Sunday, February 25, 2007 --- More crazy-wet-heavy snow in Virginia...and other topics of possible interest.

Today it was snowing again in Virginia. The flakes were incredibly big and heavy with wetness --- when they built up on the tree branches outside our windows, the trees were falling over from the weight. Crazy...take a look!

I am guessing that my mom and aunt Jackie were having fun snow-shoeing today in Vermont --- maybe they got some of this fresh snow falling on them to add to the hiking in the wilderness-oblivion experience?? I wanted to check in with the ladies with regard to the Vermont weather, but my mom won't answer her cell-phone...Maybe they will read this post and comment back to me!

In case you did not already know this fact, cats like to sleep. Here is a rare moment --- Noodle and ChooChoo sleeping together on the same chair! This chair is a household favorite for the monsters because it is fuzzy and cozy --- and, it has a coordinating washable cat pillow on it which allows us to keep it fur-free for actual we ever get a chance. :)

Not much else going on here. I am a little blue because it is so gloomy outside. But, luckily today is Sunday...which means the man and I watch The L Word at 10pm --- so that is something to cheer me up.

Here's something new! We just obtained a pack of each of the 2 new flavors of Orbit Gum [my exclusive chewing product of choice]!!!

Let me just say that Raspberry Mint KICKS ASS...starts out tasting a little bit like rasperry cough syrup, but then it mellows and becomes an intense raspberry flavor that makes your mouth chilly and fresh. I give it a Borat "very niiiice!"

The other new flavor is Mint Mojito which is a little weird...?

I would describe it as a combination of chilly sensation, fresh mint leaves and Lime Pledge furniture polish (if they actually made a Lime version, but as far as I know, Pledge is only Lemon flavored...) It kind of grows on you after a while, especially if you are a citrus fan. One strange thing about it I noticed --- when you blow a bubble with it and then it breaks, the resulting blast of air in your mouth smells like fresh plants, similar to the smell of leaves in Summer?? Does that make any sensory-sense to anyone?? But it doesn't thrill me as much as Orbit's Lemon-Lime which has a wonderful sour-tangy flavor almost like the original Gatorade Gum...

Orbit Citrusmint is also quite good --- for an Orange and Grapefruit inspired chewing experience!

All gum pictures are courtesy of

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Saturday, February 17, 2007 --- Cruising Flickr for interesting stuff...Vintage Advertising!

Something you might not know...I have an insatiable love of vintage graphic art and illustrations --- especially advertising illustrations from the early to mid-1900's. In almost every room of our apartment, you will find some sort of poster or framed postcard displaying this fact. Cappiello, Cassandre and Steinlen, oh my! In today's mostly photo-driven advertising, the beauty and attention to detail encompassed in these vivid commercial artworks are things to be missed.

While the pre-Women's Lib aspects of much of the vintage advertising (especially from the 1950's and 1960's) will not be missed, I admit, I do derive a great deal of amusement from illustrations depicting this lack of enlightenment.

I recently found this little collection of funny gems posted on Flickr by bayouborne. Particulary his "Atomic Housewife", "Motorola" and "Pharma Made Us Do It" photo sets. Some hilarious stuff in there and his accompanying comments are pretty funny, too!

Anyway, if you are into this stuff, there are some great Photo Pools set up on Flickr:

And, of course, one of my favorite providers of sarcastic vintage products:, the home of this little beauty, which proudly hangs in our apartment's dining area!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007 --- We had an ice storm in the DC area last night...

This morning, everything was candy-coated with a layer of ice. I decided to take some pictures after I saw how pretty the holly bushes outside our front door were looking...

And then, I discovered that the ice on the holly leaves had actually made perfect little crystal-like molds of each leaf. I tried photographing them in my hand, but it was not doing them justice.

I decided to gather several of them and brought them inside to photograph as quickly as I could! I love how glassy and delicate they look.

After the first few pictures, I put them in the freezer so that I could extend my photographing time. When I took them out again, they were all frosty and beautiful in a new way. I tried to capture this and thought they looked quite smashing in black and white.

According to the Lizzard, the ice storm has made its way to New York today. Be safe, everyone!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007 --- Really funny blogs of note...Check these out!

As some of you may know, I like to read blogs. I don't read any and all blogs...I have my favorites that I check out on a regular basis. Every once in a while, I find a new blog of interest and add it to my favorites list for future reading.

For a number of years now, I have been an avid reader of The Sneeze. Steve writes about a variety of topics --- his kids, wife, food, pet peeves, friends, music, etc. --- if there is a funny story involved, he'll tell you about it! Some of my favorite stories are his recurring topics, such as "Steve, Don't Eat It!", in which he finds all sorts of strange or gross food products to try out and then details his findings for his readers. Another must-read is his annual "Brain Watch" in which he photographs and reports on the status of a sulfur shelf fungus that grows on a tree in his yard. This particular story has intrigue attached --- one year, someone actually stole the fungus! He is obsessed with robots and loves cereal...all in all...Steve is a very funny read.

He recently wrote a post [The Art of Getting Bent, 02/05/07] regarding another blog that I plan on adding to my favorites ASAP, Bent Objects. Steve featured pictures of some of the hilarious bent-wire sculptures that Terry Border recently made, but there are many more on the Bent Objects blog. Most of the pieces are silly-funny, but there also some, shall we say, more provocative pieces shown --- amusing satisfaction for all types :) I particularly enjoyed the lesbian humor piece, titled Useless [posted on 01/22/07]. A very witty and quirky sense of humor has he...the best kind, in my opinion. Check him out if you have some time to kill!

[Additional info: his main website is]

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Sunday, February 11, 2007 --- Blogging Lesson 02 Update

Well, another successful lesson was completed by the Lizzard today! She posted some orchid pictures and typed some text. You can take a look at what she did here:

the Daily Lizzard - a blog by lizzie sue

I was teaching her over the phone --- so I posted pictures here on my blog at the same time while walking her through the process --- see them below! oooooooo, pretty.

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--- Blogging Lesson 02 with the Lizzard...

This is my mom's freaky orchid. Isn't it weird??

This is my mom's pink orchid. Isn't it beautiful??

This is my mom's white orchid. Isn't it amazing??

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007 --- Black History Month...some cool links

Biography has a very cool Black History website this month --- it's chock full of videos, a historical timeline, and lots of great reading material resources. You can check it out here:

In honor of one of my favorite historical figures:

...and favorite gospel songs...

and if that was too spiritual for's a favorite sinner!

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007 --- Time for more of our favorite blonde...Isabella!

Because Alf's niece is such a ham...I thought it would be fun to share some Isa-belly Birthday footage! Enjoy...

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--- Trying out video posting...and a little current events.

In an effort to test out my video posting skills, here is a clip from the documentary, Mary Anne and the Villages. This is a feature-length documentary that my longtime friend, Michael Bridenstine, wrote, directed and produced about his mother's move to The Villages gated-community in Florida. Aside from being extremely funny on a mother/son level, the documentary also examines the pros and cons of these 55+ communities and Michael's feelings of ambivalence regarding his mother's choice to move into one.

I have also chosen to feature this video because of the recent tornado events that actually hit this very community...blocks from his mom's house! Luckily, Mary Anne's house was not hit, but her friend's house lost its roof...sucked right into the twister!

For more information about this documentary, please feel free to contact Michael at his website,

Be safe and be well folks!

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Sunday, February 4, 2007 --- test

this is my mom


--- Teaching Mommie Dearest to Blog...

I'm teaching my mom how to blog!

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--- Oh Joy! Oh Happy Day...for Mozilla Users!

Well, I have been working diligently through the night(s) on my Dell laptop to rewrite the html coding for mine and lizzard's blog...And after mucho, mucho experimentation and mucho, mucho, mucho testing...Eureka! I have created a template that displays well in both IE and Mozilla! This is great news, especially for jackie :)

My next step, since the Macs in the house are all older and we can't afford new ones at this time, is to go to CompUSA and test the blogs on the new Macs see if the template works well in Safari...and, of course, while there, I will lust over the latest and greatest Macs, and cool accessories for my iPod and brand-spanking-new PCs of all kinds --- BECAUSE ALL COMPUTERS ARE CANDY TO ME!! I have a greedy greedy heart when it comes to tech-toys :)

Today is the Super Bowl aka Stupid Bowl --- and I will be rooting for the Bears while teaching the Lizzard to blog over the phone...a long overdue lesson! Soon, I won't have to post things as her anymore, but I'm sure I will probably always be playing a supporting role in the cleaning up of her posts...after she accidentally posts 3 copies of the same photo to her blog or whatever...I guess that is my job as the daughter.

In other news, we got a new frog! Not a new Green, but a new Cuban. His name is Paco. We will post some pictures soon...

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________ - THE BUTTERFLY BLOG - Copyright ©2007 Vanessa Lee Hamlen. All rights reserved.

Would it kill ya?

What I Am Doing...

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About Me

I am a graphic designer. I love animals and have quite a few pets. There is a frustrated DJ inside of me --- hence, my ongoing obsession with making music mixes.

Recent Posts


Musical Goodness

-- Music from Butterfly's personal library --

LORI'S LABOR: A collection of 6 unique playlists with varying intensity and mood for your listening pleasure! I created these original mixes for my friends to use during the labor and delivery of their first baby, Nicholas.

You can visit their blog here: ---> The Bridenstines!

Listen to my comical, purposefully nasal, total HAM-job submission to the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert in the mini-player above!
Links and Friends

vanessa lee hamlen
towhead productions
lizzie sue
the Daily Lizzard
joe hinsburg
fleck family
katie haverly music
joe sorren art
the sneeze
archie mcphee toys
eric joyner robot art
nishant choksi illustration
neth creatures
grammar girl
go fug yourself
jeffrey fulvimari art
don't click it
favourite website awards
paul neave
jared tarbell flash art
liquid journey flash art
my pet skeleton
tobie giddio fashion illustration
van beater art
pure breed revolution
pixel girl
jay bibby game reviews
the mighty jimbo
be the boy
sweet blog o' mine
bent objects - sculpture blog
terry border art
anne taintor - vintage gift items
anne...straight from the hip
the naked rabbit world power foundation
i can has cheezburger
passive aggressive notes
citizen of the month
the daly blog
craxy's blog
john's adventures
guerrilla gardening
kung foodie
this is blythe
deron cohen art
life student
hug nation
march of the hugmobile
tales from the dad side
ikea hacker
easy being green
marc johns's blog - mildly amusing drawings
ideal bite - easy green living ideas
gathering in light - c. wess daniels
schmutzie's milkmoney or not, here i come
we are rantasaurus rex, hear us roar
the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks
lyrical venus
the world's most local burger
readymade: instructions for everyday life
giant microbes
busted tees
inarticulate fumblings
i am the diva
wesley riot
queen of spain
in palinode's palace
mustaches of the nineteenth century
sera faery NEW! - the daily overdosage NEW!

DO NOT CLICK on the following links if you are under the age of 18! These blogs are not for you...

really bent
where i vent my spleen
cocky bastard
tassy pink

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