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Eleanor at Crown Fountain in Millennium Park

OK. Maybe Eleanor wasn’t that into the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, but I made it up to her by letting her splash around for half an hour in Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain. Now, for purely selfish reasons (I’m San Francisco bound and I’ll be missing her), I’m posting footage of Eleanor having a grand ole time.

Eleanor at Crown Fountain in Millennium Park from Nicole Balch on Vimeo.
shot with my Zumi camera
music: “Afternoon Speaker” by The Sea and Cake

The Modern Wing of the Art Institute

I checked another one off of my 30 Before Thirty list yesterday: Visit The Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago. Inspired by the great works of modern art surrounding us, I summoned forth my inner photographer. I call this series “uninterested toddler looks away from art.”

Eleanor at the Art Institute

Eleanor at the Art Institute

Eleanor at the Art Institute

(All photos were taken with my fun little Zumi camera.)

Halloween Mask for Better Homes & Gardens

Remember when I mentioned that I would be crafting four Halloween projects for Better Homes & Gardens? Well I’m thrilled to finally be able to share the first project with you: a Halloween mask.

Above is the mask as it appears on and as it will be in the magazine. It looks great, but I actually had to cut it in half at the last minute. See, it originally looked like this:

The other three bloggers each used masquerade masks (which I did not know until after I had completed mine), so as the odd duck out I was asked if I could cut my mask down to size. You have no idea how nervous I was as I took scissors to it! Looking at the others I suppose I should have cut into the nose more, but I didn’t have a reference to work off of so I winged it. Luckily I managed to pull off the last-minute alteration without destroying the mask in the process. Phew!

You can view all four masks at, and you can vote each day for your favorite until October 10. After that, there will be three more Halloween craft projects, with a winner for each. One overall winner will then be chosen to commission an exclusive design for the October 2011 issue of Better Homes & Gardens! That would be amazing, but I’m honored just to have taken part and thankful to Better Homes & Gardens for this fun opportunity. And I can’t wait to share my other projects with you.

{ click here to view my mask and vote for your favorite at }

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