Wednesday, March 31, 2010

so lovely I could cry

:: Note: Here's the part where all of you non-gardening types sigh deeply and shake your heads at me because I'm going to ramble on about Columbine. Again. ::

I'm drooling on my keyboard again, folks.

To say that I want these for my shade gardens in the front of my house is a drastic understatement. I need them. I crave them. I live for them.

Dramatic? You betcha.

(blue butterflies)

From White Flower Farm, a drool-worthy place indeed. Someday I will make a pilgrimage there. Someday. There are more varieties here. The ones not listed in this post thrive and spread year after year in my garden. Need seeds? E-mail me. These are fool proof, kids. All of you black-thumbed people need not worry. Simple, easy to grow, little to no maintenance. Score!


I haven't been this disappointed in a U.S. president in a very long time. And considering where we were just a short while ago, that's saying a lot.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It doesn't get any more fascinating than this. And yes, I'm still obsessed with the Hadron Collider.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lost, mentally

I'm going to make this quick because I know I'm starting to annoy those of you who aren't LOST fans.

I'm completely caught up. Seriously.

In (give or take) 42 days, I managed to watch approximately 4,704 minutes (that's 78.4 hours) worth of oddly compelling material. This can only mean that I'm either a completely devoted individual or incredibly indifferent about how I waste my life away. Either way, that's a shitload of time. And somehow I can't imagine my life without it.

I'm in love...

...with this movie.

I have no idea what took me so long to watch it. In fact, the book has been gathering dust on the bookshelf for over a year now and I haven't even cracked the spine. But I'm in love. With Julia. With the sets. With the dialogue. With the relationship between Julia and Paul. With Meryl Streep.

Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Just wanted to give everyone an update about my dad. He's doing much better, thankfully, but he's still in the hospital. I want to thank everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers. You guys are all amazing. If you're waiting for a phone call or an e-mail back from me, I'm so sorry it's taking me so long, but thank you for your patience. Life is extremely hectic lately and I haven't had time to do much more than bounce from home to work to Albany Med (officially THE best hospital on the face of the planet) and back again. As soon as normalcy returns, I promise to get back to you. Yikes. My house is filthy and torn to shreds (the living room redo happened right before my dad's emergency, so that room looks like a tornado blew through it), Olive keeps giving me dirty looks and poor Ben has been living on frozen dinners and ramen noodles. Hopefully regular old day-to-day life returns to all of us soon, especially my mom and dad.

I'd also like to formally apologize to my Troy Night Out customers who come in monthly looking for food and refreshments. We will have wine and a few munchies tonight, but I didn't get a chance to make dip this month (dun dun DUN!!!), and I'm already starting to apologize to people who pop their heads in wondering what's on the menu for tonight. Next month, I promise.

So, yes, thanks to you all. I hope to be back soon!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

well wishes

My dad was rushed to the emergency room late last night.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

almost there

The walls are just about painted and I'm totally at peace with the color.  Oh, and I keep telling myself that I'm completely fine with the fact that I'm covered in paint, dog/cat hair and little dead spider bodies, and it's okay to relax.

Tomorrow, I'll paint the fireplace, make some new curtains and put the room back together.

What a weekend.  Well worth the effort.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Happy Spring, Kids! Thought it was never gonna get here.

No significance to the song other than the fact that it's one of my all time faves and it feels all spring-like to me. Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

hack job

I think I'm going to hack my hair off again.

I always do this.

I cut it all off and then promise myself that I'm going to grow it out. I get bored with it quickly and chop it all off again.  Spring does a lot of weird things to me and this is one of those things.

Months ago I was flipping through a magazine at the salon while Ben got his monthly shearing. I found an ad for some hipster girly beauty products by Marcia Kilgore. I couldn't care less about the products, but her hair really appealed to me. I tore the page out and stuck it on the fridge at home, just to give myself some time to think about it. Months have gone by and I still love it. I think I'm gonna go for it. I'm not one of those girls who freaks out over a drastic hair change because, as we all know, it grows back. And my hair, well, it grows like a weed. My only concern here is that my face is too round for this style. I've gone this short in the past. Even shorter, actually. I'm not afraid.
Comments? Suggestions?

Oh, and P.S., after another trip to the hardware store, and after testing out two more paint samples, I think I may have found the right shade for the room. I had the poor dude at Home Depot match a Ralph Lauren color called Cathedral Grey (go here and you'll find it in the seventh row down, second one in from the left) to a Behr base and I think it's a winner. I was entirely too overwhelmed by the orange colors (I love orange, but I don't want it to compete with the orange hallway at the other end of the house), and the one I tested out on the walls tonight just wasn't for me. So, I'm going to give the grey a day to grow on me, and if I still like it tomorrow, I'll have my plate full for this weekend! I painted the grey over part of the Wheat Bread swatch from last night and the colors look nice together. So, perhaps Cathedral Grey on the walls and Wheat Bread on the fireplace. Updates to come!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

fifteen million shades of white

Thank god for paint samples.

Okay, I'm in interior design hell.  I know what you're thinking: you've done this to yourself, jerk!...The room was fine the way it was!  And you're right, the room was fine.  But I have a nasty case of spring fever and this room must be changed quickly or my sanity will drift away, never to be seen or heard from again.  Dramatic much?

Anyway, so I hit up good old Home Depot, not once, but twice today.  Thank god the same girl wasn't at the paint counter both times or I'd have some explaining to do.  Here's the back story:

See, on my way home from work yesterday I stopped by The Spinning Seed to drop something off and there I found the most amazing thrifted cardigan sweater in the most amazing shade of blue.  Amazing, I tell you!  The second I laid eyes on it, I knew this would be the perfect shade for my living room.  So, today I went to the Depot, sweater in hand, to match this perfect shade of blue with some eggshell-finish goodness.  The sweater itself is one of those "in-between shades" deals, so it was tricky, but I found two colors that seemed perfect.  Bought the samples, got them home, put them up on the walls and...

hated both of them.

Yes, that's right.  I couldn't stand them.  This room is not meant to be blue.  Not one bit.  So, I decided to go with my original instinct and try out a nice linen color.  Went back to the Depot and snagged two more samples, one called Wheat Bread (I already know I love this color because I use it in the gallery at the shop), a grayish beigy white, and one called Gobi Desert, a yellowey beigy white.  Bought the samples, got them home, put them up on the walls and...

I'm not sold.

And now you know why I said "thank god for paint samples".  Ben would have filed for divorce before I even closed up the paint cans had I bought gallons instead of samples.  Yeesh.

I don't know.  What do you think?  I like Gobi Desert, I guess, and I'm waiting to see what it looks like in natural daylight because I'm sure it's going to look completely different.  It's also possible that I'm being indecisive because I'm just not used to something this stark in this room.  Afterall, it's been this dark green shade for five years now.  But I don't think that's it.  I'm very particular when it comes to color.  I know what I like and I know what I feel comfortable with when it comes to painting my walls.

Plus, (and I hate to even admit this) on my way home the second time I had this vision of a persimmon color in that room with a Wheat Bread fireplace and black accents, and it came pretty damn close to melting my heart.  My god, I need valium.  I plan to inspect Wheat Bread and Gobi Desert tomorrow morning and maybe, juuuuuust maybe I'll stop back at the Depot to see what they have to offer in persimmon.  Maybe I'll keep the Wheat Bread on three walls and just do one accent wall, the one with the fireplace and windows, in persimmon.  Or, maybe I'll just dive head first off the Cohoes falls and call it a day.  Either way, I'll keep you crazy kids posted.

Two things I learned today:

* Lowes told Martha Stewart to take a flying leap, so Martha and her crap are moving on over to Home Depot.  Eco-friendly cleaning products are there already, followed by a new line of paint coming in May.  The paint lady mentioned that Glidden is providing the base for her line (booo! I'm a Behr fan all the way), and thank goodness for that because the crap she called paint over at Lowes was a complete and total embarrassment to her dynasty.  Someone finally woke up.

* There is a specific kind of paint recommended for painting fireplace brick, even if you're only painting the outside.  "Masonry, Stucco and Brick" paint is the way to go and it comes in a plethora of colors.  Ahhh, you think I'm having a hard time choosing a shade for the walls now?  Wait till it's time to paint the brick.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm a total tool and never take pictures of the things I make.  I need to work on this, I know, and I'm trying.  But for now, I rely on friends to help me out.  Aaaaaand that's why I owe Kate my life for sharing these shots.  I made this quilt for Amelia before she was born, and it makes me so happy to know that they're using it.  Hooray for functional gifts!

Monday, March 15, 2010

please vote!

Okay, folks, I need your help again.

I'm in the process of making a major change in my house and I can't make a decision to save my life. I plan on doing the work this weekend so I'm running out of time. Interested in voting?

I've been dying to paint the outside of my fireplace ever since we bought this house. I've been hesitant to do so only because it seems like such a sin. I love the look of brick, but this particular brick just makes me skin crawl. Very 1960s. I'm also hesitant to re-paint the walls in the same room because they're currently my most favorite shade in the world and I'm reluctant to let go.

Unfortunately, we suffer from dungeonitis in this house. There are so few windows and therefore very, very little natural light, and that just kills me. The color of the walls now, a dark olive green, doesn't help in adding light to the room, so it needs to go. I'm going to go with a linen color for the walls, but I'm stuck with where to go with the fireplace brick. I'm torn between a nice ivory and a high-gloss black. Any suggestions? I'm open to other colors, too, so if you can suggest something, I'm all ears! I realize that this is going to be a drastic change, but one I'm not afraid of one bit. If anything, I look forward to it.

The photo above is the most recent shot I have of this room, and it's not very recent at all. This room looks nothing like this anymore (new furniture, bookcases moved, etc), but you get an idea of the brick and wall colors. I'm keeping the mantle the same...I highly doubt I'll ever change it. All of the woodwork throughout the house is the same cherry color and I love it.  Eventually I would love to replace that brass facing with something a little less, uh, tacky, but I can't afford it right now.  Basically, I'm looking for a color that will match the walls, match the wood mantle and match the nasty brass facing.  Please help.

Cast your vote on the sidebar if you're interested.  I'll leave it open for a solid day or two.  If you have any additional comments, please leave them.  I'd love to hear what you have to say.  Thanks!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

local and abroad

Today I:

am making bread from locally grown/harvested/ground whole wheat flour purchased at yesterday's farmers' market.  I'll keep you posted on how it turns out!

am dousing myself in a healthy dose of the new Frightened Rabbit album.  I've been waiting so long for this and it was worth every second.  They're making the long trip from Scotland to the states and making an appearance in NYC next month.  I must go.  Anyone wanna come with me?  April 28th!

Friday, March 12, 2010

having kids without having kids

I'm not a fan of kids.

I'm sure you know this already if you've been reading this blog for a while. So, yeah, I said it. I obviously love the kids in my family, and my friends' kids are fantastic, so I shouldn't say I don't like kids. I'm just glad I don't have kids of my own. I adore my niece, Lola, as I'm sure you've also probably noticed after reading this blog. She owns the starring role in many posts. It's great to have the ability to have a kid in my life that I can hang with and spoil rotten, and then send home to her mom and dad. Heh.

Anyway, I was sick recently and my little bean, The Lo, left me this message on my machine at home.

If you can't understand her, she says:

Kate, are you better?
Get better, please.
I wub you.

Gotta love this kid. She rocks my socks off.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

giving the old brain a break...

...or a workout, depending on how you look at it.

I'll admit, I let Lost take over my life for a long time there. I won't go into what's going on in that world right now because I know most of you couldn't care less, nor will I embarrass myself by admitting how far along I am...already. Holy moly, man. That show is nuts!


So, after soaking my brain in Lost brine for the last...I don't know...we'll just call it a long time, I've decided to give it a break, or at least limit my intake to two (or three, or four) episodes a day, and start reading for once. I know what you're thinking..."OH MY GOD! The Wonder
Of It All!" As you can see in the photo above, things are starting to sprout up here (finally!) and I'm biding my time before it's warm enough to go outside and savor the longer days. I'm taking my sweet time getting through this book, and that's intentional because I want to absorb every single word of it. So good. In addition, I'm reading new blogs. I love blogs. I live for blogs. I've probably read your blog. Any of the blogs you see on the side bar over there have been read from the first post to the most current one, and I'm hooked. I love nothing more than to find a new blog, start at the beginning and work my way to the present. And that's what I've been up to.

I just finished three. Well, not just finished, but here's what I've been working on recently:

1. Bread and Honey.
This is the most recent blog I've devoured. I was so sad when I finished it, like reading the perfect book and never wanting to turn that last page. Eek. I know she's not a frequent poster, so I'm going to have to get my fix when I can, but something tells me it's never going to be enough. This is mainly a food blog, but so much more. Alicia talks about her life from time to time, but in a sharp, cutting manner that makes me love her even more. If you're not a fan of sarcasm, don't bother clicking over, but if you want a good laugh, great stories, and cynicism at its finest, check it out.
Love me some Emily. I honestly can't remember how I found her, but I know it was over in Flickr-land. Loved her photos and even tracked back to her first upload, making my way to the most recent ones (Emily, I'm not stalking you, I swear!!!). I happened to notice that she had a blog while reading her profile (again, not stalking) and clicked my way into happy times. This is, by far, one of the most honest blogs I've read in a long time. The girl has a way with words, and boy does she have fantastic taste in music. Great photos, great content, even better wit and wisdom. I'm a daily reader. Hear that, Em? Keep posting!

I've been a reader of the LittleByrd blog for quite some time and find myself at LittleByrdVintage every day. As one of her customers pointed out, it's "straight from the pages of Anthropologie, but the real thing". I couldn't agree more. She recently started a new blog called My Morning Walk and I'm in love. Her photos are so soft and pretty, the stories simple and meaningful, and if I believed in fairies, I know they'd live in her back yard. This is a nice opportunity to relax and unwind, and indulge in lots of great eye candy, folks. So if you're into that sort of thing, go there. It's worth it.

If you have a blog you think I'd enjoy, say the word! I'll gobble it up!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"If you're so depressed, how come you're eating pizza?"

So sad.
I'm so sick of all these young celebrity drug-related deaths.
He was only 38.
R.I.P. Corey Haim.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

it's about time!

So, after putting it off for what seems like forever, I've opened an Etsy shop.

I'll be listing more over the course of the day today, but it's slow going. I'm sick as a dog today (hailing the porcelain gods) and moving at a snail's pace. Once my sewing machine is repaired (yes, again!), I'll add some handbags and some of my little pinafores, but for now it's just jewelry.

I'm totally open for comments and suggestions here. I'd love to hear your input. I should also mention that the postal service is moving extra slow lately and though I'm sending all packages as priority mail, it's still taking ages to arrive. I apologize in advance. If you're interested in something and need it shipped quickly, please let me know and I'll do my best!


Friday, March 5, 2010

the inevitable

the inevitable has happened...

I'm starting to grow a turkey neck.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

take a load off

(photo taken by Carly)
The Lo got bored (and maybe a little bit tired) at Home Depot, so she decided to take a load off. Gotta love how kids think!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doodle...Draw and a Dollar

I came into the shop this morning and found two little pieces of paper that someone had slipped under my door. Normally I find pieces of advertising and general junk mail shoved through the small space, but today I was oddly compelled by these colorful cards and thrilled that someone took the time to share them with us here. I have no idea who dropped them off, and if the person responsible for putting them there is reading this, please contact me because I'd love to help out with such a wonderful opportunity.

Doodle...Draw and a Dollar is an event sponsored by the Let Hope Live campaign, a foundation working to eliminate brain cancer in children. The foundation works to provide "hope, encouragement and financial support so that children undergoing treatment can maintain as much normality in their lives as possible". How's that for amazing? Anyway, this particular event sounds like a lot of fun, and I hope some of you, if not all of you, will want to participate.

From their site:

Doodle....Draw and a Dollar!

Just create an animal that is shaped into one letter in our slogan, “LET HOPE LIVE!” Send with $1 dollar entry fee. Chose from 11 letters & an explanation point!

Winner’s creature will be transformed into a puppet. Winning puppet & tees will be distributed to Albany Med Children’s Hospital & Ronald McDonald House. Twelve runners up will have their 'creature' (Letter) on the 2010 Official limited edition tee.

Make up an animal! Let Dr Seuss, your pet, or friend inspire you! Include a story or name your creature in honor of someone. (Not necessary to win) Most of all, have fun as you let hope live!

LET HOPE LIVE & THE ARTS CENTER of the Capital Region will have RENOWNED, ROLLING STONE, GOLF MAGAZINE political artist VICTOR JUHASZ & STEVEN ALCORN offering tips to all with a creature doodle and dollar Friday March 26 5-9 TROY NIGHT OUT (265 River Street Troy, NY) Finalist's ceremony and press conference TROY NIGHT OUT 5 pm. April 30, 2010. Limited edition puppet and tees will be sold beginning Holiday season 2010
Sending drawing provides your acknowledgement drawing may be used to promote the foundation in any way. The Andrew Christian Bryce Foundation is not responsible for lost and misdirected mail. No further notice or compensation due.

Thank you for helping us let hope live in the lives of seriously ill children.

Size no larger than 8 1/2 x 11

Mail yours to:"Let Hope Live!" 9 Duncan Lane Troy, NY 12180Entries without $1 entry do not qualify.

All entries entered in drawing for 1 of 5 puppets and other special items.



If you decide to participate, please share your doodles! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

oldies but goodies

Not sure why, but Ben and I must have been feeling a bit of 80s nostalgia over the weekend. We were discussing the next two movies to bump up in our Netflix queue (just finished watching Freak Talks about Sex, one of my faves, and Zack and Miri Make A Porno, which was decent) and, after browsing around a bit, discovered that two movies on our "save" list were now available to ship. So, I give you my pick (couldn't find a trailer, so here are some clips):

And Ben's pick:

So funny. These were movies I watched as a kid and they hold a special place in my heart. I remember watching Superfuzz and loving every second of it, but I can't remember anything specific about it (this was a fave of Ben's as a kid, too, and he remembers much more than I do). I'm sure this will be one of those movies that I watch again now, after all these years, and wonder if my parents were feeding me crack with my Cheerios.

Midnight Madness is one of those great memories from my childhood that I treasure. Years ago, before the dawn of Netflix, I wanted to see that movie again so badly and couldn't find it anywhere. Dave magically produced a VHS copy one Christmas eve and surprised me with it. To this day, this was one of the best surprises anyone has ever given me. So, thank goodness people still like corny 80s movies like I do, otherwise this DVD wouldn't be making its way to our doorstep.

Have any old favorites you may have loved as a kid and can't figure out why, especially now that you're an adult? I know I can't be the only one.