September Project #2

A few months ago I fell in love with some hand-cut paper art by a lady named Julene. This woman is wonderfully talented, and her artwork is to die for, so, naturally, I wanted something created for us!

So I consulted her, but with the realization that she lives in Europe and it wasn't in the budget at the time, I decided to try it myself. Now trust me when I say ours is nowhere as refined or as detailed as hers, but it is perfect for our home. And after doing just one, I have a new respect for how talented she is, and would really suggest anyone who is interested to check out Julene's website and purchase some lovely paper-cuts from her.

The quote: "We finally chose to walk like giants" is from Brian Andreas, who is another artist/writer that we love. The full quote is:

"In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them."

We searched for a quote that resonated with us, and turned to our Story People books and found this one straight away. I sketched out the design and Jacob cut it out. It was originally meant as a gift to one another for our 1 year anniversary, since paper is the traditionally gift for 1 year. A bit late on the finishing, but it has the same heart behind it.

It still lacks a bit of polishing and fine-tuning, but in it's almost-completed-stage, I think this little baby isn't half bad for a Made-by-Julene knock-off!

Note: We used watercolor paper, which is a tad too thick. If we do this again we'll use thinner paper. To cut it we used a very, very sharp exacto knife and change the blade regularly.


Happy Birthday!


The big 21, isn't it?



As I was driving in to work this morning, I began a chain of thought which made me realize I've much to be thankful for. So, I compiled a list, and here it is:

Things I'm thankful for today:

–That neither the plain, good 'ol fashioned-flu, nor the Swine Flu, nor so much as a cough or cold have yet to invade my household. I would knock on wood at this point, if I believed in knocking on wood, which I don't, so I won't.
–A casual, yet efficient, work environment. I'm wearing Chacos today (so casual), and an eye patch (so pirate-y). Also, I spent a large chunk of yesterday drawing our two lead pastors as silly cartoons (I work at a church). On purpose. Because my bosses told me to.
–Marriage. More specifically, my marriage.
–Puppies and kittens. Just, in the general.
Friends, and tonight's weekly Bible study with them.
Ok, so I'm not actually wearing an eye patch today. I can still be thankful for the casual work environment...
–Yesterday I walked in on my supervisor while he was putting on makeup. It was, however, zombie makeup, and he was, in fact, putting it on his arm... in preparation for his Halloween costume. But its still funny to say, and for this, I am thankful.
–Ricky Gervais... and Tina Fey. These people make me laugh. And I'm thankful.

And so on...


State Fair of Texas

Attention, attention... breaking news to follow:

As most of you are well aware, the State Fair of Texas is in full swing in good 'ol Dallas, Texas. Yee haw.

What you may not be aware of is that Oprah is taping her show in Dallas at the state fair on October 12th. That's right, Oprah.

What great fortune! I can see this phone call happening:
Ring, ring... ring, ring...
Kevin (my boss): Hello?
Amanda (me): Hey Kevin... (gulp) yeah, I... a terrible thing has happened suddenly, and unexpectedly... and I cannot come into work at the present time... today, at all. The... I have to go to the hospital for some emergency medical things...
Kevin: What? Is everything okay?
Amanda: I, there's just... no time to explain... but I'm sure everything will be fine by tomorrow morning... see you tomorrow...
.... {zinger!}

Meanwhile, I'm chillin' out with Oprah at the fair, we've got a corny dog and our little matching cowboy hats, getting all my 100 copies of O Magazine signed*...

...and I won't get fired, right, if I'm caught... because who is going to fire Oprah's best friend? Hmm?

Let's hope she doesn't cancel because of the Swine Flu...

*note that I do not actually partake of such nonsense as corny dogs or cowboy hats and do not actually own a single issue of O Magazine.



Ongoing Conversations

[note that A=Amanda (me) and J=Jacob (my hubs)]

A: Jacob, why don't you start a blog? You're such a great writer, you should blog!
J: No.
A: Come on, why not? You'd come up with such interesting things to tell the blogosphere!
J: No.

A: Jacob, you should get a Twitter account. See, I got one... it's quite interesting, Twitter.
J: No.
A: C'mon, if I'm tweeting I want you to know what I'm tweeting about...
J: Nah. Twitter is weird.

A: Hey, Jacob... you should post on our blog sometime. You are, after all, two letters-worth of the name "Jamanda". Look, I gave you authoring privileges! You can man it up a bit... it's so girly what with me writing all the blog entries. There are other men that blog, you know. Masculine men.
J: Nope.

A: Jacob, I created a Twitter account for you! Your handle is jacobtboyd. Woo hoo! Let's tweet something under your new Twitter name. What do you want to tweet!?
J: Nothing.
A: Okay, then, I'll tweet something for you!

A: Jake, can I interview you...
J: Interview me?
A: Yeah, interview you!
J: For what?
A: For the blo.... J: No.

A: Hey, baby... on Facebook...
J: No.

A: Hey, Jacob... blog...
J: No.

One day, guys. One day I swear Jacob Boyd is going to write something mind-blowing on this blog, right when we all least expect it. It's going to be amazing... I'm still working on him, but I think one day that husband of mine will come to accept and embrace the Internet.

{Photo above is Jacob with a llama, in Peru.}



A smattering of interests!

It has come to my attention, by way of the slightly snarky comments made by one of my coworkers (who may or may not be my supervisor, who may or may not be reading this right now...), that all we Boyds EVER seem to blog about is food and (recently) woodworking. Food and woodworking, food and woodworking.

And I cannot necessarily deny this. But, I can steer this ship in other directions, and as a start, I would love to begin with this:

An Incomplete List of Things We Boyds Enjoy That is not Eating or Woodworking:
Riding bikes:
We love adventure and travel, and for a long time we've wanting to begin the hobby of rock climbing:
We really hate credit cards... we refuse to use them...

...instead, we're big savers and we like to pay cash for things.

Gardening is always fun, though we're hoping soon for an actual yard in which to do it. We're currently limited to flower pots.

We love to help out at our church, Lake Pointe, in whatever capacity is needed:

So, there is just a sampling of the variety that we're capable of. Ha. Note, that we do not actually sing in a church choir and that Jacob himself has yet to actually climb in Patagonia.



Autumn in the Arboretum

One thing we intend to do this fall includes visiting the Dallas Arboretum during The Great Pumpkin Festival. Autumn at the Arboretum lasts Saturday, September 19, 2009 until Sunday, November 1, 2009. It costs about $9.50 a person.

  • Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A blurp from Pegasus news:
"This fall festival, which runs September 19th through November 1st, boasts of more than 150,000 fall blooming flowers including chrysanthemums, salvia, coleus, ornamental grasses and impatiens. Always a favorite spot for the family photo, The Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch and the gardens are filled with over 25,000 decorative pumpkins and gourds. Also in the Pecan Grove is the walk-through 15' pumpkin house constructed out of the finest pumpkins in the patch and a 10' pumpkin topiary decorated with orange marigolds."

You'll find a more detailed list of events at the Autumn at the Arboretum page on their website.



September Project: Weekend #3

Weekend #3 of our September Project found us finishing this little beauty up with around 10 days left in the month (perhaps we were a little over-zealous with our very first mini-building project). Note that we have, in fact, been working on this during the week, too, although the original idea was to work on this project during our weekends... but again, we've been so excited to get it done. Anyway, this week(end) included sticking all of the pieces together, letting glue dry, sanding, priming, painting, and polyeurethaning. The following includes the process of completion; the final moments:

Our friend and neighbor, Jeff (who you may recognize from previous posts), stopped by to view the finished piece (pre-painting):

Here is Jacob beginning the painting process (which was completed by yours truly):

And finally, once the piece was completely dry, we moved it upstairs! I just need to set some stuff on it, so it can fulfill it's ultimate purpose!

Our first project complete! We definitely learned much about sawing, gluing, priming, painting, sanding, and so on... And this little bookshelf definitely has its small, miniscule, hardly-noticeable, insignificant, tiny, little flaws... but they're OUR small, miniscule, hardly-noticeable little bookshelf flaws, and they're wonderful.

And here is a little idea that we've got for an upcoming project, at least a bit of materials we may use:

Perhaps a little recycling and repurposing...



New favorite: Twisted Root Burger Company

We've got a new favorite to add to our list... Best Burger Joint: Twisted Root.
We grabbed lunch here on Saturday after running a few errands in Dallas proper, and let me tell you... this place was pretty tasty. You know you're about to eat a good burger when you walk in the door and the line to order wraps around itself twice. It was certainly worth the wait in line. I had a turkey burger with guacamole and jalepenos, while Jacob ordered a classic burger with cheese, guacamole, and onion rings. The sweet potato chips and twisted fries were both excellent, and we can't wait to visit again to try the fried green beans.

I think our favorite highlight of this place was the condiments; Twisted Root makes their own, which includes a chipotle ketchup, honey-dijon horseradish, and an amazing barbecue sauce.

We ate at the Dallas location (2615 Commerce St. [in Deep Ellum]), but apparently there is a Richardson location as well (730 E. Campbell Rd).


[photos via Twisted Root's website]


A Birthday

Today our friend Jeff turned 28.
Hooray, you made it Jeff!



September Project: Weekend #2

We're almost there! Jacob has accomplished a lot by way of our bookshelf this weekend.

A few of our limitations have been our lack of tools and having to work with the little space and knowledge we have of building. But we're learning and making due with what tools we do have.

By next weekend I should be able to paint her, let her dry, and put her up in the studio... and I can't wait!

...ignore the random messiness of our garage. It's the "Just Moved In" look, although we've been here almost a year...



In Memorium

Sept 11th.

Labor Day Weekend

I seriously think it has taken the majority of this shortened work week for me to recover from our Labor Day weekend. So now that I've fully recovered, I'm back to the blog.

The weekend surely was a great time... we spent part of it alone, just us Boyds knocking about the house–Jacob is still working on our September Project.

On Sunday our newlywed friends the McDonalds came to visit and stay the night–like a fun little grown-up slumber party! That evening our comrades the Kimmels joined us for a great game of Quelf. If you've never played this game, I suggest you try it out; it was a hoot.

Labor Day Monday found us at Six Flags. I am opened and unashamedly scared of rollercoasters. Maybe not scared OF them... more like, I'm not designed for that kind of speed... those kinds of twists and turns... they make me feel discombobulated. Now, I've never lost my lunch after a rollercoaster–it's not necessarily about the sickness as much as the disjointed, numb sensation I feel after getting off of them. Not to mention my very real fear of heights. Heights seem to always be a part of the whole rollercoaster experience. But I digress...

The day itself was quite enjoyable–being with family and friends was great. I even rode a few rides. Jacob is a big fan of any and every water ride available. Maybe one day we'll put a log ride in our backyard... if we ever have a backyard...

I have no photos from Six Flags, but here are a few from our Sunday night Quelf game.



September Project: Weekend #1

Today Jacob assembled his project center, and soon...

...he is going to turn this wood into a little bookshelf for me to use in my art studio:Fun!