Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I am so excited to get this blog back to a regular blog. You know, where I can post whatever I want and not feel restricted by (or guilty about not) posting photo projects.

One thing I want to do is to interject artists that I am mildly obsessed with once in a while. I see so many amazing artists around town, and also online all the time thanks to blogs like The Jealous Curator and Art Hound and I want to share my faves.

So, I was at The Woods, in a pretty grumpy mood, playing Bingo and drinking Bourbon. I went to the bathroom and what did I find? The most amazing paintings on display. Giant and colorful and perfect. I stood and stared far longer than anyone waiting for the bathroom. I immediately made note of the artist and spent quite a while the next day ogling and reading and marveling about Joan Hiller.


I love love love the paint by numbers style of the paintings and they were even more gorgeous in person, not to mention giant and I want one! She does commissions, too! I have a birthday coming up, I'm just saying. :) She is having a show at Tiga in March, so I might have to save up and get one of these magical paintings.

This reminded me, I have had an idea in my mind of embroidering based on old paint by number canvases, but have yet to come across any that I like. Maybe I should try my hand at creating my own.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Books read, 2010: A Memoir.

This post might be a bit obnoxious, and my original plan did not work because of java.

In any case, in 2010 I did not top my 2009 record of 27 books read, as I only finished 20 books. However, of these 20 I really loved a lot of the books I read and rated only four of them with a 3 or 2 star rating! I am a pretty generous rater, but still. 16 out of 20 books rated with 4 or 5 stars is a pretty good ratio if you ask me.

I reread a handful of books I have loved in the past this year which is something I don't normally do, but I am glad I did with these few (Kafka on the Shore, Geek Love, People of Paper) because I really do love them all!

Again I am not going to post reviews for every book, check out My GoodReads page to see more review type stuff. However, I will tell you about a few of my faves.

My favorite of the (previously unread) books that I read this year was Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. While I did not bother to write anything about this book when I originally finished it, I would like to say now that this book surprised me by making me laugh and cry, and I really thought the description on the cover and on amazon did not do this book justice at all. Beautifully written and I really did not want it to end, which is how I feel about all of my favorite books. Recommended to me by my Mostly Stitches counterpart, Vanessa.

My second favorite was No Wolf by Richard Stofle. Now I may be a tad biased because I have worked with and known Mr. St. Ofle (as he is known in certain circles) for quite a few years by now. But, again I have to say that this book surprised me. I did not know that Richard had this very creative and entertaining and interesting and heart wrenching writer inside of him. If I haven't recommended this book to you in the past year, now is the time. I would loan it to you, but struggling artists and what not, you should just buy it. (You can also read a chapter of the book on that website if you wish!)

My third favorite was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. This book had been recommended to me by a friend multiple times over the past few years and for some reason I never picked it up. It sounded too pretentious, too deep, too hard to read. But instead I found it immediately interesting, pretentious in the best almost comical way, and perfectly dark. I read it extremely quickly, loving every page. Definitely read this one if you haven't! And thanks again Mandy for recommending it!

Honorable mention goes to What is the What by Dave Eggers. I don't even care if half of it is made up, I enjoyed it even though it made me very sad. The hopefulness was astounding.

I got a Kindle for Christmas from my most favorite person so if you are wondering what to get me for my birthday (January 27th, I'll be 30!), gift cards or items from my Wishlist or even just book recommendations are more than a girl could ever want.

Now here for a lovely grid of the 20 books I read in 2010.

Books read 2010

A Reliable Wife
Hector and the Search for Happiness
What Is the What
Notes from a Small Island
Sharp Teeth
Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Secret History
The Monsters of Templeton
No Wolf
Geek Love
The People of Paper
Let the Great World Spin
Kafka on the Shore
Bel Canto
To the Lighthouse
Portland Noir
Memoirs of a Beatnik
The Sun Also Rises
The Book of Dead Philosophers

Michelle's favorite books »

Happy reading!!
p.s. this is my 100th post on this blog!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Photo a Day 2010 is complete!

Day 365. December 31, 2010. Spent New Year's Eve with the best people eating the best food and having the best time.
2010-12-31 Balch 023

There were days when I felt like this project would never end, but actually 2010 went by pretty quickly. It was a great year and I am looking forward to 2011!

My only real resolution is going to be to go see more movies in the theater, because I just love it and I think I only saw like 5 movies in the theater in 2010, which is just crazy. I also am going to work on trying to think more positively and manage my money better. No promises on those two, though.

Happy New Year!!! :)