Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Weekend!

From beginning to end, this week has been a nice reminder of how wonderful friendships can be. On Monday, A. and I walked over to a friend's house to participate in her photo project and ended up staying til 3 in the morning talking. It still amazes me that even though I've only known her four months, it feels like we've known each other for years and I left her house that night feeling so happy that we bonded. (She was later inspired to write this poem after our visit.) The best part? I seem to have finally(!) found an arts and crafts buddy in her so we're going to start meeting up to work on our creative projects together.

On Thursday night, another friend hosted a karaoke night and once again I was thankful that my boyfriend is never "too cool" to act silly and join in on the fun. And yesterday, I was beyond touched when a group of writing group friends decided to band together to barrage another dear member with text messages of love as he left the city. So yeah, people can be pretty awesome sometimes. I hope you're all having a lovely weekend and sharing smiles with your loved ones.

I'm not a fan of pies or pink, but this first bday party is quite sweet and sophisticated.
Whimsical emoticon rings.
How to make crepe paper flowers and a DIY envelope surprise.
This birthday in a suitcase would be great for a picnic at the park.
Anyone else thinking of attending Paper Source's A Midsummer Eve Affair?
I can't wait to go to this National Stationery Show meetup in a couple weeks.
A geeky anniversary gift that made me immediately punch A. in the shoulder
and ask, "Why don't you ever do that for me?!"
It happened again when we saw this.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Chatter

Me: Hey, have you heard of this tumbler blog called Kate Middleton For the Win? They have funny captions with these pictures like--
A: Who's Kate Middleton?
Me: [in five octaves higher than normal] WHAAAT?!
A: What? Who is Kate Middleton?
Me: Oh my God, stop asking that! Maybe I can pretend you didn't say it.
A: Who is Kate Middleton???
A: Ohhhhh, so that's what that was about.
Me: Are you being serious right now?

Meanwhile, I didn't even get wrapped up in the royal wedding hoopla/ media frenzy that's been going on for months and I still knew who the woman was. It also made me wonder...

Me: Man, why can't I marry a prince?
A: Well, you know I'm named after a prince...
Me: Two, actually, but what's that going to do for me?

Me thinks it's time to shop around!


Music Painting

Just watch as the creativity grows with each passing note...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter or just your regular old Sunday for those who don't particpate. I'm happy to report that the papier mache egg project was a success and that their recipients paid me in smiles, kisses and thanks. Totally worth the hours I spent playing with watery paste and tissue paper.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Friday!

And happy Earth Day/Good Friday/Easter weekend! I really miss those days of dyeing Easter eggs and tearing through fake grass-filled candy baskets, don't you? So tonight I'm going to try to make these cute papier maché eggs and filled them with goodies to give away. The instructions sound simple enough, I just hope I can find all the materials (like liquid starch of all things) and have enough time to make it happen. Here are some other curious findings from around the web.

For the papier maché-phobic, here's another version of the Easter surprise egg.
Fold bunny napkins for your dinner guests.
Remember these Pantone chip magnets? Well you can make itty bitty Polaroid magnets too.
Curl up in a good book.
Check out these redesigned fortune cookie messages.
Bake egg-shaped mini cakes.
Imagine a dreamy set-up for your backyard.
Use eco-friendly spring decor ideas from designer/author/party planner David Stark.
So which of my friends is going to make this crêpes party happen?
Give someone a message tucked inside an egg. The problem? It's too adorable to crack!
Your moment of cute.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 150 Makers Blog List

I'm regularly cultivating my Google Reader by adding new blogs and sites that cater to my arts and crafty needs in order to learn how other creative types approach similar projects. I also rely on my feeds to get a sense of current trends, what's been making the rounds and figure out what's missing from the chatter. And sometimes I just want to scroll through during a lazy moment and look at pretty photos and the amazing work of such talented artists in the hopes of gaining motivation to one day be as successful as many of them have been.

I've managed to grow my list by visiting the bloggers I admire and seeing who they look toward for ideas. Google Reader also offers recommendations based on the feeds you already follow and the topics that interest you. It's taken a while, but I like the collection I've amassed these last few months both on the reader and on Twitter, which also recommends people to follow.

But with so many blogs out there, surely many wonderful ones are living just beyond our radar. Well those of us looking for new sites to visit or who want more daily doses of creative inspiration are in luck because Evie S. just did the grunt work for us. She scoured the web in search of the top 150 design, inspiration and DIY blogs - or Makers - out there and the chosen ones have been ranked using different criteria such as traffic, Google page rank and Google Reader subscribers. And with links to each each site embedded right on the list, you'll have an easy time seeing which of your faves made the cut while discovering some new sites along the way.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

Or at least I wish it did. But despite the current chill and gray in the city, I'm eagerly anticipating the full arrival of spring (oh, if only I could fast forward through the impending allergies though). Inspired by Jessi Arrington's rainbow parade/birthday celebration/charity fleamarket last Saturday - in the rain no less - and my wish for more blooms minus the gloom, here's another roundup of all things cheery and colorful. Life's pretty good and it's going to get better.

Images:,,,,, and

Monday, April 18, 2011

Smile Because Monday's Over

It never fails. I start every Monday morning with the best intentions and plans for a uber-productive week...and then Monday afternoon rolls around. BUT! Thank goodness for Tuesdays and exciting news. I won't say what it is just yet, but it has to do with writing a fun story for a new magazine that I've mentioned here in the past. For now, here are some videos that are making me smile tonight:

La Machine à Voyager can take me straight to France, s'il vous plait.

A funny version of the royal wedding entrance. Is anybody crazy excited about it cause all I keep thinking is "Some girls get all the luck, man."

As for wedding invitations, this paper record player takes the cake for creativity.

And here it is, your Moment of Cute:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Souls and Stardust

"We are stardust," he explained to me. "Every atom in your body was forged in the heart of a star and scattered throughout space when it exploded. Forget Jesus, the stars died for us."

Dating an atheist who fiercely believes in the scientific method (and has an atom tattooed over his heart), can sometimes suck the romance right out of love for me. There's no talk of soul mates, magic or "meant to be's." The universe did not conspire or bring us together and we could have just as easily connected with someone else on that December night. That's why when A. said the above as we were debating the existence of souls, I laid there next to him and replied, "That has to be the most romantic scientific thing you've ever said to me."


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Quick Trip to Yankee Stadium

Yesterday morning, A. asked me if I'd like to head to last night's Yankees vs. Orioles game with our friend Zack. A fun and spontaneous trip with the bf to finally see the new stadium and watch Zack in ballhawking action? "Sure!" I immediately replied. We got our tickets and headed over to the ballpark right after work for the 7:10 PM game. The weather was threatening, but we hoped the drizzle wouldn't pick up before the game was through.

Unfortunately, the rain started to come down as soon as we found Zack, who had already caught three balls from some Orioles players, had given one away to a little girl and was now in the middle of a phone interview for a Phillies blog, but we weren't going to let a little water scare us away. So we stood in the outfield bleachers under our umbrellas taking photos and waiting for the game to begin. Twenty minutes later, the game was officially called off. *womp, womp*

We hung around for a bit and joked about our luck before heading to Zack's to watch baseball and basketball 'til 1:30 in the morning. By the way, he's meticulous when it comes to recording details of every game attended, so go and read his blog entry about last night's game-that-didn't happen here. Oh and guess what? I later found out that my sister, her boyfriend and coworkers were also by the stadium to attend the game. Too bad I didn't know beforehand otherwise I would've swung by Billy's Sports Bar to say hello.

Image: Zack Hample

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warm Weather Fashion

I'm rarely ooh'ing over fashion (much to my bf's and mother's dismay), but I really think this outfit is just so pretty. Well except for the car purse (curse?) she's rockin' there. And I don't think I'm bold enough to wear socks with heels like that so kudos to her for working her own style. But that trench, in that coral color, over that flirty dress...perfect for spring. Then again, anything that doesn't involve four layers, gloves and a "survival over style" mentality would be pretty good too. (via Paper*Cakes Finds)

Really, after winter has finished stripping me of my femininity, I'm usually quite excited to wear sandals and dresses again. What about you?


Monday, April 11, 2011

"Looking Into the Past"

Inspired by his love of history and fellow Flickr member Michael Hughes' "Souvenirs" series, Jason Powell started printing out old photographs of places and then holding them up in the modern day location that the original was taken. I love the precision in each execution and how the colors frame the old black and white photos. Just goes to show you how much the world around you changes over time. Still waiting on those hover cars though. (via exPress-O)

Images:,, and

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Are You Strategically Racist When Dating?

Most of us have our preferences when it comes to dating. Maybe you like funny men or women of a particular body shape, but race could also factor into who captures your attention and who's going to strike out right off the bat. Perhaps you'll only go for Asian women or deem dating a Latin man completely unacceptable. We all have a right to choose who we date and, hey, some things just turn us on more than others, but at what point does being specific become straight-up racism?

I don't know when I stopped being interested in my own race. It could have happened after I'd heard enough horror stories of friends' dealings with smooth-talking Latin players who apart from being amazing on the dance floor - and in bed - turned out to be terrible human beings. But more than likely it was when I went off to college and a student body from around the globe had me interacting with people of all backgrounds and made me wish I were mixed myself. Suddenly I was curious about every other culture but my own; I already know what being Dominican was all about!

Asians, Bajans and Haitians, I crushed on them all and imagined someday starting a family where two different cultures happily co-existed under one roof. I'd teach him about mine and he about his. And then I zoned in on my type before entering grad school: cute and nerdy skinny white boys.

"I could never date a white guy," my Latina friends have said. "Are they...small?"

"And then he won't understand when I curse him out in Spanish!" others have exclaimed. "I need someone who gets where I come from without needing to explain everything."

Yes, there are times when I wish I could tell A. things and have him instantly know what I mean or that he could easily communicate with my parents, but I've also enjoyed teaching him how to dance bachata, what I mean when I call him inteligente after he makes a dumbass move and the deliciousness that is moro con pernil or mangu con queso geo y salchichon. He might not be fond of two major Dominican food groups - rice and plantains - but the man loves his salchichon more than bacon itself. And going off on him in a language he doesn't understand only serves to turn him on. (It's kind of hard to stay serious after that.)

I have friends who would never dream of bringing a Puerto Rican guy home. "Racist," I quip. I say I can't see myself with a Dominican and get the same comment from them. During an afternoon stroll with The Bantu Girl, a Kenya native, she wondered why Africans just wouldn't leave her alone.

"It's strategic racism," she offered after I asked why is it that we write off whole races from our dating pool.

Are we doing ourselves a disservice by limiting our choices or focusing on a set type? Should we just stick with what we know will make us happy? Or should we be open and accepting of the attractions that occur despite where the person is from? I think the racist tendencies creep up when we go beyond the qualities we find attractive and instead use stereotypes to automatically include or cross someone off our list based solely on their background. Family pressures, old-school mentalities, even religion also impact who we allow ourselves to get close to thus wiring our brains to see certain groups as "undateable."

Relationships and who we respond favorably to is such a complex and personal process so unfortunately I've no clear-cut answers here, but maybe we could start with the intentions behind your choices and asking yourself if you're cutting someone off because you truly feel no attraction to this person or because of the prejudices attached to his or her race.

UPDATE: I'm loving the comments you guys are leaving! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and let's keep the convo going. Also, A.'s photographer sister, Mikie, just sent me a photo she took the last time she was in NYC visiting her brother and I just had to switch out the other sub-par picture in favor of this one. It's so much better.

Image: Mikie Ericson

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bent Objects

While doing research for a story a couple nights ago, I stumbled upon the work of Terry Border, a photographer/artist who takes inanimate objects and breathes life into them often with wickedly clever results. Peanut shells, fruits and other everyday items become little creations that are sometimes left behind in public spaces for others to find. The best part? The titles Border gives each vignette. Check out his blog or his book if you're ever looking for a chuckle. (via The Huffington Post)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why Hello There!

Okay, I know I up and left you monkeybutts hanging for a while, but sometimes a girl just needs to step away from the computer and re-center herself. Deciding to take a mini five-day-long relationship break with A. told me it just the time to do so. It wasn't glorious, but I have to admit that without him to turn to or Facebook and Twitter sucking up my energy, I was able to give more time to all the other things that make me happy:

diving into my new freelance job with * a fun relationship story assignment for Latina * contributing to the June issue of T+L * celebrating a bday with family * bonding time with the sis * Making Saturday morning breakfast for Dad and the little bro * treating Mom to visits and flowers * treating myself to flowers * a three-hour-long phone call with Heidi * playing with Anonymous' baby nephew * drawing new card designs * writing a long letter to a close penpal * buying Groupons * filming karaoke vlogs * deeming said vlogs too crappy to post * laughing loudly (and by myself) to 13-year-old home movies

All these little activities just reminded me of how much I have going for me, how lucky I am and what a sad waste of time it is to spend it wallowing in misery - be it by myself, with friends and family or with a certain boy who loves me.

Not going to lie though, my self-imposed hiatus from Facebook and Twitter was LOVELY (but it's so nice to be back here).

Image: via