Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Sim Story

Yesterday, I made my very first Sims film. I took my story and characters from an amalgamation of the True Blood series and Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.

I had a lot of fun making it and plan on making more, with my own story line. Now if I could just think of one... :) Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Crush, crush

I think I've started to grow up a little. Partially evident in that my schoolgirl like crush on Conor Oberst is fading. Not that he isn't still fab and I'm sure when he hits his 30's (soon) and sheds the boy look a bit more, I'll totally be back to crushing on him. Especially if he keeps that hair. Right now, he looks like an emo version of my husband.

But now, I'm completely digging Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley. I'm sure part of it is the music... folky, eclectic tunes with a rugged but not too backwoods edge. Maybe it's odd, but maybe it makes complete sense but most of my "crushes" are very similar looking to my husband. Very dark, slightly unruly hair, dark eyes, scruffy. A good look, if you ask me. :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

holy wow - adam augustyn

As it's clearly stated in my 'about me' section, I love product design. I will buy a product simply for the way it looks. That's why I'll buy Voss over Dasani (although, I liked Voss much better when they only had glass bottles).

Today, I stumbled upon some really great product design.

All by Adam Augustyn out of Brooklyn, NY. This guy could definitely get me to buy more Aspirin. There are some fantastic illustrations and logos on his website as well, so take a look.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

the internet broke

Today, for some unexplained reason, our internet stopped working. Usually it's due to our router and the crazy network of laptop, desktop, desktop as server, wi-fi, Apple TV, and VOIP that my husband has set up. For the sake of my sanity, I stick with my Macbook and Apple TV and if either one stops connecting properly I just yell for my husband and he rejigs, resets, reconfigures, or whatever. He knows the right sequence of little blinking lights on the routers. I could too, but I sort of refuse on principle. I figure, if you have it set up right, it should just work. But, I digress!

So the internet just stopped. This time, it was not the crazy network... we were just cut off. The few occasions this has happened, there is a twinge of panic that strikes me. I suddenly feel completely disconnected from the world, like all the windows and doors have been bricked over. Actually, I would probably prefer that, I would have an excuse to spend more time on the internet! But then, that little voice of reason tells me to calm down, that there are many other things to do. My panic voice has an equally valid retort that there are numerous websites I could be wasting my weekend on, and that it's not just the internet, but my phone, my TV (we don't have cable, we rely solely on the Apple TV) are all gone.

Am I too reliant on the internet and technology in general? Yes, yes I am... and I like it that way!

And do you know what I ended up doing? I was forced into productivity... I cleaned. Oh, broken internet, how I loathe thee!

Comic: Toothpaste For Dinner

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cupcake Cuteness

I've got cupcakes on the brain lately, I plan on making some for an upcoming pool party. When I came across these at Advertising Is Good For You this morning, I had to share.

Of course I love Betsey Johnson, too! There's more designer cupcakes listed, but this was my favorite (pink!).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some people need a few reminders...

So the big Coldplay gig was last night here in Des MoineS (as the Howling Bells singer pronounced it). I still have trouble understanding what is so hard about pronouncing Des Moines properly, does no one speak French? Anyway, I digress.

After experiencing the varied crowd at last night's show it's apparent a few people could have done with a crash course in the etiquette of concert-going. Etiquette as I see it anyway, and of course, what I say is gospel. :)

1. Be polite during the support band. Don't talk during their set. Not just for them, but others might not want to miss the potentially next big thing because you have a need to talk too loud about things that aren't impressing anyone.

2. In a venue like an arena with assigned seats, this is especially important: Bathroom breaks and beer runs need to be at a minimum and well-timed.
a. Don't leave and annoy people during a song.
b. If you must leave during a song, leave during a filler song.
c. Wait until a good or hit song is over before returning to your seat.
(Snow Patrol's "Run" and Coldplay's "Yellow" were both interrupted numerous times by people who couldn't wait to leave)
d. If you leave AND come back during a good song, a "Sorry!" is in order.

3. Women over 30 should not act like they're in high school again just because they're having a night out. Some of us take music very seriously.

4. Men: Backwards baseball hats and two-armed fist pumping should be saved for football games.

5. Don't be a douce.

Last night's show was all-in-all pretty good. I have never been super keen on Coldplay. Sure, their music is pleasant and catchy but a little too... liked by all for my tastes. However, last night made me like them a lot more. The end of the show did drag a little and I wished they would have saved a more popular song for the end of their encore (Shiver would have been my pick).

Snow Patrol was good as well. I got to hear "Chocolate", "Run", and "Chasing Cars", so I was happy. It was a good night, I'm glad I got out to see it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pull the covers over your head

Since I'm having trouble getting to load (hmm?) I've been browsing other wall decal vendors in it's absence. While doing so, I discovered this:

Now I love Donnie Darko as much as the next dude, but who wants to wake up to freaking Frank? No thank you. This would give me nightmares. The only purpose this could possibly serve in my world is to intimidate the monster in my closet into staying put.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I have don't have an excuse... I have many.

I've seriously dropped the ball on blog posts this last month. Lots of things going on and I haven't had a lot of time for the internet (I know, gasp!).

There is good news... I'll be absent another week. Haha. We're going on a little vacation and hopefully when I return I'll be ready to get back to it. Probably. We'll be going to the sunny location of Branson, Missouri. I know, sounds lame. But it did fit our criteria of 1) Day or less to get to driving 2) Kid friendly things to do 3) Being able to do absolutely nothing guilt free.

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I, Robot" and Converse Conundrum

This is quite after the fact, but I watch "I, Robot" a lot, as it's a pretty good movie and makes great background noise.

One thing that has always bugged me about the movie is the scene where 'Spooner' is at 'G.G's house and she asks him about what he's wearing on his feet. Which he replies "Converse All Stars, vintage 2004." Now, the movie is set in Chicago 2035. That's not a vast amount of time, why is G.G. shocked by these shoes? It stand to reason she's seen them before.

Let's assume G.G. is 80 years old. So in 2004 she would have been 49. Too old to keep up with fashion trends? Perhaps. However, Converse All Stars have been around since 1976. When G.G. would have presumably been 21. This would allow plenty of time for her to catch on the the trend. She could have known people who wore them! One would think the sight of the shoes would make her feel more nostalgic than anything.

As a side note, that bird syrup container on her table? I have the same one in green and yellow. I feel so futuristic.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zombie V Shark

Warning: This is graphic (albeit silly).

While I appreciate the attempt made by whoever made this, I have issues.

1. Can zombies actually swim? I have not seen any previous evidence of this. Only that they cannot drown since they are dead and can travel through water, but not by swimming, but by shuffling along the bottom.

2. Zombies don't eat sharks. All flesh is not created equal. How could a zombie even identify a shark as food? It can't smell it underwater. Unless zombies only identify food by things that move. But you don't see them trying to attack trees swaying in the wind and dogs: dogs always seem to be safe. Unless this zombie is highly evolved but it's highly doubtful.

3. The zombie in the movie is swimming backwards, away from the shark before it attacks again. While that makes sense for a human, zombies are too mindless to go on the defensive. They don't duck or deflect or run away. The just keep going, they don't know any differently.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Zazzle Postage Sale

Right now Zazzle is having a sale, new postage at old postage rates! Just enter NEWPOSTRATES at checkout. Through May 24th,

Here are my postage designs:

Indie Grunge
Line Art Flower
Retro Flower

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools

A while ago, my husband told me about the coolest thing: people hacking construction signs. Well, I think so, anyway. The best (although most obvious) message is as below:


Since I heard about it, I've wanted to do it... I know, I'm horribly juvenile and irresponsible. With it being April 1st, my inclination is creeping back into my mind. Alas, my husband won't let me. With my luck, I would get caught and I'm not going to jail by myself. That means my terribly clever message isn't out there bewildering or enraging passersby. I'll just share it with you now (and if someone uses my message, please send me a photo, I don't mind living vicariously):


Snowball Surprises (that look nothing like snow)

These went over pretty well in my house the other day. In a weird domesticated sort of way, I bring you the recipe.

Total time: 50 minutes
Makes: 20 snacks

You will need:

• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 3 cups regular or Frosted Cheerios
• 1 to 2 tablespoons candy sprinkles
• 20 small candies

1. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper

2. Pour sugar and corn syrup into 3 quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until mixture starts to boil. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in peanut butter until mixture is well blended.

3. Stir in cereal until it is evenly coated. Cool for 5 minutes. While mixture is cooling, put candy sprinkles in a shallow dish.

5. Lightly spray hands with cooking spray. For each snack, shape about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a ball around 1 small candy. Immediately roll the ball in the candy sprinkles to coat. Place balls on the cookie sheet. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store snacks in loosely covered container.

Nutrition info for one snack:
Calories: 120
Total fat: 3.5g
Sodium: 75mg
Sugar: 15g
Total carb: 21g
Protein: 2g

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Mama Was a Riot Girrrl?"

This is old (2006) but I just stumbled on this article from the NY Times about kid bands. The term "kid-core" is used, so how could it not be a good read?

Pale and thin, with fluffy manes of rocker hair, Lucian and Julian are also partners in a record label, Beautiful Records, which has recorded Care Bears on Fire and Magnolia, using equipment that Lucian was given for his eighth-grade graduation, soon after a baby sitter introduced the two boys to ’80s punk.

“We were into, like, Rancid and Blink 182 at the time,” said Julian, cringing at his junior-high lack of cool. “That ended when we heard Minor Threat.”

I always lament at the fact I didn't give my kid some Stroke-esque name like Julian. It seems maybe it's over used. At least in New York. Phew.

This article also strikes me as cool because my husband and I had joked that we were going to "grow our own band", as in have kids to fill the positions. Like a garage rock Partridge Family.

Internet radio woes for the Mac user?

I'm not a TV person during the day. As a full time mom, it would be easy to have the TV on during the day. But TV sucks, mostly. I'm a radio person. Internet radio is great but since I use a Mac, a lot of places want to stream using Windows Media Player or RealPlayer. Which also sucks.

I found Flip4Mac that plays .wma and .wmv through Quicktime. It's handy. Download it here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Uber Gross

This morning Tristan is snacking on something that is making my stomach turn. Frosted mini wheats dipped in ketchup.

Before you question what kind of mother I am, this was all his idea! He found a little cup of ketchup leftover from a restaurant in the fridge and wanted it opened. I told him it would taste gross with his cereal but he kept persisting. I thought once he tasted it, he'd spit it out and we'd be done. Oh no. He dunked in the first piece, took and bite and stared and leaned toward me with a over- exaggerated "Yuuummmm!"


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yeah, I'm a Twilight freak too.

Okay, so I admit it. I adore the Twilight saga. Although, I did try really hard at first to resist it. I tried to reason with myself that it was for teenage girls and it would be silly of me to indulge in such foolishness despite my fascination with all things vampire. The argument has flaws right from the start as I have trouble remembering on many occasions that I'm not a teenage girl anymore. It might take me until I hit 30 to get that through my head.

I finally succumbed though when faced with a potentially mind-numbing 8 hour transatlantic flight. So I bought Twilight at Heathrow airport. No, I was not proud but it was a relief to stop fighting a battle that was inevitably going to be lost.

I read it. Totally hooked. I had to read the whole saga, which I did. All four books. Loved it to the very end. I will probably read them all again someday. I joked to my husband that he should read them if he wanted an insight into the girly mind. Truth be told, these books are really unfair for guys as no mere mortal guy can compare to Edward.

Now, I have not seen the movie. I wanted to get through the books first. So I'm excited for the DVD release tonight at midnight. I'm secretly hoping my husband buys it for me (did you get that, hon?). :) Reading the books it was difficult to not picture the actors from the movie as the characters since the previews for Twilight were already playing before I read the first book. I'm a little interested to see how well I think they fit.

I have to just mention the author Stephenie Meyer for a moment. She's totally a kindred spirit (to invoke Anne of Green Gables). Her apparent obsession with Muse makes her that much cooler.

So, if you're having a midnight Twilight party, send a hey my way. I can play nice. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IKEA offers fabric desktops

IKEA has desktops available for download that showcases some of their new fabric. A fun idea and good marketing! Seven in all.

Download them here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial: Modern Easter Egg

I found this great tutorial on creating very cool modern easter eggs. I was actually looking for inspiration on real modern easter eggs, but this works too! At PhotoshopBuddy.

Here is how mine turned out:

Feel free to use it/share it. Just please link back or credit Ash @ Automatic Blonde. Thanks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More changes

Yep, I changed the look of the blog again. I'm just dying for Spring so I thought I would give the blog a more "fresh" look. I hope you like it. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Juice and the Indie Mom

Last week, I was included in a story in Juice about "Modern Moms".

Of course, I was (am) flattered to be included, especially since the comments I made that got me into the story weren't seen until it was almost finished. While the article does cite me as an "Indie Mom", unfortunately it does not include what that means to me. Also, what I had said about my husband didn't make the cut, much to his chagrin!

I wanted to share all of what I said here:

I never had any intent on being a mom... ever. I was pretty sure I didn’t have a maternal bone in my body. But, things change and sometimes just for the better at and at the best time.

At 21, I was at a point in my life when I didn’t know what I was going to do. Being a full-time bohemian is unfortunately not an occupation and there is little call for troubadours these days. But then, my husband and I found out I was expecting. A whole new path opened up. What if I could be a really kick-ass mom?

Now, instead of an indie chick, I’m an indie mom. Indie bands are so because they want to have complete creative control over their music and their art; to be able to produce what their vision is. I translate that idea into a parenting philosophy. Except my child is my art, and being a stay at home mom is how I ensure creative control. I also plan on homeschooling. Admittedly, music history will be my husband and I’s favorite lessons to teach... The Clash Appreciation, Britpop 101, The History of Grunge... ya know, the essentials.

Some people might think that being a stay at home mom is very traditional and an antiquated idea but it’s so not the case. Having a “career” was not something that appealed to me. Doing something that is required or expected of me automatically holds no interest to me. I have so much freedom now. Each day belongs entirely to my son and I and the opportunities each day are virtually limitless. It works for me just as it does for my son. I get to be that bohemian now. Largely, in thanks to my awesome husband who provides for our family and makes it possible for me to be a free-spirit and the kind of mom I want to be.

My iPod has a lot more indie-folk and noise pop than punk these days but my Vans and Chuck Taylors are good for running after a two-year old.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool Beach Towels

With Spring just around the corner, my mind is already jumping ahead to Summer. So, of course, I think of the beach and then logically what beach towel I should get. And I found some cool ones!

First up, these oh-so-cute pop art beach towels:

Available at Target for $19.99.

Paul Frank Beach Towels:

On sale for $9.99 at Bedding & Bath Store.

If really feel like splurging try this beach towel/bag and beach ball set from Juicy Couture:

$78 at Neiman Marcus.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Taste of Spring

Some photos of a lovely bouquet my husband bought me last night.






Thursday, February 26, 2009


I just got this awesome bowl of colored dominos from Pottery Barn.

I've never purchased anything from them before as they're usually a bit too Americana for my modern taste. So this was a bit of a find for me. Plus, it was on sale from $150 to $60... score!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just A Girl

I asked husband to download Ryan Adam's cover of Wonderwall for Guitar Hero, so I would have something singable. In his pouting he mocked me by saying "I'm Ash and I'm a girl" in a snarky, sing-song way. Which reminded me of a quote from Malibu Stacey.

"Don't ask me, I'm just a girl."

While we're on the subject, watch the video for No Doubt's "Just A Girl". Music was so good in the '90's.

Monday, February 9, 2009

MIA ... if only.

I'm not really one to rant about celebrities, but I feel compelled in this case, so just bear with me.

Last night was the Grammy's. Yesterday, MIA's baby was due. Last night, MIA performed at the Grammy's. Does this not add up right to anyone else? Believe me, I'm not one who thinks pregnant women should hide away from society. I was pregnant once, I speak from experience.

When I was pregnant, I started to avoid loud venues and stopped blaring punk music at around 3 months, when they say babies can begin to hear outside noise. By the nine month mark, babies in the womb can hear just about as well as an adult and can suffer hearing loss from loud noises. Despite this, MIA performed on stage with a gazillion watts of sound blasting all around. Maybe she didn't bother to know how it might affect her baby beforehand.

Her performance of a song with about eight others, who merely sampled her song (so, a sample of a sample... nevermind) was obviously more important than her baby. Oh, and the fact there was a backing track of her vocals which basically rendered her unnecessary. Yep, I can see why her presence was so required. I wonder if MIA will also be a parenting philosophy.

Don't get me started on what she was wearing. Although, Kayne's hair looked dumber... "give me the 'I ride the shortbus'".

Monday, February 2, 2009

Must Have: Paper Mache Birds

Flipping through my newest Anthropologie catalog, I spotted the cutest bird sculptures. Hoping that these weren't just awesome photo shoot props, as is common with Anthropologie, I thought "Please be for sale". And, ta-da! They are!

While you can buy them at Anthropologie,you can also get the birds, plus more paper mache creatures, in more colors at Stray Dog Designs.

Lack of Communication

Okay, now if I can get the Von Bondies out of my head long enough to form complete lyric-free sentences...

I got distracted. I stopped blogging. I'm back now. Mostly. Sort of. I'm trying. I didn't make them complete, but I did ace the lyric-free part. I'm easing my way back into blogging.

Watch this space.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What's with the anti-TV decor snobs?

I've seen a theme emerge lately in discussions among interior design enthusiasts: a hatred of TVs as the focal point of the room.

I've seen many comments of people proud to claim they hide their TV, don't watch TV, or don't own a TV. If that works for them, terrific, but when they add that TVs suck the life out of room, are ugly black holes, or kills conversation it appears they have a bit of an agenda rather than simply sharing a lifestyle choice. I guess hanging around the internet to make such comments is a much higher form of technology and an acceptable form of killing brain cells.

The truth of it is, TVs are very much a part of modern life. I see nothing wrong with embracing it by incorporating it into a room's design. Personally, I find TVs that are off to the side, angled oddly and rather uncomfortable to watch, awkward looking in a room. I probably feel that way about uncommitted additions to rooms in general.

For many people, TVs are not just about watching TV, they're about watching movies or playing video games. For those who entertain friends by playing Guitar Hero or play Wii Sports alongside their kids or have family movie night, a TV is an important part of day to day life. I think in many ways a TV can bring people together, not just pull them apart.

Along with the technology age, technology has also become a status symbol. People spend hundreds and thousands on new shiny TVs it's not hard to understand why people would want to show them off.

Are TVs the prettiest thing in the world? Certainly not. But there are plenty of ways the make a television and style coexist. Claiming to hate bran-rotting TVs and banishing them from your home to avoid the design dilemma they present is not necessary. :)

Product Find: Laser Cut Cupcake Wrappers

These are too fun and a cool wake to make cupcakes chic!

Buy them at Fancy Flours.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Apartment Therapy Shows A Little Bias

Against the midwest, that is.

In a post discussing the recent decision by Meredith Corp. to shut down Country Home and move ReadyMade to Des Moines, I stumbled upon this:

"Maybe it would be fun to hide out in Des Moines for a few years while the coasts get gutted, but it's hard to believe that ReadyMade, which grew up on Bay Area inspiration won't shrivel up and die out there."

A comment from AT co-founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan. Way to alienate a reader-base. Now, maybe living in Des Moines (practically), I take a extra offense to his statement. However, the midwest as a whole gets a bad rap as being a cultural wasteland, and those who live here and those who have taken the time here, know better. It would be nice if those coastal snobs would take the time to broader their horizons.

Read the whole post here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo-set: Momiji Friendship Dolls

Momiji Friendship Dolls

Clever Clogs

Clever Clogs Momiji


Pixie Momiji


Smiling Momiji

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Design Trends the LA Times Wants to Die

In a feature at LAT Home (LA Times) is a list of bad design trends that are either on their way out, or the 20 designers who weighed in on the list hope will be. 

Most of the list didn't affect me at all, which I guess is good news if I at all cared whether my style was in keeping with the opinion of the LA Times. A few did catch my attention.

The first two in the list is granite countertops and commercial style kitchens. This works for me, not being able to afford either and relying on a gallon of white cabinet paint as my kitchen makeover. 

A gutsy addition to the list was CFLs. I think most people know, especially designers, how horrible CFLs make things look. Even at a comparable light temperature to incancesdents, something still is just not right. I call it anti-light because I have a terrible time focusing and actually seeing things with any clarity with CF bulbs. It's all just glare to me. Though, admittedly, I have very light sensitive eyes. 

The one thing I did object to was zebra patterns. Okay, so zebra print everywhere is a bit excessive and there is a lot of cheap looking items out there. But I have seen rooms that look awesome because of on little extra and that being a zebra rug. I think it might just be wishful thinking on their part, I don't see zebra going anywhere soon. There's something about the black and white contrast that has sticking power. 

To get the full list and designer comments: Bad design trends we home die in 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Bad Sign?

I'm starting to think there may be something wrong with me. Perhaps the repetition of kids' shows daily is getting to my brain, or I'm being brainwashed by them. Maybe it's a normal progression of motherhood that you begin to memorize and enjoy all the theme songs and phrases your toddler does. In the case of Sesame Street I think I'm in an odd demographic where my I can enjoy parts of it along with my son because they're doing a spin-off of something I like.

For example, their rendition of "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White Ts as "I'm the Letter T". I'm starting to sing the song that way now. Scary. 

Or this take on Law & Order SVU: that is close to hilarious. Maybe I think so because I'm an avid SVU fan. 

I can justify singing along to Spongebob Squarepants... but why do I sing along with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? I maybe shouldn't think about it. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Room for the Week

I saw the fabulous room while parousing HGTV's Rate My Space  this weekend. It was entitled 'Dutch Loft' which caught my attention. 

That dining set is to die for, especially atop that gorgeous rug. Those bright red lamp shades are pretty awesome too. Can you tell I'm pretty enamored with this room? Check out the rest of the pictures from RMS user husdonsonliving.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

When In Doubt... Dance

Something I learned from my two year old last night.

As I was watching my husband play Guitar Hero, my son was busy playing and being his normal rascal self. He then decided to see how much effort it would take on his part to make things fall to the floor, as casually as possible, of course. When I caught him he paused for a moment and began dancing away to the music from the TV.

I wonder if this would work in the adult world?

Friday, January 2, 2009

To add to the cliche...

As it's a new year, and the in thing seems to be either doing new things or trying to finish something unable to be completed in the previous year, so I'm starting a new blog.

I'm sure my husband will make fun of me, for essentially copying the same thing he did yesterday. Yet, his is a litlle less self-centric (that sounds better than self-centered). And his blog actually includeds me, which is very sweet. For the sake of... um... laziness, I shall link and let his first post explain all. Go ahead, take a look, and rejoin me here when finished.

I suppose I should explain what's to be expected here in the future. The tricky thing about that is that I don't really know myself. I have lots of little projects and ideas tooling around in my mind right now, mostly designs for my house, so I imagine they will feature at some point. Mostly one should expect musings about my day to day, opinions (mostly in the form of rants), ideas, and little bits of this or that which I may feel like sharing.

See you soon.