The Zizzler

Living THE life on a shoestring budget. Traveling, DIY projects, general fabulousness.......

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Traveling is Cool

Fellow blogger Audrey posted this today, and how I wish I would've known about this before I've traveled in the past. Le Cool is an offbeat travel guide featuring Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon. Amsterdam and London. You can subscribe to a printable email newsletter, and now purchase a mini hardcover book called Le Cool Changed My Life!
Originally a Barcelona based newsletter, Le Cool sounds so very Zizzler. It features highly selective recommendations on eating, drinking, cultural experiences and the unusual. This has inspired me to a) pick up the book/subscribe to the newsletter before traveling again and 2) start a New York Zizzler blog when I move in 3 weeks!

Evil Thoughts

I'm not going to actualize this project. It's kind of mean, but I also think it's kind of funny. So therefore I'll just write about it. Yes.
Anyway, we all have that ONE ex that still has power over us. We try to think about how they've screwed us over a thousand times, or that they're a mess, or that we deserve better...but for some reason our brain coats the sitch with sickeningly sweet sugar. Then finally one day something crazy happens and you see everything for what it really is! Relief! and a tinge of sorrow, as its kind of nice to idealize things in your mind.
So, hypothetically speaking, lets say during this drama involving you, this person impregnates his ex wife. Not an episode of Jerry Springer, no! Your life! And your wake up call...
Haha okay on to the "project" that I will never create. If you have some sarcasm loving knocked up friends, then you could make this! Go to Target and pick up a 5 pack of onesies for $9.99. Get a few packages of iron on letters. Now go wild! Here are my applicable ideas:
  • I'm with STUPID
  • Illegit 2 Quit
  • Son of a bitch
  • Jerk in Training
  • Psychoses are Hereditary

Yea yea you probably think I'm vengeful and mean! Calm down, its all said with sarcasm! If you can't laugh, then what can you do!?

PS. Is this thought too mean?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cheap Art in Progress.

Consider this a rough sketch. It didn't come out how I wanted...
That being said, I've wanted to do something with the blueprint copiers at Kinko's for awhile. A few years back, I made cheap "wallpaper" with 24x36 prints I'd made from a woodcut design my friend gave me. I tacked them up with thumbtacks, covering an entire wall. The prints are incredibly cheap- 50 cents a square foot. I would've preferred to use a more high contrast photo, but I tried printing a night sky shot of the New York skyline I took from the roof of my old Brooklyn apartment. (24"x36"=$3) I bought a $5 frame from Ikea, thinking it was such a great deal. When I finished my project and tried to use the frame, I realized why it was so cheap, it was a torture hell ride in frame form. It took me 20 minutes to slip the paper in, one side would pop out, then the other, then the paper would get wrinkled. GRRR! HATED IT.
Anyway. So then I bought a leafy wall stencil from an art store for $1.35. I thought the spray paint I had was gold, which is what I would've liked, but at first spritz I discovered it was silver. Damage done, I just finished the rest of it with silver, alternating the angle of the stencil here and there. I sprayed it in my room because it was raining outside, and thought maybe I'd suffocate. My priorities are off sometimes...
I think the possibilities are endless with this project. It's so incredibly cheap. Next time I'll make a few copies of an image and get some jazzier spray paint colors. Jazz hands.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Like an Old Lady

I've always loved vintage costume jewelry. Even in my teenage club kid phase, I'd wear 1960's mod necklaces with my Hello Kitty shirts and mini skirts (and giant white platform sneakers which made me look like Chester Cheetah, uhhh). The last time I was visiting my parents in Buffalo, I went for my traditional Don Apparel visit and bought a bunch of those sweater clips that old ladies wear for $3/each. Of course, I broke all but two; one really cool one with a pearled string and floral clips, and a really ugly plain gold one that looks like two tie clips. Perfect for me to make over.
I bought some stripey ribbon at Pearl Art Supply for $1, and some plastic cameos (2 for $1.50). Using a glue gun rather than tying it, I made a bow, then glued that to the ugly gold tie clip part. I then put some hot glue on the center of the bow as well as the back of the cameo, let it get a bit tacky then stuck it on. Sometimes dried hot glue can just pop off, I've found putting a bit on both sides and letting it sit for a split second makes it hold better. Since it's about 90 degrees outside, I won't be wearing this anytime soon, but I can't wait!
For some reason my digital camera wouldn't pick up the detail of the cameo, I'm not sure how to mess with the white balance. Also being summer, all of my cute cardigans were packed away somewhere. And, unlike my dressform, I have arms. Therefore it hangs better on me. Two pronged hair clips and some chain might also work nicely if you don't have a sweater clip store near you!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Le Petit Europe

Please forgive, my computer is on the fritz so I don't have access to any of my photos today. So I'll have to use ones I've googled.
Everyone knows I'm travel obsessed, particularly to Europe, but my meager paycheck keeps me pretty limited sometimes. However, there are a few drivable slices of Europe in nearby Canada- Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa. I've been to Ottawa a dozen or so times when I was a kid to visit my cousin, although they moved to Vancouver when I was 17. I seriously love Canada, I don't care what Americans say, you're just jealous of their socialized health system. PLUS (sometimes) our dollar goes so farther there, they have Cadbury candy bars (omg Aero bars! and Crunchie! gah), extra alcoholic beer, clean parks, Lush stores (now in NYC!) and fab makeup at drugstores. Oh, and milk in a bag. We like to poke the milk in a bag. So when my roommates asked me to take a long weekend trip to Montreal, of course I was game!
Montreal is about 450 miles from Philadelphia. Kind of a grueling drive. We made it to Plattsburg, NY, about 1.5 hours from Montreal, and got a cheap $50 hotel. Crossing the border has its benefits- shopping Duty Free! We each picked up some duty free booze and some cheap make up.
I found a deal at Days Inn on rue Guy for $120/night. I would've preferred to stay in Old Montreal, but hotels were upwards of $200/night there. At least ours was near The Canadian Museum of Architecture (super cool) and walking distance to restaurants and pubs. Who am I kidding, I consider EVERYTHING to be walking distance, so don't take my word for that. Being the boozeloving hounds we are, we immediately sought out a pub, and found a great one with an outdoor balcony called Sir Winston Churchill Pub , aka Winnies. According to my friend Anna, this pub is for nerds. However, when we arrived, we found the menu to be extensive, the balcony huge (and the day was perfect for outdoor drinking) and the best yet- two for one specials twice a day. SOLD! Either 2 vodka tonics for $5 Canadian or one double for $5! That and a $7 giant salad and I was in heaven. We actually went there twice. Which I hate to do on vacations, but when you've got a good thing going...
Montreal is far to great of a city to see in 3 days. Not even 3- it was more 2 full days and a morning. My main focus was sight seeing in Old Montreal. Dating from 1642, the area is an architectural paradise, full of cafes, galleries, shops, museums and the impressive Notre Dame Basilica (c. 1824). We gallery hopped through the winding cobblestone corridors, sipping coffee and stopping in shops. Seriously, that is my idea of a perfect day. Coffee in hand, meandering around a new city. Stopping where ever I feel with no definite plan. Life doesn't get much better than that to me. That is primarily why I rarely take public transportation when in a new city, I just really love to explore. Plus, its free free free!!
We had lunch in the collegy area near McGill University, which was cute and full of cute French speaking dudes.
For nightlife and shopping, we headed over to rue St. Laurent. Boutiques, a cheaper American Apparel and tourist stores dot this street, as well as chic clubs and dives (more my style, being the classless person I am). My roommate wanted to dine at the infamous Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen, famous for their smoked meats, but so did everyone else. The tiny diner had a wait of 2 hours. I've faced the facts in my life, and realize that I am somewhat of a hipster, so naturally we went to the suggested hipster dive called Le Biftek. Being that we pregamed with some Molson Triple X (9% alcohol), the $4 cocktails went down even easier. Pool table in the back, decent music, but no dancing. And as my crazy life would have it, I ran into my friend/mentor Jonathan Levine (of the gallery with the octopus chandeliers). Just as my roommate was telling me "the Montreal version of Jonathan is here!" he yelled my name and proved to be the American Version. The street is alive well into the early morning with wandering drunks, tons of street kids (who will let you pet their dogs) and creeps.
After stocking up on candy bars, pickle flavored chips and cheap beauty products from L'Occitane and MAC (fyi MAC is a Canadian company, so not only is it cheaper but the salespeople don't work on commission and are therefore much more helpful), we drove the full 450 miles back to Philadelphia. I feel like I barely scratched the surface. Can I break my rule of returning to the same place twice? I'll just say its for business purposes. Yes. I need to practice my French...