23 December 2009

completion: finished holiday presents

[ original assignment ]



Huzzah! Done. I am officially finished with making my gifts, and I even have a day left.

Welp folks, I'm taking next week off. Enjoy your holidays! I'll see you next year.

21 December 2009

project: finally finish holiday presents

[ previous attempt ]

This holiday present thing has now dragged on through three weeks' worth of projects (or at least will when this week is done). Believe me, I'm about as tired of it as you are (or maybe you don't care. since you, dear reader, are imaginary anyway). In any case, the good news is this: my deadline for these presents is in four days, so no matter what happens in the next few days, c'est fini. Or, ce sera fini. I'm SO good at français. Oui, bien sûr!

Annnnyway. In light of the tight timeline, I've scrapped one of the more energy- and time- sucking present ideas (making little stuffed creatures) I had, which leaves me with only making a few more card designs (and more than a few) cards of each design before Thursday.

[ completed project ]

19 December 2009

side project: christmas mix

I survived. My overtime work (of which I racked up over 60 hours) officially ended yesterday (specifically 10:30 pm last night). Am free! And tired. I am NOT doing anything constructive this weekend. But I did do this little side project today as part of the recovery process.

Behold: Christmas Mix.
Complete with accompanying videos so you can sing along. I'm so nice.

01 White Christmas / The Drifters


02 The Christmas Song / Nat King Cole


03 Sleigh Ride / Ella Fitzgerald


04 Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree / Brenda Lee


05 Baby It's Cold Outside / Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis, Jr.
Best. Version. Of this song. Ever.


06 Have a Holly Jolly Christmas / Burl Ives


07 Walking in a Winter Wonderland / Louis Armstrong
Almost couldn't find this version on Youtube. But then I found this. I'm such a killer detective.


08 Run Run Rudolph / Chuck Berry


09 Jingle Bells / Dean Martin


10 Please Come Home for Christmas / Charles Brown


11 Let It Snow / Frank Sinatra


12 Sleigh Ride / The Ronettes
Yeah, yeah, I know I've got two "Sleigh Ride"s on here. They're both that good. So there.


13 Santa Baby / Madonna


14 Jingle Bell Rock / Bobby Helms


15 Feliz Navidad / José Feliciano


16 All I Want for Christmas / Mariah Carey


17 Merry Christmas, Baby / Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton


Happy Holidays, all.

14 December 2009

completion, not quite: holiday presents

[ original assignment ]




Work exploded buckets of goo all over my plans this past week. Since last Wednesday, I've been working overtime until the wee hours of every morning, and put in another 23 hours of work over the weekend. So I haven't even had time to go grocery shopping, let alone make gifts. I did manage to design the wee buttons you see here between work shifts on Thursday, but that's it.

This week is going to be a continuation of overtime hell, so I'm not foreseeing a good chance of catching up much, or being able to tackle a whole new project. Therefore, I'm taking the week off, project-wise. I'm going to keep trying to catch an hour or two here and there to work on a few more gifts, so if they materialize, I'll share. Otherwise, as long as I live through this week, I'll see you next Monday.

[ second attempt, completed project ]

07 December 2009

project: make holiday presents

I'm going to try and make as many gifts (as opposed to buying them) as I can this year. So this week I'll be coming up with concrete ideas and hopefully bringing at least a few to fruition before Sunday comes.

So far I'm mulling over an idea for an apron, and making a few things with some new fabric scraps I picked up. I'll give you a sneak peek in a few days...


P.S. The fort's still up. I didn't sleep in it last night, but I did watch a movie in it. I am very reluctant to take it down. Do I have to?

[ completed assignment ]

04 December 2009

completion: fort = built = awesome

[ original assignment ]




Behold: BLANKET FORT.

Seven blankets total in outward construction, four more for comfort plus multiple pillows plus one feather duvet. Even equipped with an upper level. And a bowl of cookies. Heh heh heh. It's quite fantastic, if I do say so myself. I am lounging in said fort as I type, in fact. Needless to say, I'll be sleeping here tonight. And maybe for the rest of my life.

30 November 2009

project: build an awesome fort

Have you seen Where the Wild Things Are? Or at least read the book?

The book has always been a favorite of mine, and I saw the film last month. In the film Max makes these killer forts (in the snow, in his bedroom, with the wild things), and I was reminded of how much fun it was to make blanket forts and as a kid (and snow forts, but there's no snow yet)... and I decided that even though I'm no longer a kid (late 20s = no longer a kid... right?), I still want to make an AWESOME FORT.

Project worthy? MOST DEFINITELY.

[ completed project ]

29 November 2009

completion: handmade cards

[ original assignment ]





Well, I ended up designing a very time-consuming card for my newest card set, so I didn't get more than one design done this week (also didn't help that this week was cut a bit short with the holiday), but I did finish ten of these beauties, so I'd say that's something.

I'll post new designs as they come to fruition in the coming weeks.

[ more handmade cards ]

28 November 2009

side project: weekend fotos



My mom volunteers with her local Historical Society, and last week was tasked with setting up mannequins in their little log cabin for the holiday season. She cooked up a whole scenario that included the mother mannequin and her two daughters sneaking into the bedroom to wake the sleeping father Christmas morning with a hot Swedish breakfast. She took me to see it this weekend, but the cabin was locked when we stopped by, so I had to resort to peeking through the windows.

27 November 2009

side project: coffee custard meringue pie


For Thanksgiving I decided to finally try out a recipe that I've been drooling over for months now, from my The World Encyclopedia of Coffee (by Mary Banks, Christine McFadden, Catherine Atkinson) book. The photo in the book, um, looks much more scrumptious than mine.

This recipe nearly KICKED MY ASS. Really: I ended up making the pastry twice (because I was distracted and left it in the oven faaaar too long), and the filling twice (because I was distracted by my ruined crust enough to not pay attention to the British names for ingredients). Before starting this, I figured the meringue would be the hardest part, since it was my first time ever making meringue. I was wrong. The meringue was the only part of the recipe I didn't have to do over. In the end, though, the thing came out just fine, and tasted lovely. Recipe below.

Notes for you American bakers:*
cornflour = corn starch
icing sugar = powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
caster sugar = substitute regular white, granulated sugar
demerara sugar = raw sugar

* And if any of you European bakers need the measurements in metric, let me know; the recipe gave the conversions.


Crunchy Topped Coffee Meringue Pie

Pastry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
6 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
1 tbsp orange juice

Filling ingredients:
2 tbsp ground coffee
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp butter

Meringue ingredients:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 skinned hazelnuts
1 tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, orange rind and juice and mix to a firm dough. Wrap in clear film and chill for 20 minutes. Roll out and use to line a 9in loose-based fluted flan tin [note: I just used a regular pie pan]. Cover with clear film and chill for 30 minutes.

Prick the pastry all over, line with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, removing the paper and beans for the last 5 minutes. Turn the oven to 325ºF.

To make the filling, put the coffee in a bowl. Heat 1 cup of the milk until near-boiling and pour over the coffee. Leave to infuse for 4 minutes, then strain. Blend the cornflour and sugar with the remaining milk in a pan and whisk in the coffee-flavoured milk.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks. Stir in a little of the hot coffee mixture into the egg yolks, then add to the remaining coffee mixture with the butter. Cook the filling over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, until very thick. Pour into the pastry case.

To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Whisk in the caster sugar a spoonful at a time.

Spoon the meringue over the filling and spread right to the edge of the pastry, swirling into peaks. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and demerara sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack and serve cold.

Tip: The pastry case can be made up to 36 hours in advance, but once filled and baked the pie should be eaten on the day of making.

23 November 2009

project: handmade cards

I hand-make greeting cards for gifts and other purposes (a few examples below), and this week my project is to get a head start on holiday gifts by making a bunch of card sets. Onward!




[ completed project ]

22 November 2009

completion: second kitchen painting painted

[ original assignment ]



Greetings. I'm not truly finished with the painting, but from here on out it's just tweaks. Was able to fill in the lettering (with white) and a few other tweaks today; will have to continue refining the letters and other things (like the eggplant stems... man, I'm struggling with them...) throughout this next week, after it dries more. I'll keep you posted. Back tomorrow mit dem nächsten Projekt. That's right, ich spreche Deutsch.*


*Actually, not really. This is all I remember from German class (to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain"):

Ich bin Ausländer und sprechen nicht gut Deutsch!
Ich bin Ausländer und sprechen nicht gut Deutsch!
Bitte langsam, bitte langsam, bitte sprechen sie doch langsam,
Ich bin Ausländer und sprechen nicht gut Deutsch!

I think my German teacher would be proud.

[ kitchen partner ]

19 November 2009

sneak peek: second kitchen painting

[ original assignment ]



I'm working on it! Photographic proof!

Did the base colors last night, but can't do much more until the oils dry a bit. Quite obvious what one of the subjects is, but can you guess the second?? Stay tuned...

[ completed project ]

16 November 2009

project: second painting for my kitchen

Hello, Monday.

In light of my failed attempt to design a t-shirt last week, I think I should perhaps regroup, and save the second attempt (because I will design one at some point) for a future week. Or maybe I'll just get a sudden urge to design it one random mid-week night, and it will end up being a side project. We'll see. Anyway. Back to this week.

Remember that kitchen painting I did in September? I need a second painting to pair it with on my wall. Because two is always better than one, right? Absolutely. Except maybe if you're talking about how many noses you have on your face. That would just be weird.

[ sneak peek ]
[ completed project ]

15 November 2009

completion: tee, not designed

[ original assignment ]

Welp, I failed. Utterly and completely. You know how I said I was going to design a t-shirt this week? I didn't. I did nothing but procrastinate in the design department, and it's Sunday night and time to face the fact that I am not going to deliver on this one, this week.

Sigh.

I am not completely empty-handed, however. While I was procrastinating in all things tees, I was a bit more productive in the kitchen (which possibly contributed to my failure to do anything else... ). Today I made a butternut squash pie. Behold:




Recipe here (I substituted butternut squash for canned pumpkin) from Betty Crocker:

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie (9-inch pie)

2 eggs
1 can (1 pound) pumpkin (2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk or light cream

Heat oven to 425°. Prepare pastry. Beat egg(s) slightly with rotary beater; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Note: Try the "cousin" to this favorite pie by substituting mashed cooked squash or sweet potatoes for the pumpkin.

-------

Standard Pastry (8- or 9-inch one-crust pie)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening or 1/3 cup lard
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).

Gather dough into ball; shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board. With floured stockinet-covered rolling pin, roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.

Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll pastry under, even with pan; flute. Fill and bake as directed in recipe.

10 November 2009

side project: carrot cake muffins



I'm still working on the tee design this week, of course, but tonight also tried out a new carrot muffin recipe. They're pretty tasty. Recipe (from Cooking Pleasures magazine) is below, although I didn't have milk or whole wheat flour, so substituted pineapple juice and regular flour, and I skipped the raisins. Not a huge raisin fan.


Carrot Cake Muffins

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 400˚F. Line muffin pan with paper liners or spray bottom of muffin cups with cooking spray. Whisk brown sugar, oil, eggs and almond extract in medium bowl until well-blended.

Combine flour, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Stir in raisins and coconut. Stir into egg mixture; fold in carrots, walnuts, pineapple and milk. (Batter will be very thick but shouldn’t be dry.)

Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins

09 November 2009

project: design a t-shirt

Monday salutations. Ever heard of Threadless? If not, then consider this your lesson for the day: Threadless is a site that sells awesome t-shirts, but more importantly, is a site where you can submit your own design, with the possibility of it being printed and sold if it's, well, awesome enough.

Anyway, I've been a devoted purchaser for a while, but this week will mark a new Threadless interaction for me: I've decided to finally act on the regular "it would be fun to submit something someday" whisper-in-the-back-of-my-head-everytime-I-visit-the-site THIS WEEK. Project on.

[ completed project ]

08 November 2009

completion: photo a day, day seven

[ original assignment ]



Day Seven. A view from my kitchen floor. I thought my photo from yesterday needed a companion, so here it is.

Well, that's all folks. A week's worth of photos ended. Be back tomorrow with the next project.

[ Day One ]
[ Day Two ]
[ Day Three ]
[ Day Four ]
[ Day Five ]
[ Day Five *bonus* ]
[ Day Six ]

07 November 2009

photo a day, day six

[ original assignment ]



There are a few things that I dislike about my rented apartment, but one thing I do not dislike, and in fact, love, is my retro Morton-cabinet-slash-kitchen-sink.

Day Six! One day left! Not sure I want to quit this project.

[ Day Seven ]

photo a day, day five *bonus!*

[ original assignment ]




Well dear reader, I did it. I went out after midnight to get this here post up just for you. And not only that, I gave you not one bonus photo, but two. I know, I know, it's almost too generous. Don't say I never did anything for you.

Granted, I realize it starts getting dark these days before 5 pm, so technically I could have gone out earlier, but it's much more fun (and more dramatic to blog about) to go out in the middle of the night when the streets are empty of everyone but yourself. Plus in the middle of certain nights of the week you get the additional reward of baked-good aromas (the "Open" sign in the window doesn't lie - they were indeed there, baking away).

[ Day Six ]

06 November 2009

photo a day, day five

[ original assignment ]



Day Five. The stairwell leading down to the street from my apartment. On my way out the door this morning, I noticed the light coming in through the curtain and pulled out my camera. And then was ten minutes late to work. Oops.

But wait, there's more! I liked this photo too much to not post it as today's shot, but there's still a possibility that I'll go out into the night with my camera later on. Because I just know that you readers (all zero of you*) have been breathlessly waiting all week for a night shot. That's right folks, stay at the edge of your seat, because a BONUS photo just might be posted in the wee hours of the night. Golly gee whiz!


*which means if I punk out, no one but me will know. mwahaha!

[ BONUS ! (aren't you special?) ]

05 November 2009

photo a day, day four

[ original assignment ]



Day Four. More vegetation today. Gorgeous weather! Made me glad to have an excuse (searching for this photo, of course) to walk about during lunch today.

Hmm. So far I've managed to have neither gotten up early to shoot, nor do any night/indoor shots as I had predicted at the beginning. Maybe I'll have to try a few night shots tomorrow just for kicks. We'll see. (Notice how I'm not offering to get up early just for kicks.)

[ Day Five ]

04 November 2009

photo a day, day three

[ original assignment ]



Cloudy day today, and a bit chilly walking around on my lunch break with the camera. Found some plants (perhaps baby trees?) growing in the gutter of a building that amused me. Day Three complete.

[ Day Four ]

03 November 2009

photo a day, day two

[ original assignment ]



Day Two.

Spent some time today walking around in parking lots during my lunch break. Some interesting found objects (notable: a skull candy bag left over from this weekend), but I ultimately decided I liked this line study best.

[ Day Three ]

02 November 2009

photo a day, day one

[ original assignment ]


Day One. This is in an alley a few blocks from my apartment; a spot I've had my eye on for a while.

As I suspected, the sun had already set by the time I got outside with my camera tonight, but I was early enough to catch the remaining light... and while my shots were much grainier (do we still call it grain if it's digital?) than they would otherwise be, I was still able to get some keepers.

[ Day Two ]

project: photo a day

Hello, hello! It's Monday again already, and time for my next project announcement. Here 'tis: In an effort to be proactive about dusting my camera off, I am going to post a photo every day this week (including this coming Sunday, since this blog is apparently European in nature, and starts its weeks on Mondays instead of Sundays). Each photo I post will have been taken that day. I'm resolved not to cheat!

I'm setting myself up for a bit of a challenge with this one - most of the photos I like to take are outdoors in daylight, but since I have a full-time job and this is getting late in the year, my hours of daylit freetime are limited. So that means I'll either be going out early before work to get shots, or I'll be exploring night shots and indoor scenes.

Oh, and today's the first day, so look for the first photo tonight.

[ Day One ]
[ Day Two ]
[ Day Three ]
[ Day Four ]
[ Day Five ]
[ Day Five *bonus* ]
[ Day Six ]
[ Day Seven ]

01 November 2009

completion: poem written, at long last

[ original assignment ]

It's late Sunday afternoon, and I'm only just getting around to posting my poem. I did write a rough poem as early as Tuesday (about the neighbor I've never met, incidentally), but have been tinkering with it ever since -- and not been able to come up with anything satisfactory out of it.

On Monday I thought, "Oh, I'll write a poem this week!" Riiiight. I most certainly didn't take into account just how hard it is to write something that's not corny or pointless.

Anyway, the poem I worked on all week wasn't working, and then today in desperation, I sat down and spat out a little quick thing just to get the juices flowing... and that little quick thing is better than anything I would be able to get out of the other thing. So here's my poem, composed in five minutes. It's untitled. (Hard enough to write the damn thing... I have to come up with a title, too?!)


Untitled, 11.1.09

I dreamt last night that I was in a coma
and you found out
and came back to sit by my bed
every day and all night
I woke from the coma and saw you there
you opened your mouth to say something

but I woke from the dream
my throat ached

so I kept my eyes closed
and even though I knew it was preposterous
and would never happen
you coming back I mean
although the coma part is unlikely too
I pretended I was still asleep
and finished the dream

26 October 2009

project: write a poem

Went to a local poetry reading this weekend, and am feeling inspired to try and write a poem.

I've always been more partial to (reading and writing) prose myself, but, as evidenced by my Frank O'Hara project a few weeks ago, I'm not adverse to poetry. The few (read: less than three) poems I've composed in the past have been more off-the-cuff (usually snarky) quips than poems (see below). This week I'll try and write something a bit more substantial.

A little ditty from this spring when I was... well, you'll see:

    Ode to Wifi

    oh why oh why you piece of crap
    internet connection i would strangle
    you if you had a neck
    lucky for you you don't.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

[ completed project ]

22 October 2009

completion: font created





So far I've made two. (I was right about not being able to do only one... once you pop you just can't stop! What... just me? Oh.)

The whole process works pretty slick. There are a few snags yet (there's only one character for quotation marks, for example, so you have to draw a mark that can be used in both forward and backward instances), but on the whole it's pretty awesomeful.

19 October 2009

project: create my own font

Last week I discovered (thanks to B for the heads-up) this new website called Font Capture -- a site that helps you create your own font. Cool, right? I definitely thought so. I've scanned in my own handwritten fonts for designs before, but have never had access to any programs that would render them into fonts that I could load onto my computer... and then type with.

So I'm excited to try this thing out. That's this week's project: Create my own font.
Might not be able to restrain myself to just one.

[ completed project ]

16 October 2009

completion: made an apple pie





My apartment now smells of pie. Which is the opposite of bad.

As promised, the recipe (courtesy of Betty Crocker:

Apple Pie (for 9-inch pie plate)
Two-crust pastry (see pie crust instructions below)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared tart apples
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425º. Prepare pie crust (see below). Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix with apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan; dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking. [Note: I didn't use the foil, so my edges were darker than the rest of the crust]

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

-------

Standard Pastry (9-inch two-crust pie)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).

Divide dough in half and shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured cloth-covered board. With floured stockinet-covered rolling pin, roll first round of dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.

Turn desired filling [in this case, uh, apples] into pastry-lined pie pan. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of pan. Roll second round of dough. Fold into quarters; cut slits so steam can escape. Place over filling and unfold. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll top edge over lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking. Bake as directed in recipe.

12 October 2009

project: make an apple pie

In light of the fact that I have already finished my original assignment (and Monday isn't even over yet), here's my second project for the week: make an apple pie.

I'd say it's fitting for the season, don't you? And making pies is one of my favorite things to do. (From scratch, of course! A pie isn't a pie without homemade crust.)

I'll post the recipe along with the (scrumptious) photos when it's done later this week. Toodles.

[ completed project ]

completion: painted frank o'hara poem





OK, it's still Monday, and I've already completed my week's project.

Got home today and was so excited to start that I did... and just plowed on through. It helped that I used acrylics for the base colors, because then I didn't have to wait as long for those to dry. (The white, though, is oil, and still wet... and just made its mark on my black sweatshirt sleeve. Lovely.)

But I still have a whole week stretching out in front of me. Now what am I gonna do?

project: paint a frank o'hara poem

The other day I re-ran across Frank O'Hara's poem, Steps, and was reminded how much I like it -- and how moving I particularly find the last stanza (see full poem below). I've decided for this week's project, I'd like to do a painting of that last stanza. Not a pictorial painting, mind you, just a painting using the plain text. (In college I did text paintings of short written pieces of my own, so this is not so off-the-wall for me... heh. heh. off the wall. paintings. oh I'm so clever.)

I have some used canvases that I picked up off the street a few years ago... someone painted on them already (they're, um, quite ugly), but I think I'll paint over one of those (8"x10") for this project.


Steps by Frank O'Hara

How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget's steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting's not so blue

where's Lana Turner
she's out eating
and Garbo's backstage at the Met
everyone's taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park's full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we're all winning
we're alive

the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building's no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it's wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

[ completed project ]

08 October 2009

completion: climbed a tree

[ original assignment ]



Success! Went to a county park outside of town after work yesterday, walked the trails and found a tree that was both perfect for climbing and far from regular traffic. (I didn't really feel like answering questions from any passersby while in the midst of straddling a tree.)

How to climb a tree:
1. Find a tree.
2. Move upwards by any means possible.
3. Look down. Why else climb a tree if not to see how things look from up a tree?

05 October 2009

project: climb a tree

Right. I like to climb trees. Possibly this could be considered cheating project-assignment-wise, but I haven't climbed a tree in a while, and I suddenly have a strong urge to scale large vegetation. And anyway since I live in an apartment in town, finding a tree to climb will be a project in itself. Plus, hey this is my blog, and I make the rules. So there. I'm climbing a tree this week.

[ completed project ]

30 September 2009

completion: mixtape made

[ original assignment ]

Awesome labeling job, no? Of course now that I've finished, I've thought of a few more songs that would also work in this mix... so perhaps I'll have to make a Vol. 2 at some point.

Videos for you below, for all except Grandpaboy and T-Bone, which apparently do not exist on YouTube. Travesty. So you'll have to look them up yourself, dearie.

[Note: Edited this tracklist in 01/10, swapping the previous Belle & Sebastian song ("Expectations") for the Charlotte Gainsbourg song. Much better fit, in my opinion.]

This Side Up Tracklist:
01  Go It Alone / Beck
02  How Come / Ray LaMontagne
03  I Feel It All / Feist
04  Vampires and Failures / Grandpaboy
05  Hard Row / The Black Keys
06  Gold Lion / Yeah Yeah Yeahs
07  Tricycle / Psapp
08  The Vagabond / Air, feat. Beck
09  Baby, Don't You Say You Love Me / T-Bone Burnett
10  Dandelion / Charlotte Gainsbourg
11  Brother Down / Sam Roberts
12  I Feel Just Like a Child / Devendra Banhart
13  Carmella (Four Tet Remix) / Beth Orton


01 Go It Alone / Beck


02 How Come / Ray LaMontagne


03 I Feel It All / Feist


04 Vampires and Failures / Grandpaboy
(no video)

05 Hard Row / The Black Keys


06 Gold Lion / Yeah Yeah Yeahs


07 Tricycle / Psapp


08 The Vagabond / Air, feat. Beck


09 Baby, Don't You Say You Love Me / T-Bone Burnett
(no video)

10 Dandelion / Charlotte Gainsbourg


11 Brother Down / Sam Roberts


12 I Feel Just Like a Child / Devendra Banhart


13 Carmella (Four Tet Remix) / Beth Orton


[ Volume Two ]

28 September 2009

project: make a mixtape

OK, so not a real mixtape. A CD mix, because who still has a tape player, let alone blank cassettes? Not me.

My stipulations: it has to start with Beck's "Go It Alone" from the Guero album. And it has to be good (i.e. doesn't sometimes compell me to skip songs), but specifically it has to be a good driving-in-my-car mix. I need something to groove to on weekend trips. (No, I don't have an iPod. gasp!)

[ completed project (Vol. 1) ]

[ Volume Two ]

26 September 2009

completion: painting for my kitchen

[ original assignment ]

I did the sketch and most of the painting on Monday night, it dried for the next two days (I used oils), and I've been touching it up ever since then. Every night I come home, look at it, and find something else I want tweak ever-so-slightly.

I'm thinking that I want to do a companion for it as well... but I have to think of another duo. Eggplant and onion, perhaps? Avocado and... I feel a future week's project coming on.

21 September 2009

project: paint a painting for my kitchen

I took a painting class in college (and a beginning drawing class), but that's the extent really of my painting experience. And that was more than a couple of years ago.

So, yes, I am qualifying this project assignment with this: I am not a great painter. But I want something for my kitchen wall, and I think it would be fun. So far, my parameters are that it will be on a small canvas measuring 10" x 8", and will feature some vegetables.

[ completed project ]

18 September 2009

completion: blog started

Blog officially up and looking like a blog. Check! I would post pictures of what the final product looks like, but, err... yeah. You're an intelligent being.

14 September 2009

project: start a blog

Greetings. I live in a tiny town, and in my free time, I do things. Lots of different things. Stop with the dirty thoughts. This is not that kind of blog.

Welcome, oh imaginary audience.

This week's project? To create this here blog thing. By the end of the week this should look like an actual blog, and not a blank template. This is me going forth.

about project do

This blog started simply because I was looking for a new project to start, and starting a blog seemed interesting enough. The question then was: What to blog about? Answer: all of my subsequent projects, of course.

And thus Project Do was born. 
(the heavens parted, choirs of ang... that's right. just like that.)

How it works: On Monday I decide on a project and tell you what it is. I work on it that week and post the final product on whatever day I finish it. Then the following Monday comes along and I find a new project. You get the idea.

Also sometimes I do side projects on random days. They show up unannounced. Hence "random days." And sometimes I give you sneak peeks in the middle of the week. But only when I'm feeling generous. And/or actually have something to sneak a peek at. Welcome.

My profile here.

If you'd like to send me a message, project idea, or share your own finished project, either leave a comment on the blog or email:
reach.projectdo [at] gmail.com