Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Sharing

After receiving such positive feedback from the people who used to read and keep up with my old blog, I decided I'd start out fresh with this one and write about my new life on the east coast. It wasn't something I had intended to do, but once I started, I couldn't stop.

It's exciting being away from everyone you love, and getting the chance to share your life with them through words and pictures. Some people might think it's silly or excessive, but I think sharing is beautiful, and I feel boring and uncreative when I don't have something in front of me to prove I'm alive and living and happy. I want to say, "Look, look what I did today!" and show the world what I've created. Maybe that's my inner 5-year-old talking, but I just want to feel proud of my life. I want it to mean something. I want proof that I existed and enjoyed every minute of it.

Why do musicians share their music? Why do artists create portfolios? Why do authors write books? Why do cooks share their recipes? We all want to matter, don't we? We want to prove that we were here. Look, listen, admire, taste. This is what we've done. These are our creations.

And so, here I am, doing just that and sharing my life with those who care to read about it. Nothing means more to me than that. It takes a second to flip through an album on Facebook, but a blog is different. It feels more honest to me, and more meaningful, so thank you for taking the time to visit me here, and for caring enough to share your thoughts and feelings with me in return. It really means a lot.

That being said, I have two friends flying in from Wisconsin tomorrow and I'm more than excited to see them. Sharing my new city with them for a few days is going to be so much fun. So many adventures are a-brewin' and I know I will have plenty of photo posts to come.

Life is a beautiful thing, and far too exciting to keep to myself. I will do everything in my power to live my life to the fullest and continue shouting, "Look! Come see what I saw today!" and share my feelings to the best of my ability.

I just hope you'll do the same.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Book Surgeon

I found something pretty spectacular tonight and feel compelled to share. I can't stop staring at these photos! This guy is so, so talented.

Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.

Dettmer manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his sculptures. He also folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create completely original sculptural forms.

"My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception," he says.

"The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge."

Dettmer is originally from Chicago, where he studied at Columbia College. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.

Originally posted here.
Read more about Brian and his work here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Red Dress, Red Dress, How I Adore Thee

Since I started working at Anthropologie, I haven't really tried anything on. I've only drooled from a safe distance, mostly for a good reason...

Sometimes playing dress-up is fun.
But sometimes it's sad...

Oh, red dress, what can I do to afford you?

Some day you will be mine.
Just you wait and see.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baked Apple Pies

If you're a follower of my blog, or have just recently stumbled upon it, something I'm sure you've noticed is how serious my addiction is with Pinterest.

I just love it, probably a little too much. It's so lovely! There are cute things, funny things, interesting things, beautiful things, delicious things, and creative things. It gives me so many ideas and really gets my creative juices flowing.
What's better than that??

After browsing through hundreds of incredible desserts on Pinterest, I found a baked apple pie recipe that made my mouth water. I love apple desserts. They usually include brown sugar and cinnamon which I love more than most things. The combination of those three things is one of my all time favorite flavors, so I had to give this recipe a try.

It was originally posted here.

(Recipe makes 4 baked apples)
  • 5-6 Granny Smith Apples
  • (Make sure they can stand on their own!)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • Pie Crust
  • (Homemade or Pre-made)

Cut off the tops of 4 apples and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a spoon or melon baller very carefully, as to not puncture the peel.


If you’re a skilled interior apple excavator, salvage as much as you can so you can use it for the next step.


Remove skin from remaining apple(s) and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.

Mix sliced apples with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. If you prefer more or less cinnamon make adjustments as desired. Same goes for the sugar.


Scoop sliced apples into hollow apples.



Mini Baked Apple Pies

Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture/sweetness to the pie. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.

(We skipped this step since we didn't use crust. I wanted to make these vegan so that Kendal could eat them, but I wasn't having much luck making vegan pie crust. I found recipes, but was lacking in a few necessities.)

Place apples in an 8×8 pan. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.


I guess you can't really tell, but this is what they look like when you take them out!


And this is what happens when you cut into them... Yummmmmmm.

They were soooo good warm, just out of the oven. I definitely think a nice crust would have made them even better, and adding ice cream or whipped cream would have been divine!
Next time...

Let me know if you end up trying the recipe!
I'd love to hear how yours turn out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Free Glasses!

I must share an exciting offer with you if you're a glasses/contact-wearer like me!

I was reading Leney's blog one day and she posted some info about a site called Coastal Contacts where you can get a super cheap pair of glasses.
(And by super cheap I mean free.)
All you have to do is pay for shipping!

There really isn't a catch, believe it or not. The only thing is that your first pair is free, so if you've purchased from them in the past, I'm not sure if this offer applies to you.
But if you're looking for some new frames and haven't purchased anything from Coastal before, you should definitely check it out!

I purchased a pair of $6.00 glasses for myself and though I'm not over the moon about them, I really can't complain.
My old red ones are looking a little sad, so it's really nice having a spare pair. :)

I should also mention that their return policy is awesome. I sent two pairs back before I finally settled on the ones I have now. They send you a shipping label to print out, so you don't even have to pay to ship them back if you aren't satisfied.

So run over to Coastal Contacts and get your free pair!
Use the code: FIRSTPAIRFREE at checkout and you're all set!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Etsy Interviews V.2 // Marty from Marty May Press & Stitchery

I fell in love with Marty's shop the second I saw it, so I knew I had to interview her!
She's super nice, and wants to do a giveaway as well!
(Details are near the bottom of the post.)

Name: Marty May

1. What is your first memory associated with art?
My very first memory was of being a child trying to draw one of those pictures that you transfer into a grid and my older brother was so much better then me. Though, I do have very fond memories of doodling with my friends at sleepovers and such, always covering sheets of paper with new patterns.

2. When did you realize you wanted to create & sell your one-of-a-kind pieces?
About five years ago, I was living in Los Angeles, working for Whole Foods and being treated with absolutely no respect. I tried to make the best of the situation and one thing that brought me great joy was sewing my own clothes and making stencils. My coworkers started wanting to buy what I was wearing and I heard about Etsy. I gave it a shot and I've been growing ever since. I bought a screen printing press four years ago and switched to water based ink last year. My wares are in fourteen shops now and growing!

3. What inspires you?
My loving boyfriend often inspires me, as well as my creative friends. Nature is a huge influence, as I think it is to most artists.

4. What is your all-time favorite item that you've created?
My favorite item is always the lastest thing I'm working on. I just finished printing a batch of new shirt designs which I'm stoked about photographing and sharing with the world. I'm also working on men's skinny ties, to appease the men in my life, which are turning out wonderfully!

5. Has Etsy become your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Yes, Etsy as well as keeping boutiques stocked is my full-time job. I have never felt more satisfied. It definitely has its ups and downs, but everything in life is cyclic.

6. Any advice or tips for others trying to make a living and/or be successful on Etsy?
My number one tip is to take great photos. This can be challenging because it's mostly about the lighting. Research lighting and, if you sell small items, make a light box.

7. Have any business or personal goals for 2012?
I don't usually set goals with timelines because I never know what life will bring. I am diligent most days of the year and I'm constantly striving for more. I DO want to buy land in the country and build a farm, but that doesn't happen in a year :) Hopefully sooner than later, though.

8. Have a fun fact or anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your shop?
I have a newsletter coming out in a couple weeks in which I'll post all my new items and offer a discount. If anyone wants to sign up, please do it here.

******************* GIVEAWAY ENDED 02.10.2012*******************

The winner of the giveaway will be receiving a shirt of your choice from Marty's shop!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is comment letting me know which shirt you'd choose from Marty's shop if you won!

Make sure you leave your email address or Twitter name so I can get ahold of you after the giveaway to let you know if you've won. :)

Here are other ways to enter:
(Remember to leave each response as a separate comment!)

1) Follow Marty May on Etsy
2) "Like" Marty May on Facebook
3) Follow Little Tranquility with GFC or BlogLovin'
5) Follow Little Tranquility on Twitter or tweet about the giveaway:
"Win a shirt of your choice from Marty May & @amanduh_face on the Little Tranquility blog!"

Winner will be drawn on Saturday, February 10th, 2012.

Good luck!

******************* GIVEAWAY ENDED 02.10.2012*******************