Dec 27, 2011

Dear Person: the things you see while out biking

Seen on a bike ride a few weeks ago:

Click photos for larger view

The next three were seen on an epic bike ride with my dad on Christmas Day.

I love bike rides. :)

I'm also lovin' this Dear Person thing. Not only because I love seeing epic things and being able to remember them, but because it's a bit of a challenge.
Because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be drawing cars or attempting to draw identical people otherwise. Oof. Twas difficult. Twas a challenge. Twas fun. :)
Oh, and I also discovered how much fun it is to write comic book style!

Have you seen anything epic lately??

Dec 26, 2011


I'm from Minnesota. Which means every single Christmas that I have been alive for, in the whole history of ever, has been white. And when I say white, I don't mean just a snively little dusting of powdered sugar white. I mean the world is positively smothered in an avalanche of white.
A photo from last January. This is what winter is supposed to look like, folks:

But something odd happened this year.
The world is brown. And it's warm. 
Well, respectively speaking at least. 40 degrees to a Minnesotan in December is positively balmy.

So this week we decided it would be epic to play soccer on Christmas Eve! 
Outdoors. In Minnesota. No coat. Santa hat.
You have no idea how incredible this is. 
Unless you're from around here. :)

Soccer on Christmas Eve?

History has been made, people. 
History has been made.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! 
I hope you are all having a special and glorious day. <3

Dec 23, 2011

Not your average cookies.

Because gingerbread sugar cookie men are way more fun when they're partially "eaten" and decorated accordingly. :)

Notice the smug one on bottom? He won't be smiling long. His time is coming. 

And yes, I think these are all rather hilarious. And yes, I realize my sense of humor is a bit whacked. But I'm ok with that.

Oh, and ever wonder what a reindeer x-ray looks like? 
Because, I mean, who hasn't wondered that at one point or another??
Well, wonder no more!
(Decorated by me mother.)

Aaaand just so you don't have nightmares about decapitated cookie men and reindeer x-rays, I'll leave you with something a little prettier. :)
I tried to make the top one look like ocean waves ... kinda worked. My bro made the purple and white one.

Have you decorated cookies this year?

Dec 21, 2011

of presents and rear view mirrors

I've been having a lot of fun getting fancy with my present wrapping this week. So I thought I'd share my favorite!

I simply tied a ribbon around the present, added a tissue paper flower and a sprig I cut off of our Christmas greenery. (Shhh. Don't tell.) For the flower I basically just scrunched up silver tissue paper and shaped it into a circle. I would do a tutorial on it, but ... it would be pretty boring. It's rather self-explanatory. :)
So there you go. Your present wrapping inspiration for the day. Merry Christmas! ;)

Oh, and if you ever want to take an interesting photo of yourself, may I suggest a rear view mirror portrait? They are rather fun, don't you know. Especially if you're wearing a Santa hat. Even if it doesn't show much.

And yes, I realize this post is kinda random and pointless.

Dec 6, 2011

Scanners as entertainment?

Wait. Did I just scan myself with our photocopier/printer? 
Weeellll ...
 hard to say.

I amuse myself. I really do. 

Btw, technically I don't know if this is like, bad for you. I don't know what kind of technology scanners use. So you may want to be smart (unlike me) and research it before you give it a go. :)
I'll let you know if I notice any side-affects. ;)

Dec 1, 2011


Any idea what these crazy art supplies are for??

Marbling, of course! Which is where the very creative title of this post comes in. ;)

Over Thanksgiving weekend my oldest brother and his wife, Jill, visited. It is always so ridiculously fun having them over. Jill and I decided we had to do a fun art project while they were here, hence this post!

You need a few special supplies, so this isn't a tutorial. But I thought you'd enjoy seeing the process, as it's so interesting!

The day before the project, we mixed up the size, which is a mixture of water and carrageenan (a type of seaweed that acts as a thickener.) We also painted paper with a mixture of water and alum, to make the paint stick.

The next day we poured the size into an old cookie sheet thing, and we were ready to go!
First Jill splattered a special kind of paint onto the size. It floats!

Then she took one of our hand-made combs and pulled it through the paint to make the beginning of a pattern.

Then she pulled it the other direction to finish the pattern.

And then she laid the alum coated paper onto the size.

And the paint stuck!
Right after you pull the paper off, you actually rinse it under water. You'd think the paint would run off, but it sticks perfectly, and the water just rinses off the goopy size. Weird, eh?
(Spell check tells me "goopy" isn't a word. I say it is! So there, spell check. Thbzzzz!)

After each printing, we would take an old ruler and glide it over the size to pull off any extra paint, and then we could move on to the next pattern!

This is me using a comb with teeth that are closer together for a more delicate pattern.

Here are some of my favorite finished pieces:

We also did another style of marbling, called Stone Marbling, cuz it looks more like real marble!

I really like this last one, because it's kind of a mixture of both styles of marbling. First the more swirly kind, with stone marbling on top!

I just love crazy art projects. In case you haven't noticed. :)

Have you done any cool projects lately? I'd love to hear!

P.S. Jill did a post on marbling over at her blog! You should check it out. She made a really cute art piece out of one of her marbled papers!

P.P.S If you really want to try marbling yourself, this is where we bought the special paint.
Our paint has lasted for years, and we've done marbling many, many times.
You can also see beautiful and professional samples of marbling at that site. :)

Nov 22, 2011

Tornado skies and broken seashells.

I just love the color and texture of this seashell.
At first it seems like a normal shell. But look closer...

The color.
There are bits of orange, blue, sea spray, plum,  rose, dusty green, mango, grey, white and on and on. So many colors hidden in this shell.
The color of grey kittens and of stormy seas. The color of sunsets and of tornado skies. 

My other favorite shell is this one. At first when I found it I was disappointed that it was broken. But now I love it for that reason. Because if it wasn't broken, I would never have seen the glassy lavender and the fragile spiral hidden inside.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
― Ronald Dahl

Nov 17, 2011

Dear Person {doggy scarf and pirate}

 Seen a few weeks ago on the way home from church:

Seen last week while driving around town:

I'm also wondering, why don't they just fly away?

Nov 11, 2011

Ones. Lots and lots of ones.

I can't believe it! I actually got to see the clock at 11:11 on 11/11/11! 
And I made a ton of epic wishes. :)

(Thanks, sis, for snagging this screen shot!)

Don't fret if you missed it, though. Ya'll have one more chance tonight!

Nov 7, 2011

Dear Person, Texas Edition

Seen on the car ride down to Texas:

In San Antonio, Texas. Near the river walk. This drawing was done in pencil, which is why it's not as clear as the pen drawings.

San Antonio, river walk. The person was a waitress who had apparently dropped the $20 into the water. She had to run across a bridge to get to the other side of the river and rescue it. Everyone watching applauded when she succeeded. :D

Surfside Beach, Texas. Obviously. :)

And yes, those are the sunglasses I wore in a bunch of the pictures. ;)

Have you seen anything interesting lately?

Nov 5, 2011

Surfside Beach, Texas

The second week of vacation, Surfside Beach! 
(See the first vacation post here)
Note: all photos were either taken by my sis, my mom, or me. :)

When I finally saw the ocean, it made me so incredibly happy. I ran and ran, splashing through the water. It was beautiful. 

This is the house that we rented! All the houses near the beach were on stilts. We had to climb 20 steps just to reach our front door! 

We spent hours on the beach almost every day.


In the evenings we had fun watching tv. In Chefs vs. City one of the challenges was to make cactus salad. So when Mom went to the store and found cactus, she bought some!

Awesome Texas shaped cutting board that was in the house. :)

After I cut off the skin & prickles, this is what was left. Ummm ... slimy much?

We cut it up really tiny and put it in a salad. The cactus tasted like super sour cucumbers. That were extremely slimy. :P
I love trying new things. :)

One of the other new things I did was fly a kite! What? I've never flown a kite before?? Shocking, I know. But hey. Now I have. And I loved it.

One day we took a short road trip to Galveston. One of the cool things we saw was this house! Reminds me of the villa villekulla. :)

Then we headed down to the fishing wharf. It was super cool! It's such a different world than the one I'm used to.

Stretching his pouch on his ... neck?

And then we got a free ferry ride! We got to stand up on top. It was so much fun to be "out at sea". ;)

Not very often you are looking down on a flying seagull. 

Getting ready to land.

We got off the ferry and hung out on the other side for a while. We sat on a pier and got to see dolphins!

On the ferry ride back, this seagull hitched a ride on the flagpole! It was pretty funny.

This is the S.S. Selma, a ship made out of concrete. She was designed during WWI, when steel was in short supply.
On May 11, 1920, the Selma struck a jetty at Tampico, Florida and was damaged. She was temporarily repaired and headed to Galveston, Texas for more repairs. The crew in Galveston had no experience with concrete ships though, so the government finally decided to scrap her. She now sits near Pelican Island, where we passed her on the ferry ride! 

After a stop at starbucks, we headed back to our beach house.

Here's a little peek at the way all the houses looked. There were some HUGE houses. Houses that would have been 2 or 3 stories high before even putting them up on stilts!

Back on the beach. :)

This was our last day on the beach. I made this sea turtle. :)

Under the turtle I used a stick and wrote, "You so totally rock, dude!"
Brownie points if you recognize that quote. 

And Mom made a dragon/dinosaur thing. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Taking our goodbye pictures on the beach. :'(

The next day we got up at 5. My sis and I walked to the beach in the dark to see the ocean one last time. To hear the surf and smell the salt and say goodbye.

We were on the road before 6. 

On the way out we had one quick stop. (Coffee for the parents. :)
We saw this gigantic flock of birds. It was crazy, and pretty funny too. 

They covered the phone-line for blocks and blocks! 

It was a pretty good way to start the 27 hour trip home.

We were home in two days.

I was super sad that our vacation was over. And I still miss the ocean.
But it feels pretty good to be home, too.