26 February 2010


This week I've been LOVING 2 out-of-our-norm items Ben brought home from Smith's:

#1: chocolate milk
(Pictured above with a nice froth, just how I like. I'm not sure why I drank this week as if I'd never had it before.
My initial reaction: "it's like a chocolate bar with every sip!" It's probably just as good for me as chocolate bars.)

#2: boston/butter lettuce
(Pictured above in a yummy salad with another lettuce I liked, but didn't love as much as the Boston Lettuce.
You might also see a perfectly poached egg - Ben's first attempt—of course—perfect on the first try.)

22 February 2010


*school = intense = not posting this Valentnice-goodness til now:

(I 'd link to her blog, but she is one of those blog-o-phobes :) even though she is the perfect kind of person for a blog.)

...is the proprietor of my new-found outlook on Love Day as an adult.

She validated her beliefs: cards and cinnamon lips are fun parts of Valentine's Day.
We found just those things on our doorstep when coming home on the 14th.

- - -

...my Valentine, gave me just what I wanted (and No-Spending-Month-appropriate):

A bit of flowers for my desk at work all week - 'leftover' from the Dentist arrangement,
(except I didn't take the photo on their best day, so this picture doesn't do justice to the tulips' perkiness!)
and a LOVE LETTER. Of course, Sentimental Me prefers a love letter even if it isn't No-Spending-Month.



16 February 2010


red thread

In High School, I took a field trip to the University of Utah
where I bound a red book in the Book Arts Program workshop.
I was mystified at this new-found genre of "artist's books."
I could stare for hours at everything in their gallery.
(In fact, Ben took me there on one of our first "dates" in High School and I DID stare for hours.)

With my plain red book, I came home and tried to make my own.

When finished, I shrink-wrapped it myself to submit to a Springville show.
It was rejected, and it remained shrink-wrapped for 7 years,
until just a few weeks ago that I unwrapped it in awe.
I did that? Really? I hardly remember doing any of it. :(
So that's why it's going on the blog (and not back into shrink-wrap).

I hereby dedicate this book to my grandmother,
mama jose,
seamstress maven and my embroidery inspiration.

I may not remember stitching this book,
but I remember almost every stitch I made
as she guided me on my first handkerchief.

15 February 2010


So... this week, in spite of the loveness and the self-defined Valentnice spirit, I have kind of sunk into a "pit of despair," (to use a family-favorite term). Mostly I was just wallowing in self-consciousness about my design work in school and then it was basically confirmed by my teacher and classmates as reality. I don't blame them, they're just honest, and I agree with them. It's just a confusing thing when you work day and night and in between and then feel like you have nothing to show for it. What do you do? You can't really work harder because you've already been working hard and that didn't do anything. But working less surely can't be the answer either. I am stumped. So I spent lots of time on my knees, and I think my Heavenly Father has given me a few leads, so I'll try that as I continue to jump the hurdles to graduation.

I refrained from letting any of this out into Blogland because of the ongoing question in my head about the general purpose for blogs, and because of the "overexposure" discussion, not to mention my resolution last year to focus on the positive. Just weeks ago I was excited to announce that I think I really succeeded in my 2009 resolve. I was excited to relate it to Jeffrey R. Holland's address about focusing on the present and not dwelling on the pain, nor the 'better times' of the past.

But this week, I found comfort in Jordan's post as I was able to read her words and relate them to my own trials/feelings/situations. And I wasn't the only one who appreciated this kind of honesty. And so it seems: each of us have individual purposes for our blogs that span a wide range in style. I think the key, as Jordan said, is to be true to yourself. In truth, I'm overly-honest, and I bridled that for a sort of under-honest blog, but this must mean that an in-between-honest outlet is right for me. For some reason, I like writing to Blogland. Somehow, knowing people read this gives some sort of accomplishment to me. Somehow it makes me feel better. I'm already feeling better now and I haven't even clicked Publish Post.

Last year was good for my learning. I learned a lot, and I was mostly taught by deep trials (aren't we all?). I was not disappointed to say goodbye to 2009. I think I actually needed the rose-colored blog goggles to help train my over-honesty. Now, as I allow more of myself into blogland, aware of the overexposure, but also of the inter-wide relations possible, I realize that even sharing my current pit of despair fits in with Elder Holland's talk—it's living in the now; working out feelings now; and building faith that looks to the future. (My faith for the future, by the way, is that design school will work itself out, though not easily—simply because it is not my priority. My mom offered the comfort that my greatest success/priority right now has been my part in Ben's successful portfolio and grad school applications. I'm down with that. My "other mom" assured that my creative life is not school. My creative life is my life! So now, looking forward, I can only do my best to jump the final hurdles of school, and love it.)

This perpetual calendar is one of my favorite things.
I kind of made Ben get it for me at Moriarty's Antiques a long time ago.

I know 2010 is over a twelfth over now, but this was the right time to find my 2010 focus, and even to share it. Happy New-ish Year to you, Blogland.

12 February 2010


I found this last year and was so impressed that they employed a designer to communicate their message, so I donated five bucks. I know, I should have purer motives.

I'm about to do it again in an effort to "pay it forward" for all the nice things people have done for me/us. I'm grateful!

Did you catch the Valentnice bug yet?


I haven't seen these friends for ages.
They are some of the nicest and most-down-to-earth peeps around.
I have NOT been an awesome friend to them.
A week ago, after months of silence, I called them up to see if I could play/see them somehow,
then I basically backed out on them completely. That's right, I left them high and dry.

What did they do in return? Talk bad behind my back?
But then they killed me with kindness:

On the eve of what I knew was going to be a hard day, I was in the studio alone.
(Well, LOTS of other classmates were there, but my best mate usually joins me,
and that night he just wasn't in the mood. I don't blame him, but I missed him).

I came home late, by myself, only to find a plate of the best sugar cookies -
in heart shapes and with pink glittery sprinkles.
Oh, and a just a valentine that Mere designed/letterpressed herself.
(See above, is that FOUR runs?)

Anyway, thanks Hendricks. Hope to see you soon.

(Oh, and PS - it was a hard day on Thursday, as I predicted.
The cookies multiplied in comforting ability on a teary day. THANK YOU.)

09 February 2010


Inspired by the Dills, Ben agreed to take a shot with me at "No-Spending-Month" for February. With all the new books/new semester schedule (i.e. drive-thrus!), it felt like we were spending a lot, here's hoping February will balance it out? I've enjoyed being resourceful, but I'm a tight-wad anyway, so was bound to enjoy it. *I admit we've given in here and there, but it is only our first try...

On Saturday night, we spent hours at the studio until we were kicked out at 11. I still wanted to work on designs on the laptop, and Ben didn't feel like sleeping yet either. The No-Spending idea for late-night fun was the free monthly movie we get from Ben's Blockbuster Rewards program. Ben was so sure that Blockbuster would be closed... (at 11:15 on a Saturday night?) but luckily he trusted me, and we were in-and-out with another disc of The Office episodes. On the way home, Ben tempted, "ya can't watch a movie without a treat!" I think I whined in pain, because I agreed! We don't really have snacks/treats lately at home, but I think we were planning on a few chocolate chips from the Ghirardelli bag.

But we walked in the "foyer" to see a surprise at the foot of our door:


My mom rocks.

07 February 2010


Thank you ten times over to the Bryners, who are nice.
They really exhibited what I have recently decided is the
"Valentine's Spirit."

I discussed the upcoming love holiday with Casidy last week.
She observed that most people don't like it... especially if they don't have a "lover."
I kind of agreed to the Valentine Dismay because I don't feel I get to
look forward to it much—even having the best love ever.
It's mostly because I don't really have time to enjoy it... School and work doesn't stop
like it does for 4th of July and Christmas—Casidy's poll says those are most people's favorite holidays—but it's because we usually have TIME to enjoy those!

I confessed there was almost nothing better when we were young...
we got to make those giant poster board mailboxes for our desks and then pick out our favorite cartoon-themed valentines (or better yet, of course, make them with glitter, confetti and doilies) and we made sure we had one for everyone on the class list, but were also careful to not give the boys cards with the word "friend" on it instead of "love" so they wouldn't get any ideas,
and you got cinnamon lips and conversation hearts.

Casidy argued that this fun should be continued now/forever.
It's a holiday that emphasizes LOVE, yes, but not always romantic love...
mostly it's friend LOVE too. It's kind of an extra excuse to be NICE.
As much as there is a "spirit" of Christmas, there should be a "spirit" of Valentine's Day,
and it should be on the theme of NICE, I think.

Everyone has time to be a little NICER, right? I think that is my February aim.

So, Happy VALENT-NICE WEEK. I love you all.

06 February 2010


Ben told me that when they (Knudsen sibs) used to ask what you wanted
for your birthday/mother's day/etc, you would tell them,

"six happy children."

Ben's little smile, typically for photos

Me giving Ben a slight tickle so he'll smile bigger

click for clarity/to enlarge

well, here are 5 pictures of 1 happy couple (5+1=6?)
to wish you BOTH a happy 34 years, 1 week, and 1 day.


the photos are coming to you in print! watch the mailbox!

*special thanks to the bryners for the sort-of-spontaneous/sort-of-planned photo shoot up the canyon.
photos by jon bryner photography
© 2009.
also, thanks to jon for lending me your north face jacket so i wouldn't look silly in that blazer.