Sunday, June 3, 2018

Handmade cat potholders

I made these potholders as a gift for a partner's birthday.

After much deliberation over fabric options, I bought the jumping cats fabric at Gather Here in Somerville, MA and the other fabrics at Joann's Fabrics in Brockton, MA. I usually use secondhand fabrics (for environmental reasons), but this time I really wanted to make something inspired by his style, so I needed more options.

I took these photos after he had used them a few times, so they're a little dirty. Also, the stitching is imperfect, but he loved them, and I like them anyway.

They each have a little pocket to put your hand in.









Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Recent illustrations

Some mail art and illustrations I've made recently. The map is meant to be Union Square in Somerville, Massachusetts.






Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Handmade Mother's Day card

I made this card for my mom with gel pens on card stock.



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Beautiful food

Some attractive food I've eaten recently.

Spinach quiche with avocado

Banana with peanut butter, coconut, almonds, and raisins

Monday, February 26, 2018

TV & Movie Recommendations!

Recently, I've been watching more TV and movies than usual. This is because my partner Ryan is really fun to watch shows with. We chat and make comments while watching, and afterward we reflect together and analyze the things that most interested us.

One result of this is that I now have lots of shows and movies to recommend!

Here are some of my favorite things that I've watched recently.

Most of these are available on Netflix.


Atypical




Atypical follows the story of an autistic teenage boy (who loves penguins) trying to make sense of crushes, family, etc. It also follows his incredibly hot sister (pictured), what it's like for her to have an autistic brother, and her love and family life.


Big Mouth


Image result for big mouth

Big Mouth is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about a few middle schoolers who are going through puberty. The show features their "puberty monsters" (pictured) who tell them to do questionable things like freak out at their parents, orgasm at inappropriate times, etc. Includes some great scenes of girl sexual empowerment.


Black Panther


Image result for black panther

This movie was great. I'm not that familiar with super hero comics, but Black Panther stood on its own. Not only is it an entertaining, engaging action movie with complex characters, but it also explores some really interesting questions about poverty and aid. Also, the costume, hair, and makeup design is outstanding.


Queer Eye


Image result for antoni queer eye


I did not expect to like this show nearly as much as I did. I had never seen the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but I expected this to be a totally shallow guilty pleasure watch for me. But that was before I fell in love with Antoni, the show's chef (pictured). He has a ridiculously cute smile, but more importantly, seems like a genuinely nice person who cares about the guys that the group is trying to makeover. Also, he wears a Strokes band T-shirt in almost every episode.

Actually, all of the Queer Eye guys seem to genuinely want to help the guys they're making over live more fulfilling, successful lives. Even Jonathan, who I found annoying at first, more or less won me over by the end of the season.

The show also delves into topics of race, police brutality, connecting over political differences, and the varying ways that straight and queer guys express their gender (there's a cute scene where one of the more butch Queer Eye guys is teaching his more femme colleague to pose for a camera, and vice versa). While a makeover show isn't going to address these issues as carefully or in-depth as a more serious show or documentary would, I actually thought they did a pretty good job (other than sometimes being condescending to the guys they were making over).

Possibly my favorite thing about this show, though, is how the Queer Eye guys express affection physically, both with each other and with the guys they're making over. They kiss on the cheek, hug, pat on the back, etc. to show affection and to offer comfort. A lot of the guys they're making over seem uncomfortable with this (to varying extents), and while I think it's important to respect people's bodily boundaries, I also think they are doing a powerful thing by breaking down the walls around men and touch. I think it's possible to push people to overcome this discomfort, while also refraining from touching people when they seriously do not want to be touched, and my hope is that the Queer Eye guys are careful about navigating this fine line (though I can't tell from watching the episodes, which are, of course, edited).

(This section is much longer than the other sections because I just finished watching this show, not because it's better than the others.)


American Vandal


Image result for american vandal

I didn't expect to like this show very much either, but I ended up being so into it! It is a mockumentary about a high school senior, Dylan, (right) who is accused of spray painting penises on dozens of teachers' cars in the school parking lot. Dylan is known among his classmates and teachers to be not only a trouble maker, but specifically a notorious dick-drawing vandal. While he admits to being a regular drawer of dicks, Dylan is adamant that he is, in the case of the cars, innocent. A sophomore at the school, Peter (left), decides to take up his case and make a documentary that explores whether or not Dylan was involved in the crime.

What's great about this show is how accurately it portrays teenagers. They're each complex characters, some more likable than others, and watching them felt so true to the experience of being a teenager.

This show also does an amazing job of mimicking a true crime expose, like Serial. I was on the edge of my seat at many points throughout the season.


Easy


Image result for easy Prodigal Daughter

This show follows a different group of people each episode, and as the show goes on the people start to meet each other.

My favorite episode is about a teenage girl from a Christian family who is mad at her parents. She starts to take an interest in Christianity and finds that some of the messages resonate with her, but is frustrated by the hypocrisy of many Christians. This episode was really relatable for me because I became a devout Christian when I was a teenager, and had some bad experiences with religion.

Another thing I loved about this episode was its depiction of a passionate teenager. When teenagers find a cause that is important to them, they will often throw themselves fully into fixing it, because they're generally less jaded than adults and are more likely to believe that things can be changed. Watching this episode was a helpful reminder to myself that things can change, and I should go all in when I care about something.

Also, this episode has some great body-positive and sex-positive moments.


Love


Image result for love show

This is another show with very real characters. That's mainly why I like it. It follows Mickey and Gus, two 20-somethings living in LA and trying to figure their lives out. They meet when Mickey is fighting with a cashier at a gas station convenience store in an attempt to convince him to let her pay via IOU. Gus comes in and offers to pay, which is a relief because the cashier was not having it.

The show follows Mickey and Gus as they get to know each other, which is a messy process.


Masters of Sex


Related image

Masters of Sex is a show about Masters & Johnson, a real-life sex researcher duo starting in the 50s. I was excited when I heard about this show because I learned about Masters & Johnson in college, and am fascinated by human sexuality. The show discusses human sexuality, sexual dysfunction, homosexuality, etc. The personal lives of the characters can be a little dramatic, and I found Bill's character to be frustratingly unlikable for most of the series, but Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) is super hot, and they do explore some interesting stuff in their personal lives as well.


That One Episode of Black Mirror That Wasn't Too Disturbing For Me


Related image

I wish the rest of this show wasn't so upsetting, because I loved this episode and would love to watch more!

The episode tells the story of two young singles who meet on a dating app in a futuristic world where dating is done very differently. I liked the characters and thought the concept was interesting, but I don't want to give too much away, so I'll stop here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Beautiful things, in photos

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum 
Rain on my windshield

Bathroom window at a church in Jamaica Plain, MA

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Illustrated Boom Boom the cat glitter holiday ornament

Happy December!

I made this Christmas tree ornament for my friend, with an illustration of her cat Boom Boom. I also used lots of glitter, because why not?

I drew Boom Boom on white card stock, then pasted him onto gold glitter paper which I cut into a circle using zigzag scissors. Then I cut a piece of cardboard into a slightly larger circle, wrapped gold tissue paper around it, which I secured with glue, and gathered the ends of the tissue paper on the front, to be covered by the glitter paper. I also added some extra glitter on top of the tissue paper to give it more sparkle. Then I used a hole punch to make a hold for the ribbon.






It's so cute in a little gift box!

Sunny travels, in photos

A lovely diner somewhere on the southern east coast

Sunflowers 
Grinnell, Iowa was so charming

Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Downtown Boston, in photos

Street festival in the North End 
Carousel in Boston Common

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Illustrated pecan pie magnet and fabric bag

I made this glittery magnet for a loved one whose favorite pie is pecan.

I drew the pie on card stock using markers and colored pencils. Then I covered it in a coat of Mod Podge, added a little gold glitter, and stuck a magnet to the back of it (on top of another layer of card stock to keep it firm).






The back of the magnet

I made this little fabric bag to put the magnet in.



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Bright lights, in photos

Hot air balloon festival in Kingston, RI 
Hot air balloon festival in Kingston, RI
At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston