Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Butterfield New Year Traditions

Well, New Year's has never really been that big a deal in my house... so there aren't many traditions that we uphold.

The main tradition that you have to keep in mind is that we all hold a piece of silver in our hands as the new year turns, usually some coinage. Holding a silver coin is supposed to bring you luck and prosperity for the new year.

Other than that... we just sit around and watch movies, eat shrimp cocktail, drink wine, and generally relax.

AND, our other major tradition is for New Year's day... we eat pork and sauerkraut for dinner. Sauerkraut because we're Polish, and pork because for some reason or another, eating pork on New Year's day is supposed to be good luck as well.

So, I guess the short of it is... our traditions are about bringing luck. Amen.

What is the World Coming to?

Yesterday, I was shopping a department store and I saw a Steelers thong... a black thong with the Steeler's logo on it. AND it wasn't even in the underwear department... it was on a gifty-type display in the middle of the men's apparel section of the store.

I mean, really...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Doggy Under the Tree

Aaaawwww... :)


Matt made pancakes this morning... second time this break. He is growing into quite the little chef. Awesome :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Butterfield Christmas Traditions

Well, all the good traditions start with Christmas Eve dinner... the table must have at least 7 different foods on it (why 7, I couldn't tell you): three different kinds of homemade pierogies (sauerkraut, potato, and cottage cheese), pickles, olives, and fish (2 different kinds this year). The table must have fish because my Granny always said that fish (and almonds) are the Lord's foods... it's always been smelts in the past but this year it's smelts and crab cakes, and thank God because I hate smelts, all those little bones, gross.

Then, after dinner, church. That is a relatively new tradition, we only started it after my dad left... and it is the one time a year that I go to church. I like it though, we go to the candlelight service. I know this sounds cheesy, but every single time we sing "Silent Night" in the dark, it makes me cry. AND, I have a bell that I wear on my coat when we go to church, my Gran gave it to me, it used to be hers... I wear it once a year and then it lives safely in my jewelry box for the rest of the time... a very "It's a Wonderful Life" kinda thing.

Then after church, we always watch Scrooge with Albert Finney before we go to bed. My Mutti always waits until after Matt and I go to bed before she puts the presents under the tree... I like that, I think it keeps the magic alive. Sweet.

Christmas Day, we wake up and open gifts then have a big breakfast then we start cooking dinner. I cook pounchkies ("poonch-key"), polish donuts. I only make them once a year because they are so labour intensive. You have to fry them in grease, so I'm sure they also majorly clog your arteries as well. This is another tradition that I took over for my Gran... she used to make the pounchkies, but she taught me before she died, and now I make them.

And my Uncle Jimmy and his family usually come over for Christmas dinner...

And that's Christmas in the nutshell, good food and lots of good times. Family to the fourth power and just lots of tomfoolery. Yeah.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Baking Day!

Today is Baking Day... I'll be making mini-oatmeal cookie sandwiches with buttercream icing in the middle and mini-cherry tarts with cherry pie filling and whipped cream. Yummy. This is the first time I will have tried these recipes, but don't they sound really great?

Also, Uncle Bob and I are making dinner this evening as well: lasagna.

AND, I'm making ice cream today... Kahlua/Amaretto ice cream.

Good times in the Butterfield kitchen.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

3D: foam carving project

These are pictures of my final projects for 3D Design. We were studying organic forms... making pieces with edges and folds and transitions in and out of both. There were two pieces required for this project, one larger and one smaller. Both pieces had to have at least one edge and at least one fold.

Both of these pieces are made of housing insulation, obviously not the pink fiberglass stuff, but the blue foam-type stuff. I worked with Hacksaw blades and sand paper. They were very messy to make. Once you started working, there was blue dust, pieces, brap all over the place. My lint brush was my new best friend when I was working on these pieces.

They were fun, but I'm glad that I don't have to work with the foam anymore.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2D: final project

Our final project for 2D was to create a book of about 10 images. The books did not necessarily have to tell a story (although mine did, what's the point if there's no story?). The object of the project was to use good flow and design sense, and the images had to connect to one another visually, that is to say, you couldn't turn the page and feel like you were in a different book all together. Text was basically no allowed, it could only make up about 10% of the finished book. Although, I know plenty of people who used no text at all, myself included.

Just some examples of the books people are making: one girl is making a book about different types of houses, another girl is making her book about sensations and she has lots of pictures of hands holding ice, holding gravel, etc, one boy is making his book about pirates (and that's all I know so far, but what I've seen looks really cool), and another boy is making his book about superheroes (and it looks awesome). And that's all I've got so far, but I can not wait to see every one's finished project.

The project was incredibly open ended, your book could be about anything that you could possible think of (as long as you could make it visually interesting). The book could be any dimensions that you wanted and be bound any way that you wanted. The only real "rule" is that you have to use two different surfaces. My two were glossy card stock and acetate. One boy used scratch board and Bristol board. Lots of people used Bristol board and construction paper.

My book is a story, as I said... kind of a mythology story. The mythological creation of water. I created all my images in Adobe Photoshop. I didn't include any images from the front of the book... but, basically, the story begins in the desert, and a blue wolf enters the landscape. As he walks across the desert, his footsteps fill with water and storms come in behind him. Eventually, the desert is overcome by an ocean and lush green replaces the red sand of the desert. My book had 11 pages and I've included pictures of my favorite 3. Trust me when I say the color is much more vibrant and impressive in person.

3D: foam core projects

Alrighty, I turned these projects in about a month ago... sorry that I'm just getting to them.

None of these are very big: the tallest is maybe 7 inches. The object of these projects was to deal with plane: how it divides space and how one plane maps onto another.

All of us turned in 6 foam core projects: 1 dealing rectangles and set up in a grid-like way, 1 with rectangles and triangles set up in a grid-like way, 1 with just triangles no longer in a grid-like manner, 1 with all curves, and 2 using any shapes or techniques that we wanted to use. I've included pictures of my three favorites from the project.

The rules for the project were as follows: planes could only be glued face to edge (not edge to edge or face to face), they had to be built to stand in a certain way, each plane had to be broken be another plane (meaning there could be no clean faces that could be placed on the table like a pedestal), and there had to be at least one plane in each of the three axes. To understand the axes, just imagine a desk: the table top is in one axis, parallel to the floor; the wall is in another axis, perpendicular to the table top; and the legs of the desk (connected front to back) create the third axis, perpendicular to both the table top and the wall. I hope that helps you visualize. I had a hard time with that concept at first too.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Triple Planetary Conjunction

"Starting" December 6th and "ending" December 13th, Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars pass closely to each other in the eastern, pre-dawn sky.

So, of course, I got up this morning to see it. AOL said the best time to see the planets was 45 minutes before sunrise, and according to, sunrise was at 7:38 AM, so I got up around 6:40ish. I saw the conjunction, but at first, I wasn't sure that it was the conjunction because Mars kept winking (so I thought it was a star) and I couldn't see Mercury. So I thought maybe it was stars just haning out in the pre-sawn sky. BUT, I found a picture of the conjunction online, and it was what I saw. So, yay, I didn't get up before dawn for nothing :) I tried to include the picture, but sorry, no go on that one. Just imagine bright stars that form a tiny triangle to the left of sunrise. The brightest and left most intersection is Jupiter, white... the top of the triangle is Mars, cream, not as white and winking. Mercury, the least bright, sinking into the sunrise and barely visible. Also according to AOL News, these plants have not been this close since 1925 and will not be again until 2053.

Now, let me just say that as an astronomical event, this one wasn't too stunning. I mean, intelectually, I understand why it's scientifically significant, but visually, not really so impressive. I wasn't even sure that it was what I was seeing, I thought I was seeing stars and turning them into plants because that's what I wanted to see.

I saw the conjuction between the Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon in June 1991, and as both a scientific and visual event, that was much, MUCH more impressive. All the bodies were easier to see AND it was an event that only happens about once every 600 years. PLUS, it was an event that happened in the western, post-sunset sky, so there was no getting up involved. I remember seeing it with my Gran and reading about it in the news paper. Good times.

And that's it for now. Much love...

Friday, December 08, 2006


This first picture is the view from the front door of my building. White, isn't it?

And just in case you couldn't tell, that's my car with over a foot of snow piled on top. Nice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This According to

Tonight (Wed Night)
Rain and snow showers this evening transitioning to snow showers overnight. Low 27F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 70%. 2 to 4 inches of snow expected.

Tomorrow (Thurs)
Cloudy with snow. Colder. Morning high of 28F with temps falling to near 20F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 80%. 4 to 6 inches of snow expected.

Tomorrow Night (Thurs Night)
Periods of snow and windy. Low 17F. Winds WNW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 5 to 8 inches of snow expected.

Please pay special attention to the amounts of snow that will be falling.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Hey gang,

I know that I haven't written lately, but that's because there hasn't been much of anything to write about.

Thanksgiving break was fabulous, although not nearly long enough. And now I'm simply back at Edinboro, finishing out the semester: working on final projects for both 2D and 3D, studying for Golf/Wellness, Computer Sci, and Accounting tests. And that's what occupies my time at the moment.

Although, in other news... there must be at least a good 7 inches of snow on the ground here. We got about about 3-4 inches two nights ago and another good 3-4 inches last night. So, everything is very white and wintry looking. Just what I need to get into the Christmas spirit.

I know I shouldn't be telling you this because Annie will be appalled, but I don't have any Christmas lights or decorations in my room, not a one. I just didn't feel the need for some reason. Christmas is what happens at home, and this place isn't my home yet.

And that's it for now, much love...