Sunday, August 30, 2009

now more than ever

my brother's family came home this weekend. they had a busy weekend of driving from SF down to fountain valley, to irvine, to glendale, to pasadena, to arcadia, back to fountain valley and back to SF tomorrow.

i hope my brother doesn't find this blog because he'd probably kill me for posting a picture of their son. for my sake i hope he never does....hahaha but my brother and his wife have a wonderful 3 year old son who i love and we have a great time together. i love playing with him and reading him stories and i'm always sad when he leaves to go home and i'm always excited to see him when he comes to visit. he's smart, funny, gentle, a good listener, and adorable.

some women having their nephew visit and having such a wonderful time would lead them to want a family of their own. and yet for me it leads me to the exact opposite. go figure. i think people who know that they want to have children and raise a loving and healthy family is an awesome thing. we definitely need more healthy families with loving parents who raise their children with love and respect. but it's just not for me.

** ** ** ** **

here's an easy project for 3 year olds. you can find at most larger craft stores plastic children's weaving needles in the knitting section. they're made of plastic and mine came in a pack of two. the needles are plastic but the tip is still pointy enough to hurt their eyes so this is definitely a project to do with 3+ year olds and under supervision.

you can find pony beads at the craft store as well and yarn. thread the yarn through the needle and thread a bead through first and knot the tail of the yarn around this first bead so the following beads don't fall off.

this simple craft that we've probably done a dozen times with kids is great for building small motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. while you're doing this project it's a great way to encourage color recognition and counting skills. if your child is more advanced you can try pattern recognition, eg. alternating colors and asking which color should go next.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

hannah's tip: free places to visit

when i was attending the art institute of california sometimes we would have field trips. my last year of school i had a lot of them. some trips were lame for sure but some were actually very surprising cool.

on one such field trip we visited the irvine museum. that's right, irvine has a museum! i was really surprised. now, to be honest it's very very small but the exhibit they had when i was there was very nice. parking and admission is free.

the exhibits change every four months and it's the only museum in california dedicated to the preservation and display of California Impressionism or Plein-Air paintings, an art style that flourished in California from 1890 to 1930.

on another trip i went to the cerritos public library. another, "what the heck!" kind of moment. i was really impressed by the library in general but i was floored at how much art and special collections the library has.

the children's section has an enormous aquarium that houses heaps of fish and a live shark! they have a caretaker for the fish and he's outfitted in scuba gear and feeds the shark so he won't eat the other fish in the tank. haha

also in the children's section is a replica of a t-rex. it's actually really cool to see. throughout the entire library there are several pieces of art from different important periods. it was really awesome. it's also on the way to mr. lee's $10 all-you-can-eat-bbq and most times when mark and i pass it i make some kind of comment about how the cerritos library is the best. he always scoffs.

there are some cool places around us

Thursday, August 20, 2009

hot dog!

last time i visited mark in chicago a group of us went to hot doug's. amazing special hot dogs and fries fried in duck fat. what place does that?! it was wonderful though...check out their special menu.

oh sweet food of the gods.

ever since then in the back of my mind i've been craving a good hot dog. i really like chicago dogs...celery salt, pickle, sport peppers....delicious.

this monday 'the monday crew' went to PCH, pacific coast hot dogs. i'd have to say the hype on yelp didn't measure up but it was fun to eat a hot dog in perfect southern california weather.

i had a chili dog and a chicago dog. chi-town won out on chili. i have to say it wasn't a true chicago dog. every time i've had a chicago dog in chicago their peppers are different than what places here use. some places call them sport peppers but no place/market i've looked sell them. it's bizarre.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

living life in shades of grey

art by mark rothko (1903-1970)

last night on the bbc world news they had another installation of a series called, "heart and soul." the subject of last night's piece was forgiveness. are there times when we cannot or should not forgive? what if the those who have wronged show no remorse? what if those who have wronged are dead and cannot express remorse?

the piece remembered the 52 people who were killed by a terrorist bombing in england in 2005. 2 mothers were interviewed who had lost children in the bombing. one was a nigerian woman, a devout catholic who lost her son and the other an anglican priest who lost her daughter.

both were impacted by the tragedy and their story of grief has led to different conclusions.

the nigerian mother anguished with a great deal of different emotions but she felt that in order to continue to work out her own salvation journey she had to follow the words of the LORD's prayer in forgiving those who had trespassed against her and learning to forgive the bombers. to let them go to the hands of GOD and let Him judge so that she could move forward and forgive them for what they did.

the anglican priest also anguished with a great deal of different emotions and felt that forgiving those who had done such a wicked and dark thing could never be forgiven by her. to forgive them would be to dishonor the death of her daughter. she felt that there were some acts that could never be humanly forgiven. she harbors no bitterness and hatred however she cannot forgive.

sometimes we're told that things are very black and white. and maybe sometimes they are...or are they? monday nights, i've been watching the TV show lost on DVD and the first season does a really good job of painting the back story of their characters. some characters you'd easily write-off if you didn't know their story. like a con-man or a convict.

i'm not sure the point is about determining what is black and what is white. who's in and who's out. maybe that isn't the moral of the story. maybe there is, what we we've been calling at cross, a third option.

whatever that is i'm still figuring it out. but i'll meet you in the grey.

Monday, August 17, 2009

UPDATE: soft spoken

our industry has two major trade shows and a few weeks ago we had one in florida. at these shows companies launch new products and collections and buyers for small and big companies go around and make purchase orders from companies like ours who are the producers.

you can think of it in terms of agriculture. companies like where i work are the farmers and at trade shows the people who buy work for companies like grocery stores and restaurants. they decide what choices you, the consumer, will see at the market or eat at restaurants. then you, the consumer, will get to choose the products that have been grown by farmers at albertsons.

our sales department just let me know that my little movie sticker was the #5 product bought by buyers at the trade show and the #1 "soft spoken" sold to buyers. now it's up to customers to buy it. ;D

Sunday, August 16, 2009

hannah's tip

saturday my boss got married. beautiful wedding, breathtaking chapel, extravagant was wonderful.

so i got a new dress special for the formal event (black tie optional) and i realized that i might need to even out the skin tone since the dress doesn't cover the pale, ghostly white legs. i can't tan...i go straight to burning, besides i don't like the idea of potential skin cancer.

so i opted for the self-tanner. i ordered the banana boat sunless summer color tinted lotion on sale and it came in the mail saturday morning! perfect. i put it on and sure enough it began to work its magic in a matter of hours. so by the time it was wedding time i was nicely tinted a natural tan color. for a first application only hours before i was pretty happy.

i'd recommend this lotion if you're looking for a little color without spending a lot of money.

Monday, August 10, 2009


working at a scrapbook company has its perks and soon the perks become a curse. i have paper coming out of my ears! stacks and stacks of free paper and some purchased and waiting to be made into scrapbook pages, cards, etc.

and if that wasn't enough, my friend introduced me to a company that makes awesome acrylic stamps and inks. so heaps of money later i am fully equipped to stamp and scrap myself to the afterlife. so that was 4 months ago and nothing to show for it. i didn't even use my stamps until this week.

hahaha, but i do have something to show for it now. handmade cards galore. i think i'll give them as gifts, 5 cards at a time. i'm also showing some scrapbook pages i've done this week. i think all graphic designers should scrapbook. honestly. it's really good practice trying to come up with new layouts in a 12x12" square.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

chocolate-marbled banana bread

they used to call me "hannah banana."

bananas are truly a delight. frozen, fresh, fried, with ice-cream, in a smoothie, in a PB sandwich. they're quite versatile and go well with several big players. one of these great pairings is CHOCOLATE.

now, i maybe a girl (yes, i admit it.) but i've never had a love affair with chocolate. dunno why. and in fact, i know more GUYS who love chocolate than girls. go figure (literally and figuratively). having said that, i really enjoyed the ribbon of chocolate to break the monotony of plain banana bread.

i followed a recipe on a food blog that i check every morning at work. i made one minor adjustment, i used a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan. why? because i don't have a loaf pan. duh. each banana muffin was given a heap of chocolate which was swirled in and luckily i got to lick the spoon. near the end i ran out of the plain batter but no matter, the last few were topped off with the chocolate batter.

it was my first time making banana bread and it really was a snap to make. mmm, it was so good i had to stop myself from eating more than one muffin. if they last the weekend i'll definitely take one for breakfast during the week. unfortunately my father is one of those guys who love chocolate so i might be in for a disappointment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


the homeless population is growing because of the economic crisis. it's a terrible problem in our society not to mention heart-breaking for people who were in a home one day and on the streets the next.

i did a piece in may 2007 that was based off of some things we were learning and being convinced of at cross. it really caused me to think about how i can be so quick to dehumanize someone just because they're standing on a corner with a sign asking for help. the piece reads, "i'm a person just like you."

yes, there are some out there wanting their next fix or their next bottle for sure and they're willing to say, claim, and do nearly anything to get the money they need to get it. BUT there are genuinely hurting people also.

two months ago a group at cross gathered supplies for the oc rescue mission and spent a saturday helping out the staff and residents at the village of hope location. it was A LOT of fun, honestly. the village of hope location is in tustin and the grounds are so beautiful. at first look you wouldn't think it would temporarily house homeless families because hell i'd want to live there myself!

i heard on npr that a lot of non-profits show a sharp decline in donations once they get to be a certain size because people assume that once they've gained some notoriety or size that they're set. not the case. so let those with give to those without.

this saturday i'm thinking of doing an experiment. i will stand on a street corner somewhere in orange county with a sign and see what it feels like to be in the shoes of a homeless person. i expect to feel WAY self-conscious and awkward and i better prep the sunscreen and hat! my sign will not ask for money but will advertise the oc rescue mission. we'll see what happens. maybe i'll see you on the street this saturday. stay tuned kiddies for an update!

***UPDATE 08.08.09***
"oh man, i really don't want to do this. maybe i should post a fake update. no one would one even reads my stupid blog, who cares..."

that was going through my mind today. hahaha, i'll be honest. but i mustered up the courage and went through with it...for reals!

first problem: where do i stand?
there are a lot of homeless people who stand on the euclid exit off 405-N but getting there seemed to be an issue. in order to reach that median i would have to either cross a 405-N on ramp or the 405-N exit. dangerous stuff. homeless people are brave.

i decided to go with the 405-S on ramp by Guitar Center, FV.

second problem: how long do i do this?
so i forgot my watch. and i didn't want to keep checking my phone...that would be lame. so once i stood on my spot i decided to count cars. i counted over 400 vehicles and when i came back to my car only 23 min had passed! hahaha oh man...

so, things i noticed:
  • some people have no idea what's going outside their car. i feel this might be one of the reasons why some people always seem to get into accidents.
  • people in general have a real problem making eye contact with a stranger, even if that stranger obviously doesn't look homeless and is outside their moving vehicle.
  • people hate smiling. i was smiling the whole one smiled back, very depressing.
there are some other things that i thought while doing this experiment but if you want to know what those are, you'll have to ask me yourself.

chinese scallion pancakes

i adore dumplings...fried, steamed, boiled, chinese, korean, whatever. i think if you were to tear out my heart from my chest cavity it would be in the shape of a "waang mandoo" or king dumpling. just had one for dinner, so good. i could eat at least 5 of this big boys.

my absolute favorite chinese restaurant serves a wide variety of chinese dumplings and one of the ones they offer is a scallion rolled pancake that is one of my favorite things to eat. my parents and i always eat it on my birthday.

this recipe is nothing like that.

hahaha, but it was good nonetheless. i followed the directions from this website.

koreans have a sweet pastry called, "whoot dduk" i dunno know what that means but it's a savory dough filled with sugar that is then fried to cook the dough and melt the sugar to make syrupy goodness in the center. using the same dough as the scallion pancakes i filled the centers with raw sugar and rolled them into little balls.

for both types they tasted best when they were freshly made. augh, i could go for some dumplings right now. *stomach growl*
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