Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Text + Photo = Laziness on My Part

This month's challenge at Takeout Photo was Text + Photo. Marc did some great tutorials using Photoshop and posted a lot of inspirational ideas. I'm just lazy, if we're going to be honest (well, that and I don't have Photoshop of any kind on my computer), so I used my new-found friend the Mosaic Maker as a creative crutch. This is my interpretation of the theme, complete with punctuation (because I'm just OCD enough about that kind of thing).


A Mosaic of...Me (because I'm just THAT self-centered)

I saw this on The Scoop and thought it was a cool way to share things about myself and associate them with pictures. Flickr is fun! I love the mosaic tool... so don't be surprised if you see more popping up on the blog.

1) Sarah 2) Real Italian Pizza. 3) Boring Hallway 4) The red one 5) David Boreanaz 6) Apfelschorle 02 7) Door - Morocco 2002 8) This picture didn't work... don't quite know why 9) Painter's corner 10) incurable laughter 11) The Listener 12) blonde/brunette


1. What is your first name? (Sarah)
2. What is your favorite food? (real Italian pizza)
3. What high school did you attend? (Orem High School)
4. What is your favorite color? (red)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (David Boreanaz)
6. Favorite drink? (Apfelschorle) Update - apple juice mixed with sparkling water--this is NOT beer, people. :)
7. Dream vacation? (Morocco)
8. Favorite dessert? (crème brulée)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (a painter)
10. What do you love most in life? (laughter)
11. One word to describe you? (listener)
12. Your Flickr name? (skbrunette)

Look here for instructions on how to do it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Post-It Notes...

... make me happy. Especially these, which I think are hi-larious. You can find them all (and more) through KnockKnock. Some of their stuff is kind of cranky, but the ones pictured below make me laugh.
Can't you just picture yourself checking the boxes and happily slapping one of these on someone's computer monitor?
I especially love the little 'P.S.'-type check boxes in the lower right-hand corners.





Friday, September 26, 2008

Color (Hue) Test

Jessica at How About Orange linked to this fun color quiz. And since I blabbered so much about how I love color, I thought I would see how I did. Not too bad! I only missed seven.




Thursday, September 25, 2008

World Art Presents: Norman Lewis, Frank Stella, and Barnett Newman

I recently purchased "World Art: The Essential Illustrated Edition" from the Borders Bargain shelf for ~$10. And I love it. It's not as thorough as the book Amy gave me (1,000 Years of Painting), and I wish it were formatted a little better, but overall I really like it.



What's more, it opened my eyes to a lot of artists I've never heard of whose art I love. Mostly Abstract, Abstract Expressionist and Minimalist painters. (Big shock, I know.) (Ooh, and I just discovered this while I was looking for the previous links. Wow. Watch out!! This is a gold mine of discovery.)

I've discovered that color truly moves me. It speaks to me really deeply. I know that sounds all artsy and wierd, but I can't explain how profoundly I was impacted when I saw some of the works pictured below. They almost made my heart ache and left me breathless...but in that really good, "Wow, this is so beautiful it makes me want to cry" kind of way. (Don't be afraid. I'm not actually losing my mind.)

So, here are a few works of some of the painters this bargain book introduced to me.



Aren't these incredible?
I recognize that my tastes may differ greatly from yours, but I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of the things I've been discovering of late.
I've still got a list of artists whose vignettes I enjoyed in the book that I am still learning about. More to come!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tagged by Miss Yessica

Got Tagged by Jessica (at work, not my roomie/cousin).

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes, I do.
2. Do you own a gun? Heck no.
3. Wax or Shave your body parts? Both.
4. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends on the doc.
5. Real or fake nails? Real.
6. Favorite Christmas song? O, Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night
7. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? The milk from my cereal.
8. Can you do pushups? Yes, but not very many.
9. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Seriously?? I have no idea how to choose... I have almost 100 pairs of earrings!! It's probably a toss-up between the earrings Happy bought me in July and the red coral earrings I bought in Berlin last May. But I love my glass cocktail ring from Florence, too.
10. Favorite hobby? Painting, photography.
11. Do you have A.D.D.? Sometimes I feel like I really, really do.
12. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? I'm a perfectionist/procrastinator. I'm pretty sure this runs in the family.
13. Middle Name? None.
14. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I wonder how much of the extended family are perfectionist/procrastinators... Why didn't my parents give me a middle name (not that I really want one, just wondering their reasons, if any)... I need a new pair of black pants.
15. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Dr. Pepper (as of a few days ago), water (as of a few weeks ago), and juice mixed with sparkling water (since last summer in Germany).
16. Current worry right now? Selling my house.
17. Current hate right now? Selling my house.
18. Favorite place to be? In nature by myself or with someone who doesn't feel the need to talk, because they recognize the difference between quiet meditation and awkward silence.
19. How did you bring in the New Year? I don't remember... how sad. If I was with you, please don't be offended.
20. Like to go? To my new water aerobics class.
21. Hate to go? To the gas station. So depressing.
22. Do you own slippers? No. I threw my only pair away a couple of weeks ago.
23. What color shirt are you wearing? Red.
24. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I haven't ever, but it would probably be nice.
25. Can you whistle? Sure can.
26. Favorite color? Red or blue.
27. Would you be a pirate? Only if I got to have super short hair, really big earrings, and maintain excellent oral hygeine.
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? I usually don't sing or listen to music while I'm in the shower. It's a very relaxing time for me.
29. Favorite girl's name? I like less common but not crazy-out-there names for girls and boys. And names that can be easily shortened so they don't have really awkward nicknames.
30. Favorite boy's name? see #29
31. What's in your pocket right now? I'm wearing a skirt, so no pockets.
32. Last thing that made you laugh? An e-mail from my coworker with recordings of her former coworkers' out-of-office voice mail messages. Should I be worried???
33. Best bed sheets as a kid? I don't know... they were sheets.
34. Worst injury you've ever had? I've been pretty lucky and haven't had too much. I sprained the bones in the top of my foot during a soccer game once and had to be on crutches for a couple of weeks. That's the worst I can think of.
35. Do you love where you live? Hmmm. Yes, but not enough to stay there.
36. How many TV's do you have in your house? One.
37. Who is your loudest friend? Probably my friend Gena. She has the best laugh, and her voice can carry really far.
38. How many pets do you have? None. Thank heavens.
39. Does someone have a crush on you? Of course! Who wouldn't? :)
40. What is your favorite book? Anthem by Ayn Rand
41. What is your favorite lolly? I don't really eat suckers...
42. Favorite Sports Team? BYU Cougars, of course!!
43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping... ahhhhhh...
44. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? "You know, self, you should really keep your blackout curtains open. The slow brightening of the morning sky when you do that helps you to be more alert when your alarm goes off." - that's the gist of it.
45. Worst habit? Watching too much t.v.
46. Do you play an instrument? Nope. Wish I did, though. I would love to play the piano, viola or cello, and the guitar.
47. How long does it take you to get to work? Three to five minutes depending on the lights.
48. Plans for the weekend? Singles activity (barn dance, ew), Organ Loft, Bridal Veil Film Fest, General RS Meeting
49. If you could eat anything in the world right this second, what would it be? A huge plate of fresh mango, raspberries, and nectarines.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Love Rugby -- who knew??

A friend of mine (who was also one of my mission companions) invited me to her rugby match this morning. She plays for BYU, and they played UVU this morning in Orem.

What a fascinating game! It's more interesting than football to me (though I still love football) because it doesn't stop as often, and it seems like there are fewer rules. There is no padding, no helmets, and you can pull people to the ground by their jerseys. The downside? One girl broke her nose today, and another was carried out on a stretcher with a potentially serious neck injury.



Yikes.

Still, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing another game.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Scentsy Supply Pictures

Scentsy consultants: Please e-mail me if you are interested in the items pictured below.

To my family: Feel free to ignore this post completely.


Purple file box


Green bag (there are two of these available)


Silver Business Card Holder

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kandinsky

Amy introduced me to the art of Wassily Kandinsky, and one of his paintings has become an all-time favorite of mine.

Farbstudie Quadrate

(The colors are usually brighter than depicted here... more like the one below)

I also like this one, simply entitled Farbstudie.

Some people might find these to be too bold, too visually chaotic to hang in their own homes, but I wouldn't think twice about putting this up in my house (just not in my bedroom, which I prefer to keep more calm and monochromatic-ish) (I know that's not a word. Oh, well).

What do you think? What are your favorite paintings/artists? What kind of art do you put up in your house?

Friday Faves - Museums

I'm starting an ongoing series of randomness on my blog. Each Friday I am going to post about my favorite things in a particular category. The categories are totally random. If you want to know about my favorite _________ (fill in whatever your heart desires), let me know and I'll put it on my list of 'Faves' to post about. I would also love to see comments below with your favorites on that day's topic.

The inaugural Friday Faves is all about my favorite museums. Definitely a difficult decision, but here are those that are, in my opinion, the crème de la crème.


1. The Musée d'Orsay in Paris. LOVE it. Impressionism, photography, furniture, sculpture... it's just amazing. It's converted from an old train station, so the building itself it really beautiful as well. Bonus: it's not so huge that you can't ever get through it. It's completely doable.


2. The Bode Museum in Berlin. I just remember it being so full of light, and the way they displayed their pieces was just breathtaking--the different works of art seemed to interact with each other in a way that doesn't happen in other museums. (This is actually one of the things they are known for, and was apparently quite the revolutionary way of displaying art when they did it.)


3. The Borghese Gallery and Museum in Rome. They had really beautiful works displayed and the grounds were really nice. However, there is a 2-hour time limit (not enough), and it isn't extremely large as far as buildings go, so it did feel a bit crowded when people stopped for too long to look at something (and touch it!!! I about slapped these teenagers that were looking at a statue at the same time as my family, and they just reached out and rubbed it like it was a good luck charm. Seriously, people. Have some respect--if not for the art itself, then for the fact that it's someone else's property.).


Runners-up:


The Pergamon in Berlin. I LOVE the Ishtar gate. What incredible color.


The Louvre in Paris. Enormous and exhausting, yes... but truly worth it (time and again). Maybe if I ever move there I'll get to see the entire thing once and for all.


The Egyptian Museum of Berlin. GREAT pieces here. I was just too exhausted to linger...


Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Wish we would have had more time there.


National Gallery in London. Probably rivals the Borghese for the number three spot, to be honest.

Who Has Time to Come Up With These Things?

I've always loved watching contraptions like "Newton's Dream" at the Clark Planetarium.

If you also enjoy these small and entertaining wonders in engineering, watch this video. It's great.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pizzeria 712

Today I got a lovely surprise just before noon when my Mom called and invited me to lunch.

We ended up having lunch at
Pizzeria Seven Twelve. Sooooo very tasty. They use sustainably farmed products ("whenever possible"), focus on in-season produce, and they use a brick oven to make their deee-lish pizzas. They also have great salads and offer three or four different kinds of panini (which I haven't tried yet).

They have funky art by local painters up on the walls, the kitchen is open to the entire restaurant, and everyone who has ever helped me there has been extremely friendly; all around it just has a great atmosphere.

Next time any of you are in Orem and have a pizza craving, try Pizzeria Seven Twelve. Yum.


*That's it for my very unofficial review. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Challenging Pleasures of Art

In the September/October newsletter from the Orem Public Library, they included an excerpt from Dana Gioia’s commencement address at Stanford in June. Gioia is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. His address really resonated with me, so I thought I would share parts of it with you (with emphasis added in multiple places). You can find the entire text here.
Please note: This is not me preaching... I just found myself agreeing almost out loud with so much of what he said, I wanted to pass along the thoughts that he so aptly conveyed.

Marcus Aurelius believed that the course of wisdom consisted of learning to trade easy pleasures for more complex and challenging ones. I worry about a culture that bit by bit trades off the challenging pleasures of art for the easy comforts of entertainment. And that is exactly what is happening—not just in the media, but in our schools and civic life.

Entertainment promises us a predictable pleasure—humor, thrills, emotional titillation, or even the odd delight of being vicariously terrified. It exploits and manipulates who we are rather than challenges us with a vision of who we might become. A child who spends a month mastering Halo or NBA Live on Xbox has not been awakened and transformed the way that child would be spending the time rehearsing a play or learning to draw.

If you don't believe me, you should read the statistical studies that are now coming out about American civic participation. Our country is dividing into two distinct behavioral groups. One group spends most of its free time sitting at home as passive consumers of electronic entertainment. Even family communication is breaking down as members increasingly spend their time alone, staring at their individual screens.

The other group also uses and enjoys the new technology, but these individuals balance it with a broader range of activities. They go out—to exercise, play sports, volunteer and do charity work at about three times the level of the first group. By every measure they are vastly more active and socially engaged than the first group.

What is the defining difference between passive and active citizens? Curiously, it isn't income, geography, or even education. It depends on whether or not they read for pleasure and participate in the arts. These cultural activities seem to awaken a heightened sense of individual awareness and social responsibility.

Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world—equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Art addresses us in the fullness of our being—simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory, and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images.

Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions. And it remembers. As Robert Frost once said about poetry, "It is a way of remembering that which it would impoverish us to forget." Art awakens, enlarges, refines, and restores our humanity.
You don't outgrow art.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bridal Veil Falls

In light of Camille's death at Bridal Veil Falls (this week last year), I have a hard time going there very much.

I've been thinking that I should make the effort to go hike the trail there in honor of Camille, but I just don't know that I can bring myself to do it. I am certain I would look at every overhang, cliff, or narrow strip of trail and wonder if it was the spot where she fell. (Morbid, I know. I can't help it--I know that's what I would do.)

This month there is an Outdoor Film Festival going on there. I thought it might be a good 'transitional' activity to get me to Bridal Veil Falls for more than about three minutes at a time.

What do you guys think? Have you ever consciously tried to change your negative associations with a certain place?

The Organ Loft - a.k.a. "Edison Street"

Last night I went to The Organ Loft on Edison Street to participate in the first installment of their fall Silent Movie series. Click here to find the Organ Loft on Mapquest.

I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical about going, but it was a BLAST!!


The cool thing about the Organ Loft is that they have this Wurlitzer organ front and center, and as they show the silent film they have someone playing the organ LIVE to provide sound (and great random sound effects, too). It was incredibly fun, and something I will definitely do again.
This has to be the coolest thing I have done in Utah in a VERY long time. Have any of you ever done this? If not, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair, Don't Miss It...

... (who can fill in the missing lyrics? Who even knows where this title inspiration came from??)


As any of you who read Jessica's blog already know, we wandered up to Salt Lake for the Utah State Fair last weekend. Such fun.

I love the state fair... even though it seemed like all we did was eat. We didn't plan very well, and everyone wanted different food. So, instead of splitting up and meeting in a designated spot, we ALL waited in line with EACH person.
Regardless, we did have time to see and experience some of the finest things Utah has to offer:


Square Dancing

Ginormous Butter Sculptures of Farm Animals

Navajo Tacos (my personal fave)


Deep fried PB&J/Twinkies


And... the lovely Mody Dick ride. Which was a lot more fun than it looked like it would be. Awesome!


Can't wait until next year!! Maybe then I'll go on this ride...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Labor Day - Arches National Park

On Labor Day I went to Arches National Park with Mom, Dad, and our new friend Alexandra (who is visiting from Germany for some job training).


It was a good time, even if trying to take a picture of Delicate Arch without someone doing every imaginable GQ pose all over it is like asking for a Christmas Miracle...

All in all, it was a fun --and exhausting-- day in one of my favorite places on Earth.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Testing...

So, no one has ever been able to receive automatic updates from my blog, and today it just bugged me enough that I tried to do something about it.
Here's hoping.
If you ended up here because you got a notification that I updated my blog, please let me know in the comments -- and if you ended up here without a notification, bless you... and please leave a note in the comments anyway just to let me know if it is/isn't working.
Gracias.