i thought this one was kind of interesting...

james brown or marvin gaye?
otis redding, thanks.

chinese or indian takeout? indian is something i adore but never eat due to digestive squeamishness. so, chinese although i'd prefer thai.

fleece or knitted blanket? a few months ago i'd have said knitted (or crocheted) but since shawn bought me a slanket i can't get enough of its fleecy goodness.

girls with makeup or without? both. i'd say i'm often startled by how amazing most girls can look without it, i'm just not one of those girls. so, whatever floats your boat.

costco or whole foods? whole foods, especially since they just opened a super fancy one by our house. and super fancy by whole foods standards knocks my socks off. i can't buy everyday groceries there though - we'd be broker than broke.

wildflowers or arrangements? flowers just make me happy, no matter what kind.

tradition or shakeups? i am a fan of the tried and true but i also love me some change.

cello or trumpet? trumpet.

watch-wearing or no?
i own watches. i just don't wear them. ever.

salt water or fresh (for swimming)?
salt water.

pants or shorts? jeans. i don't own shorts. they are eeeeeeee-vil. and i've seriously considered getting rid of all my pants.

chatspeak or absolutely NOT? not really.

digital camera or old-school? digital. all my other cameras are broken.

wireless or plugged in? wireless.

waltz or tango? waltz.

brian williams or anderson cooper? anderson cooper. i liked him before katrina but his katrina coverage made me adore him.

time or newsweek? neither.

waterbed or mattress? mattress. waterbeds

cream and sugar or not? cream. cafe au lait please?

CNN or BBC News? BBC.

iTunes or something else? iTunes.

scented candles or unscented? right now scented. most of the time i think they smell like ass but i recently discovered a pear scented candle that i love. i don't know where it came from so when its gone i'll go back to unscented. 

prairie or mountain? mountains.

socks or barefoot? barefoot. i loathe shoes and socks.

matt damon or ben affleck?
matt damon. unless we're talking ben affleck in chasing amy and ONLY chasing amy.

brass or pewter? lame choice.

wool or cotton? cotton. 

willow tree or pine? willow tree.

gerald ford or jimmy carter? jimmy carter.

france or italy? italy.

electric or gas stove? gas.

thrift store or outlet? thrift store. i've rediscovered my love for thrifting.

japanese garden or english garden? english. the colors make my heart sing.

sophia loren or liz taylor? who is hotter than sophia loren?

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a day at the fleamarket

shawn once again wins the best husband ever prize. he got up at 8:00 today to go the kane county flea market. here's proof...





it was a beautiful day. and this pile of lovelies will be making their way into the shop, in handbag and ring form.


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i've got spring fever. thank god all the fabric i picked up is happy spring colors. this was my first creation using said fabric.

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6 degrees

i am a firm believer of the whole 6 degrees of separation concept. not only have i found it to be true in many, many cases but i also like to think there's only 6 people standing between clive owen and i. anyway, i also believe the internet can turn 6 degrees into 5 degrees or even 2. the internet makes the world seem small. in a good way.

there was the time that sarah grace mccandless bought something from my shop - at the same time i'd bought grosse point girl for a friend (it was literally sitting on the bookpile next to the computer.) and a couple weeks ago i was at lill street during open studio. i was locked out of the darkroom and this very nice woman helped me. she was the monitor in the fiber art studio. she as working on this - which i happened upon on etsy a few days later. i saw her again on saturday and she's exceedingly nice. and talented. then today someone left me a comment that she had considered one of the very same items i'd photographed from my trip to the flea market on sunday. weird right? but very cool.

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when she's famous...

she'll probably forget us. she'll be way too cool to hang with the likes of us but tonight syndy will be slumming it with us at looptopia.

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scenes from looptopia

so, looptopia was fun. i think that they sorely underestimated the number of people who would come so there weren't nearly enough all night activities. when we were in paris for nuit blanche everything was open all night  - all the museums and tourist attractions.  it was very cool. this was kind of cool, not extraordinary. HOWEVER, seeing syndy's pieces displayed in a big store window rocked. she is such a rock star.








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so, i made this treasury list to make myself happy on a really bad day. and here it is, on the front page of etsy -  for a little while at least! double secret happy!

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mother's day

spent a few hours with mom and grandma. it was bittersweet. grandma was preoccupied with thoughts of grandpa and cried a little. and in the case of my grandma, one of the toughest women i know, a little is ALOT. she eems to think that she'll be with him soon. i don't doubt that. but it does leave me feeling blue. life without lucy will seem unbearable. but we had this afternoon - and she told my mom it was a perfect day. in many ways, it was...


so, happy mother's day mom. and to all of my favorite moms and moms to be, cheryl, renee, karen, kerry, marie, maria, tracy, tiffany, lynn, kelli,  annemarie, jen...

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my head is swelling

on friday, i was called a "well of untapped awesomeness" by cindy, a friend of syndy & colleen's, who we were hanging with at looptopia. (cindy, incidentally, rocked. she was the definition of awesome.)

and today shawn just cut and paste this trillian conversation between he and jason:

[15:51] monkeyinsurgency: she's got some cool stuff too
[15:51] gorakSH: yeah
[15:51] monkeyinsurgency:
[15:52] gorakSH: is her too
[15:53] monkeyinsurgency: she's like a hipster martha stewart

shucks guys.

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happy mail day

this little guy

this shana zombie

and my moo cards

all came today!

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the opposite of malaise

i was listening to this american life today and heard one of my favorite episodes. my favorite act is "merci" - the story of candido and carmen. they tell the story of an almost disastrous trip to italy during what carmen referred to as a malaise in their relationship.  they ended up reconnecting and remembering what the loved about the other in the first place. its a sweet, funny story perfectly told. and it got me thinking...

about travelling. and how desperately i want to go on a BIG trip. estonia? romania? japan or india if the price is right? our last big trip was to amsterdam. and italy before that. and amsterdam, paris and italy before that. and before that - our first trip to italy. sigh. our first trip to italy. that trip yielded one of my most favorite stories that shawn & i tell. i'd say it rivals carmen and candido's story...

we'd been in italy long enough to hop a train from the airport, walk from the train to the hotel, check in and freshen up. two hours max. two hours and we decide that renting scooters is a good idea. brilliant right? we can see a lot of rome quick. and look cute riding vespas.

we take our helmets and keys and fearlessly approach our scooters. our first destination, the bone church. we look at the map and figure out where we're going. we need to ride up to vittorio, hang a right and drive until we hit the piazza and then we were going to stop and check the map again  we were off. and there was vittorio. and shawn didn't turn. i took the turn and thought he'll find me - he knew where we were going. i rode up to the piazza and waited. i thought about having to call shawn's mom, renee, to tell her that after three hours in a foreign country he was lost forever. i imagine myself explaining to her that no, i had both our maps. and i had the phrasebook and the guidebook. yes, i brought your son to a foreign country and sent him off on a scooter defenseless...  after twenty minutes, he appeared. i handed him a map and we were off again.

we rode around aimlessly, winding our way up one of the seven hills. we found a gelato stand at the top with a view to die for. it was one of the happiest moments of my life. we decided to find our way to the spanish steps. we checked the maps and were off. we came across a traffic hexagon and as if italian traffic wasn't scary enough, i got cut off by a box traffic in the traffic hexagon of horror. i was forced to turn and shawn sped off without me. i thought "don't panic, we're going to the spanish steps, just got to the spanish steps..."

3 hours, a terrifying tunnel, a minor traffic collision and a dinner invite from a suave carabinieri later i was at the spanish steps. surrounded by hundreds of people. and i can't remember what shawn was wearing. after wandering, wondering if i was ever going to see my dear, dear husband again, for what seemed like another three hours i climbed to the top of the steps, figuring i could spot him from up top. i didn't spot him. i spotted the camper store at the bottom though and thought shawn likes campers, maybe he's there... and that's where we found each other, in front of the camper store. i've never been so happy to see him. it felt like we were running toward each of in a field while music swelled.

trust me when i tell you its better when we tell it together but its one of my favorite stories so i wanted to share...

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one cupcake short of a full batch

i had one of those days today. nothing was going right. i was trying to make breakfast for friends and bake cupcakes for the family visit later. i hadn't showered. i needed to actually make a couple presents and a trip to the grocery store was necessary. oh, and i wasn't feeling well. well, the cupcakes weren't cooperating. the first batch burnt after i almost forgot to put sugar in the batter. the second batch came up one short. and as i was saying the words "one cupcake short of a full batch" i realized that someone could describe me that way - at least at that moment someone could've.

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