Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fun with clay

I am now on my 2nd 25 lb bag of clay for my ceramics class. This feels sort of glutonous to me, but I guess it's all for the sake of being productive.

I took the last of my 2nd bag home to play with making some tiles and other things from slabs of clay, and I wanted to try my letterpress stamps with the clay too.


Results are mixed, I think. This is a sneak preview of my "Missouri" print! I guess I'll use it as a trivet or something.


I carved a little rubber stamp for this one.


Then I made a tiny house which made me realize that the Art Dept.'s houses are REALLY worth the money. It's hard! And takes tons of time! I don't know how they do it! I love my Mother In Law for getting me this one for Christmas!!

So tonight is the last official pottery class. Of course, I have tons of things in process, so I'll have to go back to glaze, etc. before the end of the summer semester.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:10 AM :: (1) comments

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photos from Philly

The trip was so fun, educational, blah blah blah, but not really exciting in the context of this blog. I'll just post you some pics and tell you that we ate at the Waterworks restaurant (Chilean Sea Bass, lobster asparagus couscous, octopus and cheddar gnocchi and to drink a watermelon mojito and a kiwi margarita. Be very very jealous.) by the art museum and I didn't have my camera because it rained on my way there and I wimped out and left it at the hotel.




The Comcast Building:

The Comcast Experience. Super cool huge TV in the lobby. Awesome.


Loved this color combo. Sorry to the lady whose bum just got World Wide Webbed.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:44 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mad printing is happening

The sad thing is, I can't show you moste of it. I feel it would be unfair to post wedding invitaions on here before they get mailed out. I have 2 on the drying racks right now, though so stay tuned!

I did print some cards with a new logo for my etsy shop. I will use these as inserts that go with orders. I just love the teal on kraft paper.

cards copy

I'm off to the big city of Philadelphia for work for the next couple of days. I'm so excited! I'm going to have Starbucks! I've broken the only-on-Fridays habit of my Nashville days, but I haven't had any for 10 months!!! Mmmm.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:27 PM :: (4) comments

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fortune has turned my way

This was the fortune I got with dinner on Friday night. I don't think I fully took advantage of the stars aligning on Saturday, but I'll try again today!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:06 AM :: (1) comments

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wedding weekend.

My co-worker Sara is having her wedding reception tonight. Here are the cupcakes!


Here's what I did this morning. My arms are still sore! It was major labor, and even with 4 of us took almost an hour. That lard-based frosting is hard to handle. And not very delicious, so I wasn't really tempted. I was using every muscle in my arms to pump it out of the bags. That sounds really appetizing, doesn't it?

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 5:30 PM :: (3) comments

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Fit Reigns Supreme!

Last weekend we went to Lifestyles Furniture in Columbia, Missouri, where they are famous for their futons. Out of all the purchases we've made for the new house, this was by far the most pleasant. The manager/owner was the NICEST man in the world.


The owner didn't believe that we could put this whole thing in our car. We weren't so sure either, but Fit it did! The box was 8 feet by 8 inches by 3 feet! and then there was the mattress, which lucky for Jason was comfy to lay on.

He asked us to give him a "we made it safe" call when we got home.

We think we should write Honda a letter telling them how awesome our car is, and how we've put a huge toilet box and a lawnmower box in it one day, and the next another huge toilet box and a huge bbq grill box. And then we both fit in it too!

Here's the total view of our car from this post.

So much for those gas guzzling SUV's. We've got all the room in the world and money in our pocket.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:18 AM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scenes from my life (and photoshop stuff)

I've finally figgered out how to get my images bigger here in blogger. It involves me uploading them all to my flickr page, which I consider to be a painful extra step, but hey. I do what I can for you guys!


These are some photos that I took into Photoshop and played with. I started out by using some of The Pioneer Woman's (thanks, Ree!) Photoshop actions, but then I did some monkeying on my own as well.


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Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:39 PM :: (2) comments

More Letterpress States Coming Soon!

IMG_3125 copy

I'm working on a few more U.S. State prints. I have the photopolymer plates made, I'm just finishing up all the wedding invitations I have on my plate before printing these babies.

Can you spy which states are coming up next from the photo above? And I have a few free prints going out to some people when they're all done. Reminder: If you send me a suggestion for the wording that goes on any given state and I end up using it, I will send you a free print!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:09 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Friday Night Menu

Friday I was off work, so I stayed home and played housewife. It was so very gratifying! Although, I think if I did it everyday, I might get frustrated---but maybe not. I cleaned, cooked, walked downtown to the Post Office, Library and to my favorite antique store.

According to Jason, we finally had enough boxes unpacked to have everyone over. Don't get me wrong, there are still boxes. So many boxes. But they're mostly relegated to the spare bedroom and the various closets. I'm working on it!

Dinner for 8:
BBQ shredded beef: This was such an easy crockpot recipe, and was DELICIOUS! Enough food for probably a dozen people

Corn on the cob

Shish-kabobs: peppers, onions, pineapple and cherry tomatoes marinated in olive oil with rosemary and sea salt, then grilled.

Baked beans

Watermelon slices

Homemade ice cream: from Ben and Jerry's recipe. Mmmmm. I freakin' love my Cuisinart ice cream maker. I used my Tahitian vanilla from Trader Joe's.

And to drink: Watermelon lemonade. {via goodLife eats} YUM. YUM. YUM. So flavorful, tart, and watermelony. I used my immersion blender for the first time and it worked like a charm. I had so much of this left over that I think I'm going to make a sorbet in the ice cream maker.

So finally, the reason we bought our house came into good use. What a lovely inaugural run. Next we need to work on lighting and getting some chairs for a seating area on the lower portion. One thing at a time!

I spent all weekend printing my sister's wedding invitations. I'm wobbling on whether to post them or not. I may have to wait until she's sent them out so I don't spoil any surprises. I did 6 runs of 200 cards!!! Darn my tiny press.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:34 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New Subject

So in Columbia, Missouri, there's this big university. I happened to have four very rewarding years there myself. At this big university, there is something called the Craft Studio. In this little corner of heaven you can join as a member, take classes without the pressure of school credit, and use their ceramics, photography, jewelry making and wood shops to your little heart's content. I love this place. I spent a lot of time there during undergrad.

My friend Caroline and I signed up for a 5 week pottery wheel class, and last night was our 2nd class. I wanted to get the lay of the land before I started taking pictures. Those are her bowls up there. She's doing awesome, and it's her first time!

It is DIVINE. I'm always sad on Wednesdays because it's another whole week before class again.

These are my pots. I can't seem to help but to make the same shape--and not the one I want--over and over again. I made a plate last night by accident, though. My ultimate goal is to make a cake plate by the end of class. We'll see!

After class we went downtown and ate ice cream at this magnificent place: Sparky's. They make homemade ice cream in the most amazing flavors. I had Les Bougeouis with chocolate chunk, (Les Bougeouis is the local winery), and it tasted just like I had churned it at home! But better. Way better. This is dangerous.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:59 PM :: (3) comments

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tiny Road Trip Weekend (And the Kitchen)

I had Friday off work, sort of. My sister Lauren and I had planned a quick trip up to IKEA and the Renegade Handmade store in Chicago.

Friday morning I get a call that I need to stop by a farm in St. Charles, Missouri (on my way to Ikea) and take some photos of a farm and its farmer. I was pretty excited about this prospect because I'm always moaning about the quality of photos I'm given to put in a layout--so this time I could take them myself.

I was a little worried, however, about being a hypocrite. I always tell our writers to stop taking photos in the middle of the day when the light is horrible. On Friday I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to continue on to Chicago before 2am.

I had a great time shooting out in farm country (only a mile from an engineered community with little boxes all the same). There were beans and corn and planters going over bridges galore. Goldmine! Unfortunately, I was a little pressed for time. And now I can appreciate what our writers go through when taking photos. It's a little distracting to try to talk to the farmer while thinking about if you should have brought a ladder, and how this photo is going to look in layout.

These grain bins show a watermark from the flood of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers last Spring and Summer. Farming is a hard life. I said that to the farmer, and he said, "No. It's a good life. It's treated me really well." He was a really sweet man. Been married for 60 years.

I picked up Larny and we headed up I-55 to stay with my college roommate for the night before all of our adventures the next day. I got a happy meal, and Albert Einstein was in the bottom of the bag! I always forget that you get a toy in those things.

See? It really IS the happiest place on Earth! I think I broke Lauren at Ikea. Then the next day I was exhausted and sickly feeling. I had an Ikea hangover.

Here's the kitchen and a portion of our haul. I'm sick to death of stud finders and allen wrenches, let me tell you. But I was even more weary of the grape-vine buffet thing (heaviest thing in the world, no wonder the previous owner didn't want to move it.). Now it's on the covered deck where it will serve as a drink/food serving station when we have people over. Like next year sometime. Jason says we can't have people over till all the boxes are unpacked, and frankly I just don't see that happening anytime soon. We're getting closer, though!

Hey Jenny--I got that stainless steel table thing in the AS-IS room!! Everything was an additional 20% off in there. I thought of you!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:17 AM :: (4) comments

Monday, June 01, 2009

The studio actually works!

Eureka! It works! I was putting off actually trying to print in my new studio. Don't know why. I think I felt like the magic of a good impression wouldn't work in there. I was scared. But here's to just jumping in! Nothing like 3 more recipe card orders to light a fire.

The printing area is in a corner, but I get a great view out the window of my landscaping, and I set up my small cheap paperweight collection on the sill, so I have something to look at while printing. What did I look at before? I never thought about it, but I like the new view.

Can I just say I'm thrilled with how the yellow photographs? Thank you. I LOVE it!

Shona turned me onto iced herbal tea. Why didn't I think of that? I've been living with this in my hand for the past week: Trader Joe's Pomegranate White tea over ice. Mmmmm.

Time to go blow dry my hair for work, oh, how I hate thee, blow dryer!!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:56 AM :: (2) comments