30 January 2012

Vintage Heroes by Alex Gross

Alex Gross
Left: Magneto Right: Godzilla

Alex Gross collects vintage "cabinet card" portraits. He likes to transform some of them into super heroes and other recognizable figures, leaving the original face peering out of its new persona.

28 January 2012

Okains Bay

Okain's Bay Okain's Bay

This week the Norris-Arnold family took us on a day trip to the Banks Peninsula, that crazy looking piece of land jutting off the Canterbury region. We spent the day going from beach to campground, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and a few friendly families with small children.

27 January 2012

Sandwich Artist


These simple sandwiches spotted at Low Commitment Projects brought a smile to my face. Some don't look particularly tasty, but all are a little edible masterpiece.

The Mondrian is my favorite.

26 January 2012

Let's Talk About Nails.

Black gem manicure
New Years Eve party nails

Fun fact: I grew up biting my nails down to stumps. My entire immediate family did, and we're all recovering nail biters. After kicking the habit for a while in high school, I finally stopped for good in 2007 by wearing fake nails for about 3 months. They were thick and comprised of nasty chemicals, but that's not what stopped me from biting them, pathetically enough. They were just so beautiful. I painted them bright, neon colors and couldn't stop staring at them. I knew I had to get some of my own.

Luckily for me, after the fake nails came off, my real nails grew in strong and thick. They even feel like fake nails. How could I have been biting these babies off all these years? I felt like I cheated myself growing up.

Now I have a new addiction: painting my nails.

25 January 2012

Keads on Facebook

Some of you have told me you check the website daily. Some are subscribed by email. For those of you who like the links I share on Facebook, I have good news: as of last night, keads.com has a fan page.

Become a fan if you want instant updates from the blog to appear in your Facebook news feed.

24 January 2012

Terrariums & Planters by Score + Solder

Score + Solder

Words can't express my love for these terrariums and planters from Score + Solder, inspired by the forms of crystals. Desert plants are a love of mine, and combining them with crystals is more than I can resist.

23 January 2012

Inspired: Street Art by Remed


Today I'm feeling inspired by the French artist REMED. If you haven't seen his work before, check it out at his website or on his flickr photostream.

22 January 2012

New York Bagels in New Zealand

Bagel perfection

Earlier this week I posted about my first attempt at bagel making. Today I perfected the art! I used the dough and most methods described here, with a couple small differences.

Happy Birthday, Larbear!

In the wheat field with Larbear and Jordan

Everyone say happy birthday to my dear, sweet dad Larry! He's the best dad in the whole world (don't argue with me; you will lose) and I miss him lots.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to post some of my favorite vintage Larbear photos, plus one of us at my wedding. Thanks for always being there, Dad!

21 January 2012

A Ring For Every Occasion

I'm excited to announce that Sam's younger brother Harrison will be arriving in a few short weeks for a two month stay in New Zealand! Most people laugh and say, "I wish," when I command invite them to visit us, but Harry really knows how to deliver.

Sam has been preparing by stocking up on supplies for a gold panning tour of the South Island. He envisions us finding enough gold to make a second set of wedding bands to go behind our titanium rings. Ideas like this remind me how lucky I was to find him. (There's a "striking gold" pun in there, but I'm going to pretend I didn't see it.)

Even if this hopeful dream falls short, and we find only flakes, I know we will have fun. Still, I have found myself thinking about rings lately, and then I decided I should write a post about some of the amazing rings I've come across in the past few months. Most of them are out of my price range, but there's nothing wrong with dreaming, right?

The Standouts:
With gemstones and bold forms, these are the rings that shout "Look at me! My hands are covered in awesome!" I am pretty sure I would hurt myself on the spiky one, though.

Rutilated quartz rings by Babette con Dohnanyi

19 January 2012

DIY Postcards

DIY Postcards
Kia Ora!

Good postcards are hard to come by. Postcard racks are filled too often with bad graphic design, lame fonts, or photos that aren't representative of my travels. After almost 5 months in New Zealand, I still haven't seen a kiwi bird.

What's my solution? Make my own!

Boiled Bagels

First ever bagels

I lived in New York for 5 weeks on Criffer's couch. Technically, that could be called visiting, but I consider anything over a month living. I also lived with bagel snobs in college, including Jersey-born Sarah, who took me to NYC for the first time, and Manhattan-born Maia, who introduced me to the term "bread circles."

Bread Cir•cles noun
1. An inferior bagel that has not been properly boiled, lacking the interior/exterior texture of a true bagel. See also: Roll with a Hole.

Bug Under Glass by Kevin Clarke

Bug Under Glass

My years of working at the RISD Nature Lab made a huge impression on me. I am drawn to natural history museums, and I've got a small collection of animal skulls at home as well as a growing mineral collection. In my dream house there is a room of built in curio cabinets to house my collection.

Bug Under Glass

Of course, contrary to many pieces of historical taxidermy, I would prefer my collection to be naturally harvested. Enter Bug Under Glass, or B.U.G. (I see what you did there.)

17 January 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce

Roasted red pepper alfredo sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce
Adapted from Bigoven.com

• 10 ounces pasta
• 1 large red pepper
• 1 head of broccoli, chopped into medium pieces*
• 2 cups heavy cream (I used 1.5 cups cream, some cream cheese and milk)
• 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
• 1 pinch salt

16 January 2012

Playing House

Vintage alpacas
Vintage alpaca love

We're not only house sitting at the moment; we're dog sitting a very sweet old bird dog named Bella. Last week the family discovered she has renal failure, so we're making her very comfortable and trying to make sure she's eating enough. She's a bit feeble, but still feisty enough to sneak into the alpaca paddock behind me and frolick through the garden when I'm collecting zucchini.

12 January 2012

Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp

Rhubarb blueberry crisp

Gardens in New Zealand are teeming with rhubarb, one of my favorite vegetables that I never use. Our lovely hosts Chris and Paula sent us away with a large bunch of their crop, so I decided to do some baking.

11 January 2012

Pumpkin, Bean & Corn Stew

Pumpkin, bean & corn stew

This stew is an old favorite of mine, and I've made it twice in the past few weeks to rave reviews. I've been making this stew for years, but I forgot about it for a while, so this is the first time I've made it since meeting Sam.

It's great with butternut squash, but pumpkin works just as well as I discovered in New Zealand, where I haven't seen many butternut squashes. Pimientos are available here, but for $8 a jar, I discovered it is much cheaper to roast a red pepper, and the taste is just as delicious.

Little helpers

We've been working on the exterior of Kate & Jason's house this week, and we've had some eager little helpers in their sons & their sons' friends.


10 January 2012

Inspired: Wood collages by Richard Pearse

Richard Pearse
Cowshed (L) Naki (R)

I've always loved salvaged wood collages, and these pieces by New Zealand artist Richard Pearse are blowing my mind. According to the biography on his website, Richard currently lives in a shed in Patea, South Taranaki.

09 January 2012

Botanic Gardens therapy

Flowers & Coriander BIG TREE

When I'm feeling down, the Botanic Gardens always cheer me up.

Amazing flowers

With so many beautiful plants and flowers in one place, birds chirping and ducks quacking, how can you not be happy?

08 January 2012

Farewell friend


This week I've had to say goodbye to my oldest friend, Mikey Hamm. I don't remember exactly how we met, but one of my earliest memories is hiding in a bush with him around age three. I thought we were going to get married, but I couldn't picture Mikey as a grown up, so I would imagine his little boy head sitting atop a grown up body in a tuxedo, standing at the front of the church. When his family moved away for a few years, I cried.

Though we weren't close in junior high or high school, I was happy we rekindled our friendship as adults. He was a little less blonde as an adult, but just as sweet, with an outgoing, cheerful and silly attitude and a legendary red moustache. We laughed a lot about the past and celebrated our adult lives, from my marriage and travels to his big move to New York. He was so excited about life, and I'm still in shock that he's gone. I thought we'd have years yet to rebuild the friendship that dwindled in our teenage years. I thought he'd be a hilarious old man.

When someone is taken from you suddenly, it makes you realize how precious life is. Appreciate your loved ones, and tell them how much they mean to you. You never know when it might be too late.