For the past year and a half, I’ve been giving succulents an undue amount of attention. Though in my defense, I only discovered succulents a year and a half ago and when I did, I couldn’t understand how they were real. I still don’t. Honestly, how?
But it’s about time that I gave some other plants a little loving. They might be in the same family, but I’m taking baby steps here.
Part of the reason I painted this was out of wish fulfillment. I like cacti. I’d like to grow them, but a clumsy mess (me) does not do well around sharp, prickly objects. So for now, I’ll be content with simply painting said sharp, prickly objects.
What do you give someone who’s moving away?
It’s something I had to think about for a while, after I found out one of my closest friends Zoe, an old roommate from college, was going back to Korea.
I’ve already written and posted about the small, gift-wrapped box, and the hand-painted letters and envelopes. But more than that, I wanted her to have something by which to remember our times together in the States by, and something to cheer her up when she was down.
Practically speaking, the gift had to be small, so I wouldn’t be adding too much weight to or taking too much room in her luggage. Hence, miniature memoirs.
Using an inexpensive, small wooden box from Michael’s and acrylic paint, I decorated the box with flowers (to remind her of me), and one of Zoe’s favorite characters that she uses sometimes in her work. He (or she?) is simply called the Afro Clown.
It’s definitely a little time consuming to paint wooden boxes, especially one with a raised grain (even with extra sanding beforehand), but the results are well worth the effort.
But the best part was picking out the miniatures that would fit certain memories. Some were connected to places that we loved and went to frequently, like our guilty pleasure Harry’s, a burger joint in Providence that has a big fat model of a cow out front on the sidewalk. In the process of collecting all of these mini memoirs, I realized how much of our best times and memories together are related in some way to food.
Which I suppose makes a lot of sense; a lot of the time we had together was spent cooking and eating. It’s what got us through the crazy days and nights of working.
There was a point where I considered including a miniature mouse, as a testament to our developed expertise in capturing the many critters that visited our apartment, but I thought it best to stick with pleasant, nice memories.
When I get the chance, I love making cards for friends and family. It’s like a surprise bonus present, that makes the gift even more personal. So when I found out that one of my closest friends was moving back to Korea, I knew I wanted to create something special.
From a stack of blank cards from Michael’s, I made two cards; one for her birthday, and one a farewell.
Both were painted with gouache and gold acrylic. The gouache held up surprisingly well on the cardstock, with zero warping.
And maybe because they were for a good friend, maybe because they weren’t for work or for myself, or maybe because they were relatively simple to make, but i truly enjoyed painting them. It was refreshing, and made me want to paint even more.
And I’m beginning to think that I should make some to sell….. O.O
For someone deeply involved with the arts and aesthetics, I was surprisingly indifferent about how I present gifts. I s’pose it seemed to me an unnecessary and unsatisfying courtesy.
But no more! The symptoms of my Pinterest frenzy have taken effect . Recently, in saying goodbye to a friend who’s moving away, I gave a series of gifts wrapped and presented more meticulously than any I’d ever given before.
And my favorite wrapping was this little box.
In all likelihood, I appreciate this one the most for its simplicity. Take an old cardboard box, paint the top, wrap it up with ribbon and dried twigs and berries found right outside the house, and boom: an impressive presentation that costs zilch.
Having gone to school out of state and studied abroad, I realize I’m often guilty of romanticizing cities and Europe (Ron Swanson would absolutely loathe me).
But Maryland itself has a lot to offer- we have rural areas, suburbs, and cities, mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans. All it takes is a little bit of gumption.
So one day when our all our other friends were gone off to Myrtle Beach for family vacations, Gloria and I put our heads together and came up with the most affordable day trip we could think of. Hiking at Patapsco Valley State Park.
Just a short drive away from the both of us, Patapsco Valley State Park features a couple waterfalls- one man made, one natural. We were looking for the natural one, Cascade Falls.
It was hot and humid when we began our hike, but being the young, naive and optimistic souls that we are, we were undeterred and relentlessly positive…
Until we got lost three times. After asking for directions for three times from three separate people.
We had passed a small waterfall below us where people were playing in the small pool of water, but because of its size we didn’t think it could possibly be the one we were thinking of- so we pressed forward. And got lost. And lost again. And lost again.
We found out from an older couple that the falls we passed was indeed Cascade Falls, and they gave us directions back to it. We still didn’t find our way back to the falls. But we did find our way to our car, which was great because we were beginning to think we might just spend the night there.
And I would totally do it again. Sore butts and sweaty attire and all.
It was incredibly satisfying, and even more so when I remembered that we had spent little to no money to picnic and spend the day outdoors, and in great company :) And, as you can see, it was beautiful.
It also made me think that hiking could be a great option for regular exercise. But that’s a whole other mine field.
Card for Grandpa for Father’s Day. I hope google translate didn’t fail me… #myspellingishorrendous #fathersday #oranges
Beautiful printed scarf. @jeshikkaaa @zosephbae #floralpattern #printedscarf #patterninspiration #target
To some, my preference for rye whiskey neat and lack of queasiness when it comes to walking barefoot through the city (happened just once, I promise) implies a demeanor of a man living in 1950’s Kentucky. Still, I remain overwhelmingly feminine in nature, despite attempts to prove otherwise.
So even though I believed myself a more difficult person to please, it turns out all it really takes are flowers and chocolate. And as I’ve said before, I’ll take flowers over chocolate any day (excluding the particularly miserable ones).
What this means is that instead of accumulating a colossal collection of cakes, cookies, and chocolates I’ve been slowly amassing and selecting a stockpile of stunning succulents (with a few other assorted plants).
Some plants have come and gone, in part because I lacked experience, and in part because of possible plant abuse…. But mostly it was because a few weren’t suited to the conditions of my room.
Out of all the plants I have now, only one (pictured to the right) is part of the original collection I started last winter. It’s seen some tough times- I’ve had to cut off an unhealthy section of the stem, and at present it’s in the process of re-growing roots.
And finally, with a few successes and several failures, I’ve finished my windowsill garden. There’s a shamrock and an ivy plant not shown in the photo above, but my windowsill can only fit so many.
I’ve also acquired a couple of air plants- which took a surprisingly long time to find. I don’t know if Lowe’s has any, but for months I never found any in the places I normally go to for flowers. Surprising, considering how popular they’re becoming.
They’ve become popular because they’re essentially idiot proof, and you can put them into all sorts of containers. They don’t require soil- hence it’s resiliency against idiocy. It’s impossible to put them in the wrong soil mixture or wrong type of container, and they’re difficult to over-water.
All you have to do is mist them every few days (they love dew, humidity, etc.), and give them a good soak once a week for a few hours.
Now the roses may have died prematurely, but I’m determined to see the rest of the plants last till the end of the summer, and with a little TLC, all the way to next year.
It’s easy to talk about plans- plans to do things, go places, see people. But rare is the time where we actually follow through. And strangely enough, sometimes the best way to do things, go places, and see people- is spontaneously.
Such was my past couple of weekends. What was supposed to be a Memorial Day trip to New York to see my cousin suddenly turned into a roommate reunion here in Baltimore. And what was meant to be a quiet, ordinary weekend in Baltimore became a day’s excursion in New York City with my roommate Zoe (again).
Twas very, very awesome.
The first place Zoe and I visited in New York was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museums probably aren’t high on people’s lists of places to go while on a day trip to the Big Apple, but it had been a while since either of us had gone. Plus, we’re art folks :) We might get tired, but we don’t get bored.
The down side of visiting the Met while on a brief day trip is that it’s a massive labyrinth. Even though we’d picked out the exact exhibits to see beforehand, it took us a while and many a museum guide to find our way around. Especially to the rooftop garden of the Met.
Which was absolutely glorious, once we got there. The ground was all grass, with ivy covered walls and plant covered walkways, a bar, and a breathtaking view. It was my first time ever seeing the city line like that, up close. I’ve seen it from afar on a boat or in a car, or from above at the top of the Empire State Building. But not like this- not the kind of view people pay thousands extra for when buying a penthouse.
Normally I’m very disobliging when it comes to taking photos at events and during trips (I made an exception for Yuris’ wedding, but that was because I was Maid of Honor). Ask anyone and they’ll tell you what a pain it is to get me to take a normal photo.
But with a view like that it’s hard to pass up the opportunity. Besides, Zoe and I had purposefully (and shamelessly) coordinated our outfits together.
So the next time you go to New York, don’t pass up the museum. The rooftop garden is open till November 2, and open as long as the weather permits.
The Met also had their famous and highly publicized Costume Institute’s exhibition up: Charles James, Beyond Fashion.
The Costume Institute always impresses. Always. Zoe and I had difficulty tearing our eyes away from all of the stunning dresses. As I suppose many a girl did, we spent a good deal of time discussing which ones we would wear; that is, if we were Hollywood starlets back in the 40’s and 50’s.
The exhibition itself was fantastically designed. They gave a digital reference for how the patterns of the garments looked, crucial for understanding how a garment works and is put together. A live video feed the Met provided showed close-up details of each dress.
One of my favorites was the dress pictured to the left. You can see more of James’ work at the Met’s site.
Still, as inspiring and captivating as the museum was, no trip to New York is complete without good grub and childish amusement. Last time it was Laduree and Dylan’s Candy Bar. This time it was Laduree (again, duh), Uva (a splendid Italian restaurant), and FAO Schwartz, the biggest, craziest toy store around, which I was happy to discover still had their dollhouse section complete with unaffordable, intricate miniatures.
They were also selling LEGO Movie products. Tempting, since a friend and I have been getting into legos recently. I’m seriously considering getting a WildStyle or Bad Cop keycain. I’d also just be happy with a Lord Business figurine (in full evil regalia).
Anyway, it all wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t made sudden plans to go. Who says snap decisions are always reckless and bad? In the words of Mumble from Happy Feet, be spontaneous!
Not sure how long these will last indoors… Guess we’ll have to wait and see. #miniaturerose #redroses #romanticflorals