Monday, November 30, 2009


Tree Ornament

Forgive me for pulling out a picture from last year, but I promise to snap some new shots soon.

I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely holiday week! We visited both sets of my grandparents and I think I've finally recovered from the birthday & Thanksgiving gorging (both of us had a birthday last week & got to pick a restaurant). This weekend Justin and I were clutching our bellies and crying for salad.

I am *so* ready for Christmas this year, and have already spent a week with Christmas movies. The (tiny) tree is up & decorated, and we are constantly having to keep guard with a water squirt bottle because Indy is obsessed with chewing on the fake tree's needles/leaves. We have this problem every year, but he get's over it after a week or so (or maybe he just learns to chew when we are sleeping?)

I think it has been two weeks since I've gotten any printing done. Partially because I ran out of fabric, and the busy holiday week didn't help, but today I was able to print off some more owls in red on white. I love that printing with the same colors means I don't have to re-photo & edit everything for the Etsy listing, but it does make me sad to not have any new pics to share on here. I do have some new color combos and some new crafts coming up soon though!

So much going on lately, I'm sure I've forgotten something!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ambigram Challenge

Ambigram magazine, where I was recently interviewed, started hosting an ambigram competition a couple of months ago. The "challenge" used to be hosted once a month by Nagfa, a husband & wife ambigram-blogging-team, but with a new baby it got to be too much for them to handle. You can now see them as one of the judges.

The challenge is usually open ended; like 'the holidays', or 'ressurection'; which does not really appeal to me. One word might just work better than another, you know? The last challenge was actually sponsored by a reader who wanted a design of his and his wife's name, and he was offering a prize of $100 for the winning entry (which he would choose). Prize money and two set names was enough to finally motivate me to enter.

My entry ~
"Sadiq" & "Shana" Ambigram
"Sadiq" & "Shana" Ambigram

And here are the results.

I did not end up winning, but made it into the top 5 (voted on by the normal judges), which was really my main goal. Of course, I don't mind money either! The judges mentioned picking a different entry as their #1, and one of them said "Tiffany, the judges scored this one higher than the sponsor, and your design was easily at the top of the competition." We could not decide if that meant that mine was their choice for #1, or if they just scored it higher than the sponsor did? I like to think it was the first option!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A visit from Indy

These first photos are from a few months ago, but I don't think I ever posted them. Now, I know that cat + sink is nothing new, but we have a tiny sink and a gigantic cat. Neither of us could figure out exactly how his girth fit in there.

Indy - sink

Indy - sink yawn

And here is one from a few days ago; peeking around the curtain at the birds. Such focus!

Indy - hunting

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ambigram Tattoos

I haven't been getting a lot of ink pictures lately, but I finally saved up a few to post.

"Kelly" & "Kiefer", "Scott" & "Kiefer" Ambigram Tattoos
From this ambigram and this ambigram.
This set was created to match their last set, seen here.

"Kelly" & "Kiefer", "Scott" & "Kiefer" Ambigram Tattoos - 1

"Kelly" & "Kiefer", "Scott" & "Kiefer" Ambigram Tattoos - 1

"Respect" & "Loyalty" Ambigram Tattoo
From this ambigram.

"Respect" & "Loyalty" Ambigram Tattoo

"Joseph" & "Thomas" Ambigram Tattoo
From this ambigram.

"Joseph" & "Thomas" Ambigram Tattoo

"As You Wish" Ambigram Tattoo

"As You Wish" Ambigram Tattoo

Whoops! Looks like I haven't posted the ambigram for this one yet ~
"As You Wish" Ambigram Tattoo

"As You Wish" Ambigram

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ambigram Drop

"Mikayla" & "Asher" Ambigram

"Mikayla" & "Asher" Ambigram

"Hasan & Nouf" Ambigram

"Hasan & Nouf" Ambigram

"Hold Fast" Ambigram

"Hold Fast" Ambigram

"Zoe" Ambigram

"Zoe" Ambigram

"Andrew" & "William" Ambigram

"Andrew" & "William" Ambigram

"Friends" & "Family" Ambigram

"Friends" & "Family" Ambigram

"Jaime" & "Justin" Ambigram

"Jaime" & "Justin" Ambigram

"Karen" & "Kevin" Ambigram

"Karen" & "Kevin" Ambigram

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Licorice Owls

I've done a bit of printing with the black ink recently, which I am dubbing "licorice". I'm trying to go with a food theme for all of the color names, which sound so nice when they are put together (like "dark chocolate" on "biscotti"). I've been pretty successful at naming them, though I wasn't able to come up with anything for the turquoise ink and dyed-gray fabric I used before.

Owl Parliament in licorice black - close

I worked with some gray fabric for this last batch, but this time I decided to call it "smoke". Licorice & smoke sounds pretty nice, but now I'm wondering how that will sound with some of the future food names. Cherry & smoke? Chocolate & smoke? Perhaps I should have stuck with "slate gray"....

Owl Parliament in licorice & smoke - close

Owl Parliament in licorice black - folds

Owl Parliament in licorice & smoke - folds

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Box from J-box

This is the kind of package I like to see!

Package from J-box

I was already placing an order with, so I figured I might as well throw in a few bags of chips & such! Chips are one of my favorite foods, but I get so tired of all the same-ol' flavors. Why do they never come out with new ones? I am seriously tempted to move to Japan for the chips and ramen shops alone. (Of course, there are many other reasons)

I quickly snapped these shots when I opened the box, so forgive the quality. I was eager to rip open a few of those packages! First we have some labels you might recognize...

Japanese Doritos & Cheetos

Most of the text you see on the Doritos bag is spelling out the words in katakana, the alphabet they use for foreign words. At the top you see ドリトス - "Doritosu" (the "u"s can be dropped) and テリヤキ 味 - "Teriyaki" and the kanji for "flavor". (If things are looking weird, you might not have Asian text capability on your computer)

On the Cheetos bag we have チェスター チーター の チートス ミックス - "Chesuta- Chi-ta- の Chi-tosu Mikkusu", or "Chester Cheetah's Cheetos Mix". At the bottom is ワイルド ペッパー ベーコン 味 - "Wailudo Peppa- Be-kon 味" - Wild Pepper Bacon flavor.

But not all of the labels are katakana versions of English...

Garlic chips and Beef Bento Chips

The first bag reads にんにく, "Garlic" in hiragana (the main alphabet), and マニア - "Mania", which I assume you can figure out on your own! Mmmmm.... Garlic Mania!

Then the second bag reads 牛肉 - Beef, どまん中 - right in the center, 味 - flavor. コーンスナック - "Ko-n Sunakku" - Corn Snack. This one was labeled online as "Beef Bento Box" flavor, and bento (弁当) is mentioned in the line underneath the cows. These are also the only chips I've eaten so far, and man.... they were so good!

Rose Kit Kats & Squid rings

Kit Kats - チョコ & ローズ - "Choko & Ro-zu", chocolate & rose flavored (using an abbreviation of チョコレート - "chokore-to", for chocolate) There are soooo many flavors of Kit Kats in Japan.

And we have いかめし - Squid flavored (corn rings).

Grape mochi

Now this stack of purple candies are Grape Mochi (a chewy marshmallow-like snack made with sticky rice), and are the real reason I made the order in the first place. These, the Kit Kats above, and a bag of candies I bought earlier from the Asian market, will be my stocking stuffers this year (to give to Justin's family). I don't think anyone reads the blog, so I should be safe to post these. If not, oh well! The candies feel very hard inside the packaging, unlike the soft mochi I'm used to, but I'll have to wait with everyone else to sample them. See the little toothpick inside?

Egg molds, Hi Chew, & Furikake

I also grabbed some egg molds (star & heart shaped), Cotton Candy flavored Hi Chew (ハイチュウ - like a chewier Starburst), and some furikake in assorted flavors (seasoning to sprinkle on rice). I think the egg molds were the thing labeled as "toy" on the front of the package. I think kids would disagree, but I'm fine with it!

Feel free to let me know if you enjoy seeing these Japanese products as much as I do, or if you could do without. I realize I'm a bit obsessed and am not a good judge of how interesting they are! (, I apologize! I know you probably get your fill of this stuff already) ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkins & Playing Dress-up

Here is the pumpkin I carved and painted this year. I got the idea from a photo in a magazine, but I'm not sure which one (glanced at it in the grocery store). I'm also not sure how close it is to the pumpkin in the magazine, but when I saw those colors together I knew what I wanted to do.

My Pumpkin - 09

It was a troublesome project though, as the rain kept the first coat of (acrylic) paint from drying until I finally had to bring it inside. Then I could not find a small saw, so those rounded corners were a pain to do, and a pain for my wrist. But I think it was worth it in the end!

Chelsea quickly carved an old-school pumpkin so that we could have something to set out on the porch before the trick-or-treaters came. She is so photogenic!

Chelsea's Pumpkin

There really were pumpkins and gourds all over the house. Out on the porch a little pepper plant tried to blend in with all of the orange.

Pumpkins everywhere!

But this was my favorite, the prettiest pumpkin of all!

The prettiest pumpkin

A few people dressed up in costumes, though most were thrown together from things around the house.

Chelsea, Justin, Devin

Ashley, Stacey

Even the lamp got into the action! (Or else someone is wearing a very convincing lamp costume?)

Lamp Costume

Justin's dad dressed up as a birthday-boy. Oh wait, .... no, that wasn't a costume!

Birthday Boy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spooky Snacks

We spent the weekend at Justin's parents', celebrating Halloween and his dad's birthday. The girls were all excited about making themed foods, and we ended up *way* overcooking. Here are few of my favorites...

These little bat & skull croutons were make with sliced bread and cookie cutters. The bread was brushed with oil & sprinkled with spices, and toasted in the oven.

Spooky Croutons

This is what I was in charge of - making a skeleton out of vegetables. I added in some flames, bats and stars around him. (I'm not taking credit for the hair, which was added later by Justin when he found out that his mom had bought the sprouts specifically for that)

Veggie Tray Skeleton

I had no idea what his sister was up to with this until it was cut into slices after baking. Candy corn cheese bread! I'd love to re-do this idea next year as a pizza with shredded cheeses.

Candy Corn Cheese Pizza

And of course there were the traditional mummy dogs, with little sesame seed eyes. (Justin and I also put these together. Everything else was made by his sisters or mother)

Mummy Dogs

Bloody tomato soup with floating eyeballs made of olives and... feta? I'm not sure what kind of cheese it was. Justin stirred the soup thinking the eyes would float up to the top again. They had to be fished back out, rinsed, and set on the top again.

Tomato Soup with eyes

Pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate with almond sliced for finger nails. Justin's dad donated the sleeve of an old dress-shirt to cover the jar they sat in.

White Chocolate & Pretzel Fingers

This one isn't food, but a little mood lighting...

Foggy Cauldron

They only ended up getting three trick-or-treaters this year, after making up about 15-20 treat bags full of candy. It was a very rainy night, though, and I think the city started a downtown event the year before, so I'm sure those two things did not help. All of the siblings gladly took home a few treat bags for themselves.

I have one more set of Halloween pictures, ready to share tomorrow!