good.posture.

I am loving this. I found this awesome etsy shop by the name of UrbanPosture and their designs make me want to sit up straight. (Sorry that was corny, but I just had to)

There is something about their designs that just scream whimsy and yet they’re so clean and almost minimalistic in a sense. It works and I want to buy everything.

Maybe I just have a thing for silhouettes, but I adore this Cuckoo Clock.

I think what I appreciate most about UrbanPosture though, is that everything is hand-printed and designed, so it seems so genuine and personalized. Plus I love a good screen-print.

Their blog is pretty sweet too.

Check out this awesome stop motion video they shared a few days ago.

fab.five.

The much anticipated Top Five Favourites of the week are here!

This week I’m loving…

The FIFA World Cup Series

I’m not a huge sports fanatic, but it’s been kind of fun watching the games and seeing the different teams advance and rivalries grow stronger. Argentina and Germany are the top two teams so far, but the games are still in the round of sixteen, so things can still definitely change. Above is an image from the recent Argentina v. Mexico game this morning (3-1).

Essie Peach Daiquiri Nail Lacquer

It’s a great summer coral and it makes wearing sandals so much better.

Nectarines

nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart

I love peaches, but I hate the fuzz, so nectarines are basically my best friends. The image above is of a nectarine, mascarpone and gingersnap tart, which I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I’m thinking it will be a beautiful dessert for this upcoming 4th of July bbq bash.

J.Crew’s Matchstick Jean in Dark Wash Rinse

Lately I’ve been living in a uniform of jeans and white tee’s for the summer, and these are some of my favourite (and one out of two of my only pairs of) jeans. They can be dressed up or worn casually and they always make my backside look lovely.

Nine West Cross Body Envelope Bag

This was one of my most recent purchases and I’m loving it. I was never into the whole cross body bag trend, but my lover has a motorcycle and it’s just too difficult to hold on to my tote bag while in tow. It’s a small bag, yet roomy and can fit both my essentials and his, so it works out great. My bag is a deep mustard, almost tan colour, which goes beautifully with any outfit.

blah.dessari.

I recently was introduced to an interactive artwork, John Baldessari’s In Still Life 2001-2010 and is actually quite entertaining. Baldessari took Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life (in 2001), juxtaposed the actual painting with an empty frame and allowed the patrons of LACMA to digitally rearrange the objects within the painting to then create their own masterpieces.

Click to see image

This is the original work

I looked through the catalog of previously created masterpieces, by other guests, and they’re pretty hilarious. Of course, I tried to render my work as I thought a Golden Age Still Life would look like. But others had some pretty abstract rendering they were going for, and it turned out pretty wonderfully.

Banquet Still Life with a Mouse Goes into Zero Gravity Joel J. Rane  by In Still Life.

Joel R. Jane created this masterpiece entitled Banquet Still Life with a Mouse Goes into Zero Gravity

John Baldessari himself has pretty whimsical ideas that he has excuted. One of my favourites is his California Map Project.

California Map Project

Photographs of letters that spell California and of the map used for locating the site of each letter. The letters vary in scale from one foot to approximatly one hundred feet, and in materials used. The letters are located as near as possible within the area occupied by the letters on the map. The idea was to see the landscape as a map and to actually execute each letter and symbol of the map employed on the corresponding part of the earth. It was an attempt to make the real world match a map, to impose a language on nature and vice-versa.”

-John Baldessari

big.news.

I am so excited.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has chosen the Portland metropolitan area as their third partner community for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8. The program will use existing resources of four Portland-area school districts currently collaborating in The Right Brain Initiative (Gresham-Barlow, Hillsboro, North Clackamas, and Portland), along with those of local arts organizations and the Kennedy Center to create a plan for arts education specific to the community. The partnership will be coordinated locally by The Regional Arts & Culture Council.

The Regional Arts and Culture Council

This is such great news: Great news for Portland Public Schools, The Right Brain Initiative, Portland artists the Regional Arts and Culture Council, plus the Kennedy Center.

I did a job shadow with the great people at The Right Brain Initiative/Young Audiences office late this March and I fell in-love with their organization, which is partly why I’m so excited about this new initiative  between the Kennedy Center, RBI, RACC and Portland Public schools.

The Right Brain Initiative (RBI) is a non-profit organization that has created a partnership between public schools, local governments, businesses and foundations, and the cultural community which launched its programming in Portland area classrooms in January 2009. The program’s goal is to achieve a measurable impact on learning by integrating the community’s arts and cultural resources into the education of every K-8 student in the Portland metropolitan region’s school districts. The Right Brain Initiative is a project of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. For more information visit www.TheRightBrainInitiative.org, or their blog RBI

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was founded in 1971 with the intent to “contribute to the human spirit,” serve as a memorial to President Kennedy and functions as the nation’s busiest arts facility. By promoting and nurturing young artists and new works, creating performances and broadcasts, the center is also the nation’s leader in arts education. Their art program Any Given Child attempts to provide an equitable art and culture aspect to a child’s education by combining the resources of school districts, local arts foundations and the Kennedy Center.

I personally believe that arts education is fundamental to any child’s standard education. Organizations like the Kennedy Center and RBI have put these programs into place because studies show that an education rich with art and culture improves overall material retention in the classroom, as well as improved literacy. Check out RBI’s progress report, their first year evaluation of their implemented program in the schools, for a closer look at the effects of just a week long arts program on students learning.

your.sconeful.eyes.

For Father’s day, since I’m poor, I decided I would make each important man his own pastry because the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

My father is diabetic and has a slew of food allergies to boot but he loves scones. I have a great and simple scone recipe, but for father’s sake I used some special ingredients to suit his dietary needs.

Yesterday’s batch was blueberry and almond–his two favourites–but I’ll post the original here so that you can make your own combination.

Simple Scones
Yields 12 scones

  • 1 cup Sour Cream*
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 cups Flour*
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 0.25 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 teaspoon Vanilla Extract*

* I substituted 12 oz of Whole Soy Blueberry yogurt for Sour Cream, Spelt flour for regular, and Almond Extract for Vanilla. I also added a cup of frozen blueberries to the batch. I also added almond slivers at the end for an extra tasty crunch.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together sour cream, egg and baking soda. Add vanilla extract. Combine this mixture with the dry ingredients.
  4. Cut in the butter.
  5. Mix together–not too long! Spread mixture out onto a floured surface and knead lightly.
  6. Flatten out into a half inch thick round. Cut into wedges.
  7. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges.

Scones have the tendency to be dry, although with this recipe they usually aren’t, but if handled too much during the mixing/kneading process and they definitely will be.

Coming up next: Quick Peach Turnovers

out.and.about.

Sorry for not posting the last few days. I was on a last-minute planned adventure out to Bagby Hot Springs and Smith Rock.

Bagby Hot Springs actually really surprised me. I was expecting to sit in a hole in the ground with a bunch of naked old hippies. Contrary to my prediction, the hot springs at Bagby were pretty elaborate in their set up. There was a string of private rooms that the water was channeled to via carved, wooden “pipes” that you could adjust the water flow to your tub. Then there were four “communal” tubs, three of which looked like those log flume carts that Disney mimics on their Splash Mountain ride, and the ‘Backyard Brewery’ big tub that take 45 minutes to fill when empty.

This is the big tub… but obviously not me. Oregon Hot Springs has a great website describing in detail the different locations to find great springs. Click on the image for more information.

To get there we hiked in 1.4 miles, and it was a really pleasant trail with beautiful foliage and views of the Collawash river. There were several spots with little falls, and the blue of the river was GORGEOUS!

After spending a few hours in the springs, we hiked back to the car and drove out to Smith Rock for some rock climbing.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to climb but the hike we went on, up to see Monkey Face rock, could have very well passed as rock climbing. Only 0.75 miles (one-way), the Misery Ridge Trail is the most difficult out of all the trails at the Smith Rock State Park. Of course, if the name doesn’t give it away, the pictures will.

This is the the trail, going back down. Killer on the joints and quite scary if you slip.

After our hike we camped at Smith Rock State Park, which was pretty full, but a really nice camping area. (Which means it really is nice, since I’m really not an out-doors kind of girl.)

On our journey back home we witnessed some really beautiful landscapes. It’s funny how everyone is complaining about the weather being so wet and rainy in June, but it was pretty cool to see the mountain tops all covered in snow at this time of year.

paper.trail.

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I was too busy graduating. :]

Upon receiving my diploma, I was presented with one last laugh from the University’s sick sense of humor.

I worked for 4 years to receive a piece of paper that says, “Yes you can hire me, I am a certified intellectual.” And after paying an $11 commencement fee… for the printing of said paper, I expected to have it there in my hot little hand at the graduation ceremony. Surprise, surprise…

Needless-to-say my sides were splitting from laughter upon reading, “8-10 weeks.” I am SO glad I’m done.