spring storm.

in two days our towns tornado sirens went off at least 6 times.

we did not take cover.

instead, i ventured out front to marvel at the swiftly changing sky.

i spy a rainbow!

after it had all blown over, we got a brilliant sunset.

and the very next day i was practically wrecking the car because the clouds were so puffy & white i just couldn’t stop staring!

i mean, seriously. they look fake!

{that was last weekend, but it looks like we might be in for some of the same weather again this weekend!}

a piece of her.

it surprises me sometimes how much i miss my grandparents. i guess in some way, i thought i would eventually move on or something. that i would always remember them, but i did not expect to feel their loss so deeply…still. sometimes i still think “oh, grandma would know!” or “i bet grandpa would make that for me”. i still have their phone number in my phone, grandma’s email address in my contact list. i find ways to keep them close. i talk to them when i am happy and distressed. and sometimes i wear little tokens from them, for comfort. or for luck. the other day needed a little luck, just a little piece of grandma with me. i kept touching that ring all day, thinking of her. it made me feel stronger, or maybe just less fragile. they’re with me. i know that.

lucky rides again.

last summer, once i started moving around again, i convinced mike i could ride my bike. i was sure it would be the perfect exercise- easy enough without putting too much strain on my back. i spent an entire afternoon washing and shining good ol Lucky. i pumped her tires and gingerly (and nervously) got back in the saddle. it felt amazing to be moving! i didn’t go far from home because i knew mike was pacing in the yard, waiting for me to return safely. i stopped to take some pictures of our first trek in too long. it was all very liberating after spending months in bed, immobile.

alas, it turned out to be a not-so-good idea. i was sad to admit it  (because i gleefully posted about being on the road again), so i just let Lucky sit in the garage, telling myself  that i really, really would rider her again. one day.

well, it took a long time to heal but today i took off on Lucky again. it felt invigorating and wonderful all over again. riding my bike has always been a peaceful escape since i was a kid. it’s no different now. okay, it’s a little different. while going down hill, on my way to the post office this afternoon was fantastic- like flying, really! the ride back home (only ever so slightly up hill)- killed me. not killed me, but i was panting. like a dog. and struggling. a lot. i may have even had to walk the bike here and there. i felt pathetic and mad at myself. then i gently reminded proud jessica that she hasn’t exercised (more than walking) in a VERY long time (we’re talking about 2 years…). i had to remind that embarrassed, panting, sweaty  girl that with time and riding more and more, it will feel easier. it will feel effortless and fun again. it will be exercise that i enjoy rather than a walk of shame. so, although our reunion was a little bitter-sweet, we are together again, Lucky and me. for better or worse.

my legs hurt.

keep me going.

iced coffee is a wonderful thing.

i’m a chai girl, typically, but i just can’t afford starbucks every day! i realized i can still get my caffeine (and sugar) fix without going broke or even leaving my house. which is a big plus, since i am usually stuck at home all day anyway. here’s how i do it. so very simple.

brew coffee. (i have to brew several pots since ours is a single cup pot)

put hot coffee in a container. (i use a glass pitcher)

put container in fridge until cool/cold. (cold-cold is best, but you can use  your brewed coffee immediately if you don’t mind your ice melting)

grab your favorite glass.

pour milk & sugar into your favorite, however much you like. (i use about 3/4 cup milk and 1 tbsp or so of sugar- i like my coffee sweet & milky, not too coffee-y)

mix that milk & sugar really well so the sugar dissolves. (i use a straw to stir because i like to drink my iced coffee with a straw)

add ice cubes. (i like 3)

top off you glass with your cooled/cold coffee. (i do it in this order because i really enjoy watching the colors mix.)

enjoy. (preferably with a chocolatey snack or breakfast)
you can do this in any order, with any combination of milk, sugar and coffee. i love having a pitcher of cold coffee in the fridge so i can make iced coffee for days! my pitcher is currently empty, so i’ll be making more tomorrow!
and in case you would prefer trying a fancier approach, here is the pioneer woman’s perfect iced coffee recipe, which i’m sure is much better than my measly aldi brand one cup coffee maker coffee. but mine way is easier. 🙂

 

 

 

days 22-27.

see that big knife? we’ve owned it for 2 years but i only recently started using it cause i was afraid i’d cut myself. i’m pretty clumsy.

i cut myself with it the first time i used it.

there was actually no moon on this night, so this moon is a from the 26th.

i love this guy.

oatmeal with fresh strawberries, an orange, and homemade iced coffee. yum.

our car key is massive.

this is in my studio. i love my *new* name!

so, we’re almost through another month of 2012~ i can hardly believe how quickly time goes the older i get. but to keep me motivated and taking pictures every single day, i will be joining in on the photo-a-day fun yet again in april. are you in?

you can check out the list and more at fat mum slim blog!

if you do join in, please leave me your instagram name, or a link to your site! you can follow me here and at @oppositeoffar on instagram!

woodland tea party.

today is pleasantly rainy, but a just a few weeks ago i was in the woods with 2 great kiddos & 1 amazing photographer. the air was cool and crisp, but the sun was warm and pushing its way through the bare trees to reach us on the forest floor. watching noah & zarrin play and climb and laugh while wearing masks & tails by opposite of far was a happy day for me! once they had their masks & tails on they didn’t want to take them off! (i swelled with pride and my cheeks hurt so good from smiling at those costumed kids all day!) they climbed huge rocks and fallen trees, played in the dirt, ran and got dirty- all the while michelle was photographing them with that beautiful light spilling all around us.

they really got into character too, pretending to be a skunk and fox- zarrin “spraying” noah then giggling uncontrollably, noah stalking slowly and quietly as if readying himself to pounce on his prey! it was all so magical!

michelle and i came together like two clouds softly colliding at just the right moment. we bumped right into each other but perfectly& comfortably so. it’s funny, actually. we have been “friends” on facebook for quite sometime. i knew of her, but i didn’t really know her. she had purchased a couple masks at homespun and maybe saw me at a show once. i have poured over her photos on facebook and at 2 pedals photography! we have mutual friends, so we were bound to meet “properly” one day. instead, though, i had a dream. this is what i wrote to michelle in a facebook message:

Michelle~

This might seem totally random (maybe even weird…) since I don’t actually KNOW you but….You were in my dream last night! You contacted me, told me your boys liked their masks so much that you wanted some more. But, you were thinking that maybe I could put together a whole box of dress up items: masks, tails, crown, capes …whatever I could & wanted to make. I was so into the idea and excitedly took on the challenge!
That’s it, that was the dream!
So, just a funny little dream, but it did inspire me to add tails to my shop. I made several custom tails for Halloween 2011, but haven’t added them “officially”, but since you (dream-you) showed interest, I think I will work on it now!

Have a great day, Michelle!
And thanks for the inspiring push!
~Jessica

it was a risk, certainly a strange way to introduce myself. i was taking a chance sharing a dream with a near stranger (about her!), but somehow i knew it was right. and because michelle is SO awesome, she didn’t even think i was creepy! in fact, when she responded, she mentioned collaborating. it started as her shooting my items “in action” for me….and turned into this beautiful and dreamy collaboration of artists! we both took off with ideas of themed photo shoots, picnics in the woods with props and costumes and we quickly settled on the woodland tea party theme. i am still amazed that the ease with which we work together. everything has come together quickly because we were equally excited and motivated- i really couldn’t ask for a sweeter collaboration!

and so, we are pairing michelle’s wonderful talent behind the camera with my masks and tails to offer super fun springtime mini-photo sessions in both bloomington and indianapolis! we’re working with the theme “woodland tea party” because it’s so dang cute and oh so photogenic! ( a huge thank you to candice of cordial kitten for making us the cutest damn promo EVER! …i am in love with it!)

from stranger to facebook friend and now to real friend and artistic collaborator- michelle, you are SO rad!  i feel so lucky and grateful every single day for all the wonderful people i have met, befriended, and collaborated with because of my little adventure called opposite of far!

to book your time slot for either bloomington (may 5th) or indianapolis (april 29th), go to this link quick!

also, check out michelle’s blog, all about her little guy, noah. HE SPARKLES

days 17-21.

more fun photo-a-day’s for you…i look forward to continuing this in april too!

love these little fabric cacti at anthropologie…maybe a project soon?

inspiration corner in my studio. sometimes i just stare at all the lovely things over there

wearing my new silk snail shirt was as funny as this day got

i found this vintage shelf liner a few weeks ago and finally took 10 minutes to put in our bathroom cabinet!

breakfast- berries & green juice…there is so much deliciousness to go along with this lovely weather!

enjoy, with caution.

i am enjoying this 80 degree march (in the midwest) as much as everyone else, but it does bring many questions to mind, much like our record-setting warm winter (which i discussed here). i was asking allison about early blooming plants and she sent me this article on the impact of early blooms. i know i’m not the only one wondering about all the early signs of spring- i have had many passing mini-conversations with strangers about the early blooms and what that could mean for us, our environments (bugs, animals), planting, summer weather, etc. i hope you find some answers in the articles i share here!

something else to think about is all the bugs…read this article to learn more about worrisome ticks this season!

this was also quite helpful to read:

Most people consider the onset of spring and the growing season a good thing. But for nature, the trend toward earlier springs and the resulting lengthening of growing seasons may be too much of a good thing.

That’s because plants and animals are responding to early springs and longer summers in different ways and at different speeds. These varying responses are damaging the synchrony between creatures that depend on one another for their survival–sometimes with potentially disastrous consequences.

Some examples:

  • Some wildflowers that migratory hummingbirds eat in their summer ranges are flowering early–before the arrival of the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are thereby being deprived of an important food source. If this trend continues, populations of the hummingbirds and the wildflowers could decline.
  • Some wildflowers are failing to produce seeds because they are now blooming early–before the springtime emergence of many bumble bee queens that would otherwise pollinate them.
  • The vulnerability of some flowers to frost damage is increasing because early snowmelts are encouraging them to develop buds before the last frost of spring occurs.
  • Millions of hectares of North American forests are being killed by record-breaking blights of bark beetles. Populations of bark beetles are increasing, in part, because: 1) longer summers extend the beetles’ reproductive season; and 2) warmer winters are enabling the beetles to survive what would otherwise be killing seasons.

Note that this was the fourth warmest meteorological winter on record across the contiguous United States and the warmest since 1999-2000, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

if you have further questions, please post them in the comments and i will try to get them answered for you!

days 12-16.

have you ever tried roasted cauliflower? it’s like veggie candy!

cut a head of cauliflower into desired sized florets

place on cookie sheet

drizzle with olive oil

sprinkle with salt & pepper

roast at 450 for 25-35 minutes (or until they look good to you)

then enjoy!

seriously, that water looks disgusting

only a tiny little cloud, see it?

gorgeous ’66 camero. i loved all the orange. i want that upholstery in my living room!

we went to target at night and tried on sunglasses for at least 45 minutes- it’s a great, cheap date!

32.

today i am 32. happy birthday to me.

**correction- yesterday i turned 32…i was just way too busy having fun to finish this post!**

it’s funny, for weeks now i kept forgetting the date, kept forgetting my birthday was just around the corner. and when i think about how old i am i add year and say “oh my gosh, i;m turning 33! it’s hard to remember how old you are after awhile, i guess  <— all that was written yesterday morning, before i really knew how i was feeling about turning another year older. i had lots of reflective things to say about my birthday – i usually do-read this from last year. but instead of getting all deep and maybe even a little sad about what my 31st year did not bring me, let’s look at the rainbows & unicorns instead!

 

in my 31st year i:

*had back surgery #2 (march 4th, 2011) and now, a year later, i am able to wear my high wedges out to dinner! YES!!!

*i started this blog from bed while recovering and now i have 150 posts, countless photographs, over 6000 hits and i don’t know how many readers!

*i built opposite of far from sketches of dolls & masks to real dolls, animals, and eventually, rockin’ animal masks that have by now traveled around the US, Australia, London, France, Germany (and other places too)! (opposite of far makes me so incredibly happy and proud!)

*i have made friends- good, true, life-changing friends- (e & t…i can’t imagine not having you in my life!)

*i have met so many amazing, talented, funny, creative, encouraging, motivated (&motivating!) women this year! i feel like i am at the end of the rainbow riding a unicorn when i am surrounded by such fantastic people! i finally have the community i have craved, and i really can’t imagine a better community to have become a part of!

*mike and i have grown together even more and i am constantly reminded why i married this man. i am in love, for reals! (which is a great feeling at any age!)

*and i totally rocked! (you know, in general)

there are countless things i could list here about year 31- all great and amazing things. i am so thankful to be in this place, with the people that surround me (both near & far), the accomplishments i have made, the love i feel- this is a good, good place to be. (even when it’s not all good)

so, thanks for all the birthday wishes. thanks for being part of my life for the last year (even if i don’t know you’re there reading, i know you’re there and that means the world to this girl!)

my birthday was crazy fun! captain husband made my day so special! here’s just a peek at how we spent the day:

the forecast called for thunderstorms all day…but we got blue skies and sunshine!

we had a walk downtown, a little window shopping and some potbelly’s (old fave of mine but new to mike & bloomington!)

mike took me record shopping! i got neutral milk hotel & pixies- surfer rosa- two longtime favorites!

he’s just cool like that

we worked outside for a while- mike cleaning out my garden and me planting my first seeds of the season! the clouds rolled in and it hailed & rained for about 20 minutes…so much for thunderstorms all day long!

then i got a little (tiny bit) dressed up & we went out for my birthday dinner…

…sushi!!!

and because my man knows me so well, a chocolate cake with whipped frosting & cookies n cream ice cream!

(the pets helped him sing to me!)

these pictures don’t even begin to express the happiness i felt all day long! it was the best day!