28 June 2010

slow motion earrings

I'm having one of those days where I am literally moving in slow motion.  Procrastination at its absolute finest.  I have errands to run, people to meet, an entire house to pack up... but nope.  I'm sitting here sipping some ice water, eating a tomato, and adding a couple of pairs of earrings to the shop.  And I am quite alright with that.
So go look, because unfortunately I'm taking the whole shop down pretty soon.  Something about being in Antarctica makes me feel like keeping it open would be difficult.
Click on the images to see them in the shop.

Does this week feel NEW or what?

25 June 2010

last year's cycling adventure

The days have been such a blur that I hadn't been paying much attention to the dates.  But this morning, I woke up and took a peek at the calendar to see how many more days I have to get my act together in time to fly to Boston, and I realized that exactly a year ago, one of my most treasured adventures had just ended.
I bicycled 400 miles around the Olympic Peninsula with my parents, then met one of my best friends in Seattle and biked almost 100 miles around the San Juan Islands with her.  500 miles in less than two weeks.  It was glorious.  Utterly glorious, and I decided to share a couple of my favorite photos from that trip today.  Partially so I can relive it a little bit, but also to share the magic.
Cycling around the Olympic Peninsula, we went through all sorts of different environments, including rain forests, and biking down along the ocean.  The one constant was the color green; it was everywhere.  Growing up in New England I am used to a lot of greenery, but this was something else - a landscape completely saturated with vibrancy and life.
And the moss!  Oh, the moss...
One of my favorite aspects of cycling such a long distance was noticing things I never would have in a car, even though I keep my eyes pealed in the passenger seat.  The pace is slower, so things appear that never would at 60mph.  Things like funny misspelled signs, funky statues in peoples' yards, amusing street signs, and so many cats.
I also can't stand when I see a picture I'd love to take, but by the time I realize it, I've whizzed past it and it's too late.  Not on a bike!  We stopped and took every picture we wanted to, and posed with all sorts of interesting things.
If you ever have the chance to take the ferry to the San Juan Islands, and cycle around them, do it!  The magic there is palpable, and life feels like a dream.
My dear friend Allie and I just sauntered around the islands, bicycling in dresses, eating freshly made crepes at the farmers markets, napping in hammocks, pausing to dip our toes in the ocean whenever needed.
For our Solstice celebration, we hiked Mt. Constitution, the highest point of the islands, drank some vodka, ate some pumpkin seeds, and lit candles.  We also frolicked around the top, completely rejoicing in the glorious view surrounding us in all directions.  We stayed until it was dark, and then realized we had forgotten our headlamps.  It was an exciting hike down to say the least, and yes, I fell.
There is nothing quite like traveling 50 miles in a day, using nothing but your legs for power, and setting up camp.  It is so completely gratifying.  This is by far the best way I've ever explored an area.

It's HOT out today!  So nice of Summer to finally arrive.  My weekend looks like it will be full of packing, so I have a feeling I might sneak away to post here a couple times.  Nothing like some good old fashioned procrastination.  Oh, and this is my first post on my new laptop!  So fun.  I will confess that transitioning to a mac is confusing me, so I might be posting old pictures again until I figure everything out.  
Have a magical weekend!

22 June 2010

jewelry + ch ch changes

So, that jewelry I was working on... I've decided to share some with you!  I had been experimenting with shrink plastic and came up with some really fun, summery designs. 
This is a pair I haven't stopped wearing for the past week.
Then there are feathers,
and more variations of this fun design.
I even designed some special packaging for them!  So fun... the first big group of them are being given to friends, but if I have time and if there is any interest, I might post some in the shop as well.
Time is picking up and the days are flying by faster and faster.  I've been working on the mounds of paperwork necessary for working in Antarctica, and am still getting all of my medical and dental tests done.  I am SO excited because I'm getting a new laptop on Thursday.  The one I currently use takes about 10+ minutes just to start up... so I'm finally making the switch to Apple... a macbook pro.  Yay!  In all honesty, I'm a little nervous about the swap, but I know it's going to be so good.  It's also going to enable me to post videos from my travels, woohoo!
My other exciting happening is that I'm going to Boston next week to see my Dad, family, and high school friends.  I grew up in southern Maine, just 15 mins from the beach, but since I've moved out to Montana, I haven't been swimming in the ocean for years... that will be remedied next week!  Hooray!  There will be lots and lots of photos posted, stay tuned.
I've been toying around with the idea of organizing this space a little better for the upcoming changes... I'll be working 60 hour weeks in Antarctica, traveling, HUGE time differences, experiencing very limited internet access, and having many more friends and family visiting the blog (my doctor's office requested it so they can all follow along, eek!)  I'm absolutely set on continuing the blog and having it grow, so there's no way I'm letting the daunting challenges coming up set me back at all.  So I'm wondering, do you guys find it better to have specific posts (like themes, etc.) or does that quickly become constraining?  And how about as a reader, does that get boring and predictable?  Hmm...
I trust you all had a fantastically delicious Solstice.  The scavenger hunt for Father's Day was a huge success... he asked if we could do it every weekend.  And thanks for all the biscotti encouragement, that was greatly appreciated after what felt like endless failure.  Enjoy the summer day!

20 June 2010

antarctic music

just a quick post today to share a mix i made in preparation for my journey to antarctica.
i hope you like it!

edit: for some reason the embedded player isn't working for me, so if it doesn't work for you either, you can also find the playlist HERE

17 June 2010

flashdance and biscotti

Okay, first of all, I just saw Flashdance for the first time last night, and I want ALL of Jennifer Beals' clothes from the film.
Except maybe the shirtless tuxedo she wears to dinner... I wish I could pull that off.  How fun is it to bundle up on cold rainy evenings and watch '80s movies?  I hadn't seen any in way too long.
Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest, can we also just briefly discuss that I am on an underwear binge?  I've bought myself 14 new pairs in the past week.  It's bad.  And so good.
For father's day this year, I'm throwing a big scavenger hunt for my stepdad, with little homemade goodies along the way.  He is a man that buys everything he wants for himself, and so is literally the hardest person to get gifts for, ever.  Especially when I am broke.  But he loves experiential things, so this scavenger hunt is taking him on a hike and everything.  He also loves biscotti.  Have you ever made biscotti?  After today, I have concluded that either it's the hardest thing to bake, or every recipe on the internet is a lie.  I tried three different recipes, and the last one I added 2 more cups of flour than it asked for, and it finally worked.  Just look:
Failed attempt number one.  Flat, hard, and tasted like egg toothpaste.  I gagged.
Failed attempt number two.  Also flat and hard, but a little better tasting.
And finally - success.  But only kind of success... the biscotti alone is probably the most boring thing I've ever eaten, but dipped in dark chocolate and coconut or slivered almonds, and yeah, it's good.
Last, I've been working on some jewelry which I am very excited about.  I can't stop wearing it either, which is probably a good sign.  And how fun is that nail polish color?  I haven't painted my nails since junior high, but I saw Kate Miss's nails in this picture, and NEEDED mine to look the same.
I hope you're all having the loveliest week.

14 June 2010

moments from a summer's monday

Moments from a Summer's Monday:
-Waking very early, only to stay in bed and watch the sun move across my walls
-Rising to bake coconut bread with sliced almonds and chocolate chunks [recipe]
-A long, meandering bike ride along the river, pausing to dip my toes
-Buying new underwear, and work clothes, and other necessities for the upcoming adventure
-Revisiting my novel for the first time since its completion, and beginning to edit it
-Working on the organization of a scavenger hunt/birthday present/father's day present... all in one... phew!
-Another visit from the dream cat
-Finding a mix cd from five years ago, and dancing all day to it
-A new dress that fits in perfectly with this long sunny day
-Consolidating lists.  
-Smiling because even after consolidation, there are seven lists.
-Going to bed early (I hope)

10 June 2010

and what about love?

I was just perusing some of my recent posts, and came across the one about my seven weeks of free time.  I had made myself a schedule to maximize this time, and just like that, it's gone.  No, seven weeks haven't passed yet, phew.  But what I thought was going to be almost two months of art and cooking and reading and long walks and relaxing has turned into a couple weeks of preparation.  I'm currently going through the intense process of being physically and psychologically qualified for life on the Ice.  This involves drug tests, blood work, an EKG, etc.  
This time has also suddenly turned into a very brief calm before the storm.  My big, open, breezy summer is now completely booked... a quick trip out East to visit my father and friends, doctor appointments, an abbreviated summer job, trying to find extreme weather accessories in stores stocked with bathing suits, planning, preparing.
I now only have a week or so left in my beloved rented house.  In the next week or two I will somehow pack up my books, my dishes, my treasures, all the while keeping in mind what should come with me to Boston, what should come with me to Flathead Lake, what should come with me to New Zealand, what should come with me to the bottom of the world.
Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining.  In actuality, I'm writing this rather feverishly, my heart quickening with the excitement of it all.  The anticipation of this wild, unadulterated adventure is rather intoxicating.  I've started devouring all the books I can get my hands on, and am watching the BBC nature documentary series Life in the Freezer (which you can watch instantly on Netflix).  My favorite book so far is a collection edited by Susan Fox Rogers, called Life on the Ice.  This passage from her introduction has stuck with me:
"I wanted to know what sort of tent I would be sleeping in at a remote camp, and if I would feel lonely waking in that tent - or if I would even be able to sleep with that endless sun.  I wanted to experience an Antarctic wind on my face and understand what deep cold did to my bones.  To understand a place I break it down into the simplest of human needs of sleep, warmth, food.  But also: How do you keep communication with loved ones back home?  How often does mail arrive?  Are there showers?  How do people travel around?  Where do people pee?  And what about love?"

07 June 2010

thank you + shop special

Wow thank you so much for all the support in my upcoming adventure! 
A lot of you asked what I'd be doing down there, and I'm afraid my job isn't all that glamorous, since my work is supporting the researchers who do all the cool science stuff.  I'll just be cleaning - dorms, bathrooms, facilities, etc.  But!  My department is known for being very artsy and eccentric, so it sounds like it will be a great group of people.  Most of all, I'm just so excited and grateful to have such a grand adventure that's also going to help me pay off some student loans, and so fresh out of college!
So, as promised, I have a special going on for you lovely readers this week in the shop, to celebrate life and all its gifts.  I thought about having a certain percent off for readers, but I think this will be much more fun.  For every item you buy, I will add a surprise something into the package.  The surprise is part of the fun, I think... it might be a set of stickers, or one of the new 5x7 prints I just had made, or a couple of postcards... All you have to do is enter Tangible Ingredients into the "message to seller" box at check out.  This bonus is going on until Sunday 11:59pm MST.  I'm very excited... let the surprise gifts begin! 

04 June 2010

big news!

Sorry it's been quiet here all week!
I've been interviewing for various jobs, and I am excited to announce that I have taken an offer!
I'll be working in Antarctica starting in August for almost 7 months.
So exciting, but now that has materialized, I'm a little terrified as well.
I'll be going down when it's still mostly dark, and only a small number of people are down there.  Not many people get to experience the winter, and I will be arriving just in time to see the sun climb a little higher in the sky every day.
Since I'll be deploying in less than two months, this space is probably going to change a bit.  I'll still be posting, and lots of pictures as always.  While I'm traveling and working down there, this space will also be for sharing my experience with my friends and family, so there might be much longer entries, but more sporadically posted.
Suddenly, all of the green things, that are still just blooming and sprouting here, are even more precious then before.  I hiked in the North Hills late in the evening last night, and sat in the grass, feeling so fortunate as the sun set.
Here's a pretty good video of what it will look like!
Since I'm packing up and heading out so soon, I'll be having some special things going on in the shop next week, exclusively for readers!  Stay tuned.

01 June 2010

rain and sheep and june

It's raining again.
But it's okay because every time it stops for a couple of hours, I go out and take shots of gorgeous little droplets sitting all over the place.  Just hangin' out.
Today I went for a stroll up in the North Hills, and got pretty soaked.  But I went out to visit the sheep that are working up there.  Their job is to eat the invasive plants like spotted knapweed.  This picture is from the hike I took over the weekend, when the sun was actually out.  I didn't get as close to the sheep this time, but they were still there, munching away.
This guy was one of three identical sheep dogs who also had a job, keeping an eye out.  It was funny and pretty cute to come across all these animals working on their very specific jobs, without any human supervision.
Even though it's raining, there's a new wave of optimism that comes with June.  It is certain that it will be sunny and warm, very soon.  And it is also certain that picnics by the river, the re-emergence of freckles, root beer floats, and summer concerts are all on their way.
I can't wait!
Happy, happy June!

p.s. Remember those elephant stickers I promised, weeks ago?  They're finally up.  Go look.