Thursday, December 6, 2012

Yuletide Groove

Maybe this happens to every mama once their kids get big-the unChristmas spirit. The believing is gone, the magic subsides, and you’re left with a dusty, broken, and incredibly fake Christmas tree that no one wants to help you decorate.
Even you don’t know if you can muster the gumption to dig the thing out of the storage room.
IF you find it in your heart to just wrestle the tree up the stairs, you know for sure you do not have it in you for the rest of the yuletide paraphernalia you’ve accumulated.

And as long as we’re being truthful, you aren’t really sure if you ever really liked stuffed snowmen and ceramic replicas of Tiny Tim’s village OR if they just symbolized something greater.
The talk of “Something greater” always brings me here: nostalgic and wanton for those feety-pajamed little kids. A six year old would never allow this seasonal apathy.
Sadly (or not), finding a few more feety-pajamaed, giggly, tow-headed toddlers to play with is out of the question for us so I needed another route to find my spirit.

(Because the truth is, even these “reluctant to help”, non-believer big kids would balk if Christmas went ignored in this house.)
No joy would come of unstacking the 500 boxes of Christmas crap to get to that stupid tree, so I did what any resourceful person would do. Bought a new one; a fresh start for my holiday spirit.
Completely untraditional (and really cheap) tree that everyone, Big Mister included, thought was the dumbest and most unChristmas idea on the earth.
Behold…the chic, glittery, color coordinated key to getting my mojo back.
(no flash)
 I spent the next few days, jazzed to get Christmas back.
I chalked some art for above the fireplace (thrilled!) and added nothing but a few pops of “red” at the request of the mister. No snowmen, no houses, no candy canes—nothing I didn’t love.
I do love a twist of the traditional, so I set about making small pieces of our family’s tradition visible; a little here, a little there.
Our stockings and my inheritance (a set of hand embroidered alphabet ornaments by my mom back in the 70’s that I was just given a few years ago) We used these as kids on our Christmas tree--I treasure every last letter.
The nerd girls that I've been whipping up, finally, have a place to live.
See? She's super happy to be living at the corner of Glittery & White.
And so is she...
It's a party under the tree over here...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Current Life Playlist

Sense a theme, do ya?

Another list? This is what I do when I find myself paralyzed by too much to do. I make lists, remind myself of the good things. Check them off.

Plus, I forgot how much music can be a positive mood enhancer (and transporter back in time.)

Give me a Steve Miller Band song and the smell of a leather jacket and hello, 17.

There are 10 songs I keep listening to when I should be "digging" in, instead I'm somewhere else entirely; wishing, remembering, plotting, and NOT digging in.

If you're here, too--and you share a love of singing at the top of your lungs-here it goes:

1. "Blessed" Brett Dennen
2. "Making Memories of Us" Keith Urban
3."Heavenly Day" Patty Griffin
4. "Ain't No Reason" Brett Dennen
5."Feels Like Home" Melissa Etheridge & Josh Kelley
6." Only Hope" Mandy Moore
7. "Fields of Gold" Eva Cassidy
8."Better Life" Keith Urban
9. "Free" Zac Brown Band
10. "The Sunshine Song" Jason Mraz

Big Mister and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage--- and we are adjusting to the fact that our nest will be empty soon. Our youngest finds us the least interesting people he's ever met so chooses any other option than spending his free time with us and his sister is on her second year of college life.

(So, to that, Big Mr. #8 & #9 remind me of you.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Virtual Book Club

I'm thrilled there is a name for this madness: Bibliophile.Good. (bordering on Bibliomania.Bad.)

I analyze sales numbers and create financial stories at my big girl job. If you can't use your skills in real life what are they good for, right?

If I were to recap my current purchases to income ratio of books, 83.6% of my expendable income (this could be called my share of wallet) can be attributed to paper. Of this 83.6 %, 90.5% can be attributed to books. (The other is another little addiction I have--you've seen it here, and here. But still paper.)

I only wish that there was a way to ascertain the "really good" factor before I purchase. Only about 43% of my purchases can be labeled as a "re-read". Sometimes, you just can't trust the reviews; everything is "Stupendous! A must read!"  Yeah right. 

Because when I get into a book, I do NOTHING else. Laundry piles up, husband gets neglected, dinner choices reduce...and then I finish and am ticked because I wasted my life reading a not-so-good book that was supposed to have changed the literary world.

This darkness at 5 o'clock stuff makes me want to put on my pajamas the minute I get home and crawl into bed and read. Tis the season, I say.

So in my humble opinion: the list 'o books that will not leave you feeling unsatisfied. The books from my library that have the spines cracked and creased so much that they are barely legible.

{Whenever I read this, the visual of Delores's grandma's house is in my own grandmother's hood.}

{I love the culture shock of this novel, the imagery is raw, and the story is twisted, ugly, and incredibly entertaining.}

{Another coming of age--now that I look @ this list, seems that I like these types of books.}

{Maya sure can spin a story.}

Anything by Amy Tan; The Kitchen God's Wife, The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter's Daughter
I love her voice--the way she writes rolling you backwards and forewards to weave her stories. They always include heavily accented English, and leaves you feeling a weird desire to offer something up to a god.

Anything by the real VC Andrews--skip anything after she died. Her ghost writer could never quite replicate the darkness. My personal favorite is the Casteel series.

"The Prince of Tides" Pat Conroy-a movie I've never seen but I love the book

"Sophie's Choice" William Styron-another movie I've never seen, but love the book

I'm currently reading....
"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking" Susan Cain
"Tell the Wolves I'm Home" Carol Rifka Brunt

I'm crossing my fingers these can go on the list. Or there's going to be a ton of undone laundry and one needy husband in this house.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Journalista Shares

Still visual journaling--or trying to every day. This stuff is like my very own version of crack--I've got 2 pages left in this one. If you're trying to start, I'll share with you some journal ideas (and how they look in my little book.)

1.) Doodle over a black and white photo. Color parts of it in.
(You can find this exact photo right here.)
I used a favorite quote by Nelson Mandela..It begins, "Your playing small does not serve the world."

2.) Make a 2 page vertical spread. Another B&W and a Martha Beck-ism we've talked about before.

3.) Try some calligraphy.
I've been obssessed with learning it. I love this page too for another reason. I made a run to Office Max and found oodles of paper to use in my journaling. This paper is a page from a kids "learn to write" notebook. I brought my stash to the checkout and the clerk asked me, "Are you an art teacher?" No, just a paper hoarder.

4.) Draw what you ate today. Try replicating the font from the packaging.

5.) Journal one of your own life Aha moments.
I use this mantra to make decisions all the time.

6.) Draw what you wore today. This is a standard for me. I love to create outfits and then document how they make me feel, where I got the pieces and why I chose them. 

7.) Use those paper bits you've been hoarding. I ordered free samples from here just because they were pretty and used them to create a spread.
And just because I can't stop practicing, here's another quote from my stash:

If you've been the statue for awhile, break out your supplies and start drawing. You'll feel better in 2 minutes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Art Journalista Full Tilt Boogie-ing

I believe I have found my happy place--full of scrappy paper, markers, and books. I believe I am thoroughly and untterly addicted to creating and filling Art Journals. It's like the messy hair version of scrapbooking (of which I've never been a fan).

Obsessed with  doodling, drawing, thinking, and creating, I have found my place. If you need an island of creative peace..I'll share a few "boats" to get you there.

Art Journalista E-Workshop: The bottom journal is this photo is made from this class. Using an old magazine, and bound with just glue this journal's pages are BIG. A challenge for me sometimes to work in, but a great size when inspiration hits.

Like this page founded on the outfit of the day. A full size doodle fits perfectly.

Found & Bound E-Workshop: This was the very first class I ever took. (By my talented girl again.) This journal uses a composition notebook and the binding is sewn. I really like the size of this one. I've almost filled it--a few pages from here:

(BTW, have you heard of the Fire Starter Sessions? A great book if you're struggling in limbo of your career life. I'm still there, but this book is full of good words. See photo on the right--inspired by this book.)

Full-Tilt Boogie: This has been the best workshop. She teaches a ton of different types. The two other journals in the above photo are from this class (and that's only one sewn binding she teaches.) If you are a paper hoarder, these are great to use up that stash. (I love the way Maryanne teaches--no kinda girl.) At first, after I made her journals, I was disappointed that she didn't teach specific pages. But then, I found that doing it my way was wayyy liberating. (I'll share some pages from my first Full-Tilt journal another day.) There is something very therapeutic about just gluing bits and pieces. The pages create themselves--it's amazing really.

And here's an every Thursday page tutorial if you need some inspiration:  Every Day is a Holiday.

More later, after I unstick myself from this keyboard. (My fingers are so full of glue and paint right now.)

Do your art. Now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Breathe, Focus, Pray, & Color (a ripped off title from Pinterest)

Sundays usually remind me that Monday is tomorrow.
And Mondays remind that I haven't done a thing to stop the dread.
{For the record, I'm officially tired of wasting my life waiting for Fridays.}

No new revelations today. Just sharing the ladies that keep creeping out of me.

This shirt is at the shop and from the minute I saw it, I wanted to draw it.

We also got in a slew of new bejeweled hair clippies and the packaging was less than Stash worthy. This card allows the clippy to sit in her "hair" and if you ask my packaging junkie brain, "Why, yes, I'll take one in every color."

After Letter Whimsy 1.0 AND 2.0 classes, I lettered (and doodled) this as a thank you to the artist.
Those classes were serious therapy for this caged (er, cubed) sales analyst.
{Her class is still available if you need a brain break.}

This one is also a "work in progress" packaging lady for the shop..

Is there a Fortune 500 company out there that needs a doodler on staff?

{Just for the sake of giving credit where it is due...the pinterest pin that inspired this post's title.}

Monday, March 19, 2012

FireGirl Inspirations to Escape Cube Life

My Oprah girl forwarded me another e-bar* see definition below
*(e-bar: a chocolate electronic Snicker Bar for your soul in the form of links to inspiring web sites)

This bar was extra fattening, a whole chapter of goodness that felt creepily similiar to every thought I've had in the past 5 years.

"The Fire Starter Sessions| A soulful + practical guide to creating suceess on your own terms"- Danielle Laporte
{You can read Chapter 1, too..go here. And pre-order the book, or if you're in my hood, you can borrow mine when I'm finished.}

A multi tasker by nature, I was simultaneously taking this art class as I read Chapter 1. The class was a 12 session hand lettering tutorial (an Almond Joy e-bar, if you will.)

Well, duh.

Danielle's words and lettering practice= Visual Cue Cards of Inspiration to Escape the Cube Life.

I've created a download for you if you, too, need some daily inspiration to be great.
{Click here to download, print, and stick everywhere to remind you....}

My personal favorite that is in my own very grey cube is, "You didn't sign up for good enough. You signed up for awesome."

"I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now. Wandering free, wish I could be. Part of that world...) Have you seen the Little Mermaid?

Here's to getting your legs, and lighting yourself up!
{And if you've done either, I'd love to hear your story...}