Dec 16, 2008

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

despite not being a particularly religious person, i really love the holidays. like i really, really freakin' get-a-little-depressed-when-they're-over love them. it comes as no surprise really; i like colorful and pretty things, and just about everything is plastered with color and prettiness this time of year. i don't really go in for the overdone, fake displays at malls though. i like the tackier and/or handmade side of christmas. i like checking out the lights in people's yards, flipping through the pages of the december issue of martha stewart living with a big cup of hot chocolate, & putting the finishing touch on a present with a bow made from a target bag. when i'm warm and cozy in my house & looking at my christmas tree exploding with ornaments my family has collected in years of travel, this mix is what i listen to.

update: mixwit is no more, so my mix is no more... sorry, dudes!

Nov 29, 2008

folk art museum
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
almost a month ago exactly, i defended my master's thesis in williamsburg. for as long as i was aware of its existence, i wanted to go to the abby alrich rockefeller folk art museum in colonial williamsburg, but never managed to fit it in. the day after my defense, i had a few "debriefing"-type appointments with a couple faculty members, & i had to find a way to kill the morning/afternoon. this was, obviously, the perfect opportunity to go to the folk art museum.

colonial williamsburg is free for willam & mary students, but, given my overly-conscientious nature, i had to ask the older lady at the ticket desk if the museum is free for william & mary students. it, of course, is, and, after digging around in my bag for my student id for awhile, the lady told me to just go in. i look like i'm probably a freshman in college rather than the proud holder of a master's degree, so i don't think there was any doubt in her mind that i'm a student.

i wandered around for awhile, by far most enthralled by the pictures like this one with bright colors and scenes of the country in different seasons. this is probably because i have an addiction to bright colors and spent most of my life watching the seasons change in the country. i was much less enthralled by the other visitors to the museum who barely looked at the installations or, worse, made comments like "we already have one of those." annoying tourists aside, i had a lovely day at the museum, created some art of my own, and ate a really tasty lunch in the museum cafeteria.

i love folk art because people create it not because they have the training or it's their job, but because they have an intrinsic need to make art. this is something i get. if i spend too much time working without interjecting some art &/or creativity into my life, i get really irritable. i just need to make things.

i left the museum feeling so inspired, particularly by the cheery paintings in the farm room like this one. when i walked out of the museum past the lady at the ticket booth, she said to me, "i hope you found what you were looking for." i'm sure that she must have assumed that i was there on a weekday because i needed something for a class, even though i certainly had not indicated so, but i was leaving so full of artistic motivation that i replied, "yes, i think i did."

Nov 3, 2008

i can't believe that i haven't posted anything in a month when i've had so much to blog about. i guess it's hard to find time to write when i'm so busy actually doing stuff. anyway, i have lots to share: trip to nyc to visit little bro, trip to scranton to hang out with bat researchers, thesis defense, folk art museum in williamsburg, & halloween, plus the usual roundup of crafts and food. real posts soon...

Sep 29, 2008

IBS awareness necklace
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli

it was important to me that some of the items from my shop benefit charity. it was also important to me that the charity pieces be something that people would want to wear even if they weren't also helping a good cause, so you can wear these pieces & people will not automatically assume that your jewelry supports a particular cause. i decided to go with an IBS-related group & an IBD-related group for my first two charity pieces because i spent a lot of time researching these group of disorders while i was waiting to hear which one i have. what i found was that neither is well understood or well researched, & i felt like this is a place where even small donations have the potential to make a big impact.

$5 from the sale of this necklace will go to the international foundation for functional gastrointestinal disorders (including IBS). when someone has a functional disorder what it really means is that, were they subjected to a battery of tests by a team of doctors, they would not show any of the typical signs of disease. functional diseases also do not lead to more serious complications. it does not mean that people with functional disorders do not experience significant symptoms, that their lives are unaffected by their disorder, or that their symptoms are all in their head. with the right combination or support & knowledge, most people eventually can learn to manage their symptoms & lead as normal a life as possible. the IFFGD seeks to help people diagnosed with functional gastrointestinal disorders by increasing awareness, providing support, & encouraging research. for a close-up of the bead at the center of this necklace, check out my photostream.

Sep 28, 2008

signature earrings
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
these are the signature earrings, sold separately from the signature necklace. they came out of the same idea: a little pop of green turquoise that goes with everything & can be worn everywhere. the earrings & necklace are both simple enough that you could wear them together without totally overdoing it, or you can wear them separately or mix them with other pieces. whatever floats your boat.

polyvore eats up so much time...

...but at least now i have outfits that go with all of my jewelry items.

these outfits are designed around the signature necklace & signature earrings. since the idea behind both is that you can wear them whenever wherever, i designed a look for day:

& for night:

Sep 27, 2008

etsy shop preview #1

some friends & i had a discussion awhile back about how we wanted a signature necklace or a signature pendant that we could wear every day with anything. a few days later, i noticed that one of the baristas at my usual coffee shop was wearing a necklace with a tiny green stone on a thin, delicate chain. when we had talked about a signature pendant, i had been thinking along the lines of something gold or silver, like the floating heart necklaces from tiffany that every college-aged girl seemed to be wearing 4 or 5 years ago, but, when i saw this woman's necklace, i thought a single small bead or stone on a simple chain would be perfect for a signature necklace. the necklace adds a tiny pop of color, & the stone is so small that it can still be worn with essentially anything regardless of color. & so the signature necklace was born.

this is actually the second version of the necklace; the original that i made for myself has a jade bead instead of green turquoise. i only bought one jade bead when i got supplies for the first necklace, and, when i went back for more, they were gone. the green turquoise is a great substitute. it's such a vivid green, and it will look great with just about anything. my apologies for the crappy photography. the picture looks okay at the smaller size, but the full size image is pretty bad.

Sep 20, 2008


the verdict is in. IBS & acid reflux are the culprits in the great mystery of my screwed up body. it's a relief to finally have names for what's wrong with me, & it's even more of a relief to know that i don't have Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. i have meds for the acid reflux, & i'm reading about how to control the IBS. (sidebar: i used to avoid talking about my "meds" because i thought that someone who refers to their medications as such must be taking a lot of medications. i take less than 10 medicines a day, but i figure someone with 2 heart conditions, 2 extra bones, 3 digestive conditions, & an ever-growing list of allergies and sensitivities has earned the right to use the abbreviation.) there isn't a good prescription drug for the type of IBS that i have, so i'm hoping to learn the secrets to managing it on a daily basis. i don't want to be treating symptoms as they pop up if there's a way to get at the root of it all instead.

so yeah. i'm working on getting all my health issues resolved, writing my thesis, teaching chemistry labs (i'm an animal behaviorist), & getting ready to launch an etsy shop. that doesn't leave much time for blogging, posting to ravelry, or uploading photos to flickr. however, i'm hoping that a few weeks without a road trip will free up some time so i can get more done on all of those things mentioned above, & maybe i'll even squeeze in some blog action, probably in the form of a kellymagelli etsy shop preview. we'll see how all that works out.

Aug 21, 2008

back from the dead.

cornell campus
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
it's a bit contradictory to title a post about how i'm totally bogged down in thesis this way, but the title refers to my regained ability to eat foods like a normal person. (!!!!) still no word on what's wrong with me, but i can drink coffee, which makes me happy for three reasons:

1. i was at a conference last week. all conferences necessitate caffeine.
2. i'm totally bogged down in thesis.
3. when i don't drink coffee, i miss it like one would miss a friend. i am aware that this is sad.

this is one of my favorite pictures from the conference. it was the ISBE conference on the cornell university campus in ithaca, new york. the weather was gorgeous.

Jul 29, 2008

inspiration shows up in strange places: a post in 3 acts.

act i
that calculator has been sitting on my desk for weeks. i often end up staring at it when staring at the word document that contains my master's thesis loses its appeal. i have had this calculator since i was in 7th grade. while my favorite thing about it might be that it's solar-powered, the color combination on the face is a very close runner-up. i don't know exactly what it is about these colors, but i love them together. i'm trying to think of a way to incorporate them all into one project. maybe this? normally i would say that i'm not so into yellow, but lately it's really been growing on me. i love it as an accent color, especially with grey.

act ii
i'm also a little bit stuck on the cover of the aug/sept issue of bust. i wouldn't say that i'm much of an orange person, but i'm really into this cover, particularly the orange. hot pink, orange, & brown. it looks so fresh! i love how the orange gloves match the orange font. i need to come up with a way to work all those colors into something else. probably not a garment, because i have a suspicion that i would look a little jaundiced or perhaps a little dead in these colors. maybe if i tone things down a bit or keep the hot pink & orange away from my face it could be workable.

act iii
i've been thinking about doing some sort of daily post or daily picture, inspired by this. i wear jeans & a t-shirt basically every day, so i'm not sure a daily picture of what i'm wearing would be very interesting. biologists are not necessarily known for their creative, compelling sense of style. i'm considering a year of mornings &, when i say mornings, i'm talking first thing in the morning. no shower, no makeup, still in my pajamas. i'm not sure why exactly i think it might be a good idea to publicly post pictures of myself looking my absolute worst, but, since some steroids might be in my future to get this stomach business under control, i think it could be interesting to document how my face changes if i get the dreaded "moon face." realistically though, i can see myself taking the pictures, but i have a harder time seeing myself uploading & editing pictures on a daily basis, especially if i look terrible in them all. i'll have to keep thinking... (beth, if you're reading, we could totally turn this into a friend project! maybe not the first-thing-in-the-morning thing though.)

Jul 22, 2008

intestines are over-rated.

foods on the bad list
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
i am sick in a mysterious intestinal disorder kind of way. the GP i saw said that it sounds like either IBS or IBD (ulcerative colitis or crohn's). if you have one of those diseases or know someone does, you probably have an idea of how ugly things are right now. when i was less sick (and in denial about being sick), going to a gastroenterologist and having the necessary tests done sounded so awful. far too scary to actually tell someone what was going on or see a doctor. at this point, i would gladly have a colonoscopy right now, because this crap has got to stop (pun intended... teehee).

i can be very type A, so i've been really upset over my complete lack of control over my body. while i was searching for something i could do to make things a little better until i can see the gastroenterologist, i came across a list of foods people report as causing issues and generally being hard to digest. as i read the list, i was mentally checking off the items that i know make me sick. it was pretty much the whole thing, so i decided to cut out as much as i could easily manage. the picture is of all the stuff in my pantry that i had to get rid of. don't worry; i'm giving it all away, not throwing it all away. i guess i'm still more or less in caffeine/sugar withdrawal because looking at the picture makes me really sad, but i feel a lot better without all that temptation sitting around my apartment. on the bright side, monitoring my diet a lot more closely has made me feel a lot better. it's hardly a magic bullet, but, to close with another poop joke, it's definitely helping me wait it out with the gastroenterologist without totally losing my shit. literally.

done and done.

yoga mat bag, check.
new yoga mat, check.

you can get a lot of knitting done when you feel too awful to do anything else.

Jul 1, 2008

om yoga mat bag and inner peace, wip

om yoga mat bag
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
as soon as i saw that someone on ravelry had had the brilliance to knit this yoga mat bag in a self-striping yarn, i knew i had to make it in noro. i guess silver thaw is being discontinued, or at least they're not going to sell it at knitting sisters anymore, because i got the yarn on sale. as long as silk garden is here to stay i can't be too upset, but i hate to lose my favorite yarn. at least when the yarn gods taketh away, they giveth a twenty-five percent discount first.

the loss of silver thaw is one of the more trivial things i can work through on the mat. my yoga mat has seen better days; i've had it for about six years now, so it has seen a lot of sweaty feet and palms. lately, i've been feeling like the stickiness of the mat is starting to go. i'll be working so hard to push my heels to the floor in my downward dog, and i'll feel my hands and feet start to slip out from under me. really annoying. i think a new mat is definitely in my future. the question is, however, do i wait and buy something to match the gorgeous new yoga mat bag once i finish it? or do i get something now? i guess i should probably start looking around, because face-planting in the middle of my practice is going to make it a lot harder to hold on to inner peace.

Jun 29, 2008

ratatouille, omg.

i may have created the most delicious variation on ratatouille known to man. or i may have just been really hungry when i ate it. i had all this squash from the farmers' market, and i had originally planned to make an assorted-squashes parmesan with them. upon further consideration, i decided that a parmesan would actually be a horrible idea because i am lactose intolerant and tomato sauce angers my stomach in a rather irrational way. since i had just seen the very adorable movie "ratatouille," i thought maybe i'd give that a shot instead. it was a stroke of frickin' genius.

i basically used this everyday food recipe, but, since i never actually follow a recipe, i made some changes:

  • i used a red onion.
  • rather than using two pounds of eggplant and two pounds of zucchini, i used two smallish oriental eggplants, a zucchini, a yellow squash, and a pattypan squash.
  • i'm lazy and bad about using up fresh herbs and spices before they get gross, so i used dried spices and garlic paste.
  • i didn't use any bell peppers because i don't really like them.
  • i added about half a bag of italian-seasoned croutons when i added in the tomatoes. this may have been the key. they had just a little bit of cheese in them that made everything stick together in a very nice way.

when i searched martha's recipe finder for "ratatouille," this popped up, so i poached an egg on top of a single serving for the last 5 minutes or so of cooking. my egg did not sit as gracefully on top of the ratatouille, and came out of the pan even less gracefully, but it was still delicious.

Jan 27, 2008

i don't think this is what richard dawkins had in mind.

i'm not necessarily one to participate in memes, but i've seen this one in a few places, and it looked like fun, i figured why not? who wouldn't want a soundtrack to their life? if you haven't seen this before, basically what you do if write down all the situations/events, put your itunes on shuffle, and then fill in whatever pops up in order.

opening credits: the beautiful occupation - travis

waking up: no regrets - robbie williams

first day at school: there's a girl - the ditty bops

falling in love: the underdog - spoon
more appriate than you might think

breaking up: innocence - avril lavigne
apparently i'm very resistant to this break-up. and delusional.

prom: beautiful disaster - kelly clarkson
perfect. absolutely perfect.

life's okay: champagne supernova - oasis

mental breakdown: could be anything - the eames era

driving: warning sign - coldplay

flashback: dying of silence - phantom planet

getting back together: oh god - jamie cullum

wedding: a place to crash - robbie williams
too funny: "love? i'm a cynical bitch/gonna scratch that itch with a bitch like you."

birth of a child: you're not welcome here - phantom planet

final battle: sex without love - ben lee

death scene: union - the black eyed peas

end credits: always be - jimmy eat world

i think my movie is a sad one. either that or an extremely long john hughes film. i think molly ringwald circa 1986 should star in it.

Jan 5, 2008

FOs like you wouldn't believe.

i can hardly believe how many things i finished while i was home. amazing how much knitting you can get done when you aren't bogged down in work. i finally finished the green cabled sweater from blogs past in addition to three (three!) hats, at least one of which i think i will actually wear since it accomodates a ponytail nicely, covers my ears, AND is supersoft. i also made a little crocheted basket for my bathroom to put cotton balls or something in. totally an old lady project, but i kind of love it. i don't know how cute exactly a crocheted basket can be, but this one is pretty damn cute, and it only took an hour or so to make. i'll post more about it after i finish a second one.

Jan 1, 2008

holidays are for knitting.

as part of a very strong effort to completely ignore my thesis while on my precious, precious break, i have gotten a lot of knitting done. i've nearly completed two hats, this one and this one, gotten maybe 1/3 of the way through the sugarplum shrug from the holiday issue of interweave knits, and gotten a little work done on a green, cabled sweater that i started over a year ago. the green sweater is very nearly done; i just have a bit more seaming and some general finishing to get done, and then that baby is wearable. (i hope.) oh, and i crocheted a little basket to put cotton balls or something in in my bathroom. so yeah, very, very prolific so far this break. hopefully my productivity will continue as far as taking pictures on posting them online. what can i say? i dare to dream. if nothing else, i think all this voracious knitting/crocheting has calmed me down to the point where i'm no longer clenching my jaw constantly. awesome.