Sunday, November 30, 2008

bohemian rhapsody

Current tune: Bohemian Like You by: The Dandy Warhols

So I've got to do a little backtracking before I can talk about the present. My mom and sister came up to Canterbury, England to visit me for a bit after we spent a relatively wretched weekend in Paris. Needless to say Canterbury was the most relaxing part of their journey and it was full of food, family, and bohemian-ness.

I took my mom and sister to eat at Boho, this very cool, very hip, little bohemian cafe on High St. in Canterbury. I knew she would love this place, because I loved it. The colors are bright, fun, and inviting. The food is creative, homemade, and delish! Their are knickknacks galore along with weird paintings and of course, '60's or indie music. This place is one of my friends favvvvorite places! Plus they make the best kickass homemade veggie burger, that I have eaten!

Kind of bad picture, because the one woman was moving, but hey. Peer into the depths and wonderment of Boho! It's small, quaint, and lovely! I'll be posting more picture when I eat there again before I go. I need good memories and lots of pictures of this place when I return to the states.

After BoHo we met up Shanna and Nikita for a quick walk then to Coffee & Corks. Basically I took my mom and sister to my favorite places in Canterbury (with time I was alloted).

Coffee & Corks is a small bohemian coffee shop that is engulfed in a relaxed and artistic atmosphere. There are comfy inviting couches in the corners, pillows and bright oriental carpets, cute wooden stools and chairs, and random books and classic board games scattered about. Usually there's one or two people writing music or playing little tunes on an acoustic guitar by the front window where the pillows are.

This picture sums the place pretty well, in my opinion. It's a great place to relax with friends, and just chill, or to gather inspiration. Come in and forget about life with me in a sea on imperfection and acceptance.

I enjoy this place. They have a good selection of teas and are open really late!

I want to remember these places when I return home and use them as examples and inspiration in the future. I hope these pictures and experiences will serve as motivation for myself to open my own coffee shop for myself like this. Gracie and I have been talking about this, as we connect.

It makes me really happy thinking about stuff like this. And I think I would be really happy owning a coffee shop, making pastries, and selling my art.

Friday, November 28, 2008

uninspired wreckage

Current tune: "Kids" by: MGMT

I've been a fuck off for awhile with everything. Including my life.
As a result I'm totally, utterly, and completely uninspired. The worst thing ever.

At an attempt to rekindle something...anything. I've been watching MGMT videos on youtube and making pirate paper hats. I actually did not know how to make a paper hat on my own, so I youtube'd a tutorial on it. Basically, I learned from ten year old boys, and it was a good time.

I sat on my kitchen floor with my laptop at my feet and maybe pirate paper hats with the guidance of these children. I've been in a pirate mood lately, I suppose. Is that a mood? is now. So I made a sign for our cursed interweb box. While I was doing all of this Jake just made jokes and watched the struggling artist trying to muster something to curb her inner cravings of creation.
Here's the video I watched: how to make a paper hat

Quite helpful.

So I feel like I'm at a dead end. I've got a shopping cart sitting in my back garden waiting to be spray painted. I think I'm going to do a pretty candy colour, like a pink or magenta. Then I don't know what else to do with it. It needs more, but I haven't gotten farther than that. I've lost all creativity with these god awful papers and timetables. If I had more carts, I'd paint them all and stack them in a "Poltergeist" kind of way with the chairs.

Inspiration, please!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

someone left the cake out in the rain

Current tune: "Nothing's Wrong" by: Architecture in Helsinki

So I decided to bake a cake tonight for a Bean Inspired for Mark to sell. I baked the cake and set it out on our tiny patio in the back garden. While I'm doing this Christina just watches me until I come in and they asks why I put the cake outside.

"Caroline, why did you put the cake outside?"
"So it would cool."
"Haven't you ever heard of the song, if you leave your cake outside it'll rain and ruin it?"

This sounded pretty ridiculous to me. But it was true. Fact. It's a song sung by Richard Harris about a cake melting in the rain and some girl. Wonders never cease....

Our mess in our kitchen.

We managed to get icing on my hat, our blinds, the stove, the floor, ourselves, and.....just about is roomie bonding over cake! <3

A perfect union of sweetness <3

"...MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again

Oh, no!..."
-MacArthur Park

This is the finished product to our madness. It actually looks quite delectable, though I hope it isn't too much or too sweet. We just kind of went with things. I wanted the pink sprinkles and Christina did damage control after me with the icing and the chocolate drizzle. It was a good team effort!

My watercolor finished painting of my cake to put up in the shop. I think I'm going to darken up the blue a bit more, but I'm quite satisfied with it. I'm not very good with watercolors yet...actually I think I'm pretty shy when it comes to them. I'm more of an acrylic kind of girl. But I do need to widen my horizons. Plus it was cheaper in Chromos, the art supply store off of high street in Canterbury.


On a different you ever feel terribly frustrated, behind, and absolutely ignorant to the world? I realize I'm no Bill Gates, Alfred Einstein, Issac Newton, or Matt DeVall....but geez, I felt dumb in Modern Britain today.....

I don't think that it was an instance where I was totally left in the dust and didn't know where everyone else was coming from, it was more I speak quietly and no one hears me until someone more annoyingly loud pipes up with the correct answer about
Northern Ireland and the IRA. Ugh! I feel as though I'm becoming that clumsy girl (with drink spilling and fails....) from being the smart organized girl. Being in England has opened my eyes to many things and gave me an even bigger yen to learn, but while I'm here I've been going out of character....aka relaxing and partying.

*gasp* Caroline....relaxing? What what what? As a result I feel like people are remembering the drunk moments, more than the awesome smart ones. Curse you, alcohol!

Do you ever think pirates got into this conundrum as well?

"Argh....must be layin' off all ye rum....gotta study me stars in ye sky so ye can multiply ye distance of ye scurvy vessel to thee buried treasure!"


"...It's wicked where you tread they shot an arrow in your head
since the apple wasn't there..."
-Architecture in

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

friendly love <3

Current tune: "Funny Little Frog" by: Belle And Sebastian

So I'm currently cooking in the kitchen with my friends! yay! We are enjoying a pleasant meal of eggplant parm. and pasta! Christina, Nikita, Gracie, Shanna, Will (Christina's beau) are all sitting in the kitchen enjoying each other's com
pany on laptops, with magazines, cooking, and just chatting. I love it!

Times like these make me really happy!
I love my friends <3

The smell of warm cooking food, good friends, and wonderful conversation is amazing!
Our homemade, and vegan friendly eggplant parm!

Eggplant is so yummy! <3

I have a light blue Death Cab For Cutie shirt neatly folded up ion my desk in my room in my flat. I honestly don't know what to do with this shirt, because my friend gave it to me in tears as an attempt to rid herself of a broken love and ex-boyfriend. I ran to my best friend's flat last night to comfort her in tears with tea, hugs, shoulders to lean on, and girl talk.

I don't know what to do with the shirt. A part of me sees myself writing on the back of the shirt the story behind the t-shirt. I feel like it could be a wearable feminist statement. They are a very good band, but I feel weird wearing it. The memories and thought behind this article of clothing make me feel awkward wearing it for my own enjoyment. What should I do?


So I decided to finish this post today, the day after the first part was written. I really don't know where I'm going to go with this blog, but I hope it serves me well.

I've decided to go purchase some house paint (because it soaks in clothes and won't wash out) and write on the back of the shirt. Kinda a little sad at the thought of this, because when I tried it on it fit sooo perfectly! But I know that I'm going to do this, feel good, and make my friend feel better as well!

During my Modern Britain class, when we had break I came up with an idea for it. Here goes:

i wear this shirt for my best friend.
to get over a past flame.
to be a stronger person.
i look up to her.

I think this will make her smile. It will be my little feminist wearable art. <3

Sunday, November 9, 2008

weekend travels: holland

Current tune: Goodnight and Go by: Imogen Heap

I've been horribly bad with keeping up with thus poor blog that deserves to be updated! And with a complimentary slice of warm apple pie with a single scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side.

Ok. So I went to London on Friday for a class trip and saw the Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre [re-built], and then wondered off to the Tate Modern (the optional part of the trip).

The Tate was an AMAZING place that made both me, and Shanna, so happy! I felt sooo inspired after going there that I started writing down notes and ideas on the pamphlets they give you.

Before we got to the Tate, we went and saw the William Shakespeare museum and the reconstructed Globe Theatre. That too, was very lovely. And prior to that we have the opportunity to walk around the London Tower. That was very exciting! We saw were poor Anne Boleyn was decapitated, and the ravens that inhabit the place and all the towers, history, and bea-u-tiful crown jewels!

After our school trips, is when the fun begins! After the Tate Shanna, Mandi, and I walked across the Millenium bridge, which is exclusively for pedestrians only over the Thames river. It was a lovely breath of fresh air with cute couples necking, and a splendid view of the city!

We stayed up all night at Shanna's friend flat and then was off for Amsterdam by 2:45 am.

Going by all modes of transportation in one weekend can wear a body down. We frequented the bus, taxi,
train, subway, and plane within one weekend....eeek!

The whole ordeal of Amsterdam was stressful, but the city was lovely! The day was bright and sunny (almost a little too bright, because we've gotten so accustomed not seeing sun in London). Mandi, Shanna, and I checked in to our hostel, whic
h was cozy, warm, cute, and utterly unique!!

This was in the reception/living room/bar of our Hostel. The lamps were just an amazing conglomerate or warm light and mood, with a home-like sense of vintage and design. I was quite taken with them!

We ventured out, after we were settled, and located the closest coffee shop to do what people in Amsterdam do (which happened to go throughout the whole day). We were sooo exhausted from traveling and not sleeping for about a day and a half that we crashed in our room for a couple of hours. We woke up and headed down to the red light district, because I didn't want to leave without seeing that. After that more pancakes and then headed home for the night.

We only stayed one night, but tried to take in as much as we could from the vast an popular city. There were gorgeous buildings, really cute interior design shops, lots of coffee shops, and just a lot of to take in.

They make you feel so inspired just looking at them! The colors were fantastic! The mugs, tea cups, and utensils made you just want to move into your own flat and decorate like a TLC show!

Me in my bunk bed in the hostel. It was a fast-paced good day.

Amsterdam was good. I'd loved to go back, but I know I couldn't live there. It's just not meant for me and I could feel that. I'm happy I've seen it and visited, and hope to be back again!

Monday, November 3, 2008

a lazy sunday

Current tune: "The Show" by: Lenka

Today Christina (my Cazenovian flat mate), Gracie, Nikita, Jeff (our friend from Illinois that lives in flat
6), and I decided to go apple picking. We were going to do it Saturday morning, but alas, England had other plans for us and it rained all day.

So we got on the bus as ASDA’s and headed up there. We got dropped off at the farmer’s stand with the apple orchard in back of us and inquired about apple picking, only to learn that the orchard we saw was private and the cashier did not know of any apple orchards in Canterbury that permitted public apple picking. Boooo!!

Needless to say we enjoyed the fresh produce from local farms! I bought some yummy looking little mushrooms and big brightly colored carrots to make in a vegetable pot pie this week, and some flour to make shortbread cookies!

We decided to save ourselves the 1.60, in pounds, and walk back to Canterbury. It was nice walk of about 2-3 miles where we amused ourselves with conversation, the random cute greenhouses, farms (for Christina and Nikita to get in their pony fix), and the scenery around us. I also picked some pretty flowers that are now my little centerpiece on my kitchen table in my flat.

The farmers stand inspired me to bake some shortbread cookies and cook with fresh veggies again! (I’ve been eating a lot of eggs, ramen noodles, and whatever else that is cheap). I miss cutting up fresh veggies and cooking them in pasta and rice. Yummy!! So I made up two batches of homemade shortbread cookies and we had little tea party with biscuits! I made up the batter and started making up the cookies until Christina took over for me, Nikita would put them on the cookie sheets (that we burrowed from everyone we knew that owned one), and Gracie would check on them once we had them in the oven and then put them on paper towels on the counter to cool. It was a pleasant fluid assembly line of cookie production.

Nikita and Christina in the cookie production line <3

Jeff, Amy (our British friend from flat 4), and Jen (another Cazenovian that lives in the group of flats with us) hung around the kitchen keeping us entertained with conversation about the moth man prophecies, ghosts, and mythical gargum that we all like to eat up like its ½ price ben & jerry’s. It was a really nice couple of hours and we all enjoyed tea and fresh baked shortbread biscuits with friends in my kitchen flat. Shanna came along a bit after and joined all of us for tea and biscuits as well!

I’ve been inspired to start baking, now that the weather is getting colder, which makes me really happy. I enjoy cooking and baking for people whom I love, and if that’s for my friends it’s just wonderful!

happy halloween [belated]

Current tune: “All That I Need Is Love” by: Melody Gardot

Happy [belated] Halloween!
In America, Halloween is right up there with Christmas with preparation, dressi
ng up, baking, and popularity.

In Britain, they don’t give a shit.

When Christina and I saw our flat the first week we came to Canterbury, we both decided to throw an awesome Halloween party. Though the wardens told our friends that they would get evicted for throwing a party, we were determined to have one despite all previous warnings to others around us. You can’t deprive an American with something they cherish so much!

We hung up cute decorations, I made sure there was enough extra tp in the common bathroom downstairs, and made sure we all had enough wine and drinks, and it was on! Since there were no adequate costume shops, we all had to DIY our costumes.

Shanna was a pirate, with a bejeweled eye patch, Gracie was a zombie school girl with creepy face paint, Nikita was a vampire school girl with sweet teased out pig tails, Christina was Dorothy with glittered pink flats, Jeff was Dracula with a tarp-like cape (it really did feel like a camping tarp), Mandi was little red riding hood, Amber was a black cat, Shannon was Elle from Legally Blonde (even with her won stuffed “Brewster” in bag), Coffee-shop Mark was a zombie with blades protruding from his body, my flat mate Charlie was another just-dead zombie, Nina was a fairy, Jen was Amy Winehouse (with the assistance of Shanna and I), Jake with-a-star (a British classmate) was the Joker (with assistance from Gracie), and I was little red riding hood with a
children’s coat!

These are the people that help make this whole trip great! <3>

Now, if you can get through all of that without any confusion, you deserve a gold star.

We had a rad strobe light burrowed from a friend, tacky black cobweb stuff on our cupboards, and the combined awesome music from Gracie, Christina, and me! It was a good-yet well-mannered party that was not broken up or disturbed anyone.... (the warden’s never knew).

After the party (at about 11:30-12ish) Mandi, Shanna, Jake with-a-star, Gracie, Nikita, Mark, and I went to The Jolly Sailor to have a couple drinks.

Mandi got hit on by the owner, who was a zombie colonial guy, and I spilled two glasses of wine in a drunken stupor.

We ended our magical night like we end all good drunken nights….with Efes chips and fresh mozzarella cheese! Walking back home filling our bellies with fries and cheese is always good! We parted our ways when we got back to the student village and all passed out.

It was a good night.

The next morning Christina and I tackled clean up, which wasn’t bad at all. I went through and took care of the recyclables, changed the rubbish bags, and washed dishes while Christina mopped the floor. I also had to scrub the random pink blotches on the walls from my flat mate, Charlie. Her paint kept getting on the alls whenever she bumped into anything. (It was kinda funny just how it was in random places.)

My travelin' companions and best friends <3>

Note: There was no pumpkin carving, trick-or-treat’ers, gourds, or Halloween lights….kinda miss that.