30.3.10

My Afikomen Is Bigger Than Your Afikomen



Part of our Passover tradition is the monkeys searching the house for the afikomen, which is a broken piece of matzah.
This year there was a lot of bickering: “Stop following me go look in your own places”.
As well as pessimism: “I know I’m not going to find it ‘he’ always finds everything first”.
Lucky for them the prize is the same. Candy and stickers makes everyone happy.

28.3.10

Highlight Of The Week- Pyszne!



We sit down to dinner together every night. That is how I was raised and this is how we are raising our monkeys. As they are getting older our conversations are becoming more stimulating and I find myself thinking about our dinner conversations long after the meal. Our dinners usually start with the “highlight of the day” this tradition was adopted from the S’s family tradition of doing a “highlight of the week” for Friday night, Shabbat dinner. We always go from youngest to oldest. On days when we are grumpy we start with the worst part of the day and by the end we are laughing and sharing the good parts that we almost forgot about.
My highlight for this week was that Dr. J came home for lunch everyday. Depending on his week he is usually able to come home once or twice and sometime I meet him somewhere. This week it was everyday and it was gorgeous out and we were able to eat outside. I love having lunch with my husband and I love having a ‘date’ in the middle of the day!
These are photos of my favorite lunch (very reminiscent of my childhood)

GOOD Rye bread (like the real deal)
Grey Poupon- Dijon
Polish Kielbasa (must be from a Polish deli to be real deal)
Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
The Kielbasa tastes best if it is lightly fried on a skillet until both sides are browned.
Serve with a bowl of soup and in my opinion this is the best lunch in the world.
(The soup in the photo is mushroom barley)
PYSZNE!

27.3.10

Lady Of The Arts- Wins The Prolific Blogger Award!



I was awarded The Prolific Blogger award this week by Erika of The Traveling Fish.
Totally honored to be awarded and very excited to be introduced to the other fantastic bloggers that Erika awarded.
And in turn, here are the blogs I bestow The Prolific Blogger Award,
blogs that produce an abundance of great posts:
Place Like This...
Confessions of a Wannabe Writer
The Claw
Musings on the Simple Life
Lovely World
One Perfect Bite
I'm just that way and that's just me
All winners should check out the conditions of their award in 'the Rules' at the bottom of this post.

AND:
To continue my own trend which I started last week here, a list of “Follower" title lines that make me smile:

"If I advance, follow me! If I retreat, kill me! If I die, avenge me!"

Some of those I pay to read this swill

Bacon Addicts

See yourself here! Seriously, I get waaaaay excited about followers!

Being followed gives me a sense of recognition. I love to write and writing is for an audience otherwise it may as well just be thoughts. Every time I get a new follower I tell Dr. J and he is always happy for me. Sherri of The Claw has a very cool tradition of ‘Welcoming’ her newest followers of the week-
Thank you so much to those that chose to follow me virtually!
If you have or know of anyone with a cool "Follower" title line please mention it in the comments- I would love to check it out.

There are the Rules for this award:

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!
2. Each Prolific Blogger must link to the blog from which he/she has received the award. In your case: http://www.ladyofthearts.blogspot.com/
3. Every Prolific Blogger must link back to This Post, which explains the origins and motivation for the award.
4. Every Prolific Blogger must visit this post and add his/her name in the Mr. Linky, so that we all can get to know the other winners.

26.3.10

this moment



{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/

25.3.10

Phish 3D: Of Festival 8- Halloween 2009: We'll Make Hippies Of Them Yet!



We have been to a lot of Phish shows. Well I have been to ten shows- but Dr. J’s been to close to two hundred and by extension of being his wife for the past ten years-  I have been immersed in the Phish culture. For the record I never went to a single Phish show until Dr. J took me.
This past Halloween we took our monkeys to their first shows. It was a three day festival in Palm Springs at the Coachella site, Festival 8. For months we discussed it. The previous Halloween we had gone 'trick or treating' in the Pacific Palisades with friends and the monkeys were leaning towards full sized candy bars. Dr. J tried to entice them by saying “we can camp out on the lot” at which point Gman says: “Why would we stay in a tent if we could stay at a hotel?” (That’s my boy).

Here is our decidedly not camp ground casita where we spent three nights.
The festival was amazing. We saw tons of friends from Canada and the US and hung out with some pretty amazing people. The monkeys were fantastic and had a great time at the shows. At the venue we took them shopping for rocks and crystals which is their favorite thing to shop for.
They had really cool art installations set up all over the venue and in the main tented area. The largest attractions were the amazing fire shows which were audience operated and the million foot high Ferris wheel.
Can you see the Ferris wheel way in the back?

If you wish you were at the shows or are interested in 'seeing' what a show is like, get the patchouli out (optional) and prepare for the April 30th release date of the 3D concert experience of these shows. There are prescreening on April 20th in Boston; Burlington, VT; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; New York; Raleigh/Durham, NC; and Washington, D.C.
For my last post about the Darien Lake Shows this summer read here .
To see the trailer for PHISH 3D go to: http://vimeo.com/10419545

24.3.10

Film: Wendy and Lucy



I have been fascinated with the film Wendy and Lucy since it came out in 2008. Starring Michelle Williams it is the film she made and promoted around her break up with Heath Ledger and his death. I have always thought that Ms. Williams is a fantastic actor and really wanted to see her in this role.
Wendy and Lucy is an adaptation of Jon Raymond’s short story Train Choir. It is directed by Kelly Reichard and won both Best Picture and Best Actress at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2008.
This small understated indie film: features Williams as a down-and-out young woman who is on her way to Alaska to find work. She stops to sleep in a dismal Oregon town and in short order loses her car and her dog, Lucy. There appears to be no safety net for people like Wendy. Once they slip, there's nothing to catch them.
The film takes place over two days and is done on a small budget without extravagance. Ms. Williams dominates the events as they unfold. She is excellent at gaining viewer compassion despite her limits in the pace and action of the film. Ms Reichardt uses images and the sounds of real life, leading the story between spurts of diologues with characters Wendy encounters. The dog Lucy is played by the directors own pooch and unpretensiously plays the role of Wendy’s best and only friend.
Great interview with M. Williams where the above quote is from:
Official website of the film:
http://www.torontofilmcritics.com/blog/

23.3.10

Crack An Egg- Egg Shell Art




I love doing ‘farts and crafts’ with my monkeys. I especially love thinking of creative ways to use material that we already have. We compost, so our ‘scraps’ are well used including our eggshells. I remember doing this project when I was little with my mother “Queen of Creativity ”.
I have been saving eggshells since last week and rinse them until they don’t feel slimy, then leave them out to dry.
Seeking a natural way to dye the eggshells I tried using red tea and green tea.
After thirty minutes of boiling, the red tea eggshells took on a brown color and the green ones were white with a hint of green.

I added a few drops of green food coloring in with the green tea and came out with a light green. I took out the light brown eggshells and added a few drops of red food coloring, added more eggshells and boiled them for 30 minutes. These are my results.
For my next attempt I will strive to create more vibrant colors.

We put the eggshells into zip lock bags and took a rolling pin to it.
Because we were limited with the colors we had, we made a simple tree glue on construction paper project.
1. First we made an outline
2. We sprinkled the crushed eggshells

3. Shook them off
4. Made buds (repeat)

Questions to consider while creating:
What materials (medium) are we using to create?

What texture does this medium create? 

What sort of effect can you create with the raised and recessed areas? (Depth)

What types of art genres use recycled objects? (most commonly Assemblage but also Found Art, Junk Art and a fairly new term is Up-cycled Art) 
What textures are used? (Intrinsic to the properties of metal, paper, plastic etc.) 

22.3.10

Experience The World From Your Couch


Dr. J and I wanted to try something new- well not 'new' exactly, I mean we’ve been doing it for years but I guess ‘with new people’.
So I did some internet research and found out that like many big cities in the world, our city had a large network of people just like us!
We did not tell our family we were doing it. They actually found out about a month into it because as mature (ha, ha) adults we figured there was no need to lie to our parents. My mother all but cried. My mother-in-law said her signature ‘oh well you guys’.
We have been doing it for almost two years now and it’s pretty addictive.
CouchSurfing International, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission statement is:
“to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding."
This is done by hosting people in your home, from around the world.
Members fill out a profile and then you either send a request, or receive a request, to Couchsurf. Each profile has a rating system where the host and surfer summarize their experience. The more positive feedback you get the higher you are on the Couchsurfing pyramid and you can attain the level of being ‘vouched’ for. There are also three levels of verification the highest of which requires an address verification and optional donation.
We have hosted great people from Spain, France, Italy, Dubai, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic and California. We have surfed in Europe and North America.  We have surfed with the monkeys.
This is a worldwide organization. I am sure you will find active members in your city and in the cities you want to visit. I love contributing to the global community. I love the music M burned for us. I loved the dishes C made for us. I love the dishes E taught us to make. I loved practicing Polish with R, and French with M, M and A. I love the book K suggested. I loved talking about art with E. I love seeing how other people live. I love that my monkeys think it is normal to have visitors whose first language is not English. I love meeting our ‘friends we have not met’.
It is pretty easy to spot an incompatible guest request. Profile requirements make it easy to make informed decisions and find compatible matches.
If you have questions regarding Couchsurfing or about our experiences, I would be happy talk more about it. Or check out the FAQ section at: http://www.couchsurfing.org/

I will only have one monkey this summer and I am planning on doing some road trips and surfing with like minded people. Don’t tell my mother.

21.3.10

Lady Ren’s Hot Lemonade




I have never bartended but I do make fantastic drinks.
I love to make signature drinks for our get togethers, dinners or parties.
This spicy hot drink was inspired by the region where I live and my craving for rum. 
It creates the type of zing that makes your lips tingle and your tongue crave more.
Lady Ren’s Hot Lemonade
Three dry red JalapeƱos (ripped into bits)
Three teaspoons cane sugar
Three tablespoons of hot water
Mix and fuse till mixture cools
Add one cup of White rum (I prefer Bacardi)
Let sit for 20 minutes
 

Fill glass halfway with crushed ice
Cover ice with rum mix
Add Pink lemonade to taste

I am entering this drink for the  Quickies : Morning, Noon and Night Cooking Challenge

20.3.10

Follow




I found these very cool tights on Etsy in a shop called Tattoo Socks. Started by two Tel Aviv based artist Gabby a designer and illustrator makes these tights. (They are currently sold out).
I love how sassy and current to 'contemporary culture' they are. Obviously these tights are a refrence to following on Twitter but they are relevant to blogger following as well.
I like to follow blogs and keeping up with what they are blogging about. It is easy to see who has posted most recently when it is all in one section. If someone follows me, I follow them back.
Dani of I’m Just That Way And That’s Just Me wrote a genuine post about following and wanting followers here .
I find it interesting what bloggers have as their tag lines for their ‘Followers’ link.
Here are some of my favorite: “Follower" tag lines:
and then there were sixty-four  (updated with each addition but something special going on now for 66)
The Doughnut Gang!
We're going to the beach. Wanna come?
I think I'm being followed...
If you have or know a "Follower" tag line that makes you smile please post it in the comments below- I would love to check it out!

19.3.10

Erin Currier



I have been obsessed with Erin Currier since I came across her work in Phoenix Home and Garden, August 2009 issue.
Born in MA, Ms. Currier relocated to Taos, NM where she works and lives when not traveling. Her art is fueled by her travels to Third World countries where she studies cultures and people.
In her art Ms. Currier uses mixed mediums mingling collage and found objects with exquisite paintings. Her art echoes world politics and her subjects resonate an unapologetic glimpse of their realities. Primarily Ms. Currier represents the woman of the world and gives a voice to the most underrepresented.

From The Artist Statement:
I travel the world’s streets collecting the discarded with which to portray the discarded: the women, the mothers, the martyrs,the mothers of martyrs, barrio dwellers, day laborers, forced laborers, slave-wage laborers, shoeshine boys, lady boys, schoolgirls, gang girls, cholos, guerilla poets, Sandinistas, Zapatistas, Chavistas, the indigenous, the indigent, imprisoned, objectified, nullified, vilified, unfortified, unrecognized, silent, forgotten, and ordinary.

Two of her upcoming solo shows in Taos:
June 2010
Parks Gallery
Taos, New Mexico USA
www.parksgallery.com/artist_info.php?artistID=6
And in:
September 2010
Blue Rain Gallery
Taos, New Mexico USA
http://blueraingallery.com/artists/erin_currier/
To read more and see more of her awesome art work visit:
http://www.erincurrierfineart.com/

this moment



{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/

18.3.10

Alice Walker, Stefano Vitale and Why War Is Never A Good Idea



Alice Walker is best known for being the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 for her novel Color Purple. Known for her race and gender activism, Ms. Walker has also been an active anti-war supporter since the early 1960. In March of 2009, Ms. Walker traveled to Gaza to help deliver aid and support the message of Egypt and Israel opening their boarder into Gaza.

Ms. Walker is the author of my favorite childrens book. Along with the amazing art work by Stefano Vitale this collaboration is titled Why War Is Never A Good Idea.
This book is a poetic swirling of words that evoke softly spoken images of the devistations of war. Through his art and illustrations Mr. Vitale’s vibrant folk-art style contrast mountain top villages and lush jungles with the thickly textured face of war with rusted metal, nails and tires. This face which “destoys thing that do not belong to it” and “eats everything in its path”. For both a child’s eyes and through the learned appreciation of an adult, this book is thought provoking.
Why War Is Never A Good Idea is a book of art, poetry and child entertainment I make it a point to give this as a gift with the same zeal I once reserved for Dr. Seuss. It is also a fantastic way to start the diologue with your monkeys. This book and Color Purple can both be found for under $4 in my Amazon store.

In the words of Sir S:
I have a dream that one day people will stop bombing Iraq. This is a BIG problem because our economy is bad. Everything will go bad with war because people die. No war will make it a better place to live.


Mr. Vitale's website of all his really cool art work.  He even designs wine lable art!http://www.stefanovitale.com/

17.3.10

Who Cares If It Doesn't Make Sense, It Looks Pretty.



I was inspired by 675 Bar in the meatpacking district, which features this lounge area complete with color charted bookshelves.
                                   
This photograph is by Eric Laignel and was featured in the September 2009, Interior Design magazine.
Today I embarked on a similar project of color coordinating my bookshelves. I adore my books and have always organized them by subject or author. So my book were very well organized prior to my pretty up project. They looked like this:
I made color piles:



I even filled up a box with donate books- Among them was this classic.
Would you want this guy anywhere near your erroneous zones?
And here are the final results.

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