Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beach Spinstering: Beach Totes

beach-bags, fun-beach-bags
So after I gave you a little break from all the shopping yesterday, I'm back with more! Today's spinster shopping is Beach (or pool) Totes. In fact, you could really tote anything in these, including kittens. In fact, if you are toting kittens, please tote them to my office, let me pet and cuddle them, and come back at least  one more time this week. If you aren't toting kittens, though, you may want to fill your beach tote with things like sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, books, magazines, and more snacks. Just a few suggestions. So, if you find yourself in need of a good summer tote, see below!

1. 'Mystic Beach' canvas tote: $39.50, Roxy.comhttp://www.roxy.com

2. Kennedy Canvas Tote: $79.50, Banana Republic

3. Beach Tote Bag: $34.50, Victoria's Secret

4. M. Carter Wave Tote: $75.00, Madewell

5. Mesh Beach Tote: $9.99, Target.com

6. Basket-Weave Straw Tote: $80.00, Lord and Taylor

7. Silverlake Clear Beach Tote: $69.99, Juicy Couture

8. Showstopper Floral Jelly Tote: $79.00, Nine West

9. Cat Print Tote: $19.99, Target

10. Fold-In Wide Tote in Black/Cream Mini Stripe: $95.00, Kate Spade Saturday

Happy Shopping and Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spinster Coloring Page

loungewear-flat-sketches, spinster-fashion, sweatpants-flat-sketch
Well, spinsters, it's Tuesday, and I think you know what that means. You made it through Monday, and that's saying something. Well, at least I think it's saying something. So, in honor of making it to tuesday, I've made you a coloring page. I feel like this is kind of a good reward, kind of like when your teacher let you do crossword puzzles in class instead of hearing a lecture. My 8th grade english teacher, Mrs. Thomas, used to let us do some pretty good crosswords on a fairly regular basis. However, that's another story for another time.

So, today's coloring page is loungewear themed, including glasses, a sleep dress, socks, a bathrobe, comfy underwear, a tee shirt, and sweatpants. Go ahead. Print it out. Color it with crayons, markers, colored pencils, blue and red pens, high lighters, or just chocolate smudges from your desk candy stash. I won't judge you. Bonus points if you tweet a photo of your colored-in page to @spnstrhddiaries or post it on The Spinsterhood Diaries Facebook wall!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Beach Spinstering: Cat (swim) Suits

cat-swimwear, spinster-swimsuit, spinster-bikini, cat-bikini, kitten-bikini, beach-spinstering
Though the pool at my apartment complex won't be open for the season until tomorrow evening, this weekend was definitely warm enough for a swim. So, of course, It put me in the mood to look for some spinsterly swimsuits. While there are plenty of wetsuits, rash guards, tankinis, and high-waisted bikini bottoms out there, I think I shall save that for another time. No, today's spinsterly swimwear is devoted to the joy of cats. I tried to find all domestic house cats, but some had to be wild animals. I think this is probably fitting, though, since there are many, many different kinds of spinsters. So, below, find a list of where you can find these delicious cat suits for spinstering this summer whether it be by the pool, on the beach, in the sprinklers, or just under your clothes like Liz Lemon.

1. Kitties Bandeau Top and Kitties String Bottom: About $20.08 each, Mr. Gugu 

2. Laser Space Cats Swimsuit: About $58.80, LovelySally

3. Black Bandeau Top and Cat High Waisted Bottom: $64.00 and $68.00, MimiHammer on Etsy

4. Hurley Surfside One Piece: $85, Pacsun

5. RoKo Cat Face Printed Swimsuit: $23.99, Roko Fashion on Amazon

6. Kitty Garden Party One Piece Swimsuit: $80.00, PrettySnake on Etsy

7. Women's Black Cat Printed One Piece Swimsuit: $19.99, AMS Clothing on Amazon

8. White Cat Swimsuit: $75.00, Nasty Gal

9. Sweet Kitty Bandeau Top and Sweet Kitty Bottom: About $20.08 each, Mr. Gugu

10. The King Scoop One Piece: $297.00, We Are Handsome

Hopefully this has given you something to think about when you imagine your spinsterly summer. Enjoy, and Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Audible Spinstering: Donna Tartt's THE GOLDFINCH

donna-tartt-the-goldfinch, donna-tartt-pulitzer-prize, donna-tartt-author, donna-tartt-author-website, donna-tartt-graphic, donna-tartt-suit, donna-tartt-bret-easton-ellis
As I mentioned before, for the past two or so weeks, I was listening to Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch on Audible.com. Until now, when I listened to books on Audible, I would fade in and out, paying attention when I remembered to make an effort. With this book, however, I was wholly rapt the entire time.

I don't want to ruin the book for you, but I do want to tell you a few things I learned from Ms. Tartt's Wikipedia page. I know, I know. Wikipedia is far from being a real and reliable source of information, but Tartt is apparently notoriously private, so I did the best I could. Mostly I just want to say that I found out she's from Mississippi, and she still has the accent. I heard her on the radio, and it's rather charming. Also, horror upon horrors, she apparently dated Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho, before he actually wrote American Psycho. This I find terrifying, but she is clearly still alive and well.

Now, as for the book, I think the fact that it won her a Pulitzer Prize is probably enough of a recommendation. I can recommend it on the fact that is absolutely engrossing and action-packed. It has Art, furniture, drugs, jewelry, terrorism, travel, love, family, and pets. That isn't even the tip of the iceberg. The narrator, in the beginning at least, reminds me a little of Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye. This, of course, makes him infinitely endearing.

The book itself is a giant brick of a thing, but I must say I think it's worth lugging. I wish I had read it with my eyes, but as there is only so much time in the day, I had it read to me by a very capable reader. I loved it. But...if you are squeamish. It is definitely rated R....for all the reasons above except maybe art, furniture, family, and pets. And no, the pets are unfortunately not kittens.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spinster Shopping: Neutral Sandals!

sandals-under-$100, Cute-sandals, shopping-for-sandals, buying-sandals-online, neutral-sandals, cute-neutral-sandals, leopard-sandals
Yesterday we talked about fun, colorful sandals, but that post left out a big part of necessary spring/summer footwear. That is, we all need at least one pair of neutral sandals in order to spinster to our best ability.

The neutral sandals are the ones you wear with everything. You throw them on with a colorful dress or jeans or shorts. Their neutrality, though, doesn't have to make your sandals boring! So, today I'm bringing you ten cute neutral flat sandals under $100. Enjoy!

1. Flat Sandals With Metallic Straps: $35.90, Zara

2. Women's Shay Crochet Flat Sling: $24.99, Payless

3. Seychelles 'Brand New' Ankle Strap Calf Hair Sandal: $69.95, Nordstrom

4. Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Lakitia Sandal: $19.99, Target

5. TOMS Correa Crisscross Ankle Sandal: $54, Neiman Marcus

6. Kimchi Blue Sparrow T-Strap: $34, Urban Outfitters

7. Women's Xhilaration Dessa Braided Strappy Flat Sandal: $24.99, Target

8. Flat Sandal with Asymmetric Straps: $35.90, Zara

9. Jeffrey Campbell 'Picado' Flat: $99.95, Nordstrom

10. Splendid Congo Flat Sandals: $68.00, ShopBop.com

Now that you've ordered at least three of these sandals, it's time to stop eating in your bed and get on with your day.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spinster Shopping: Sandals!

shopping-for-sandals, sandal-collage
Hooray! It's Friday! And, since it's Friday, I figured you all may want to start your day or spend your lunch break with a little online shopping. Earlier this week, we looked at some fun beach towels, but today it's time to discuss something even more important to a spinster's daily life: Flat Sandals.

As a spinster, I find that flat sandals are really essential to my every day life in warm weather. Shoes should be both cute and comfortable, and today I've chosen a few sandals that come in bright, fun colors. As a bonus, all are $100 or under. So, check them out!

1. "Arielle" Slingback Sandal: $34.95, DV8 by Dolce Vida at Nordstrom

2. Flogg Noelle Flatform Sandal: $100, Urban Outfitters

3. Dawn Orange Nudette Two Strap Sandals: $84.66, Miss KG at Asos

4. Jungle Gladiator Espadrilles: $28.22, Asos

5. Sandal With Edging: $35.90, Zara

6. Shauna Huarache Sandal: $19.99, Target

7. Purple Flat Jelly Sandals: $28.22, Juju Seven at Asos

8. Minnetonka Maui Fringe Sandal: $53.00, Urban Outfitters

9. BDG Brighton Ankle-Wrap Sandal: $39, Urban Outfitters

10. "Valhalla" Sandal: $38.95, DV8 by Dolce Vita at Nordstrom

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spinster Love: Kids React

I won't deny that part of my spinsterhood includes laughing a little too hard at things old people also find hilarious. I love America's Funniest Home Videos, and I mourn the fact that Kids Say the Darndest Things didn't have a longer run. Again, I'm sure this is a contributing factor to my spinsterhood. But am I wrong that those things are hilarious? They are hilarious.

The hilarity of these types of family shows is why, when I discovered The Fine Bros' Kids React, I was overjoyed. Without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and share one of my favorite videos, "Kids React To Walkmans (Portable Cassette Players)" Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Springtime Spinstering: Beach Towels

Now that Easter has come and gone, I'm thinking more and more about spinstering out beside the pool at my apartment. In fact, in my Easter Basket, the Easter Bunny left me a monogrammed beach towel. It is bright and soft and so enticing.

Today, in honor of the approaching fabulous weather and sunshine and vitamin D, I've picked a few selections from the fabulous world of online shopping for your perusing  pleasure!

Here we go:

1. Dot Beach Towel: Lands' End, $39

2. "Here Comes The Sun" Beach Towel: Citta Designs on Amazon, $69.90

3. Irregular Stripe Beach towel: Tommy Hilfiger, $19.90

4. Chevron Beach Towel: Target, $14.99

4. (2 - apparently I think there are two fours.) Linea Ice Lolly Beach Towel: House of Fraser, about $23.50

5. Floral Beach Towel: JcPenney, $30

6. Linea Neo Geo Blue Stripe Beach Towel: House of Fraser, about $23.50

7. Ombre Towel for Two: Target, $19.99

8. Vera Bradley Beach Towel: Zappos, $35

9. Ombre Jacquard Beach Towel: Horchow, $34.90

10. Sand Dollar Beach Towel: Bed Bath and Beyond, $14.99

Happy shopping, sunning, and spinstering!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spinster Thoughts: Weezer Choir

weezer-choir, weezer-sung-by-a-choir, choir-singing-weezer, lots-of-rivers-cuomos, rivers-cuomo
The first Weezer album I ever owned was 1996's Pinkerton. While the album is great and certainly deserves the critical acclaim it has received, I wouldn't necessarily call it Weezer for beginners. That distinction, I think everyone would agree, is their 1994 debut Album, Weezer, more commonly referred to as The Blue Album

I didn't acquire the blue album until I was in college, some ten years after the album debuted, and it remains my favorite of anything Weezer has ever done. Every song is just something fun and different with playful lyricism and a few intelligently placed bits of harmony though I daresay Weezer's vocals aren't necessarily always as melodious as some others. Of course, I think that's probably the point.

All this being said, on my way to South Carolina this past weekend, I found myself listening to Weezer's Blue Album for the umpteenth time and just singing my spinsterly little heart out alone in my jeep that is only five years older than the album itself. About the time I got to "Holiday," though I really started thinking about how excellent almost every single song on this album would be sung by a choir.

Now, before I go any further, I think it should be noted that I am not a musician, nor do I possess any particular musical knowledge or skill. I was, in keeping with my ultra-cool image (obviously) in jazz-madrigal choir for a year in high school. Try to contain your jealousy. Yes, it was very fun. However, the extent of my interest in choirs is actually something along the lines of just thoroughly enjoying choral performances as well as orchestras and marching bands. Now we can continue.

I posted these thoughts on Facebook and received quite a few affirmations that the Blue Album being sung by a choir was something that many a person would like to witness. So, of course I did some googling. A choir like this one at St. Paul's Cathedral was really what I had in mind, and I wasn't really able to find anything exactly like this. However, I did find a few really cool Weezer covers by choirs and a cappella groups online, and below you'll find some videos!

Here's a pretty cool version of "Say It Ain't So" by an a cappella group. 

This one is cool, but I feel like I would have liked it better if they had kept closer to the original tune...still cool, though.

I really like this group, Choir! Choir! Choir!. They're the closest thing to what I was really looking for, and they seem like they're all really fun people.

Another one by Choir! Choir! Choir! Pretty fun. Also, if you want to listen to more of their stuff, they're also on SoundCloud!

So, if any of my readers out there are both choral directors and Weezer fans, consider this, ok? My birthday is in August. I will accept a CD and/or a live performance. Thank you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

SC Spinstering: Grady's Furniture

Bishopville, South Carolina is home to such excellent people as The Button King, The Lizard Man, and Pearl Fryar. This weekend, though, I discovered it is also home to South Carolina legislator, Grady Brown. While Brown is an on-air radio personality and a barber in addition to his career in the South Carolina House, he also owns a gigantic furniture store that I was lucky enough to visit this weekend.

The furniture store is attached to the hair salon, and it's across from the Piggly Wiggly. Just in case you're trying to go.  When my mom and I drove up to the store, it was colder and rainier than it ought to have been on the day before Easter, but we hopped out of the car and scurried past a bunch of rain-covered vintage outdoor furniture into a fairly large room just packed with furniture. There were dressers and tables and chests and file cabinets all stacked willy nilly in the first room, but my mom warned me there was more. This wasn't even the beginning.There was, however, a sock inside one of the dresser drawers in that first room.

Past the first room, through an open doorway was the big room. This room was actually more like a warehouse, and it was brimming with furniture, most of which was chairs. The room had its fair share, however, of beds, desks, dressers, bedside tables, mattresses, and even a vintage Corvette. That's right. A Corvette. Se below the photo for proof.

I included here some photos of some of the objects I found in addition to the Corvette. This place was truly a treasure trove. There was literally everything from a sombrero to a book about Michigan to a Corvette.

This last image is of some of the prints and patterns that were in the furniture store. There was so much in this warehouse of a store, I thought I could only really show you in pictures. If you live in South Carolina and you're in need of some chairs, I think this is definitely the place to go. As you can see in the first photo strip, there are actually chairs for days. 



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Today's post will be short as I'm very busy going to church and then eating everything promptly afterward. I'm sure you understand. So, I just wanted to share some photos of the things that will be happening.

Firstly, my mom made gluten free chocolate cupcakes yesterday, and I helped by making the frosting. Then, I got to use the pastry tip to frost them like we were in a little bakery. Click on the image to view it larger. I am really proud. I will be eating at least five of them at lunch. Don't judge.

We also, yesterday, dyed some easter eggs, and I managed to spill almost all of the dye on the new marble counter tops. So...that happened. However, look at our excellent easter eggs!

All right. Now, have a happy Easter! Tomorrow I'm going to show you something that will get your organizational juices flowing. Get yourself ready.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Concerns about Lost: Legs

So, as you know, I've been watching a pretty good deal of Lost lately. Thus far, I'm still optimistic that the Malaysia flight is just some new plot by J.J. Abrams. I really just really want that to be the case.

But aside from my contribution to the search for the Malaysia flight passengers, I have a few concerns when it comes to Lost. I've only seen two seasons thus far, but I have so many questions that I don't think will ever be answered on the show. Below, I have listed five of the most pressing issues.

1. Beards: I feel like most guys only need a gentle nudge in the direction of facial hair to grow a beard even Gandalf would be proud of. This is why, when I watch this show and see that they've been on the island for over a month, I am perplexed. Why are there not more beards? I know this show started ten years ago, but I distinctly remember guys in college jumping at the chance to grow beards in the same year season two was aired. Yet, there are not beefy beards.

2. There's only one person who is really overweight. This, I don't think is indicative of the general flight population that I have thus far experienced. Just saying.

3. Hair: Out of all the people on the plane, it is hard for me to believe that no one besides Charlie dyed their hair. If they did dye their hair, they'd be getting serious roots by now, and Charlie's dye job is mysteriously stationary.

4. They certainly seemed to have had plenty of tarps on that airplane. That's all I can say about that one.

5. Almost none of the women wear shorts. Ok, this is really the most serious one for me. Most of the women wear full length jeans that actually somehow fit them perfectly. I know it's a TV show and all, but did they find their own luggage? Also, if I were trapped on an island warm enough for me to be wearing a tank top all the time, I think I'd take it upon myself to make some cutoffs out of my jeans. Now, I assume they're trying to avoid showing the women's undoubtedly hairy legs, but really, who cares? You're stranded on an island. Grow that leg hair and wear shorts.

Perhaps all these questions and concerns will be answered and/or addressed by the time I've watched season three, but something tells me the cutoffs will not make an appearance. Mostly, I think this is because cutoffs weren't really a big thing in 2004/2005. But still.

And don't you worry. Of course I'll have a lot more to say about this as I continue to Netflix my spinsterly little heart out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spinster Dinner: Peanut Butter

When you're a spinster, sometimes you have a hard time shopping for groceries. Since you're not answering to anyone for what you buy, the likelihood that you'll wander through the grocery store buying only frozen pizza and fancy gelato is incredibly high. When you get home, it's no big deal because your'e not responsible for feeding anyone but yourself.

This past week I actually grocery shopped pretty well, but somehow when I looked in my fridge and freezer, nothing was appealing. So, last night, after completing a seven mile run (I know. Can you even believe that? I had to tell someone.), I came home and took a shower in hopes that I'd think of something I'd really like to eat while I was there in the think tank. However, nothing came to mind.

So, in my bathrobe, I started the remainder of my night with a glass of white grape juice and a few pieces of dove chocolate. Realizing I'd need more sustenance, though, I could think of nothing I'd like better than a few delicious spoonfuls of Jif Peanut Butter. I mean, sometimes that's really all that will hit the spot. And just like any spinster would, I indulged my craving on the sofa in front of a few episodes of Lost

This, my friends, is why it is good to be a spinster. Peanut butter for dinner is not even a problem. Also, this is what #myfriendsaremarried has to say about it.

So, get that jar of peanut butter out, girl. And if you're feeling especially inspired, make it some Nutella instead. You're single and  you do what you want.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spinster Love: White Grape Juice

glasses-of-juice, glass-of-juice, welch's-white-grape-juice
In a recent phone conversation with my dad, I was told that I come from a family of "people of extremes." I can't disagree that I'm a chip off the old block where obsessions are concerned. In fact, if it weren't for Netflix, I'm fairly sure I would be on TLC's My Strange Addiction for some weird behavior or other. Thankfully, though, Netflix, Buzzfeed, and the internet at large have me pretty much covered. That is, where entertaining myself is concerned.

While entertainment is where I manifest most of my obsessive and extreme behavior, I find that sometimes my consumption needs to take a more physical turn. By physical I mean eating. Chocolate  is, of course, always in the mix and will always be in my heart and belly, but drinking chocolate isn't as addictive as one might think. No, for my beverage of choice - one that can be had morning, noon or night without shame - I choose white grape juice.

Of course, red (or purple) grape juice is just fine, but functionally it's riskier than white grape juice. It stains. I also find it's quite a bit sweeter. Therefore, white grape juice is just far superior in most regards.

Without comparing white grape juice to other, lesser, grape juices, let's discuss its many virtues. Below you'll find the top five.

1. It doesn't stain, and when you eat the vast majority of your meals on furniture not traditionally categorized as "dining room furniture," this is really an important distinction.

2. It's sweet but not too sweet. I like to say it's both sweet and tart. This means you can still eat it with chocolate without wincing at the clashing tastes.

3. It has a nice viscosity. I know that wine drinkers like to talk about their drinks having "legs," and sometimes I think my white grape juice does have legs. Whether or not it does, however, is immaterial. White grape juice is the perfect texture for sipping without gulping, which means I'm likely to drink less at any given time.

4. It's a pretty color. I like how white grape juice is translucent and shows light well. It's kind of like drinking jewelry.

5. The jugs are reusable. Usually in South Carolina when you're charged with bringing the sweet tea to a party, you'll wash out a plastic gallon jug like the ones in which you would buy milk. However, when I was in New York, I found these particularly problematic as their tips aren't exactly airtight. The white grape juice jug is a perfect fix for this problem as it has a screw-on top, a much larger mouth than your standard milk jug, and it goes through the dishwasher well.

And that is why you should go have some white grape juice today. Personally, I prefer Welch's and think it's heads and tails above all others. But, if you find yourself questioning my judgment, I suggest you have your own white grape juice tasting at home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Atlanta Spinstering: Binders

On the way home from work on Monday I heard a reporter on NPR talking about the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2014. Among the winners, of course, is Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch , which has been on my Audible wish list for some weeks. And, since I had a credit for a free audio book, I started listening to The Goldfinch on Tuesday morning. So far, I am thoroughly engrossed, though I admit that I feel torn about listening to it instead of reading it. But, as we’ve discussed before, reading without a subway commute is proving to be troublesome.

The Goldfinch, in conjunction with a large-scale drawing I recently started, made the need and urge to visit one of Atlanta’s best art stores, Binders, all but imperative yesterday during my lunch break. And so I went, and it was wonderful.

For a person who likes to draw, there’s not much better in this world than a freshly sharpened bouquet of pencils and an unblemished pad of drawing paper. My specific needs were more skin-colored Prismacolors as well as an Indigo Blue or two, but I didn’t let that stop me from making a tour of the store, replete with every medium one could imagine. There are pencils, papers, paints, books, portfolios, canvases, frames, pastels, and even makeup if you’re that kind of artist. 

To give Binders a little more local flair, the aisles are named after streets in Atlanta, like Ashford Dunwoody, Pharr, and 400. On a back wall near the elevator, you can find a cork board with business cards of local artists as well as posting for classes and services offered. On the other side of the store, you’ll find a gallery, usually outfitted with some pretty impressive student art. 

If you ever find yourself in the Atlanta area in need of Art supplies, I highly suggest the draftsman’s paradise known as Binders. However, be forewarned: they do not actually carry three ring binders.

(pictured here: Top: White Prismacolors, Top Mid: Pink Pearl Erasers, Lower Mid: Canvas Framing, Bottom: Kneaded Erasers.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crisis Averted

In the wake of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mystery, I have undertaken an epic Netflix binge in hopes that I will discover just what happened to the plane and its passengers. The show I am watching, of course, is Lost

Now, I'm only about halfway through the second season, so don't ruin it for me, but for the past week or so, there's been a bit of a crisis. My streaming device, the Netgear Neo TV, was not working because of some bug with Netflix itself. Let me assure you, Lost on my laptop screen is not as good as on my full sized TV. Either way, though, I can now officially say that I understand what all the fuss was about back in 2010. This show is good. Thankfully, though, my streaming device is now back up and running. Crisis averted.

Now, as far as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is concerned, I hope they're all still alive. I hope the story comes out and they all say, "We're fine! We've been hanging out with Hurley on an island since March, pressing a button!"

If I find out anything further through my research, I will let you know. But if you've seen all of Lost, please don't let me know. I'm watching it for the first time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Obsession Confession: Pulling Weeds

Growing up, my house had had a circular driveway, and during a lengthy phone conversation or just a very nice day, I liked nothing better than to pull the little weeds that grew up between the little cracks in the pavement.

Now, before you start leaving comments telling me you have a garden full of treats for me to pull, I think I need to clarify. The weeds that grow out of the cracks in pavement feel so much different when pulled than do the weeds in the soil. There's a sort of buttery smoothness to the action of pulling that can only come from a root that hasn't been given enough soil to which it can cling. The root comes out nice and clean, ready of inspection. The weeds that grow between the cracks in the pavement are especially delightful when their roots are long and singular.

The pool at my apartment complex here in Atlanta is paved all around by little octagonal cement tiles. Spotted around the perimeter of the pool, and especially beneath the lounge chairs, is a wealth of weeds waiting for my thumb and index finger. Every time I have to pass the pool on the way home from a run, I must fight the urge to stop and have a little therapeutic pulling time. This past friday night, however, I could not resist. I knew that the people in the fitness center could see me, but I could not help myself. And while I pulled, I thought to myself, "perhaps this is one of the reasons I am a spinster."

But, I wills ay this to you all: Don't knock it till you've tried it. Pavement weeds are pretty much the best.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday Spinstering: The Dogwood Festival

Yesterday was one of the first days I've had in Atlanta that could compare to a saturday I would have had in new York. That is, there was shopping, eating, and a park. Let's hit the highlights. 

1. Buying Running Shoes:
          So, after a new record run on Friday night, my feet were not pleased. The treats were wearing off the bottoms, and my spinsterly bunion had actually poked a hole in the exterior of my running shoes. It was time. So, I googled the best place to buy running shoes in Atlanta, and the closest one was Big Peach Running Co.
          I took my old running shoes in for comparison, and I have to say I was quite pleased with the amount of care and attention I received at Big Peach. It was like a real life ASMR video. I ran on a treadmill, and the guy looked at a computer readout of my feet, and I even ran around on a little track inside the store. Overall, I am impressed. Two Thumbs up. Also, two neon orange shoes up because that's what I got.

2. Lunch at Smash Kitchen and Bar:
          I had shoestring fries, and they were excellent.

3. The Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park:
          I love a good festival. Even though I can't eat approximately 99% of that delicious-smelling festival food, I still like to be there. The Dogwood Festival was excellent with its never ending expanse of booths and this great reproduction of Edward Munch's "The Scream," but the very best part was this: There was a frisbee competition. Now, before you get skeptical and think I'm talking about people throwing frisbees back and forth, let me just tell you this: there were dogs.The frisbee competition was an excellent exhibition of humans and their canine buddies doing frisbee tricks. And it was great. They only way it could have been better is if there were kittens.

...and I hope you enjoy this screen face I made. My face is not the same shape as the original. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fashion Portfolio: Print Repeats

So, What we're going to talk about today isn't necessarily spinsterly, but it does have something to do with my spinster life in that it has to do with my life as a fashion designer. That, and I've noticed that a lot of my referring search terms have been fashion-related. So...give the people what they want, right?

We've talked before about sample fashion portfolios, including the creative parts. However, my personal portfolio also includes a technical section. Having prints and patterns in a fashion portfolio isn't totally necessary, but it's a definite benefit. So, if you want to create your own prints and/or patterns for your portfolio and you don't know how yet, just google it and watch a youtube video. Take some notes, and after a few tries, you'll probably have it down.

Now, in the creative portion of  your portfolio, include the prints and patterns you've created to go with your collection and your color story. If you're creating prints you should consider including a stripe, a plaid, a geometric print of some sort, an abstract and maybe a floral and/or conversational. Of course, it all sort of depends on the look of the collection your'e going for. For today's examples, I did two conversationals and a stripe because I wanted the prints to be spinster themed and stripes are just...stripes.

The first print you'll see here is a chocolate bar print, and it's fairly rudimentary and not perfectly spaced. however, if you click on the image, you'll see all the information you should add when you have this print in your "technical" portfolio. So, let's break it down.

1. Print Title:
          Just...whatever you would call the print. When you're actually working in real life, each company has a way they like to title their prints. There's usually some sort of coding or numeration so that there's a way to reference the print exactly when discussing with factories and vendors.

2. Color Chips:
          These are one of the very most important pieces of information on this paperwork. The color chips should call out every single color in the print and should not exceed 8 colors. I don't know if I've ever worked anywhere that could have more than 8 colors, but I have definitely worked places where certain vendors could not execute more than five colors. Just stick to 8 or under just to be safe.
          Once you've chipped out the colors (they should be colors from the palette you designated in your project), add the names of the colors under each chip. In your real job, you'll also put the color code (most often Pantone numbers) beneath the color chip and color name.

3. Hash Marks:
          Hopefully you know how to find a print repeat, but if you don't, check this out and see if it makes sense. Otherwise, youtube videos are always your friend.
          However, the hash marks are important to show where the print does, in fact repeat. The most important thing here is to make sure they don't blend in with the rest of the print. Common colors for hash marks are black, white, red, and cyan.
         
4. Print Repeat Measurements:
          Exact Measurements of length and width of the print repeat are important. This is easily measured in Illustrator, photoshop or with a ruler.

5. With a stripe:
          Firstly, I am not sure why the background of my stripe repeat is so grey. That is strange. Now, you could just show a stripe like the print with hash marks, but the thing is that stripes are really only a one way repeat. So, I usually just mark the repeat off to the side, and then I show the measurements of each stripe on the other side. Then, of course at the top you have all the other information.

And Voila! You've got some pretty cool stuff to put in your portfolio! You may work in a company that has a CAD or "art" department eventually, but if you're like me, you'll also have a job (or two) somewhere where you do your own prints. Graphics we shall save for another time!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spinster Strategy: Digital Time Capsules

hello-computer, digital-time-capsule, computer-with-hearts
Patience is unfortunately not a virtue I possess. When I run on the treadmill, I count my steps. When I'm waiting in line, I check all the apps on my phone constantly. The two minutes I'm supposed to wait for my microwave dinner to cool might as well be two decades. 

Waiting is hard for me, and sometimes the wait is longer than a run on the treadmill, a supermarket line, or an Amy's Meal's suggested cooling time. Sometimes it's months. Sometimes it's years. However, recently I have devised a plan that I like to call "Digital Time Capsules."

Strictly speaking, these don't work like real time capsules. You don't go in search of them to dig them up. However, I'll stop talking about what this plan isn't, and just tell you what it is. The plan has five steps:

1. Pick the date to which you're looking forward and mark it on your google (or other digital) calendar.

2. Figure out how many days you have from that date to today.

3. Enter the corresponding number to each day in its respective box on the calendar as an "all day event," so that your calendar would read 10, 9, 8, and so forth. 

4. Edit your events:
          This is actually the meat of the plan. When I do this, I like to number all the days first and then go back later. Say, for example, I was counting down to my thirtieth birthday. That's about a year and a half away. So, I'd number all the days, and then whenever the mood struck me, I'd go in and change my preference for any particular day (say, perhaps, day #234). In day 234, I'd write a little message to myself under the "details" section. The message could be encouraging or silly or a link to a kitten gif or a reminder that my friend's birthday is in three days. Sometimes I'll just go to whatever day is 365 days from the day i'm writing and write myself a little note about what was happening on this day a year ago. Then, I change the color of the day, and I change the notification from "pop up" to "email." 

5. Receive a message from yourself:
          So, the idea here is that I'll forget all the things I wrote, but since they're from me, they'll probably be things I'll enjoy. I know for sure I've sent myself pictures of kittens, and who knows? I may just really need to see a cute, fluffy kitten the day that email gets delivered. 

So, I'm guessing I'll be keeping you up to date on how the digital time capsule is working. Today I entered a few writing prompts for what seems like an eternity from today. We'll see if I still think they're such a good idea when I open them. Only time will tell!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What the What!?: ASMR

ASMR-drawing, ASMR-relaxation, ASMR-softspoken, listening-to-ASMR-at-work
Every Monday I like to put in my headphones and start my week by listening to the newest episode of This American Life. Though this week's episode was a rerun, I don't think I quite understood what they were talking about the first time I heard it. In the segment called "A Tribe Called Rest," I learned about something I'd never heard of before: ASMR.

A quick google search for ASMR leads you to its page on Wikipedia which describes ASMR this way:

"Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is controversial. Tom Stafford, a professor at the University of Sheffield, says, "It might well be a real thing, but it's inherently difficult to research."

After listening to the segment on This American Life, of course I had to go straight to YouTube and check this out for myself. Oh my goodness. There are so many videos. Unlike the girl on This American Life, I don't get any kind of tingling sensations in my scalp when I listen to or watch these videos. In fact, when I tried watching what they call a makeup tutorial ASMR role-play (this is actually not at all as dirty as it sounds), I was seized with a fit of giggles like the one I experienced when I was having intravenous anesthesia for having my wisdom teeth removed. However, if you can get over the silliness of it, listening to these videos without watching them can be the audio equivalent of having someone play with your hair. At least, that's what  it was like for me.

Now, of course since this is such a weird, disturbing, strange, and amazing phenomenon, I had to make my own little contribution to the ASMR craze. After all, plenty of people said that watching Bob Ross made them feel practically comatose. So behold, I have made a spinster-themed ASMR for your enjoyment. Yes, it is creepy, but I have been doing research all week, and I think this is just about right for the (apparently) growing ASMR community. So, put in your headphones and prepare to giggle. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Real Spinsters Make Their Own Butter

One of the age-old problems in this world is the making of cinnamon toast in a regular toaster. If you butter the toast and then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top of it, then you run the risk of most of the cinnamon and sugar falling off inside the toaster. If you wait to add the cinnamon and sugar until the toast is toasted, you miss the excellence of sugar that has been melted in the toaster. And do you really want to deprive yourself of such a joy? I didn't think so.

So, since I had some extra whipping cream left over after my strawberry shortcake adventure, I decided to try my hand at making some butter.

Now, apparently a lot of people actually made butter in elementary school as a lesson of some sort. I, however, didn't realize it could be made without a churn and a historical costume. A few videos on the internet, though, proved me very mistaken. After watching a few such videos, I chose my method. I would shake my butter into existence.

The method is pretty easy. You pour some whipping cream into a jar with a secure lid. I used an empty and clean Talenti jar. Then, I screwed the lid on very tightly, and I sat down to watch a little Netflix. I think I shook it vigorously for about ten minutes, and eventually, after it has turned to the consistency of whipped cream, the consistency "broke." Essentially, this means the fat started separating from the liquid, and the butter stated to form. I kept shaking until I thought the lump in the jar was about the firmness of room-temperature butter.

Once the butter was formed, I dumped the liquid buttermilk into another jar and put it into the fridge. Then, I poured a little ice water in the jar with the butter and shook it some more. I continued emptying it and adding more ice water until when I shook the butter and ice water, the ice water was pretty clear.

Once I was done with the water, I squeezed the butter in my hand to get rid of all the excess moisture, and I put the butter in a glad ware container. Then, with a fork, mixed in cinnamon and sugar to taste.

In the next part I think I made a little bit of a mistake. I put the butter in the fridge for a few hours until I was ready to make some toast. Then, I thawed some gluten free bread and toasted it, but I didn't take the butter out in time to spread it before I toasted the bread. So, I had to spread it on the toast once it was done.

The result of this experiment, however, was very much to my spinster liking. I will definitely be doing more buttery experiments in the future.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Spinster Food: Strawberry Shortcake.

I'm not sure why, but sometime in the middle of last week I started having a very serious craving for strawberry shortcake. Being gluten free, however, buying shortage at the grocery store was out of the question. Thankfully for me, though, the good people at Bisquick make a Gluten Free mix. Just so we're clear that I didn't make up this recipe, I've posted a picture from the box on this post. However, I am proud to say that I did make my own whipped cream, and it was really amazing.

Being the spinster I am, I knew that if I made this recipe without any company to share it, I would eat it all while I sat intermittently at my patio table and on my sofa. So, before I made any sudden moves toward the kitchen, I texted Megan to see if she'd be interesting in spinstering together over a little dessert. She was totally down.

Saturday morning, after going to the Atlanta DMV (which is weirdly located in a random shopping mall?), I started in on my mission. Of course, I had to take some photos.

Stage one: I rinsed the strawberries and then cut them all up, putting them in a big, round, glad ware so I could stir them and store them. Next, I added the sugar and stirred them up, putting them in the fridge. The recipe doesn't say this, but I find that the longer the strawberries sit, the juicer they get, and that, my friends, is the key to Strawberry shortcake in my estimation.

Next, I made the home made whipped cream. i'd bought some cool whip at the grocery store just in case I was inept at making whipped cream or it turned out to be unduly complicated, but in the end I didn't need it. I just wanted a video on how to make whipped cream from Real Simple, and voila! It turned out great. I should note, however, that I used the confectioner's sugar because I thought it would be lighter and not grainy. Let it be said that there can be no real comparison between fresh whipped cream and cool whip.

After a bit of dawdling and sitting on the balcony in a folding chair that insists upon folding up every time I sit on it, I decided to start in on the shortcake recipe. Now, I have to say a few things about the shortcake recipe. Firstly, like a lot of gluten free baked goods, this comes out a little dry. So, my suggestion is to make more of the strawberry mixture than you think your'e going to need, and let it sit for quite some time so it'll produce as much juice as possible. The actual taste of the strawberry shortcake is good, it's just a tad dry.

Secondly, There is the matter of cutting the butter in. I didn't really know what that meant, and the recipe didn't really call for "softened","melted", or "room temperature" butter. As such, cutting the butter in was fairly difficult. So, be forewarned if you're making this recipe that you may want your butter to be a little softer than it would be straight out of the fridge.

For some reason I got seven lumps instead of six. That, and the dough was really sticky on my hands. a little bit was wasted because I couldn't get it off my hands.

When the little shortcakes were golden brown, I took them out of the oven as directed and put them on a little plate to wait for Megan's arrival.

Megan and I went to have a little Mexican food for dinner where we discussed how difficult it is for us to actually be motivated to take our trash out. Don't worry, though, because we were discussing trash, I did take mine out.

When we came back, even though we were both too full, Megan and I devoured two of the seven servings of strawberry shortcake. I, for one, thought they looked beautiful.

I suppose I don't need to tell you this, but I've been eating the other five servings all by myself and often in bed. This, my friends, is what spinstering is all about.

I hope you've been inspired to have some strawberry shortcake for your spinsterly self. At the very least, you should try making some home made whipped cream. It is well worth the effort and has the extra benefit of growing your biceps...and probably your triceps.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday Spinstergram: Pig-n-Chik BBQ

pig-n-chik-bbq, atlanta-bbq, atlanta-barbecue
One of the best things about running outdoors is that it helps me get a good feel for my neighborhood. One of the restaurants I've been passing for months is Pig-n-Chik BBQ. Every time I've passed it so far, though, it's been a weird time for barbecue. Yesterday, though, after church I decided it was time. So, unsure of what to expect, I parked my car in the tight little parking lot of Pig-n-Chik.

The interior of Pig-n-Chik ha plastered with pennants and vintage advertisements with the occasional Pig-n-Chik tee shirt hanging on the wall. There are tables, booths, and even a fairly sizable outdoor seating area. 

Like in most Barbecue restaurants I've experienced, customers order their meals  at the front counter. Next to the counter is a glass case with various pigs, tee shirts, caps, and barbecue sauces. I ordered a small pork barbecue plate with collard greens and baked beans, gave the woman my name, paid, got some sweet tea, and went to find myself a seat. 

I chose a booth facing a flat screen TV that was mounted in the corner between the wall and ceiling, and sat to wait for my food. Sitting next to the window were two people talking about performing miracles as if it was a run of the mill thing. The woman kept saying things like "when I perform my miracles," as if it was no big deal. Her companion wasn't saying much at all. 

The woman who took my order brought my food around on a black paper plate and set it on my table along with my ticket. Oddly, the baked beans and Collard greens were on the plate in little styrofoam containers complete with their lids. Normally, sides are just served in their allotted indentations on the segmented plate. 

The meat was presented sauceless along with a thick slice of Texas toast, which, of course, I couldn't eat. The three sauces on the table were as follows: Mustard Based (Which I found to be sort of sub-par), SC Spicy Sauce (OK, but this sauce is never really my cup of tea, and what I suppose was the house sauce which was in a giant squeeze bottle. The squeeze bottle sauce was definitely the best. 

So, the verdict: The meat was good (tender, juicy), the sauce was good but not the best I've ever had, the baked beans were good, and so were the collards. The sweet tea was also good. Overall, I'd give it a 7 out of 10, but I'd go back. I have subtracted points for the absence of hash and rice because, in my spinsterly mind, that is by far the best part.

Stay tuned for more BBQ restaurants as I eat my way across Atlanta and potentially the state of Georgia as a whole.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Favorite Thing: Patio Table

table-and-chair
Spinstering can be a very solitary business. While I clearly enjoy a good netflix marathon as much as the next spinster, sometimes a single lady needs to be outdoors. Outside of New York, sitting alone on a park bench can feel a little strange. That is why, a spinster needs her own little island of outdoor peace.

Currently, target has a huge display of outdoor furniture, including a round folding table perfect for spinstering on one's porch or balcony after work while eating dinner or enjoying a glass of white grape juice and a good book.

I bought one such table this week, and I have used it every day this week. It is my new favorite thing. Now, I just need to figure out a way to keep it pollen-free.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spinstering Out: Cereal for Dinner

Thursday night I ran 4.5 miles after work. I'm not going to lie. I was (and still am) super proud. It was super hot, and by the time I got home, it was about 8:30 PM. I knew, however, what had to be done. I needed dinner, and it needed to be cold.

I was fresh out of Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Gelato (because I ate it earlier in the week for breakfast), so that was out of the question for the cold dinner I wanted. However, if I had had any in the freezer, in the absence of anyone who could or would have judged, I would have devoured it right from its container while sitting in my bed, wearing my bathrobe. No, this night was a night for the age-old spinster (and, to be honest, bachelor and college student) classic, cereal for dinner.

On a hot night, cereal really hits the spot. But, really, on any night when you don't have anything else that sounds good, cereal is a pretty good option. And, if you're a spinster, no one even has to know. No one, that is, unless you're writing a spinsterhood blog about it...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spinster Viewing: Tim's Vermeer

tim-jenison, tim-jenison-graphic, tim's-vermeer-graphic, tims-vermeer
Ok, ok. So the movie theaters don't exactly have special viewings for spinsters just yet, but one day, when they realize how often I go, they will. They will have 8:30 AM viewings just for me. Until then, however, I'll keep going with the rest of the viewers.

This past weekend's flick was Tim's Vermeer, in which NewTek founder Tim Jenison sets out on a quest to paint just like Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Now, if you haven't seen the previews, you'r probably thinking that for a non-painter to just decide he wants to do this seems impossible. However, Jenison has an inkling that Vermeer was actually using some simple-yet-genius technology.

The art student in me hates the idea that Jenison thinks there couldn't have been a man as fabulously talented at both seeing and painting as Johannes Vermeer. However, the designer in me is comforted that Vermeer's brilliance could potentially have involved a bit of creative problem solving and technology.

I'm not going to ruin the movie for you, but it's pretty cool. If nothing else, it left me wishing I had all the money and time Jenison has so that I could undertake such a long creative project. And to Mr. Jenison, if you're reading this, I would very much like to be an artist in residence in that Vermeer room you set up. So, just leave me a message in the comments section or tweet me @spnstrhddiaries. There's no need to let that beautiful room go to waste.

Spinster Rating: Two Thumbs up and two feet to the foot fan for good measure.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spinster Love: The Onion's "American Voices"

Whenever I find myself in front of my computer in need of a good giggle, I click on over to The Onion and its topical yet hilariously false news stories. Maybe "false" isn't the right word. Some of them are entirely true and derive their rib-tickling from the age-old concept of "funny because it's true." There is one column, though, that bridges the gap between falsity and truth. That column, my friends, is "American Voices," and it is my very favorite thing on The Onion.

The premise of "American Voices" is as follows: The Onion takes a true news headline complete with a brief summary of the story's contents and general point. Then, Below this little synopsis are three photos of the supposed commenters. The commenters are a rotation of six different characters, three of which are included in today's graphic. There are two women: one with grey hair and a slightly confused expression and one with a strange bob and a pensive expression. Then, you have the young, attractive black guy, the 40ish semi-attractive white guy, the racially ambiguous guy with a strange combover, and the bearded man who looks like he thinks he knows what he's talking about but clearly has no idea. 

Below each commenter's picture is their comment in reaction to the news story. Of course, these comments have been completely fabricated by The Onion's Writing Staff and are most often excellently giggle-inducing. (If you need an example of some of their recent home runs, click here, here, or here.)

While the comments below each person's photo are most often the very best part of this column, sometimes there's an extra special cherry on top. Just below each comment, there's a supposed name of each person commenting. Below the name, there's an occupation. Sometimes they're pretty normal, like "health inspector","systems analyst," or "unemployed." On the other hand, every now and then you'll read one that says something like "fish and tackle expert","chair tester," or "Kleenex Box Stuffer." All are excellent occupations if you ask me. 

So, if you find yourself in serious need of a little laughter today, click on through the "American Voices" section of The Onion. I think it may lift your spirits with sheer silliness.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Netflixing: Breaking Amish

We all know my love of Netflix. It's really one of the best things to happen to spinsterhood since delivery pizza. Like everyone else, I like to watch critically acclaimed television shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men on Netflix. However, sometimes, I need to get a good dose of trash. That, my friends, is why I decided I should watch TLC's Breaking Amish.

Ok, we're all fascinated by the Amish. However, before I watched this show, all I really knew about the Amish I learned from For Richer or Poorer, starring Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley. Apparently I can't use Hollywood movies as a true representation of a region or culture? When was somebody going to tell me this!?

Before you read further, there are spoilers below. So...Spoiler alert.

Five things that blew my mind while I was watching Breaking Amish:

1. These kids didn't go to school past 8th grade.
          Yep. That's right. And One of them didn't go to school past 5th grade. He couldn't read very well, he said. I mean, I may not have used geometry very much since high school, but I think reading is pretty essential, even if you are going to work on a farm.

2. These were apparently the rebellious kids.
          So, according to online chatter and the finale special jauntily entitled "Breaking Amish: The Shunning Truth," most of these kids had "broken amish" some time before the show. They were the bad kids. Their explanation for this was that if you're raised Amish, and you're living in that community, you're Amish. If you happen to also sneak out at night, go drinking and wear "English" clothes, that doesn't make you less Amish. It just makes you rebellious. Fair enough.

3. At least three cast members were divorced.
          Yep. Rebecca was just twenty years old, and she was already divorced. Not only was she divorced, but so was Jeremiah, and so was the Mennonite girl, Sabrina. It happens. However, since the Amish don't accept divorce, this presented kind of an interesting situation for the divorcees. Were they really "breaking Amish," if they were already divorced?

4. Rebecca had dentures.
          Yep again. Rebecca, the twenty-year-old, had had all of her teeth pulled at nineteen by an unlicensed dentist in her living room. In the finale, she explained that she had "really bad teeth" and that they were "really hurting her," so she had thought this was the best thing to do. Yowza.

5. Sabrina's boyfriend after she got back from New York was weird.
          So, you know that kind of foggy feeling you get whenever you first start a relationship? That one where you just feel sort of sleepy whenever you're in the other person's presence? I think they call it "love drunk." Well, I'm going to say that the best excuse for Sabrina's behavior with her new boyfriend when she got back home from New York would be love drunkenness. Otherwise, it's just creepy. She all of a sudden is a baby talker when she's with this guy, and it concerns me. Not that I want her to end up with Jeremiah, because he has issues (see the final two episodes). However, she can do better.

Ok, now that I'm entirely too emotionally involved in this show, TLC needs to release another season to Netflix. I've seen that they have Breaking Amish: Brave New World now as well as Breaking Amish: LA. They just need to be on Netflix so I can continue Gawking. Thank you, that is all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spinstergram: What Happened on Spinster Break

kitten-painting, cat-painting, eifel-tower-painting, sips-n-strokes, dip-n-dab
As you know from my last post, I had to take a little breakski from the blog because it was crunch time at work. Now, things are slowly simmering down, and I've been able to bring my adrenaline levels back down to some semblance of normality. There is still much to be done, but there is much to be blogged. So, here we go.

For the longest time, Megan and I have been meaning to check out either Dip 'n Dab or Sips n strokes. For those of you who aren't familiar, both of these are places where you pay a fee to come in, sit down, and paint with a bunch of people. Sometimes you all paint the same painting through very Bob Ross-like instruction, and sometimes - as is the case with our class on saturday - there are two different paintings. However, our instructor has a ponytail instead of an afro, and Megan thinks he was Canadian.

The location provides paint, canvases, brushes, easels, and aprons, and all you have to do is come in, sit down, and paint. It's really quite relaxing. I must say, though, that Sips n Strokes Toco Hills was pretty packed out. I think there were some eighty people in there on a saturday afternoon at 2pm.

Megan and I both chose to paint the Eiffel Tower. The other option was L'arc de triomphe, but it had already been drawn on the canvas for you, and I felt like that was kind of cheating. Though, I guess we were already cheating since we were all making the same painting.
orange, tangerine, tangello, halo, cuties, yellow

Across from Megan and Me was a couple that clearly didn't know each other very well. The girl was wearing a lot of makeup, including candy-colored coral lipstick, covered in a very glossy gloss. She was continuously trying to be cute by whining to the man, and he wasn't having it. He was serious about this painting business. During the painting, she kept pulling a little mini bottle out of her purse, and pouring a little bit of Rosé into her little wine glass.

To my left were a couple of girls who were there for one of their birthdays. They had brought sandwiches and chips, and one of the girls kept pouring chips onto her paint plate. Some of them got in the paint, but I didn't check to see if she ate them.

The instructor showed us all how to paint our paintings, but in the end I decided mine was very obviously missing a few cats. So, I added them in. I think they really make a special statement. Megan's looks the same, but without the cats.

As for the oranges in this post, they were sitting on my tax pro's table when I had my taxes done after Sips n Strokes, and I thought it all made for an interesting color composition. However, I think this composition would be a little more complete with a couple of cats.