Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Silent Night

Well, spinsters, I have fallen ill. In fact, I've been sick for some two weeks, but only yesterday did it become evident that I needed to see the doctor. I woke up yesterday morning and found myself without a voice. Now, after a two-hour trip to the Walgreens urgent care center, I am under strict orders to rest, take my medicine, and speak as little as possible.

I went to work yesterday morning, but realizing I needed to see the doctor after a few minutes, I made an appointment and went home so I could avoid infecting the mothers among my coworkers. I spent the morning and early afternoon watching Maury Povich (whose website i accidentally bookmarked while I was trying to copy the link) and Jerry Springer, mostly because my hands were occupied with the very serious business of continuous nose-blowing. After watching about half an episode of Jerry Springer, though, I decided that I was very much pleased to be on the sofa, lacking the will or strength to change the channel instead of being one of the people on that show. One excellent thing about being a spinster is the complete and utter lack of paternity tests and baby mama drama. However, let it be known, though, that I am always impressed with how Maury Povich manages to treat the people on his show as if they were regular, reasonable human beings instead of stark raving lunatics. If only I had that skill.

After a trip to Walgreens which included a Walgreens employee asking if I'd lost my voice because I'd "turnt it up too much last night," I retired to my sofa and sweatpants once again. I stayed up long enough o watch some Dateline, during which I decided I needed to make some watercolor cat images. So...that's what you're seeing here today. They're greeting cards.

Now that we've discussed the goings on of my sickly life, I must go blow my nose and caught as hard as I can. However, no speaking will occur.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Father's Day Coloring

Well, dear spinster, as you may know, Father's Day is approaching. As such, I've decided that if you haven't gotten anything for your dad yet, you might want some ideas. Today I've got some coloring pages for you to do in honor of father's day.

Before I say anything else, let's talk about how these work. you'll want to right click on the image you like and open the image in a new tab. That way you'll get it to be a larger size than it is in this post. Save the image to your computer, print it out, and color it!

Now, you may notice most of today's images are in a specific layout. Of course, there is a very good reason for this! One of the most common father's day gifts is a coffee mug. This year, though, you can color your own! I checked the suggested sizes for the Zazzle Classic White Mug, and these images are in the correct ratio/proportion to be used on the mug. So, save the image to your computer, print it out, color it, scan it back in, and upload it to Zazzle!

If you're not a spinster, this could be something really fun for your kids. They can color these like coloring books, and you'll have a cute, personalized father's day mug. I've made sure to leave some extra space on some of them (either inside the letters or outside them), so that extra drawings and love notes can be added as well. Of course, if none of these designs tickle your fancy, you can upload your own design, too! I just think that if you're going to give a mug, you might as well make it personal!

Now, perhaps your dad isn't a coffee guy. Maybe he doesn't even like hot tea or hot cocoa. I understand. It took me a while to learn to drink hot tea, myself. Zazzle (and now, unfortunately this is not a paid advertisement post...I just really love having stuff printed online) has a bunch of stuff you can personalize for pretty much any occasion. One that I don't necessarily suggest, though, is the Silky Polyseter Tie. However, if you're set on having a
personalized tie made, I've got you covered there, too. Here's a little coloring box that says "Dad" over and over and over. The print itself is very faint, but if you do decide to go with this one, I suggest you choose the "tile" option when you do the tie. It should turn out to look something like the below image. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spinster Binge: Lost

So, after much couch-sitting and snack-eating, I finally finished watching Lost on Netflix. To be honest, though, I'm still not even sure what happened. I mean, I know how it ended, and I won't really ruin it for you, but geez...what?

So, instead if dissecting the entire show six years after everyone else has, I'm just going to say the top five things I have to say. Honestly, I'm just still sort of befuddled. Perhaps, like Infinite Jest, it will be come clearer for me with time. Now, let's get to the meat of this business.

1. Sun and Jin were my favorite characters.
          From the very first episode, I felt like I was supposed to love and root for Jack and Kate, but they just didn't really do it for me. The most attractive and compelling pair for me was hands down Sun and Jin. They were beautiful, and their characters had a lot of complexity with their romance, their relationship to tradition, organized crime, infidelity, infertility...the list goes on!

2. Desmond was the heartthrob sleeper.
          I'm not even sure that's the right way to say what I'm trying to say, so let me be more straightforward: I felt like we were supposed to see Jack or even Sawyer as the crushable character, but Desmond came in after his first season and had a haircut and was really quite attractive. Plus, his love for Penny was clearly a bonus point in his attractiveness rating.

3. I found myself rooting for Locke.
          I know, I know. Here again the obvious choice was Jack, but he was so boring and often just plain annoying. Locke was cooler, more mystical, and prone to do crazier things. Plus, rooting for Locke was kind of like going for the underdog.

4. The last season and a half or so were excruciating.
          I know a lot of people who, when the found out I was watching Lost, said they were absolutely riveted during season six. Instead, I just wanted it to be over. I was so confused, and I felt like the show was taking all kinds of ridiculous and unnecessary turns. In the end, I'm not so sure that assessment was incorrect. However, if I'd been watching one episode at a time as they aired in real time, I suppose I'd have a little bit of a different reaction.

5. Now that it's over, I feel relieved.
          I expected to feel a sense of loss when I was finished watching such a long, drawn out show, but more than anything, I'm glad it's over. In fact, while I write this entry, I'm watching Antiques Road Show on PBS in real time. Netflix and I need to take a little space right now.

So, there you have it. These are my thoughts on Lost without any real spoilers. So...if you haven't watched it, I just have to warn you. It's a bit of a commitment, and I'm not sure there's a huge payoff except for the fact that you'll be able to discuss Lost when people bring it up at parties.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spinsterly Smells

spinster-perfume, cat-perfume-bottle, kitten-perfume-bottle
Whenever I have a long weekend, I start thinking about how much I'd love to be on vacation all the time. Of course, this would only work if I had a source of income that rendered me wealthy without having to spend too much time working on it. And then I thought...wait...a lot of celebrities have fragrances, and that's pretty much a one-and-done thing. They continue collecting income from this one product years and years after they did all the work to create it. So, I thought, if I were a celebrity spinster, one of my first orders of business would be to launch my own fragrance.

You'll see above in the first image, that one of the packagings would be light fuchsia/lilac colored porcelain cat with metallic accents, sort of reminiscent of a white-and-gold Staffordshire dog. The perfume would come out of the cat's demure mouth, and the whole thing would be operated by a gold-tasselled squeeze bulb, because I think that's fancy.
perfume-bottle-graphic, graphic-perfume-bottle, perfume-bottle-illustration
Most celebrities start out with a signature fragrance, and if it does well, they launch a second one to give their customers more variety. For this one, I chose a more pet-neutral design of just your regular frosted glass with some metallic gold dots and a crystal stopper.

Of course the fragrance business isn't all about the packaging. I mean, it does have a lot to do with the packaging, but there's more than just the "pretty" factor. It has to smell like something. Of course, as a spinster, I already knew what smells I'd want to include: laundry and food. Obviously.

The first perfume would have the following as its lead notes: Downy Dryer Sheets and Fresh Challah Bread. There would also be subtler notes of buttered cinnamon toast, S'mores Pop Tarts, and fresh-baked brownies.

The second perfume would be slightly different. There would be notes of milk chocolate, peanut butter, pizza, and kitten purrs. Of course, you can't smell kitten purrs, but I'd put them in the list of fragrant notes anyway. Less dominant notes would include cherry coke, blackberry preserves, a bed with clean sheets, early morning summer air, and warm chocolate chip cookies.

If anyone out there would like to make these smells happen, let me know. I think there's only a matter of time before I'm approached by the fragrance division of Li & Fung to send my very own dream team of smells out into the world marketplace. Do you hear me, LFUSA? This is a license just waiting for your purchase!

So, now that we're all hungry, I hope you can find a snack. Ever more, I hope it's fresh out of the oven.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spinster Screening: Chef

John-Favreau-Chef, chef-and-son, el-jeffe-food-truck
The movie Chef, to my knowledge, didn't run an extensive ad campaign. In fact, I only heard about it maybe a week or two before the movie hit theaters. However, when I saw what the movie was about, I knew I'd be buying a ticket.

Essentially, the previews showed this: There's a chef who will never be happy working under anyone else, and so he decides to get a food truck. To me, this is an excellent premise for the following reasons:

1. Every creative person has felt this way
2. I want to eat everything
3. Food trucks are fun.

So, Friday night I bought my ticket, a small popcorn, and a cherry coke, and I made my way into the theater for some spinsterly movie time. Before I was even a quarter of the way through the movie, the popcorn was gone, which is a feat for me. But the sheer imagery of this film just makes you want to eat.

Everything about Chef is delicious. First of all, there are these incredible sequences about cooking, which include the whole mouth-watering process. Secondly, there are these fantastic accents - mostly spanish-speaking - that you can just taste. Thirdly, Scarlett Johansson eats some pasta at one point, and the way she eats it lets you know that it tastes as good as it possibly can. Fourth, the music. The soundtrack includes some really exciting, joyous salsa music, and it just makes you want to dance and eat at the same time.

Now, aside from the food, this movie is a love story of so many kinds. There's the chef's love for the food, but there's also the really sweet love story of a father and son. I really enjoyed and appreciated the exchange of information and ideas between  generations in Chef and the mutual respect and admiration that engendered. It was sort of an intergenerational creativity power ballad. There are, of course, other love stories, but I don't want to ruin the whole movie for you.

Now, there is some language in the movie, so if that offends you, then...well, you're missing out on a delicious experience. If you can get past that, though, I highly recommend Chef. I also recommend you see it before you eat dinner. Plan to have something really good afterward because you will be hungry.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spinster Love: Design Sponge

So, as we've discussed before, part of what I do at work is to make sure I stay current by reading design blogs. I remember when I started working in the fashion industry the girl I sat next to told me that Design Sponge was her favorite design blog. Of course now it continues to be a mainstay in my blog roll.

If you were to ask most designers, I think Design Sponge would top their list of go-to reads for inspiration. Design Sponge's founder, Grace Bonney, seems to have a real knack for finding interesting things that are so "now." With sections that range from Before and After to Biz Ladies, I feel like this is pretty much the consummate design blog. Of course, I should also mention that one of my very favorite parts of Design Sponge is the City Guides, which offer a local resident's insights to the coolest and best places in their city or town.

Bonney has published a Design Sponge book called Design*Sponge at Home, and she also wrote the foreword for Joy Cho's book, Blog, Inc. I love the idea that two such inspirational, talented ladies know each other and are possibly even friends in real life.

So today, on this fine Memorial Day, if you are enjoying a little leisurely time eating your breakfast in bed, head on over to Design*Sponge and get inspired in almost any creative category you could imagine.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spinster DIY: Password Painting

If you have wifi in your apartment, you are very familiar with people wanting to know your password. The problem is that the passwords are so long, they're kind of hard to remember or read out to someone. But fear not! I have a solution! Inspired by my mom's friend Jill, I decided to display my wifi password in my home.

Because my apartment was (and is) ironically sorely in need of artwork for its walls, I knew the wifi password should masquerade as a piece of art. So I painted it, and I think you should, too! Below you'll see my step-by-step pictorial, but I'll go into greater detail after the image. Check it out! (Right click on the image and choose "open image in new tab," to see more detail.

What you'll need:
- One canvas of any size (see point two for more information)
- Paintbrushes 
- A Projector
- A Computer
- A Printer
- A Pen and paper
- A Wifi password

What to do:

1. Find your wifi password: 
          Back in the days of the internet wild, wild west, you had to make up your own password and write it down somewhere, just hoping you'd remember it. Now, it should be conveniently located on the back of your router. And honestly, if you can't find your password, I'm not sure how you're reading this blog post...unless you're on your phone. In that case, I am sorry.

2. Write down your password, and count the number of digits:
          My personal wifi password, though not displayed here, is 16 digits long. That was helpful in that it was easily divided into a a matrix that would fit on a canvas. The good news here is that you can figure out what kind of configuration you want and then buy the appropriate canvas. If your password only breaks down into two even rows, choose a canvas that is more horizontal. You be the judge of what's going to look the best!

3. In your computer, create a document that is the same size as your canvas. Type your password in, dividing it into columns of equal amounts of characters.
          As stated un point #2, this doesn't have to be four rows of four. Whatever will work best for your password is what you should do. I used Adobe Illustrator for this part of the project, but you could easily use Microsoft word or even powerpoint if you are so inclined.

4. Enlarge your typing and distribute the letters and numbers evenly throughout the page.
          With my painting, made a matrix of characters that filled the whole canvas. However, if you prefer that the password only take up the top or bottom or left or right portion, that's up to you! Do whatever you think is cool. The only important thing here is that the painting is legible. 

5. Print your document in a size that will work with your projector.
          My home projector only has a 3.5" x 3.5" window, so it's impossible for me to project full sized images. Some projectors, however, can take full size images. However, if you are not using an opaque projector and have opted instead for an overhead projector in the classic math class sense, you may want to trace your paper onto a transparency. And, if you're using one of those projectors that hooks directly into your iPhone, can I borrow it? I want one.

6. Project your text onto your canvas, and trace with a pencil. 
          Just be sure everything looks even to you before you start tracing. 

7. Paint the background, let it dry, then paint the numbers.
          Of course, you can paint your painting in any order you choose. I just like to paint the background first, go back and paint the numbers, and then hit any messy edges a second time with the background color once the numbers have dried.

8. Once your painting has dried, find the perfect spot where everyone will be able to see it, and hang it up! Voila! You're an artist, and you've made you and your guests' lives easier. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Spinstergram: A Commission

So now that I have a second bedroom that doubles as my little art studio, it's much easier for me to start drawings and spend more than a couple of hours on them. As such, I recently took on a commissioned work. Now that the recipient has received her gift, I wanted to share it with you guys!

The story behind this drawing is actually so sweet. One of my dearest friends' husbands sent me a text asking for a drawing of his wife's wedding dress for their anniversary. It was all very hush-hush, but he sent me a photo of the dress hanging in my friend's grandmother's bedroom, the dimensions he wanted, and I set to work.
My work in progress photos aren't really great. I think I may have taken them all at night. However, I hope you can get a good idea of the piece. After my friend had opened her gift, she sent me a text saying she cried. Good on her husband. He had an excellent plan, and I'm just so happy I got to be the one to help out!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Fun: Desktop Backgrounds

cat-wallpaper, cat-desktop-wallpaper

Hooray! It's finally Friday, and I have a special treat for all of you. If you find yourself sitting at your desk this fine morning, you may want to consider a little makeover for your desktop. Each of these images can be downloaded and then used for your background!

The first image here is, of course, a cat print. It's a sort of a chevron made of cats. I thought it would be appropriate for we spinsters, but if you're not into showing your cat lady pride so much on your desktop, then you can find some other fun options below.

citrus-fruit-desktop-background, citrus-fruit-background

Now some of you may be wondering how, exactly, you're going to get this on your desktop. Others of you will already know. Just in case, though, I'm going to explain how to do this. 

Step 1: Right click (or command click if you're on a Mac) on the image and chose "open image in new tab."
Step 2: In the new tab, you'll see the image. If you hover over the image, you should get a little icon of a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it. Click this to enlarge the image.
Step 3: Right Click (or command click if you're on a mac) on the image and choose "Save image as..."
Step 4. Save the image to your desktop
Step 5: Go into your display settings and change your desktop background. If you're unsure of how to change your desktop background, click here for a PC how-to and click here for a Mac one.

Some of these backgrounds may look a little familiar to you from past posts. That's because they are! I just think that sometimes prints are too good just to live in a tiny little CAD. So, why not put them on your desktop?

And, of course, we needed a little lipstick. this one may be a little too optic. You be the judge. 

This one had to be added, of course, since marbling is definitely trending right now. Plus, this might actually be the safest background/wallpaper in the collection.

And this is the last one! I feel like I should mention that I was inspired by Lovely Indeed's  very lovely indeed desktop wallpaper posts. I hope you find something here that will brighten your friday at work! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spinster DIY: Sculpey Bracelets

Sometimes when you're a spinster, and you watch a lot of Netflix, you want to make the jump from creating in the 2-D world of illustration to something a little more 3 Dimensional.

A few weeks ago, I bought a box of sculpey, and I've been playing around with it. I'm not so sure anyone would ever call me a real sculptor, but I do enjoy just trying something new. So, today I want to share one of my most recent creations: Sculpey Bracelets.

At my last job in New York, one of the inspiration samples we bought was from a place called Dinosaur Designs. They had these really fun, irregularly shaped Bangles. So, today's DIY is sort of inspired by that non uniformity. Let's begin!

First, let's talk about the supplies you'll need.
1. Aluminum foil. It doesn't matter what brand.
2. A Box of Sculpey
3. A fine paintbrush
4. Liquitex Matt Basics Black Paint.
5. Metallic Gold Spray Paint.

Once you've gathered all your supplies, then you're ready to get started!

What to do:

1. Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil about 8 or 10" long. 
2. Starting at one of the corners, roll the aluminum foil diagonally. 
3. Once you've rolled the aluminum foil, then twist it so that it becomes more solid and compact.
4. Your Aluminum foil should look like this step, thicker in the middle and skinny on the ends.
5. Join the ends by sort of twisting them together. Use a bracelet you already like to get the size right. 
6. Roll out some sculpey so that it's about 1/8" thick and wrap it around the tin foil bracelet.
7. Make sure the bracelet is completely covered in sculpey, pressing it down to ensure there are no air bubbles. 
8. Placing the bracelet on a table or other flat surface, smooth out the lumps with your fingers or by rolling the end of your paintbrush all over the surface. Sometimes it helps to let the clay cool down a little between step 7 and 8. 
9. Once you're satisfied with how smooth your bracelets are, then put them in the oven, following the interactions on your box of sculpey.
10. When you've let your bracelets bake and cool, then take them outside and spray paint them gold. I like to use a cardboard box to contain the spray paint. 
11. Ensure both sides and all edges of the bracelets are painted gold. Sometimes it helps to put them on a roll of paper so you can paint the edges more easily. 
12. With your fine tipped paint brush, paint whatever design your little spinsterly heart desires. 
13. Let Dry and Wear!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spinster Shopping: In the Clear

Sometimes when you're a spinster, you don't even have the energy to try to match your clothes and accessories. Sometimes the weight of the world is just too much to handle, and you just need to cover your body so you can get out the door. For me, that's not "just one of those days." It's pretty much my entire existence. If I could wear a bathrobe to work, I would. It's one piece, and It always matches itself.

However, we all live in a world where we need to wear real clothes, and for that, I have a solution! You can't really wear clear clothing to work, but you can snazzy up your potentially ill-conceived (if you're me) outfits with some accessories that will match everything - because they're clear!

1. Last Snow Drops: $32, Anthropologie
          I can easily see wearing these every single day. They would match absolutely everything, and they're dangly, which for some reason makes me feel like I made a little more effort.

2. Cooperative Heeled Jelly Sandal: $20, Urban Outfitters
          Retro with a little sparkle. These are for the spinster with a hint of nostalgia for her childhood.

3. Chinese Laundry Rock Candy Flat Sandals: $19.95, DSW
          I think these are some pretty fashion forward jelly sandals. Perfect with shorts or a dress.

4. Asos Transparent Strap Watch: $38.11,
          Even if you can't tell time, this makes a great bracelet. Just don't cinch it too tight. It'll make your wrist sweat.

5. Kenneth Cole Reaction 56mm Retro Sunglasses: $48, Nordstrom
          Super cute and super on trend. These have both clear and an amber color at the temples.

6. Polka Dot Dome Umbrella: $14, Nordstrom
          Make sure you don't get caught under this umbrella with someone who has bad breath. They tend to fog easily, but they're just so cute.

7. Tina Perspex Bangle Set: $12.00,
          I do love a bangle. I like these because they're faceted. That way, there's a little extra light reflection and refraction, which makes them seem a little dressier.

8. Bag Number 3: $48,  Golden Ponies on Etsy
          A jelly satchel is perfect for the spinster with nothing to hide. For those who do have something to hide, there's always a pouch. Bonus points if it's printed with cats.

9. Clear Hair Ties: $5.72,
          The most practical thing on the list. These are great for a sloppy bun or a little braid, both of which are well-known to be spinster hair styles.

So, enjoy shopping these versatile items. It's crystal clear to me that you need them. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sample Fashion Project: Backpack Tech Pack

So, every time I check my referring search keywords, there's always something in there about a sample fashion project or sample fashion portfolio. So, today, I thought I'd go ahead and answer that search term again. Today, I want to talk about accessories tech packs.

Now, the tech pack I want to show today doesn't have much fabric information or, in fact, interior sketches, but sometimes that's actually given in a separate document or in the company's data entry system. Today's tech pack is mostly for specs.

In the image above you'll see the front and back sketch of the backpack. Essentially, this image functions as a diagram to show the shape and size of the bag along with its technical specifications and measurements. It is important to ensure all wording is as clear and simple as possible as these documents are often read by people whose first language is not english. The more detail that can be added, the better. Click on the image for a larger view.

This second image shows the 3/4 view of the bag, opened and closed. This is to show the pocket placement as well as how the bag is closed with snaps. Additionally, there are detailed drawings of the pocket as well as the bottom of the bag. 

In a more expensive bag, there would also be a detail sketch. However, generally the bags that I've worked on have not been able to afford interior details, so the information about the inside of each bag has been a matter of fabrication only. 

So, there you have it! If you're looking for something to make your fashion portfolio have just a little something extra, add a detailed tech pack with sketches of one of the items you designed. It will show you have full technician knowledge of garment (or accessory) construction. Hooray for tech packs!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spinster Shopping: Pretty Kitty

Well, it's Monday, and you may find yourself not quite ready to start your work day yet. Of course this is no Cyber Monday, but that doesn't mean you can't do a little online shopping. Today's theme is kitten-inspired bath and beauty products, and I've put together a collage above and a list below!

1. Sweet Scented Lip Gloss: $2.80, Forever 21
          Perfect for a spinster to keep in her purse and pull out for a little spinsterly touch-up.

2. Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty Nail Polish: $3.99, SuperNails on Etsy
          With this home made easy nail polish, you're sure to be the only one with your manicure. It even has little cat-shaped glitter pieces!

3. 'The Cat's Meow' Hair Ties: $12, Nordstrom
          Great for doing Cat Pose at yoga class.

4. Sleeping Cat Artizan Lotion Bar: $12 MilkAndHoneySoap on Etsy
          Perfect for a little late-night foot moisturizing if you're a hot-footed spinster like me. OR you could carry this tin in your purse and lotion up on the go!

5. Cat Soap: $5, Lost River Rags on Etsy
          Just because you love kittens doesn't mean you have to bathe like one. Use some soap! This cat soap is great for bath time or just for your spinsterly guest room.

6. 'Tabby Cat' Nail Care Kit: $12,
          Us this with your cat glitter nail polish and have the perfect peticure. Pun intended.

7. 'Cat Teaser' Tweezers: $4.04, Rakuten Global Market
          Just because you're a spinster doesn't mean you need to have a unibrow. To ensure that gets taken care of, use cat tweezers as an incentive.

8. Holy Cat Eyeshadow: $17, Holika Holika
          Use this for all the shading before you pencil in that excellent cat eye with your eye liner.

9. Space Cat Temporary Tattoo: $5, Amazon
          Try this out for a little while before you get the real thing. You may decide you don't want it on your forehead...Or maybe you'll decide that you want it on your cheek instead.

10. Manshili Max Volume Mascara: $39, Amazon
          What's a cat eye without some fabulous kitty mascara?

So, now that you're all clean and pretty, you can proceed with your week. I once heard it said that online shopping gives you a reason to go on for the next few days, so I hope you ordered something. That way you can at least make it to wednesday.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Best Decision I Made All Week

One of the best things about being a spinster is never having to explain yourself to your partner for doing something that may be a little strange. You can just do whatever you want without ever discussing it with anyone.

Now that the week is over, I can say for sure what the best decision I made all week was. Tuesday morning I got up and went running. I only ran three miles because it was already so hot at 6:30 AM. On my cool down walk, though, I found myself thinking about stopping to get a bottle of water, but I wasn't sure that was even going to help me cool down. So, I jut kept walking, and when I got back to my apartment complex, I took off my shirt and shoes and jumped in the pool.

Once I was submerged, it was confirmed that this was exactly what I should have done. There was no shock of the cold water like there is when you come out from being in your apartment. It was perfectly refreshing. In fact, I thought I might just keep swimming until I was finished, but I realized I may miss the entire work day.

When I got out of the pool, having gone  swimming in my running capri pants, I realized I was going to drip barefoot all the way back to my apartment. But let me tell you, that was well worth it. I will certainly be doing this again.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How to Dine Alone Like a Spinster

One of the inevitable parts of being a spinster is eating alone. As a single lady, you could resign yourself to eating every meal in your bed and/or in front of Netflix, but every now and then you really need to leave your apartment. That is when you may need to dine alone.

When it comes to dining "one top," you can either hate it or embrace it. And, unless you particularly enjoy looking around nervously while you eat something you really didn't want just because you didn't want the other patrons to judge you, I suggest you learn to love eating out alone. Once you get the hang of it, it can be really fun.

Of course, I'm not just going to tell you to like this and then leave you hanging. I've got five tips for how you, too, can be an avid "one, please," customer.

1. Be seated:
          Often when a hostess sees you've asked for a table for "just one," she'll try to seat you at the bar. If you really want to become a pro at eating alone, You'll need to get your own table. Sitting at the bar is like announcing to the rest of the restaurant that you're not OK with the fact that you're eating alone, and 'please, for goodness sake, someone talk to me!' That often welcomes the wrong element, I have found. There are a lot of creepy men who also like to have their meals at the bar. Get a table instead. Bonus: it feels fancier.

2. Bring a book...or write one:
          I used to bring a book to read when I dined out, and that worked pretty well. The only thing was that I would become too distracted by the other patrons and kept losing my place in within the paragraphs. So, I started bringing my journal. When eating at a sit-down restaurant, I like order some tea or fresh squeezed orange juice or what have you, and then I start in on making a journal entry about where I am, what I'm doing, etc. When I'm especially lucky, I'm seated next to people having a fascinating conversation which I, of course, record in some detail, complete with commentary. The real jackpot is to be seated next to a first date. Always entertaining.

3. Order a drink:
          Well, I'm not really talking about that kind of drink, but I'm not really telling you what you can and can't do. I like to order a hot tea or coke or juice or really anything but water. When dining alone, you should make yourself feel as if you're giving yourself a special luxury. You can have ice water, too, if you want. At least have some coffee, though.

4. Sit by the window:
          This is a tip that's especially important for beginners. If at all possible, sit somewhere where you can look out the window while you eat. This way, if you feel like the other diners are watching you, you can occupy your thoughts with the goings on outside of the restaurant. If a window seat is not available, there's always Words With Friends or Tetris or your book or your journal or a sketchbook. Once you become more accustomed to dining alone, though, you may not feel so much like you're being observed and, in fact, may become comfortable just sitting by your lonesome. Or, as the English say "on your Larry."

5. Consider Dessert:
          In an effort to reward yourself for a successful solo dining experience, you should at least consider the dessert. If the restaurant offers to show you a dessert menu, always ask to see it. You may not actually order dessert, but you need to know what the restaurant has available. If they have good dessert, you may talk yourself into ordering some. If you don't talk yourself into ordering some this time, you may want to order something lighter next time just so you can have the dessert. Or, what am I saying here? You may want to forego the meal all together and just eat dessert. When you're a spinster, you do what you want.

Bonus: Tip well, especially if you plan on returning this way. Servers don't necessarily relish the idea of serving a one top, so ensure they remember and like you, and it will go a long way to securing your spot as a welcome and well-liked customer.

If you follow these suggestions, you might just prefer yourself to any other dinner companion you could have.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spinster Love: Oh Joy!

Since we're on a roll talking about blogs and bloggers we love, I'm just going to keep the party going. Another one of my favorite daily reads is Oh Joy! from the mind of one Mrs. Joy Cho. Thankfully for me and today's illustration, Cho often shows photos of herself and her precious family on her blog, and every single photo is the cutest.

Cho posts on an array of different topics, but her blog has an excellently cohesive feeling to it. She has a distinct point of view, and it must resonate with a lot of Americans because she has had several capsule collections of products. Most recently, Cho has designed a diaper bag for Feed, a line of decor, bedding, toys and other cutenesses for The Land of Nod, and of course her excellent party supplies for Target! I'm sure I don't need to tell you those were already pretty much sold out the first day I saw them. The party hats were probably my favorite. Have no fear, though, if you didn't get to pick up any of the Oh Joy! for Target line this round. Yesterday, Oh Joy! posted the cutest promo video for her upcoming Oh Joy for Target summer collection.

So, now that you've spend your morning clicking all the links to Joy Cho's excellent blog and products, I think you should know that I want to be her when I grow up. Especially when she eats things.

Happy Friday all, and I hope your day's a little brighter for looking at all that cuteness!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spinster Love: Miss Moss

Diana-Moss-portrait, Diana-Moss-Graphic, Diana-Moss-Icon, Diana-moss-blogger, Who-Writes-Miss-Moss, Miss-Moss-Blogger
After I wrote yesterday's post about The Jealous Curator, I started thinking about all the blogs I read every single day. There are about sixteen I keep in regular rotation, most of which I like to use for inspiration and research at work. I feel like a daily diet of blog-reading causes a kind of design "ambient awareness" that can be really helpful for work and conversation in general. One of the blogs I love the best is Miss Moss.

For me, I feel like Diana Moss often introduces me to concepts and aesthetics I wouldn't normally be drawn to. However, once she's introduced an idea to my consciousness, I often see it rehashed elsewhere, and by then I'm already more familiar for having seen it on her blog.

Another thing I really appreciate about Miss Moss is that it has an array of categories I can peruse. On the side panel of the page, she has links for Fashion, Art, Vintage, Music, Food, Photography, Design, Living, Film, and Stuff. My favorite link is not-so-shockingly entitled "Art." I have to say, though, it's all pretty good.

I wasn't able to find too too many reference images for Miss Moss the actual person online, and now that I'm cross-referencing her site in order to make this post, I'm afraid I may not have made her surprise portrait quite sophisticated enough. In any case, if you haven't already, head on over to Miss Moss and get inspired!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spinster Love: The Jealous Curator

Danielle-Krysa-Jealous-Curator, Danielle-Krysa-Portrait, Danielle-Krysa-Face, Danielle-Krysa-Graphic, Jealous-Curator-Graphic, The-Jealous-Curator
I can't remember exactly how I ran into The Jealous Curator's website, but somehow I did. Even after I discovered this gem of the internet, I forgot about it for about a year, and then I recently rediscovered it. And it is amazing.

Blogger Danielle Krysa has a BFA in visual arts and a post graduate degree in Design, according to her bio page. She apparently also writes a more prose-driven blog called Danielle Krysa: in progress. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

the Jealous Curator is a really excellent blog full of cool art that's being made now. Krysa posts multiple images of each artist's work, and I find them all infinitely inspirational. In fact, I snatched some of the prints for today's image from one of Krysa's recent posts about artist Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao, whose art is a lot of fun. 

In addition to the cool art on The Jealous Curator, Krysa makes some pretty fun art on her own. I particularly like her Kitty Stacks, but don't scroll down too far! There are some naked ladies at the bottom of that post. However, I'd like to have a giant Kitty Stack on the wall of my apartment. I think it'd pretty much be the perfect art for a Spinster Lair.

So, if on this fine wednesday, you are in need of some inspiration, I say head on over to The Jealous Curator. I aspire to be as cool as Danielle Krysa and her infinite sharing of cool imagery and ideas.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beach Spinstering: Flip Flops!

cute-flip-flops, shopping-for-flip-flips, thong-sandals

Today we're almost halfway through May, and that means June (considered "high summer" in the fashion industry) is almost here. So, of course, beach time approaches. One of the most important things a girl can bring to the beach is a good old pair of rubber flip flops. They can be worn in the sand, by the pool, or even all the way in the water. And, if they do get all sandy, you can just rinse them off. But just because they're both versatile and washable certainly doesn't mean they have to be boring. Clearly I don't need to tell you that. So, below you can find the links where you can find these summer delights. Bonus: they're all under $30, and most of them are under $25!

8. Southwest Aero Flip Flop in Neon Yellow: $5, Aeropostale

9. Vera Bradley Flip Flops in "Sun Valley": $28.99,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spinster Summer Anthem: "Fancy"

Today's post really has nothing to do with spinsterhood. The lyrics are unspinsterly, and the video is just fun, but the first time I heard this song on the radio, I loved it.

When I heard the name Iggy Azalea, and I vaguely remembered a post Maria Nichol made on Glipho about her curves. Somehow, though, I didn't make the connection. I just knew the song was catchy. Now, after having listened to it at least a million times, it has become clear that Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" will, in fact, be my summer anthem. It's already in my running playlist, and I'm mad when it takes too long to come up in the shuffle.

Now, without further ado, here's the magnificent Clueless-inspired video. Be forewarned, however, that I couldn't find the radio edit in video form. So...there is some language.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Obsession Confession: JTV

Last night I turned my TV on to do a little relaxing, and the channel was turned to JTV from the last time I fell asleep watching it. I told myself I'd change the channel, but an hour later, I was still watching. I watched an entire show about alternatively colored turquoise, and the next thing I knew, I was learning all about Moissanite. I didn't even know such a stone existed.

In real life, I hate the hard sell. In fact, I find myself feeling insulted that the salesperson doesn't think I know what I like and/or want. When I'm watching JTV, though, from the comfort of my bathrobe, I can listen all night long without feeling guilty that I'm "just looking." In fact, I slip into sort of a trance-like state. It's not quite the ASMR experience some people derive from watching the Home Shopping Network or QVC, but I do find it incredibly relaxing.

In addition to the relaxing element, at some point I realize I'm rooting for the sales people. They always seem to have a finite number of each item, and they're selling like hot cakes! I always want them to sell out as quickly as possible while I sit there, slack jawed, staring at my television. It's like watching sports but resting instead of cheering.

I'm ashamed to say I stayed up much later than I wanted to last night because I couldn't tear myself away from all the sparkles and french manicures. But all the items were so versatile yet unique and impactful and compliment-procuring. I just couldn't muster the strength to press any buttons on my remote control!

So, next time you find yourself in need of a way to absolutely turn off your brain and look at shiny things as if you were a bird, try JTV. It may just be what the doctor ordered. It's certainly what the spinster ordered.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Some Spinsterly Saturday Thoughts

Hooray for saturday! I am ashamed to say that last night was spent working on an illustration order I had, so I did not, in fact, have time to illustrate anything for today's post. In lieu of an actual drawing, here is an image of my drawing tools. But, last night while I watched Lost and worked on my drawing, I had a few spinsterly thoughts, and since it's saturday morning, I will share them with you. 

In no particular order:

1. During this past week, I listened to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude on I'm not going to even pretend I remember all the details, but it seems to me that a better title for the book would have been "One Hundred Years Of Giving Everyone The Same Name." In fact, about halfway through, I had to look up this diagram just to figure out what generation they were even talking about.

2. I went to the DMV again friday afternoon and, yet again, failed to procure a license tag. The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles is ridiculous.

3. I ate a Gluten Free Dairy Free Amy's Frozen Pizza while I worked on my drawing, and I'm going to give it a solid "meh." It wasn't terrible, but I don't know if I'd buy it again. And, coming from this spinster, that may actually mean a lot. I'll pretty much eat anything. I wonder if it would have been good with ginger for thought. Pun intended.

4. When I grow up, I want to be a hermit artist who may or may not have seen everything on Netflix.

5. Going to bed early continues to be highly underrated.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spinster Shopping: Kitten Ears! (mostly) under $25!

cat-jewelry, kitten-jewelry, kitty-jewelry, kitten-earrings
It's Friday, and that means it's time for some spinster fun. And what, I ask, is more fun than sporting your spinsterly pride in the way of some kitten jewelry.

So in honor of being proud cat ladies, today I've put together a list of kitten-themed earrings, mostly under $25. So check these out, and imagine them on your little kitten ears. I think they're pretty darn cute!

1. White Cat Earrings: $19.27, Clay and Clasp on Etsy

2. Purple Space Cats Earrings: $17, The GlitorisShop on Etsy

3. Pretty Kitty Earrings: $12.00, Just Earrings on Etsy

4. Black and White Kitten Earrings: $6.00, Junylie on Etsy

5. Purple Cat Studs: $7.90, Bijunea on Etsy

6. Gold Cheeky Sitting Cat Earrings: $9.47, Smelly Grey Cat on Etsy

7. Porcelain Cat Earrings: $14, Linda Cain on Etsy

8. Cat Dangle Earrings: $17.99, Roses and Ruins on Etsy

9. Tabby Kitten Earrings: $8, The Catkin Boutique on Etsy

10. Picture Purrfect Earrings: $22.99, ModCloth

11. Betsy Johnson "Vintage Kitty" Earrings: $64.50 on Ebay

Thursday, May 8, 2014

MMM: Pizza Lane

In my home town, we used to have a Pizza Inn franchise, but for some reason or other, the chain left, and the restaurant was renamed Pizza Lane.

I'm quite upset when I go to Pizza Lane now that I'm gluten free because their pizza is amazing. They have this really, really thin crust with the delicious crispy crust. The pizza's not even the best thing, though. The best thing is their french fries, which are just the right amount of wiggly and firm. Dip those bad boys in some ketchup, and you are good to go. My family usually orders two baskets for our table. The good news is, I can still eat the fries.

On days when the buffet is available, each meal can be finished off with a delicious little dollop of soft serve ice cream - with or without chocolate sauce. Of course I got the works. I know it's been a few days since I actually did this, but I just...I keep thinking about it and wishing I had some with me.

So, On an only sort of related note, I need to post this video. I'm posting it partly because the fashions are incredible, and partly because I actually want to try this...and I will try it! Check it out:
And don't be jealous of these outfits. When I make my tin can ice cream, I will be certain to dress in a very patriotic fashion. Bonus points for a zip front sweater vest.

Now, get yourself some ice cream!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spinster Shopping: Funglasses!

cute-sunglasses, shopping-for-sunglasses, sunglasses-under-$50, sunglasses-under-fifty-dollars, printed-sunglasses, cheap-sunglasses, bright-sunglasses
In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm pretty excited about the approach of summer. This year I'm especially excited because my apartment complex has a pool, and i'm within driving distance of some pretty excellent beaches. One of the most essential parts of summer is, of course, sunglasses! While some people are able to make it years with the same pair of shades, others (most others, I'd wager) lose, break, or misplace sunglasses enough to make shopping for them every summer quite necessary.  Today I've put together some fun sunglasses styles with great colors, prints, and shapes. So check them out!

1. Shine Up Shades - Neon Pink: $40, Nasty Gal

2. Geo Wayfarer Sunglasses: $5.80, Forever 21

3. 49mm Mirror Lens Sunglasses: $22, Nordstrom

4. Lucia Shades - Yellow: $115, Nasty Gal

5. Ditsy Floral Wayfarer Sunglasses: $32, Topshop

6. Colette White and Black Striped Sunglasses: $14, LuLu's

7. Women's Cateye Sunglasses: $14.99,

8. 53mm Oversized Sunglasses: $22, Nordstrom

9. Two-Tone Clubmaster Sunglasses: $14.95, PacSun

10. Tortoise Ombre Round Sunglasses: $29.50, Express

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spinster Love: Ginger Dressing

Every time I'm at a Japanese Restaurant and am asked whether I want ginger dressing or something decidedly more western, I don't even have to think. I know I want ginger dressing. In fact, I'm pretty sure I make the same comment every time I eat that delicious, lumpy, orange stuff: "I could drink this."

Until thursday of last week, I thought the only place I could get this Japanese delight was if I went out to eat. But then! Oh, then, I was in the refrigerator section at Publix - you know, the part where they keep the bagged salads - and what should my wondering eyes behold? Some ginger dressing, all orangey-gold.

I picked up a bottle of the the dressing and some lettuce, and I went home to do my worst. The salad was delicious, even though I didn't put any ingredients in it except for just the lettuce. I was less concerned with the salad, of course, than I was with the dressing.

Spinsters, I am happy to report that the Makoto Ginger Dressing was brilliant. After I finished my salad (aka plain lettuce and dressing) I considered, for a brief moment pouring a little dressing on my couch cushions and having a bite of those, just to have a vehicle, but I thought better of it. That can be addictive, you know.

In the end, I did not drink the ginger dressing. I do still have half a bottle, though, and if I get the urge to have an episode of Freaky Eaters about me, then I'll start having sans-lettuce salads.

The main takeaway: I have found ginger dressing in the grocery store, and if you love it as much as I do, I highly recommend this kind!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Some Thoughts On Auto Repair Shops

twiddling-my-thumbs, women-getting-their-cars-repaired, bored, i'm-bored, i-am-bored
One of the unpleasant surprises about moving to Atlanta was the discovery that the car registration laws are so ridiculous. I've been to the DMV to get a new Georgia driver's license, and the next step in registering my car was to get a mandatory emissions test.

Now, my jeep has more than 200,000 miles on it, and to make a long story short, I failed the emissions test five times before I gave up and took my car to the dealership repair. Theres only a small window of time (19 days) between getting your license and registering your car, so after all the attempts at passing emissions (which included driving over 100 miles to no avail), I had to go to the dealership on a week day.

The jeep dealership was way out in Alpharetta, and when I got there, I was told the repair would take at least a few hours. So, I was faced with the prospect of either twiddling my thumbs for another "few hours" or finding something to do. After a long walk to a nail salon, I had a thought, and I still think it's pretty valid. Car repair places should have stuff to do there. Below, you'll find a list of my suggestions.

1. A News Stand:
          Airports have news stands with snacks, drinks, books, and magazines, and I've been spending more time in auto repair shops lately than I have been in airport terminals, so this seems like a logical conclusion. Patrons could buy books and magazines and read them while they wait.

2. A Coffee Shop:
          I'm pretty sure anywhere people have to wait, a coffee shop will thrive.

3. A Nail Salon:
          This would really make me want to get my car fixed on a regular basis. If there were manicures at Astoria prices in car repair place, the whole experience would be much less stressful

4. Chair Massages:
          This could also be an excellent money maker for the auto repair shop. They could either have a masseuse on staff, or they could just offer a spot to masseuses who would like to rent it. Again, very relaxing.

5. A Box of Kittens:
          Again, if this were always available (always kittens - no grown cats) at the auto shop, I'm fairly sure we would soon see people tampering with their own vehicles or getting unnecessary repairs just so they could play with some kittens for a little while.

So, auto repair shops, get to it! The three miles I had to walk for my manicure were good exercise, but you could have profited from my having to wait!