today’s google doodle: jane jacobs!

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Did you see today’s Google doodle!? It’s of Jane Jacobs! In full disclosure, as much as I would like to truly, fully geek out over this, I’ve only read bits and pieces of The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), which is primarily what she’s known for. Regardless, today is Jane Jacobs’s 100th birthday! Woot!

Basically anyone who’s ever even had a passing interest in urban studies or urban planning has heard of Jane Jacobs and her book. It really is that important. I’m not saying it’s great or that it’s the way to go, but it is something that should be read, or at least known about. Kudos to Google for acknowledging her influence and impact! However, in my estimation, it doesn’t quite rival the Google doodle of Viollet-le-Duc … because Eugène Viollet-le-Duc is hands down awesome in my mind, and his doodle was just classier.

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my new dream: making it as a google doodle

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Google has its faults (it’s desire to become an all-encompassing know-it-all for instance) but its search engine is unrivaled and good gracious it’s useful. Normally I don’t click on the Google doodles, but this one intrigued me … something about it stirred my architect little heart and I clicked it. And voila! Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, noted French architect and theorist. Heck, I wrote a paper on him last year. And without his Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle [Dictionary of French Architecture from 11th to 16th Century], my thesis would never have become what it is. So even though he was kind of a crazy ol’ fellow (seriously, you call that a restoration?), I owe him a lot.

Happy 200th birthday, Viollet-le-Duc! Congratulations on your Google doodle! It’s the true sign of making it in today’s world.

x-stitch … years in the making

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Did I ever mention that I am quite the procrastinator? Well, here’s proof. I finally finished a cross-stitch that I’ve been working on for the past few years. It’s not that big (about 12″x12″) and I really have no good excuse for why it took so long. This cross-stitch saw me graduate high school, graduate college, go off exploring, and start graduate school. Yeah … when I say that this took me a “few years,” what I really mean is 7 and a half years. Oh yes.

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I received the pattern from a friend for my 16th birthday. We had taken biology together, and for a bug-collecting project, we managed to catch some butterflies. In the process of pinning them to the board, some of the wings fell off and we became the wingless butterfly friends. She gave me the cross-stitch as a reminder of that. We actually haven’t talked in about five years or so and we’ve both just changed so much, but I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to complete her gift.

Kind of bittersweet in a way. The cross-stitch is completed, we’ve lost contact, time has moved on … seems kinda final.

brooklyn bridge madness

Last night I “occupied” the Brooklyn Bridge. Not really, but I did walk over it! Occupy Wall Street had organized a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge last night to mark its 2-month birthday. I’m not a big fan of the movement and while I can understand many of their grievances and frustrations, I see too many flaws in their expression and manner. But … I always wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The whole thing was pretty tame. It was pretty busy on the Manhattan side, but the bridge itself wasn’t too crowded. Unfortunately my camera is really bad at taking pictures when it’s dark out so pretty much everything came out blurry. They projected some images onto the Verizon Building, which was actually pretty cool. That’s what the below picture is of (if you can make it out). It says Happy B-Day #OCCUPY.

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life of a carrot cake

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

One of my roommates (roomie I) had her birthday a few days ago so the rest of us decided to make a carrot cake for her. Fun times in our apartment! We used this recipe that I had used before except without pecans, and currants instead of raisins. After some carpal-tunnel-inducing carrot grating (thanks to roomie J and myself), we got the batter together.

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It baked up pretty nice, but the darned thing wouldn’t come out of the bundt cake pan even after I banged on it for forever.

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However, it eventually did come out thanks to roomie D and a knife, and roomie D then whipped up the icing and sprinkled it all nicely with Halloween sprinkles. Cute, eh?

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It was yummy. It got devoured pretty fast, leaving only a little bit for the fridge.

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After the above picture was taken, roomie J opened the fridge (which isn’t very organized) and the cake came tumbling out. Sad. So yep, the rest of it basically ended up in the trash.

Thus ends the story of this carrot cake’s life. We still have extra carrots left, so carrot cake #2 might be on its way soon. Because it was yummy.

framed green letters

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I finally finished the gift I had blogged about in my last post. Here it is! I know, you’re probably scratching your heads trying to figure out what the heck it’s supposed to be, so I’ll do you the favor and explain.

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First of all, it’s art, so it’s not meant to do anything but hang on the wall and look pretty. I cut out the letters of my friend’s name in various fonts out of green card stock. Then I randomly jumbled carefully arranged said letters on another piece of green in a lighter shade, stuck it all in a frame, and voila.

Pretty simple and I thought it was rather cute. Whaddaya think?

creative space: green letters

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

My friend’s birthday is coming up, so I’m working on a little present for her. I couldn’t think of anything to get her and since she’ll be moving soon, I didn’t want to get her anything to bulky.

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I’m making her a little art piece to hang on her wall. Green card stock, a picture frame, and some funky letters. Hopefully I’ll get it finished tomorrow, but … ya never know.

More creative spaces here at kootoyoo!

gifting pillows

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I’m back in Austin! Actually, I’ve been in Austin for a while but I didn’t have Internet. But now that I do (after wrestling with Time Warner for forever), I’m going to be better about posting and being productive. I seem to say that a lot.

While I was away one of my friends had a birthday so I wasn’t able to make it to her little birthday shindig. So I made her a pair of pillows for her new place. Well, it was partially making her a gift, and partially me teaching myself to use my sewing machine. I’m still not very good at it and none of my lines come out very straight. All in all, I still really like sewing by hand (even though it’s time consuming as heck).

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I was planning on making pillows with a nice quilt-y pattern, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough control to manage that. So I just pieced together some fabric. I sewed it all together, then thought they seemed a bit … bland. So I added some color around the border.

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Then sewed the edge, flipped it inside out, stuffed, blind stitched some of the funky areas, then blind stitched the openings closed. Eh. These took me quite a long time to make, probably just because I’m so darn lazy.

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They’re not that great, but I’m still learning. Tied a ribbon around them and despite my measuring, they’re not exactly the same size. Close, but no. Argh. Well hopefully she’ll at least appreciate the thought. School starts in a week, so I’m off to celebrate the last remaining days of summer.

birthday gifts

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

My last three posts involved food. Kind of ironic considering that I’m mighty low on food right now. I still have a lot of bread, but not much substantial food. Anyway, it was my birthday a bit ago so I got some of the most fantastic gifts that I feel compelled to tell the world about (well, if the world read this blog, that is). People know me so well. For example, they know:

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I like pretty things. From the sister: necklace with metal leaf and beads. She sent it to me in the mail, so I got it before my birthday. When I told her I had already opened it, she yelled at me. True love. Anyway, I wore it on my birthday and it’s the perfect length!

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I like crafty things. From friend X: merino blend wool yarn and glass beads. She also included red ribbon and yellow flowers because she knows that I hate the colors red and yellow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is true friendship.

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I like glass things.From friend A: blown glass container/orb/beautiful-thing-that’s-going-on-the-coffee-table. She said it’s made from recycled glass from some specific brand of soda that I forget. Anyway, it’s fabulous and she got it from Austin Art Glass, which has some really nice pieces. I need to visit that place sometime.

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I like nostalgic things. From roommate S: DVD of “The Breakfast Club”. Sweet. This is one of my favorite movies, but for some reason I never owned it. Now I can watch it again, and again, and again! Yes.

Fantastic. I had a great birthday and the gifts, while fabulous, could not compare to the dinner I had at Kerbey Lane with my friends. I love this town.