Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread House MANIA!

On Saturday, Dec. 6, I organized a Gingerbread House Contest for Hull Winterfest, sponsored by the company I work for and the local public library. We had entries in three age divisions, Kids 12 and under, Teens 13-18, and Families/Businesses (over 18). The public was invited to vote for their favorite in each division and we had about 400 people go through to view the entries. We awarded a Grand Prize and Runner-Up in each category. All the entries were fantastic and I am excited to continue this event next year!  

View all the entries here.

On Friday, Dec. 12, I made 27 batches of Icing "Cement" for the 7th and 8th graders at the Middle School where my husband works. They were divided into groups and had a few hours to create their own unique house. They had a lot of fun and had some great ideas! After displaying them in the school library for a few days, they were brought to several businesses in the area to display over the holidays. The NW Iowa Review was supposed to do a feature on gingerbread houses this weekend, so look for some tips on building, plus interviews with the Middle School students!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I doodle, I do

I've been doodling my whole life. In high school and college, I'd fill my "notes" with all sorts of words, fonts, illustrations, and diagrams. It helped me listen to the often-dry lectures and it helped with information recall when I was taking tests because I could visualize my notes. My doodling ability has also helped me in my current job as I  develop new candy brands, logos, and packaging.

Michaele Barsnack, a licensed art therapist and professor at Capital University, claims there are benefits to doodling. "There's energy that we're discharging in doodling. There's psychic energy, stress and anxiety," Barsnack said. "Doodling can help to organize thoughts, feelings or experiences."

So, doodling has paid off in psychiatric and academic ways, but it recently also paid off for me in a monetary way! I read about a doodling contest on the blog written by the staff at Insight Marketing Design in Sioux Falls, SD (you may recognize their work if you frequent the Pizza Ranch Restaurants). I kept a page of doodles going for a few days, a few minutes or seconds at a time, wrote a short little limerick to accompany it, and uploaded my entry.

Last week I was excited to learn that my doodle had been chosen as a winner of 2 tickets to Neil Simon's Plaza Suite by the Sioux Empire Community Theatre. Hurrah! However, I'm not sure there's much to brag about;  in the posting about the winning entries, they called it a "slightly under-the-radar" contest. Is that a nice way of saying that the other "winner" and I were the only entrants?! Oh well, I got the tix, so who cares?

If you'd like to check out my doodle (slightly modified to fit their format), check out the Art Circulator.

Doodle on, dude!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Five Food Facts

  1. I love broccoli. My husband cannot stand the smell of steaming broccoli. Sometimes I bake a whole pan of brownies to mask the smell. Kind of defeats the purpose of eating the broccoli when it's followed by a brownie batter chaser.
  2. I love watching The Biggest Loser on TV. Sometimes I watch it from the treadmill at the gym and sometimes I watch it from my couch while eating chocolate ice cream with Oreos.
  3. I have finished drinking a glass of milk sitting on my end table that I suspect my beagle may have taken a slurp out of while I was out of the room. I figure if I don't catch her in the act, what can it hurt?
  4. I like my grilled meat burned to black. I blame this on the fact that my farmer father was rarely home for meals on time, causing much of what we ate to be slightly to severely overdone. My mother is a wonderful cook, but it's impossible to have dinner ready for consumption anywhere from 12:00-1:30, dependent on machinery breakdowns, dairy cow birth schedules, or the arrival of bull buyers.
  5. I ate a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich at least once a day the summer after my freshman year of college. I worked at Valleyfair, a family amusement park, and you had to keep your lunch in your locker or buy from the cafeteria. I think I bought some fries 3x over the course of the summer, but otherwise I was too cheap and lived on the PB&J (and Pasta-roni and potatoes at my apartment).
What are some fun food facts about you?