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Showing posts from February, 2012

Arthur Russell - Saying Goodbye to One of the Best Friends

I've been absent from the blog and mostly absent from creating for maybe a week and a half now and the sad reality is that I have been taking care of my dying cat.

Our cat Arthur was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer February 16th and it's been difficult to do much else than spend time with him ever since.

Photo by Brett Manning, Summer 2011.

His tumor practically happened overnight mid-to-late January - we thought initially he just hurt himself on something as his neck was fine one evening and then in the morning he had a HUGE lump underneath the left side of his neck.

Note: This post is going to get pretty photo-heavy as Arthur is a nut. Lots to illustrate about him.

Arthur was brought to us by his friend Anna at about 7-ish years old. No one is for sure how old he is since he has been bounced around a bit. Before Anna he lived with another family who had multiple cats. Arthur was given to Anna because Arthur HATES other cats (yet loves small animals like bunnies, …

Set For (Sewing) Life

So yesterday my mom sent me 5 HUGE boxes in the mail. To make a long story short, I am set for life as far as sewing goes!

Apparently, my cousin was cleaning out a house as part of his job and there was a huge treasure trove of sewing goodies. He called my mom to come pick things up. The result? A ton of cone thread for my serger, 205 sewing machine needles (2 different kinds), a bunch of fabric, a bunch of bra clips that will work for hooking garments of some sort together, industrial sewing machine feet.... the list goes on.




Note: If anyone has an industrial machine (as I don't) and would like these, message me and I will ship them to you for free. No use in letting them go to waste and it's likely I won't have an industrial machine ever. I've got a trusty Husqvarna. Update: I am sending these to Sally!

My mom also somehow found me some rainbow drip candles (at Hallmark, no less! What a surprise!)
And 6 bars of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap!

It's no secret that I…

Shoegaze-y Dream-Pop Daydreams

Although My Bloody Valentine my be considered the ultimate shoegaze band (who are technically a pre-cursor to the actual label), there are a few other droning guitar-laden bands that can fit into the genre that is mostly a mix of 60s psych and garage rock.

For those of you unfamiliar with shoegaze, Wikipedia defines it exactly as this:  "Common musical elements of shoegaze consist of distortion, droning riffs and a "wall of sound" from noisy guitars. Typically, two distorted rhythm guitars are played together to give an amorphous quality to the sound. Although lead guitar riffs were often present, they were not the central focus of most shoegaze songs."

Enough of the history lesson - here are some all-time favorites of mine. The first two are essentially classic shoegaze and the second two are shoegaze-y enough to be considered as such due to influences and usage of distorted guitar effects.









While Junior Panthers isn't technically considered "shoegaze…

Hanging Lampshade Redux

So while I was on the phone with my dad today, I spontaneously had the urge to update the fabric lampshade that was on this hanging cage lamp in the guest room. I know, I know! The guest room yet again.

You may remember the hanging cage lamp I had in the last blog post where I did hard-edge stripes on the walls near the door frame. This lamp was found in our "magical basement" - the joke is whatever you wish for it's probably there in the basement.

The fabric was seriously shabby - faded yet somehow not ripped (yet). Who knows where this was in it's previous life in the house. The design of the shade was much less complicated than I anticipated when I ripped it apart this morning.

I did this the super-lazy way. I laid the fabric on top of the new fabric, pinned it so it wouldn't move and then added 1/2" seam allowances on all edges. (See how only the top edge was gathered at the top of the lamp?)



This is what the lamp looks like... when it's naked.




I …

Retro Hard Edge-Designed Interior Stripes

Now did you think I would go ahead and post that hard-edge design page without actually trying it out myself?

On a whim today (8 days off feels like all the time in the world) I decided to head down to my local hardware store and grab some paint. 2 small cans of it totaled almost $30. I decided on Valspar's Wineberry Blush and Acapulco. Pink and orange are colors that were once directed to NEVER be put together I think in the 50s? but by the 60s lots of rules were broken.

A book I bought almost 2 years ago was a huge inspiration with as far as the interior of my house although it already did look like it has been stuck somewhere between 1969-1974. It's just been a matter of injecting fun colors and cool vintage-like thrift finds over the years which has been done.

This photo is an example  from Living for Today by Karen Fisher (I had to steal these photos from my own Flickr account!):




And of course, I LOVE the rainbow detail here. 
See this blog post for the how to on hard-e…

What I Wore: Psychedelic Deer Dress

I saw this psychedelic deer dress in the window at Pitaya nearby work the other day and I couldn't resist. I don't really need any more dresses at all but this one was screaming "me". 'Nuff said.


"Rainbows are very important to the whole Nicole persona." - Lee









Dress: Pitaya
Belt: Forever21
Sweater: Vintage
Boots: Call It Spring

Music to Work To

A friend recently got me in to listening to Flying Lotus radio on Pandora and Flying Lotus was his top pick as music he loves to work to. The beats are steady, usually electronic/synthesizer based, and dreamy. Many people cite his biggest influence as J. Dilla as does one of my current favorite artists, Toro Y Moi. Fans of his album Causers of This released in 2009 will likely dig Flying Lotus's 2010 release, Cosmogramma which is a mix of synthy-beats and jazzy electronic instrumentals with blips of video game sounds. This is quite conducive to a productive creative work flow. It's been making me want to stay up in the sewing room!




These following photos are paintings (which I love!) done by said friend - Chicago artist, Ennis Martin... likely listening to Flying Lotus?

 Painting copyright of Ennis Martin.

Painting copyright of Ennis Martin.


I generally work to lots of things; Pandora stations, my own last.fm mix, but one I always seem to come back to is Chicago's own, T…