28 April 2006

photobooth friday

I decided to go with an old favorite today (the story behind it is here). imagine my surprise when I realized it had been posted exactly one year ago today-- april the 27th, 2005.

others all up in the photoboothness:

art junk
mad organica

(and thanks for the maddest of all props, jeffrey-- I do believe you and 52 projects are the BEE'S KNEES. endlessly inspired by you, I am)

27 April 2006

thursday love

(the ava-girl, easter sunday, 2006)

much love for: dresses you can spin in, skirts that make you want to twirl around and around until you are dizzy.

(more love here and here)

25 April 2006

self portrait tuesday #26 (april fool)

apparently, I had enough time this afternoon to stop everything and photograph myself hanging upside down while wearing some old wax lips I found in the candy jar. priorities, man.

(the last of the self portrait april foolery can be found here and here and if you haven't already checked out the new self portrait challenge site, well then: lookie here)

24 April 2006

swimming in it

I hereby deem this The Week Of The Photograph.

translation: I am swimming in a sea of junk that must be prepared for a yard sale (to beat all yard sales). I am facing a week fraught with responsibility-- the days will find me searching for valid reasons to hold onto things like a black faux leather biker jacket that my parents gave me for christmas in 1988 and every last piece of clothing ava ever wore as a baby. this won't leave much time for writing. and I'm way too addicted to this blog gig to take a break.

hence, The Week Of The Photograph.

21 April 2006

20 April 2006

thursday love

(ezra, today in the car)

I am in love with ezra's eyelashes. long, velvety and fringe-like, ava has them too. sorry to say, this is not a trait they inherited from me-- ward is the one with gorgeous lashes for days and days. thankfully, I'm not the jealous type.

(ava, miami beach, 2001)

(more thursday love here and here)

17 April 2006


I took a walk this morning and:

1. listened to ezra turn his new bubble gun on and off. on and off. on and off.

2. saw a gorgeous butterfly on the stem of a weed and I swear to you, it opened its wings the moment I began to shoot. like it knew. took way too many photographs of it and realized I am obsessed with the macro lens effect (then again, I may have already come to that conclusion yesterday when I found myself taking close-ups of a silver sequin on my skirt). but if a butterfly opens its wings for you, people-- you know, you don't mess around.

3. got whistled at by passing construction workers and sort of enjoyed it.

4. contemplated peeking into ava's classroom windows as we passed her school.

5. wondered if I did the right thing, giving into the mind-bending screams of ezra, letting him wear sneakers four sizes too big. will I be paying for this in the weeks to come? will he only want to wear red converse high tops (size 10) from now until he actually fits into them? I kind of don't really care.

6. walked by my dream house. which looks like a tiny cobblestone cottage where hobbits might live.

7. experienced pangs of anxiety as I thought about all that must be tackled in the next couple of weeks. had to stop and take deep breaths and try not to freak out in front of the woman watering her lawn.

8. fantasized about traveling, about getting on a plane and flying somewhere. anywhere. planned out nondescript escape for about two blocks.

9. savored the few moments ezra napped. sat on a park bench and wrote many words down on paper. mainly in the way of a grocery list, but still.

10. contemplated a change in hair color. contemplated doing it myself.

11. took in the magnificent smell of fresh air. realized that I (personally) did not smell so good. thought I might even fall under the category of 'people that stink'. again, didn't really care.

12. passed too many lovely gardens to mention and felt a little jealous, a little wistful. especially since I used to have such a fantastic garden at our old house. remembered that this time of year was highly enjoyable-- watching new blooms and healthy green leaves pop up and such. I planted only what I loved and so there were cosmos in shades of fuschia and white, shasta daisies, black-eyed susans and purple coneflowers in so much abundance. I passed our old house last friday and saw that the current renters (or maybe the landlord) had replaced my garden with shrubbery. SHRUBBERY. I wanted to vomit. but mostly, my heart broke. decided that I DON'T LIKE THESE PEOPLE. to whomever dug up my perennials and replaced them with something that rhymes with rubbery (and they are the ugliest, most boring shrubs I've ever seen): I DON'T LIKE YOU. I'm one step away from knocking on your door and telling you so.

13. worked up quite a sweat, further contributing to the not smelling so great. but sweating is good.

14. realized how essential these daily walks are to maintaining (more than adequate) mental health. really.

14 April 2006

photobooth friday

I present to you my most treasured photobooth snapshot of all time: me with my mom (gussy) and my dad (jim) in the summer of 1972. no one is really sure where we were (I certainly don't remember) though st. louis seems to be the likeliest place. six flags amusement park, maybe (more about those trips here). I can't tell you how much time I've spent staring at this one (and there's another just like it here, though not quite as cute). I am in love with the looks on the faces of my parents, the way it has been torn (nobody knows what happened to the other two pics), the way my bangs have been cut. ah, my brief stint as an only child. and when I think back to how lost I felt as a new mother, how lost both ward and I were when ava first came along, I can't help but marvel over the love and assurance in the eyes and smiles of my mom and dad.

those first years weren't flawless, though: a couple of months after this photo was taken, my parents lost me for about twenty minutes. which sounds like absolutely nothing unless you have children. or have ever taken care of children. twenty minutes in a situtation like that is like 53 years. and the story that my parents love to tell (over and over) goes like this: it was halloween night and they were getting ready to go to a costume party. my dad went to get the babysitter while my mom finished dressing and when he returned, there was this terrifying exchange (undoubtedly every parent's worst nightmare):

"where's andrea?"

"wait, didn't you take her with you when you went to pick up the babysitter?"


"you're joking, right?"
(my dad is known for the joking)

"no gus, I'm NOT kidding. I don't have her... I thought YOU had her!"

and I'm sure there was an abrupt silence (the silence to end all silences) and you know there were colorless faces and great tidal waves of panic. because I lost ava for like, thirty seconds once and that instantaneously shaved a good eight years off my life, FOR REALS. and from what I've been told, they tore out of the house and took to to the small town streets to search for me. what my mom remembers most is how silent it was-- as if everything and everyone had stopped. they yelled and yelled and yelled for me but I was nowhere, there was no one, no sound, nothing. they decided to scope out downtown (a very, very small downtown-- think a couple of shops, a post office, a dairy queen, a court house) and there I was. the woman that was holding me in her arms said she watched me walk (with so much purpose) down the street and then immediately picked me up when she saw I was getting ready to cross the main drag alone. this is the story my parents love to tell when they are talking about my strong will and sense of independence, my endless amounts of energy and fearless explorations. it's something I will never live down even though I have no recollection of the event.

my parents are in town this weekend and so I decided to spread out all the old family photobooth snapshots on the dining room table. people, I have been blessed with the motherload of great family photobooth snaps. I couldn't scribble down the details fast enough as they talked about each one. so much I had not yet heard, so many delicious little details-- better even than the marshmallow peeps and chocolate bunnies I will be nibbling on throughout the weekend.

speaking of which, happy easter to all my peeps.

more deliciously sweet photobooth fridays for the sampling:

mad organica
andrea edwards
velvet vox

13 April 2006

thursday love

(gorgeous handmade bracelet by superfresh madness-- sent to me just because-- a whole lot of fabulousness in a nondescript manilla envelope)

I love mail. obviously, not the kind that is financially draining (aka: bills) or the endless stream of junk that comes our way but the occasional postcard, personal letter or unexpected package? love. it's the teeny tiny hint of pink in a sea of grey, a little bit like gold.

I have not always loved it like I love it now. I mean, you learn to love mail growing up-- what, with all the postcards from friends and letters from penpals and boyfriends and birthday cards with crisp dollar bills inside and fancy holiday packages from grandparents. and the church camp that I grew up going to each summer made a big deal over mail. each day during lunch, they called your name over the loudspeaker if there was any sort of mail for you. and if there were three pieces or more, you had to SING for it-- into the microphone, in front of EVERYBODY (horrific for the completely insecure preteen, I know). my cousin kristy jo, she knew this. she sent me three letters almost everyday, some with nothing but hand-cut confetti inside. because she knew I'd have to sing for it and (even with as much as I protested), she knew I secretly loved the attention.

(package of goodies from superbrilliant lisa that magically arrived in the middle of dreary january, all because I happened to mention a desire to try out blender pens)

when I was sixteen, we moved to cincinnati. leaving behind a serious boyfriend and a couple of best friends made the receiving of mail the most important thing to me that year. thankfully, one of my best friends purchased a journal that we each wrote in, filled with gossip and c-o-o-l collages and sent back and forth through the mail (beth, you know I still have it and treasure it-- is it my turn to send it back to you? you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers). but really, I lived for the letters from my boyfriend: plain white envelopes filled with clumsily folded college-ruled notebook paper, letters that promised longing and faithfulness and undying love (sixteen is such a dramatic age). my family lived in a one bedroom apartment those first six months (all five of us, which is an entirely different story for another time). each day, I'd walk down to the foyer of the old apartment complex where the brass mail boxes were, hoping and praying (mostly closing my eyes and crossing my fingers) for mail. on one of my more memorable trips, I peeked into the dark slot to find what looked like a thick love letter. a surge of electricity filled my body as I went to open the little door. but the box was jammed and I was forced to resort to frantic banging and pulling. when that didn't work, I thought maybe I could access the letter by going in through the top of all the boxes. I had seen the mailman drop the mail in like this, was sure I could figure out a way. I jumped and slammed my hand in as deep as I could, but nothing. you know, love makes you so loco sometimes and so I continued to jump and reach like that for what felt like hours (more like fifteen minutes, I'm thinking). on what must've been the seventh or eighth try, I made contact but my arm stuck and I hung there-- helpless, ridiculous. my fingers still gripping the letter, I cried out and my eyes quickly filled with tears over the surprisingly sharp pain and the thought of my arm snapping in two. finally, I gave up and dropped the letter which somehow released my body. I cried like a baby that afternoon as I walked back to our small apartment. I cried because I was humiliated, because I was empty-handed. I cried because I wanted that letter more than anything. for those few months, mail was absolutely everything to me-- almost worth a broken bone.

(rad turntable baby tee: ordered from the supertalented anatomist, given to ezra for christmas)

(the best pink and red swap EVER from cool girl/color genuis jek-- the tiny red suitcase filled with joy arrived wrapped in brown paper and I'm just a little ashamed to admit that I tore into it while driving in traffic)

then you become an adult and the mail is more about bills, credit card offers and bad news-- an ongoing reminder of obligation, responsibility and disappointment. I went through this thing where I truly dreaded that daily walk to the mailbox. I blame this perpetual state of anxiety on more than a couple of things: a) credit card bills. b) summertime electricity bills. c) crazy tax mix-up. d) the time the health insurance company sent us a bill for $18,000 for the special care ezra required for the three days after he was born (again, another story). I found myself having to work up courage for that daily trip, having to take deep breaths, having to say little prayers. each day that we received only the garden variety assortment of junk and expected monthly bills represented a small victory whereupon I celebrated by exhaling slowly and smiling all the way back to the front door.

(lovely flower power mug from england, courtesy of an anonymous thrift store swap and a splendid vintage chiquita banana recipe booklet from the superlovely ozhiaz)

(march's color-iffic swap-o-rama had me weeping with joy over greengreengreen delights from the superfantastic oneye-- goods from the netherlands? always cool)

so, no. I have not always loved mail like I do today on this day of thursday loves. at best, it has been more like a lifetime of love/hate/fear/hope. but lately, the mail has been great. and I'm not afraid to say that this here blogging gig has cracked the world of good and lovely mail wide open for me. you can see it all here, beautiful things that have made their way to me, all from fantastic people I've met through THE INTERNETS (and man, I don't even have photographs of the postcard swap I participated in to show yet either-- ah yes, next week). that's not to say that I don't occasionally receive an unbelievable package from my cousin (the master, for sure) or my mom and dad. but mostly, good things have come my way through friendships and swaps found via THE INTERNETS. the internets, they have been good to me. I used to think that this internet business was the whole reason I would never receive any quality snail mail again (forever and ever and ever, amen). I was wrong. and this (miss alanis) is the definition of ironic: the very phenomenon that should be keeping me from loving the regular visits to my mailbox is precisely the reason I am receiving so many incredible packages, letters and postcards these days.

thank you to everyone who has sent love my way, thank you to those who are even thinking of sending love my way or will, sometime in the near or far future, send love my way. it will come back to you tenfold, I promise.

(more thursday love here and here, more of my thursday loves here)

11 April 2006

self portrait tuesday #25 (april fool)

I have been up in the attic, going through boxes, getting ready for The Biggest Yard Sale Ever. a sale I've been talking about having for two years now, that I totally flaked out on having last spring, a sale that desperately needs to happen for many many reasons. the land of junk that resides above our heads is quietly taking over.

and so I came across these skates that I bought four years ago at the thrift store for $3.03 a pair ($3.03 because that's how it goes down at the thrift store-- items randomly priced at $1.59 or $2.29 or $.69, always with the nines and does anyone really know why?) and the skates? tragically, they do not fit. I'm guessing I knew this when I handed them to the cashier. I'm thinking I had big plans for ava and the skates. ava (and a lucky cousin or friend with the right sized feet), who would be the envy of all the neighborhood kids. perhaps I thought they would be able to start a junior roller derby event (the unparalleled coolness of these 'tri-star' skates being the obvious impetus for such a debacle). maybe I envisioned her (and spunky skating partner) taking on the mean girls of the neighborhood. obviously, I was dreaming up reasons to take the skates home with me. they're classic, people. the definition of the word classic. and I'm thinking my eyes probably started to glaze over when I thought back to my elementary and junior high school years-- when roller skating was The Shizz.

but there's no time to sit down and think back, I said this before, I have no time. however, the first thing I do in this situation is stop my flow of work to reminisce. something about having no time and so much to do compels me to procrastinate wildly. and by procrastinate wildly, I mean stop everything and try to squeeze my feet into found skates. and then spend thirty minutes taking photographs of them. and then spend many many more minutes thinking about how roller skating ruled my world. sitting in the middle of enormous junk piles, it all came back: the birthday parties at the local keele roller rink where they always served cookies with pink icing and played 'YMCA'. how sweaty and nervous I got when the stodgy woman in thick glasses used the DJ's microphone to announce 'couples skate' (to this day, I cannot listen to peaches and herb's 'reunited' without feeling some mixture of dread and hopefulness). and you know I was so cool skating backwards to blondie's 'heart of glass' and queen's 'another one bites the dust'. YOU KNOW I WAS.

I had my own special pair of fake leather skates with royal blue stripes, wheels and laces. but they were from walmart and I couldn't shake that. my friend/enemy camille had white leather skates with translucent red wheels that sparkled and giant-sized pink pompoms that had been purchased at the roller rink. AND she had a short red satin skating skirt. AND everyone circled around her in the middle of the rink to watch her do special skating tricks that often involved superfast twirling. AND her parents let her see 'saturday night fever' at the drive-in. AND she had breathtakingly beautiful long blonde hair. AND her name was camille. I hated her. I loved her. nothing I did could ever come close to matching her superstar status (even though I was featured in the local newspaper where my grandparents lived for skating downtown to my grandma's office supply store everyday for a week). feh.

and in the midst of all this thinking back, I suddenly remember I am sitting in a pile of junk that needs my attention. of course, this brings on even more daydreaming and remembering and I spend many more minutes thinking about how foolish it is that I have all this junk in the first place. really, it's not that simple (it never is) but it's all I can think of while swimming in a sea of dollhouses and baby clothes and lampshades and forgotten party supplies and nursing bras. well, that and my brother von-- who, ever since he decided to travel across europe and move to new york in 2001, has had to pare down his belongings to the absolute bare minimum: his laptop, a small amount of clothing and the finest microfiber towel money could buy. oh, there's probably more. I know he owns just a little bit more (in the way of a pillow, a down comforter, some books and a really great old iron light-up arrow he swiped from a sign somewhere) but most of that is in storage or lost or gone, I think. while I'm surveying the mountains of unecessary items we've accumulated in such a short amount of time, I hear his words:

"you're a slave to the stuff, man. YOU'RE A SLAVE."

am I? is it foolish that I can't let go of skates that don't fit me (and won't fit ava for a couple more years) because of the possibilities they hold? because they were an awesome thrift store find? probably.

and speaking of things that are unquestionably foolish, a word of advice: do not try on skates that don't fit and then try to stand up in them on the slick wooden floors of a small attic space. even if you did 'turn it out' at the roller rink back in the day. even if you are known for your serious balancing skills.

ah, so much for making the best use of time. and so much for not having the time to write (funny how you always make time to do the things you really love).

more april fools documenting the silliness here and here.

10 April 2006


I have so many things going on right now that my head is flying in seventeen different directions. writing has been especially challenging for me-- not because I don't want to or because I can't find the words, but because there just HASN'T. BEEN. TIME. nothing pains me more than this. and it's such a cliche. oh yes it is and you know it and I know it but this is where I'm living right now, in this place of a thousand things going on all at once.

I did, however, find the time to go to the fleamarket and take photos of old bottles and other junk.

07 April 2006

photobooth friday

as promised (from last week): me and the ava-girl, december 2004 at city museum in st. louis, working our freshly handpainted hats. you can't really tell here, but ava's hat is a rainbow of squiggles and mine is all about pink and orange and red stripes. both doused in enough glitter to keep a small army of girlie-girls squealing with girlie-girl delight.

others working it out for photobooth friday:

andrea edwards
mad organica
oh joy!
nessie noodle
velvot vox (last friday)
velvet vox (today)
borrowed muse

06 April 2006

thursday love

I love old globes. I have them all over the house, big and small. I love the roundness of the shape and the turquoise blues and greens. but mostly, I love what they represent-- that there are still so many places in the world I want to see.

(more 'things I love thursdays' here and here. and more of my globe collection here)

04 April 2006

must have

too much going on this week and I fear the writing may be the first thing to go. when all else fails, there are memes. at the end of time, I firmly believe there will be nothing left but the cockroaches and the memes. they're sturdy like that. (thanks for the tag, lulu-- I needed the diversion).

top 5 must-haves (for the moment):

in my fridge:
1. oranges and fuji apples
2. yo baby yogurt
3. whole wheat tortillas
4. water (distilled, spring, sparkling, what-have-you)
5. goat cheese

in my closet:
1. skirts, skirts, skirts (all about the skirts)
2. mossimo black tee-shirt that has now mutated into some alternate version of faded black and there are always strings hanging off the end but still, I love it (also: many bright-colored camisoles to go underneath)
3. favorite old denim jacket
4. vintage and handmade purses
5. shoes: wedges and adidas and flip flops

in my purse:
1. wallet (duh)
2. black pilot ink pens (and some form of paper)
3. always with the lip gloss
4. cell phone
5. emergency bag of tricks for the bebes: playdough, little rubber balls, silly putty, crayons, lollipops, weird little toys

in my car:
1. I still rock the cassette tapes (which also means I can plug in the adapter for the ipod)
2. 7,000 umbrellas
3. anti-bacterial handi wipes
4. bag of toys and books for the kidlets
5. stroller

on my TiVo (though I currently do not own a tivo but yes, here's what would be all up in that tivo piece should that ever be my reality):
1. the office
2. weekly cheese: america's next top model
3. lost
4. best week ever
5. dinner for five (on IFC)

tagging: all y'all.