Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My First Christmas Page!!!

I DO NOT do "theme" pages. I DO NOT do "Happy Birthday" or "It's Halloween" or "You're PREGS!?? YAAAY!" Why? It's hard. So here's my simple page- simple does not mean easy. I struggled with this for 4 days. Mostly because I'm trying to be unique and mostly because I have no Christmas photos yet so go easy- or get picky- both help. :)
Black Friday- unlit

Black Friday- LIT!
It's supposed to be funny. Yes ok... tomorrow I go to take some real Christmas shots...
Used in this project: Embossed Twirl paper from Paper Presentation on 18th street, Glitter leaves from Michael's, canvas flowers from Jillibean Soup and filament lights from Pottery Barn. The lights are awesome! They run on batteries so I don't have to worry Miss Lola will electrocute herself when she goes after them on our mini tree.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Mojo is a NO GO!

I have some holiday ideas brewing but nothing that makes me want to sit down and stitch away or fussy cut for hours. Instead I'm longing for summer. So I offer THIS up:

MoMA- Our First Visit. Pencil Lines sketch 214 by Laura Vegas
I really love the MoMA. Dave and I visited with Gia (my best friend from college) in september and somehow I didn't get any good photos!!! I was distracted by the crowds and by Lola who kept escaping from my grasp to touch everything.

I stared at the shadows made by the gorgeous skylights in the new atrium and took a million shots of those. I also remember staring at Henri Matisse's "The Piano Lesson" for so long Dave had to come get me.

For my second attempt at a MoMA theme page, I used stitching as a way to add texture and dimension. I managed to get the lines relatively straight this time. The Pencil Lines sketch is really clean and modern so I wanted to punch it up a bit by making is a vertical 8 by 11.

I used Bazzill swiss dotted paper (which is really more teal blue than this scan), Webster's Pages 6 by 6 paper and packaging from a K & Co handmade embellishment I love so much I try to put it in every piece- LOVE that beige grid!!!! I also used 2 of my favorite EK Success punches double embossed dotted lace and the new large edger punch- circles.

But this is a second attempt. Where is the first? You ask- or maybe not- you are distracted by the pure hideousness of the page below.
Here it is. A definite FAIL.
MoMA- A First Visit. FAIL layout.

Here I tried to use the layout from Matisse's "The Piano Lesson" but the kraft paper is throwing the comparison off- as is the felt swirl ribbon. What I like about this layout is that it talks about how I screamed and screamed again for Yoko Ono's "Voice Piece For a Soprano" which gives any transgressive personality (moi) permission to do so. Dave was decidedly NOT into it. Lola tried to eat the mike. A museum guard stood by all friendly like by the 4th scream- I think I was freaking everyone the hell out. Blame it on Yoko- it's her project- I'm just trying to help a fellow art chick out.

Maybe I'll feel more Christmas ornament friendly tomorrow????

MuChOs SmOoChEs!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HoliDAZE! And Guineitos en escabeche (pickled green bananas)

Our Tree, 2010

This happens every year- I put off thinking about the holidays then feel like they pounced. I love the family gatherings but I hate the crowds, the clueless gift shopping, the MUSIC, the expectations... AAAARGH! I'm a scrooge at heart.
So this year- in order to break out of a particularly long introspective funk I put up our tree early. And I feel like I failed to take a good photo AGAIN.

Busy busy busy- all these trinkets to remove...

For every item I put up Lola took down 2 so it took 2 hours versus the usual 20 minutes- the tree is tiny just like our apartment. I've been ready for Lolster's tree shaking self for YEARS- all the ornaments are felt. I LOVE felt ornaments.

I KNOW Annalee is only for ladies with 3 cats but my Mom loves them so I get them when she repeat buys.

JC Penney was having a sale and I bought that awesome moving tree topper- the only thing more perfect would be if it was motorized and had lights.

The other thing I've been struggling with is my cook traditional Puerto Rican food 3 times a week vow. I barely cook ANYTHING twice a week so it's time to buckle down and DO THIS.
Here is my recipe for Thanksgiving:

Guineitos en Escabeche


  • 4 pounds of true green bananas, not almost green, GREEN 
  • 2/3 cup of rice vinegar (that's what I used- recipe calls for regular white vinegar)
  • 1 2/3 cups of olive oil- (I probably used way more than that OOOPS
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into thin slices. I tried frying the first batch and BURNED IT- rookie mistake)
  • 1/2 cup of alcaparrado (olives and capers mixed with red pepper)
  • 4 bay leaves (I used like 6)
  • black pepper to taste
  • flakes sea salt to taste (I LOVE FLAKE salt- it's an EXPERIENCE)
  • 2 pounds of chicken gizzards (yes you heard right)
Boil the GREEN bananas for 2
5 minutes- in salted water (I forgot to salt the water). Do not cut the skin before boiling or your pot will get this ICKY black ring that's almost impossible to remove- that is LA MANCHA DEL HIBARO!!! The hillbilly's spot. Anyway..

After your boil them babies, let them cool a bit, peel them and cut them into rounds. Add the other ingredients and let sit over night for best results. Boil the chicken gizzards for 30 minutes in salted water and add as well. I did not boil them- I sauteed them with garlic and onions- which was my classic mistake- DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING...

Saute chicken gizzards in olive oil for like 15 minutes get distracted by Dancing With The Stars and add the onions and garlic too early using HIGH HEAT. They will inevitably burn and RUIN THE TASTE of those already iffy gizzards. 

DO THIS: Let the gizzards pan fry for at least an hour on low heat- this will make them soft. Repeat DO NOT add garlic and onions until the very end. Cut the gizzards down to bite size pieces and add to salad. CHOMP!

That's it- super easy animal entrail salad- if chicken gizzards make you wanna puke don't add them- try your chicken muscle of choice.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Me and my father- it's complicated

Papa, cundo pasara? My Dad and I March 1975

Sometimes I look at Lola and I try to imagine how we'll relate when she's 13, 15, 18 and into her 20's and 30's. Will we fight? Will she perplex and annoy her extended family with her ideas or behavior? Will my idea of unconditional love be tested? Yes, Yes, Yes I believe.
How scary.
How can I raise a well adjusted yet assertive person? Someone who strives to "get along" but can also yell STOP if she's not comfortable? Will I allow her to make her own decisions and mistakes? Will I be a "helicopter Mom"?

That's my current relationship with my Dad. Complicated and perplexing. We don't speak. I love him. I miss him. But I don't CALL him. How sad. How strange. But I feel like he's not interested in me, my problems, my ideas, my family and I resent that I always have to be the one to say I'm sorry.
So this is a message to my Dad. And a reminder to myself on what mistakes have already been made and need not be repeated.
Papa, cuando pasara?

Ok so the subject is heavy but the actual piece isn't- why? Not sure. I wanted a piece I could scan (hence the 11 by 8.9 size- oops!) and I wanted to use up some of my favorite scraps left over from previous projects. Here you see  pieces of pearl swirls fro Basic Grey Zva Creative and Prima, burlap ribbon, Anna Griffin flocked paper and a canvas textured brown background paper from DCWV pad that I got from Marshall's for like 5 bucks.

OOH that reminds me... This weekend I went shopping- at Marshall's- and found SWELL tape for a DOLLAR. That's RIIIIGHT- a dollar. I was about to plunk down 10 buckaroos the day before but slowly backed away from the counter. I am SO GLAD I DID!!!

I TOTALLY CHEATED the stitching- it was so crooked I laughed my ass off when I saw the final piece. I photoshoped the upper and right hand sides completely and frankly I'm just as proud of the photoshop retouching as I am of the stitching. which is funny considering the TITLE OF MY BLOG!
hee hee heeee.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Made the Paper Issues Page Specialist DT HOOOOOO HAAAAAAA!

Paper Issues Blog Design


 I was chosen for the Paper Issues Page Specialist team. YAAAAAAYYYY!!!

This amazing and wonderfully accepting group has weekly challenges and LOTS of new posts so you can learn and laugh. I feel like I'm going to spend all my scrap time reading everyone's blogs.


Once again I have to thank MOJODAWN for sending the info my way and encouraging me to apply- thanks woman!!! She made the team too- OF COURSE!!!

Here's the link:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

80's child

I was born in 1974 so really I'm a 70's child. I have many cherished memories of those early years but it was the crazed era of the 80's that really influenced me. I wanted to use some images I took while visiting the meat packing district in Manhattan last year.  On this particular day, ads for an art show were plastered on the walls and Madonna's face was EVERYWHERE. I simply went MAD with photos. I'm in LOVE with this page.

Written on the side are all the things I remember from the 80's Yuppy prep, E.T., Sea Wees Dolls, Atari, Pac Man, Menudo, New Edition, Prince and those black rubber bracelets I wore by the armful. I tried to attach one to the page but it didn't make visual sense.

 Since my parents had us watch the news, I remember lots of current events- Ryan White and AIDS, The Space Shuttle Explosion, Baby Jessica and Mary Lou Retton. Then there are things specific to growing up in the South Bronx: Graffiti on subway cars, using rubber bands and safety pins to make the bottom of your jeans "skinny", artist Keith Haring, pervasive use of crack cocaine (NOT BY US), Electric Bugaloo, Soul Train, Grand Master Flash and break dancing which STARTED in the South Bronx and spread everywhere.

My parents were VERY good at shielding us from the drug scene but it was so pervasive in the Bronx we would regularly see hundreds of empty crack vials spread out on our school playground floor. They glittered in the morning light. Their tops came in red, white, yellow, blue, purple, light blue an I remember wondering if each was a different flavor! My brother, 2 sisters and I were so naive we would pick them up and collect them. Then our Mom found our cache and FREAKED OUT. David has a similar story about growing up in Brooklyn with the SAME freak out coming from his grandmother. And in Brooklyn, boys would fold up the hem on the jeans to make them skinny.

Here are a couple of detail shots. But really, I just liked how the photos looked.

I just love how GEOMETRIC this design came out. The photos dictated everything. Those walls are now totally different- maybe I'll go shoot them again.

For this layout I used Bazill kraft paper, a bingo card, blue circle tape from the August Kreatorville Kraft Kit, strips are from a New York City street map and some AMAZING Autumn Leaves letter stamps which you can check out here. Oh and Smooch spritz in Midnight and Silver Foil. Alphas are from American Crafts and I got them on Artfire.com.

This was so fun I'll probably be doing some more layouts on "wall art" Williamsburg has so many amazing graffiti walls! I wish I had taken photos of the subway trains and Keith Haring murals we used to see all over the place when I was growing up. I had a Kodak Disc camera and used to shoot all the family events- yes even at 12 years old. Holy canoli!!! I can't believe I forgot to include that in the page!!!! I LOVED my Kodak Disc camera!!!

Let me put an end to this trip down memory lane- Miss Lola needs her Mommy...

Muchos SmOoChEs!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book MANIA!!!!!!

A section of my crammed bookcase.

One of my intellectual friends from college, Tre Northern, sent this list via facebook. He highlighted the books he had read (WAAAY more than me)- I've read all the bolded ones. I was gratified I'd read so many and frustrated I had so many left to read. Maybe one day I'll have read this entire list.... How many have YOU read??

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.
  • 1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (This is everyone's fave Jane book- I love it but my fave is Persuation)
  • 2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (awesome awesome awesome)
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (Jane is too self sacrificing for me- I wish she had kicked more ass)
  • Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (The last one was the kicker)
  • 5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I still have my 8th grade copy- great book)
  • 6 The Bible- (Ok I NEED to read it- it's a critical I do so but so far I've just read Genesis)
  • 7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Wanted to strangle the entire cast- everyone is a JERK in this book!!)
  • 8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (keep picking up then putting it down in frustration)
  • 9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (The series FALLS APART after the first book. I mean alien tripods with wheels???? W.T.H PHILIP?????)
  • 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (I can fill an entire novel on how much I hate Dickens.)
  • 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (Read all these awesome ancient chick lit books)
  • 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  • 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  • 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (UNFAIR! These should be separated into individual works!!!)
  • 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  • 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (read after I read the other books- put it off 'cause I thought I would hate it)
  • 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
  • 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (I find this protagonist whiny and obnoxious- very hard to finish- wanted to SLAP him!)
  • 19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (GREAT book- WHACK movie)
  • 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
  • 21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell 
  • 22 The Great Gatsby - (Hard to read because you see the end coming a mile away and it hurts )
  • 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy 
  • 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Dude once you get over earth getting blown up you have a great time!!!)
  • 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Never will I waste time with this insanely long book- sorry)
  • 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck  (Slogged through this and glad I did)
  • 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (All time favorite Victorian book. Alice is a snooty impatient chica just like me)
  • 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (I would drive like Mr. Toad. Yes I would)
  • 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (Will be reading this soon- LOVE the Greta Garbon classic movie)
  • 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  • 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I kept wanting
  • 34 Emma -Jane Austen (Emma is obnoxious but you end up loving her conceited & prejudiced butt anyway- WIERD!)
  • 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (This is my fave Jane book- MAJOR dramz in this plot!!))
  • 36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (FUN!!! GREAT READ)
  • 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Can't do it- can't get through this sad book)
  • 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  • 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (This book is flagrant orientalism)
  • 40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne (DUH!!! This is standard kid reading!)
  • 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (Wonder if I would be a pig dictator if given the chance?)
  • 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Everyone's read this no?)
  • 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (A MUST read!)
  • 44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  • 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  • 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery 
  • 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  • 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (Margaret is required reading for all feminists)
  • 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (there's a black and white film good as the book)
  • 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
  • 51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel 
  • 52 Dune - Frank Herbert (My Mom is obssesed with Dune and so I had to read in order to understand)
  • 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  • 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Ahh Jane- if only you'd lived into your 80s)
  • 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  • 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (Teacher assigned- made me HATE Dickens- HATE HATE HATE)
  • 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (hard to read- made me very angry)
  • 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  • 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (This man is a GENIOUS)
  • 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (My sister brought home all the Steinbecks on hardback and I read most of them- SO GLAD I did)
  • 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (sick bastard- great book)
  • 63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  • 64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (HARD to read HARDER to put down)
  • 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (OMG Alexander is the best adventure writer EVER)
  • 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (Read it so I could take some modernist inspired photos- FAILED)
  • 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  • 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (Wanted to strangle the woman the entire time then read the sequel! ??? I know!!!)
  • 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  • 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (Call me ISHMAEL. That's the name of my future son- if I have one)
  • 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (Cannot abide Charles Dickens- HATE his style HATE!!)
  • 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (LOVE Victorian horror)
  • 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (Read The Little Princess too!)
  • 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (need to get on with reading this man's books- he's great)
  • 75 Ulysses - James Joyce (I heard this is one of the hardest things to read in the western cannon. Is it?)
  • 76 The Inferno - Dante (College assignment I'm deeply glad I read)
  • 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  • 78 Germinal - Emile Zola
  • 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (Read it after watching movie)
  • 80 Possession - AS Byatt
  • 81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (love the movies- will skip the book forever)
  • 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  • 83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (Extremely hard for me to get through first chapter)
  • 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (Read it 'cause the movie was HOT)
  • 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  • 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  • 87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White (Everyone should read this!!! How about "Trumpet of the Swan"?)
  • 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (I know!)
  • 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (This TOTALLY counts for like 10 books!)
  • 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  • 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  • 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (My Mom read this to me)
  • 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  • 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (Made me cry cry CRY)
  • 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (Been on my list forever but never read)
  • 96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  • 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (My 6th grade art teacher gave me this novel and started my Romantic lit craze)
  • 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (read while on vacation in Costa Rica- awesome!)
  • 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (read during summer camp)
  • 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (tried but found it sorta boring and LONG)
Missing- Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Prachett, Jamaica Kincaid, Sheridan LeFanu and like a thousand others but that's just my opinion. If you include Bridget Jones Diary but not these guys you have ZERO Brit bookworm cred. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Date Night

Goodness Miss Lola is changing SO MUCH (and driving my BATTY!) She won't nap, she won't let me put her in her crib, she won't let me wash dishes never mind trying to be creative. Is this normal? But I can't fill this post up with complaints- life is short and so are digital attention spans so here are 2 layouts for this week. The first is about the always welcome "night off":
Date Night using Penci lLines sketch 213
Pencil Lines sketch 213 by Laura Harrison

Is it totally wrong that I look forward to Grandma's night all month? It's the only night I get 8 hours of actual sleep! Even when Lola was a NEWBORN I got more sleep than I do now. Oh sorry- I said NO complaints woman!

I used another Jenny Bowlin Core'dinations paper, Smooch silver spritz, a teeny bit of my PRECIOUS magic mesh and some left over packing material for this. The "I heart NY" buttons are photos lifted off the net but I'm planning an expedition to ChinaTown to get the actual thing- page on THAT to come- ChinaTown is fun but also incredibly vexing.

Here is an INTERESTING page.  My best friend Kinsella Valies GOT MARRIED!!!! In JAPAN!!!! In a KIMONO- or rather TWO gorgeous kimonos. And the KICKER????? Wait for it... WAIT FOR IT...
Kinsella's Most EXCELLENT Wedding
WHO feels like a tool for not attending? I DO!!! I DO!!!!! Kinsella is now my official hero and I love her forever and ever and EVER!!!!!! More pages on this friggin' AWEEEEESOME wedding to come!!!!

I was so happy I found a solution for this page! I really wanted to commemorate how I felt but I had no photos since Chella's wedding shots are still M.I.A. (hint, hint HIIIIINT) The shots were totally lifted from K's facebook so they are low rez- that's why they are so itty bitty. 

For this page, I cut up of some Amy Butler paper (a designer I LOOOOVE) and made things happen with some 7 gypsies transparencies meant for ATCs. I really wish there were more victorian floral tranny designs on the market.....

THANK YOU MOJODAWN for the leaf pins and the notebook paper! I love the package of goodies you sent my way- I'm working on an equally fun thank you!!!

And that's it!

Muchos SmOoChEs!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If I had a kit club it might look like THIS

I will not be starting an economic venture any time soon as I can't even keep my socks organized in their drawer but IF I had the energy and the resources AND a local scrapbook depot I MIGHT have a kit that looked like THIS:
ACK! Aren't those papers AMAZING???? I'm SO into numbers right now- and writing and doilies and glitter....
 The 12x12 papers are from this AMAZING store on artfire.com- http://www.artfire.com/users/SusansScrapbookShack
These are all "vintage" papers. I love finding these because they are unique and because I seem to have run out of new stuff to buy. I will be storing (read- HOARDING) these because they are waaay too pretty to use. The first is from Basic Grey and dates to 2007- wow. Not sure why that impresses me but it does.

But why no new page you may ask? Or maybe not- you got better things to think about! But I will answer that question anyway. Miss Lola seems to think it's perfectly normal to wake up at 2am to play and screams her head off till we get up and bring her to bed with us. Dave and I both look like zombies. And before you say YOU'RE SPOILING THAT KID know this- I live in a 400 square foot box. Our entire apartment is size of most people's living room/dining room combos. So when the baby screams she might as well be in bed with us- there is NOWHERE TO HIDE. Plus Dave refused to let her scream herself to sleep at 6 months old and I was too tired to start a fight over it at 2am then and now I'm too tired to fight at all. So the baby gets what she danged well wants- which isn't much just not to be alone in a scary dark room all by herself.
Lolster (4 months old) wide awake at 3am. She somehow managed to get out of the baby wrap. 

So lemme post about something AWESOME that happened to me a bizillion years ago (oh alright- 1998). I got a spot in a group gallery show. This was a career high point for me but I didn't go to the opening. I was volunteering for AmeriCorps then and I was actually in the middle of tornado relief in Oklahoma City where I was really needed so I wasn't about to leave. So here are some shots taken by my Mom- told you she was awesome.
Multi photo installation with earth from different parts of the Bronx in jars up front.

My installation in relation to pieces by other (now famous) artists- should have stuck to THIS instead of trying to go corporate!

Inside shot of brochure- that's not my painting.

Kinda cool huh? I let life dictate that doing something that made money was more important than pursuing an art career and did I ever learn a lesson- joining the rat race was by far the most miserable time of my life. I have to thank my current scrapbook obsession (and Miss THANG, Lola) for centering me and showing me back to my true calling.
Onto the next page!!! Tomorrow!!! or Sunday.. maybe!!!!

Muchos SmOoChEs!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making the page COUNT

OK so if you know me at all you know I can't make numbers play nice- the closest I come to math ability is estimating the discount from a given price but any true shopaholic knows how to do that.

I also wanted to hint at a growing concern of mine- HOW AM I GOING TO HELP LOLA WITH HER HOMEWORK WHEN I CAN'T EVEN DO LONG DIVISION?????

You are thinking THIS crazy chick is getting WAY ahead of herself! "Lola" is thirteen MONTHS old! But I've worried about this for years. I worried about this in college as I blithely took my art courses (in a school with no "core" curriculum requirements- which I transfered to in order to avoid math).

 I want to raise a strong (Amazonian), Independent, Science/Math positive NERD Why? They make the mega bucks! DUH! How can I do that when I need help with ANYTHING having a number? Ever try making a recipe for 4 into a recipe for 8? MATH IS NEEDED! Ever try to cut your paper for a proper birthday card? AAAARGH! MATH! Call your sister in London to chat about her upcoming wedding and listen as she discusses the cost of hotels in Euros? MATH MATH MAAAATH!

So I did THIS:
For my fave sketch site PENCIL LINES
Pencil Lines sketch 212 by Sasha Farina
I LOVE the Die Cuts With A View "Hitting The Books" paper stack- it's GORGEOUSLY geometric. You will see many new pages with this stuff. I also used Sassafrass Lass cards and Alphas, Hambly tranny (transparency- not a Hambly staff person with innovative sartorial proclivities) Cosmo Cricket numbers and my trusty UNI BALL gel pen- I LOVE THAT JAMMY!!!!

AAAAND finally- how did I get that amazing photo (shot while I was in college by fellow art shooter OZZIE CRUZ)? It's a Polaroid Transfer. Look it up please- that technique was amazing. R.I.P since you can no longer do it because Polaroid went out of business and discontinued making the pull apart film you need. WAAAAAAAH!

I'm sure Apple has a cool  iPhone app that imitates the look but nothing NOTHING feels as good as cutting the paper and slapping down that jelly stuff all by YOURSELF- in 3D. That's why my blog is called ANALOG Life- 'cause I love FILM and PAPER. Digital can SUCK IT!

Muchos SmOoChEs!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Ok so I have been at this for exactly 2 weeks so I do NOT fool myself into thinking anyone is actually hanging around WAITING to actually read my blabbing yet....
I have a wonderful affirmation in the form of an award!! Like my Dad would say: "QUEEEE?!!"
THANK YOU Alia who's blog is so awesome: Please go to this blog to see beautiful girl power art: straightfromthescraploft.blogspot.com

Here are the award rules:
1. Thank the person who gave this award to you. 
Thank you Alia! You read my blog and that is like.. a bigger award!!! 

2. Copy the award and put it on your blog.
Check it!

3. List three things you enjoy.

Miss Lola's antics, shooting said antics, scrapping them

4. Give the Cherry on Top Award to five people.
These designers/bloggers are all incredibly talented and I read these blogs as soon as they are updated to learn and feel inspired.
1. Deanna 
2. Michelle 
3. Stacey 
4. Jolaine  
5. Natasha 

MuChOs SmOoChEs!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday-Core'dinations embossing

Tutorial Tuesday
HOLY CANOLI THIS IS GENIOUS!!! I now can go out and buy all the cuttlebug folders I darn well please because this INGENIOUS scrapper (Lydia Jackson) has taught me I can FINALLY use my rolling pin! I've had that thing FOR AGES and it just sits there waiting for my husband to make 1 wrong move so I can put it to use in the traditional cartoony way. Just kidding- no I'm NOT.

LOVE YOU Dave!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NYC Marathon AND Frituras Puertorras!!!

WHOOO BABY! I am SO AWESOME!!!! Before you think I'm entirely too obnoxious please know that I never get so much done in one day so I feel like patting myself in the back. For today I have two things for you my dear reader (s). That "s" is MAD hopeful!!!
I have a pictorial on HOW TO MAKE BACALAITOS (Salted Cod Fritters)
AND a new page. WOOOOW!
First the page for those who hate reading and just wanna look (that's ME).

The NYC Marathon was today. Every year Dave and I go out to see it- this year we had MISS THING- it was nice to share that with her. We got to see that Chilean miner dude limp by- poor little dude- feel better chief. Apparently more people ran this year than ever before. I was especially inspired by the deaf and blind runners braving the crazy Brooklynites who insisted on playing chicken crossed the road in front of them. Dave insists he's going to start training for next year but he says that EVERY year!

I like how this page came together in 30 minutes flat. I was going to stitch it but decided to save that for another day. Broke out my magic mesh- LOVE THAT PRODUCT!!!!

And now... ONTO THE FOOD!!!
Bacalaitos are incredibly delicious and entirely UNnutritious. It's best to eat them with beer right after frying- so you get that extra bit of unhealthiness in. Here is a "sort of" recipe:

  • 1 cup of boiled and crumbled salt cod (boil for a few hours then store in fridge till you remember a few days later)
  • 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes AND sauteed (in olive oil) red pepper. (you can skip this if you want)
  • 1/2 cup of the cod boiling water- this is better than adding salt later and you need that salt to make the masa (mix) taste good. OR you can whip out some canned chicken broth and try THAT.
  • 1 teaspoon of Ms. Dash- I'm telling you you need that extra bit of "taste" with no extra salt.
  • 3/4 cup of flour. I used white but next time I'm going to try wheat.
  • canola oil for deep frying
Mix the veggies, crumbled cod and flour with the reserved cod water- add a little flour if you think the mix is too watery. Let stand for an hour of so to "set" (I watched Batman and fed Miss Thing)
It's important to get a mix that isn't too watery or to flouery (word?). You will spoon the fritters into the hot oil and you need something that won't stick to your spoon or flow off like snot (sorry). Fry the things till they are golden brown. Chomp away!!!
Here are some photos.
Tomato, red pepper & cod 

Add reserved cod water

Mix well 

Just about right consistency
Ignore THESE
Pay attention to baby that looks like THIS


Ha ha. Did you see how nasty the apartment got? Yeah- never got around to THAT but whatevs- that's what mondays are for.

Muchos SmOoChEs!!! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

CHoMP!!! My husband is a HAM.

My husband Dave has a great sense of humor- he HAS to. It's a defensive strategy for my morning self. WAAAAY back in 2006 we visited family in Salt Lake City. We got lost trying to find a mountain bike rental and happened upon The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.   YO WHAAAAT??? We simply HAD to go in. Best. idea. ever! 
My Mom works in the Museum of Natural History so I practically grew up in a science museum that takes it's exhibits seriously- it's not "entertainment",  it's HISTORY, it's SCIENCE- note the capital letters. 
TMAL had no such limitations!! They had dino bones you could walk under and touch but, MOST EXCELLENTLY, there was this totally awesome giant prehistoric shark model popping out a corner. 

Pencil Lines Sketch 211

TMAL claims to be the largest Dino Museum in the world. Uhmmm no you aren't!!!  But I'll forgive you for that particular bit of hyperole because you gave me... MEGALODON!!!!!!!!

Approximately 67 FEET in length, MEGALODON (or Big Tooth), is thought to be the largest predatory fish in history.  It fed mainly on large WHALES. GOTTA LOVE SCIENCE! Especially the kind that allows you to build large models and stick 'em onto a wall.

I tried and TRIED to get a good "AHHH!! MEGALODON!!" shot but failed. Dave walks up, strikes a  pose and NAILS IT. I took two shots and fell on the floor laughing. I love that man!

Anyhooo... I'm submitting this page for the Pencil Lines sketch 211 by Rhonda Palazzari- one of my favorite artists. Check out the Pencil Lines website- her page is amazing!!!

Muchos SmOoChEs!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pages About Me

The following three pages are about me trying to have fun exploring some of my deepest held beliefs and ideas about myself. I see myself as thoughtful, rebellious and creative. I also wanted to try to break out the more neutral paper in my collection- I love these colors but they don't exactly scream BABY or FAMILY! I really enjoyed trying to make these work and will keep working this theme in future pages.

Hernandez family portrait, 1987. One of us did not suffer the photographer's  bad breath in silence.

Had me some Holga plastic lens/multiple exposure fun.

This page was REALLY fun. I love metal, corrugated paper and plastic bubble wrap!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hope SPRUNG! September 2010

I created this page in September 2010 for Lola's first birthday. I found I was hugging her entirely too hard that week. I was, and still am incredibly, fantastically, overwhelmingly grateful that I got to keep her. I'm telling this story because it is truly the central story of my life. I have had a very comfortable, no problems kind of life. Then I was told that most probably my daughter would either die in utero or shortly after being born.

Hope Sprung! September 2010

This is strikingly awful news for any expectant parent. For me it seemed doubly so because I had waited to so long to have a baby. David and I are both in our mid thirties but we were together exclusively for 9 years before we got married. We love each other and both wanted a family but we kept thinking we needed to wait for the perfect moment- for financial "security", for the "grown up" feeling, to buy a house- all the excuses people use these days to extend the teenager stage for just 1 more year- or at least it seems that way to me now.
Then 1 day we decided Ok NOW. We found out I was pregnant right away (WOO HOO!!), next day I was out of a job (there went financial "security") and 3 weeks later I was given the news that a large Cystic Hygroma was growing on my daughter's neck- it was 9mm which is incredibly large for a baby 4 months in development.  I was told that it was a signal that there most likely was a "terminal" genetic or heart defect in the fetus. I was given a battery of tests and 6 weeks later I was told they were all negative but the doctor STILL recommended we "terminate" the pregnancy due to the overwhelmingly strong possibility of a mechanical heart or lung defect in the fetus. But no one could give me a definite answer- no test could be 100% negative. I had a decision to make and no expert, no doctor, no scientific fact- information always being my fall back position- was going to help me make it.
Against all logic and reason I drew up inside reserves and found I believed with all my heart that this baby is going to be okay. My Mom and David agreed and we fought our own fears and those of our entire family to make sure baby Lola was born- and here she is 1 year later!!! She was 6 weeks premature and struggling through a diagnosis of fetal hydrops where fluid had accumulated around her neck and both lung cavities but after 2 months in the Columbia Presbeterian NICU she was ok- no defects or observable problems of any kind have developed. 
I wanted to post this because after I was given the first set of bad news I started doing research and it seemed the odds were very much against my pregnancy having a positive outcome. I want to give hope to other parents- yes the odds are very slim but the possibility is there. I have proof- she's walking, smiling and yelling for Dada at this very minute. And for that I am grateful and will never again doubt the power of hope, motherly intuition and a fantastic medical team.

As always- muchos smooches!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teething, Flu shots and separation anxiety- OH MY!

Impatience runs deep within my family- why wait when you can get it all done NOW so you can get back to reading "Emma"?? (For the 5th time!) Knowing Lola had that particular string of letters within her genetic code I should not have been surprised to see not 1, not 2, but FOUR new teeth. Add three "12 month" vaccinations, her rising separation anxiety and you've got THE PERFECT STORM. 

I've heard Moms talk about it but being an ignorant firsty, I always thought they were exaggerating. Silly human!!! My normally quiet, smiley and self soothing tot is now a nexus of dissatisfaction and seething rage I didn't think I was going to experience till AT LEAST year 12. Put her down- CRY, Pick her up- CRY. Bottle? CRY. Raisins? CRY. Beans and avocado (her fave)- CRY!!!!! CRY CRY CRYYYYYYYY!! What kind of of Momma am I? DO SOMETHING!!!! Sing! Dance! Cry along? Pass out in terror? 
It's been hard but I don't have 4 teeth cutting my gums to ribbons so I don't get to complain. WOMAN UP chica!!!!

Then Grandma visits and thank goodness- SILENCE. Giggles, pitter patter- peace.

So this entry was SUPPOSED to be about my newly invented BEEF STEW but I've decided to give a huge HUGE shout out to my FABULOUS Moms instead. My Mom Teresa and my Mom Reyna. These women are awesome Abuelas. Patient, gentle, accepting, FIERCE defenders of Lola in ways I can only aspire to match. I watch in awe- women who don't smile at my cheesy antics LOVE my baby- love her wholly and unconditionally. It's such a blessing to see that and know that they looked at my husband and I that way too- once- before we cut school to hang with our boyfriends (me) or came home puking drunk with our high school buddies (him). So last week, (before THE EVIL happened) I made a page for each and I tried to include things I knew they would like- lace, flowers, and the colors pink and blue. Love you Mom. Love you Reyna!!!!
3 bellas Nietas. Para Reyna- una Grandma sin igual.

Just The 2 of Us. For my Mama whom I love and appreciate with all my might!!

Thank you- gracias!!