll put you in the drawing. The surprise 4-pack will include a comedy, an award-winning drama, a fantasy, and a kill-ya-self movie*. I'll take names until Sunday night. Tune in Monday for the winner.

*A 'kill-ya-self movie' (term coined by Chris) is a movie that can be difficult to watch. I've always sort-of liked emotionally wrenching movies. Chris has been working on changing this, thus the term he coined.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Khloe's First Year

A page I started many months ago, but finished this morning, of my cousin's little girl Khloe, during her first year (2007):

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where do your photos go?

Steel Reserve. Omaha, NE. Taken 8/6/08.

Photos, it seems, should be shared. If a family member, for example, wants a copy of your group shot from the last wedding, or of that shiny beer can you artfully captured, many photo sites will allow your family members to order their own copy for the mantle. Unfortunately, my photos are all over the place on lots of different photo sites.

I have batches on my Flickr page, as well as in a private account that I use as an archives for the day that Vista eats all of my photo files. Flickr allows you to share an actual digital file with others (via the dowload option, when viewing the photo), if you choose. But ordering prints is more complicated for outsiders.

For years, Kodakgallery was my main go-to, because friends & family can easily order prints, while you control who sees what. But, the quality of Kodak prints varies. Yes, even though it's Kodak. Furthermore, the site only allows certain operating systems to use their "download the photo" option.

At the moment, I disperse photos with my Shutterfly page. They've updated their spread to offer each user a photo site where friends & family can easily view & order copies of your photos. The prints are decent & you can control who can view and contribute to the site. But, I'm always looking for something better (and I appreciate the suggestions).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Red Pepper Flakes' *Blogiversary*

This Saturday, August 23rd, my blog turns one-year old. How did it start? Chris said "I think you should start a blog." He often makes sense. So I set one up.

Throughout '08, I have had an average of 87 regularly returning unique visitors each month (unique IPs that return at least a couple of times a month, according to Statcounter). This is rather surprising because I don't even know 87 people. Whoever you are, thanks for reading!

Down to the River...

(Above and below, from Leyla's baptism last month). Question for the galley: Where do you post your photos to share with family & friends? Any recommendations? Drop me an email. Thanks.

Leyla's Baptism, Queens, NY. Taken 7/28/08.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Namaste, Bitch

Found on Etsy. Given how sore I am today (thank you Eyes of the World), I would have to send this to myself. ...And how great is this postcard? Chris & I both have a crush. From La Famila Green.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Middle of America. That is, Omaha.

Did I mention that our trip to Omaha was awesome? Omaha! I stand by it. It is a great city, full of surprises. Here's Anne & Ashley's incredible new place & a few random pics.
So cute!
Gourmet meal grilled by chef Ashley.
Run Anne, Run! (backyard)

...And this little cutie I picked up at an Antique shop, for which I have plans to hack into a Polaroid that uses 120 film. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Willow's Summer Activities

Chris is out of town, so I subjected Willow to this great torture of laziness.
Taken 8/12/08.

"Friends" Album

For Anne & Ashley's departure from nyc, I made this mini-book & gave it to them this past week. My mom picked up the "friends" book at a convention somewhere & I painted the exposed sections, covered each page with paper, rub-ons & photos. In the process of putting this together, I realized that I love the mixture of older photos with newer ones. Strap yourself in, this post is a long one.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Project Catwalk, Week 3 & 4

Project Catwalk Wk 4 Submission, 8/9/08.

Week 4 on Project Catwalk just closed last night. (See my explanation of Project Catwalk here if you're lost). Wk 1: Use odd items off of a list of household things (like a coffee filter) in a layout. Wk 2: I missed week 2 because I was in Queens and Wk 3: Complete a layout on "your style," inspired by one of the week's runway garmets. My what? Kanye's style is "way more fresh-ah." I should've gone with that. Week 4 (due last night) required a 4-page red, white, & blue mini-album using 4 words off of the list used to describe the olympians in the Project Runway ep.). I made the entire thing yesterday, to get it in by the deadline for my 5 points. Watch out!

I rarely use words like "determiniation" & "bravery" in making a layout because I don't describe people with words like these in my every-day speech. But I find the Project Catwalk contest too cute to stop. So, all of this is to say, don't judge me for being cheesey. And if I fall too far into this land of syrup, someone please drag me back.

The end. Oh wait, here's Wk 3's "style" layout as well (below).