Archive for October, 2008

The Humans are Dead

Posted in musings on October 30, 2008 by askthesky
photo by the awesome Monica Lopossay

photo by the awesome Monica Lopossay

That’s the song I was thinking of when I made this costume, which I didn’t need, after I was so psyched not to have to make Halloween costumes this year…

But, it was so worth to have this excellent article come out of it!  Seriously, I am bookmarking this as a resource for years to come- there are a TON of great ideas!  Go read it, and please tell me what you think!  Many thanks to Jill and Monica at the Sun paper. 

Bonus points if you can recognize the person in the screen of the iPod costume…

photo by Monica Lopossay

photo by Monica Lopossay


Happy Halloween!


A very spooky tale…

Posted in musings on October 28, 2008 by askthesky

These are the sell-out flea market costumes I got for our party at church this year.  I still ended up having to make three Halloween costumes this year, for a story in the Baltimore Sun newspaper about last-minute, low budget costumes.  I’ll post those photos when the story runs. 

Last night I spent the better part of the evening (and night) wrestling with a pumpkin of great girth.  The thing was 18 inches across.  Sage really wanted to roast the seeds, and we needed to eat the pumpkin, not carve it- too much of an investment to waste, I explained to her.  Pulling inspiration from the Little House on the Prairie read-aloud we’re doing, I rolled up my sleeves, and started.  I cut the mammoth thing in half, and preheated the oven.  I hacked away and sliced it into big slices.  I put in the first batch to roast.  I cleaned the gunk from the seeds, and laid them to dry.  I pulled out the first batch, put in the second, and started to peel the first for dinner and puree.  Are you bored yet?  Repeat 3 more times, then spend another hour in front of your overheated, ridiculously small food processor, purreeing in batches.  Many, many batches.  I actually gave up and put the last pan of roasted slices in the fridge.  I ended up with 5 quart-sized freezer bags of puree, not so shabby. 

We sat down to eat…

roasted pumpkin, jonagold apple, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and agave nectar

roasted pumpkin, jonagold apple, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, and agave nectar

…when suddenly, there was a sharp knock on the door.  It was rainy and cold outside, I thought, who could be at the door this late?  A shiver ran up my spine.  I walked to the door, playing through several awful scenarios involving sharp implements and flung acids.  I opened the door to a middle-aged woman with a clipboard.  She spoke:

“I’m looking for a <insert unpronounceable Ethiopian name of my landlord>?” 

“Oh, that’s our landlord, or at least she was, when she was paying the mortgage.”

The woman replied, eyeing the kids over my shoulder and softening her tone, “Oh, I see.  I’m so sorry.  I’m here to deliver the court paperwork to begin the foreclosure of this property.”

I invite the woman to step in out of the rain while I fetch the landlord’s address.  I know she won’t respond, and I tell the woman as much.  She says she’ll be back (she wouldn’t elaborate on a time frame) to post the entire document on the front door, and take a photo.  Then, she explained, the document must remain on the door for the authorities and any passersby to see. 

“I see,” I reply flatly.  “Like the scarlet letter.” 

She didn’t think it was funny.  I didn’t either. 

So, the ending to this tale is choose-your-own-adventure. 

Turn to page 46 to move out of the property in question, uprooting your family and downsizing dramatically to a 2 bedroom apartment. 

Turn to page 47 to stick with it and see what happens, risking getting an eviction notice and only having 30 days to find the aforementioned 2 bedroom apartment. 

Turn to page 48 to stick your head right into the sand.  You’d make an excellent ostrich. 

I’m leaning towards pg. 48…


Posted in musings on October 24, 2008 by askthesky

For some reason, I was ready this morning well before I needed to be, so I made coffee and a real breakfast, and went to open the door for the kids to come back from their Dad’s in time for school. 

Something grabbed me about the sky as I opened the door, and although I was freezing, I went out on the porch and watched it for a minute, then grabbed the camera and took a few shots.  Of course, they do it no justice, but it was amazing in person, believe me.  It put me in an even more reflective mood than I have already been this week (which has been an interesting one, for many reasons).  One of my neighbors came outside then, and snapped me out of my trance with his exclamation- “you crazy, standing out here in the cold staring at the sky?” 

Yuppers.  Crazy. 

Are you like me, crazy?  Wouldn’t you have stared? 

In other news, I think I must have the new Joan Osborne album.  I’m sitting here, eating my mom’s homemade applesauce (thanks, momma) and some sunbutter and jelly sandwiches I made with pumpkin cookies as the bread, listening to “Sweeter Than The Rest”, and it’s just perfect.  Things are perfect. 

So why do I feel so numb? 

Gotta get to work.  More later on the interesting photo shoot we’re participating in this afternoon… have a beautiful, sky-on-fire day. 

this just in

Posted in musings on October 21, 2008 by askthesky

My color is improving, today was definitely a little brighter (not really lavender, but maybe cornflower), mostly because I was too busy to be blue. 

I just got back from a mafia interview with a reporter from the Baltimore city paper, and I’ve got to get crackin on another project that’s set to be photographed on Friday for the Sun paper.  It’s press week here at HVM Designs

Speaking of press, you can help me out by voting for me in the Baker Artist Awards competition, if you feel I am deserving of your time and vote… I promise to keep all artistic promises I make here on the campaign trail, including to make things that are pretty, and to sell them to you.  Also, I promise to heartily love all kittens and babies that you show me.  My name is Heather, and I approved this paragraph. 

Anyway, check it out!  And, if you’re a Baltimore artist, enter!  And VOTE!  And thanks! 


Posted in musings on October 20, 2008 by askthesky

I’ve heard people say that their iPods can sense the mood they’re in, and play accordingly, even though they are set on shuffle.  It’s never happened to me, until tonight.  The iPod has played nothing but the bluest of songs- Elliot Smith, Ryan Adams, Regina Spektor, Decemberists, Alison Krauss, Patti Griffin, The Weepies, Sam Cooke, Cassandra Wilson, you name it, nothing but blue, perfectly matching my mood.  Score one for technology. 

Sitting here knitting, knitting, knitting, in blue yarn on a boring project that will be for sale at the Holiday show, my mind is wandering into blue places.  Places where it’s shadowy, but quiet.  Sometimes you just want to stay in that place, you know?  That’s where I’m at. 

Sage, in her nearly 6 year-old wisdom, has been finely tuned into my mood, and has thusly been doling out hugs and compliments a-plenty, the best one being, “mom, you are a sweet strawberry, and you will be one tomorrow, too.” 

But, strawberries are red.  So, I’m not feeling so strawberry.  Blackberry, maybe. 

Blueberry, yes.   

Blue Apple Compote


a bunch of apples your mom gave you (I’m guessing about 4 pounds), cored and chopped (I didn’t peel mine, but if peels offend you, by all means remove them)

4 sub-par vanilla beans your mom brought back from Mexico, meaning they are flavorful, but not big enough to scrape the seeds out

pumpkin pie spice, to taste

1/2 cupish water

agave nectar, to taste (I think I did about 1/4 cup at the beginning, then about that much again at the end)

about 2 big handfuls of frozen blueberries (I like the Trader Joe’s wild organic ones)


Mix all together except blueberries in the bowl of your slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 3 hours, or until the apples are soft but not falling apart, and your house smells like heaven.  Add the blueberries, cover and turn the cooker off.  Come back when you’re finished your chores, stir, taste, add agave/spices until it pleases you, given your blue, blue mood.  Serve with waffles, pancakes, pork, whatever floats your boat, sweets. 

I’ll feel brighter tomorrow, maybe even lavender.  Promise.

You have no events scheduled today.

Posted in musings on October 18, 2008 by askthesky

Oh, how blissful it is indeed to see this in my email inbox from Google Calendar.  Of course, the reality is that I have “buckle down in full production mode” scheduled for today, plus cleaning the house, 4 loads of laundry, and perhaps even a walk in this amazingly perfect (finally) autumn weather. 

Here’s a photo I snapped the other evening, sitting next to the tub, bathing Zander, looking out the window.  I’d love to make it into a painting someday…






Happy weekend, all!

random quickie

Posted in musings on October 17, 2008 by askthesky

Hello there, internets. 

Thanks to the beautiful-hided Drew, who helped me out with my new header, and planted some interesting ideas in my head that may take shape in this very space sometime soon… mysterious, no?  Stay tuned! 

Go check his site, which among many other things, contains beautiful and inspiring photography like this:

hangin with my homies

I’m partial to this set, but don’t miss the others. 

Drew does some freelance design work, let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll put you in touch.