What kind of SXSW Geek are YOU?

September 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

Hi Everyone! If you’ve read my previous post in which I discuss my Top 100 Bucket List, you will know that one of the items on said list is to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin.

Well, for 2013, this may ACTUALLY become a reality- my agency is sending a group, and I need your help to convince them that I should in fact be included in that group.

In anticipation of this event, I’ve developed a quiz for you all to take to help determine what kind of SXSW Geek you would be.

It’s quick, easy, and MIGHT just help me get selected to head out to Austin. So take a few moments to ponder what kind of geek-hood you would fall under- I promise you’ll have fun.

Thanks in advance!!

PS, as an early thank you (because I am assuming of course that you WILL click over and take the quiz), please enjoy this photo of Disney Princesses from Dragon*Con this weekend.


Local Atlanta Street Art: HENSE

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo Courtesy of HENSE webpage

Any of you who live in the Atlanta area are sure to have seen the work of local street artist HENSE in and around town. The first time I noticed it was a few years back driving down North Ave.- on a bridge overpass, his name was plastered a few times. I kept trying to figure out what it meant- Hen-se? Was part of the word MISSING?? I’ve since, of course, learned more about him- born and raised in Atlanta, he’s been beautifying the urban landscape here for almost two decades. Street art isn’t his only medium- he also employs drawing techniques, silkscreen, and more traditional paintings, however, it is the graffiti that draws me in.

His most recent exterior work can be seen under the Marta and CSX rails on Arizona Ave.- a commissioned mural entitled “Float”.

(Photos Courtesy of Juxtapoz)

Some of his other most famous work include the following:

Atlanta Beltline, 2010 (Images Copyright Hense)

Fruition, Commissioned for the Atlanta Beltline (Images Copyright Hense)

House in Southwest Atlanta (Images Copyright Hense)

There are so many ugly areas in our city, in ANY city- it always makes me smile to see someone trying to add some beauty. Down the street from me, there are random yarnbombs wrapped around some trees- and until recently, the King of Pops mural graced the wall of the laundromat down the street in a beautiful way (still devastated it’s gone!) Hopefully next time you’re driving around in town, you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy some of these works as well.

Nerdy, Crafty, Foodie Things

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

So in my typical fashion, I started out the year saying, I’m going to post SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK! Then by the end of January, I’m spent. Well, I have been feeling compelled to write a post here for a couple of weeks now to try to get back on track, so here goes!

Since I last wrote, a lot has happened. With the help of an amazing committee, I planned and threw the 2012 Addy Awards, the biggest awards show in Atlanta for the ad industry. The theme for this year was Vintage Circus, and it was fabulous. You want some pics you say? Why sure!

We held the event at The Foundry at Puritan Mill this year, and it was an AMAZING space- exactly what we needed.

Since the theme was around Circus, I made about 70 balloon animals to use as parts of a circus-themed centerpiece. Here we have a tiger, an elephant, and a pig.

You gotta have a minstrel band.

My co-chair Mibbie and I after our speaking parts were over. Whew!

In the world of craft, I finally finished a pair of gloves that I had been working on as a gift for what felt like forever.

They were knit on a pair of DPN using KnitPicks City Tweed yarn in Orca. They were well received by their recipient, although I will say that the ridiculously warm winter that we experienced in Atlanta this year made many of my wares go little used. 😦 I also made my first sale on Etsy! Super excited about that and about stocking up the store with some new items for Spring and summer. Gift wise, I just received the materials to get started on a new super secret project for a pregnant friend’s soon-to-be-in-existence baby.

In nerdy news, I went to see Hunger Games on opening night with some friends and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. No complaints. I finally finished my 18-month long project of reading the first 5 books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (OMG books 3 and 5 separately blew me away), and am UNBELIEVABLY excited about the advent of Season 2 this weekend. I’m also very intrigued by the recently released trailer for Prometheus, coming out later this summer.

And in FOODIE news- one of the main reasons I’ve faltered in my postings on this site lately are because I actually launched a NEW blog along with three of my good foodie friends, Southern Bellies (southernbelliesblog.com). This site basically just focuses on everything about eating, drinking, and socializing in the South. What is our main goal? Just to go to amazing foodie events, eat a lot of delicious food, and have a great time. So far, we’ve been really successful! I know for a fact that the Editor at Food & Wine Magazine has seen our blog, and it’s only been actually LIVE for a little over two weeks! Go check it out! I am more likely to be posting there more often moving forward, but I will still check in here to let my nerdy/crafty side have a chance to express itself.

Anyways, Happy Game of Thrones weekend to you all! I’ll write again soon, I promise…

O Gnomo

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some of you may know that I am a bit of a fan of the works of Tolkien. It began in my childhood thanks to my uncle Glenn’s tellings of the Hobbit, grew through high school as I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was interminably solidified as the movies were released in college.

Recently, as my siblings and I were going through all of the crap in my parents’ garage in preparation for their big move to Florida, I came across an interesting find- a comic book version of the Hobbit that was buried within my uncle’s things (he passed away about three years ago, and my parents now have most of his belongings).

I took it home and added it to my bookcase, and thought, this could be the start of a cool collection. Because I have seen through the interwebs many different versions of this classic novel- and what I find most fascinating is the different ways in which the story is illustrated. As this story is, at its core, a children’s story, it is oft illustrated, and often in very intriguing ways.

I recently came across my newest WANT for this collection: O Gnomo, the 1962 Portuguese edition of the book, illustrated by Antonio Quadros. It is beautiful, and I so badly want it, but have been unable to find so far…. See what you think:


Thanks so much to Where the Lovely Things Are (one of my favorite blogs) for introducing me to this edition- hopefully I will possess it one day!

OK, I promise I will try not to write about anything Tolkien-related for at least a few posts now…

Have a fabulous weekend! Tonight I plan to have a quiet night in watching Ides of March with a friend and working with some yarn- tomorrow I plan to join some friends at a Burlesque Show and screening of Boogie Nights at the Plaza Theater right by my house, and Sunday is an Addy’s work session! Lots to do, maybe it wil distract me from the awful weather we are supposed to get….

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

First- a quick update on my Dad (I am sitting in his hospital room right now). The surgery went smoothly- they ended up doing a double bypass, and he was out around 9pm Wednesday. Since then, the issue has been the constant pain, as they have been keeping him really lucid, and all he can really do is feel pain. It’s tough to watch. The good news is, though, that the surgery was successful, and now it is just time to recover. We’re hoping he will come home on Sunday or Monday.

Now for some distraction…a post I started writing up last week.

I love festivals. I mean, round up anything for a couple of days and call it a festival, and I am likely to at LEAST attend the house parties surrounding it. Especially if the street trucks are there. One of my favorite things about Atlanta, actually, is the wonderful wonderful festival season (I’ve already bought my ticket for the first one of the year!!)

Although Atlanta festivals normally center around being warm (or HOT), drinking, and perusing crafts, I am totally intrigued by the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China. This town’s average temps during the winter are around -13 degrees Celsius, allowing this icy wonderland to exist for an entire month during January. (Those of you in the A complaining about today’s sudden cold-snap- at least we all know it won’t last!!)

I rounded up some photos of the ice castles, illuminated from within, the sculptures, and even a couple who were married at the festival. See below!

Photos Courtesy of The Telegraph UK

Five to Get Excited For

January 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

There were some good movie moments in 2011. Really, the only ones I can truly remember fully enjoying, though, were my midnight viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and The Muppets. We’ve had a recent dearth of great movie years. I think 2012 should put things back to rights. There are currently 5 movies premiering in 2012 that I am REALLY stoked for. You may have seen some or all of these trailers by now, so maybe you won’t watch them. However, I know at least for this girl, you can never watch a 2 minute snippet of an upcoming movie about wizards and hobbits too many times…. So here are the five, in order of how excited I am to see them:

Number 5: Prometheus

I don’t consider myself a huge expert on Ridley Scott’s work, however, what I HAVE seen, I’ve throughly enjoyed. There seems to be some debate (and early internal indecision) regarding the exact plot of the film, however, considering that most of the films that will be included on this list are based on stories that I have already read, maybe it will be nice to have a surprise or two?

Number 4: Brave

Honestly, I would gladly go see anything that came out of Pixar Studios. With the exception of Cars (and probably Cars 2, though, I’ll admit I did skip that one), these guys have never let me down. And a spunky redhead heroine set in medieval Scotland? SOLD.

Number 3: The Hunger Games

On a whim, I picked up the first book in the Hunger Games franchise as I saw it idling on a return cart at the library about a year and a half ago. I started reading at 6pm on a Monday. At 2:30 AM, I finally crawled into bed, dreading my 6am alarm. For those of you unfamiliar with the franchise, do not let the fact that it is a YA series deter you- these books are phenomenally fast-paced and throughly entertaining, set in a future dystopian society that uses an annual fight-to-the-death between dozens of children as a form of national entertainment. The blogosphere has been abuzz about the movie ever since it was announced probably about a year ago, and, if the trailer is any indicator, the movie should be equally satisfying. I’m especially interested to see how they depict the actual killings.

Number 2: The Dark Knight Rises

Ya’ll. Besides the fact that this movie includes Cillian Murphy, Joseph Gordon Levitt AND Christian Bale- WHOA. If the movie is anywhere near as stylish and intriguing as the trailer, this should be the best Batman yet. I mean, THAT FOOTBALL FIELD IMPLOSION! BRUCE WAYNE WITH A CANE (why???), A FLYING BATMOBILE, and of course, I love the treatment of the vertical perspective of the buildings of Gotham City turning into the Bat Symbol. Ya’ll. I’m already preparing for the post-watching depression that accompanies the last great movie in an epic series (we are talking BUCKETS OF TEARS at the last Harry Potter).

Number 1: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Could it really have been anything else? I have been anticipating this film since I shed the aforementioned buckets worth of tears upon my first theatrical viewing of Return of the King. The idea that maybe at least they would still make a hobbit movie was the only thing that could console me. As a child, my Uncle Glenn would often tell us the story of The Hobbit as a bedtime story, and I remember well drifting off to sleep to the tale of Bilbo and the trolls and the dragon. I’ll admit, I have had my moments of doubt and anguish over the many trials that plagued the production of this film. The Director changes! The legal hang-ups! But in the end, if the trailer is ANY indication, our wait wil be rewarded with a film worthy of it’s trilogy predecessor (and hopefully, my Uncle’s many retellings).

I hope that you are as excited as I am about at least SOME of these films. If not, you and I were clearly never meant to be friends.

In other news, I will be spending the next several days down in Daytona with my family, as I just learned this morning that my Dad has three major artery blockages and is going to require major heart bypass surgery. I know that this is a “routine” procedure these days, but it’s not routine for us, so any prayers and good thoughts you can send towards him and my family would be very much appreciated.

Until next time, stay gold.

Top 100

December 31, 2011 § 5 Comments

A couple of years ago, I spent some time thinking about what I really wanted to make sure that I accomplish within this lifetime. I actually developed a Top 100 Things I Want to Achieve Before I Die- I guess a bucket list of sorts. Then, I put that notebook away, and sort of forgot about it.

Recently, my friend LJ was over for a crafternoon on my porch. I just happened to pull the notebook out, and opened it to that page. She asked about it, and then I went through, and happily realized that since I created the list, I have managed to cross five things off the list. Only 95 to go!

I thought it would make it easier for me to keep top of mind if I posted it here, and might inspire me to work harder at achieving these goals in a more timely manner. So here they are!

  1. Visit Yellowstone
  2. Crochet a Hexagon Blanket (in progress!)
  3. Knit a sweater (also in progress)
  4. Write a book and have it published
  5. Drive across the country
  6. Create another oil painting
  7. Make a pop-up book
  8. Have a robust herb and vegetable garden
  9. Buy a house
  10. Have a viable wardrobe created by me
  11. Have a viable selection of jewelry created by me
  12. Visit New Zealand (and…errr… walk the Trail to Mordor, maybe??)
  13. Get married
  14. Learn to truly appreciate beer and drink it at Oktoberfest in Munich (in progress!)
  15. Swim with dolphins
  16. Relearn the guitar
  17. Become a docent at the zoo
  18. Run a half marathon
  19. Become a leisurely bicycle rider
  20. Go on an Alaskan Cruise
  21. Coach OM in public school
  22. Learn to really ride a horse
  23. Enjoy mountain hiking
  24. Host Thanksgiving for my family
  25. Beat Zelda: Twilight Princess
  26. Have children
  27. Hold a baby duck
  28. Go hang gliding
  29. Make and decorate a perfect cake (check back later- let’s see how today’s NYE cake goes)
  30. Own my own successful business
  31. Visit Eastern Europe
  32. Learn to grow and arrange flowers
  33. Consistently keep a clean, organized home
  34. Learn needle-felting
  35. Meet Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox
  36. Host a fondue dinner
  37. Relearn and improve embroidery skills
  38. Attend Austin City Limits
  39. Go on a Yarn Tour of New York
  40. Visit the Austrian/Swiss Alps, and do an Alpine Slide
  41. Develop a perfect “Ashley” wardrobe
  42. Have a craft that people will buy
  43. Contribute one or more projects to a craft book
  44. Attend SXSW
  45. Attend Dragon*Con in costume
  46. Drink expensive real champagne
  47. Create a photo album full of happy memories that haven’t happened yet
  48. Teach a class
  49. Embody a style all my own
  50. Reupholster a piece of furniture
  51. Ride a motorcyle or 4-wheeler somewhere beautiful
  52. Go skinny dipping at night
  53. Create a signature dish everyone loves
  54. Learn to play tennis and play on a team
  55. Make my own tea blends
  56. Exhibit at a major craft fair
  57. Go deep sea fishing
  58. See monkeys in the wild
  59. Visit the San Diego Zoo
  60. See the Braves play in every NL park
  61. See the Braves play in the World Series
  62. Visit Harry Potter World in Orlando
  63. Visit Harry Potter World in London (I just added this one in place of something I don’t really want to do)
  64. See Radiohead in an intimate venue
  65. See a show in London
  66. Attend a very fancy ball
  67. Go on an African Safari
  68. See all the LOTR movies in the theater again (saw the first one again last year, but alas, missed #2 and #3)
  69. Build my own treehouse
  70. Redevelop my drawing skills
  71. Do at least part of the Appalachian Trail
  72. Get a perfectly toned body
  73. Be someone’s mentor
  74. Learn a printmaking technique
  75. Go sailing away into the sunset
  76. See Elton John perform
  77. Discover a movie/series I love as much as LOTR
  78. Cry tears of joy
  79. Consistently eat healthily and workout
  80. Help save a species of animal
  81. Learn to truly enjoy the present
  82. Find a job that I love
  83. Take a beautiful photograph
  84. Be the subject of a beautiful photograph
  85. Have a vacation home
  86. Have a Wikipedia page about me
  87. Take my Mom and Dad to Disneyworld
  88. Win an award for something I made
  89. Become a comfortable dancer
  90. Build an amazing dollhouse for my daughter
  91. Go snorkeling in Australia or New Zealand
  92. Have a book dedicated to me
  93. Be a major part of an animal focused non-profit organization
  94. Dance in a beautiful garden at night
  95. Go foraging for mushrooms
  96. Live off the grid for at least a month
  97. Have my portrait painted
  98. Master the use of my sewing machine
  99. Create an app with a following
  100. Touch a member of the Big Cat family

Now here’s some photographic proof that I achieved five of my goals!!

The second course in a full three-course fondue dinner

Ready to take off on a 4-wheeler in Costa Rica

My accoutrements after winning the Agency-Wide Dip-Off for my Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Looking at Monkeys.

Surrounded by my closest coworkers at my job

Good luck to each of you in achieving your own goals!

Hopefully I can cross at least five more off when I reflect on 2012….