Do you cringe at the idea of turning on the radio? Are you sick of the same songs repeating on your ipod? You should try creating your own radio stations on Pandora!
You start out by typing in a band or song that you like, and Pandora starts playing songs that have similar qualities to what you've chosen. Similarities are based on "everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony".
One of my favorite features is creating near-limitless (100 max) stations, with different genres, so there's always something to suit my mood! I only have three stations currently, but they're developing as I listen to them. It's kind of like growing a plant from a seed: you need to nurture it at first and give it lots of attention so that it can grow into something splendid.
My radio stations are here, if you're interested in what I've been listening to: http://www.pandora.com/people/amanda627.
"Time to close pandoras box", Digital Art by InsideArtisalma
August 28, 2008
August 27, 2008
In case all this taxidermy stuff is grossing you out, today I'm sharing the faux side of things. Jessica Tamson makes mounted heads and stuffed critters purely from her imagination. If kitschy fluorescent faux-fur and glitter are your things, then check out her amazing Flickr gallery here!
August 25, 2008
I just can't get over the crazy things you can make out of animal parts. I had no idea that you could make a doorbell (or "doe-bell", haha!) out of a deer butt, let alone alien faces. Check out this redneck art website for some useful "Redneck Factoids" and craft tips such as:
Deer butt alien head aficionado's recommend that you start with a fresh deer carcass, and this always makes it more fun and educational for the kids because they can share the joy of disemboweling Bambi, they get a lesson in anatomy and taxidermy, and they have the thrill of creating a one-of-a-kind work of art.If you'd like to make your own deer butt alien head with your own real no-longer-alive deer butt, remember to "tie off the anus with a piece of string" lest your "treasure" becomes soiled with "deer doo-doo". Seriously. That would ruin your alien face.
If you're not feeling up to this extreme craft, you can purchase your own deer butt doorbell here, from the awesome full-time redneck, Travis Carter.
August 22, 2008
I just had an incredibly busy past two days, due to some great blog features (including Design*Sponge, USA Today, and Modish!!) so I haven't planned out much to blog about. In case you're wondering, this Mustache Pint Glass is what all the fuss is about. I've been making nothing but Mustache Pint Glasses for the past two days, but I have no complaints. I bought myself a taro bubble tea and a new bike helmet to celebrate today!
The only exciting thing (besides all this great publicity!) that's happened all week, is that I've started eating meat again. That's right. After 15 years, I've fallen off the wagon. I feel pretty bad about it, since I quit eating meat in the first place because I thought it was wrong for another animal to die just for a small meal of mine. I still believe this, which makes it difficult to change my stance on things, except that I'm tired of missing out on all the culinary marvels of the world!
I'm a humongous fan of Anthony Bourdain (tv, novels, non-fiction and all), and perhaps I can credit him for most of my new way of thinking of food. I want to experience bliss in the form of every amazing meal I can have. I don't want to live my life without the benefits of enjoying it fully!
Last weekend, I went to the Portland Farmer's Market and sampled as many interesting things as I could find. I had yak sausage, smoked salmon jerky and hot green bean pickles. I tried things I'd never even considered putting in my mouth before! It was a life-altering experience, and I don't regret a second of it.
My husband, a visiting friend and I brought home a buffalo brisket (and venison pate, among other goodies!), which we proceeded to grill with zucchini and potatoes for a delectable dinner. This video is a good example of my perfect afternoon: lounging in the backyard with a grill covered in farm-fresh food, watching the neighborhood stray cats.
August 20, 2008
This short rhyming story by Kevin Fanning and Kean Soo is a cute look at explaining the internet to your young ones. I am guilty of of partaking in at least a couple of these activities, as I'm sure most of you are.
I first heard about Kean Soo in the Flight comics anthologies. He draws some very cute stories, especially his Jellaby series. You should check them both out! I'm a little behind in reading Flight (there are now five books out!), but I've enjoyed each one that I've read.
August 18, 2008
I got stuck on the Cake Wrecks blog again today, and almost couldn't pull myself away. Some of these professionally-made baked atrocities are so funny, you may forget to feel sorry for the person who bought them!
Although some of the cakes are just plain horrible for their "wtf?" designing (or total lack of design), I especially appreciate the misuse of quotation marks, horrible spelling, and lost-in-translation instructions.
August 15, 2008
I recently discovered the Extreme Craft blog, (whose tagline is "A compendium of art masquerading as craft, craft masquerading as art & craft extending its middle finger") which wrote a feature about a funeral home in WI that has a basement full of taxidermied animal dioramas.
Their Flickr page is completely incredible! There are chipmunks watching a "topless girlie show", squirrels riding plastic horses, and a big fish wearing a monacle. If you're into birds, you might like the uber-creepy Bird Tree, which is filled with birds - some hanging upside-down from the branches.
I couldn't resist posting a picture of this Bucky Badger. Not so friendly-looking, eh? He might be attempting to use that football as a deadly weapon. I especially love that someone has crocheted him a sweater.
August 13, 2008
Holy moley. If Cute Overload and I Can Has Cheezburger just aren't fulfilling your daily dose of cute, then check out Sugar Bush Squirrel. Sugar Bush is a real, live squirrel and an International Superstar. Her owner, Ms. Kelly Foxton, has a pretty interesting story as well.
Even if you'll never own your own pet squirrel, you can purchase the stuffed animal version of Sugar Bush plus various outfits for her to wear. There are also super cute-aliscious greeting cards for every occasion.
Someone originally told me these were all pictures of dead, taxidermied squirrels, which I'm really glad isn't true! Now I'm wondering if there is a similar "road-kill squirrels dressed in costumes" website that I'm missing...
August 11, 2008
Question: What's better than a chocolate milkshake full of vitamins and minerals?
Answer: A peanut butter and banana chocolate milkshake full of vitamins and minerals!
Amanda's Velvet Elvis Milkshake
1 cup rice milk (or soy or regular milk)
1 big plop of chunky peanut butter (probably about 2-3 Tablespoons)
1 scoop of chocolate Slim-Fast powder
1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 of a frozen banana, pre-cut into small rounds
Blend thoroughly on a low blender setting. Enjoy the frostiness!
I drink these milkshakes all the time for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or after a work-out. I keep a container of cut up bananas in my freezer all the time for this shake, and those big canisters of chocolate Slim-Fast powder are totally worth it. I'm sure you could substitute your own favorite health-food powder, and you could leave out the peanut butter if you really want it to be low-cal, but who really wants that? It's also good with fresh strawberries of maraschino cherries.
[Frosty Chocolate Milkshake Pin, $6 by CreamyPear who also makes other yummy-looking dessert jewelry!]
August 7, 2008
Come see us this weekend!
We have a big weekend planned, with a big outdoor PDX Arts and Crafts Market alongside the Farmer's Market on the South Park Blocks on Saturday, then Crafty Wonderland at the Doug Fir Lounge on Sunday. Some items will be removed from our shop for the weekend, so we can avoid accidentally double-selling anything.
Next week, we'll be having a giant Summer Clearance Sale, so get on our mailing list now for a special coupon code for extra discounts!
As the summer days continue to elicit thoughts of barbeque and frosty beverages, we're looking to the future by creating new designs for the fall. Tell us what kinds of designs you'd like to see by answering our survey!! Speaking of frosty beverages, check back here on Monday for a cool recipe for my favorite frosty milkshake!
August 6, 2008
Anybody who is anybody knows who Joss Whedon is by now. Whether you're a die-hard fan Firefly, or you grew up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or you just heard of him from Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, you should know that the man is an entertainment genius.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Whedon has a lot of fans in the ever-cool fiber-world, with homages to his characters being stitched up daily. He was recently interviewed on the Wired blog, where he took note of this trend as well:
Wired.com: To what do you attribute the far-flung coverage and buzz about Dr. Horrible, considering there's been little to no press for the series?
Whedon: Fact is, there's been some buzz, but it hasn't reached the places it would normally. Where's our write-up in Crocheting Monthly? (I did a very sexy shoot for that one.)
In fact, the editor of crochet blog, CrochetMe.com, is searching out contacts of the great man himself to conduct just such an interview! If you have any leads, please contact Kim Werker and read her post about the search here.
I'm on my own similar search, looking for ways to contact celebrities for permission to etch their pretty faces on my glassware. I'm looking for people such as Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of the Flight of the Concords, Stephen Colbert, and anyone from Joss Whedon's projects. Any contact leads would be fantastically appreciated (and adequately rewarded)! Also, I'd love more suggestions of famous folks that you'd like to see on a lovely vase or drinkware!
[Jayne Cobb amigurumi from Geek Central Station]
August 3, 2008
This weekend, I finally got around to making a batch of mead with the local honey I bought
while berry-picking on Sauvie Island. I've been making mead for quite a few years now, though very infrequently. This honey is darker than any I've ever seen, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!
If you've never had mead, it's a fermented wine-like beverage made only from honey and water. Lots of honey. A 5 gallon batch requires about 15 lbs. of honey. This batch is using 12 lbs of farm honey from carrot and madras flowers, plus 1.5 lbs. mesquite honey from Trader Joe's that I happened to have in the house. You can use any honey, but local will always be better than something from the big-box discount store.
I learned how to brew mead from The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, but this batch is a simpler recipe that I found in The Compleat Meadmaker. With just a quick trip down to your local homebrew supply store (you don't actually need a stock pot as big as mine!) you can be brewing mead the same day. You can even add fresh fruit like berries or pears to your fermentation, or fresh apple cider!
Unfortunately, mead takes a few months to ferment, a few more to clear (so the yeast isn't mixed in with your lovely golden beverage), and about a year to age. Sounds like a long time, huh? It's totally worth it! This is truly a nectar of the gods.
There are a couple decent meads on the market that you can try, but most are extremely sweet (even for my tastes!) and none taste anything like what I brew at home. The Sunset in Boston often has a whole bunch, (Except on Christmas day when my friends like to buy them out).
August 1, 2008
I discovered Spoonflower through a Twitter link a while back, and had to see what the cool name had behind it. Spoonflower is an amazing custom fabric printing site, still in the beta stages. Sign up on their waiting list, then wait for your invitation email (which only took a week or two) then start printing!
I still don't even know what I should do with custom fabric, but it's such an amazing idea! The Spoonflower blog has a ton of inspiring videos of the fabrics they've printed for their customers. I like watching the (intentionally low-res) videos to get inspiration!
One of the awesomest things about Spoonflower is that they intend to open an online marketplace for you to sell your custom-made fabrics! You'd just have to upload your original designs, and then sit back while the throngs of fabric shoppers threw their money at you via the Spoonflower site. Or at least, that's how I'd like to imagine it... :)
I thought that custom printed fabric would be prohibitively expensive, but it seems completely reasonable! Here's the pricing info, directly from their website:
This is of course the MOST-asked question. Below is the pricing for fabric during the beta period, and it applies only to the Kona® cotton from Robert Kaufman. We may adjust these numbers at a later date and pricing will certainly vary between products as we endeavor to introduce additional fabric options.
Swatch (8" x 8") $5.00
Fat quarter (21" x 18") $11.00
1 yard (42" x 36") $18.00
2 yards (42" x 72") $36.00
3 yards (42" x 108") $54.00
4 yards (42" x 144") $72.00
5 yards (42" x 180") $90.00