As the last of my tulips shed their big waxy petals, I can’t deny that it’s been a pretty glorious spring. The swallows are returning for summer and I feel like I can hear more birdsong than ever before in our little Sheffield garden. Everything is taking off. The grass is growing rapidly, weddings are in full flow, peonies are blooming and before we know it, summer will be bearing down on us. So I’m taking a moment to appreciate spring, to take a slow, close look around and breathe it all in.
This table arrangement I’ve created is an homage to this time of year. The crossover where tulips and hellebores meet roses and peonies. The foliage is young and fresh, yet bares warm autumnal hues in its oh-so-new and fragile state. The birds, insects and flowers merge in some harmonious botanical picture postcard. Flowers invade the table and there’s little room for anything else, except perhaps cake — of course, there’s always room for cake. —Anna Potter
Photography by India Hobson
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
When I was a kid, I tried to hate pink. I believed my classmates when they told me that liking pink made me a “girly girl” (which I was on a mission to never be). But then I found peach and it was my gateway into loving blush, mauve, and then full-on pink. It became a neutral in my eyes along the lines of navy — a color without being too colorful. Thankfully, blush and pink are no longer seen as gender- and age-defining. Pink offers a warm welcome and separation from the usual neutrals, or as a bold statement in higher saturation when used inside the home. It’s both playful and refined. The team at Design*Sponge is so in love with pink in any shade. Here are 10 gorgeous rooms with pink hues that aren’t just for children. –Lauren
Image above: Ellie Horwell Roche’s master bedroom is a soothing space with blue walls, mauve curtains and an amazing pink couch.
On the plus side, I already had the high key "I'm going to be homeless come October 1!" freakout to L and she talked me down (...so I might catastrophize a little. I've actually gotten much better at not doing it over the years, but this whole thing really trips my anxiety wires), so I didn't freak out too much last night when I transferred $$$ to my checking account in order to cover the check for 10% of the down payment I'll be writing when I go to sign the contract tomorrow.
It's still a tentative appointment at the moment (I will be confirming shortly - ETA: Confirmed! /eta), but yesterday afternoon I got a call from the mortgage broker, who was like, "Mike just told me you had an accepted offer. You didn't call and tell me!" (Mike is my lawyer. He works in the office next door to the mortgage broker.) and I said the realtor had told me not to until I had the signed contract, and she was like, "I like to get ahead of the game so you don't have to come in to sign stuff twice!" Especially since I have to take the LIRR to get there (the pitfalls of using people recced by family members who live on Long Island), which means leaving work at like 12:30 tomorrow. Eep!
Keep your fingers crossed, folks. This could be one step closer!
And since it's Wednesday, we've got books!
What I've just finished
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whelan Turner. I meant to reread the whole series before this but didn't get to it. I didn't really need to either, as it wasn't heavily dependent on previous books (...though I guess the Attolian's identity was? Though who else could it have been?). There was a lot more ersatz Assyrian poetry than I was expecting, ( spoilers )
So I definitely recommend it if you've enjoyed the series so far, and if you haven't read the whole series, I highly recommend it. The second book especially is AMAZING.
What I'm reading now
Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig, since it came from the library. It's fine, I guess. It's mostly the events leading up to the battle of Jakku. We finally get more Mon Mothma POV and ( spoilers )
What I'm reading next
One of the hottest new trends in weddings today is the cherry blossom wedding cake:
This elegant design not only looks beautiful, but is a cinch to make, too! In fact, here are a few tips to ensure your own cherry blossom cake looks as gorgeous as this.
First, always make sure your icing is niiiice and smooth.
It helps if you lick your fingers first, so they slide smoothly over the icing.
Next, mold or pipe your branches to gracefully scale the tiers of your cake in a natural, realistic fashion.
I know it's hard to believe but, yes, that's really just icing.
Remember, the flowers are the most important part!
It's usually best to leave off a wedding topper for this style, but if you do choose to have one, make sure it's simple, understated, and elegant.
Note the baker's restraint. Not a single balloon animal!
And finally, when all else fails, remember:
You can always jam a stick in it and charge $200.
(Yes, this was someone's actual wedding cake.)
(And they paid for it.)
Leanne W., Danielle L., Moxie, Holly J., and Robert V. did you know you can make a forty dollar cake look like a 500 dollar cake with just some cookies and sprinkles? Just imagine what you could charge if you jammed a stick in it!
And from my other blog, Epbot:
* We got a new mattress! Our old mattress was sagging on each side and had a hump in the middle and was getting increasingly painful. The new one was delivered yesterday and so far, so good. At the store we looked at a fancy one that sucked the heat out of your body while you were sleeping, but it was more than twice what ours cost and I did wonder how comfortable it would be in the winter.
* The paperback edition of The Murderbot Diaries is back in stock at Barnes & Noble, Powells, Indigo, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and Amazon US, if you were still looking for a copy.
* I cleared out our guestroom closet and my office and got rid of a lot of random crap.
* I've been trying to get Murderbot 4 started and for about two weeks and finally got the first scene written. It and Murderbot 3 are not sold yet, so keep your fingers crossed.
* I got a Raksura Patreon story started and about halfway finished.
* When we were at Comicpalooza, we walked past the end of the row where one of the big Star Wars cosplaying groups had their booth, and they had a full-size backdrop of a Death Star corridor for people to take pictures in front of. One of the people in a stormtrooper costume was standing in front of it, and as we slowed down to look at backdrop, and the stormtrooper did the voice-synthesizer "Move along, move along" bit. It was pretty hilarious.
* We also saw a full-size Taun-taun with rider costume.
2) Last day of work this week! :D Tomorrow is a national holiday and we are given the day off Friday by our bosses so we have an extra long weekend! Yay! :D
3) Also, am able to leave work almost an hour earlier, so I can go visit another house this evening before training. Also, after the house visiting and before the training, I might still be able to pass by one of our team to visit the newest volley baby :p with the rest of the team ^^
Per his request, the Med Student will be known as the Intern for the next year. Then he'll be known as the Resident for three years. After that, we'll go with the Fellow for a year...and maybe, if I'm still stupid enough to be blogging in 5 years, he'll be the Doctor.
Did you follow? The Med Student --> the Intern.
Now he's fancy.
When artist Frances Berry graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008 with a degree in Digital Media, she moved forward as a photographer not knowing that one day, other mediums would fill her art card. Frances manipulates images in a way that leaves you feeling like you are looking at a painting. She uses mostly vintage photos in her work, distorting the way we view the image. These digital media photos are reserved mostly for her website. However, you can catch the other side of Frances on her Instagram, as she works in bright, vivid colors on paintings that jump out at you and get you excited to see what she will do next.
Working from her home studio in downtown Memphis, TN, Frances has an energy that is unmatched by most, as seen in her workspace with a backdrop of bold black and white hand painted panels lining the walls, filled with vibrant pieces of artwork. “I keep the first floor clear so that I can roller skate inside,” Frances tells us. “My studio is a constantly evolving organism which shares a symbiotic relationship with me. Stacks of paper ephemera piled on shelves, a hodgepodge of mismatched, discarded furniture, walls that look like scrapbook pages, stacks of books and other things I’ve collected and, of course, my roller skates. I like to think of my studio [as] a laboratory and all the things in it as specimens to study and be surrounded with.” Hearing her say that, it makes sense that there wasn’t a tuning point to painting — a moment that made her decide to pick up the brush. Instead she’s just working in several art forms, moving in a parallel direction with one another.
Jumping from paintings to collages to photography to digital media, Frances is a self-described “picture maker,” often selling her work directly from her street-level studio. “I wanted a space that I could work in without the space working against me, and I knew I wanted a lot of space and to be downtown. This is one of the only places that offers both.” See how Frances works in this 2,600-square-foot live-in workspace that she shares with her dog — along with the results of her artistic laboratory of specimens and experiments. —Erin
Photography by Erin Austen Abbott
Image above: Frances, in her studio, creating a mixed media painting.
In other news, I woke up at 5:15 this morning to pee and didn't fall back asleep until after 6:50 am, partly because I have a bug bite on my ankle (first of the season *sigh*) and even with cortisone lotion and allergy meds, it didn't stop itching. That is just wrong. My alarm goes off at 7:20 (it allows me to hit snooze three times and still be in by 9). I was not happy.
So instead of anything interesting, here's a meme snacky tagged me to do over on tumblr and as always tumblr is useless for finding things later, so I'm posting it here in case I ever want to see it again:
Cite the final line of five of your fics – your favorites, or the most recent ones.
I'm doing recent, because it's easier than choosing favorites:
1. "Forget about Vader for a few minutes, Luke," she says after another great victory that's come with its own desperate costs. "Let me tell you about our mother, instead." (Mother Is the Name for God, Star Wars, Leia & Padme)
2. It's as good a way as any to start a day. (Stuck in the Middle with You, Star Wars, Ahsoka, Anakin, Obi-Wan, platonic bed-sharing)
3. The Force chimes with a clarity and closeness Anakin hasn't felt in a long time when he sits down beside Obi-Wan, takes a deep breath, and opens his mouth to finally tell him the truth. (and gravity, scientists say, is weak, Star Wars, Anakin & Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Satine)
4. Ben went, and he and the galaxy both exhaled in relief. (Everything That Rises Must Converge, Star Wars, Skywalker Family Reunion Time)
5. Rey grinned, warmed by their confidence, and prepared the Falcon for takeoff. (if you find yourself lost, dig, Star Wars, Rey & Leia)
I think I'm better at last lines than I am at first lines, but sometimes I like to wrap things up too neatly, so they land with a thud instead of whatever smart and satisfying sound they should land with. I dunno, what do you think?
I am very much worried about Nero. Right now he's at Dr Ebers' and there's probably going to be bloodwork and x-rays and I am worried about the big lug. I love that cat. He has come so far in such a short time from the cat he had been. He loves having his ears scratched and his head kissed and sleeping between me and his human. (I'm his human's human. That's about how he puts up with me.)
I want him to be okay.
I am currently avoiding all the panic that is percolating in my brain by watching Survival Lilly on YouTube in Austria build herself outdoor shelters. It helps. (She also has an adorable dog that loves to wallow in dirt and leaves.) It's very interesting to see how people in Europe build outdoor shelters versus what you would down here in South Mississippi. There you can use conifer branches and whatnot, but here it's more pine brances and they don't work well or cedar and that's sometimes hard to find where you can reach it.
We had water in the house again since it rained a lot.
Crown List was last weekend. It was held at the State Park near Shreveport - we have James and Joan as Prince and Princess again. I need to go do some research for their names because they don't have registered names or devices. I put up my canopy for the first time and I need to seal the seams on it. Wow do I. I also made a Lemon Bliss Cake and it was fine. Gaius made a deep-fried turkey for his Crown List people and shared with us other Heralds and that and my cake were divine. My Heraldic Boss (Brendan) fell in love with my large thick felt hat. If you wear glasses, a thick felt hat is wonderful because it keeps your glasses from getting spotty in the rain. Brent bought it several years ago at Acadiana or Scharborough Fair.
I should never get a top bunk again. It gets very difficult to get up and down from there.
I got a mole removed yesterday. Dr Rose is pretty sure there isn't anything wrong with it; it was one of those moles that's right at the waistband of your underwear or trousers or skirts and always gets rubbed on so it itches or gets rubbed raw occasionally. (I hate those moles.) So she took it right off then and there. I like lidocaine - yes, it stings at first, but then the lidocaine makes the sting of the lidocaine go away. Win win!
Lately I’ve been obsessed with geometric patterns. The balance between simple and bold, mesmerizing and minimal capture my imagination. So for today’s project we’ll be playing with geometric patterns, color, and drawing with thread to create gift-worthy, frame-ready artwork. It’s an easy, quick and inexpensive home decor project that requires minimal materials, and best of all, looks fancy. For added dimension I’ve used watercolors, but you can skip the watercolors and jump right to stitching the patterns with thread. Try using a colored card stock to stitch onto and playing with layered thread colors.
I’ve created several patterns, inspired by sacred geometry and gemstones, for you to try, but I encourage you to draw your own patterns or make it up as you go. This method of stitching on paper can be very intuitive, especially for making abstract, geometric patterns with straight lines. It can be as simple as making a few holes here and there on your paper and connecting them with thread to see what you get. Speaking of thread, I’ve used my stash of silk thread for a shimmer effect, but standard DMC embroidery floss is an excellent choice as well for this project. However you choose to make your geometric stitched artwork, I hope this project is a great jumping-off point for creativity and experimenting with pattern, color, and maybe a new technique for drawing with thread. —Jessica
Yesterday a couple of you posted this on the Cake Wrecks' Facebook page:
I'll give you a moment.
Now, I have no idea where it came from, but that's not gonna stop me from jumping on this hilariously traumatizing bandwagon!
And my personal favorite:
"Boop-oop-aSWEET MOTHER OF HECK."
Now just one more, because laugh you must.
THERE IS NO TRY.
Thanks to Maya O., Amanda S., Crystal G., Kellie C., & Hannah G. for using the forks.