28 February 2011

language, design, and when harry met sally

there are few things i love more than discussing language. my undergraduate degree was in english language and composition with a concentration in linguistics and, though i did not particularly use my degree well, i love everything i learned about how people communicate.

so, a video about language plus rad whiteboard animation? perfect. but it gets better. there's a significant amount of time spent analyzing one of my favorite movies, when harry met sally.

can you spot the only fools and horses character reference? my eternal admiration if you can.

(via doobybrain)

in which colin firth scores big time

did you watch the oscars? aside from the lackluster, disjointed hosting (not necessarily james franco), i'm pretty happy with the awards.

highlights included kirk douglas' presentation (he should have hosted), trent reznor winning best soundtrack, some quality time with billy crystal, and colin firth winning best actor. did you know i love colin firth? i do and have since i was 13, so it's a deep and real love, obviously.

because i don't have cable and my parents have a high-definition plasma television with surround sound, i went to their house. in return for letting me invade their sunday evening to gorge on celebrity fashion, i brought ingredients to make homemade pizzas.

i used the pioneer woman's pizza dough recipe, which i really like because it makes enough for two pizzas. the first pizza was a delicious layering of thinly sliced red potatoes, kosher salt, fresh mozzarella, sauteed leeks, pancetta, and shredded parmesan.

the second pizza was mainly for my dad and had fresh mozzarella, sliced vine tomatoes, canadian bacon, purple onion, shredded parmesan, and pizza sauce. the trick with this type of pizza, i have learned, is to layer pesto between the dough and the pizza sauce. it adds an extra special flavor sensation in your mouth. so good.

while we watched the show, we played a friendly game of oscar bingo, courtesy of how about orange.

my mom has an awesome vintage button collection, so we used colorful buttons as the bingo markers.

i was hoping the winner would get to keep the buttons, but no such luck. it didn't really matter, though. everybody bingo'd (multiple times) before i got my first five-in-a-row.

did any of your favorites win?

26 February 2011

britcom boys & girls // richard ayoade

name: richard ayoade
age: 33
best known for: maurice moss, a.k.a. moss, on the it crowd


born in ipswich, england, richard ayoade began writing plays and comedic sketches for his catholic boys' school before ending up at cambridge, where he joined the footlights, an amateur comedy troupe founded in 1883. starting in 2001 with the edinburgh fringe festival comedy award for co-writing the sci-fi/horror spoof garth marenghi's netherhead, he's won a string of awards for his comedic work, including nme's title of coolest guy in london. a self-proclaimed film nerd, he's self-deprecating, a low-talker, and would rather be behind the camera than in front.

when he's in front of the camera, though, nerd magic happens. in heaps. continuing his work in the garth marenghi franchise, he appears as fictional horror author garth marenghi's agent, dean learner, in garth marenghi's darkplace. the show is presented as a show-within-a-show, a never-aired 1980s television series with current day commentary by the "cast" and features all the great low-budget sets, clothes, and filming techniques of the era.


you can catch most of the series on google video - score!

in addition to a recurring role in the mighty boosh as saboo, a belligerent shaman, ayoade is best known and loved (at least by me) for his role as moss on channel 4's the it crowd. maurice moss is a sometimes cowering, sometimes strident, always socially awkward, uber-nerd extraordinaire. he's pretty amazing.

best moss moment? if i had to choose, the moss xp reboot. it's slightly genius.

the ayoade more comfortable behind the camera has made a name for himself, too. he's directed music videos for the arctic monkeys, the super furry animals, the last shadow puppets, vampire weekend, kasabian, and the yeah yeah yeahs.

his most current venture in writing and directing is the feature film submarine, adapted from joe dunthorne's prize-winning novel. the film received sparkling reviews at the toronto international film festival and is due to be released in spring 2011.

add richard ayoade to your personal queue! he's a brilliant britcom boy.

britcom boys & girls // new blog series

i'm embarking on a new blog series dedicated to my insane love of british comedies. believe it or not, i do have a few credentials for bringing britcom bits & bobs to the masses (or the small group who will actually enjoy my probably too-enthusiastic praise of those kooky brits): i've been a fan since middle school, i've spent a small fortune accumulating entire series dvd collections, and in grad school, i wrote a thesis-length report on and built a database for the fictitious bbc digital laugh initiative, a corporate library dedicated to preserving all forms and genres of british comedy.

and also? they make me laugh.

so please bear with me as i periodically present a few of my most favorite actors and actresses from the beeb.

25 February 2011

yudu, do you?

dear screen printing,

i'm having second thoughts about our relationship. you are turning out to be a bit of an elusive, fickle, bossy know-it-all and i don't know if i can handle the shenanigans you're putting me through.

(i find it very cathartic to write acrimonious letters to inanimate concepts, don't you?)

i received the awesome gift of a yudu screen printing machine last christmas (think 14 months ago) and, with the best of intentions, it's been sitting behind a chair. until last week, that is.

i've been daydreaming a design to screen print for months and i finally sat down and designed it in illustrator, laboriously picked out a font (who am i kidding? that's my favorite bit), printed out a transparency for burning my image, and hit a brick wall with the capillary emulsion film included in the yudu kit. capillary emulsion film does not rock my world. 

i hit up an art supply store and gave diazo photo emulsion a whirl. success! a burned image! now to print something. i inked up the screen, gave the squeegee a pull and... eight prints later, i had one that wasn't a complete mess. i found that the yudu inks bled quite badly and the plastic squeegee wasn't worth a tinker's darn.

i made my way back to the art supply store after work tonight and picked up a reliable squeegee and speedball block printing inks in metallic tones (i was looking for screen printing inks, but they only had them for fabric printing, so i took a chance on the block print ink). this time, i had more reliable results, but most had spotty bits where the ink wasn't even. i'm guessing this is from the thickness of the ink, as it was a bit more difficult to pull an even coat.

so, numbering over twenty, lounging about my apartment in various states of completeness, i have my interpretation of a sufjan stevens lyric: and when you crochet i feel mesmerized and proud. this line is just magical to me, as is the whole song, really.

i vectorized a line drawing of a crochet doily to make it have the appearance of a japanese paper cut and chose a slightly neurotic and messy handwriting font to make it more human. i had hopes of selling these prints - i think they would be awesome displayed on vintage hangers and they are cut to fit perfectly into an ikea ribba frame.

this is not me giving up. i have 5 more tubes of ink and a pad of watercolor paper to go before that happens.

24 February 2011

etsy 101

i can hardly believe it, but my little etsy shop reached 101 sales this morning! i was waiting for the big 1-0-0, but a lovely person ordered two items and it jumped to 101 sales in the blink of an eye.

i just wanted to take a minute to express my sincere gratitude to anybody who has purchased an item, browsed through the shop, listened to me prattle on about catherinholm, or given me the encouragement to start and/or carry on with this vintage venture: i am a fan of you.

i feel extremely lucky to be able to do something i truly enjoy. i love every trip to the thrift store and i love every craigslist estate sale planning session. i love finding oddities and treasures in the same dusty corner. i love that i've had to learn how to take better photographs (they're still not great, but they're markedly better). i love waiting in line at the post office for international orders, knowing that i'm getting to connect with customers in ireland, australia, england, france, spain, sweden, canada, norway, and russia. i love knowing that the extra income i've earned payed in full for lola's unexpected (and costly) heartworm treatment. i love knowing that the extra income i will earn is the foundation for a down payment on an arts & crafts style bungalow (one can dream, yes?).

in simple terms, i love. this opportunity. these finds. these people.

thank you.

the library // nocturnal noshes


weird food guy called tonight. my colleague had the pleasure of assisting him with his inquiry: do people eat owl meat and bat meat? i think this was his way of saying: am i the only one who craves the flesh of nocturnal creatures?

the facts:

people do not eat owl meat and these friends of hedwig are, in fact, illeagal to kill in the united states and the united kingdom. so give a hoot! don't... eat owls, man.

though it is considered a taboo food, people do eat bat meat in the batak and minahasa minority communities of indonesia. but take care when tasting these aerial rodents: the regular consumption of bat meat can lead to dementia, hallucinations, and neurological disorders.

in the spirit of the more you know,

23 February 2011


holton rower's pour series is beautiful, psychedelic, and mesmerizing. i feel relaxed just watching this.

and i bet it smells great, too (i'm the weirdo who loves the smell of paint). 

(via poppytalk)

22 February 2011

music // heartless bastards

the heartless bastards are anything but. erika wennerstrom fronts the group, originally from ohio (go buckeyes), and you wouldn't think it to look at her, but the huge voice she possesses is compelling, soulful, utterly unique, and pretty damn rockin'.

i almost passed on the opportunity to go see them last night at dan's silverleaf in denton because it was a work night, they weren't playing until almost midnight, i'm old now, yada, yada, yada. i'm glad i was exhausted today. totally worth it.

if i had to classify their genre, i'd say indie-country-blues-rock and that's about as specific as i can get. it's a great sound, so listen up if you've never heard them! (you know... if you want)

*both videos shot with the iSupr8 app for iPhone.

21 February 2011


one of my favorite and my best people had a birthday to celebrate. this, of course, calls for delicious food stuffs.

we had a scrummy lunch at kotta sushi lounge. i didn't think i'd ever look forward to miso soup, but now i love it so.

these dumplings were crisp and filled with tasty crab, shrimp, and vegetables. yum.

i got the midnight roll, which has tempura shrimp, asparagus, and cream cheese wrapped in soy paper and topped with spicy tuna, crab, and salmon.

sara got the yellowtail roll, which has yellowtail, cucumber, asparagus, and avocado and is topped with spicy tuna, onions, and jalapenos. seriously good.

after lunch, we walked across the parking lot to the cupcakery and got down to the tricky business of choosing just one cupcake.

sweet geez, there were so many amazing looking cuppies to choose from. i almost went with the kir royale, but...

as always, tried and true favorites win. for me, my go-to flavor is lemon. i will choose lemon over chocolate anything, any day.* sara got the chocolate peanut butter and, as there were mere crumbs left, i think she liked it. 

*my friend keith says that chocolate cake drizzled with fresh lemon juice is to die for. and i cataloged a book not too long ago whose name references a lemon cake frosted with chocolate. i must check this phenomenon out, yes?

do you obsessively take photos of your food at restaurants? please say yes.

20 February 2011

my hipstamatic day

some more amazing vintage wallpaper spotted in a bathroom at an estate sale. it was the perfect mix of dreamy pink and bright green.

visiting with old friends who have a completely inspiring record collection.

spending time with this cute mug.

19 February 2011


let's just be honest here, shall we? i am messy. my surroundings are in a constant state of clutter, dishevelment, and chaos. for the most part, i've come to terms with the fact that i was never mother's little helper on chore days, but there is a small part of me that longs for clean spaces and strict organization. this part creeps up when i've been particularly neglectful of my space for long periods of time, when things have gotten so messy that even i'm bothered.

case in point.

this was definitely not my finest hour.

a slob, i tell you! these pictures were taken right after new years, when, like everybody else with strong resolution resolve, i decided to organize. this particular area is the sunroom in my apartment, a.k.a. my small home office. one side of this tiny cubby space holds a table for my craft supplies and items that need to be listed on etsy; the other side houses my desk and computer.

where to begin? ikea. isn't that always the answer? i spent a good few hours browsing the online catalog, taking measurements, and checking my bank account. after i made a list of potential solutions, i made my way to the land of always busy. luckily, there is an ikea exactly 4.9 miles from my apartment. i made my purchases and eagerly started assembling.

fast forward almost two months (can you say resistance?).

i have never, in my life, had anything so organized. it feels pretty good. pret-ty, pret-ty good.

i went with the expedit shelving unit ($99) and turned it on its side. there is literally not a millimeter to spare, so hoorah for measuring twice! while i was at ikea, i also picked up the orange dokument letter tray ($7.99). i'm using this for storing receipts, invoices, and shipping labels. the kitchen scale i use to weigh shipments (from williams-sonoma so many years ago) fits perfectly.

also from ikea, i used the green kassett magazine boxes ($12.99/set of 2) and the silver emu boxes ($6.99/set of 2) for storing craft supplies, cables, CDs, and shipping supplies.

i picked up a usb extension so i could move my printer behind my desk.

i wanted to make use of some of my vintage collections, so i used small pyrex dishes for clips and push-pins.

i used vintage fire king dishes for paper supplies and an old glass for my knitting needles.

i picked up this old coffee canister for $.50 at a thrift store and i used it for storing my markers (i am a total sharpie addict).

this vintage tin was just $1 at an estate sale this week. i love the fruit design and bold colors, so i wanted it to be functional - it stores my ribbon stash.

next to the tin is one of my favorite toys from my childhood. i adore vintage fisher price toys and luckily my mom, who runs an in-home daycare, kept all our old toys.

some of my favorite new toys are my dunnys. i might be obsessed with collecting them.

the third one from the left on the top was signed by the artist (amy ruppel) and is one of my favorites. i also love the owl and the virgin mary and the detective and the elephant man...

and the british guard and the kangaroo boxer and the devil... how could these not make you happy?

speaking of happy, my computer area is clutter-free for the first time! i'm usually typing over papers, knick-knacks, and dishes (i am extremely guilty of eating in front of my computer).

hello, desk. i haven't seen you in awhile.

i even de-cluttered my computer. i took off most of the old stickers, only keeping the essentials, like this old martha stewart apple of my eye. so punny.

oh, diet coke, i couldn't have done this without you.

my only purchase ever from pottery barn teen was this green double-decker storage unit and the pink computer stand (underneath my printer).

i utilized some more vintage wares over on this side, too: a melamine plate and bowl for girly storage (does anybody else paint their nails at their desk?)

above my desk is the best underground map ever. instead of tube lines intersecting, this map plots out music genres and is absolutely brilliant. i got this in london a few years ago and it is definitely my favorite souvenir.

and finally, i hung up this great vintage ceramic wall pocket/planter cuckoo clock i found at an estate sale a few weekends ago for $5. i'm really into bavarian/woodland/alpine decor lately. 

this 3-day weekend is off to a productive start! i'm going to visit some of my favorite people tonight and i have 2 birthdays to celebrate in the next few days, so it'll be busy, busy. what are your weekend plans?