Saturday, June 30, 2007

Drumroll Please

And the winner is....

We have friends in town, so my posts are limited, but I'll be back soon!

Nice-etc—Congratulations! Send me your address at rachelkswansonATyahooDOTcom

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My version of time-lapse photography

Don't forget to enter The Contest in yesterday's post. Looks like your chances are pretty good right now. Trust me, the prizes will be fabulous.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I've noticed that many bloggers have contests and I want to join in the fun! All you have to do is leave a comment with a link (or just the url) to a blog, website, video, quiz, or other item you find personally interesting on the web. I will draw 1 winner randomly on Saturday and post it by noon EST. That person will receive a package of über goodies hand-picked for them. If I don't know the winner personally, I will leave an e-mail where you can send me your address, and I might ask you a few questions to help me out—if you're game.

I'll go first. I really like personality tests because it helps me relate better with others and understand myself more. Here's one I've taken recently:
personal DNA. I am a "faithful visionary" and I found the description to be pretty accurate.

Monday, June 25, 2007


These are my new cabinets from IKEA, Herman (left) and Alex. They are perfect for storing paper and art supplies and I'm feeling quite organized after staying up til 3 on Saturday. Well, organized in that room at least. Alex seems to be quite popular lately and I've seen him make appearances on decor8 and Treefall Design.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cookie Sandwich

Yesterday I saw gingersnap & lemon icing sandwiches at the bakery. I'd never seen that combination before and it sounded great, so I made my own cheater version! I used store-bought cookies and added lemon extract and yellow food coloring to plain frosting, and they were as good as I'd imagined.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lemon & Lime Savers

I am always finding little bags of half used lemons and limes in my refrigerator. This morning I thought I had come up with a great new product, but it already exists at Gourmac. I would have made them a little more fun, but I didn't think of it first. I was also wondering about a tomato keeper. Yep, those are at Kitchen Krafts along with the onion keeper. A quick search did not turn up any cucumber keepers!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Let's Play Before & After

This makeover of the office in Nate's office took place a few months ago, but that was before my blog! I thought it was appropriate for several reasons.

1. I was working there today and I really enjoyed the sun coming in the open window and the equally sunny "hibiscus" color on the walls.
2. We sort of stopped half-way in painting the other rooms after it ate up several weekends, but today we had a professional start and I'm sure he will be done in no time. Then we can get new carpet, a new reception desk, move the bathroom.......ugh.
3. All of the furniture and storage containers are from my 1st and only IKEA trip, but I just made a date to go again tomorrow night with my friend, Cathryn, after a mango fried rice dinner.

You can click to enlarge the photos if you want to make sure it was "really that gross". Yes, that IS a shower and a washer—but it's nothing a giant curtain won't hide!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Off the Clock

I'm not a fan of Starbucks in general, but I am into their Off The Clock cd. It's a compilation that features new artist that are/were (?) employees. My favorite is "The Fever" by The Young Immortals and you can listen here. It's summer pop-a-licious!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

50 Nifty Things

One of my aunts turned fifty this week and another aunt had the clever idea that we should all send her 50 little items, because she likes intricate and detailed things. Since she is a graphic designer, I sent this little set of printers blocks. The alphabet, numbers, punctuation, and a couple pieces of leading makes 50! I'm curious to find out what else she received.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cutest Fridge Ev-er.

Some people drool over stainless steel appliances, but I'm dreaming of this. AND it has the freezer on the bottom, which seems to me is the only sane way to do things. Check out all the pretty colors (and the stoves!) here at Elmira Stove Works and another version at Big Chill. Drool away!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Piscataqua River Brass

These are logos I did for a new group in town. They have not chosen one yet, but I think I like the baroque feel of the top one. My prediction is that they'll pick #2.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dutch Baby

Before you get too excited, Mom—I'm just describing our breakfast. For those of you who have never had a Dutch Baby, it's a puffy pancake (that quickly deflates) that is super tasty with lemon and powdered sugar. If you'd like the recipe, leave a comment and I'll post it.

Here's the recipe, as requested!

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten slightly
Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)

For top: fresh fruit, lemon and powdered sugar, whipped cream, sautéed fruit, etc.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Melt butter in 10-in ovenproof skillet over medium heat, tilting pan to coat sides well. (If you don't have an over-proof skillet, you can melt butter in a pie pan in the oven. Don't let it cool, and add the rest of the ingredients. You may have to bake a couple extra minutes). Whisk milk, flour, sugar, eggs, and nutmeg. Pour into skillet. Cook one minute. Place skillet in oven and bake until pancake is puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Since it flattens out and becomes quite thin, this amount is really only enough for 2 people!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Birthday Presents

Here are most of the wonderful birthday presents I received—thank you to all my friends and family who sent them! They include a Charley Harper card and mug (sadly, he passed away on Sunday), summer plates with an ocean theme with matching sea star and seahorse dip bowls, cards to frame for the bedroom, bird accessories (also for the bedroom!) and earrings, a ring (not pictured) and a necklace! I have also purchased this Matte Stephens print with some money from Mom & Dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I was actually excited to go grocery shopping with my new Environsax from I've been good lately about bringing reusable bags, but these are great because I can keep them in my purse and use them at any store—as long as I can stop them before my items are double plastic-bagged!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Stacey!

Now that she's opened it, I can show what it is—Found Style by David and Amy Butler and a vintage letter organizer. I had the bookstore order it and they could only find a used copy. I said, "Well, I guess since it's a book about used things, I can't say no!"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Birthday in Boston

For my birthday on Sunday we went down to Boston for the day. Our first stop was the South End Open Market. I always loved the Talbot Street Art Fair in Indianapolis AND it fell right around my birthday (and my sister's!). In fact, the day I was born, my mom had been there earlier in the day and she likes to tell me how hot it was. I get the idea that it was HOT.

Anyway, this was a small show, but there were many wonderful booths. I think I'm going to save my purchases and lovely birthday gifts for another post. I immediately recognized the paintings at one booth because I've seen them around town. They were from local artist Lainey Hunter who also lives in Kittery!

We headed up to Harvard Square and browsed the shops and enjoyed an amazing brunch buffet at Henrietta's Table.

Finally, we stopped at my all-time favorite store, paper*source. By that time, my feet were sore and it was time to catch the bus!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Market Square Day

On Saturday we went to Market Square Day in Portsmouth. It's an annual street festival downtown. The weather was cloudy and I wasn't too impressed by the selection of vendors (not much art!) but the festival food, music and people watching were excellent.

I really enjoyed this group, whom I've been calling The Flintstone Drummers, but as it turns out, that isn't their name! They are actually called Foté and you can check them out here.

On to the food! Our first course was a sweet Italian sausage with peppers and onions and we washed that down with a Lime Rickey (basically Sprite with raspberry flavoring). We followed that artery-clogging sugar-fest with fried dough and Moxie. Yum! I was always a big fan of elephant ears in Indiana and I'm disappointed that everyone calls them "fried dough" here. How boring! According to Wikipedia, other names include whale tails and frying saucers. And Moxie is just gross. It seems like a cool vintage thing to drink and it's apparently the State Soda of Maine, but to me it tastes like bad root beer.

And lastly, Poncho Pink Socks wins the award for Best People Watching. He wasn't doing anything crazy, but I was reminded of The Dancing Festival Guy over on ljc's Rocha-chatter blog.

Friday, June 8, 2007

New Logo

We are organizing a concerto competition for next year with my orchestra, so that called for special logo!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fun with Multi-frames

I love the multi-frame function on my camera. It shoots 9 frames in succession and is sort of like stills from a video. I think this group demonstrates the degree to which Linford loves grass!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


These soda cap magnets (in a cute tin!) are my first attempt at a retail product and I hope to follow with more. I'm going to start out by selling them at a local coffee shop and I'll see if the owner of the paper store is interested since she has gift items like this. My next product I'm planning is a pack of note cards, but the designs are only in my head!

Monday, June 4, 2007

London 2012

London unveiled their 2012 Olympic logo today and it has left the design community stunned and probably a good percentage of non-designers as well. If you can focus on the blindingly pink jagged segments long enough, you will see that they represent the numbers 2012. It is probably an unfortunate result of "design by committee" and it will only look that much worse in 5 years. I think it is even more surprising since their bid logo (below) was very classy and streamlined.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Good Grilling

Tonight we had dinner with friends and made these Turkey Burgers with Grated Zucchini and Carrot from a Real Simple recipe, and they were delicious! You can find the recipe here and I added provolone on top. If you do grill them, like we did (cause they're burgers!), be sure to put down some foil or you will lose your dinner to the coals. After a near fatal start, I came to understand why the recipe says to cook them in a skillet.

We are still enjoying the fiddleheads, so we grilled those in my new grill basket that looks very similar to this one. It was actually my friend's grill basket because we were at their house, but I have the same one. Cathryn and I came across them for $5 at Target last night after talking about them for 2 years. I think what we got may technically be a grill wok, but that's even better! The packaging showed it with shrimp and all kinds of vegetables, so I'm looking forward to trying that.

Happy Birthday, Dad! (Do you even read this?)