Category Archives: general awesomeness

Welcome to Friday

For me

 It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.  —Bruce Lee

After listening to the best interview I’ve ever heard on the Relevant podcast (Bob Goff), I was inspired to start quitting  something every week. Who knows how big, how trivial, or how permanent or how consistent I’m talking. The point is, we are all too busy and we leave almost no wiggle room for ourselves. I want to have more than a small crevice for God to sneak into.

For now, I’m quitting Etsy. If you’re still interested in getting one of my goods, you can still contact me. I probably won’t have anything to do with it until the book is over, but hey, you can always ask.

Party favors for you:

Flossing is better than brushing.

Google PhD. I bookmarked this site forever ago. I finally looked it over and wonder how I’ve gotten this far without it.

Don’t forget! Today is knee-slappin Friday. Check back this afternoon for a treat from Brie Diddy.

*F from MaricorMaricar

@beckycmurphy is still on twitter. Don’t follow her.

Sunday chess tournament

Alas! The much anticipated Waco Fork and Chipper Things 1st Annual Chess Tournament is almost here! My friend Chad and I decided to set up a casual tourney for those who love to talk trash to the queen. 

Starts at 6:30. This Sunday (24th). Dancing Bear. Waco, TX, USA, North America, Milky Way. $5 to enter. Sign in a bit early because that is a kind thing to do. Each game starts on the hour. Games are 50 minutes long. If there is no victor, points will be determined according to pieces. Maybe a coin toss will have to happen. Who knows. We have no idea what we’re doing, so hope for a fair democracy. If you think you’re going to win a trophy by stalling your opponent like in catch phrase, think again. Each player will be issued a very very very very very technically advanced hourglass timer. There will be both expert and novice categories. Don’t know which one you are? Chad has this to say about rankings:

It’s important to consider your Personal Player Ranking. This is my invention. It’s a scale from 1 to 100. 1 means you’re pretty sure you know how all the pieces move, while 100 is a player who can play a chess game without looking at a board. We will use this to divide into expert and casual divisions and seed the brackets. Think about it. Also, sandbaggers will be chastised. 

Want to play? We would love to have you. Email Chad: or me: if you’re interested in signing up or learning more.

Oh yeah! There will be woodburn trophy plaques for the winners. HINT: it will look exactly like the above flier minus the boring information plus a giant “champion” in all caps. I didn’t want to type it that way because I wanted to leave something to the imagination.

links on links on links

Happy Friday! I hope your preekend is off to a good start. Here are some things I found worth sharing:

1. Best food blog. NY photographer moved to the woods. Makes great food. Illustrates. Takes great photos. I promise the Forest Feast is worth your time.

2. is a necessity for anyone who has been known to link to a video from time to time. You get to control when it starts so you can get to the point. *It also shows you how to write the start time into the link so you don’t always have to use the site.

3. If I was a guy, I would buy these ties.

4. Be Optimistic and Thankful has some pretty rad wax watches.

5. Moglea is the lovely letterpress studio of an old Iowa State graphic design alum. Meg is so talented.

6. Organized Wonder is a place to organize and follow documentaries, talks, short films, etc.

7. This is the cover photo for my “neat tats!” board on Pinterest. I always see it when I’m on and I still think it’s so beautiful.

*photo via here

Bug Memorial by Carmichael Collective

I thought a bug memorial was appropriate considering my recent rant about how much I hate moths. Carmichael Collective, the creative baby of Carmichael Lynch, “is just creativity for creativity’s sake”. I am going to keep my eye out for more projects. After you see the censorship towel and piñata anatomy, you are going to want to do the same.

Serious Drawings

That’s it. I’m trading my fourth grade dream of playing for the WNBA (true story) to one day illustrate with 50% of the wit and charm of Marc Johns. He has street cred too. His work has been featured in Wired, Newsweek, NY Times, etc. Check out his blog for more eye candy. I want to buy both or either Serious Drawings, quicknotes and Serious Drawings. 

Also, if you’re into tattoos of cameras with or with out antlers, OR tattoos of antlers with or without cameras, this may be for you. Golly, Marc. You’re inspiring me so much that I just might have to do something about it…

How to trick yourself into being healthy

Short version:

1. Sign up for race. 2. Eat healthy so training is easier. 3. Sleep more so training is easier. 4. Be optimistic so training is easier.

Long version:

December 15th. 11:27 PM. Picture yourself chilled to the bone in the middle of winter. Not because of the plummeting temperature, but because you have just inhaled a baby-sized portion of ice cream (baby-sized, of course, being the size of a whole baby). You feel okay enough because you are still a voting citizen and you still take your vitamins. You vaguely [clearly] remember telling a few [lot] of people that you are going to run a half marathon in March. “Cinnamon and gravy!” you say between gorge rallies, “For it is only 33 minutes until the early bird registration closes!” It is imperative that you save $20 as you pay to do what you most loathe.

This is when you are locked in. You thought that 5k Turkey Trot was God’s way of punishing you for not liking peas.You have been blessed and cursed with the frugality of your father and probity of your mother. You will not waste your (half) MARATHON fee. And you will certainly not flake out after telling your peers that you are, “so in this.” You know you have to run.

When you start training you will do everything humanly possible to make the race less hell-ish. You will buy wheat grass and scoff at those who do not understand that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You will kind of try to get more sleep. You will not miss a workout on the schedule (at first). You will [hope to] say at swanky bar, “Oh yeah, once you’re past mile six, it’s so fun. Just plain fun. Gee whiz I wish I was running now. Don’t those marathons in Antarctica sound neat?” Your utmost desire is that running just not be terrible. Perhaps even comparable to the minor inconvenience of washing your car.

It won’t take long until you eventually really like running. This will be evidence of God’s grace. You will feel superhuman when you complete eight miles before work. Your feet will become calloused. Your socks will wonder why you’re putting sandpaper in them. You will smile and kindly tell them that it’s your strong feet and they mustn’t worry. Your socks will tell you that they are only strong in the first-world kind of way. You will have to agree. You will also actually get more sleep. You will find three miles to be child’s play. It will be wonderful. You will be proud. A half marathon is not impressive to five out of ten people, but you are part of the five who is impressed. Before you started training, you thought running was only used for ice cream trucks and indigenous survival. You did everything you could to catch a break in seventh grade track. All of the sudden, you no longer fear the running pirate ship and its mates. You are now one of them.

You will laugh as you tell your legs and heart that the joke is on them this time. You have successfully tricked those suckers into thinking they are having fun while they are really just working to keep you healthy. They deserve it though. And so do you.

photo via this isn’t happiness

Ben’s hair is full of secrets

The Bachelor: Women Tell All = five words I like to hear on a Monday night.

Synopsis: they disliked each other and then they cried. Girls are mean. Saying “No offense” before saying anything is like “accidentally” clipping someone’s heel with a shopping cart because they walked “kind of slow” in the noodle aisle.

I know my Bachelor comments generally have a sardonic tone, but the show’s theme is so wacky that I don’t know what else to do. I really do enjoy it, so I can’t dupe you into thinking that I’m doing something cool like watching Jersey Shore reruns. I really had no other choice but to just give you horse girl and the shopping cart saga this time around.

girl who loves horse found here

There is victory in quilting

I know some of you [Karen] were disappointed when you misread the tweet for my last post. As I promised, I have made all things right. Today’s Queen Quilter is Boo Davis. Her love for metal music and creativity birthed these cuddle bombs.

Note to reader: there are plenty more metal-themed quilts on her site. I just didn’t want to change that last sentence because I like that it says “cuddle bombs.”

via public school a very very long time ago.

introducing you to the wonderful, Minneapolis!

Hello, everyone!  My name is Hannah, and I live in the Great Tundra aka Minneapolis.  As you can all read in the previous post, Little Miss Becky is vacationing, and she has left me in her stead.

When trying to decide what to write about, I thought about how great a job Becky does portraying her culture in Texas, and I realized, you all don’t know the greatness of Minneapolis.  So lace up your trendy, yet functional winter boots, hop on your fix gear bike and take a ride with me around the semi-frozen lake-adorned city of MINNEAPOLIS.

1. The beautiful city itself.  Yes, I’ll admit, I sometimes get a tad sick of the 5pm traffic, but who could ever get sick of this view??


2. The awesome music scene.  Don’t get upset, I know Austin, TX is also known for its great musicians and you have SXSW and all that, BUT do you know great Minneapolis artists like Dessa? or Polica? or do you have a radio station that plays awesome music and supports local artists?!

3. Great food and drank.  Minneapolis is recognized for some great artists and musicians, but we’re also starting to inch our way into the culinary spotlight.  Aside from the unsurprising amount of trendy coffeeshops, like the ever-cool Spyhouse (love their employee stats), we also have some classier eaterys, like the new(ish) Lowry, which has also become my 3-time-a-week late night spot.  Not only do they have outstanding food and an extensive drink menu, they also have one of the greatest waitstaffs of any restaurant, potentially EVER.  You can even get your 140-character masterpiece published in their bar as their featured “tweet of the week”.

4. I live there!  Minneapolis pride is a contagious thing.  You should come catch it sometime.


Me and the Beckster in Minneapolis.

Audrey Hepburn fawns over deer


Bros before beaus

They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And, “aint no gift like one of them pictures of somethin real fancy.” And, “Dag yo.”

This is a Valentine’s Day gift to all my guy friends — my boyfriends. Too many many boyfriends to count. The pictures of these items are all yours. You know who you are. Happy V-Day, honey homie.

pipe / knife / axe slingflask / cookies 

Spinnerin “fun time fashions” yarn catalog, 1965

I got these old catalogs from a rummage sale back in my Ames days. The photos were probably taken when my grandparents were in their prime. I wonder what poses I do that will be real knee slappers in 50 years.

*I only do the peace sign as a joke.

V-DAY with Brieyonce

Brie and I didn’t like each other at first. I was walking down my dorm hall and the guys accidentally pegged me in the calf with a baseball. I tried to hide the pain and play it cool. Meanwhile, Brie was at the other end of the hall annoyed at how much “attention” I was craving.

I didn’t like her because when I asked her what her favorite Disney Channel Original Movie was, she said, “Becky, we’re in college. No one watches Disney anymore.”

I didn’t know she was joking and she didn’t know I was actually in pain. We roomed together for the next three years along with Katie and Rachel. Valentine’s Day makes me miss homemade cards from college. This is just one tasty lick.

For the record, my top three DCOM: Brink!, Smart House and Motocrossed. 

Murals are nice. Like senior pictures and hot air balloons.

Ever painted a mural? Any tips or ideas? I dare you to share.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Super Bowl highlights

1. Kate and Emily’s cookies put the “super bowl” in “super bowl of cookies”. Hey! Speaking of food, if you didn’t watch SNL on Saturday, I highly recommend you check out this Guy Fieri clip from weekend update.

2. I think my favorite commercial was Volkswagon’s “The Dog Strikes Back”.

3. World peace.

food + spirit = SUPER bowl!!!

super bowl party

1. Go to the grocery store ASAP. It is going to be bananas tomorrow.

2. My game day treat: lazy man’s pumpkin cupcakes. Here’s how it goes down: mix one can of pumpkin puree with one package of white cake mix (do not add the oil, egg and water like you would cake). Only use the puree and the mix itself. Next, muffinize that mix and bake at 350 degrees. Bake for however long muffins and cupcakes like to cook.

3. It’s a little late to get this shirt unless you live in Des Moines (or can stop time). Don’t let that flatten your faux hawk! Order your Beat the Other Team tee from Raygun today.

4. Isn’t this sold-out Anthropologie bowl just super?

frid-YAY links

Happy Friday! I have compiled a small list of online destinations that I hope someone somewhere will enjoy.

1. This awesome diet planner allows you to adjust number of meals, calories, dietary preferences and even caters to Zone, Paleo, perfect health, etc. Even if you are not trying to loose weight, it’s a slick way to get new ideas and reevaluate your current health routine.

2. Kern and Burn is “an online and print publication that curates discussions, interviews and essays about design entrepreneurship.”

3. Spreeder is my favorite application for reading online articles. Just copy and paste then specify your settings (i.e. 3 words @ 300 words / minute). It makes reading on the computer 10x more efficient.

4. Food on my Dog is fantastic. Thanks Becca!

5. I read this inspiring article on self-publishing a few days ago. It’s a good option for anyone who is looking to get their book on the market.

Tomorrow’s post: everything you need to know about the Super Bowl!!!!!!!

photo by Simen Johan 

Down with the queen!

I love playing chess with Erin. She told me that though I play well, I play as if I have no idea what is going on. Fine by me; I am a novice player and I can still get away with a wonky strategy. Maybe all my talking smack to her queen really did diminish her courage during battle. Messing with the queen is how YOU are going to win your next game of chess. I have adapted some yo-mama jokes for Thursday’s crusade. I hope they work!

1. Yo queen is so old, she knew Burger King while he was still a prince.

2. Yo queen’s teeth are so yellow, I don’t know if I should smile, or kick a field goal.

3. Yo queen is so silly, she thought the Dark Knight was her crazy uncle.

Side note: I love that movie and I want that chess set

Bachelorette Dream Team

Consider this is my official pitch for the next season of the Bachelorette. My fantasy league. My dream team.

I already got all these guys to sign on and they’re real excited. These men are intelligent, funny and talented. My optimism also points me to believe that they can even make gingerbread pecan pancakes.

Unfortunately, not everyone can make the show. Several contenders mailed in outstanding audition tapes. Those men are as follows:

  • Ryan Merriman. Star of Disney Channel Original Movies such as Smart House and Luck of the Irish. Ryan was a hit ten years ago, but I’m afraid he would cling to his acting resume like that college freshman who wears his varsity letter jacket the first week of class.
  • Christian Bale. What’s there not to love? (except his anger management). Rumor wagon says that Mr. Bale is disrespectful to his mother. Disrespectful in the he-assaulted-her kind of way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I like my men like I like my almonds: mostly healthy, and mother-approved. Almonds have nothing to do with Christian Bale, but Christian Bale has everything to do with almonds.
  • Ryan Gosling. I’ve been hemming and hawing for a good reason that he can’t be on the show. Though I’d love for this man to compete for my heart just as much as he would love to compete for my heart, Ryan must be omitted simply because he’s too cliche. Also because he has the same name as my brother. What if I picked him and then I accidently texted something cute-sy to the wrong Ryan? The whole things has disaster written all over it.

For now, let’s stick together and keep indulging in the current season. It was hard to see Monica go, but I’m sure she found her true-love-soulmate-partner-best-friend-lover-baby-daddy by the time she got to the airport. She didn’t start enough fights anyway.

Food for thought: who would you put on your dream team?

Weapons, Moonrise, Tebow and Terrariums

1. Glow in the dark Swiss Army knife? Don’t mind if I do.

2. I haven’t kept up with the Tebow hullabaloo, but I saw this article all over the web today and I think it is worth over-sharing. It made me smile real big.

3. Can’t wait to see Wes Anderson’s new movie Moonrise Kingdom.

4. I know Christmas is over, but there are still gifts to be given. How about a picture of the product? It’s the thought that counts. 

5. Perhaps I will make a terrarium for craft day in Austin this Sunday…only time will tell.

6. My I-know-we-would-be-friends-if-we-could-just-meet Anne Lamott is coming out with a new book in March. This is better than double-sided tape!

Note: I promise I will be posting short stuff again soon. Happy weekend friends and strangers!

*Photo found via Designspiration. (I was saving it for my unborn post, “how I tricked myself into being healthy”, but I didn’t have any other imagery for today. Womp womp.

Dietlind Wolf : Designer / prop stylist

Dietlind Wolf

found via decor8blog

I’d like to write a sharp and quirky doodad to match the sharp, quirky and beautiful work of Dietlind Wolf. But truth be told, I do not give myself that much credit. She is out of my league. Dietlind is from Hamburg, so once again we have Germany hoarding the great designers. If you check out more of her work, you will see why this isn’t just another cool food photo or style shoot. Her stuff is fresh, bold and incredibly diverse. In this age of technology and accessibility to everything, it is nearly impossible to actually stand out. It’s hard enough just to be good — but to occupy your own province in the field is another story. Twelve thumbs up.

Erica Weiner Jewelry

1. Erica Weiner is my favorite jewelry hub (as of…now.) 2. Am I actually going to buy myself a fancy ring? No. I wouldn’t be able to justify it until I accomplish a lot more in life. For the record, I feel the same way about lasik eye surgery. 3. Would I buy myself a fancy harmonica necklace? Now we’re talking. Check this stuff out. Dudes reading: there are even some Victor Hugo cufflinks. Every piece is my favorite (same with NSYNC songs. Every last one of them.)

“I wanted a doodle bear and all I got was this lousy doormat”

three gift ideas

1. Zombie Bookmarks, My Bookmark. $25
2. “Oh no! Not you again!” doormat. Uncommon Goods. $30
3. Baked potato bean bag chair. Brookish7. $300.

The Catorialist

Get off of this blog right now and head over to the Catorialist. If you have ever looked at the Sartorialist, you will immediately notice why this is so awesome. Also, is it just me, or did the Sartorialist blog recently get a new look?

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