wandering.

i often have the urge to just wander. i’m talking about a city-wandering urge. i want to leisurely walk down a street or two, stopping to inspect interesting nooks & crannies, pop into a shop when the window display calls out to me, take a break to jot down some bit of inspiration while sipping an iced coffee. those days were easy to come by in chicago, los angeles, berkeley, san francisco, and santa cruz. but not so common in indiana. i have had this urge and found myself walking up and down kirkwood in bloomington, but it’s home, and it’s only one street…so that doesn’t always satisfy the itch. occasionally i have ventured to indianapolis to wander up and down mass ave. again, it’s just not the same. the shops are few and far between (though the ones that do exist are lovely). there’s just something about the feeling of wandering here that is so different from the feeling of bigger city wandering.

and so a week ago, while i was visiting family in cincinnati, i finally seized the opportunity to wander a neighborhood i have never been too. northside did not disappoint. northside is home of fabricate, a handmade gallery/shop full of local and regional artists i admire and often see at craft shows. fabricate was my initial stop, my reason for going to the area in the first place. i quickly realized though, that northside was also home to lots of other wonderful shops, restaurants, corners of peeling paint, art and all sorts of people. i spent hours wandering, inspecting, appreciating, and soaking in the seedy + lovely environment surrounding me.

wandering like that flips a switch in my head. i feel inspired and alive and invigorated in ways that surprise me. if you asked me where my dream home would be i would tell you “a little house with enough land to comfortably house dogs, chickens, goats, and kiddos. far enough out to feel free and unencumbered, but close enough to get my fill of people & community when i need it.” but…there’s this city girl in there too that longs to live within walking distance to shops, restaurants, parks, theaters, and people! it’s interesting how i can be equally (but differently) inspired by such opposite landscapes.

 

friends of opposite of far: a winner!

 thanks to those of you who participated in the friends of opposite of far giveaway earlier this month!

i put your names in a hat:   and blindly chose the winner…

congratulations samantha!!

you win the opposite of far mask of your choice!

(contact me via oppositeoffar@gmail.com so i can get your mask sent to you!)

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and here are photos shared by two families who love their opposite of far masks:

this little guy likes to sleep in his orange fox mask!

and these sweet kiddos like to wear their masks to the zoo!

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i sincerely thank you all for participating! i love the photos you sent and the sweet comments you left me here and on facebook!

if you missed this contest but have some super awesome pics of your kiddos wearing opposite of far masks, please send them my way! i’d love to add your photos to my friends of opposite of far gallery!

blog love.

the lovely blog fable + lore included the red fox mask by opposite of far in her moonrise kingdom inspiration post!

moonrise kingdom inspiration board by fable + lore

what an honor to be included by this fellow blogger & etsy artist with such great taste (thank you chelsie)!

 i’m also pretty giddy about being categorized with anything having to do with wes anderson! i adore every single movie he has ever made and can not wait to see moonrise kingdom! wes anderson’s movies give me inspiration goose bumps just thinking about them! have you seen any or all of them? which is your favorite? i’m not sure i could decide on a favorite!

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check out fable + lore’s etsy shop too for really beautiful and unique jewelry & accessories!

this is my absolute favorite item in her shop:

*have a great weekend, friends!*

garden guessing game.

in honor of the first official day of summer, i’ve put together a little garden guessing game for you! test your plant identification skills by inspecting each picture, then you can check your answers at the bottom! enjoy!! 🙂

there it is: my garden! i still have lots of weeding to do- it’s constant- but we already have tons of wonderful veggies coming in!

now it’s time to guess the plant!

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

(i’m just giving this one away!)

7.

8.

9.

10.

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now…ready for the answers?

(1. bell pepper, 2. basil, 3. tomato, 4. strawberry, 5. mint, 6. sweet pea, 7. kale, 8. green bean, 9. zucchini, 10. eggplant)

2 years married.

2 years ago we got married in the woods with friends and family watching, supporting and celebrating us!

this weekend we revisited the spot where we said our vows.

we had THE BEST time!

we didn’t take any pictures, but the majority of our time was spent in the indoor “aquatic park” – we lounged in the hot tub, floated in the lazy river and shot down the water slide several times.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.

*****

fyi: my new favorite beer is cat’s tail wheat by big woods brewing co.

quaff: [kwof, kwaf, kwawf] verb : to drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.

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nashville alley scenes:

this van made my night!
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after dinner we headed to hesitation point to watch the sunset.

this is where we went hiking 3 years ago and decided on that day that we would get married in this park.

sadly, the trail head we hiked 3 years ago is now non-existent. (it should be right there behind mike, but it’s all overgrown)

see that cloud on the right? it’s getting ready to devour the sun + cloud on the left!

mike said this was the first time he had ever watched a full sunset. so happy it was with me!

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back at the lodge, after sunset, we decided we desperately needed some cards.

the gift shop did not disappoint!

we played a loooooooong round of WAR then mike taught me how to play poker.

(we may have shared 4 beers and a whole bottle of wine by this time, so “teaching” and “learning” are loosely used terms here!)

we laughed a lot.

then we enjoyed some hotel room s’mores. it was so perfect!

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and back home on monday night- our actual anniversary-we enjoyed our “fancy dinner” at malibu grill

(thank you gretchen!)

we went all out- cocktails, appetizer, steak & fish, and even dessert! it was fantastic and quite special!

while at dinner we talked about the past 2 years of marriage, where we are now, where we hope to be next year. it’s amazing to look back over the past two years and remember what it felt like at the beginning of each year. our first year was nothing like what we expected. and at the beginning of year 2 we weren’t sure at all what the year would bring. but now, looking back we can see how far we’ve come, how much we have grown individually and as a team. we have set goals and reached them, even exceeded some! we have learned to be together in more meaningful ways. we respect one another but also know how to push buttons. we love each other more deeply, more comfortably. we are better at compromising and solving problems. and i can imagine that another year will bring even more insight, even more commitment, an even deeper understanding our love for each other and more appreciation of our life together.

happy anniversary to us!

moskiddos.

several months ago i was contacted by a sweet woman named noami. she creates a lovely clothing line called moskiddos. for her spring/summer 2013 line, she is using a circus theme for inspiration in her clothing and accessories. she asked if i would be interested in creating some masks especially for her, using circus animals and bright neon colors. i was so honored to be asked and so pleased to become a part of the moskiddos line (i love their philosophy on design and getting dressed using organic and sustainable materials)! i recently finished and shipped off the first batch of masks and noami sent me these 2 sneak peeks from the upcoming lookbook!

i am astounded at the how far opposite of far has come in just 1 year. i went from drawing doll ideas in a notebook from my recovery bed to making circus animal masks for a clothing line in san francisco! (pardon me while i beam a bit!)

*masks by opposite of far for moskiddos are: lion, tiger, bear and monkey*

(p.s. the lion mask is my favorite)

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here’s a little more info about moskiddos:

MOSKIDDOS makes clothes and accessories for kids and adults alike. We dress kids and adults who don’t mind getting dirty while having a good time.

Mokiddos is made for easy-going people; Moskiddos cares about people and the planet; Moskiddos loves utility and simplicity without forgetting the details that make us happy; Moskiddos is all about comfort and practicality with aesthetics; Moskiddos loves mixing basics with special clothes; Moskiddos is timeless yet contemporary; Moskiddos loves to be loved…  

This is why we make simple clothes with style and an eye on design and quality. We use 100% certified organic cotton and sustainable fabrics. We use recycled paper and water-soluble ink for all our printing purposes and work with a local factory in San Francisco, California, where our clothes are made.

if you’re interested in learning even more about moskiddos, check out their blog!

friends of opposite of far.

i love getting pictures of kids & adults enjoying the masks and dolls that i make with so much love! and i bet YOU have some super cute photos (or could take some lickedy-split) of you and/or your kiddos wearing an Opposite of Far mask, or playing with a doll or plush animal.

…and that’s why i have decided to run a special little giveaway for all my wonderful customers!

send your pictures to me via oppositeoffar@gmail.com or like Opposite of Far on Facebook then tag “Opposite of Far” in your photo/s!

**UPDATE: if you don’t already own an opposite of far mask, but wold like to, take a look at my shop and leave a comment with your favorite mask! EVERYONE gets a chance to win!**

i will be accepting photos until June 22, so get those pics sent my way for your chance to WIN!!

i will choose ONE WINNER randomly (like name-out-of-a-hat-random!) from all the photo entrants to win a special gift from the Opposite of Far shop!

**see more details below!**

this is abi & joslyn modeling masks by opposite of far and pretty tops by their mama: blue eyes & bare feet designs!

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contest details:

*the winner will be announced on my blog and on facebook after June 22, once i have collected all the photos and chosen a name out of the hat!

*every photo counts for one “name in the hat”

*don’t have a mask? that’s okay! visit opposite of far on etsy and leave a comment stating your favorite mask! i’ll add your name to the hat!

*please only send one photo per child, but if you have several children, send photos of them ALL  🙂

*i will accept photos of kids or adults (or combination of both) wearing opposite of far masks and/or photos of kids playing with opposite of far dolls or animals

*please include your/or your child’s name and an email address with each photo

*EVERY photo will be posted on my blog unless you specifically ask me not to

*since every photo will be posted on this blog, get creative! have fun with it! use props! try out some silly poses!

*feel free to send me photos i may already have

*if there are TONS of photos sent in, i will choose more than one winner!

*the winning photo can choose any mask from my shop, adult or child sized

LET THE FUN BEGIN!

then, now & later.

boy, oh boy. weeks fly by lately and i find myself finally stopping to take a breath and reflect a little on then, now, and later. so, i’ll take a minute  fill you in.

*then*

over the past few weeks i’ve been busy in my studio filling orders & preparing for a show. i love this process; it’s exciting and exhausting and fulfilling and sometimes makes me want to cry. when i think i’ve had just about enough cutting & sewing i stop & try to imagine other jobs i could be doing instead. this makes me smile from ear to ear, realizing i’d rather be nowhere else but here, in my little home studio, making dolls & masks for kids all over the world (just like Santa!)! i feel like such a lucky, lucky girl!

(i mean, seriously? how lucky am i?!)

speaking of dream jobs, (well, my dream jobs, anyway!) last week, i had the pleasure of participating in my local library’s summer program. (i talked about it here). i was in absolute heaven! i was making masks with kids age 5-12- they were so much fun- so creative, surprising, alive and open. it made me miss teaching in a big, big way. i’ll be doing more of this for sure!

these 2 kiddos won my “masks of the day” vote! the little fox made her fox cheeks torn pieces of white construction paper glued oh-so-carefully into place! and the super hero added a very-carefully cut out flame to add to his mask! how rad are these kids?!

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange was last weekend! it was so great to see lots of friends walk into my booth and as always, i love meeting new people too! (there was one particular little guy that taught me a lot of interesting facts about skunks, honey badgers & wolves which reminded me to start up my new series of posts that i’ve had on the back burner for months (more on that soon)! he was one cool kiddo!)

it was a good, good day!

*now*

as always, the week following a show is a busy week of catching up in all ways- mike, house work, friends, and busy-work. i have already had a very full week- first trip to the dentist with my little friend lola, friends new house tour, movie date with my man, cleaning, laundry, e-mails, birthday drinks with friends…and i have LOTS more busy-ness planned for the rest of the week too! it feels good to have a week of catch-up right now!

i’m also extremely excited to be planning my baby sisters wedding shower! i have a few sneak peeks for you, but i want some things to be a secret! i only get to throw ONE wedding shower for my ONE little sis, so i’m having tons of fun with it! i know she’ll love it!

straws

tissue paper flowers

i’ve burned myself out on instagram. for now. i know my obsession will resurface (they always do)! i want to pick up my “real” camera a little more often and share more of those photos here instead on only ever giving you my iPhotos.

*later*

mike and i have some celebrating to do this weekend…it’s our anniversary! we’re going back to the place we got married 2 years ago and i can’t wait to spend the whole weekend (+monday!) with my husband! i will share more about our anniversary weekend next week!

happiest day ever!

and last but not least…next week i will begin sharing some things i have been working (really hard!) on –  fun & informative new posts for this little blog! i have been wanting to take a slightly different approach to my blogging and include the kiddos a bit more, so very soon you will start to see interactive posts you can share with the kids in your life (or just enjoy on your own)! i have a lot to say and share about kids and all things related, and i believe this a the perfect place to offer up what i have squirreled away for years now! i hope you find it helpful, fun, exciting, and/or interesting.

there will even be some exciting opposite of far giveaways included in these new & exciting posts…excited yet?!

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and as always (cause i can’t say it enough) thank you all so much for coming back here from time to time to read what i share here! i love having this space as a creative outlet!

at the library.

i love hearing what people plan to use their masks for- usually it’s playtime/dress up, birthday parties, or weddings. but it especially warms my heart knowing my masks will be used in a library program or other learning situation. there is so much you can do with a mask; when you slip it on you instantly become another character! librarians are brilliant at using resources and coming up with fabulous ideas that both entertain and educate children of all ages.

today i am shipping a set of 3 masks to a library in New York! here’s the note i received with the order:

Your masks are great! Our library’s summer reading theme for 2012 is night creatures so we would like to order the raccoon, owl, and skunk masks. We put each child into a mask and take their picture for a guessing game all July and August. These are perfect! Stillwater Free Library Stillwater, New York.

such a fun idea! i love it!

and on thursday of  this week i will be hanging out at my local library as part of the kick-off for their summer reading program .this years theme is “dream big”. i will have a mask-making station for kids to make their very own super-hero mask! i’m very excited to work with stephanie, the children’s librarian (for 13 years!) the masks we are making on thursday will be paper, makers and glue- but i know the kids will love them nonetheless! i’ll even have some of my felt masks there for the kids to try on and play with.  (monroe county library- ellettsville branch– if you are local, stop by on thursday- they have a fantastic kids program this summer!)

libraries offer wonderful programs for kids during the summer. it’s worth it to look into, no matter your kids ages. children’s librarians work very hard to make the library an extra fun  (and educational) place to hang out. even if you don’t have kids, i challenge you to find a children’s librarian this summer and thank her/him for making your local library come alive! (and while you’re there, grab a few books, movies, and some music- cause it’s free!)

may wrap-up.

may was a beautiful month. the weather was absolutely dreamy! we spent a lot of time outside working on our garden and flower beds, relaxing in the hammock, grilling and eating on the back porch and playing with the pups.

here’s what may looked like according to my iTouch/instagram feed.

gardening is my favorite. i absolutely love the garden mike made for me and i am quite proud of the work i have put into it! it’s growing like crazy and i can’t wait to enjoy more and more food that i’ve grown! i will share more (real) pictures really soon!

i was feeling bored with out old flower pots but they still work just fine, so i decided on a little diy facelift.

1. i spray painted the bottom section of the pot with leftover yellow spray paint from a project last summer, then used our green door paint to finish off the top rim.

2. i cut a triangle stencil from a small piece of cardboard and traced triangles around the pot (somewhat randomly)

3. i painted the triangles with extra paint we had sitting around

4. and TA-DA! i have a fresh and new pot that i can’t stop smiling about!

lucky us! we got to spend a little time in our friends pool recently. it was glorious!

{thanks angela & matt!}

as i mentioned, the weather in may was perfection!

(and will you just look at those gorgeous peonies!)

i love letting the pups run around the soccer field down the road- it makes them SO happy! this is a special treat for them, and they are exhausted every time!

the lovely weather has had me inspired to grill, eat lots of fresh veggies, try new recipes and enjoy ice pops!

(lettuce & snap peas are from our own garden!)

i’ll leave you with a yummy summer recipe:

quinoa salad.

4 cups water

2 cups quinoa

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon, squeezed

(i used a whole lemon!)

garlic, chopped

(i used one fresh clove from our garden, but will use more next time)

salt & pepper, to taste

whatever veggies you have on hand, chopped

{there are as many combinations as you can think of for this salad! be creative!}

i used:

snap peas, carrot peels, and green onions, parsley, and mint

1. in a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. add quinoa and a pinch of salt. reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.

(this is meant to be served cool/cold, so i recommend making this early in the day if you plan on having if for dinner, or the day before if you plan on taking it to a cook out or picnic. it takes a long time for the cooked quinoa to cool down, so plan ahead!)

2. meanwhile in a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, veggies, herbs. stir into cooled quinoa. add salt & pepper to taste.

enjoy!

*the recipe says it serves 4-6 people, but it goes much further than that, the two of us enjoyed this salad for a few days and it stayed fresh & delicious!*

*also, after a couple days, we added some grilled steak (cut into small pieces) and sesame ginger lemon dressing which really added a lot of flavor*

{this recipe was adapted from a recipe from farm bloomington}